The one downside in having a 256 megabyte memory-card in ones digital camera, is that it takes some time to fill up. So even at 2 mega-pixel per pop.. One still does get the “ow I forgot I had that picture” syndrome from time to time. Like last years holiday pictures still snuggled up nicely in the forgotten movie-roll on in the kitchen drawer.Holiday pictures are actually a nice analogy when it comes to the picture below. Although the “beam-down to Rootland” only lasted one afternoon… It did feel like a little bit of a holiday. A holiday in my own home town of Rijkhoven. A rustle with the bustle back home at the annual scottish festival on the castle of Alden Biesen. It was a glorious day, the first weekend of September of 2006 was like a warm summer patio where the last warmth of august refused to depart.
And then we went down south. So me and the missy went back down south to have our “wee bit” of annual Scottish atmosphere. This being the first big bad beam-in since we “kinda secretly” got married we where anxious to get some “shifty” remarks from the townies. So we walked around the castle, not running into anyone we actually knew and just savoring the whole spectacle. But after an hour or two we had probably seen what there was to see and headed back home.But as we walked up the street, we passed one of the local pubs and suddenly heard our names called out. .. Well , not ‘our names’ but something along the line of “ Well well .. the townies !! ‘
Before I go on , let me explain what the big picture is here. I was born in a small town , I was born in this little town, and have moved away to the city of Hasselt two years ago. To some people of “Rural Rijkhoven” Hasselt is to Rijkhoven , what new York is to Alabama. That is in fact the perfect analogy. To anyone who has EVER seen the movie.. I’m no Reese Witherspoone , but I came close , story-line and everything. On with the story.“Well well .. the Townsies” we heard and froze in our tracks. Afraid for some comment where we where to be asked if “Rural Rijkhoven was not to small for our High Hasselt Taste” .. But what came next was a pleasant surprise “ Hey .. Come on .. have a seat ! “ So a few minutes later we where sitting together with some wonderful locals , old friends. Stefan, Gerry , Dirk and his wife .. Peace by peace these people are the strong fragrant colors in the painting of the town itself. People who make up the atmosphere.. Who with their wonderful personality .. make the town into what it still is today. “ We”re goin down to the Castle , Want to come along ? “ they offered us.
Back down. We of course did not say no and found ourselves amid the same surroundings we had left an hour ago .. but now surrounded by the warmth of the people of my home town . We drank, we talked , we laughed , we told tall tales of days gone by and reminisced on “how the town used to be” It was my own personal “sweet home Alabama” and I loved it. It felt like we got hugged by ancient arms, shook of the digital lifestyle and tasted the ale of how things used to be. Perhaps the small town is no longer what it used to be. A lot of new people have moved in and the warm soul of the little town is getting watered down by the anonymity of the new arrivals. So when the “old ones” , who spiced the salad of the taste how things used to be , now get together .. we remember how great things used to be. It was a picture perfect moment, Nyana, my lovely wife together with my dear old friend Stefan ( Fellow Dj in the DYSC DJ squad for eight years) and the legendary “ Wild Gerry”