Monday, 23 June 2014

Scone Slapdown


I am very anxious at the moment. I want simultaneously to lie face down in the sunshine until the warmth leaches the dread out of my bones, to hide in the small space under the sideboard and to run away to a distant Yorkshire field. This time of year always seems to have this effect on me. I mean, it should be good, school ending, no fecking homework, no pieces of paper to sign, no small amounts of exact change to provide, no exam revision to chivvy along. And yet. I don't know. Maybe it's the insistent reminder of the passage of time, the lack of clear structure or simply my enduring horror of summer clothing. Maybe it's the way all the bills and the second quarter VAT return cluster around the end of June like a team of STIB ticket inspectors waiting at the barriers at Porte de Hal when you thought that just this once you'd chance it when your travel card was empty. Or maybe I have reverse seasonal affective disorder. Whatever. I feel deranged. It will pass, by 1 August as we board the magical mystery ferry to Hull for another fortnight of wholesome North Yorkshire isolation, crisps and gin, at the very latest.

My back is still unhappy. I need to learn how to sit properly, I am currently, and always, folded up into a bad tempered pretzel in front of my screen and now my back has said it will no longer tolerate this abuse. I have regretfully stopped the valium and good drugs. What now? Yoga? Bouncy ball? Stupid backless chair (ooh, we have two of those knocking around, I ought to try one)? Alexander Technique? My mum used to send me to that, it was bloody weird, some whispery woman on the first floor of a terraced house on the Hull Road making me lie with my head on a pile of books. I would have been fifteen or something. Why on earth did she make me go? I wish I could ask her.

If I am forced to spend another 24 hours on the "reply all" happy email string about the school end of year barbecue I will not be responsible for my actions.

Interestingly disgusting bumpy elbows, like a giant toad. The bumps, not the elbows. Do toads have elbows? Perhaps.

A large bunch of chard is perishing slowly and reproachfully in the fridge because I am too lazy to deal with it.


We bought a special chicken shit shovelling implement with a super long handle at the weekend and I am fully confident it will revolutionise my life.

No builders in the house for a week.

I ate a delicious melon today and when I finish this I am going to eat a promising looking mango.

My father was very touched that I wrote about him in the most recent Boots magazine ("There wasn't a trace of irony!"  "BECAUSE THEY WOULDN'T LET ME").

We had an enormously middle aged Sunday afternoon, buying said chicken entrenching tool and pottering round the city farm (goats prefer credit cards to leaves, it transpires) while we waited for F to finish at a birthday party, and ended up on the terrace of a rather chichi café in a park. The talkative man feeding his alsatian cubes of sausage at the next table suddenly leant across us and stared at the woman two tables across. "Is that .. a WEASEL?" It wasn't. It was a ferret, drinking water out of an ashtray. Then her companion brought out a tupperware box of ferret food and it ate that. Then we realised his shopping bag was wriggling and there was another ferret in it. The ferret lady was very calm and happy and the non-bagged ferret wriggled a little, had a sniff around, ate its food then fell asleep belly up on her lap, small pink feet in the air. We were all mesmerised.  Jane, I thought of you. My milkshake wasn't bad either.

Neither, really

Tonight I had to make scones because there is some kind of culinary slapdown going on at school and everyone has to bring in a dish of their country of origin. I am apparently up against: some Toblerones (cheating), popcorn, churros and .. some kind of Congolese vegetable. I don't fancy the scone's chances, but neither do I fancy the Congolese thing much, what with being a vegetable. I have burnt the scones, though, so.. hmm. It's anything goes week at school. F went on a "visite gustative" today (ice cream at the end of the road), whilst L did rather better with a trip up the Atomium, a hamburger at Quick (debatable whether this is better than anything) and a film. There is more 'bring a board game' style dicking around until Thursday afternoon, when we all have to dress up and get on the train and go and listen to my father give a speech whilst wearing some kind of massive ceremonial medal at the Japanese embassy.

A picture

La Dame aux Furets

55% Seasonal dread
20% Decay and infirmity
10% Late for hedgehog feeding
10% Going full hobo, sartorially
5% Purchase of 3 Muji nailclippers triumph. Say goodbye to insanitary fingerclaw shame.



Tamara Protassow said...

As a reader in the other hemisphere, I'm mainly composed of hatred for slush, rain freezing down the back of my neck, and annoyance at incessant roadworks on the way to school, thus:

60% Re-reading the severe weather warning current for my area. Continued disbelief that Australia produces sleet, snow in nearby places and damp cold like this. (Despite having grown up here)
20% Wishing someone else would light the fire
10% Planning to source hot chips for lunch
5% Pining for G&T but not late enough yet by about 8 hours
5% Cheered by hitting refresh on Waffle and there being a post! (This would be much greater, but misery visited on me by the weather encompasses all)

Flora Fauna Dinner said...

SO! EXCITED! Belgium clearly the land of my people! (Although Badger would have stolen the sausage cubes and picked a fight with the alsatian...)

alphabet soup said...

Thank you, thank you, for posting that photo...
I cannot wait for the last week in August when I might loiter on the terrace of a rather chichi café in a park somewhere in Belgium and wait for a ferret to arrive at a nearby table. It will make my journey absolutely worthwhile...

Ms Soup

breakfastlady said...

Hahaha at the 'visite gustative' and the ferret lady.

My two finish tomorrow, though you would think that I had about 10 months to get my work finished rather than ONE DAY, the way I'm faffing about. I even cleaned the bathroom window this morning. That is what I call devotion to the art of prevarication.

On the plus side, your captcha has become pleasingly undemanding of late. Instead of incomprehensible hieroglyphics it now just says 'What's this? Bet you can't get this one robotwoman' ---> 106 . Too easy Captcha. *short circuits*

Anonymous said...


I am fully understanding the angst. What is it all about? End of school year should yield loonies on summer beaches and late breakfasts and nonsense Special K moments with one's perfect family, but I am wholly on your side about this; I feel sad and bothered by the passage of time and the wondering as to how many more of these days I shall have with my tweens, and then I feel even more bothered by my dithery pathological fear of making any decisions whatsoever. Had some guys chop down a tree today - everyone (tween kids, and a little bit of me) in tears thereafter, though at the time I thought it the best idea ever (tree sick, live in a country where trees are like bog weeds blah blah). I am sunken in a mire of middle-aged flag, angst and night sweats. Such a joyful picture I paint!

But, you know what, there is safety in numbers - your confession re. your mental state today put me back in a place of sharing rather than abject self-loathing. So, Waffle, you are officially a psycho-therapist and/or counsellor , and your post today made me realize that we each and all feel these horrid little knots of woe and worry - and that, shared, the knots are just a smudge smaller.

Thou art a lifeline, Waffle.

Just sayin'


Anonymous said...


There are several peculiar typos on my comment but I am incapable of working out what I meant to say, as opposed to what I blithely typed.

So, just feel free to go with the slightly surreal flow…

Never stop writing. You are the very best,


ali_jane said...

Late to the game on this, but rather thrilled it mentioned both North Yorkshire and Alexander Technique. I went to Alexander Technique for my voice, and it cured the knee pain I'd been having since about age 13. Dearly wish my mother had sent me off there at fifteen.
Was in North Yorkshire Friday to Sunday. Highlights included watching uncle, who had set up fair stalls in the rain at 7:30 am, in sunshine at noon, get splashed all down the back with rain water the stall awning had been holding. None of us who waited for the fair weather affected. Also included highly aggressive cows, and someone setting their dogs on us while on a public footpath officially part of the "North Yorkshire National Park".

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