Sunday 18th December – Rest and Recovery

I had a rough night, but nothing compared to Sabrina. We were both feeling very poorly so no one had a great sleep. I was tossing and turning and was too cold so at some point during the night I picked up my air mattress and moved into the living room where the heating was active all the time. After that, I slept soundly, right up until 10am. I was amazed when I looked at the clock. After a shower and clearing out all the gunk from my body, I felt slightly better. We had yet again been blessed with a beautiful, cloudy, grey day.

When Alex asked what the plan was today, I thought maybe rest would be a good idea. Sabrina definitely wasn’t going anywhere and even though Belgium was the plan for today, since I was feeling worse and planning to go to Paris tomorrow, I was happy to try and get better quickly by holding station, than by going out into the cold again.

Alex and I spent a long time trying to get “Bla Bla Car” working on my phone. It is an app for ride sharing and he proposed I use it to get to Paris tomorrow. I’d already found a hostel for EUR16 a night (win!) so getting there and back was the only thing left to sort out. We had a lot of issues with the language being in German and my phone number not being accepted, but after a good hour, we got there and I’d booked a train to Antwerpen and a Bla Bla ride with “Jo” into the city of love. That sorted, Alex and I went across the road to the supermarket to buy food for breakfast. On the way, I experienced the rubbish disposal system, comprised of a bunch of containers on the street. Not the best solution, especially when the bags get stuck in the container.

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Back home armed with plenty of food, at about noon, we sat down to a spread of fruit salad and ham and cheese croissants (good preparation for Paris). We all had hot mugs of lemon and honey tea to tree and sooth our aching bodies.

I blogged for a bit, then we all sat on the couch to watch a Netflix movie, a new experience for me. I had a list of movies I wanted to watch from my travels, mainly films that had been shot in the places I’d been. The first one we found that was available on Netflix was “The Mexican”. Alex multi-tasked doing stuff on his laptop and watching, Sabrina mostly slept, and I watched. It was an interesting movie, but way too long. By the end of it, both Alex and I felt like we’d wasted our day since it was pretty much dark.

Sabrina back in bed, Alex and I resolved to cook up a storm for dinner so got out the recipe books and made a list. Alex had a lot of potatoes to get rid of and he wanted traditional Australian so we went with Shepherd’s Pie. It would be a treat for me as well, especially with brownies for dessert. We drove to a nearby supermarket, Lidl, which is a lot like Aldi and very cheap. When we got there and found the carpark deserted, we feared it was closed. It wasn’t, but it would be in fifteen minutes. It was plenty of time to get everything we needed for dinner and for Alex’s week.

Back home, Alex took the position of head chef and me su chef and we got to work. I really enjoyed cooking in a proper kitchen again and having the facilities to do multiple things at once. While we made a big mess because the pan wasn’t quite big enough, when the pie came out of the oven, the house smelled wonderful and we were hungry to eat the fruits of our labour.

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Sabrina was at an all time low and was sad she could not taste the food she was puttng in her mouth. I just hoped the soupiness of the pie warmed her insides and soothed her throat as it did mine. Alex had seconds but I resisted. We all agreed it was an awesome dinner.

Brownies in the oven and Sabrina back in bed, Alex and I watched another movie called “Spectral” which was about the world facing a new enemy that surely could not be defeated, until an engineer came along and figured out how to do it. Yay for engineers being the heroes!

It was nearly 11pm by the time we got to bed. We had alarms set for the morning, Alex so he could get back into his work routine and me so I could catch my train on time.

Netherlands Fact #2 – It smells here. When I first got out of the car with Sabrina, it smelt like cow poo, outside Alex’s apartment it smells the same and in downtown it just smells smoke and cow poo.

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