Mine is in the middle, in the red jacket. I was VERY PROUD of that all-expense-spared outfit until I saw Napoleon's lieutenant who was wholly superior in every way. Next to Wellington, in yellow, stands the Lion of Waterloo holding an inflatable beachball, which I believe represents the world, thus:
Also visible: To the far left, Lucky Luke, the cartoon cowboy and half of one Smurf. To the right, possibly Charlemagne. Or, hmm. Maybe Charles V? I forget. There were several tepid plastic beakers of white wine in the Siberian schoolyard, where we huddled together for warmth, like penguins. It was late. It all got a bit fuzzy. Shortly after this photo was taken, the whole cast started dancing to ABBA's Waterloo, as one might hope. As we left, the class above was just starting a hearty rendition of "chef, une petite bière on a soif" which is the essential accompaniment to all such festivities (click that link at your peril. Actually, no, go and watch it. It, and its intepreter "Le Grand Jojo" - who is, I learn to my astonishment, not merely still alive but going strong and signed to Universal - are an essential facet of your Belgian cultural education. Yes you do need one. It's pub quiz dynamite).
I do not have any better photographs, which is probably a good thing. I do not have any pictures at all of F and his class performing their extensive Jacques Brel medley. He told us very confidently that he would be on the left hand side of the stage, and then was on the far right and barely visible to the naked eye. If you craned your neck in front of twenty seven camcorders and squinted you could occasionally see him Very Clearly Enunciating in the back row (it's the opera training, darling). It was very moving nevertheless.
I also (i) did not contribute any baked goods; (ii) avoided any unseemly fights over the duck fishing stall by not volunteering my services; and (iii) won a small wooden spinning top in the raffle, which is better than the free with purchase purple fluffy Milka slippers of two years ago. I also managed to sneak away for a considerable part of the middle of the day, so I consider this a highly satisfactory fête experience.
In other news I have:
- interrupted a pickpocket in flagrante delicto with his actual hand in my actual pocket ("What was he after?" asked M, cruelly. "Dog poo bags? Lint? Twigs?")! Today! I greeted this with British embarrassment and a slightly huffy stare, which has totally taught him.
- tolerated about 73 Belgian bank holidays. There are more to come. Pray for my mortal soul, with especial mention for a dispensation from ever playing Battleships again, please.
- Made a fairly sub-standard cake for my enormous child's 11th birthday:
(High quality photobombing there from the other one)
He actually asked for a watermelon but I just .. couldn't. Too much going on, not enough red and green colouring. I'm not proud.
- Also at Scary Bat Caves (truly, they contain multitudes), acquired a kit to crochet a tortoise without acquiring any of the skills necessary to crochet a tortoise.
- became unreasonably angered with the poor crochet instructions:
Which I believe to be Google Translated from Korean.
"That" opined someone "Is the most complicated way of describing a slipknot I have ever seen" and I can only concur.
My own commentary ran something like:
"No YOU knit a little turtle! And what on earth do you think a 'patrol under the sea' is anyway? WHO PATROLS UNDER THE SEA? LOBSTERS. THAT IS WHO, NOT TURTLES"
"'To the proper length make the stitch line to be a chain?' YOU ARE ON CRACK".
"IT WILL NOT STAY ON THE HOOK WHY IS THE HOOK SO SLIPPY"
All the while accompanied with angry flailing at green wool. It was a bad scene. Can you crochet? How do you ever move on from "making some knot things in a line" to "attaching the knots to each other to form a shape"? Can you explain it without recourse to Google Translate? I am all ears. Ears and cheap wool and the rage of total ignorance.
There is doubtless more to be discussed, but it is late and I am going to bed with the dread strains of "Chef une petite bière" chasing the last dribbles of sentience out of my brain.