Saturday, December 30, 2006


Yesterday ranks up there as one of the most perfect days I have had. There would be no way I could have improved on it if I had painted the canvas myself but it was a day that just became more magical as it unfolded. I have been this past week hiding out at Nik's flat in Brussels while he is travelling, just to relax and get away from all the ills of modern life, a week to be spent reading, writing, watching movies and just spending time on my own. Yesterday I took a day trip to Bruges. I had been hearing about Bruges for over 16 years from a friend of mine and had seen hundreds of pictures but to see it all in person and during Christmas was just amazing. It is one of the most romantic places I think I have seen. More than Paris. Well, different than Paris. Paris is grand where Bruges is intimate. The history, the swans, the buildings, the myths, it is the kind of place where one can be alone and fall completely in love. It is a place trapped between the worlds of yesterday and tomorrow where mystery hangs in the air.

Now I am back in Brussels on a grey, cold and rainy day and still the sun seems to be shining and the world feels like a better place than it did yesterday.

Friday, December 22, 2006


No sooner had I arrived in Brussels than we cram into Nik's sporty little car and head to Rob - The Gourmets' Market. I have always believed that grocery shopping should be left to the help but this time I had no choice as I was literally a hostage. The whole way there Nik ranted and raved about what a fantastic place it was and after our Harvey Niks experience a few months back, I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. We arrived and upon entry I realized that if heaven has a grocery store, it will pale in comparison to Rob. Upon entry one is greeted by bubbles of all sorts. Veuve Cliquot. Perrier Jouiet. Billecart-Saumon. It was like a reunion with my best friends. We darted and dashed through aisle after aisle, drooling over the various oils, pestos, cheeses qnd veggies. Just when I thought things could not possibly get better, there he was, the red-haired cutie handing out samples for the tired and huddled masses doing their almost last minute Christmas dinner shopping. While in most stores one gets samples of cookies, fruits, salamis or coffee all stuck on toothpicks or poured in paper cups, he was distributing healthy portions of Perrier Jouiet champagne in crystal glasses. Suddenly, I looked up and there she was, a vision in black Chanel, knee high boots, leopard print scarf, perfectly coiffed hair, bright red lips and a pair of fabulous glasses that set off her botoxed face in just the right way. She was fabulous. She knew it. She gave as much of a smile as one can give though that much botox and then she was gone, like Glinda in her bubble. I immediately needed some sympathy food and luckily we stumbled across foie gras filled brioches. It was just what the doctor ordered. In fact, they were so yummy that Nik and I have decided to go back and buy armloads of them tomorrow.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas at Nik's

All the Whos down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot,
But the Grinch who lived just north of Whoville did not,
But this blog is not cheering the Whoville of Whos,
But my little friend Nik who is one meter two,
Because this Christmas weekend he will play host,
To only the friends that he enjoys most,
And of course I am topping that VIP list,
For a dinner on Saturday not to be missed.
But Friday we start with a cocktail night,
To set the holiday season off right,
‘Cause when it comes down to shakin’, Nik takes the cake,
No cocktail is he unable to make,
Bottles of bubbles are sure to abound,
And lots of yum yummies will be all around,
Then into the city we will surely go,
And not be very stingy with our “ho-ho-hos”
At Fontaines and the Beligica our small gang will call,
The goal to be seen by one and by all,
For our little group so cheerful and bright,
Will be the talk of that pre-Christmas night.
And on Christmas Eve a dinner we’ll share,
A feast with our favorite holiday fare,
And we’ll drink and we’ll dance and we’ll gossip galore,
And keep it up till we can take it no more,
And back to the city we will most likely travel,
To see how the evening is wont to unravel,
It will be fun, it will be bliss,
A weekend I would be crazy to miss,
For surely a brunch on Christmas Day,
Is the only way to keep all the Grinchies at bay,
Eggs any style and juices of choice,
Are the things that make our hearts rejoice,
In closing, to all I send some holiday cheer,
And let's have some bubbles early next year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


There I was, in London last weekend with Ulco when all of a sudden we were swept over by a tsunami of Santa’s. It was a storm of red and white fur, black boots and more ho-ho-ho’s than should be legal and I was at once terrified, stunned and amazed. Obviously, like television and marriage, Santa has just stepped right into the new millennium. He has a new attitude, at times a new gender and an apparent new interest in leather and other assorted fetishes. There were tall Santas, short Santas, young, old, fat and skinny Santas, he Santas, she Santas and I would even put myself out there on that limb far enough to say there were some confused Santas. Santas in furry red and white cowboy hats. Santas in black leather harnesses and red rubber shorts. Bald and boobified Santas. Santas in assorted races and far away places all converging on the Strand, just a few pigeon steps away from Trafalgar Square.

London is a magical place at Christmas… The lights, the carolers, the massive crowds that make it impossible to get inside any decent store and everything worth buying is already sold-out. A few minutes on Oxford street on Saturday afternoon and my body was screaming for total sensory deprivation. It was just at that moment that Ulco and I happened upon a tiny little store with a cafĂ© and immediately ducked in for some culture, education and coffee and cake. Coffee, Cake and Kink is a great little place for sitting back, relaxing and getting tips on the latest bondage and tickling techniques known to man, woman or Santa. The main floor is a little bookshop with a tiny little gallery called the “loo-vre”, which you will find in the, you guessed it, loo. It was a bit odd leaning over a toilet and scrub brush to take in the works of the featured artist, but I believe that one must experience everything at least once and so there I was, checking yet another “to-do” topic off my long and distinguished list. Once one is finished browsing the newest titles, checking out the hand-cuffs and admiring the art, it is time to head downstairs where one can have all sorts of yummy coffees and cakes with a fine view of the glass toys… Maybe it is just me… I know glass toys are all the rage today but they scare me. There are just some things that should not be made of glass. Call me old fashioned, call me a bore, call me a prude, but it just doesn’t feel right to me…

Monday, December 11, 2006


Whenever I see someone less fortunate than I
And let’s face it, who isn’t less fortunate than I,
My tender heart tends to start to bleed,
And I’ve got an extra ticket,
For that musical named “Wicked”
I know, I know, it’s too good to believe…

Munchkins and wizards and witches, oh my!

Yes, once again I am going to see “Wicked” in London and once again I find myself with an extra ticket for this Friday evening… So if you are interested in joining Ulco and I, grab your broomstick, don that black pointy hat you have been saving just for this occasion and meet us in the Emerald City. It’s simply wonderful, you’ll call it wonderful, because it’s wonderful I must admit. You'll think it’s simply keen to see that town of green and the wonderful road of yellow brick…