Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Mystery

I went to meet Beatrice for lunch yesterday, passing through courtesy of Michael O'Leary's airborne celtic Megabus. I was wearing: grey woolly tights, red patent shoes, grey woolly jumper with t-shirt underneath, black wool shorts, short thick black wool jacket, and black pashmina (I know, I know, but every year my stepmother buys me a scarf, and this is just one of the many, from the foothills of the Ukkel scarf mountain. Also, it is cosy, I have a cold and I feel fairly sure no one will ever mistake me for one of those patrician, long-limbed, Middleton-esque sloaney pony types of girl, since I look like I have escaped from a particularly troubled period of the Dark Ages, before the local farrier took up dentistry. Today I also looked like a local mammoth had taken up residence on my head, since I have lost my straightening irons). I was, basically, keeping the European sheep and goat industry going. The Wool Council should have given me a loyalty card. The Moth Council already have.

I spotted Beatrice on the other side of the Place St Boniface and shouted her over. We kissed hello and then paused, stood apart and appraised each other incredulously.

"You're wearing a winter COAT!".

"Oh my god, you're wearing SANDALS! Are you mad? And a t-shirt!" She was. Strappy, open sandals, a t-shirt, jeans. She was all ready for the rosé-terrasse-salad kind of lunch, whilst I was very much thinking steak-frites, verre de rouge - dark feutré brasserie.

That is the kind of week it is. Mi-figue, mi-raisin (which makes no sense in this context because both those things grow at the same time). We compromised on inside at a Thai place. By halfway through lunch, I was sweating into my tightly knit wool cocoon, and she was covered in goosebumps.

Anyway, apart from this gripping disquisition on the weather, which I know is precisely the kind of thing you were aching to read, I need to share a Mystery with you.

A little over a year ago, I received this, posted through the letterbox without further explanation or information:



It says something a bit like "you need to build on solid foundations".



This bit says "a ninety two year old lady made this card, hoping you would like it. Have a nice day".

Last Friday, my friend Valérie, who lives on the other side of town, got this:



Hers says something like "nothing is impossible if you believe".



I viewed it as faintly sinister, Valérie as a random act of kindness, which says everything you need to know about our relative degrees of cynicism, sadly. However, I would note that in my post on the topic I made some unrelated but prescient remarks about John Galliano. Sort of.

WHAT IS GOING ON? Who is the mysterious nonagenarian benefactor with a large collection of stickers? How has she not aged since last July? Or is there some kind of pensioner sweatshop in Woluwe St Lambert churning them out? Have any other Brussels residents received similar? I need answers. Please assist in any way you can.

21 comments:

MicroBureau said...

Not us. But we ARE completely captivé...

The Reluctant Launderer said...

Alas I cannot help with your mystery because - somewhat mysteriously in itself the Turkish internet is blocking your pics. As you can imagine, I am now assuming they comprise all manner of lurid content. I do have a mystery of my own however - why was your friend's first comment to you not - "where are your trousers/ is your skirt?" ??

Waffle said...

Ahahaha, Reluctant Launderer. Amended now to include MORE WOOL.

(The picture is a postcard with three peeling stickers - a horse, a hedgehog, and a fox - and an uplifting message. Turkey hates me. Actually, it hates Blogger, but I take it personally).

The Reluctant Launderer said...

Apologies for my pedantry.
Turkey hates me too. It has done unmentionable things to my digestive tract. I am taking it VERY personally.

MsCaroline said...

I have no idea who's sending them, but I'm intrigued. I'm guessing you don't have anything to worry about, though: hedgehogs don't usually indicate anything sinister....do they?

kath said...

The animaux chosen for you are most appropriate. Are seacreatures the right ones for val?

This Heeley scent looks good, which have you got? I'm sending for samples, get commission off them.

Waffle said...

Hi Kath - Depends what kind of thing you like. I got completely hooked on Menthe Fraîche, but it's quite summery and simple. Very true fragrance though, I love. Sel Marin is similarly fresh, easy to wear, slightly sexier.

Cuir Plein Fleur is pretty amazing for a more complex, wintry scent - leather and violets. Others I know love Cardinal, which is really incense heavy and dark. Baume du Tigre is clever, but I can't imagine actually wearing it regularly.

Frances said...

Ha ha! Creepy but strangely compelling. Is it Lashes or Fingers playing a trick? If so, they are genius children and I have nothing but admiration for them. As I am slightly bored of my children's relctance to move on from the "trick" of putting die cast cars in my cup of tea.

Z said...

Maybe the old lady made whole lots of them when she was 92 and now spends her declining years tottering about posting them through deserving women's letterboxes.

Rebecca said...

Should she not have turned 93?

Beatrice said...

Exactly: how can she stay 92 over a year? 92 once, 92 forever? She probably is 104. Or her only sun is dispaching them while she herself is dead already.

Dara said...

That is intriguing! I love the idea of a society of elderly ladies posting uplifting messages to other young woman. It speaks volumes of what the "sisterhood" should be about-support/encouragement.
Keep in my, though....these are probably the same old ladies that get irate and beat strangers with umbrellas.

Waffle said...

Well, indeed Dara. I have been on the wrong side of oldladybeatings several times.

Rebecca/Beatrice - I did SAY that. How has she stayed the same age since July 2010. It is all part of the mystery.

Frances - L and F have far too hideous hand writing to pull off such a trick, regretfully.

Tinne from T and T said...

This is clearly a case for your inner Hercule Poirot, with the Weepette in the role of Hastings

Anonymous said...

We got one ages ago and we live in Woluwe St Lambert - I put it down to an old lady's senility, but maybe it's an outreach activity they do via the commune?? :) (I know they do lunch clubs, and holidays and petanque.. why not cheer people up cards??)

Waffle said...

Aha, anon, the plot thickens. I am indeed going to twirl my moustache a little and investigate further...

Anonymous said...

Anon again, Waffle, if all the Communes are like Woluwe St Lambert you could devote your life to this one - the no of activities for seniors is awesome:
http://www.woluwe1200.be/fr/divertissements/seniors/seniors

deadkat said...

In our small town they do this sort of thing as activities for the nursing homes/rehab centers. Although they tend to cut up old sympathy/greeting cards and attach ribbons and leave them in baskets at the library. (Bookmarks.) They don't include the disturbing "inspirational" quotes, though. That adds a special... something, I think.

ali_jane said...

I enjoyed that sort of thing (especially anonymously) as a kid, I'm rather pleased if I make it that far I'll have a pass on the same charming/revolting behaviour in my declining years.

Pat (in Belgium) said...

Oh-oh. We just got a "GOD LOVES YOU" in purple marker pen with glitter glued on "GOD" printed in a rather childish hand on a small rectangular piece of clear plastic -- in our mail box here in Leuven. Ever-increasing circles???

Laurel said...

Perhaps your view on the note differs from Val's because your note is sort of ... admonitory, whereas hers is "inspirational." However, in my opinion both are sort of creepy, and I think I would rather receive a whack with an umbrella, as one knows what it's all about (well, more or less) and who has delivered it.