Monday, 29 June 2015

The black flight of the crow


I haven't updated this for ages because it would have just been whining about how sick I am - SO SICK (some kind of vicious summer flu) - and as my family can attest, that is super boring. I am still sick, but I have reached the point where even I am bored of talking about it. It transpires I do not have anything interesting to talk about at all, actually, but that will not stop me. Onwards!

The school year is dawdling to a close - L has already been sitting in front of a laptop/the TV in pyjamas wrapped in his duvet for so long I think he has bedsores - and Uccle is quiet (apart from the angry bit around the colossal tram/roadworks up the road) and dusty and hot. F has two more days to go, but has a full programme of slo-mo recordings and ill-advised science experiments on the go. Actually, this may also be part of the reason I have not updated the blog: my laptop and phone are in constant use for weird slo-mo shit.

Good Things That Have Happened:

1. Watched our friends' baby have her first taste of ice cream. This isn't the first time I have seen this happen - many years ago, long before I had my own babies, my mum and I very much enjoyed watching a stranger's baby tasting its first ice cream in the Framboisier Doré ice cream parlour here in Brussels - but it's always magic. The suspicion, the surprise, the funny pouting, tasting faces. The reflection. The urgent need for MORE. After five minutes, this one was clutching five of those little plastic spoons and barking her displeasure that the mango and passion fruit had dried up.

2. Had lunch in the Vieux St Martin - always a delight - and my younger son said "look, that man has a schnauzer and a miniature schnauzer" and I thought, a couple of years ago when they spoke virtually no English that would have been impossible to imagine and it made me very happy. Now he has his own (English) You Tube channel doing very serious slo mo science.

3. Went to the scary bat caves and watched the hippos playing:

 and the new baby elephant:

This guy had just given up and was lying on the floor, exhausted, giving very few shits about anything (new spirit animal):

4. Went to London Zoo with my father and step-mother to listen to Helen MacDonald giving a talk, complete with a RAPTOR DISPLAY. It was a completely gorgeous event on a warm English summer evening with herons and blackbirds and squirrels flitting around and some moderately uncooperative raptors (particularly Cyril the Seriema who must be the least dignified raptor in natural history) making us laugh, followed by HMD reading the most beautiful passage from her beautiful book about the first time she gets Mabel the goshawk out of her cardboard box on the quayside and how she watches her taking in the big wide world for the first time, which gave me goosebumps.

5. Went to see Jurassic World. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.

6. Attended last gulag prize giving EVER (F has a year left but for the last year's prize giving they go to the town hall). It did not disappoint, with a stirring performance of the resistance anthem, Le Chant des Partisans. This is a jolly number featuring death, tears and black blood drying on the roads. This YouTube rendering, complete with scenes of executions (and terrible English subtitles), was playing on the big screen. Happy holidays!

7. Finally well enough for the healing power of gin.

8. Everyone Did Good in their exams, school reports, etc. so no punitive holiday measures need to be imposed and they can be allowed to continue soaking up unlimited broadband and getting bedsores.

9. Escaped from the dentist without any Work and now I can open my mouth in public again.

Bad Things

1. Sick

2. Galloping, sick-stomach anxiety

3. Managed to get ridiculously sunburnt yesterday despite overcast skies and low twenties temperatures and now look, well, ridiculous and must wear high necked Victorian blouse at all times.

4. Already bored of holiday catering. Surely children could feed themselves at their ages?

5. Work, when really I just want to go and hide in Wifi-free, drizzly, perfect Yorkshire Dales isolation.

6. Have run out of Ru Paul's Drag Race on Netflix.


35% headbanging translation frustration

45% irrational summer dread

10% wishing to watch Strange/Norrell rather than work

10% La Roche Posay Lipikar applied to raging hot Celt-flesh.



Jane Murray Bird said...

There were no crows. I demand a refund.

Waffle said...

Shit, sorry.

Jane Murray Bird said...

By the way, I once went into the Ladies loos at Lulworth Cove and came out to find my mother feeding the - granola-based - baby a giant Mr Whippy. His face was 50% bliss, 50% outrage at the deceit of the past eighteen months.

Waffle said...

Ahahahahahhahahhahah I LOVE THIS.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the first icecream... my first son was not going to know about icecream nor anything else vaguely fun and sweet until at least 3 years old. My mother however slipped him an icecream cone when he was just one year old and as he sat in her highchair, she videoed him quietly hoovering it up. Not much mess actually, as it barely left his face. He couldn't really believe his good fortune!
Heather in NZ

Anonymous said...

As I believe I have commented hundreds of times by now, I love your writing. You always seem to make me laugh and that is no mean feat.
I hope the translation is not too infuriating. I completely understand the overpowering urge to bang my head off the table now and again when the source text is very stoooopid or very poorly written.
50% translation-induced fatigue compounded by too much coffee during the day and reading the Internet on my phone in bed until I literally fall off the ledge of consciousness (i.e. quite poor sleep habits and general tiredness the next day, every day)
30% dying of heat and no sign of it relenting (doesn't help with sleep issues)
20% sluggishness and general malaise (not helped by tiredness, sedentary work and it being way too hot to leave the air-conditioned rooms of my flat).

Nimble said...

I made the mistake of taking a real vacation for a whole week to the beautiful coast near Cape Lookout, North Carolina. It was wonderful and included fine white sand beaches and amazing amounts of wildlife: wild horses, reef fish, crabs, birds, shells. Now I am back at work and seething with resentment that this seems to be my real life. Stuck in a basement office with AC set to computer-friendly temperatures. Missing my previous jobs that didn't include challenge or professional advancement. I will try to be grateful that I have a job to pay the vacation-related bills that will soon be a-comin in.

ellen kirkendall said...

Just dropped my (mostly) adult children at the airport after a visit lasting nearly one week.

1% despondent that I am out of money after treating them to all necessities + luxuries
99% happy to have peace, quiet, and order restored

ganching said...

70% working like a dog due to being off work next week
10% madly looking forward to being off next week
5% itching due to mosquito bites (can't someone tell them TO GO AWAY. This is south London for god's sake)
15% Feeling hot, hot, hot.

Anonymous said...

Just looked at that resistance song video - truly horrible! I know it's important for children to know their history, but, but....execution scenes?

Unknown said...

I am so glad you are back blogging! You are my fix when in a bad mood. "Waffle will cheer me up," I always think, and am never disappointed.

Lisa-Marie said...

I have seen Jurassic World twice. Once on the preview night, and on Thursday in 3D due to having a 32 year old sceintist husband. All I will say is that a) I like films about dinosaurs and b) Giant, 3D Chris Pratt was very pleasing.

Unknown said...

Could have borne the cheese / relentless but vague sexism of Jurassic World if only they'd changed the last two lines of the script.

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