I got to write for the Bulletin. My sister asked whether I was abandoning the blog. We discussed as follows:
Me: No, I’m going to post in both places.
Her: The same text in both places?
Her: Excellent, that’s the start of syndication where the real money is.
Charles Emmanuel, the Baroness’Â’s [our landlady is a Baroness, Belgium abounds in minor aristocracy] current agent on earth, came to install a smoke alarm for us the other day. I had never met him before but when a dashing man in his late 20s wearing a fedora hat and black polo neck while smoking a pipe turned up on the doorstep, I immediately guessed his identity. Charles Emmanuel is, in fact, French not Belgian and was anxious to assure me that his stint as the landlady’Â’s agent was to be brief as he would shortly be going back to Africa. I think he felt that doing the bidding of the Baroness was somewhat beneath him. I said that the Baroness would be sorry to lose another agent and he said, “Oh I havenÂ’’t told her yetÂ”.” I began to warm to him; he was clearly as indiscreet as I am. You will recall that the Baroness and her husband are, to the lasting regret of her tenants, divorced (heÂ’’s the handy one). I asked him whether there was any chance of a reunion. Apparently not, underneath the civil front which their tenants see, the
pair are at daggers drawn.
And while I’Â’m on the subject of Belgian aristocracy (broadly), I feel it worthy of mention that Mr. Waffle’Â’s former bossÂ’’s secretary was a Baroness and she regarded him and his colleagues with the greatest disdain. We met her once in the park and she entirely ignored Mr. Waffle’Â’s civil greeting. He was elated. Â“Why?Â” He said enthusiastically that he would now be able to use a sentence which hadnÂ’t been in common currency since the century before last: Â“The Baroness cut me in the parkÂ”.
And, finally, does anyone else watch Place Royale? Look, I come from a republic, I get a kick out of seeing programmes
about monarchies and reflecting that that, at least, is one thing we donÂ’t have to pay for in Ireland Â– Â“Point de VueÂ” anyone? Anyhow, I notice that as a sign of the esteem in which the KingÂ’’s third child Prince Laurent is held by the programme (which remember is largely devoted to Belgian royalty) they sent a trainee to cover his opening of something in a Brussels suburb. Fabulous stuff.
on 13 March 2006 at 17:56
Even if I did share it, it would not belong in this post. Doubly sorry.
belgianwaffle on 14 March 2006 at 09:07
FT, yes, you need to get your own blog up and running. What was that about nagging…