We went on a long old persons' hike yesterday to Furfooz. Furfooz! FURFOOZ! You cannot imagine how many times I said "Furfooz" over the three hours we were there. It is my new favourite place name. I strongly recommend Furfooz to Belgium dwellers and indeed others lured into Belgium by its other many and various delights. Furfooz offers prehistoric caves, a Roman fortress, a peregrine's nest and the maddest bar imaginable, in a shack on the very muddy waterfront. The bar is called "La Flobette" which sounds like a puppet on a children's TV show and features an outdoor lavatory on a raised plinth. I should have taken a picture of it, because I can't really explain satisfactorily with words.
Despite liking walking a great deal, we do not really have the temperament for long hikes, since our default attitude to most things in life is "LET US DO THIS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE" which does not make for a savouring, appreciative kind of walk. There is no time to smell the flowers/eat the mini Twixes, because we must continue this relentless slog until it is over. This was aggravated yesterday by having forgotten any form of performance fabric waterproofs, meaning we had one eye on the menacing Belgian skies the whole time and forgetting any kind of snack meaning we were racing to get back to Furfooz's only food outlet (we did and were rewarded by the landlady showing us lots of pictures of her Chinese Crested dog).
We did stop very briefly on the way, once for me to stare at a small brown bird that was actually diving right under the water in the river and coming up with .. something (fish? worm?), then diving down again. What could this be, bird people (and by "bird people", obviously I mean "Wanstead Birder")? It wasn't a kingfisher and it didn't seem to have any obvious white on it, so I don't think a dipper either. For all I know this may be common bird behaviour, but it seemed weird to me.
We also stopped to marvel at this crazy ass castle, the Château de Walzin, in private ownership and not accessible to the public:
What the hell goes on in there? I'm fascinated.
The ouipette was underwhelmed by the whole business:
Le Sérum du Futur
When I went to purchase my wildly expensive body cream at the funereally dark and luxurious perfumery, I got given a voucher for its sister shop next door, the bright white new age beauty shop, to get a free sample of something describing itself as "le sérum du futur". In order to obtain your sample you had to go and let an enthusiastic man tell you all about the serum of the future, which I did but it was extremely confusing. He definitely mentioned both human growth hormone and volcanos, though how the two are related was unclear. I have lost my ability to suspend disbelief where beauty products are concerned, which is a great sadness to me, but I am nevertheless faithfully applying my three drops of future serum in the hope of one of the following: time travel, flight, a unicorn or radiance. I will let you know how it goes.
20% Other people's bank holidays resentment
10% On my second day waiting in for a desk to be delivered, total radio silence from deliverers, rage
10% Beetroot ravioli (no, on balance)
10% Luridly unpleasant dreams
10% Freezing due to total inactivity
10% Wondering whether to release the chickens for a while on the juuuust recovering grass, purely for my amusement.
10% Enjoying the silence
10% FUTURE SKIN