There is little to report from Belgiana, which is sunk deep in premature winter. Since this means opaque tights and an end to the tyranny of the garden, I am broadly in favour. I plan to spend the rest of the week closeted with words. Lots of words. Probably some KitKat too. I have discovered that Hema - which might be suitable for another Belgian Shopping Guide, it's a sort of Dutch sub-Woolworths - stocks these giant pimped KitKats, double normal size. Sadly the chocolate is not quite the echt British cheap n' nasty, but it'll pass.
Speaking of words, I particularly enjoyed these phrases that arose in various contexts in the last 24 hours. I wish to embroider them on a sampler, or possibly weave them into an epic poem. If I were still at Quaker school we could probably turn them into inept tableaux vivants.
"Generic anger, envy and despair, coated in a thick, luxurious layer of can't be arsed".
"Just think 'abusive babysitter', it worked before, n'est ce pas?"
"Chitty chitty trojan weepette".
"Contraband hedgehog grooming"
Other things I have loved recently:
This was very beautiful. I like the whole blog actually, but this is very carefully, movingly written. It reminds me of a poem. Eventually I will remember which one.
This is very very funny and makes me snort. Can I recommend the instant messaging posts, and also The Hobbit?
This is on repeat, though I suspect you have to be a very particular kind of English person of a very specific age to like it. Also, possibly, a high tolerance of the ukelele is preferable.
Consider the aye-aye. If someone asked me to draw my inner child (and frankly, I'm disappointed noone ever does), it would look like an aye-aye. Bedraggled. Gripping knuckles. Those eyes.
Of course, the hungover owls, internet favourites, du moment. My particular favourite is actually not a real one. It is this one. Squirrel Nutkin is indescribably sinister, I mean, already, squirrels, brrrrr. And then, Beatrix Potter was a twisted, dark old bird wasn't she? Samuel Whiskers rolled in pastry, his panicky kitten face sticking out the top. (after typing that I had to go up 4 flights of stairs to locate and read Samuel Whiskers. Yup, still terrifying).
The CFO has acquired a hedgehog. This amuses me immeasurably, particularly as Team Sudoku, his parents, imported it for him to order from the Vendée. They are hedgehog smugglers. I love how they did not question his need (? desire) for a hedgehog. The man has 6 tortoises, of which one is blind, and now a stinking hedgehog. I texted him to ask if I could go and get a book. He replied 'Oui, mais ne dérange pas l'hérisson' (yes, but don't disturb the hedgehog), since he knows me far too well. Of course, I did, but only to peep. It is very large and very sleepy and it smells bad. He wants it to eat his slugs. What if it doesn't like slugs? He said it has already capsized several tortoises too, lumbering around the garden (he tracks it with a torch late at night). Oh, this reminds me that reptile lovers can weep freely along to this clip of tortoise altruism.
Wearing shorts. Obviously the premature winter has put paid to it now, but where have you been all my life, shorts? When did you get so good? By next year my knees won't be up to shorts, so I am making the most of it. They're not really up to it now, if I am brutally honest with myself, but they can just about pass in dim lighting. That's the only kind we have in Brussels right now, so it's FINE.
Look, here's a shitty photo:
Gap shorts, in black or grey lightweight wool, now on sale for thirty odd of your British quids oh, and now they're online too! Joy. No, of course noone paid me to say that or gave me free shorts, are you 'avin a larf, I never get anything free, ever, and more's the pity. The top is Cos. Everything is Cos now. The shoes date from the legendary era When I Used to Earn A Decent Wage, and are Ferragamo. There won't be any more of that kind of thing round the Salmon Palace for a while, I fear. I keep all my shoes on the stairs here, and as I walk up and down them, on particularly fiscally trying days, it's hard not to calculate in my head how many months rent they add up to (three, easy). Is it worth me putting ads on here, do you think? I mean, obviously it's a single New Look shoe for three years worth of adverts for ethically dubious products, but times are hard, and I budget like a ferret on crystal meth, to quote Prong Two, above. Or any alternative money making schemes? I have no skills, but also no standards. There must be something, surely?
Commenters, I feel you need some direction today. I'd like you to do one of the following:
1. Suggest a means for me to make some money.
2. Tell me what story terrified you as a child.
3. Tell me what creature on ZooBorns your inner child looks like.
4. Link to something you've enjoyed recently on the interwebz. If it features a tortoise chasing a tomato or similar, all the better.
5. Give me your phrase of the moment. Etymology optional.
Allez, zoup. Au boulot.