Actually the latter was the most depressing of all. Already in low spirits and further dampened by the usual 30 minute check out queue, I was standing just behind an old lady who was talking to the check out girl.
"As my pharmacist says" said the old lady, sagely, placing her small packet of Offal For One and single can of Jupiler on the conveyor belt with a trembling hand "Old age is like a shipwreck. And it comes sooner than you think. Oh yes, it comes so quickly. Quicker than you can imagine".
I have been in bits ever since this joyful announcement. I will grow old at massive speed in suburban Brussels, speaking only to an ever-narrowing round of pharmacists and shop assistants. The traditional January deluge has started too.
Oh, you wanted something uplifting? Sorry. I had a nice hot apple juice with grated ginger and a tiny lemon tart with Prog Rock at the Pain Quotidien today and played with my flamey-ass box of fire. I'm going out tonight to some, as my phone insists, "hay bars " with a bunch of people I've never met. I intend to be under-dressed and over-ginned as my northern heritage requires. It's the only way to get through this whole, imminent old age and rain thing. Will that do? No? Look at these fake dog balls then. Neuticles! Be extra sure to check out the merchandising section for your own pair of prosthetic dog testicle earrings. Thank you.
(*Thank you, Polish Chick, for my new favourite way to describe the hoover)