Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Goopy speech

First the introspection, later the photos (so far I think the wishlist is weepette porn, themed cake, street urchin children, Damien and shoes. Correct?) .

I started this blog a year ago, not because I was unhappy, or lonely, or had anything particular to say (though at times this year all those things have been true), but because Belgium seems to me endlessly funny and surreal, and I wanted to share it a bit more widely. Also, I rarely get to speak my mother tongue at home, and had started muttering to myself on street corners. Belgium has not disappointed and the blog has been an endless source of joy for me. High points:

The Village Fête and especially Jen from Cakewrecks judging the cake competition. I can hardly wait for this year's fête. I have great plans. We are going to whup the Guardian's substandard fête this year, I can just feel it. Peevish is planning her campaign to retain her All Fête Champion's ribbon.

My first and greatest blogcrush, Mimi Smartypants emailing me (yeah, ok, after I harassed her stupid BUT STILL).

Confessional. All of it, all the time.

Taunting goats with a magnetic penis loop with Antonia, my second greatest blogcrush.

A thoroughly undeserved mention in the Sunday Times Top 100 Blogs (thank you India, I owe you riches beyond the dreams of avarice, Claude François routines and lunch Au Vieux St Martin)

"She sounds really funny this woman" from Grayson Perry (even though this compliment was basically stolen from Katyboo and not deserved at all). I might have it carved on my tombstone.

Most important of all, every day, some comment or email making me laugh. EVERY DAY. It's no surprise I post everyday because you are my secret vice, my treat to myself, my repeated indulgence; you are WONDERFUL. How did I manage without you? Liberty London Girl and Mrs Trefusis, Mothership, Sue and her dreaded fountain pen husband, and Pochyemu and the lost capybara, Red Shoes, Katyboo and Alan Measles, and Lulu's curtain pelmets made from dehydrated frogs, and Helena's menacing bee, Vanessa's brownie pan and all the rest. Bath Bun even lives right round the corner (and yes BB, the White Night does sell batteries) and Juci offered to cook me dinner at my wretchedest. Zoe has not yet managed to kill me, but frequently tries. People have helped me decode the mysterious jaw of the wrench in the shower, given me tips on weepette training, showed me the darkest contents of their fridges. I even have a secret document where I keep my favourite comments and I opened it up today. I have been feeling a little melancholy (birthdays do that to a girl) and it was so cheering. You are funny and weird and insanely, blushmakingly complimentary.

You even stick with me when I veer away from the travails of child wrestling, domestic revoltingness or Eurotedium. I have talked about grief and madness and bulimia; about abortion and relationship crises. You have said things - compassionate, wise things - that I hold in a corner of my heart and will not forget.

This has been a GOOD year, despite the shaky state of affairs with the CFO and it's mainly thanks to the blog (and, of course, the absence of death or madness in my immediate family, in itself notable given recent history. Oh, and the weepette). So thank you. Thank you Belgium, thank you spawn, thank you Cassandra who needled me to start a blog, thank you Guy Verhofstadt for being so cake-genic, thank you my very own gay child wafflebébé, thank you Dinosaurs, thank you everyone. Thank you, thank you all, I'm sure I've forgotten to thank so many of you ...

[Jaywalker is escorted from the stage weeping snottily, and shouting 'I still have to thank Nathan! And Damien! And Tragicanon, and the moths!']

If you would like an over-emotional Gwyneth style thank you in the comments, don't be shy, just ask for one. I have lots of gushing still to give.


expateek said...

Some goop, please, mistress? I know I'm usually far too serious and earnest in my comments, but still...?

Happy Blogoversary. You're quite amazing.

pinklea said...

Happy blogiversary, Jaywalker!

For all the lovely things you've said about your readers, I for one send similar sentiments, multiplied many times, back to you. Yours is the first blog I read every day, and yours is the one that regularly makes me laugh out loud. Yours is the one that makes me breathless at your honesty, and yours is the one that makes me wish that I knew you personally.

Thank you - and long may you blog!

Jaywalker said...

Expateek - your "scrabbly claws" comment about the CFO still tickles me and when he is being tiny eyed, I imagine him all small and reptilian. I love you darling. Will you still take me to BlogHer on a lead? I wanted to ask you how I go about it.

Pinklea - oh, thank you so much, that is lovely lovely lovely. Huge weepy, snotty hugs on your shoulder (be grateful they are virtual ones)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous lurker here: You are brilliant, your regulars inspirational and you have all been a life saver during the past year for me. I was off work, depressed and barely able to function.

Coming here and learning that fashion lust, eating problems, cleanliness and lack of dog owner discipline (thank god I never had children!) are somewhat more common situations than I realized has been immensely comforting. Your confessional allowed me to reveal my deepest darkest fear about how I screwed up my employment opportunities with late bill and tax paying at a time I revealed nothing to anyone I was close to.

I am pleased to tell you that I recently returned to a job similar to the one I had before, and I got a big tax refund. Thankfully it pays for a personal smart phone in order for me to get my Belgian Waffle (and friends) fix from my Cubicle of Ennui so very far away from Belgium.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and one of these days I will unlurk (de-lurk?)here and on Twitter.

Happy, Happy, Blogiversary, and thank you so much for what you have done to get me through a difficult time.

monk said...

I'd like goop too please, but on behalf of Claude François. I was pleased he got a mention though.

You are force for good, I came across your blog when really quite unable to cope with Brussels (I would have been the 'depression brussels' in your keyword search. Just imagine what horrors I might have come across if you hadn't had a blog) and it's about time I thanked you for reassuring me normal, and indeed lovely and funny people somehow manage to live here, and I could too. A thousand insufficient thanks. You're great.

monk said...

oh and just read anonymous's comment: your i am stupid post made me feel so unstupid about all the crap I do/don't do all the time, you've made a lot of people feel better about themselves, all without the services of a psychologist (which of course health insurance will never pay for because, naturally, I will never phone up and claim). My syntax gone to shit, so, just, thanks

Anonymous said...

i have been a regular voyeur for some time and this is my virgin comment. My eurohalf husband is trying to make me move to belgium and your blog has been a godsend and a bright shining ball in what i though was the grey eurotedium brxls world.

many happy blogreturns my lovely you are brilliant.

mothership said...

Boohoohoo, so fabulous, thank you for the mention, feel I should stand up and wave beatifically at everyone in self serving fashion..
Where is PHOTO OF YOU in fabulous GOWN?
I think you need to do Academy Award version of Belgian SMYW in honour of this, really do.
Congrats on year of marvelous blogging. Mwah! Fantastico! Superb! Bravo!
Excuse me, must go and prevent offspring from throwing themselves out of bedroom window now..

justme said...

A very Happy Blogiversery to you. May you have many more. Shoes seem to me to be the very least you deserve today!
Your blog was one of the first ones I stumbled across, when I first started blogging last May. No idea how I found you, because I was reading pretty randomly but I am so glad that I did. I particularly enjoyed the village fete, even though I never did get around to carving animals from veg! When I get bored with my own tedious blog, I like to come and be amused over at yours. Keep up the good work!

Mrs Jones said...

Pinklea's said everything that I could. Your blog is genuinely inspirational and aspirational. You have an ability to write that I would gladly kill for. You have given hope to us slatterns the world over, and we're all with you 100%. I wish you were a real life friend rather than a laptop screen but I fear you would find me interminably dull. I am so not worthy. Now, where are my pictures of sad children?

monk said...

also x 2 I imagine the mexican is in quarantine. He'll be back soon

sue said...

Happy 1st year JW! Everyone else has said everything I want to say, pinklea, monk, Mrs Jones. I only found you in January via a link from Zoe @ MBIAT. I spent a very happy weekend trawling your archives, roaring with laughter, crying at your honesty and finding out that I really wasn't alone in the demented world of motherhood and marriage. Thank you JW, you are quite lovely.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Bat-gushing please - How could you forget the bats, JW?!

Happy Bloggoversary - too close to ovaries for my liking - Bloggiversary - There that's better... Happy Bloggiversary, dahlink, and many more surprises, treasures, shoes, coffees, Holy Tortoise TMs, Weepette Porn, Saintly Offspring Tales, and I wish you copious happinesses, to come... x

sue said...

sorry me again, am emailing you pictures of Humphrey-one-ball (little downy peanut) as I don't have a twitter account.

GingerB said...

I love you. I would follow you anywhere, on the interent, or even in the parc du caca. I cannot turn on my computer without checking to see if you have posted, updated, or even commented on your comments. I can't live without you. Never stop blogging, and never stop being glad your life is so rich in blog material! Please say something nice about me too, so I feel worthy to continue obsessing over your blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm delurking to say that I discovered your blog back in September when I was writing a report on tourism in Belgium (I even got paid for it, can you believe it?!) but your daily updates did make my job of trawling through various Belgian websites a lot more entertaining.

You're a great writer and I love your blog.

That's all there is cos it's now time for Nouvelle Star!

Vic said...

Happy Blogoversary!

You are so funny, and so articulate, that you make me want to put my keyboard away and rest my head on my desk in defeat. Love your blog.

Hug the weepette and the boys for me.

fabhat said...

I am shamefully addicted to your blog - and the interesting people who have led me to/from it. Happy blogverasry and I look forward to years of fabulous shoe/weepette/emxican/tram/cake delights from you.

Mr Farty said...

You are lovely.

That is all.

Pochyemu said...

1. Everytime I quote you to Rob (which is shamefully often), he says "WOULD YOU FUCK OFF ABOUT BELGIANWAFFLE?! All you do is read her blog! Are you having an affair with Belgianwaffle? Did you read that thing you just said on Belgianwaffle!? AAUUGUGGHH!"

2. Even though we don't know each other, you've been SO KIND to me through the trials and tribulations of my past few months, and I have told you things and confessed things here that I haven't even told my closest friends. You even offered me your spare room when I wanted to kill my spouse. That's some kind of niceness, right there.

3. You've made me feel so much less alone. You are honest and you are funny and those 2 things together make me want to run away to a flat in the Brussels red-light district with you.

4. The first time I stumbled across your blog, I was like OMG what is this? And I read THE WHOLE THING - month by month - in ONE SITTING. Because you are amazing.

5. You are too hard on yourself and please believe us when we say, WE ADORE YOU FOR A REASON!

6. And now I'M getting weepy, this is rediculous! OK ENOUGH NOW.

Pochyemu said...

ALSO! Without your and BMF's prodding, I wouldn't have started my own blog and I wouldn't have ever gotten to meet Expateek or received mood-lifting packages from Chocolate Fairy Just Me, or had funny exchanges on Twitter with Titianred or Red Shoes, etcetcetc, and I would be a gibbering wreck by now! We are a good little community, no??

Iheartfashion said...

Happy blogversary Emma! Reading you these past many months has been an absolute pleasure. I find it difficult to go a day without checking your posts, and always want to either laugh or cry. You are the David Sedaris of Belgium and if it were in my power to give you a book deal so you could leave behind the corridors of ennui I would.

Liberty London Girl said...

Apart EVERYTHING else, you & the confessional made me & Mouse-sis realise that most everyone (apart from freaks of nature) feels self-conscious, inadequate and like a dog chasing its tail trying to get all of life's tasks completed. I know we shld have realised this before. But we didn't. So there. And thank you. LLGxx

ps WV: pallysi

The Wrath of Dawn said...

What about us lurkers? Will no one think of the lurkers?

WV - sants - without pants

How apropos.

Juci said...

Oh, but I never got around to making you that dinner or pie or whatever it was that I promised, what with theses to write and babies to raise and major disasters at husband's workplace. I still want to, because you really deserve it. Not many people get to cook for their favourite blogger, do they?
Happy bloggiversary, and here's to hoping that you'll keep posting for a few more decades.

Jaywalker said...

Ah, Anon. I remember you from Confession. Thank you so much for your lovely words. xxx

Monk - it could be worse, you could have been looking for naked Balgians. I get a surprising number of those. Also THANK YOU Clolo for making a move to Brussels possible back when the CFO and Euromaster bonded over Alexandrie Alexandra.

Anon - you may never see the sun again, but at least there will be a deliciously scented underground and ..... er. . other stuff. Thank you!

Mothership - you should totally be standing up wearing something totally showstealing. Mwah mwah!

Justme - 2009 will be the year you take the Fête by storm, I am sure of it.

Mrs Jones - I am terribly boring too. We could peep shyly at each other and not quite manage to talk. Thank you for saying such lovely things (and for the Empress wigs).

Monk - but HOW LONG? 6 weeks? I can't stand it!

Sue - I got the photos of sausage one ball. He is quite the loveliest thing EVER. Thank you so much.

Woman - I fear there will be plenty more of all those things. Thank you! And the bats. THANK YOU BATS. You are leathery yet soft, and such a pretty black.

GingerB - I love you and your funny delightful comments and your wonderful ginger children. THANK YOU. Huge snotty hugs to you.

Anon - oh, you are so lovely. Wasn't Dalé good? And how beautiful is Sinclair? M told me André looked like a dirty toad tonight but I am not even slightly put off.

Vic - I hope your keyboard doesn't have a tiny snail on it like mine. Thank you for saying ridiculously nice things.

fabhat - it is a good addiction, I promise. It is free! And contains minerals. Yes yes yes. THANK YOU TOO.

Mr Farty - so are you! You are like, practically the only man who EVER dares comment here. I don't know what happened to the Fat Controller. Probably too busy with sexy stuff. But you are still here! Hurrah and thank you.

Pochyemu - stop it stop it I will cry too and Rob will have to put us both in mussel hospital. I AM SO HAPPY you started a blog (so is BMF, who still thinks you are the best confessee ever) and about our lovely little community. One day we can have our very own retirement village. THANK YOU lovely lovely lovely Pochyemu.

Iheart - as one of my very very first readers you are extra special and deserve some kind of long service medal. Just not one made out of waffles, because, yuck. Thank you for your archi archi lovely words.

LLG - ha. Yes. We are not alone! How comforting was that? That has to have been one of the nicest things ever, reading about all the other freaks. Freaks! You are among friends. Thank you so much for your support, you are completely ace.

Wrath of Dawn - THANK YOU LURKERS!! THANK YOU ALL. Even if you were looking for naked polevaulters. You are always chatting away to the NonWorkingMonkey. But never here. WHY IS THAT DAWN. WHY?

Juci - now. I am reminded that at some point recently you mentioned you might be pregnant? Are you????? Please to tell the Waffle. Your offer was so incredibly sweet. Maybe we will actually manage to meet before we are both ninety five or over?

Jessica K said...

This post made me all verklempt.
I love your blog - many a long miserable day in my closet of misery (until recently my office was a closet) your brand of funny made me snort surreptiously and got me through the day.
And thank you for your feedback and advice on my blog.
WV: croon - how perfect.

Laura Jane said...

Happy Blogiversary Emma.

It is a really good thing one does for oneself to have a blog, where confession is possible, and connection is possible - especially when you aint gettin enough of it in real life.

I too feel very connected to my blogfriends, and I read your daily posts sometimes with concern, sometimes with snorts of laughter, occasionally with tears, buta always with a sense that we would be good company. And we are, even at a distance.

Blog on, hon. (I'm now secretly planning my entry in the next vegetable Fete of Death competion)

Megatonlove said...

Discovered your waffling a few months ago and love the way you make the Belgian surreal so real and side-splittingly funny. I hold you responsible for the dried-up coffee spew on my computer screen.

Pink peep-toes, good move! Might send you all the snails in my garden. The one on your keyboard looks lonely.

Juci said...

Yep. Not pregnant, although we wouldn't mind, but it's probably best with all the stress we've had to handle lately. So if you're going to have that bloggiversary party soon, I could at last knock back a few without misgivings now that I've stopped breastfeeding. Surely that is reason enough to throw the party?

oystergirl said...

Happy Bloggiversary, Jaywalker!

You are the only blog that I read daily. You are constantly going off in eccentric directions- always discovering something bizarre and utterly fascinating to look at or think about. You make me remember the frustrating and surreal and wonderful moments that happen when you are living in a country apart from your own. Your sense of humour is delightful and goofball and self-deprecating and poignantly honest.

I couldn't do without you either.

So- thanks. Merci mille fois.

Jan said...

Many Happy Blogaversary's
'You'm make Oy larff'
As they say in these parts !!!!!

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