Friday, 31 March 2017


Ok, in the spirit of reframing the steaming heap of terrible that this week has been (Brexit, release of Ru Paul's Drag Race s9 to UK but not Belgian Netflix, Xanax-necessitating school stress, 2500€ surprise social security bill, series of professional badnesses mainly still unresolved, culminating today in happy news of a contrôle fiscale) I am going to tell you some GOOD things.

1. All four tortoises are now eating! I have had an extremely stressful time with the females, who were very disinclined to emerge from hibernation and who have required daily baths, Reptoboost, much coaxing with varied foodstuffs and constant putting back under the heat lamp as they shuffled off to do their best to die, yet again. No such issue with the males, who emerged from hibernation, spent a month in our bathroom slamming themselves repeatedly against their food dish demanding more leaves, then were sent outside where they have indulged in a non-stop carnival of fighting, eating and attempted same-sex shagging. I will not draw any conclusions about male and female characteristics from this, no I will not.

2. I made both millionaire's shortbread and fudge brownies this week and both were successful and now my trousers are very tight, but I'm supposed to be being positive so no more of that, even though Tuesday is evil gynae weigh-in time and I am reasoning thus "if I just literally don't eat ANYTHING between now and Tuesday it might be alright", then filling my face with foods and planning tonight's pizza.

3. I am very much enjoying Birdcage Walk even though it is frequently making me think how awful it would have been to be a woman in the 18th century (or indeed any time pre-antibiotics). March reading has generally been quite good, I will update soon. I also found S-Town fascinating even though it was very upsetting in parts (and this makes interesting points about it that also struck me when listening).

4. My skin has improved, so now Frau Antje can wear it if she wishes (better skins are available).

5. We are going to Yorkshire next week with zero ingrate children, just the dog and, in my case, a huge pile of books. This is wonderful (except that I accidentally took on some work that I didn't actually want and will have to do on my holidays - SORRY, I know that is not good, but it's preying on me). I am looking forward to: lunch in the Wensleydale Heifer, lambs, birthday lunch with my surrogate sort of not mother, buying 800000 Yorkshire Gold teabags, Betty's (and particularly Betty's easter display), seeing my sister, maybe a trip to the Margaret Howell outlet shop and hours and hours of just staring at the moor, some bleak and bracing trudging.

6. Parts of the garden are starting to recover from Hillary assault and my current hen Alacatraz arrangement seems to be holding. It was 22°C yesterday and almost as warm today and I can feel my grey, lardy carcass relaxing slightly as the spring takes hold. Look, this was last weekend as we waited for yet another orchestra rehearsal to finish, all wild garlic and these white flower things and tiny red squirrels dashing around:

And this was just some random tree in the street, but I like it

7. B sent me an email this morning whose entire contents was the phrase "MEXICAN PENIS SEAT"

8. This cocktail

was delicious and after it and another one of its ilk I only felt about 38% like crawling away to die the next day, which at 42 is really the best one can expect.

9. I got this guy framed, finally:

And he fitted into a standard sized frame so it was (a) immediate and (b) cheap, also (c) everyone who works at the Schleiper framing department is filled with bonhomie towards their fellow men, making it a particularly delightful and let's be honest, unusual, Brussels retail experience.

10. I could watch this armadillo unrolling (also courtesy of B) infinite times and not get bored.

I encourage you to tell me of your own small good things in the comments but if it's a stunning writing related success KEEP IT TO YOURSELF, we don't need your sort round these parts.


Crazy Mom! said...

I would be interested in the source of the Mexican Penis Seat. Hmm.

Armadillos are seen in the wild sometimes around here. They are very primitive and stupid, frequently seen as late armadillos beside the road. It's best NOT to touch them - you can get leprosy from them. (Not making this up.)

Glad things are warmer and more pleasant there. Need to send you a bald eagle chick link...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

The minute I think of something , I'll let you know .

Anna Maria said...

Thank you for the Vox link - brilliant.
Was the cocktail gin-based?
Good things - I am hoping for a short trip to Bath this Sunday. There are lots of beautiful flowers in our garden, including a magnolia, which I adore. Lots of birds visit, too. Gardeners World. Professional photo session on Wednesday - a month before my 43rd birthday, and might be the last time I'll like photos of myself. Reading Sara Pascoe's Animal and it is making me laugh. Still have some chocolates left over from Mother's Day.

CJ said...

I tried to take on some work I did not want today but didn't get it. Surely that is worse? Well done on the tortoises. Small triumphs are sometimes the best we can hope for. I had a tortoise once I am still filled with guilt that I didn't do all these things to give him the best chance at tortoise happiness.

Anonymous said...

The penis thing is a seat moulded to look like a naked man's lap, it's supposed to highlight sexual harassment and how women can feel threatened on the underground.

I live in the Highlands and one of the things I look forward to each spring are the gorse flowers coming into smells like honeyed coconut......very subtle and fragrant, I would wear it as a perfume it's so delicious!

ganching said...

Well I got a very nice and robust Belgian workbook in the post! Thank you very much and it hasn't added to the clutter at all.

I am very jealous that you saw a red squirrel. I spent all of last weekend searching for them without any success.

frau antje said...

Still an interesting concept, I'll bet the neighbor who hawks botox would say it was an available option if I asked. Plus, wearing someone else's skin saves one having to laboriously find a signature scent of their own.

cruella said...

YES! The gorse! Very vivid memory from first few weeks in Ireland 25 years ago (that in itself is so scary I stopped breathing for a while just now).

Patience_Crabstick said...

I attended a protest/shouting match against Trumpist white supremacists who were horrible, but it felt good to yell at them.
Now, my husband and sons are leaving for Colorado and my daughters are going to New York and I will be gloriously alone for five days, AND am taking Thursday and Friday off from work. Very pleased.

Jane said...

I hope you have a wonderful time in Yorkshire.

My small good thing is that last week I belatedly realised that I had to use up 5 days of leave from last year by the end of this month or lose them forever. During the enforced staycation I've baked two cakes, sowed some seeds and chipped away at some limescale - it's been literally years since I did any of these things.

Message to Anonymous: if you like the smell of gorse bloom, try a perfume by Lush called 'Furze'. It doesn't sell well in Germany because it is the German for farts, but it's a really cheering scent. The same fragrance is used in Lush Salted Coconut hand scrub.

Louise said...

Good Morning..yes ,Yorkshire Gold T bags I have in industrial quantities squirreled away in my pantry..( I live in Spain) and and drool over Bettys cakes and chocolate creatures online..

my good things this week are..

mucking out deep litter bedding in number 2 Hen house ( Brahmas and Pekes and Brahkins)
..a truly vile job on a sunday morning.

Managing to empty linen socks,undies etc are basking in the springlike morning sunshine

Happy hols in Yorkshire.

Rosie said...

That elusive whippet half-smile - precious.

I am enjoying the first proper beer garden weather, the return of Masterchef, the impending 4 day weekend and the cruel but oddly compelling Grand National which I always feel guilty for watching, let alone betting on, but which I actually seem to be rather good at (I won about £80 last year).

Have a lovely time in York x

Nimble said...

@Rosie: 'proper beer garden weather' is a wonderful phrase.

Despite overheating once in Texas, our car brought us 700 miles back from vacation without incident. We happened to go during wildflower season and the bluebonnets were everywhere.

It's raining too much this week for me to mow the grass yet.

I made some good thrift store finds on Saturday.

Cathie said...

It was my birthday yesterday and despite being very much definitely 'past it' my husband bought me these rather youthful converse and this is why I love him very much.

Madeleine said...

You have just provided the Good Thing, Waffle: I had no idea that there is a Margaret Howell outlet store. Woo hoo! I'll pretend it'/ for the Barbara Hepworth sculptures but Yorkshire, here I come.

Teresa Hamilton said...

Wow! That white flower is so stunning <3


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