So here it is…

The 200000-word job is still pending, but two weeks ago we took on 48000 words on the Monday for the Friday. Four late nights later we had translated a deed of sale and various related items for a huge office block real estate deal in Paris. This job just wouldn’t go away, though, as through the next week we had to incorporate further last-minute revisions, and finally I found myself in Paris the day before yesterday in a scene out of a John Grisham book/film, in a room full of hot-shot solicitors and investors, signing my name on a sales deed undertaking that our translation of same was faithful.

I don’t think I had dressed as smartly since my wedding day. Just before the meeting I dropped in on our friend at a nearby church. A colleague of his was there in jeans and a t-shirt since he didn’t expect any visitors right before the Christmas break. I had the undying satisfaction of someone apologise to me for being too scruffily dressed. You have to know me to appreciate the irony.

Back home, we had our church Christmas service on Christmas Eve (in France people do the meal thing on Christmas eve until the small hours so we figured nobody would be around the next morning). This was quite a success. Lydie was one of the main organisers and it was strange to sit back and do very little whilst seeing her and our other kids play a major part in running the proceedings. Thinking back to the very minimalist service we had a year ago highlighted that the church has come a long way in that time, although it feels very fragile.

Oh, and just one cat comment. I had thought our cat was incredibly intelligent, but our kids have pointed out that its behaviour can be equally well explained by the theory that it is incredibly stupid.