Tuesday, 16 September 2014

HORSE FESTIVAL NEAR BRUSSELS

There was a horse festival in Braine l'Alleud, a little town near Brussels. It takes place each year, but I have never been there, it's only a few years ago that I am not afraid of horses anymore !



Around the Chateau Cheneau, was the festival. I think "Chateau" which means castle is a big word for this more like a manor looking building. It had been built by a apparently rather wealthy notary and was sold in 1978 to the Braine l'Alleud city.



The entrance to the park



Because of the beautiful weather



there were a lot of people



The yellow beer tent was already full and there were also several food stands, cheese,  sausages and cakes .



Many stands also represented animal shelters collecting money and of course there was a playground for children.



When I noticed this cute mini horse, I first thought it was a huge dog ! Probably it had been the "horse" of the girls when they were little.



Small children could ride on small horses and had a lot of fun.



Later on was a show with riders in different costumes.



The horses were all very beautiful



This one should jump, but refused in the last minute





I watched the different shows, the riders on the white horses faked a "bull fighting".



Carriages were also present



After the shows I left and went home.

more participants here

Monday, 15 September 2014

MY WEEKEND OF SEPTEMBER 13

I had been 4 times at the midi market to find my cigarette dealer salesman, especially for Mr. G who that's for sure will never give up ! Health or not health. Of course he didn't show up. That never happened so far, but he had told me that he would go back to Africa for holidays. Maybe he stayed there. The English couple I often meet on the market told me that I should try the market of Anderlecht, a Brussels municipality. I had heard of this market, which is hold in the ancient abattoir of Brussels. I had never put my feet there because there were horses, donkeys, cats and dogs on sale often in very bad shape. I feared I would make a scandal. But since several years the sale of animals on markets is not allowed anymore and I they had told me that the market was now very nice and family friendly.



And indeed it was ! To my surprise I even found a parking space nearly at the entrance of the hall. Everything was sold there, just like at the midi market and as I had my caddie with me I bought kilos of  apples, peaches and grapes for less than half price I would have paid in Waterloo !  But first I had to take some money in the "hole of the wall" as say they in England, an expression I really love, sounds much better than a cash point.

Then I intended to look for cigarettes. I had no time to put the money in my wallet when a young guy asked me if I wanted cigarettes ! I was so surprised I thought I had to look for a cigarette seller like a needle in a heystack ! I bought my cigarettes and made a few steps when another guy asked "cigarettes" ? and it went on and on at least 5 men stopped me for that ! It would take a whole army of policemen to arrest them all. So they close their eyes, I even haven't seen any. No wonder that people go there to buy their cigarettes for half price and probable the police too !

It was a beautiful sunny day and I walked around and took pictures. This market and its history is so interesting that I will write a special post about it.

This weekend lots of festivities in and around Brussels took place ! I went with Ilona to the nearest one in the next little town where a horse festival took place.



We had a drink with people Ilona knew (picture left below) and I watched the shows and walked around the stalls. Mostly food and animal shelters stands, collecting money for abandoned cats and dogs. Ilona's friends had a stand there for the rescue of mistreated Spanish racing Greyhounds. These dogs arrive in Belgium half dead, are treated and then they try to find a good home for them. It is a real shame that there are no laws or very poor once in Spain for animal protection. (remember the bull fights). If there was no pressure from the other European countries it still would go on.

After having walked around the park I returned home, while Ilona preferred to stay a little longer.

Unfortunately when the sun is shining the weeds grow too and I had the unpleasant duty to pull them out, but not for very long I quickly got fed up and throw chlorid and salt over the gravel, which usually is very efficient and makes them disappear. Anyway autumn is near and I have to pull out all flowers and plants of the pots and by then the weeds are probably gone.  Gardening is really not my favorite occupation !






Friday, 12 September 2014

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

1. My leg seams to be healed and I decided to go to my aqua gym. It was nice to see my class again and we had a lot to chat about our holidays.

2. I had met an English couple at the Brussels Midi Market who had told me that a new restaurant had opened in Waterloo ! A typical English one : Fish & Chips !







Dominique and I tried it out, we were greeted by the Queen and were observed by the Beatles ! The fish was very good, but the chips too soft it didn't taste like England ! I told the guy a young man from Manchester that he should improve his chips, he couldn't pretend that they were OK when I told him that I had made a tour around the UK and had eaten Fish & Chips a little everywhere.

3. It seems that autumn is moving in slowly, but it was still enough warm to take a sunbath in Ilona's garden, where we enjoyed the sunshine.

4. My neighbor's granddaughter will spend 6 months in Swansea in the UK with the Erasmus Programme (European Community Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students) It is a European Union (EU) student exchange programme established in 1987. Erasmus+, or Erasmus Plus, is the new programme combining all the EU's current schemes for education, training, youth and sport.


The Erasmus logo

I think this is a great idea and allows students of all European countries and speaking all different languages are being able to know each other better ! She also will improve her English at the same time. Her mother came over to ask me to book the train and bus tickets for her, because she had difficulties with the English language. I did it for her and she was happy and the daughter too !

5.We are still without teacher in our painting class, the one we had died suddenly from a generalized cancer during the summer holidays. It was so sudden that we still can't believe it. The new one should have started today, we know her all she was a classmate, but she didn't show up. It doesn't bother me being without teacher and I don't need one anymore I just paint for fun. I started a new painting and hope it will be finished for our exhibition end October.

Our 16 year old cat Pookie can't jump anymore on the sink from where she used to drink running water from the tap. I have to lift her up so that she can drink.



A blogfriend suggested that I buy a cat fountain, I had never seen one. I googled and found this model, so I ordered it right away in the hope that she will leave us in peace ! Cats can be so stubborn !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

QUICK OR MC DONALD's ?



Quick Restaurants is a Belgian chain of hamburger fast food restaurants with its head quarter in Antwerp.

It was founded in 1971 in Belgium. It is one of Europe's largest fast food restaurant chains. In recent years, its worldwide expansion has accelerated.

Quick is similar in theme to McDonald's and/or Burger King.

The chain was first established in 1971 in Schoten, Belgium. By December 31, 2004, it operated over 400 restaurants in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Russia and Réunion. 72% of these restaurants were operated as franchises.

The first French Quick opened in Aix-en-Provence on July 19, 1980. Beginning on March 3, 2007, Quick also had restaurants in Algiers, the capital of Algeria. The first two Russian Quick restaurants opened in Moscow and Tula on March 21, 2008.

Quick does not salt its French fries behind the counter, leaving it up to the diners to salt the fries themselves. The fry containers bear the phrase "Plus ou moins salés: à vous de décider" in meaning "More or less salted: you decide."

Adapted to the use of Belgians and the French you can have beer or wine with your meals as that is what adults usually drink with their meals.

During the year's end festivities they also serve "Foie Gras" (the liver of a specially fattened goose or duck prepared as food) as it is a traditional starter for Christmas and New Year's meals.



The "Quick" in Waterloo



with playground for kids and special menus for students !

Of course we have one in Waterloo too and when my son was little he loved to go there as all kids did. Ever since in about 30 years I have been in a "Quick" maybe 3 times with friends, but then we preferred other quick snacks. I haven't been there with my grandson, as my friends have done, because mine is only nearly 4 and theirs are meanwhile over 15 ! Maybe later I can take him there once as it is still a lot of fun for kids.





Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

OUR WORLD - BRUSSELS CARTOON FESTIVAL

With the Smurfs taking over New York and Tintin making his mark in Hollywood, Brussels has a lot to be proud of. All the comic strip heroes from Brussels and Belgium were out and about, creating a fantastic atmosphere to celebrate their great success.

See the Balloon Parade here

more participants here