Thursday, 30 January 2014


I had a plan when I gaily declared I would write a whole post without complaining today, but the planned thing isn't turning out quite as funny as I'd hoped, and requires more work/inspiration, so I am thrown back on old fashioned SUCKING IT UP and turning everything into sparkling unicorn rainbows (actually, today was fine).

Things that have happened today with a positive spin:

- I had the most heavenly cup of tea half an hour ago. You know (or you don't, because you are not British, but trust me on this), the cup of tea that just hits the spot with pinpoint accuracy. BOOM. Oh man. Platonic tea.

- Kacy, the politest horse in Belgium, was lying down when I went to see her this lunchtime and she looked enormously sweet, tucked up in her rug. She is also the softest, most conker shiny horse I have ever met.

- I managed not to go to a 90 minute school meeting that apparently largely revolved around the thorny issue of The Maths Exam That Did Not In Every Particular Resemble The Revision List Distributed. This has been the subject of a lengthy and ill-humoured email string (in which I took no part other than scrolling through with increasing incredulity) already. I didn't avoid the meeting - which was supposed to be about something entirely different - deliberately, but my heart is intensely glad that I missed it.

- Good dinner (artichoke and broad bean lasagne, did the children eat that, I hear you ask? Hahahahaha did they fuck).

- Trip to Chinese with smallest is always very jolly. We take a tram and then a metro and then we walk down the scuzzy Chaussée d'Ixelles and there are SHOPS and PEOPLE. Then, while F is drilled on characters, I wander the streets, or sit in a cafe and drink something nice and look at the people and the shops. It's total sensory overload after a week in Uccle looking at pigeons and mud and occasionally walking down the end of the road and looking at the 1950s shop full of flesh coloured support garments for ladies. F is preparing for "EXAMEN INTERNATIONAL!" as his teacher calls it, which is in Ghent in March and both of them are taking it extremely seriously. So I pick him up and listen for five minutes as they go over the seven hundred variation of zhe and nar and then we leave and the sky is deep, deep blue and it's not especially cold and we stop off in ZigZag, F's favourite shop full of hideous €1 tat, then we stop off in the chip shop, then we go home and the fire is still alight and L has returned safely from his solo trip to guitar (this is new and terrifying and punctuated with laconic-stroke-mocking text messages from him at my feverish anxiety) and the Roomba has not ingested anything critical.

- Following Eireann's example, I'm going to add a page of stuff I've been reading on here. Even if it's only Scandinavian murders.

- This, near us, looks like good, good news:

- I have started Penelope Lively's memoir (£1 in the amazing Kindle sale earlier this month) and it is lovely.

Feel free to add either lovely things or complaints to redress the balance of the universe in the comments.


Xtreme English said...

Glad you're back, Waffle!! World is not the same without you!

Scunder said...

Tomorrow I depart for Copenhagen and with that will report back on any sightings of Saga Nøren and her ilk.
Intending to eat copious pastries whilst regarding the Øresund bridge . ( The Actual Bridge) Be still my dark scandi crime-addicted beating heart!
Probably won't pack my neoprene Jump suit.
Marcus Brigstocke really got a bum deal in the costume dole out.
Very good news about the Eclaires Gourmandises.

Sal said...

Kacy is beautiful. I hope you sniffed her as you stroked the conker velvet. My hairy marys are boughtered in mud, though still wanted cuddles and their bits scratched when I crossed the yard in work clothes just now. I have a boutiquey coat with random buttons and toggles which survived the standard frisking for biscuits, so all's well. Pretty much every attempted comment evaporates, but I wanted to tell you again how I love to read your wonderful words. And yes, whilst you are AMAZING at the entertaining, articulate moan, sunbeams are very welcome too! X

Xtreme English said...

cute horse!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Oh yes I also have had the brief, reassuring/alarming text messages from offspring out in the big world!
My practical & mostly sensible middle boy set off on a tramping adventure far from civilisation with friends (all about 18 years old), which started with a 3 hour ferry ride across the waters of Cook Strait Not a problem for the daily ferries, but I was a bit concerned that a cold southerly front surged through, he not having packed a wind-proof jacket because it is summer. I sent an over-cheery message enquiring after the journey so far, to which his reply was, "Oh no, capsized!" I heard no more from him for 5 days (out of cell phone range). Of course the weather was gorgeous where he was, and water taxis carried the heaviest stuff to their next campsite each day.
This same teenager has also sent texts requesting a pickup because "I'm tired from protesting", carrying a placard in the rain in some protest march or other - there's always something to march about these days!
Heather (NZ)

Unknown said...

Thanks for mentioning the P. Lively memoir--will seek out--so that I don't go to my grave with no further reading than the bleak Skando crime roster which absorbs my time, too.

Have been reading some set in Iceland--the Gunnhilder series--and have to say compared to most they are almost comic--largely because Iceland appears to be not much more populated than the town I live in and everyone knows everyone and there are few ways off the island;)

breakfastlady said...

It's no wonder our Januarys are all so bleak with all the Scandi-crime (I'm reading Burial Rites atm, all windblasted 19thC Icelanders). Having said that, we only discovered The Bridge this week and have been gorging ourselves on double episode catch-ups all week. So that's lovely.

Also lovely: Vic and Bob's new TV series House of Fools. Gleefully absurd and really wonderful if you like that sort of thing.

LOLing at Heather's teenage son. :)

frau antje said...

To stop the world going off its orbit, and because you are not the only one "on the verge of finding satisfaction, like worms, in mud and water"--must say I am forced to make a semimonthly pilgrimage to witness some (limited) urbanity. There, that was, um, positive, no?

Also, there is a forthcoming EU decree that the entire continent must take a brief course in acoustics. Don't worry about the Swiss, they have all those bomb shelters, if they want some peace and quiet.

Waffle said...

Scunder - OH MAN I am very jealous. Pastry. Blankets. No curtains. Death.

Heather! I would have disinherited him!

Esme - Please can I see a picture of your muddy equines?

BL - God, I loved Burial Rites (in a wholly traumatic way). And had forgotten about Vic & Bob! IPlayering tonight.

Frau Antje - I look forward to our acoustic training. Belgium may need additional, remedial classes. Rattrapage and so on.

Faye said...

UPSIDE: I had a truly lovely thing (bacon-Gruyere scone) with a truly lovely newish friend this morning BUT, DOWNSIDE it was -7 F/ -22 C outside (apparently, we've reached the End of Days) and the coffee shop offered truly inadequate heat such that my feet became blocks of ice and I needed to wear two scarves.

UPSIDE: The sun is shining brightly; not a cloud in the sky. DOWNSIDE: That's because of the soul-crushing arctic cold front.

Patience_Crabstick said...

I don't think I have ever read a Penelope Lively novel. I should check her out.

This is not a complaint, just a huge drama that happened to day that I have a burning need to tell the internet: My daughter left Thursday to spend the semester in Cape Town. On her 11 hour flight from Amsterdam to Cape Town, she threw up nearly 30 times and had to be given IV fluids on the plane. Then today, (Friday) the school had her admitted to some sort of urgent care place for more IV fluids. She is well now, but it has been very stressful.

Anonymous said...

Having watched it last night, I can thoroughly recommend the Chilean film "Gloria" directed by Sebastian Lelio. You won't be disappointed, Gloria is a force of nature. Best film I've seen in ages!

Unknown said...

Re: tea, you reminded me of a funny tweet, that went: I made the most perfect cup of tea. Now I'm scared to make tea, as I know it won't measure up.

carolinefo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
carolinefo said...

I am now walking a lovely lurcher called Molly along by the river 3 times a week, which is exceedingly good for both of us.

I had a dinner party last night for the first time since I got ill at the end of 2012. I'm getting my life back

I made Nigella's lemon almond polenta cake for said dinner party, which was a bit of a risk as I'd never tried it before, and it was a TRIUMPH. Seriously delicious.

All these things have made me feel very happy indeed.

Waffle said...

Cfo - This is all filling me with joy. Lurchers! Cake! PARTIES. So delighted xxxxxxx

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