I am very tired of this long weekend, which appears to be set on a downward trajectory ending in a car crash of a barbecue at the neighbours' where our children have been swearing like navvies and breaking the neighbour's blue eyed boy. It is really very very long indeed, with Fingers determined to pierce all our eardrums, and Lashes, by some odd quirk, having apparently become stone deaf. It seems to be more than mere wilful selective hearing. I have tried creeping up behind him and saying "Would you like a packet of Pokémon cards, and perhaps €100?" and he still doesn't react. He has probably been shoving polystyrene chips up there or something. Don't think I have forgotten the time he shoved a pen top up his nose and we had to see 4 doctors in the space of an hour to get the damn thing out. The boy has Previous.
Anyway, I am getting distracted. I believe what I was trying to say is that I have reached the point where I would very much like us all to be doing what we normally do on a Monday, even if that involves me fighting with a packet of mince in a dispirited fashion. Monday, I miss you! Come back! Now I have learnt to appreciate the bounteous solitude that you bring. Enough of that, though. I imagine you are all desperate to hear about fishing. You are, aren't you? I can tell.
First disappointment: I have no photos. Sorry.
Second disappointment - actually, less of a disappointment than a fishing trip fail: we (rather, they) did not catch any fish. I did get to watch various fish related atrocities though (this is the pontypines punishing me, isn't it? ) - wizened old men beating fish to death, monosyllabic youths putting live fish in the back of their car and driving them slowly and mystifyingly round the lake several times, many pictures of proud men holding giant sea monsters. There was even an odd fishing lake ceremony where, when you pay your €32, the horny handed son of toil who works there goes and fishes five fish out of the lake, shows, you them in a ritual fashion, then throws them back in in front of you. What???
Here the disappointments end. Maybe. I am numb, and cannot quite recall. Here is what I do recall:
- the CFO's frankly ludicrous suggestion that there might be a WiFi connection at the smallest fishing lake in Flanders proved to be as nonsensical as it had originally sounded. I can't believe I actually fell for it and brought my laptop along. I am far from sure they have running water out there, let alone mains electricity.
- I did not need to be there at all; indeed, I would go so far as to say that it is No Place For A Woman. It was full of silent men in their 50s with baseball caps and thermos flasks. Noone required my presence even slightly; the CFO stood meditatively by his fishing rods in reverent silence, whilst the spawn poked tadpoles. Even the weepette was relatively gainfully occupied hiding cravenly from a pack of very very tiny and shrill guinea pig sized dogs. I read my book (grim and nowhere near as redemptive as the back cover tried to tell me) and watched fish crimes. It was not up there with my best mornings ever, but I must give it its due and say it provided for extremely low impact parenting. Due to some genetic quirk, the spawn appear to be able to amuse themselves in a field/lake type environment for a number of hours. They decidedly did not get this from me. A couple of minutes and I am twitchy.
- the CFO kept gleefully comparing it with Disneyland. "C'est pas Eurodisney!" he would wander over and say to me every ten minutes or so. Looking round at the Jupiler beer branded yellow plastic chairs I was sticking to, the gang of balding guinea pig dogs, the paunchy fisherfolk of Flanders sitting on their collapsible stools, the pocket hankerchief sized lake with its five ceremonial fish per customer, I was able to agree wholeheartedly with his assertion.
- By the time we got home most of the laboriously collected frogs and tadpoles were looking a little, comment dire, fatigued. I very much look forward to disposing of their tiny corpses tomorrow to the accompaniment of a two man greek chorus of woe.
In sum, I am adding fishing to the long list of things I thought I would never be seen dead doing that I have ended up, against my better judgment, engaging in. Given that the list also includes: going to Macdonalds on a semi-regular basis, playing video games, holding a handful of writhing live maggots, going to a kickboxing tournament in a village hall in rural Belgium and catching children's sick in my cupped hands, I am not sure what kind of an achievement this is.
See? I can barely string an excuse for a blog post together. Bank Holidays, honestly. I may have discovered my long lost work ethic.