I'm not replying to comments individually at the moment, and that really pisses me off. I am so sorry. I am reading all of them and they are so sweet and thoughtful and helpful and funny. I wish you were all round the corner so we could drink gin and kvetch and laugh (except, I would not wish that on you. Belgium is an acquired taste, like, er, gizzards or something). I really REALLY want to reply but OHMYFUCKINGGOD I move out in 4 days and the new house contains only an Ektorp, four chairs and two large plush animals, a dog and a seal (yes, maman has been taking the children Guilt Shopping).
(As an aside, I am quite enjoying the random and unhelpful way I am acquiring stuff for the house. I just wave my lists madly in front of my eyes until they focus on something, drive to the appropriate shop and buy one at random. Sadly, this being Belgium, none of the stuff I believe I have bought (it may be an extended hallucination) has been delivered yet, and I am beginning to believe it never will be. No matter, I have sufficient soft stuff to fashion a large nest, and who needs a fridge anyway? It's cold out. The Bonne Maman crème caramels can live in the back yard, student accommodation style. On the best case scenario I will only have to sleep on the floor for, ooh, four days. I'll be fine. So will my gay adoptive son, I hope, when he comes to build a giant phallus out of waffles in the back yard and bring me pope shaped gifts next week. He's young and resilient. I hope.)
So. In the interests of Giving Something Back to the internet for its humour and compassion and cleverness, I am calling Dr Capybara back for another session. He hasn't offered his services for far too long and god knows, I have got unbelievably whiny and pathetic in his absence. I need a good, long, rodent kick. I need to be called "punk" and scorned. I bet you do too.
So. Please place your questions or problems for Dr Capybara in the comments and he will answer them. I have placed a large sum of Venezuelan dollars in a numbered account in the Cayman Islands, so satisfaction is most certainly guaranteed.
I will start the furry ball rolling with this:
Dear Dr Capybara,
I have the feeling that all the tradespeople I have encountered over the last month in setting up my new home are robbing and cheating me and I am too British to do anything about it. I agree to outlandish prices, stupidly long delivery times and am repeatedly, egregiously lied to whilst all the time I behave with exquisite, idiotic politeness.
"Oh goodness! €2000000 for a second hand mattress from your basement that you can't deliver until next June? That seems perfectly, er, reasonable. Of course. Where do I sign?"
Please can you give me some tips on rodenty South American assertiveness.