Wednesday, 20 August 2014


aperitif called "Mint Diabolo" (South of France )

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Today I had to get up at 4 am ! My plane to Marseille was at 7.30 am. I was limited with my luggage weight to 10 kgs  otherwise I would have to pay more then my flight ticket ! Therefore I put on 4 trousers and 4 T-shirts plus a fleece jacket and my coat. The trousers where for my friend, mine were in my suitcase ! And only one was allowed.  When I went through the scan, it rang. Without a handbag I had put all my things in the pockets of the 4 trousers. The lady who checked me got crazy when I emptied the 8 pockets of my 4 trousers. As she didn't find neither knife nor pistol or other weapons on me she let me go near a nervous breakdown.

When I arrived in Marseille it was very warm. I immediately went to the toilet and got rid of 3 pairs of trousers, I kept one and 3 T-shirts. I put everything in my suitcase and took my handbag out in which I put the things I had carried in the pockets.

When I had finished, Claudie just arrived at the airport to pick me up.

On the way to Ollioules where she lives we picked up her eldest daughter who lives in this charming place in the middle of fields with her boyfriend.

We had a nice lunch and sat on the terrace together with her two daughters. The crickets chirped, the flowers and plants around smelled so good ... I was in the South at the French Riviera.

Late afternoon we went to the beach and had an aperitif on the terrace of a little bar. There were so many tourist ! and the beach was packed ! Too many for our taste. We left after an hour and drove home, had a wonderful supper with grilled fish, Salad and roasted potatoes, cheese and a desert.

I went early to bed, after such a long day I was tired.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014


Each time I have visitors from abroad, I try to show them places which are not yet so well known by tourists, but will be in the future as Brussels is in full bloom for renovating and promoting other interesting historical sites of Brussels. Read more here.

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Monday, 18 August 2014


After having spent the week with sightseeing tours through Brussels, with my friend Claudie from the French Riviera, I only wanted to spent a quiet weekend and rest.

Unfortunately Mr. G's office chair became moody and when he wanted to adjust it to the right level to work on his new computer, the thing suddenly sprang up and became so high that it looked more like a throne then an office chair. He tried to get it down again. Nothing to do. He sat on it and moved up and down, nothing. I sat on his lap to make the weight heavier we moved up and down, the thing didn't move despite the fact that now 155 kgs were sitting on the chair. Fortunately nobody saw us hopping up and down except the cats but they were not at all intrigued by this procedure.

We decided to buy a new one, I googled for a new office chair and finally found one suitable at Ikea. Off we went. I have to point out that this was the first time since at least 15 years that we went shopping together ! I have to put a special sign in our calendar !

On a Saturday Ikea was packed with shoppers and it was hard to find a parking space. Mr. G. got already nervous, he hates driving around and looking for spaces. Fortunately I had the references of the chair and we made our way through the crowd until we found the office furniture. By that time Mr. G. had more then enough and became grumpy.

Those who know Ikea, it's huge ! Finally we found the chair and I insisted that at least he tried it out. He sat on it as if he had to sit on a burning stove, and found it OK immediately. I had to check if it was easy to set to the right height, when he was already heading to the exit.  Of course the chair was packed in a carton which we had to pick up in a special area with rows and numbered spaces. When we finally found it, it was too heavy to carry without a caddie and I tried to find one, while he was waiting with the carton. When finally he got the chair in the car, I was exhausted not of having walked around but by the fact that I had to pull and push him through the crowd !

When we came home he also was exhausted, he hates shopping and especially in such big stores. He didn't even unpack the chair, and took a long rest in front of the TV ! Actually he rested there for the rest of the day and swore that he would never go into that shop again.

On Sunday morning he assembled the new chair, reading the Ikea instructions, for once apparently quite clear, otherwise I would have heard some @#§% noises. He is happy with the result, especially because it is a red one, being a Ferrari fan he loves red !

I had to go again to the midi market, because the trousers Claudie had bought for herself there, had been immediately confiscated by her two daughters, who loved them very much as well. I have to say for 5 Euros (6.70 $) per pair they are a real bargain. So comfortable to wear, you can sleep in them !

I choose these 3 once and hope they will please as well. These trousers are so nice that several ladies in London and Eastbourne stopped me and asked me where I had bought them !

Every two years the famous flower carpet is displayed on the Grand'Place. This year 1.800m2 of bégonias were used to make this carpet together with Dahlias, bark for the dark brown and grass for the green pattern. I had enough walking in the cold, wind and rain from the market, so I googled for the Brussels Grand'Place webcam and took these pictures. I had also seen the inauguration on TV.

I decided to return in two years, meanwhile I "borrowed" the photo from Internet.

Friday, 15 August 2014


1. I have a very pleasant but tiring week behind me and feel a little exhausted ! My friend Claudie from the South of France was on visit and as she had been with us already several times, I wanted to show her places of Brussels, she hadn't seen yet. At the same time I rediscovered Brussels and areas where I hadn't been since I was 14 or 15, which wasn't yesterday !

First I took her to the old Market Hall of St. Gétry, which has been renovated and transformed into an exhibition hall where artists can show their work. On the first floor you can sit in comfortable chairs or play games around the tables, we saw men playing chess and Backgammon. There is also a bar inside and in the basement and the second floor were exhibitions.


Besides the halles, all around the square and in little streets are one restaurant, bar or bistro after the other. It has become a very animated area and I didn't recognize anything ! Claudie had the intention to try out all Belgian beers, but as there are more then 2000 variations, she only could try a few !

From there we walked to the Grand'Place, saw the old "Bourse" (stock market) which became now a place for exhibitions along the little houses which stuck against the church.

Lots of places seemed to be in renovation and even another side of the Grand' Place, the first 2 pictures show a large screen representing the buildings which are being repainted. The one below shows the result of this cleaning ! The gold shines again ! We saw the design of the flower carpet traced with chalk on the ground, which will be filled in with flowers to be ready for the weekend !

3. We wanted to see the Titanic Exhibition, but when we arrived there were so many people lining up, that it would have taken us at least 2 h to get in. And it rained ! Instead I took her to the Japonese Pavillion, which is inside the park of the  Royal castle. It is not open to the public, but still nice to see from outside.

Claudie took some pictures, before we entered the Chinese Pavillon just in front.

It is a very beautiful building surrounded by a equally beautiful park, unfortunately we couldn't go inside to see the Chinese artifacts, it was closed for renovation ! We walked a little through the park and stopped at the playground for kids ! 

4. The Brussels Christmas market  starts at the Grand'Place on to the Place St. Cathrine where I took her,  I had never been there in summer !

So it was quite a discovery for me to see flowers and lots of restaurant terraces on this place where I usually saw ice skating  and walked along Christmas stalls.

5. As my friend Nicole was in Ostend at the Belgian seafront, we visited her and Claudie could see the North Sea for the very first time. Nicole showed her around in Ostend,

while I stayed in her flat and rested my poor legs watching the beach from the 7th floor !

Now her holidays are finished and she takes the train home to Southern France, but we won't be separated for a long time as on Tuesday I take the plane and will spent a week in her home where I swear I only will enjoy the warmth and the sunshine and the good food which her husband always prepares for me.

Thursday, 14 August 2014


Letter : M

Throughout history, the Morris seems to have been common. It was imported from village festivities into popular entertainment after the invention of the court masque by Henry VIII. The word Morris apparently derived from “morisco,” meaning “Moorish.” Cecil Sharp, whose collecting of Morris dances preserved many from extinction, suggested that it might have arisen from the dancers’ blacking their faces as part of the necessary ritual disguise.

While I was in Eastbourne we went to a  Lammas festival, a festival of the wheat harvest, and of course watched the Morris dancers.

Their faces were painted in black

After their dancing performance, people joined in and all danced together.

This one looked quite impressive !

It was a lot of fun !

Jenny Matlock
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Wednesday, 13 August 2014


Cash watcher

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