25 Sep 2015

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

1. I got an sms that I could pick up my computer which had been repaired ! It had lasted more than a month to replace the keyboard, with the result that it is exactly the same like before, the same letters don't work. I have to hammer on the "n" or "y" and then it would work, but each time I start my computer it's the same story. So I have to go back, which means that I will be without computer for another month !

2. Dominique was with me and we took the opportunity to have lunch in the restaurant there and had a delicious plate of mussels with fries !

3. Nicole's new bathroom furniture had been installed and after some shopping together she showed me her new bathroom. It looks beautiful and she is very happy. Dog Charlie brought me his toys and then lay down to listen to our gossips.

4. Ilona had invited me for tea and for the first time this year had lit a fire in her wood burner. It was very cozy to watch the flames and it made me a little sad, that summer is now over and that the last time I had been here with her, we sat in the garden and enjoyed the warm sunshine. And that was only 2 weeks ago !

5. She also had a lot of clothes to give away so I took her to the shop where they sell all kind of stuff for the benefit of battered women. It's a kind of Charity Shop. We only want to get rid of clothes and didn't intend to buy anything, with the result that we both found a beautiful winter rain coat, I in beige, Ilona in black !



Happy with our bargains, we had a coffee in the old farm, which once had been the hospital for wounded British soldiers during the Waterloo battle in 1815. It was a pity that it rained outside because the place is really beatiful looking over green fields.




more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

24 Sep 2015

AFTER SCHOOL STUDIES

In 1960 I finally finished highschool and got my certificate. Now I had to leave the German school and Brussels and asked myself what to do now ?

My classmates had all returned to Germany to start different studies at university or other schools. but I didn' want to go back. I had one Belgian girl in my class and she of course stayed also  here with her parents. She told me she would go to a business school and learn commercial correspondence, marketing and business management.  I thought it was a good idea.

My father agreed immediately, he was relieved that I had found something, anyway in his mind I should rather find a wealthy husband and wouldn't really need to study.

The school's name was "Ecole Pigier" and turned out to be poshest business school in Brussels. I realized that because all students were either sons or daughters of big company owners, who should take over once Daddy's business. The offsprings weren't intelligent enough to go to University so the Ecole Pigier was the last solution to get a nice diploma and start in Daddy's business.

I only found interesting that the boys had all a car which was quite unusual in 1960 and mostly lived in huge mansions with tennis court and swimming pool, which was a big advantage for me !

The first year I didn't understand very much because I didn't speak or write French. But with the help of tennis courts, swimming pools and riding around in sportscars I learned French rather quickly. Now I could think about really starting my studies. It wasn't very difficult and after two more years I had my diploma for commercial correspondent in my pocket and also a first price and an award in typing ! I was the quickest typist of the year !



My diplomas looked quite impressive, unfortunately they remained in my drawer ever since, nobody ever asked me for diplomas ! I usually was hired immediately. At that time there were not so many people around who spoke German and English and that's what the companies were looking for.

The "Ecole Pigier" was in an old big house once inhabited by a wealthy family. It was rather narrow but had 5 floors. It had been converted to a school, but there were still remains of the original house, like the open fires and and wooden ornaments. Sometimes I wondered who had lived in this house.

I had a nice an interesting time at the Pigier school and when I left I had made a lot of friends, with whom I stayed in contact for a while. And then as life goes on, we all started to work and slowly lost contact. 


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

23 Sep 2015

22 Sep 2015

FOLKLORISSIMO AND BRUSSELS WITHOUT CARS

Once per year in September there is a car free Sunday organized in Brussels and it's municipalities. In total 136 m2. I hadn't been there last year so I went this Sunday ! I took the train from Waterloo to Brussels. The trains were new and had replaced the rattling antiques they still used last year. The timebable hadn't changed and there was only one train per hour ! Not very inspiring if you have to relay only on public transport.



Outside the Central Station I admired these huge flower pots, which I had never noticed, maybe due to the normally heavy traffic.






The boulevards were empty and it was nice to walk without fear to be ran over.



In the new pedestrian area people started to arrive and had breakfast



A little sport afterwards




Some entertainer





and empty streets !

I arrived at the Grand' Place. The sun was shining and it was quite warm !



For the "Folklorissimo" festival stalls had been put up around the place. There you could eat and drink Belgian food.  All guilds were represented.



Geant puppets waited to be carried around



A painter immortalised the Grand'Place




This man was part of the security service



A hand organ from Berlin



One man walked a Manneken Pis around and sprinkeled on the people  ! What a fun !



Waiter carried trays full with glasses over obstacles much to the fun of the watching people !



A young mother tried to knot her baby on her back



The police had a little smoking break



Three of the men on the picture below belong to the mustache guild



and some people walked around in middle age costumes and posed with the tourists. It was so nice sitting there and having fun with all the people around that when I left I realized that I had spent more than two hours sitting on a chair on the Grand'Place in the sunshine.




Around the Grand'Place was a flea market




The Belgian fries had a lot of success and there were long lines of people waiting to buy their sachet.

It really had been a very nice day and without any major incident. The King and Queen and their 4 children were in the city too with their bicycles and drove around. In  one of the tunnels in Brussels young people had organized a concert and danced to the music.

At 7 pm it was over, the pedestrians escaped to the side walks and the cars flooded the city ! 




more participants here

21 Sep 2015

WEEKEND REVIEW SEPTEMBER 19

On Saturday I went to the Anderlecht market. I don't smoke anymore, but Mr. G. does and as a loving wife I went to buy the cigarettes for him for half of the official price. The vendors are now mostly Moroccans, before they were Belgians, this "business" is part of a whole institution and exists since ages ! From time to time the police arrests some vendors but not for long and they are set free again, policemen smoke too, they are human beings !



After a little walk around the market I bought some delicious apples and fresh figs I stopped at a "Fritekot" which is a typical Belgian stand selling only chips. Years ago you could find them all over Brussels, but now they are rather seldom. I bought a sachet and it was delicious !

On Sunday was the day without cars in Brussels. Only public transport and taxis were allowed.



It would have been very nice but there were the cyclists ! It seemed to me that everybody who owned a bicycle had digged it out even the once from last century. They rode their bikes without any respect for  pedestrians in the middle of the boulevards, didn't pay attention to red lights and really behaved very badly. It's a miracle that I returned home entire and not in pieces !



At the same time a folklore festival was going on at the Grand'Place and around ! There was a lot of animation, costumes, music and typical Belgian food. I sat there in the sunshine and watched. What a nice day. I will write about it in another post.

20 Sep 2015

I QUITTED THE SINNERS !

Since a week I have stopped smoking. Nothing very important, but I have to mention it on my blog, for myself. Anyway I had already "stopped" 4 years ago I mean inhaling the smoke, so that when I forgot to light a cigarette when I was ill last week, I didn't even realize.

I started smoking in 1989 when I was 46, I had never really smoked before. Yes of course sometimes during a party but I had never been what you call a "smoker". Everybody around me stopped and I started. The fact that smoking was suddenly a crime and that you became an outsider didn't bother me at all. It was so touching when people I had never seen were concerned about my health !

Now this is over, nobody will talk to me on the street or at the bus stop very concerned about my health and that I should stop smoking, I will feel very much alone.

I quit for a simple reason, I just blow smoke in the air by habit, it wasn't necessary, I wasn't dependant on Nicotine. Now I have to take other habits, but that's not a problem. I see it the positive way. No standing outside in the cold, and the most important, my wallet feels it very much !

Please refrain from congratulations, because there is nothing to congratulate. You could also send me condolences. It depends if you smoke or not !

I have entered the empire of non smokers, the perfect people who will live without disease until at least 100 while the smokers probably make it to 102 !