Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Leave the Important Items With Me

I really missed my mum on Sunday, not so much because it was Mother’s Day, but because it was Mother’s Day and it was SHIT due to a perfect storm of teenageness + me being hungover and over-sensitive and my various lingering feelings about the patriarchy, etc etc.

My mum often used to have terrible birthdays/Mother’s Days when I was young, because Prog Rock, although a saint in almost all ways, doesn’t really have much truck with end stage capitalism, and because I was a sulky teenage git and my sister was too young to do anything, and it would often end with my mother in a whirling, weeping fury as we ate a rubbish pub lunch somewhere, in silence. When I found myself sitting crying angrily on a pile of laundry on the basement floor on Sunday, I couldn’t help but think of all her disappointing festivities and how nice it would have been to call her up and tell her about it and laugh about it and insult family members and I could also apologise for our former shitness. So then I cried some more.

ANYWAY. We did - some subset of us which may or may not have included the router - have an excellent pizza and I insisted on having a spritz despite being hungover and a pudding despite … actually despite nothing, I’m allowed a fucking pudding.

Not a pudding

Chinese textbook creative writing prompts

F’s Chinese textbook - do you remember the poems? The sad ones about the beans boiling to death, etc? Well it’s a different textbook, but equally quidsworth - has been entertaining us recently.

Observe the chapter headings and the weird, disturbing picture they create:

If you can't read them (clicking on it might help) here are a selection of my favourites.

This one seems to come from another story entirely, but I also want to read it: 

Things children in the street say about Ouipette multiple times daily


Oh le petit chien!

Oh le grand chien! 

Il est tout maigre! 

Il n'a pas de zoreilles!
(he's not no earses!)

Pourquoi il n'a pas de zoreilles?
(why he got no earses?)

Oh, il fait caca beurk. 

The ears thing is an oddity. He does fold his ears very aerodynamically to walk. I tried to take a pic this morning, but obvs he was not keen to cooperate, so this is a sort of half fold, because I had stopped to try and take the picture, thus obviating the need for ear foldage (sigh). 

Ouipette is having a bad run of things. He got attacked by an elderly Lassie outside Carrefour yesterday, pulled a muscle trying to run away from The Crazy Cartoonishly Shaggy Dog In The Park and also Hillary has taken to chasing him round the back yard.

Yorkshire Vet Summary

Massive pig high jinks, bloody shit in a test tube, Peter shows unexpected mastery over a horse, lamb with a second head sized growth almost carks it but pulls through, Peter fixes a terrier's leg with many wires and without ANY of the histrionics Noel "Supervet" Fitzpatrick would have brought to the task ("No one else could do this, this is the hardest job I have EVER done, I am SO EXHAUSTED", etcetcetcetc). More and more Peter is my hero, with his gleeful, pink faced jollity at everything, from flapjack to puppies to the warmth afforded by sticking your hand up a cow's arse on a winter morning.

That's it, really.


50% Hay fever remedies
20% Underbaked cinnamon roll
30% Generic worry.


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

An argument of apples

A smorgasbord of irrelevance below.

1. Ceci n'est pas un opéra

My son's Magritte themed opera was everything I had hoped for, ie. 100% incomprehensible. It was as if they had taken the tweets of the Magical Realism Bot and turned them into a mash-up of music, spoken word and dance. Pity my spouse and his parents who do not even have the barest rudiments of Dutch, and who must have just allowed the whole carnival of insanity to wash over them in a tidal wave of confusion. I understood ... some. It didn't actually help much. Favourite elements: 

- My son's hat, which I will not show you a picture of, because sadly he is 13 and has a right to a private life, but which was a royal blue bowler hat, topped with gigantic clouds and a space rocket. The guy next to him in the orchestra had one with a sort of orange dinosaur on it. All the orchestra members were wearing similar hats (you can see if you enlarge that photo) and really I would like all orchestras to wear something similar now. 

- A man playing the vastest contrabassoon type instrument I have ever seen, which itself was wearing a little hat (white plastic bucket) on which he had writted "ceci n'est pas un pot de crème fraîche" for no reason at all I could elicit. I could not even tell if the bucket was part of the normal kit for an enormous contrabassoon or its costume for the performance. Why would the contrabassoon not have its own hat, after all? 

- Some apples in sleep masks arguing with each other in a rather pass-agg manner (Apple 1 had gone to the seaside with some other friends but not Apple 2, and Apple 2 got secretly huffy about it, then Apple 1 got secretly huffy in turn and it was all very awkward. Fruit! Get your grievances out in the open!)

- 2 Magritte impersonators, one with a dog on wheels

- A giant crow

- Children zipped in suitcases like that MI5 man and dragged onstage, in total defiance of health and safety norms

- A unicorn playing the glockenspiel

I will not miss my frequent, epic public transport pilgrimages to Jette for the rehearsals for the Magritterama, except maybe I will? It was interesting to see a whole other part of the city. Jette is quite sleepy, like here, but has a completely different feel, like you're in a small town in Flanders suddenly. There is a station and a moustache themed friterie and a profusion of parks and a rather spectacular looking butchers and I had to go there on the train and I do like a little train journey. Anyway. No more Jette and no more of the hideous Koekelberg Basilica looming at you from all angles.


2. Priestdaddy

Seriously, don't bother with my reading list for now (even though, classy segue, I have now added April), just all go and get this. I haven't laughed this much since Love, Nina and have been banned from reading it in bed, due to full body shaking with hysteria. I want to give everyone I know a copy. It's amazing.

3. This is nice

I was so happy about this review. I still have Weird Feelings about the whole book thing, but this was more or less unambiguously positive and I find that I kind of want to cut it out and hide it in a drawer to look at. I have no idea when that picture was taken, my "hair" doesn't look anything like that now (not least because my current wig is going severely bald at the back).

4. We Need to Talk About Bake Off Crème de la Crème

I feel I need to engage with this more intensely than I have to date. Angus Deayton who seems to be trudging through a living nightmare of his own making and who has no interest whatsoever in sugarcraft. The intense, thorough, unsparing cruelty of both judges. The weirdly large number of teams meaning you can't really get attached to anyone. The French bloke's accent. The messed up final challenge where everyone produces something spectacularly horrible looking of which most elements aren't even edible. It all just feels a bit .. off (so obviously I love it). Unfortunately it  (i) clashes with Yorkshire Vet and (ii) is universally despised by everyone else in this house. They'd almost prefer to watch Peter cheerfully castrating something.

I must go, my children are home, disdaining my painstakingly prepared baked goods and being lumpenly insolent. They obviously require chastising with scorpions. How are you all?