Sunday, 14 February 2010

Lenten vows

Back home. It's been several hours, but I haven't managed to take my coat off. I can't work out if that's the cold, or some kind of psychological thing, like a disapproving matron in Coronation Street. "I'm not stopping", pursed lips, coat buttoned up, handbag on knees in the front parlour.

Either way, it is very quiet here, smells of empty house and the remote controls have all vanished. How can that be? God knows, it's not as if Belgabastard TV has anything I can bear to watch, but I was looking for a little distraction. I've just had to spend half an hour playing the piano (yes, still in my coat) instead to take my mind off wandering what the fuck I am suddenly doing in a cold, empty orange house in the south of Brussels.

Is it Lent, yet, blogosphère? Because I need to give some stuff up, I think. I have certainly eaten enough cheap microwaveable pancakes for it to be Lent, so let's give it a go. Lent, despite my dyed in the wool godlessness, seems preferable to New Year's resolutions, probably because of the way it is framed entirely negatively. I can really get behind a series of negatives, something which is unlikely to surprise you.

Consequently I renounce:

1. Last minute Eurostar tickets. So eye-wateringly dear and such a visible manifestation of my own stupidity.

2. Stalking the twitter feed of people whose twitter feed I should leave well alone. This includes: nutters, people I hate and failed romantic entanglements. This applies even more pressingly to anyone who falls within all three categories.

3. Expensive Indian takeaways. Whatever I order, it always ends up being 50 euros which is plainly ridiculous. I can make better dahl than that anyway and that's all I really want. Hmmm. I will never manage to make chapatis (I tried once, they were like chamois leather, and that 'puffing up over a naked flame' business is lunacy), but there must be some sacrifice, I suppose.

4. Peanut Butter Chunky KitKats. This is confectionery as self-harm. Thankfully I was running so late for my train, I didn't have time to stock up.

5. Overuse of capital letters.

6. The following websites: Liberty, Matches, ASOS, Net à Porter, Start London, Made in Design. I haven't bought anything for ages, but I still torment myself with pictures of pretty things. Oh, wow, that really backfired. I just got distracted by trying to find all the lovely Vanessa Bruno things I was stroking pervily in Harvey Nichols. Man, there was some beautiful, hideously priced stuff. Step away from the pretty dresses, lady. (Those of you who kindly complimented me on my in-box dress, it is Vanessa Bruno. She's clever - you don't have to be a droopily exquisite French chick to look good in Vanessa Bruno. It helps, obviously, but she won't hold it against you if you look like a busty, mean, garden gnome)

7. Buying underwear. I seem to be buying underwear like some people go to the gym or have new hairdos when they have a break-up, but however psychologically important it may have been, now it just has to stop. I'm pretty sure I now have enough to withstand whatever underwear nuclear winter I am seeking to protect myself against.

8. Cheap supermarket pancakes with salted butter. So delicious and so lacking in goodness. I am salivating like Pavlov's dog just typing that, I really need to get a grip.

Let me know if you are giving anything up for Lent. Also, please submit your problems for Dr Capybara who is out of hibernation, and very very angry.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cigarettes.

I don't think I want to confess to an angry Dr Capybara, he sounds a little scary...

Provincial Lady said...

Pointless web games. Planting gardens, looking after horses - all the things that would be FAR more fun in real life, and if I wasn't spending hours on the computer, would probably have TIME for in real life.

Lola said...

Dear Dr Capybara
I have nine pieces of university coursework to complete (actually eight now, one is pretty much done as of yesterday) and less than seven weeks to do it. Each item takes longer than one week. How the f*ck am I to achieve this?

It seems I am giving up ALL my spare time for Lent. And I am Jewish, so how is that fair?

Ellie said...

I am giving up my laziness this Lent and forcing myself to go to the gym or exercise in another way for at least half an hour a day. Usually I give up drinking or fried food, but no, not this year, no, I rather think not.

London City Mum said...

Anything that involves using my right arm as I have broken my wrist and am being operated on tomorrow. Great excuse to engage a permanent housekeeper, except one fatal flaw: I will have to keep working to justify expense.

So back to typing with left hand and occasional input from right middle finger.

Some things just do not quite work out how you hoped.

LCM x

p.s WV 'astspus' - octopus with one arm in plaster?

Jessica said...

I am contemplating quite the opposite...

I will call my holiday Tnel. My Tnel-ish vows consist of a little full-on gluttony, selfishness, pride, vanity, and so on. Basically just some all around "hedonistic" behaviour to provide contrast to all the denial and sacrifice of the past year. As festive extras, there shall be tons of meat-eating, flirting shamelessly with other boys, and the general inattention to doing a good job at anything for anyone else.

I think a 40 day and 40 night "return to me" could do me some good, no?

Z said...

I often keep my coat on for hours when I'm home on my own - it's a self-protective thing.

I never give up anything for Lent. I went to a RC school, so assumed, as a child, that it was what Catholics did and that I didn't need to, as it was a mere gesture.

As compensation, I shall eat Hot Cross Buns all through Lent, probably for breakfast.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I should join you in a Lenten Twitter sacrifice but instead I will give up potatoes, rice, pasta, booze, chocolate, crisps and sweets. And cake and biscuits. And coffee.

With no comfort food left, stalking the twitter feeds of people I loathe is all that will keep me going.

Madame DeFarge said...

I'll give up feeling optimistic for Lent. The evidence to feel to the contrary is just too overwhelming.

bevchen said...

I'm giving up buying clothes for lent. It will probably last all of 2 weeks, but at least I'm trying...

Happy Frog and I said...

I'm trying not to give anything up this year and have no resolutions to keep. So far it has been very liberating. May try to cut down on my overuse of exclamation marks though...

M. said...

Jessica is a fucking GENIUS for having created the anti-Lent. So for anti-Lent, I will do more. More eating delicious food, more planning extravagant holidays, more sewing, more cycling, more loafing around in my pants when I feel like it. More inappropriate day dreaming, more swearing at the petty criminals upstairs, and, of course, more CAPITAL LETTERS.

MORE.

Em said...

Dear Dr Capybara

How long does Lent last?

Because I would like to just Give Up Full Stop and go back to bed until it's over.

Love,
Em

soleils said...

I would like to give up moaning about... most things. I really would. But I don't think I can. Also, fantasy shopping - whereby I browse deliciously tempting websites, fill my basket, then chicken out and not go through checkout - thus basically wasting precious living time.
Perhaps Dr Capybara has a blunt implement with which to hit me round the head (metaphorically, of course, he's angry, but not actually violent, right?) and make me come to my senses.

Fat Controller said...

Likewise peanut butter chunky Kit Kat, but only because my source of supply over here in Denmark has dried up.

WrathofDawn said...

Having just made an appointment to have two more crowns put on my aging molars, I shall be giving up purchasing anything else, possibly even including food, until they are paid for.

Aging is a bitch.

Peanut Butter Chunky Kit Kat. Mmmmmmmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

Let's see, for Lent I will give up all that is tasty and comforting and do the Paleolithic diet, pretty much guaranteed to be six weeks of Hell, but some research suggests it's good for allergies and such.

For Dr. Capybarra: Dear Sir, is it acceptable to stab rude and annoying people with a rusty ice pick? Also, a propos of the Olympics, is ice dancing really a sport or just a pleasant diversion with marabou and blades?

Anonymous C/Kalgon

pinolona said...

I will probably give up alcohol. This will probably not last long.

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Dear JW, could we approach Dr Capybara and ask him to give up violence for Lent??!

I'm giving up Hope! Should last at least 2 weeks, if not more!

And I really think I need to de-tox from Exclamation Marks in my posts and comments! Too late...

Sally said...

The important thing to remember about Lent is that Sundays don't count. This is true. You can, with a bit of imagination, stretch this to "Saturday evening to Monday morning" - that's how religious things work, isn't it? Kind of?

With this caveat I could maybe give up drinking. I probably should.

Otherwise... I will definitely give up spending all my money in Space NK. No more. It is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I would like to ask Dr Capybara what he thinks of dating websites. Does he have any tips for a naive rodent looking for companionship?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Just heard about the rail crash and hope you're ok. D.

screamish said...

hey- you ok? (just heard about train crash)

reen said...

Yes, please do check in, I also just heard about the train. Horrible.

Jaywalker said...

Yes, I am fine and everyone I know is fine, you are lovely to worry xxx

Mary said...

Very glad to read that you're OK -- thought you might like this - out of focus but cute baby hedgehog --
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw-IAYxu5uo
Hope Dr. C won't get jealous!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you're ok, JW!
M.

Iheartfashion said...

I'm not giving up anything for Lent, feeling deprived enough already, but I fully support your efforts to give up packaged pancakes: no good can come of that.

IsabelleAnne said...

I've been thinking of you & yours ever since watching the news this morning in the US. So glad to see you are ok! So sorry to hear of the train accident!

the polish chick said...

"busty mean garden gnome" just about covers my physique...except it would be a monstrously tall garden gnome in chronically too short pants, quite frightening really.

hm, for lent i would like to give up my love handles and my wobbly gut. also, i would like to give up my big mouth. i always hoped i'd somehow acquire an aura of mystery in my thirties, but it sure as hell ain't happening.