Sunday, 5 December 2010

Weekly review with added penumbra

I thought I'd do a weekly review, but I can't actually remember what in the name of Nathan I did all week. What? What??? I remember snippets but there's no coherent narrative. Did someone spike my, uh, air? Did I actually spend the whole week sitting slackjawed in front of that penguin webcam?

Monday, for instance. I remember a meeting in the morning... No, it's really no good. This reminds of when I had a proper job with timesheets in London and I had to account for my actions in five minute increments, something I never did it on time, or indeed, ever, before an irate partner was standing in my office doorway spitting feathers. Then I was forced to work it out by looking through my 'sent items' folder at the bitchy emails I had sent to BMF, complaining. You can see why I was an underwhelming lawyer, right there. I was probably watching penguins all day and making lists. I'm going through a list phase. Oh, I had a lot of ailments too. Awful ones.

Ok, let's try Tuesday. Aha! I know about Tuesday, sort of. My internet friend F bullied me into beating my phone phobia and talking to her. She was extremely insistent, verging on terrifying, but it was lovely, actually. Not exactly productive. Well, maybe productive in the medium term since we have great plans for world domination. Ok, long term. Super long. In the short term she told me a scandalous story involving haemorrhoids (sp?), which was something of a comfort. Also, all the lights the Assassin "fixed" blew, leaving me once more in near darkness.

On Wednesday it gets slightly clearer, because I know I went to see a FILM. Quartier Lointain. I was extremely sceptical when I read the synopsis (slightly melancholic, creatively stymied strip cartoon author in his fifties gets mysteriously transported back to his teenage self on an accidental trip back to his hometown and tries to stop his father leaving), but it was actually great, beautifully acted, and full of dreamy 1960s French rural period gorgeousness. Well. My companion (who wishes to be described as "the internet dullard", and who am I to editorialise such clearly expressed wishes) had several gripes about the period detail, but I am a fairly uncritical viewer. Also, the teenage version of the melancholic fifty year old was just lovely. Sweet and wistful and gentle, like the film.

I also know that it was snowing like fuck, but then so does the rest of Europe, so I hardly get a gold star for that, do I?

On Thursday I went to an event on a boat. It was weird. I stole a marshmallow virgin, which now keeps appearing around the house, unnervingly, and got harangued about corporal punishment by a terrifyingly opinionated woman in fingerless gloves in front of a chocolate fountain. Then my friend T and I escaped from the boat and struggled, little match girl stylee, through the blizzard to an Ethiopian restaurant where they had very decent cocktails (T needed them after her first encounter with a real life Père Fouettard:

Oh yes)

and I ate a whole sheep. The very decent cocktails might have been responsible for me getting on the wrong tram and ending up in the arse end of nowhere, then having to trudge back to the station, mid-blizzard, after midnight, to find a taxi. Actually, this week has taken place under the star of transport lameness. That may be its unifying theme (it would be hard to think of a duller one, wouldn't it? Comparative VAT legislation in EFTA states, perhaps).

Friday. Friday was odd. I had to write something about the economics of market abuse and dominance at a car event in a tent. The two were entirely unrelated, it was just unfortunate timing. I hope I didn't get them confused, but only time will tell. There were little snacks, this much I know, and nice men to bring you glasses of champagne. As a result I feel filled with expansive love for the car in question even though I could not pick it out of a line up where the other participants were a penny farthing bicycle, an articulated lorry and a pony.

Later I shopped resentfully for St Nicolas in a variety of shops selling brightly coloured Japanese tat and in the evening, I wrestled with more transport ludicrousness to get to B's birthday dinner. The dinner was lovely and B introduced us to the concept of "Birthday Penumbra". I like this part of the definition: "the grey area where logic and principle falter". In this context, however - and I think this concept should be used more widely - it meant that the existence of B's birthday required everyone to do EXACTLY what he wished without argument or any attempt to impose reason or logic. This fits exactly with my feelings about birthdays and also shows why B is amazing and must be showered with baby penguins and kittens carrying baskets of Speyside malts in their tiny paws and unlimited shopping trips to Hunting and Collecting and as much slow commuter stabbing as he would like me to undertake for him.

On Saturday I went to a Hungarian market and bought - look away now if you are a member of my family and expecting a Christmas present - a notebook with invisible rabbits on it, a mug, an apron featuring famous Hungarian moustaches and a bakelite hedgehog. The market was completely lovely and I am very pleased with my Christmas shopping. This has nothing whatsoever to do with the vin chaud. I also tasted a Hungarian cake shaped like a potato. Belgium does marzipan potatoes. Hungary and Latvia do chocolatey ones. What is this desire to make dessert potatoes, Europe? Let the potato be a potato!

Then I went to a young person's popular - music - festival - for - countries - not - fêted - for - their - popular - music, and fell in love with this Italian electro-trumpet-bouncy combo featuring great hilariousness, good hair, even better moustaches and a TRUMPET. They had a song called "giant squid" and another great one about a washing machine. I also cheated the giant icicles of certain death outside the venue and was lent a hat by a very cheerful tramp, despite my demurrals and claims of having a gigantic head. I had another transport disaster on the way back and had to walk half the way home. Even so, my good mood didn't finally evaporate until I got home to see the carnage wreaked by the dog on my St Nicolas shopping. He is still in disgrace.

Today was very peaceful and hygge apart from the slightly alarming discovery that the basement had filled with water and a furious semi-feral cat was nesting in my embarrassing mountain of Bags for Life. I am just ignoring it. The water and the cat.

Do tell me about your week in the comments.


Artichoke Queen said...

This week, I painted my living room. And went to work. And that is what I did. Aren't I exciting? The living room is much prettier in its current shade of silvery grey than it was in the mustard it previously sported, however, so I feel rather accomplished.

Oh, I also hung fresh cedar wreaths in the windows and garland along the banister. Festive! Perhaps not as festive as your wine fueled shopping, but festive nonetheless.

Johnners said...

This week I spent a lot of time at the children's school, doing Christmas Bazaar stuff. It was OK. I also spent a lot of time hopelessly and hopefully looking at a Farrow & Ball colour chart. Inspiration has not been knocking. I lit lots of cosy fires and hung up some curtains we have had for ages and I now no longer like, but they are better than nothing. I have not bought any Christmas presents and the panic is starting to build. It has all been very domestic

I think I prefer your week, especially the vin chaud, but not the water and cat bits, thanks.

WV = carsio

Anonymous said...

long time reader, first time commenter (do they have talk radio in Europe?) I'm only posting b/c my wv is maffende which just seems so appropriate some how.

My week was spent finishing writing a 653 page report and dealing with a husband who's suffering through a bout of depression that he refuses to get help for. Christmas cheer all round! Trust me, your week sounds infinitely better than mine!

The concept of penumbra fits my current life to a tee but not in a positive birthday sense.

Em said...

I do love how you seem to aquire pets. Does the feral cat have a name yet?

I have spent the past week furiously finishing a job that saw me wasting each and every day then turning into a utter lunatic every night. I'd start writing at 11pm, finish in the early hours, cry every morning and ABSOLUTELY SWEAR that I WILL NOT work like that anymore. And so it continued. I now feel slightly high with relief. Until next time...

Kay Dennison said...

Loved the penguin cam!!!!!

Just found you via a friend!!!! Like what I see!!!!

Went for blood tests, bought groceries, visit from the dog catcher (don't ask -- I'll blog about it when the dust settles), slept a lot, got groceries. Boring, huh?

Snivelly said...

Delurking to say: I spent all of Monday looking through my "sent items" box to reconstruct my billings for November! (What did lawyers do before the advent of email?)

Every month I swear to myself that I will complete my timesheets on a daily basis, and every month I end up wasting an entire day going through my sent box.

I spent the rest of the week feeling guilty because I did not bill anything Monday, and since I'm screwed anyways, I have recorded about three minutes of my time for the rest of the week.

cruella said...

All work and no play until Saturday afternoon when I and husband hopped on a train to an eerily quiet and quaint little country town 40 minutes away.

There we trudged the little streets, tried in vain to get into the cathedral (locked and dark on a Saturday night in december - hey, bishop, is that a way to treat starving souls?) had av very decent meal and rather a lot of champagne in bathtub and bed.

A bit out of sorts the next morning, home by train again. At the station, getting away from this strange bubble of nowhere, were more people than we'd encountered the whole stay.

Well. Now Monday. Deadlines. Several.

frau antje said...

Assured someone that I am up to no good, when quizzed on what I'm doing here.
Was distracted by the Zwarte Piet kits in the drugstore, experienced some disbelief that this is in my drugstore (how did I get here? forget about what I am doing here).
Tried to assure someone else that privacy, freedom and security (though they are mutually exclusive) are big with me. This never seems to get across, thank you for pointing out via the dictionary, that they are probably constitutional rights (I'm so skittish and inclined to grovel when it comes to those). I will tack that onto the argument next time, and see what happens.
After a full week of wasting my breath (like I have time), I huddled together with the family under our one bare bulb, eating marzipan potatoes (they are easier to prepare, as you can eat them right out of the bag).

Waffle said...

I think the feral cat would like to be referred to as "master". He is my new overlord.

Rereading this post I would like to apologise for the fact it is boring and slightly smug. I can assure you that Monday is careering down the tubes at warp speed, so normal service will be resumed today.

Bryony said...

I spent Monday and Tuesday on the other side of the country and consequently spent Wednesday driving 400 miles in the snow. I sang loudly and tunelessly to keep my spirits up. On Friday I failed to go to Ghent with my best friend so we drank coffee in the snow at home instead.

raphily said...

spent most of the week standing behind someone in the supermarket paying for st nicolas crap with cheques repas....oh yes and lots of them......'un, deux, trois, oh celle-ci est perimé madame...on recommence? alors, ca fait un, deux.....'

i think i actually snarled at one lady....

kai said...

week, what week? tempus fugit with the speed of thalys and ice combined. speaking of physics, my favourite trivia about B's b-day penumbra is "The term was created and introduced by astronomer Johannes Kepler in 1604".

Anna Maria said...

Last week I read your article on motherhood in British ELLE and LOVED IT!:-)

Anonymous said...

mmm... Suze here, a regular reader and rare commenter... in the inch-by inch effort to repaint my living room yesterday, I managed to drop a can of paint as I was attempting to pour it into a roller tray. a "dexter"-like spatter rained on me and on the upholstered furniture several feet away. Hour were spent scrubbing and rinsing, and I think I've successfully removed the paint... but I am left with a watery boundary line in the fabric, I have to figure that out...

WrathofDawn said...

Last week is a blur of computer crashes, returned mail, missed messages, mixed messages, and just general panic. I prefer to remain in denial that last week even happened. If I were the type to believe in astrology, I'd say that Mecury in retrograde babble actually means something.

Anonymous said...

You wrote the consumer harm article on a tent at a car event? wow, congratulations, I just read it and I think it's quite good,well structured and clear...