Monday, 28 March 2011

Various

I have really missed you, the internet, this week. I have been trying to get on with the stuff. There was a lot of the stuff, and I haven't really got on with it. Well, I have, but there seems to be just as much as there was when I started, so I've learnt my lesson. The stuff will always be there, resistance is futile. I should just roll naked in a bath of Daim eggs instead, then lie in a chocolatey heap on the floor googling "elephant seal snuggle" until I am old enough to be thrown into a nursing home.

So today, mindful of the need to leave paid work to the last minute in order to generate a proper, invigorating panic, I have mainly been indulging my obsession with Eric C Sax. This is Eric C Sax:




He is in charge of "population" at the local town hall. I have been following the activities of Eric C Sax (such a good name) for a couple of years in the Wolvendael magazine, our catchily titled local free publication which can boast a full page spread on the opening of a new branch of an interim agency. You think I'm joking, but I'm not.



And actually, flicking through for more pictures of Mr Sax, I found a full page on Chez Francky's body shop.


It doesn't have the sensationalism of the York Evening Press and its many variants on Unpleasantness in Acomb (the East Riding's Creepiest Suburb TM), but I am growing to love it, with its pithy think pieces about whether le lissage brésilien is really a revolution in hair care and street golf.

Anyway. I am getting distracted. About half the Wolvendael magazine, when it isn't extolling the virtues of a shop selling replacement electrical appliance spare parts (also an ACTUAL TRUE FACT), and information on when vehicular access to the Verrewinkel cemetery is permitted, is devoted to pictures of Eric C Sax standing behind people.

Warning: exceptionally dreadful phone pictures follow. I am tired and there are no functioning lights in the house.



This one's my favourite. Where are they? Has he gone round to her house to stand behind her chair? Also, there is no way in the world that woman is 100, she looks a sprightly early 70s. She just wanted a chance to get close to Eric.








There are many more in a similar vein, and I am fast becoming obsessed. He's a tumblr blog in the making. What do you have to DO to get an audience with Eric and his yellow sash? Oh god, you have to live to be 100 or be married more than 50 years, this isn't looking promising. I'm also interested that wedding anniversaries get the full brocade 'n' medal combo, whereas centenarians get the rakish suit and yellow sash. I prefer the suit and sash, so I had better start following that stupid Okinawa island diet, because once in my life I want to be ushered into the presence of Eric and his radiant tan and luxurious, highlighted fringe. It's something to aspire to, isn't it? I bet he smells of Eau Sauvage and cigars and the heady promise of a ride to the cimetière de Verrewinkel in his Renault Safrane de fonction.

I am sorry. I seem to be slightly delirious. I promise I haven't just been staring at a free magazine all day. Sometimes I also stared at:

- my 1000 page spreadsheet (affectionately known as "that fucking spreadsheet").

- the rain, crushing my six daffodils.

- Occasionally, guiltily, owlcam (nearly a month to go of staring at a virtually motionless owl before anything happens).

- Lashes's Dutch vocabulary. He's reached the page in Robald with the picture of the man smoking on the beach, do you remember that? We had an ill-tempered fight about the pronunciation of seagull. "Meeuw" (ace word).

E: How do you say 'seagull'?

L: (long pause, furrowed brow) Worm?

E: No! Not worm, er, meow. Miaow. Mew. Oh god. SOMETHING THAT IS NOT WORM. (points)

L: That's what I said!

E: No it isn't!

L: Yes it is!

E: I promise you, you said worm.

L: No I didn't.

E: Nggngngngnngngngnngn. It is 8am. You only told me about this vocabulary test ten minutes ago and we have to leave, well, ten minutes ago. Now is not the time to go all absurdist on my ass.

L: C'est un gros mot, 'ass'?

E: Don't push your luck.

Etc etc etc etc until my brain seeped out of my ear and there was no time left to have the equally essential fight about the pronunciation of fototoestel. We eventually made up after the totally brilliant discovery that squirrel is Eekhoorn. Acorn! A squirrel is called an acorn! Best language ever.

I must go and do more stuff. It is difficult living on your own when you are doing 4 bitty, time-consuming jobs whilst in the grip of a peculiar obsession with a fuzzy owl webcam and a municipal officer called Eric. There is no-one to pry your twisted fingers off the computer keys and send you away to have a shower because you look and smell like a tramp. You have to learn to do it yourself. I am still learning. It might be time for the cheap nursing home before I actually get the hang of it.

21 comments:

Maarten said...

Even though I do feel slightly flattered, I must correct you on Dutch being the best language ever. it is English, isn't it? with all those fun completely random pronunciation rules, like ghoti.
(the gh from laugh, the o from women en the from tuition)
Loreover, Eekhoorn is almost pronounced as acorn, but only if you forget about the double vowels.

On the other hand, acorns tend to be around eekhoorns, so nobody will notice.

I'll go study the English tenses now, before I start sounding too smug.
(shuffles quietly off stage, missing the stairs ye just a bit and stupidly falling off, adding some welcome comic relief to the smugness)

Anonymous said...

Since Eric may actually be older than you, simply living to 100 may not achive your goal of bathing in the glory of suit and sash, unless he is also immortal (the one photo is indeed from the 70s, and he has not aged). I recommend investing in a Fabiola style wig, and convincing you children to play your great-grandchildren, and have someone notify the paper that you are a forgotten expatriate from 1923.

Miss Underscore said...

I am not sure that elephant seal is 'snuggling'. I think it is attempting to mate with that lady. It's got a rather lascivious look in its eye, if you ask me.

You now have me hooked on that owl in a box webcam. I find it UNBEARABLE when the owl is not in the box. I worry so much. Where is the owl? Is it alright? What happens if it doesn't come back? Who will look after the eggs? Where is the daddy owl? Is he going to be a deadbeat, absent father who appears on Jeremy Kyle demanding a DNA test? My nerves are frayed with it all. FRAYED I tell you.

Margaret said...

I wasn't going to mention the Eric being quite a lot older than you thing, but I do completely get behind the Dressing As Queen Fab and grifting your way into a photo op. I bet your kids wouldn't take much bribing to call you Nana or Grandmamman or whatever the Belgians call their Gammys.

Em said...

I'm just pleased Eric has his hands in full sight. It would be too much for him to be fiddling with his sash.

BDM said...

So the Dutch have a (wonderful) word for squirrel. Why is it the French are lacking same? So I am told by an excitable couple from France or were they Quebecois who, on visiting parks in Toronto, kept searching volubly for a word for les betes noirs. Moi wondering if we now have les ours at our urban doorsteps.
- Brenda in guess where

frau antje said...

http://www.beleefdelente.nl/
I'm not sure if owlcams abide by Andy Warhol's everybody deserves the lighting they need, or not. Then there's: Every nation has the government it deserves (shh).

There is an old age home here that has a fake train, with fake passing scenery, to amuse the residents. They would probably do a bang-up job of Kiss and Ride, especially if half of them were aware of the fact that the entire scene was nep, and got all absurdist.

Waffle said...

Ha. I love how the fact of Eric's age didn't even cross my mind for a second. Anon, you are a genius. I could probably write a book about it aging myselg to meet Eric. A flimsy pamphlet. An article in Wolvendael magazine.

Miss U - I share your suspicions about the elephant seal and since B shared the most HORRENDOUS story about sexually deviant murdering paedophile otters with me, I am suspicious of aquatic creatures who are too 'affectionate'.


BDM - Maybe they didn't recognise your squirrels as ecureuils, what with having wimpy little red ones?


Frau A - I am reserving my spot forthwith. Also HOLY CRAP THAT IS AMAZING OWL ACTION. Everyone, go look at some owls.

Anonymous said...

Our commune magazine is exactly the same - except of course, it is Olivier Mangain wearing the sash (note for Bruxellois who might understand - except when the happy celebrants are Flemings of course, when someone else has to do it or they would kill each other. It used to be Georges Desire - ex-radio star with creepy tan, imagine Bruce Forsyth is a sash and you have it..) Vive la Belgique!! (sorry, can't do that in Dutch....wish I could...)

Anonymous said...

Oh, sorry, en plus... and have you noticed my current favourite Belgium story - youngest adult royal spending his listing money on stuff the government and king told him not to do...http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/news/110330_laurent

Kath said...

No mention of the world record? My sister made me stay up till midnight and drink champagne over Skype with her, whilst I could hear and see assorted Belgian drunkenness going on in the background, including someone getting their foot stuck in her winerack. Only, I didn't actually see that happen which disappointed me, until Syl made him hop into view with said winerack still attached. She summed the whole event up with "We are ashamed... But it is a world record, and so we have to stow our ashamed by having a little party!"

And re;owls, one of my lecturers has a truly striking resemblance to one.

My capatcha is bumqo. Best ever!

Anonymous said...

I like owlcam, but not as much as penguincam (which you kindly alerted us to a while back) - http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/EZPenguinCam.html
Right now they are nesting too! Can't quite believe they are real and not Pingu! Adorable!
Heather (NZ)

WV is tumbled - ha ha - what penguin do to launch themselves into the water...

Rachel said...

On a school French exchange trip, aged 13, I got gangrene in my thumb and had to have it operated on. I was wheeled into theatre having had a pre-med (all lone, wtf were the teachers thinking?) and was lying there being inspected by bearded men in white clogs. They picked up my foot and were discussing my big toe. I waved my thumb feebly in the air and declared, "Non, c'est ma PUCE'. They ignored me. I repeated it several times, then got knocked out. Luckily when I came round, they hadn't amputated my flea, but *had* debrided my thumb. A nice boy came to visit me in hospital with a big bar of Poulain chocolate (we were in Blois and had had a tour of the factory earlier in the week).

Motto: teach your child the correct anatomical words in other languages before deserting them to the medical traumas of foreign countries.

Rhia said...

The puppy video is disturbing. I totally agree with Miss U. The woman should so not be encouraging that seal. My stomach lurched as it tried to mount her ew ew ew.

kath (another one) said...

eek Frau A's owls have much noise on them, I couldn't work out what the rustling was.

Eric has a blog! http://www.eric-sax.be/show_blog.cfm?id=47

Rhia said...

PS I have no idea why I wrote puppy i meant "elephant seal" (easy mistake to make)

....Freud would have a field day.

Waffle said...

What the fuck. I go away for a morning to write boring things and when I come back people are having their thumbs/fleas amputated and mistaking elephant seals for puppies? I CAN'T GO ANYWHERE, CAN I. You can't be trusted.

Rachel. "On a school trip aged 13 I got gangrene in my thumb". We need more explanation, please. INSUFFICIENT.


Also, why did no-one invite me to a celebratory party to get my foot stuck in a wine rack. I feel quite bitter.

Waffle said...

Also, yes, Prince Laurent. The Belgian royal family is wonderful. B also saw Princess Astrid at the opera yesterday and said some exceptionally unflattering things about her. Joy.

Kath said...

If I had been in Belgium, I would totally have invited you down to Ciney to the party with the foot-attacking wine rack. Apparently he was attempting some sort of Cossack dance at the time, a story that just keeps on giving! And to experience the wonders of their Vivacité drinking game.

Laurel said...

I hope you are watching the owl cam right now! She has been preening her tail feathers and looking at the camera quite a bit.

vw prealia: the need to see an owl doing owly things.

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