Posts Tagged ‘belgium’

Last Week In Ireland

Friday, January 16th, 2009

I leave for Belgium to start a new life as a strategic designer on Monday 26th January, so this coming week will be my last in Ireland for a while.

I’ll be going from this…


To this…


I need some suggestions for things to do in my last week to make sure I make the most of it.  Obviously I will be drinking copious amounts of proper Guinness, climbing the mountain in the picture and probably having more than my fair share of Irish Stew.

Any other ideas?

Wordee Number 2 – Context

Thursday, October 30th, 2008


Here is interview with Wordee number 2, Steven Verbruggen who redefined ‘Context’.



Steve was the nicest guy ever!  Steve picked us up in Antwerp after our meeting with Koen.  He drove us to Leuven, the city of Stella Artois.  Jo, our trusty interpreter, sat in the front while myself and Marty, our continually improving camerman, sat in the back.  Leuven is about 30 mins drive from Antwerp and while Jo chatted to Steve in Dutch, me and Marty…well…we fell asleep.  How rude are we?  It was a long day and Steve’s gentle driving was too much for us.

Well when we arrived in Leuven, Steve took us to the local hostel to see if we could get a room.  How nice of him?!  Unfortunately they were all full up due to the Werchter festival (which we were also heading to the next day) so Steve said he would take us to Werchter where we could camp.  Again, nicest guy ever.

Cafe de Curve

So we went to Steve’s local, ‘Cafe de Curve’, for a couple of pints.  Steve’s girlfriend, Lore, joined us and the five of us had a great time.  Steve introduced me to Duvel, a drink that would become my beer of choice during my eurotrip.  It’s 8.5%, maybe that had something to do with it? We chatted for hours about various things including beer, politics, culture, buying words (of course) and falling for Irish girls/guys.  Steve is a self described new marketing/cross-media professional currently working at the interactive agency These Days. He bridges the gap between marketing and technology.  I have never met a man so in love with a word.  ‘Context’ has definitely landed on it’s feet with Steve!  He will surely take great care of it.

Wet, wet, wet

After our long chat and even longer beers, Steve drove us to a very wet campsite in a very wet Werchter where myself and Marty would spend a very wet night in a very wet tent.

Meeting Steve Verbruggen

Blogged back

Steve made a blog post about our meeting on his Minor Issues blog.  No problem about the drink Steve, thanks for all the chauffeuring :)

Further Info

I met Steve on the second day of my trip and 6 weeks later I was back in Leuven where it all started and we met up again for some more Duvels at the Marktrock festival.  Good times :)

Meeting Steve Verbruggen Second time

Word of the day

Context -the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

Wordee Number 1 – Nifty

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Greetings Internet!

I have finally found an internet cafe that allows you to plug in a camera. So here is interview with Wordee number 1!


  • Wordee – Koen Van der Auwera
  • Word – Nifty
  • Website –


Koen (later discovered to be pronounced ‘koon’) was a fantastic wordee! We met in a big square called the Groenplaats in Antwerp, Belgium in the pouring rain, thunder and lightning. Myself, my trusty cameraman Marty and translator Jo were waiting for our first encounter and didn’t really know what to expect. We were looking around deciding ‘could it be him?’….or ‘is it that guy?’. There was a guy running around the square in the rain….in his underwear. We all hoped this wasn’t our first wordee … well maybe a little.

Smiling Man

Then a smiling young man in a Wikipedia tshirt came towards us. It was a huge square and while we knew it was him and he knew it was us, it took a long time for him to reach us. Kind of like that scene in Austin Powers where the guy gets run over by the steamroller.

Koen was great! We went to a small cafe/pub on the Groenplaats and had some Karmeliet, the best belgian beer according to Koen. We talked for ages about various things, Belgium, beer, Koen being his own boss, the concept of word ownership and more beer.

We had some great chats about geeky internet stuff. Who knew that wordees would be geeky? Koen was wearing a great tshirt, reading ‘Wikipedia is accurate’ and below that ‘citation needed’. Brilliant.


We had a great time with Koen and after taking the picture below, trying to fit in the stunning background, we said our goodbyes and wished him a happy day at work.

Although we did catch Koen riding on his bike later with a McDonalds under his arm. He obviously didn’t feel like heading back to work yet. Ah the joys of being your own boss!


Blogged back

Koen has written a blog post about our encounter. It’s always nice to get the wordee’s opinion on the meeting too. I’ve linked to a translated version of the post but here’s the original post in Dutch.

I’ll be uploaded videos of my other interviews soon :)

Word of the day

Nifty – very good; fine; excellent: a nifty idea.

I’m number 181

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Always willing to give back to other interesting Internet projects, I have joined We Are Numbers!  I am officially number 181.  What a great number!  Did you know it is a twin prime number? [A number separated from another prime number by only two, 179 being it’s twin].

“Why is this fashion system so f4ck3d up? And why are we so stupid to keep following it? With We Are Numbers I’m trying to investigate how to create an improved fashion culture. Where the company (me) is creating only one (1!) design and tries to keep that innovative and exciting for as long as possible. Furthermore the company should be more humble. It should accept and promote that people are different. That is there no need to create an image. We are all beautiful as we are!”

This project, set up by Twan Verdonck, is aimed at challenging the fashion industry for it’s ‘one night stand’ approach to design.  Upset by the fact that companies like Louis Vuitton, Armani, Prada and Dior are creating clothing ranges that last no longer than it takes to get it home, Twan has developed ‘We Are Numbers’, a new sustainable way to create innovative fashion without the quick degradation of the product.  Anyone can join up by simply purchasing a tshirt for €25, they are then given a number based on the order they signed up and then they are officially a number.

The only thing Twan asks is that we send in a photo or video of ourselves showing off our shiny new tshirt.  I sent in one of me near Fairhead, Ballycastle and also photoshopped in a wee post-it note to say hello to my twin prime, 179.  Twan wants to create a comunity around the concept which is a great idea.  People are already contributing by offering gifts to other numbers.

Here’s a few final points from Twan about the project, definitely check out the site though and consider buying a tshirt.  I love being referred to as a number!  Something cool about being 181, and now I see that number everywhere I go… :)

  • One graphic print means: we are all the equal.
  • Everyone has a different number: we are all unique.
  • The number system gives us some idea of how the project evolves and may give us some feeling of being together.