Share Sunday 077 - My first month in Brussels

Packing, trying Ethiopian food, Flagey lake, World Cup in Grand Place

Ahh! I can't believe I've been in Brussels for over a month and haven't shared anything yet, I really wanted to document every moment of this new little adventure I'm on. I got to Brussels on July 1st and had a perfect first week with the boyfriend. He really showed off Brussels and left a good impression. The first few weeks I was here he was so busy in work with the World Cup, but the atmosphere in the city was amazing! Some of the things I've really enjoyed this month: trying new foods, having picnics by the lake in Flagey, celebrating our anniversary and watching the World Cup in Grand Place Square - they turn the square into a stadium during the Belgium games and everyone gathers to watch it together.

Streets after World Cup Final, beautiful cinema room, Galerie Royale Saint Hubert, getting spoiled

When we're both not busy working or cleaning, we've been exploring the streets. Of course I've also loved the little things like going to the cinema in the incredible carved rooms (second photo above - gorgeous!), hanging out in the boyfriends pub working on websites while he works, walking around this beautiful busy city, shopping and enjoying nights with friends. It's pretty different to our life at home but we've settled in well.

My "office", Galerie Royale Saint Hubert, Grand Place at the weekend, BBQ evening

This has been one of my favourite weeks! We went out with new friends on Monday night, then we were all off work on Tuesday and spontaneously decided to have a BBQ on our terrace. It turned out to be a fabulous night. Do you find that spontaneous nights are usually the best? With nine of us altogether and lots of food and wine. It was a perfect way to get to know each other a little better. Our neighbour even came to join us for some leftovers when he got home from work. The next day my family arrived and it's been a hectic week. I've cranked up some serious miles, burned holes through my shoes and filled up many memory cards! We packed so much into the few days they were here. I'll post about everything we did over the next few days, until then I hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Share Sunday 076 | Moving to Belgium?

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy to say the least. You can probably tell from the lack of posts both here and on XOMISSE that it's been a busy few weeks and it hasn't quite stopped yet. I thought for today's Share Sunday I'd do a quick recap of the last few weeks that I've been away as I have loads of news!

With the majority of assignments finished at the end of May, it was time to focus on my thesis and finishing my final year project to then present to my year and a panel of six lecturers. Slightly nerve wracking but by that stage we were just all delighted to be close to the end and close to getting some much needed sleep. The presentation went great and the panel really seemed to like my work. A week later we had the end of year showcase to show off our projects to family, friends, local businesses and those in the digital media industry. The two day show went so well. I'll be writing about the whole experience over on XOMISSE very soon if you'd like to read about it. I had a couple of people really interested in my project who gave me their contact details to discuss future projects and work which was so exciting!! The next few days after the show were spent following up with them, I cannot wait to see what happens!! I got my results the other day and am delighted that the hard work paid off and I now have an honours degree, can't believe it's finally all over. I was so worried about what's next after college but from talking to people at the show and receiving some of the emails I've gotten since then, I know that this is what I'm meant to be doing and it will fall into place as it's supposed to if I continue to work hard.

The other big change was the boyfriend moved to Belgium for work in February. He came home for 2 days for his birthday at the start of June, it was so nice to see him after 8+ weeks. Leaving the airport was so difficult as I thought I'd be going back with him but I still have some things to finish up here. Unfortunately the following day we got the news that his grandad, who has lived with him for most of his life and been a father figure for him and his brother, had suddenly passed away. I wasn't able to get him a flight home until Friday morning and I know those two days in Belgium were probably the longest two days for him. The weekend was a complete blur for everyone. It was such a shock and news we just weren't expecting! His grandad had drove me home from the airport the day before and told me he'd be over to visit us in Belgium in a few weeks. It's so hard to believe that he's no longer with us. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who wrote to us over the passed few days, it really meant a lot to him.

The boyfriend flew back to Belgium on Monday and I will hopefully be able to head over in the next week or so. I had a list of things I needed to do before I left like finishing my driving lessons and finishing a website for a local school which was handed over to them on Friday. It was so interesting to work on something much different to what I'm used to. I've also been working on a redesign for XOMISSE to make it easier to find tutorials and creating Wordpress + Blogger Templates for the shop which will hopefully be published soon. So now it's time to book my flights, go shopping for bits I need to bring over, start washing clothes, sorting makeup and packing whatever I can. Wish me luck!

Share Sunday 075 | 5 Days In Belgium

I talked about how 2014 was going to be a year of changes and it didn't take long for those changes to start happening. In less than 1 week back in February the boyfriend went to a interview, got offered a job and moved to Belgium to work in a restaurant/bar in Mons, leaving me to finish college here. It was all so exciting, nerve wracking and fast! Last year in my summer post I actually talked about how we were thinking about moving to Spain for the summer so it was crazy that this opportunity came up - laws of attraction and all that. A month later he got transferred to Brussels. About the same time his best friend got a job in Brussels working for the same company so him and his gf moved over and the three of them started living together. I loved that he had people there from home to keep him company and the four of us get on really well so that was great! I did start to feel a little left out and just so excited to finish college and head over myself in the summer.

Fast forward 6 difficult, lonely, busy weeks and Easter break was finally here. I worked like crazy to keep up with college work so that I could take a few days off. On the morning of the 16th of April (my birthday) after a busy day and no sleep I got myself ready at 3am and running on adrenaline went to the airport, hopped on a plane, shut my eyes for an hour and a half and then heard the announcement that we'd be landing soon in Le Charleroi. As soon as I could see the sun shining, fields of grass, a couple of roads and a carpark I was almost ready to burst with excitement! I collected my bags, walked out to the sunshine and there he was, bopping along towards me. We took the bus and train to Brussels where I was treated to a birthday breakfast waffle at 9am (when in brussels hey...) which was delicious but oh so filling and headed towards the apartment.

Later on we walked down to where he works as he had to manage a stock delivery. I sat in the closed bar having a chat with staff while enjoying a few birthday cocktails. The sun was shining and it was lovely to walk around in awe. Brussels is beautiful and the ex architect student in me was delighted. We're pretty close to the Grand Place which is this amazing square of reconstructed buildings. The four of us headed out for some birthday drinks and met up with some of their friends from work. It was so nice to sit and relax with him, have a catch up in person without expensive phone bills or dodgy internet connections! Definitely not the birthday I thought I'd have this year but a brilliant day!

The next day the two boys headed off to work and myself and the other girlfriend chilled out, went for dinner and went to hang out in their pubs for a few drinks waiting for them to finish work. While I was there I did some work myself, helping the boyfriends manager with some computer and design things, photographing a band that was shooting a music video and just helping out with what I could while keeping up with college assignments. This was great because it meant I was allowed to hang out in the bar all day and spend time with the boyfriend without being in the way...I hope. Also gave me something to do while he was busy at work.

The few days went so fast and unfortunately we didn't get a lot of time together because he was working everyday from 2pm until at least 2am but it was so great to see him even just a little. It went so quickly that I didn't get to be much of a tourist but I'm looking forward to doing that during the summer. We were up bright and early on the fifth day to make our way to the airport - and by up I mean we got home from work about 20mins before we had to leave for the airport. I was gutted to be home and it took me a few days out of the "post holiday blues" funk. The next time I see him will hopefully be for his birthday in June when if all goes to plan I'll be going back with him to Brussels... so excited!