Sunday, January 16, 2011

Amateur proctology ...

Okay, so what does this suggest to you? Personally I looked at it for at least ten minutes and the best I could come up with was that it was some sort of warning that if you bend over, clasp your ankles and throw up whilst wearing a baby backpack just here, you're likely to have some sort of perverted robot or a stick-figure dog come and give your haemorrhoids and lower digestive tract a detailled inspection, but somehow I think that's unlikely to be the correct explanation*.

And could someone explain to me why it is that rainy Sundays are always so bloody depressing? And it's not just the fact that you know that tomorrow it's Monday, and you have to go back to the daily grind, and it'll probably be fine ... there's something particularly gloomy about a gray, wet finish to the weekend. Especially when it comes after a beautifully bright sunny Saturday.

I only ask because just at the moment it's persisting down outside and has been for what seems like an eternity (although to be quite honest it's only been five hours) and I am getting awfully bored with it. The dog's no good at Monopoly - neither am I really, tend to get petty and spiteful when I lose - so that rather rules out board games: I recently rebored the gaskets on the septic tank so there's no point in doing that again for a while and the grass has stopped growing (it's winter, you know) so I can't even feign excitement watching that happen.

I suppose I could always go frighten some small children, but Emily tends to be quite protective about hers, (funny that, does she not trust me to not scar them for life?) and anyway it's too wet to go outside. Bugger.

Perhaps food will cheer me up. Let's see, tandoori chicken and curried vegetables - hum, what have we lurking around the place? Potatoes, pumpkin, broccoli, - bugger, no more kumara - poivron, onion and sweetcorn: sounds good to me. Stir-fried whilst the chicken reaches apotheosis, with a good dose of decent curry powder ... what's not to like? And followed by a warm, buttery pastis aux poires - I feel better already.

Right now, time to watch "Primeval": yes I know it's hopelessly escapist non-scientific rubbish, but the ash-blonde bird is so hot. Also, some of the dinosaurs have quite witty lines. At least, I'm sure they went down really well back in the Cretaceous.

You can probably tell: the weather's got a lot better. Could almost be excused for thinking that Spring is - just maybe - not too far around the corner. Headed off to the market as usual and to my surprise the place was more or less deserted. I eventually found the reason for that when I took it into my head to go out to Kiabi to get myself a new jacket, what with the Spring sales having started  (I mean, for €9 you couldn"t even buy the buttons and thread, let alone the fabric)... absolutely everybody else had had exactly the same brilliant idea, so what felt like the entire population of ChambĂ©ry was squeezed into 500m² of discount clothing store. I kind of wondered for a moment if we weren't going to reach critical mass and start imploding into some rather odd neutron star, but luckily a few people managed to leave so we escaped that dire fate.

Then off to Cardinal's for a solitary glass of white. It's bad enough having to drink alone, but this occasion was made doubly sad if only because I am still unable to say that I've had Sex on the Beach with Bryan. Or Sophie, or whoever - or anyone at all. (A gritty business, I imagine, one I think I can easily pass on.) Although it does seem a rather far-fetched name for a mixture of vodka, melon, grenadine, pineapple and cranberry. And I must admit that cocktails are not really my thing, apart from a dry martini which hardly counts, being too simple.

And after that, because I do appreciate the applause, off to cook for Sophie: the baked salmon en papilotte with beurre blanc I mentioned earlier. It's so touching how she's still amazed, even after all this time, that I can actually cook.

Although given that her kitchen is actively user-hostile unless all you want to do is defrost something, perhaps I should not be too surprised. Whatever , it went down a treat: as usual, Lucas wielded a baguette to ensure that not one drop of the sauce went to waste. Cooking for teenagers can be so rewarding.

I'm pretty sure I mentioned that Margo was headed off to Valence to pick up this enormous bloody sewing machine? Anyway, she did - rented an enormous van from one of the local supermarkets and bravely (and very cautiously) set off at midday Saturday. So that evening I was flopped as usual in my favourite armchair, trying to catch up with the world on The Economist website and downloading Primeval, and heard the roar of a truck coming up the road - "Goody", I thought, "that'll be Margo."

Then came a noise which sounded like the front of the house being ripped off, which was not too far from the reality, unfortunately. She'd rather forgotten that the truck was just a little bit higher than the Suzuki, and coming too close to the house managed to snag one of the little balconies out front. So all the railings tumbled down, one of them unfortunately removing the wing mirror from the truck: still, it could have gone through the windscreen.

And looking on the bright side, it made it so much easier to get the machine up there on the first floor, once the windows opened more or less directly onto the street.

* Yeah, so Margo took one look and said "no skateboarding". I don't think that should count.

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