Prog Rock has checked into the waffledome with two multipacks of Walker’s Crisps, €10 each for the boys, a giant book on evolution and my birthday present, six weeks early (“saves postage. You can decide whether to open it now, Em.”).
On Prog Rock’s radar?
- Why there was a photo of 17th century radical Gerrard Winstanley on the wall of the Kremlin.
- My sister (always. Currently camping in Inverness playing folk violin at a festival apparently)
- Red Plenty and industrial ideology in 1960s Russia.
- The entire contents of Le Monde Diplomatique, comme d’habitude.
I feel on top of things, momentarily, with Prog Rock here. There’s an essential rightness about the house and the world when he’s curled up in an armchair with a strong mug of tea and a massive library book, occasionally nipping out back for a roll-up. I don’t know what it is exactly: the calming familiarity of his presence, or the fact that he reminds me of my childhood (well, teenagehood really, I have to remind myself he only moved in when I was ten, and how even more astonishing it is that I think of my home as a teenager as being such a peaceful and welcoming place. Now I possess a teenager and a nearly teenager of my own, this seems like an actual godalmighty miracle, I started today shouting about a towel and then removing 700 Daim wrappers from the washing machine filter with very bad grace, also I am pretty sure L has stolen my tram pass). Perhaps it's just because he’s so simply delighted when we make him crap pasta with sauce out of a jar or offer him a beer, allowing me to feel like some kind of genius gracious hostess.
I like it, anyway and I can make tea in a pot for once and have even descaled the kettle in his honour (surely the nicest of household tasks, or at least a tied first with cleaning the tumble dryer filter). The greatest and most enduring solitude of the Brit expat is not having anyone to share an actual pot of tea with, so tea-loving houseguests are cherished. F thought he liked tea for about five minutes a fortnight ago and I got quite misty about the possibility of having someone to share my tea-life with, but sadly he has changed his mind.
Belgian cultural happenings
I went to what I thought was a new museum opening yesterday but what turned out to be an opportunity to examine a building site which will one day become a new museum whilst artistic videos of eg. people skateboarding but with the skateboards removed played in the background and storage heaters flickered, carbon monoxidely (totally a word).
I spent much of the press conference trying to decide if the bare breasted girlie calendars on the wall were (i) art or (ii) left there by the builders. I haven't been to an event like this for months and had totally forgotten what they are like, that is, impossible for someone as bad at small talk as me. Everyone seems to know each other or at least know someone and I stand in the corner and stare at the wall, sweating. I swear, if come the apocalypse we can only survive by networking (admittedly I can't quite see how this would work, but it would definitely be an apocalypse of sorts), I will be dead within 48 hours. What did people do at these things before they had phones to stare at?
My body is a Belgian museum building site
I am currently on an unlikely minor health kick. It started with some, ugh, “Yogi” tea (“Bonne Nuit” variety), which I have superstitiously decided is the only thing that can possibly get me to sleep at night, which in turn is part of my ongoing attempt to not be mad. Whilst on the search for more of this unpleasantly flavoured gateway drug to smugness, I have been lured into the recently expanded health food shop round the corner. As is traditional with health food shops, all the staff look like they are suffering from catastrophic nutritional deficiencies or possibly taking class A drugs and greet customers with all the enthusiasm and warmth of a chilled chia seed porridge. I have not however let this put me off my voyage of discovery into the bewildering world of contemporary health foods. So far I have tried:
- a raw cocoa bar - tasted like compacted soil, just no, never again, could not even finish, what the fuck was I thinking.
- a giant bag of ground up linseeds with added vitamin D. I am wary of these, because doesn’t too much vitamin D give you liver failure? Will I go yellow? Anyway, they taste of nothing and I can’t remember why I thought they were a good idea.
- coconut water, which is of course disgusting and expensive but which my friend F insists is amazing for hangovers and I have very much not given up alcohol.
- some “anti-stress” vitamins which get stuck in my throat in a manner I find highly stressful. I don’t think they are working anyway because at 10:30 am this morning I found myself standing outside the Uccle town hall boiling with impotent thwarted rage and could not stop myself just shouting, out loud “I FUCKING HATE THIS PLACE” (there is no story behind this really, just the usual tale of missing paperwork and obstructive officials, but it seems I have more latent rage than I realise).
I also went to Brussels' newest and hippest organic #eatclean #nourishyourself bollocks café with my friend Nathalie this lunchtime but this was clearly a step too far because it made me feel chippy and mutinous and I went fully off message and had a toasted halloumi sandwich (delicious). Nathalie's woe-inducing, fridge cold plate of mixed salads was straight out of Cranks circa 1985. The bloody Rose Bakery has a lot to answer for, if you ask me.
This outbreak of smuggery will not last anyway, because I have arranged a chocolate swap with an internet acquaintance in order to obtain these elusive Mocha KitKats and also bought a box of choux buns. Maybe I could sprinkle them with linseed dust, but then again, no.
It's not at all decorative gourd season, motherfuckers
Once more, with wearying inevitability, Uccle lurches towards Halloween whilst continuing to have no fucking clue.
No to this
Even more no to this.
More offences against the gourd as I spot them.
What of your Fridays?
What of your Fridays?