Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Wednesday, no brain left for a title

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.

The answer

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.

Weekend happenings

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

This picture, requested by commenter Beccy, might suggest the Collar of Tranquility is working:

I do not know why the dog is bathed in a greenish light. Maybe that is an aura of pheromones?


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?


momosyllabic said...

I think you should consider llamas.
Tim Cahill writes that they are housetrainable and graceful in his essay "the llama dilemma." (I googled tim cahill and llama and a readable version of the piece came up). Apparently they poop compact little pellets.

Annie said...

and another nice thing about llama poop is that it doesn't have to be compacted - it can go straight in the garden and won't burn up all the plants.

or so I hear. I haven't got any llamas because I got distracted by the fainting goat and - well, I'm distractable. so I haven't really made my way through the ungulates back to the llama.

I was trying to not have predators when the llama caught my eye.

okay, anyway, please do not get a sugar glider. please. I am still not over the sight of a woman extracting one from her bosom and handing it to her partner (who promptly tucked it inside his shirt) while she went to the restroom. it was not in a pouch. this occurred in a bar. in the desert. In the summer. and they live a long time, sugar gliders. longer than some sorts of dogs.

okay, there was a topic. I don't remember it, I'm so derailed by llamas and sugar gliders.

Annie said...

Ugh. Not compacted. Composted.

Sometimes I hate the things I know. It is not reasonable to sail through life knowing about the necessity for composting llama poop and medical uses for leeches, and here I am, head full of nonsense, getting exactly no work at all done.

bbonthebrink said...

I 'm very skilled at catching pints of beer that I have moments earlier accidentally swept off the table

kath said...

I can do most things incompetently. I love the little therapy ponies with shoes for the house.

Dog trainer says that some dogs are soothed by strap round muzzle, she's read a study on it. Vastdog hates his but he could pull my arm off so tough luck doggy.

Z said...

I catch spiders by hand without shuddering. Similarly, I catch mice and don't let go, even when they bite me.
I can still, at the age of nearly 58, thread a needle without using spectacles. Admittedly, that's because I aim well rather than I see well.
I can stand still in a swarm of bees and not be afraid (er, wearing a beekeeper's suit, albeit for the first time).
I have been offered a job as a muck-spreader.
I can double-declutch when driving a vintage car.
I'm damn good at barrel-scraping, as I have just proved.

Pat (in Belgium) said...

How did you get tickets for Werchter!?! (I thought they were sold out for months! Arrgh, I have just publicly admitted how so very far out of the loop I remain.)

The dog looks STONED.

Pat (in Belgium) said...

I am beyond amazed at Z's catching spiders by hand! (Anything bigger, juicier than a "Daddy Long Legs" will never touch my skin, if I can help it. Have stopped smashing them, however. Via dust pan, they get "escorted" outside.)

I can untie any knot (so far). (This borders on OCD...)
The other stuff isn't particularly obscure, I don't think...

Dara said...

Once in 7th grade, I talked a big (way bigger than me-HUGE) girl out of beating the crap out of me. She didn't like they way I looked, she claimed. I told her that made two of us, and she bust out laughing and let me go to science class unscathed. So, ever since I have honed my wit and humor to defuse any situation. Sometimes it works! Really!

Oh, MY aura is green too! What the hell could that mean?

hairyfarmerfamily said...

Have been thinking furiously for 12 hours with no result, although I'm sure I must have some obscure latent skill lurking. I am fair-to-good at enough things to pass as educated and competent (with a following wind and a good light, etc) but the shining beam of talent seems to have passed me by.

Waffle said...


hairyfarmerfamily said...

My obscure incompetencies would run for longer. For example, I will go toe to toe with any other woman alive over my incredible ability to render immaculate clothes (not that I have very many of those) inexplicably dirty and mysteriously stained within minutes of putting them on. I am also a houseplant killer of wide renown and dole out shrivelling death on an almost instant basis.

I could go on a while with this.

hairyfarmerfamily said...

You are too kind!

Wuurrrrllll, I DID think about claiming cakes as a mild Can-Do, but then I remembered people like this and decided that 'talent' would be overstretching it.

curlywurlyfi said...

Is now a good time to tell you I have a DVD of a Shetland pony Grand National from the Heathfield Agricultural Show a couple of years ago?

frau antje said...

Making crap out of crap perhaps? I inherited this questionable ability (and have embarrassingly even tried to improve on it, as offspring are wont to do). Today it's attempting to assemble something (with over 50 pieces) on the kitchen floor.

Something tells me I might also have a knack for delivering 'five really good blows with a stick'--
Seeing as how that's not technically legal, I guess it's back to screwing on the kitchen floor, but not in a Bridges of Madison County kind of way.

Beccy said...

Thank you for the photo! It is either an aura of pheremones or an aura of mourn.

Beccy said...

* pheromones!

Nimble said...

I think you're wrong: self-knowledge is a good thing. And what you want is a friend who owns a mini pony. I have always wanted a friend with a sailboat. Godknows I don't want to wangle one myself. I just want to be invited out to ride on one in good weather. And you don't want to shovel manure, you just want to be able to drop by sometimes and snorgle a tiny pony neck. You already have an acquaintance who keeps bees! Maybe he'd like to add a tiny quadruped to his menagerie.

My obscure talents include cutting up fruit, creating costumes at the last minute, and removing nits from children's heads. Good thing I had those kids.

Waffle said...

Nimble - This is very true and actual genius. I DO want a friend with a minipony to snorgle. Now all I need to do is find one.

Curlywurlyfi - Gimme.

Waffle said...

Annie - Your llama knowledge is extremely impressive. I promise not to get a sugar glider, I have watched many intertube videos about them and I know all about the peeing, the harsh barking through the night, and the frequent biting. I have enough of these things in my life already.

Patience_Crabstick said...

I assumed that eating ketchup and mayonnaise was a habit unique to the American South. I can't believe such a nauseous combination is consumed in Europe.

An Idiot said...

My special talent as a teenager was breaking a brick in half with my foot. As you can imagine this made me a real hit with the ladies. One day I attempted it the back yard at a party, broke my heel and had to be taken to hospital.

These days I stick to my ability to accidentally blow smoke rings at people who hate smoking.

hairyfarmerfamily said...

I thought of one!

I can spy a single, solitary, sweetly delicious satsuma in the midst of thousands of impenetrable, sharp-tasting tangerines and clementines.

Duly proud of self.

hairyfarmerfamily said...

I thought of another 2!

Despite being of rotund build, I can, if unencumbered with children, winnow my way sinuously through hordes of people. I can Read The Flow, somehow.

Also, I can see lines on peesticks which are basically nearly not there. Nearly. I'm not sure if the line is being supplied by my eyesight or my imagination, but I can see them, nevertheless.

I will be back with more, I'm sure. This could take a while.