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Art for the masses

29 October, 2004 at 1:34 pm by belgianwaffle

Well, last week saw the arrival of M who has spent the past couple of years working in Gaza. I haven’t seen much of him recently as it’s a long way from Gaza to Brussels and I was reluctant to visit him as I felt I owed it to my baby daughter to have her mother survive her infancy. So there was much rejoicing on his arrival in the capital of Europe.

M is always taking me to operas. He loves opera. Despite my best efforts, I do not love opera. I can’t help it, I try and I try but as far as I’m concerned, a day without opera is just fine. So we went to Aida, described by M as “fabulous Aida that everybody loves”. Not everybody, oh it was alright I suppose. But Aida and Ramades were very fat and as they stood at the front of the stage clutching each other’s chubby little hands, I was irresistibly reminded of the teletubbies.  And then Aida is so feeble. Ramades is sentenced to death (which is entirely her fault) and walled up in a tomb.  Guess who’s secreted herself in the tomb so that they can die together (I’m sorry, if I’m ruining the punchline for you).  Surely, the least she could have done was hidden outside and tried to get him out. Opera. Pshaw.

A trip to Ghent for the day was much more to my taste.  We spent quite a while looking at art and were able to entertain ourselves and nauseate passers-by with conversations along the following lines:

Me: Of course, I love the Flemish Primitives…

M: I think you’ll find that’s early Netherlandish

Me: Sorry, I’m so used to thinking in French.

M: Yes, well, look at the jewel like intensity of those colours.

Me: Yes, I feel that this is the peak of achievement of the Netherlandish school.  Those imports from Italy often don’t work.

M: Are you talking about the Caravaggisti?

Me: Well, no, they’re fine, I’m really thinking about Northern Mannerism.

M: Of course, the Northern baroque, one thinks of Rubens…

And so on. No truly.  We can’t help ourselves.  We’re made for each other. It was fabulous to see him.

Comments
Bobble

on 29 October 2004 at 13:38

Ah, but the Cortona school of Futurists *sighs*…

belgianwaffle

on 29 October 2004 at 13:58

PFT, fat birds indeed, when one things of the monumentality of Rubens’ work, the solid presence of his figures and his daring Titianesque use of colour…you see once you start this kind of thing, it is very hard to stop..
Bobble, well, clearly anything after the Flemish primitives, is bound to be a let down and those futurists, really, I don’t know. Of course, Italy is clearly very proud of the futurists but frankly, not sure that Boccioni merits his place on the 20 cents in the same way that Botticelli deserves the 10 cent place…and, you know, I could go on like this for hours unless I am stopped by the forces of reason.

Bobble

on 29 October 2004 at 14:07

I am off to my preferred artist’s show on this Saturday: Raphael. His transfiguration… *wordless*

silveretta

on 29 October 2004 at 14:59

How come we never get any of that classy kind of talk on this blog?
O.

Beth

(Homepage)

on 29 October 2004 at 21:05

My husband refuses to go to art galleries with me because I talk like that for hours. He does the same thing with hair bands. No idea how we ever got together.
on 29 October 2004 at 22:25

An amazing coincidence where he works, considering his name eh? Worked out quite well…imagine the confusion if he worked in Ballinspittle or somewhere…

belgianwaffle

on 01 November 2004 at 19:15

Bobble, lucky, lucky you. Silver, start blogging again, I miss your puns. Will I start a separate category for arty talk? Beth, well, that’s perfect because when you have children, he can take them to look at hair bands and you can go to galleries. Locotes, indeed.

Vote early, vote often

28 October, 2004 at 1:05 pm by belgianwaffle

So, do you want to vote?  Not from the US, not a problem.  Vote here.
And in other US election tat, I found this, which I really rather like.

Comments
Locotes

on 28 October 2004 at 13:22

Well the Irish vote is certainly pretty certain – 94%!
I know this leaves me open to horrendous amounts of abuse, but my 100% anti-Bush stance has actually wavered over the last few weeks. I think I’m one of those that has slightly overdosed on Michael Moore-type over-stated opinions. A few documentaries lately (on various channels) have shown very interesting histories on both candidates. Right now, I’m wondering what Kerry would actually bring to the job, and if Iraq hadn’t gone so pear-shaped, would Bush actually be viewed as a reasonably decent president?

poggle

on 28 October 2004 at 13:42

Wash your mouth out with soap Locotes. Bush and ‘reasonably decent’ in the same sentence? Oh please. 😉

Locotes

on 28 October 2004 at 13:48

I was just amazed I could write ‘anti-Bush’ and keep a straight face. It’s so not me…
😉

dmts

on 28 October 2004 at 13:59

I am really surprised that Switzerland had voted Kerry with 91%

poggle

on 28 October 2004 at 14:02

Maybe someone’s having a laugh, H – you can, after all, say you come from anywhere on that list.

belgianwaffle

on 28 October 2004 at 21:19

Or maybe the Swiss are pro-Kerry. Who knows what the inner working of the Swiss mind are? Did Kerry go to finishing school in CH?

Friar Tuck

on 29 October 2004 at 00:03

Can one really believe there are dozens of Monsignori in the Vatican sitting at their computers in black cassocks with violet piping “voting” for the U.S. President? On the other hand, the result-60% for Kerry, 39% for Bush-closely matches what noted Vaticanista John Allen concluded from his informal poll. Molto interessante!

belgianwaffle

on 29 October 2004 at 13:15

Well, FT, as you well know, they are a very computer literate crowd in the Vatican.

Better hair day

28 October, 2004 at 12:36 pm by belgianwaffle

It’s looking a little healthier now, thank you for asking. My infant daughter has got used to the novelty and has stopped pointing her finger at me and giggling.

In the past week I have had my friend Gaza M to visit, my parents in law to visit and generally been involved in a whirl of gaiety.  Stay tuned for further details.

Comments
NorahSplog

on 28 October 2004 at 12:42

The hair looks lovely Waffle.
My mother maintains that she always thought she looked lovely until she had a daughter to put her straight.

poggle

on 28 October 2004 at 12:43

Sounds like a good week. We are pining for further instalment of the LJS tale, by the way …..

belgianwaffle

on 28 October 2004 at 12:49

Oh Chintzy, alas, not hers, mine. Her hair is still a bit thin for ribbons… Norah, thank you, you are too kind. I see where your mother’s coming from though. Pog, every spare minute in the past week has obviously been spent mulling on the fate of LJS, worry not.

jackdalton

on 28 October 2004 at 12:50

Thank god the hair is sorting itself out 😐
And no we’re not… ignore Pog.

chintzybling

on 28 October 2004 at 12:55

Ahh righty, sory Mrs Waffle..still..pink ribbons always look good.

belgianwaffle

on 28 October 2004 at 13:06

Jack, ah you love it really. Chintzy, am in entire agreement re ribbons, but may have a fight on my hands with the rest of them.

Locotes

on 28 October 2004 at 13:12

Well I personally feel my general absence has obviously left waffle in trouble coming up with new and exciting material for LJS – seeing as I surely make up the main thrust of the character (as it were).
As for the hair, good luck with the growth – a bit of length is always a good thing. And of course it gives herself something to swing off if biccies aren’t coming fast enough…

dmts

on 28 October 2004 at 13:39

and the swiss end of LJS is deeply apologetic for not having done anything – I’ve been having a bad hair year….

belgianwaffle

on 28 October 2004 at 21:16

Well then Locotes, get back writing. I presume the flood waters have now subsided and you can make it to a computer safely. Heather, I think we’re making them keener by pausing..

Bad hair day

19 October, 2004 at 8:01 pm by belgianwaffle

If you interviewed someone with the following hairstyle would you give her the job?

1980s mullet at the back

1990s fluffed up in the middle

1980s asymmetrical fringe at the front

Do you think I’m joking?  I now look a little like a Kajagoogoo band member.

Comments
jackdalton

on 20 October 2004 at 00:07

No.

Friar Tuck

on 20 October 2004 at 03:52

Depends. How low would your neckline be?

poggle

on 20 October 2004 at 12:47

Which one? C’mon – you can tell us …..

jackdalton

on 21 October 2004 at 11:00

I think she means ALL of them at once. A kind of hybrid from hairdresser hell.Punishment from the Gods for the creation of that nefarious monster LJS, no doubt.
🙂

Kal

(Homepage)

on 21 October 2004 at 11:49

Picture! Picturepicturepicture!

poggle

on 21 October 2004 at 12:13

Is he nefarious?
Excellent ….

jackdalton

on 21 October 2004 at 16:38

Bad to the bone, I reckon….. but at least he has hair that can be seen in public without fear of arrest by the fashion police.
[He does… doesn’t he? ]

poggle

on 21 October 2004 at 17:43

I assume so, Doc. Haven’t heard a single slur about his barnet, anyway …..

dmts

on 21 October 2004 at 21:09

mmm. we haven’t really touched on LJS’s hair yet have we, waffle? What sort of hairstyle would a great romantic hero have? But never mind that, what’s LJS’s hair like?

poggle

on 22 October 2004 at 11:57

D’you solis might let you have ‘byronic’?

johnhumphries

on 22 October 2004 at 13:08

We went to Devon on holiday last year and all the bus drivers had haircuts like that!

jackdalton

on 22 October 2004 at 18:02

Coffee & Cake? It?s sort of a blog event. Small select gathering. Invite Only?

belgianwaffle

on 28 October 2004 at 12:31

Hello there, been lying low with my head under a pillow but am about to get up and face the world

Part the ninth

18 October, 2004 at 10:54 am by belgianwaffle

Through the driving rain Heather and Maureen watched the black helicopter circle the Schloss obviously trying to pinpoint the landing area.  There were moments when Heather worried that the pilot wouldn’t manage to land given the fearsome weather conditions. Finally the pilot negotiated a landing and Heather breathed a deep sigh of relief; at last she would have LJS exactly where she needed him.
Waffle swung her long, shapely legs out of the helicopter and jumped onto the tarmac.  Waving to Heather, she turned back to the helicopter as someone helped The Princess into her waiting arms.  The Princess struggled free from her mother and walked swiftly and steadily towards the two women waiting in the shelter of the golden pergola.  Heather looked at Maureen whose complexion had turned ashen and she realised that she was remembering the blessed Reginald. In as gentle a manner as Heather could manage she touched Maureen’’s hand and told her, “it will be okay, trust me.  It was too difficult for Heather to consider Maureen’s feelings until she knew that LJS had been brought to her.  She needed to see him being taken from the helicopter and until then she would be in torment.

As the storm built in intensity so did Heather’’s nerves.  It had been so long since she had felt this level of anticipation, this level of excitement.  When she saw the extra-long stretcher with what could only be LJS strapped to it she bowed her head to hide the tears.  Not even Maureen could be allowed to see how much this meant to her.

Within a few moments they were all gathered inside the spacious entrance hall of the Schloss watching the attendants carry LJS up the baronial staircase to the East Wing.

““Fuck”.” The imperious tones of the Princess echoed around the entrance hall.

“Hello, darling” Heather knelt in front of the Princess. “Would you like a biscuit and some squash?”  She turned to Maureen, “Have we got some crayons or something for the Princess?”.

The Princess raised her eyebrows and sighed. “Do you realise I have an IQ that is beyond measurement and you’’re offering me crayons?  Settling down on the deep red Persian carpet in front of the roaring log fire, the Princess took a crayon and pondered for a moment.  It seemed to her that they would be here for some time so now was as good a time as any to write the libretto for the opera she had been planning.  This, as far as she was aware, would be the first opera in Sanskrit.  Pausing only to call for biscuits, cake, toast and grapes she worked silently.  Growing bored with the idea of the opera she decided to teach herself German.  “Fick dich” she announced.

“You’’ve done brilliantly, darling” Heather smiled across at Waffle.  Maureen frowned and said “we really need to move onto the next stage”.  Her voice shook slightly and the women knew this was because of the great responsibility that Maureen was about to take.  Now timing was crucial.

Comments
poggle

on 18 October 2004 at 12:27

I am agog …… again ….
And Princess’s first word made me laugh out loud, thereby scaring the scientists – again.

dmts

on 18 October 2004 at 17:29

can you wait for the next thrilling instalment, Bobble?
Yes, pog – I wasn’t sure I’d get that one past Waffle, to be honest.

poggle

on 18 October 2004 at 17:41

Well, she can hardly censor you when she’s already told us, H ….

silveretta

on 18 October 2004 at 23:39

I fear electricity may be involved at some future stage of this nefarious plot. My third of LJS won’t react well. Unless there’s alcohol too.

belgianwaffle

on 19 October 2004 at 19:54

Silver, alcohol and electricity, I like it.
Ladies, Princess was saying “fork”.

Bobble

on 20 October 2004 at 00:50

It’s her accent Waffle, as I said previously.

on 01 November 2004 at 19:28

Hey – I missed this somehow. By all accounts it makes no sense, as like the rest of 20six I’m here eagerly pressing refresh every 3-5 seconds in the hope of a new installment.

NorahSplog

on 01 November 2004 at 19:29
(
Comment Modified) Oh, and when I finally do find it (cunningly hidden at the top of the LJS catagory – I see how you outwitted me there) I forget to say how fab it is. and how I’m dying to know what happens next.

dmts

on 01 November 2004 at 20:34

thank you Norah – there is another exciting episode for you now.

Princess’s vocabulary at age eighteen months

17 October, 2004 at 9:01 pm by belgianwaffle

Personages of the royal household

Our courtiers can be divided into human and non-human. Among the humans, most important are Mama and Papa (a.k.a Daddy). Other courtiers, including our ambassadors abroad, are Genia, Dida, Nicolicola and Nana. Opinion is divided on whether Nana is a specific person, or a general category including Granny and Granddad.Chief of the non-human courtiers is of course Doggy, a.k.a Goggy or Chien-chien. As in all courts, the order of precedence for lesser courtiers constantly changes: recently, Lola has been in the ascendant, but her star may be waning in favour of Hop-Hop.

Other persons

Outside our kingdom, there are other independent monarchs who are known to us but do not pay us allegiance. These include  baby L*** and her mother. Another personage of unknown but impressive powers is Louis.

Expressing the royal will

The royal will can be expressed with few words. Oui/yes and no/non suffice for many occasions (the latter is especially firm when required). Commands can be expressed by down, up, back, catch, more, là, there, this, ça, and manger or by a suitable noun (e.g. bottle). When pleased, we have been known to say nice. Events which are displeasing to us can be communicated by ow, bump, bold and another word our mother is keen for us to forget. When mingling with commoners, we have a suitable range of small-talk to put them at their ease: hi, allo, bonjour, voilà, now so, coucou, all gone, bye-bye, au revoir and OK. When in Italy we learned ciao ciao so as to repay the homage given by the locals. At times the attention is overwhelming and we feel shy. Our royal status means that many things are given to us as our due, but we are at least familiar with merci and ta ta.

Science and culture

We are a Renaissance princess, highly cultivated and familiar with a range of natural sciences. It is often our royal will that the courtiers should bring us a book/livre and enthrall us with The Cat in the Hat or the Dinosaurs.

This has given us a wide acquaintance with popular culture: we like the chorus from She’ll be Coming Round the Mountain where we go yay yay yay and slap the royal knee. Another favourite with actions is “Row Row Row Your Boat” which is accompanied by suitable rowing actions and the words row row and may may may for merrily merrily. This can cause confusion with songs from the Gallic side of things: the popular favourite “It était un petit navire” has a line which goes “sur la mer Mé mé méditerrannée” and again is commanded by a subtly different mé mé sound. On the other hand, Meunier tu dors is unmistakable and is our only complete sentence.

In addition, from our books we are familiar with aspects of the animal kingdom: while out on the street, we are easily able to identify a bow-bow (or woof ) or a miaow, quack-quacks and cheep-cheeps. Thanks to our book Lion Misses Breakfast we are also familiar with lions, known to us as roar. Lions are often seen in Brussels. Our knowledge of animals which go moo, baa, neigh, eew-aww and bawk bawk (hens to the uninitiated) is a little more theoretical but we can still recognise them in pictures.

From the vegetable kingdom, we know leaf, flower and daisy (which triggers another song). All fruit on trees are called apple. One of our first words at the seaside, after sea, was shell, and we are able to spot fish at all stages from the wave to the plate.

We have a firm grasp of human anatomy, at least as regards the head: nez/nose, bouche, oreille/ear, teeth, eye/oeil, chin. Beyond this, things are more sketchy: we know knuckle, tummy, thumb, toe and possibly knee. We have an elementary grounding in medicine: cough and atchoo. We are on firmer ground in physics: hot/chaud, wet, cold and l’eau.

Food and drink

Like Louis XIV, we sometimes have a “petite levée” (when the monarch rises, attended by a small number of courtiers) and a “grande levée” (attended by the whole court). Unlike the Sun King’s court, our operations run 24 hours a day. A petite levée at 3 or 5 in the morning will be an informal affair, in which the monarch will call for lait/milk or simply boccle (a.k.a. bottle). At the grande levée, the monarch will often have porridge and toast (pronounced tote); occasionally she will take an egg. These are consumed in the royal high chair, before the Princess has donned her attire for the day. As a result, it is wise to have a bib. When out and about, the princess will sometimes call for some Giga (a.k.a. Liga) or baisins (a.k.a. raisins). She eats chicken, fish and cake and may help her mother to drink tea. She also likes pain (bread). After a meal, she will sometimes eat a bape (grape).  Meals are eaten with a spoon and the end of a royal meal is announced by “all gone.”

Exploring our kingdom

When leaving the palace to explore our kingdom, we dress as befits a princess: shoes, socks, tights and a coat. It may be necessary to changer our nappy before putting on these items.  If it is cold we may wear a scarf and hat. Many of these clothes fasten with a biz (zip). They require frequent trips to the wash. Our kingdom is sometimes damp if so, our attendant brings a brella (umbrella).

On leaving, our attendant locks the royal palace with a key (on our return, the captain of the guard will open the door if we knock). We often take the lift to where the car/voiture awaits traffic often provides an occasion to say beep beep. If we wish to mingle with our subjects, we take the tram or bus and wave regally to lucky commuters. If we see a baby, we may issue special greetings. Very rarely we take a train, and we do not quite connect it with our toy choo choo.

Unwinding in the evening

One favourite ritual is the royal bain (bath). As the day comes to an end, we go into the room where our mother takes her shower. No such rushed ablutions for us: after a luxurious soak and a splash with our toys (a ball/balle is especially good for getting everything wet) a courtier covers us with a warm towel. Hop là ! A cuddle, a night night and it’s time for dodo.

Text drafted by our royal father and approved by us.

Given under our royal hand and seal on the 17th day of October 2004 at our castle of Brussels in this the 18th month of our reign.

P.R.

Comments
dmts

on 18 October 2004 at 08:51

brilliant.

Bobble

on 18 October 2004 at 11:00

Fabulous. This has made Mr Bobble want children even more.
*oh heavens*

poggle

on 18 October 2004 at 12:24

Lovely, waffle .

silveretta

on 18 October 2004 at 23:35

Excellent.

belgianwaffle

on 19 October 2004 at 19:57

Thank you one and all on my loving spouse’s behalf. Silver, do you mean the sweetie or are you stirring? Too late now anyway, we’ve eaten it.

silveretta

on 19 October 2004 at 22:53

Waffle – I meant it most sincerely.

belgianwaffle

on 28 October 2004 at 12:38

Ok, then Silver.

Car hire outrage

16 October, 2004 at 10:10 pm by belgianwaffle

I was thinking about going to visit my parents in Cork for a week in November.  And I was thinking that I would hire a car to get myself and her highness from Shannon to Cork.  And it is criminally expensive.  Which of the following charges would you describe as unreasonable:

– 40 euro per day extra for baby car seat hire

– 25 euro per day location surcharge (if you pick up the car in an airport or a city location: um where do car hire offices usually live?)

– 50 euro drop off charge if you leave the car off somewhere different from where you picked it up.

And I haven’t even paid for the bloody car yet.  I only wanted it for the day to get me up and down to Shannon.  I fear that if we are to go at all, my poor parents may be pressed into service.  Or, I suppose, oh horror, we could get the bus.

Comments
glowstars

on 17 October 2004 at 00:50

I’d only go for the bus if the journey is relatively short and it comes complete with either toilets or stopping points.
Nope, I’d draught in your parents! lol

Locotes

on 17 October 2004 at 20:41

Well I’m assuming that Cork don’t do Belgian flights? I’m trying to remember how long a drive it is to Shannon – would the bus be that bad? (Don’t get me wrong, I hate buses and avoid long trips like the plague). Maybe you’re more worried about herself and the almost inevitable noisy tantrum that will lead to evil looks from fellow passengers.But yes, that does sound like crazy money, especially for the seat, just bring your own! So if it’s not too stressful for them, I’d do some parent-roping.

belgianwaffle

on 17 October 2004 at 21:30

Jack, it’s a hard airport to get to. I would bore you with the details, but I can’t face it. Glowstars, Loc, I think your advice is good and I may well rope in my unfortunate parents.

Part the eighth

14 October, 2004 at 12:56 pm by belgianwaffle

LJS squeezed through the crowded bar to the quiet of the snug where Bobble was waiting craning her swanlike neck to see where was.

“Here you go” he panted, “God it’s fierce busy out there, let me draw you a Venn diagramme to show you what I mean”.

Bobble snatched away his pen and said “That won’t be necessary LJS”. He took a sip of Beamish and blinked in surprise, it was bitter. “Something’s up” was his last conscious thought. Bobble gazed thoughtfully at the prone figure beside her. Just how had HJB managed that, she wondered. At that very moment, Norah stepped into the snug looking businesslike. “My God, it is you” gasped Bobble “are you working for…” her voice trailed away. “Yes” said Norah, “I’m working for Heather and I’ve just knocked out LJS with something nasty in his pint”. Bobble winced. “Oh it won’t do him any harm” said Norah bracingly. “But, how do you know Heather and why are you involved and..” Norah cut across Bobble’s questions, “No time for that now, we’ve got to get him to the car waiting outside”. “OK” said Bobble, “I just need to go to the bathroom. “Oh” said Norah “I wouldn’t, one of the staff here is a loo nastier, just come on”. They carried LJS outside. It was late now and he was just another punter who’d had too much to drink being lugged home by his friends. They pushed him into the waiting car and sat in beside him pink from the effort of supporting his manly frame. “Gosh” said Bobble “nice big, vroomy car, pity about the dent at the back”. The car pulled out and drove to the airport.

Back in Brussels, Waffle was on a secure line to HJB “I’ve been thinking about it, get Norah in. I have a lever, I’ve seen a man hanging about her place and then, ..”

“That won’t be necessary, darling, everything has been arranged” said Heather smoothly.

Waffle was impressed, you had to hand it to HJB, her network was extraordinary.

“And” continued HJB inperturbably “she’s got LJS, they’re on their way to the airport now.”

“Have they been seen leaving?” asked Waffle urgently.

“No, darling, relax, everything’s fine” said HJB.

Back in the Long Valley, pog reluctantly took out her mobile phone. She was wearing a green skimpy combat vest which looked amazingly attractive on her perfect figure and drew attention to her elfin, Kate Moss like face. This was her bomb defusing outfit and she’d just finished some work for the army and was having a well earned break.
“Jojo hi, it’s pog, I’ve just seen something odd.”

“Pog, hi, where are you?”

“That’s not important, oh actually, it is, I’m in the Long Valley and I’ve just seen LJS leaving the bar with two women, he was out cold”.

“Well, LJS’s drinking and other habits are hardly important to me” said Jojo coldly.

“Well, it’s not like I care either” said pog briskly “I mean our relationship is dead and buried, but… I remember he could always hold his drink, this isn’t like him.” She paused “I think he’s been abducted”.

“Don’t be ridiculous” said Jojo ” who would abduct him?”

“Heather” said pog succinctly.

“Pog, what do you know about this?” asked Jojo in alarm “Look, don’t move, I’m coming round straight away.”

“I’m going nowhere” said Pog picking up her pint and settling back in her chair. It was going to be a long evening.

Comments
Bobbleon 14 October 2004 at 13:22

Have this to be going on with.Now I know why my arms felt tired this morning.

poggleon 14 October 2004 at 13:37

Zowee! This is getting better and better!
(just one little tiny weeny titchy thing – Heather has the Cindy body. I’m more your Kate. Kinda. Ahem….)

belgianwaffleon 14 October 2004 at 13:43

Um, darn (most popular word in the waffle house at the moment replacing the f word, now barred), pog, who’s Kate?
Ta, Norah. Bobble, I’m afraid you have become a bit M&B rose but it’s all your own fault for starting it. I fear you may faint when you see who’s driving the car.

poggleon 14 October 2004 at 13:51

Dearie me, waffle – just how many supermodels are there called Kate? Ay? 😉

Bobbleon 14 October 2004 at 14:31

Me faint? Darn.
I like to think I have hope of redemption though.

belgianwaffleon 14 October 2004 at 20:58

Pog, oh dear, I don’t get much sleep, you know…sigh. Well, Bobble, we’ll see.

Locoteson 17 October 2004 at 21:04

Well obviously the pint took him out – Beamish?!? The man’s a blatant Murphy’s drinker after all – none could resist such a shock to the system when they’re not expecting it. (only with extreme preparation before trips to Dublin). Glad to see that maybe…just maybe…there might be a female character actually sympathetic to his plight. Dressing in skimpy outfits just adds to the enjoyment.Good stuff though waff’, the tension is building nicely.

belgianwaffleon 17 October 2004 at 21:27

Locotes, you feel he’s a Murphy’s drinker, well, I’ll bow to your superior knowledge, matters will be rectified.
Pog, please note amendment.

poggleon 18 October 2004 at 12:02

Mah’vlous, thank you darling. And so true.
*coughs*

Cure for morning sickness

14 October, 2004 at 12:19 pm by belgianwaffle

As you will know, if you have been reading this blog since its humble beginnings (yes, mother, this means you), I am a big fan of fluid pudding.  Before I knew what a blog was, I was pregnant and sick and trawling the internet for fellow sufferers.  And fluid pudding was pregnant too and she had her baby just after I had mine.  And she wrote one of the funniest descriptions of giving birth that I have ever read.  And generally she perked me up.  And now she’s pregnant again, which is all to the good obviously. But she is sick, sick, sick.  And when I was pregnant, I was really miserable and sick also.  So I sympathise. It is in this mood that I encourage you to email sympathy to the fluid one and also that I offer the following: in her misery, fluid’s only comfort has been fantasising about Ben Folds (see Ben Folds Kisses the Orb) for details.  Now, I can give you six degrees of separation from Ben Folds.  Ben Folds is a big buddy of Neil Hannon from the Divine Comedy.  I know this because I went to see a concert they did together and they were all pally on stage and talking about being great buddies.  Since Mr. Hannon was very much the worse for wear, he did a lot of talking about this – you know how when you’re drunk you really want to tell the world what a great person your friend is, well, he did that in spades.  Neil Hannon lives around the corner from my friends M & R (whom I may christen Gaza and Bosnia, for reasons which will become apparent in due course). Really, just around the corner about 10 doors down.  I know this to be true because it was in the Irish Times when he paid an obscene amount of money for it.   As it happens, M will be visiting us next week.  And M knows no shame, so I will give him a description of Mr. Hannon and ask him to become his friend.  It will be no problem for him.  He is good at dealing with neighbours.  Once that link is established it will be easy to get in touch with Mr. Folds and beg him to send you a get well card to the fluid one. I may have a little more difficulty with the intimate venue and the kissing. Leave it with me.

Comments
belgianwaffleon 16 October 2004 at 13:08

We aim to please. Hope you’re feeling a bit perkier.

So, Graham Norton

13 October, 2004 at 9:00 pm by belgianwaffle

I just finished Graham Norton’s autobiography and although it is not the kind of thing I would have bought myself, I really enjoyed it, even though I think his programme on the telly is kind of useless. Of course, he is from Cork and it was interesting to get the inside track on what it’s really like inside Bandon Grammar.  All we knew was that they were protestants and ferociously good at hockey.  I remember one girl who was expelled for giving cheek to the nuns went off there and I met her again in college and she had become a very talented hockey player in the meanwhile.  I think I can safely say her skills would not have prospered in the same way had the following exchange not taken place:

Nun with clipboard noting the names of latecomers (always including me but I was very humble about it):  You’re late.

Me: Sorry, sorry, sister, it won’t happen again (craven lie), I slept out, the alarm didn’t go off, my parents were away, the cat ate my bike, I’m an abandoned child, please, please forgive me.

Girl who was subsequently expelled: Well, ten out of ten for observation, sister.

Anyway, I digress.  I liked the Cork bits but I’m not sure that they would be so appealing to outsiders, but who knows.  All the stuff before he was famous was quite good but once he becomes famous, it’s a bit of a tedious list of the great and the good.  The good news is it takes him a long time to become famous.  There is one good bit from when he’s famous.   For reasons, I won’t bore you with, he ends up having lunch at Sharon Stone’s house with his mother who is an entirely authentic Irish mammy. And she tells Sharon Stone that her (Ms. Stone’s) child’s name which she (Ms. Stone) believes to be Irish isn’t an Irish name at all and only a made up one.   Mr. Norton was mortified.  But you have to admire the Irish mother, a reliable product all round.

Comments
jackdalton

on 13 October 2004 at 22:32

But you should see the size of the cats in Cork…. it’s entirely possible that the tale is true.

belgianwaffle

on 14 October 2004 at 12:24

Jack is right, Silver. Our cat was particularly enormous.

poggle

on 14 October 2004 at 12:30

I like expelled-girl’s style with Nunzilla ….

belgianwaffle

on 14 October 2004 at 13:05

Yeah, pog, I know, impressive. And you didn’t know this nun. She was a legend. She had one wandering eye and one that bored into you.

poggle

on 14 October 2004 at 13:26

*shivers*
That’s like something out of Omen …

18 months

13 October, 2004 at 8:44 pm by belgianwaffle

The Princess was.  Yesterday.  We went out for tea to celebrate.

I sat down. I inserted the Princess in a high chair.  Tea and cake were ordered.

We had the following conversation:

Princess: Cake?

Me: Yes, cake. Would you like some?

Princess (nodding vigourously) : Oui, yes.

Me: Here’s a little on a plate for you.  What do you say?

Princess: Thank you. (Takes a mouthful) Nice. (Takes a further mouthful) More?

Me: I think that’s probably enough.

Princess (imperiously) : More.

Me (capitulating instantly) : OK.

Princess: Thank you. Merci.  Milk.

Me: Would you like some milk?

Princess : Oui, yes.

I poured out some milk into a mug and she sat and drank her milk and ate her cake, pointing out buses as they pulled up at the bus stop outside (Bus, bus, bus!).

Then we got ready to go. She smiled round at the other customers and said “Au revoir”.

We went to the cash desk to pay and as we swung out the door she called back to the man behind the counter “Au revoir, merci”.

Perfect.

Comments
dmts

on 13 October 2004 at 21:52

And when did she tell the waitress to fuck off?

DruidX

on 13 October 2004 at 23:40

*insert high-pitched ‘aww’ type noise*

NorahSplog

on 14 October 2004 at 11:30

Happy Birthday-And-A-Half Princess. A sweetie for good behaviour.

belgianwaffle

on 14 October 2004 at 12:23

Silver, thank you. I wil pass on your congratulations to himself. Snort. Heather, double snort. Druid X, Norah, thank you, that’s much more like it. Norah, particular thanks for the sweetie. Incidentally, can I say how much Mr. Waffle and I enjoyed your ode to typing?

Cyprus

11 October, 2004 at 1:34 pm by belgianwaffle

Over the weekend we went swimming, we went to the Salvation Army shop where we bought all sorts of things we don’t need, we walked around the area round the shop and saw vats of wholesale olives for sale, the Princess nearly lost her life as we dragged her away (she is inordinately fond of olives) and we went to a tapas bar and a photograph exhibition and the park and dinner on Saturday night. We’re shattered.

Dinner on Saturday was interesting. It was at the home of my oldest friend. Not the friend I have known longest but my friend who is oldest. There were two other couples there who I had not met before. Mr. Waffle and I had the distinction of being the only couple who came from the same country (the issue of Cork’s independence being still undecided). There was much talk about bringing up bilingual children. Since most of the people there had children in their twenties they were able to speak confidently of their success. Oh the sophistication of it. Then we sat down to dinner. For reasons which are now not entirely clear to me, the issue of Cyprus came up. I said something flippant along the following lines: “weren’t the Greek Cypriots bad to vote no to reunification?”  Then, as everyone looked at me in horror, the Greek man across the table leapt in and asked me about the knowledge of the agreement. Detailed knowledge. Ladies and gentlemen my knowledge is scant, very scant. It is gleaned from scanning cross items in the Economist. This was quickly revealed by my opponent and after that my downfall was inevitable. As I drowned in Greek facts about the number of Turkish troops on the island, I cast a pleading, desperate glance around the table. Mr. Waffle looked at his plate, the nice Canadian lady tried entirely unsuccessfully to change the topic, the Greek gentleman’s wife tried to draw him off but to no avail, he had scented blood and was closing in for the kill. Somebody murmured “Mr. Verheugen (EU enlargement commissioner, if you really want to know) is in complete agreement with you”. Like a drowning man clasping at straws I said “And he’s Dutch” and pointed at my immediate neighbour, a Dutch gentleman in the hope that he would then take the fall for the EU commissioner’s views on Cyprus. It was then that Mr. Waffle decided to intervene “um, actually I think Verheugen is German”. Oh you do, do you? I can tell you there were words about this in the Waffle mobile on the way home. Anyway, my straw was snatched away by my husband and we were off again “Oh yes, I remember being at dinner parties in 1974 saying Turkey would invade Cyprus and they laughed at me…”. I was a shadow of my former self, I can tell you.

And then on Sunday, I was looking at myself in the mirror and pawing anxiously at my hair. “I look like one of the Hardy boys” I moaned. And for the first time in living memory my husband made a negative comment about my appearance (well, he’s not stupid). “It could do with a cut alright” he said.

Goodness, it’s been one disaster after another here.

Comments
silveretta

on 11 October 2004 at 15:29

Mr Waffle just gets better and better. You must feel like a third wheel in this blog at times, behind your bilingual cursing daughter and your punning Euro-know-it husband.

belgianwaffle

on 11 October 2004 at 21:04

This is Mr Waffle. I’ll write quickly as I don’t have much time – she may catch me at the keyboard any second. Silveretta, stop getting me in trouble ! If this goes on –aargh, got to go

silveretta

on 11 October 2004 at 21:57

Did you see it? Just for a moment there, this blog seemed to shine more brightly. It was a form of spiritual and actual enlightenment the likes of which I can only hope we live to witness again. Really, it’s like breathing the exhalations of the Dalai Lama.

poggle

on 12 October 2004 at 12:38

Silver – you stirrer!

Locotes

on 12 October 2004 at 14:25

Stirring is an art-form and should be admired as such. Keep up the good work silver. (not that I could possibly comment myself for fear of retribution).Anyways – personally, I think the hair looks wonderful. No Hardy Boy ever looked so stylish.

L JS

on 12 October 2004 at 18:50

We are all allowed to make an utter and absolute bollock of a dinner party once in our lives. Of course any further invites – not wholly impossible, given how forgiving older folk can sometimes be – to the location of the blood-letting should be approached with a more appropriate level of homework & tact…. Or send Mr Waffle on his own, just in case….

belgianwaffle

on 13 October 2004 at 20:15

Jack, I didn’t think it was that bad…Silver, there will be trouble, I’m warning you.

Part the seventh

9 October, 2004 at 1:07 pm by belgianwaffle

After HJB had instructed her cook and housekeeper about the arrangements for her next soiree she asked Maureen, her personal assistant, to get Waffle on the secure line. “Should I peel you a grape too, your HJBness? Ha ha.” No one other than Maureen could speak to HJB in such a way but they had shared so much; the lonely years, the long nights of torment in empty blogs.

Waffle, darling, it’s H here. We may need to move into another plan fairly quickly”

“You’’re telling me, LJS is going to lose the run of himself if we’re not careful.”

“I was thinking about Norah.”

“Norah? You mean Norah the blog assassin?”

“She claims to be a reformed character these days but I think we could persuade her to pick her old habits up again. It’s merely a question of making the right offer. Heather didn’t feel that she needed to tell Waffle that she had already made the right offer…

“Right H. I’’ll give it some thought, and I’’ll be seeing you at the soiree this weekend?”

“Of course – We’’ve prepared the Jasmine Suite for you and the princess. Ciao”

Waffle sat deep in contemplation, the sunlight flashing off her high, sharp cheekbones; cheekbones sharp enough to slice venison.  How to persuade Norah?  And then she remembered the man she had seen hanging around Norah’’s place.  That may be the way –it wouldn’’t be easy but she wasn’’t a woman who was frightened of a struggle.

Comments
Bobble

on 10 October 2004 at 00:26

“Sharp enough to slice venison.” Worthy of a Mills and Boon Black Edition heroine.

dmts

on 10 October 2004 at 12:45

Ooops – I hope Waffle doesn’t mind me turning her into an M and B Black heroine…

L JS

on 10 October 2004 at 15:24

An M&B Black, eh? How wonderful!
I would only wish to say that wherever the truth in things may lie, each entry on this fabrication is simultaneously fantastic and true. Because each captures some magical reality, some distilled quality of what it is to be LJS and to lead an urban and urbane life.
In a way that no writing of true art & merit ever could.

silveretta

on 10 October 2004 at 23:08

I would never say that.

belgianwaffle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:09

I quite like being an M&B heroine. Most thrilling. LJS, come out Jack, we know it’s you. Silver, I’m crushed. Norah, where are you?

Bobble

on 11 October 2004 at 13:20

They are the best type Mrs Waffle. I fear I am doomed to Mills and Boon ‘Rose’ division.

belgianwaffle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:37

V. thrilling, Bobble. It’s not too late, we can change your character though, less mineral water more um, whatever you like really.

dmts

on 11 October 2004 at 13:58

god, at this rate all the women are going to be assassins and plotters – we need one fair maid –

Bobble

on 11 October 2004 at 14:23

Oh no I wasn’t saying I should be more “loose” Waffle!

dmts

on 11 October 2004 at 14:28

so bobble – tell us how you want your character – it’s hard enough trying to do it with the two of us in separate countries without the characters making special requests – next thing we know LJS won’t want to be tall.

Bobble

on 11 October 2004 at 14:31

Now I sound a fussypants ;o)
I am quite happy with whatever your superior taste decides BW: I am quite chuffed being in it.

dmts

on 11 October 2004 at 14:40
(
Comment Modified) Bobble – so you’re fine with what Waffle decides but what if it’s me doing the next bit? Waffle and I haven’t sorted it out yet. I gave Waffle the cheekbones (not that nature didn’t give them to her first) but if you want the length of your legs commented on as opposed to the length of your lense then this is the time….

Bobble

on 11 October 2004 at 15:56

Hadn’t thought of that Heather.
I do have a shapely neck but that is all I am saying. *ahem*

dmts

on 11 October 2004 at 16:01

of course, a swan-like neck.

NorahSplog

on 11 October 2004 at 17:42

Sorry I’m late. I heard a rumour that there was a man hanging about my place – I had to reset the traps.

poggle

on 13 October 2004 at 12:36

As long as you all know that Cindy and I already have quite a few of the attributes allocated already.
love,
Kate. I mean Pog.

belgianwaffle

on 13 October 2004 at 20:14

Pog, Bobble, your descriptions are safe with me, can’t answer for HJB of course…

Locotes

on 17 October 2004 at 20:47

Not bloody likely that LJS is going to lose his height, with all these women after him you can’t take away his manliest feature. Speaking of which – this episode was missing something for me – now what was it…..ah yes. No LJS. How disappointing.

belgianwaffle

on 17 October 2004 at 21:28

Ah well, Loco, we need to develop the cast of supporting characters.

May I suggest oh dear, rats, darn

7 October, 2004 at 9:50 pm by belgianwaffle

Princess: Fuck

Me: Sweetheart please don’t say that.

Princess (hysterical giggle): Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Me : Darling, really, please don’t say that.

Princess: Fuck.

Comments
HJB

on 07 October 2004 at 22:08

but we really need to ask where she got this from?

silveretta

on 07 October 2004 at 23:04

I believe Mr Waffle is in charge of the French words, and Mrs Waffle is in charge of the English ones, which must mean…

Friar Tuck

on 07 October 2004 at 23:15

It’s probably the lack of sleep.

Bobble

on 08 October 2004 at 00:24

It’s the Belgian accent the darling child has got.

belgianwaffle

on 08 October 2004 at 11:10

I think Bobble is right it must be her accent. Silver, you are cunning. Chintzy, you saw an earlier version of this wherein I tried to place the blame on her father’s shoulders. Due to the regime of oppressive censorship which prevails in Waffle Towers I was forced to remove this. Also, it may not be his fault, ref Silver’s comment.

lauren35

on 08 October 2004 at 19:35

I reckon she’s really saying ‘foc’ – a commonly used French word which crops up in everyday language, meaning … “genoa” (y’know, the front sail on a yacht..) worth a try to put the blame on Mr W?

jackdalton

on 09 October 2004 at 09:56

Nah.. it’s to do with table manners. The child wants her ‘fork’, that’s all.
Goodnight……

jackdalton

on 09 October 2004 at 09:57

.. but in any event I blame the mother.

belgianwaffle

on 09 October 2004 at 13:13

Lauren, Jack, good suggestions. We’re doing some good work with darn at the moment…

cha0tic

on 10 October 2004 at 07:55

LOL. Ahhh we reap what we sow 🙂

belgianwaffle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:08

Cha0tic, very biblical.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:29

Poor waffle. Fab princess. Hee hee.

JoJo

on 11 October 2004 at 13:36

ha ha ha! I laugh now, because this will happen to us.

belgianwaffle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:41

Thank you pog, I think. I certainly hope it happens to you JoJo. I was hoping for a stream of reassuring, oh yeah that happened to us too and so far zilch – Eliott is my only hope.

stroppycow

on 11 October 2004 at 14:25

A great way to difuse this one is to mishear and go “yes dear you are right, it’s a Duck” “muck, where?”. Same with burger, bullocks etc.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 14:41

It happened to my sis, if that’s any consolation. Picture sis going to pick up lil niece from kindergarten in the next village. Is wandering up just in time to see nice little old lady bending down to speak to lil niece. Hears ‘Hello little boy'(sic), what’s your name?’ ‘Lil Niece’. ‘That’s a lovely name. And where do you live?’
‘Fuckin’ Faversham …’
Little Old Lady gapes.
Sister turns on heel and hides behind hedge.
Later shouts at partner for telling lil niece what to tell people if is lost when very drunk (partner, not lil niece).

Part the sixth

7 October, 2004 at 3:23 pm by belgianwaffle

“What’ll you have?” asked LJS.

“Just a mineral water” said Bobble primly.

LJS glanced at the crowd around the bar and then looked again.  “Hey” he said to Bobble “isn’t that Norah Splogg behind the bar?”

“Norah Splogg, Nobel prize winning astrophysicist and best-selling author, pulling pints, I hardly think so” said Bobble sarcastically.

“No need to be sarky” said LJS “perhaps she’s doing deep cover, I heard she worked for the NHS to get material for ‘Alan and the Coconut God'”.

“Really, do you think so?” Bobble was excited despite herself, she loved Norah Splogg and it was so thrilling to think that she might be here in this very room.

Up at the bar, Norah was pulling a pint and reflecting bitterly that the lab coat look which employees in the Valley favoured was not one which was flattering even on a good hair day.  LJS sidled up.

“Hello Norah” he said “pun in the oven?”***

Norah looked at him frostily.

“Is that a pun in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?” he smiled hopefully.

“Hot cross pun?” he ventured

Norah looked up from beneath her mop of perfect dark hair.  So this was LJS..  She wondered what Heather needed him for.  When Heather had called her in to help in relation to his abduction, she had been annoyed.  She had just signed up to do some interesting work at NASA and her publishers were putting her under pressure for her next book.  She didn’t have time for HJB’s intrigues.  But Heather wasn’t in the mood to take no for an answer and Norah knew that she owed Heather.  Also the financial incentive Heather offered was not inconsiderable.  When Norah had been a poor grad student, she and Heather had worked together on a number of shady deals. Norah was going straight now but she wasn’t so sure about Heather.  Sure, it looked good, Heather had her private trust fund and didn’t need to do anything illegal.  But Norah suspected that HJB liked the danger and excitement.

Meanwhile, back in the snug, Bobble was thinking fast.  HJB had said that she would have help in carrying out the op; she had, however, refused to say what form that help would take.  Bobble remembered having seen a picture of HJB and Norah Splogg together in Vogue, years ago.  Could they be friends?  Could Norah Splogg possibly be Bobble’s accomplice?

****Author’s note:  puns supplied by Mr. Waffle, don’t blame me.  Norah, Mr. Waffle has asked me to assure you that this does not imply you are or ever were fat. He also suggests that I add the following: any person who alleges that he or she, his or her heirs, executors or assigns, sevants or agents have in any way been depicted in a manner which is unfair, prejudicial or otherwise, should note this EXCLUSION OF LIABILITY (not valid in Hawaii or in Vermont) and should seek legal advice before reading further. Please tick box to confirm that you have read and agreed to the terms and conditions written in invisible ink and which may be varied at any time without notice at the discretion of the author.

Comments
silveretta

on 07 October 2004 at 23:07

I thought this entry seemed slightly more classy than the others – obviously the good influence of Mr Waffle. I certainly hope to see more of his work.
(And what libellous words did LGM use that caused her comments to be deleted?)

Bobble

on 08 October 2004 at 00:23

I think Norah is a blonde Mrs Waffle, I’m the brunette. A class effort all round, although I fear I’m sounding quite nasty to LJS. I must owe HJB big time ;o)

dmts

on 08 October 2004 at 08:05

my trust fund is getting less trustworthy by the day –

belgianwaffle

on 08 October 2004 at 11:14

Silver, dunno what LGM said, wasn’t me deleted and I don’t know what a moderator is doing prowling around. LGM, thank you for sweetie and tweren’t me deleted. Bobble, she may have dyed her hair, disguise and all that. HJB, I know, what I’d like to know is what is the real source of the undoubted luxury in which you are um luxuriating….

Locotes

on 08 October 2004 at 19:36

Yet another female that has something against LJS. (and no, I don’t mean her body). He started off quite suave, where are the conquests?

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:23

It was the sweaty tee-shirt that ruined it for me, loco. Given a bit of a wash and brush-up, I’m sure we could all be tempted.
Ahem.

belgianwaffle

on 11 October 2004 at 13:38

I see the elusive pog will be rejoining us for the next update.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 14:33

I am the Scarlet Pimpernel of the Tale of LJS.
Sort of.

silveretta

on 11 October 2004 at 15:14

I see you more as the glamour girl scientist – young, good-looking, feisty, and wears glasses. You’ll probably have to defuse a bomb at some stage Pog and get sweat patches under your arms.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 15:17

Oh dear. I was kicked out of both physics and chemistry classes quite early in my school life, silver. Physics because I kept breaking things, and chemisty because they feared I might kill myself – and possibly everyone else in the class.
I have, however, defused dozens of bombs in my time.
(Only part of this comment is true.)

silveretta

on 11 October 2004 at 15:32

I think you’ll find that you were kicked out because the tgeachers were jealous of the manner in which you combined superior technical know-how with a green skimpy combat vest.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 15:46

I expect you’re right.
*cracks knuckles*
ouch

Bobble

on 11 October 2004 at 15:52

I have an image of Pog as Fred from ‘Angel’ now.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 15:53

And she’s met me. Which proves that she is delirious with flu.

silveretta

on 11 October 2004 at 15:58

Yes, Bobba said I reminded her of Angel once too.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 16:02

That’s no surprise to me, silver ….

silveretta

on 11 October 2004 at 16:07

No, but it’s a helluva shock to those pesky vampires.

poggle

on 11 October 2004 at 16:09

Serves them right. Hanging about on street corners looking for people to bite. Pests.

Bobble

on 11 October 2004 at 16:10

*splutters at besmirching of good image*
If Silver did look like Angel… but I am sick… what do I know.

belgianwaffle

on 13 October 2004 at 20:17

Oooh, I like this material…

Wiertz

7 October, 2004 at 10:54 am by belgianwaffle

Yesterday, the Princess and I went off to the Wiertz Museum.  I regret deeply that I have never done this before.  The place is fantastic.  Mr. Wiertz was a romantic artist, a very romantic artist.  His work reminds me a bit of Blake but on a monumental scale.  Housed in this museum are some of the largest canvases I have ever seen in my life.  The Princess and I wandered around saying “wow” and cackling. Cackling because to modern sensibilities Mr. Wiertz’s creations are hilarious and over the top.  Well, that was why I was cackling. I think that the Princess was cackling because we were the only visitors and she could roll around the wooden floors and run about like a headless chicken.

Let me give you a little taste of how weird Mr. Wiertz was, this from the official guide in the Museum:

“Wiertz died in his museum.  His remains were embalmed in accordance with Ancient Egyptian burial rites.  It was his wish to be buried in his garden, but this was refused him…[h]is heart was embalmed separately, and placed in a leaden box, which was handed over to ….his native town of Dinant…”

The rough guide has this to say :

“[the museum] is devoted to the works of one of the city’s most distinctive, if disagreeable, nineteenth century artists.  Once immensely popular (so much so that in Tess of the d’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy could write of “the staring and ghastly attitudes of a Wiertz museum”)…”

And here are some of his pictures’ titles:

“The thoughts and visions of a severed head”

“Premature Burial”

You can check out these pictures (and more!) at this useful site.  Well, useful, if you’re looking for Wiertz pictures.

Frankly, no trip to Brussels is complete without a visit.  Also it is free. And adjacent to the European Parliament (ok, that’s not much of a draw, I grant you).

Comments
poggle

on 07 October 2004 at 14:10

That’s fab. And how appropriate that the Parliament Building on Rue Wiertz. If only I’d known it was there when my boss was still an MEP ……

pub exec

on 07 October 2004 at 14:38

Goodness! I particularly like ‘The Reader of Novels’. A must for my next visit, please.

silveretta

on 07 October 2004 at 14:57

Yes, ‘The Reader of Novels’ captures exactly the way that I like to disport myself when perusing a text. Well, ‘The Tale of Lazy Jack Silver’ at least.

belgianwaffle

on 07 October 2004 at 21:47

HJB, it’s the lesser of two evils, otherwise I have to chase her round the house. Pog, yes, I know… Pub exec, absolutely. Silver, is it any wonder I thought you were a girl with a figure like that?

Random news from other people

6 October, 2004 at 12:57 pm by belgianwaffle

The best dressed diplomat telephoned me from Brown Thomas in Dublin the other morning, having stopped off briefly on her way to New York. She wanted to report the following comment.

Middle aged sales lady on lingerie floor calling to colleague “Mary, are we out of the black bras with nipple tassels?”

The heart surgeon called to say that she is off to a heart surgeons’ love-in in Washington DC.  Will it be fun?  “Well, I’m looking forward to the interactive bit where we ask questions to a doctor performing surgery.”  “In the auditorium?” “Oh no, by video link up, she/he has a headset”. Yes, and apparently the 1,000 bods in the audience ask questions of the on screen doctor while he/she works. What kind of consent forms do you imagine these patients sign?

And finally, check out this friend of Dervala’s who heard her husband won the nobel prize on Monday morning.

Comments
NorahSplog

on 06 October 2004 at 13:06

I used to have to phone a surgeon in Wales. After a few months I asked one of my colleagues what they supposed the slurping noises were when I spoke to him on the phone…I’m annoyed that the black bras with the nipple tassels have sold out though.

silveretta

on 06 October 2004 at 13:45

I’m petitioning the Nobel committee to introduce a Prize for best nipple-tassled bra. Physics seems so exclusive – it’s got maths and stuff in it hasn’t it? Who understands that.

poggle

on 06 October 2004 at 16:49

Gosh. Dublin’s so racy these days!

belgianwaffle

on 07 October 2004 at 21:57

HJB, of course, that’s where they’ve gone. Norah, distressing. Silver, Nobel blog? Pog, I know, I’m terrified that I will never settle back due to overwhelming lack of raciness.

Part the fifth

5 October, 2004 at 8:34 pm by belgianwaffle

LJS emerged from Jojo’s office shell-shocked and blinking in the sunlight and the intense glare of a photographer’s flash bulb.  “Paparazzi” he thought – really, that was all he needed.  “Over here LJS” called a woman he had seen somewhere before.  Could it be, was it really Bobble?  Before he could be sure, she melted into the crowd. “Wait” he called after her, pushing his way angrily through the group of paparazzi who had fallen to the ground to try to get a good shot of his manly jaw for the following day’s tabloids; LJS in police custody was a good story..

He caught up with the woman and grabbed her roughly by the elbow.  “What are you doing here” he said harshly “you were supposed to be in Italy..”  Bobble shrugged her graceful shoulders. Jack grimaced “Doing HJB’s dirty work, I suppose”. “How dare you?” exclaimed Bobble and gave him a ringing smack on his manly jaw.  LJS smiled reluctantly, she could certainly pack a punch. Perhaps she had severed her connection with HJB although he seemed to remember that she had done the photoshoot for HJB’s recent spread in Vanity Fair but then those Hello pictures had had No Mobile’s fingerprints all over it.. He didn’t bring it up.  “What brings you to Cork?” he asked.  “What’s it to you?” she said.  “Ah come and have a drink in the Long Valley and we’ll discuss” he said grinning at her.

In her Swiss fastness, HJB smiled grimly. You had to hand it to the Swiss, their satellite technology was outstanding and she could follow every move Bobble and LJS made.  She picked up the phone to Waffle and said “LJS has taken the bait”.  Meanwhile back in the Valley, LJS was saying to Bobble “I have just thought of an excellent pun…” HJB sighed and closed the satellite link, she could always get an oral briefing from Bobble later.

*Author’s note – and still no puns people.

Comments
Bobble

on 05 October 2004 at 21:29

I give good punch. But sadly no puns.

dmts

on 05 October 2004 at 22:05

that’s not fair. Why does bobble get to hit him?

Bobble

on 05 October 2004 at 22:10
(
Comment Modified) Want to swap your fluffy mound of pillows for my camera bag HJB? I need a rest.

Friar Tuck

on 05 October 2004 at 22:38

It would be more accurate to say no *decent* pun (no pun intended).

on 06 October 2004 at 11:59

I have come late to this party.
Marvellous stuff. It really is getting harder to pretend I’m typing reports while staring at the screen chortling to myself.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.

poggle

on 06 October 2004 at 12:44

On the punning front, how about something along the lines of:
‘Bobble’s views on LJS were, for the most part, unprintable. Her politest opinion was that he was a flash git – too glossy for his own good.’

belgianwaffle

on 06 October 2004 at 12:45

Heather, if you want to hit him, away you go. Lay off with the pun thing. Somebody give me a pun and I will use it. Sniff. Norah, welcome, welcome, and 2 sweeties to boot. Cool.

Bobble

on 06 October 2004 at 12:54

To be fair Pog as separate entities they have their merits but as a combo I fear any better qualities would be… I’ll leave it there.However, I feel that BW has a gift for teasing out the true nature of LJS. It would be nice to imagine the flashing aquamarine eyes and manly jaw were real though.

Friar Tuck

on 06 October 2004 at 17:35

“Carrot,” asked the rabbit of his girlfriend?
“I couldn’t possibly,” she replied.
“I’m stuffed.”

Bobble

on 06 October 2004 at 18:48

What do you call a French man in sandals?
Philippe-flop.

Locotes

on 07 October 2004 at 13:06

Bobble: excuse your cheek, I’ll have you know my jaw is extremely manly – much like the rest of me for that matter…
pog: Well I liked your pun anyway, even though it wasn’t exactly complimentary…I’m definitely noticing a negative vibe against LJS from the female contingent here…
waffle: good chapter, I’m intrigued now about what way the Waffle character will develop….the drama of it all.

poggle

on 07 October 2004 at 13:54

Thanks loco – tho’ I noticed too late that the pun was supposed to come from LJS.
Who does seem to be a bit flighty, to say the least ….

Bobble

on 07 October 2004 at 14:03

Locotes: having not had the pleasure of seeing you in the flesh I shall take you word for it. My humble apologies.

belgianwaffle

on 07 October 2004 at 21:36

Thanks for the puns people. Am saving them up…

The oddness of the US

2 October, 2004 at 1:31 pm by belgianwaffle

This from the LRB review of the Republican convention:

‘The Muslims just hate us for our love of freedom,’ said a woman from Iowa wearing a cloth elephant on her head. ‘They don’t have any culture and they hate us for having a great one. And they hate the Bible.’

‘Really?’ I said. ‘The Iraqis had a culture for thousands of years before Jesus was born.’

‘What you saying?’

‘I’m saying Muslims were building temples when New York was a swamp.’

‘You support the Iraqis?’

‘No.’

‘You support the killing of innocent people going to work? People who have to jump out of windows?’

‘You aren’t listening to me.’

‘No, buddy. You ain’t listening. These people you support are trying to kill our children in their beds. Where you from anyway, the New York Times?’

Also an entertaining link to campaign ads. Fascinating stuff…

Comments
Friar Tuck

on 03 October 2004 at 05:56

Sigh

DruidX

on 03 October 2004 at 18:29

Oooh dear…. How did people get that obtuse? Is it some kind of social disease? *sigh*

belgianwaffle

on 05 October 2004 at 20:07

Heather, Druid, be nice to poor old Friar Tuck, he’s an American left winger and these are difficult times for him…

Part the fourth

1 October, 2004 at 11:42 am by belgianwaffle

“I’’m sorry, LJS, but our relationship is strictly professional and won’’t stand punning. JoJo tossed her head and her long, dark silky hair shimmered. Lazy Jack Silver was entranced by the hint of steel in her wide blue eyes. Not since Pog had refused to let him wear his favourite sweat-stained T-shirt had he seen a woman with so much determination. Attempting to recreate “the look” that he’d perfected over the years, he gazed into her eyes but she pointed a perfectly manicured finger towards the door and whispered, “Leave, LJS. I can’’t help you.”  She turned her attentions back to Elliot who had been happy to lie on his play mat whilst his mother carried on with her demanding career.

As LJS stumbled towards the door he heard her say “Perhaps you need to think about the one known as Waffle.  The woman who claims to live in Belgium.  As he closed the heavy mahogany door behind him he heard her muttering “what is it with this guy, why can’t he settle with a decent Cork girl?”

Meanwhile far away over the Alps HJB was propped on her goose-down pillows, sipping a glass of champagne and reading Hello magazine. Casting it to one side she decided that was the last time she invited No Mobile to take photographs.  Perhaps the time had come for her to join forces with the person known as Waffle who claimed to live in Belgium.

Comments
jackdalton

on 01 October 2004 at 18:07

Agreed. No one does hint of steel like JoJo…

dmts

on 01 October 2004 at 23:59

ah, JS doesn’t seem to take the hint of steel too seriously…

poggle

on 04 October 2004 at 12:02

Never mind all that, H – how are the goose-down pillows? Comfy? Mine are ….

Bobble

on 05 October 2004 at 19:11

I’d always imagined that is how you filled your afternoons Heather.

belgianwaffle

on 05 October 2004 at 20:03

Hello there protagonists, I feel like an update (cue crazed power hungry laugh). Bobble, do you feel that the story needs a photographer?

Bobble

on 05 October 2004 at 20:10

You always need a member of the paparazzi to take pictures of the hero-protagonist and his mysterious lady(ies) assailant(s).

belgianwaffle

on 05 October 2004 at 20:38

Bobble, careful what you wish for…


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