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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?

Hot Water

Today I lay in a hot bath reading my book. It was pure bliss. Even if the water was second hand and even if I had to share the latter half of it with a little boy. And do you know why it was so special? Because our boiler broke a year ago and whilst some poor, very willing but clearly not qualified plumber did spend several hours (until well past 10pm) trying to fix it, it was never quite the same. For a year, we haven’t had enough hot water to run a bath. Charlie and Amélie have been having either very shallow or very cold washes. And we’ve been having showers. And short ones at that. And certainly not one after another. It’s been better than not having any hot water at all but not much. A whole year. In that time, we’ve paid one set of crooks over a hundred euros for an estimate, one hapless plumber several hundred euros to get the heating back on and our water to tepid, one boiler engineer another hundred or so to replace a sensor and, finally, another plumber, who was hired by the guy who sold us our flat to do a routine check on all the boilers in the building, an as yet unknown amount (please pray for us) to actually undo what the second guy did and get everything working again. But we have hot water. And if we have to cancel our holidays to pay for it, so be it. I’ll just spend a week in the tub.Taken on 10.01.13: Canon 5Diii, 50mm at f1.6, 1/400s and ISO 400 (and no, this has nothing to do with the boiler story: it’s just my Sunday picture. I love Sundays. Today we did drawing and painting and reading and planting seeds and tidying our balcony in readiness for spring. And I got to be with my boy and my girl and that is my favorite thing in the whole wide world).

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