Tuesday, 26 January 2016


Go on, join in, let's get it all out, a problem shared is a problem... well, I don't know. It's still a problem but I always like reading yours.

1. January has gone on for seven months already and is not over.

2. I am really sick of watching "Mythbusters", which is our compromise household default programme, but which is basically just two overgrown ginger manchildren, one of whom has a walrus moustache, exploding stuff in a highly repetitive fashion for entirely spurious reasons. Tonight: breast implants, CDs, petrol stations. Yesterday: lavatories. Tomorrow: who knows. Racoons. Cereal. Soft furnishings. No one cares as long as there is FIRE. This is not science, people and I have my doubts as to whether it qualifies as entertainment either.

3. I have a spot on my chin and tomorrow I am going to get my picture taken for my book flap-slash-publicity (my choice, in a fit of a kind of reverse vanity. I could have just reused some old one from a million years ago, when I was young and fresh faced, but the contrast with real Hag Me would have been too hideous and I would rather the truth were out there, unpalatable as it is).

4. I keep overeating, but not the jolly, indulgent kind of overeating. I am doing the worst kind of overeating where you start with an orange, virtuously. Then a plain yoghurt. Then you add a semi-virtuous square of dark chocolate. Then another. And another. Then you are still hungry so you have a couple of nuts and so on and so on until you have ingested twelve billion calories and could have far more satisfactorily eaten a whole coffee and walnut cake.

5. I am using a ridiculous ancient phone as a replacement for mine which is still with the applenerds, who are apparently committed to sustainable, artisanal, Slow Repair, probably with wooden whittling sticks. Things you cannot do on the ancient phone:
- answer calls
- pick up voicemail
- listen to podcasts with less than an hour's preparation
- count your steps
- take pictures
- obsessively refresh Instagram even though it is only pictures of the Chanel show and some sky and all those chicken feeds my younger son has forced me to follow. God, why do I love Instagram so much? It's just pictures of chickens and food.

Actually that doesn't sound too bad when you put it like that and it is certainly teaching me patience, but I wonder whether there is any point in it at all. I might as well adopt a crow and carry that around with me, it would be far nicer and just as useful. The only thing I can actually do is contact my eldest son's friends of three years ago (I can choose from eg. "les emerdeurs" (sic), "huglandlefayot" (sic) or myself, for some reason listed as "Future Goat") using an app called "Vibr" (sp?) and look at PewDiePie. I have not done any of these things BUT I MIGHT. Also, the ringtone, when the phone that I cannot answer rings, is some soft rock number on histrionic crescendo, which at least matches my mood/expression as I bash furiously at the 'accept call' button to no avail.

6. Having tanned fractionally from blue to off-white in Thailand (yes, here comes a true tiny violin complaint), my legs are now so amazingly dessicated that flakes of skin drift off them in an attractive fashion every time I dress or undress (not that I do this much in winter, I just occasionally swap one layer for another as hygiene demands).

7. My eldest son has just announced to me that he has Thursday and Friday off this week for teacher training, wotthehell, how can I sit in restoratively morose silence eating my meagre lunches of punishment soup followed by orange/chocolate/yoghurt/nuts/guilt whilst watching First Dates when I have to police his Playstation killing and prevent him from eating every biscuit in the house? Mehitabel and her kittens comes to mind ("the life of a female artist is continually hampered what in hell have I done to deserve all these kittens", for "kittens" read "teacher training days").

8. I got cornered by a fireman who came to the door and made me give him €10 and I have no idea what I paid for and also I got cold called about changing my electricity supplier and the woman was so skilful that I think I have agreed to a man coming round at some point to try and sell me electricity and clearly the only way ahead is to neither answer the phone nor come to the door ever again.

9. As evidenced by the above my life is very boring at the moment and I have nothing whatsoever to write about.

Please proceed with your complaints, the bureau des r├ęclamations is now open.


CJ said...

I have thriftily bought two 16kg bags of flour, so much cheaper to buy in this way. But they do not fit in my tiny kitchen. I know one of them will fall over after I've opened it, and imagine how big a cloud of flour 16kg will make. I am trying to be a writer but the whole earning money thing is proving tricky. My son called me a fatbum earlier. I no longer understand lightbulbs. There is a choice of approximately a hundred. WHICH ONE DO I NEED??? I'll see your fruit, yoghurt, chocolate and two nuts and raise you five cookies and a cheesecake.

Seren said...

Five cookies and cheesecake? I went to McDonalds twice yesterday. Twice! Mainly because my ridiculous employer insists on me booking specific trains rather than open tickets (to save on the travel and subsistence budget) despite the fact that every single minute/hour that I spend sitting around in horrific draughty stations I will be claiming as time off in lieu. Also, I make them pay for the McDonalds. Mwah hah hah. It's a hollow victory though because...well.

Oh, also, they never make enough episodes of Endeavour. ITV has pretty much one good series and they make three episodes at a time. Why? (This is a middle class complaint if ever I heard one).

Jane Murray Bird said...

It is still January IN SCOTLAND surely beats all the other kinds of Januaries? Also, and mainly, no snow. Plus my husband eventually went back to work after many weeks of Xmanay and baking Terry's Chocolate Orange brownies, leaving me with only ill-fitting jeans and a grease-splattered kitchen. And no crow. Air Crash Investigation was our default telly when they were younger. There's a lot of crossover.

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Anna Maria said...

Husband bought new high-tech scales, which revealed that I'm 1/3 blubber. The maximum fat ratio for women is apparently 32%, and despite not being 'officially' fat, and still the same size as 5 years ago, my ratio is slightly higher, so it is no cake for me from now on till I pop my clogs, maybe just for birthdays, and Christmas. Ageing is not for (greedy) sissies, as Bette Davies said.
But I have to admit it has forced me to move more.

Anonymous said...

Things are still Very Difficult and recovery is Very Slow. I haven't had a proper night's sleep in weeks, maybe months. My brain must think it is very important for me to worry in the small hours just to make up for having managed to get by during the day, when I focus on meeting work deadlines or at least on not submitting too late when I'm unable to think fast enough to finish on time. Is that why it wakes me up three or four times a night in a panic thinking it's already morning and I've slept through the alarm? Then I toss and turn waiting for sleep to descend again. Last night it occurred to me in a half-crazed flash around three in the morning that maybe I should burst into tears, that maybe it would help, but I wasn't able to. No tears, just worry after worry, going over the events of the past few months and trying to imagine a time when things were not so Difficult. Mornings are doable just because there is no time to wallow. There are things to be done, breakfast to make, a kid to cajole into eating and not forgetting homework or gym gear or whatever random slip of paper has to be taken into school on any given day. It's times like now that are the hardest, no immediate deadline to distract my brain from Worry mode, bone-tired exhaustion willing me to go back to bed and a terrible feeling of dread at the pit of my stomach. Time for some more coffee. Sorry for being such a downer, seems like it's all I have right now.

cruella said...

Follow me on Instagram, I guarantee snow, ice, swimming selfies, FOOD, no chickens but book covers. And booze. Occasionally. Hardly ever family, they are Luddites in this respect.

Bit in overeating spot on. I just ate not one but two oranges. I know the sorry end of this.

Waffle said...

I kind of want to leave the cabs in Mumbai spam, I think it adds a certain poignancy.

Cruella - I WILL. WHAT IS YOUR NAME ON THE INSTAGRAM. I don't knwo why I am typing in capitals.

Anon - I am so sorry things are shit, I do know how that feels and wish that it were different for you. It will be eventually. Drugs (she said brightly, like a cocktail party hostess/pusher)?

Anna Maria - We used to have scales like that, I disabled them with an angry kick.

cruella said...

Cruella64. Quick self-conscious scrolling on Insta shows quite a few ski selfies of late. Fear not, snow gone from Stockholm now. Very sad.

frau antje said...

Could definitely complain about the existence of Mythbusters. I prefer watching How the Universe Works with sound off and dutch subtitles, maybe listening to The World is a Ghetto by War on repeat (anything about aliens can go fuck itself, seriously, you are pushing me into bios of Andy Warhol, Walt Whitman and Eugene O'Neill, I'm warning you documentary channels). Did recently mention to kid that some mythbusters shows were filmed in a WWII blimp hangar built for coastal defense, out of wood as steel was rationed at the time...but not because either of us watched them.

Working until the middle of the night, and subsequently working from home has become the new normal here. Not for me, I'm just the serf who balks at polishing your boots twice in one day. Meagre lunches, we hardly knew ye!

Dale said...

Snowpocalypse was awe-inspiring (watched from a warm vantage point with hot chocolate), then massively inconvenient, than still more massively inconvenient, and now I think I shall soon be able to melt the (enormous) remaining snow piles with my tears. Baltimore always seems to overdo things.
Of course my complaints are as nothing compared to how the parents of school-aged children must be feeling as the schools remain closed for the third straight day.

Anonymous said...

Thank you dear Waffle. You're right, maybe it's time to look into a little chemical assistance. At the very best of times I belong to the "power on through" school of stoic idiots so I'm very hesitant to ask for help for myself ever. Now that times are hard, the urge to power on through, somehow bulldoze myself into the middle of the year and hopefully out of this rut is very strong. It's contradictory of course, because in my head I tell myself that I have to be well in order to be able to help and support but if I am ignoring that I'm getting unwell myself while providing that help and support then that doesn't make sense, apart from setting a poor example. It's incredibly isolating to be dealing with this kind of crisis that I can't very well share with other people, especially since it's not mine to share in the first place. I think what I'm realizing in all of this is just how isolated a life I'm leading and how fragile/ non-existent my support network is. Years of physical distance and emotional estrangement from family (not my fault, as if that mattered any more) have a strange way of shrinking and hollowing out most other non-family connections and I don't think there is a single person in the world I could confide in about what I'm going through right now. All my interactions are entirely superficial, it's like there's a shiny surface of niceties but then underneath everything is in turmoil.
Therapists are all very well, but they're there in a professional capacity and not as friends and in any case I can't afford to pay them any more than I already am. I think this whole experience is revealing my own personal situation to be a lot more tenuous and fragile than I ever realized and that is probably the scariest part, because if I'm not OK and in charge, then who will take the helm and guide the whole enterprise to safety?
Thank you for saying things will be different eventually. It's what I'm hoping anyway, when I allow myself to be hopeful.

LuLuAnna said...

I am 56 today. Is that miserable enough? I am certainly not happy about it. I do not want to be old and 56 is OLD. To show my age "Deal or No Deal" is on in the background. How? Why ? What? (Off now I've found the remote...)

I am shortly going to stand in the pouring rain in the coldest corner of Oxford to watch my youngest son play hockey.

On the plus side, I adore reading your blog- it always make me smile.I have pre-ordered your book so will in time get to see the result of the photo-shoot...

And on a more serious point, my dear daughter has real stress related non-sleeping issues, and finds that a few days of GP prescribed sleeping tablets breaks the cycle. There is no question of getting addicted, as they only give you a handful, presumably to stop you selling them on..


Waffle said...

LuluAnna - Yes I agree short term meds can make a huge difference. Same with a small amount of Xanax. Simply knowing I had it for catastrophes made me far calmer. But mainly HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Anon - See above, meds helped hugely for me even in the very short term. You can't weave resources from nothing especially when your own are terribly depleted. Anyway, I am sorry things are awful and I hold you in the light, as the quakers say. xxxx

Anonymous said...

Thank you dear Waffle, somehow I feel a little less alone.

Patience_Crabstick said...

Instagram is my absolute favorite social media right now.

I am literally too stupid for my new job. I guess that's more of a despairing cry than a complaint.

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