Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Percentage heavy

No smug domesticity this weekend, just stomach flu and a long wait for a mystery African translation that never arrived. I have started this morning involuntary whispering my empowering affirmation-slash-mantra several times ("I hate everyone") and plan to spend most of the week staring sullenly at the garden (which is, I concede, looking very beautiful this morning as long as you don't look too closely at the mountains of chicken shit).

(apparently I spent the whole of Monday staring sullenly at the garden, because it is now Tuesday. It's still beautiful out there, but it's supposed to rain tomorrow. Maybe I'll finish this then. Actually, hang on , now it's Wednesday, so let me try. I had about seven draft posts sitting around, but then I got busy and lost my train of thought, perhaps irrevocably)

I tried to take a picture of my new hair for you, but every time I try it comes out 65% giant, red nose (complete with two large spots) and the rest greying, uneven complexion, which is very unfair on my very talented hairdresser. I like it, anyway, it is a little bit longer at the front but still nice and short at the back and we had a good, hilarity-heavy chat as we always do: work, sex, money, hair, home, scandals. I am trying to live up to my hair by not dressing like a hobo and at least putting on a bit of tinted moisturiser, but I confess my success rate is currently running at about 15% basic levels of aesthetic decent maintained, 85% tired blotchy hobo.


Complaints:

My son's phone is somewhere at school "accueil" and the person who has it has gone on maternity leave. This farce has gone on for a week. It wasn't even confiscated, I dropped it off because he forgot it (= genetics).

Do my clients actually concert to ensure that I have long periods with literally FUCK ALL to do followed by intense bursts during which everyone wants something at the same time?

Belgian avocados. 10% rock hard, 60% rotten, 29% seemingly perfect to the touch but suppurating and black once you cut into them, 1% perfect.

I am quite annoyed by the interviews with aspirational young chic people I am currently translating, who have more money/kudos/success/creativity than me. Also tofu is NOT your "vice", hush now.

It is raining. It always rains on Wednesday when I have to trail my younger son around Brussels to his various (SELF-SELECTED) improving activities.

Invitation from my bank (yes, them again) to a "free information session: what is the future of your pension?" Ha. Ha ha ha. What do you imagine this involves? Maybe they show a short film of a post-apocalyptic Uccle, all fire and rubble and desolation, with us, their customers, scavenging for rat carcasses and fighting each other for pieces of cardboard to construct our primitive shelters? I hope they have crisis counsellors and many boxes of tissues.

Yorkshire Vet seems to be over and I had to watch a programme about women marrying their cats instead which was vastly inferior.

Joys: 

MY TREE is in its short hour of glory:



Non-Working Monkey is blogging again! There are many delights for lovers of recorder playing horses and spreadsheets.

The arrival - in defiance of the Belgian postal strike - of the world's most amazing chocolate package from Arianna including those chocolate unicorns, Mocha KitKats.



I have now tested the Mocha KitKat and I like the cut of its jib. It tastes deliciously cheap, like a coffee Revel, but better.

The font on my proofs (and thus at some future date in my actual book, fuuuuck) has the prettiest letter Qs ever. I could stare at them for hours.


Percentages: 

30% Failed multitasking, leading to paralysed sitting/blog post writing
30% The return of formless terror after a nice few weeks off from that bullshit
10% Toasted halloumi sandwich craving
10% Facial blemishes
10% Unicorn bemusement (or here in English)
10% Unsure what to read now (suggestions, please?)

You?

25 comments:

Patience_Crabstick said...

Maybe something by Elizabeth Jane Howard? I read Odd Girl Out recently and liked it very much.

95% excitement that a new episode of "Wine About it" is due out today
5% dread of long walk to work in the rain

London City (mum) said...

Euphoria by Lily King. Not sure I actually 'liked' it, possibly something to do with a fair bit of rambling, the setting in Papua New Guinea/Australia in the 1930s, a lot of anthropological facts and figures, and (what seemed like) a very rushed finale when everything that had been brewing happened over the space of ten pages.

Hmmm. Not very helpful, am I?

LCM x

Anonymous said...

Of course clients plot against their unwitting servants and ensure we have a few days of deadline madness at regular intervals. They must think it keeps us on our toes. I symphathise with the staring into space on "off" days. I find that time unpunctuated by deadlines tends to dissipate somehow and all of a sudden it's the next day. All my plans to tidy up/ declutter/ exercise/ cook ahead never ever get off the ground.

I think you would like Clarice Lispector's writing. Start with "The Hour of the Star".
Benjamin Moser (http://benmoser.com/) wrote an amazing book about her (Why This World), which I also highly recommend. I read it really slowly to make it last longer, I loved it that much.
Here's a recent interview with Moser:
http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/08/17/passionate-acolytes-an-interview-with-benjamin-moser/
and something by him published this summer in The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-true-glamour-of-clarice-lispector
Another article in The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/clarice-lispector/402011/

laura said...

I now have a very real need to try the Mocha Kit Kat, coffee Revels are the best of the Revels.
I have no suggestions on what to read, so that's quite unhelpful.
Percentages
90% ennui
10% off work on Friday joy

Anna Maria said...

I have a feeling I'd recommended it before, or that you might have mentioned it, but I will take a chance and recommend this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Way-Crow-Flies-Ann-Marie-MacDonald/dp/0007171722/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1446035898&sr=8-3&keywords=Ann+MacDonald

I have suggested it to a few bookish friends, and 100% of them loved it. It is heartbreaking at times, and definitely not an easy read, but worth it.

Alan said...

Ah yes, the potency of cheap chocolate, as a toddler in 1950’s England it was the only sort available. Revels, chocolate money, whatever that stuff was that they wrapped around Wagon Wheels, I can taste them even now.

But most memorable and anticipated of all was the yuletide boxed Chocolate Smoker’s Set.

Pretty much inconceivable now, the flimsy cardboard box displayed the contents printed in fairground colours, chocolate cigarettes wrapped in rice paper, chocolate cigars, chocolate pipes and tiny packs of sweet “Chewing Tobacco” which was strands of something, possibly actual tobacco, coated in burnt sugar. All made with the same weird cheap chocolate effect confection which smelt suspiciously similar to the box they arrived in.

The only thing missing was a piece of Aero skilfully crafted into the shape of a chocolate lung.

NON-WORKINGMONKEY said...

My (miniature) pony is piping "The Battle Hymn of The Republic" in your honour. I blush.

In other news, I reckon those people with the tofu vice have children that smack their chops and shout, "WHAT WOULD I LIKE FOR MY BIRTHDAY SUPPER, MAMMA? WHY, KALE SALAD, OF COURSE! OH MAMMA I CAN'T STOP EATING IT, IT'S MY FAVOURITE!" and "No no, Papa, insight you might - no ice-cream for me!"

Book. The nights are drawing in, therefore only The Young Visiters will do, which of course you know already but still: "Well said Mr Salteena lapping up his turtle soup you have a very sumpshous house Bernard..", etc ... http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21415/21415-h/21415-h.htm

NON-WORKINGMONKEY said...

Insist, not insight. Sigh.

CJ said...

Quite a bit of terror here as well, but without the aid of mocha Kitkats, have never seen such a thing. We do have hopeless avocadoes though, so very disappointing. I've just finished "Moranthology" by Caitlin Moran, but you strike me as the sort of person who will have read that already. CJ xx

Jane Murray Bird said...

Don't speak to me about bloody Revels. Since they reintroduced the poisonous raisin it's like Russian roulette. Then there was that time they voted out a centre and the British public chose COFFEE and REPLACED IT WITH VILE STRAWBERRY. I hate everyone, indeed.

Could I orchestrate some sort of confectionary for Professor T swap with you?

Waffle said...

Jane - THE RAISIN IS DEATH. Also, strawberry, this is the reason this once great nation is in the shit.

Correct Revel order:

Soft Minstrel
Malteser
Coffee
Peanut
Orange
Toffee

I do not even consider the raisin an echt-Revel

Jane Murray Bird said...

100% correct order. Fruit has no business in confectionary.

Laura said...

I wish tofu was my vice.

Sally said...

Read The Emperor's Babe by someone (can't remember the author) - actually written in POETRY, but don't worry, it's really REALLY good.

My son has managed to chop the top of his finger off in a door. Cue mad blood spattered rush to local A&E, and amazingly talented surgeon who sewed it back on.

Lots of new sheep have arrived, including two tups (rams) - they will be introduced to their ladies next week, so that lambs arrive in April.

And I am neglecting my ponies. They are standing in a sullen huddle at the bottom of the field, ignoring everyone.

Yay for new hair!

lots of love

Sally x

anapestic said...

I have tried everything I can think of, including the Excel help function, but I cannot get my spreadsheets to play the recorder. I have rent my garments and my food has lost its savor.

Waffle said...

Anapestic - It's all about the tone of voice. That, and carrots.

Anonymous said...

books: have you read the Neapolitan series by elena ferrante? they are really, really good (last one of four just came out) - takes you into world of families living in tenements in 1950s/60s Naples and follows the intense relationship between 2 girls - love them. think you would like. ALSO A Period Piece by Gwen Raverat http://www.amazon.co.uk/Period-Piece-Cambridge-Childhood-Raverat/dp/B000XA4N8C/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1446140261&sr=8-4&keywords=gwen+raverat - lovely in every way - funny, comforting, illustrated by author etc etc...

ellen kirkendall said...

Whatever some may think, fruit and chocolate do not belong together. Also high percentages of cacao taste like shoe polish.

Sparkling Red said...

Canadian avocados suffer from the same shortcomings as your Belgian ones.

I just finished reading "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson, and I recommend it very highly. Not only is it full of Fun Facts, but it tends to put life's misery in perspective by reminding one that human life on Earth could be suddenly destroyed by a previously undetected giant meteorite, or impossible-to-predict volcanic catastrophe, at any moment. I don't know why I find those thoughts so comforting, but I really do.

Ann said...

Elena Ferrente! The Neapolitan Quartet amazing, and also Elizabeth Harrower, she is amazing (depressing, captivating). Glad to see you're enjoying Green Tea kitkats which I miss (now without Japanese colleagues). Having a beautiful font to see your words in sounds wonderful, can't wait to read the book.

Ann said...

PS Coffee revels are actually poison. It's all about the toffee.
Off to ScAsda for some chicken fat ice cream.

zmkc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nimble said...

10% regretful that I did not take pictures of the beautiful fall leaves and now they're flying fast
20% more awake than usual this week since daylight savings is over
30% ahead of schedule on winter fat layer
40% glad Halloween is over. What, did I think I was getting a grade?

Anonymous said...

Mine is 'I hate everyone and every thing.' In case my eyeglasses or a passing butterfly or any other thing thinks it is in the clear.

Waffle said...

Anon - Oh yes. Your mantra is one level up in sophistication and I aspire to it.