Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Let there be snow

Yay - it may be pissy looking, but it is freezing cold (might I just add FINALLY) and we have little snowflakes which started coming down around an hour ago! And, since I am such a keen follower of Murphy's law, I thought it would be appropriate to add that now that it really is super cold, we are finally without a car for a few days (while the insurance assesses the dint in his bum) so lucky me gets to ride the bike in the snow (or the likelier option of bussing it...)

Tom is half way through his exams so, our appartment is looking tidier than it has been for a while, and my dinner is as good as made when I get home. I can see why men didn't care much for feminism a few years back!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Words, they just get in the way

Just another update - and my Inge-isms for the weekend.

Decided to run out and do a few errands while Tom dove head first into the studying again today. So, I started up Gust, headed off to Kontich, and realised that I left the bankcard at home. So, Inge-ism number one was happily fixed with a u-turn and a trip back to a cranky Tom. I make it to the DIY store to buy a jack for something or other, plus batteries and a mosey around in my sexy knee high boots with the sweaty, working dads and make my purchase and head off to the next store. Only to get lost in some back street somewhere. Gust had his little indicator on the 'E' sign (which in my old language, stood for 'Enough', but on a Sunday in a little village, represented something more like 'Eeeeek - I am soooo thirsty - feed me VERY soon') and I was pretty anxious, so I decided to call Tom and tell him I was lost and somehow he was supposed to help me - Inge-ism number 2. Eventually, I found my way out, and to the Belgian equivalent of a 7-11. There, I picked up some water and necessities, made it through the check-out, and what I thought was the exit. Little did I know that this was the emergency exit, which for some stupid reason was linked to an alarm which awakened the entire population of Belgium. So while I turned a firey tint of scarlett, I waited until the nice man turned off the alarm (which seemed to take an AGE) and told me which doors I could use, and I departed with my tail very firmy between my legs and an applause from the other customers. Inge-ism number 3.

So there you go - another day in the life of me. Aren't you all just SOOOOOO envious?!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Our whole lives drinking strawberry wine together

Back at work again... quite an uneventful week with one (not so exciting) exception...
I have decided to continue studying enrolling in a postgrad course in Human Ecology. Dunno how we will manage having 2 mature aged students here, but the opportunity couldn't be passed up when the course fees are so affordable.

Also, the tickets are booked for our return trip to Australia, with QANTAS (with lots of yummy frequent flyer points, I hope), so we are officially heading back for a month between 11th July and 11th August (ish) - yes, in time for winter! Not that I feel too daunted by this! The only thing worrying Tom is our trip to Tassy - apparently it is cold there, and considering his BMI is somewhere around 18, he has nothing to keep his internal organs warm unless he walks around with a doona. Don't know how he grew up in western Europe...

I have enclosed a picky of my uni class. We had a little christmas party in December - and everyone attempted to bring something from their own country - I had to turn up with just crackers - no vegemite at that stage. But my Slovakian friend rolled up with about 20 cans of 14% beer, so she was the winner that day!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blog 101

Thought I should continue on from the previous post.

Just some images from Edinburgh for Hogmanay 2006-2007. The weather was pretty rotten when we arrived, but we all had high hopes for the 2nd biggest New Years celebration in the world (following one in Brazil). So we went on the giant ferris wheel, and saw many a piper on our first evening there. But our high hopes faded a little once we were confronted with gale-force winds on the 31st. Growing up on the coast in oz, I wasnt feeling so threatened by something like wind, until we were at the gates to the street party and the traffic lights were dancing in the breeze with great big metal barricades flying down the street (I may be exaggerating slightly, but it is the honest truth to say that nobody could stand up straight.) It was the first time in my life I had seen horizontal rain, and drunken tourists attempting to do the moonwalk in the wind/rain. Crazy guys considering the rain was absolutely painful when it hit you on the face.
So, we spent most of the evening in your typical British pub, surrounded by Kiwis and others not from Scotland. One major problem in Britain... ALL pubs shut at 11. So, even though the street party was cancelled, they still shut the pubs, and thousands of people poured out onto the wet yucky windy streets with relatively little to do. So, as a bit of fun (catalysed by alcohol consumption) we ran up to Edinburgh castle, started a pretend countdown, then headed back down to the middle of the royal mile, and saw in the New Year on an intersection somewhere (also with a countdown started by us, due to the lack of any knowing what the exact time was). I think we were all in bed by 1:30. Odd thing is that when we departed on the 2nd of January, the sky was so blue, not a single breath of wind and warm. TYPICAL!

So, considering we paid a visit to the walkabout (for those of you who dont know these bars, you're not missing too much) and joined 3 countdowns (east coast oz at 1pm, SA at 1:30pm and Qld at 2pm), plus a countdown at edinburgh castle somewhere around 11:45 then the 'official' at midnight, we saw in new years 5 times! Could think of worse way to spend new years!

A very merry new year

It seems that it has been almost a month since I have managed to update the blog, so here goes... maybe there will be a few entries, but will do my best to update on everything since december 18th 2006.

So, on the 18th of December, we trundled off to the Sportpaleis in Antwerpen to see one of the groups I have been waiting 2 years to see: Muse. Some may argue that they are too bombastic (with enough reason to mind you) but there is something about Matt Belamy that I just can't put my finger on. He uses classical elements in all of his songs, just completely rocked up and it sounds so pure. But considering my not-so-towering height, and being in the middle of millions of tall teenage smokers (in a non-smoking venue...) I had a little claustrophobia and made my way up to the back of the hall and had a much better view from there. Loved the concert, but still rate Depeche Mode and Michael Franti a little higher still.

Then comes the 22nd of December - the arrival of my Aussie mates Kym and Benj (incidently we went back for their wedding last year in August) to spend Christmas and ultimately New Years together before their journey to London to work for a while.

They managed to trod around Antwerp, Brugge and Brussels, and have expressed their intention to come back in the summer to see Ypre and Amsterdam as well as possibly a boat cruise somewhere! Look forward to having them stay again - wonderful to have Aussie guests (except Tim and Tash - you guys are always getting us drunk!!)

During their stay, my dear friend Stefanie gave birth to an awfully huge son (4860g, 55cm - in Aussie terms, I think that he was around 9,5 pounds...) and has adopted the mother feeling which she was afraid she wouldnt develop. But I have had all the news you don't normally hear so my eyes have been opened a little to the trials and tribulations of pregnancy and childbirth. So I have included some of the 'After-shots' with mama and papa and little (or big?) Willem.

On the 30th of December, Kym Benj and myself hopped on an aeroplane and flew ourselves over to Edinburgh. But will write another blog later and update the course of events there.