Tuesday, 14 June 2016


The world is awful, isn't it. My only real solace is the sole capybara still on the loose in Toronto. Long may it roam wild and free, scorning the Canadian people whilst swimming in their ponds. The number of people who have contacted me to discuss the rogue capybaras has been extremely heartwarming.

I have been absent mainly due to making my eldest child's life a living hell for the past week or so, because OH JOY, it is exam season and I am an utter pain in the arse.

Things I now know about: 

1. The sexual organs of the daffodil, poppy, bugle (nope, nor me), geranium and "épilobe des montagnes" (also no).

2. How to write out a formula describing the sexual organs of the above.

3. I also invented a rude mnemonic (BUGGERCOCK) for working out whether the female sexual organs of these plants were "supérieur" or "inférieur", without actually knowing what this meant.

4. Something respiration something fermé, something something cutanée, this is how a frog breathes. Ok, I don't actually know that one.

5. The rivers of Belgium, which are nothing like the rivers of Babylon, but which I can now place on a map of Belgium (I can also draw you one of these with my eyes shut, this must be something like my eighth year of Belgian geography, I am practically the kingdom's official cartographer at this point): Lys, Yser, Dyle, Sambre, Meuse, Semois, etc etc etc. I am slightly helped in this endeavour by the giant agricultural map of Belgium that hangs in our hall, but less than you might expect because I always get distracted by wondering what it would be like to live in the bit where it says "BESTIAUX" in huge letters.

6. How to complain, in Dutch, about what your penpal has suggested as activities for your enjoyable day out together.

The question of whether my son knows about any of those things - apart from the frog - remains entirely open. He is fully on top of frog breathing though.

I was also waiting to post in the hope that more of you would give me advice on how to deal with teensplaining so I could do this article I unwisely suggested, which some of you kindly did.

Awful things I have seen in the streets of Brussels this week:

1. A shop called "Vegasm"

2. A car bumper sticker reading "Breastfed baby on board" FUUUUCKKKK OFFFFFF.

3. A slim, rather posh looking man in his fifties displaying so much tanned, hairy bum crack it was impossible to look away.

4. This, my delightful neighbour, avec t-shirt

Et sans t-shirt:

(This creature = the best argument for Brexit)

Cultural puzzles:

1. Versailles hair

M: How do all the men in Versailles have such perfect, lice-free hair?

E: Their locks are AMAZING. Luxuriant, glossy. Whatever old-timey stuff they are using is plainly magic.

M: Horse oils.

E: As a busy monarch, I need my hair at its best, all day every day, for my demanding schedule of sex and flouncing and I don't have time for fiddly conditioning treatments. That's why I use: HORSE OILS.

(I haven't been able to watch Versailles really. I've tried several times, but the ridiculousness is just too extreme)

2. Black Water

I have just read this. I love Louise Doughty but I thought I knew what to expect from her and that was NOT THIS AT ALL. It is excellent, don't get me wrong, and I absolutely recommend it, but it's like a whole other person wrote it. I hadn't read anything about it before reading (this interview is interesting), and was quite discombobulated.


There is no actual puzzle here, I just can't stop watching it. Maybe that is the puzzle: how do I stop watching UnREAL when I should be working?


30% Impotent fury that the plastic road safety armadillo (yes, the road safety armadillo is A Thing) someone put down the lavatory circa 2008 is still causing me to have to unblock it with an unbent coat hanger approximately three times a week.
20% Excess pizza remorse
20% Impending summer foreboding
20% M on Mull with no wifi and B in the States online loneliness.
10% How the fuck did those chickens escape bafflement


Oh! PS! Robynn Weldon you have not claimed your book prize yet. Please to be emailing. 


CJ said...

I've missed visiting your space. Somehow life is suddenly all completely in perspective once again.

Jonathan said...

Great. Now I have "The Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M stuck in my head.

Betty M said...

100% disbelief at lunacy of heading for Brexit. No head space for anything else.

EMR said...

15% roused from slumber by phone call - did I get away with it?
40% I'm a goin shopping tonight
10% How wet or dry are my clothes on the clothes horse?
5% Will I ever get the better of this bedroom?
5% Last hours of freedom before temp job tomorrow
25% Vacant

frau antje said...

You don't even want to know what I now know. But in way too many instances I can't PROVE it. so what's the point?

The top of my left index finger looks like a used prop from Mythbusters.

Anonymous said...

I read you faithfully and never comment, but... now I can be of very minor assistance! The epilobe des montagnes must be a relative of our Alaskan Epilobium angustifolium, otherwise known as fireweed. There are also smaller varieties called willow herbs. They're very nice flowers, google them and see. Folk wisdom around here says when the fireweed blooms all the way to the top, it's about to snow. No idea if that works in Belgium.

Waffle said...

Anon - Thank you! Given there ARE no mountains in Belgium, I can only imagine the epilobe sits crossly on Altitude 100, the highest point in Brussels, bitching to dandelions about how it's supposed to be in the Alps.

Waffle said...

Frau Antje - Now I think of it, I think my legs might be made of that flesh jelly they use on Mythbusters for shooting things.

Susie W said...

That's not a cat is it? What's wrong with it?

Patience_Crabstick said...

I literally laughed out loud at BUGGERCOCK as mnemonic for remembering plant sexuality facts.

35% concern that the thunderstorm we're having right now is literally the end of the world
35% smugness at getting the grocery shopping done before the storm hit
30% indecision over kombucha or tea.

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