I just got back from a few days in Brussels.
Don't need to say much more really do I? I mean I've got the bragging out of the way. "Eww get him jet-setting it!"
I've maybe induced a touch of jealousy. "How come he gets to go to Brussels while I'm stuck here cooking the sprouts?"
Perhaps there's a little curiosity. "What's he doing going to Belgium? I didn't notice him among the long list of also-rans for the EU Presidency."
This reminds me of my sadly now deceased Aunt Lillie who once actually started off a conversation with the wonderful line:
"You know as you sail into Capetown............"
Well no Auntie, sadly I don't.
Oh alright then, since you ask so nicely I'll tell you. It was to attend a wedding and it was just fabulous.
On the Friday we attended the official ceremony when the mayor officiates and conducts the legal aspects of the marriage. The next day it was all down to the church for the traditional religious bit.
Then it started to turn magical. We were bussed out into the Belgian countryside to a fairy-tale château where we were greeted with log fires and tasty things to nibble - no not the bridesmaids! A multi-course sit-down meal followed that with wines arriving in response to your thoughts of them. Speeches, coffee, cake - all the usual elements and after a short time to catch your breath it was on with the dancing.
At first, as the drink flowed and the music played, things developed in the usual way. Granddad's gingerly tested out their hip-replacements on the dance floor. Ladies' 'fascinators' started to appear on gentleman's heads. If you don't know what they are check here. Then men started tying their ties round their heads (well OK I started that off!). Then ladies pinched the ties and tied them round their heads where they looked far better than their male counterparts.
This may all have been in part because there was a free bar. Just consider that concept for a moment! Wines, beers, vodka etc. etc. just there as and when you want it. Everyone loved the music for a very simple reason - it was their choice. Each guest had been asked in advance to submit their three favourite dance tracks for the playlist - the ones that make you just have to get on your feet and dance. What a clever idea! So lines of cavorting conga dancers developed, snaking round the hall and we were all doing the mashed potato, the mambo, the macarena or just madly dancing when someone introduced a long pole and before long there was a limbo contest for those whose backs could stand it.
You're getting the picture I'm sure, that we were having a great time. Just when we thought it couldn't get any better, it did! Pancakes were being freshly cooked in the corner to eat with jam and sugar or just lemon. What a wonderful touch!
Sadly, all good things have to end sometime and we were bussed back to our hotels at silly o'clock to dream of princesses being married to their handsome princes having witnessed just how it should be done.