Friday, 7 October 2016


What I find is really excellent is to write a long, impassioned piece about your great love of blogging and your determination not to give up on this precious, endangered medium and then to just give the fuck up for weeks on end.


Some things that have happened:

1. My neck gave up.  

I did not know this was how the ageing process went. One minute I had the more or less serviceable neck of a woman in early middle age, the next I had the sagging wattle of a geriatric domestic fowl. Sic transit etc. I wonder if 41 years of functional dehydration have finally caught up with me? I'm not drinking more water even if that IS the case. Rather, I am taking it as a sign that I can settle into proper middle aged drinking (= stiff gin every evening), continue to dress like a dog breeder and shout at young people on the tram. I might as well embrace it.

2. I went relic hunting with my internet friend F in Paris.

(No, we did not rob Kim Kardashian)

Oh GOD, we had such fun. We saw: many femurs, innumerable fragments of the true cross, a fragment of Christ's umbilical cord, St Innocent's teeth, a reliquary in the shape of a foot (whether it contained a foot was uncertain), 2 whole incorrupt saints (wax coated) and some parts of St Helena all trussed up like a parma ham.


We missed out on the incorrupt heart of St Vincent de Paul (chapel too busy with pilgrims) and, in Yorkshire, the hand of St Margaret Clitherow (we went to Yorkshire too), but there is always next time. We'll Always Have Relics. A friend who shares your love of shrivelled saint digits is a precious thing indeed.

The woman cleaning our Airbnb was obsessed with telling me about a previous guest who had left an apple behind the front door. This was apparently the most depraved thing she had ever seen. "A whole apple. Not a core. I rang my boss and I told him, 'I hope you're sitting down', then I told him the whole story." It was very puzzling. I hope we did not leave any accidental fruit behind.

Also on a produce theme, Paris seemed to be obsessed with municipal plantings of kale and chard. What is that all about?

This, whilst not a relic, also pleased me:

Definitely if I were choosing a shop sign for my bun shop it would be one featuring my massive hand buboe.

I am now missing Paris and North Yorkshire with equal fervour, which is puzzling and difficult. Also, I am doing that obnoxious thing where you get home after a reasonably extended absence and people have moved things and done things and you bustle around tutting and narrowing your eyes, in the manner of a dog territorially pissing on a lamppost. I hate myself for it, but apparently cannot stop.

3. I have updated the reading page for September.

Not the most memorable month, much soporific Icelandic crime.

4. The St Gilles penis

Followed by the St Catherine arsehole. Ah, Belgium.

5. I got chatted up at the station.

By a (strange, elderly, probably mad) man who said "do you have lots of brothers, because you have very masculine taste." For some reason (#thepatriarchy) I found this absurdly flattering.

6. Accidentally attended Richard III's birthday celebrations at Middleham Castle. 

Man, those people are crazy. A lot of them were wearing Richard III sweatshirts and they had scattered white roses all over the castle and were standing around being vehement about his innocence and general good chap-itude. There was Richard III cheese and a weary looking dog wearing Richard III's coat of arms.

7. Dutch class blues

I was forced to go up a level and now I don't really understand anything and am desperately scrabbling to catch up after missing two classes due to my relics jolly. Also, the new teacher thinks Brexit is hilarious, which is getting a bit old, and we are learning the conditional tense through the medium of sport, which is unspeakably sordid. The class is in a new building which is further away and has no functioning drinks machine and I am generally not bathed in positive feelings about the whole endeavour, but too listless and inert to do anything about it. However, I do have an excellent new Dutch word: rompslomp, meaning hassle.


20% Shaping up for double pizza today, like the disgusting beast I am.
20% Must pitch. Have been asked to pitch. Have no ideas. Head like an empty Greggs bag, with only a few crumbs of puff pastry inside, rolling uselessly down the street.
20% Too much good TV to watch. Ru Paul! Transparent! Bake Off! Hunted! Other stuff!
20% Surly administrative avoidance - screw you, inbox.
20% Wondering if I could get a fragrance that would be "Betty's York, 9am, c.1987"



Crazy Mom! said...

Brussels is truly batshit crazy. The graffiti is hilarious.

Glad you're back

Anonymous said...

Oh transparent is SO good! Welcome back

ganching said...

I love a good relic. When I did the 11+, approximately 1,000 years ago, some of the other children were practically rattling they had so many holy medals and relics pinned to the inside of their clothes. Didn't do them much good unfortunately.

Anna Maria said...

Goldens always look like that, unless they are panting, when they look like they are smiling.
Romslomp - wonderful.
Loved the piece on blogging, I agree podcasts have replaced blogs to a degree. Also - newsletters, so many great ones done by very smart women.

Patience_Crabstick said...

I'm glad you're back!
I should read some Icelandic literature. I think I would really like to move to Iceland. My husband isn't really into this idea though. But if I can get him into one of the pools, he will understand.

CJ said...

Wish someone would ask me to pitch. Sigh. Of course I would have no ideas either, so it's just as well they don't. The relics are quite horrific. It's a whole other world I didn't know existed. I very much like the idea of pizza. Thank you for the inspiration, glad I stopped by.

Jane Murray Bird said...

Municikale makes me so happy!

Anonymous said...

..spent the whole time hoping for you to come back. Feeling neglected and forgotten.
Now glad to see that you're backe and feeling much more confident about the future.

cruella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dear Waffle, what I find totally excellent is to be able to read your lovely article and be glad that you don't intend to stop blogging because that would be a sad day for people like me, who get an inordinate amount of pleasure from your well-turned phrases and wry outlook on life. Somehow you always make me laugh and brighten my mood.
People should pay you to go visit cities and report back on their relics and cakes, I would totally back a website/ book devoted to that sort of thing! Someone cleverer than me could probably come up with a brilliant name based on relish/relic/cake or something. You would inspire a whole new trend in tourism and bring back relic worship in a Europe that is sorely needed of this sort of thing (or something). The weirder the relic, the better!

Clare said...

Waffle, I am so glad you are back. And your article on blogging was delightful. I was late to the blog lurking party, but really enjoy yours, courtesy of the reciperifle that was. I must confess I then binge read your blog (work was quiet at the time). However, the interesting upshot was, when I read your book (yes, I bought it), the happy ending was a genuine (and lovely) surprise. Anyway, you fiend, thanks to your article I am now stalkily reading back issues of Miss Underscore. Just as well I have nothing to achieve at present...

Louise said...

O goody you're back..thought you'd gone permanently awol....

Waffle said...

Oh Clare, thank you! I am not at all sorry about turning you onto Miss U who is an excellent use of your time.

Anon - If there is a market for this quite specialist travel journalism, I have finally found my calling.

Cathie said...

Loved your piece on blogging but not as much as I LOVE your blog. Re neck issues, I have been tackling my own 40 something turkey neck with NIOD's Neck Elasticity Catalyst - shit name (but not as bad as the superoxide dismutase saccharide mist or the Sanskrit saponins by the same company) but actually v pleased with results (available from Victoria Health). X

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