We visited Belgium and France in 2007. As much as I was thrilled to visit the City of Lights, speed walk Hub through the Louvre and stand under the Eiffel Tower (we couldn’t use the elevator because the sullen park workers were en grève – on strike), I remember Brussels as being more French than France but much more friendly.
Perhaps that’s because Belgium is a small country. It’s the seat of much of the European Union administration (Eurocrats) and there is a prosperous calm to the city. Belgian chocolate – oh my goodness, it’s exquisite. Hot, crispy, sweet Belgian waffles bought from a street vendor outside the St.Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral and eaten on the side of the road – heavenly. Carbonnades de boeuf à la gueuze (beef stew made with Brussels beer) eaten at an outdoor cafe situated on the Grande Place in the shadow of a ‘new’ building constructed in 1768, washed down with a flight (tasting) of half a dozen Belgian beers. On the other hand, Waterloo (where Napoleon met his…) is a huge empty windblown farmers’ field that’s not much to speak of. The Mannekin Pis – a tiny little peeing boy – is just that – the size of a baby. My infant son peed farther when I was changing one of his diapers.
I’ve been writing like mad, editing The 5th Man but not paying much attention to blogging. The garage has been cleaned out . My car is snug inside, eliminating the need for me to scrape off a film of ice in the mornings before I leave for work. I’ve checked the outdoor Christmas decorations – everything is ready to be plugged in after Remembrance Day. The time has changed and the temperature has dropped to below zero, but on the plus side, our cleaning lady was here yesterday. The house is spotless and smells amazing. Now it’s time to unearth the big duvet. It’s been a great weekend for sewing and catching up on the mounds of shirts to be ironed. I’m deep into Book 4 of Diana Gabaldon’s Voyager series. That’s what motivates me to get out of the house for a 40 minute walk every day. There are four more to go, which makes me happy. Life is good.
I’ve been peering out at the windows of mowed grass on the lawn thinking that I should suit up, rake the extra greenery and huddle the hay around the rose bushes, but I can’t drag myself out of a warm house redolent with the scent of fresh-baked hot Genoa salami pizza. We long for Italy – the pace, the food, the wine. I’ll get back to writing about that next week.
My apologies for not coming up with anything new. But here is another tidbit of fun for your delectation.
Somewhere in a little town in Belgium. On a square where nothing really happens. Never. The video crew placed a button with a button that encourages passersby to push to add drama. Shades of Candid Camera.