I was still feeling quite sore from our walk on Christmas Day, as I'd strained my muscles and my bad knee by trying to stay upright on the sticky, muddy steps leading down into the former clay pit.
The weather was still on its best behaviour, even if the sun was slightly veiled by a thin layer of clouds, so that it would have been downright silly to let some minor aches and pains get the better of us by staying indoors.
So, out for a walk we went, but we made sure to stay on level terrain this time.
Same as on Boxing Day last year, our destination was one of Antwerp's most interesting parks, which doubles as an open air museum of sculpture, Middelheim. Those of you who have been following my blog for a while have accompanied me there quite a few times already.
Walk In Like You Mean It. With these words, American artist William Forsythe is giving a clear message to everyone who enters the park through the main gates.
I was surprised that I'd never noticed the inscription before, but then learned it was part of an exhibition called Experience Traps: 16 Artists Lead You Up The Garden Path, which ran from June to September 2018, and in which contemporary artists tried to guide our physical and mental experience. Well, that's what it said in the brochure.
The combination of art and nature is quite enchanting and ensures that there is no chance of ever getting bored. We certainly never do.
We love visiting the park in all seasons, so we were actually quite surprised that our last visit was on Boxing Day 2017. We really must do better this year!
This stainless steel structure is called Firmament III, dates from 2009 and is by UK artist Antony Gormley.
We always take a different route, and there's no forward planning involved whatsoever. We just let our feet guide us, while my camera is taking photographs of anything that tickles my fancy.
I rather loved this amorous couple of silver and gold chairs, which can be found all over the park for people to sit down and admire the artworks.
But no matter which paths we take, we always end up here, at the Braem Pavilion, designed by architect Renaat Braem (1910-2001) and completed in 1971.
Its original design, in Organic Brutalist style, dates from 1963, but when permission was finally granted in 1968, it had to be adapted as the original available area was now reduced by two-thirds.
The concrete and brick building, its flowing horizontal lines nestling between the trees, instantly appealed from the moment I first clapped eyes on it. The white colour neutralizes the textural differences of the materials used, which are only apparent up close.
I was wearing the other wool skirt which I found at the same time as the Gor-Ray skirt. This one is unlined and unlabelled, which leads me to believe that it was handmade.
I did have to wear a half-slip underneath to combat its scratchiness, but surely its orange, yellow and green plaid fabric more than made up this minor discomfort.
Casting around for a top to wear with it, I suddenly remembered this vintage one which has all the right colours plus some additional sparkle. As a nod to the holidays, I was determined to wear as many of my sparkly garments as possible!
On top went a burnt orange cardigan, to which I pinned a cat brooch with sparkly eyes, a gift from Goody. A wide tan belt and mottled brown beaded necklace were my other accessories.
All items vintage or charity shopped.
Apart from its permanent collection, the Middelheim Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.
The Braem Pavilion is perfect for smaller sculptures and other artworks which cannot be displayed in the open.
We were intrigued by the pavilion's unusual emptiness, which was only interrupted by an installation containing a curving row of 160 stamps with 160 drawings by Belgian artist Dennis Tyfus, who currently has an exhibition of his work, called My Niece's Pierced Knees, spread all over the park.
For € 10, an empty booklet can be bought, allowing visitors to stamp their own book, making use of the ink pads placed at regular intervals.
If we should decide to return before the exhibition ends on March 17, we might bring our own booklet and try out a few of those stamps!
Meanwhile, you will have to make do with a view of my fur-collared green jacket, which I accessorized with a green beret and yellow fake fur cowl scarf.
Near the Braem Pavilion is this mirrored pillar, offering distorted views of its surroundings. This is also a favourite, as it invites endless photo opportunities.
We continued our wanderings, meeting all sorts of strange creatures along the way.
Sadly, there wasn't a free table at MIKA, the museum café, so that we weren't able to grab a cup of coffee before returning home.
From the bridge crossing the moat and leading to the café's premises, we could see another one of Dennis Tyfus's works in the distance (top left).
This one is called The Pogo Never Stops, a nod to the artist's punk roots. It is a nonstop dance performance by thirteen sky tubes, which have drawings of faces and T-shirts of noise bands, its other-worldliness enhanced by the mechanical noise of the blowers driving the sky tubes.
From here, we strolled back to our car, and had that longed-for cup of coffee back at Dove Cottage.
I'll be returning with another round-up of outfits worn in the last week of 2018 soon.