Friday, November 12, 2010
Today, I had a mind to post a few of the more interesting photos from a trip to Europe I took about a decade ago. There was a conference in Belgium, after which I took off an extra week to make up for a regret from my previous trip there as a college student: I never made it to England that whole semester!
In the process of going through the photos, I came across the one at right of a storefront in London. I snapped it because one of the several pet names I already had at the time for the future Mrs. Van Horn was, "Bumblebee," so, of course, the name of the store reminded me of her. I chuckled and took the shot.
Needless to say, I decided to include the shot with this morning's post and tried to coax Bumbles over to take a look. I mentioned what I was thinking about posting today.
"You've already done that," she said.
"Oh," I replied, recovering from the mental somersault of having a rug yanked from under me. My wife, unlike many other people, usually isn't one to revel in familiar old yarns, so she will sometimes put the kibosh on old material.
That, in a nutshell, exemplifies what looks at first like a small downside to being with someone this long: It takes more effort to feel clever, because the chances are pretty good that Bumbles has already heard whatever old story I have a notion to tell.
In fact, this really isn't a downside: I am often amazed at how well she remembers some of my old stories, and one day, I made a mental connection about that fact. How easy is it to remember something that isn't important to you?
The minor inconvenience of my wife's not liking rehashes is more than offset by the knowledge of what it means that she remembers so much about me.
Nevertheless, I checked the blog for whether I posted on my trips to Brugge (aka Bruges) and London and came up empty, at least in terms of photographs. It could well be that I thought about posting on that trip in the past, but didn't do so. Indeed, this seems likely, as most of the photos brought back good memories, but were not really that great.
So, although some or all of these may or may not be lurking around my blog somewhere already, I'll toss up a few of the better photos from that trip, anyway.
Probably the best of the lot is the early morning shot (at the right) of a canal, taken from a bridge in Brugge. (Click to enlarge.)
I walked by that thing on a daily basis and kept imagining how pretty it would be without a bunch of water traffic and tourists blocking the view, so I woke up early one morning and got that shot. As I noted after another such photo shoot, there's nothing like the magnificent feeling of having a whole town to oneself.
The four below are probably the ones I like best apart from any memories they trigger.
Clockwise from top left, these are: (1) A cottage on the side of the canal above that, if memory serves, was just off to the left of the foreground of that shot; (2) An early morning shot of Wijngaardstraat ("Vineyard Street," according to Google Translate) in Brugge; (3) Some giant lily pads in a green house at Kew Gardens in London; and (4) An obligatory street scene shot from London.
With that, I'll close with one more memory from the trip. Bumbles and I got engaged ten years ago this month: This trip was a few months before that, while we were still dating. While in Brugge, I was looking around one day for a small gift for her, and happened upon a wood carving of Donald Duck that I thought both of us would like. She's a Disney fan, and the carving was done in a primitive way that made me imagine a Donald Duck-worshiping tribe somewhere in the jungle.
I considered buying one carving for each of us at first, but had this funny feeling that that would be unnecessary. We have that carving on a shelf in our living room to this day.