I want to reassure the charming lady with brown hair who got on the 7h28 Mons - Liege and fell into a state of musical autism thanks to her white earphones: I didn't want to steal your bag. But I would have liked to steal a smile to survive the Toussaint climate.
But it was hardly a classic on a par with these (which I realise now I only related at Tall Tales, and never here. There is another Tall Tales on 30 September at which I will be performing something minute and yet to be decided. If anyone would like to come, follow that link up there.):
Slimming in Five Lessons
We met on the line from Mouscron to Brussels. You had a beard, and you were reading”Slimming in 5 Lessons” and I fell for you instantly. I hope to see you tomorrow in the same carriage. Now I believe love at first sigh really exists.
Nos Vieux Jours
To the gentleman who helped me change the wheel of my wheelchair in the train from Mons to Brussels that was taking me back to the Good Old Days retirement home, I will never forget how robust you were, or your pleasant chuckling. I’m impatient to hear from you. Raymonde.
See, those were proper ads.
I am concerned at this decline in Kiss & Ride standards, but I hope it's just a rentrée lull and the poetry of transport longing will be back soon.
Apart from that, well. We went to the Scary Bat Caves again and a flying fox peed on me. I wasn't too upset, because at the time, I was feeding a grape to an actual bat. Straight into its actual daintily fanged mouth. It was strangely thrilling and felt a little dangerous, even though, really, it's just a mouse with wings, no? But a definite frisson (why yes, it doesn't take much, you are quite correct). Even more excitingly, the Scary Bat Caves (not their real name) have a new attraction which is a bunch of snakes FREE RANGE in a room mocked up to look, supposedly, like an American barn (it was most certainly not like a British barn since it was missing: leaking barrels of diesel, rusting farm machinery, dead birds and a rancid mountain of wool, like so). You move sacks of grain, and sticks and bits of cloth and underneath there are real live snakes that you can poke. We were the only ones in there, in a silent, dimly lit room and it was amazing. We found three snakes and I only had to remove them from the children's pockets a couple of times. If you ever happen to be in the arse end of Belgium, lost somewhere between the 98th field of identical beige cows on your 900th kilometre of identical flat, featureless arable farmland, I recommend it wholeheartedly. (Incidentally, if on your 900th kilometre of identical, flat, featureless arable farmland, you get a bad feeling that you may be heading towards, say, Poland, can I also recommend you turn around, rather than, thinking, optimistically, that you will "find a way back". No need to thank me).
Then there was the annual fête/jumble sale in the park and the dog ran amok in a tai-kwondo demonstration and wore an empty churros cone on its nose for much of the day. The children spent approximately 4 minutely concentrated hours trying to choose which heaps of broken tat to spend €5 on. The despair set in mid-afternoon on my side when they alighted on a giant box of, essentially, discarded and broken Happy Meal and Kinder Egg toys all competitively priced at 2 - TWO! - centimes each. Even with my poor grasp of maths, I could calculate that that would mean a fuckload (technical measure used by HM Customs & Excise) of worthless rubbish coming home with us, and thus it proved. I will be surreptitiously disposing of plastic rubble for the rest of my natural life now. I was getting a head start on Sunday when the children rang in a state of squealing high excitement. "Eeeeeeeeeeeh" it went.
E: What is it?
E: What? Tell me.
F/L: Ben maman, when we tried to move the hérisson nest it went squeeeeeeee.
E: Maybe it didn't want its nest moved? Like when you use Oscar's ears as a steering wheel.
F/L: Naaaoooon tu ne comprends rien, it wasn't the maman hérisson. At first we thought it was her legs because we hadn't seen her legs before but it wasn't!
E: Hang on .. are you saying?
etc etc etc. This is most surprising as no-one knew the hérisson was even female, let alone pregnant. We are most certainly not allowed to "dérange" the babies, in case the maman eats them, but if and when there is any prospect of baby hedgehog pictures I will of course provide.
Yes. It's all go round here as long as you are some species of lower mammal (debatable, I think of myself as more closely akin to a hermit crab). I am going to London tomorrow for a couple of days so I will try to dredge something shiny from that to relate. Ideally shiny and without fur.