Friday, 19 December 2014

Feck the halls

First things first - my eye is fine. It - ew, sorry - sort of exploded painfully on Sunday and has been steadily improving since. The cold sore is not improving but mainly because I can't leave it alone. If I continue to recover at this rate, I may be able to appear in public without a paper bag over my head by Christmas. Wehey! Not that it is necessary to be presentable in York at Christmas, there are only 2 hours of daylight and during those hours everyone is trudging up and down Parliament Street wearing fleece and eating Yorkshire Fat Rascals and/or filled Yorkshire puddings, then standing outside superlative hardware store Barnitts and wondering at their display of plastic squirrels (oh god, I cannot WAIT to join them).

That may be the only thing that is improving. Other factors:

I am in the middle of an assignment that requires me to trudge around Brussels in pursuit of elusive, possibly imaginary food trucks in the rain (which is constant and unrelenting, the back yard looks like the Somme and the stupid hens are bedraggled). The number of food trucks required keeps increasing, whereas the number of food trucks capable of answering a telephone or email remains stable at 'vanishingly few'. Today has been a new low, wild goose chase after non-existent food truck in the rain (obv), still have about 5 more to try and track down, socks are wet, spirit wetter.

My elder son has been on the sofa without moving/dressing for ten days already, during which time he has sent me every LOLcat in existence. His last email to me contained 67 jpegs of cats dressed as foodstuffs and the eloquent text 'well what can i say'. I have confiscated his tablet to spare my inbox, so he is currently watching Bargain Hunt under the duvet and has just stirred and said "WHOA I actually fell asleep!" I am so jealous.

I had to make gingerbread people for the school fête (well, 'had to' = was guilted into it and could find no plausible excuse) but forgot to turn the oven to the right temperature and burnt them to fuck, requiring ingenious chocolate foot dipping. F, who was the guilting party, was spectacularly unhelpful in many ways, and only made one gingerbread person, this one:

Last night I had to also actually go to the school fête which cost me €20 (3 brochettes de bonbons (cost price 0,04 cents), one hot dog, one water, one apple juice, one brownie, one "bowl" made from PVC glue and confetti, already half-perished, and one large glass of wine (this last wholly essential). It was extremely crowded and there was an odd smell of mulled wine/choucroute/onion soup/spilled hot chocolate and thousands of tiny children dashing in every direction muffled in 27 layers of thermal clothing. I sat in a corridor with my wine like the ghost of Christmas Go Fuck Yourself until it was time to drag ourselves to the other school for parents evening (no wine, just a blow-by-blow rehash of the French exam in a chilly 1950s schoolroom under the sorrowful eye of drooping mahogany Jesus).

I have an odd, unsatisfactory assortment of Christmas tat. Some people have lots of stuff, others have none. I am in complex negotiations about a guitar and have been to lots of seedy guitar shops, also in the rain. Guitar shops are like garages in that they can sense your ignorance and are not about to make you feel good about it, so that is going as well as you might imagine. I have sent one card (too late to arrive in time, possibly to wrong address).

I have had a fight with a computer repair man and now I cannot go and get the computer back and must bribe a child to do so for me.

ANYWAY. I'll cheer up as soon as we're on the boat and I have my face in the first of several gins (23rd) even if I do have to bring all my end of year accounts with me in a carrier bag.

On a more festive note, could I encourage you all to join me in speculating on what on earth is going on here:

It was featured on the school Christmas leaflety thing and I am deeply puzzled. What is Mary carrying (angry baby panda? Owl? Ham?) Why has she been banished to a rock? Why is Joseph giving the baby Jesus to the donkey for approval/dinner? How huge is the angel Gabriel? WHAT WHAT WHAT? Your theories are welcome.


35% resignation
20% fretting
20% poor decisions
10% throbbing face
10% what to read at Christmas?
5% Nutella sandwich.



Lauren said...

Looks a little to me like the angel is giving Jesus two fingers, which makes the whole thing even more surreal. And Mary is definitely holding an owl.

Sparkling Red said...

Congratulations on your eye explosion! That's great news!

I love the comparison of your backyard to the Somme. You win my Best Simile of the Day award.

Val said...

Yech - if it "exploded painfully", it was a stye - a little Staphylococcus abscess which I am very familiar with; I get 'em every time I'm overly stressed...
All week long, my eyelids have been burning & tingling, L eye is red so one is likely fermenting right now! Terrific that I have a friend's wedding to attend tomorrow, I'll look wonderful in the pictures!
But most importantly, you must project calm confidence in the saddle - your mood is projected to your horse! My idiot colt threw a bucking fit the last time I rode him a couple of weeks ago - he is the laziest sod! - but fortunately he can't buck half as hard as Uncle Quig, I laughed at him, beat him butt, & got him pointed down the trail...

Nimble said...

Mary is hogging the spotlight up on that rock. I think she told everyone to watch her show them how to fold napkins into Christmas tree shapes.

Good to hear that skin issues are getting better despite you.

I had to look up what the Fat Rascals are and am glad I did.

I am close to leaving town for xmas and am happy about the countdown. If my time is unlimited I worry about doing things right. When it's limited I know I can only get a certain amount done and feel more happy figuring out which things it'll be.

CJ said...

I'm feeling quite happy today, fetes, assemblies, children's parties and general rushing around after children is all over now. Is gin and a boat a wise combination? I'm worrying about you now. Glad your eye is getting better. I hope you're able to get out and see those plastic squirrels soon.

Dee said...

The Ghost of Christmas Go Fuck Yourself!!!!!!!!
Omg, I hurt myself laughing. You have totally made my day, possibly my month. :-)

Xtreme English said...

why is mary up on that rock while Joseph hogs the kid? Is this the new fatherhood paradigm?

Agree the "Ghost of Christmas Go Fuck Yourself" is hilarious and also spot on.

Happy holidays, as we say around here.

Hope that boat is going somewhere sunny and warm? Yorkshire?

Unknown said...

Oh the joys of Christmas. Good luck to you, and my wishes for a wonderful year to come.

Anonymous said...

WAIT - was it the homeopathic powders? Even if scientifically inconvenient, you must acknowledge for the sake of narrative continuity.

Waffle said...

Anon - I didn't collect the homeopathic powders! I went to the pharmacy and begged for a conventional alternative and they gave me some antiseptic ointment.

Patience_Crabstick said...

I'm glad your eye is improving. What to read at Christmas? An excellent, cozy, fun, non-demanding Christmas book is Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann. Don't be intimidated by its size. It's really good. Myself, I'm planning to read Getting it Right by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

Sal said...

Hang on, why hasn't Mary got a halo? Catholicism has tended to make quite a big deal about her sanctity, so it seems an unusual oversight to make her look like some random on a rock with panda/owl/jar of myrrh/tom toms.

The angel Gabriel has a jet pack, he was at the '84 Olympics.

So glad to hear the eye spooged; better out then in! My friend had plastic tips for her cats' claws to prevent shredding of sofa, maybe you could get some so your herpes can heal up. They come in minging pink and purple.

Happy Christmas! It was a lovely treat to find a post upon refreshing..and a stonkingly good one at that.

Waffle said...

Esme - Do you think that means it's not Mary on the rock? But that would mean she's been excised from the whole story which would be even weirder. I AM CONFUSED.

I bet my Christmas presents are worse than pink and purple claw covers. I will report back.

Sal said...

Maybe they've gone for a bit of realism (to counter the weirdness of everyone's oddly cricked necks) and she's in the back of the cave/stable, knackered and in no bloody mood to receive all and sodding sundry with their shit gifts..apart from maybe the gold..and Gabriel can chuff right off with his presumptuous impregnation speeches, he didn't even buy her dinner.

Hope somebody gets you a non-shit present. We've got another dog as our gift, she's the mother of our 2 mental Springers, long story short it's a dream come true and is a testament to playing the long game for achieving your heart's desire. We're so loved up it's untrue!

GingerB said...

At least you get Christmas presents. Color be damned. I have to pay people to take my kids out to get one for me. Damn kids. Damn holidays. Wait, did I type that out loud?? Yes, I feckin' did.

Kate said...

The more I contemplate the Rocketeer nativity scene the odder it gets.

Why is the bloke with the ginger beard tickling the boy's armpit so surreptitiously?

Also, Mary & Joseph's outside loo looks as though it's MILES away. You'd hold it in til daytime, wouldn't you?

Anonymous said...

"Feck the halls" is one of the funniest things I've EVER read. The first day I read the headline I promptly closed my browser to have a good laugh about it without being distracted by the rest of the text.
I hope you had a lovely Christmas.
Having spent a jolly enough couple of days considering I'm pretty much estranged from my huge family (1 sms Merry Christmas message from 10+ members is pretty shit, innit?), I'm now appeasing my rumbling obsessive "should I have called?" thoughts by reminding myself that they bl**dy well didn't call me either and the onus is always on me to call, which is shit...
Yesterday I toyed with the idea of a short, jolly call "home" to wish them a Belated Happy Christmas and decided against it because what's the point, really?
Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your lovely writing, for brightening up the dullest of days all during the year and for being such a lovely Internet person.

Anonymous said...

Hello Waffle, just wanted to wish you a very happy 2015 and thank you for your posts in 2014 (and before). I'm a long-time-lurker and never-poster (I write things in the box, but then what I've written is so annoying that I delete it). Um, anyway, you've done this total stranger a lot of good in 2014, which has had its shoddy moments this end, and wanted to say thank you.

Anonymous said...

Waffle, are you dead?

Waffle said...



(I am trying to write this fucking book)

(It is hell)

Anonymous said...

Try lighting a tea candle at every setback/frustration. It looks like a Stevie Nicks video round mine.

Waffle said...

Ha! I kind of love this idea, but the house would be on fire within an hour given current setback/frustration level.

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