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Monday, October 17, 2005

I've seen the sun sack in the sea (*)

Sunset over the Middelkerke Beach (Belgian coast)

Unbelievable, our first free weekend after three months of hard labour, two whole days spent at the sea-board, and still the weather was beautiful. What are the odds? At least, I expected general flooding, medium strength earthquakes, enough rain to make Noah consider building two arks instead of one and consecutive hurricanes with occasional tornadoes. Instead, we had fine weather from Friday evening to Sunday evening, with temperatures of up to 20°C. Twenty degrees! Normally in October, your butt freezes off while you fight your way ahead against the 10 Beaufort winds in sloshing, rain-filled shoes. Hooray for global warming! Viva el chauffamente globale! From now on, I will dedicate my life to producing greenhouse gasses: refried beans and Brussels sprouts at least twice a week. Until next summer, off course, then I’ll be complaining it’s to damn hot. Such is I: inconsequent, clueless and always following the one with the loudest opinion.

The lighthouse at the end of the Nieuwpoort pier (Belgian coast) Not everything went as foreseen: we barely left our hometown when we got a phone call of my girlfriend’s seven-year-old niece to say that she had a brand new little sister. A newborn baby, again, for the second time in a month! So the weekend wasn’t all about resting, doing nothing, being lazy, gathering passiveness, horizontal contemplation, letting the mind wander off and not moving a muscle. There were presents to be bought, greeting cards to be selected, visits to be paid, alcoholic beverages to be consumed, toasts to be made on the babies’ health and good fortune, and so on.

In between, we made romantic walks on the beach (this blog comes with its own brown paper bag, please scroll down to barf) although we were seldom alone. Half of Belgium had decided to walk on the beach because of the fine weather, so we enjoyed traffic jams the whole time, both on the beach and on the highways. And of course we ate some delicious seafood, although my fiancée doesn’t like “fish that tastes like fish”. Generally, this means “fish that isn’t too expensive”. She does have a fondness for lobster, salmon, sole, coquilles Saint-Jacques and so on. We peeled shrimp with the whole family and then enjoyed the wonderful taste of fresh shrimp on crusty buns (pistolets) with fresh butter. It’s so much better than pre-peeled ones, which are first caught in the North Sea and then sent to Morocco to be peeled and then back to Western Europe.

Gulls in the masts of fisherboats in the Ostend harbour (Belgian coast) For the first time in weeks, I had the time to practise with my brand new digital camera. I barely used it since we returned from our annual vacation in Portugal. My brother also brought his analogue Canon, so I got to experimenting with his lenses, especially the zoom lens.

On our way back home, we visited little Marie, laden with presents for her two ‘big’ sisters. Pippa was there too, giving Marie valuable information about diaper sizes and brands, milk powder and cuddly toys. The rest of the family was as usual as noisy as a flock of parrots in an echo cave, so I was glad when we were heading home. And despite all the rushing in between, this weekend did tonnes of good to me. I feel a bit more rested now, shaking of the DIY stress.

(*) Very literal translation of a children's song. "Ik heb de zon zien zakken in de zee": I saw the sun set into the sea.

A pier at the Middelkerke beach (Belgian coast)

Posted by Bart at 3:15 PM
Edited on: Thursday, March 09, 2006 7:39 PM
Categories: Framed

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