Since setting out to do these slow lunch breaks, I've been trying to think about places to go and things to do within easy reach of my work. I thought: I wish there was a museum or an art gallery nearby.
Guess what? I had entirely forgotten about the sizeable museum complex in the middle of the park. Yes, the one I've been going walking and running in. They have an art museum, a military history museum, and even a car museum. (Yes. Random.) I checked it out, and their temporary exhibits are usually only €3-4 for under-25s, so I met a friend who was in Brussels on holiday and we went around a design exhibition during my lunch break.
It was quite hard to switch from full-speed to slower during the break, but I am really finding that taking a proper break at lunch means I come back refreshed, feeling more positive and more able to tackle whichever crisis or challenge has arisen in my absence.
Interesting too to find out about Henry van de Velde, who was significant in the development of Art Nouveau, was heavily influenced by the UK arts and crafts movement, and was pivotal in the recognition of design as a branch of the arts in Belgium. There were some truly hilarious pictures of his wife posing around their house as if cooking or doing housework in a medieval-inspired floor-length dress that looked like a huge potato sack, which they were promoting as a more rational and practical type of clothing than the contemporary restrictive corsets etc. I'm quite glad we ended up going another route, those acres of fabric and drooping sleeves would have been highly impractical for just about everything. The picture below is taken from the Boston University website, you can find the page here, and I think you get a pretty good idea!