Scouting is huge in Belgium - and apparently it's not social suicide to be a scout either....even when you are way too old to be wearing tiny little khaki shorts.
I like this shot. Tired....sleep....now...
I make a typo almost every time I spell September (there, I did it again) so by the time this month is done and dusted, I'll have effectively written September (again) around 70 times. Very much looking forward to October, also known (to me) as the month of pumpkins which is a very good thing... oh, and Sandra will be as old as me when it's over, I always look forward to that. Hanging in St Gilles today... got lucky with the blue and gold cars.
Africa's first female Nobel Peace laureate and powerful environmentalist, Wangari Maathai, passed away last night. Sad news. I was lucky enough to listen to her speak and grab a couple of shots of her at the European Development Days in 2008 - here's a polaroid and a link to the New York Times obituary.
A game of 'count the children'! This was at Carlo & Ine's - a welcome-to-the-world party for their new daughter Lina as well as a pre housewarming (baby + house in one go seems to be quite a common combo, must be what is referred to as 'nesting'). This is only a small cross section; I don't think I have ever seen so many small people in one place before... quite overwhelming!
Beautiful day! I dragged Angie's carcass down to the center for coffee - Zebra Bar - it also features on the 'World's Best Bars' website but you need to enter your date of birth to get on the site which is weird and, besides, I think that's a little over the top! It's a nice place but any bar on any beach in Thailand tops it (would that make for a really repetitive website I wonder?). Wandered around and later fed ourselves at Al Jannah, delicious lebanese place in the Marolles area (just by the photographed church) - the guy sitting next to us was really loud & obnoxious though - I'm sure that's not always the case... As for the very large new ad on Avenue de la Toison d'Or, at the risk of sounding ancient, I'm a little perplexed! ... but, more importantly, I think it means that an A&C must be opening in Brussels sometime soon - North Americans previously had to travel to Antwerp to stock up.
Completely unproductive day until around 6pm, when I decided to turbo charge my way through the to do list... nice and all but it means I missed out on any TGIF socialising. No matter, Angie was ill and lying on the couch all day and evening so I had 'exciting' company.
There's really no good reason to post this ugly photo except that it's the second time in a couple of months that I've come across a discarded doll on the ground... so I'm starting to see the innings of a 'theme' here... Besides, I had to shoot stationary today and it would be worse to post that. snore.
Dinner at Canan's - sushi & white wine. Made it an early one cos we were all a bit knackered but then I got stuck watching Democracy Now's coverage of the Troy Davis execution - I was thoroughly glued and appalled, not quite believing I was watching this unfold in America. Hopefully the attention surrounding this specific case helps turn a shocking event into something positive in the future.
I mentioned that Henri had been crashing for a couple of weeks but haven't posted any shots of him - despite us being in each other's pockets for pretty much the whole time - so here you go. It's his last night before he flies off to Bali for a couple of weeks, as you do. Grr. Marie H in town (as well as François) so the crew met up at Le Comptoir for drinks and food. Back home, we played the bean game (initiated F who is also crashing) and apparently I really do take these things too seriously (in my defence, they were obviously ganging up against me!)
A power failure in the neighbourhood meant that the entire European Parliament was evacuated today! Hearing snippets on the news, it sounded like there was potentially something highly dangerous occurring when it was just a case of the computers being on shutdown. François has a training at the EP today and tomorrow and caught up with Henri and me looking like a schoolboy who's been told his teacher is ill! We were pretty much skyving for the day anyway, enjoying the sun and scouring camera shops, so the more the merrier. Shot this on the terrace of the Le Fontainas, one of my favorite café/bars in the centre.
No car day in Brussels today - It's quite a fantastic initiative and residents truly respect it - from 9am to 7pm no cars are allowed to circulate throughout Brussels and instead the streets are taken over by roller bladers, pedestrians, families on bikes, skateboards etc... it's quite liberating (and feels a bit naughty) to walk down the very middle of a large street. Angie, Kate and I decided to rent a lot at the garage boot sale in Châtelain for the day - I've been ranting about all the useless junk lying around so thought it was worth a shot - I'm not entirely convinced though... we certainly offloaded a fair amount and made a tidy sum, but setting up at 8am on a sunday and the on and off rain showers weren't so pleasant. More importantly, though, I ended up feeling like I was missing out on the fun by staying put all day. I left my camera at home as I didn't want Kate or Angie getting carried away and selling it for a euro, so a 'stock' shot instead.
I recently read that Belgium is home to more comic artists per square meter than any other country - not a huge surprise but it's a nice little tidbit. In my five plus years here, I've only met 1 though, so perhaps I'm hanging with the wrong crowd. I may try to unearth a few more and create a portrait gallery (another idea for the list). There are close to 50 building facades scattered around Brussels which have been decorated with scenes from famous Belgian comics (the Belgian Comic Strip Centre organises walking tours from one to the other) and this scene, on Rue des Alexiens, is from a series which was popular in the 80s called 'Le Jeune Albert' by Yves Chaland. I have a few shots of the walls in stock (to use as blog fillers?) as must a million other Bruxellois and anyone who has visited Brussels ever but I liked the colour matching with the ambulance here so there you go.
Proof that there is occasionally a ray of sun in this city although I'm still convinced Autumn has been bypassed this year - this is the Notre Dame du Sablon church and has a couple of amazing stained glass windows - I've told a few people about this and they never find them, so just in case, they are in the back left corner, funky geometric patterns. It's Friday and Risk night is back. Jeremie, Mireille and Undraa came over, made stir fry and battled it out with Angie for the longest game ever... I didn't play because 5 people risk is just too boring (besides, I'm apparently 'too competitive' which makes it no fun... I think that's just because I always win!). Henri has been crashing with us for the past 10 days and was ill so I mothered him and the cat instead.