Now then. I had a Plan for today. I thought it up in the small hours of this morning between tooth grinding bouts. It will be fun, involve toy mutilation, help Pochyemu get her thesis written and will teach you more than you could have ever imagined you wanted to know about Belgian politics. However it will not be happening today due to the whole of Belgium grinding to a halt due to snow! A moderate dusting of snow! It must signify the apocalypse. Let all the roads be filled with swirling masses of over-cautious Belgian drivers settling in for the night with their blankets and speculoos biscuits and thermos flasks of terrible coffee! Let Johnny Halliday be airlifted in to entertain the displaced hordes! Helicopter drops of waffle ration packages and beer!
It was, undoubtedly, one of those days I think we will all remember. Not, necessarily for the morning trip to the deserted black light mini golf which I would not necessarily recommend as a fun family day out (oh, the places you'll go, etc). But in the grey, ordinary afternoon we went to the circus in a strange far flung field in the shadow of the Atomium. That wasn't necessarily the day to remember part either, though I don't think I will forget in a hurry the ponderously underwhelming display of four large cows walking in a circle and stopping to graze on abandoned candy floss. We spent two hours in a brightly lit tent to a soundtrack of pumping europop, with the CFO muttering "Seventy euros" in shock and Fingers' pointy arse bones sticking into my knees like knives as he asked me querulously every two minutes "when it will END, I don't want any more, how many more minutes, too much music, I'm hungry, why don't earrings hurt". In fairness, some of it was rather wonderful, and a lot of it was oddly affecting and made me quite weepy* and Lashes, at least, sat with his mouth open in wonder as children are supposed to do in the circus, and even Fingers conceded that the three motorcyclists racing each other in vertiginous circles around a ridiculously small spherical cage were "très fort" and there was an elephant which remains an astonishing, almost miraculous sight everywhere, but especially in suburban Brussels.
The most memorable bit was that at the end we all shuffled out and the sky had taken on that strange reflected luminescence it gets in a snowstorm and there was that peculiar quality of silence snow brings and it was like those fantastic days when you wake up and open the curtain and the world has gone WHITE. Beautifully, magically white. And it was still snowing! Ok, North Americans, I can hear you sniggering from over here. Yes, and you Scandinavians, and all the rest of you that get proper snow. Shut up, ok? Let us enjoy our paltry covering. And all around us small children oohed and aahed and scooped up snow and put it down each other's necks and stuck their tongues out for flakes and the sound of 400 people looking at something a little bit wonderful echoed around the car park.
After that, we were stuck for two hours in jams and on blocked roads, slithering around and pushing other cars and going backwards and swearing, while the spawn chorused unhelpful things like "you PROMISED we could build a snowman!" "a promise is a promise!" "Are we nearly there?" and "I tried to pee in the Coke cup but I missed!" and waved a stolen flashing light-up stick thing from the circus in an unhelpful fashion. After various heroic exploits we found somewhere to abandon the car and struck out for a tram, across the frozen steppe. It was tremendously exciting. Especially since the trek didn't last long enough to get old, and because the tram arrived promptly and whisked us back home fast enough to make a small snowman in the garden.
Then, because perfection isn't supposed to last forever, or even a whole afternoon, the CFO and I had a bad tempered squabble but we decided to pretend it didn't happen and watched and commented rudely on Antiques Roadshow together in a conciliatory fashion. Magical, memorable Sundays don't happen that often.
How was yours?
* I think because of reading this not so long ago, which is rather magical itself.