Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Crap claw*

Hello. It would be nice if I managed to write something more than once a week, wouldn't it? It doesn't seem to happen. I'm not doing more important things, but I seem only to have a halfway coherent set of thoughts every ten days or so. If that, frankly.

1. Dental

I have been to the dentist, which obviously, being a human being, I loathe and fear. Despite asking for my (mature, reassuring) dentist by name I yet again got a work experience dentist, but I liked this one. He was very small and neat and serious and sober and even though he spent an hour subjecting me to a variety of dental indignities which left my whole face sandblasted with tooth exfoliant, I quite liked him, to the extent that I pathetically asked if it would definitely be him when I go back next week for a filling (there's always a fucking filling, every time). It looks like I will survive this round of dentistry without someone deciding I need to have all my teeth removed and replaced with wooden pegs, which is always what I assume will be the outcome of each visit, so I am modestly pleased at having partially dodged the dental bullet.

2. Zoological

Animals in this household who are dicks:

(i) The weepette who is, as I type, transporting his food grain by grain to the rug to chew it partially, then leave it for me to stand on. And who also peed on the rug as I was carefully drying it after washing.

(ii) The rug, which although not an animal smells so strongly of wet, shitty arsed sheep, it feels like an animal.

(iii) The new tortoise who thinks she is a chicken and has not eaten anything since she arrived.

Stupid tortoise being a hen

(iv) All the fat stupid flies who have got stuck in here and cannot work out how to leave.

(v) The tiny fruit flies losing their shit because a single banana is slightly overripe. COOL IT, GUYS.

(vi) The tortoise who thinks it is a good idea to sleep underneath its water bowl.

(vii) Chickens, for undermining my anti-saxophone neighbour noise abatement strategy by being insanely fecking loud every morning.

3. Things that have been lost this week

(i) School issue swimming hat x 2.

(ii) Bescherelle (grammar guide, of which we have 3 other copies none of which are the right edition).

(iii) Swimming trunks.

(iv) All-important canteen card, €20 to replace.

(v) My temper, finally, with Brussels' surliest waitress (this is an unimaginably high bar, she should be very proud). UPDATE: This requires some clarification. When I say I lost my temper, all I actually did was say something very mildly huffy, and I'm not actually sure she even heard me,  but it still counts.

I will not enumerate the things that have been forgotten, they are far too numerous. All The Things, basically. I have decided to take the way of kindness and positive reinforcement with the above (well, not the waitress), which is all well and good and makes me feel fraudulently benevolent and calm like a smug barefoot white dreadlocked yoga instructor. The truth comes out at night when I grind my remaining teeth to stumps and dream of cadavers of which I need to dispose.

4. Impending chaos

This Friday I have to go from Brussels to London to Paris to Brussels in one day, for an article. Given my ambient anxiety levels are set to Perma-fret at the best of times, this is causing me some additional distress. For instance, I still have to find someone to have lunch in London with me on Friday, because I asked someone and they didn't reply, so now I do not know what to do. Maybe she will reply eventually, so I can't ask someone else because that would lead to awkwardness? But if she never replies, or if she says no, what will I do? Will one of you who is not a murderer whose dearest wish is to remove my face and wear it as a mask come and have lunch with me? Oh god. It's all too hard (= not hard at all for anyone with even a basic level of social function).

5. Language

I edited a document this week which had used the word "picnicking" where it was supposed to read "panicking". I think this is an excellent and desirable substitution. It was definitely the best bit of the document.

Text message from son:

That is all.


50% bath longing
20% alcohol longing
20% work-related testiness
10% child screen-time guilt


(*I'm just sourcing these from my gmail statuses henceforth)


breakfastlady said...

I LOVE your son's texts. 'hother'. How marvellous. I will always imagine your children speaking like Inspector Clouseau now.

Feel your dental pain sister. Am in middle of protracted course of very expensive wooden peg fitting to rectify dire work done by previous dentist. We should have known something was amiss by the fact that you could *always* get an appointment even if you phoned up 10 mins before you wanted one. Also by the fact that our teeth were falling out. Bah.

Sarah said...

Don't post more - in my redundancy blues I pretend reading blogs is almost the same as applying for jobs....but not....and without income - um, coming

soleils said...

(v) My temper, finally, with Brussels' surliest waitress (this is an unimaginably high bar, she should be very proud).

ER... HELLO? We need a full account; this is most intriguing.

Have lunch with me on Friday! (if you're *really* stuck, obvs)

Jane in SF said...

I would so have lunch with you if I still lived in London !

kt said...

Dental work bites....

Wish I were in London to dine wiz ewe.

ganching said...

Start saving for your 50s when you will be spending approximately 70% of your income on your teeth, if my experience is anything to go by. If by then you have a cat, which thankfully I don't, you will need an additional 80% for vet bills which basically means you have to choose between dentures or a dead cat.
I am "working at home" on Friday so available for lunch.

Waffle said...

Godammit, I would have loved to have lunch with all of you, Ganching, Soleils, and the people in other countries. I will just have to do this again.

The tooth thing is very depressing. Teeth are an evolutionary dead end, I am fairly sure.

JB_Kiwi said...

Pleeease tell us about the encounter with the waitress? Like Soleils said, we are most intrigued (and desperate for diversion!)!

Waffle said...

Ok, it's so dull.

I go to this place every week during F's Chinese lesson - it's the place that used to have the tutoie/vousvoie-ing waiter, who was at least friendly. He's now been replaced - it's been a few months - by this absolute harpy, who looks furious every time I walk in and says, every week "YOU CAN'T HAVE FOOD THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED" with a face like thunder, then proceeds to dispense the crappest, most grudging service of a cup of tea in the history of Belgium. I have tried tipping, it hasn't helped.

So she did it again this week, storming up to me and going "YOU CAN'T HAVE FOOD THE KITCHEN IS CLOSED" and this time I rolled my eyes and said "yes, I know, because I've been coming here every Wednesday at the same time for TWO YEARS". Then I also asked her for some milk for my tea, which is tantamount to kicking her in the shins, going by her reaction.

That was it. I don't think she noticed.

Sally said...

Ah, like everyone else, I would have loved to have lunch with you. We could have talked about horses...and riding...and chickens/sheep etc

...but I'm in Northumberland...


If you ever come up to the arse end of England I'm in!


JB_Kiwi said...

How very dare you ask for milk! The gall! I'm sure the waitress was terrified by your steely (?) tone and furious eyes.

Is there no place nicer to go during the Chinese lesson? You deserve to always have milk with your tea!

Anonymous said...

The waitress business reminds me of a particular bus driver on a route I often use: ever since my daughter was small and I had to navigate the bus with her pushchair, he has been unfailably surly and downright rude, every single time I have had the misfortune to get on "his" bus and dare ask for a ticket.
One day last year I became really exasperated when he snapped at me to move to the back just as I was putting my purse back into my handbag (he hadn't even resumed driving yet). I took a deep breath, summoning all the dregs of self-confidence I keep hidden in my toes and the tips of my fingers and blushing with the heat of a thousand suns. Somehow I managed to ask him, "Do you know how long you have been in this foul, grumpy mood?" He was very taken aback and could only stare at me in shock. "Let me tell you: you've been in this foul, grumpy mood for an entire decade, because that's how long I've had to put up with your attitude, ever since my daughter was born and I started going on this route". He muttered something incomprehensible and I said that I actually felt sorry for him. Some of the regular passengers that have also borne the brunt of his rudeness on countless occasions started to clap. One even patted me on the back as I sat down, flushed to the roots of my hair.

To be honest, I haven't had any more trouble with him since. He even pretends not to recognise me, although I'm certain that he hates my guts!

Seriously, some day just ask her what the hell is wrong with her and why she takes it out on her customers. Better still, go with a friend for moral support, look at her with a withering stare and then walk out.

Again, I would look for somewhere else to have tea, somewhere you'll feel at your ease. Life is just too short, and you had to crawl through that tunnel the other day, which is quite enough anxiety for the next six months, I imagine.

Anonymous said...

Another giggle-hysterically-at inappropriate-times-at-work-Belgian-Waffle-blog-post.

My down is that my daughter's school refuses to teach the biology class she opted and got a green light for, because they messed up the schedule. And they use this all too well known Belgian strategy of "the client is always wrong".

My up is that I saw a machine translation in an email from a bank, where "Madam" in "Dear Sir/Madam" had been translated into Swedish in its meaning "female brothelkeeper".


frau antje said...

Respect, Anonymous, and anyone who goes down a Belgian spider hole.

Typical trial by ordeal ongoing here, if my wounds fester I'm screwed. Not surprisingly, my noise abatement strategy is fairly dark, but there's not enough room in back to bury anyone, though it would go well with this year's gardening theme of vacant lot.

Apparent owner of the street repeatedly pumping up same flat tire with an air compressor, for weeks now. I want to draw him, Brueghel-style, with air hose coming out of his ass.

May have to fly to O'Hare, where they pulled me off into a separate room last time. No pressure, don't go all Kafka and start sweating like a drug mule. I feel guilty whenever I hear any accusation whatsoever, I feel like you think I want to wear your face and I have enough trouble keeping my own skin on as it is.

Unknown said...

If you ever come to Salisbury (visiting Stonehenge with the boys?), I'm available for lunch (or brunch, or dinner):-)

breakfastlady said...

I have to repost because I am so IN AWE of anonymous's run-in with the grumpy bus driver. I take my hat off to you lady!

Betty M said...

Am I seriously the only reader in london? If you are in the Covent garden area I'm free but I expect your real lunch date has appeared. Ah well.

Patience_Crabstick said...

If I lived in London, I would love to have lunch with you!

I saw this gif of an angry owl, stalking into a house under the window shade and I thought you would like it.

Xtreme English said...

for pete's sake, don't TIP that surly waitress. withhold your largesse until she is pleasant and helpful!!

Éireann said...

Oh my god, I love how his spelling is the best of all that is French, Dutch, and English.

Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle,
In case you haven't already heard, it appears that the EU will be hiring lawyers this month:
I have no idea if this might appeal to you but seeing as you already live in Brussels and have a legal background, I thought you might be interested. The job conditions for EU civil servants are usually brilliant and without the stress of the private sector, afaik. Just ignore this if it is not your cup of tea! ;)

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