Thursday, 23 December 2010

The night before god knows what

How, you are doubtless wondering, are my nearest and dearest coping with Chreesmas?

My father sent me a lengthy text message featuring the word "ebola" in what appeared to be an entirely inappropriate context. He may be a victim of autocorrect, or it may be code and the message was intended for another recipient. He is terribly important, you know.

B emailed from the Eurostar terminal, where he was using all his whiles to try and get one of the last 12 seats out of Brussels, to wish me "rilly happy fucking goddamn shitface holidays". He later updated me triumphantly with the following communiqués: (i) he had not only got on the train but was in first class (ii) why had no-one mentioned to him the glory that is Fortnum & Mason (I am astonished he could find it glorious on 23 December when if memory serves, it is like the black hole of Calcutta, but it just shows what an excellent mood he must have been in); and (iii) that he was contemplating the purchase of some extremely expensive Victorian cufflinks for himself. A whole triumvirate of win.

F's latest missive contained the phrase "Shanti shanti shanti as that fascist fuck T S Eliot used to say", which cheered me.

Another friend - who I will not even grant an initial in order to preserve his or her anonymity - emailed a meditation on the kinds of spousal torture he or she was fantasising about.

Beatrice merely sent me a video of a song about Charleroi. It sounds exactly like the kind of horrendous shit that gurning "variété" halfwit Patrick Sébastien inflicts on France bi-annually, but with fewer references to meat and Hawaiian shirts, and more footage of the airport.

Miss W choked me up slightly with heartwarming tales of the amount of booze being consumed by cheerily incoherent Glaswegians on the train from Kings Cross up the East Coast mainline to Scotland, stopping off at our mutual birthplace, York.

Also in York, Prog Rock texted to ask if I would like him to send my copy of Bootham School magazine, so I can indulge in my annual round of forensically examining my former schoolmates' wedding outfits and finding out who has died in an unfortunate incident involving agricultural machinery. Why yes, lovely stepfather. Yes I would.

I am recovering from the theft of a bag of shopping earlier in the town centre by mainly using words like "fuck" and "shite" and watching episode after manipulative, overwrought episode of lame-ass hospital drama that I simply cannot get enough of. Why is it in Grey's Anatomy that emotion must be conveyed by repeating the same sentence three or four times with slightly varying stress, viz:

Meredith is annoying.

Meredith. Is annoying.

Meredith IS annoying.

Meredith. Is. ANNOYING.

Etc. Every character does it indiscriminately, it's their thing, and it must be a great wheeze if you're paid by the word and noone has ever stipulated that the words must actually be DIFFERENT ones. I'm not sure we quite captured the dialogue on Facegoop when we wrote about taupe eyeshadow in the style of Grey's.

The heating is misbehaving, but in a hot, not cold, way.

I have, to all extents and purposes, functionally sedated the children - one of whom was cruising towards a full on, tinsel coated, Mariah style tantrumming breakdown - with a secret mix of cheap hippie bath oils from poor Belgian Boots substitute, Di. I am surprised by my own cunning. I have taken advantage of their hemp 'n' lavender coma to perform the annual pre-Christmas paring of the fingerclaws. I try not to touch their gnarled talons too often, since I fear tetanus infection.

The dog is still limping.

But now what? The CFO has called to tell me that apparently France is in the grip of some big old, histrionic weather front and he is not actually sure they will be able to leave tomorrow. What? All this psychological preparation and soul-searching may all be for nothing? I might have the children for Christmas after all?? Obviously that would be completely lovely if it happens, though they will be disappointed if they don't get the full-on cousinpalooza they have been expecting and neither I nor the CFO have a chipolata to rub together for Christmas lunch (that sounds utterly, utterly wrong). But you know, I had got to a Place. It had been a whole process, but I had reached a Place of cheap hippie bath oils, and box sets and books and prosecco and a whoooole heap of nothing. And now I don't know. I don't know either way, and I won't until the CFO - who spends the 12 hours preceding any departure in a state of code black high alert and preparedness at the best of times - has studied his bank of webcams across the French motorway network and made a decision. He has told me to expect a call around 5 if they are leaving. Cheers, snow.

I had better go to bed, before being woken, Jack Bauer style, in very few hours to discuss cloud formation.


bbonthebrink said...

Yes, the limbo, will-we-won't-we Xmas departure is indeed a nightmare. I hope all comes good tomorrow...whatever that may be!
After studiously surveying webcams in France and UK we decided to stay put. The Webcam near where my parents live is of such a high resultion that I even got them to go and stand in front of camera and wave to we could see if it was actually live. Well I can confirm it is. We giggled muchly, they texted muchly asking if "could we please go now, as people are staring at this old couple waving at a wall". I recorded the moment (bottom left hand corner).
Yes, the cabin fever has been bad round here, much scrabbling round for entertainment ideas!

Anonymous said...

Well, whatever is decided I hope you have a lovely day x

J. said...

Put down the Greys Anatomy and pick up something else old but intentionally funny like Arrested Development or Dr Katz.

frau antje said...

The Belgian waffle ad to the side uses the term scone for ice cream cone. Are they right? I'm a little confused (a flat bread from a grill, schoonbrot, could be rolled into a cone, but a cone is a 'cone'...or?).

Your father's no doubt trying to warn you that tons of us could bleed out by New Years, great.

wv desto
je mehr, desto besser
the more the nachtmerrier.

Unknown said...

I hope Christmas ends up merry whatever the result of your 5am wake up call.

Happy Christmas!

soleils said...

bbonthebrink, your post made me laugh out loud. Too hilarious!

Waffle, your post was a treat to read - a small moment out of the Xmas preparations madness. I will never get caught in it again (the madness). And I am SO angry on your behalf re. the theft of your shopping. That would have sent me into a blind rage. I hope the uncertainty (Noël avec ou sans petits bonshommes) is soon resolved and wish you all the very best whatever happens.

Jessica said...

I do recall one day, running through the mall just before Christmas because I'd left my bag of newly purchased gifts at a food-vendor's counter while paying.

But because it was in Canada, nobody touched it, and it was exactly where I left it, even though it had been a half an hour. This in the largest city we have... crazy non?

At any rate Waffle, I hope this réveillon is a lovely one regardless of the outcome with la neige. You have completely earned a wicked 2011 in my mind.

Cheers, et Joyeux Fêtes.

Alison said...

Just revel in this year's apocalyptic festive season - baby Jesus would approve of the uncertain accommodation arrangements, freak weather conditions, and general familial chaos. We even had an earthquake in the Lake District, so it’s quite possible this year is significant. I personally love the normal increased heart rate brought on by last-minute gift panic and sherry/Nightnurse combos, so Christmas 2010 is shaping up pretty well so far. Have a great one!

Johnners said...

I wish you a very Merry Christmas, whatever happens! J. x

Amy said...

I can SO relate this Christmas to waking up super early to discuss the weather...although with not such an important outcome as you.

I hope you had a good day whatever happened.

ganching said...

Hope you survived the day. I managed to get to where I needed to be but managed to lose a not insignificant amount of euros on the way.

Happy St Stephen's Day.

Kath said...

I want to LOL at Charleroi, but having very narrowly avoided having to live there for the rest of my days (3 months turned into 6, and very nearly into forever), I daren't, for fear the scary old women who were the other inhabitants of where we lived will come get me.