Saturday, 14 June 2014

The road safety armadillo

What, what.


Woke at 5 today and couldn't get back to sleep. So far I have: forgotten what side of the road to drive on. Forgotten how roundabouts work. Mistaken another car for my own in a car park containing only 2 cars. Walked at full speed into a bollard giving myself a huge black thigh bruise. I also had to manoeuvre a 2 metre long box (no, not a coffin, a blind) into and out of car and I think that has exhausted my remaining scant brain capacity for the day. I am furious and floppy and generally a failed human being. This, exactly this, is why my worst nightmares are all about having unexpected extra babies: the sleep deprivation.

Whichever idiot brought a family sized bag of Daim pieces into this house should be shot. I don't know what is wrong with that person.

Uccle has been driven demented by the sun. My neighbour - not the really mad one, just the benignly if profoundly eccentric one - has added some important mods to his bench: a pair of crossed saws on one end and a book holding contraption on the other.  He's now out there attaching a 12 inch record to one of the legs, for some reason. The ninja kicking granny walks down the street every morning around 10 and SCREAMS. There is a tortoise in my shoe (not the one on my foot). I walked past a grumbling hobo pulling a supermarket basket on wheels, glanced down, and saw that the basked was FILLED WITH PUPPIES. I just can't cope with the amount of crazy.

L's exams are next week and we are all suffering death by a thousand grammar exercises.

Once more, I spend the morning unblocking the lavatory with my untwisted coat hanger. Crazed with impotent rage and sleep deprivation, I storm downstairs.


F: (not looking up from Minecraft) It's that thing

Me: What? What thing?

F: The thing with the carapace. What's it called... le tatou.

Me: The .. the ARMADILLO???

F: Yes! The road safety armadillo.

L (joining in, delightedly. He is also playing Minecraft in a nest of his own making, composed of pillows, single socks and biscuit wrappers): Oh YES! The road safety armadillo! I think they're both in there.

Me: Let me get this straight. There are two road safety armadillos in the lavatory?

Both boys: (rapidly losing interest. There are redstone blocks to be mined): Yeah.

Me: How would that even happen?


Me (thwarted, confused): Oh.

(This is the road safety armadillo. During the annual road safety talk by Cathy et Jean-Philippe, the local police officers, you get a fluorescent tabard and a small plastic road safety armadillo)


F's passport arrived, only three weeks after we sent it off, which is little short of a miracle, given the ongoing saga of the UK Passport Office Delay Scandal. I can't quite believe our luck. Now we can all go to watch my father get decorated with something elaborate at the Japanese embassy in a fortnight, which promises to be ... strange. I will report back.

I spent ten amazingly pleasurable minutes yesterday watching the chickens fight over a piece of cheese rind. Occasionally one of them would just forget why they were chasing the other and stare at the sky or peck around for a minute, then the chase would resume.

F and I can now accompany each other in a stirring* rendition of La Marseillaise on violin/piano. This is bound to come in handy some day. (*dubiously tuned)

Good discussion with my Portuguese neighbour about her children - and children generally - growing up. Hers were a GREAT DEAL OF TROUBLE, with much weeping and lamentation, confrontations in the Parc du Caca and angst, lots of which I was party to, and now they are lovely. She especially enjoys the younger, gay one now, though she had a heap of trouble coming to terms with it initially. Now she is delighted, because his boyfriend is lovely and kind and gentle and polite and helps her out (he is - I met him last weekend and he was charming). This has made me really happy. There is hope for us all to survive the next 8 years of adolescence.

I have a giant choux à la crème to eat tonight, if I don't fall asleep with my face in it first.

This is a delight.


60% Foul mood of sleep deprivation
30% Pathetically stupid
10% Keen to celebrate World Gin Day in an appropriate manner.



Esme Weatherwax said...

Swimming round my bowl bumping my head on the sides, stressed, anxiety overload, just yuk. I'd much rather muck out stables than unblock a lavatory though. When bastard finals are finally done I'll send you pictures of ponies (just the one actually, my other is a Shire horse, but he's a poppet and loves his snuggles so counts as ubercute) and we can dream of getting more. My next adoptees are going to be called Rupert and Mister Fudge. Happy happy days.

Anonymous said...

Is your car back in action? I thought it had been crushed by a falling electricity cable. Quick work if it has been fixed already!

Have you seen this owl?


Esme Weatherwax said...

Until then:

Waffle said...

Jane - v Belgian story: they have replaced the windscreen but can't do the bodywork because of a massive backlog due to freak hailstorms. But of course. Fantastic owl!

Esme - Oh god. Like a dog but VASTLY SUPERIOR.

Anonymous said...

I really sympathise with you on the impending exams. To hell with all that pressure on our kids!

My daughter finished hers last week and the sigh of relief exhaled in our house could probably have been heard all the way to Belgium. I was delighted to see her spend an entire afternoon lying on her bed reading a ridiculously silly David Walliams book and cackling every few minutes rather than groaning in despair while cramming yet more random facts into her brain.

Do you think I should introduce her to this Minecraft of which you speak? As well as being engrossing and fun, it's probably very good for spatial and abstract thinking, right? Or should I let her continue on blissfully ignorant of Minecraft and all it entails? What would you say the upsides and downsides are?

As for growing up: yes, they do turn out to be OK for the most part, your Portuguese neighbour is right. So much of the small stuff is really not worth getting worked up about (such as exam results in primary/ lower secondary).

Let's face it, 11-14 year olds have a whole lot of things that are more important than grammar rules and random capital cities or rivers going on in their heads: they're building their personalities, block by block (like Minecraft, right?) and that takes a lot of work, effort and concentration.

That thought came to me the other day, mid-rant at my daughter for some small grievance. I actually bit my tongue to make myself shut up and stop nagging at her.

And now I should probably shut up and stop rambling here!

Patience_Crabstick said...

It's nice to hear that it all worked out for your Portuguese neighbor. Teens are charming, but they can be so, so awful. Some days all you can do is be grateful they are still alive.

40% Vitamin D deficiency
50% Obsessively staring at psoriasis to see if it's improving
10% vague anxiety about nothing

Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes said...

Spend yesterday in a Centre Park's, filled with Dutch and Germans.
Still shaking...

Guenevere McMahon said...

Lamenting having missed World Gin Day, I must now go and do penance.