Tuesday, 2 June 2015



Is that how it goes? I shout at you in incoherent capitals? I can't remember. Here, have a nice picture of a man and a horse I saw in the middle of Ghent on Sunday:

(We were escorting F to his Chinese exam and on the square outside was some kind of heavy horse ... thing. In the middle of Ghent. With almost no one watching or seeming in the least bit bemused to see 30 Shire horses. Puzzling)

I have finished! Well, I have handed in my best Grey's Anatomy and angst-fuelled effort and can only hope that it isn't rejected out of hand as a pile of shite or that the travails of Christina Yang haven't crept in there. I can't pretend that scenario hasn't crossed my mind. When it does, I generally embroider some comforting fantasy involving moving to a remote goat-filled region, having a remote goat-filled smallholding and withdrawing entirely from the world. I don't know what makes me think I'd be qualified to look after goats, but they don't look too fragile, do they? I bet they're easier to look after than eg. tortoises. We lost a tortoise to gout recently, which was very sad. Gout! What the fuck, they only eat green things not Stilton and drink no port whatsoever.

Anyway. I have finished. My mantra in times of doubt and in times of remembering the shit bits I never quite managed to make work has been and continues to be "there are worse books in the world than this one" and I will continue to whisper it to myself in weak moments. Now what? I can't remember what I used to do and have mislaid several of my former jobs. I am at a slight loose end currently, waiting to hear whether my quote on a massive translation job has been accepted, so here I am, trying to update my weblog, but I have forgotten how that goes too. I can't possibly make it entertaining enough for a three month absence, so I'm going for writing any old thing. I mean, I'm pretty sure that's what I used to do.

Things I promised myself I would do when I finished:

- buy new clothes including trousers with functioning buttons/zips (I am currently dressed like Compo from Last of the Summer Wine) and new bras since I have been wearing the same M and S minimiser for approx 4 years.

- lose half a stone

- have people round for dinner or go out and see people or in some other way encounter other humans

- go to the dental hygienist and get the unsightly stain removed from my front tooth

- do lots of cultural stuff

- find new work to replace all the jobs I lost during book writing hiatus, ideally ones where I leave the house

- Generally SORT MY LIFE OUT and work out what to do next in this world of no financially viable jobs for useless, cowardly forty year olds with no transferable skills, no pressure yeah.

- never write (long form) about myself again.

Things I have done: bought some cheap (but pleasing) jeans, been to see a Hungarian violinist who looks like Balzac (excellent), watched 780 episodes of Ru Paul's Drag Race, made a dentist's appointment (ok, it is for a child, not me, hush now), succumbed to a heavy cold and barely left the house and bought a large box of choux buns. Baby steps.

What would you do if you were suddenly at a temporary (I hope) loose end? Should I tackle the Attic of Shite Paperwork and Other Unspeakable Detritus? Start writing a novel? Play bad piano? Lie in bed watching more Ru Paul? Go to a Belgian folklore festival of some kind (there's always one on offer)?

I will certainly continue updating my weblog (better than this, I hope). I need to tell you about the epoch defining opening of le Marks et Spencer de Bruxelles, for one thing. We also went to Scotland, my eldest child turned thirteen, we saw the Belgian pandas in the flesh in daylight, stroked an aardvark, watched a proper film being filmed at the grumpy hairdresser's in our street and attended a GOOSE PARADE. I can definitely get back into this blog type thing, I just need to remember how to write without second guessing and endlessly revising my every word, then still hating them all, then grinding my face into my own desk until I have post-its stuck all over my forehead then giving up and watching Grey's Anatomy and eating terrible foods and worrying at my spots. Wehey!


35% mass of Contagion-style snotty corruption
25% choux
20% memories of the worst ramen in the history of ramen from this lunchtime oh god the vinegar mushrooms of evil, make it stop
10% awful blog post shame
5% tedious policing of my child's internet usage/phone smuggling/etc.
5% end of owl webcam sadness, but no! The steenuils are still out there giving us feathery realness.

It's good to be back.


cruella said...

Good to have you back, I'm sure you'll have another long truc commissioned very soon. BUT! Until then, rejoice! I certainly do!

Unknown said...

I'm deep into year two of my blog hiatus (with a few half-assed exceptions). If nothing else, that means there are worse *people* than you in the world as well.

Alison said...

Delighted you're back and looking forward to your book.

Jo said...

Hurray,good to have you back and to know that your book is in the pipeline, exciting.

livesbythewoods said...

Well hello stranger! Welcome back. It'll all be fine, of course. Good to see you here again.

Leigh said...

Congratulations on the book! Very glad you're back. Spare time? I'm finding Penny Dreadful very addictive...

Julie said...

Welcome back!

Ellie said...

Hooray!! So glad you are back.

Rebekah M-J said...

Thank the stars you're back.

Unknown said...

I'm glad you're back, and especially interested in the aardvark.

connie said...

And it's good to have you back. Every day when I sit down for lunch I click in to Belgian Waffle and TODAY I said out loud "I can't believe it!"

connie said...

PS Love your book reviews. Just finished Life After Life and now on to God in Ruins.

Dale said...

You finished! I hope all the angels sang and there was a celestial light show at the very least. I also just finished a long translation thing and although I was thoroughly sick of it by the end, I now find myself at bit at sixes and sevens. I need a new project to keep me off the streets.

tigerbaps said...

HELLO HELLO HELLO! How lovely to have you back! And you've been in my Scotland without telling me? Tsk!
And you've missed loads of my hypochondria including imaginary crabs and ringworm, concurrently.

Anonymous said...


Sally said...

Hooray you lovely horse lover you! Can't wait to see your book. I'm in London at an expo for IT professionals and fitting in quite nicely with my game of thrones tshirt yes indeed. My ponies are now hugely fat and sheep have had lots of lambs, some quite amazingly dim, but then maybe that's normal for sheep. Lots of love from Northumberland x

Shanners said...

*squeeee* You're back! So lovely :) And congrats on finishing the book. Can't wait for it to come out in NZ. (I may get back to Europe before then, mind you).

PS. Love Kate Atkinson. I'll be picking up a copy of God in Ruins for next holiday.

Waffle said...

Ah, you are all lovely.

Tigerbaps - We were miles away from civilisation, up in Kyle of Lochalsh. I had ringworm once.

Sally. More pony pictures please, I have earned them.

Emma Burns said...

I missed your excellent posts! Which is all of them--hush with that self-doubt, you. Best way to cope with loose ends: throw things out. It's a simple yes/no thing and highly satisfying. Do I keep this thing? Yes/no. Have trash bag handy plus giveaway box of some kind. Oh it feels amazing.

Unknown said...

Hooray! Welcome back. I have missed you.

Johnners said...

Hurray! You're back, and fabulous as ever. Where do we pre-pre-order the book? J. x

Alison said...

Welcome back!!

Tired Dad said...

Ah. Good.

Nimble said...

Maybe I'd start writing a bad novel (on purpose bad) to get the taste of memoir out of my mouth. Space marines and the alien capybaras they encounter.
I love the curve of that draft horse's neck.

Lucie said...

Hooray! I missed you

Anonymous said...

I stopped by today to see if anyone had heard of you dying so what a relief it is to see you haven't! Missed you.

Anonymous said...

Thirteen! What new thirteenish boy things will be mercilessly flung your way? I watch and wait. Word on the street is that it will suck badly.

Anonymous said...

clicked on the steenuils link to find the owl version of studio 54 with babies, what was that? mum owl seems quite...stuck in.

it is wrong of me to suggest you write a novel since I've only written five pages of fiction in my life and at the end of that afternoon there were no clean dishes in the house and I'd lost the car key and some shoes?, but we would all be really really grateful if you did do.

Patience_Crabstick said...

Hooray! I really missed your blog.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back.

Justine said...

Waffle! How excitIng that you are back! You have been very missed

Anonymous said...

Ah, missed you Waffle….so glad to see you emerge from under the post-its and creative demands of book writing.
Ash :-)

Alison Cross said...

Welcome back! My only recommendation for doing things with Spare Time is - KEEP THE HELL AWAY FROM FACEBOOK. It is the biggest time suck in my life. I love it. But it's just feeding my addiction :-D

Izzy said...

HELLO! I'M SO DELIGHTED THAT YOU'RE BACK! (And I will buy the shit out of that book of yours once it's out; I'm sure it will be fabulous and funny and all things worth reading)

Ilona said...

I definitely vote for your resolution to meet real people - I'm ready when you are! xxxx

Anonymous said...

Oh almighty heavenly god (that doesn't exist), 3 blog posts to catch up on!
I had despaired of you writing here again and hadn't checked for ages. The joy! :)
I will now close my browser, get back to my translations and read the 3 new blog posts in snippets as I finish translating each text. That's my evening sorted!
Can't wait to buy your book!
You're not remotely fat by the way, you're very pretty and trim. So there.

Flora Fauna Dinner said...


Waffle said...

Ha, FFD we were in Kyle of Lochalsh! It's probably further from you than Belgium.

Flora Fauna Dinner said...

Pah, I obviously need to up my petting zoo game. *investigates capybara*

Anonymous said...

No matter what the poundage, my Calvin Klein bras and M&S pants are indestructible and therefore irreplaceable, I am also fortysomething and unemployable and trying to sell my house to embark on a life for which I have no plans... (p.s. welcome back - I had all but given up on your return hence the late comment!)

discount Chanel bags said...

Owned by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé since 1980, Jardin Majorelle was teeming with tourists, but even with a line-up to get inside, we still had a lovely time exploring the grounds.

ghada said...

شركة نقل اثاث بالجبيل
شركة نقل عفش بالخبر
شركات النقل البري بالدمام
شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارقام شركات نقل العفش بالدمام
ارخص شركة نقل اثاث بالدمام
شركة تخزين عفش بالدمام

ghada said...

اهم شركات كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذكل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة وتنظيف بجدة ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر وكشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل والقطيف والخبر والدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
اهم شركات نقل العفش والاثاث بالدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بمكة

ghada said...

شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك

ghada said...

شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل
شركة نقل عفش بالظهران
شركة نقل عفش واثاث
شركة نقل عفش

ninest123 said...

timberland outlet
uggs outlet
timberland outlet store
pandora charms
ugg boots women
canada goose outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
ugg outlet store
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet store

Unknown said...

polo ralph lauren
uggs outlet
polo ralph lauren
jordan shoes
coach outlet
knicks jerseys
trailblazers jerseys
air jordan 4
links of london
soccer jerseys

Unknown said...

ralph lauren outlet
ralph lauren outlet
nike factory store
ralph lauren outlet
true religion outlet
issey miyake
nike factory store
true religion outlet
polo ralph lauren

Unknown said...


soccer shoes
christmas presents
moncler outlet
ralph lauren uk
ecco shoes
air max 90
nike air max
coach outlet
nike shoes
michael kors outlet

yanmaneee said...

nike shox
lacoste polo shirts
adidas stan smith sneakers
yeezy boost 350
adidas zx flux
yeezy boost 500
longchamp outlet
lacoste online shop