We collected our dear friend Margaret from the Brussels Sud airport ie Charleroi. It was a suprise as we had supplied her with instructions about getting the shuttle bus to Brussels Midi train station and from there picking up a Eurostar to Lille, or at least that is what she thought she would be doing. When we looked at the map we realised it was only an hour away by car and that the route was straightforward. So we borrowed the diesel from mamanpapa and found our way there. It still intrigues me every time we cross over a european border in the Schengen area: only weeds and dirty windows, no border police and customs people. What a huge step forward for europe and its peoples, one that is taken for granted by some and probably not realised by many in the UK as it is not included in the Schengen area.
Margaret is a very special lady. She brings love, warmth, calm and learning with her. In the incredibly short week that she spent with us we managed to fit in two sessions of reflexology each, plus one for maman, learned all about emotional freedom techniques including tapping and EmoTrance (see Passion for Health) sprouted all the beans I could find that had been lurking in my impromptu larder ever since an overenthusiastic visit to Planet Organic, made fresh juices and nut butter, drank champagne, played cards and had a superb meal at Le Compostelle This is now our favourite restaurant closely followed by La Cave aux Fioles.
How we also managed to fit in the visit to Max's parents, a day in Bruges (only 45 minutes away from us), a stroll around the citadelle and a visit to Lille zoo - , plus a morning at Ikea, I shall never know.
She wanted to buy us something for the house and we were unsure about what would be - suitable until I remembered Natures et Découvertes a heavenly shop full of things you could buy for other people and indulgences for yourself. I narrowed it down to three things: a machine that produces a soothing array of background noises such as waves on a shore, the sound of spring rain, summer evening insects and also emits wafts of essential oils at the same time, then there was the salt crystal lamp, then the wrought iron screen holding 36 coloured glass tealight holders. Max made the final decision and the latter won. It is now standing in the corner of our sitting room next to the fireplace. When the candles are lit they give off a kind, warming light and shine magically.