Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Panda scandals and horse football

DOWN

- A child has eaten the Cadbury's Caramel I hid at the back of the cupboard for a rainy day. Heads will roll.

- The Facegoop Guardian commenters included a choice selection of people who really, really hate us today. "We are polarising" said M, through clenched teeth. "I suppose that's a good thing". Then I think she was sick into her wastepaper basket. You are going to tell me not to read them, and I would love to do that, but we are supposed to 'engage'. Sometimes I feel quite robust about it, other times it makes me feel sick and sad and like never writing in public again. This was a sort of middle of the spectrum day.

- I have achieved next to nothing. Half a Brussels Guide. Nada mas.

UP

- It was a rainy and horrible morning, so I am wearing a long sleeved black Jaeger dress, WOLFORD VELVETS OH GOD YES, OPAQUES ARE BACK, ancient Pringle coat and my delicious winter scent, Frédéric Malle's Portrait of a Lady. I feel faintly guilty because it's really not that wintry and it feels like I am dancing on summer's grave, but I also feel totally, totally delighted to be back in presentable clothing. I will never learn how to dress in summer. Finally, I look like a grown up again. I had a little (damp) spring in my step.

- I went to a press conference for the Cadre Noir de Saumur today (France's finest dancing horses, I was hoping we might get a token for a free horse, but there were only some phials of tiny mints) and it was a serious affair with speeches by granite faced severe silver fox gentlemen in iconic black uniforms UNTIL it was time for questions and a ill-kempt man in his sixties with an expansive beer gut and unruly grey wispy hair in the second row put his hand up and asked the following question (in French):

"In view of the success of the national football team and our recent qualification for Rio, is it possible to train a horse to kick a football into a goal, to the accompaniment of 'We are the Champions'?"

He asked it in all seriousness (though he may just have a good poker face). The silver foxes in black dress uniform stiffened visibly and eventually one of them replied, suspiciously, that it would probably indeed be theoretically possible but they had no current plans to do so.

"It would be really popular" insisted the questioner. "Bring a little goal into the arena, get the horse to kick the ball..."

I have been laughing about this for 4 solid hours now. I love that man. He has made my day.

- A trip to Le Cirio last night was everything the Cirio should be, cosy and bathed in a warm glow of gin sozzled contentment and bookish chat. L and I had 2 gins apiece and were just starting to hitch our bosoms and tut at the loud rowdy table of Norn Irelanders opposite, when they left quite meekly, and then one of their number came back with a beer glass filled with change for the waiters, which was incredibly polite and delightful and I felt chastened to have narrowed my eyes at them.

- This is the most hilariously pretentious nightclub description ever. A door "physiognomist" instead of a bouncer. A "mindcode" not a dress code. Wild horses could not drag me to this place, which is a good thing because I'm certain I would fail the door physiognomy test.

- I have been asked to JUDGE A BAKE OFF. This is undoubtedly the pinnacle of my professional 'career' to date and I am very excited. Do I need a Zara floral bomber jacket? Should I demur if asked to describe myself as a feminist? Will a horse visit my bedside? If you are in Brussels and like making cakes, I think you should sign up so I have MORE CAKE to eat.

- Belgium is in the throes of a Panda Scandal (pandal?). My favourite wildlife park, known in these pages as "the scary bat caves" (the place with the escaping capybaras. I interviewed the man in charge here, and I believe he would be an epic panda keeper) appears to have won the right to house Belgium's pair of pandas (the Francophone press are saying it's a done deal, the Flemish aren't). The Antwerp zoo is outraged and challenging the decision. Either way, it's a big fat win for people who are amused by ludicrous public arguments over pandas, and I count myself among those people. Though, on second thoughts, surely the best solution to this problem would be for the two linguistic communities to get a panda each? It's not as if pandas seem to be particularly sociable creatures, so I doubt they would pine for one another. Then, in a moving and symbolic act of unification, the pandas could be brought together to mate, healing generations of conflict with the birth of a baby panda that would stand for peace and cooperation between Flanders and Wallonia, all crowned with unimaginable cuteness. Call me, Elio.

Photo:

Le Cirio, obviously.


What is your Tuesday verdict?

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry, but I just had to comment.. JUDGING A BAKE OFF!! Are you allowed to send packing anyone who is not wearing Marks and Spencer's clothing for not properly being in the spirit of the thing?? What other rules could there be? Bags searched for Dr Oetker packets? Age(ist) regulations? Oh, the mind boggles.. so many possibilities.. (And, I hate this weather but apart from that, and the search for Atomas, my Tuesday was Fine thank you - although I keep thinking it's Wednesday for some reason.. maybe I need some cake..)

Waffle said...

I certainly hope so. Footglove shoes obligatory.

breakfastlady said...

The trouble with your International Peace Panda idea is that all panda offspring are the property of the Chinese and get whisked off back to the PRC once the zoo has coined it in on cute cub viewings and overpriced keyrings. Yeah. That cub Tian Tian is taking sooooooo long to produce (or not) in Edinburgh isn't Scottish, or British. Tis CHINESE. Yeah. Who knew?

Waffle said...

You get, like, 18 months of cuteness though, don't you? That might be enough.

frau antje said...

Is it Tuesday? This must be Belgium. Dealing with news of a corporate buyout (this one so personal it reminds one of revelatory shots in Hit and Miss). I should try gin, haven´t really looked into that option, since I found the little pour spout thingie completely resolves my tendency to spill Hendrick´s all over the place, last weekend.

Assume you´ve seen this
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knCj92zA0tU

ephemerette said...

*clinks glass at summers wake* I welcomed back my black opaques and Malle musk ravager this week too. However, slight issue that the last two pairs of presentable tights I tried on seem to fit fine when I put them on, then loose all waistband elasticity at some point during my commute leading to a long awkward hobble from the station to the office. Back to M&S for Woolford rip offs I go.

Mrs Jones said...

Pay no attention to the miserablist commenters on The Guardians - 99.5% of them are arseholes. I shall go and say something nice.

My Tuesday has been most prolific, mainly because it turned out to be my oestrogen drop day. This means my Lady Moon Week will probably be starting tomorrow. (TMI? probably. Do I care? Not a jot). I lurve OD day as, for some reason, I get fired up with vast amounts of energy and get loads of stuff done. Today I spent two hours ripping out great handfuls of the garden, ironed everything that needed ironing while whistling a happy tune, then went for a 3 mile run. If I was like this every day I'd rule the fucking Universe within six months. Truth is, nothing else will get done now for about 24 days. *sigh*. Pass the gin...

Taxmom said...

Ahh, waffle, my husband has a total crush on you (he reads over my shoulder) and your description of panda peace negotiations will just deepen his ardor. Not to mention the though of you as a celebrity judge. He used to live close enough to the National Zoo (Wash DC) to visit the pandas and concluded that they were overrated. Tuesday verdict (but it is only mid-day here): mixed. Teenage child had a bike accident apparently caused by transporting worms and compost to school. Heard from a long-lost colleague, and may be one step closer to professional certification. No appointment to judgeships though.

H said...

OH MY DAYS judging a BAKE OFF! That is most exciting. (I may enter, or I may worry about it for a few weeks and then be too scared to do it.)

Tuesday was a good library day for me - although I wished the rain could have manned up and decide whether it wanted to rain or not - and I made a pork and apple dish which was tres comforting. Bring on the pies and stews of autumn!

cruella said...

Facegoop: So many commenters! Never mind the haters, they will always be there and display their ignorance for anything cultivated. Socratic dialogue is by the way the only thing that could ever get me to read about primers. I'm more of a Hagrid personne.

Tuesday: Mainly spent indoors fretting and looking at impossibly lagging online lectures on 9/11 (yes, following an course of sorts, never mind). Then lunch at a nearby and eerily empty mall (those new and never inhabited Chinese mega cities spring to mind) where I ate a what can best be described as a deepfried mountain with mayonnaise on top. When my husband came home I refused to cook dinner and fled downtown to the English bookshop. I'd been the good wife and shopped for groceries and chicken, or "chicken", as it turned out to be half a duck, hanging head and paddlers and all, slyly disguised in the package. There were leftovers that looked a bit like Yoda's hands. I hade some pasta and to lonely mangetouts.

Anonymous said...

Dearest B-Dubs: the rotten comments you get on your column are really no worse than so many others delivered against equally innocent and diverting food, lifestyle, and other columns. It may be hateful and tiresome, but it is the same vitriol levelled against any head that sticks itself above the crowd, apparently. I hope that makes it easier to take in some way - I really enjoy your (and M's) writing.
As a non-British person, my breath is quite taken away by just how vicious the commenters are in your journalistic tradition. What especially confounds me are the people who call for you to provide straight comparisons ONLY with no room for personality and character allowed in the writing at all. Why the hell would you write that column? What do they even think you're doing?
Also, I've noticed when you interject and engage with the more pleasant comments, it really does work to make the prats look extra bad. Here you are: reasonable, human, charming, and most of all, RIGHT THERE, not being anonymous and sneering. You win.

Courage!
-Jenertia

Xtreme English said...

the mind reels....judging a bake off! there is no way in hey that would ever happen to the likes of me. you do live a charmed life!

Your daily columns are fabulous. My
Tuesday....that was just yesterday, non? Not so bad. Had a suck of Jamieson's at that nice place in Dupont Circle, and bought a book! Major expenditures!!

Waffle said...

Jenertia - Yes, this is very true, writing in that kind of forum always gets this kind of response. It's interesting what you say about getting involved positively - that was the advice we got during training and tried to follow, so it's good to know that it does actually make the right impression!

Frau Antje Ahahahahahaha hip hop horse could totally score a goal.

Cruella - I am appalled by your Yoda duck. Sympathies.

bbonthebrink said...

I read 'unification' in your sentence '...symbolic act of unification, the pandas could be brought together to mate, ...' as UNICORNification. I'm not quite sure what this might be, but I think it may make the whole Peace Panda idea work.
I also think I need a coffee!

Anonymous said...

Please do ignore the po-faced commenters on the Guardian. Why take seriously anything said by people who feel justified in being nasty about a humourous (though informative)blog about make-up. Sigh, I bet you will have had someone asking "why is this news" - I say it again - ignore them and carry on amusing and informing the rest of us.

Ilona said...

If you're judging - I'm baking!