Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Ready for my rage wrap

I'm trying to type but my son is reading me out a list of "nine snacks that get Brits salivating". Cyril Connolly never even imagined this kind of shit. You can forget about pictures too, he's got my phone.

I think I need to stop going to our local supermarket because every time I have been there in the last couple of weeks I have found myself standing in the twelve person deep queue at the tills muttering audibly I HATE THIS PLACE. THIS IS THE WORST SUPERMARKET ON EARTH and similar. I mean, it is amazingly awful, there is never anyone on the tills, the staff are without exception horrible and the stock is atrocious (they did not even have the obligatory seasonal fondant Jesii to assuage my irritation this time), but my reaction to it is getting out of hand and I fear I am becoming an Angry Middle Aged Woman (an AMAW?). I have also taken to scolding the - so very numerous - people who insist on standing bovinely in front of the opening doors of tram and metro carriages. Why must they do this? Why are they astonished each time afresh by the requirement of egress before ingress? Godammit.

I don't generally consider myself to be angry person, I tend to get sad not angry about big things, but I sometimes surprise myself by accidentally accessing an unimagined well of boiling rage. I can trip into it at the tiniest things, eg. the crapness of our television box, shoddy H&M seams, blockheaded letters from Belgian administrative entities, accidentally boil washed jumpers, EVERY DAMN THING ABOUT OUR DISHWASHER and someone using my best mug to drink water (tsk). Usually (always) when this happens I am in fact angry at myself for twenty years of chronic underachievement, so I try and have a word with myself, but I seem increasingly prone to apoplectic outbursts (whispered, naturally, or semaphored through body language and tutting) as the years go by. What is the solution? Don't say yoga. Or "living my dreams" or similar. I will accept "buying more Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax bath oil" or "moving to Yorkshire to raise goats. Alone."

In not angry news, however, I am struggling to access an iota of indignation at the revelation that the Roi des Belges Philippe and lovely wife Mathilde were at a thalassotherapy spa in Quiberon during the recent lockdown, which has caused some ructions. Firstly, whom among us would NOT prefer to be at a thalassotherapy spa in Brittany rather than walking the rain lashed, deserted streets of Brussels in late November with only some very nervous, febrile youths in fatigues clutching My First Machine Gun for company?

Secondly, thalassotherapy spas are wonderful. Back when I had money, I went to them as often as I possibly could. They are marvellous places, where you pad around in a dressing gown and plastic sandals being summoned every half hour or so for some peculiar treatment - guano wrap, woman with a Karcher power hose attacking your cellulite, then asking "shall we finish with a little cooler water?" not waiting for your answer and dousing you in any icy torrent of bracing punishment, or being led in groups around a small pool of waist high water in the manner of recuperating racehorses by a perky man in a white tracksuit.

After a couple of hours of such ministrations, you have a nice supposedly "light" lunch (three courses with a glass of wine, this is France after all) and go off to rest, swathed in blankets like a 19th century consumptive. You are in fact regularly instructed you must rest, because the treatment is so "fatiguant" a fact which makes you feel very virtuous and brave to have withstood all that fatigue. It is a full delight and you go home feeling like you have purified and reinvigorated yourself on some higher level, whilst in fact mainly eating crème caramel and napping. I wish I were in St Malo now, about to get enveloped rather than listening to a monologue about crisps.

Also, what exactly was the king supposed to be doing? He doesn't have the look of one of Europe's most incisive anti-terrorist strategists. He's probably ok at hunting, I don't know, hare or something. Oh, I have looked him up and apparently he can also pilot a helicopter. but I feel like we were probably ok for helicopter pilots? As for morale, well, I reckon Pierre Marcolini is better for our national spirits. Or even better Stromae! I would have been genuinely cheered if Stromae had made us a little lockdown film. Let the poor king have his seaweed wrap.


40% injections (but for Thailand, so taken in good humour, except when F was playing with my phone and found my dental selfie and held it up for everyone in the waiting room to see)
10% headache
10% mince pie anticipation (yes, it is time)
10% child revision dread-slash-procrastination (I already know 1000% more than I needed to about the anatomy of the mushroom, thanks)
10% advent calendar dissatisfaction (the ones I ordered haven't arrived, I cut my thumb open trying to do our matchbox one and my sort of adoptive mother Les has sent us a CHOCOLATE DARTH VADER ONE, of which I disapprove violently)
10% A bit giddy that my book actually exists as a physical entity now, YIKES.



MJ said...

Well, if you find a cure for AMAW syndrome do let me know. I won't suggest yoga because I've tried it and now I'm a relaxed AMAW which I'm not even sure how that is possible but there you have it. I frequently think of running away to Tahiti since I think I may as well be warm and have sunshine.

Congrats on the physical presence of your book. I've enjoyed your blog for quite a while although I do think this is my first time commenting.

soleils said...

"moving to Yorkshire to raise goats. Alone."
Totally my ambition today. And most days.

cruella said...

Another horrible week consisting of husband in bloody Hong Kong and GZ doing all sorts of cool stuff. Parliament job and endless budget debates have me stuck with underperforming teenagers which causes massive stress not so much on their part as on mine. I sleep very Little and drink even less. Doing the odd morning run in sort of defiance.

Oh, I don't know. Weekend soon. There will be carol singing.

Anonymous said...

Re the metro, I still struggle with the total absence of escalator etiquette here. At the moment I am expressing my annoyance on this by rolling my eyes and tutting and, if it gets really bad, muttering 'come on people' under my breath. But it's a matter of time before I start yelling STAND ON THE RIGHT, WALK ON THE LEFT FFS! (Of course, this is when the escalators are actually working, which is a whole other story...)

Betty M said...

Ah rage. My usual state thanks to ghastly work. Rather tough maintaining veneer of civil service neutrality in the face of gove et al. Rest of life consuming by dealing with needy parents concerned about school production which is of quasi west End proportions.

Mary said...

Yes yes yes to Stromae lockdown!

ellen kirkendall said...

Yeah. Rage is beginning to be my natural state. Coming of age in the 60's makes me vulnerable to actually caring about politics, which makes me begin to see who is pulling the strings. Plus TWO mass shootings today. Best to you. I hope your book sells a boatload and makes you filthy rich.

Anonymous said...

Thanking higher powers for your blog....laughed out loud for the first/last time today. I was definitely AMAW today although I think middle aged is too generous - old is truthful but your acronym is much nicer. I work in the "hospitality" industry catering to mostly wealthy misogynists. Favorite inspirational saying overheard today in a description of some type of corporate merge: " When the sperm hits that egg it's all good." Really.
Loved your defense of the king. Also hope you sell many books and can afford any type of spa you desire. Please find a publisher in the US...have read your blog almost from inception and would buy books for myself and friends. - Kate

The Reluctant Launderer said...

I was going to say that you just need some tropical sunshine - hurrah! - but then I thought - *I* have all the tropical sunshine a person could want (and more), and still I yell at people to MOVE when they are dragging their flip-flops in front of me, staring mouth-opened at their phones while they walk. (I hope this is not a thing in Thailand, because we are going there also at Christmas, and CHRISTALIVE nothing irritates me more). So how about this: you just need a quiet spot on a tropical beach with a fruity cocktail in hand and a good book. Hurrah! (until then, hang on in there)

Alison said...

I find the only way to counter the utter incandescent rage I feel when people trying to get on a train get in the way of other people trying to get off is to stand pointedly well to the left of said door and glare sardonically at all the idiots. Yep, that teaches 'em.

Anonymous said...

40% home made almond paste - may have to make some more for the actual Christmas cake.
20% sick child keeping me warm with her high temperature.
25% AMAW. Much tutting and eye rolling here, mainly about the stupidity of the British Government and Syrian bombing. I always meant to run away to Aswan and lovely climbing goats I saw there but Yorkshire is closer if less sunny and in-laws live there so I could always go and blag a meal and company when the company of goats grew old. Ooooh! That could be your next book title? In the Company of Goats!
10% Isn't it bedtime yet?
5% Outrage about the stupidity of the British Government. I wish it was higher but it was all so grimly inevitable.

Anonymous said...

Am now 50% wanting to go to Somerset
and 50% wanting to abandon all work and just knit these;110417;6453&utm_source=GShopping&utm_term=&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=&gclid=CL7304SIwMkCFRFmGwody-4FrA

Persephone said...

Nope. It's people standing in the bus exits here in Ottawa too. Has been for years. Sometimes they have earbuds in so they can pretend not to notice you, but all of them, ears plugged or unplugged, are startled, bewildered, astonished, and damn annoyed that you want to use the exit door for ACTUALLY GETTING OFF THE BUS. (Sorry, got a little over-AMAW-ed there...)

And don't get me started on people who use their debit cards in the express line at the grocery store.

anapestic said...

I would very much like to offer a constructive suggestion, but when I googled "abandoning your children at a monastery in Belgium," the results were scandalously uninstructive.

Anonymous said...

I want to buy your book! As a long-time blog reader and lover, I feel it's the least I can do. Where would you prefer I buy it from? (Would offer to pay you in eclairs and mocha kitkats for a signed author's proof but also want to help it be a number one best seller!)

kath said...

Happy Birthday! I've been catching up with you, enjoyed a nice waffle binge. Eyeliner: I have recently discovered that my ferocious reaction to some purples is because I have a shellfish intolerance. They put the little cochineal beetles (exoskeletons and cousins of prawns) in a lot of cosmetics and its ok anywhere else but eyes. So I have to either go for ones in a pot that you paint on with a brush or try to find vegan pencils that don't have carmine in - whoever said Beauty Without Cruelty, thank you I'd forgotten about them. Try Kate Moss for Rimmel in dark green, it goes on gel but sets solid. Also Charlotte Tilbury has just opened a shop opposite Covent Garden tube.

Please can we have a virtual book launch? We could all assemble with gin and mini eclairs.

Another Middle Aged Angry Woman said...

I find that standing directly in the tube or train doorway apparently gormlessly waiting to exit and definately blocking their entrance does eventually cause the putative [many other different terms tried and rejected as too offensive] traveller outwith to shift about .5cm aside. Not enough to actually count as Getting Out of My Way but enough to feel I Have Made My Point.

Waffle said...

Kath - we bloody must do this, it would be amazing. It's the pot eyeliners that give me the crazy itches, but maybe I'll give Rimmel a shot.

Mandy said...

I am so excited for your book to come out! said...

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