Saturday, 29 December 2007

Bonne Maman

My grandmother died today.

Just as I thought 2007 couldn't get any worse. It did.

My sister and I were lucky enough to be able to get a last minute flight back to Brussels on Thursday to visit her in hospital. She was taken in suffering from a pulmonary embolism after becoming so weak she couldn't get out of bed.

Listening to the doc telling us how she was doing and then seeing her having to struggle for each breath, made my own memories come flooding back.
I don't tend to think of summer 2003 that much, all I remember is the loneliness. Despite being surrounded by people, I had never felt more alone.

She didn't seem to feel like that, and while being totally exhausted, we managed to talk to her, tell her that we loved her, and say goodbye. It was a rough day, but after having hesitated to go back for just the day, I will be eternally grateful that I did.

I spent hours last night, going through some of the memories I have of her.
I found myself back on the Belgian coast where we used to spend our Easter holidays as kids. It was always so bloody cold and windy, but we would love sitting in the wind, running on the beach and taking our first trips to Meli park which gave me the love I now have for roller coasters.
But her greatest achievement at La Panne was taking my brother and I to see the Fly. I was 11. And it has scared the bejeezus out of me ever since. I remember being taken to see Rambo: First blood part II a year earlier as well. Cool grandmother or what !!!

Or every Tuesday after school when I would take the bus to cross town to spend the night with her and my grandad. She taught me French grammar... well as much as she could cos I was real shite at it. I did this for the first two years I was in Belgium to avoid having to resit a year due to my weaknesses in French.
I remembering her help me out with my book list in my final year. She read a couple for me and made up the best little summaries describing the characters, the intrigues - both hidden and obvious - and cross referencing a plenty. I aced my exam and I remember those books better than the ones I had actually read myself.

Merci pour ta patience, pour ton soutien, pour les sorties théâtres, pour les bols de yahourts à la cassonade, pour les petites histoires avant de s'en dormir et enfin, pour nos petits déjeuners à deux devant la grande fênêtre de la cuisine.

Tu vas me manquer. Je t'aime.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Merry Xmas

Well, here I am on xmas eve, and for the second year running, I'm spending it in Bristol.
It has been a totally bizarre and yet very normal day.
We started off the day with a huge cup of coffee and a chocolate m==-oi-p (muffin was the word I was writing, however, Takanna had other ideas) in the local Cafe Nero.

Followed by a massive amount of visa usage and yet another purchase of slightly small winter coat. Let's leave it at that shall we.
A quick trip to Sainsbury's for some last little additions to the HUGE amount of food already in the fridge to be consumed tomorrow and the afternoon was done.

So, tonight, I am sitting in my sister's living room, watching Captain Jack Sparrow after having just finished a kebab. What traditional way to spend xmas eve. I love it.

We had planned to go and see if the Bristolians had once again won the award for most electricity spent on lighting up a house for Christmas but a greedy dog ambushed our plans by eating an entire xmas pudding. This is a problem because it turns out that raisins are highly toxic for dogs.

So, finally ending my blogstipation, I'm sat here thinking about who is currently doing what on their respective xmas eves... and while for some, it has been over for almost 10hours already, others in the East haven't even started.

Whatever you are doing tonight and tomorrow, Enjoy!!!!