This train re-emerges from the channel tunnel on the French side around 10 o’clock after a 25 minute drive beneath the seabed. I wanted to surpise them and therefore left a text message on Veronica’s mobile phone, for her to receive as soon as the train made its ‘landfall’. It read: “Welcome to Belgium.” Three minutes after sending the message, I received an answer: “We’re still in London, but we are on our way.” So they weren’t using the Ashford connection after all and had gone all the way up to London to catch the train.
I don’t know when they will be arriving in Brussels, but I hope that by the time they get here the sky will have cleared, because right now– I’m writing this during my lunch break and will be posting from my laptop at home later this afternoon – it is raining and there is a stiff wind blowing (16:45 - update: the rain has stopped, but it's still windy and really cold; only 10°C).
However, according to Frank, our national weatherman, the weather should improve as from tomorrow. I guess that we are in for some nice sunny and dry – yet probably chilly – autumn days. I hope it’ll hold till Friday when I will be meeting Veronica and Sue at their hotel. The intention is to walk to the Grand’Place – a 30 minute stroll – to have an aperitif and lunch together.
July 2011: Sue and Veronica on the village green in Charing.
Amazingly enough they are staying in a hotel which is located at 300 m from my employer’s former offices and 100 m from my old school where I studied as a translator. What a strange coincidence, especially as they picked the hotel at random. It’s also the hotel where in 2005 my former classmates and I celebrated the 25th anniversary of our graduation. In total I spent 15 years in that part of Brussels, so I’m familiar with the neighbourhood. I also know my way around there, which is more than can be said for the rest of the capital.
I’m really looking forward to seeing my two guest writers again. That is, if I can make it, because there's an itchy-pitchy risk that I need to go into office on Friday after all, although it is my day off. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!