Well it's going all right. I'm a shuttle in the loom of industry between Gent and Brux, like many people. Somehow we all manage it, with our little drooping sleeps on the train. But moving to Gent is probably the best move I ever made. The glass and concrete roads around my work have razor wire barriers haphazardly congregating at the corners. We are very near where it all happens you see. The sharpened heart of Europe.
In the quiet and dark morning I wait in the lee of the sparkly reindeer and the Castle for my reliable tram. That's the best part of the journey. And I'm picking up some Dutch. It is the Dutch of train station announcements, and of overlooked newspaper headlines. I can understand basic questions. It will, no doubt, take years. Years and years and years.
It is now the downhill slalom to Christmas which shall be spent, as is usual, in Paris. That always sounds so glamorous, but Christmas day is basically my daughter and I cooking on two rings, drinking lots of fizzy wine, and then playing Trivial Pursuit. I look forward to sleeping a lot and not moving for some considerable time.
Oh and by the way, my good fortune in the dating stakes has travelled with me from the capital. I met a young chap last week off the internet, as one does. We were going to meet again and he cancelled not once but twice in the same weekend, the second time with ten minutes' notice. I'd got dressed and everything. I think I was cursed at birth by a woman selling lucky heather.