Friday, 12 March 2010

Starving in Brussels


I’m in Brussels to tutor an all-day creative writing workshop for the Open University. This is the second time I’ve been here for this and the first time I came I had a lovely time. I was staying in the old part of the town with little shops - like the cheese shop above - and wine bars and tiny restaurants that smelled of mussels and garlic. This time the experience isn’t so good. The Eurostar I boarded broke down before it got out of St Pancras (but at least not in the tunnel!). We were eventually transferred to another train and arrived at the Gare du Midi late and in darkness. The seminar is being held in a hotel meeting room, so I thought it would be a good idea to book into the same hotel to make things easier. But the hotel is in the business district of Brussels and is deserted at weekends. Worse still, the bistro/bar is closed from Friday morning to Sunday evening. No hope of a nice glass of wine then! Or dinner for that matter. I didn’t feel comfortable enough to go out alone into the dark, empty streets and wander around in search of anything. So it’s Marks and Spencers sandwiches (bought for the journey but mercifully uneaten) and a bottle of flavoured mineral water. However, things have suddenly cheered up. Half way through the evening, hard at work on preparation, I noticed a small white cupboard in a corner of the room, which I had thought was the TV stand, but turned out to be a very well stocked mini-bar! I hope no-one is getting the idea that writers are alcoholics, but a glass of wine does make the work go down and when in Belgium .......

1 comment:

  1. After a day like that I think the least you need is a glass of wine.
    Besides, those writer types are all sots.
    I hope things improve tomorrow!

    Al

    Publish or Perish

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