My exams are over! We had the oral today. I had to work with Mercedes, my Hungarian crony, and the topic was "what are Belgians like", so we both aired a variety of stereotypes in halting nederlands. I was unable to pronounce the word "vegetarian" and we were both confounded by several plurals, but otherwise it went well, apparently, because the teacher told us we should both skip the next level. Hoog vijf! Ah, the sweet balm of basically meaningless external validation. I can now say such things as "goat's cheese" and "natural disaster", offer sketchy sweeping generalisations about your nationality and harangue you about low energy lightbulbs. Truly, I would be an asset at any Dutch party.
For some reason I keep hurting my index fingers. I fell over on the right one a few weeks ago and can no longer use it to eg. open bottles. Then last Saturday I hit the left one really hard with a trowel covered in chicken shit (I think this wound might be infected, not entirely surprisingly) and this weekend I badly burnt the right one in a drunken cooking incident. Need something involving a twisting motion? Like to arm wrestle? Insist on a firm handshake? Walk on by. I also fell over peeing in the night and bashed my forehead on the wash hand basin, I might need a bubble wrap onesie. You don't hear about onesies any more do you? I'm not complaining. In thirty years time whatever they have in the barren post-apocalypse world instead of hipsters will be wearing them as they go out to hunt for rat carcasses, I expect.
If you would like to listen to me sounding like a clueless, blithering fool without actually coming to my house, that is now possible, here, promoting the audio version of my BOOK. I look like a halfwit on that picture, which is entirely accurate. Buy my audiobook! I am not reading it! I'd post a link to enable you to buy it if I could, but I can't actually find it on whatever version of Audible I have, for some reason.
The Yorkshire Vet
"If you're watching that, I'm going to bed," said my elder son as Julian the vet disrobed in order to stick his entire torso into a cow, to which I of course replied "Ok, darling, night night."
This week we learned that a duck penis and a duck anal prolapse look very similar and that "horse dentistry is the worst dentistry" (this via my friend B who was simul-watching with me in another country, because modern life is amazing. Next week appears to feature some extensive donkey based unpleasantness I CANNOT WAIT.
Make a wodden boat
Surely the end of the world is nigh, though since "flood" is one of the Dutch natural disaster words I have learned, I am quietly content about it. The thunder and lightning was so extreme tonight, the weepette spent three hours trembling on my knee, which is longer and closer than he has ever spent in my company since puppyhood.
(I am pleased with this, my new shirt. €20 H&M)
My son, on the other hand, was out in the deluge trekking across Brusssels on public transport because I am heartless and hate driving. He sent me regular despatches on the number of sodden sandal wearers on the bus and finally sent me this:
The scary bat caves (Pairi Daiza) has continued updating its Facebook page with updates written from the perspective of the new baby
I airily offered to write something about ways to deal with the transition from your children thinking you are a godlike and infallible creature to thinking you are the village idiot, but it transpires I don't actually have a clue how to deal with this phenomenon. Do any of you actually have any ideas? Clever tricks, ways of coping other than stiff drinks? If you have any thoughts on the blight which is teensplaining - which is my whole life currently - and its associated annoyances, I would be beyond grateful to hear them. Email if your strategies are not fit for a public forum.
50% Knausgaard misery/joy. His misery, my joy. Vol 2 is my new audiobook after a recommendation and his utter despondency at eg. Swedish nursery meetings, chickpea casseroles and hideous outings with toddlers is filling me with a great and surprising sense of wellbeing.
50% Turnips. I have had two successive meals from the nouveau hippies up the road who make excellent, healthy and often delicious well-priced meals using sustainably sourced local ingredients however dear LORD it is impossible to eat anything from there which does not contain a turnip in some form.