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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?


Today, Charlie and Amélie woke us up at 10. Ten. Ten o’clock. Yes, I’m still in shock: I love the Christmas holidays. We jumped out of bed (when you’ve slept until 10, you jump rather than crawl out of bed. Fascinating discovery), got dressed, and went ice-skating. There’s an ice-rink right outside our front door at the moment, part of the Brussels Christmas market. Then we came home to quickly change our socks (the ice-skates we borrowed were very soggy) before heading out again for lunch at our favourite café, Flamingo on Rue de Laeken. As we were sitting there, eating our yummy tartines grillées, I looked at my children, my crazy, beautiful children, and my heart felt all achy with love and happiness and I got tears in my eyes at just how amazingly fortunate I am to have these two healthy nutters in my world. I could honestly have sat there staring at them for ever but they finished their lunch and started getting fidgety and needing to go to the loo every 5 minutes so we headed home, through the park for a quick play. When we got home, Han put Star Wars on the DVD player and I did a spot of gardening and tidying which, having got up at 10, felt therapeutic instead of just a pain in the bum. Then I played several rounds of Uno with Amélie, on the floor of her bedroom. She got it for Christmas and is addicted already. Then I chased Charlie around for a bit and tickled him until he was sick *face of shame*. And now we’re about to sit down to my favorite meal of broad beans and meatballs (it’s an Ottolenghi recipe and you should try it because it will change your life. Well, ok, it might not change your life but it will make your belly very happy indeed. Click HERE for the recipe). After supper, we’ll get Charlie to bed, then we’ll probably play a game of Yahtzee with Amélie (another Christmas present she loves) before getting her tucked in, pouring a couple of glasses of Baileys (we’re so not cool) and putting on a film. I feel so incredibly lucky it makes me a little dizzy.

28 December 2013 - 7:47 PM amadna - What a wonderful day! Must try that recipe and aint santa clever thinking of yahtzee!

28 December 2013 - 10:18 PM Angie - That sounds pretty perfect to me - happy Xmas, you lot! (Baileys and Yahtzee are the perfect combo)

29 December 2013 - 1:37 AM ralph - What a beautiful day. And it's a rare and beautiful thing to sit and appreciate what you have while you're still in that moment. I love that you do that my friend. A year ago today I arrived in the middle of the magic you call your world, and I am still so grateful for that time. It was so what I needed. And I think I even had those meatballs, and they did change my life. :) Much love. Stay dizzy.

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