Lillian : There are lots of lovely Art Nouveau style buildings in Brussels with beautiful lead-light windows, fancy iron-work and wonderful 'sgraffito'.
Audrey : We saw lots and lots including the gorgeous Cauchie House but most of the photos disappeared from the digital camera - and our people were very upset!
Lillian : Yes, we only have a few photos to show everyone and these are not the most famous buildings ...
Audrey : But it does pwove that there are lots of lovely buildings and it is very worth while to go exploring awound Bwussels.
Lillian : Yes, hop on a tram ... and remember to look up!
Audrey : Is that the scratchy graffiti stuff ALL over that building?
Lillian : They call it 'sgaffito' the design is 'scratched' or incised into wet mortar I think and then painted, often with lots of gold ...
Audrey : Sometimes it isn't painted ...
Lillian : Those are 'MacIntosh' roses Audrey, another very popular Art Nouveau motif in Brussels is the Ginkgo leaf - sometimes in ironwork balconies like this -
Audrey : What about owls - are they a popular Art Nouveau motif too?
Lillian : I'm not sure, owls aren't very sinuous or elegant but Les Hiboux (The Owls) building is very sweet. Here are some of Les Hiboux
Audrey : It is nice when the buildings are cared for - remember the shop with the awful yellow paint?
Audrey : But our stylist loved this lady - she was up the top of a building and the photo is not very clear but the lady has a stick with thwead on it.
distaff - used when spinning fibre. She could be the goddess Frigg / Frigga (we've named Friday after her) or perhaps she is Clotho. One of the 'three fates', Clotho spins the threads of human's lives .... I love the oak tree, perhaps it is a hint as to that lady's identity.
Audrey : Talking about twees - remember the extremely espaliered trees in the big park?
Lillian : Yes - Parc Royale - I guess the trees look better in summer when all their leaves are on.
Audrey : There is a very big fountain and lots of fun statues in that park / parc.
Audrey : He looked like a nice, eligible young man - very capable of bringing home the bacon!Lillian : Looks like he is doing just that Audrey. This chap has a big fish which is trying to eat a glove!
Audrey : And these plump babies have been telling each other silly jokes!
Lillian : Well - we can't leave Brussels and Belgium without talking about lace.
Audrey : Belgium is famous for lace - as well as for chocolate.
Lillian : The Costume & Lace Museum in Brussels and the Kantcentrum in Brugge are just wonderful.
Audrey : At the Kantcentrum you can see people making lace - with hundweds & hundweds of bobbins ...
Lillian : Yes - they have 'demonstrations' and one lady in particular was really fast.
Audrey : Oh she was amazing! The thread was like spider's web and her bobbins were just flying!
Lillian : She was working with silk thread and I think she was making Binche lace - it was very beautiful. Not much of the lace for sale in the shops is actually hand-made though some shops have lovely antique pieces in their windows, like these ...
Lillian : Isn't that just gorgeous! And here is a close up - it is Rosaline lace, very distinctive with those little raised circles.
Audrey : Lovely and delicate - but what a lot of work to make it! Amazing!