Sunday, 29 November 2009
I'm perching on the windowsill of the SP, where occasional crumbs of connectivity flutter by cruelly. The dog is dozing somewhere wholly illegal, Lashes is holed up with his mate Swearing Boy , the rudest child in Uccle (and thus my favourite friend) and Fingers and I have made an alarming pink Madeira cake (I've just tasted it speculatively. It's vile). It's stiflingly, delightfully warm in a way I am shamefully loving. Sole control of the central heating is a dangerous thing, for me. It's all ok, really. I'm alternately gleeful and filled with dread at everything. I have realised that I can't allow myself to think too much, or too far ahead or I get blurred vision and night sweats. Actually, I get those anyway, what with the environment flaying heating levels and the dead weight of weepette across my head.
If we were to inventory this week, it would go broadly as follows:
Things made/fixed/generally sujugated: 1 meccano robot (a bigger high, building that, than childbirth). 1 mop (surprisingly hard), the iPhone. Sort of. Shut up, wafflechild. Shhhh M.
Stuff that comprehensively kicked my ass:,1 Lego car. Total, near weeping defeat and stage left commentary along the lines of "Papa would have done in TWO SECONDS". Alarm clocks (2, one fixed by a 5 year old, the other totally fucked). Various others, now forgotten/stamped on.
Guilt soft toys purchased: 4
Best discovery: Panique au Village. I can't do links right now. I can barely scroll. But this is an animated series using small farmyard and cowboy/Indian figurines, and it is magnificently dark and surreal and represents all I love about Belgium. The cowboy and Indian are mysteriously looked after by a horse that talks like a Belgian Les Dawson, if you can imagine such a thing. Mainly he kicks them through Walls. I'll try and find a clip tomorrow. UPDATED: here! Brilliance
Crappest moment: losing wallet and spending several hours in the police station being treated like the moron I truly am. "You 'think' there was a Visa card. Hmmm? Madame?". Closely followed by several dark night of the soul moments regarding The Future. Then I developed my patented ostrich approach and everything was suddenly much easier? 'Dinner? But that's HOURS away. Let's not worry about it, hmm?"
Five a day targets met: 0. But at least one day there was one of those 'apple' things. Peculiar little blighters. Singularly lacking in caramel filling.
Profound birthday thoughts: None. Except: OWL OH MY GOD OWL OWL. And how extraordinarily fortunate I am to have such wonderful people both inside the computer and out looking after me at this most tricky of times. So thank you.
I'd say more but elder spawn has just bitten younger, fracturing the domestic idyll. And I can't feel my index finger. Aie!
Friday, 27 November 2009
I do, however, have a very clear sense of priorities, and thus the most important thing I can possibly offer you today, above all words I might be able to spew forth from my newly addled 35 year old brain, is THIS. THIS, the best birthday present in the world ever, world without end, amen.
Brace yourselves for a tidal wave of jealousy.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
On my own, though, I can't stamp my foot and make everyone run after me, lighting candles and bringing me Kir Royale and baby cashmere goats (I read recently about a special cashmere blanket made only from the very first belly hair grooming of the tiniest baby goats, and it's become something of an idée fixe). The sound of my stamping heel will only send the weepette scuttling in terror from its clandestine spot on the Ektorp. The children won't notice at all, too busy inventing a birthday for Oscar complete with a reconstituted pig made from pet shop dessicated body parts. I will have to deal with my own birthday. I have been planning a realistic version of my ideal. Best be prepared, I think.
Woken after a long lie in with tea on a tray and a pile of cards and presents and flowers and possibly small exotic animals for petting.
Woken at 6 am by weepette whining insistently two millimetres from my face; take weepette out, probably in picturesque Belgian rain. Take children to school. Decide not to remind them about birthday until later, since we will inevitably be running late. Go back to bed at 9 with a cup of tea and a book. Sulk gently at lack of thrills, surprises, lavishness.
Long bath, take calls from myriad admirers, take delivery of more baby animals and bouquets. Bettys ring because the giant fondant fancy pyramid is too big to fit through letter box.
Take call from Prog Rock. Have short bath - as usual, too twitchy to settle - in curtainless bathroom, terrifying Catholics with decaying, ravaged face and body. Avert gaze from decaying, ravaged face and body. Lurk around in hope of postman. Give up and go out.
Lunch at the Sea Grill, where your handbag gets its own stool, and when they see you tipping plates of petits fours in there, they bring you MORE. Boxed up for ease of transport. Tipsy post-lunch luxury goods shopping. Nap.
Go to McDonalds and steal wifi to try and leach BIRTHDAY LOVE out of the internet. Try to buy stuff on the internet "because it's my birthday". Thwarted by crappy Belgian credit limit. Have cake for lunch. Come home to find letter from HSBC and three fliers for kebab shops in post. Nap.
Have cake and candles and more presents. Drink champagne. Play with presents. Take surprise delivery of everyone I love. With even more presents. Go out for cocktails. Even the cocktails come with presents.
Eat entire sponge cake, probably made by me. Break tooth on silver balls. Cry resentfully for no good reason. Watch House in bed with bottle of Bombay Sapphire under pillow. Fall asleep to soothing sensation of weepette licking icing off my face.
What do you think? Any ideas for how to be any more pathetic and self-indulgent? I'd drunkenly text my exes, but I don't really have any, so you'll have to be a bit more creative.
(This is the instruction manual for my decrepit oven; too hilarious. I insisted the wafflechild take a picture, as it's undoubtedly the only Competence Trophy I'll ever get)
Here, since we're having a photo, have some bonus strawberry Mannekin Pisses. If that's the plural of Mannekin Pis. Ugh.
They had pissing children in every flavour you can imagine.
Proper post later, honest.
Saturday, 21 November 2009
Friday, 20 November 2009
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Friday, 13 November 2009
I look pretty much exactly the same as I did last month, or the month before, or in September when I posted a succession of pictures of possible outfits for a meeting, or even six months ago when I was briefly and gloriously body confident. That seems utterly outlandish now. I can't even imagine wanting to take a picture of myself. I don't want to see myself in a mirror.
Of course, none of us needs to have a psychology degree to realise that this is just stress finding an old, familiar path to escape down. I know that. I know I am massively, ridiculously, stressed in all manner of ways, including several I don't, can't, even discuss here. This is a hard, painful thing we are all doing and since it's my decision, I have to make it be ok, somehow. So every day, I go running around with a tape measure and a tool kit, for fuck's sake, and go to hardware shops and carpet shops, and discuss fencing and decide what to bring and what to leave, and continually make decisions. I suck at making decisions. I mean, I really REALLY suck. My decisions - in the practical sphere at least - are shit. I just go with whatever the person opposite tells me to go with. Wall mounted tv or free standing? Do I want someone to come and measure up for carpets or are my measurements accurate? Left or right opening fridge door? Freezer on top or bottom? 25 boxes or just 15 for the kitchen? I. Just. Don't. Know. The first one you said? No? Ok, the other one then. Just put down whatever seems best to you. I don't even know whether any of it will matter, but I'm certainly acting as if it won't. Nothing matters much mid-apocalypse.
So here I am, angry and frustrated with myself for all manner of things, taking it out on my body with wearying predictability. The wiser part of me knows that this is the absolute worst moment, and that as long as I am getting some sleep and some nourishment, I am probably doing as well as I can. I just need to hang on as best I can, and wait for things to improve. That wiser part of me would point out that despite all the pressure and the sadness, I haven't had the slightest bulimic urge. That I'm eating enough, albeit crappily, washing, dressing, functioning. That it will pass. It really will pass. It always passes.
For tonight though, I might just have a little cry. Maybe swear a bit. That's ok isn't it?
Thursday, 12 November 2009
(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.
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Ah, fuck it. I don't have much to say. Look at these owls instead (no, don't get excited, they are merely cute, not epoch-defining like Owl in a Box). Hey! Wanstead Bird guy! This is the SECOND time I have featured birds on my weblog since you linked to me. Flattered? I could tell you about the seagull I met in Edinburgh too. Well, when I say "met", I mean "limped away from, whimpering in terror". It was the size of a horse. At this point it is incumbent upon me to say that anyone who hasn't read Anna's post on seagulls must go and read it now.
Ok. Enough fucking birds [ed].
It is Armistice Day and a public holiday in Belge Land. I have spent a proportion of the day standing in my new back garden getting wet feet and talking about a "souche" (tree stump). I don't give a shit about the tree stump, but the neighbours who have escaped from the famous French film "La vie est une longue fleuve tranquille", do. The neighbours are ostentatiously Catholic and have SIX tweedy blond children. The two eldest are respectively "chez les Jésuites" and "au séminaire". Madame has perfected what I call "le style biscotte" a combination of extreme dessicated thinness (due to a diet of Sveltesse prune flavoured yoghurts and biscottes, those crumbling, joyless French bread substitutes), a pie crust blouse and a cardigan with gold buttons pulled tightly over concave chest and the incontournable bouche en cul de chat (cat's arse face). Le tout accessorised with a drooping Christ crucifix. Oh, I imagine she alternates with a nylon ribbed polo neck.
[I am being mean about my new neighbour. I know this is bad. But there is practically nothing and noone I can be mean about any more and I am in the mood for employing Mrs Trefusis's infamous ninja toasting fork. I am not Fotherington Thomas, dammit and if you are expecting me to rhapsodise about the light fading over the Atomium and the kitteny softness of babies' cheeks you have come to the wrong place.]
I am apparently responsible for this fucking souche and its removal. I am not enthused. Once more, this does not seem to be the kind of expenditure likely to bring me Roland Mouret dresses. Maybe I can have a debauched tree stump party? We can sacrifice virgins and small goats on its slimy, mouldering surface. Raise spirits?
Contents of the new house today:
1 (white! HA!) Ektorp sofa.
Some curtains, still in packets
A roll of tin foil
An empty Maltesers packet
Likely additions before I moving in this Monday:
A bottle of gin
A hot water bottle
That seems sufficient, no?
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
The kitchen is ok. We have too much of most things, particularly bowls of course. I might have to return to my former career of cutlery crime for spoons. I get the Kitchenaid, he gets the juicer. For all either of us know, the juicer may have a family of rare bats nesting in it given the amount of use it has. I am prone to self-delusion, but not prone enough to believe I am going to start juicing. I have mass purchased bedlinen and towels in a twitchy fashion, so that's not a problem either. We've talked about all the big stuff, most of which is staying here with the CFO, and apart from some serious residual sadness on both sides over pictures and photos, we're ok with it. I'll be pretty devastated not to see the Skygarden from my bed any more, but in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty low on the list of miseries. Oh, and of course I don't even have a bed to look at it from. The weepette gets to keep one of his two favoured chairs.
I am trying to decide what books to take. The CFO is keen to keep the shelves full (not a problem, overflow paperbacks clutter most corners), so I am only taking what I really want to have, to keep, to read or reread. It's an odd mix, so far; part what I genuinely want to read or reread, and partly deluded. Deluded in that I am taking all the worthy stuff that I have not, thus far, had any desire to read, books of poetry bought for me by Prog Rock or my mum, giant history tomes I failed to read during my degree or subsequently, things I bought believing I should have read them that stare reproachfully down from their dusty perches (Don DeLillo, Montaigne, Yeats and Proust biographies, I am particularly thinking of you here) .
It's stupid really. Going half a mile down the road is unlikely to change my reading habits. I will still buy whatever modern novels catch my eye on the 3 for 2 pile, or that are well-reviewed, or that I like the sound of. I will re-read almost nothing - Wodehouse, Mitford, Cold Comfort Farm, I Capture the Castle, David Sedaris. I will flirt with poetry again and it will make me feel peculiar again and I will shove it away in a distant corner. I will never look at my big art and photography books. Does anyone look at them? I have been as guilty as anyone of buying them as gifts, but really? Do you ever look at them more than once?
What would you really really have to take with you if you moved? Or what would you and your significant other fight to the death over? It can be like that "what would you save if the house was on fire" question they ask in magazines. I've never managed to answer it satisfactorily when I am playing 'fantasy when I am a celebrity interview' in my head (don't give me that, of course you've played). I can only conclude I would burn to death trying to decide which picture to take. With my mouth full of shoes. I wouldn't make a great buddhist, would I?
Monday, 9 November 2009
A rogue bank holiday catches me out and I am imprisoned at home, alternately snapping and bribing the spawn to let me work. At the end of the day, when we all hate each other and the dog is cowering in his kennel, hiding both from the sound of me shrieking like a demented harridan and Fingers sitting on him and attaching 3 rolls of sellotape to his tail and ears, Team Sudoku (the CFO's parents) comes to the rescue.
La la lalalalalaa.
Very cold out.
Wine? Thank you, I don't mind if I do. No, no glass, just open the tap on the giant wine box, papy, and I'll put my head underneath it, thanks.
We go to Switzerland and stay here, pretending momentarily to be rich. It is nicely womblike and has lamps shaped like jellyfish. Approximately 47% of guests appear to be Russian hookers. I eat a steak that is considerably larger - and tastier - than my head and drink stuff made with lychees and vodka. The CFO and I get drunk and I cry sporadically. Because there is a minibar entirely stocked with FREE soft drinks (FREE! Included in room rate!) I do not suffer unduly from the drinking because I am better hydrated than at any time in my adult life, stubbornly filling myself with free Fanta and Perrier until I feel like I will explode. Maybe this is why rich people look so much better than I do? Free soft drinks?
After stuffing our bags with everything we can steal and filling our pockets with snacks from breakfast wrapped in stolen shower caps, we spend the day wandering round Geneva. I finally buy the CFO his long-delayed 40th birthday present. It's the oddest, saddest, day. There is a definite sense of finality as we part at the airport.
I go to Scotland. After what feels like a week on various small trains staring at fields full of sheep, I eventually reach Edinburgh. M and I stomp around saying "cock" and drink cocktails and eat cake and laugh at hippies and poke things in shops. She laughs cruelly when my shoes make a sound like seagulls farting on the marble floor of Harvey Nichols. My hotel is bizarrely seedy and employs a sad Eastern European girl to droop on the stairs spraying foaming chemicals and dabbing at them ineffectually.
We are particularly amused by the "Eco-erotic Emporium" selling organic and sustainably sourced erotica. M takes a picture which she will send me soon, please M.
I wake up with a knee the size of Belgium and can barely hobble as far as Jaeger to stalk a dress that looks exactly like every other dress I own. Thankfully they do not have it in stock, though they have a large number of other very desirable things that I have to violently prevent myself buying. Jaeger is verrrry, dangerously, good for people like me who are short and fond of elegant black dresses despite having problems with basics of elegance like hosiery without holes, and fingernails. Oh, hang on, I appear to have turned into my mother. Also, having persued the "New Arrivals" section on line, it appears to be full of mad clothes that Joan Collins rejected in 1983, and PLUS FOURS. FOR WOMEN. Words are inadequate. I hobble to Hawkins Bazaar which is the best shop in the history of the world ever and buy luminous disco ducks, dinosaur eggs, slime, wind up snails, jumping beans and other exceptionally cheap tat for boys.
I spend the rest of the day alternating between having baths in my new Elemis muscle soak, which is made of magic, watching shitty tv and napping. It is very, very nice. However when M comes round, I realise my knee has locked at a 45° angle and I can't move it. This is not important, thankfully, as M and I are so overcome with fumes from the special foaming cleaning product that the mournful girl is applying to the carpet outside the room, that we end up watching 'Paris Hilton's New Best Friend' and giving ourselves spectacularly shit manicures.
Finally, M (5 feet of fierceness) has to practically carry me to the bus. Noone even glances at us, since they just assume I am drunk. Soon after that, I am.
I am awake all night weeping into my Halloween pumpkin knee. (well, not strictly into it, which would be disgusting) and watching X Factor repeats. This means I am up in plenty of time to take the Sheep Express back all the way across Scotland.
Very many hours of low rent travel later I get back to Brussels and we finally tell the boys we are separating. The next few hours are among those I would least like to live again in my life. It is at least done, though.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
I am in Edinburgh. Edinburgh, I can now tell you, is a goodly distance from Prestwick airport. A distance, indeed, that I would have thought exceeded the size of the whole of Scotland. I think my train went to every single place in the whole of Scotland yesterday, though perhaps my perception of time was skewed by my travel companions on the Ned Express and my fear that the one with the tracheotomy tube would come and sit next to me. By the time I got off I was drunk by proxy on Tennants Export and magazine induced shinything lust. When we wandered round Harvey Nichols later yesterday I kept stopping and saying 'ooh, I saw that in a magazine', until M was forced to beat me over the head with Elemis muscle soak.
I am also BROKEN. So, so broken. The knee of death is back and it is combining with Michael O'Leary Syndrome (pain, muscle ache, neck cramps and general lack of will to live caused by having to shove all possessions into tiny bag and cram into the yellow bird of death, herded by disdainful Eastern Europeans to probable death) to make me incapable of movement. I have hobbled along Princes Street drawing concerned and appalled stares, half expecting charitable Edinburgh ladies to shove 50p pieces into my pathetic claws. It's shaming, and humbling to be this immobile. You feel suddenly vulnerable, and a bit ridiculous. I have to wait for the green man to cross roads and, like a Dalek, stairs unman me completely. It makes me worry about old age. Possibly I am there already, on the strength of this. How will I cope on my own? How will I even manage the move? It's in a week, holy mother of Nathan. At this rate I will have to adopt Mya's recent suggestion to train the weepette to pull a small bath chair. Given he remains resistant to understanding basic commands like 'Heel', this is unlikely to be achievable within a week. It's going to be Dr Kevorkian time again.
More immediately, more pressingly, more shallowly, I am concerned about M's birthday party tonight. She is considerably younger than me (we can share a brain despite this due to her egregious old lady tendencies, particularly in the fields of knitting) and all the dirty students she has promised to lay on for me will be appalled and disgusted at the sight of my decreptitude. I have brought two dresses with me in a feat of Michael O'Leary defying packing prowess, but neither of them cover the knee of death which is currently the size of, ooh, a galia melon? Heading towards pumpkin? I could wear what I am wearing now (+J v neck jumper and Gap skating skirt), but it's already on its second day. And there were cocktails yesterday so there are probably holes and stains I haven't even noticed yet.
So. Task for readership. What can I wear/do to deal with giant decrepit old lady failing body? How can I transform myself into the usual sultry WaffleSiren (cough cough, hem hem)? I have about £80, all day, and limited mobility. Go on, get creative.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Things that have not happened to me:
1. I have not been consumed by a passion for Sudoku so great I can no longer blog.
2. I have not injured my typing arms in any way.
3. I am not so consumed with trauma that I cannot get out of a rocking foetal ball on the floor.
4. I have not been placed under an injunction not to write on my weblog.
5. I have not abused drugs or alcohol to such a degree I am incoherent and cannot form sentences (this might prove to be a mistake on my part).
6. I have not had a change of heart and stopped blogging altogether.
7. Oscar has not chewed my face off.
8. La belle-mère has not stuffed me in the cocotte minute and made me into soup for taking a candid shot of her and beau-père doing synchronised sudoku in their slippers (try saying that after a couple of lychee martinis).
I have been in Geneva thrashing out a Waffle version of the Versailles Treaty with the CFO. We have agreed on the essential points as follows:
- We are ace at breaking up. I, in particular, win the Oscar for best break up. Amusingly, my prize is Oscar. Oh, how we laughed!
- Our children are fucking brilliant.
- I will still go shopping for clothes with him when he needs more clothes.
- The end.
Good, no? In between thrashing out these crucial points, we bought him a very late birthday present, had too much to drink and squabbled and fell over and so on.
I will try and post tomorrow but I am in Scotch Land celebrating M, my brain twin's birthday.
(Incidentally, can some grammar drone explain to me the correct way of doing that last sentence? Do I have to say "celebrating the birthday of my brain twin M" to avoid getting tangled in missing apostrophes? )
We will be celebrating in traditional Scotch Land fashion by leering at students, saying "cock" a lot and drinking stuff with lychees in. Oh, and plotting our continued world domination through the medium of mean crafts. I promise to report back incoherently afterwards, even if I fail to do so while I am there.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
By the way, thank you so much for all your wonderful support yesterday. I was having a shockingly awful day; it culminated catatonic and trembling in a foetal ball on the bench outside smoking one of the CFO's hideous cigarettes. Today was an improvement in at least one respect: la belle-mère made Proper Dinner with a guinea fowl and potatoes and everything. I nearly wept with gratitude. Have I ever mentioned that they travel everywhere with a 10 litre wine box in case of emergencies? You love them now, don't you, and rightly so. I have left them to watch police procedurals translated into French tonight (Portés Disparus/"Coald Kess"/Police Judiciaire/"Ze Waïre") , and snuck off to bed.
In the absence of anything remotely edifying, and frankly it's a miracle I can put fingers to keyboard at all, here are some arbitrary observations/housekeeping points from today.
1. A Flock of (Shoe) Seagulls
The thing I hate most about Brussels - more than the service des étrangers, UHT milk or the lighting in Delhaize - is the way the paving stones interact with my shoes. WHY, holy mother of Nathan, do they make all my shoes squawk mournfully like seagulls? What is it about the gaps beween paving stones here that sucks my heels in and keeps them, leaving me to hop around and swear to myself, suddenly barefoot in a public place? There is a particular street I walk down everyday, that combines both these appealing characteristics. I will systematically lose a shoe in an embarassing fashion (usually this happens right next to the gangs of too cool for school drama students who lurk around in gangs looking like an edgier version of the Kids from Fame) and then walk the rest of the way squawking. Kark, kark kark, squeeeek. I've tried speeding up, slowing down, all manner of different heel heights, and every time the result is the same. Is it the way I walk? My choice of shoes? I NO LONGER CARE. I have shoe rage.
2. Viral marketing, innit?
No, I cannot tell you what the prototype in the 'Belgian Pic of the Week' is. Not yet. Suffice to say it is something that my brain twin M and I are cooking up as part of our plan for world domination through the medium of craft and swearing and it makes us laugh like Dastardly and Muttley. Well, if one can do such a thing by email.
E: The two halves of the brain will finally be united!
E: Moving sloooowly towards each other.
M: Like a slug.
E: Like two halves of a broken slug. Slurp, slurp.
M: Ugh. Unclean.
E: Our brain IS unclean.
3. I am so very sorry
I have terrible TERRIBLE guilt right now about things promised and not delivered on this very weblog. Person to whom I owe that book from ages ago - I am a shithead. Sorry. People who did amazing things for the village fête - I am also a shithead. So so sorry. Sometime, before we are incontinent and delirious in nursing homes, I will actually follow up on what I have promised.
4. Parfum, Lashes style
I have had a horrible conversation with Lashes tonight. Well the horrible was more in the object we were discussing (I wrote 'disgusting' first time, as well I might). Vieux doudou, his comfort blanket, also know as Old Mimi, also known as "that stinky rag". It used to be a scarf of sorts. Then it morphed into what looked horribly like a set of filthy white dreads held together only by knots and slime. Then he lost that one and rapidly created another one in its image made from some pyjama bottoms of mine. When I asked him how he made it so putrid so quickly, he looked shifty and said something evasive. I do not pursue it; this is definitely one of those things better left unsaid.
Anyway, tonight he summoned me and made me smell it. Why did I agree, you are wondering? Because I am in a state of Perma Guilt at the moment.
"You have to smell it, it has a strange smell".
"Strange? Disgusting more like".
"No! Part of it smells different. WRONG".
I sniff my way carefully along vieux doudou. It smells foul, obviously. I get to a bit that doesn't.
"Is it this bit? It smells of Playdoh here".
He checks, with the assured nose of the connaisseur.
"No, it's not that" .
Finally he finds it himself.
"Here! Sniff this".
He shoves it under my nose. It smells like cheap perfume mixed with photocopier toner. Very nasty indeed. I feel an instant migraine coming on.
"What on earth is it, Lashes?"
"The glo-stick from Halloween, er, leaked"
He's looking shifty again.
"Well, just keep your face away from that part until it fades a bit".
"No. I have to find a "centre de dégoûtant"
He makes to shove it down his pyjama trousers. I lunge for him in the hope of restoring some shred of decency to proceedings.
"Oh, Lashes, no! Listen, it just means your doudou is, er, four different flavours! Like an ice cream".
This seems to tickle him. I stagger away and retch quietly in the corner. Gag. I have a distinct fear that some sinister tentacle of vieux doudou will still be lurking under his pillow when Lashes hits 45, but at least he'll be marvellously well-adjusted right? RIGHT? Oldest reader still in possession of transitional object from childhood please give me a report on your current psychiatric wellbeing. Thank you.
Monday, 2 November 2009
It's been precipitated by a day of utter chaos; no childcare when I'm supposed to be working and can't be away from my desk, Prog Rock trying to chat, boys beating each other senseless and depositing plastic crap all over the floor, dog getting underfoot and everyone, but everyone, orbiting in a tight circle around my chair that entirely fails to respect any concept of personal space. I have lost count of the number of times someone has fallen over a length of cable. As I type, in the corner of the sitting room (the wifi connection is still buggered, so I'm tethered), Fingers is wrestling with the dog, Pokémon Battle Dimension is liquefying my brain and Lashes is sitting on the arm of my chair pulling at parts of me in some kind of monkey grooming ritual. There are scissors and walnut shells everywhere, mystifyingly. I am like Joyce Grenfell on the verge of a nervous breakdown, part brightly encouraging with an edge of mania ("yes, your mummy made of a milk bottle and sellotape is very realistic darling!"), part sneaking off for crying jags and an overwhelming desire to punch myself in the face. I actually hope I'm getting flu, because if this is purely in my head, it's scary.
Any minute now, the CFO's parents (who know nothing about the current state of affairs, helpfully) will arrive to a scene of shameful devastation and sit in it doing Sudoku. I just sobbed involuntarily thinking about it; I have nothing to feed them and no idea what to say. The kind of emotional mess we are in currently is total anathema to them. I remember back in 1997 they came to stay in London when I was coming off Prozac and I disgraced myself by crying and stropping hysterically. I get the feeling this week might be the same.
It's all normal, I know. These are the very last days of the ancien régime; they are bound to hurt. They bloody well should hurt. It's only a fortnight until I actually move out.
"I think we ought to have a little scene where I throw some of your stuff out on the street and shout a bit" said the CFO this morning, before he left for some obscure European destination. "It would make it more real".
Maybe we should.
Any other ideas?