Wednesday, 5 October 2011


Some things:

1. I am once more living in the house of pestilence. Daub a primitive cross on the door and stay far, far, clear. No sooner had Lashes come up to me joyfully in the "Extrême Bowling" in Libramont (a long, space camp related story which I am not yet ready to tell) brandishing something between thumb and forefinger which turns out to be a headlouse he has caught off his own head, but the dog started scratching ominously. I do not know what to delouse next, but it is one of those moments when alopecia feels like a distinct blessing. On top of that, Lashes also has a stomach bug, which has turned his face a pretty grey-green colour that looks very Farrow & Ball and causes him to mope around the house in the manner of a consumptive nineteenth century heroine whilst I clean up after him, and the rabbit has a cold. I do love how living with children and animals brings you back to the Dark Ages. I think, in the manner of Horrible Histories, I should probably just make the sign of the cross in toad's blood on their foreheads and say a quick prayer, modern medicine seems to have very little to offer me now that Nurofen Plus has been withdrawn from circulation. I am trying some poor substitute called "Nurodol", but I do not believe in it and neither does my exhausted, constantly grinding jaw.

2. It is very hard, it turns out, to write about infidelity whilst making your characters sympathetic. I dunno. Do they have to be sympathetic? Maybe I can make them all hateful. Oh lord, it is too late even to do that. That burning smell you may be able to detect is my brain surreptitiously setting light to itself to escape from this conundrum. I wish I had chosen to write a book about crime fighting cavies now. Maybe I can just crowbar some crime fighting cavies into the weakest bits of characterisation? Is cavies the plural of cavy? Or are they cavys? All the important questions, right here.

3. I have read some excellent things on the world wide webs recently, notably:

AL Kennedy, whose writing column for the Guardian is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, wrote this nice essay on insomnia and illness and writing for Granta.

A furious Maurice Sendak in the Guardian calling Salman Rushdie a "flaccid fuckhead". I have no particular opinion on Salman Rushdie, but I think this is a world class insult.

The lovely Miss Jones writing about Strictly Come Dancing. I do not really watch SCD, but I did see Russell Grant and her description is bang on and terribly funny.

4. My second hand Dutch is coming on a treat. I can now have a conversation with myself where I ask myself where I live, then say that I live in Mons, then ask where Mons is, then explain that it is in the province of Hainault. This is fabulously useful. I could not, however, say that I am Emma and I live in Brussels and I do not know what region that is in. I can, however, name a large number of sports in Dutch which is also very useful given my passion for all forms of exercise.

5. In order to compensate for my current blogging inadequacy, I have introduced a new sidebar novelty feature, where I tell you what I am wearing every day. It gives me the illusion of productivity and allows you to feel superior since nearly everything I wear is either broken or dirty or just really, really wrong. We'll all get bored of it pretty soon, but for now, it is a scrap of new daily content. If you have any other sidebar suggestions now that I have given up on my feeble attempts to "monetise", do throw them across. I used to do polls - they were quite fun. Maybe I could bring that back? Ooh, maybe a "would you rather.." poll in the manner of that John Burningham story? Hmm. For further thought.

6. What I would buy if I had some money right now:

- some nice flat boots to escape from the tyranny of the M&S patent flat. There are loads in stock at the dodgy discount shoe shop at the Place du Châtelain, including some excellent Prada Sport ones.
- Some of the beautiful black/nude trim flats I saw in Ferragamo.
- some Armani Luminous Silk foundation because my skin looks like, what? Porridge? Porridge with goji berries in, representing the myriad insect bites and burst veins.
- Two new boring black bottoms and two new boring shapeless tops, plus a new sack dress to stop myself being sad about being fat.
- The book recommended here by Irretrievably Broken, because her recommendations are invariably BANG ON, as she is a woman of exquisite taste.
- Lots of scent: Menthe Fraîche from Heeley, because my sample has run out and I miss it terribly, some Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady scented body cream because it is massively sensual and delicious, some Serge Lutens Bois de Sépia for more serious days.
- Some Elemis SuperSoak, to eliminate the need for Nurofen Plus.
- A syrup sponge. Ok, I can afford that, but I can't actually FIND it here, and if you think I'm going to start arsing around with suet, you are very much mistaken.

Oh, sorry, hang on, this list is infinite. Why not add yours in the comments.


JB_Kiwi said...

1. That fabulous Laura Mercier concealer to which Facegoop once gave high praise
2. Shoes - many many shoes of varying heights and colours and shapes as my few current shoes all either rip my feet to shreds, stink or make me entirely weather inappropriate
3. Similarly boots (ones that actually fit my stumpy legs). See #2 for reasons
4. A kindle and/or iPad, purely because I feel left out
5. Some M&S reduced fat sour cream and chives crisps. These I can afford but the shop is more than a mile away and it's cold and as discussed above, I have no useful shoes for walking to get the crisps. Ah first world problems.

irretrievably broken said...

1. An accountant.
2. A lovely, witless family with piles of money who have always, always wanted to live in a house with sloping floors, unpredictable appliances and an eighty year old furnace.
3. An amanuensis.
4. A sinecure.
4.5. A writing assignment that does not strain the limits of credulity.
5. Access to all the good drugs.
6. A surfeit of inner beauty, the better to distract from my alarming crop of post-adolescent acne.

Lindsey said...

My list of demands is relatively concise, but seemingly impossible to achieve in my current state...

1. A cuddle from someone other than a female friend/family member. A man, preferably. Or failing that, a lolling dog to lie across my knees when I'm watching TV.
2. A new TV, without the colour fault on my current model that results in everyone onscreen having a purple face like Violet Beauregard, mid-transformation.
3. New, baby-fresh, naturally bronzed skin for my entire body, to replace the pale, lumpy, bumpy, ingrown-hair-y covering of scales which seems to be my lot from the neck down.
4. Unlimited supplies of Musc Ravageur so that I don't have to ration its use any more
5. Functioning broadband so I can feed my terrible US teen drama addiction.
6. Milkshake to bring all the boys to my yard.

Not too much to ask, surely?

Oh, and my word verification is faltulz, which must be Yiddish for something...

curlywurlyfi said...

I would like to say 1) Solpadeine is even better than Nurofen Plus; + 2) a Yorkshire boyfriend's mother once gave me a recipe for treacle sponge pudding YOU MAKE IN A MICROWAVE. Takes 5 mins tops. It is the total enemy of la sveltesse, as you can imagine, so I have tried for many years to forget it. But I bet Google would help. No suet involved, except for on ones thighs, eventually.

MargotLeadbetter said...

Why, a solid gold house, of course!

Dara said...

Here's a list of things I want returned to me....right quick!

1. My pre-prenancy body/skin/boobs/teeth/feet(grew 2 sizes) body.

2. My pre-pregnancy brain.

3. My alone time.

Now, if I had some money--I would buy a new, brand new house. Not this old, POS, falling apart house.

Lola said...

1. Repairs to the stupid car that has a hurty alternator and has had to go to the car hospital OVERNIGHT. Just thinking about it makes my bank account sweaty.
2. Something that will receive and display terrestrial TV. Since the recent analogue to digital switchover our second-hand digibox thing has become increasingly stroppy, refusing to change channels, turn on and off, and finally stamping its foot and not allowing us to see or hear anything.
3. A whole year's badminton club membership, which everyone else has paid but I have very quietly arranged to stump up in instalments and which makes me look a) very stingy and b) rather needy.
4. A real workman to redecorate the shower room so that when it is done I won't have to live with my own hopelessly shoddy workmanship.
5. Clothes
6. Food, especially the sort you get in restaurants that mean you don't have to do the cooking or the washing up.

I really would like someone to give me a job soon. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Camper boots, Camper shoes, Camper heels, Lanvin flats, Marni pumps, Toast robe, Brora fairisle cardi, Victorian pine things, Sheisido tinted moisturiser, Kingsize french bed with handmade mattress from, Linen sheets, Annick Goutal scent, Orla Kiely leather bag, Toast leather bag, Chanel No'19 and matching body products, new teeth, cashmere bed socks, cheese from La Fromagerie, Cleopatra soap, a straight back, thicker hair, some passion!?, kettle chips or on a bad day, 'Roysters or pringles'. More wine please, a wine rack come to think of it, no a drinks cabinet orperhaps a wine cellar, a huge house with a mature, traditional English walled garden, just like Charleston house. night night XXXX

Fat Controller said...

If I had a shedload of money then I would use it all to bring about the utter destruction of my enemies, in the most embarassing ways possible.

FYI, I am particularly conversant with the far-flung reaches of the Central Line and can inform you that Mons is nowhere near Hainault. It is in fact somewhere between Theydon Bois and Buckhurst Hill. Useful to know if you ever need a winning move in 'Mornington Cescent'.

WV is 'isholy'. A portent, I think.

Margaret said...

I just bought a very expensive handbag, so I'm not feeling deprived at the moment. I think Fat Controller's idea is good for me too. Except I don't want to destroy mine enemies; I want them around to be absolutely aware of their total humiliation and defeat.

Waffle, dear Waffle, do you have Animal Planet on your cable/satellite? They have lots of great programs, including two series called Dogs 101 and Cats 101 where they highlight several breeds in each episode. Well, the other day, they showed Pets 101, which was about non-dog/cat pets. Here is the slideshow link--I couldn't fid the video:

Patience_Crabstick said...

Why on earth is nurofen being pulled from the market? I hope this is not a world wide trend. The American equivalent is ibuprofen and I don't think I could function without it. It's my cure all for everything.

If I had unlimited money I would ibuprofen against the coming famine.
I would buy a new washing machine (my old one, which is upstairs, decided to leak through the ceiling of the room below).
The perfect pair of black knee high boots.
Le Creuset pans of every size and shape.
The wool button front skirt I saw at J Crew today
A full complement of top quality workout wear
Bras that actually fit
Cross country skis

Karyn said...

Maurice Sendak hates Gwennie too (glad someone finally came out and said it), hurrah for crotchety old authors.

Unlimited money...

1. A nanny, much as I love him, an hour a day of peace would be worth paying for.

2. MAC lipstick in Chinz - alas no longer available.

3. An apartment in NYC, so I can ditch Melbourne and live as I was born to live.

4. Straight, straight, well behaved hair of a respectable colour (rather than a non-colour streaked with grey...ugh) that bounces.

5. to be hairfree from the neck down. Selective alopecia?

Even with all the money in the world I'd still wear comfortable shoes. I suppose that means for me...Neuveax Riche = FAIL!

(we don't have a sophisticated French language culture here in Oar-Stray-Leee-Ahh so an approximation is the best I can do.)

frau antje said...

I confess to considering the purchase of a Roomba (it's your fault, no, not to amuse my prairie dogs), though it embarrasses the hell out of me, and will not actually occur. Did buy a third pizza slicer--just in case--due to heavily phoning in dinner these days, a process I am already known to take extreme license with. This is due to my current state of being 10% leader, 10% self-destructive, 80% bewildered, no wait, that's humanity. My sister frequently questions why I don't do things (like dinner) in the orthodox manner, immediately answering herself with a muted, "Too much trouble?" It's not a question really, just conversational filler.

Best Dutch word lately; hersenspinsels, or just spinsels, or spinsel for that matter. Best Dutch revelation lately (other than that of Maurice Sendak's wonderful unrepressed anger); just how many supermodels would, but for the grace of god or whatever, be working at a McDonald's in Eindhoven.

Waffle said...

Toasty - Oh yes, this reminds me how much I want the little travel pot of LM three types of concealer witchcraft. Added to list.

IB - I love how your wish list appears to have mostly come from the 18th century.

Lindsay - Yay, also a Frédéric Malle devotee.

Curlywurlyfi - But. But but. Doesn't Solpadeine only come in soluble? I can't do soluble. If there is a capsule form my life will be transformed.

Margot - I have doubts about the gold house. 1. Would it not be very cold? 2. Do I have to chip a bit off every time I want to go down to Space NK? It sounds inconvenient and labour intensive.

Margaret! YOur link doesn't work and I have ended up watching Quentin the Angry Chihuahua. I blame you entirely.

FA - I am going to look up hersenspinsels now.

Marion said...

Very excited that you are writing about infidelity. I was thinking on my lunch break today that I've never read a good book on the subject.

Anyway. I want a baby at the moment, I don't think those should be bought... so I don't know what else to choose. But I'm going to Yorkshire over the weekend, would you like me to bring you some syrup sponge back? (or whould that be "a/several syrup sponge/s"?)

NorthernKath said...

I appreciate Boots are of limited use to you in Belgium (and in any case, the website is out of stock of most medication it appears medication), but for illustration purposes it will suffice They do Solpadiene capsules too now :)

And to be the bearer of even better news, Nurofen Plus is now back on sale, so hopefully you will be able to get that soon as well!

Ann said...

Love wardrobe updates, keep them up. The world is a shinier place with you, Waffle.
(WV is "phowers"; fusion thai and floral cocktail? trying too hard 4 year old bout trying to say "flowers"?)

Jessica said...

If I had money.

1- A cleaning lady.
2- House by the ocean, warm, dry and stylish on the inside, preferably an off-the-grid eco-powered passivehaus sort of thing, somewhere where it doesn't go below 10 degrees C and the surfing is good year sharks allowed.
3- A dedicated physiotherapist/massage therapist who comes round every half-week. A yoga instructor 3 times a week, a shrink/lifecoach once every two weeks?
4- Land around my house by the ocean complete with a few baby goats, sheep, and someone who will patiently instruct me in the art of making fromage de chevre.
5- King sized bed with one zillion threadcount sheets.
6- A significant inheritance to invest, where the interest would fuel globetrotting adventures, stress-free living, kind gestures to friends, and charitable acts.
7- A business partner who would handle the paper-side of opening a little shop where I could putter about with fine chocolates, coffees, teas and pastries and generally create a nice place for civilized people to chat with one another and sometimes have interesting people flown in to give seminars and so on. Bouncer at the door to screen out the non-interesting.

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