All is well in law jail. I have progressed speedily (ish), and been exceptionally annoying all day. Thankfully I am the only one here to witness my own annoyingness, but it will be reflected in the dreary tone of the following. Just be thankful I haven't added footnotes.
Finally, after years of vague unease, I know what has been missing from my life. This.
It is perfect. Perfect, I tell you. I would not care about my inability to make any money or be any good at anything if I had one of those in the back yard quietly grazing. I would just sniff the tiny pony's neck and feed it Polos and be filled with contentment.
So I tell myself. In fact, once I had the tiny pony I would, indeed, be briefly ecstatic, but then I would start to tire of the constant manure shovelling. The pony might well be bitey and evil-tempered, and prove less than co-operative when I tried to put my neck-sniffing plan into action. It might bankrupt me in polos and carrots. I would become ever more resentful of the embarrassment the tiny pony caused me when the neighbours complained about it eating their sturdy perennials. There would be difficulties about what to do with the minipony when I wanted to go away for the weekend. I would start to complain about it on this weblog whilst entertaining oft-repeated fantasies about some OTHER kind of tiny animal.
Self-knowledge is not always a good thing.
I realised that in order to counter the - fairly accurate - impression given on these pages that I never leave the house, I should really have told you I went to a festival this weekend. So: I went to a festival this weekend. This one.
I am not, um, a natural festival-goer. It's not the mud, or the discomfort, or the sitting in a nest of discarded plastic beakers and condoms, but I do have some trouble controlling my gag reflex around "challenging" foods and I had particular trouble this time with people eating chips with not only ketchup and mayonnaise (the twin sauces of satan), but also a sort of lumpy brown meat poured on top ALL THREE AT ONCE in the stifling heat. Imagine, if you will, that these people had been at a festival for three days already at that point and several of them had white dreadlocks and you will have some notion of my discomfort. I found the latrines less troubling, actually, than the rivers of ketchup and mayonnaise and unspeakable Brown Sauce and the wafting scent of a thousand rancid spring rolls ALSO served with mayonnaise. Brrrrrr. Make this madness stop.
Apart from the slight nausea issue, however, all was lovely: there was sun, we* did not have to walk fifteen miles to get to things as you usually do at festivals, there were several excellent sets (Kaiser Chiefs, Fleet Foxes - complete with their herbal teas - and crazed disco pixie Robyn especially) and we successfully avoided hearing more than a few seconds of a two hour ear-bleeding drear-fest from Iron Maiden (apart from the piteously horrible noise, some of their coiffures were intensifying my nausea problems). Also, and this is crucial, we went straight back to Brussels afterwards and there was none of this unspeakable, rolling around in a canvas coffin surrounded by halfwits business (yes, I am filled with festival spirit). Actually, I was in my nice clean bed and intensively, vigorously showered by midnight, which is proof of how exceptionally rock 'n' roll I am, oh yes.
I resolved the food problem by eating PLAIN chips and drinking many tokens worth of nasty rosé. I was quite entertained to see that there was a mussel stand, from whence many people emerged with large metallic pots of mussels. Mussels: the obvious festival food. So there. Proof that I occasionally leave the house. Before the festival I also went to a birthday barbecue and a nice man showed me round his beehives, which was fun. See? I have a social life. Of sorts. Sporadically. On current reckoning I might do so again around mid -October.
(*"We"= me and the CFO reprising our excellent festival going exploits of a few years ago, where he tried to smuggle soap flavoured vodka into the venue in a recyclable shower gel container hidden in his pants and passed out at 9pm)
Collar of Calm
I despatched my overdue edits on Monday night, praise be. Now they can languish, unread and unloved, on someone else's desk for a while ("while" = anything up to another six years, I should think). I have lost all belief in this book business; I do not think I am any good at it and I am filled with renewed admiration for anyone who can string a semblance of a plot together. Goodness knows what I am good at, except carving marrows and catching spiders. It doesn't matter though, because one day I will have a tiny pony.
Or a sugar glider.
Or .. something.
What are your obscure talents?