24 Nov 2007


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"hot" pictures are here

of course I mean heat !

Last week for Fun Monday we were asked to write a funny story which happened when we were children. I wrote "A BAD WORD" which involves the post war life in Germany you can read it here where I spent my childhood. Some people asked me if I had more stories about this time. I didn't. So today I will tell you another little part of my childhood and believe me when you are a little child you don't realize what really happened but you only see the funny side of it.

For me as a child it was completely normal that all fathers (except mine) teachers or other men around me had something missing. A leg, fingers, a hand, an arm, an eye, sometimes both legs and I only realized that it was not so normal as it seemed to me when for the first time I went to the Belgian coast and saw men there at the beach. It seemed very strange to me that they had all their members and nothing was missing. I was 13 at that time and it was one year before we moved to Brussels.

I remember that once I was spending a night in one of my friends home. I entered the bathroom in the morning and saw an eye starring at me in a waterglass. I was a little surprised but very curious. So I took the eye out of the glass to have a closer look. I compared it to my marbles I had at home. I also found it very funny that the eye seemed to look at me. When I had seen enough I put it back in the glass. In fact it was my friend's father's glass eye. When I returned to the bathroom later the eye had disappeared and a normal friendly man said good morning to me. Of course after that I always starred at his eyes when I thought he would not see me. I found it so exciting that he could take his eye off and I could not.

At another's friends place where I also stayed over night, I opened a wardrobe to look for something I don't remember and suddenly found myself with one leg protheses in my arms. It almost kicked me down I must have been 8 or 9. My friend helped me to put it back and told me that over night her father always put it there and walked with crutches at home. I hadn't even noticed. These things were just part of my daily life.

I only understood many many years later that it hadn't been normal at all.

My best friend and me, we are still friends today. As you can see my mother still wrote in gothic, which was used in Germany. I have two albums where she wrote what was on the pictures but I can't read it ! This way of writing had been forbidden in 1945 by the occupants, because they couldn't read it either ! I remember my grandma who was furious because she had to learn a new writing and when later I got letters from her they still contained some of gothic letters.

22 Nov 2007


Imagine that you are deaf, dumb and insensitive to touch.What other image of happiness could you have?

Do you collect anything?

When do you start your Christmas?

Main Course
What would you do if you were in a corner and a snake was staring you down?

If you were in the library and had gas

Here is my feast :

Imagine that you are deaf, dumb and insensitive to touch. What other image of happiness could you have?

I could still see and there are so many beautiful things to look at like a sunrise or sunset, cute animals, lovely landscapes etc. That would give me images of happiness.
Do you collect anything?

Oh yes, cats of all kind, sizes and materials. Last time's counting was about 350 cats ! Everything in my house is in cat form from the thermos to the toilet brush holder. Except my laptop I couldn't find one in cat form.

When do you start your Christmas?

Christmas time I start on the first sunday in December it is the first advent. I have an advent wreath with four candles and each sunday one more candle is lightened. When all four candles are lightened then it means it's Christmas. I also decorate the house of course. The Christmas tree we usually put up 2 weeks before Christmas.

Main Course
What would you do if you were in a corner and a snake was staring you down?

Check what kind of snake it is and then if I am sure that it is not dangerous I would pick it up and decide later what to do with it if I am still alive.

If you were in the library and had gas

I would make an inocent face and look around to find the culprit who did it.



The Pilgrims and the Mayflower

The Mayflower was the famous ship that transported the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Massachusetts (which would become the capital of Plymouth Colony), in 1620.[1] The vessel left England on September 16, and after a gruelling journey marked by disease, the ship dropped anchor inside the hook tip of Cape Cod (Provincetown Harbor) on November 11 (dates in Old Style, Julian Calendar).[1] The Mayflower originally was destined for the Hudson River, north of the 1607 Jamestown Settlement.[2] However, the Mayflower went severely off-course as the winter approached and remained in Cape Cod Bay.

The very first Thanksgiving, painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930).

My ancestors haven't been pilgrims and sailed on the Mayflower, they stayed in Europe and that's why we don't have any Thanksgiving days. The turkeys have to wait until Christmas !

Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans and Canadians !


Usually in the evening we have our supper while watching TV. When you have a good "chance" then you can watch a CSI series. In French it's called "The Experts from ... (Las Vegas, Miami, New York etc) I like these series because it shows what today's science allows to solve a crime, e.g. to find a murderer just with a little piece of a toenail. I also admire this ultra modern scientifical instruments. The only problem is that you better not watch when you eat. For some people it could be dramatic ! Here is the description of one evening :

13 things while watching a CSI series

1. When cutting off a little piece of my steak and put it in my mouth, a car explodes on the screen. While I am masticating I see a completely burnt person looking like a too much grilled part of a barbecue with pieces of skin hanging from his face and other body parts. Big zoom on the burnt face to make it more fascinating.

2. While I swallow my piece of meat, big zoom on another face, even more spectular, no lips anymore and pieces of raw pink skin are visible. Apparently that makes it more colorful for the film director.

3. I take a little of the roasted potatoes, that fits in the movie. Suddenly in the to black burnt head 2 eyes open wide ! They look horrible without eyelashes. I swallow my potatoe, the eyes were blue.

3. My eyes still fixed on the screen, and masticating mecanicaly, I am now in the pathology and the burnt corpse lies naked (except the private parts of course, the film could be forbidden) on a table but you had the satisfaction to see all other burnt parts in all details.

4. The pathologist opened the chest with something I had missed, because I had cut another piece of my steak.

5. He tores the cut appart and I had the opportunity to see a lot of in blood swimming mashed things. That makes me think that I have to buy ketchup.

6. While I am busy with my vegetables, the pathologist announces that he has to amputate the fingers of the still living person. Meanwhile they had found out that it was a woman something was missing.

7. Unfortunately I missed the amputation because something felt off my fork. But then I saw one of the CSI man holding the cut fingers in his hand and big zoom for the watching public. They looked like burnt hot dogs.

8. Meanwhile the pathologist had found out that the dead person had been shot before he had burnt in the car

9. To make sure that everybody could see exactly where the bullet went in and where it came out he took a long stick and put it through the two holes. From the back to the chest. I masticated my steak, unfortunately no en brochettes, that would have been more adequate.

10. The woman had been rolled up in bandages and looked like a mummy. Big zoom again on the open naked eyes in the white wrapped head. I took another piece of roasted potatoes.

11. While I ate peacefully, the mummy was unrolled and lie now in full view on the operating table

12. The pathologist pulled off the burnt skin with a pair of tweezers and again a big zoom on the raw flesh.

13. The movie continued that way and after exactly 45 min the killer was found. (And our supper finished)

Moral of this TT for all Americans and Canadians celebrating Thanksgiving, don't eat your turkey when you watch a CSI series on TV!

I personally don't understand why it is necessary to show all these disgusting details ? The series would be much nicer without. Not everybody is able to make the difference between reality and fiction.

21 Nov 2007


Just take a look at this amazing Whirling Dervish ! The video only takes 4 min but it is really worthwhile to see what he does ! It leaves you wordless ! I filmed him in Egypt at the Red Sea.
The dance lasts for about 20 min !

This shows while he whirls around until his two skirts are flying above his head.
(Attention, however, to your loudspeakers if somebody is in the room or sleeping the music could be too loud)

and for those who have a little more time here I show you how he starts and put himself in a kind of trance. (1 min)

Greating the spectators after the show ! Not dizzy at all !

20 Nov 2007


Queen releases 60 wedding facts
The Royal couple honeymooned at Broadlands, Hampshire. The Duke of Edinburgh had two stag parties before his wedding to the Queen and the couple were showered with rose petals as they headed off on honeymoon. The information is among 60 facts released by Buckingham Palace to celebrate their diamond anniversary. Another fact reveals how their wedding cake on 20 November 1947 was 9ft (2.74m) high. I wonder where they got all the eggs and flower etc from to make such a cake in 1947 while the rest of the population had nothing to eat and to line up with tickets to get some food. Just like in Germany. I remember the time when Phil travelled around the world and invited everthing beautiful and blond into his bed while The Queen was sitting in her Buckingham palace and reign with horns high like the Empire State Building. But there must have been a reconciliation. After a long gap between the first children suddenly Andrew and Edward were born. (Unless they are from a handsome stable boy or gardener). He was so lucky good old Philip that there were no paparazzi at that time. The scandal papers would have had everyday fresh news !

The royal palace in Madrid announced Spain's Infanta Elena had separated from her businessman husband Jaime de Marichalar. Elena and Jaime - who wed in 1995 after meeting eight years earlier in Paris - took the decision to separate "by mutual agreement". The mutual agreement came from him ... he left her. OK she is not a beauty but a nice woman but he just used her to be amongst the Royals. I would be afraid to meet him in a dark street because he looks more and more like Dracula except his front teeth. And that's probably why I couldn't find any recent picture of him.

Hair-raising moment as Prince William reveals bald spot

Whether he is on or off Army duty, it is unusual to see Prince William bare-headed.
And this is the reason why. Pictured leaving a nightclub at 3am, the 25-year-old prince has clearly lost quite a bit more hair from that once luxuriant crown. Sections of pink scalp peep out between tousled blond strands apparently combed forward in an attempt to hide the problem.
Poor Wills I suggest him to consult Elton John, he perfectly managed to cover his bald head ! Money is no problem.

Late Pope becomes a singing Star ! John Paul II who died in April 2005, was known for many things, but until now, not for being the star of a music video. That's set to change as the Vatican launches a DVD designed to hasten his path to sainthood. And if you were expecting the sounds of traditional Catholic music, think again. The Church employed Simon Boswell, a non-Catholic British composer, to write the music. Oh pleeeaaase if anybody can find THAT on YouTube I will be thankful for the eternity ! That must be something ! John Paul rocking and singing on stage like Mick Jagger !! Meanwhile I use my wildest phantasy to imagine that !

A portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, celebrated in movies starring Cate Blanchett, has been valued at as much as 1 million pounds ($2 million) for a London sale by Sotheby's on Nov. 22. I have to think it over, sizewise it would fit in a bedroom and the money I have too but being watched by this lady .... ? She looks like a love killer.

A cargo ship on the baltic sea has run ashore on a sandbank near Ahrenshoop in north east Germany. On board the maritime police found a Russian captain, aged 44 completely drunk. None of the eight passengers on board were hurt. Charges have been brought against him for endangering the maritime traffic. See ! even on the sea you are not sure anymore from drunken drivers !

The Spice Girls have performed live for the first time since their reunion, at the annual Victoria's Secret fashion show in Los Angeles. The British five-piece sang two songs at the event, which was being recorded at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood ahead of its US broadcast on 4 December. What a world wide important event ! Much more exciting than the daily news of war and politics ! The only thing which worries me is where is Victoria Bekham ? Last time I saw her blond with short cut hairs !

A piece of the staircase of the Tour Eiffel in Paris, estimated between 15.000 and 20.000 € will be put up on auction in Paris at Drouot's. The piece is from the staircase which was created by Gustave Eiffel on march 31, 1889 to set the french flag in 300 m altitude. The elevator didn't exist yet. Wonderful ! I have to take the TGV (train) and hurry to Paris ! But before I have to mesure our staircase. If it fits then I could climb up the Eiffel tower stairs every day from my basement to the kitchen up and down. What a dream !

Cat recruited to patrol station

Pc Tizer is said to be a valuable member of the team Police at a north London railway station which has got mice running scared. After recruiting a 13-year-old cat Tizer was adopted by British Transport Police (BTP) from the Cats Protection charity in September and inducted into the force as an honorary constable. In his role as the Chief Mouser Pc Tizer walks around King's Cross rail station to keep it rodent-free. Very good ! I only hope he gets a good pay for his work ! I have seen a lot of mice while waiting for a subway ! (I only tell it you, but sometimes I had some crumbs in my pocket for them)

A Chinese cook who mistook a packet of rat poison for flour when making rice dumplings inadvertently killed himself and five others, state media reports. Unbelievable ! I always keep my flour and rat poison apart in two different colored Tupperwears ! It could never happen to me even with guests where sometimes I wished I could muddle up !

19 Nov 2007


For MANIC MONDAY scroll down

This is the first time I participate to Fun Monday ! I read the theme on Hootin Anni's blog who hosted it last week. This week it is Karisma who gave us following theme to write about :

"I want you to take a trip down memory lane, and keep right on going, right back to your childhood. And I want to hear "THAT STORY". You remember the one? Yes, you do! The one your parents, siblings, extended family or friends, would never let you forget, live down or get over!"Add a picture of yourself at the age your story took place. So there you go. Not too difficult, I think. The only rule is, that the story MUST be about yourself. Not your children, siblings or your significant other. (This is the one rule you may NOT bend, even you Swampy!)"

This is probably an easy one, but not for me ! When I go back to my childhood there are not many pictures of me. I was 2 years old when World War II ended and people had other things in mind than taking pictures of their children or paying attention to what they may have said. Cameras, who had one ? That was something which people could buy later in the 50th, when I was little, people were running behind food.

But there is one story I remember because a neighbor told me about that years later when I already lived in Brussels and was there on a visit.

I lived with my parents in Bonn which was the capital of the new Germany from 1949 to 1990 and the official seat of government until 1999. My father working for a government department was very lucky that with his job he also got a flat for his family. Most of the people were living in the basements of the ruins of their house or in the remaining bunkers.

In this council estate all people were equally rich or poor because they all had started with 1 DM.
We kids had a playground in the middle of two buildings where we spent our days together. School anyway was only half a day and as there were no buildings to house a school we went to school for 4 h in the morning or for 4 h in the afternoon so that everybody had a chance to find a seat. I remember when I was 8 years old we were around 80 pupils in one class. We had to share one seat into two. But all this was completely normal to me and my life was nice and funny. The less I had to go to school the better it was.

Of course I also learned bad words and these were very interesting to all children because they were forbidden. My mother had told me that "Shit" was a very bad word and I should never use it. Apparently that made me curious. Indeed I didn't use it but one day from the playground I screemed for my mother who was in our flat in the second floor. My mother appeared on the little balcony and asked what happened and I shouted : Mamma, Gisela has said SHIT ! SHIT is a bad word isn't that true, Mamma that SHIT is bad and you told me never to say SHIT, but she said SHIT, Mamma isn't that bad ? She shouldn't use SHIT true ? My mother apparently was very embarrassed and tried to make me stop because the other women also appeared on their balcony to see what happened. But I still continued to explain to everybody who wanted to listen to me that SHIT was bad and SHIT shouldn't be said and that Gisela is a bad girl because she had used the word SHIT.

The neighbor told me then that my poor mother disappeared from the balcony to stop my logical explanations and I had the satisfaction to have used a bad word at least 10 times without using it.

This is me around 8 or 9 years old at the Rhine. (Just notice the guy who has a strange glance on me !)

Next week our host is Blue Momma



There are not a lot of stories to knit around a word like "relish" except if you want to stay in the kitchen and praise your recepes. I think I have never eaten it in my life not even during my stays in the US with my aunt or during our trips through the country.

Even my dictionary doesn't give me inspirations, there is not a lot to translate about relish Relish, besides "a sort of spice", "a sauce", "to relish something", "a (single and double) relish", and "a gentleman's relish". I also could do something with great relish, but what, besides tasting relish ?

As lately the given words seem more and more difficult to me and only related to Americans (like last week's "gravy"), I will only participate to Manic Monday when the word has a sense for everybody in the world.

18 Nov 2007


The shoppers, Chantal, Ilona and I

I think in the last posts about my holidays at the Red Sea in Egypt, I wrote a lot about the wonderful things you could buy there for very cheap prices. To give you an overlook about what we have seen and also sometimes bought I put pictures together in a slideshow.

Of course all items were made for the tourist industry but with real stones (or so they said) but with Ilona we had no problem she knows every precious and semi precious stone and nobody could cheat her. She had created jewelery in the past.

These are the stones which were used to create jewelery :

Statues and vases and other decoration items were made mostly out of alabaster or onyx. The prices started for scarabs, cats, bracelets and collars from less than 1 € to maximum 8 €. in the big Supermarket which was located just besides our hotel. There you didn't even have to haggle, the prices were fix and written on the item. In the Alabaster factory you had to haggle of course as usually everywhere.