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Brussels 2010

Barbara Moss

Diary of Events (Grev Cooke, 5th Dan)

Thursday 14th October

Day 1:

We all met at the airport nice and early so it must be a beer or three before we go – good start

Small hiccup with the train into Brussels but much too complicated for me to explain so you will have to ask ‘El Presidente’.

Short walk to the hotel that surprisingly was the old Red Lion, an old haunt of ours.

Then true to tradition a visit for more real beer in the ‘stuffed horse’ real name the King of Spain in the main square.

Later we all went to Thielemans official last session and it was really good after so many years, to see him taking the class. His points were all back to basics and delivered in his usual style. Nice to see some old friends after such a long time.

Then, the bombshell. He awarded me, Bri and Ric our 5th Dan’s, what a pleasant surprise! Barb then told us all the ins and outs of how she organised it, she must have been bursting holding it in.

After the class, they had laid on a buffet, which allowed some more beer and chatting time. Then off to the other watering hole ‘Le Coq’. There are so many stories that have involved this pub, I wouldn’t know where to start.

We left Le Coq about 2:30am to get some chips at Fritland. Fritland has always been open for virtually 24 hours but now it closes at 1:00am. What a disappointment. We had to make do with a McDonalds!

 Friday 15th October

Day 2:

Most made breakfast, then a wander around Brussels and looked at the old Dojo in ‘Sablon’. Again, so many happy memories. A bit of shopping, more beer then off to the evening class. A similar class as the Thursday with Ric, Barb and me showing a technique. Loads of faults pointed out by Thielemans except for Barb who did one of the best techniques he had seen, so much micky taking ensued.

After the class, we all went for a meal accompanied by Thielemans and about a dozen of his friends. The meal finished around midnight so off to Le Coq but as its now like a student hangout, it was bursting at the seams, so we just found a quieter bar to finish off the night.

 Saturday 16th October

Early breakfast so we could catch the train in plenty of time. At the airport we indulged in some more beer and shopping. Due to the long customs check we only just managed to get to get on the plane. Arrived back in Birmingham around midday. Such a lot to do in so short a time but for those that have been before a trip down memory lane and for the first timers they can now understand that some of our stories may be true!

 It brought home to me how things are constantly changing and we have to move on. It was nice to be present at Thielemans last class and receive my 5th Dan from him but it means more to me to receive it from Barbara. Tom was my mentor and Thielemans was his. Now Barbara is my mentor (whether she likes it or not) as she is for all our other YAUK members.

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