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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?

Favorite Tradition

Blog every day in May, day 20: We all make up traditions that carry over year after year. What is your favourite tradition? Big or small, share the details and why you enjoy it.

I really have nothing to write. Nothing. I’ve gone blank. This blogging every day malarky is hard. Hard I tell ya.

The only tradition I can think of is Christmas, and I can’t believe I’ll have anything original to say about that. We listen to the Kings College choir, we have an over-indulgent breakfast, Charlie and Amélie open stockings, we go for a long walk, lunch is always late and we always eat too much, we pull crackers, eventually, we open some presents, then we slump on the sofa in a stupor to watch television… Christmas aside, I really can’t think of any traditions we have as a family. In fact, the word “tradition” tends to have negative connotations for me. It’s the word that gets trotted out every time someone wants to defend an archaic and out-dated point of view. One that cannot possibly be justified through any other rational. Like why women should stay at home or why two men (or two women) should not be allowed to celebrate their love through marriage. You only have to wait for the indignant spluttering to end and out it comes: “I support traditional family values” or “it’s just not a tradition in this country”. At best, it means “I’m afraid of change”. At worst, it means “I’m a pathetic excuse for a human being and, with my limited brain capacity, I believe that other people getting more equality or freedom must mean that mine is somehow threatened”. Or maybe that’s just me being judgmental.

In other news, I made rotten banana brownies today. That sounds revolting, but believe me it wasn’t. It’s essentially Nigella Lawson’s brownie recipe with a bit of the butter and one of the eggs switched out for two over-ripe bananas. And it was delicious. By no means traditional, just plain old naughty.

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