Fly Matthias, fly!

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Artwork by Enrique Cropper

On Sundays, with fine weather, our family loved to make the half-hour trip out of Bruxelles to Rebecq. The kids were always thrilled to hear the steamy hisses and the clunks of the pistons and see the billowing black smoke from the funnel of the tiny red steam loco, as they took their ride on “Le Petit Train du Bonheur”. The volunteers who had restored the old mining engines, who had re-laid the narrow gauge rails and who now attended to the public, as they queued for their tickets for the trip to Rognon and back, were a friendly bunch. “Nous sommes comme une famillle” repeated the jolly, coal-smudged driver, when he found himself a few minutes alone with the public, and thought he should reveal to them some of the passion for railroads he felt within.

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Posted in Observing Brussels | Leave a comment

Ave migratoria

Levanta el vuelo, ave acuática de ciudad, planea sobre los estanques de Ixelles, descansa en piedra de agua, retoma, quebrando el hielo, su ascenso en vertical. Y sube. Sube hasta desaparecer en la borrasca, como un ángel negro, sin mirar atrás. Apuro mi cerveza y dejo un billete de cinco euros debajo del cenicero, pero no es verdad, Pablo se queda en el Café Belga tomándose la última y yo me despido con el regusto a té de menta y tabaco todavía en el paladar. Odio que fume. Odio todo lo que hay en él, y lo que falta también. Llevamos trece meses juntos. Me doy la vuelta antes de tomar el tranvía y, con fingido gesto de fumadora, exhalo mi cálido aliento que se torna en humo. Después sostengo el brazo en el aire, despidiéndome con gesto de falsa enamorada. ¡Qué se joda! Mañana tengo que madrugar, no me apetece que venga a casa. Continue reading

Posted in Flying, Guests | Leave a comment

Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night

“Brussels is not as beautiful as Paris in the autumn” Samuel always says. You need old steel and stone to bring out autumn’s magic with its brown leaves and particular light.

“Samuel always has the perfect words to describe how he feels doesn’t he…” Jane thought. She was walking along one of the Cinquantenaire Park’s alleyways. By her side, her daughter Pauline was trotting as fast as her little legs would allow her. Further ahead, the Great Mosque of Brussels emerged from the trees and the growing sight of it got the child more and more excited with each step they took.

“And he always makes me feel like such a dumb mute when we go out with friends” she concluded silently. Barely paying attention to Pauline‘s incessant babbling, she was mentally going over last evening’s outing. She felt ashamed as always and tired of being constantly conscious of her intellectual limits.

— “Come on Mummy, I can see it from here” Continue reading

Posted in Flying, Gaelle | Leave a comment

Vida y Verdad se escriben con uve

Vida y Verdad se escriben con uve… (V) de Volar

Vida y Verdad
Se escriben con uve de Volar
Inseguridad o ingenuidad

Se escriben con uve de Volar
Valentina, Victoria y Virginia
Falsedad o profesionalidad

Se escriben con uve de volar
Valentina, que quería ser ella misma
Victoria, que quería ser libre
Virginia, que quería volar

Y ellas son las protagonistas de estos tres relatos…

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Posted in Flying, Raquel | Leave a comment

Histoire d’une fleur

Bon, tout ça c’est bien beau, ces concours, mais moi je ne peux pas.
Pourquoi ? Parce que je n’ai pas de balcon, pardi.

Attention : je reconnais que l’idée est excellente. Notre capitale est si triste qu’on y encourage désormais les habitants à fleurir leur balcon. Des fonctionnaires de la Ville patrouilleront dans toutes les rues et ceux qui auront le plus beau balcon fleuri gagneront un prix.
Mais moi, en guise de fenêtre sur le monde, je n’ai qu’un soupirail. Et si j’y place la moindre fleur, cela réduira la lumière qui entrera chez moi, dans ce pauvre sous-sol. Continue reading

Posted in Flying, Yves | Leave a comment