Wednesday, 26 February 2014


If a vicious wave of cold hits Northern Europe this week, it is because I have prematurely removed the furry lining from my parka, not heeding the proverbial recommendations about casting of clouts/découvre-ing fils too early. Sorry about that.


My legs have just given up, after yesterday's shoe punishment. They are angry, unyielding sausages of wrath even though I have surrendered them to the forgiving embrace of M&S comfort soles. Nothing makes me feel more decrepit than my recent enforced acceptance that I can no longer cope with a vicious heel.

I am eating like a pig.

My neighbour is still a Jamiroquai and U2 listening, unhinged, dick.

I have to woman up and deal with a work thing I am being utterly shit and craven about. Actually, there are probably tens of work things I am being shit and craven about, but I have a particular one in mind.

The pointless, improbable running away fantasies are strong presently. We will all live in a bothy and raise grouse, or goats, or guinea fowl or something. We will live off stewed heather and carrion and peaty spring water and will not need possessions or money or electricity, and will live a simple life of contemplation in harmony with the land, etc etc etc. Bollocks. I would be running away to the nearest supermarket/wifi network within hours. Nevertheless, the fantasy persists.


It is warm enough to make unwise vestimentary decisions. One of my narcissi is out plus a tentative half crocus. I think the hedgehog must have eaten all the rest before expiring, happy in a job well done, much in the manner of the previous incumbent of the role of dark garden destroyer, Satan.

We tried a new cafe whilst F was being grilled in preparation for "EXAMEN INTERNATIONAL DE CHINOIS" (this is how his teacher describes it, in a manner calculated to create the maximum fear in both of us) and it was really quite nice, with shelves of second-hand books and decent coffee.

I'm having a great streak of reading (see "Reading" page) and basically want to be in bed buried in a book all the time.

The two parcels I thought were lost have finally turned up. We are all ok for socks now! Hold the emergency socks.

The tragopan's approach to romance is hilariously terrible. No, hang on, this is worse (dear seal, I would skip the inflated nasal membrane stage and go straight to "physical violence").

An entertaining misunderstanding on gchat earlier led me to imagining "a howling vortex of quail". Would you consider this a good or a bad thing? I am on the fence. What would you fill a howling vortex with?


Anonymous said...

Duh, quail.

Fresca said...

Might it be cheering to know that here (Minneapolis, MN, USA), it's supposed to be 2ºF (-17ºC) tomorrow, with wind-chills near -29 (pretty much the same F or C)?

Thanks for the link to the James Wood essay--I'd read his novel _The Book Against God_ and thought it disappointingly juvenile, but this article is redeemably grown-up stuff.

Accidental Londoner said...

I'd fill it with books and tea, for sure. Currently with 'Love, Nina' by Nina Stibbe - have you read it? Delightful letters from a young Nina Stibbe whilst nannying for Mary-Kay Wilmers in NW1, London. It is full of charming conversations, household dramas and kitchen suppers with Alan Bennett. Divine reading for vortices.

Waffle said...

AL - Oh god, I read Love, Nina on a flight and kept laughing out loud, causing massive irritation to my neighbours. Funniest thing I've read for years.

Fresca - OH GOD OH GOD OH GOD that is appalling.

J. said...

It's tropical here in Chicago: we've already hit today's high (8 degrees F). I would fill a howling vortex with polar bears. It has been a bitter disappointment to me and my toddler son that the repeated waves of polar vortex cold have not also included a polar bear or two. I hear they need a new place to live, and the Great Lakes are almost 90% frozen... I would love to be driving down Lake Shore Drive, glance over at Lake Michigan, and see giant bears frolicking on its frozen surface. They could eat the lake path joggers if they run out of fish, or the people participating in those ill advised polar plunge events.

Xtreme English said...

J.: 8F is subtropical. 25F is tropical here in the city of Satan. except we have a wind, which means Nanook of the North sez it's 17F....
Polar bears on Lake Michigan? Excellent idea!! They wouldn't have to work so hard for their suppers. And they could float on a nice floe to Indiana, come spring breakup, and dine on farmers.

breakfastlady said...

Is it supposed to be a howling vortex of things to be sucked off forever into the void? Or things you would like delivered into your lap pronto? If the former, I'd like everybody involved in the Scottish independence referendum debate to be hurled with great force into it. I can't wait until September, and am heartily sick of the whole thing, yeay or nay.

If the latter I'll need some time to come up with something suitable (though ten pound notes would be a good starting point) Funnily enough, we had a long conversation at dinner last night in which we were informed by oldest b-boy that tornadoes could pretty much suck up anything (in eg Florida) and later rain it down upon someone else (in eg Glasgow). His example: frogs. My query: elephants? (answer = yes). Smallest b-boy's thoughts on the matter: jelly beans would be good. Amen.

Ilona said...

OH MY GOD - that is the most intimidating cafe website I've ever seen!

Patience_Crabstick said...

I love your idea of running away and living off the land! I have similar, improbable fantasies and even went so far as to create a reading list of books by people who have actually done this.

Rachel said...

Get a grip! If you're going to run away and live off the land, go somewhere hot, where you can lounge on white beaches in the shade of whispering palm fronds and eat seafood and tropical fruit, non?

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