Sunday, 14 December 2014


Oh god. Thank goodness I'm a self-employed introvert who isn't invited to any Christmas parties because I literally don't think I can leave the house in this state. I have one of these (ew, ew and EW) and a massive cold sore and I look .. ugh. I look like a comedy peasant in an episode of Horrible Histories, covered in buboes. My self-esteem is at rock bottom, I cannot wear any make up to cover up the horror, the internet seems to suggest I may have this eye deformity for anything up to TWO YEARS and I am rather weepy.

After much superstitious peasant prevarication and rubbing the affliction with toad mucus, I finally resorted to the emergency doctor yesterday. This was not an unqualified success. He arrived, bustled in and said "c'est pour ta maman?" (is it for your mum). Er, non? Then he told me he had a magical remedy I couldn't tell anyone about that would save me from surgery. On further enquiry this remedy proved to be 4 homeopathic powders

"Is there any alternative?" I asked delicately. "ONLY SURGERY." He said he had cured 23 people with this remedy. Then he started talking about scientology and his hobby of writing 20 page letters rectifying errors in scientific journalism. He also tutoied me in a disturbingly intimate fashion throughout as if I was his teenage niece. €38 well spent, then ("you should have paid him with a tiny coin in a glass of water," said my friend Tara, which made me laugh). I can't quite believe he was actually a doctor. Perhaps I'm on some kind of Belgian Noel Edmonds style prank show.

Last night, the children finally noticed my facial deformity (I have not been being specially stoic about it, but they filter out my complaints highly effectively). After staring in fascinated horror for a while, L said "you're like.. what's his name? The super hero? The red one?" A lengthy Google marathon enabled him to establish that he meant Hellboy:

This is broadly accurate.

The youngest said cheerily, as he headed off to bed "perhaps you will perish!" Perhaps I will, you thankless wretch, then who will subsidise your Rubik's cube nerd-habit?

It hasn't been a great week - I have barely left the house, the weather is shite, eldest son is in permanent residence on the sofa and will remain there next week because the teachers are "marking" and Thursday brought my most disastrous riding lesson since my 2010 accident. It was not because anything happened really, but because the horse - totally untypically - was really spooky and I was on my own at the start and took massive fright and believed death or catastrophic accident was imminent, so I got off and stood there feeling like a dick (one of those Terrifying Horse Women arrived in the meantime and whirled around using her whip extensively, which made my horse freak out even more). When the teacher arrived, I spent half an hour making it 10000% worse with my tears and terror and generally winding the horse up and both of us ended up in a spasm of stupidity and freaked-out ness. I'm so determined not to give up but oh god, it's an expensive half hour of rigid fright at the moment.  I am conscious any complaint relating to horse riding comes firmly under the bourgeois tragedy heading but it is my only extra-curricular activity and if I can't do that any more, I dunno. I'll just go full hermit.  

Sorry, this is just an existential wail, things are fine really (certainly more fine than my neighbour who has endured, in the last year: lupus, breast cancer, a burglary the insurance company won't pay for and the death of her much loved cat). Let me redress the balance:

- We have put up The Tree today, it is as garish and overladen as usual but it is mighty.

- I also managed to untangle the terminally tangled lights which have been out of commission for about three years due to their huge knot and it was the most satisfying sensation imaginable. I felt  briefly superhuman.

-  I went to the pharmacy in despair after the emergency doctor yesterday and they were lovely and gave me free soap and the nice girl said "I barely noticed! It's hidden behind your glasses and your fringe!"

- When I finish this, I am going to get into the bath with a cup of tea and some Epsom salts and Cold Comfort Farm, which is my Christmas re-read for this year.

- M introduced me to the Facebook feed of the Elephant Valley Project and it is extremely conducive to happiness.

- I'm enjoying the birds in the garden at the moment (jesus, I sound 800 years old), particularly the two crows who are working, possibly in tandem, possibly in competition, unclear, to try to untie the bag of peanuts and carry it away. They managed to get it onto the ground earlier this week but failed at the last hurdle. The chickens, who are puffed up with outrage at most birds in the garden and tend to chase them, stay very still and quiet around the crows who are giant and bad-ass.

- L has just sent me an email headed "IT'S CRISTHMAAAAAAAAASSSS" (sic) containing 22 jpegs of animals and the message "this is my cristhmas list". There is a lot of this kind of thing at the moment.

- I have not actually perished.


60% Facial affliction

20% weeping (of which 5% self-pity, 10% seasonal emotions/nostalgia/etc)

10% Christmassy

6% Irate someone ate my concealed half cookie

4% Very ready for wine (that's a lie, I'm 100% ready for wine).

How was your weekend?


CJ said...

Oh my, poor you, I do hope it's all sorted soon, I fear you may not be able to last at this level of horror for two years. Well done on the Christmas lights though. I am nervously awaiting seasonal requests for animals. Well done on persevering with riding. My littlest boy has asked for a pony riding lesson for Christmas, he does so love to go occasionally. Wishing you a good week. CJ xx

Anonymous said...

Try hot compresses on the chalazion - my doctor advised this when my son had one. It burst and drained completely which sounds gross I know but hey, no operation....

Your blog is great and I am in awe of your ability to write - I'm struggling with Christmas letters at the moment (lots of elderly relatives with no computer ok) and condensing a whole year into a couple of pages - is that ALL I've done in a whole year?

mountainear said...

My family remedy for said eye affliction was to rub the offending sore with a golden wedding band or failing that some 'Golden Eye Ointment' (real stuff in a tube from a real pharmacy like Boots). I think 'gold' is key. Put some on your Christmas list.

Anonymous said...

Weekend consisted of housework, work, walk, work, housework, homework supervision, work, work, weep, work, sleep, housework, homework supervision, work, weep, work and then a glorious hour of zumba in which I learned the choreography to Grease along with 45-50 other women. By the end of the class we were all shaking with laughter. My usual expression is a mix between morose and serious so this is not a common occurrence. The atmosphere was totally electric and I came away completely recharged for another week of work, housework, homework supervision, etc. I would never have imagined I could laugh that much in the space of an hour.

Betty M said...

The detailing of tangled things is one of my core skills - immensely satisfying but no money in it.
Sorry about the afflictions.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lord! Such awfulness!

Seriously, surgery and antibiotics. It's a simple cut open and excise under a local anesthetic. Affliction gone in less than an hour. Worth the money because you get your esteem back in 60 minutes or less.

Good luck,

Anon from across the pond

Anonymous said...

Your youngest sounds like a hoot! Microwavable heat pads could sort your eye out.

Anonymous said...

I also have one of those awful things - not contagious thankfully, but feeling bad and scratchy. It's really just starting up, not as bad as the one in the article link, but could get worse if I can't dissuade it. Oh dear - I was hoping antibiotics would work, but I think we need the hot compresses! I think it must be a reaction to the madness of the season. Solidarity sister!
Heather (NZ)

Sarahgx21 said...

I am also (newly) self employed - and took today off to shop. Was paid on Friday - yay. Found I needed to set up a payment facility on my business bank account Friday night, and it would take 2 days to process. Paid myself yesterday. Money may turn up today.Sat with tea, wine worryingly close to hand. £15.74 not going to buy the best presents.
S xx

cruella said...

Weekend. Exhausting business. Iron fist, i e 16 year old daughter, had a party Friday (35 of her closest friends) and we were all banished from the flat from an early hour.

Husband fled to Copenhagen on unclear grounds already on Wednesday evening (turns out he spent two days in caf├ęs "getting loads done". Right.). Sons imposed themselves on friends doing I haven't a clue.

I went to a show (very good, LOVE imitators!) and then "slept" on a hard sofa while waiting anxiously for a phone call from the police/neighbour/distraught daughter. Got a text message at four am forbidding me to get back before two o'clock since "loads to clean and fix, tinsel everywhere".

Then what? Can't remember, huge relief that house still stands and that most glasses are still in one piece.

Dale said...

Oh dear, eye afflictions are so difficult to ignore, aren't they? I have no advice, but it sounds like you have plenty . . . .

Hmmm, the weekend was work, semi-massive grocery shopping (in the car rather than on foot for once), work, and a little light Christmas card action.

Dreading the student Christmas party I've been invited to which begins at ten p.m. (What?) Be happy to be spared the madness of home-made Gluehwein (sp?) and secret Santa, unveiled. Urk, holiday cheer with twenty year olds.

Anna Maria said...

I can't believe that charlatan somehow qualified as a doctor. Mind you, you can get homeopathy on the NHS, even though proper scientists have proven it is a load of BS - it does work, but only insofar as any placebo does. My son had something like that when he was one, he was put on antibiotics and it cleared up. Hope it gets better soon.

Crazy Mom Tats! said...

Go to the eye doctor!!! And hot compresses - these are good and low tech. And it feels better this way. A hot bath AND a hot compress AND wine/liquor - that would be great!

So sorry for the suffering. We have had Flu at our home despite the taking the flu shot. My teen son was in misery - then developed a strep infection to boot. Augh!!! Mercifully, he is back at school after a week's absence.

hope you feel better SOON!

Nimble said...

Put a warm washcloth on it multiple times a day. If it starts draining (which sounds awful but it's what you want!) you can gently roll an eyeliner pencil down from the top of the eyelid to help clear the pore.

I saw a run-over squirrel on Saturday (not an uncommon sight locally). I started thinking about the squirrels left behind who wouldn't know what happened to this one and cried all the way home from the drugstore. Which is when I knew this was related to seasonal affective disorder. Sheesh.

anapestic said...

I am sorry to hear of your eye woes. Have you considered a pair of oversized sunglasses? I feel like they will be useful to you long after your eye has returned to its normal state. It worked/works so well for Jackie O and Anna Wintour. You will, of course, have to perfect a blank expression, but you can roll your eyes and no one will know.

I think you might want to take a respite from the horseback riding, at least until spring. Perhaps you could spend the time walking in the park with your whippet, your blank expression, and your dark glasses.

Waffle said...

anapestic - I really like this vision because it is ACHIEVABLE. Surly/neutral expression, sunglasses, dog. Yes. This i can do.

Happydog said...

So sorry to hear about your health stuff. I used to get HUGE cold sores and I had to go to a job at a box office with live people! Strangers! Acck! Help you get well soon. I have no advice only sympathy.
Anyway I loved your crow story--crows are the wise guys of the bird world. Those chickens were smart to keep quiet. :)

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Anonymous said...

I hope you are better from your various afflictions Waffle. I'm currently sporting a huge (and very sore) cold sore on my top lip. I feel it will soon be expanding to take over the bottom one as well. Aciclovir is powerless against it. It really sets off my haggard end-of-year face very well. Failing massively at Christmas preparations, didn't get an Advent calendar for my daughter and now it's too bl**dy late. The tree looks pathetic. Might have to start all over again but really not motivated. Total Scrooge, I know.

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