Monday, 2 May 2016


This post is basically an excuse to say that I have put up my reading list for April. I feel sure there is something missing, but maybe I spent ages on A Place of Greater Safety (I did, it was worth it)?


We went on a long old persons' hike yesterday to Furfooz. Furfooz! FURFOOZ! You cannot imagine how many times I said "Furfooz" over the three hours we were there. It is my new favourite place name. I strongly recommend Furfooz to Belgium dwellers and indeed others lured into Belgium by its other many and various delights. Furfooz offers prehistoric caves, a Roman fortress, a peregrine's nest and the maddest bar imaginable, in a shack on the very muddy waterfront. The bar is called "La Flobette" which sounds like a puppet on a children's TV show and features an outdoor lavatory on a raised plinth. I should have taken a picture of it, because I can't really explain satisfactorily with words.

Despite liking walking a great deal, we do not really have the temperament for long hikes, since our default attitude to most things in life is "LET US DO THIS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE" which does not make for a savouring, appreciative kind of walk. There is no time to smell the flowers/eat the mini Twixes, because we must continue this relentless slog until it is over. This was aggravated yesterday by having forgotten any form of performance fabric waterproofs, meaning we had one eye on the menacing Belgian skies the whole time and forgetting any kind of snack meaning we were racing to get back to Furfooz's only food outlet (we did and were rewarded by the landlady showing us lots of pictures of her Chinese Crested dog).

We did stop very briefly on the way, once for me to stare at a small brown bird that was actually diving right under the water in the river and coming up with .. something (fish? worm?), then diving down again. What could this be, bird people (and by "bird people", obviously I mean "Wanstead Birder")? It wasn't a kingfisher and it didn't seem to have any obvious white on it, so I don't think a dipper either. For all I know this may be common bird behaviour, but it seemed weird to me.

We also stopped to marvel at this crazy ass castle, the Château de Walzin, in private ownership and not accessible to the public:

What the hell goes on in there? I'm fascinated.

The ouipette was underwhelmed by the whole business:

Le Sérum du Futur

When I went to purchase my wildly expensive body cream at the funereally dark and luxurious perfumery, I got given a voucher for its sister shop next door, the bright white new age beauty shop, to get a free sample of something describing itself as "le sérum du futur". In order to obtain your sample you had to go and let an enthusiastic man tell you all about the serum of the future, which I did but it was extremely confusing. He definitely mentioned both human growth hormone and volcanos, though how the two are related was unclear. I have lost my ability to suspend disbelief where beauty products are concerned, which is a great sadness to me, but I am nevertheless faithfully applying my three drops of future serum in the hope of one of the following: time travel, flight, a unicorn or radiance. I will let you know how it goes.

20% Other people's bank holidays resentment
10% On my second day waiting in for a desk to be delivered, total radio silence from deliverers, rage
10% Beetroot ravioli (no, on balance)
10% Luridly unpleasant dreams
10% Law
10% Freezing due to total inactivity
10% Wondering whether to release the chickens for a while on the juuuust recovering grass, purely for my amusement.
10% Enjoying the silence



Simon said...

My favourite Belgian town name is the reassuringly down-to-earth-sounding "Dave".

Jess said...

I have yet to be on holiday 24hrs and already nearly finished your book.. Husband continues to sulk and consult weather app as the rain pours down in Greece. Wonderful writing. Getting to that point when I know I will be cross to finish it.
Bank holidays especially in the uk are my top most depressing times of year like New Year's Eve. Too much forced fun.

Waffle said...

Jess - Oh yay! I am very happy (not about Greek weather/sulking husband)!

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For some reason I think you might greatly enjoy the remake of Poldark with the delectable Aidan Turner and his magnificent head of hair, which has its very own twitter account
Lots of footage of the gorgeous Ross Poldark dashing about on horseback on Cornish clifftops, his wonderful curls bouncing in the wind. There is also a very memorable scene in which a shirtless Ross Poldark uses a scythe. The story itself is quite engrossing as well. Need I say more?

Anonymous said...

I think Duffle is my favourite Belgian place name...and I had a near miss with the beetroot Ravioli about 20 minutes ago and decided against. Obviously the right decision

I Say Oui said...

Furfooz is a great name. I can’t imagine how you reacted to the Chinese Crested dog. I looked at the link and it’s not exactly cute…

Jess said...

Finished! Thank you!
We have both been dramatically cheered by the lighting/thunder storms plus massive amounts of food. ⛈⚡️⛈ My best friend said I had to read Elena Ferrante so hopefully it will be as good. 🙌🏼

Waffle said...

Anon - They're not terrible, the ravioli, they're just..meh. I found myself thinking "I should have bought the normal ones".

Sarah_gx21 said...

I have a day off, Dog One threw up in kitchen and conservatory, Dog Two pooped in a panic near by, and I find I am up to date on your blog - hence CLEARLY PROCRASTINATING!
None of these things was in my neatly written plan.

Dale said...

Favorite Belgian name has to be Erps Kwerps --- small but powerful. Also my book finally arrived! Must read NOW.

Waffle said...

Dale/Simon/Anon - I quite like the classic Jesus-Eik, to be said out loud on passing road sign "Jesus EEK! "Ah, Belgium.

Anna Maria said...

Congrats on scoring some Bioeffect. It must surely be harvested at dawn by elves riding unicorns, if the price is anything to go by. I would love to try it, as it is highly recommended by some of my beauty gurus, notably Sali Hughes.

Waffle said...

AM - Seems to be mainly giving me spots so far. My skin is happiest when NOTHING AT ALL goes near it.

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That's a shame, but then Sali has v.dry skin. Mine would probably react like yours - it had always been on the oily side. But now I am over the hill it is drier and has actually liked my recent night cream, Elemis Marine Collagen (India also rates it).

kath said...

Ah I want an audio version so I can listen to it while I run around the Wanstead Birding area frightening birds. 9 hours! That's value.

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