Thursday, 20 February 2014

Communist spiders drank my spinal fluid

Hai. It's been ages. I'm not in the best of moods, quite honestly (I feel like this cushion, which M rightly says is my spirit animal), but let's soldier on.

- I have had to unfollow the Belgian pandas Hao Hao and Xing Hui on Twitter because of their ceaseless jolly banter. They haven't even arrived yet (they arrive this weekend) and I am already getting irritable with them. Simmer the fuck down, pandas. Honestly, I would never have imagined pandas to be quite so relentlessly upbeat: I mean, god knows, they don't look upbeat, do they? Mainly they look like they're in the muffling grip of a catatonic depression the like of which one could not hope to alleviate with mere bamboo. If I were running this Twitter feed (and frankly, I should be and this rant is jealousy), I would have voiced them as gloomy Russian romantic novel characters, filled with heavy existential angst and the ennui of a life of stultifying privilege. Admittedly, that might have been a minority taste in social media terms. LOLpandas are obviously where it's at.

- I have some kind of growth/spot/protuberance on my forearm which I assume must be a nest of dangerous spider babies. I checked with M who agreed.

E: I'm going to sell my story to Real People: 'Spiders Nested in my Arm!'

M: Communist spiders.

E: Yes, you're right. I can't really hope for the £100 cash prize for just spiders. 'Communist spiders drank my spinal fluid!'

- I am experiencing dog walking awkwardness. There is a woman I really don't want to walk with (she is very racist) and I keep trying to time my dog walks to avoid her. This is proving impossible. Regardless of whether I go early or late she is ALWAYS THERE (conclusion = she walks her dogs for a really fucking long time), and the dog walking area is too small to avoid her, so .. ugh. Awkwardness. My morning dog walk was my moment of peace (and/or bitter self-flagellation) and now it is a very British dance of social awkwardness, which is what I spend the other 95% of my time doing and really, I did not need more of that in my life.

- I can't bring myself to tell you about the Imminent F Birthday Chickens yet, but suffice to say that I only have about three weeks left before a whole new raft of feathery problems enter my life. However I can tell you that we have managed to make a brand new shiny chicken coop purchased on the internet look like a hideous makeshift favela dwelling, simply with our poor construction skills and some supposedly "clear" weatherproofing that turned out to be pitch black. Oh god, oh god, more animals.


- I love this essay by James Wood "On Not Going Home", about the "light veil of alienation" of life as an expat. It has lots of things I have half thought, far more elegantly expressed than I could ever muster.

- I am also really loving this blog which is a very beautiful combination of sensuous, evocative food writing and sharply observed but forgiving mental health writing.

- I have nearly finished Mrs Hemingway and it is absolutely delightful, even though I do not have any particular interest in Hemingway at all. It is the story of his four wives, basically, across forty years and Hemingway himself seen through that prism. It is very beautifully written and cleverly constructed and draws you right in even if you think Hemingway is a bit of a tool (DEAR LORD what a tool).

- It is totally spring today. Can it possibly last? Let us say it will and soon we will be gamboling through the woods picking bluebells and not skulking through the woods avoiding other dog walkers. I took an enforced alternative route on my dog walk this morning and it concluded with me having to wrestle a drool coated barbecue rib from Oscar's mouth with my bare hands and I say ENOUGH.


Grace said...

I loved that James Wood piece too. Going to send to my mother, who despite being British has spent half her life living elsewhere, yet still feels distinctly homesick.

ganching said...

I fell asleep while reading that article last night. Luckily I was reading it in the LRB and not online. My falling asleep was due to exhaustion and nothing to do with the quality of the article. I feel constantly homesick for a home that no longer exists.

Anonymous said...

Sending you a tidal wave of mood-lifting thoughts and warm spring sunshine. That cushion is amazing.
Thank you for the wonderful reading recommendations, perfect for the precious quiet moments after the day is officially over, the barrage of emails has ceased and I can exhale, relax and read something just for the pleasure of it and not for work.
May today be a good day for everyone!

Anonymous said...

I would SO follow the pandas if you were their social media mouthpiece.

WT Softie

Stacy said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who has to wrestle from the dog's mouth some disgusting piece of food (or worse) found out on a walk.

And pandas definitely are not upbeat and cheerful. Gawd.

Anonymous said...

Can't you tell the racist woman what you think of her and be done with it? Then it will be she who avoids you, oh what power!

Barring that you could do something that you know will repulse her, same result, less confrontation.

Good luck with the chickens!

frau antje said...

I am also being tortured by a backward woman, and yes, it seems like ENOUGH already (insidiousness and all).

James Wood is right about the sound of America (and officials at airports having undue affect on people).

Take it easy.

Just kidding. My bitchy resting face can be seen from outer space. I don't go around telling people to take it easy. Well, here, here's a picture of it. The snake eye in the lower right hand corner. That's just me in standby mode. I don't even get to be in the same frame as the whippets.

Waffle said...

Ha, Anon, there speaks a well-adjusted human. My kind just skulk and obfuscate and create bewilderment.

Frau A - Are you devouring everything in that picture? It suits you. The whippets look suitably vacuous and bored.

Margaret said...

It got up to 45 degrees today! I can taste spring. Except I think we're getting another shot of polar vortex next week. I can't take much more. The entire metro area is a pothole. There's a pothole in front of my building that looks like it leads to Hell. It's really more of a sinkhole than a pothole.

What if when the dog woman says racist things you just kept replying, "I'm so sorry, what did you say?" like you can't hear/understand her. I don't know, I'm just blathering because I'm so pleased to see a new post!

The Reluctant Launderer said...

I am the QUEEN of awkwardness and found self in same racist situation a while back. After the Nth 'dark' comment I simply said - would you mind not speaking like that around me, I find it really offensive. Bam, problem solved. (I couldn't sleep for DAYS before hand, gripped as I was with confrontation anxiety. But it was actually easy, and made me feel great. And best of all the racist was totally mortified)

Anonymous said...

I would also follow Russian existential angst pandas, upbeat pandas are just wrong.
I love that cushion, but in an attempt to cheer you briefly (only because you cheer me up regularly and I'd like to return the favour, not in a Pollyanna 'everyone must be cheerful style')
beautiful heroic owls!

Waffle said...

HERO OWLS! I love them.

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