"Why didn't you tell me Prog Rock is seeing someone?" asks the CFO accusingly over coffee amidst the lentil botherers of Café Belga where we have repaired from the market after realising neither of us has brought any money.
"What?! I didn't KNOW!"
"He kept dropping it into conversation last night. I thought I was supposed to know, so I didn't ask questions"
"No, you weren't supposed to know! I don't think. I mean, I didn't know. Though now I think of it, he said in an email he was seeing a lot of someone, but I didn't realise he meant he was Seeing Someone".
"Well, he did. He told me it was like being twenty again, except not being twenty".
"That sounds like him. I thought you were talking about Keynes! That's why I went to bed".
I am a bit confounded. Obviously, this is a Good Thing. It's been five years. The Someone in question is pretty much perfect for Prog Rock. And anything that prevents him living the life of a holy hermit is to be welcomed. Intellectually I have no problem with this. The thought of him getting a little uncomplicated happiness is very cheering to me.
But it's entirely at odds with my policy of total denial. I mean, how can he be going out with someone when Nothing Has Happened? Mum has mysteriously disappeared, certainly, but could be back at any minute. I mean, perhaps she has just been very busy, or has gone on an extended retreat to a Tibetan monastery?
I know that isn't true. She's here, as evidenced on Prog Rock's camera, that I borrowed today. Look. I told you it was beautiful, didn't I?
So the Seeing Someone? It makes me feel funny. That's how articulate I can be about it.
I feel funny.
Let the record show that Mme. Jaywalker feels "funny".
Another weekend, another surreal Brussels happening, this time children's workshops in the underground remains of some Burgundian duke's castle. It has activities. They are free. I cannot listen to any more ambulance chasing adverts on the cheap tv channels the spawn are watching. Cilla Black is selling us death cover. Lashes has already advised me in the strongest terms to avail myself of the Mortgage Shrinker. Something has to give.
Me: Children, we're going somewhere. You probably won't like it, but there are ateliers.
F/L: Waaah no, we want to play Mario Party 8, il fait froid, etc etc.
Me: Nonetheless. We are going. And if it's awful we won't stay long.
L: Is it a musée?
Me: Hmm, in a manner of speaking, but also not really. Try not to prejudge it on that basis.
L: Waaaah! Je déteste les musées!
Off we all go anyway, me, CFO, unenthused but uncomplaining, Prog Rock up for anything, protesting children.
First, shadow making workshops. Four cheerful Belgian gents in an underground cell. They have a camel's head! I get to wear it! Afternoon is looking up. Lashes and Fingers mime drunk. They are very good.
Lashes concentrates on an elaborate underground scene involving Sonic the Hedgehog, Super Mario and Luigi. I make a model of the blue brain, then the world's largest chicon.
Then a chicon making machine operated by Prince Laurent, portly, renegade scion of the Belgian royal family.
The Belgian men look at me with slight alarm. Lighweights. Call themselves Belgian?The spawn rapidly get bored. I do not. Eventually the CFO bodily removes me from my Pritt Stick and we go home, overlooked by the giant blue brain.
Another Brussels Saturday.