It's late. Not as late as when I was 25, but that's time for you. Mrs. Fingers is asleep in bed and the Fingernails are sleeping off a 24-hour bug which has caused the washing machine to nearly overheat. Still, things are returning to normal and tomorrow's Saturday, but I don't get off work that easily. Monday's my only free day so while I'm off tackling Mozart the rest of the Finger Family will be at their grandmother's, chewing paella and getting bitten by insects the size of small dogs in the overgrown garden.
I met Mrs. Fingers while working in London over ten years ago. After spending time in Scotland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris and Germany my work took us to her home town in France. Like many in France, she's descended from foreign stock, so I can add instant family in France and Spain to the English and Australian on my side. That was three years ago. We arrived with Fingernail 1, born in Germany and now five, then added Fingernail 2 two years ago. Life was pretty carefree before, but then we started making people and it all changed. Nipping off to Las Vegas on a whim has been replaced by the usual cares of parenthood i.e. making sure your children don't try to eat broken glass or play hide-and-seek in the dishwasher. Fingernail 1 has just woken up with a headache but she's a stoic; Fingernail 2 will save all her energy and zest for life for 6am, just when we're enjoying the end of a good night's sleep with -haha- the prospect of not having to get up too early. We tell ourselves this every Friday night, but we've yet to be pleasantly surprised.
I'm not a clichéd English expat. I'm not retired, I don't live in the country. We bought a flat in the centre of the city and I go to work every day like anyone else. We don't own a car, we have no mobiles and since greasing the palm of every parasite involved in our real estate purchase we have no savings, either. Still, our children are healthy (except when they're redesigning their pyjamas) and Mrs. Fingers hasn't left me for a wealthier model. Yet.