So, so busy (not a down in itself, I grant you, far from it), because half term next week, and last minute wild cards thrown in by the children, viz "I need 40 cupcakes for tomorrow morning" or "I need to transcribe the first ten bars of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik though I don't really know how to write music (but I will fight you tearfully to the death if you suggest gently I may conceivably have got any part of it wrong)", or "we both need to bring a pump action soap dispenser to school tomorrow as a matter of urgency" (I kid you not) or maybe just an extended bout of sibling taunting, or the poking of the dog with a crochet hook, or perhaps an escaped rat. Also a wildcard: butter so wildly, unexpectedly salty that the aforementioned 40 cup cakes taste like a bad Heston Blumenthal experiment. No, I did not start again. We just put more sweets on the top.
Buying a swimming costume is just awful. Sure, major department store lingerie department, you only have 5 swimsuits because it's not the summer and WHO would want to swim in any month other than August, but must all five be so bloody awful, and in such arbitrary and unhelpful sizes? "WHO" I ranted to M "Is a bloody thirty four top, bottom and all over? NO ONE". I bought one, which makes me look like a Ukranian grandmother. It made me angry. The ghastly cubicle strip lighting playing over my porridgey thighs made me angrier still.
No one in Belgium answers their emails, which is difficult for a pitiful phone phobic. Worse still, are the ones who answer their email ONCE, then disregard any further attempt to progress discussion/arrangements. I am exhausted from willing people to answer their damn emails, an exercise in magical thinking that has thus far resulted in absolutely no success whatsoever.
In an act of saintly and superhuman self-sacrifice I have saved watching the Great British Bake Off final until we are all home, which means 24 hours of social media purdah (no bad thing in itself), and the sure and certain knowledge that SOMEHOW, I will end up spoilered despite these precautions.
My skin is having its twice yearly breakdown. Dear skin, I am sorry about the central heating and the rain and so on, now STOP BEING A DICK. One of my eyes has gone manky and bloodshot and weeping too, so I look like a crap Halloween costume.
My working life seems to break down currently into 70% requesting pictures from recalcitrant Belgian businesses, 10% guilt and inadequacy from multiple origins and 10% totally forgetting about the big picture (assuming there was one once).
The Belgian postal service have stolen the expensive Sisley eye cream sent to me for testing, and I am furious (I have still not been reimbursed for The Lost Boots of Tragedy). Where is the Belgian 'Watchdog' or 'You and Yours', hmmm? Dead of overwork, probably.
Went into town to test a café today (some distance away), reached distant cafe, reached into handbag for purse, purse not there. Cue a sweaty and terrified forty minute trip straight back in the other direction praying I had just forgotten it. I had just forgotten it, thankfully. Is that an up? Maybe, despite the wasted hour and a half and loss of several months off my life in cortisol poisoning.
Weekend without work (are this, and the first 'down' point related? Almost certainly), with long walk in the near-Brussels Belgian countryside, which was looking very pretty.
Here is a child collecting chestnuts:
And here is another child sulking with a whippet:
Seconds after I took this picture Oscar leant casually forward and ate half of L's dinner in an impressively fluid and speedy movement. It was like he had been working up to that moment his whole life. I couldn't even get angry, it was so comical.
Nice drink at La Mort Subite with Ms McD last night, where I was repeatedly scorned by the old whiskery waiter for ordering a Kir, after some arbitrary unwritten cut off point in the evening when Kir is no longer an acceptable beverage. And a lovely walk back in the balmy (it is weirdly mild at the moment) night, through the Galeries de la Reine where the chocolate shops were still open at eleven, and the Grand Place, looking beautiful and full of slow moving tourists, then onto the gaping maw of hell that is Bourse metro, where a man was explaining cheerily to his not-at-all-interested neighbour that he had "episodes of pyschotropic distortion" because of all the weed he smokes. That bit was not really an 'up' but getting home unscathed from a trip on the late night number 4 tram is.
A lunch entirely composed of tea and cake today.
A commission that I actually really want to do, though I have already reached the point of knowing too much about it, which usually makes for really boring reading, but enough relentless negativity. It's a good gig.
It's Halloween at the hairdressers and this owl is totally ok with that.