Picture above – the view through the tiny alleyway up to the sky at the end of the day.
Geoffrey had to be in the conference early, so I was up too, and headed out to finally make it to the Costume and Lace Museum. By now, I knew the way pretty well, although I did try a few new alleys and laneways. This shop was closed in a very permanent manner, but I do have to wonder what it was they were trying to get you to “try”… On the other side of a square was a shop that contained nothing but Sharp Things. Buzzy was quite excited, but I wouldn’t let him go and explore it.
I finally made it to the Costume Museum. They rotate their exhibits, and at the moment they’re showing clothes from the 1920s and 1930s. Alas, no flash photography in the place, but I was able to take a few shots of some of the absolutely gorgeous clothes they had. It wasn’t just evening gowns and flapper dresses, either. There were children’s clothes and sports clothing and (shockingly) underwear – it was beautifully laid out, too.
One of the things they had set up was an area for visitors (mainly children, I expect) to try out various fabrics on body-shaped bottles that had velcro dots all over them. People were asked to try the samples of fabric on the straight grain, and then again on the bias, to see how the bias-cut gowns of the 1930s draped and clung to the body.
Someone decided that they should have a go too.
Warning – the following pictures contain images of nearly-naked squirrel.
Of course he had to add a hat at the end.
After I had wrestled the fabric off him, scolded him, cleaned up the mess, grabbed him out of the fabric scraps where he had run back again, and emptied his pockets of all the bits he didn’t think anyone would notice, I dragged this very annoyed squirrel out of the museum and off to a nearby coffee shop, to decide where we could go next where he would cause the least damage. We had just decided on the Musical Instrument Museum when my mail went “Bing”. It was the Brussels University Hospital, letting us know that their sleep clinic would like me to bring in my CPAP machine so they could check a possible spare connection for it.
On the one hand – YAY! On the other – bother. There was no way I was going to get back to the hotel, then all the way out to the Museum and back (about a 50 minute trip in each direction) and still get to any more museums. But sometimes one has to make the adult decisions, so it was off to the hotel to fetch the machine, then off to the far reaches of the metro system to find the hospital.
And let’s be honest. I also got to see Belgian children going home from school. I had a lovely conversation (completely in French, too!) with a lady at the bus stop about Australia, I saw beautiful forests, pretty little towns (that used to be outlying villages) and lovely old houses. And when I got to the hospital (and didn’t have to wait too long), the lady there told me that they had a spare connector and headset and that they wouldn’t charge me for it! (I was prepared to pay – after all, that’s what Travel Insurance is about).
You will be pleased to note that, in lieu of payment, I donated a sum through their “Friend for Life” system towards a division of my choosing, and I chose to assist their children’s palliative care unit. So while I never got to the Music Museum (sorry, Siobhan), I had a pretty good time of it all.
On the way back, we needed to get dinner (because Geoffrey was at a conference dinner), so we headed back through the Old Town, and stumbled upon what must be the restaurant area. The choices were pretty lovely, but we had had a large lunch, and neither Buzzy nor I were particularly hungry. We also decided to explore a tiny little laneway, that turned out to lead to a marionette theatre. Alas, there were no shows playing today.
And right at the end of that lane was the matching statue to the Mannekin Pis from the day before. This one is called Jeanekke Pis, and she is squatting over a fountain and urinating as well. We’d seen the dog version the day before, so I have now seen all the peeing statues in Brussels.
After which, I realised I was nearly falling over, so I grabbed up the squirrel and headed for the Metro. after all, I was heading to Paris the next day…