Image: Copyright Chiromancer 2016
So, I’d be lying if I said the adjustment to living in a new country where I don’t (yet) speak the language properly and recovering from severe shingles was going swimmingly. It’s not. After another hospital appointment where the doctor barked at me in Dutch (yes, that is actually what passes for good bedside manner here, despite the excellent healthcare), I got in my car and drove away in tears. Enough was enough and I was ready to pack my passport and hot-foot it back across the Channel to sanity…and my own GP!
As I drove back to the house, I began to wonder about why and how I was feeling like this. Of course, The Belgian (a.k.a my gorgeous husband) will tell you that I am impatient – and that feeling rubbish for such a prolonged period has brought out the very worst in this patient. He is, of course, factually correct! Patience is not my super-power…neither is being ill.
But there is a bit more going on here. As I drove back to the house, I reflected on what I could do to feel more at home in a role (wife, stepmom) and country (new house, new ways) which, in essence is unfamiliar to someone who has been a committed single-career-girl- about-town for so long. So, instead of turning left, I carried on driving and took myself to the beach for a few hours. After all – I have time on my hands, so why not?
I parked up in a new place, and discovered the most amazing building. As I walked on the sand, enjoying the pale Northern sun and the emptiness of the beach, I found my antidote…to uncertainty, unfamiliarity and unhappiness. I made a decision. After all, action is the cure for despair.
What did I decide? Well, I am going on a quest…and this being me, and the country in question being Belgium (and therefore small enough to criss-cross in a day), I am going to visit the A-Z of places in my new abode. This is entirely possible, since Belgium is half-Flemish and half-French so the likelihood of every letter of the alphabet being represented in place names is high. This being me, I am also going to pick destinations that are off the beaten track. I might be impatient, but I am certainly not conventional! I hope to document this in my blog, and while I’m doing it – rediscover my new self, and a whole lot more about this small, but interesting nation! Perhaps you will enjoy reading my adventures, too.
P.S. The picture was taken yesterday at the Thermae Palace in O-for Oostende. I’ve crossed that letter off the list, then!