XVII. Noelanders Trophy 2016

I had weeks of hard work behind me as I began to pack the car, trying to take the right pots with me, although you hardly ever have the right ones with you, no matter how ever hard you try. Anyway, we left on Friday, early in the morning and we reached Genk without any problems in 5 hours. Putting the stand up was trouble-free and our hotel room was waiting for us only 900m away. We didn´t have to look very far for a restaurant in the evening as the hotel serves local Flemish cuisine, pork cheeks in beer sauce, followed by a Belgian beer to round off a strenuous day. Next morning we breakfasted well to be geared up for the most exciting part of the day: crowds of visitors flocking into the exhibition halls and to our own stand!

Putting faces to the names of Facebook friends and email contacts now standing physically in front of me and speaking different languages was a completely new perspective and fun. Between friendly stand neighbours, patient customers and selling a pot or two, the time flew by and there I was in the hotel again enjoying a meal of ox tongue in Madeira sauce, with hand cut Belgian chips and a cool beer, just right for keeping body and soul together.

My second day, again fortified with a delicious breakfast, went really quickly, just a short walk around the bonsais, many very friendly chats and it was already time to dismantle the stand, register for the next Noelanders Trophy and back on the motorway. We eventually got to bed at 2am and the new week can begin.

Now it´s Tuesday and we´re unpacked and back on track, looking forward to next year. Looking forward to pleasant contacts, smooth order of events and the Flemish cuisine.