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The Bulletin at 60: Katharine Mill still misses Brussels’ rich culture
I moved from London to Brussels to join the Bulletin team in late summer 1998 and “Is there a Belgian angle?” became my reflex question for the next five years. There was good camaraderie in the newsroom: many of us had moved there for the job and we discovered Belgium together, just as our task was to share everything about the country, for better or worse, with our readers.
Our long-resident news writers - Dick Leonard, Alan Hope and Derek Blyth – provided a rich and vital mine of knowledge and context in the years after the Dutroux affair, while arts and lifestyle freelance contributors were welcome visitors to the office, with news about art and architecture, dance and food: the late Cleve and Luisa Moffett, and John Hellon, all now sadly missed, plus Sarah McFadden, Rachel Johnson and numerous talented photographers, many of whom would bring in freshly processed prints for inspection.
We were somewhat marooned in our basement newsroom in Uccle, so it was always a treat to be sent out on assignment – to Pierre Marcolini’s new factory or a medicinal garden in the Hautes Fagnes, in my case. I loved Brussels for its cultural mix blending the north and south of Europe, and its rich cultural offerings, thanks to the language communities’ generous investments in their respective arts organisations. There’s nowhere quite like it and I’ve missed it since I moved away.
Katharine Mill is a communications consultant working mainly on EU contracts related to development and environment/biodiversity. She now lives in Norwich, UK, and grows flowers in her spare time.
Photos: (main image) Katharine Mill; (below) Francine Cunningham, Peter Vandermeersch, Brigid Grauman and Katharine Mill at a Bulletin party