Tuesday, 29 April 2014
- My thought for the week is that I am finding middle age oddly tiring. It's not tiring in the sense that working in a Nigerian sawmill or having a newborn is tiring, obviously, but the constant questioning of oneself, one's role in the universe and one's distinct lack of achievement, like the nagging intro to a self-help book, is wearing me out mentally. Is this just me? I hope not, I've convinced myself it's an age-related phenomenon. Anyway, the net result is that I can no longer sit in front of a repeat of Come Dine with Me without some nagging voice in my head saying 'what are you DOING? Your time on this earth is finite and almost certainly half spent and you are wasting hours watching a halfwit in Norwich put things in ramekins. What is WRONG with you? Tick tock, tick tock SOON YOU WILL BE DEAD'. I assume this is evolutionarily necessary on some level and perhaps it will eventually result in some achievement rather than merely a baseline of constant self-loathing, but it is also exhausting. I find myself nostalgic for the ability to lose three days to watching 98 episodes of Buffy (which is a totally worthwhile use of time, in fact), or to getting disgustingly drunk and then hungover and napping in bed whilst eating crisps. Guilt-free idleness, this is what I crave.
(Middle aged brain now says: why are you writing a blog post, especially one of those listy, pointless ones that no one gives a shit about? ACHIEVE SOMETHING. It's exhausting in here)
- The Massive Fucking Jigsaw is nearly completed (clearly the Massive Fucking Jigsaw is a totally futile endeavour; the middle-aged brain seems ok with that, mysteriously), but I am now 100% convinced there is at least 1 piece missing. It would actually be astonishing if there were not at least one piece missing, given it has been sitting on the coffee table in front of the telly for three weeks, being used as (i) a mat for tv suppers (ii) a tail rest for idiot canine (iii) dinner for the Roomba. I'm not sure if my fragile psyche can stand this disappointment. What do you mean, it's not even my jigsaw? Shut up.
- The dog is having one of his unfortunate periods of intense gastric disturbance and the rat has become mildly incontinent and the chickens have defecated all over the garden and I am the only one who ever clears it up, so basically I now live in a house of shit. No amount of Farrow & Ball can make this ok. If I devised a game of pet Top Trumps, currently NO ONE WOULD WIN. Except maybe the hedgehog, who is at least immensely discreet.
- My eldest son turns twelve on Saturday, so I asked him what birthday cake he would like and his response was "can I have a large phoenix?"
"Well!" I said, simultaneously appalled and entertained at the prospect. "I'll certainly give it my best shot. Should it be emerging from flames?"
"No" he said. "You know, a Phénix."
The Phénix is a cassis mousse cake from the highly superior bakery down the road. My son wants a bought cake, because mine are amateurish and embarrassing and I am now entirely redundant. However, I don't need to try and create a phoenix from sponge, so yay/sob.
- My younger son passed his EXAMEN INTERNATIONAL DE CHINOIS with 92,5% (wonderful) but is not happy about it because he thought he could do better. Hmm, this is familiar. Welcome, son, to the perfectionists club, where your achievements will never quite have the lustre you imagined. It's a shame, because kid done good. I have tried to big it up, but he has moved on, with teeth clenched. Level 3 awaits.
- Thank you for your absolutely lovely comments on the last post, which were very, very much appreciated.
- My friends are funny:
E: Gah, people.
B: PEOPLE ARE THE WORST. BRING ME KITTENS AND OSPREYS. But .. possibly not at the same time? That could lead to catastrophe. BRING ME KITTENS, SOME CAGES AND TWO BABY OSPREYS.
- This on the comfort of compassion-joy (it's funny, not some new age bullshit).
- I am completely absorbed to the point of mild obsession in Far From The Tree, which is brain-expandingly fascinating. Have you read?
- We had to go to the junior nerd science fair on Saturday for my junior nerds to show off their projects, neither of which was actually finished, indeed F's rocket project had finished on a roof some weeks previously and was irretrievable, a victim of its own success. The Fair was most entertaining, I tried some healthy, vegan, natural M & Ms created by some enthusiastic and earnest thirteen year olds from Ath, which were probably the vilest foodstuff ever to cross my lips, ate mealworm cake, watched super-conductors doing ... stuff and tried to guide the boys away from the sex toy expo which was happening in the same place at the same time, oh, the potential for hilarity. I find the science fair strangely heartening, because clearly these nerds are our future overlords and I for one welcome them and their strange, mainly benign, enthusiasms that may eventually save our fucked up planet.
- Bought a Marcolini eclair this morning just because I happened to be walking past the shop, like some kind of unbridled hedonist.
- Frozen brussels sprouts thrown into large frying pan with hot oil, garlic and red chili, then left to singe for 15 minutes with the occasional toss or spatula poke, served with Beurre de Noirmoutiers aux cristaux de sel melted on top are delicious (fresh would also be delicious, but I, and my vegetable crisper filled with unspeakable rotting biomatter, know my produce limitations).
- Seeing Prog Rock on Thursday for another attempt at etwas. Apparently he spoke to the Natwest branch manager this morning who told him happily he had just discovered they could print the relevant form they could not find last time off from the Internet! YOU DON'T SAY. I'm putting this in 'up' because I will be happy to see PR, not because I will be happy to renew my acquaintance with the bumbling carnival of idiocy of Natwest, obvs.
30% fatigue morale
20% marvel at new battery life
10% regretted muffin
10% nap longing
5% eclair anticipation
5% want to be this lady