I'm in Brussels now, staying with my friend Tristan. I arrived on Monday evening after a pretty long day's travelling. Things didn't start that well. I filled up at a petrol station on the A12 and forgot to put the petrol cap back on... oops. Fortunately Katie was driving behind me in her car for the first part of the journey and saw a) the fuel spilling out and b) the petrol cap slide off the roof and be punted to the side of the road by another car. We spent a delightful quarter of an hour rooting around in the dust and rubbish of the steep bank beside the dual carriageway looking for it. Eventually I decided to give it up as a lost cause (it was a big area, very overgrown and full of stuff thrown out by inconsiderate motorists), but I made one last pass across the top, scanning carefully - and there it was, stuck in a tree root! I felt the whole episode was actually quite a good omen in the end.
That put me back half an hour and I was pretty worried I wouldn't make the ferry; it's not like you can just drive a bit faster when you're late in a VW bus :-) But I got there by the skin of my teeth in the end. Last car on!
It's been a pretty relaxing day and half here in Brussels. A fair bit of sorting yesterday morning after the panicked departure on Monday, but worthwhile - I feel a lot more in control now. Had a bit of a wander into the centre of Brussels, danced to Carbon Based Lifeforms while waiting for the tram, to the bemusement of the locals, and then went out with Tristan to the rather splendid Toucan sur Mer brasserie in the evening.... where, as it turns out, I left my bag with my phone, bus keys and camera. Small panic this morning, followed by relieved recovery. Note to self: must keep it together a bit more.
Now I'm getting my stuff together for the journey to Berlin - after a lot of thinking I've decided to forgo Amsterdam this time; the opportunity to spend more time in Berlin when there's a friend living there who may be able to point me in the right directions is too good to pass up and after last weekend I'm not feeling quite so much in need of the sort of entertainment that Amsterdam can provide :-)