The publishing exec arrived on Friday night clutching to her bosom an array of exciting presents. Books all round and a teapot. The Princess is particularly taken with her book which, as a token of supreme approval, she has not even tried to tear. Publishing exec was full of tales of glitzy parties and famous people. She works in non-fiction at the moment and though I think, in her heart of hearts, she would like to be working with brilliant unknown authors on their difficult, yet brilliant, works of fiction, non-fiction has its compensations. Her bit of non-fiction appears to be the “you’re a famous person, why don’t you write a book?” end of things which I imagine doesn’t guarantee quality (think of Victoria Beckham’s biog or Bill Clinton’s) but does guarantee regular meetings with famous people. Famous people seem to be tortured by their book writing deadlines. And I can tell you that, even now, there are a couple of famous people who are being tormented at the prospect of spending the summer trying to finish that book that was supposed to be delivered for last Christmas. Being rich and famous isn’t everything, you know.
Saturday, we decamped to Namur. We felt that it was time that the publishing exec sampled the joys of Wallonia. I haven’t been to Namur in a long time and I was pleased at how pretty it was. I had only remembered the long tramp up to the citadel and not the appealing old town. It was very warm though. I was sorry that I had told the publishing exec to pack for March weather and, I suspect, so was she as she sweated in her jeans. We took a trip into the Felicien Rops museum which was air-conditioned and full of steps so all conditions were met for the Princess’s entire felicity. I had vaguely heard of Mr. Rops as a belle epoque artist and knew he had done some erotic stuff but I hadn’t realised that it was almost his entire output. The guy was a 19th century pornographer (oh yeah, now you’re all going back to check on the link) but it was quite entertaining stuff in a mildly outrageous way. Mr. Waffle, the publishing exec and I gasped while the Princess proceeded up and down the stairs watched over and attended to by the kindly middle aged ladies who were the guardians of the house of porn.
On Saturday night we left herself in the hands of the babysitter and went out to dinner. All very nice and I weighed myself on the antique but, I hope working, scales outside the bathroom (we have none at home in the interest of everyone’s well being) and weighed less than I expected which I was able to report to the waiter who was peering over my shoulder in mild interest. When we got home, I drove the babysitter back while Mr. Waffle and the publishing exec got stuck in the lift and had to effect a dramatic escape involving jumping between floors and potential risk to life and limb. All parties, including the lift, are now fine.
On Sunday, myself, the Princess and the publishing exec went to the Horta house which is Mr. Horta’s own art nouveau house. It is all very beautiful and everything but, if you check out the link, you will see that it is distinguished by its many flights of stairs which I walked up and down numerous times while holding a small girl by the hand. She never tires of stairs, our girl. All of the chairs in the house have little labels on them saying “please do not sit on this chair”. I presume this was meant to include, “please do not use this chair as a means of support for your filthy little fingers while cruising round the room” but they didn’t say so and as all of the other visitors were Italians who are notoriously indulgent to small filthy fingered people the Princess was free to cruise in peace.
Speaking of Italians, you will be delighted to hear that after many, many faxes (email? “no, non e possibile”) and a 300 euro postal order as deposit (credit cards? “no, non e possibile”) our guesthouse in Sicily has finally confirmed our reservation. This is a relief as I was responsible for booking in the entire extended Waffle family. I can’t help feeling that a pall would have been cast over my brother-in-law’s wedding had his parents had nowhere to stay due to the ineptitude of his sister-in-law (oh come on, I mean me…do try to keep up).
on 19 July 2004 at 12:00
Don’t be sarky miss. Very, very glad you’re back. I missed you. Hope you are feeling great.
on 19 July 2004 at 12:10
Ta BW – sadly wasn’t being sarky though…
on 19 July 2004 at 13:23
House of porn eh? And trying to justify your visit in the name of ‘art’. Tsk. I knew all you art lovers were a dodgy bunch behind it all…
Good news with the booking though – when’s the trip?
on 20 July 2004 at 21:45
Silveretta, it’s so difficult to guage the tone of a blog comment…
Locotes, you’re right about art lovers. Trip is end August, so it should be nice and warm.