For once, the sun shone on Schaerbeek’s annual Carnival parade. Whenever I can, I walk to the end of my road each year to watch it. It is a quintessentially Belgian occasion, from the somewhat moth-eaten old mascots and giants to the beer-drinking performers and marching bands and the sheer fantasy of the costumes. (The ones in my picture were literally fashioned out of lampshades!) This year, as I was minding my own business, watching the floats as they proceeded towards me down the rue Dailly, I got pelted with boiled sweets. Now, this is a traditional part of the occasion, the throwing of sweets and fruit to (or at) the onlookers. But this bombardment of sweets was particularly persistent. I looked around and there was Isabelle Durant, Vice-President of the European Parliament, resplendent in a Caribbean costume and bandanna and with a big grin on her face!