Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Postcard from the edge

Dear internets,

Hello from my holidays. The weather is nice. Except when it is freezing fog and visibility is reduced to approximately twenty centimetres. This usually happens when I am teetering on the edge of a cliff, I find. The children are swathed in ninety three layers of fleece and nylon, so I can only hear them complaining intermittently, which makes a pleasant change. They look much less like epileptic dogs when skiing than I do which is also welcome. Their training at the gulag has prepared them well for the Ecole de Ski Française and its 'sink or swim' approach to learning.

As promised, Mamie has kindly taken responsibility for all the cooking. We have enjoyed a delicious selection of treats from the gaping mouth of the cocotte minute and the cosy appartment is filled with the mouthwatering smell of cabbage boiled to the point of disintegration. Since Mamie believes me to be vegetarian (well, French vegetarian, ie. ham and fish do not count), I have had the same boil in the bag fish three nights running. I am not particularly singled out, however, as the spawn have had steak haché three nights running too. They, however, are allowed to cry about this. I must smile. I have promised to be on my best behaviour this week. It is a little unfortunate that I have forgotten my antidepressants and am having to eke out 4 tablets over 7 days, interspersed with temazepam. And vin chaud. And wine in a box. I am religiously following Kate's advice to get quietly, unobtrusively drunk each evening and it is proving most effective.

The skiing is bracing. Crazed Dutch teenagers lurk round every corner waiting to trip me up as I flail past them. There is plenty of opportunity to practise my already superlative British queueing skills. I have showcased The Tut, The Sigh, The Pained Look, The Pointed Remark, with their usual lack of success. I have moved up to the superior level of muttering "Wanker" under my breath which brings a little relief. The CFO pushes effortlessly past everyone leaving me politely allowing over sixties and under tens to take my place. We are repeatedly separated in this fashion, but over the years I have grown used to looking out for his grey and white coat many miles ahead of me. Sometimes I feel like I have spent most of my holiday, or indeed most of my life, following the grey and white coat.

The CFO and I are being extremely nice to each other. Careful, thoughtful and kind. This is because we are in the midsts of the kinds of discussion one does not showcase on the internet before actually concluding them one way or another and talking to, you know, flesh and blood type relations. Suffice to say it makes the whole thing, the tiny appartment, the following each other down ridiculously steep hills, the slavery to the cocotte minute, quite surreal. It also makes forgetting all my pharmaceuticals particularly unfortunate. Since the discussion has been thrashing itself backwards and forwards since well before we left, neither of us has managed to remember to bring any clothes either. We look like survivors of a natural disaster where fleece was mysteriously spared.

Wish you were here, if this is your kind of thing. Otherwise, not. Obviously. Please send drugs. And wisdom and stuff. And the weepette.

Missing you more than is appropriate, or sane.




Lydia said...

You sound very brave. Wishing you an unending supply of red wine and plenty of chocolate. Perhaps the weepette will find you, carrying a small barrel of prozac around its neck.

Helen Brocklebank said...

oh we miss you so. Having horrible withdrawal symptoms from your blog and twitters. have even had to do some work (very troubling, have had to stop for a cup of tea. In a proper tea cup. Shall I make one for you too?) xxx

Welsh Girl said...

This is where we need to send Alan Measles, packed to the brim with cheering drugs, up the mountain to your rescue.

Who said holidays were fun. They lied.

ps - see how I am resisting asking about the mysterious state of affairs with the CFO....

Helen Brocklebank said...

And did you know you were one of the Sunday Times' 100 Best Bloggers? Have saved hard copy for you and will also email you a logo. xx
WV: Crarpest... sounds like a naughty commentary on the food you're confronted with

Belle said...

Serves you right for forgetting your tablets! How could you? Especially after I told you how important they were. And let me tell you - wine is no substitute!

peevish said...

You must be missing The Weepette terribly! Hang in there, darling. We'll be waiting when you return.

Anonymous said...

had to laugh as the word verification today was, unbelievably, ANGST
How is that for synchronicity?
I am sending you virtual mood enhancers and sympathy. When you return you I shall most likely have an incontinent cat to keep weepette company so we can cosily look forward to sharing tales of urinary woe.
Until then, I counsel hanging tough and amusing yourself with random acts of passive aggression.

Anonymous said...

My goodness.

I hope the vacation turns out well and the wine in the box keeps flowing.

Red Shoes said...

As is usually the case, I have been thinking only of myself and how terribly I miss your blog while you are away. Please leave the cabbage and boiled fish and come home soon; promise never leave us again.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

With your brief absence, you have created a gap in my life of humour and vicious wit that cannot be filled by chocolate and wine - We miss you, we care for you, take care and keep warm (and sozzled!) This is a phase which will pass, JW, and you will rise triumphant once again, like the phoenix Alain from the Ashes x

justme said...

Oh sounds agonising. Do, DO just keep on getting quietly drunk as it sounds like the only way to preserve some sanity. And come home soon. We miss you!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear,
Have been missing you more than appropriate too.

it sounds like you need more than just tea and sympathy.

Too bad you left your essential vitamins at home.

love you too

Nimble said...

Thank god! I had hoped you would sneak out to send an update during the skiing holiday. I wonder if skiing to exhaustion helps replicate any of the mood meds' effects? Sometimes the silence on the ski lift can be very soothing. Here's hoping that a week of courteous repression does not break your spirit.

Liberty London Girl said...

Please do not ski over the edge. Especially now you are a world famous blogger. LLGxx

ps WV:karsi

Zed said...

Cabbage soup? Skiing? Does one not know just HOW environmentally bad that is? Internet = good and safe.
Skiing = bad and environmentally unhealthy.

I suppose you can, at least, keep yourself warm by farting through the night.

katyboo1 said...

Yes. Have checked your blog several times per day just in case you could creep out of your nylon ski hell and restore us to sanity.

it sounds terrible, horrible and awful.

Try to cling to sanity using any means fair or foul.

Anonymous said...

Have missed you terribly! Not surprised to hear how dreadful this vacance is. Of course it could not be otherwise. Do not succumb to random acts of passive aggression (no matter how tempting and fun that sounds) you'll only feel worse. Does anyone have some weed? Can CFO take you out to dinner and don't they have any shops up there? (You and CFO will get thru this) I'm sending you lots of love and sunshine and hopes for a gorgeous holiday to make up for this travesty. xxxxoooo

Alice said...

You can be assured that there is an army of us, so fortified by your daily instalments of perilous humour; we are compelled to send copious volumes of Good Voodoo your way constantly.

Come home soon. (Fear for the finger monkeys wellbeing in your letterbox stop.)

Alice xx

wv: varoned. Like being chatted-up by the Barons younger, and more hunchbacked, cousin, I presume. Arduous.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear, it all sounds awful. Wine in a box is good though.

We miss you too!

Anonymous said...

I am delurking from the land of boxed wine...sending some fortifying pharmeceuticals ASAP, just need your bunker number!

lisahgolden said...

Oh. I hope that you will not lose sight of the grey and white coat, if in fact. you want to continue to follow it.

Those discussions are so difficult, but even more frustrating when done in close, unfamiliar quarters.

As I'm sure you know, those decisions are best made after you are well settled back at home with routine, weepette and pharmaceuticals firmly implanted back in your system.

Anonymous said...

I've missed you too! It sounds like body and soul have truly been plunged into a uniform cold damp muffling fog. Even the nasty fish sounds like the damp fog of the food world. I don't know that there is anything good to be said for consistency in such a case, but you certainly have presented it evocatively, and it is lovely to hear from you. (I realize this is a bit odd to say on a blog, as if I were having delusions that it was a personal letter to me, but it seems right anyhow.)

My word is "byrub" which seems like a suitable amalgam of (damp, foggy?) Byronic depair and the expert massages that you deserve to receive.

Anonymous said...

I am far far away in Trinidad where all anybody is talking about is Carnival and their hangovers and here I am sober as can be checking in to see how a fellow blogger from Belgium is surviving her ski trip with her mother in law. You have GOT to love the internets!

Elsie said...

It was a very fine thing to see your post- it seems like you’ve been gone so long and it’s only Wednesday. Congratulations on the Times 100 cite - Belgian Amy Sedaris plans can accelerate! I think what Lisa said earlier (about the grey and white coat, etc.) was pretty wise. xxx

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Jaywalker! The weepette and the rest of us NEEEEEED you! You can get through this and you can work everything out!

*concentrating hard on sending virtual pharmaceuticals and good wishes*

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaywalker
It was lovely and unexpected to hear from you and the holiday from hell. Don't do anything rash. You've been through so much together. Lisa v v wise. More drugs and red wine. One day you'll look back on this and laugh in the same way you make us all laugh. A virtual hug from equally grey, foggy Hong Kong.

Anonymous said...

thank god (?!) you are alive!

try momentarily to amuse yourself by thinking of my skiing "event" last year.....

and come back soon.


JChevais said...

You sound so forelorn that I just want to take you away and find you a nice nest with good books and wifi.

Best of luck with the unspoken and neverending discussions. I think the French are masters at this lack of wordplay and I know how disheartening it can be. Big, all-encompassing hug.

Teena Vallerine said...

For me, a holiday is when you go 'somewhere else' and you get to sit in peace and read a pile of books and stitch a pile of embroidery and tell everyone else to sod off. I cannot imagine why anyone would want to do otherwise. You are in hell. Can you not simply show willing and then retreat to your rooms and sleep? t.xx

screamish said...

oh god. i think the getting quietly drunk is still the best option. it always worked for me during sunday lunch at the ex in-laws. just don't tip over the edge, you know what i mean...or next morning you'll wake up on the living room floor covered in Gentiane and aperitif biscuit crumbs and no one will be talking to you and you wont know why.

but then maybe thats just me.

G said...

Having just returned from a week of internet cold turkey, I've been ODing on all sorts of web crap. And it feels fucking great. I even looked at The Sun online. I'm almost envious of you, you're going to have that 'return to the internet' rush. I said almost.

Pochyemu said...

Basically, what we're all trying to say is that since you left for your holidays, all of us have been sitting, hunched over our PC's, furtively clicking refresh at regular 5-second intervals, hoping you've posted (magically, from atop a mountain...).

The problem is, once people discover Jaywalker's blog, their lives are structured FROM THEN ON like this:

A) Wait for Emma to post
B) Excitedly read what Emma has posted
C) Go to bed because reason for being awake has now passed
D) Wake up
E) Wait for Emma to post.

Without you, our lives have no meaning. We don't feel like going out, tidying up, caring for our families or friends, or doing much of anything really except surfing for dirty items on the internet and eating chocolate...we're PINING FOR YOU!

So come home soon. For the love of god, the stability of our marriages and friendships, and for our physical, emotional and mental health....please come home soon.

xxx P.

Potty Mummy said...

It sounds - dreadful. All previous envy of your ski holiday has been suspended. Sending you thoughts of pat val hot chocolate and croissants (though something tells me that they, at least, should be in plentiful supply where you are).

May I also suggest that in the light of the Times Blog thing you get yourself an agent? Why not try Wife in the North's chap? (contact me off-line if you need the details, I have them somewhere).

Juci said...

Oh no, you truly are in hell (and it froze over). That is so unfair. Hang in there, it's almost over.
Pochyemu said everything I could have said, and more, so I'll just say come back soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear.
Sounds too, too dreadful.
Think happy warm thoughts and try to keep your head above water for our sakes. We neeeed you.

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Pocheymu said

Phew, I thought it was only me who was obsessive about your blog.

can't wait for you to get back from that snow bunker.

Nicola said...

I know you are having a tough time...but OMG you're really f*cking funny when you're miserable. And of course when you're not. Love the ski lift queueing facial expressions. I practice them a lot at the supermarket and there's nothing like a muttered 'wanker' to release a smidgeon of that pent up irritation, is there? Guess you should be counting your chickens that you didn't decide to give up alcohol for lent (tho which woman - sane or otherwise - would possibly choose to do such a thing? It's as essential as H2O in my world). Sorry for being so cheered by your misery!

The Spicers said...

Missing you more than is seemly, Emma. Glad you were able to grab a few minutes of internet time away from the bunker.
Keep up the wine and temazepam until you can get back on your proper meds and don't make any rash decisions.

Anonymous said...

There was a case with a tortoise on CSI tonight and strangely I thought of you.

SUEB0B said...

I am quite in love with you.

The word verification is "erress" which shall be my new title.

Mya said...

Poor, poor you. I do sympathise. Here's my advice...
Eat as much of the old crone's cabbage soup as you can, have a spectacularly explosive and methane-laden farting fit, warm the atmosphere - hey presto...snow can all go home. Yeah, I know it's ecologically irresponsible...but holidays with the belle mere are a headfuck too far in my opinion. Hang in there...although,not literally, of course!
Mya x

Laura Jane said...

Oh my. It sounds most dire.

Sending love, virtual drugs, and fashionable clothing. Keep up the alcohol and temazepam in sub-lethal quantities please.

Come home safely. We miss you too.

Welsh Girl said...

Just wanted to say 'sorry for being flip over the fragile state of affairs with the CFO'. I'm sorry if things are tricky at the moment and hope that it is just the result of a long and arduous winter. xx

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