Saturday, 2 May 2009

Despatches from Nowhere

I got lost in Arc sur Tille tonight. I was trying to find my way back from the Super U, a sort of giganto-Spar where I had been buying a demographic busting selection of sparklers, loo roll, condoms (yes, I am attempting a more responsible approach to contraceptive issues) and a bubble blowing machine. I keep trying to escape in small ways, and since I finished all 600 pages of American Wife on Friday, I have had to get more and more creative. I have tried: lying face down in the grass, using a dirty mug for tea (causing a hyperventilating breakdown from OCD), trying to write longhand blogposts and assorted words, and classifying mountains of Pokémon cards by prettiness. I have had exhausting dreams about cleaning up poo all over Chateau C'If (thank you, Mrs Trefusis) Super U was the last in a long line. Also, Sister in Law (we're not married, the CFO and I, but what else would I call her? The Disapproving One?) does not like feeding us much and we have been eating the heel of pâté the charcutier gave them for free on Thursday all weekend. And biscottes. God, why do biscottes exist? If there is a nuclear apocalypse making bread an impossibility I think my face melting off might be nicer than eating biscottes. Actually, Sister in Law gives every indication of not liking us at ALL, but I think that's more to do with the set of her facial features than real dislike. Though of course, we are disgustingly dirty, and I have several times forgotten to change slippers going upstairs.

Anyway, I left the Super U relatively confident of the basic direction I needed to head in, but after what I thought was a cunning, but in fact was a disastrous 'short cut', I ended up lost in street after street of identical pavillons. Arc sur Tille looks like nothing so much as a warmer version of Cumbernauld, where swathes of my family live. Though, thankfully, with fewer members of my family. I walked up and down peering into front yards with identical swing and slide sets. Occasionally, for variety, I would end up in front of a squat concrete public building of some sort. Haven't I seen that before? No, this time it's the town hall. Last time it was the gendarmerie. After about half an hour I thought I might just sit down and cry, or curl up in a field and go to sleep. Or maybe go and knock on someone else's door. The food might be better; I have no idea what cruel fate meant I have ended up aligned with one of the few French families who consider food essentially an irritating interruption in lengthy discussions about the neighbour's car and which cousin has put on weight.

In the end I found my way back after a couple of wrong turns around the bakery and attracting and then getting rid of a gang of bored youths on bikes who had left their post in the bus stop to stare at me. As an aside, the CFO and I laughed ourselves sick at the bus stop graffiti "Punk et Skin, c'est trop chouette" (a bit like saying "Punk and skins are really super"). Their disaffected youth are so POLITE. It must be all the hand sanitiser they're sniffing.

I have to go. It's time for Apéro (with no crisps, and blue Pastis). Normal service resumes tomorrow. Thank FUCK.


justme said...

Look at it this way. You will have done all the penance you need for the next two months confessionals, And for last months too. Souyez cool. You will be home soon. And don't forget to spit on all available surfaces before you leave.....
OH! and I am saving the American Wife, which I bought ages ago for my holiday....Is it good?

The Spicers said...

How did you like American Wife? I just read it too, and found myself feeling a strange mix of pity and revulsio towards W.

Emma Burns said...

Hang tough, Mme Jaywalker! Anyone who can make a capybara out of a waffle can survive the OCD fascists and even temporary starvation. Aren't you tempted to bring home large bags of messy food, like cheetos, and pass them around to everyone? Think of the orange dust everywhere...assuming there are Belgian cheetos, hmm.

lindsay said...

i live not far from cumbernauld. one day i passed its welcome sign, which tells you it is "twinned with bron", only someone had added an x to the end. i'm glad i wasn't driving, or i'd have crashed.

Mya said...

You'll be completely trolleyed by now on blue pastis, probably insulting the disapproving sis in law, smearing the walls with tortoise dung (you do carry that in your sac a mains, don't you?)and smashing their risible collection of Pygmy and Marc Lavoine 'music.'Have a good trip back tomorrow - Belgium will seem like paradise...and how often can you say that?
Mya x

GingerB said...

I totally agree with Maggie - Cheeto fingerprints on the furniture would leave such an impression on the OCD family.

Your meme has been kicking my butt, since I was trying to do two at once.

wv: supeo - not your trip

katyboo1 said...

Gah! Sounds like Norfolk.
Come back and restore me to sanity immediately. Burn slippers on exit.xx

WrathofDawn said...

"I have several times forgotten to change slippers going upstairs."

Is there a ritual for doing penance for this heinous crime? I would suggest a chant of some sort, preferably in Latin, with some sort of twirling, dancing, highly stylized set of steps to appease the gods of OCD.

Or you could just curtsey and mumble, "In accordance with prophecy. I love you Jebus." after each transgression.

I think you should raise the possibility of your family moving in with OCD BIL et al. Surely seeing the look of horror spread across their faces would be worth your own feelings of revulsion at such a concept.

I say HAVE FUN with crazy in-laws. Work the crazy. Feel the crazy. LOVE THE CRAZY.

peevish said...

Thank Fuck AND Holy Nathan. The dynamic duo.

River said...

A couple of wrong turns around the bakery? Should have turned INTO the bakery and had a good feed. French sticks, rolls and croissants have to be better than biscottes and stale pate.

Anonymous said...

this sounds a little like an episode of 'the prisoner'

westendmum said...

My twitter has bird flu and said, to my horror, that BelgianWaffling didn't exist. Thank fuck as you put it, you're still here. x

Kate said...

you weren't that far from my in-laws. you should have just gone over there. they would have fed you until you popped and doted on your kids and liked you much better than they like me.

Waffle said...

Just me - I have! Also, no need to go again for another year. It's like a weight is lifted.

Iheart - she's a great writer. I got so angry with Charlie sometimes. Impressive.

Maggie - the good capybara was made by Monk, not me. Mine was shit. Mmm cheetos. They don't have them in France; they should, they really should.

Lindsay - Lord, so right. So, so right.

Mya - it takes SO little to insult disapproving sister in law. Like, picking up the wrong mug. I have been doomed for years.

Ginger - ooh, I will go and read.

Katyboo - I am back, sweetest one. Sanity might be trickier.

Wrath of Dawn - I have found telling OCD BIL all about the weepette is great for this. He goes all shuddery.

Peevish - deities you can trust!

River - it was shut. Fucking countryside.

Rivergirlie - exactly. EXACTLY. You have absolutely the right mental image there.

Westendmum - yikes. I am definitely here. Trying my best to exist.

Kate - do they eat biscottes? I hope not.

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