A long and winding Belgian road starts here

Wallon BrabantInternet access has finally arrived chez Mayne so I can begin to blog again. And it allows time for some musings about where we might be going, just as we and our dog Murphy explore the landscapes of our new home.

So it’s time for a new category of posts to go alongside the cycling and travel that have made up most of the year so far.  Until now I have been blogging about Belgium from the perspective of a visitor, a bit of a tourist in Brussels.

And now, at last, I am suddenly catapulted into the life of a Belgian resident after a year of talking about it. Perhaps we are a bit conservative because we have decided to live about 20 kilometres south of central Brussels, just as we lived 50km from London in England. We know it’s not Berkshire, but there are some comparisons in its relationship to the big city up the road. We considered very seriously living in the city and going for the metropolitan life but we fell for the network of small towns and villages to the south of Brussels in the province of Wallon-Brabant (Walloon Brabant), the French speaking area closest to the capital.

But it is very different from the city of Brussels and it is very much part of country life in Wallonia, or at least we hope so.

So alongside the cycling and travel posts that have featured in the blog to date I will be  embarking on some new “Life in Belgium” posts which I hope readers will enjoy and if nothing else they will add to the diary element of the blog. Click on categories to choose similar posts, or indeed to ignore them and stick to the regular material. And there will be lots of cycling mixed in as I go exploring.

Author Peter Mayle set the standard for this sort of writing years ago with his brilliant “Year in Provence” books. I hope I don’t fall into the trap of offering detached amusement about local personalities and contractors just because they do things in a different way and we are in a rural area, but we did enjoy the fact that the chap delivering the wood turned up yesterday in his tractor to dump a huge pile on the drive. That’s how it should be in the country.

So in the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”* welcome to the first of many posts from Wallon-Brabant. (*Keats)

Trees in countryside, BelgiumMist, trees and moon, evening in Belgium