Tag Archive | Christmas

Word Scramble

Some of you may know that I am an exiled Fleming / Belgian (pick which ever means anything to you) in England. This is not usually very relevant, I have learnt the language as any immigrant has an obligation to do and I pay my taxes. My children barely speak Dutch anymore. Now the holidays have finally arrived I am simultaneously exchanging emails with my family about Christmas preparations (they will be coming over here) in Dutch and trying to write a blog post. My brain is doing strange things to me, mixing both languages and coming out with creations that would probably appear absurd to you good readers. To me it makes sense though, I understand it all. That lovely Ciney Blonde I’ve drunk to ease me into the holidays will not have done much to unscramble the language area in my brain, I suppose. It seems to free-associate better though. More connections than clarity.

Now might be a good time to play multi-language scrabble with my kids: any language goes, as long as a dictionary can prove the word exists. Or with anyone else who cares to join. Husband hates it: he pretty much only masters English. But, we all have stuff to get done. I shall have to leave you with a picture of my lovely Belgian beer paraphernalia instead:

Ciney Blonde

And here’s some Belgian humour for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OIJRMqYAA0

Before the End

Let’s pretend the world is actually about to end, at 12.52 pm GMT on December 21st – the Mayan Apocalypse. How would you spend the final days of your life?

Husband’s vote is to open our Christmas presents – those that are already in the house, giving up on those that have yet to wing their way here with family – now so we can get some joy out of them before we snuff it. Not a very inspired choice perhaps, but one I put down to his positive nature. He can’t even fake-believe that the end is neigh. That, and the fact he can’t pass up a chance to snort at the extreme naivety of some people. And, if we are brutally honest, because he knows there is a man-toy waiting for him under the tree and he is a child at heart.

The kids are sold on opening presents early, obviously. My son demonstrated his growing maturity and cunning by adding swiftly that he’d like to see his girlfriend one more time. Ah, to be 16 again!

And me, I ask myself – what would I do?


I would splash out on the credit card and take my family to an idyllic tropical paradise, the gentle lapping of the sea lulling us into pure relaxation in our hammocks under waving palm trees. We’d be tired from exploring the unbelievable riches of life above and below the waterline, having followed fishes, admired corals and anemones, and stalked elephants, lions and leopards. Shush, all these creatures live in my paradise; they all deserve a loving farewell. We’d have a few great last meals and talk under the stars.

Perhaps you were expecting a loftier target for my last days on earth. But it is too late for that, I shall have to face whatever reckoning there may be on the merits of my life lived so far. I have strived to live a good life, and I am actually pretty proud of most of it. The things that didn’t pan out were well-intended none the less. You have to take a risk sometimes. On the whole I don’t regret much of it. Now all I want is to pay tribute to the marvels of this Earth, and exit happy.