Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What a busy week!

I've not posted for a while because I've been away on a trip as part of my job, travelling to Brussels and London. It really was a whirlwind trip, starting with a meeting in Brussels on Thursday. I went with my great friend and colleague, H, and we had a very good time, especially in the evening when we visited the Grand Place in Brussels and went for the iconic Belgian meal of mussels and chips. If ever you go to Brussels, eating mussels and chips is a MUST. We then went on to see the Mannekin Pis, another Brussels icon. The poor little guy has people staring at him while he pees all day and all night! He is really quite small, no bigger than a doll, but for some reason he is a very big tourist attraction. We went in the evening so the pictures are a bit dark, sorry about that! Lastly we bought Belgian chocolate, yet another Belgian tradtion, and a very delicious one at that.  Yum yum yum!

And I almost forgot - how could I ?! -  just after the meeting and before the shops had closed, we found... a craft shop! Where they had my favourite Catania yarn in colours I hadn't yet acquired: a lovely dark elephant grey, and Catania color, a gorgeous variegated yarn that I just HAD to buy too. And I found boxes and boxes of the faceted beads that I use for my owl eyes and that the lady on the market I normally buy them from had completely run out of. So I came home with two boxes of beads too (containing 130 beads each) - that's enough for 130 owls!

On Friday, we took the Eurostar from Brussels to London. It was the first time I've been through the Chunnel and it was a doddle! So much easier than flying! We had to be at the station half an hour beforehand for check in, but it was very easy and straightforward. We were served (a second) breakfast on the train, and the trip only took two hours. You know how tired you feel after flying? Well, I do. But travelling by train is so much more peaceful and feels more natural. And when you travel by train your carbon footprint is neutral. Otherwise said, zero. For me, that's a simple enough reason to prefer the train, when you have the choice.

The London leg of the trip was very interesting and exciting too. We were there to report on the March for the Alternative, which I'm sure all the UK readers on here had heard about, and maybe some of the others too (I hope so!). It was a HUGE, very impressive and very hopeful march with hundreds of thousands of protesters demonstrating against the cuts imposed by the UK government. We walked all through central London, from Embankment to Hyde Park. We went past lots of landmarks: Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, 10 Downing Street, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus. On the photo you can see the London Eye just visible on the right. It was a wonderful, peaceful, collective gathering of ordinary people marching together for a better world. Let's just hope we'll be listened to.


  1. Sounds like an interesting and worthwhile trip, Aisha. It's always good to stock up whenever you can :-)

  2. Hi Perpetua!
    The only thing about central London is that there are no supermarkets to stock up on Marmite so I suppose I'll have to go on another trip for that :-)