Saturday, 20 June 2009

Various (pre-chewed)

This is going to be a recycled tweet post. God, I try and avoid these, but the dog is sitting folornly downstairs after a day of neglect surrounded by furry creatures it would like me to throw and it is SO PATHETIC I can't ignore it much longer. It's an enduring mystery to me how something so stupid can be such a master manipulator. It knows even I cannot resist the combined might of a pathetic doe eyed stare and a red plush parakeet clenched poignantly in its jaws.

Ha. However I have just remembered the moment earlier today when I came downstairs, as if summoned by a premonition to find the weepette's sorry, bowlegged form standing shamefacedly over the scattered remains of a whole Peyton & Byrne coffee and walnut sponge and suddenly the iron has entered my soul.

Gah, where was I? Yes! Quick, utilitarian post recycled from Twitter, sorry sorry.

1. Priorité aux imbéciles

It has not been a proud day on the roads of Belgeland. Well, not the ones I have been frequenting anyway. A parking ticket this morning, closely followed by a 'driving into the face of incoming traffic' moment with attendant screaming swearing meltdown (how many of those did I predict? I think I might have already exceeded my total). Then! This evening, la cerise sur le gâteau, leaving General Franco's house to find my car flanked by two police officers and a furious, incandescent, bug eyed man whose garage I had ENTIRELY INADVERTENTLY parked in front of.

Yes, I have the brain of a small vole behind the wheel. It always seems miraculous to me that I am allowed to drive at all, but then I am allowed to parent and then didn't even make me take a test. Hmm.

Thankfully the bug eyed man was so extravagantly abusive that the policemen took against him. One of them took me aside and said in an undertone "I'm going to pretend to take your details, but I don't like that man's tone, so I'm not actually going to give you a ticket. Though.." he qualified with a particularly solemn nod "if he is Well Connected or if he knows the Bourgmestre (mayor), then it's out of my hands". Wow. I didn't even have to tread on the children's toes to make them cry pathetically.

2. Pauvre petit escargot

Fingers and I took a feeble little trip (YES IN THE GODDAM CAR AGAIN) to the bookshop where the notorious "Half a cock" came from. Whilst I know Moitié de Coq is a little divisive, it is a very lovely bookshop run by a very lovely man full of rare and beautiful books. Fingers, however, was a man on a misson.

"I want the book about the snail with the large shell".

The man frowns, thinking about it for a moment.

"Ah! La maison la plus grande du monde? The story about the snail that wants to have the biggest house in the world, so he grows a larger and larger shell? And then, eventually, his shell gets so big it's too heavy for him to move?"

He holds my gaze at this point and lowers his voice slightly.

"And he starves to death?"

I stare at him wide eyed.

"Not that one, Fingers, surely?"

The man gets it off the shelf and shows Fingers. Fingers nods firmly.

"Yes. That one".

And in half an hour of browsing and story reading and bright, slightly desperate parental suggesting, he cannot be deflected. I would expect nothing less from him, it must be said.

And so it came to pass that I now have to read, possibly every night for some weeks, the - admittedly beautifully illustrated - story of a snail who starves to death because his shell is too heavy for him to move.

3. Well played, hippies

The hippies who run the organic veg stall at the market gave me someone else's shopping this morning. This is entirely in character. The CFO maintains that they are perfectly normal people, but when they come to work on the market they have to put on their uniform of shapeless sludgy knits, drop crotch loon pants, ratty white dreads and tie dye. They must also have to smoke industrial strength cannabis for several hours before their shift starts because they are seriously, seriously vague.

It is annoying and slightly fascinating at the same time. Whilst I have no vegetables, and no apples, I have FIVE punnets of strawberries (and two strawberry eaters in the house), 2 grapefruits, a kilo of unripe apricots and 10 kiwi fruits. Somewhere in Brussels a similarly frustrated person is wondering what to do with 12 apples, 4 bananas, 2 cucumbers, 2 red peppers, a cabbage, and 2 punnets of blueberries. It's an interesting break from the routine (will I become someone who eats grapefruit? Is this going to revolutionise my fruit purchasing habits?), though I can't see how on earth I am going to eat all those sour, tasteless apricots, and I can't quite decide who came off worse.

I suppose that some of you, kinder and more domesticated than me, will want to tell me what to do with the apricots, and there will be talk of light stewing, and compôte, and clafoutis. You might as well not bother, I can barely lift arm to microwave right now and I have had a small hillock of the strawberry mountain and the remains of the cake that Oscar destroyed for "dinner". My bed sings its insistent siren song to me at all hours of the day and night and nothing is quite so appealing as lying face down on it drooling slightly into my pillow. I mean, are you coming over to make me clafoutis and frangipane tarts? Because if not, the apricots are staying right where they are. Hmph.

Do help me, however, with what we should all do tomorrow. Ideally something where I don't push my luck with the parking gods any further and if there is scope for small cups of coffee and big naps, so much the better.


mountainear said...

Cherries for clafoutis - apricots are like eating old face flannels.

Anyway, tomorrow is The Longest Day. Surely you can find or invent some arcane Belgian ritual to suit...

Mr Farty said...

I used to get freaked out by the fuzzy skin on apricots, but they're lovely in jam. Mmmm, delicious apricot jam! How hard can it be to make that?

Waffle said...

Mr Farty, did I or did I not EXPLICITLY tell you not to tell me to make things??? Especially things involving boiling third degree burns sugar. Pfff. You're barred.

Mountainear - I agree, they do nothing for me either. The Longest Day sounds like a threat to me.

FAAB said...

it's a shame you can't give children and pets back for a few days a week - i might have been more proactive about having them if i thought they would 'fit'...
still gotta love fingers appreciation of snail greed and mortality...
i am now sleeping mostly in the day, at work - at my desk, on my palm - on the tube... but i don't do sleep at night anymore... don't know why...
tragicanon x

screamish said...

i sometimes think it would be nice to be one of those hippies. its something i would never be able to pull off tho. at uni i hated the skinny hippy bitches (sorry to be so rude but that was their official name) in silk/cotton indian dressed with their sunkissed skin, corn fed boobies and innocent "Im a deer on a mountain road watching your headlights come run me over big boy" looks.

the hippy girls always got the good guys. In my meanest dreams they are all tending eight children on a farm somewhere north of charters towers chasing chickens and trying to make red dust jam.

thank god its l fete de la musique tomrrow, i obviously need to get out

lucia martinez said...

idea: give the apricots to some vagrant or person who would make something with them or More Unfortunate Soul. this gets them off your hands and leaves a minty fresh feeling of virtue.

Liberty London Girl said...

Story of our life: small, irritating dachshund pushing toys with nose on to feet & emitting squeaking noises 24/7. It is the game that never tires. (For the ratdog obviously.) LLGxx

Liberty London Girl said...

ps halve apricots. shove in jar. pour vodka over them

Pochyemu said...

I love the look on the snail's face. My face looks a bit like that when I check my bank balance. I am sending Rob to you forthwith, in order that he may create apricot tarts for you. He doesn't know about this plan yet, but I have thoughtfully purchased his ticket to Anywhere in advance, as well as packed all his things in suitcases and piled them neatly at the end of the garden. He doesn't know about that yet either but he'll be so pleased when he finds out! You just go ahead and keep him as your live-in chef for as long as you can keep from strangling him! Yay! Meat bread for the children and failed attempts at cakes for you! And a peaceful, clean and tidy house for me!

Jessica said...

Re: Apricots
Chill overnight, halve, then use to reduce under-eye puffiness?

Maybe the spawn would like a set each as well.

Z said...

I'd suggest leaving the apricots, in their bag, somewhere warmish for a couple of days in the hope they'll ripen. When they don't but the unnoticed bruise on one of them spreads to the others, you can throw them out with a clear conscience.

livesbythewoods said...

Throw the apricots for the dog to fetch.

Better still, get the children to throw them, thus keeping all three of them entertained and out of your way while you enjoy the internets and cake in peace.

They are biodegradable so will add an element of tasty nutritional compost to the garden.

Or the carpet, if you throw them indoors. So don't do that.

mountainear said...

A serious comment...give the apricots to the dog by all means but please don't let him swallow the stones (or those of peach or nectarine). They are big enough to lodge in the gut and as well as causing pain and suffering to the dog, inflict terrible vet's bills too.

Grit said...

i put three organic apricots in the mousetrap last night.

that little bastard got into my fruit bowl.

and when they are half chewed and covered in mouse shit, apricots ain't that attractive.

River said...

Put the apricots in a large box with a sign that reads Free Apricots, please help yourself. Put it out on the footpath. Instruct Fingers and Lashes not to bring any of them back inside. Threaten them with whatever punishment you deem suitable. Go back inside and have another nap. Followed by cups of coffee.

Irene said...

It's all in your attitude. You're very similar to your doe eyed dog who sits and waits for someone to come along and amuse him. Of course, I assume you exaggerate your helplessness in order to make your posts more interesting and humorous, but sometimes you do go a little bit overboard. It's like you're a bored Russian empress with too much time on her hands. I do hope you snap out of it.


MB said...

grow your own shell and crawl into it never to be seen again... taking your duvet with you, course x

Anonymous said...

Grapefruit - cut in halves and douse in hard liquor of your choice, sprinkle with sugar, let sit in fridge over night, have for breakfast the next day. Looks very innocent, too

Anonymous said...

"(will I become someone who eats grapefruit? Is this going to revolutionise my fruit purchasing habits?)" An interesting thought. There is a David Byrne song (can't remember the name off hand but I have a video of it somewhere) in which he wonders whether if he tooksomeone else's shopping he would become like them while the food lasted.

WV is drumkk - on second glass of wine, this is very appropriate

The Spicers said...

I buy fresh fruit and veg every week only to watch it gradually rot and throw it away. It looks lovely in my glass bowl while it lasts though. I suggest the apricots in a still life.

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