Never too late

Having arrived at our holiday accommodation in the UK we spotted the freezer was not working properly in the apartment. So we called the rental agency who has fixed an appointment with a mechanic by this morning.

I was expecting a Serious Looking Gentleman in Blue Zipped Work Overall Equipped With Some Tools I’ve Never Been Even Close To Know The Name Of.

What we got instead has been 2 blond ladies in pink currently resolving the issue (background) with great expertise.

Talk about breaking away from traditional social & gender roles .. I’ve always been thinking of myself as somebody relatively free from such carved-in-stone concepts.

But it’s never too late to grow some more open-mindedness, is it.

The funny thing with memes

New habit: once it’s weekend it’s movies bingewatching time for me.
Own device, oortjes .. – I am not the biggest party animal these days, I must admit.

My husband (who would have an alternative program offer how to spend our joint free time only he is a born diplomat) in the 4 nanoseconds between my 2 movies:

‘Our brief news coverage: Russia has attached Ukraine… WW2 has ended… a certain ‘Big Bang’ has occurred originating the Universe… in case you would have missed some of the smaller events while being busy with movies..’.

That reminds me of a meme from the 2018 Helsinki Summit where this idea was considered superfunny.


Me (to family): ‘I’ve made some tea, would anyone fancy some?’

My husband: ‘Hmm, after all those years eventually you might prove to be useful..’

Me (moderately loving look): ‘Beg you pardon?’

He: ‘…As opposed to all these years when you’ve served as a Beautiful Decorative Element in our family, I mean..’


My son, Walter (12) and Grandma (living in different countries) meet for the 1st time since Covid.

Grandma: ‘We will soon have lunch. What would you like to have?

Walter: ‘Chocolate with candy.’

Grandma: ‘I might have a better idea. How about some delicious meat soup with healthy vegetables..?’

Walter: ‘Walter has left the chat.’

Old era

Our daughter (15) talking to grandma on the phone: 

‘….and so we agreed with my friends that next time we go to school we will dress up in some old-era style..’

Granny: ‘What a lovely idea. And which era did you chose? Baroque, maybe?’

Our daughter: ‘The 90s.’


It’s a peaceful Saturday evening and just like every year the time has apparently come again for my husband to start rehearsing for the peak of the holidays season: singing Christmas songs to us.

Now you need to know that my husband has many virtues – singing, however, is unfortunately not 1 of them.

My husband: ‘…All-i-want-for-xmas-is-youuuuuuuuu…
– so, children, what do you think, would I make the finals of The Voice this time??’

Our daughter (15) cautiously: ‘..Well, with some minor rule adjustments definitely, e.g. if they switch to Deaf Auditions..’

More space

This year, for the first time ever, we decided to go the traditional way and also send a postcard to the grandmas.
The process in a nutshell is that I write the text and ask the family members to sign the card – which our children also did, see the place indicated in an arrow.

Me (to our daughter while trying to hide my smile with moderate succes): ‘So you signed it there?’

She (upset): Look. I am 15, and have grown up with a smartphone. I’ve never ever seen such a thing and there was more space there, ok?’

Long term

I like these letter boxes in front of family homes in Antwerp: they are just so thoughtul & considerate.
The owner is apparently a long term thinker, as this one can be easily re-used as an urn grave when fate comes knocking on your door.
A definite add-on is that its split structure will help you out even in times when complete generations of your family have deceased.

I feel slightly embarrassed having considered myself a long term planner up to now.
‘Room for improvement’ – that’s what my auditor/compliance friends would call it.

Thanks, now I feel better

Meeting a friend’s friend for the 1st time:

Me: ‘And so you are originally from the UK, right..?’

She: ‘That’s right.’

Me: ‘You also live here in Belgium, or ..?’

She: ‘No, just came over for the weekend.’

Me: ‘Oh, I see, obviously to test the marvelous client experience Brexit offers for travellers.. :)’

She (upset eye roll, reddish face): ‘Oh, please don’t even mention!!! Those people who voted for it…!!!’

Me: ‘Chill out – I exactly know what it feels like to be a political joke.. I am from Hungary..’

She (totally cheered up): ‘ORBÀN – hahahaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!’

Then it’s OK

Me (to my 11-yr old son): ‘Walter, you are always on your phone, please do something meaningful, don’t you need e.g. to learn something for school?’

Walter (11): ‘But I AM learning even now! I am playing with Minecraft – do you know how much relevant vocab I pick up day by day??’

Me: ‘Like what?’

Walter: ‘1.) ‘Anarchy’.. 2.) ‘Keep a low profile’.. 3.) ‘Shear’ – this is the machine used to cut off the wool of the sheep..’

Me: ‘Ah, so it trains you for the corporate environment! Then I rest my case.’


‘Dear Colleagues,
Pls note that I am facing technical issues, due to which I might be disconnected from any of our precious meetings.
Currently I am elaborating different solutions* in order to prevent such cases in the future.
Thank you for your understanding.’

*I swear I will buy him a wire for Xmas.


We have a small kitten for 2 weeks who enthusiastically helps me whenever working from home office.

Yesterday walking through the keyboard he wrote in my report ‘uuuuuuuuWTF’.

While admitting that partly he was indeed right, still I considered this standpoint excessively critical, for which reason Tobi’s professional assessment was not retained in the final version.

De gustibus non est disputandum..

Our son (11) this morning, utmost excited:
‘Imagine, today starts the test week in school!!! For a whole week we will write 2 tests every day!! Finally!!! And we start with 2 maths tests today!! It’s a beautiful day!!!’
Our daughter (15), looking at her brother like NASA scientists study a UFO:
‘OK, you’ve got me here: about this nothing funny comes into my mind..’


I am playing chess with our son, Walter (11) who’s been member of the local chess club for a couple of years now.
His papa is walking by. He stops, looking interested.
Husband: ‘What is happening here precisely?’
Walter: ‘Playing chess with mama. She is a superb player, we’ve been fighting for half an hour at least!’
Husband: ‘Walter, your mama cannot play chess.’
Walter: ‘Of curse she can! What smart steps! And her strategy is amazing!’
Husband (in resignation): ‘It’s not only the name of the pieces she is not aware of but also how much one can move in which direction.’
Me (crushed, with eyes downcast): ‘Walter, what papa says is perfectly true.’
Walter: ‘But how come then that you play so terrifically good??’
Me: ‘I’ve just copied your movements. Each and every one of them.’
Walter: ‘So the past 30 minutes I’ve been amazed by my own chess knowledge?’
Me: ‘Sort of.’ 

The hard life of an average Belgian child

Me (to my son): ‘And how was your school bike exam?’

He (11 years): ‘It was terribly difficult.’

Me: ‘How come? You bike pretty well I thought.’

He: ‘That’s what I thought, too. But then it turned out that during the exam we weren’t allowed neither to stand on the bike nor to steer it with 1 hand or no hands – and so I was so bored I was watching the landscape left and right and almost hit another bike in front of me. Haven’t the organisers ever heard about ‘road safety’ for God’s sake??’

Good news

My children in a dialogue:

She (15): ‘Walter!!! You’ve eaten up my chocolate!!! I can’t believe it, you don’t even like white chocolate!!!’
He (11): ‘True. It did take some time to convince myself to eat it up, believe me. But when I started I realised it has also brown parts!! Anyway, you should be happy to learn that your brother is not racist..’

The Terrible Pain & Torture of Multilingual Families

Our daughter (15) is about to decide on the studies she wants to follow next year out of the 5 directions offered by the school.
She: ‘What I am sure about is that I don’t want to study ‘languages’. Languages are simply not for me..’
Me: ‘I am interested to learn this given that you currently speak 3 languages and learn a 4th one at school..’
She: ‘Ah, you mean THOSE languages? They are just in me but I didn’t need to LEARN them for God’s sake..’

I think I get it

Our son (11) brings home his school report.
He: ‘To sum it up, I have received top scores from basically all subjects, except for free discussion,from which I got a 3 on a scale of 5.’
Me: ‘How come?’
He: ‘Some of my classmates receive better scores, but they talk about all kinds of pointless blabla, while I only speak when I have something to say.’
Me: ‘But when is this class? Morning or during the day? And what are the topics? And you have to prepare? And..’
He: ‘I have said everything about this subject.’
Me: ‘Ok, I think I get it.’


This morning:

Our daughter (15): ‘Papa, do we have anything delicious for breakfast?’

Papa: ‘Don’t know. Let’s go down the kitchen to prepare something, call your brother, too.’

She (to her bro): ‘Walter, watch out, escape, run for your life, I got caught, but you might still have a better life waiting for you somewhere else….!’

She’s turned 15 today.

Only 15 and she is already constantly busy with the welfare of mankind!

My girl.


Me: ‘What are you up to?’
My husband: ‘Oh just prepared some breakfast for the children: home made waffle, whipped cream, and some fresh fruit on the side.’
Me: ‘I see…. And where are you carrying those plates now?’
My husband: ‘Upstairs in their room, of course. Brunch in bed. I cannot expect them after all to descend to the dining room even on their school holiday week!!’
Very true.
Even the rigour of a father has its limits.

Best mom ever

My daughter (14 – storming in the room where I am reading): ‘Now I am coming and disturb you!!’
Me: ‘And how are you planning to do that?’
She: ‘So that I’m here and not letting you read!!’
Me: ‘You are my daughter, I am happy any time to see you and talk to you.’
She: ‘Mamaaaaa – can’t you just normally play this game??’
Me: ‘Ah, I am awfully sorry… ok, have you visited your bother yet?’
She: ‘You are a genius! The best mama on Earth!!’

How lucky

Our son (11), for his school homework, is asking his papa about which language we actually speak at home.
My husband: ‘Well, you see.. I think what we speak at home is poor Hungarian, incorrect Dutch and low level English..’
Our son: ‘I am starting to be happy I learn French at school..’