Saturday, 10 November 2012


For those of you with the strength of character not to noodle around wasting your life on Twitter like me, and for those of who don't particularly notice what's on the sidebar here (and why would you, it never changes. I've been trying to persuade my children to do a new picture of me for about three years, but neither of them can be arsed, quite understandably), a public service announcement: I have started a new blog.

It is here, and it is supposed to assemble all the good stuff I occasionally get to do, or already know about and like, in Belgium.

I started thinking about doing this about 18 months ago, when I was deep in the throes of sweaty, paranoid anxiety that ate up all my reasoning faculties and left me never more than a bad day or a scary email away from deleting this blog. My thinking was: I wanted to do something that was lighter, less personal, something that I could still manage to write when I was mentally hunched in the dark hollow under my desk, rocking like an orphan in a gritty ITV drama serial. The paranoid anxiety receded slightly, eventually, and perhaps more significantly, I was far too stupid to actually make bloody Wordpress work, so it remained a fantasy, until now.

I'm not sure what kicked me into action: partly the major, terrifying, ongoing drying up of work that started this summer and partly an accumulation of little things that I wanted to talk about, but which didn't really fit here, I suppose. There was also some completely invaluable help from this lady, who I don't know at all other than through Twitter, and who nevertheless gave me some extremely generous help sorting out some technical bits and pieces I was too stupid to understand. Which I suppose shows that noodling around wasting your life on Twitter does have some fringe benefits.

Anyway, there it is. I certainly won't stop writing about Belgium - let alone writing at all - over here, but over there is a place for the more practical, factual stuff that didn't really work on these pages, since most of you don't live, and may indeed never have been to this peculiar country. If you do, someday, happen to visit however (a vanishingly unlikely event in most lives, I concede), do have a peek.


The Reluctant Launderer said...

I think it's most def a must read. I shall pass it on to all my Belgian friends (ie, one). Well done.

Susanjane said...

Some of us have too been to Belgium! Well, for a week in 1998. We couldn't.t get in to Bruges because of the traffic, but had a lovely time in the Ardennes, where we stayed in La Roche, admired pig parts hanging at the butcher's, were sincerely delighted by a May freeing-from-the-Nazis commemoration, and I was able to use my feeble French to report that the ceiling, she is flood. In fact darn near the whole room she was flood, due to the showering habits of the upstairs lodger.
We would happily go back, especially if I can master a little more French so I know what food is going to arrive after ordering off the menu. no matter what we ordered we got pork chops. They knew we were undeserving.

Xtreme English said...

Kudos!! It looks clean and inviting.
It's a wonderful blog. I'm quite impressed, having read what you've been going through all the while you were working on it.

I just can't get WordPress to let me in to leave a comment. I signed up with WordPress last year sometime, but I've forgotten all their tick-tock double lock password bidness....

DES said...

Bwa ha ha ha! I actually am moving to Belgium, Leuven to be exact, and although I have read your blog for lo these many years (only commenting vanishingly infrequently), not least for the odd Belgian bits, I am elated to discover this new source of insight. I am going to need some, since my only other significant international experience was in a cow town in Germany. In a previous century.

Bryony said...

fab new blog - as always your writing is perfect. I read your contribution to the latest EasyJet inflight mag (as opposed to the 2 academic articles for my assignment I should have been looking at) - excellent as ever and light relief from the make-up kits which only ever exist in the land of duty free...

Patience_Crabstick said...

Lovely design over at your new blog. Good luck with this new venture.

cruella said...

Well, I've spent the whole of 24 hours in Brussels in October (though no owl pajamas). Extraordinary packed with activity too - European Parliament, champagne at the hotel (very nice one), moules frites and beer Chez Léon, beer in brown bar, European Council, four cheeses pizza and guess what - beer! - in a lovely square with dappled sunshine, les galeries Royales, coffee at Grand Place, snooze on Thalys bound for Paris.

Almost glad I hadn't your insider tips at hand to boot!

(Bruxelles - very nice it was.)

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