- Edinburgh: One thing I forgot to say last time was how marked the differences were in security between Edinburgh and Brussels. How quickly one gets used to seeing armed police and soldiers everywhere you go! It seemed really strange to me to see the Christmas market, for example, without armed (wo)men standing guard outside. I don't know how I feel about that. As we saw in Paris, it doesn't have to be a big, well-publicised event for it to be targeted. The Sydney siege was in a Lindt chocolate shop of all places. But I suppose it's more about reassuring people they can still go places like the Christmas market and the Grand Place than anything else.
|I got a few more photos from other people's cameras - my birthday brownie|
|That wasn't my only cake of the weekend. I'm so excited!|
|C&C and our indian feast|
- In "look how fancy I am" news, the other week I was invited to a party at an Ambassador's residence! I didn't exactly cover myself in glory while I was there. It was pretty crowded, so while trying to skirt around some people I managed to walk into a massive lampshade and then while trying to fix the shade I had knocked askew, I tipped my (first and undrunk) drink on the floor. That wasn't too bad, I think only the girl right behind me saw. But then the Ambassador came up to us, introduced himself by his first name and asked when the choir was going to perform. I totally didn't recognise him and (politely) said I didn't know, maybe he should ask that guy over there. Then he (nicely) said he was the Ambassador and wandered off. Oops. So this is more "why I shouldn't be invited fancy places". It was fun seeing everyone's party frocks though, and I talked to the Ambassador's wife later, who was very nice.
|In Grand Place after the Ambassador's party|
|A fondue sandwich. What an age we live in!|
|Jules at the Christmas market|
|Light show in the Grand Place|
|Panorama at the Grand Place|
- See how I'm not wearing a coat there? I do tend to run hot, but it's definitely unseasonably warm here. The coat has only come out on a couple of occasions, with most days getting into the low teens or at least double digits. It's like winter in Auckland! Way back in October, we even had a day in the beach at Ambleteuse in France. It was sunny and about 16 degrees, we couldn't believe it. I don't know if it's going to suddenly get cold next year, but so far it has been incredibly mild. I still can't believe the photos below are from October in northern France though!
|The beach at Ambleteuse|
|People on the rocks looking for mussels|
|A feast of wine and local cheese|
Catching shrimp and playing with the timelapse function on the iphone
That's about it, just counting down to a few days in Luxembourg for Christmas and then a quiet new year to recharge the batteries. Merry Christmas all!