I'm about one-third of the way through writing a book at the moment. No, not a booker prize-winning novel that will cause stampedes of the literary-minded to Dymocks, a glowing interview with Jennifer Byrne and an all-expenses-paid first class flight to Chicago to feature as Oprah's book of the month but a self-help book (more on that later, perhaps).
What it means for me, right now in practical terms, is that I'm working from home for three months and can lower my standards of dress sense and style even further than my usual, "If it's black and clean, it's fine" approach to corporate attire. Look at the picture above; this is what I'm waahing on about. Come tomorrow (Monday), I'll be showered, dressed in my most forgiving elastic-banded trakkie daks, some form of polar fleece zip top and faced with the most important decision of the day - crocs'n'socks, or bare feet and uggs?
Love Chunks loves to chortle about my hypocrisy when it comes to Crocs. For the past two summers, whenever someone aged over 10 would galumph down the street in spindly legs wearing some huge form of primary-coloured kindergarten playground equipment on their feet, my comment would be instant and predictable: "God I hate those croc shockers. They're so butt ugly and make the wearer look as though they've stepped on a melted Smurf house on their way to a sheltered workshop." Then, a few months ago, Sapphire - on the cusp of turning eight years old - started to pester me to buy her a pair. "Pl-e-a-s-e Mum, everyone in my class is wearing them...!"
She had me at 'everyone' because, since finding out that it wasn't Bali belly from Langkawi but a foetus that was causing me to lose my lunch on the train, I swore to myself the most sacred of oaths. I swore that if my child - my own flesh and blood progeny - needed a particular brand or item of clothing in order to fit in, he or she would get it. There were too many painful memories I'd never been able to repress of having jeans that were too baggy to pass muster in 1982, finally getting a pair of kiaks the second they went out of fashion or hoping my dunlop volleys would look as cool as the ubiquitous Adidas Romes. It didn't matter that Mum said volleys only cost $7 from Grandisons compared to $38 for the Romes at Sportsworld; it was like suffering a thousand tiny papercuts in my heart when I realised that I'd have to go to school looking like the love interest from 'Revenge of the Nerds'.
Back to Sapph - therefore, if 'Crocs' were in - and they most definitely were in her class - she would get a pair. LC and I have agreed that our precious one is not to set the trends for her peers, but we will certainly try to make her school life easier if she has one less thing to worry about. So there we were, in the shoe shop: Sapph in raptures at my capitulation ("I know you hate them Mum but I love them and you!") and me rolling my eyes at her obviously-successful parental crawl and the sheer retardo-factor of the shoes. A few seconds later, however, I found a pair on my feet. Ohhhh Lordy lordy me; they were like wearing the buttery chocolate insides of a lindor ball - superbly soft and as light as a feather. Needless to say, two pairs were purchased that day and I defy anyone to say, "Does she realise how dumb they look - is she planning on doing some gardening on the sea floor?" because they're bloody comfy. Nicole Richie could rent them out as a holiday house they're that soft.
No such reversal of opinions about ugg boots. Being a Murray Bridge bogan born-and-bred means that they are as familiar to me as the ceiling shag pile in a Sandman and will continue to be long after the Hollywood rehab chickies have considered them too passe to wear with their micro minis and exposed nipples. They're warm, last forever and can take me from morning to evening with confidence. Not so acceptable at work though.
How will I cope with having to select items such as black boots, flat courts, loafers and strappy sandals to shove on my feet from September? Not to mention having to repress doing long and rattling burps out loud, followed by staccato bursts of flatulence and the occasional tuneless humming of an inane commercial jingle.... it will be tragic when my working-from-home time is over, I tell you!
In the meantime, I plan on making the most of it. If someone invites me out to a restaurant that features in the gold section of the Entertainment Guide, I will seriously have to consider whether the event is worthy enough for me to have to put aside the crocs'n'uggs and tart myself up. I did it for Love Chunks last weekend at Magill Estate and unless John Cusack phones and offers me a million dollars to spend a week with him in the Bahamas inhaling bollinger and haighs choccies, he'll just have to wait until September or come over to my place and see me ala ugg. Same goes for Jude Law.