TEN THINGS THAT MADE ME HAPPY THIS WEEK

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It’s been a while since I posted about all the things that made me happy from the week, but since it’s a Sunday evening and I don’t want to just fill this blog with Belgian reviews, I thought I’d add in one of my more routine posts! That, and I’m trying to make sure that I keep an account of all the lovely things I get up to while I’m here, so if I write them down in the blog I won’t forget any of them.
Anyway, here’s some of the things that I got up to with my week!
1. Dinner of the Nations: Remember all my talk about the Guinness cake? Well it turned out to be absolutely delicious! As were all the other dishes that everyone prepared. We ended up having a six course meal, finished by everyone collapsing on the couch. There was enough leftovers to feed us all for dinner the next day too. I genuinely have no idea how we survived… It felt like a mini Christmas feast, only with each dish originating from a different country. Oh and for the record, the Hungarians know how to cook an excellent dinner.
2. Delirium Pub Crawl: On Friday we decided we’d check out the infamous Delirium beers, and ended up following in the footsteps of many keen beer-enthusiasts before us by taking the pub crawl between the Delirium bars. There were so many beers on offer that even I found several that I loved! Turns out, anything with cherry, peach or raspberry is right up my street. I guess Belgium is converting me to beer after all! Something to take with me for when I come back home I guess.
3. Sex and the City movie night: I’d never really gotten into the series until the girls produced the box set, candles and load of sparkly drinks to go with our night in. It’d been a while since my last girls night in, so I appreciated this one that little bit more. We’ve decided to make it a weekly event until we reach the end of the box set too – more things to look forward to!
4. Visiting Bruges: Today AnnMarie and I finally visited Bruges! We’d heard it was a fairytale town filled with old buildings and streets of chocolate shops and we weren’t disappointed. We’d both seen the Colin Farrell film In Bruges too, so we couldn’t help but make the odd comparison. Was he wrong about the place? Absolutely. It’s a gorgeous town to spend an afternoon in. That said, I doubt I’d want to spend much longer than a day or two there… you see the entire thing in a matter of hours.
5. Sunny weather: I’ve been checking the Google weather app religiously and it constantly warns me of thunder and lightening. Since I’ve landed here, I’ve ran out of sun cream and made two beach trips. This entire week was no different – the weather has been absolutely fantastic and that’s something which I’m very grateful for. It’s impossible not to be in a good mood when the sun is out so often!
6. Chocolate tasting: Did I mention Belgium is famous for chocolate? No? Well… It is. And I love it.
7. Shopping trips: Since Marija needed a dress for an upcoming wedding and the rest of us just needed an excuse, we took ourselves off to the shops in Brussels. I can’t say the shops here differ much from at home (it’s still all Zara, H&M, Urban Outfitters and Topshop that dominate the streets) but we all ended up with a purchase or two nonetheless. I’m wearing my new jeans as I write this… you know, just to wear them in. *coughs*.
8. Picnics in Flagey: With good weather, comes good excursions. I’ve said before that I go jogging around the lakes near my house, but I’ve always intended to actually sit down there and relax instead of work up a sweat. One evening last week I went down and some musicians had gathered a crowd and were playing jazz music as everyone sat around drinking wine. I vowed after that to sit at the lakes more often. So with that in mind, I took myself down there on Saturday morning to soak up the sunshine and catch up on some reading/me time. I had a little picnic all to myself and spent a happy few hours watching the swans and ducks swim past in the lakes. You’d find all kinds of people down in Flagey too – the couples, the musicians, the families, those there to feed the ducks, the amateur photographers and then those like me who just want some wonderful scenery as a backdrop to our reading time.

9. Miniature ice creams: See the photos in the post. Aren’t they excellent? We got a little too warm during the week but couldn’t decide what ice creams we wanted. Then we found a selection of miniature versions and knew we were on to a winner. All of them got eaten too! Couldn’t let anything melt and go to waste really..
10. Taking a canal tour: Being in Bruges, a town filled with winding canals, it only seemed fitting that our first thing to do there would be to get a canal tour. Usually I’m not a fan – in Paris the boats were always huge and incredibly touristy. In Bruges, however, the boats were small and the canals were just the perfect size to take a quiet little tour around the place. All of the top sights in the place were visible from the boat too – I felt like we’d seen everything there was to see before we’d really stepped foot in the centre. When I used to row, I always felt like I was seeing the city from a completely new and secret angle – under bridges, narrow waterways, traffic being formed only by ducks and swans… The boat tour, at least the one in Bruges, reminded me a little of those rowing days. Fond memories of course. It was money well spent.
Tomorrow I’m back at work (two weeks left, this time is flying in) but we’ve a few more lovely plans for the week ahead. There’s some vintage shops in Brussels that we haven’t gotten round yet to seeing and a teashop that I’ve promised my friend Elise we’ll visit. There’s a few touristy things left in the city centre that we have to tick off still, so no doubt I’ll post a photo up at some stage of that too!
Have a really great week ahead everyone,
Sorcha
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