united we stand

‘Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.’

– Noam Chomsky


Today, I am not in Brussel in body. But, my mind, heart and soul are with my friends and colleagues who are there now.

Words at a time like this are futile. I was in London on 7 / 7, I remember all the feelings a day like today provokes.

What kept us sane then was the sense of unity that we all felt. Regardless of race, creed, faith, or no faith. United we stood then.

There is only one way to deal with this.

By remaining united against those that seek to use terror against the innocent.


And Again.
And Again.

New York. Madrid. London. Paris. Brussel.

United We Stand


afscheid | adieu

‘I’ll never see them again. I know that. And they know that. And knowing this, we say farewell’

– Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore

File 03-02-2016, 23 28 04
‘There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind’

― Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Watch this space.



dwell on the beauty of life
watch the stars
and see yourself running with them’

― marcus aurelius, meditations

Each week, I look forward to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Every now and then, like this week, my heart sinks when I see the challenge, and I think to myself ‘nope, this one just doesn’t work for me’. So, when I arrived home last night, cold and wet under a leaden Brussels sky, I almost gave up. In the end, over on my ‘personal’ blog, I found inspiration on my wrist.

This morning, on waking (very late, I blame the miserable weather), I resolved to make the best of it, and find something (anything) on the streets of Brussels that would fit the bill.

I set off to walk, thought better of it and took the bus.

Arrived in the centre of town, close to the Opera.

And – lo and behold – I found something vibrant, on the dullest day imaginable.

Hey, and why not sing along and dance, as many did, despite the rain and gloomy skies!

So, in the end, I found something vibrant on belgianstreets and even smiled a bit 😉

for wordpress weekly photo challenge – vibrant



Continuing my theme of the last couple of weeks, I ventured out this afternoon with the dual purpose of (1) bagging my 10,000 steps with my red (tangerine) Fitbit, and (2) capturing some optimistic images for this week’s WordPress photo challenge. A few things caught my eye.

As you can see.









And the route I took in search of optimism.


for wordpress weekly photo challenge – optimistic

see also my optimistic thought at andytownend



The alphabet does not go ‘A B C D What? When? How?’ but it does go ‘V W X Why? Z
― Douglas Adams

This year, or more precisely, at the turn of the previous year (if that phrase is indeed correct, maybe it is not), I resolved not to make any resolutions. Among the resolutions that I did not make, were to read more, and, maybe, to take more care of my health. Bizarrely, as far as the latter is concerned, a small collection of electrical components wrapped in plastic and connected to my wrist by means of a rubberised tangerine strap (yes, really, it seems red to me, but Fitbit deem it to be tangerine) have been pressing me to address this resolution (that I did not make, of course). So, when I saw that this week’s photo challenge from WordPress was alphabet, I recharged my Surge, stiffened my sinews, or (girded my) loins, or whatever, and set out to both become fit(ter) and capture the alphabet on the streets of Brussels. The results, largely unedited (apart from a tiny bit of cropping and lens correction) are below. And, if you are still with me, you will find (way down below) a map of my route, as recorded by my tantalisingly tangerine timepiece.



























The tangerine thing tells me that the walk that I took is as recorded below. I have attempted, from memory, to indicate where each shot was taken. All positions are approximate and may even be wildly inaccurate.


And, if you are still with me, for which thank you, the book that I am reading (as part of one of my other non-resolutions) is Submission, by Michel Houellebecq, a particularly challenging read in the light of recent events and geography.

for wordpress weekly photo challenge – alphabet

and for lucile’s photo 101 rehab

*shot with nikon d700 and nikkor f/1.4 50mm lens with minor cropping and lens calibration in lightroom cc*

see also qwerty / azerty | andytownend


just another day

I decided to take a walk today.  For a few reasons. Partly to see how Brussels is getting on, post holiday season and post #lockdown, and partly to try out some new tech on my wrist and in my iPhone. And possibly even to get a bit fit(ter).

I set out from Molenbeek and randomly snapped (I’m avoiding the word shooting in these troubled times – oops), tweeted and wandered around the cold, grey streets of Brussels in search of inspiration.

Here is what I found. And snapped. And tweeted.

Oh, and yes, the last leg of my adventure was accomplished by taking the Metro. Hence the straight line and significant change in pace.

And now, after all that, time for a glass of wine.






nature’s seven

I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it
― William Shakespeare

Yesterday I was tagged, over on Facebook, by an old friend and former colleague, who asked me to show him seven photos of nature in the city.

Naturally, I accepted the challenge.

John, I hope my interpretation of your challenge ticks the box for you?

foggy dew

foggy dew

leafing through

leafing through

logging crew

logging crew





do not cross

do not cross

tangled web

tangled web

for John V and for Lucile’s Photo 101 rehab

*all photos shot on iphone 6s and edited in lightroom cc and colour efex pro 4,*



changing (seasons) #12; or, ‘were you suddenly aware’

like the circles that you find
in the windmills of your mind
the windmills of your mind, noel harrison

It began here. Well, a little before that. But hey, that’s another story, a road well less travelled?

‘Life 101’ perhaps.

And now.

It ends.

For now, anyway.

for the cardinal, and his changing seasons