Tuesday, 8 March 2011


Lies about reptiles and biscuits

Implausible statements made on the way home yesterday:

1. Lizards have three eyes, one of which gets covered in scales when they grow up.
Source: "mon livre sur les reptiles" (my book on reptiles)

2. The tyrannosaurus cannot run, but instead "hides behind trees and jumps out on its prey".
Source: "On a vu un film" (we saw a film)

3. Komodo dragons are venomous, like human flesh and can paralyse you with one bite.
Source: "il y a quelqu'un qui m'a dit à la garderie" (someone told me at gulag holidaycamp). Oh, I have just remembered this one was followed up with "elle avait de la chance, ta copine" (your friend was lucky), said sagely and soberly, with head shaking, referring to this.

4. Dinosaurs can crush stones with their teeth, verrrry slowly.
Source: "c'etait aussi dans le film". (that was in the film too).

5. English people cannot say "speculoos".
Source: none cited.

The €1 a day gulag did not seem to have been particularly terrible. I suppose when you spend your school days rote learning poems about leaves and writing out your eleven times table in painstaking copperplate, being allowed to huddle around a pile of sticks without any particular goal is a dizzying luxury. I should keep this in mind next time I am fretting about laying on holiday entertainment, and perhaps keep some poems on hand to wave menacingly when boredom is mentioned.

By The Hammy Big Collared Entertainment Divided

I got distracted this morning by a memory of this civil war drama that used to thrill me to the core of my geeky pre-teen being (I would have been 9). I remember being completely, utterly immersed in it, finding it terrifying and swashbucklingly wonderful all at once. Now, well. See for yourself.

It turns out to be laughably, spectacularly terrible, at least in this extract. Favourite lines:

"And didn't I cure your goitre?"

"Good Margaret help me compose myself. Is my gown straight?"

"Let us ride into the woods while they prattle .. we have a sorrel mare for you (scriptwriters obviously reading La Peste, existentialism and civil war drama being excellent bedfellows), a stout beast of speed and full of bottom, she will make a good mount".

I suppose The Tudors is just as terrible, but I find it amusing how period drama dates just as badly as other drama. I mean, how, exactly has the seventeenth century changed between 1983 and now? One would imagine not at all, and yet.

A list of stuff I have fucked up or broken in the last week:

Lovely enormous Ikea mug, destroyed by scales falling out of kitchen cupboard;

Measuring jug, filled with plaster of paris (part of an ordeal by craft, something the 17th century was probably very hot on), then forgotten for several days. I burnt myself trying to see if pouring boiling water on it, then jabbing at it with a knife would help. ASTONISHINGLY, it did not. My father, the king of all science, must once again be so proud.

Adored hot pink Skandium mixing bowl, again knocked off work surface by something falling out of kitchen cupboard.

Pretty white mug from wanky teashop the Tea Smith in Spitalfields (kitchen cupboard victim 3).

Bottle of Diptyque Philosykos scent destroyed by things falling out of the bathroom cupboards. On the upside, the bathroom smells nicer than usual.

(I do not even bother to include the usual catalogue of phone calls not made, invoices not despatched, bills not paid, dwindling reserves of money, no clean clothes and the fact that I am wearing nauseatingly ugly stripy socks of dubious provenance with black patent ballet pumps because of the no clean clothes thing. It is all too tediously predictable).

What conclusions can we draw here? Either I have too much stuff, or there is not enough storage space, or both. The kitchen in particular is a series of expensive accidents waiting to happen.

You are being very patient with the daily blog tedium, which I think is proving therapeutic. Here, have a loris holding a cocktail umbrella, as gifted to me by reader H, as a reward:


Anonymous said...

I know, because my children watch the Really Wild Show on BBC 1 (so it must be true)that Komodo dragons do have a venomous bit .. I checked wikipedia and it agrees - so it is gospel. Gulag speaks truth, shocker...

Anonymous said...

sorry, bitE, I'm not very illiterate...

greatbiglizard said...

le livre sur les reptiles is very nearly correct. the tuatara does indeed have a vestigial 3rd eye that is covered up as it grows.


unfortunately, as my lizard brethren take great pains to point out, given the tuatara's frankly woeful and deserved reputation as an impecunious drunkard, the tuatara isn't actually lizard.

and i rather resent the implication that i am in some way venomous. i'll have you know that i sometimes suffer from low blood sugar and any vicious petty sniping you may experience is entirely attributable to this. I have a note from my herpetologist and everything.

Waffle said...

Oh dear lord. Are my children in fact going to be proved right in every respect. I can TOTALLY say speculoos. Speculoos. Speculoos. Dammit.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Willard Price books have been translated. They would love the endless useless facts in those.

I love the tedium of others. It's always so much more interesting than mine.


3limes said...

We wear the same perfume. Divine. A rather expensive mistake, my condolences.

Ann said...

Cupboard rain is no bad thing. It means we're charming and disdain wasting time with flipping tidying, although your casualties do sound bad 'uns (never let anything fall within a 2 metre radius of Nigella kitchenware. It will shatter like a cheap pub pint glass). Middle class horreurs. Love love the daily posting, thanks!

Z said...

I've just remembered a washing machine full of clothes which have been festering for several days and must now smell of mould. Will I wash them again or just shove them in the tumble drier with a sheet of fabric softener? I hardly need to ask, do I

jessb said...

Am snorting with laughter after reading this (and imagining you standing in the kitchen in patent shoes and odd socks while things beautiful ceramic things fall to the floor around you). Thank god for you Waffle - it's been a horrible day (which started with my lovely other half smacking his head on a low lying shelf, causing my beautiful teal teapot and the bottle of triple sec to smash into pieces on the floor. Sob. Consolation, perhaps, to know that shit breaks for your readers too??) Please keep up with the daily blogging! Can't wait for Wednesday's installment...


Alison Cross said...

Yes - the small humans are right about the Komodo Dragon. Not sure about the dinosaurs hiding behind rocks thing though - but what do I know, I did not see le film.

I had one of those butterfly effect days when a dropped sock ultimately led to a basin of water getting splattered all over the kitchen....

Ali x

Mr Farty said...

Just how fucking big is that horse at 18 secs in the first video? 200 feet high?

I haven't broken anything this week, but it's only Tuesday.

Cute loris is cute.

Betty M said...

My bathroom cupboard and my children have conspired together to enable my brand new expensive open face cream and a whole bunch of vital drugs to go swimming in our loo. Joy.

Xtreme English said...

I LOVED "By the Sword Divided" all except for the makeup--all those cold sores and carbuncles! Sweet Jebus...I suppose that's authentic, but....

Anyway, most entertaining post. Thanks.

Lola said...

I enjoyed the slow loris holding the umbrella, and watched the clip all the way through, even though remarkably little happened except for a slow loris holding an umbrella.

Until the last 1 second. Very disturbing. I was worried about what was going to happen in the trouser department, and then luckily it stopped. Phew.

I don't really want to say speculoos, it sounds like I dropped my glasses down the toilet. Again. Don't ask.

Tigerbaps said...

Right Waffle. That's it. Am moving in. I'll be your Mrs Doubtfire, albeit with hairier legs. You need taken in hand my girl. Ready the spare room. Those boys need a firm hand and regular claw maintenance. And fresh air. And good wholesome Scottish fayre. I'll bring my deep fat fryer and half a ton of lard.

Fat Controller said...

Hands off 'The Tudors'. A litle bit of gratuitous nudity goes a long way in covering up historical inaccuracies and a dodgy script.

My WF is 'Fiten' Correct me if I'm wrong but I'm sure that's a very rude word in Swedish.

Dara said...

I love that you are blogging on a daily basis. Thanks for cheering me up. I often feel inadequate as a wife/mother/homemaker/bread-winner because every damn surface in my house is covered in crap. Knowing there are others out there with the same tabletops of despair gives me hope.

Margaret said...

Our apartment is being "shown" to prospective tenants so I have to keep it tidy and reasonably free of cat hair and filth. And the cabinets have to be projectile-free because people keep opening them. It is all very exhausting. And, mother of mercy, I just realized it's only Tuesday.

Please keep up the daily posting! It makes my day.

indigo16 said...

Ha but did you lose your two most favourite cardigans in Stanstead? You smath I drop!
I think this post (which cheered me up no end) indicates you may need to just tidy your cupboard!
I am always heatned by your blog which makes me realise I am not alone in the land of chaos.

frau antje said...

A bowl fell out of the cupboard last week, it was fine, but I had to sand the counter a bit.

Yes, it was always more about the practical joke than predation with the T. rex. You'll notice they didn't survive.

Anonymous said...

Fat Controller - you are wrong. The very dirty word in Swedish is spelled f-i-t-t-a.

And the problem with The Tudors is that there is way too little nudity. It took 7 years for H8 to actually get Anne Boleyn in bed, and it feels like 7 years when you watch the series. Try Rome instead, that's what I call costume drama! And from time to time without any costumes.


Mrs Trefusis... said...
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Mrs Trefusis... said...
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Mrs Trefusis... said...

Trefusis Minor says FIngers and Lashes are right on all counts, though I'm not going to take his word for it when it comes to Speccy-loos, though his snooty bi-lingual view is that English people can't talk foreign at all (and Trefusis Minor would know, right being - um - English...)
God, i used to love by the Sword Divided. I daren't watch your clip in case it shatters too many fondly held delusions. But I reckon the slow loris would make up for any of life's disappointments, don't you?

Mrs Trefusis... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs Trefusis... said...

(sorry waffle, such is my state of benign incompetence today that i managed to post my message 4 times. have deleted, but deleted messages always look like one has posted something rude and thought better of it, so now i'm posting one to explain)

Lisa-Marie said...

Waffle, do you perhaps have low down cupboards you can put stuff in? or can very precious mugs/cups/cooking bowls go on top of the cupboard, therefore being above pesky things falling out?

bbonthebrink said...

Anecdotes of falling cupboard items had me giggling like a loon.

I'm remembering the time when an item fell out of my kitchen cupboard knocking a scalding pot of béchamel sauce down my legs, which were attired in a pair of woolie tights and nothing else.

I screamed so loudly, tearing off scalding béchamel covered tights, that the neighbour downstairs came to see if I was being attacked.

Imagine my embarrassment as I peeked round the door to see who was there, clad in béchamel covered tights, which were now round my knees...which begs the question WHY DID I OPEN THE FRONT DOOR LIKE THAT?

Keep the posts coming, they make my days,BBx

Waffle said...

Fecking brilliant béchamel/tights incident, BB. I laughed.