Monday, December 27, 2010

And the light returned

We made it through the darkest days, which were lightened up by snow, and more snow. Even Brussels got its fair share. I spent this white Christmas in the Ardens, far away from internet connection or cell phone reception. Buried in one meter snow. Wrapped in layers of thermic clothing. Thoroughly testing the new camera, enjoying some very precious Q-time with the parents, and receiving lots of Christmas presents. Santa threw some very nice gifts through the chimney this year, some more surprising than others. So although it was -10°C, it was a very warm holy night.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The bad birthday karma

Me and birthday parties, we have a thing. And it’s not a good thing. Actually, it’s so bad, that 10 years ago, I decided to never ever organize another birthday party again, for as long as I lived. Somehow, something always happens to all my guests. They forget. Or they become sick. Or they suddenly have an increased workload. Or they are stuck in traffic. Or they get lost. Or they are too scared to drive. Or whatever.

The last year I still lived at my parents, I waited more than 3 hours for the first guests. The food was cold. P and I had started eating. Finally, 2 people showed up. The rest came when we were clearing the table, and I was on the verge of tears. I said: “Never again”.

The first year I had my own apartment, I thought: let’s try it again. Very bad idea. I sat alone, on my birthday, in my flat, until 22.30pm. Then one guest arrived. P arrived half an hour later. 20 minutes later, the party was over, as my one guest went home. I swore: never ever again.

Until this year. I know. Stupid idea. Yesterday, I had 16 confirmed guests. I couldn’t believe my luck. I thought the bad birthday karma was finally broken. I ordered food, and more food. My mom made a huge birthday cake for my party (the same she always made when I was a kid, and people still showed up at my parties). At 3 PM today everything was ready. Then the phone started ringing. One after the other, they cancelled. Because it snowed. Well hey, it happens to be winter, you know. I wonder if people in let’s say Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or Canada never go to parties because they have snowy winters.

In the end, 5 people showed up (and no, they didn’t live right next door, and yes, they took their car and drove through the snow, and yes, they *miraculously* survived.) I’m very, very grateful to those few friends who didn’t let me down, who tried to fill the room, and did their best to conquer the mountains of food.

However, we are left with 19 cupcakes, 3 bottles of champagne, numerous bottles of wine and soft drinks, bags of crisps, boxes of olives, at least 5 different cheeses, three baguettes, etc, etc. And 3/4th of the huge birthday cake my mom lovingly made all by herself, and brought to me this morning (yes, 37 km through the snow).

So, you can already guess what I’m going to say now, right? Right. Never again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The party season

Last weekend : our wedding anniversary
This morning : Christmas brunch for all P’s colleagues
This evening : Santa Lucia dinner at our downstairs’ neighbours
Next Friday : concert in Brussels with P
Next Saturday : Big Consulting Company’s Christmas party
Next Sunday : my birthday party for friends
Next Monday : my birthday dinner for family

After that, things will become too blurry, due to too much food and alcohol. But I’m sure there are other things following (Christmas and New Year’s, to name a few)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Say cheese!

Exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, … My head is buzzing with new camera-related vocabulary. God, I have so much to learn. And as usual, I’m a very impatient learner. That’s why I watched over 10 tutorial Youtube-video’s, read an online manual, and tried out every single button on the camera… in one afternoon. Result: I took some great pics (if I say so myself),….but I honestly can’t remember any more how I took them (in what mode, program, or whatever).

P is desperate to have 5 minutes without a lens poking into his face, hamster Lucy wishes she could open her eyes for a minute without being blinded by a flash, and if the Christmas tree had feet…he would run right back into the forest.

So, as you’ve guessed by now: I’m quite happy with my first real dSLR-camera!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

One year ago

One year ago, I had a great night with some very special friends. K, all the way from London, and K and C, my two maids of honour. It was the eve of my wedding, and I felt great. Not nervous, just happy. Happy to get married, happy to have all those precious friends around me. It was such a wonderful time, that all through last week, I was afraid. Afraid to feel sad and nostalgic. And hey, guess what? I had a fantastic day today.

Outside, a snowstorm was raging. I put up the Christmas tree, while P put Frank Sinatra’s Christmas songs in the CD player (an open fire would’ve made the scene perfect). P faced the storm to come back home and surprise me with the camera I've been saving for the past months. I re-read the last post before my wedding , and laughed out loud. Now,while writing this, P is having dinner with his family, and I’m home alone.

Preparations for tomorrow’s surprise: check
Great dinner from Italian deli : check
Rented movie : check
Married for one year : check :-) !