It’s that time of year again and, just like last summer, it totally snuck up on me. One week we’re snorkeling in the Mediterranean Sea, the next it’s all new gym shoes, glue sticks and number 2 pencils. Summer break is short here in Belgium, and not just because the school year starts so early. The warmer weather has up and moved on. We’re back to clouds, rain, and extra blankets on the bed. Though I suppose it’s easier to concentrate in class when your eyes aren’t drifting to the window, wishing you were at the beach on such a beautiful day.
Just before the start of school, we took a drive into Brussels to take a look at the Tapis de Fleurs, the Flower Carpet, laid out once every two years on the Grand Place. Made of begonias, each individual flower is set out, tightly packed with its neighbors so they won’t blow away, into a different design each time. This year’s pattern was a Persian carpet representing “50 years of Turkish migration into Belgium”, something I know absolutely nothing about. But it sure was pretty. We chose to head up above the crowd to see the carpet from the balcony of city hall.
Brussels is a fun city. Every time we go, we run into something a bit out of the ordinary just by chance. This time it was a completely random, very short parade. Dedicated to Delirium Tremens. You know, the pink elephant beer. Marching along with the pink elephant elders, in their full pink and blue regalia, was the Orde Van de Brusselse Moestasje, the Order of the Brussels Mustache. And that was it. One can only assume they were headed around the flowers and toward the Delirium Café, not far from the Grand Place. We didn’t follow, but that’s my best guess.
As the summer comes to an end, people are doing their best to clean out their attics and basements before the true brocante season comes to a halt. And we’ve done our best to stop at as many as we can. We’ve hit the big one in Temploux, another just around the corner from us whose village name escapes me at the moment, and we joined in on the selling fun in Ben’s parent’s town of Tilff. I should say, L joined in on the selling fun. She went through a single toy basket, found some crazy nonsense junk that she didn’t want anymore and sold it all nearly the instant she put it on Mamaman’s table. Luckily, I think we’ve created a junk selling monster as a full wallet is suddenly more fun than My Little Pony.
Oh, the fun stuff we’ve picked up! Antique maps and vintage postcards, the frite shaker we’ve been searching for, board games, brass candlesticks for my old collection, creamers for my new collection, and, the best find, an old school chalkboard, among many other things. And I wonder where my kids got their junk collecting gene.
And a very happy birthday, Honey! From everyone… including Stella.