Belgian Politican 1: So we're all agreed? We're shutting Belgium and rolling the Atomium to Greece, ball by ball, providing subsidised genièvre for the over-sixties, and turning the Dexia headquarters into a Magritte theme park?
Belgian Politician 2: Hang on, I thought we were selling the Atomium to Mr Berlusconi for his summer residence?
BP3: Tired .. so tired...
BP4: I NEVER agreed to that. We were going to turn the Atomium into a massive disco ball to house the federal parliament.
BP5: No! We were going to use it as a wrecking ball to flatten Charleroi!
BP2: And I thought it was free ugly, curly-haired, white, semi-balding dogs for the over-sixties?
Who knows. Elio di Rupo, he of the bow tie and very soigné slightly bouffant hair, who I am dressed up as on my "About" page, and who may finally be allowed to form a government, looks fatigued beyond imagining. His bow tie is drooping at the corners and now everyone is hatin' on his Dutch. Bart de Wever - the furious, quiz winning, ultra Flemish separatist is hiding in a dark corner of the Rue de la Loi sulking, ready to pounce and eat him. All in all, he has a thoroughly unenviable job ahead of him and they haven't even agreed a budget yet.
I tell myself this in the mornings, when Elio is probably already in the gym. Though I bet his internet connection works at his sodding desk. I am writing this in the spare bed. It has been moved away from the wall so I am leaning backwards against the very low bed head, then craning my neck forward. It is perfectly disastrous, physiotherapists would cry to see me. Then ask why I have stolen their trousers, probably.
The other dregs of yesterday:
- Inveigled into making chocolate chip cookies to replace Monday's M&Ms cookies that were already finished. I do not even much like cookies, unless they are quite salty peanut butter ones, on the cusp of being completely disgusting, but I do like baking, endless baking, at the moment. I could make cookies in my sleep, but what I really want to make is the lemon loaf in the Hummingbird Cookbook. Apparently it's gorgeous, but I am fat and none of my clothes fit, and must not make baked goods that I might actually be tempted to eat.
- Watched a man in Pain Quotidien eat two gigantic slices of lemon meringue pie, one after the other, in about 30 seconds. I took a photograph of it, surreptitiously, but it looks really unimpressive.
- Ate some very disappointing Coxes. I am really, really missing my dad's Spartans at the moment. I want my apples to taste of mist, and autumn and sharpness. Actually, I can hardly bear to admit this to myself, but I have started to get really homesick for my dad's Tetanus Manor at this time of year, with its brambles and tiny sharp apples and low-lying mists obscuring the sheep. The Ardennes gave me a tiny taste of it, when we were off time travelling to 1991 for the space weekend, and now I am pining for wet walks and fires and crumble (and dead badgers and only the Oxford Mail in the newsagents, and no coffee) like a CRAZY person, because I do not like the country. This is old age, isn't it? I might as well stop fighting it and buy some Marks & Spencers Classics Range wool mix slacks. I could also eat steamed puddings with impunity, which is exactly what I want to be doing this afternoon.
- Watched Fingers climbing, at high speed, like a rat up a drainpipe. Miles up. It was quite impressive, in a terrifying sort of way. He reminded me of my childhood friend who got caught scrambling to the top of one of the Abyssinian lions in the British Museum. However, climbing walls are sordid places that smell of old sweat and gym mats and are populated with wiry uber-mensches. Scary.
- Some light speculative Euromillions spending, revolving around exotic livestock, mainly. My co-speculatee (word? Non-word?) said "you could print millions of copies of your manuscript and just flood the market with them!" and I got slightly hurt and sniffy, and said that even if I was a multi-millionaire, I still only wanted my manuscript to succeed ON ITS MERITS. Then we had to talk about less contentious topics like who we each wanted to employ as a private chef, and how many ponies was too many.
Incidentally, things I do not get which the rest of the internet gets:
- Feminist Ryan Gosling (because I do not actually know who he is)
- Lana del Rey (I dunno, it just doesn't work on me)
Please explain them to me in short, loud words, as if to a difficult elderly relative.