Friday, April 29, 2011

In which I am glued to BBC One.

Ok, not glued, but quite interested.  How can my colonial heart not take a bit of interest in the Royal Wedding?  I have the day off work for which I'm quite glad, and I'm just waking up with BBC One on.  All I'm missing is another anglophone to share the morning with, in which case of course I'd also be missing lovely brunch fare, and champagne and OJ (because I'll look for any excuse for that, really.)

The Royal Wedding.  Boyfriend (who's called from work after hearing something on the radio about it,) doesn't quite get it.  He thinks it's a big deal for so many of the Anglophones of the world because Kate's a commoner.  While that is I'm sure a big deal for many, how can I explain to him it's also a big sense of relief for the people of Britain and the colonies that this isn't a rushed thing, that they've been together for 10 years already, that they seem to be a happy and stable couple?

After the sad messes of Diana and Charles, and of Andrew and Fergie, the Royal family could certainly use something that seems real and stable.  It's a sense of relief and of hope in what is yes, a symbol, but also in what is one of the most active Royal Families remaining in the Western world.

The British Royals have managed to remain fairly relevant and are watched even by countries they have very little to do with, (even countries that have their own Royal Families.)  While Prince Laurent of Belgium is caught speeding in downtown Brussels and trying to scam Business-Class seats where he is supposed to fly economy, (encouraging the rest of the economy passengers to misbehave when told 'no', no less,) why wouldn't we choose to look toward something more diginified, more gracious, a Royal Family with a greater sense of service?

In any case it's very nice to see young people in love with their heads screwed on correctly, who support both tradition where it's warranted and innovation where that makes more sense.  From the public view what we can see is that as a couple and individually they know how to have fun and like to have fun, but they are also charitable and modest despite their place of extreme privilege.  I like that they still feel it's very important to use those powers of decision to clearly express their ideals and values in the ceremony as they have in how they've conducted themselves over the years.

It's certainly something my imaginary brunch guest and I could toast.  Carry on, Will and Kate, and Cheers.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Man on fire.

No, not an immolation.  Just an inspired soul I've been dying to see live since I became aware of his existence, about 10 years ago.

photo by Kai Kuusisto

He's playing at Dour Festival this year, which just so happens to be about 2ish hours by car from where I live.  I will be there, soaking in every word and note (because yes, he sings in addition to speaking furious truths.)

If you don't know who Saul Williams is, let me introduce you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

In which I remember that abs take work.

So, I pretty much haven't done a sit-up since I came to Belgium, meaning it's been more than 2 years since my abs have had a 'targeted workout' of any kind.  As it turns out my regular set of activities here haven't resulted in the lithe, firm abs I was hoping they might.  No matter how vigorously I've barbequed, drank, and strolled over the past 2 years, those lines of definition I once had have not reappeared.

I used to have nice abs, but even back then it was the result of a certain amount of work and consistency.

I suppose I've realized that I'm not getting any younger, my metabolism isn't getting any faster, and that lovely abs won't be coaxed back into being by wishful thinking or reminiscing alone.  Given that this is the case, I've decided to take measures and actually devote a small amount of time every day to my abs.  For now I've set a minimum of 100 crunches per day (10 sets of 10 crunches, with each set being a different kind of crunch in order to work a variety of muscles.)  Doing 100 crunches in this manner takes less than 5 minutes, so it's not as though I could say I don't have the time.

100 crunches isn't much, but I'm hoping this small stab at consistency will pay off with some kind of visibly encouraging result over the next month.  It's already a hundred times more than what I was doing before, so hopefully that'll add up to some kind of marginally visible difference.  If so, then I suppose I could be motivated to increase efforts, but we'll see where this first month takes me and I'll let you know how it goes.  There may be pictures, if I can bring myself to that.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring romances

WOW.  It's still gorgeous outside and amazingly, I'm inside, posting.  Exciting things are happening here though, and I must share.

This spring I have found two new loves.  Every time we cross paths, I can't help but stare longingly and covetously at them.  It's ridiculous, and boyfriend can do nothing but roll his eyes, sigh, and patiently wait for the spells they've cast upon me to wear off:

Meet Einstein.  He lives at the park.  When he moves, his 'hair' bobs along after his head in the most riduculous fashion.  He's frisky with the ladies and sleeps in a tree.  I know this because I've even visited him at night.  He seemed pretty pissed-off that I was disturbing his rest.

Einstein fascinated me so much that I stalked him on the internet.  Anyone who wants one of their very own (like me, someday,) will need to look up a breeder of Houdan chickens.

I don't care what his name is.  He is so terribly awesome and makes me smile.

And that's it for today.  The sun is out, which of course means I can't concentrate for too long at a stretch.  I'm supposed to finally recommence some sort of running routine after doing almost nothing over the last 4 weeks, and I must prepare sangria and a packable dinner... we've managed to convince a crew of people we know that a worry-free bring-whatever-you-want-to-eat picnic this evening is THE thing to do.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Back on board

I've been back a week now, and you know how it is when you have a good vacation right?  You need to REST because you're all tuckered out from the FUN you had?  Yeah that.  The whole thing went by in the space of two blinks.

That, and the sun (YES THE SUN!) has decided to grace Belgium with its presence.  Which of course means we must all stop doing anything remotely productive and get our vitamin D while we can.  So basically that's my excuse.  I've been vacationing, then recovering from vacation, and sunning myself.

Ah yes- and taking pictures of my sunny dinner-al fresco this evening and posting them on facebook, because it snowed in Toronto yesterday, (and there is a secret bitchy part of me that wants to rub my sundress-wearing, picnic-having, gorgeous day in their faces.)

Yes, those are my ghostly white legs at right, AFTER a solid week of artificial tanner use, no less.

I'll be writing again soon.  There are things to talk about, and Belgium being what it is, it has to rain sooner or later.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In and about Toronto.

We have been in and about Toronto for a week now.  It's been so nice to see old faces and spend time with people I've missed.  Jet lag has been hanging on to us this time though, causing zombie like moments at odd times of the day.  It's our own fault.  We did a great job of shaking off the jetlag after arriving and were in wonderful form after a few days, and then we had a late night out and buggered up all the hard work we'd done informing our bodies when to rise and eat.

Of course, trying to keep up with these three munchkins might be part of it too:

I have no idea how my sister and her husband find the energy, but they've done a great job with these three.  They are dear little people, it's a true pleasure to be their Aunt.

The weekend was full of family, who are rather 'exuberant' when assembled.  There were the normal debates, stories, and catching each other up on recent happenings, with the volume really only descending at dinner as we appreciated the celebration-calibre meals placed in front of us.  It was as though Thanksgiving happened one day, and then Easter the next.  On the train into the city yesterday, Boyfriend lamented the tiniest pinch of fat on his stomach: "It's the first time in my life this has ever happened."  I opted not to bother pinching for my own show-and-tell.  I've tried to be smart, I've gone running, and I'm now crossing my fingers, hoping that later today when I put on my jeans my legs won't resemble little sausages packed too tightly into their casings.

That seems to be as far as my brain will take this entry.  What can I say?  It's on vacation too.