I hear a party somewhere near - probably the Friday night roller-skaters. They do rather like this sort of thing here. Meanwhile the blue sky mocks. How can it be so clear and yet the air feels as though it has no air? I'd do a rain dance if it wasn't so bloody hot. Sunday it threatens to be 34 degrees. Threatens being the operative word. There will possibly be only one person smiling in the whole of Brussels when the inevitable fog and rain come in September. At work we were sequestered behind blinds, with fancy air-conditioning, and a not so fancy cheapo fan, probably from Brico. I took my coat to work - the Englishness is hard to shake off.
I rather love my job. I want to nurture it like a little tree.
What I actually wanted to talk about was a topic that has been hot on Facebook and other portals, the problem of harcèlement de rue in Brussels. I have thought quite carefully how to phrase this, as I do not want it to appear that somehow I am exceptional, in a good or bad way. Harrassment happens, of that there is no doubt. But the last harcèlement I can recall is about thirty years ago. What one wears should never really be an issue, but it was a rather fey Laura Ashley shift, which probably didn't help. The details are not important - suffice to say it was in a library and that particular book may subequently have had some pages that stuck together.
Since that time I have wandered through life as if equipped with a cloak of invisibility - this has proved enormously helpful. Even late at night on the Uhlandstraße in Berlin, with bits of paper spread across the pavement because I couldn't remember at which bar to pick up my key, no harrassment at all. Of course, there is the fact that I am now ancient and wobbling gently into some sort of matronhood, but this was not always the case.
There is no particular conclusion to this. I wish no woman got hassled in the street. I'm bloody glad it has been my experience not to experience it.