Thursday, 15 December 2016

A large spleen

I've been keeping updating the blog as a reward when I finish my various tedious tasks, but of course I never finish them, so there is never any updating. Anyway, Ganching has shamed me by telling me she can't bear to see the words "c******y p*s" whenever she clicks, so I have moved it up the to-do list, because I am nothing if not a craven people-pleaser.


I got some brilliant late birthday presents.

Madevi drew me my own angry pony card AND got me a small vintage goat smallholding.

My sister got me The Yorkshire Vet's Yorkshire Vet BOOK and not only that, she got it dedicated for me, I die (actually, she apparently got Prog Rock to go and get it signed, he is so saintly and the thought of him doing this is really making me laugh).

The book is everything I could have wished for, featuring Julian examining testicles with intense concentration and bashfully holding a giant tumour. Also sentences such as "Blimey, that's a large spleen". 10/10, would buy for whole family, probably will.

I do know you are almost certainly entirely indifferent to my tales of Yorkshire Vet, I am sorry, there isn't much happening in my life and I have become very boring and cotton-wool headed so I have to rely on veterinary distraction. The last few episodes have been excellent in numerous ways - tiny tiny tiny tiny minipony foal, mass mini horse castration, whippet puppy, cute kitten line-up, OWL (tawny, concussed, happy ending) and the next one on Christmas Eve looks cracking, featuring a tiny stripy piglet in a blanket (if this makes you think of dinner, my beloved exclaimed "suckling pig!" at the first sighting of it, so you are in good company).


Things that have attracted my ire recently (yes, apart from the hideous state of the world, which is unbearable):

1. Study leave
My children either do not leave the house at all or go to school for like, an hour or something then return to sprawl on the sofa consuming all my bandwidth and expecting to be fed and mansplaining to me the many things I am doing wrong, or why they OBVIOUSLY don't need to be revising.

2. Clementines
I love you, clementines, but why are so many of you shit? It is very simple: you must be juicy, tart and not impossible to open. I tire of you being flavourless, flaccid and bitter. Get your house in order, citrus fruits.

3. The hens
We spent most of last weekend construction Hen Alcatraz, because Hillary the Hen and her tiny sidekick spend most of their time luxuriantly shitting on my back doorstep and cackling at me. They both escaped within about 3 hours of being released into their new improved captivity.

4. Belgian customs
Who are holding my birthday present from F hostage and who sent me an incomprehensible, lengthy document asking questions about my tax status, none of which contained the option "this is a low value gift, you fuckers, let me have this shred of joy in my life".

5. The disappearance of the "compress" function from my computer.

6. The shrinkage - not my doing, of course - of my beloved cashmere bedsocks, which are now the correct size for a (very lucky) three year old.

7. Constantly having to delete witch doctor spam. I get it, Dr Unity. The next time I need a love spell, I know where to come.

8. My total inability to put on my new Tamagotchi, sorry Fitbit. Nothing makes you feel more like a bewildered pensioner than your own inability to close two small plastic fastenings.

9. Tracking the paltry handful of things I have ordered for Christmas online and impotently watching as they sit, immobile, in far-flung depots.

I know there were many more. Angry muttering is now my main hobby.


This is such an odd time of year, I do love it, but it's an intense ball of FEELINGS and EXPECTATIONS and MEMORIES and SADNESS. My heart feels like it swells up like a gigantic sponge with the weight of Christmas past, the fact that my children no longer have any desire to ride the giant cockroach at the Christmas market and now know that Jesus is called Jesus and not Nathan, the absence of the one person in our family who was properly brilliant at Christmas, the strange loneliness of being the only one in my family who would even contemplate the consumption of a mince pie and the desire to be in a chilly chapel singing something very, very old. It's weird for loads of people, though, this is hardly news. But if that is also you, I found this podcast (Episode 3, Happy(ish) holidays) very cathartic. It is so so sad - it made me weep openly on public transport (people often weep openly on the STIB but usually it is because they have been stuck in a tunnel due to a derailment for three hours) - but it's also funny and reassuring and hopeful.

Alternatively, take comfort in my sister's take on York christmas:

European christmas is so classy i am realising. York is flipping mobbed with people baying for presents. and pissed. i went to station at 8pm the other week it was like when u go a club and they turn the lights on at the end but there were more people and they had 1000 bags of shopping. They were doing the flipping hokey cokey on my train. hahaha There were also some intense conversations i heard a pep talk from one drunk lad that included the phrase 'Your Mum IS CAPITALISM' (like in a good way) and a totally sober woman that telling this young lass she met literally 2 minutes ago that at age 46 she didnt feel ready to nurture another human being, she seemed pretty happy about this state of affairs. I forgot how York York is.


Very much enjoyed our shopping trip this weekend (we managed to buy ONE present).

Oh yes this is perfectly comfortable. Don't you worry about me. 

You young folk just enjoy yourself. This hard tiled floor is perfectly comfortable.  

I'll just be here, waiting for death.



Anonymous said...

Ouipette looks just like my husband on shopping trips. We are going on one tomorrow ...hurrah...

My father makes no effort at all for Christmas unless forced, so his joyless example spurs me on to festoon the house with greenery and fairy lights, which only just masks the feeling that it's all a bit pointless for two adults. Father is whisked off by his new wife to her jolly, festive family where no doubt he enjoys himself immensely, the traitor. I miss my mother too very much at this time of year. Your letter to yours had me weeping miserably in front of the computer which was probably very good for me so, um, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not indifferent to your tales of the Yorkshire Vet. I'd not heard of it since Channel 5 is now located on the obscure channels page of the Radio Times and who can be bothered to plough through those? But since reading your blpg I have discovered its joys and now can't get enough of Julian and Friends.
So a huge thank you from me.

Stacy said...

I love that podcast. I have to listen to it at home alone though, for the reason you mention. I was openly sobbing. My poor dog was looking at me all concerned. I may have to close the door next time. I don't want to cause her undue stress.

I am sure we would love the vet show here, but alas, unless it shows up on Netflix, the only way to enjoy it is vicariously through your recaps.

Dame Eleanor Hull said...

I adore the angry pony.

WOL said...

I read the "All Creatures Great and Small" books (Skeldale House!), and watched the excellent dramatization with Peter Davidson, et al., and just loved it. However, I notice that in the (entirely too many)years since, that having lost one of my sweet kitties on the operating table and having to have have three more kitties put down for one horribly inevitable reason or another, I have gotten to where I can't bear to watch medical situations involving animals, especially injured ones, even when the outcome is good.

The holiday season so far this year has been one long, loud Bah, Humbug! for me. Just can't seem to get with the program.

And if I see one more pickup truck with a fake holly wreath wired to the front grill . . .

carolinefo said...

Compress? Your computer has a 'compress' button?
What does it compress? How?


Clementines - yes, so stressful. I get odd looks in M&S food hall as I feel the clementines in their bag to make sure they're not squidgy. A surprising amount are, and I can't be doing with a squidgy clementine. Firmness is all.

Well, not ALL, because then there's the whole peeling thing.
Very thin-skinned hard to peel ones are extremely challenging and messy and
emerge from the peeling process looking.. battered.

And finally the flavour - some are exquisitely clementiney, some taste bitter, some are watery and taste of nothing much at all. There is no way of telling in advance
which it will be.

There are so many different ways in which a citrus fruit can go wrong.

But they look so beautiful, and they make Christmas bright and lovely,
and hope springs eternal for the perfect clementine..

frau antje said...


Still gagging down enough of the 'food' here to sustain my body for another paltry few hours. The question, "What's for dinner?," leaves me cold.

I have decked the non-existent halls with boughs, which I occasionally stick my face in. (there's a primitively carved goat in one of them)

We have oxy in the house.

Am dying to know whose mother capitalism is, as I have always heard that capitalism is the mother of intervention.

And speaking of the Happy New Year (reason NUMBER ONE for you to enjoy 'this' Christmas), I do not want to ever again hear that you are trying to decide who is scarier, tr*mp or putin, waste of energy! Sad!

just curious said...

Oh yes, hoarding podcasts, I do it all the time. Christmas gets bumpy when one's children are going into adolescence. I have been paring down the holiday. The artificial tree is low maintenance for me (I was the one always stuck vacuuming up the needles for the rest of the year when we had a real tree) and we mostly exchange gift cards. I take a long walk. Our neighborhood is mostly South Asian now, so there's less pressure on us all around. If we want to, we can always go to an Indian restaurant and then to the movies.
La La Land looks good this year.

just curious said...

La La Land Trailer:

Waffle said...

I'm EXCITED about La La Land. I wish it were out NOW.

Shanners said...

Ha! Tamagotchi aka. Fitbit - agree about clip. This thing is NEVER coming off my wrist. That metal clip would survive a trip to outer space! I had to charge it this morning, and the whole idea of having to unclip/reclip made me feel quite anxious. So I flipped it inside out STILL ON MY WRIST to get at the thingy. Am sure this means something is going to break but it is too impossibly fiddly to take off and frankly I'll deal with that when I have to *sigh*

Waffle said...

Shanners - I am so relieved I am not alone. I thought it was a weird symptom of early onset dementia, like the time I couldn't work out how to tie a balloon.

Shanners said...

*Some weeks later* If it is any consolation, I still haven't taken the band off. Not for swimming, not for showers, not for anything. (It is waterproof). Until there is some life-threatening reason, or third-party assistance, this is now a part of me until the end of days.

PS. Have you seen La La Land? If so, thoughts?

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I am receiving a huge quantity of emails notifying me of (presumably) spam comments made on various of your blog posts in what looks like Arabic by someone called Ghada Sayed - is there any way to stop this person posting?

I keep unsubscribing from comments from whichever post it is, but they keep on coming..

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