1. THE SPRING CAME
Spring is here, A Sa Pa Ring is here.
(ssssh, I'm going to scare it away)
We've had two days of the most exquisite sunshine and warmth and I have enjoyed one of my top five favourite (and rare in Belgium) things: watching the menagerie in the sun. I LOVE chickens lying down in the sun, scaly legs and wings extended for maximum vitamin D, utterly peaceful for a few minutes out of their busy schedule of SCRATCHING THE SHIT OUT OF WHAT USED TO BE MY GRASS, ARGH HILLARY or the dog seeking out a warm patch on the floor, then lowering himself carefully onto it. The tortoises, who are currently in our bathroom, are just out of hibernation and mainly concentrating on eating everything in sight, but that is also pleasing to watch.
2. HOWEVER THE SUN IT BURNS
There have, however, been some problems, most notable among them being my face. You may recall that a few posts ago I was giving it all this "I've stopped using any kind of beauty product and it's made absolutely no difference," in a slightly smug way. It turns out that what was in fact happening was the winter, when the ambient light levels in our house hover somewhere between stygian gloom and pitch dark. The arrival of the sun has unfortunately revealed a starker truth: FUCK. I look like a disappointed camel. Or possibly something Lord Canarvon dug up in the Valley of the Kings, but didn't bother bringing home because it was too degraded. It's bad: blotchy, scaly, lumpy, spotty, dusty, all the bad words that end in "y". I had an actual work meeting with an actual person outside my home on Wednesday and was forced to confront the hideous truth in the process of attempting to look like a human woman you might ask to do copywriting. It involved a lot of 6 year old concealer and some light whimpering.
Any suggestions? Yes, I know I used to write a beauty blog, but that was years ago and indeed, I am still using the dregs of products I was given free 5 years ago. What can I use that (i) does not cost €1000, (ii) will not give me spots (iii) has some chance of de-Ramses-ing me?
3. Sabotaged by own child
Vignette from Belgian family life:
Accompany F to town hall to get his ID card done (a year late, what's a year between friends, eh). Lady on desk refuses his photos and sends us to get new ones done. Knowing the town hall photo machine, I set off on a mad dash around nearby shops to try and assemble the necessary €6. Get back. Queue up for machine. Finally get in. Machine cash option is BROKEN and it now has a new, shiny card option which it never had on any of my 413 previous visits. Curse. Complete administrative drudgery, return home, tell T about photo machine saga, whilst handing over unnecessary sweets purchased for change. T, in mild amusement, "oh yeah, my mate broke that machine this lunchtime trying to get my ten cents coin out of it." Gngngnngngngngn. Basically, I have been screwed over by MY OWN MONEY.
This entirely pointless post merely to say: I have put the December reading up. I done it quick, loike, because otherwise it would never have got done, so don't be expecting any insights. It wasn't a great month, intellectually speaking. I think I spent most of it sick or asleep. I also have January ready, but since that will require creating a whole new page and last year that process nearly gave me a nervous breakdown, let's all enjoy December for a few days. Remember December, when we thought that 2016 was the biggest pile of rat shit imaginable? A time of innocence, my friends. Any reading recommendations from you chaps?
(nb. I have added up and I read 87 books in 2016, of which 28 (32%) were by men. I don't know why I think this is interesting, but apparently I do. I suspect that's a higher percentage of men than usual (checked, yes, 22% in 2014 and 27.5% in 2015. DAMN YOU, PATRIARCHY))