"You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart. You’re heading for a breakdown, better pull yourself apart. " - John Cooper Clarke

Now they’re here, now they’re not.

My parents made a brief visit to Brussels again this year and so I met up with them the night they arrived and had an excellent supper at Jardin du Nicolas and then prepared for a barbecue with the children the following day. We weren’t sure whether or not the rain would hold off but it did and thanks to my dad’s faux pas by saying that “women think barbecues are such wonderful ideas because all they do is watch the men slave over the barbecue”, I managed to order my dad to make the salad as I knew the children were rather excited to show off their barbecuing skills. My mum and I sat and chatted away which made a lovely change.

During the afternoon my parents showered us with gifts of cheese, mint chocolates and the children received their Christmas and birthday presents which is always lovingly wrapped up in an envelope. My father has promised to pay for a new pair of glasses for me as I can’t afford a new pair myself. I count myself very fortunate indeed.

Next year will be slightly different as it will be my parent’s fiftieth wedding anniversary and they are presently thinking of renting a gite in France for a family gathering. I’m wondering what I could paint gold without it looking too kitsch.

Todd had some good news as his dad had found him a job as a postman for the next 2 weeks. Despite the early mornings, he wasn’t too fazed by the idea, and I think it’ll do him some good, especially all that exercise around this village on the bike they’ll give him. He will also be given ‘security shoes’ which had us all wondering. My father guessed that they are probably handed out as a security measure against guard dogs.

Well, it’s a possibility, I suppose.