Thursday, 29 May 2008

Does Mephistopheles offer a cooling-off period?

Ak ak ak ak. Brussels is not on its best behaviour today, after my lavish hommage yesterday. It's rainy and grey, Hacking Cough Woman sat next to me on the tram and the loose flagstones are cunningly arranged so that when you stand on them they coat you in filthy puddle scum. I am working a sort of demented tramp chic look in Fitflops and a cagoule, channelling my mother circa 1978 when she used to pick me up from school in her 'witch' cycling cape to my great shame.

I am definitely getting long-overdue karmic punishment for smugness at the moment. "La la la how great my cosmopolitan life is, lovely children, lovely city, lovely house" etc. Tripping around like something out of a fecking Boden catalogue, a vision of harmony and irreverent laughter and swishy hair.


Quite apart from the perma-squalor, the unpaid bills and my current wardrobe meltdown (how many seams can I split in one week?), Lashes and Fingers reduced me to tears several times yesterday with a sustained campaign of badness, shrieking, sly teasing and selective deafness. I am hoarse from shrieking like a madwoman. If they weren't exposing their genitals at elderly ladies they were stealing each other's stuff, smearing abandoned stolen chocolate everywhere, calling each other unspeakable names. At one point Fingers did an impressive wrestling leap off the arm of the sofa straight-legged on to my unsuspecting stomach. There's probably a name for that move. In our house it was 'AAAAARGH! THAT BLOODY HURT!!!!'. I'm sure Hulk Hogan puts it better.

This morning there was what appeared to be a brief lull in hostilities. Silence from above, bar the sound of some giggling. In my heart of hearts I knew this was too good to be true, but reader, I took that Faustian pact, made a cup of coffee and sat down with Heat. No no no no. When I went up finally, they had covered the whole bathroom and of course themselves with a thick layer of repulsive 'jungle berry' scented Kandoo foam. "Look, maman il neige". Shifty smirks. Slightly anxious eyes. It was like a foam party in some manky nightclub in Liege. I couldn't even bring myself to shout anymore. After half an hour wrestling with nauseating foam I can still smell the stuff, it is in my hair, under my nails, sticky on my face, and the mocking face of that vile frog is haunting me. Seriously, ten minutes with Cheryl Cole's bikini body was NOT worth this...