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November 09, 2006

Ok, life change time

I have a post saved as draft, written recently, which says, in summary, I'm not blogging any more because I can't be bothered.

What this actually means is that I think I can't be bothered to do anything much. Because I am a profoundly lazy person.

This is profoundly mistaken.

I absolutely can be bothered. Inside, I'm trying with all my might - the usual swan analogy comes to mind. My little mental legs are paddling away like a paddling fast thing, but on the surface, serenity. No apparent effort. No apparent emotion. All is concealed, all is hidden. All is pretend.

So, finally, and I genuinely don't know why this has taken so long, I have recognised that this is not normal (though of course it is to me, I've been like this literally all my life that I can remember) and been to see the very nice doctor who I know a bit socially in the village, and told him everything. Honestly. About how I just want to stay in bed. And how I lie sometimes to my clients about how I'm going to be late because I've been so busy when what I've been really doing is watching telly. About the guilt and the anxiety. And so on. I filled a sheet of A4 with bullet points of problems, and made sure I mentioned them all.

And he said to me some words which I guess are going to go down as a turning point. He said "You have chronic, moderate and sometimes severe clinical depression. It sounds as if you have had it more or less constantly since you were a child. And I can make you better".

I'm finally, at forty years old, being assessed properly, and I will be taking some medication to do the serotonin inhibitor uptake suppression* thing, and once we have got the drug choice and dosage right he promises I will, finally, feel ok. I may end up talking to someone professional as well, and that will help me feel ok too.

So, with all this to look forward to, I am now over the fact that I am such a minor blogger that I wasn't invited to andre's party. Lots of other famous bloggers have been going on about it, and the comments pages are full of what a nice time they had. All written in witty, succinct style, obv. But now that I can see the light ahead, I can realise that my sulk about this the other day - yes, I really did - is utterly, utterly, ridiculous, and apologise to all concerned for even thinking about putting snotty comment on your pages. Sorry. And perhaps, when I'm better, I will have finally the energy and creativity to make this blog more famous. And I will invite you all to my party. And genuinely expect you to come.

*I think you'll find that this is the correct medical term. Shut up.

November 03, 2006

The one where my true character emerges

I was chatting to someone in the pub the other day. They* will have to remain nameless, because I am going to be nasty about them. I hope they don't read this.

They said "We were at a dinner party and when the conversation lagged a bit someone said 'Can you name three famous Belgians?' and it was terribly funny because do you know nobody could I mean the best we could come up with was Hercule Poirot but he's fictional and anyway I'm sure he's French** and can you believe that a whole European country hasn't got a single famous person in it? I mean, can you? Mmm?"

I had choices here.

I could have lied completely, and given it the whole oh-how-terribly-amusing-no-now-you-come-to-think-of-it-I-can't-think-of-any-famous-Belgians-at-all-how-strange-anyway-do-you-want-another-g-and-t?

But that would have been lying, so I didn't do that. That's not in my character.

I could have gone down the oh-for-fuck's-sake-not-that-stupid-fucking-unintellectual-eighties-yuppie-game-you're-twenty-years-out-of-date-you-utter-fucktard.

But that would have been terribly rude, so I didn't do that. That's not in my character either.

What I did do:

"Mmmm. What about that bloke who kidnapped little girls and kept them in his cellar and abused them and left them to die and stuff? Marc Dutroux. He's famous. I've heard of him. Didn't he escape from a police station and the Minister of Justice had to resign? That's one.
"Oh, and what about Eddie Merckxx? Apart from having the hardest name in the world to spell, possibly, he was a famous cyclist. When I was a kid I had a racing bike endorsed with his name. That's two.
"I know a third, as well. Jan van Eyck. He was a painter. Fifteenth century I think. He was about the first to master painting in oils. Did lots of religious stuff. Of course, technically, he was Flemish and that was part of the Holy Roman Empire then but it's in Belgium now and that's what counts. What do you mean, no it doesn't? That's like saying that King Arthur wasn't English, assuming he existed at all. England certainly didn't then. Exist, I mean.
"Oh all right then, another. What about Jean-Marc Bosman, he of the football transfer test case? Belgian. Justine Henin-Ardenne, tennis top ten. Come to that, Kim Klijsters, ditto. Oooh, and Thierry Boutson, who was an F1 driver. And Jacky Ickx, come to that. Hieronymous Bosch. Though I suppose the Flemish pre-Belgian thing applies to him too. And to Peter Breughel. And Rubens. I can have Magritte though, he was twentieth century. Plastic Bertrand? Sang 'Ca Plane Pour Moi' in the seventies. Oooh, talking of music, guess what nationality Django Reinhardt was? Correct-a-mundo. Did I mention Jean-Claude van Damme? Didn't think so. Hmmm. I think that's about all I can think of at the moment. How many was that?"

That was smug and know-it-all in the extreme. And that was absolutely in my character.

*Note how I have cleverly concealed their gender by using the third person.
**Whoever said this is marginally better informed than my conversation partner, as M. Poirot, though fictional, is a fictional Belgian. You, dear reader, being a well-informed person, will already know this. Tintin is too.