Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Coming Out of Deep Lurk


We are expert lurkers. Today when we finally emerged from our den to go to the Chinese for lunch, our neighbours – who we haven’t seen this year – exclaimed with relief that we were still alive. Back in the days BC*, Thomas and I could batten down the hatches and stay in all weekend. As long as we had a sufficient supply of books and food, we were happy not going anywhere. We are training our children to be good lurkers too. They are so good that when we finally emerge, a visit to the Chinese is thrilling to them. (Slightly less thrilling to the waitress, who had to deal with rice sprayed in a radius of two metres around Ollie. He really loved that rice. And perhaps not very thrilling to other diners who were party to a high-pitched and excited discussion about whether the thing hanging out of the goldfish’s bottom in the tank near our table was poo.)

Our lurking was not totally pointless. It’s not as if we did nothing. There was the housekeeping I mentioned, which involved multiple trips to Ikea and much building of furniture. There were visits with friends, including catching up with a couple who we haven’t seen for nine years. We now have six children between us, and my girls got very giddy around the two slightly older, rather handsome and friendly big boys. There was reading of books and cooking. Rather a lot of cooking. I made a very hot Madras chicken curry with aubergine and red pepper which impressed my husband with its tongue-scalding qualities, a cauliflower vicchysoisse, a lemon drizzle cake, some gingerbread muffins.

I read Phillippa Gregory’s The Boleyn Inheritance, which follows The Boleyn Girl in charting the short and unfortunate reigns of some of Henry’s wives. It was the perfect lurking reading, washing over me gently, transporting me to another place where I thankfully do not have to live. Sometime between Christmas and New Year, we saw The Boleyn Girl as a BBC costume drama, all heaving bosoms and heavy-handed flirting, so I read the book with these images in mind.

So the deep lurk ends tomorrow. Thomas goes back to work and Lily goes back to school. The time for lingering over my morning coffee while blog reading is over, as is staying in bed till 9am while my lovely husband looks after the children, or having an afternoon nap while ditto, and we’re back to the relentless weekly routine. Without the routine as counterpoint, the lurking wouldn’t be as much fun, but I don’t know if I’m ready to be busy and effective. Not just yet. I’ve still got some lurk in me.

* Before Children


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

9 thoughts on “Coming Out of Deep Lurk

  1. I should feel sad but I’m mentally singing Happy Days are here again as today my husband is back at work and my daughter back at childcare and I have the house all TO MYSELF. At the moment I’m pottering around reading blogs in my pyjamas with no one simultaneously reading over my shoulder or telling me about the stats their world of warcraft characters new piece of equipment has. I may shortly do some leisurely vaccuuming (with no one shouting I don’t want you to do that MUMMY or getting in my way) and then onto some work related reading!! I feel so happy though so disloyal as I love them both dearly, of course…

  2. You’ve given me something look forward to! The lurk may be over, but the silence will soon begin. I’d forgotten that that is the advantage of a normal day – most of them leave, and the one who doesn’t sleeps. I love my lot too but boy I love the silence.

  3. My boys go back to school tomorrow as well and I have to admit I’m looking forward to it even if it means me having to get up at 6 a.m. every weekday morning until the Easter holidays.

  4. I’m glad you’re soon to be getting your silence — must come as something of a relief after having people constantly around you.

    The Boyleyn Inheritance is wonderful reading for lurking times — I read it while I was sick last year and incapable of doing much more than listlessly turning pages of a book. The Constant Princess is another of Philippa Gregory’s novels set in the Tudor Court and is based around Catherine of Aragon’s story. She really does write well about that period in history.

  5. I love staying in all weekend too, especially if the weather’s bad. I will get restless eventually, but a nice long stretch of doing nothing much is great once in a while.

  6. there’s something about the phrase “relentless weekly routine” that causes me anxiety. . .

    I don’t want life to be any of those words, and, yet, it so often is.

    Sounds like you had a good break, though!

  7. Yes that “relentless weekly routine” caused me a few qualms too. I’m not looking forward to it though the children have two more weeks of summer holidays to carry on lurking.

    We are also training ours to lurk contentedly. The highlight of last week was a visit to Dad’s studio, this week it could be going to a friends to choose a replacement guinea-pig (another fatality for mysterious reasons). We are vehicularly-challenged at the moment, so just as well that we are making lurking so fashionable!

  8. I love your expression “the years before BC”! I’m going to use it a lot, if you permit.

  9. Ms Mausi, enjoy your return to normality. It keeps getting better for me, with two of three out of the house today.

    Kerryn, I’ll look out for The Constant Princess. It sounds good.

    Dorothy – aha! another lurker! – but what I know of you and the Hobgoblin is that a good weekend also requires a bike ride to make it perfect. The same goes for my husband.

    FUM, it can be relentless, especially when the weather’s grey and dull as it is now. We could REALLY do with some snow to lighten things up.

    Kit, it sounds like you have good lurkers. It’s a great quality in a child – one to be encouraged, methinks.

    Ms Smithereens, it’s yours! I wish I could say I invented it, but was himself with whom I share this house.

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