Bliss in Brussels

By Dianne Boardman

Dianne Boardman

A feeling of the most sublime bliss washed over me and caught me by surprise. I realised that I felt completely and utterly content and all it had taken was a handful of every day pleasures to blend together in a perfect moment.

I was sitting in a UNESCO designated square hemmed on all sides by magnificent architecture from a grander era. Above the awesome roofs a flawless blue sky held a white hazy sun-ball. At the table beside me was my new friend Fiona with whom I’d just shared a bucket of mussels dowsed in cream and garlic, during the eating of which we had discovered mutual opinions on nearly everything. In our hands was a chilled and fruity Vin de Table, in front of us a beautiful young woman with the voice of an angel was belting out tunes for all she was worth.

It was the second day of the Brussels Jazz Festival, where performers from all over the world converge in late May to give 120 concerts all over the city. I had gone on a whim, a shot at leaving responsibility at home for a weekend and remembering what having fun was like.

Bliss in Brussels Bliss in Brussels

The Brussels Jazz Festival

Footsore after pounding the cobbles, first sightseeing, then dancing, and now listening to Jennifer Scavuzzo, the Portuguese-Italian Jazz artist who was taking the festival by storm as I sat in my canvas chair with heat penetrating my chilled English bones and cheeky-grinned waiters topping up my plastic cup, it occurred to me that this was surely heaven I was melting into. Funny, I’d always thought it would involve so much more.