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On Being Boring

I moved from London to Brussels with my husband nearly 10 years ago. When I told people we were moving, the news was greeted with bemusement: why did we want to move to a city that was possibly the most boring place on earth? Ten years later and I can honestly say that I've had more fun here than I ever did living in London. It might not be the most exciting city in the world but it is a fantastic place to live. It is full of hidden treasures that you probably never get to see as a tourist: wonderful shops, amazing food, great museums and galleries, beautiful architecture, a forest (yes, a whole forest), and so much more... And if that doesn't convince you, well, get on a train and you could be in Paris, Amsterdam, Cologne or, yes, London in no more than a couple of hours... Which other city can you say that about?

Change the World

When I was, ooh, 12 or something, my dad bought me a book about graffiti and a spray-painting gun. I have no clue what the message was meant to be. It’s a strange thing for a conservative father to buy for his young farm-dwelling daughter. But it awakened in me a love of street art (excluding, very definitely, tagging which is no more art than a dog peeing on a lamp post to mark his territory) – and maybe even a passion for urban landscapes. Who knows? What I do know is that there’s probably still a barn somewhere in the South of France whose walls are covered with really terrible paintings (although “paintings” seems a little optimistic in the circumstances). I clearly never developed any talent in that area myself, but I do still appreciate happening upon unexpected little gems as we walk around town. And, as luck would have it, buildings in my part of the world have recently started collecting some really beautiful pieces (some painted, some pasted and some pieced together in the form of mosaics). These are two of my favorite, by an artist called Tchiz Kate. There’s a whole series of them but, unfortunately, it didn’t occur to me to take pictures of them until they were nearly all gone. You can, however, take a peek into her world via her Flickr site: here. And you can see a whole lot more of what’s popping up on walls all over Belgium here (these are near to us too).

22 July 2012 - 9:44 AM Amanda - Wow, must keep my eyes open. Some of these are amazing.

25 July 2012 - 11:50 AM Adeline - Cass, j'adore ce travail sur l'art urbain et Brussels est la ville parfaite pour ça! je t'embrasse xxx

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