Sunday, 10 December 2017

A Peeved Puss - Sunday Photo

 Bess, my foster cat has been here for over two months now.  She came to me with some skin problems which will be with her for life, but back at the start of the year when she was found as a stray, they were severe.  After months of trial and error medication there have been huge improvements but also set backs. Currently we are doing quite well but her treatment requires a weekly bath and medicated shampoo, luckily for me she is a dream cat and tolerates them with fairly good grace, despite much miaowing.

I love this photo of her as she looks thoroughly disgruntled....notice the blob of cat food on her nose, a result of wearing a buster collar and not being able to position her face in the usual way over her food dish.  

Linking with Photalife's Sunday Photo 
and Animal Tales at A Green and Rosie Life


Monday, 4 December 2017

Bus Trip To Bruges

Last Saturday morning found me jumping on a coach at 0600...destination Bruges. (or Brugge as the locals call it)  A trip had been organised at work and being ridiculously cheap it would have been daft not to go.  Save for one night in Oostende back in the eighties, I'd never been to Belgium so I was looking forward to this trip.  Unfortunately when we drove out of the Eurotunnel in Calais we were greeted by dense and freezing fog which continued into Belgium meaning our first glimpses of Bruges, a UNESCO heritage centre were somewhat eery.

Not for me were the Christmas market stalls, I just wanted to soak up the history and the ambience of the place, which admittedly was a tall order in the four hours we had there.

The town was swarming with tourists and it was difficult not to get swept along the cobbled streets. Unsurprisingly, people everywhere were stopping for selfies as the town is incredibly picturesque, even in the mist!  The 400 foot high spire of The Church of Our Lady was enveloped in a blanket in fog.

The ornate Flemish architecture of the area is exceptionally pretty and a photographers delight, although I'd have preferred blue skies the overcast weather did not deter me from snapping away.

14th century City Hall or Stadhuis

Of course Belgian chocolate is world renowned and plays a strong role in the country's economy.  There are over two thousand chocolatiers in Belgium and the streets of Bruges certainly have their fair share with windows boasting chocolate in every form imaginable.  

Bicycles were parked everywhere, although heaving crowds prevented an easy passage on two wheels.

Noticeable in Belgium were the espaliered trees everywhere and the use of boughs of fir to decorate the shop fronts which I thought particularly tasteful, unlike some of the dreadful, garish tat seen in my nearest town.

After a couple of hours wandering the bitterly cold streets my hands were so numb I couldn't feel the camera shutter button beneath my fingertips so we dived into a restaurant for lunch and a fortifying glass of warme wijn.  (Did I get that right Ann?)

We were attended by a rather sullen-looking elderly waiter, who we all thought should be at home with his feet up, not racing around a restaurant that was bursting at the seams.   The fish soup I ordered (a local speciality) was delicious and my choice was envied by colleagues who'd played safe with boring omelettes.

After lunch we walked back past the canal, more visible now as the fog had lifted and all agreed that a return visit to this beautiful city was in order as we just couldn't do it justice in the few short hours we'd had.

Founded in the mid 12th century Sint-Janshospitaal is one the oldest sites for health care still in existence in Europe.

En route to the coach park I saw this groovy Sister overlooking the park from a top floor restaurant window.  

An homage perhaps to another, more famous Belgian nun?

After that trip down memory lane I'm off now to catch up with the ironing and the latest episode of Witnesses/Les Témoins BBC4's new gripping French drama.  Who else is watching?