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


Sculpture 2

I love the way Europeans adore their sculpture and this one really caught my eye near Bad Münster Eifel.

Right in the middle of a roundabout.


It’s time for the bubonic plague again.

I went to see the dermatologist again today seeing as I appear to have a touch of the bubonic plague again. As the doctor explained how I managed to catch it again, with details from stress to my coil, she also told me to stay out of the sun. This would be fine if the weather forecast was predicting snow, but that’s hardly likely in these tropical climes. It is supposed to creep back up to 27°C tomorrow and 30°C the next day which makes it very difficult to stay indoors.

Tatiana went to the coast on Monday with her boyfriend and only put sun cream on her face and shoulders – which was an idiotic thing to do, especially when at the sea. Her stomach now glows in the dark and she looks like an extremely successful candidate should she wish to take up a career as a red traffic light.

I mentioned my love of the sun to the doctor today and she was incredibly understanding.

I was prescribed a paper bag.



Todd made a short appearance at home yesterday boasting his Mohawk which looked like a cross between a hedgehog that had been caught under a lawnmower and a Tin-tin hair-do. Apparently the hairdresser refused to shave off the sides completely so he doesn’t look quite as fearsome as I had expected – just a little silly. Todd then went off to boast his bruises that he got when pogoing and being thrown about by fans at Werchter. He has three and they failed to impress me so he started insulting me, then left and I’ve not seen him since.

I’ve already tried out my new lawnmower which is great and doesn’t involve trying to keep the handle up all the time which was what used to do my back in time and time again. I shall do the rest of the garden this afternoon, and I hate to say it, but I’m rather looking forward to it. The pond desperately needs filling up so that’s on the cards aswell before I flop infront of the TV to watch the football.

Coralie may come home tonight – she started working at the hotel on 1 July and appears to be very busy, according to Tatiana. Hermie is busy jogging around his pen although I do like taking food out to him, putting it near his face and using it as bait to see just how fast he can run.

Other than job-hunting, I’m slowly clearing out the house which seems to be taking forever but must be done.

And that was a little bit of this and that.


Todd N°. 5,380 (and still going).

I dropped by the house yesterday as I haven’t been around much and the children are chez Papa. After checking on Hermie, changing his water and giving him something to eat I went upstairs to get something from my bedroom.

Hello? Why is Todd’s duvet and pillows on my bed?

Hello? Why is my king-size duvet and pillows on Todd’s two beds?

Hello? Why are there a couple of ‘things’ from my Box of Tricks that I keep hidden under my bed, in Todd’s room?

I stripped off all the sheets and shall be washing them at an extremely high wash and will be disinfecting my Toys for the next week; god only knows what Todd has done with them. This comes as a bit of a shock as I would never have thought that Todd would use my bed linen, let alone anything else.

There again, he did come flying downstairs last week wearing nothing but a very, very small towel while his girlfriend was upstairs, begging for a condom. Fortunately, a friend had a condom that was just within the sell-by-date in his wallet and the evening was obviously saved. For Todd.

I picked up the empty beer bottles that were strewn around the lawn, threw them out and left, wondering how to tackle Todd about using my house as a hotel. But I think I have other issues to think about now as I have just found out something else about Todd.

He has a Mohican hair-cut.



“I’m still not talking to you, you know.”
“Warn me next time – I hadn’t noticed you’d stopped, Zoe.




That was definitely a year to remember. I waddled around like a beached up whale, ate extremely healthy, exercised a lot and generally felt good about myself as I was due to give birth on 24 June. All I knew was that I wasn’t expecting just the one baby, but two, but had no idea whether I was to give birth to a boy and girl, two boys or two girls. Simply because I didn’t want to.

And so my partner and I had four names ready and after a lot of huffing and puffing and three hard pushes, I gave birth to a girl who was called Coralie. I loved holding my newborn child so much that my gynaecologist had to remind me that I still had another baby inside me so could I hand Coralie over to her father and get pushing again?

With one single push I gave birth to another girl – Tatiana. Both of my babies were covered in mucus and looked pretty revolting in all honesty, but they were mine, had been a part of me for nine months so naturally I thought they were beautiful.

And all this happened 21 years ago.

Happy birthday, Coralie and Tatiana!



Tesco TVs are very sturdy.

I’ve often been known as vaguely clumsy but yesterday was quite impressive. Previously, I’ve backed into occupied phone boxes, startling the person inside, locked myself out of my house on several occasions, fallen over a snowman flat on my face, ran full pelt into a glass door and so on.

Yesterday was just another incident to add to my list. As I came back to watch one of the World Cup matches after half-time I went to close the door and on moving towards the sofa, somehow managed to trip over my feet, fall flat on my arse and knock the cabinet on which the TV was on.

Now I wouldn’t say that my feet are big – they are fairly normal, but when my back hit the cabinet the following sound wasn’t good as I slowly heard the TV make a slow dive off it. Horrified as to the events that were slowly unfolding behind me I simply sat there, eyes tightly shut.

My friend came over and pulled up the TV and simply said “Zoe, it’s still working – look”. I slowly turned around and fair enough, the match was still going on.

Still mortified, I sat down and watched the rest of the match, but if you want a reliable and tough TV, go to Tesco.



“Zoe, you do realise that I’m lying on my good ear so that every time you say something I have to lift my head up?”
“I’ll just start shouting at you then.”
“Actually, I’d like you to shut up altogether.”

Some men.


A job!

No, not me, Coralie.

Coralie applied at a hotel for a summer job as a receptionist and they not only gave her a summer job, but a full contract which only goes to show how valid a stage is when studying for a degree. Not only does she have the experience, but she also speaks four languages. However, as Coralie failed a few exams earlier this year she will have to re-take them at the end of August and so will need that month to study. She told the hotel this and they said that it was of no problem whatsoever and that they would employ her for July and if she passes her exams Coralie is very welcome to go back as a full-time employee.

Am I peeved? Well, a bit.

But I’m dead proud of Coralie.



Last week I visited a friend. Just before serving me supper, which was supposed to be a pasta-bake, he announced:

“Oh, Zoe – I forgot the pasta.”

I expected soup, but it was, in fact, very good.

The Twit.


Sun, sport, jungles and tortoises.

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in here to give you all the news from the Twat Mansion so I decided that seeing as today is a bit windy outside I’ll come here and do some dusting.

To be honest, the weather hasn’t been that fantastic, just check out the number of times the players at Roland Garros had to suspend their games for a bit and you will see. (And who said it only rains in Belgium?) Having said that, when it’s been hot and sunny it has been fantastic and I even have a tan to prove it.

Coralie came back from her four-month stage in Tenerife, looking black as coal and appears to have thoroughly enjoyed her time out there. She now has a couple of exams and her thesis to write and hopefully she won’t be two steps behind me at the Dole office.

I had an interview last week for a position within a huge American company which looked very challenging so we’ll see how things go, and I hope to hear from a couple of other positions that I applied for. Summer is never a good time when it comes to job-hunting, but you never can tell.

Saturday was a fairly successful day as I managed to negotiate a deal with Todd and had my lawn mown for the first time this year. The grass was so long that my ancient and decrepit lawn mower carked it and is now in the garage waiting to be taken to the tip if I can’t resuscitate it next weekend. Buying a new one seems to be a pointless idea.

Hermie’s pen was so overgrown that I decided that it should be mowed too so as I played Hunt-the-tortoise for about half an hour only to find him next to my foot, Todd removed Hermie’s shed and water bowl. I now have a rather pissed off tortoise who doesn’t have any long grass to hide in. Still, the garden looks much better, I had 21 roses on my overgrown, unruly and unkept rose bush on Saturday and we’re back to taking out our stress by playing Swingball with gusto.

Next: the World Cup. Fantastic!


Blood is thicker than water.

I’ve just recovered from a tiring trip to and from the UK to celebrate the Ruby Wedding Anniversary of some friends of mine. To be honest, I had only met one half of the couple prior to the event, but not only his wife, but his entire family were absolutely charming as were the friends invited to the rather impressive knees-up that was held on Saturday.

The weather was wonderful although I did feel that I was slightly over-dressed which, admittedly, is better than being slightly under-dressed, as is my norm. But there again, there is nothing better than an exhibitionist at events such as these. Before melting into a puddle of purple gloop we were all ushered into a marquee where the wine and food was superb. The speeches, by people that I didn’t know at all brought tears to my eyes and all in all, it was an absolutely wonderful event consisting of people that despite never having met, were each and every a charm to society. It almost reminded me of my Diplobrat days….

The journey home was equally tiring – I enjoy travelling by ferry but I was so tired that I ended up sleeping all the way home from Dunkerque to my front doorstep and have spent the past two days lounging in the sun – the only good thing about being unemployed at this time of the year. I’m hoping to hear from a couple of companies early next month – if my CV was of any use….. You never know.

Yesterday afternoon I had to go to the VDAB (Job Centre) and have been given papers to fill in that will be of use to my future employer. It involves the VDAB paying a certain amount of my future prospective salary and my employer paying the rest so in fact, it is a Win-Win situation. Well, that’s what I understood…. I am also entitled to free computer courses – once employed – and having already witnessed one by a former colleague, these really are useful. Belgium has some useful tricks up it’s sleeves, it appears.

I very much wish to meet the family that I met last weekend in the very near future – I wish my own family is as close.

So that’s the serious part of my life. But guess what?

Coralie comes home on Saturday – finally!


The Police.

I love the police in this country. Fair enough, I have blogged about them before as they turn around and I see their huge handcuffs on their belts, their guns in their holsters and not to mention the uniform.

A rather young-looking policeman just popped by for a signature on the declaration I made about Todd several weeks back when the idiot bought a stolen scooter and got stopped by the police. The boy now has to go to court and once again I asked the policeman when that would be.

“Oh, not for a long time.”
“That’s what I expected seeing as I have to go back to court in 2012 for something really stupid.”
“I know,”
went on the policeman, “I was once flashed by the police and the court case took forever – it’s Belgium, isn’t it?”

A policeman with a sense of humour is a hard find, but tonight I found one.

It’s a shame that he looked about 20 years younger than me.


Todd – again.

The joys of motherhood are far too over-rated and if anybody ever dares tell you that popping out their own spawn is the most rewarding thing that they have ever done then turn away, don’t listen because They Are Lying. Especially if they have teenagers. Long gone are the days of sleepless nights and sulphur-filled nappies, instead they are now replaced by sleepless nights wondering where the fuck your child is at silly o’clock in the morning and skid-marks down the back of the toilet; sore nipples are replaced by a teenage boy eating everything there is in the house and that once-angelic bundle of joy has learnt the ability to speak his own bloody mind.

The one thing that hasn’t appeared to change in the unique case of my teenage son is the ability to think. He is extremely clever at managing his life so that he gets out of mowing the lawn week after week by simply vanishing to stay with his girlfriend who lives in the boondoks and missing two train connections home, or by bringing home a crate of beer and a bunch of friends.

On Friday, Todd came home with a couple of friends – and the mandatory crate of beer – and sat outside for a while swigging back a couple of bottles each. They then miraculously disappeared without sound or mention, only to reappear several hours later with more friends and more beer.

I had decided to go to bed early that night as I was suffering a killer of a migraine but was woken up at around midnight by Todd and yet another couple of friends ringing the doorbell. They then settled down to eat some hamburgers and drink more beer. After a while I heard Todd go to bed – with his friends and they only shut up when I swore at them loudly – I wasn’t feeling well and wanted to sleep.

It appeared that I wasn’t the only one feeling ill as the next thing I heard was someone retching in Todd’s bedroom. Todd was then fishing around in the cupboard in the bathroom looking for a towel. I asked him if his friend had thrown up over the floor.
“No Mama, he’s being sick out of the window.”
“Did he not think to use the toilet which is just here?”

Todd looked at me as if I had said something quite intelligent and then slowly backed into his bedroom with a silly grin on his face.

The house looked a tip the next morning although I managed to get Todd to tidy it up to the best of his capabilities before he disappeared into thin air to avoid mowing the lawn. As I gazed out of one of the kitchen windows I saw the window sill was splattered with remnants of someone’s food.

I hope you wished your mother a Happy Mother’s Day – I bet she deserves it.


Not a clever thing to do.

I gazed sadly at my jungle of a garden yesterday and decided that nobody is going to mow it, so I’ll have to. I heaved out the useless lawn mower that I have that has a mind of its own and tackled the front bit. Not bad and my back was doing pretty well so I carried on down the side of the house until I finally gave up once I’d reached the back garden. My back was beginning to hate my lawn mower as much as I do, so I scraped up the leaves and the remains of last years vine and got rid of them while very carefully walking past the pile of leaves in front of the garage. Doh.

I then spent about an hour unwinding the extension lead and rolling it up decently for the next time – next time? am I mad? – and saw that I’d mowed about 1/3 of the garden. It looks better from the front of the house though. I then sat in the sun for an hour or so smelling like a pig and then slowly turning the same shade as one.

That was quite an active day.

For a pig.