I went to see Horton with the children some time ago. I recognised the voice of Horton as being Dany Boon from Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis. A film which I understood almost in its entirety (not an achievement to be sneezed at – though I was somewhat helped by the fact that the Ch’tis are essentially Belgian). And further, I recognised that Horton was Dany Boon based on his accent in French. This was a proud moment, I can tell you. Then, I realised that I am probably speaking the best French I ever will and it’s downhill all the way from the end of the month. I suppose I can pepper my conversation with French words thereby annoying my friends and embarrassing my children.
As part of our preparation to leave Belgium, I am also sorting through our mountain of medical and dental bills. Before I had children, I never went to the doctor and now I seem to spend all my time going from surgery to surgery with my travelling circus. It’s all surprisingly complex and, of course, it wouldn’t be, had I done it as I went along. I wrote a letter to my insurer in my best French and got Mr. Waffle to check it. The maestro sat down at the computer and made it perfect. He corrected the French and reorganised the letter so that my various rambling questions were concisely stated and clearly presented. I was awed:my husband the genius. “Yes,” he said “I have spent the past number of years perfecting the art of writing in administrative French, I have probably reached the pinnacle of my potential in this field.” Hélas indeed.