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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?

Orléans

OK, last pictures from France. On our drive down south, we stopped in Orléans and met up with my lovely friend and amazing colleague Jill. My children, who had been cooped up in the car all day as we crawled round the beautiful Paris Périphérique (and I use “beautiful” in the most inappropriate sense possible… Paris may be beautiful for a few square miles in the middle, but the outskirts are like the pits of hell. Especially when some idiot in a clapped out Renault 5 decides to drive round it with an INDUSTRIAL sized refrigerator in their BOOT. Yes, yes, even my children could have told you your car was going to snap in half! I mean really… WHY?! Why would you even try? Two hours: two kilometers. AAAAAAAAARGH! Anyway, where were we? Ah yes, my children…) were so delighted to finally find freedom that they were both on their worst behavior. I love it when people finally get to meet my usually delightful twosome only for them to fairly incessantly vile. I know, hard to believe isn’t it? That they could be anything but angelic. But there you have it. Luckily, Jill was endlessly patient and forgiving for someone who had trekked all the way from Paris herself, on one of her precious last days in France, just to see us for a few hours. Next time, Jill, I promise, we’ll travel to you and my children will be properly cleaned, fed, hydrated and exercised BEFORE we see you. Nonetheless, I’m really really glad we did get to see you because YOU are lovely xJill in a teacup, keeping Amélie happy (she pestered for 30 minutes non-stop to be allowed a go). Orléans cathedral from the outside. At about 3pm and at about 9pm a whole week later (we stopped in Orléans again on the way back up – and yes, I had already posted this picture but thought it deserved another outing. If you didn’t see it the first time, this picture was taken from our hotel window. The hotel was on the banks of the Loire so all round good views).And from the inside. Just two pictures. Because as I may have mentioned, I had two children with me who weren’t on their best behavior. And screaming, climbing, banshee-like children don’t mix well with the rarified atmosphere of an antique-filled, gold-gilded place of worship. Have you ever got the death stare from a priest? Yeah. You tend to quicken your pace somewhat after that.

8 November 2012 - 3:10 AM Teresa - Holy gorgeousness!

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