Sunday, November 20, 2005
Football, Books and Wine ...
Ahhh, 24 hours are rarely so happily spent ...
Last night, Gert and I went to the football as guests of a retired local businessman ... this translates as, instead of sitting out in the stands, as we normally do, we were up in the business seats behind glass, and therefore protected from the 4oC frosty night air.
Not only that, but we had to join our lovely host down in the bar at halftime, and stay on drinking after the match ... and what a match. I have had my doubts about football (soccer before I moved here) but sometimes, if you look past the hollywood response to a tackle, and the deliberate cunning of some fouls ... just sometimes the games are superb. Last night's game was superb.
Antwerpen came back from being 0-1 down within the first 3 minutes to win 4-3.
Then this morning we had our Belgie (sounds like Bel-hea) breakfast, of pistolets and chocolat pudding with coffee for me and an earl grey for Gert ... before heading into the city. (Belgie is what the Belgians call Belgium ... just by the way)
There is a little square, called De Conick Plein, here in Antwerpen, and the city is trying to open it up to the people again. There have been problems with drugs, prostitution and the occasional stabbing ... but despite all this, it's pretty and reminded me of my beloved Campo de Fiori in Rome. The city has built a new library there, and a there's a rather flashy cafe next door ... but everything else is orignial.
As part of the reclaimation, they have begun hosting a monthly booksale there ... sigh, it was bliss. Afterwards, Gert and I sought shelter from the cutting wind (not dissimilar to the one they call 'The Barber' down in Invercargill, New Zealand), and drank hot coffee and soup, in a desperate attempt to get warmth back into our frozen selves.
Home for lunch before popping out to his friend's wine tasting .... sigh, I'm not sure what you can pick up from the website, but he specialises in Spanish wines and it was a more than delicious way to spend a rather foggy and cold Antwerpen Sunday. http://www.puertadelsol.be
I am glowing after extensive tastings (Alison ... you and Andrew will have to come to the next one, mid-December). Coincidentally, we met Gert's parents there, with their neighbours, and ended up doing most of the tasting as a group of 6, which was fun.
Any Antwerpen locals who end up by chance on my site, should surely check out Guy's (Kiwis ... Guy is pronounced Hee over here) Spanish wines ...