Месяц: Март 2016

Rodenbach’s  short-lived folly.

Rodenbach’s short-lived folly.

A mercifully short-lived Rodenbach ad campaign of the year 2009.
St.Sebastian, St.John the Baptist (looking like a Turkish hustler), not very virginal Joan of Arc and Klaboutermannikin, a ship’s figurehead.

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Bottoms Up in Belgium.

Bottoms Up in Belgium.

Bottoms Up in Belgium: Seeking the High Points of the Low Land
by Alec Le Sueur.

I was sure I’d like this book. As a native’s husband the author is immersed in Belgian life and will certainly be generous with insight into the inner workings of the local family, in all the aspects not evident to mere visitors, to outsiders. There’ll be stories, there’ll be some lore narrated by older generations, and the younger folks will do something unreasonable and interesting in contrast to the elder’s hardcore conservatism. And the author will be right in the middle – in the middle of Europe, between generations, not so English anymore and a bit Belgian himself already.

It started exactly this way.

Here is a chapter about a quaint cockerel singing contest, the narrator is amused but not quivering with desire to entice chortles from the readers. Then he goes with his Belgian relatives to see a Formula One race, and the trip begins with mildly funny fumblings – just like dozens of similar trips in the books of that genre. It’s nice, it’s goofy, it’s endearing. Maybe just a little bit boring – but a hint of boredom is the price you pay for accepting the author’s restraint.

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