Thursday, 13 October 2011

Bemused in Belgium

You know how people say "only write when you have something to say" about blogs? Yeah, well. I'm ignoring that at the moment. God knows what happened to yesterday. Did you see me? Can we piece it together? I remember buying a purple cauliflower but I can't quite establish the thought process that might have led to this. I know that in the evening there was some high pitched panicky screeching about the most terrifying junction I have ever encountered which had no rules whatsoever and just CARS, coming at me from all directions, in the dark, like a video game. Now there are women posing "façon streetstyle" with their IRONS in my inbox. It's all too much, bloody Wednesday. Soon, I'll be able to blame the government again, because apparently we might have one in a week or so. Can you believe it? Can I? Can they? Do they even remember what they agreed after 18 months of negotiating? They must be hallucinating with despair and fatigue and speculoos poisoning.

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.


curlywurlyfi said...

I'm with you on the Ryan Gosling front - what is that about, + the feminist tumblr thing? *blank*

And I have also given up on Lana, apart from Diet Mountain Dew. Try some Brian Jonestown Massacre instead - Anemone + Servo to start with.

Kirsty | A Safe Mooring said...

I misread this as "who we each wanted to employ as a pirate chef". Frankly, I'm a little disappointed that you didn't think of that. You've hypothetically won the Euromillions! Think big!

P.S. Have only just found your blog and I love it. You're a brilliant writer.

Waffle said...

Fi - NOW I AM EVEN MORE CONFUSED. Is it Tuesday? Is Attlee the Prime Minister?

Kirsty - I want a pirate chef as well now. He can keep the capybaras in line.

(and thank you!)

Courtney@ Translating Nutrition said...

I'm right there with you on the apples in Brussels being very disappointing. Where are the crisp, sweet yet slightly tart, juicy apples? All I've found her are mealy ones that are too tart.

I'm new to Brussels,from the US,and just found your blog. Its a treat for me to read!

Anonymous said...

If it's any consolation, I, an anonymous long time lurker fully intend on buying your book as soon as it hits pre-orderability. Especially since the Avery labels I laboriously printed today garnered me an unexpected 4 quid in Amazon vouchers.

Pat (in Belgium) said...

I drove into Brussels Wednesday evening. It took me nearly ONE HOUR to get from Schuman to Midi station (& our favorite "Bones" restaurant). Every time I took a detour (as in aha, I remember this "short cut"), there was a barricade, a street ripped up...and a gazillion even more insane (than me) drivers.
Needless to say, "bemused" was nowhere near my state of mind by the time I got to my destination.

By the way, what's with the cyclists in Brussels? Are they completely crazy? (Talk about a death wish!)

Anonymous said...

The Feminist Ryan Gosling tumblr is, I believe, a spoof, or mockery, if you will, of the fuckyeahryangosling tumblr. I'm sure that helped immensely! You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

You could try "Braeburn" apples from New Zealand, which are the perfect combination of crisp, tart, sweet and juicy! They are great to eat straight away, and give the Grannysmith green apples a run for their money in a crumble too.

I do sympathize with you and the lack of a decent apple - in our household apples are the one grocery item we are always running out of, and are always replaced instantaneously regardless of season. Thank goodness they keep so well in the coldstores - hardly any gap in supplies from one year to the next!
Heather (NZ)

katyboo1 said...

Can't help you there. I don't get them either. Nor do I understand twitter for its constant references to non food or building related programmes. It's all a bit complex. Still, Lana Del Ray does have lips like those fish that stick to the glass in a fish tank. So that's good. Right?

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