Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The first week

As I write this, it's snowing outside and I have just spent a chilly 30 minutes walking home in it from The Great Australian Bite, a certain cafe that I have been frequenting of late. I enclose a photo, which includes the proprietor Reinhard Van Speybroeck, with whom I've been staying. He actually works more than me, so it's a good match.
The Great Australian Bite and Reinhard
© Jeff Jones

I didn't have much jetlag at all, apart from that weird feeling of being totally displaced. Took me a few days to get reoriented again and get used to the cold and gloom that is Belgium in February. I was a good choice not to ride, although when I wanted to start again this week, the weather turned pretty ordinary. I got a couple of hours in the dry on Monday, then today it was snowing off and on all day, so I hopped on Reinhard's home trainer for an hour and a bit. I might even do a spinning class or two if it stays like this. It is really not good.

We managed to venture out on Friday night to the Vooruit for a drink or two. Despite living here for quite a few years, I've never been there. It's one hell of a building and has to be seen from the inside and outside to be appreciated. One facade fronts onto the canal, and I guess it would be possible to have theatre performances there, like there are in other bits of the building. Then we went across the road to Stereo, where a friend of Reinhard's was having her 25th birthday. But we were a bit past it by then, despite blue-coloured cocktails.

Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne were good season starters, but jeez it was cold taking pics at the start. I was working with Brecht Decaluwe, our work experience student, and I thought we did a good job. I've never been to the start of KBK before, and it was interesting in that they had it in the Hippodrome. What would have been more interesting is if they'd finished on the Hippodrome. Sort of like the velodrome finish in Paris-Roubaix, but on mud and horse manure.

Tom Boonen's a champ, but hats off to Philippe Gilbert and Nick Nuyens, who took the wins on the weekend.

Finished Brideshead (good book) and started Freakonomics, which promises to be fascinating. Thanks cousin Ant for that. There's some public recognition for you.

Dat is alles.


Rosa said...

Do you get out for only 2 (two) drinks?! That’s not enough for Saturday when Jo will be there, even Gilbert can’t beat him at ‘t Sluis!

A Jo-fan

Jeff Jones said...

Well, a "couple of drinks" usually sets a lower bound on the number of drinks you have. I use the same counting system as the Brazilian Pirahã tribe: "One, Two, Many" (although we didn't have one too many on Saturday).

Jo is bigger than Gilbert, so he has more capacity. Maybe we should compare it on a drinks/bodyweight ratio. Then you might win!

I'm already sick of the home trainer.