In ancient Greece, the area of Delphi contained a sanctuary where Apollo was said to speak through an older woman ‘of blameless life.’ This woman, Pythia or the sibyl, was the priestess of ‘the Oracle at Delphi.’ She would fall into a trance and her ecstatic ramblings would be interpreted by priests who put them into neat rhyming verses. People consulted the Oracle on all sorts of important matters from the timing of wars to personal and political crises. That Pythia had power…such PowHer!
And I too, a woman of <cough> blameless life, am consulted regularly by my offspring and husband. They wait until I have entered a trance-like state fuelled by caffeine and the therapeutic vapours emanating off Liz Earle products (hopeful brand mention, fishing for freebie) before asking me questions of vital importance such as:
“Do I have any clean pants?”
I take a moment to gaze into the small crystal monkey that I won in the school tombola and, before I know it, cryptic couplets just, like, materialize. Enlightenment comes pouring out of my gob. My wisdom positively SPRAYS FORTH like spittle from a cross footballer’s mouth.
“Do you have clean cacks? I’m not sure what you mean,
But there’s this thing in the kitchen called a washing machine.
You put in dirty pants and clothes that you have worn,
Put in soap, turn the dial and press the button orn.”
“What’s for dinner?”
“I’m not sure,
it’s hard to discern
But it will be something you don’t like
and very likely burned.”
Muffled voice from behind locked bathroom door: “Argghhh…<ruffling sounds> Do we have any more toilet roll?”
“If the silver roll thing is empty
The answer my child, is no.
When did I become the Oracle at Bollocks?
That’s what I would like to know.”
Etc etc, you get the picture. And so my question is, when exactly did I become the Oracle at Bollocks? The Font of all Shizzdom? When did I become the receptacle of all family trivia? I am like a human fucking cork board. I am the person equivalent of a fridge covered in crappy notes and timetables held on by crappy miniature Eiffel Tower magnets and those ones that say ‘I Love Ibiza’ on them. Post It Notes should come in flesh colour so that when I stick them on me, from a distance it will just look like I’m one of those really cool women with lots of ‘up yours’ tattoos all over my body when actually I am a walking To-Do List of Trivia.
I’m tracing back the moment in time where I became the Oracle at Bollocks. Ah, there it is. The moment I had a baby. The baby came out of me. My partner was sent home while I, broken yet enjoying the opiates, was left holding her. Yes, my partner went home and ‘got some rest’ and I was taught my first bit of bollocks ~ how to put a baby grow on a wriggly new born whilst still looking sexy. Women’s work don’t you know.
And I didn’t wholly mind it, for a while. Being the Oracle at Bollocks. When my children were very small. But now, they’re both at school and I have time and a brain. Can someone else hold one of my bollocks now please? I’m tired and I want to do something clever.