It’s been busy lately, for weeks and months really ... an odd kind of unpredictable busy but these last 24 hours or so have felt slightly exceptional. Full of good people, but exceptional.
Sunday afternoon found me feeling unwell. I tried sleeping it off but only succeeded in messing up my ability to sleep that night. Monday, I was up, on 4 hours of sleep. I was heading for Brussels and had it all mapped out in terms of train times and which tram to catch to this new part of the city.
My idea was that, somewhere along the way during the day, I would find myself a really good espresso for strength.
I arrived at Antwerp’s Central Station with not enough time to join the queue that had formed in the coffee place. I wasn’t prepared to have just any old coffee, I needed a really good espresso. This much I knew.
No coffee ... I had no sooner settled on the train than I heard the conductor announce that this train would not be stopping at North Station ... my destination. Okay, it said it would on the website but it wasn’t and so ... I climbed off in Mechelen to catch something else. As I was waiting, a young man came sprinting up the stairs, just missing the Brussels-bound train I had left. He threw his bag down angrily. I waited a moment and mentioned the fact it wasn’t stopping at north station and then, voila, we ended up chatting a while.
His English was impeccable. He was a student on his way to a mathematics exam but better than that, he was studying law and politics. After talking of his year in Australia, we boarded the next train, held our breath while it tried to break down and the train guy announced that it had ... before it suddenly and successfully pulled out of the station. We talked about Belgian politics all the way there. Interesting, so interesting, as we head into a second year without a government since the last elections.
We said our goodbyes, I wished him luck although he was very relaxed about it all, and I wandered off to spend some time with the loveliest family over there in the big Belgian city. They had a son with the most beautiful blue eyes I’ve ever seen and a delicious black labrador, as per the photograph below. Anyone who knows me will know how I’ve been yearning for a labrador here in my Belgian life but never mind, it was enough to get a bit of a dog-fix for now.
After time spent in the park, the lovely family dropped me off on a tram that would get me back across the city more quickly however ... they assumed they were dealing with a normal adult who had a reasonable knowledge of Brussles. I was ‘misplaced’ for a while but amused. It’s never really that serious and getting unlost usually makes me laugh at myself. I climbed off at Parc and found Central Station by some weird kind of instinctive luck.
I NEEDED a coffee by now. But every place in the station, open at 3.30pm, looked like a place that make rubbish coffee. I know ... it’s about me being a brat but I’m still readjusting to life after the exquisite Genovese espresso.
I bought sparkling water, sadly, washing down the brie baguette thingy for lunch and boarded the train home ... falling asleep along the way.
By the time I reached Antwerp Central Station I NEEDED a coffee. I wandered into Starbucks, hoping their espresso was at least decent, as I can’t stand their other coffees. I followed the queue of people waiting, right to the end and voila, I was at the other exit door, so I exited. Tram home, falling asleep, aching.
Made it home and found it full of Miss 7 and her mum.
Dinner was cooked by my very kind husband.
Miss 7 was storied up and put to bed,then I couldn’t resist downloading and going through some photographs.
Getting late, I wanted to do one last check of the wedding photographs, before burning the 1,000 to dvds for the different bride friends who have been patient as I’ve sprinted through life since their weddings.
I fell into bed.
Jess phoned, ‘How is Miss 7?’
‘Okay’, I replied.
‘Okay ... good’, she tells me ‘but keep an eye on her because I’m vomiting’.
‘Oh ... she did say she had a sore tummy, I thought she didn’t want to sleep’.
1.32am ... Miss 7 starts vomiting.
I’m so tired. The only solution seems, in that moment, to carry her bedding and put it next to my bed.
I do it. I almost fall down the stairs doing it and ponder how nasty that would have been as I continue down.
We sleep until 3.23am when she vomits.
We sleep until 6.20am when she vomits again.
I consider this an uncommonly civilised kind of vomiting, as usually sleeping between bouts is all but impossible.
Morning finds me here at the computer. Miss 7 on the couch, watching tv, drinking powerade slowly, sleeping a little ...
So it has been an active few hours, and then some, but by crikey ... I did meet some truly lovely people. And a really nice dog.