Friday, 14 August 2009


The holidays are nearly over. The children are the colour of delicious, buttery Normandy croissants and the fine hair on the backs of their necks and round their ears is white blond. The CFO is mahogany. I have a slightly pink mark across my thighs where the laptop has overheated, a giant green bruise from falling upstairs and a deep purple lovebite that looks oddly like a cigarette burn courtesy of Lashes, but have otherwise maintained my deathly pallor. All is as it should be.

With my propensity for fretting pre-emptively, I am already worrying about:

1. The next 4 (FOUR - count them) days in the Cotswolds. Not only do I hate the countryside, as amply documented on these pages, but the Bearded One regards information technology as the devil's work and is about as likely to have a functioning broadband connection as he is to sprout wings and fly. My niece and nephew will also be there. The last time we were all united in these circumstances (exactly a year ago I note, archives are a wonderful thing), it inspired me to poetry. My nephew, who I respect enormously, is my ally in this nest of rural doom. He declared his hatred of all things farm and animal related last year and I can't imagine anything in the interim will have changed his mind. He does make me laugh, especially when he gets enraged at the mere thought of farmers, or pigs, or similar. Shame he is only 4, because otherwise I might have an accomplice to lead a breakout. We could hitchhike to Oxford and then get the bus or something. At the very least maybe he could come on day release with me to Daylesford and spend £18.75 on a cappucino and a scone. Maybe he will if I bribe him with a Power Ranger?

On top of that, an inventory of my packing reveals that I only have two pairs of shoes. First, Fitflops, and second, Lanvin suede ballet flats with a giant satin bow on the front. Lord. The thought of putting my feet into the mildewed spiders' nests that are the spare wellies at the Bearded One's house is almost as bad as the thought of sleeping in all that dark, cold rural silence. Bleugh.

2. On our return to Belgium, some kind of dangerous brain fever has caused me to buy tickets for a proper young person's music festival in a field in Flanders. Approaching middle age and distinctly middle of the road, I am going for Vampire Weekend and the Ting Tings and to pretend I am down with the kidz. The CFO, profoundly in the throes of mid-life crisis even before I propelled him into apocalypse, is up for anything and particularly wants to see Squarepusher, a disturbing bearded introvert who makes a noise like a time and motion study in a turkey processing plant. This alone would cause me misgivings, but now I have seen the rest of the programme I am REALLY worried. I can't decide which act causes me the greatest anxiety. Crystal Antlers? A Place to Bury Strangers? Fake Blood? Actually, I think "Das Pop", because any suggestion of German is not a good thing where music is concerned (yes, Red Shoes, now you may kick my head in). It doesn't bode well, does it? If any of you have actually heard of these people and have recommendations, or particular things to avoid, do let me know. The less time I can spend curled in a foetal ball rocking backwards and forwards to the strains of Flemish death metal, the better. Mrs Trefusis compounded my worries by wondering aloud what I was going to wear. I don't know because I HADN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT THAT SOURCE OF ANXIETY YET, oh god, and now I have something else to worry about. Jesuzemann.

3. It is the CFO's 40th birthday soon. Given recent, uh, Things semi-documented here, you can imagine that neither of us are viewing this happy event with quite the innocent joy we might be. What can possibly be an appropriate present? How does one celebrate given the circumstances? I DO NOT KNOW, internet, and neither does he. The children will not let us cancel it entirely, of course but the CFO would rather gnaw his own leg off that have a party right now. Ideas?

That is all, worry wise. Well, that is plenty, anyway. I'll keep the rest to myself for the moment. These teeth aren't going to grind themselves, you know.


Provincial Lady said...

Surely the amount of Londonites ensconsed in the Cotswolds will mean at least pubs with Wifi, if not even boutique shops lurking in unexpected villages?

carolinefo said...

ooh, where in the Cotswolds are you going to? I used to live in Charlbury, 15 miles NW of Oxford, before I emigrated to Anatolia...

Wonderful place, but also the World Capital for woodlice and slugs. I still have nightmares about the slugs. They used to crawl into the kitchen at night THROUGH THE CAT-FLAP.

Happily, my 3 1/2 years in Turkey have been entirely, blissfully slug-free.

This is why I can never go home again...

Anonymous said...

Glasvegas. Tormented weegies. Can't go wrong with that. Quite like Placebo myself too.

And I think this should be one of the CFO's gifts.

DameEmma said...

As I am Canadian, it is mandatory to love Metric (actually worth a couple of songs worth of your time), Eagles of Death Metal are surprisingly non-metallic, and I would give my left leg to relive my debauched youth at Jesus Lizard. (Come to think of it, the Jesus Lizard dudes must be WELL into their 40s, so much older than you, huzzah. Go, and marvel at the angsty, writhy, screamyness that is still possible at such an advanced age(hopefully))

As for CFO birthday, my WV is "nonon" so I'll leave it at that.

Mrs Jones said...

The Ting Tings are very catchy. Snow Patrol - meh, but okay. Placebo - androgynous boys in eyeliner, what's not to like? And Kraftwerk! Yay!

But...what's this?....Jesus Lizard!!!Ooh, they're INTENSE. And now I want another Boilermaker....

Elsie said...

I saw the Airborne Toxic Event(attracted by the name, of course). The lead singer has alopecia and likes to joke about it.

H said...

Yay festivals! You will have fun despite yourself (or how shit the festival is in our latest experience) and what you wear will cease to matter a, are you taking the kids? In which case different story.
Squarepusher eh? I am seeing a new side to the CFO. Liking it.
Just remember to bring the hot water bottles and burner for those cold nights in the tent. And copious wet wipes.

Liberty London Girl said...

FACK. I am currently adjacent to said Cotswolds. A mere 35 min from Daylesford. LLGxx

shooz said...

You must go see Bill Callahan at the festy. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

And avoid Snooze Patrol.

That is all

Anonymous said...

Oh, bless the child! You can come and let the nephew vent his rage on Hubby if you like: Stratford's not so far away from the Cotswolds, and I doubt John'd mind currently, he's too preoccupied with fettling (a rural term, approximating roughly to tinkering) his combine harvester to notice a vengeful 4 year old. I know well the species of welly to which you refer, but we've tried to loosen the clutches of the cobwebby bucolic idyll/inner circle of hell with broadband, filter coffee and next door's wifi. However, the hens, tortoise, 2 dogs, 2 goldfish and a rocking horse might admittedly trigger the Nephew's agriphobia!

The Spicers said...

I sympathize with your Cotswolds imprisonment.Too much nature makes me nervous.

Waffle said...

Provincial Lady - sadly my Wifi is BROKE. Impossible. Completely impossible. Pah.

Layla - it's the less gentrified end of the Cotswolds, near Shipton on Stour, where they have vestigial tails. Also UGH. Slug attack!

Deililly - brilliance! Poor, poor man. It might just figure.

DameEmma - huh. Jesus Lizard eh? Angsty writhy screaminess sounds appropriate.

Mrs Jones - boilermaker? I am confused, and a little frightened.

Elsie - lord. And they were high on my list of frightening names.

Helena - tsk tsk tsk. No. I will NOT be camping or anything like. We are staying in the nearest Travelodge Belgian equivalent. and no of COURSE we aren't taking the spawn. Lord, what a thought.

LLG - no! Presumably we won't overlap? Dammit. I could have lured you out for £7 cappucinos and posh gardening tools.

Shooz - thank you. I will follow your advice.

HFF - ah, so tempting. So so tempting. I will try and engineer a break out though possibly not with farmer hating nephew...

Iheart - it gives me tremendous outbreaks of mortality terror for some reason. All that live stuff. And dead stuff. Brrrr.

livesbythewoods said...

Ha, mid life crisis music festival attendance must be in the air! Last weekend I booked tickets for Mr WithaY and I to go to the End of the Road festival in September.

No death metal, Flemish or otherwise. We're seeing the Fleet Foxes and Steve Earle. Plus a hundred or so other acts we've never heard of. And we might be booking a teepee to live in for the weekend.

It's all very exciting.

Mrs Jones said...

Ms B - check out this youtube of the Jesus Lizard doing 'Boilermaker' and you'll hear what you're in for -

I saw them supporting the Birthday Party in the early 90s. My first husband looks like the lead singer.

Sinda said...

Vampire Weekend are as far from Vampires and Things Goth as you can go - they're pretty catchy, and good live in the hot sun - I saw them last year.

Growing up in Houston (hot, humid), there were often frogs lurking in our wellies - NOT a pleasant creature on which to put the full weight of your naked foot. Here in Austin, I'm paranoid about spiders in my garden gloves. **shudder**

Good luck with the rest of your vacances and the Birthday Conundrum.

Zed said...

My son is going to Pukklepop too - he was going to go for the entire 3 days but has opted for the night when Enter Shikari are playing.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Arctic Monkeys myself. I know the name but not their music. Hell, it's a good programme this year - if I'd had the money I'd have gone.

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