1. My children have been fighting pretty much solidly since I said how lovely they were. Inevitable. Serves me right. Actual punches were thrown over the weekend (unusual, they tend to confine themselves to psychological torture) and electronics were confiscated. Deprived of all stimulus, I forced them both to watch the Crufts final with me instead on Sunday night. The finalists were disappointingly normal, though there was thankfully one dog that looked like a very slinky pull along hoover with Yoda ears. They are my favourites.
2. There was a brief, tantalising appearance from SPRING last week, which was both wonderful and unnerving. Did you have that? We sat out in the garden with ice cream from our local ice cream shop, Penis (well, Zizi, but that is what it means and I am easily amused). F muttered unhappily and slunk along in the shade of the wall because he has decided he cannot stand sunlight. The windows were shown up in all their smeary horror, as was the general squalor of the rest of the house and the decrepit state of my person. I went out to a party (worthy of mention because obviously THIS NEVER HAPPENS) squidged into my poor-woman's-Roland-Mouret-style-dress with bare legs smeared with some l'Oreal version of gravy browning. The hairdresser updated his distressing window display:
Five brave crocuses appeared in the garden. The birdcam returned, condemning me to zero productivity for 2 months (I felt quite emotional seeing Mrs Oehoe the eagle owl back for the third year, like she is in some very small way "my" owl. No sign of Ted and Sylvia slechtvalk yet, the emotionally delinquent, neglectful peregrine falcons who live in an unadorned windswept box of pebbles, a sort of bird Wuthering Heights). Children played in the Parc du Caca (unwise), cats sunned themselves on the pavement, and a wind of optimism blew briefly through Uccle. Now it is -1°C and there is obnoxious tiny snow and a sort of howling wind type thing which is definitely not the wind of optimism. I no longer know what to think.
3. This does mean, however, I can solidly turn my attention to this:
Yet another sadistic innovation from Milka, inventors of the Daim mini egg, and winner of the Belgian Waffle award for "Company Most Likely to Ensure I Never Wear A Swimsuit Again". I hope you have noticed I have matched my nail varnish to my chocolate, like a boss. I am not sponsored by Milka, but really, Milka, surely we could work something out? I am totally on brand. Call me. Have varnish, have no shame, will eat chocolate for money. Indeed, might even dress as a purple cow for money (I have done worse).
They have been advertising this new work of satanic genius on billboards near the house for several weeks and on Thursday the weight of purple persuasion was too much for my weak, suggestible spirit and I went and bought some. I am not made of stone, ok?
Look, it is DOUBLE SIDED. A TUC on each side. Salty, crunchy, pure evil.
Presumably I do not need to tell you that it is absolutely delicious. It is the work of Beelzebub and it was placed on this earth to destroy me utterly. I have bought five of them and placed them in a high cupboard out of the children's reach.
4. In distasteful self-promotion corner, I am in Red this month wondering whether I had my kids too young. I even got a cover line ("one mother's reality check", it says, hahahaha), which is a first. It features a very nice picture of me and said children (you cannot see my face at all really, which is why I think it is very nice) taken by a really excellent Belgian photographer I met before Christmas. If you are in the Brussels or Antwerp area, he does portrait sessions a couple of times a month and they are astonishingly cheap and brilliant. We did the picture for a Christmas present for family and very good it was too though he had to tell me to stop making faces quite sternly at least 4 times.
5. Oh. Also, I need your help. After my failure to organise F's birthday party, and the shaming realisation that all forms of child entertainment are now booked up until mid-May, we are condemned to having the party HERE. In the HOUSE. The thing I swore I would never do again, when that disturbed boy with the thousand yard stare dropped a tortoise on the floor back in 2008. Nevertheless, here we are. Do you have any ideas how we can occupy a small group of nine year olds festively? I am thinking perhaps treasure hunt in the Parc du Caca if the weather is good, but what if it isn't? And what else can we do, because that's plainly not going to be enough to keep them from finding my Milka stash? Brrrrrr. HELP.
(I want this in my party bag)