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Tag: Brussels

… and it all led to my first marathon!

Yep, that’s right: I ran my first marathon, the full 42,195 km! Well, I say ‘ran’, but unfortunately had to walk quite a bit of it… In despite of that, I was far from the last one to finish, contrary to some of my previous runs.

This was not a normal marathon though, but the infamous Beer Lovers’ Marathon in Liège. That meant, at the numerous supply points, we weren’t just given water and energy snacks, but a serving of beer as well! Curiously enough, with all the running, you don’t even feel the alcohol… Oh, most people were in some kind of theme appropriate costume as well. Can you guess who I was supposed to be?

Training

In preparation for this marathon, I also participated in a couple of other runs, although they were more like trail runs, so in nature, instead of the urban environment of this marathon. These runs were the Marathon Zoniënwoud (21 km), Brussels Nature Run (27,5 km), Trailberg (21 km), and 15km van Sint-Lambrechts-Woluwe (25,5 km).

Okay, that’s enough running for this blog, I promise the next post will be about travelling and beer!

10 Years in a Kilt

On the 10th of March 2012, I picked up my very first kilt, somewhere in Limburg, at the inconspicuous garage shop of the sadly no longer existing company Great Scotland. The very same night I put on my new eight yard kilt, in a MacLaren Modern tartan woven by House of Edgar to take it for a spin, and a first pint.

Since then, this kilt has served me well, as I walked many miles, drank many beers, and had a lot of fun in it!

I marked this ten year anniversary—or kiltaversary, if you will—with a little pub crawl, which of course also included the very first place I went in my kilt, Celtica. There I tried to recreate the first photo of me wearing my kilt in public…
Can you spot the differences?

St. Andrew’s Day 2021

Happy St. Andrew’s Day!
Slàinte Mhath!

Unfortunately I have to work tonight, so I can’t properly celebrate, but I made myself a haggis shepherd’s pie to enjoy at work. That way, I’ll at least have a dinner appropriate for this festive occasion.

Zero-Waste Dinner Delivery

Every once in a while, I run out of frozen meals—prepared by myself earlier, of course—and even Too Good To Go can’t provide me with a suitable meal in time for an upcoming night shift. In those rare cases, I do like a good delivery dinner, but the amount of disposable packaging it usually comes in, can be a real turn-off…

Luckily, SwapBox is now active in Brussels as well, and my favourite Korean fried chicken supplier—Nom Pow—is one of the participating restaurants!

After I’m done, I simply take the bowl home to clean it, and as long as I hand it in a at one of the participating restaurants—so not necessarily the one where I ordered the dish—within two weeks, it won’t cost me anything extra.

The order did still come in a disposable paper bag, though, so I do hope SwapBox will soon add delivery bags to their lineup as well, to make a food delivery truly zero-waste!

The napkin and chopsticks are my own, by the way, and both probably well over thirty years old!

Brewery Run Virtual Edition

I’ve started running a little over a year ago, but didn’t have an opportunity to participate in any events: the 20K of Brussels was postponed, then cancelled, and even the ‘corona safe’ Run for Nature in the Sonian Forest was cancelled last minute…

When Brewery Run popped up in my timeline, I just had to do it! Travelling to the Netherlands for one of the ‘live’ versions still wasn’t an option, but at least I could do the ‘Virtual Edition’ right at home, in Brussels. So I ordered a ‘ticket’—which included some Dutch beers and a medal/bottle opener—and set out a nice 10K route, visiting eight of Brussels’ breweries.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2021

When in 2020 all bars had to close their doors mere days before Saint Patrick’s Day, I didn’t celebrate it at all. For this year’s edition it was already clear well in advance that celebrating in pubs again wouldn’t be an option… At least I had time to prepare for an alternative this time!

I started the day with a walk—in my saffron kilt—past a lot of the Irish and Celtic pubs of Brussels. Even Manneken Pis was dressed for the occasion!

When I was back home, I started cooking a traditional Irish dish, that would hopefully also provide enough sustenance for the beery night that would ensue: colcannon. I even poached an egg for the first time!

The main event of the evening however, was an online Saint Patrick’s Day celebration which I co-hosted, on the Discord server I set up for my beer blog. For this occasion I sourced some beers from a couple of different Irish (Third Barrel, Galway Bay, Stone Barrel) and Northern Irish (Boundary) breweries, and the only Irish dry stout by a Brussels brewery: Stouterik!

Sláinte!

Happy Burns Night!

Another evening behind a screen again, but nevertheless, dressed up for the occasion, and a plate of haggis, neeps, and tatties in front of me.

Slainte Mhath!

Happy Hogmanay!

This evening once again I mixed traditions. 

Tartiflette is actually a French dish, but it’s also a staple at the Christmas market, that under normal circumstances, would have been right in front of my door for the past month. Chêne, a Belgian dubbel by Brussels brewery La Source, fits nicely with the nuttiness  of the reblochon cheese, and with the the caramelisation of the bacon.

For dessert I went with oliebollen, a typical Dutch New Year’s Eve delicacy. Unlike the Belgian deep fried dough balls smoutebollen, these have raisins and currants in them, which I off course soaked in beer first!

With this sugar and fat overload, I had to choose a beer with enough character to withstand this sensory overload, so I picked OverWorksHocus Pocus, a 10.1% sour stout with raspberries and cocoa nibs, aged in Speyside whisky barrels. It was like having a raspberry-chocolate sauce on the side!

Christmas in Corona Times

No hours spent on trains and buses on Christmas Day this year, the Corona restrictions and common sense made it impossible to travel to the Netherlands to spend Christmas with my family… Instead, I just made the best of it alone at home, trying to recreate a family Christmas as much as possible.

It started of course with a Christmas brunch! I didn’t go through the trouble of creating some—impossible to find here—Limburgish sausage rolls, but just baked some croissants, and had a couple of slices of Christmas stollen.

The previous day I baked my very own kersttulband for the very first time, and it turned out quite well!

Obviously I had to make Christmas dinner myself as well, if I wanted to have a meal at least similar to that of my family. I also set up my computer, so I could at least virtually pull up a chair and sit down at the family table. 

Camera ready, lights, microphone: check!

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is not really a holiday I celebrate, but the mask seemed appropriate for the times we live in…

Don’t call the mask medieval, by the way: it is based on those of the now iconic 17th century plague doctors.