I really don't know what happened to this weekend. I am reminded of our hilariously awful German client Herr Stegmayer on the Corridor of Ennui who once complained about our costs dealing with his crucial and sensitive fertiliser merger, citing our "needless physical presence" at meetings. Fingers and Lashes have decided that their needless physical presence is required on every part of my body and spirit. Right now, Fingers is lying heavily across my knees and upper arms fidgeting, while Lashes is playing Pokémon Diamond, with its special lift music soundtrack, milllimetres away from my right ear and thrusting his console into my face to hear the battle cry of his new Nostenfer (some species of purple, fanged bat). The CFO updates me every few seconds on how many tortoises he has managed to locate in the garden. Only the dog is peaceful having run its stupid bony legs off in circles at the hippie egg hunt (a week late to emphasise their strenuous pagan affinities), terrifying small children in chunky poo coloured hand knits and having to have chocolate rabbits pried from its jaws repeatedly.
(Just as an aside, there was a sub-group of hippies that 'ONLY eat organic' and consequently spent the Egg Hunt observing from a disapproving distance and only eating nettle soup (which, by the way, is the work of the devil. It tasted ok, but I have spent the rest of the day doubled up in nettle soup revenge crampiness). I am puzzled by this. Like, if there was nothing else, would they just suck their own white person dreadlocks for nourishment? Does this not seem a little, I don't know, precious? I am all for organic loveliness, but how to you raise it to the status of an immoveable dietary conviction? I have obviously lost touch with the Food Crazy.)
Consequently I have had NO TIME to prepare short films about waffle torment, or Dinner Now Fuck Fuck Fuck madrigals. But I will. Soon. Just as soon as I have found out how to get an hour to myself.
In the interim, what can we do that is low impact, rapid, effective blogging? Eh. Let's just review the week. You may do the same in the comments.
The CFO and I ride the horse of death back from Spa in the mist and the rain and the cold. On arrival home, mamie triumphantly demonstrates to me that she has taught Lashes to READ! Praise Nathan! This entitles her to lecture me very very frequently for the rest of the day on the correct place to put my finger when he is reading, what he must read, how he must hold a pen and many other topics related to my inadequacy as a parent. I do lots of deep breathing. In, out. In, out. Silver, gold, silver, gold.
Lashes is despatched to hippie school for cookery, theatre, cutting and sticking. Fingers refuses all attempts to persuade him to go to the gulag holiday club, where the infants salt mine is still working split shifts, so I work from home, with him under the table, poking the dog and rolling sellotape delicately all around my legs. I promise that if he is good and lets me work we will go to THE SCARY BAT CAVES, where a giant fruit bat dropped a quarter of apple on my head last summer, ageing me ten years in the process.
Trying to park near the hippies costs me my sanity and half a wing mirror. There is hyperventilating, and we go down a one way street backwards.
The yellow ball beams at us from the sky as Fingers and I do the shopping at Carrefour. We get overexcited and buy mountains of stationery, dog chews, plastic crap and nine thousand types of yoghurt to sacrifice to the fridge gods. We top off our joyous morning with a Magic Box at Queeeek, the fast food chain where hope comes to die. We chat happily about going to the Bat Caves. When dinnertime comes round we realise have bought nothing we actually want to eat. The CFO makes his usual meisterwerk, "Oncle Ben's Microwave Rice with lardons".
"Is it the BAT CAVES today? " clamours Fingers, but the CFO has stolen the car away for a hot date in Charleroi. "Tomorrow", I promise him, and we take the weepette on the tram to the park with the promise of the café, and of cake. The café is closed. It starts to rain. We get the tram back and go to the café near the house where Fingers has a muffin for lunch and pours a hot chocolate over my crotch.
After a full week of anticipation of THE BAT CAVES, we wake up to torrential, despairing rain. After an hour of anxious negotiating, I manage to crack a deal with Fingers where we go to the HELL POOL instead.
The Hell Pool is next to the Atomium, which is looking particularly fetching in the rain.
Ah, the Hell Pool, how do I love thee. After getting lost repeatedly on the ring road, the Hell Pool is packed with heavy petting, violent teens. I get into a squabble for a rubber ring. The chlorine makes us both hallucinate.
When I show this photo to M, she comments that there appears to be a murder happening in the background. We speculate whether this would make a good plot for an Agatha Christie style crime novel, and conclude that it wouldn't. Fingers is as unimpressed as I am, and we rapidly beat a retreat to .. Queeeek. By this point, although I am having a rather delightful time with Fingers, whose extraordinary self-contained confidence and beautiful, slightly furry cheeks I still worship creepily, I would pay CASH MONEY, up to and including €100 for an hour by myself.
We arrive home after I get us lost somewhere near the station just in time to set off for Performance Time at the hippies. Sadly, 'just in time' does not include 40 minutes looking for a parking space. We arrive in time for the last line (something to do with tongues?), and have to pretend we have seen the whole thing. Lashes looks vague and stiff in his sheet toga but is inordinately pleased to see us. He has made chicory stuffed with strawberries and mozarella. You can see from his expression what he thinks of this.
I am required to eat it. I would not do so again.
Dinner his a new low with pizza base topped with tomato sauce out of a jar and NOTHING ELSE. There is vodka, but not quite enough.
We invite Lashes' Friend Swearing Boy to the cinema (Monstres contre Aliens. Bof). Swearing boy swears floridly all the way there but I love him anyway, even before he tells me I am his favourite mother of all his friends. I love him because his household is basically a garrison full of shaven headed brothers, run by his authoritarian father, who is anti everything. I am convinced Swearing Boy will lead a rebellion against him soon. The CFO is looking very folorn, so I forswear the internet all day. I keep thinking we are about to have The Serious Talk, but we don't.
I make an industrially gigantic apple cake to take to the hippies, but General Franco, Swearing Boy's father, arrives at a crucial point, and I have to run around picking up pieces of rubbish that catch General Franco's eye. He has an odd habit of standing, arms folded, in the hallway, pointing out the messier parts of my house to his boys ("Look, Daniel, there is a chocolate wrapped on the floor!"). I expect it is part of a lesson he teaches his troops when he gets home ("THAT is what comes of living like a communist! Playing cards on the floor! Tortoises! Shoes not neatly lined up. It's anarchy, boys").
The cake turns out like an apple topped house brick. Hippies like that kind of thing though. Don't they? It turns out that Fingers has eaten twice his bodyweight in cake mixture while I am picking things up from around Franco's feet, probably more nutrients than he has ingested in the rest of the week.
Ready, steady, hippy! Man, these hippies are DECIDEDLY NOT MELLOW. There are cliques, and factions, and there are frequent outbursts of whispering in corners. There is even crying. I feel a little disillusioned. Where is the love, hippies? It is pretty though. Look, here the CFO is listening to a tale of fury and boundaries, but look how beautiful the garden is. La la, pretty things.
Haiku form summary of the week:
Bats flutter unseen
Biscuits must have nutrients
Dried snouts give solace
Over to you.