Saturday, January 05, 2008

Herge's Adventures of Groanin' Jock

Happy New Year to you all. Mrs Wife and I are now back on Scottish soil following our jaunt to Brussels for Hogmanay.

The weather held up for most of the trip, only turning to freezing rain on our final day in Belgium, although we did encounter some snow at Waterloo.

What have we discovered from our time on the continent?

1) When chocolate is found in any state other than completely solid, I am a serious risk to myself and others around me. This applies to drinking chocolate, chocolate fountains, the fillings found inside individual chocolates and the cocoa dusting applied to truffels. In short, if you want to avoid chocolate/clothes-based mishaps, minimise my involvement.

2) Belgium, located almost slap-bang in the middle of western Europe, has acquired facets of its national characteristics from its neighbours. These include the humility and good manners of the French, the the stunning good looks of the Germans and the Italians' attitude to queuing. As Misssy warned me, the Belgians ain't too good-looking. Mrs Wife disagrees, and reckons that the men aren't too bad. But most of the women are horrors. Nonetheless, their cooking is pretty good and their beer is unsurpassed.

3) I don't know how I've lasted almost 28 years on this planet without experiencing cherry beer, which now joins pear cider amongst my favourite drinks. "Un grand Mort Subite, S'il vous plait" is the one French phrase I truly mastered whilst in Brussels.

And now we have a weekend of recovery before returning to the wonderful world of work. Thankfully, most of the snow seems to have gone, so I've been spared the nightmare Montrose to Aberdeen drive in the dark during a blizzard. Hurrah!

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