Took the parents over during the quiet time (middle of the day) so they could have a peek. They seemed pleased so that's good! Lunch at the Bota café and then some not very interesting hanging around. They're exhausted coming off the back of a really busy period so walked home in the early evening to catch some zzzs. Nadya is in town for work and dropped by, followed by Alessandro, Cristina and Carlo - drank, ate and hung at the Bota café (it's my local for the next few days). Off to Marie H's for her leaving do (she's escaping to Luxembourg of all places, grrrr) - bit knackered so didn't stay too long but nice to see a few faces.
The All Styles Welcome exhibition is officially on. Phew. I never thought that the Belgian sun would be an issue, but it's incredibly hot in the space which makes it quite difficult to linger... I'm selfishly wishing for rain. Opening this evening which was cool - nice to see people making the effort to head over and Samah even hooked me up with champagne. So far so good. Parents arrived at Gare du Midi around 1030 so grabbed them and headed off for a late supper at Le Comptoir - Ilia was with us, in town for a few short hours only.
12 hours of mounting on the hottest day of the year in what is essentially a greenhouse. 12 hours. That's an hour per board! Bordering on nightmarish. But it's up, it's ready, we're exhausted and M deserves a medal (or two). Don't expect much variety over the next few days since I'll basically be holding fort in the greenhouse most of the time.
Met Kate & M at the Botanique to check out the boards we will have to mount the images on tomorrow - not sure what use I am since I have absolutely no concept of what would be best. Need to make sure the prints are straight, well fixed and thief proof... tough ask for my morning brain. Headed off to Brico to pick up a bunch of items, a trip which included sawing two long pieces of wood and sanding each cutting - felt very DIY. Next stop - Schleiper (I could spend hours there) for some bits and bobs. Lunch at Sushi's (it must've been quite a head scratch coming up with that name). Home and back out to Brico with a new plan and some new bits and bobs... all in all, an entire day spent on The System but we're feeling confident!
Lazy breakfast on the terrace before a mammoth cleaning session - truly epic! The books - well, I dusted them all so there's some context I suppose.
Sister Clelia (the blood relation rather than the nun kind) hits 40 today - lemurs are cute so here's one being tickled as a gift. I know, not very inspired! Managed to go for a swim with Angie, Claire & Chris but the rest of the day was pretty lazy.
The ultimate 'couch photo' today... if I'm lying perfectly horizontal with my head slightly propped up by a cushion this is my view! Henri chilling at ours in the evening - Kate & M dropped in (saving us from an evening of the bean game!) with great news - M is off to Vancouver (that's not the good part, the good part is the job waiting for him there). Some celebratory boozing and hanging.
SMART (my contract agency - I love them) have released a pretty handy tool - 'le repertoire des artistes' which lists all the various grants, prizes, residencies, competitions ... for artists in Belgium. Nothing quite like it has previously been available so well worth grabbing a copy. I went to the release event to pick up some extra tricks and chat to a few people and they even fed us so that was nice. Fellow photographer Chris popped by in the pm so we could exchange tips and look through some stuff. Grabbed a couple of beers at L'Athenée
Funky owl-like art nouveau letter box on Rue de la Paix. Evening swim with Angie, Mireille & Sophie, dinner with them at Mont Liban (twice in a week). Watched Fantastic Four (I'd actually already seen it, so probably a waste of life since it wasn't particularly good the first time around either).
I once decided that rain + sun was my favorite weather - at the time I was waiting for a friend in front of the Pompidou centre in Paris and it happened to fit the place, the vibe and my mood perfectly. Since then, I'm always vaguely excited when I witness that combo, but it's never been quite as right - until these last few days in brussels, when we're being 'spoilt'. It's a constant vestimentary dance (sunglasses on, rainjacket off, rainkacket on, sunglasses off) and sitting on a terrace enjoying a beer one minute and rushing inside for comfort the next... I love how it seems to wake the city up - the rain staining everything a darker shade, under blue skies. Other than that, henri, marie L and Luc over for dinner; I made spinach and ricotta lasagna.
Clelia and my ridiculously cute nephew Boris are in town for a couple of days so met up with them for lunch at St Boniface. Spent part of the afternoon shopping for baby clothes and books, quick tea at mine, walked them to their temporary lodgings and came back to work. Pretty chill Monday.
Father's day - which our family doesn't ever celebrate but I do happen to know a lot of new fathers for whom it's the first... so a little homage to them with Luc & Melodi.
I liked today a lot. Weird weather - pissing with rain one minute, bright sun the next which makes timing stepping outside a bit of a challenge. Biked to Longchamp swimming pool with Angie, swam, biked back via the nicer back roads. Picked up dinner at the Mont Liban which is just down the road from my old flat. I used to pick food up there all the time, so it was a bit of a nostalgia hit. Henri came by in the evening to play risk (angie won, grrr) and some german card game about beans (I won, hehe).
Father's birthday today but he doesn't really to celebrate so I'll leave it at that! I was hired to shoot an image of Brussels which contained belgian flags... slightly odd request but good fun and this ended up being my pick... the spire of the town hall is pretty recognisable and symbolic around these parts. Friday at last - the evening plan was cleaning, but that didn't really happen - watched a crap film instead.
Probably the ugliest church in Brussels. It looks like someone is standing up there... but my zoom wasn't big enough to confirm this impression! Feeling unfairly hungover today - the ageing process is no fun at all! François popped in for lunch and I more or less managed to get through my most pressing todos today (involved a meeting close to this church... for context!) before crashing in front of telly.