Based In Belgium.
Belgium had never been part of the plan. In fact, in the autumn of 2004 I was supposed to go to Italy for sea, sunshine and “olive skinned ladies” as my dad was fond of saying. Finally though, I turned it all down to go to Belgium for a girl I’d barely known for five minutes. Oh to be young, and all that.
The relationship rapidly imploded of course. However, despite my emotional turmoil, I actually ended up staying in Belgium for four and a half years! It’s funny how things turn out sometimes.
During this time I travelled all over the country, took a break from teaching and then went back to it as a freelancer for several EU institutions.
Moreover, I made plenty of lifelong friends, fell in love again and even got married to boot. For the full lowdown, check out Based in Belgium, six short stories from my time in the land of chocolate, beer and waffles.
Based in Belgium is dedicated to the memory of Caroline Henderson. I have never laughed so hard in all my life as those days we spent together. I miss you.