MY PARENTS’ friends Elsie and Gerard along with their children didn’t exactly disappear but they did suddenly move to Belgium which seemed like the same thing. One moment they were living around the corner from us and I was watching Tintin cartoons on the TV with Matthew and Laura. Then they were gone.
About a year later my mother announced that it would be a good idea if I went to Brussels to live with them for a while.
“You will have to speak French,” she had warned. “Nobody will understand you if you don’t speak French.”