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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?

Introducing Prof. Loony-Pants McMonkey-Butt

I do not have children who willingly dress like this. There are blogs I follow with children who always appear thusly attired, perfectly accessorised and color-coordinated. These are children made from different (probably more refined) stuff than mine. Mine will not even wear gloves to stop their fingers from turning blue and dropping off. So bow-ties are effectively out of the question. However, Sir Reginald Monkey-Butt here got a lovely bow-tie for Christmas and I decided he was going to wear it at least once, even if only for long enough for me to grab a picture. This was achieved at the price of two Quality Streets and one chocolate biscuit. He drives a hard bargain. And so I thought to myself “if we’re going to do this, we might as well go the whole hog”. So rather than just putting the bow-tie on over his breakfast-covered jumper, I actually changed him. And then I found the specs he requested from Father Christmas. And he grabbed the flower from his sister’s room. And wait for it: I even wiped his face! No but seriously, this is really a very high level of achievement for me. My children usually have dirty faces. I’m a wonderful mother. Thus prepared, I plonked him in the good light, grabbed my camera, took about 10 shots in the space of 20 seconds (5 of which were vaguely in focus) and then he got bored and ran off (without bow-tie, glasses, or flower). Ta-da. Magic. And now I’ll pretend that this is always always always how beautiful and clean he looks. Forget everything I said above.

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