I haven't updated this for ages because it would have just been whining about how sick I am - SO SICK (some kind of vicious summer flu) - and as my family can attest, that is super boring. I am still sick, but I have reached the point where even I am bored of talking about it. It transpires I do not have anything interesting to talk about at all, actually, but that will not stop me. Onwards!
The school year is dawdling to a close - L has already been sitting in front of a laptop/the TV in pyjamas wrapped in his duvet for so long I think he has bedsores - and Uccle is quiet (apart from the angry bit around the colossal tram/roadworks up the road) and dusty and hot. F has two more days to go, but has a full programme of slo-mo recordings and ill-advised science experiments on the go. Actually, this may also be part of the reason I have not updated the blog: my laptop and phone are in constant use for weird slo-mo shit.
Good Things That Have Happened:
1. Watched our friends' baby have her first taste of ice cream. This isn't the first time I have seen this happen - many years ago, long before I had my own babies, my mum and I very much enjoyed watching a stranger's baby tasting its first ice cream in the Framboisier Doré ice cream parlour here in Brussels - but it's always magic. The suspicion, the surprise, the funny pouting, tasting faces. The reflection. The urgent need for MORE. After five minutes, this one was clutching five of those little plastic spoons and barking her displeasure that the mango and passion fruit had dried up.
2. Had lunch in the Vieux St Martin - always a delight - and my younger son said "look, that man has a schnauzer and a miniature schnauzer" and I thought, a couple of years ago when they spoke virtually no English that would have been impossible to imagine and it made me very happy. Now he has his own (English) You Tube channel doing very serious slo mo science.
3. Went to the scary bat caves and watched the hippos playing:
and the new baby elephant:
This guy had just given up and was lying on the floor, exhausted, giving very few shits about anything (new spirit animal):
4. Went to London Zoo with my father and step-mother to listen to Helen MacDonald giving a talk, complete with a RAPTOR DISPLAY. It was a completely gorgeous event on a warm English summer evening with herons and blackbirds and squirrels flitting around and some moderately uncooperative raptors (particularly Cyril the Seriema who must be the least dignified raptor in natural history) making us laugh, followed by HMD reading the most beautiful passage from her beautiful book about the first time she gets Mabel the goshawk out of her cardboard box on the quayside and how she watches her taking in the big wide world for the first time, which gave me goosebumps.
5. Went to see Jurassic World. HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA.
6. Attended last gulag prize giving EVER (F has a year left but for the last year's prize giving they go to the town hall). It did not disappoint, with a stirring performance of the resistance anthem, Le Chant des Partisans. This is a jolly number featuring death, tears and black blood drying on the roads. This YouTube rendering, complete with scenes of executions (and terrible English subtitles), was playing on the big screen. Happy holidays!
8. Everyone Did Good in their exams, school reports, etc. so no punitive holiday measures need to be imposed and they can be allowed to continue soaking up unlimited broadband and getting bedsores.
9. Escaped from the dentist without any Work and now I can open my mouth in public again.
2. Galloping, sick-stomach anxiety
3. Managed to get ridiculously sunburnt yesterday despite overcast skies and low twenties temperatures and now look, well, ridiculous and must wear high necked Victorian blouse at all times.
4. Already bored of holiday catering. Surely children could feed themselves at their ages?
5. Work, when really I just want to go and hide in Wifi-free, drizzly, perfect Yorkshire Dales isolation.
6. Have run out of Ru Paul's Drag Race on Netflix.
35% headbanging translation frustration
45% irrational summer dread
10% wishing to watch Strange/Norrell rather than work
10% La Roche Posay Lipikar applied to raging hot Celt-flesh.