When I arrived in Bruges, one of my hosts, Steven, emerged from his tall elegant house with a smile. As I unloaded my bags and asked about plans for the night he told me he had to work. Where I asked? A factory, he began, and started explaining what they made, then smiling said, it's just a job.
I was shown my room, a huge double bed, super comfortable, a coffee machine, towels. The works. They are operating an Airbnb so if you are stopping by Bruges, I highly recommend it.
I got a tour of the house and came to the study where I spotted a Pentax and an Epson Scanner! I turned to Steven who smiled and said he loved to take photos. He took a course once but well, it is difficult to earn a living from it so he keeps it as a hobby. Don't I know it!
It is difficult to earn a living from photography these days. Only insane obsession can keep one going. Or a trust fund. And I do not have the latter. But there does seem to be a mild upswing lately where people are realising its better to pay a professional to do the job right the first time. And there are supporters like you, who believe in my and my work. I am grateful for you, you help make this possible.
Steven's partner Evelien had cooked a vegan supper, the usual she said, which I devoured as we all got to know each other a bit. My friend Ghed in London knew them through the motorcycle scene and had connected me when I told him my route. Eveline, who embodies the elegance and class of the self respecting 40s, was dressed in fabrics and style I dream about pulling off, but feel too short and frumpy for. I remarked about her exquisite trousers which she had in fact made. The top she had found in a flea market.
While she currently works as a dental nurse, her dream is to have her own line of clothes. I believe she will realise this dream, and I hope to wear some of her clothes. She was working on a winter coat when I was visiting.
After dinner, Steven went to work, and Evelien and I went to the bar next door. It was teaming with people and light, and life, and food and drinks and music. I would easily go back to Bruges just for this bar, and of course for them. The conversation we had was sublime. The kind people move to NYC for. We talked about the state of the world, of dreams and of day jobs, and ideas started flowing. I scribbled some down on pieces of paper I borrowed from the bar. I stuffed them somewhere I can not find at the moment, else I would have posted pics of a few. I might get to add them later.
The next morning I went out to see some of the city which reminds me of Haarlem in the Netherlands and of Amsterdam too. I stopped into Books and Brunch for a serious waffle and bacon breakfast. Upon learning about my story, I was given a book on Iceland by the owner, and by chance turned to the page on history, which I read with interest. Especially as it referred to Iceland's arrangement with the United States regarding the army and protection.
I've been visiting Iceland for four years, have lived there for two, and never heard it put as clearly as it is put below (see the photo of the book page in the album). Iceland, we seem to owe our asses to the US!? That might be why there are Aluminium smelters setting up shop, providing no immediately visible benefit to the Icelandic people or landscape.