Thursday, June 23, 2011

Shake that thing miss Annabella

After realising that 2010 has come and gone, and I have not updated our blog, I thought it was time to publish the highlights (and lowlights) - if not for anyone else, for us for future reference...

The first of our wine trips with the gays - We went to the Aars region in Germany (great Riesling and white wine) at the end of winter and did quite a bit of hiking through sludgy snow. Regrettably the cafe at the top of the mountains was coincidentally closed on the day we were trekking which didn't keep us in good spirits, but we stocked up on the wine while we were there...

May 2010 - with Tom's father quite sick, and Bie working quite a lot with little time off, I decided to go with Maarten to Croatia (Dubrovnik - staying in Cavtat). One of the most beautiful countries - dirt cheap, not yet in the EU, and slightly ruined. Am not entirely sure why, but I have the feeling that the war may have something to do with it.
Maarten and I rented scooters for a day and just went where the wind blew us. We ended up crossing the border into Montenegro (back into the Eurozone), but were more impressed with the landscape Croatia had to offer.

Suzi and Glenn visited us in April 2010, so we took them on a bike ride through Antwerp, then a boat trip through Brugge as newly engaged sweethearts. Am bummed to have missed the wedding last weekend, but was quite happy to get to spend time with them while they were here...
Once again, in April 2010, I ran 5km, this time recruiting a couple of colleagues and a dear friend, Sabien. This time breaking the half hour barrier (well, 29:29 is only just, but good enough!!)

I gave up a free ticket to Rock Werchter to see the flash of lightning known as the Tour De France fly through Kontich. The ambiance was fantastic despite only seeing the cyclists for a second...

My parents came over again for a visit (seeing more of Europe than I ever will) but between all of their travelling, they decided to visit us. Mum went home early, and dad stayed on, so we decided to do a road trip through Germany and up to Denmark. This first picture was on the afsluitsdijk in northern Holland - the largest Dyke in the world (and the bloody windiest!). Which one is dad??

Once we arrived in Rige (on Jutland/Jylland - the mainland part of Denmark) and marvelled at its beauty (the oldest city in Denmark), we considered legoland until discovering it wasn't opening until the following weekend (I should have researched this a little better...). Then Dad decided to call the family farm he and mum worked on in 1971, and to his amazement, they remembered him and invited us up! We had a fantastic time there, and they even found this old photo of him with a few of the kids of the other workers!

After leaving Farso in north Jutland, we drove south, and briefly saw the Island of Funen (Fyn) before crossing the most enormous (not to mention expensive!) bridge across to Zealand (Sjaelland). We met up with Dad's cousin Bente at her beach house in Kalundborg (being november in Scandinavia, I wasn't really up for a dip), and met her new boyfriend. I have never seen such an in-love 70 year old!

We then drove on to Copenhagen and it reminded me quite a lot of most European cities, but the Danes were fantastic and friendly people! Funnily enough, we went on a bus tour, and the most famous icon of Denmark (the little mermaid) was on holiday in china. So, after missing Lego land, this was a bit of a bum! I did learn a little about the hippy part of Copenhagen (Kristiana) which was eye-opening...

The inevitable trip to tram-3 (as they put it in Flemish) was planned for 5 dec 2010, but I decided to have a combined party with Philippe to celebrate in november. Kym and Benj even decided to haul their 30-31 year old bodies over the channel to see us once again!

More highlights to come...!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Massively Attacked

After a long absence from the blog, and witnessing one of the finer concerts we have seen, it seemed appropriate to make a return appearance to the www.

We have significantly reduced the frequency of live concerts in the last 2 years, but weren't going to miss Massive Attack when discovering in April they were going to play in the lotto arena in Antwerp in October. It was a wretched day on Saturday, and driving to Antwerp seemed such a task, and both of us were quite happy to sit in with a cup of warm fruity infusion and watch Midsomer murders, but eventually plucked our roots out of the sofa and drove through the rain to Sportpaleis/Lotto arena. We were also not looking forward to finding a parking place (the two big concert/sport arenas in antwerp are smack bang next to eachother) as Night of the Proms was also on Saturday (featuring Roxette!) but there was no way in hell that Tom was going to let me drag him there!

So we arrived in the Lotto arena, were guided to our chairs (in the middle area - normally designated standing room...) and enjoyed the supporting artist (probably the best supporting artist I have seen, behind Basement Jaxx) - Martina Totley - Bird. Then we were asked to stand (strangely after being designated seats etc.) and were just blown away by the army of Massive Attack. Whilst I was under the impression that it was just 2 guys mixing incredible, dark music, there was at least 10 different musicians, including:
  • of course Daddy G and 3D, but also,
  • Deborah Miller lending her vocals for Unfinished Sympathy and Safe from Harm
  • Horace Dean for my personal favourite Angel and a heap of others
  • Martina Totley-Bird for Teardrop and at least 3 others
I think Tom's happiest moment was when they finished with Karma Coma, but I can truly say that I was blown away by the ongoing enthusiasm. Perhaps this was drug induced, but I would like to remain naïve and think that it was just adrenaline!

Thanks the the awesome light show as well!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One night to speed up truth

One of our post-wedding shots. We had an amazing time in oz and are now more and more convinced that we should move back sometime soon. A dip is inevitable, but thankfully the weather is fantastic and there are festivals by the bucket load to keep our minds busy...