Hippo Bathdays

You can tell who you are by the quality of your friends.

Or by the birthday cards you receive. Today’s my birthday.

First card opened: a face with lolling tongue, vacant stare and a petunia growing from deep within his skull. Second card, a man whose private parts are being struck by lightning.

There are very few more cards to mention – I am forty-five, and aunties tire of the thankless rounds of card-sending.

Instead there is Face Book. And greetings from names I can barely recall, but greetings for which I’m thankful.

And, courtesy of my lovely wife’s kindness,  I’m off to Bruges. Or Brugge, as I prefer it anagramatically.

So I shall be in Belgium. I shall take crosswords, just in case.

We are cruel about ‘I be glum (anag)’. And aside from Brugge, ‘Belgian’ is an anagram of ‘Bengali’, which is neat; ‘Ostend’ of ‘Doesn’t’. A lot going for it, Belgium.

And Magritte, nicely set up with GRIT in MATE. And Tintin translating, arguably, as Cancan.

And I never quite know if Van Damme is the Muscles from Brussels – or the Mussels…

And then of course there’s Audrey Hepburn, born in Belgium.

A lot going for it, Belgium. If only for Audrey.

And if I don’t like it, I can always Bugger off (6)

Clues for things Belgian invited!

Best wishes,

John (Paul)




One response to “Hippo Bathdays

  1. Birthday present wrapped in Belgium? (5)

    Many happy returns!

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