While most of my friends in the UK were enjoying a four day Jubilee holiday in the rain (complete with Royal flotilla misery and way too much Fearne Cotton, so I’m told), I spent a week straddling the Bruges/Amsterdam axis...in the rain. Only time will tell who had the most fun, whose spontaneously etched SLAY ME NOW tattoos will burn forevermorest into the pallid skin of hapless innocence.
Here are some of my holiday snaps. Wahey.
First off, here’s one of Maurice’s distant relatives, caught plying his nostrils and fetlocks in the direction of some German tourists.
“Shall we climb aboard?” the tourists said (in German).
“No idea,” I mused (not in German).
Two minutes later, four other tour-o-wagons joined in the fun in a Germany vs Japan vs Canada vs the UK vs Zimbabwe race around the streets of Bruges — the Zimbabwe team winning hands down on a get as far away from Mugabe ticket.
This is me trying to look like Colin Farrell from the hit movie In Bruges. I have a loaded baguette in my coat pocket, a glass of 8.5% trappist beer at my lips, and eyebrows under strict instruction to roam across my face like cloned Freddie Mercury mustaches at a Pin the Dyed Velcro Fastener on The G-string festival. Sadly, Son of Whirl grinned in the background like a mocker sublime just as the photo was taken.
One thing I discovered about surfing the internet in Belgium is the number of guardian angels press ganged by the authorities into fluttering from the woodwork every time you Google innuendo-friendly words such as “kok”. By the time I’d run that one through poisson Babel this rustic internet café was awash with shrieking avatars.
Over to Holland now, and a sumptuous brew I declined to sumpt. I have no desire to urinate courgettes after drinking a tankard full of this stuff, thank you very much.
Barred from touring the Red Light District of Amsterdam thanks to a Ruud Gullit lookalike contest running shamelessly out of control along the banks of the Amstel, I ducked into a Chinese shop selling everything from pig themed incense burners to Bruce Lee playing cards. From a tiny window a wooden statue of some minor deity gazed out into The Beyond. For a Euro, he belted out a triple speed rap version of Tulips From Amsterdam in Mandarin, spewing free vouchers for some Christmas Ken Hom wok cookathon in Utrecht.
Amsterdam’s Suurf Pro Skateboard shop held no surprises: 253 high durometer urethene wheels arranged by signature skater hairdo ridiculousness.
Finally, here’s the miniature cactus display I catapulted face first towards after an altercation with one of the more aggressive would-be Gullits.
“Jusht becoushe wee exhibit diarrhoeea off the vowels doeshn’t mean youuw can make jokes about our hand-knitted dreadlockshes...”