Friday, 6 June 2014

Each elephant will need a fez

An odd few days. I feel faintly hysterical.

1. Turned up at editorial meeting for one of my regular gigs to be told that they no longer had a budget to pay writers. Any writers. But if we wanted to continue writing for free for 'visibility' we could. Hmm, let me think about that for not even a fraction of a second.

2. Finished proposal. FINISHED. Now what? Cross fingers. Possibly nothing will happen. Whatever happens, I now have to find some proper paying work as a matter of urgency.

3. Email from Prog Rock about our long-running financial etwas farce. APPARENTLY the Natwest now inform him, we can't get the bond we have been running about trying to acquire for months because... wait for it ... I am not a UK resident. Which was pretty obvious from our first conversation with them, not to mention all the 800 subsequent forms we filled in.

4. Two sheepish looking men in overalls knocked on the door this morning.

"Spreekt u nederlands, mevrouw?"

"Nee, sorry. Engels? Frans?"

Apparently neither of these. We turned to mime and they showed me how they had been replacing the streetlight cables when one of them broke and came crashing to the ground breaking our car to buggery. I had an excellent time filling in their Dutch insurance claim form, which was full of verzekeringattest this and achterzijde that. A couple of times we enlisted passers-by to act as ad hoc interpreters. It was highly entertaining. Well, for most the street's other residents, anyway. The woman who keeps trying to get us to give her eggshells had a right old laugh.

5. Made both children cry. Evil French grammar revision in one case  - we were both pretty much crying by the end of it - and a far too offhand, late evening announcement that violin teacher was leaving Brussels in the other. I had no idea he'd be so upset, I am an idiot.

6. Dog is having one of his periodic nervous breakdowns and follows me round the house, furtively, at a distance. He's not allowed upstairs so he sneaks up and hides behind the door which makes me repeatedly convulse with terror because I think there are burglars in the house.

7. Just for an encore, I've just this minute let a pan burn to a frazzle whilst trying to help L with his maths homework and the whole house is perfumed with burnt milk. Oh, and someone's doudou (comfort blanket) was left out and used as a paint rag by the builders, then washed by me to get rid of the scent of white spirit (twice) and left outside to dry where the fecking whippet has JUST PEED ON IT. It's clearly the kind of week where we should all be placed in a padded room.

Thank god for the Internet I say on days like this. Thank god, in particular, for M and for Liberty London Girl, who, unbeknownst to her, brought us together. This conversation wasn't even today (today was pickled wombats and creepypasta) but it did make me laugh.

M: When I die, I want to come back as Ella Fitzgerald.

E: That comes slightly out of left field, but fair enough. I'm coming back as the 18th century MP who rode a horse upstairs and out of a ballroom window and organised child rolling competitions.

M: YES. Wait. No. That would hurt.

E: It doesn't hurt when you've drunk 7 bottles of port.

M: Mmm, I bet my back wouldn't hurt if I drank 7 bottles of port.

E: Nope. You'd be riding horses out of ballroom windows in no time.

M: I’d love to ride a horse indoors. I need some toast from the kitchen. *gets on horse, rides to kitchen*

E: "A favourite horse, Baronet, had full and free range inside Halston Hall, and would lie in front of the fire with Jack." Yup. That’s the dream.

M: How did you find this Jack?

E: Horrible Histories.

"He arrived at a dinner party at Halston Hall riding a bear and when he tried to make it go faster the beast bit into his calf. His biographer 'Nimrod', Charles James Apperley described it thus: '‘He once rode this bear into his drawing-room, in full hunting costume. The bear carried him very quietly for a time; but on being pricked by the spur he bit his rider through the calf of his leg.’' Despite being bitten, Mad Jack kept the bear Nell as a pet. However, it later attacked a servant and Jack had it killed."

Man, the 18th century was AMAZING if you were rich.

M: You could do anything. Literally anything.

E: Kimye couldn't begin to compete.

"I need some elephants"
“Very good sir"
“Dress them in footmens’ livery"
“Very good sir"

M: “Each elephant will need a fez”.

E: “And a hurdy gurdy player to accompany their quadrilles"


62% pressing need for gin
20% hysteria
10% On strike for remainder of day
7% Absence of joining words in this post
1% Poor bra choice.



Sparkling Red said...

I definitely need some of those elephants.

Dr. Thomason said...

I am sorry you are having a crazy week! Gotta say it seems very . . . Belgian that the workmen had to ask what language you spoke before getting on with the explanation.

Me: 45% accumulated fatigue, 30% grading avoidance, 20% dried sweat, 5% overdue for haircut.

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

You finished the proposal! That is most excellent and laudatory in every way. I also finished a certain something I had been agonizing over far too long (not that you were, no aspersions are being cast) last month, and the euphoria over submitting it has now been replaced by vaguely pouty hurt feelings about the vast deafening silence which has followed. Hmpf. May this not happen to you, it is such an anti-climax.

You seem quite sanguine about the mishap with your auto; of course it is cheering when bad things are definitively someone else's fault.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that news and glad that you had the wherewithal to immediately refuse 'free' visibility. If it had been me I would probably have gone along with it to avoid a scene and then had to muster up the courage to call them and say I'd changed my mind.
Well done on finishing your proposal, keeping all my fingers crossed that you get a great deal. More people need to know about your writing! :)
I'm sure something better is bound to turn up soon. You deserve a lucky break.
For the moment, ditch the uncomfortable bra and have that gin.

Unknown said...

Seems 14 June is World Gin Day...

Kavey said...

Ah what a backdrop to meeting up, thank you even more for coming and our shared day discovery of the joy of Gramm! :-)

Patience_Crabstick said...

If I could go back in time to any period, it would definitely be the 18th century.

25% psoriasis
10% vitamin D ointment
65% remorse at having nervous breakdown at work yesterday.

Anonymous said...

This is why I follow you so devotedly dear Waffle - when life drops street lights on your car , your riposte is to send out for an elephant in a fez! And horses in ballrooms make me think of Cook and her trusty bicycle roaming the corridors of Malplaquet Palace in T H White's 'Mistress Masham's Repose ' - brilliant. 18th century flavoured comfort reading for trying times. :)

violet crumble said...

First thing that's made me laugh all day.

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