30 Dec 2014

FIRST SNOW OF THE YEAR IN BELGIUM

For the first time since two years we had snow in Belgium and the sun was shining on the white landscape. I drove with my car to the bus station where I took the bus to Brussels.



Many people had the same idea, as the roads were not cleaned and therefore it was dangerous to drive.










The first part of my bus trip took me through the woods surrounding Brussels. From Waterloo, where I live it is only 15 km far.



In the city there was nearly no snow left at all

But on my way back home



I took some pictures through the windshield of my car from the surroundings where I live.



On the way to our street



arriving





and here is how our street looks like



In the afternoon I had this nice view sitting on my sofa and looking out of the window !


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29 Dec 2014

MY WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 27

We were happy to be home again, and when I opened the shutters I saw that it had snowed !



Not much yet, but it was a beginning ! How lucky we were that we didn't have any snow when we went to Amsterdam on Wednesday ! Later in the News we saw the mess on the highways to Amsterdam it had snowed more and there was a terrible traffic jam around Antwerp.

Our son had offered us a framed picture for Christmas, on which we are now fixed for the eternity.



Mr. G hang it in the entrance.



Here we are, the Godfather and his wife ! The picture was taken in April.



After lunch it had snowed more and more and I had this nice view from my sofa into the neighborhood, and then into the garden, where my little cat statues had white hats !

In the afternoon I wanted to buy a tablet for Ilona, the same I had bought for Mr. G, but this tablet had had such a lot of success that there was none left ! I have to wait til January, so I continued my way to Nicole, where we exchanged our Christmas celebrations experiences and ate some cake which had been left by her daughter. She had a nice Christmas together with her son, wife, daughter and grandson with girlfriend. 



While we chatted Charlie lay happily between us and wasn't very interested in our conversation. On my way back, it had snowed even more and I was happy to return home without any problems, because as usual when 3 snowflakes fall, the traffic in the whole country breaks down !

My tigh, shows now a modern art tattoo, a big blue spot, it still hurts a bit when I move. I still think how lucky I was that I hadn't broken anything while I fell down 4 steps in my son's house.



When I closed the shutters before we went to bed and had opened the window door to aerate, our cat Kim wanted to go out, saw that white stuff and ran back into the house again. She probably had forgotten what snow is, the last time it had snowed in Belgium was 2 years ago.

On Sunday it was freezing cold, - 5°C (41 F) but a wonderful sunny weather. I wrapped myself into several layers and took the bus to Brussels to the Midi market. The case for Mr. G's tablet which I had bought was far too big, so I brought it back and got a smaller one. I also bought some fruits and roasted chicken breast, unfortunately there was a very cold wind and lots of stands missing. They probably were unable to drive to Brussels with their trucks as the streets were slippery and full of snow. Nothing had been done as usual, and on top it was Sunday.

After an hour I thought I would freeze to a statue and took the bus back home.



Part of the bus ride goes through the woods and it looked really very beautiful. Waiting for a bus to come was another story, it was so cold !



From the bus station I drove home with my car and took some pictures of our street through the windshield !

The rest of the day I spent watching TV and then at my computer, observing people with kids and dogs walking through our street, some Daddies pulling slides behind them.




26 Dec 2014

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

1. The first two days of the week I was mostly busy with making headers for my blogs for next year. I didn't go outside at all, as Waterloo was packed with Christmas shoppers who bought their gifts in the last minute and the weather was also very bad.

2. I went to Ilona to celebrate Christmas just the two of us and exchange our gifts. She has  offered me a beautiful pullover which was perfect for Christmas day. We had coffee and a piece of the traditional French and Belgian "Buche de Noel" (which would mean Christmas log, as it looks like a log and is in chocolate) of which she had some left. She had celebrated Christmas on Sunday with her rather big family, her daughter has 5 children all with partners, her mother, sister, son and wife and her great granddaughter ! Compared to that I have a mini family ! We   had a nice time together.

2. To celebrate Christmas with our son in Amsterdam we took the Euroline bus and didn't go by car, as the weather was so rainy and foggy and we didn't want to arrive tired for Christmas Eve.
The journey was very comfortable, the bus even had WiFi.



Dominique drove us to the Brussels North station where the Euroline buses have their station too. In Amsterdam our son picked us up at the Station.

3. Once arrived we had a very much needed coffee and then a little lunch.
Christmas Eve arrived very quickly



There was a beautiful big Christmas tree, and Toby and his Dad were festively dressed. A friend of my son arrived too and we had a Christmas drink and little snacks.



Then was time to prepare the Pierrade. From the living room we could look down into the kitchen, to watch the busy bees. As there is a lack of space for houses in this area of Amsterdam, the rooms are one above the other and there are many steps !



We enjoyed our meal and grandson Toby was waiting for the "Buche" to be cut and served.

Unfortunately while carrying down glasses, I missed a step and fell 4 steps on the kitchen floor. Fortunately nothing was broken my left thigh was badly bruised and also my right elbow ! I got a light shock too and after that was quite handicapped and walking hurt very much. My son gave me a pain killer and I felt a little better.

4. The next morning at 7 am little Toby was already waiting to open the gifts Father Christmas had brought over night. For Mr. G. and me it was not the ideal moment, so early morning and a cup of coffee was an absolutely must ! We were used to exchange our gifts on Christmas Eve.



Once Toby had distributed all the gifts to his parents and us, he got dressed in this cute Christmas pullover and started to play ! The gift mountain was rather high ! We got a beautiful framed picture of us and some other things.

Time went by, I was mostly sitting on the sofa, each time I moved it hurt ! 



My son had prepared this rather big turkey although it was the smallest one he had found.  It  tasted delicious. I first thought it would be far too much for the 5 of us, but finally there was not that much left ! 



My DIL had prepared this beautiful cake, which also was delicious ! Mr. G. was, I think the best client of the cake !



and here we are posing for a Christmas picture.

5. On Friday morning at 10.30 we left to return to Waterloo.



Our son drove us to the bus station, where lots of people were already waiting. We had a nice journey back and Dominique arrived to pick us up and we returned to Waterloo where our cats were already waiting !

So another Christmas went by ...


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25 Dec 2014

THE FLYSWATTER

Letter : F

My grandpa, after lunch used to have his afternoon nap. Therefore he lay on the sofa and snored peacefully. He was all round, round head, round face round body. And he was bald. The flies loved my grandpa's head and used it as a kind of airport. They walked across the smooth surface and the poor man woke up because it itched.

I lived with my grandparents and was maybe 4 or 5 at that time and wanted to help him to get rid of the flies. I knew that my Grandma kept a flyswatter in the kitchen. So I took the flyswatter, stood behind his head and as soon as one fly landed on grandpas skull, I slapped on the fly with all my strength to kill it. What I hadn't realized was, that my poor grandpa woke up in pain, not because of the fly, but because of the blow on his head !  I will always remember his face when he saw me with the flyswatter in my hand ! I felt very bad, I hadn't want to hurt him. My grandpa, although having been disturbed in his sleep, laughed out loud and thanked me for my good intention. He really was the best grandpa in the world !







23 Dec 2014

WELLINGTON GALLERY WATERLOO










Wellington shopping gallery in Waterloo. You need a very full wallet for shopping there !




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22 Dec 2014

MY WEEKEND OF DECEMBER 20

On Saturday I bought the last Christmas gift, which was for Mr. G. I blessed the fact that I had done all my Christmas gift shopping before I went on holidays to Egypt ! Despite the so said "economical crisis" I have never seen so many people in the shops and cars on the streets ! The whole town was full and you had almost to kill somebody to get a parking space ! I had never seen that ! It took me twice the time I usually need to drive into the center ! Just mad ! On top of that it rained and it was very windy, a real joy to go shopping ! As I knew what to buy, I only went into the store to buy the gift and returned home immediately !

The rest of the day I spent with sending Christmas cards making labels for the gifts and did some phone calls to my school friends in Germany.

On Sunday morning, my friend Christiane and I went to the Brussels Midi Market just for a walk and maybe buy some more gifts if we would find something special. Christiane found some nice leggings and a shirt for her husband and I a nice pullover to wear for Christmas. I also bought some fruits. We had a coffee and then took the bus back to Waterloo, just in time before it started to ran again ! 

In the afternoon I started to wrap the Christmas gifts.


Before and after

An hour and a half later, it was finally done. My legs were stiff, my back ached, I felt very Chrismassy ! When I think that the paper will be torn off in seconds ! Mr.G. during this time soaked in a nice warm bath. He pretends he can't wrap gifts. Good excuse !

Now everything is done, I just have to put all this in a suitcase for our trip to Amsterdam where we will celebrate Christmas with son and family.


19 Dec 2014

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

1. First thing Monday morning was calling my doctor because of my hand which had swollen to a balloon and hurt ! My cat Rosie for I don't know what reason had bitten me very hard. I got a tetanus shot and antibiotics and now have to wait ! Rosie got a slap and some shouting and showed bad conscience the next day !

2. Despite my swollen hurting hand, fortunately it is the left one, I started our Christmas decoration. A groaning Mr. G. carried two suitcases from the basement to the living room and we realized that we are not getting younger ! Of course in one suitcase was all stuff for the Christmas tree and nothing else ! I should put labels on them !

3. From year to year our Christmas tree shrunk, but this one is the smallest we ever had !


Christmas tree, son with a pram for his guinea pig

When our son was a little boy we used to have one from ground to ceiling.



And this year we have a mini one ! The reason is, we are going to Amsterdam for Christmas, but I couldn't live without a Christmas tree and a little decoration.

4. It took me two days to get the decoration up, because of my hurting hand but finally I managed !



on the tables



on the furniture



on the plants.



and in the entrance my season basket

I didn't even put my nose outside, it was so humid and wet and I didn't want to catch a cold. Fortunately I still profit from the sunshine I got in Egypt !

5. To end the year, we had a Christmas/New Year party in my painting class



We celebrated with Champagne and cakes and had a lot of fun.



After that, I went for lunch with a friend in one of the Waterloo shopping galleries, where I got a new title : I became "the wife of Mr. G." My friend know lots of shop and restaurant owners in this gallery and it is also the place where Mr. G. uses to go each morning for a cup of coffee and meet friends. Apparently he is so well known by everybody, so that they were curious to meet his "better half" as I go very seldom in this gallery. We had  Chinese lunch and when the restaurant owner heard that my "take away" was for Mr. G. he added another portion ! After a nice coffee we separated and I went home. I just made it before a strong wind and rain started !



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