Monday, May 29, 2006

No catchy phrase today !

Well the weekend is over, and unlike the lucky buggers in the UK, we have NO bank weekend here :(
Big boo hoo :(
However, with that said, I would rather be at work when all it seems to do is rain!
Anyhoo - yesterday (the only remotely sunny day in the past 3 weeks), was the 20km Brussels. Now considering Tom couldnt run, we had no need in going, but thought we would cheer his father along! I was once again blown away though! We said goodbye to Miel at the starting line (not really a line, but starting mosh-pit is probably more appropriate), grabbed a €3 hamburger (consisting of a slab of deep-fried offle, squirt of curry ketchup, and sprinkling of onions on day old bun), followed by fries with mayonaise (for Tom), apple for me (free from the health stalls!!), then we sat at a café somewhere, sipped on a red wine, mosied over to the last 300m of the race, and were just in time to see the first guy finish! I couldnt believe it - 20km in 1hour and 2 minutes! He even had a nike symbol shaved into the back of his head (which kinda ruined it for me - after living with someone who quotes Naomi Klein, it begins to rub off!!). BUT what I was more in awe of, was another guy who was in the first 50 (when there are 25000, this is still relatively early!) - he was pushing some guy in a wheelchair, while running, and still managed the top 50! The handicapped guy he was pushing was so excited! I think he felt like he was king of the race! - Tear - !
Miel crossed in 2hours 15mins or therabouts, but then we waited for his walking friends - in the meanwhile, we saw the oldest runner - 84, some absolute freaks (always good for entertainment), and finally the last runner (it closes after 4 hours) - also an octogenerian - with a bus in his arse to make sure he finished the race! poor old guy!
As usual - a few collapses, and revivals, therefore, I was content to be sitting on the sideline!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Our appartment!

ok - since we are moving soon, we have put our apartment on the internet, and I thought, why not show some people at home our lovely old house (lovely according to us, anyway!). We are on the first floor, and although we have no garden, our vine provides us witgh some greenery!

Always take the weather with you

Well back at work for one more day after another Catholic holiday. One thing religion is good for: holidays. Maybe I can use my religion to take these days off in Australia as well. Make the most of it since I was baptised once.

Nothing much happened this week. I am really disappointed that after 4 months of practice I injured myself one week before the race (20km of Brussels) but hey there are worse things in the world: Summer is coming up and it hasn’t stopped raining for 2 weeks now (going on to the 3rd)

We saw “Volver” yesterday. It is made by Pedro Almodovar. The movie is awesome . Almodovar is on of my favourite directors. For you who don’t know him, just go and see “la mala educacion”. Gorgeous movie. Not only did I love the movie but it also strengthened the feeling of going to live in Italy or Spain for one year just before we come back home to Australia. I just love the history and feeling when in Italy or Spain. The way of live, the passion. And I would also love to learn Spanish (although not much use in Italy). And another really important reason: football!

But first we need to get rid of our apartment. We are having trouble getting rid of it. In Belgium it works like this. We give notice (usually 3 to 6 months, with us 3). And then you just do your notice. If you want to get out before hand, which is our case, you need to find another tenant. There is the problem. All Belgians can afford something a bit better. Exactly the reason why we are moving. And we got heaps of foreigners calling but our landlord doesn’t want any foreigners in his apartment. I can understand him in the way that he already had some foreigners and they just left without saying or paying. But the problem is that we always have to lie for him. And we also have to find somebody else. So we are getting a bit tense. We don’t want to leave but if it comes down to paying when we already left or finding a foreigner I go for choice number 1. Because in that case we did find somebody and he can’t charge us any fines. Our obligation is to find another tenant but we don’t know if we have to pay fines if the landlord keeps rejecting them. I would rather pay the last 2 months without living there instead of moving. Or we can always try to find somebody of the friends who just lives there for 2 months. I rather pay than not move, it’s only money anyway. I rather be happy in the new place.

So except for the fact that we need to get rid of the apartment, which will surely happen, we are just tense; we are pretty happy. All we have is luxury-problems. We still adore one another. And yes Andrew and Lyn, she’s still as clumsy as ever. Ingi’s head is like the moon: full of bumps.

Well now it's Ingrid turn to talk about the weekend.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Time to update...

Hello all out there! Back at work, for another short week (yes, there seem to be a lot!) after a jam packed weekend. Are busy showing people through our apartment, and Tom is becoming increasingly annoyed with people who make appointments and don't show up, and at our land-lord who is impossible to reach - we would like him to let us know when someone has rented the apartment so we dont have to keep the place immaculate 24/7!

This weekend looks like it's going to be a downer. Tom has been training like crazy since the beginning of the year, and now, in the last two weeks, his knee has started hurting - he's not sure whether or not to strap it, run, and hope for the best. It's hard to watch, because this is the one he has been training for. And, his old man is also running, so that's gotto hurt!

Nothing particularly funny or philosophical as far as this week is concerned. Am reading the Alchemist at the moment, and enjoying it. Oh, and one final thought: for uni tonight, we need to tell an urban legend which has happened to ourselves (basically, a story so unbelievable, or make up a story where people are unsure whether or not it's true). I was deciding out of 2 options: the ghost from Rockeby terrace (which turned out to be an immensely overweight mouse behind our fridge), or the snake which came through the wall in Emu Park while Emme, mum and I jumped on the table... (Tim, the mouse in the microwave vent would be a good one for you!!)

Friday, May 19, 2006

Give me just a little more, Anything I'm waiting For

Well spijtig genoeg - Kate Ryan is out of Eurovision. Her dream was over before it began! So the eurovision party we are attenting on Saturday night seems almost a waste now!

For any of you who are interested... apprarently now, since USSR keeps exponentially dividing into more and more countries, there are now far too many countries in the European Broadcasting Corporation for all countries to compete in Eurovision. Only 4 countries are given immediate entry every year (Spain, and 3 others - not that interested!!), then the 10 best place getters from the previous year are also given immediate entry. Since Belgium didnt fall into these categories, they had to participate in a semi final against the rest of europe and millions of little eastern european countries. Since Kate Ryan's song has reached number one in about 10 countries here already, she was a top favourite (according to Belgian press!) Even Tom believed this! But now apparently there is a conspiracy (yes folks, in Eurovision...) because all of the eastern european countries vote for eachther. And that's not fair.! There were even images on the news this morning from Kate's home town, with a big screen in the town sqare - live from Athens - with people crying when she didnt go through. I just wish to stress my point: This is eurovision!

Will make one other comment - I really hope Holland didnt go through either - their song was just utter tripe (as opposed to the creatively written, other unique numbers that were heard on the night.... hmmmmm....)

Monday, May 15, 2006

Outside there's a box car waiting

Nothing much too interesting has happened this weekend. With all the exercise he's been getting, Tom has been having trouble sleeping past 7am - so that has been a bit strange (especially after parties in the weekend), but I have clearly not done enough exercise, considering I am still happy to sleep until 10!

It was Inge's 22nd birthday on the weekend, so, another fancy lunch with lots of wine and champagne in the presence of Pepe and Rosa. So, towards the end of the lunch, Tom and I decided that we wanted to go to IKEA to buy some new things for the new appartment - in an inebriated state. So now we finally have a CD tower (which is already full), and a TV cabinet thingy. So currently, our tiny appartment is so full of furniture, and we are in the process of fobbing it off to vinnies. We even cleaned out our wardrobes yesterday, and the pile of clothes to give away is around 60kg (possibly more) and lots more to do...

Went to the Australian Bar also on Saturday night to have goodbye drinks with some friends we have made since I arrived - an Aussie (/croatian/italian) guy and his american wife - top couple, and moving away. So my friend count has just decreased by 2!

Nothing much else - this weekend is my work party (5 years in service), another Aussie mate's birthday party, and EUROVISION!! But first this week is the champions league final. Tom will no doubt update the blog on that!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Please baby Please, open your arms and catch my Disease

Well, another wonderful Friday (becoming my favourite day of the week - over Saturday and Sunday...) and another time of mixed feelings. Since May began, it has hardly rained. If you know anything about this side of the globe, there seems to be a constant grey cloud just hanging over Belgium (and possibly extending to England) for most of the year. A nice day is one where it is overcast and doesnt rain. So, I am currently in heaven considering it has averaged 20-25°C everyday for 2 weeks, and we even had a mini tropical storm in the middle of it - with lightning, thunder and all! Reminded me of home! So now I am averaging 100km cycling a week (not that much, but more than before!), Tom is running maybe 50km plus riding 100km a week, and it doesnt even hurt so much when you have the summer surrounding you :). If only the rest of the year were this beautiful, I would definitely not want to leave.

Now that this has all been said, the reason for me enclosing the mini-plan of Antwerp, is because of the news of yesterday. A Martin Bryant inverse wannabe decided to shoot a few foreigners/tourists in the middle of the city sometime yesterday - including a child. Ironically, it was in the zwartzustersstraat (translation = black sisters street) and this brought one of those horrible black clouds back (which we waited so long for to disappear). Once again, as I understand (and I am not to be quoted here...) I think the bullets were directed at members of a 'brown' society. It drives me crazy how the Vlaams Belang (the one-nation party of Flanders) brainwash a normally clever Flemish society into becoming so one-minded and stereotypically marginal - as though it's 'cool' to hate foreigners (even though the most of the Belgians like to practise English/French/Spanish/Italian........). I just really love the city of Antwerp and until now, have enjoyed it's diversity in such small proximity. I have only known it for 2 years, but I hope it doesnt change from it's green/socialistic history to the extreme right-wing, capitalist model which could destroy it.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

We can bomb the world to pieces, but we cant bomb it into peace

Not much interesting since the weekend... went rehearsing at a colleagues house last night for a performance of the Histogenex (the company I work for) song - we are having a big dinner in a few weeks and as a surprise for the bosses, most of the colleagues are playing an instrument while one of them is singing! Hopefully after a stiff drink, the nerves impulses will slow down, and the adrenaline will drown...!

And have realised that I have not mentioned our news on the blog yet! No, not getting married, no, not pregnant, but.... we are moving! (not such great news, but we are excited!). Our appartment is in Edegem, which is the same distance from my work (on the other side) - about 5km from the city, 5km from the in-laws, 2 bedrooms (we intend to convert one into a study/spare bedroom) and a gigantic back yard. Everything is completely renovated (not that its important, but it looks nice :)) so we are keen to move around the 1st of July. We are sad that we are leaving the centre of Antwerp, but what is 5km really? Plus, I love the style of our old appartment - especially the wooden floors, but, alas it doesnt have enough room for a student (acually - 2!). We also plan on seeing Tim and Tash in a few months (no pressure guys!) and Kym and Benj later this year/early next year so now we have private place for them to sleep! And any other visitors are always welcome :)

Monday, May 08, 2006

When you believe in things you dont understand

Okay - what a weekend! But, first - Im a little confused about the comment from lyn in my past post! - and am unsure whether that really is mum, or someone posing as mum!

Anyway - Friday night, went on a girls night with some of the colleagues - and once again, drank too much but had an alright time learning how to jive with a plumber from the hospital (he taught all the girls how to jive!), but something came back to haunt me that night... We ordered garlic prawns for dinner (which were unbelievably delicious), however, once we entered the nightclub, the kept coming up for a visit in the form of a little toxic cloud. So anyone in the vicinity of Nathalie, Inge or myself were quickly fumigated! Even at 4:30am when I crawled into bed, the first thing Tom said was 'oh my god, what have you been eating?!' Oh well, a nice night all in all.

Saturday morning (midday still counts as morning on a Saturday), Tom wanted to run from Antwerp to Kontich, and I was to ride beside him, but first I had to retrieve my bike from another suburb. So in 27°C sunshine (normally beautiful, but incredibly hot if you have had a big night), I was completely lost in Borgerhout and finally found the bike, took a few wrong turns, then just as I left Antwerp, Tom had already arrived in Kontich. How embarrassing! Then to a BBQ at Tom and Nita's, followed by a Quiz held by Toms parents. I am proud (ha!) to say that our team came 10th (out of a total of 13!), but it was fun anyway. I was in trouble for saying Dostoyevski wrote War and Peace, and apparently it was Tolstoj, but then I had some others correct so that made up for it!.

Then Sunday, we went to family fun day in Koning Boudewijn Roi/King stadium in Brussels, where you are able to try all sorts of activities. So we went riding crazy bikes, and gave Archery a go - when it came to my turn with the bow and arrow, there was a bloody great big camera in my face, so with the pressure placed upon me, I shot my arrow into the bush, and let out a loud 'Shit!' - so any of you watching VT4 (Flemish Telelvion - 4) on Tuesday evening, you will be able to see a strange Australian shooting an invisible rabbit in the bushes!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Mijn Eerst Nederlandse Blog...

Ok - ik weet het - mijn Nederlands is nog niet goed genoeg om een blog te schrijven maar ik zal het proberen... Vorige week had ik een mid-semester proef (alleen schriftelijk - geen mondeling exam) en ik ben just niet geslaagd. Dat maakte mij boos. Dus, moet ik meer nederlands proberen te schrijven... Ha! Maar, mijn karakter komt niet uit als ik een andere taal gebruiken.

Gisteren, heb ik 20km met mijn fiets gereden - en zonder pijn! Dus, vanavond ook. Direct na werk, rijd ik naar Kontich (naar de ouders van Tom) en daarna naar de zwembad met Tommeke en Nita voor een uur. Daarna, terug naar Antwerpen. Het voelt goed om gezond te zijn!

Das genoeg Vlooms voor ien blog... Kelly - dit blog is voor jou, schat. Hopelijk verstand je alles (omdat ik niet beter dan een 5 jaar kindje kan schrijven).

Terug naar werk....

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The long weekend...

Well, am back again and semi-recovered after another long weekend. We only had one plan this weekend, and stupidly didnt stick to it (isnt that always the way?!) - Tom was going to train for the 20km Brussels - running from Antwerp to Kontich (where his parents live) and I was going to ride the bike alongside him with the water, towels etc (because there is no way in hell I could survive a run longer than 5km!). That was the plan for Monday.... So after squashing on Saturday, going out for drinks, followed by a party on Saturday night, followed by visiting a friend - then to the football on Sunday, followed by dinner in the Pelgrim Sunday night (another blog all on its own...), followed by drinks (and some loud singing to some bizarre Flemish songs), we were a little beat. So, Monday was spent: in bed for Tom, and in front of the Telly playing a nintendo (found in Toms parents attic) trying to master Super Mario Bros 3 for me. I think this eventuates to the exact opposite of training. Hmmmmm..... I feel like I have been sleepwalking all day today, but that's ok, because I received some very lovely news. Kym and Benj should be joining us for Christmas (us meaning Europe, but wherever it is, it's closer than Oz!) so I am so excited.

Just a little note on the Pelgrim restaurant... we have walked past it a million times - in the centre of Antwerp, and it just appears to be a bar where you have to sit under the street, but in fact, it is a dungeon which has one entrance, which has been converted into a bar + restaurant. The entire dungeon spans the whole street and it is completely dark (except for a couple of candles lighting the way) - it made me feel like I was visiting Baldrick from a scene of Blackadder! We also had to eat our entire meals (entrée, main and dessert) with the same wooden spoon (and nothing else!). Nothing like a bit of rice pudding with remnants of chicken skin! I felt sorry for those who ordered T-Bone steak! Food was pretty mediocre (someone suggested that the chefs bought all the no-frills brand foods and said that this is how the food was in the 1500s!) but the atmosphere was amazing!

Better go and do some last minute revising before uni... I have a very good feeling us native English speakers will be re-doing level 3... j- stupid prepositions!