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Brussels Writer Counts His Chickens | Together

Brussels Writer Counts His Chickens

Upcoming Events

Brosella Music Festival

Brosella, a summer music festival known for being a little more relaxed than some of its cohorts, will offer jazz and folk performances at Théâtre de la Verdure (that's the outdoor theater in Parc d'Osseghem, near the Atomium) during the weekend of July 11-12. The city of Brussels coordinates and pays for the event, so any visitor hoping to de-stress or discover new favorite artists can stop in to enjoy the music for free — however, those who wish to support the festival can purchase a €5 entry bracelet and use it to get a €1 discount on all drinks served within. (Those, sadly, are not free.) For a full list of acts and other information, visit the festival's official website!

Saturday, 11 July, 2015 - 10:55 - Sunday, 12 July, 2015 - 10:55 Théâtre de la Verdure/Groentheater / Brussels Brussels, Festival, Music Festival,

172nd Gentse Feesten (Ghent Festival)

About 2 million people attend this ten-day music and theater festival in Ghent each year, making it one of the largest city-based festivals in all of Europe. This year's program includes old-school rock acts like The Scabs, the theatrical cover band Les Truttes and a special selection of performances for families with young children. 

Since its creation in 1893 and subsequent revitalization in 1969, Gentse Feesten has become the center of multiple late July events in the city: visitors who stop by may also enjoy investigating the Ghent Jazz Festival, which will this year feature Lady Gaga and Van Morrison, the International Street Theater Festival (also called MiramirO) and Boomtown, an alternative music festival held in the historic Kouter square. Most of these events are in Dutch, but the Ghent Comedy Festival features a few acts in English each year. We'll keep you updated on specific acts and ticket prices as official venues release more information!

Friday, 17 July, 2015 - 12:58 - Sunday, 26 July, 2015 - 12:58 / Ghent Ghent, Music, Music Festival, performance,

Antipodes Voyages hosts trip to Australia

Antipodes Voyages, the 25-year specialist of Australia in Belgium, will be hosting an exclusive trip in September 2015 to Australia. The trip will be guided by Antipodes Voyages owner Marc Lambert, who will show Australian areas only he knows about. One of the highlights of the trip will be journeying to a rainforest to meet koala bears and cassowaries.

Antipodes Voyages also hosts trips in Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Tahiti. The company was founded in 1989 on the basis of a love for Australia and a love for discovery. The company is composed of 9 experts who have all lived and adventured in Australia. The tour company visits such large urban cities as Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney.

For more information on the September trip or the company, visit its website at www.antipodes.travel.

Tuesday, 1 September, 2015 - 12:00 - 13:00 Antipodes Voyages Guided Trip / Brussels Public Event,

Pa Weathery’s Chickens by the author, editor and screenwriter Paul Morris is one of the most extraordinary books you’re likely to read in a long time.

We are quickly introduced to SimRarg, a "traveler" of as-yet indeterminate origin, who finds himself in a “body  . . . that was not half bad, male, medium height, around twenty-five, handsome enough, fit enough; he would do”, sent by ‘the Engineers’ to Texas, he is tasked with a mission that even he does not understand, one that will change the world forever. November 22 1963, Dallas, 12.32pm. Ring any bells?

Anyway, he has to get the eponymous Pa Weathery onside first, and his slutty siren of a daughter, and, well, his chickens too . . . “You can sleep in the barn but if you so much as lay a finger on my daughter or my chickens, it’s your neck I’ll wring.” And there’s just one more little problem, SimRarg is black. Truly, a stranger in a strange land.

It took me a while to determine exactly what cultural buttons Morris’ yarn pushed, then I realized, while I have always been very interested in JFK conspiracy theories, it is (unwittingly?) the old ATV sci-fi series Sapphire and Steel, starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum, that Pa Weathery’s seems to take its cue from most, with its titular ‘time detectives’ from another dimension, who are not quite alien but very much more than human, sent to safeguard the structure of time.

SimRarg never seems to be sure exactly what he may or may not be safeguarding, but one thing’s for sure, orders are orders.

This is riveting stuff, Stephen King will be publishing his take on the Kennedy assassination later this year, 22.11.63, but Morris got there first and, as far as bone-dry, believable dialogue, fascinating characterizations and a rattling good yarn is concerned, King is going to have to go some to top this.

Perhaps Morris’s finest achievement with this, his first novel, is the ease with which he seamlessly blends startling sci-fi with unflinching social commentary, as he casts a cold eye over the racism and corruption of early 1960s America. And, as for the novel’s take on the “conspiracy” itself goes, ask yourself , how much more incredible is what happens here than what the US public of the time were asked to believe happened? “Mr. President, you can’t say that Dallas doesn’t love you  . . .”

Besides, sources close to this reviewer reveal that sequels are afoot and, really, it couldn’t be any other way, just wait until you find out where our man is heading next, and who his next target is. And why? Well, that would be telling.

There is perhaps the occasional sense that Morris has grown too fond of wrapping the reader up in riddles, and his love of metaphor runs maybe a little too deep, but this is nevertheless a startling debut from an author we can expect a great deal more from. Bring it on, say I.


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