Saturday, 2 April 2011


The timing certainly wasn't perfect, but one of Fingernail I's little friends is staying the night. They went to a birthday party this afternoon then, full of sugar, off to Place Wilson to have a go on the lovely old wooden merry-go-round before heading back here. I got in from work at about 7pm and had ten blissful minutes of peace before the entire clan descended. Over dinner I realised for the hundredth time, that we are basically the only parents in Toulouse who teach their children how to hold a knife and fork. No exaggeration. Most of the parents we know can't, either, and these aren't people who are closely related to their spouses. The more I look around, the more confounding it is; doesn't anybody care about this, anymore? When I took Fingernail I to her Spanish lesson this morning we found ourselves with a bit of free time, so I took her for a quick drink to a local café. We were just in a city neighbourhood, not in the foothills of the Pyrenees, but most of the other customers looked like something out of The Hills Have Eyes. There's no direct corrolation with table manners, but occasionally, just occasionally, I hanker to look at someone evolved who knows how to transport food from their plate to their mouth without seemingly auditioning for Cirque du Soleil.

On a more important note, Manchester United came back strongly against West Ham to win 2-4 away, whereas their closest rivals, Arsenal, only managed a 0-0 draw with Blackburn Rovers. A couple of decades ago, the then merely Alex Ferguson decreed he wanted to 'knock Liverpool off their f****** perch'. They had won 18 championships to United's six at the time. If Man Utd win this season's edition it'll be their nineteenth crown, one more than Liverpool's, and a great part of Ferguson's ambition will have been fulfilled. The Merseysiders still have two more European Cups than we do, but they're not likely to add to that haul any time soon, whereas the Mancunians might, providing they don't have to play Barcelona, a team that upends us too regularly for comfort.

The Fingernails + Little Friend are nearly asleep. Then it'll be time for us to go to bed. So much for all that wonderful evening free time we were looking forward to; the flat is so small you can't really do anything until the children have climbed aboard the Nod Express. Factor the weekend and a sleepover into the equation and you end up with a bedtime pretty much the same as that of the parents. Ah, well; there's always the blog to write...

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