Thursday, 29 December 2011

Interrail #9: Antwerp

Oh my god, do you still remember that I went on an interrail trip in the summer of 2010? I hardly do! And I’m still only halfway through posting the pictures on my blog! I really need to get this in order. So full steam ahead.

The last stop was Amiens. Then we crossed over, or more precisely under the channel via Eurostar and ended up in London. From there, we took the train to Ipswich, where we spent the night camping outside the station. (If you type Ipswich into google, the third auto-complete suggestion is "Ipswich murders". I did not tell my mother that.) In the morning, we continued our journey to Beccles and Henham Park, where we enjoyed three wonderful days of the very recommendable Latitude Festival. I will post pictures of this at some later point. They’re on film, and I haven’t scanned them yet. After the festival, we went back to London, and spent a very brief afternoon sauntering through the East End. Then we took the Eurostar back to the continent. And eventually ended up in Antwerp, Belgium.

Antwerp is nice. All in all I have very positive memories of it – the Rubenshuis, mussels, the botanical garden, just walking around the town and looking at those beautiful facades with their crow-stepped gables. The first, strange da Vinci-themed hotel we stayed at first, and the even weirder hippie-themed backpacker hostel we stayed at later. You know when you simply feel quite at home in a place, though you cannot really put a finger on the reason why this is so? Antwerp was a bit like that, for me.

Caution. Many pictures ahead.

Upon arrival, Max and I interact with the locals. Local statues, that is.

Strange architecture.

Some more architecture.

Guy Fawkes.

Crow-stepped gables, postcards, and my arse at the Grote Markt.

City Hall.

Oh dear, I'm kind of obsessed with these.

Beautiful botanical garden. <3

Drinking Duvel, looking very "German".


Visiting the Rubenshuis.

Antwerp Cathedral.

Walking on "water" outside the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten.

Odd but interesting exhibition at the KMSKA.

The incredible Railway Station. I LOVE railway architecture! Byebye, Antwerp.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011


What’s Christmas about if not cats going crazy about the wrapping paper and boxes and indecent amounts of food?

Yes, Bill, there’s treats in that stockings.

Wrapping to play with? It’s Cat Christmas!

Canapés. Here we have the shrimp, the salmon and the venison pâté. Nothing to see here, vegetarians! I admit, I kinda broke down toward the end of the evening and devoured several shrimp canapés. I am weak. Shrimp urges!

Christmas table total view.

Vegetarian canapés (lentil "maki", cheese-pear-walnut-chicory-ships, artichoke nests). And some non-vegetarian as described above.

A fairly large amount of devilled eggs. <3

Onion scones filled with goat cheese. These were so yummy!

Some more puff pastry artichoke nests.

Bratwurst canapés with sauerkraut on top. We made these because bratwurst with sauerkraut is (interestingly) the traditional Christmas food in my mum’s family. Oh and also: bacon-wrapped plums.

As you can see I took no pictures of people. I could say something self-ironic about my priorities. But I guess, even if I have no pictorial evidence of this fact, to me Christmas is also about having the whole family in one place. This year we did pretty well, I think. I mean, it went pretty harmoniously as family gatherings go.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

One year ago.

Approximately one year ago.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

If it doesn’t have a name it must be normal ...

I’ve been having a strange time in the last few days – or maybe it has actually been going on for much longer, it’s hard to tell. It’s definitely somehow “broken out” now, so that I can’t hide it from myself any more. I can hardly remember a time when I’ve felt this low, and so ill equipped to deal with the lowness. I cannot really say what the reason for it all is. It seems it is no reason and all reasons. I simply haven’t been feeling very good about myself, recently, and there is nothing that seems fit to pull me out of it. My thoughts keep going in circles as I’m trying to figure out what it is that makes me so unhappy. I keep coming up with too many different reasons, none of them very reasonable but none-the-less real and heart-felt. I’m a bit worried that I’ve somehow slipped into a full-blown depression because I’ve never been like this.