Snozzcumbers and lunar craters

Sorry for the silence, friends. As you may have noticed the blogs section has gone all posh and I got a bit scared of trying to upload a new one.


So, since my last, somewhat doom-filled blog (which appears to have disappeared, so you can find it here for the time being, and the one before it here) I have managed to pick myself up slightly. But I’m afraid I am still convinced that I shall die alone with a tumbler of cheap whiskey in one hand and a tin of catfood in the other. Reader Gareth kindly gave substance to this fear by informing me that I had three years left to find a man: after that point there was, apparently, no hope. I knew this anyway but to hear it from a man left me somewhat suicidal.

But anyway, there’s nothing to be done about that. I shall continue to do my best to find love and to abstain from any sort of husband-seducing behaviour. You will be the first to know if I meet anyone. Everyone here seems hell-bent on fixing me up with someone so hopefully it will only be a matter of time before the next hopeless drama begins.

So. In the absence of romance, I thought I would do you a little show-and-tell about this new life I have started in the small provincial village of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Well, firstly, here’s a picture of me on day one. Writing this blog. It was sort of cold but not that cold and I thought oh, I’m going to be just fine. I knew all that stuff about winter was b*llocks! They don’t have winter in Argentina! Absurd!

This was error number one. It did not suit me to believe that it might be cold out here. So I packed no less than eight summer dresses, two playsuits, four pairs of shorts and two skirts. Oh and quite a few bikinis. Rather unfortunately, my only concessions to winter were two pairs of jeans, a leather jacket and a pair of plimpsoles. Tosser, Robinson! After that first warm day I froze, miserably.

With regards to my habitat, I am living in an apartment on Costa Rica street which is legendary in all ways. I found it on Craig’s List which is sort of like Gumtree, only a tiny bit (TINY bit) less pikey. It came with all sorts of interesting accoutrements including four pictures of fluffy kittens in heavy gilt frames and a bizarre collection of imposing Victorian furniture full of ants.

As discussed, I spent my first month here doing a teaching course. I can’t lie, it was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But here, for your viewing pleasure, is a picture of yours truly being a student for the first time in ten years. I loved the crisp winter mornings and striding around with a folder under my arm; I hated having to work for my qualification. This sums me up quite well, really: all style and no substance.

My housemate is a small beautiful American girl who does creative things. Here she is.

I would like to be like her. I am not like her. I emerged from my bedroom yesterday, hair like a haystack, wearing jogging bottoms and a jumper with food all down it, only to find her looking cool and pretty and bohemian, making some sort of clay pot and sketching patterns at our dining room table. My contribution to this scene of creativity and self-improvement was a reflective belch.

Food, too, is an interesting one. After spending my first three weeks eating pretty much nothing but steak and chips I realised that I would need to make urgent revisions to my diet if I was to dodge obesity. And so I discovered the weird world of Argentine vegetables. Dear God!

Peppers are called morons and they’re as big as my head. Spinach comes in bunches with a large patch of land attached. (The novelty of seeing what spinach looked like before it ended up in a triple-washed Tesco bag wore off quickly when I discovered that I needed to scrub every leaf before consuming.) Mushrooms are called hongos which in itself makes me giggle. Cucumbers take first prize, though – they look exactly like snozzcumbers! Look!

It’s amazing! Fortunately they taste of cu, rather than snozz. In fact, scrap that, they taste a damn sight better than any ‘cumber I’ve had at home.

Apples appear to have suffered the same identity crisis as peppers and are as large as footballs. Five portions of fruit and veg a day is no longer relevant to me; my daily apple is large enough to provide all the nutrients I could ever need. Here is an example, sitting next to a normal-sized teacup:

And finally rice cakes, which, admittedly, are not vegetables, nonetheless deserve a mention because of their unfeasibly enormous size and puzzlingly irregular texture. Look at the size of this bad boy! If it wasn’t for his surface-of-the-moon-style craters, you’d be forgiven for thinking he was your plate!

Ah, I know I’m a disappointment. You watched the doc, you logged in excitedly thinking that here was a dating blogger with whom you could gain some identification… and instead you find some moron blogging about clothes and rice cakes and clay pots. Sorry. But I’m only just properly recovering from my lurgy now and these things keep me happy. It’s the small things, readers, the small things.

Anyway I am off, in a state of high excitement, to watch TV. I have just heard – to my absolute astonishment – the noble, moving, and completely unmistakable trumpet solo of the Brideshead Revisted theme tune! This is a treat beyond my wildest dreams!

My Spanish is still too crap to watch local TV so I’ve been stuck, since I got the flu, with a couple of American channels which have shown nothing but THE WORST TELEVISION I HAVE EVER SEEN (cheap ‘n’ nasty reality shows featuring horrendous people whose lives should damn well be kept a secret, not filmed).

And somehow, in the middle of their schedule of horror, I find Jeremy Irons, aged twenty-something and in his prime, standing in a doorway with a small towel round his loins. This is water in the desert! I am howling with excitement! Adios!


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