In the afternoon our friends, Lucy and Lara, took us to the Japanese Pagoda and the Chinese Pavilion, out at Laeken. I recently finished reading Michaela Wrong’s ‘In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz’ and Tim Butcher’s ‘Blood River’, and I could not help but think about the way in which Leopold II got the money to build such extravagant follies. Nevertheless, they are well worth a visit. Belgium and Japan, I learnt, had a sort of love-in before the First World War. Vague recollections of history lessons come back to me. I think most European countries had a love-in with Japan about then because Japan was fighting Tsarist Russia. After delicious tea and cakes, provided by the ever-generous Lucy and Lara, we went to see ‘The Mummy, Tomb of the Dragon Emperor’. Our son had been nagging us to go and see this for yonks. All action and no plot was the consensus judgement. There also seems to be some iron law of sequel convergence at work here: both Indiana Jones and Rick O’Connell enter into teamwork with their sons. For the O’Connells, it’s next stop Peru, but I think they’ll run out of sequels before they run out of ancient civilisations.