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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?

Sleep

Every night, before going to bed, I creep into their rooms. I pull up their covers and, if necessary (which is more often than not), I gently lift their heads back onto their pillows. I collect any books, bricks or balls that have made their way into their beds and check for any jewelry that has been sneaked on and needs to be removed. I check they are safe, comfortable and warm. I whisper a secret “I love you”, then lean in to steal a kiss, tuck away a stray strand of hair, and breath in that warm sleepy air. I always stand there, in the quiet, for a few seconds more, and stare. Sometimes, I even have to sit, just for a while, to watch the gentle rise and fall of the duvet, the long dark lashes resting on their cheeks, their little lips smiling in their sleep. And my heart swells to bursting. Every single night. In the quiet and the dark, I let myself feel that desperate crushing love. The one that makes me want to hold them forever and never let go. The one that fills me with fear and guilt about all the things I am not. The one that makes me question my choices and everything I do. The one that tells me I am not good enough, not for them… And then I let it go. And breath again. One way or another, we’ll make it through. And I whisper again “I love you”.(taken with the Canon 5D iii, in the brilliant non-child-waking Silent mode, with the 50mm f1.4 lens at 1/80 sec f1.6 ISO 3200, in very very low light – edited in LR only with the Rebecca Lily Lightroom presets)

20 January 2013 - 11:16 PM Ingrid - This is absolutely gorgeous Cass. She looks like an angel..and the preset wow..amazing. The preset however is only as great as the photo..and this photo is wow.

20 January 2013 - 11:40 PM Tara Leigh - aaaaaand I'm bawling.

21 January 2013 - 4:29 AM amanda - Gosh this is beautiful

21 January 2013 - 6:38 PM ralph - Goodness, Cass - this is so stunning in every way: the photo,your thoughts and your beautiful writing. If you ever have those doubts again you should just come right back here and read this. The love, the attention, the active appreciation you have for your family and for these moments .... you're doing just fine. :)

23 January 2013 - 11:22 PM Ronnie Bell - Hmmm hard to believe that there are only 4 comments, well 5 now, I suppose. I guess you are quite a private sort of person? but this is just so great it would receive acclaim in any company!!! Your writing is pretty good too!!! ;o))

25 January 2013 - 7:41 AM Gosia Maik - So very touching.

25 January 2013 - 2:31 PM Stephen Cairns - I came to your blog through Ralph's stream. Glad that I did. I've enjoyed my visit. This image is lovely. The tones are like something from a Rembrandt. Warm, rosy, and beautiful. It's a delightful image. In fact, I may put my 50mm on and head up into my daughter's bedroom after I type this. PS: I hope spring comes for you soon.

29 January 2013 - 10:20 PM Eila - Oh my God! You are amazing, Cass! Beautiful!!!

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