31 Dec 2016

MY FIRST AND LAST MOTORBIKE RIDE

The first time I rode on a motor bike, I was not so much convinced, in general I am not a bike fan, but I was young and wanted to prove that I too could ride on a bike not as driver but at least sitting on the the seat behind. The engine was very heavy it was a Harley Davidson and belonged to Mr. G's friend in Italy.

As soon as I sat on the seat, I wanted to go down again, but there was no mean to escape and I gripped my driver at his legs to keep me in the seat. Then with a big noise we shot away, I thought he would propel me already into heaven but we stayed on the street. We were at the Garda Lake and he wanted to take me up into the mountains. It was terrible the streets looked like snails gliding through the mountains and I had the impression that we were rather laying on the bike on one side then on the other, depending the curve !



When finally the ride was over and we arrived safe and sound at the café where we met the others, I climbed from the seat with shaking legs, my hair was in the air line and behind my ears, so that everybody laughed. I was not laughing, I still had to recover. Our poor friend when he saw his legs he had bruises on both legs which my fingers had left !



 Not me !!!

When I had recovered I swore to myself and to the others, that this was the first and the last time I would ride on a bike !!








Link here

30 Dec 2016

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE - FIVE ON FRIDAY

1. After our Christmas festivities I had to tidy up at least the living room, although we three girls hadn't made a lot of dirt and not even dog Charlie. My Polish cleaning lady is unfortunately in Dublin over the holidays to visit her daughter.

2.My son had sent me pictures of Toby, because it was since September I hadn't got a single picture, and  I needed some for my frame where I always put a collage of Toby.



This is the new one which I put in the frame. I keep the old once so I can see how he grows up. Now he is already 6. I say already which is not quite true because my friend Ilona's great granddaughter has the same age ! And my other friends all grown up grandchildren.  But 6 is a nice age, we understand each other very well. Each time he comes here his French improves and he learns new words.

3. I had always wanted to have a reindeer with a slide as Christmas lights for our wall in the front of the house, but they were all sold out when I came back from Egypt. A friend heard this and said she has two and doesn't use them anymore, because her children are grown up and she lives alone in a very big villa and is afraid that somebody would steal them at the entrance which is quite far away from the house.



So we inherited the reindeers and Mr. G. put them up immediately. I took a picture from when it was still day until it was dark. It looks very nice in our street !

4.  When I fell at the Egyptian airport my little travel computer must have taken the whole shock because it broke or was folded in the middle, not vertically but horizontally, imagine what shock it got. When the technician of the shop where I had bought it saw it, he told me that I can throw it in the bin. Fortunately there were only a few pictures in the computer and nothing else, I had put everything on a USB key.

Therefore I ran around to find a new one. The same didn't exist anymore and all the other 11" screen computers are now "hybrids" that means half tablet half computer. It's really a disaster to find a little computer. I don't want a hybrid because I have a tablet and don't need a second one. In the shops I didn't find a little one, there had been one, but all sold out because of Christmas. So I have to wait until January when hopefully there are new models in the shops and on internet.

5. My son had arrived with Toby, to say hello, together with the son of his best friend, Benji. Benji is only a few months older than Toby and they are the best pals.



In no time the living of two quiet, boring oldies was turned into a racetrack and the little cars went full speed. Cat Arthur was happy to see Toby again and said hello. He is not afraid at all of little children and loves the little cars too. I had bought a bonnet for Toby and apparently he liked it so much that he kept it on his head the whole time they were there.

We spent a nice afternoon together and then they left, they both sleep at the friend's house.  This is good so, because I am still not "running" on 100 % with my sprained  ankle and half broken rip 






more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


more participants here at FIVE ON FRIDAY


Eden Hill's Photo Hunt is here

27 Dec 2016

CHRISTMAS IN A RETIREMENT HOME

The public retirement home of Waterloo, is a very nice place compared to other cities or municipalities. It is modern well equipped and the personal very friendly. I know it because I go there every week on Thursdays for my painting class which is in the "Party Room" of the home. Here dancing classes take place, birthdays are celebrated, films shown and a lot of other activities. Our class is very grateful that we are allowed to use this room without any fee.

For Christmas the whole house was nicely decorated !



The party room's walls




A nice Christmas tree



other once in the corridors



Sometimes artists expose and sell their works





Like above. The residents too can sell what they have knitted or made during the year, so you can buy nice bonnets, scarves, or little dolls and figurines. Unfortunately there was nothing left when I took the pictures. 









The pictures above show the entrance hall, when visitors come they can chat together with the residents.



This wall carpet was made out of wool balls of all kind of colors by the residents and shows the name of the home "Gibloux"



Here too the walls are decorated



This is a real amazing picture made of thousands pieces of cork, matches, paper and pins



A more detailed picture



This wall picture too was made out of different materials always in the DIY classes. Really very beautiful !



Another Christmas tree in the corridor



and decorations above the lifts






and even in the offices, little Christmas trees on the desks.

Everything is done so that the residents feel as much "home" as possible.






more participants here

26 Dec 2016

WEEKEND REVIEW Dec 24

Our young friend Jean, who is only 3 years older than our son, came to wish us a merry Christmas. He also needed badly to talk, because he had finally found a job and 3 months later they told him that he is overqualified (!!!) and out he was. At the same time he also had private worries, so it came all together and he said it does him good to talk to a woman (that's me). He stayed the whole afternoon and finally left at 5 pm.



Arthur  loves him, or rather his shoes, he always wears very expensive leather shoes and apparently they smell so good. As soon as he sat in the chair Arthur run over to sniff the shoes, but when he wanted to sharpen his claws in the precious leather, Jean protested and throw his legs in the air, but Arthur is stubborn and tried again each time Jean put his feet down. Finally he took off the shoes and we laughed our heads off.




For Christmas Eve we dressed !



Monique a friend also came and Nicole and Charlie too, of course Charlie has discovered very quickly that Mr. G. can't resist his huge brown eyes who look as if he hasn't eaten for at least a week !



I promise they are not boxing but only discussing !



Our meal was very good, we had scallops in a white sauce, and then Sushis ! As desert we had a Tiramisu but with fruits and not chocolate.



Then we were all full, Charlie included, he should pose with the little angel, but instead he nearly ate it ! Just could save it in the last minute !

We spend a nice evening chatting, and talking and at 11 pm they left.

2. I hadn't slept very good this night which usually doesn't happen to me, so on Christmas day, we were both very lazy. The weather was also awful grey, humid and depressing !

We got a few phone calls from Italy and Germany and also from friends here, when I had to think already to take out the food for tonight. Duck confit, broad bean à la provençale, and vegetable potato cakes.



Our Christmas supper



and how it looked like cooked ! It really was delicious



Pookie already on the sofa can't wait to get a piece of duck, while Arthur for once waited under the table. And herewith ended our Christmas 2016, which was the first one we celebrated without family.

We both were very tired although we hadn't done nothing the whole day and at 9 pm we went to bed.

24 Dec 2016

THE DECLINE OF MY COOKING

The extended coffee breaks during my painting class gives us the opportunity to change the world and discuss all kind of female problems. Not so long ago it came to cooking !

We are all more or less in the same age range and have cooked for our families for at least 20 to 40 years. Some of us still love cooking others are really fed up ! That's my case too, and the worst is, I forgot cooking ! Even to cook a boiled egg seams difficult to me.

When I lived with my parents I was not allowed to put my foot in the kitchen. My Mother worried far too much that I would break something or spoil her immaculate kitchen. When she cooked it was a drama ! Red faced she juggled around with pots, pans and plates and finally brought a Spaghetti on the table, and was completely exhausted. Therefore it wasn't my mother who taught me cooking. Actually nobody did.

At 23 I moved out and took an own flat. In the 60th that was very unusual a girl had to stay with the parents until the charming prince took her away. I wasn't interested in charming princes and preferred my own 4 walls. At that time I needed the signature of my father to rent a flat !! He signed without any protest, probably happy to get rid of the pain in his neck.

Once alone I started to cook ! It became my hobby. When I married it continued and I loved to go in a restaurant, order a plate I didn't know and try to copy it at home. And it worked ! That made me very proud. I don't know exactly when I started to dislike cooking. Unfortunately it must have been during the time when our son started to appreciate good cooking. So now he thinks that I have always been a lousy, lazy cook ! Fortunately Mr. G. is a witness !

In fact when I started painting in 1989 I put all my creativity into painting and nothing was left for cooking, but you need creativity to be a good cook. And I wasn't the only one when we talked about cooking in our painting class, most of the women felt the same, a few said their cooking improved since they paint and the rest had noticed no difference.

So now I compose frozen food. We have a specialized shop here which has its own farmers, working for them the vegetables and meat comes from the farm and is shock frozen.  It is so good that lots of women pretend that they had cooked the plate themselves. And the guests appreciate and say : "you never have cooked something so delicious " !

Retired people or people living alone are faithful customers in this shop and now before Christmas and New Year they had to hire students to help for the sale and the shop is always packed !






Link here

23 Dec 2016

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

1. Nothing special happened this week, besides picking up a last gift. Grandson Toby had asked for a Pokemon backpack for the school and I had to order it, it was not in the store anymore. All kids want Pokemon stuff, wherever they live ! Fortunately they still had it in their internet shop so I could order it there and pick it up in the shop. Unbelievable the amount of people in the toy shop, you could think that everything is for free. It was a Monday morning and the shop was full already !

2. I managed to go to Nicole who had some sewing done for me, we are the perfect team, I help her with all her tablet and paper stuff and she helps me for sewing and repairing things, each one of us in their speciality ! We chatted about Christmas and if we had forgotten nothing.

3. It's a nightmare to drive for the moment the city is packed and you ride in snail mode ! I try to avoid the main streets and use the little streets which are less known and so I slip through to the center. To get a parking space is a like buying the right lottery ticket !



For the moment I moved my office into the living room, to enjoy the Christmas decoration and also because it's warmer there. Rosie does the survey !

4. After 4 month of complete silence, my "friend" and neighbor Dominique called ! She hadn't been here not even for her house next door, which stood there like she had left it 4 month ago ! She had never come back after her marriage in September, although she lives with her new husband only about 10 km away, probably less ! We had lived for 15 years side by side, travelled together and spent a lot of time together, and she gave not even one phone call. I was really hurt. And then suddenly she calls as if nothing had happened, and asked me how I am !! I could have died in between, her house burnt down or other catastrophes could have happened, and she asks me how I am. I "assured" her that I am fine and then told her friendly that she could go to hell, and maybe show up next year. Friends like that I really don't need. As one in my painting course said : "What ? and all that for a guy ??" Probably now that the house will be rented she needs me to receive eventual tenants ! She has always called when she needed something. Some people are clever !

5. Our painting class celebrated Christmas ! What fun ! Everybody brought something to eat and Champagne to drink. There was a huge variety of food on the table ! Cheese, foie gras, cakes etc.



And here we were all, even the alderman for finance and social services came to wish us a Merry Christmas. After 4 bottles of Champagne and a full stomach we returned home and all regret that we have "school holidays" for 2 weeks !


















more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


more participants here at FIVE ON FRIDAY

21 Dec 2016

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE



An Egyptian speciality, a "hairy" crepe with dark chocolate. Delicious !


more participants here



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1. What's left to be done on your Christmas to-do list?
Just the food shopping

2. The Hodgepodge lands on the first day of winter this year. What's your favorite thing about winter?
Nothing at all ! I hate winter ! I am born on the wrong side of the world !

3. In what area of your life are you immature? Feel free to elaborate or not.
That's a difficult question. When I think I am mature, people think I am immature, and the other way around. The best thing is to ask my family and friends !

4. What was the most (or one of the most) important lessons you learned in 2016?
That it is impossible to stick on childhood traditions. Especially for Christmas. 

5. It's Fried Shrimp Day...are you a fan? What's your favorite way to eat shrimp? Will there be shrimp somewhere in your holiday feastings?
I love shrimps in general fried or cooked  of all kinds of recepes but not raw

6. What sound lulls you to sleep?


The purring of my little cat Rosie

7. What one word best describes your 2016?
OK

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I have no special thoughts today, except I wished all these year end festivities would be over and we go back to normal life and towards spring !!






20 Dec 2016

OUR WORLD - WATERLOO CHRISTMAS MARKET

Since a few years there are Christmas markets a little everywhere in Belgium and not only in Brussels. Waterloo joined in too. At the very beginning it was just a small little market in a huge tent in front of the city hall. But this year it was different. It had become a nice market with about 30 chalets.

Read more here

19 Dec 2016

WEEKEND REVIEW DECEMBER 18

On Saturday morning I was in the right mood to attack my Christmas decoration ! Mr. G. carried up two boxes from the basement and fell exhausted in the next chair. As each year I didn't remember what was in the boxes I opened them and to my surprise it was very easy I had them packed properly last year !



From our 4 cats none was interested in angels, Father Christmases or little balls.



I added a Father Christmas in the basket at the entrance



Then I continued with the fire place



Arthur was not impressed



The dining area came next





and then the television and the sofa corner



and on the radiator I put a little Christmas tree and the living room was ready. Nicole came shortly to pick up a form I had printed for her and admired my work.

In the afternoon I went to the Waterloo Christmas market.



which takes place each year, but the last two years I haven't been there because it looked always the same. This year I thought I needed a few Christmas pictures and went looking. To my surprise it was quite big, far bigger than the years before. At least 30 stalls while the years before it was in a huge tent and on another place. I made my pictures, just had a look in my favorite boutique to see if there was something for me, but found nothing and went home.

On Sunday I connected the lights on the mini tree, and discovered two old suitcases in the basement with the inscription "Christmas decoration" ! Of course I wanted to know what was in there. Mr. G. opened them and we found Christmas balls and ornaments to open a shop, garlands, a crèche and lots of other stuff I didn't need  anymore probably, it was the accumulation of 47  years  of Christmas celebrations ! He closed the suitcases again and put them back ! Maybe I should consider a "Garage sale" and sell all this Christmas stuff in summer ?

On Sunday we had an awful weather, it was humid and misty the whole day. I pottered around a little in the morning and did some laundry, in the afternoon Nicole had asked me to come over for a cup of coffee.



I brought a bone for Charlie who was the happiest dog of the world and admired Nicole's Christmas decoration. She too has no tree, but has put garlands and candles and lights a little everywhere.