Tuesday, 10 February 2009

The horror, the horror

I really feel for anyone who has moved to Brussels in the last couple of weeks. Sorry, in-comers! Stick with it, won't you? There, there. It won't always feel like the greyest, wettest, most dismal place on the earth. Just, you know, have a waffle (Liège are better than Bruxelles) and wait it out. OK, the wind tunnel on the Place Bastion is always there, but sometimes it doesn't actually knock you over into the path of oncoming traffic. And yes, the STIB are sadistic, peverse bastards all year round, but in summer you can just flip them the finger and walk if they decide to reroute your tram via Charleroi without explanation. Give it another month or so and Zizi's reopens and life regains some semblance of meaning (naming your ice cream parlour after child's word for a penis = enormous respect; being on the corner of my street = lifetime of devotion). I should perhaps warn you, however, that the supermarkets will remain resolutely shitty and depressing however long you stay and whatever the weather.

Anyway, cheer up! At least you don't work on the corridor of ennui, where this afternoon holds the heady promise of a morale raising talk from Le Grand Chef de Londres, who will be explaining to us, with interesting verbal gymnastics, how lay offs and pay cuts are A Very Good Thing For Everyone. I am preparing the corporate twaddle bingo cards and cultivating an expression of studied neutrality as I type.

I do not claim to be immune from a touch of Seasonal Homicidal Disorder. I have had my own moments recently, particularly as I stand in the back yard in the rain in shoes with holes in, trying to explain to Oscar that the CFO would like him to crap in the minute fenced off area he created this weekend out of baler twine and sticks, as the idiot dog whimpers in confusion and tries to shelter under my coat, before running off on a trajectory that defies the laws of the physical universe to trail shit around the house. Or as I run for my tram and my shoe falls off, leaving me with one wet foot, no dignity and an overwhelming desire to grind the smirking tram driver's face to a pulp as he speeds off leaving me weeping in a puddle. Or as I wait, bat ears twitching, for the cries of "SHAKASS! Putain de chien!" so I can dash to the rescue, detergent wipes to the ready, to erase the traces of Oscar's latest crimes. Or as I search the house high and low for a functioning pencil sharpener, six yoghurt pots, a picture of a juvenile sand warbler and a fragment of the thighbone of Christ to assist in the gulag's latest homework request. I am going to draw a veil over Sunday's visit to the swimming pool. I think we have all suffered enough.

Yes. I too feel the strain. I have been spending no money, barely leaving the house, and subsisting on credit crunch gruel and freezer scrapings. We are all out of DVDs and having to watch repeats of Grand Designs and the French tv news. After France 2 gave us twenty minutes of minute, village by village coverage of the ravages of a slightly windy day last night, I am nearing breaking point. I know that virtue is supposedly its own reward, but you know what? I want an actual reward. Maybe a pygmy hippo. Or some Sergio Rossi platforms.

How are you getting through the long dark night? Books, films, food, sex, crime, pulling your own fingernails out? Help me out. Help us all out. It's starting to sleet and I've just had to disguise an involuntary sob as a hiccup so the eurozombies don't start asking awkward questions..


Mrs Jones said...

Well I've just discovered this http://vimeo.com/2998698?pg=embed&sec=2998698

If you like swearing, you'll love this - Katyboo, I'm thinking of you...

(Word of warning - not for the ears of little people or work colleagues, headphones are the way to go here or wait till you get home...trust me...)

There are other things that help with the long dark night of the soul but I can't think of them just now as I have to take The Husband to the station so he can go to Brussels again to do a job he hates. Sound familiar?

La Belette Rouge said...

Perhaps I am over medicated as I am not worrying, depressed or feeling the need to de-nail myself. Hmm...should I go on a lower dose of Vitamin W so as to truly understand the horror or do I stay in happy denial?

katyboo1 said...

Mrs Jones I think I love you. And I feel better, because even I, in my most foul mouthed moments are not as terrible as this! A double pleasure therefore.

Me. I have just received the entire seven seasons of Buffy on DVD from my husband as my Valentines present. (£48 on Amazon. A steal for seven whole seasons Buffy fans). Yes. I know. I am sad. But I love, love, love Buffy. Say hello to Mr. Pointy.

That and making disturbing craft projects. I need a new one by the way.

Mrs Jones said...

Katyboo - are you me? I was distraught when Buffy ended and I actually, ACTUALLY signed the petition to Warner Bros not to shut down production of Angel. Yes, I am an old Goth and I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS IT....

Mrs Jones said...

Sorry, Katyboo, just realised you asked for a new disturbing craft project but I'd already posted a reply. So have another one. You need a dog for this project (and I apologise if I've already posted the URL in a comment - I love this one so much I can't remember who I've told and who I haven't...)



A Woman Of No Importance said...

Mais, JW, where would le pygmy hippo go pipi?

I thrive on boxed sets of Jane Eyre and other assorted costume dramas - even Bleak House, at least circumstances in those times were a little worse than those we face now!

Anonymous said...

I'm leaving this anonymously again (my blog is too crap to mention) but I just needed to tell you how amazingly well you write and that you are too creative to be in the corridor of ennui. I've been catching up on your back catalogue as I'm a recent convert and you are such a good read and cover so many topics that appeal to a neurotic, convent-school educated, middle aged jewish woman with a serious preoccupation about the murky liquid in her half full/ or is it half empty cup.
so all this to say that my winter blues has been alleviated by your waffling.

Red Shoes said...

Awwww, Buffy fans unite! I miss Buffy so much. Maybe, I need the box set too, as I am having trouble coping with life. It would certainly help to put things in perspective, wouldn't it? I may be sad, sorry, infertile, feel like a failure and possibly live in a hell mouth but at least I don't have to battle The First.

I don't know, Jaywalker. I'm feeling far too pathetic lately to be of much use. I can recommend Vietnamese pho. That's my best kept secret for revival during bleak times. I collect my post-therapy tears in huge steamy bowls of beef pho. It is becoming my go-to for comfort giving. Wonderfully effective. Also good for creating a better excuse for why my eyes are red and my voice is choked since I'm particularly good at adding a smidge too much chili sauce and then routinely inhaling firehot broth into my windpipe.

Anonymous said...

and another thing endive, my compagnon is French - we speak French most of the time as it irritates me like mad when he speaks English. Would love you to do a post along the lines of french men are from ..... and english women are from .....
No I've never read Men are from Venus and Women from Mars.

justme said...

It is february. A most depressing month. I am loathing it altogether and cannot summon up any cheering words or ideas for your amusement. Sorry. Try gin.
Works for me.
My word ver is drizedl.....which sounds like how I feel.....

K said...

I would also really like a pygmy hippo. Our zoo has one and I love it (even if it never appears to actually move).

To survive winter - I've become even more obessed with blogging, read trashy novels and let my son watch way too much tv. I also bake and eat way too much crap. I'm sure it's not that exciting, but it works for me.

Mrs Trefusis said...

So totally loving the nihilism. Or is it acidie? I empathise, obviously. Am mostly held together by playing fantasy SMYW and Virtual London with you.and reading 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies' was reading kafka but it's not enough of an escape from work which is just like The Trial xxx

Elsie said...

Flight of the Conchords, Season Two. Works for a while.

Bee said...

Books, yes; Films, yes; lots of homebaked carbohydrates. I've had a thing with rice pudding (only made like a sweet risotto) lately.

I didn't even leave the house yesterday except to do the school runs. Sleet makes me want to go back to bed with a mug of tea and a good book. Maybe we will all feel better in March.

This was such well-written waffling.

Grit said...

blogging. complaining. drinking. some evenings for variety i do drinking. blogging. complaining.

katyboo1 said...

Mrs Jones
What an inspired link. I may well have to buy a standard poodle just to keep me from killing myself in February.

I will be announcing details of a buffy fest at my house. Bring your own pho, macaroons, gin and anything else that gets you through the day.

Titian red said...

What keeps me going ?

Doubling up on the Prozac


Placing huge almost totally random orders with Amazon

Going into a corner and screaming very VERY bad words

Dumb insolence at work, where every request is fulfilled by following the protocols to the letter (yeah, I know, doesn't reflect well, but I hate everyone at the moment so they should just be pleased I don't go stabby with a fork)

My bed

Shiny comics

sad really...................

bevchen said...

Sleet here too. I hate, hate, hate sleet. And I have wet feet cos my boots are leaking.

Minnesota Matron said...

Alcohol! Plus, I have this lovely fantasy where a fabulously rich person 'bequeaths' me endless amounts of cash. I get quite elaborate in how/when/much the money rolls in. Sustains me! Glad you like the Matron :-)

Jaywalker said...

Mrs J - yes, that was quite cathartic actually. also, sopranos! a series we haven't watched. It's possible you may just have saved my (non) marriage.

Belette - no! One of the really cheering things for me has been how much happier you are, whether purely chemical or not. I likey. Continue with the Vitamin W.

Katyboo - oh yes me too me too me too. Buffy. Also love and so does BMF.

Mrs J - I think that one is going under favourites. My god. You must all go and follow that link. God. Speechless. The dragon! Cursing getting such a very short haired dog now.

Woman - mais on s'en fout. le hippo will be TROP MIGNON for me to care about its pipi. le CFO, bof.

Anon - you are so lovely. That will actually keep me going quite well until tomorrow morning at least. Thank you so much. also, I like that idea. there is much to be said about french men. they are weird (cf kate, paris girl amirite).

Red Shoes - pho. Check. But you have proper reasons to be wretched, whereas I am just a whiny baby. However! I think I have convinced CFO to do "Show me your wardrobe" belgian style, so unless I fuck up somehow in next 24 hours, I can promise you a smorgasbord of entertainment on thursday. hee!

Justme - the gin no longer works. I am turning into a manic street preacher! help!

K - we appear to be identical! Yes, check to every one of those. It sort of works, after a fashion. But not like a fortnight in Chiva Som.

Mrs T - your dissection of this week's Grazia feature by feature has cheered me immeasurably. I am returning to it frequently.

Elsie - is it out? This side of world? Off to check. Because this would totally work for me too. Mmm. Murray.

Bee - oh, lord, let's hope so (march better). tea, book, radio, hot water bottle. Yes.

Bevchen - yup, sleet here too. Oscar has chewed a hole in my red shoes, I discovered while walking through sleety streets.

Matron - i need to develop my fantasy life a little. Usually it is limited to splitting open the head of the person walking slowly down the escalator in front of me. Live a little Emma! yes. I love. Especially Satan's familiar, for reasons that will be immediately evident, even from this post.

redfox said...

I have mainly been watching Entourage and drinking, and then having vile dreams (not related to the above, just subsequent to them). However, today I realized that the Westminster Dog Show just happened, and that means plenty of lunatic photos to enjoy. Enjoy them!

(Very) Lost in France said...

Dear Jaywalker, please send recipe for credit crunch gruel. Fauchéd of France

Kate said...

we watch the france 2 news every night and when they devote 20 minutes to high winds, we fast forward it and I do my best middle-aged French woman voice and fill in the audio for what all the people are saying. i have to get amusement where i can.

i'm actually at my parents' house right now so i kind of have a break. i'm eating well and sleeping. it's so not like my real life.

peevish said...

Netflix has the first 4 seasons of MI-5 available for instant streaming. I'm through the first 2 seasons. I'm trying to stretch out the rest. Then again, fuck it. I may just have a little stressful anti-terrorist marathon.

Have I told you how much I love the photo of your son and Oscar being intimate? So creepy, yet it always brings a smile to my face.

Jaywalker said...

Grit - yes. Plenty of variety there.

Titian - wow, yours are great. I would double up, but then I would have to see the dusty GP of doom twice as often, which would cancel out all good effects. random amazon order - check.

redfox - thank you so much. that may very well have saved my day from catastrophe. that and the dragon poodle.

VLiF - prenez les levres d'une vache. mix them up avec 5 million onions. et lots of fat. mix. attendez 24 heures. cry beaucoup. commande indian take away. Voici!

Kate - I might have to call you up so you can do that for me when things get too bad.

Peevish - is that like Spooks? Another inspired idea. Spooks. Yes. We WILL get through February.

mothership said...

Like, OMG, I'm so totally, like, feel, like, really BAD for you guys over there in Europe. It must, like SUCK!
Here in California it's, like, totally sunny and, like, everyone is TOTALLY happy. Well, not when they, like, forget their meds, then that, like, REALLY sux, but, hey, you know, we have legal marijuana here and surfing and, like, totally cool people who, like, really like to talk about cool stuff like the world and shit. We even had this one guy who had been to, like, Europe. Or maybe it was, like, I don't know, France or something. Anyway. I'm totally really like feeling bad for you and hope your friend ennui passes on her recipe for the crunchie gruel because it sounds like it tastes really GOOD!
Have a nice day!

Completely Alienne said...

You don't think Mothership is taking the piss do you?

I recommend total numbness. I have mostly been coping with February by not being aware of what day of the week it is at present. I have been in a haze of staying up late waiting for teenagers to get back from the theatre so I can drive 150 miles for the weekend in the middle of the night. And back. And forcing other teenagers to go to bed then being kept awake half the night while they move their furniture around over my head - but not having enough energy to go up d tell them to stop. Then getting up at 3am today to drop first teenager off for a day trip to Auschwitz. And I have to stay up till midnight to collect her. I can't cope with this kind of ill treatment and I have given up on thinking at all till the weekend.

Jaywalker said...

mothership - dude, that's awesome. Belgium salutes you. We're somewhere in, like, France, or like, Germany or something.

CA - numb. Ok. Numb I can do. It's not what you'd call joyous, but it's attainable. I like.

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