Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Various Wednesday ephemera

Has anyone experienced having a total mental block about working in the place you are supposed to do your work? I am guessing the answer is yes, since you are human beings. I have found recently I cannot work at my kitchen table, where I normally work, at all. I think it's the sunshine - I can see it out of the French windows, it calls to me, I go out, realise I can't actually see if I try and work outside, come back in, feel dissatisfied and now faintly cold, and the cycle begins again (yes, if you look closely I am complaining about the unseasonably beautiful weather. Pinchy pinchy diamond shoes). This means that I am either working in bed - too redolent of nervous breakdown to be entirely comfortable - or in Pain Quotidien - gradually becoming expensive, and I know far too much about the lives of the staff and they look at me with faint pity, obviously assuming I go there for the company. Which I don't. Honest. Most days.

The time may have come to buy a desk. Do you think? Shall I? I unwisely showed the CFO the desk I had fallen in love with (too dear for me, though not objectively massively dear, very pretty, very handmade, look, here's a photo I took through the shop window and occasionally stare at longingly:

) and he bought it for himself, so now I am sulking, and don't want one made out of crispbreads from the Swedish deathstar. However, I think my muscular-skeletal system, and productivity, nay, my bank manager, demand it. Easter weekend at Ikea, that sounds peaceful. However: direct bus and cinnamon rolls. I could be persuaded.

I walked the dog round the streets last night rather than trudging to the park, because I don't see why he gets to choose all the time. It is strange round here at the moment, lots of people are away for the holidays, it is unseasonally, beautifully warm and the wisteria and lilac are all out so everywhere smells wonderful, and hot and dusty. Occasionally I would run into a gang of small children messing around on the pavement, or playing with water pistols, or riding their bikes slowly up and down the deserted streets. It was like being back in the seventies, I swear, I half expected to see the younger me wandering along in the other direction with a rabbit on a l lead (yes, I did that). Maybe I will take more photos if I do it again tonight, but for the moment, I ran into this amazing, brilliant, wonderful fountain which, although it is very close to my house, I have never seen before, attached to some kind of technical college/school type place.


I liked it so much, I looked it up and look! It it quite new, and was opened by the portly enfant terrible of the Belgian monarchy, Prince Laurent! There is a whole, highly philosophical concept behind it, predictably, but mainly it is an excellent fountain featuring bronze animals designed and made by children. I love.

I think this is a snail wearing false eyelashes:

This possibly a griffon?

(I love the way it is spitting water disdainfully out of the corner of its mouth)

This a jellyfish. Or a crab. Or a spider! No, I think it's a spider, definitely.

Further investigation reveals that this place is partly an école hotelière, which means they run a restaurant thingy in the school where the food is cooked and served by the pupils. I used to live near one in Paris (an incredibly strict, serious one as such things always are in France) and never went, but always wanted to, so now I am determined to go. I want teenagers to do complicated things with the backs of serving spoons behind my back and serve me flan de courgettes all for virtually no money. This is my perversion of the moment.

Three small whines and three tiny pleasures:


1. The house is intolerably dirty when I only cleaned it last weekend. How can this BE.

2. My Armani blusher that I love like a pony, and better than my first born, has run out.

3. I am covered in insect bites, of course I am, there is no frost in the air so obviously I must be eaten alive.


1. I am up to date on my admin. I feel quite supernaturally smug about it (even though it reveals, unsurprisingly, that outgoings exceed incomings by some margin, somehow the mere fact that I have that set out for me neatly in an accordeon file and on a spreadsheet makes it ok).

2. I still have no neighbours nearly a year after the Von Trapps moved on. I can lie, drooling, in my garden without fear of disturbance by madrigals, or trumpet practice.

3. Zizi is still doing its parma violet ice cream, also known as "this is why you are fat"

(Out of shot: dog eating 43 abandoned wafers)

Tell me yours?


Laura said...

I'll get back to you on the whines & pleasures but for now, just know you're not alone in being eaten alive as soon as the weather creeps above freezing. I swear I saw a mosquito INSIDE THE HOUSE last night. Husband thinks I am being ridiculous when I obsess about biting insects. Of course, he never gets bitten because I attract all the bugs in a 3-county area!

Alison Cross said...

Scotland is midgie city. That's why the Romans never invaded us - took one look at the midges the size of birds of prey and opted to stay Darn Sarf.

That fountain is MARVELLOUS! You could while away hours trying to work out what everything is supposed to be.

Parma Violet ice-cream? *packs case, heads for Belgium*

I can't post about whines and pleasures until I've got a pleasure or two to contribute :-)

WV - cackomar - somewhere shit in Spain for your holidays

Kath said...

Well, I think you answered the first question in your significant capitalisation. BE. My sister swears there is more dust in Belgium than in England. I have no idea if this is true, or any idea why it could be, but she absolutely swears blind it is the case.

Aspasie said...

1- It seems unfair that it is sunny and lovely in Belgium but here in the desert vicinity of the US it is raining...
2- Belgian eID card process has displeased me, takes so long.
3- Camping 16 has not really done anything especially exciting, but appearently decided to have a BBQ to spite the government ? How very Belgian.

1- Baileys & Coffe in front of the fire place
2- Greek Easter Bread
3- New Shoes

ah simple pleasures

Sam said...

1) Work, or more specifically the lack of news about a new job.
2) I appear to have provoked the other half into not talking to me, without even trying. Currently indulging in a 'pah, stuff him I'm determined not to blink first' grown-up attitude that explains my relationship history.
3) I have a hideous blood blister right on the waistband line, on my tummy and it's a hurty poor-poor that makes me Want My Mummy.

1) M&S Cranberry and orange hot cross buns. Tradition can bite me.
2) Only 7.5 work hours between me and 11 days off. That's 7.5 logged hours, ie approx 40 mins of actual effort.
3) Sunflower seeds from *ahem* Ikea growing almost as I look at them. Making me irrationally happy just now.

Marion said...
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Lindsey said...

HE BOUGHT THE DESK???? That's outrageous. I think you would be entirely within your rights to break into his house under the cover of darkness and steal it. And a tortoise for good measure. Grrr on your behalf.

On the plus side, there is the chance that such a beautiful, artisan-made piece of furniture is cripplingly uncomfortable to work at, and he may have saved you the trouble of finding out...

Johnners said...

I was a bit taken aback by him buying the desk too.
All this hot weather means less clothing, leading inevitably to 'When did I get so fat?' laments.
Tired children currently covered in early Easter chocolate. (They're happy, and the endless moaning about the telly has stopped for a bit.)

Marie said...

whines :

Having husband saying "oh,by the way,I took some choc that was well hidden in the cupboard". Oh yes, that was the kids's Easter eggs,you fool !

Having a wonderful nap this afternoon while children played in (a rare and quiet) harmony until i woke in alarm in a middle of a songs of praise kind of nightmare where i was singing "O come All Ye Faithfull" to the royal audience with the lovebirds loving it to bits...

Yay !

Looks like we're living in the same area, that fountain is very familiar indeed ;)

Z said...

I'm struck by how impressively bitchy the CFO was. That was such an insensitive thing to do that one can only applaud it, even as one stings.

WrathofDawn said...


1)The annoying next door neighbours are still hammering at some new outdoor atrocity, despite the fact that it is 0 degrees and dark out.

2) It snowed this morning. SNOWED.


I have a four-day weekend!

That was rather thoughtless of the CFO, buying the desk he knew you wanted but feel you can't afford.

Margaret said...
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Margaret said...

Boy, I thought only girls were that evil--I do sort of admire the CFO's frenemy skillz.

Whine: I am so fat I popped a button on my JCrew Lady (ha!) coat today trying to close it over my enormous midsection.

Today we moved and it has been godawful from beginning to end. Bellowing at the slow-witted movers, threatening their boss on the phone, shrieking at each other and now clipped exchanges. If I murder him--oh wait, now he's made me laugh with his stupid mobile phone ringtone, so I can't murder him.

The happy thing: a line from David Sedaris's last book where he describes the problem of small French beer bottles combined with his heavy drinking: "That meant I had to be vigilant about recycling. Skip a day and it would look like I'd had Belgium over."

Waffle said...

No no no, I do not begrudge the CFO the desk at all, also, he thought I was showing him the desk to be helpful in his own desk search.

I didn't say "I am in love with this desk and cannot afford it" and I am sure if I had, he would not have bought it. Anyway! Maybe he will leave it to me in his will? Also, he has put up with plenty of whiny boring shit from me over the years and a desk is the very least I owe him.

The David Sedaris line is wonderful, WoD.

Alison Cross said...

...I wonder....would the CFO have bought the desk to try to tempt you to return, Waffle?

Ali x

Birdy said...

OMG. Mouse Deer - is the plural Mice Deer?? When we first lived in Singapore and visited the zoo a couple of times a week I avoided the Fragile Forest exhibition for years as I thought it was butterfly based and I don't do fluttery, flappery, dusty mothlike insects. Imagine my self loathing when, dragged in by a visitor, I discovered it is in fact heaven on earth. Under an enormous mosquito net affair you wander through rain forest amongst lemurs, sloths, those tiny wee monkey fellas and mouse (mice?) deer. Nothing to stop you from popping one in your handbag but your high morals and the fact that they look as if the may nip. Yes there are butterflies but only at the end and even they have a certain charm.