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Yankee doodle just dandy

March 20, 2013

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I’ve always been a fan of Yankee Candle. In case you don’t know the brand, it’s a scented candle range with the volume turned RIGHT UP. You can usually smell a Yankee Candle stand long before you see it. But I like a candle with a bit of feistiness, instead of these wishy-washy overbred numbers that burn sedately for hours without a whiff of scent.

Also, there was a Yankee Candle stand at the English Shop way out in Tervuren when I lived in Brussels. For a long while, I saw no reason to visit the shop. It sold things like Battenburg cake in bright pink and yellow, and copies of mags like Take a Break which seemed to be out of a different era. Eventually, though, as my time abroad stretched from a two-year stint to nearly nine years, I felt the call of things like Tetley tea much more strongly than I ever thought I would. I started to ‘pop’ to the shop – ridiculous, as it was a 40 minute drive away. Then, luckily, Child One’s maths became tangled enough to need a tutor and I found myself driving to Tervuren once a week. The hours she spent on her times tables, with a truly delightful lady who kept chickens and rabbits and was also a maths whizz, was just long enough for me to go and sniff the lovely heady Yankee Candles and even look at the sickly Battenburgs with a surprising amount of nostalgia. Obviously, I bought a lot of candles.

Nowadays, passing a Yankee Candle stand gives me a pang of yearning – for the English shop in Tervuren. Yes, I miss it, even though I only went there as I was missing something else. Go figure.

Anyway, Yankee Candle has a new spring range out, including delights like Summer Scoop ice cream fragrancs and Pineapple Cilantro. If nowhere near you stocks them, you can always buy candles online. It’s perfect for those, like me, who are unlikely to be able to afford an exotic holiday this year. I strongly advise you to sniff them out.

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  • janerowena March 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Good heavens! I just looked to see if I could find the address of where we used to be there but I can’t remember it, we have moved too often since. We lived there too for just over a year. Round about the time those poor girls got kidnapped, the streets were empty of children and so we used to have the park to ourselves. The English shop was packed always but I had to go there when due for an in-law visit, I preferred the local supermarket in the town square with the machine that would slice your bread for you! Why don’t they have that here? My main beef was the planes at night. I can’t remember Yankee candles, was I there too early for them? It must have been 1995. I remember it felt very odd being in England in the shop, leaving it and being back in Belgium.

  • Dulwich Divorcee March 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    Oh I was there from 1998! We just missed each other. Sounds, from the town square and bread slicer, as though you were in Fort Jaco, in Uccle, very swish. Quite near Waterloo. We were a bit closer into town, just off Avenue Brugmann. My children went to the maternelle in Fort Jaco though (St Joseph). The planes weren’t great but were miles better than Clapham, where we moved from, as Concorde flew right over our house twice a day and rattled all the windows. You could hardly hear yourself speak while in the garden. I’m sure it’s still the same there, if not worse. The Yankee candles were quite a late addition to the English Shop but I was soon thoroughly addicted. You didn’t even need to light them, just take the top off and the room would smell lovely 🙂

  • janerowena March 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I think you are right, but husband informs me that we started off in Tervuren in the burbs and moved out after six months – I had forgotten. Did you ever get used to giving way to people coming out of sidestreets at you? I have loads of very blurry photos of the view of Waterloo from the top of all those steps. I found them the other day and wondered why on earth I had taken so many photos of such a boring piece of countryside. It wasn’t a time I enjoyed particularly but I think I would appreciate it more now.

    • Dulwich Divorcee March 26, 2013 at 11:02 am

      Hmmm, I know what you mean about not enjoying it, 8 years in Brussels was enough to finish my first marriage! For a long time back in London I kept giving way to people from side streets, much to everyone’s annoyance. Terrifying. And the Butte at Waterloo – the girls used to call it, ‘going up the lion’s butt’ which did add some amusement. Plus the fact that the gift shop was always full of Napoleonic souvenirs – brandy, teatowels, spoons, coins, you name it – and you could only get one postcard of poor old Wellington in the whole place. Excuse me, but we won 🙂