I was driving home from a gig this morning when I spotted a tourist (brown background) sign for the 'geographical centre of Belgium' - thinking it might be fun to stand in the middle of a country, I followed the - very methodical - signposting to a small car park with a walking sign pointing down a small path. I followed this for a few hundred metres until it petered out and became a messy mudpit instead... The whole thing was slightly underwhelming! Lovely day though, and I can knock 'standing-in-the-middle-of-Belgium' off my bucket list (I'm making it up as I go along, it's more satisfying).
Happy new year! I hope it's a good one (and that the Mayas had it wrong). Back in comfy Brussels after a really nice xmas - I may have to stop wine and food in 2012 though!A selection of shots from the Lot et Garonne and Dordogne - everyone should visit (and when they do, stay at my parents B&B!). I also managed to catch up with François & Aurélie who were xmassing nearby... we picked a half way spot on the map and ended up in La Roche Chalais where the one restaurant will stuff you to the gills for 12 euros - what more could you ask for?
Woke up in a teepee! Laurie's parents in law have a couple of yurts and a teepee which they let to holidaymakers in the summer and kindly let us crash in them for the weekend. Amazing - I discovered that dry toilets are really quite handy and that sleeping on camping mats works wonders for my back. Had coffee in the nearest 'big' village where we found Daniel & Sandrine who had picked up a lavish breakfast. Headed over to the festival where we lay in the shade sipping on fresh juices. Zafir needed a snore so we headed back to the yurts, made a fire in the pit, grilled some pig, potatoes and courgettes and didn't leave. It's amazing how rare the simpler pleasures are in a city - sitting round a fire, under the stars and chatting. Medecine for the soul.
It seemed like the 9th of September would be a good place to regroup and restart the daily blogging. It so happens I was saying a final goodbye to the summer in the Trièves, a rural/mountainous region of France, not too far from Grenoble. it's an incredible place - people move there from across France to make the most of the chilled out, creative, eco friendly vibe. My friend Laurie lives there and is part of an org that puts on a festival every year so we decided to check it out. Started the day with a hike up to a nice viewpoint, picked up Robin (an old school friend I hadn't seen in 15 years!) and headed over to the festival - good music, great vibes, tasty food and organic beer! Daniel & Sandrine pitched up from Provence in the evening with their little Zafir.
Last piece of day in Corsica... and quite a day! Beautiful weather so we headed out to a rocky beach a half hour drive out of Calvi. Some swimming, scrambling over rocks and chilling and very suddenly a crazy mountain storm hit - lightning followed much too closely by roaring thunder. Rushed back to Calvi and onto the airport, where there were a number of conflicting reports as to whether the plane would take off at all, whether we'd be rerouted to Bastia and so on. Turned out it didn't matter so much for Angie and me as our plane had left happily at 11am...note to self: check plane dates AND times. Had to buy new tickets (I'm still debating whether those few stolen hours at the beach were worth 250 euros!) and sat on standby until we were allowed to fly around 7pm - drive back to Brussels under pouring rain and dense fog - hit bed exhausted, sad to leave Corsica but happy to see Marley again :)
I lied about the multiple photo posts - it mostly rained today, so it was a Roland-Garros-stir-crazy day for the most part. A small window of almost-rays as we drove past the beach...
Marzia & Francesco's wedding. The ceremony was held in a beautiful castle and the celebrations took place in a restaurant overlooking a lake in the middle of the countryside around Modena. Wonderful. As with all weddings, I don't want to ruin any surprises, so here's one of the view from the restaurant.
Easter Monday - N & E kicked off in the early pm and I can't remember what we did, and apparently didn't take any photos so here's a shot of a field in the Hainaut region shot exactly one year ago today.
Nora and Kate over for brunch today. I should probably have made them pose with a croissant but I didn't, so instead here's a photo of the Lacs de l'Eau d'Heure which we went to last May (the relevance being that it was the same people...). Not a bad place for a day out.
Catching up on admin, emails, chasing payments and so on. Still feeling jetlagged and blue at being back.
Koh Lanta old town today - parts of it seem not to have changed in a hundred years, with wooden fishermen cottages perched over the water. It's a little more rundown than the rest of the island which actually makes a nice change.
The sea! This should finally kill my lingering flu. We've landed in Krabi for the next four days. The Krabi beach itself is not much to write home about (photographs nicely though - a bit old school) but longtail boats ferry you over to great spots just a few minutes away. We're staying in an amazing spot, bungalows nestled beneath huge limestone cliffs set in tropical gardens...I won't want to leave.