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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?

Little Gardener

It was the third of March. It was freezing cold. But Amélie decided she wanted to tidy our little garden. She spent an hour out there, scraping moss out of the grooves in the decking with a chopstick. We kept on asking her to come in or – at the very least – to put some more clothes on. But no, she was adamant: she really wasn’t cold. She’s a funny girl. I remember her, as a baby, refusing to wear hats or gloves, quite happily letting her fingers turn blue. She hated being covered at night. Still does. I tuck her in at bedtime but when I go to check on her a few hours later, her duvet is invariably on the floor. And she has always loved cold baths. I don’t mean tepid. I mean cold. Charlie, on the other hand, hates the cold. He has not enjoyed this winter. Didn’t enjoy the snow… They’re so different. I love that. I love discovering their individuality, their uniqueness. I wonder to what extent these differences are innate, encoded in their genes, and to what extent they’re due to the different environments they’ve grown up in. I’m pretty sure resistance to cold has to be a genetic thing, but who knows? What are the big differences you’ve noticed in your children – or nieces and nephews, or brothers and sisters?

18 March 2013 - 2:24 AM Amélie - I remember reading on your blog how Amélie loves the cold, and had so much fun on the beach in winter when you went (in Holland maybe?). :)

19 March 2013 - 10:11 AM WSM - Send her over here - we've got lots of gardening to do ... will save some for April for her!

19 March 2013 - 5:03 PM Teresa - love :)

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