Tuesday, 23 February 2016


1. Things that are hard to do with flu

- Keeping a phone in your hand. It just keeps falling out. One minute you're poking at it like a furiously confused bear just out of hibernation, trying to remember how you access a soothing podcast, the next, there it is, on the floor again. Shit.

- Corporate copywriting. The desk, so cool, so smooth. The words, so wordy. The core values to be communicated, so impenetrably core-y.The forehead begins its inexorable descent.

- Listening to your son's violin practice. Jesus, no. Could we not just both sit and look at the violin together? In silence? I'm just going to put my head on your knee for a second. Sssh, don't speak.

- Fixing the washing machine. Difficult parts: getting down to the basement. Remembering which way you turn the knob to unscrew the … thing. Shouting. Shouting is a vital part of the process but with flu it comes out as a pitiful honk. Remembering why you are in the basement in the first place when you come to in a pool of tepid, mysteriously blue water after what was apparently a ten minute impromptu nap.

- Arguing. So you're telling me you don't need any writing implements whatsoever for this geography field trip? Sure, whatever, that sounds plausible. Go in peace. Close the door quietly.

- Watching Mythbusters. Why is everything so loud? All the fires! The unbearable pathos of the exploded gobstopper, the ginger man's eager face, the other man's noble moustache. Tears course uncontrollably.

- Everything else, including updating your weblog as has been made amply clear, sorry.

2. The kids are (possibly) all right

I was turning off my eldest son's ever-buzzing phone after he went to bed last night and the message on screen was a massive screed of what appeared to be poetry. When I asked him about it this morning he told me that a girl in his class's What's App group (I say What's App, but it is probably something more modern I don't know about, whatever) is writing a sort of epic prose poem featuring them all and circulating episodes. "I was in it for, like, 2 seconds then she killed me off," he said, ruefully. He is angling to come back as a zombie but no dice yet. I find this very impressive. If such a medium of communication had existed back when I was at Quaker school, I know for a fact we would have used it solely for speculating on when the fit man from House and Sons Electricians who looked a bit like Ryan Giggs might be seen again and laughing about Mr Wills's grey slip-on shoes.

3. Hashtag Belgium

Much excitement last night in Brussels when a drunk man in a Range Rover drove through the metro tunnels on the tracks of my usual line, like a boss* (*toddler, knobhead). When he could drive no longer, he just sat on the rails, refusing to get out of his car. This is the mark of a person whose drunken frolic has no thought-out endgame whatsoever and for that, I salute him.


60% Nurofen
10% Strepsils
10% Lemsip
10% Fucking gross and almost certainly useless banana cough syrup
5% Tea
5% Just had a micro-nap while trying to think of the last 5%.



frau antje said...

25% Suspecting the universe overuses explosions no less than Mythbusters. It will all end in tears anyway.

25% Tiresomely jammed a screwdriver into the back of my finger.

45% One form of boneless dread crammed inside another over impending construction, I call it Beleef de Erfgrenze.

5% Momentarily had the thought that banana cough syrup might turn my life around. That can't be good.

Waffle said...

Frau A - This comment like so many of yours exemplifies why you are in the acknowledgments of my book. NB Google translate says beleef de erfgrenze means "experience the plot boundary".

Anonymous said...

75% insincerity - 'Oh dear, half term is over and you have to go back to school. Yes, that is sad'.
25% impatiently waiting for lambcam - http://www.museumwales.ac.uk/blog/2016-02-18/lambcam-2016/

Andrea Bird said...

For coughs, I HEARTILY recommend BRONCHOSTOP! It is so vile, I genuinely believe it will make your banana concoction taste like fine .....(insert your tipple of choice). My theory is, that your body suppresss your hitherto uncontrollable cough to prevent you having to face another dose (and its attendant thyme flavoured after-burps).

Jane Murray Bird said...

2 Makes me so, so happy.

Nimble said...

I'm trying to summon compassion toward my husband who is the last of the four of us to come down with the sore throat virus that has been tap dancing on our tonsils for the last two weeks. But part of me is relieved -- yay that's finally everyone, there are no more humans who can get this virus living in our house. And part of me thinks it's about time he suffered like the rest of us.

February has been so much better for me than January because I can see the days lengthening. But it'll be good to get this ephus behind us.

Place to stand said...

At least you can follow what's app - I am up to speed with the boss thing - drives me up the wall. I was called another one today when I was recounting ( for the 11th million time ) my Benedict Cumberbatch anecdote - after a dodgy performance of the admittedly tricky Rhinoceros at The Royal Court I saw him outside having a fag, told him I knew the play and it was bloody tough and he gave ME a kiss on the cheek - think this was pre Sherlock.

Anyway son comes up with some expression for 'Mother you are off on one' which I temporarily forget.

Adam McQuaid said...

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