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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?

I’ve run out of pictures

So while I wait for more to be taken, I thought I’d tell you about some other lovely blogs about or based in Brussels (when I say “other”, does that imply that mine is one of them? I guess it does. Hey. I just gave myself a promotion!).

Let’s start with Belgian Waffle. I’ve been reading this blog for a little while and it always makes me laugh out loud. Some of it, I figure, you need to live in Belgium to understand. But a lot of it is just plain brilliant no matter where you’re sitting. This for example, had me very much amused today: Style Tips on Turning 40. And for the record: no, I’m not 40. I have a long, long way to go yet. Three years is a long, long way, right? So anyway, you’re welcome. Enjoy. But please do come back here once you’re done (I’m just realising now that by telling you about better, more interesting, and funnier blogs than my own, I risk losing you – please don’t forget about me!).

Then we have MongomeryFest. A lovely blog written by the lovely Annie, an American expat based in Brussels but travelling all round Europe accompanied by her lovely new husband. The blog is choc full of delicious pictures and will probably give you a far better idea of what Brussels actually looks like than mine do (her pictures not all being dominated by cheeky monkeys). I’ve never met Annie or her husband but I do wonder if I would recognise them (or they us) if we crossed in the street. I mean, Brussels isn’t that big so really, it’s not all that unlikely.

Not strictly speaking a blog about Brussels (but then again neither is mine), Mic Mojo is worth a mention. A German photographer based in Belgium, his photos are generally stunning and inspiring and I’m not jealous at all (some nudes – not necessarily suitable for work).

Next up: I love Meiser. Now, if I’m honest, I love I love Meiser because it’s author once asked me if I gave photography lessons and then mentioned Vivian Maier in the same sentence as me. What’s not to love? But also, it’s a very cool blog full of interesting information about Brussels and things that happen here, things you won’t read about in guide books or see on the big “what’s on in Brussels” websites. Well worth an explore (with Google Translate turned on if you don’t speak French).

If you still don’t speak French and still don’t have Google Translate, then you could try I love Belgium instead. From architecture and food to fashion and design, it has it all covered. No more excuses for not exploring this wonderful place. Or for thinking it might be boring. Now whoever gave you that idea?

Still not convinced? Then visit Street Art Belgium (yes, ok, I’ve expanded from Brussels a little bit but as you’ll see, it’s totally worth it). I first discovered this site when I was looking up some beautiful creations that had appeared on the walls around where I live and was duly impressed by the volume and variety (not to mention awesomeness) of stuff going up on abandoned buildings and little used alleys all over the country. L.A. we may not be, but we’re doing alright. Plus, far fewer guns so that’s good.

Last, but by no means least, let me introduce you to Brussels Kitchen. This is my absolute no. 1 I-need-somewhere-lovely-to-go-with-my-girlfriends blog. It doesn’t get updated often, so when something new is added, you know it’s going to be good. I’ve discovered several of my favorite places to eat on here. Helped of course by lovely photography. So if you’re coming to visit Brussels, this is the blog for you. Find somewhere scrummy, then let me know the time and the place and I’ll come and meet you!

Oh wait! Stop press! Amanda! I didn’t mention Amanda! If you’re looking to hire a family, newborn or portrait photographer in or around Brussels, then contact Amanda. She’s brussels-based for part of the year (hiding out in New Zealand the rest of the time – BOOO!) and she one of the most wonderful people I know. And an amazingly talented photographer. So there.

So what am I missing? I’m a totally useless blogger and am completely clueless about the Brussels blogging community (I should perhaps have mentioned that at the top of this post), so what else should I be reading? Who should I be following? Who will I love? Who will I want to go for coffee and cakes with? Who will blow my mind with their amazing pictures? Who has all the secret addresses for the best boutiques? Go on! Tell me! Please please please!

21 January 2014 - 7:51 AM amanda - Aw thank you for including me in this lovely list!! And your very kind works. You too are one of the most wonderful beautiful people I know and I'm lucky to have you as a friend. xoxoxo

21 January 2014 - 12:07 PM Annie - Get outta town! I'm so flattered...and totally humbled to be on YOUR list with THESE wonderful bloggers! You have the most beautiful photos, I just can't even.. ;)Do you know, I have the exact same thought. I think we should just bite the bullet and a coffee+cakes date one day.

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