*** pause while I deal with another wave of work. It's work whack-a-mole around here this week***
Ok, quick, before anyone else tries to make me do anything. I will write down some stuff here, then I will go and do my reading list for July-August, because it is grossly overdue.
(*I've actually done more shoving under the carpet than deck clearing and I haven't covered a single damn thing in self-adhesive film yet but no matter, let us proceed.)
1. An illness, like chickens
Thank you so much, firstly, for your thoughtful and extensive comments on the death or otherwise of personal blogging which were in and of themselves proof of why it's worth continuing. I have written my piece and could easily have written twice as much, I seem to have many thoughts on the subject, none of them very articulate. Like, is there actually a 'community' now? There are certainly people whose lives I feel I have followed online for years, but it's quite a passive process now, since I very rarely comment or link, so I suppose I just hope they intuit I am reading (this is the kind of thing that gets me into trouble in RL relationships constantly)? I mean, I know I wouldn't bother writing a diary, so obviously there's something necessarily interactive about it and I do love comments, I do, I do, so what I suppose I am saying is I should go and comment on other blogs more. Also, I kept wondering if all blogs have a life cycle and whether you just wear yourself out eventually listening to yourself talk about the same old shit and if, having worn yourself out, you then reach some point of zen acceptance with your churning out of the same old shit? I have no answers, but I have had some very satisfying and funny conversations about it all with Jane, who concluded "it's a illness, like chickens".
Speaking of chickens, all my animals are on mysteriously good form. It won't last.
- A few hours ago I threw some roast potatoes for the chickens (actually one accidentally hit a chicken, which surprised it and wrongly pleased me) and since then the ouipette has been trying, desperately, to get his head under the chicken fence to reach the potatoes, which has been enjoyable and ridiculous.
- I bought the chickens an "anti-boredom, anti-pecking seed block" on our holiday visit to the Domestic Fowl Trust (yep, we know how to party on holiday, pure hedonism), because they were looking lank and threadbare and I had already treated them with a profusion of mite sprays. It has had mixed results. They view it with terror and intense suspicion, which although I imagine not the intended result, does at least perhaps alleviate their boredom. The neighbourhood crows, however, know exactly what it is for and have been trying to get at it for days. Though bold, they are quite scared of the chickens, so they have embarked upon a long game of avian grandmother's footsteps, which I am greatly enjoying.
- The tortoises keep deciding to sleep in the hen house, god knows how they get up that ramp.
- Also, there is one under the table right now, because as soon as I leave the door open, in they come to try and eat dog food.
- The hens have decided they enjoy eating fuschia flowers and do this ridiculous little ungainly hen jump to try and reach them. I could watch this for hours.
Inevitably, I became very fat during the holidays, because there is not enough hill in Yorkshire to work off all the crumpets, gin, Tunnocks Teacakes, and cheese and onion crisps I consume in a fortnight, not to mention the obligatory visit to the buttery fleshpots of the Wensleydale Heifer. The remedy to the fatness is as boring as it usually is, and we have vowed to forswear alcohol and puddings as usual and all is misery and chaff. HOWEVER, I have noticed that what happens when I agree to give up alcohol is that I just accept all the random invitations to PR events I get, in order to drink other people's alcohol, which apparently doesn't count. You are launching a new range of door handles? An insurance policy for dogs? A new networking club for young professionals in financial services? Marvellous! I will attend! Thankfully I don't get invited to many PR events, but I have been drinking budget prosecco out of plastic flutes in the last couple of weeks like it is going out of fashion (which of course it already has).
As a result of extensive grape-based research into new openings, Team #Belgium, I can recommend this new ice cream parlour to you wholeheartedly. It is truly beautiful and delicious and on the site of that really weird ice cream parlour at St Catherine that only opened for 1.5 hours a week and was run by a furious old man who shouted at you if you dithered over your ice cream choice for more than 2 seconds (remember? Ah, good customer service times). I was "paid" several warm cinnamon financiers and three small glasses of champagne to tell you this. Well, I wasn't really, but full disclosure and so on.
4. I am, I'm not, am I?
My eldest son is now learning English. He is gleeful about this (= good marks for absolutely no work) but we are both very dubious about his English book, a cursory glance over which has revealed: grocer's apostrophes, "potatoe" and the word choice spelled "joice". I probably shouldn't talk about it. I probably won't be able to stop myself.
5. Pokemon No
I am still addicted to Pokemon Go and I disgust myself. L renamed all my Pokemons while I was out of the room a few days ago and now they are called things like "Get in my van", "Derren Brown's mum", "Just a cat" and "Do u lift". He is now so tall he amuses himself by coming into the kitchen and PICKING ME UP, which does not please me one bit. There is not a scrap of dignity left in my life at this point.
6. Simple Hipster
F and I spent ages pointlessly riffing on a magazine which would be called Simple Hipster yesterday ( a reaction to some decidedly non-simple hipster translation I was doing).
F: Page one: I MADE IT MYSELF
IT"S GOOD AND HAS PLUMS FROM THE YARD
LOOK WHAT THE CHICKENS DID
WE CAN EAT THEM
WE CAN JUST USE OLD JARS FOR THIS
E: Fashion pages: HAIRY PELTS MANY PELTS. WOOLLY THINGS. BLANKET.
F: page four
MY SHOES ARE OLD BUT EXPENSIVE
HAIRCUTS ARE DUMB
E: I would purchase this magazine. There would be a goat of the month. Captioned: GOOD GOAT. Or BIG GOAT.
F: We could interview the goat. Every answer would be BAAAAA.
7. Watch my Holiday Slides
Look at this beautiful photo of Yorkshire.
This is the view from the house and the reason I fantasise more and more insistently about moving there. The little specks are just-fledged housemartens whose nest was attached to L's bedroom. Obviously he was not in the slightest bit interested but I watched them, rapt, for hours. They are fucking loud. I have a picture of one peeping out, but it's just a black and white blob, so I'll spare you. The bird situation generally was out of control, so I spent quite a lot of time lurking with binoculars and the bird book trying to identify various warblers and finches, oh how the Wanstead Birder is going to laugh about this.
Here we are very lost up a hill. I think our facial expressions/general demeanour/posture convey this well.
At this point, on or other child had said "this was a stupid idea" at least 300 times. I don't know what they were complaining about, it wasn't even sleeting. It was sort of my fault and sort of the fault of the torrential rain of the preceding day making the river impassable, but I just blamed the river, of course.
I LOVE this one, mainly for the sky (it was horrible, we got lost trying to get off the top of the mountain due to low cloud/pouring rain) and for the dog's look of mute desperation, caught on the hoof. 1 purposeful strider, 1 sulky dawdler, 1 MIA, 1 appalled sighthound.
"Really? THIS SHIT AGAIN?"
That will do for now, I am off to write some pithy (=short) book reviews and stare at jumping hens but I WILL RETURN.
50% insect bites, this has been the worst week of the year for biting insects
20% Hating our new boiler, which I imagine as a sanctimonious sandal wearing type, since it will only dispense a parsimonious dribble of lukewarm water at any given time.
20% Aching in every joint of my middle aged being. What do I need? Fish oil? Shark cartilage? A transfusion? A shark cartilage transfusion? Tell me your secrets.
10% Furious I can't get Crazy Ex-Girlfriend on Belgian Netflix. What are you FOR, Belgian Netflix? And why do you keep emailing me about stupid macho films called things like "Man Apart" and "I have a huge gun"? Tsk.
How are you? How was your summer and are you as thrilled as I am that it is OVER?