Anyway. They are having a wonderful time, they are not remotely blasé about the wonderfulness of it, they have promised to steal me a penguin, or possibly a tapir, all is good.
(There was a lengthy digression there while I went off and got distracted by the atrociously spelled but otherwise enchanting website of the Kilkenny Pony Club; with its glorious liturgy of hoof oil and curry combs and sad, sad, tales of outgrown or no longer fascinating to girls who have discovered boys ponies. "Sad sale as daughter hasn't taken to horses .. a super little man and very hansome" (sic) "too good a pony who enjoys his job to be left in a field". Sob. I WILL HAVE ALL OF YOU. Give me your poor, your outgrown, your wall-eyed, vicious, weaving, laminitis suffering).
Back here, F and I were plotting what to do about our ambient medium-despair in a lacklustre fashion.
E: I am going to run away and join the zoo. The circus is too strenuous. I am going to be 'boring brown deerlike thing barely visible in large barren enclosure"
F: Oh, I want to join! I'll be: 'the sign says there's something here, but all I can see is a bit of tail protruding from a log'.
E: 'Might not even be a tail. Might just be a strangely positioned twig'.
F: I will also bite the zoo keeper.
E: I will develop an expensive to treat, festering sore somewhere undignified and a little bit frightening near my genitals. (OH GOD WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM?)
F: (Shh. From your former tortoise trauma.) I will also smell foul.
E: Yes. Like advanced decay. Carrion. Faeces. We will be the best zoo exhibits ever!
Instead I am in this exquisitely beautiful hotel in Antwerp having a rather peculiar time on my own. Good peculiar - clean crisp sheets and peace, and no mess and a gigantic bath - and only peculiar because of the slightly pitying, if kind, looks from the girls on reception and the fact that they and I seem to be the only ones here. And the severed hand biscuits, but they are traditional. Tomorrow I will investigate some of your suggestions, but only the ones that involve not walking very far as I have contracted some form of spring plague and am staggering and aching and feverish. How do you say 'just shoot me like a dog and roll my corpse into your nearest body of water' in Dutch anyway? Perhaps tomorrow I will find out!