Friday, May 26, 2006

There is always the risk of falling into the space between you and home

Paraplu: a device consisting of a circular fabric canopy on a folding metal fram supported by a central rod, used as protection against rain.

And so it is that the ordinary umbrella is transformed into something more luscious in Nederlands.

The trams are running badly today ... changes created by deviations near Centraal Station as they lay new rails or roads, and rainy day notwithstanding I needed to pick up Gert's proof of illness papers at the doctor's whose offices fall into the cityscape between operational tram routes.

The walk wasn't so bad ... spring rain is wet but the wind wasn't cold and I had my enormous black papaplu. And without rain I wouldn't have noticed that the the stunning homes over in Zurenborg were built using materials that look good in the rain ... an inspired move on the part of the architects as rain is rumoured to be something Antwerpen does well sometimes.

I have had an extreme 24 hours ... feeling the seperation created by distance as people I love struggled back in New Zealand. Long phone calls home, a stiff neck and a headache today but that wasn't the sum total of experience. I lived another extreme too; that of the Belgian family gathered together for birthday celebrations.

Reassured about New Zealand, there was a party we were meant to attend and there I was enveloped by a feeling of family that I hadn't felt in a while.

It was a relief in a way, that other extreme where we only risked a slow death by food. Jan's barbeque food was heavenly, endless prawns, ribs and chicken pieces were washed down with Spanish champagne ... before main course, red wine and desserts.

Other grand news from the city of spring rain and grey clouds ... one of my favourite Australians flies in tonight. She's an old friend from my Istanbul days, so we'll go wandering some, photos to follow.


Manic said...

It's a wonderful way to see Antwerp :p. So why aren't u at the march?

woman wandering said...

Well, Mr Manic, I have an Australian guest arriving tonight and there's a lot to do before she arrives ... but I'd heard the extreme right were thinking of attending the march ... I really don't like them at all.

wandering-woman said...

ok guys what march, she asks from a few countries over? good stuff happening?

love this post.
I should warn you the Spanish get feisty when you refer to their sparkling wine with that other word... Cava, you were drinking a yummy cava ,yes?

have a terrific visit!

lettuce said...

I've enjoyed & appreciated some time catching up on your blog. I esp. liked what you said about loneliness, I've experienced something a bit similar lately. And the quote about absence is lovely - though I'm not sure if I'm convinced by it...

woman wandering said...

It was cava ... Spanish cava, Gert laughed when I checked with him. :)

Thanks lettuce ... you know, I wrote down that quote about absence because I found the language so beautiful but read it a few times trying to work out if I believed it.