24 Jul 2009

MEETING A BLOGFRIEND FOR THE FIRST TIME

On thursday when I woke up I thought, wow, today is a special day I will finally meet my blogfriend Jientje who lives just around the corner I would say, compared to others who live on the other side of the world. It is only around 60 km (37 miles) to Antwerp where she lives.

I jumped out of my bed and did a few yoga excercises when suddenly my hand touched something fury and soft. Without my glasses I couldn't see what it was, but then I saw it was a big dead mouse ! Outside it was pouring cats and dogs so one cat must have dropped it in my room. The day started well !

I catched my train armed with an ombrella and thought it is such a pity that it rains just today where Jientje wanted to show me a special Antwerp not the one that I knew as a tourist.
The train passed by the North station and I had a nice view on all the prostitutes who were sitting in their red lighted windows, some of them real beautiful girls. It was only short after nine and there were already customers walking in the street.

When I arrived in Antwerp I admired the beautiful old station

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and wondered if Jientje would recognize me, from her I had only seen one eye and one photo last week. I took some other pictures and just when I turned around she stand there with a big smile on her face and we greated each other as if we had known each other our whole life !

She took my arm and off we went with our ombrellas in the rain, deploring both that it didn't stop raining. She took me in a beautiful little café where we could sit and chat and know each other a little better in real life. I had experienced and heard that sometimes meetings between bloggers didn't go that well because some people are just very different in real life then in their virtual life. We didn't have this problem at all ! We ordered coffee and chatted and chatted and chatted.

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Then I asked the waiter to take a picture of both of us as a proof that we really met ! It's not so good because he took it against the light but still you can see both of us and even people with an ombrella outside.

Finally it was time to show me around a little and it had stopped raining there was even a blue spot in the sky !

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and then Jientje showed me beautiful little places and streets in Antwerp

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Look at this little old house sitting amongst more modern once. Of course besides our ombrellas we also had our cameras with us. Both of us agreed that we couldn't live without and going out without a camera is just impossible for us.

Then it was already lunch time and Jientje took me to a nice little restaurant where we had a selection of Tapas.

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and here she is at work, taking pictures of an old Jukebox ! Useless to say that we didn't run out of subjects to talk about. Time flew by. I thought to take the train around 4 pm but at that time we still were talking and sitting in another Café having another cup of coffee.

Finally at 6 pm I really had to leave and take my train back, and on the way to the station she showed me this beautiful shopping mall which had been a dancing hall before and she told me that her husband used to dance here. The floor was still from origin.

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We then arrived at the station, where I had a train immediately and Jientje came with me and put me in the train. We said good bye and it was clear to us that we will see each other again and more often, and next time she will come to Brussels.

It had been a wonderful day despite the bad weather but Jientje was a good weather witch ! Each time we were somewhere inside it rained and when we came out the sun came out too ! I never had to use my ombrella again !

You can read more about our adventure and see other pictures on Jientjes blog here

Tomorrow for Weekly Winners I will show the rest of the photos I have taken in Antwerp.

SHOW & TELL - Euros

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Probably a lot of you have never seen the Euro, which is now the official money for most of the European countries. It only exists since 2001 and we all had very hard to get used to this new currency. Just imagine that your actual currency would be replaced by a completely different one ? You have to get used to the value of all payable things, from food to a house. If you payed 100 X you suddenly have to pay 200 € or 50 € depending on the value of the local currency. In Belgium 40 francs were suddenly 1 € and in Germany 1 DM, 0,50 cents !

I got used to it by now but most of my friends still calculate in francs and the older once will probably never get used to the new currency and do their shopping with a calculator in their own country.

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Fivty and twenty € bills and 2 and 1 € coins

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a 10 € bill

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All these countries changed to Euros : Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

23 Jul 2009

THURSDAY THIRTEEN - Headlines

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13 Funny headlines

1. Sea lion mates himself to death

2. Enraged Cow Injures Farmer with Ax

3. Tiger Woods plays with his own balls

4. Countyto pay $ 250,000 to advertise lack of funds

5. Meeting on open meetings is closed

6. Statistics show that teen pregnancy drops off significantly after age 25

7. One armed man applauds the kindness of strangers

8. Coked up thieves snort dead dog's ashes

9. Deaf mute gets new hearing in killing

10. Something went wrong in plane crash - expert said

11. Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead

12. Miner Refuses to Work after Death

13. Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

21 Jul 2009

MY WORLD


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My friend Ilona lives in the flemish part of Brussels near Halle which is a Flemish city and municipality in the district (arrondissement) of the Flemish Brabant.

It is one of the three regions of Belgium . ... The Halle-Vilvoorde Arrondissement has Brussels in its middle, which is often part of the language quarrels between flemish and french speaking extremists.

The little city if full of charm. We went there on saturday afternoon

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around the city hall are a lot of Restaurants, cafés and brasseries

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as the weather was warm and sunny, people sat mostly outside
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little narrow streets

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and in front of the cathedral a shop where you can only buy Madonnas in all sizes and outfits, with or without little Jesus !

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The cathedral inside is very beautiful. It is famous for its black Madonna

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This is quite unique to have a black Madonna, she is carved out of ebony wood and the cothes are painted in blue with golden ornaments and of course a golden crown with precious stones.

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In one of the side aisles was this beautiful golden shrine

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the windows too were real artwork

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the cathedral had been under canon fire during different wars and in one corner the canon balls were exposed.

20 Jul 2009

FUN MONDAY - TEARS



Mariposa : Let's talk about TEARS. What images spring to mind when you hear the word ‘tears’? Have you ever had tears of laughter and tears of joy? When was the last time you had tears of joy? Tears of laughter? Tell us about it!

Honnestly nothing comes into my mind when I hear the word "tears". Of course they are the expression of joy or sadness, like a rain drop which means that it is raining and wet. On a picture they look very much alike.

I had and have a lot of tears of laughter in fact that happens all the time, but I had never as long as I can remember tears of joy ! When I am happy, I don't cry. I would rather jump to the ceiling. There was a time in my life where I very often cried because I pitied myself. If you ask me why today, I don't know really, it was mostly during automn where I suffered from seasonal depressions during years. My favourite handkerchief was cat Pookie, her fur was always wet in autumn, poor thing.

I didn't cry either on my wedding, I secretely had swallowed a glass of cognac to calm my nerves, with the result that I was standing there in front of the pastor in my white long dress and had difficulties not to giggle.

Honnestly I don't remember when I cried last time, usually I cry when I am very, very furious because somebody hurt me, not by throwing a chair at my head but with hurting words.


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My handkerchief Pookie, she is so compassionately


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19 Jul 2009

WEEKLY WINNERS - An Oasis in Morocco


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When we drove through the desert in South Morocco from Zagora to Erfoud, we made a little break and stopped at an Oasis.

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these little donkeys are still the best for transportation, because the fields are so narrow and sometimes high, no tractor would ever arrive there. Donkeys find their way everywhere.

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Wild (??) camels in the middle of the desert

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The Oasis, it gets green

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resting

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farmers on their fields

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women carry these bags on their heads

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amazing pottery

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and then we arrived in a city again, Erfoud