Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

~ Madame Silvie de Loftin en Bruxelles ~

this time she stayed in the *gustavienne* room, a bedroom which she could only describe as "lost in time". its majestic iron twin beds reminded her very much of the antic brass bed she grew up in. the scratched paint on the wall and the decorative panels conveyed a touch of decadent charm. it was the most suitable place to be with her thoughts and reverse them on paper.

as well as meeting two authors and attending a conference, which was mostly in the language of love (sadly in françois not italiano), she also found the time to visit a couple of landmarks of the city, taste some authentic belgian food and indulge in some brewed beverages.

the conference was held at hotel metropole, an example of art nouveau in its grandeur. on a downsized but nonetheless delightful scale, was the horta museum ~ his house in fact ~ which was the perfect expression of art nouveau in its most harmonious form. the house was attentively designed as a space to live in as opposed to the gothic and gloomy style of other deco buildings such as, e.g., the interiors of the ex-hotel hannon, nowadays used as a contemporary photographic exhibition space, which she visited in one of her previous voyages. the facade of the house is rather modest so not to attract indiscreet attentions; all the sophistications and wonders are left inside.

on a rainy early morning, she opted to visit the belgian centre for comic strips and ~ surprise surprise ~ the warehouse hosting the museum was also in '20s style, if even rather minimal and contained. she was astounded to see a character (JoJo by joseph gillain) that she had created in her mind as part of a children series book she was planning to write. she watched the whole footage of JoJo’s adventures with great interest and amaze, and learnt a tiny bit more about tin tin’s personality and the psychology behind this popular reporter. she was also intrigued and felt slightly embarrassed in front of the erotic comics on the third floor.

she came back fulfilled in spirit and matter - having achieved two successful meetings and a pleasant business dinner, and having secured in her luggage two and a half resin statues representing barbamama, barbapapa and barbabella; many tin tin stories in various languages; and bien sur a bag full of belgian chocolate.

the weather was the only shadow of this brief trip, but she resolved that this must be part of the nordic atmosphere of this capital, full of little surprises.

although she did not have the privilege to depart from the restored st pancras station showcasing the impressive clock reconstructed by the original makers Dent, the trip back and forth was smooth and quick, so, all in all, yet another good experience for madame silvie.

La Gustavienne:

Passa Porta, a generous bookshop:

Museum of comics strips:
A Meeting Room:
Horta's House:Museum of Musical Instruments:

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