11 Feb 2016

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

1. The week started with a storm ! All parks and woods around Brussels were closed which caused a terrible traffic jam, for those poor people who had to drive to work. During the night I heard the wind howling around the house and even our heavy bin with a lot of cat litter blew away ! There also were damaged roofs and a lot of fallen trees.

2.


It lasted for two days, I don't like storms at all, it makes me feel uneasy. Impossible to go out if you didn't want to be blown away. Fortunately I had everything necessary at home.



Instead I did the laundry and Arthur helped me folding the clothes.


3. As usual once a week I go to Ilona, and as it was raining (as usual too) we spent a nice afternoon together and I showed her the pictures of the Chinese New Year Parade.

4. My friend and neighbor Dominique with whom I shared so many trips, evenings and lunches, has disappeared. The shutters are closed and not a single soul around. She hadn't even asked me to empty her letterbox. The reason, she had fallen in love at 62, which is very nice, but that's not a reason to forget all her friends and probably also her family ! As her darling has fallen from a tree just before Christmas and had injured his spine, after a 7 h surgery he is now at home and she nurses him. Before they only met at weekends to go out together. He is 65, and needs help. Yesterday she called me (I had asked her to call me) to mention that she is very busy because she prepares her marriage ! My mouth remained open for the rest of the day ..... I have not a good feeling, she is a very wealthy woman, I only hope I am wrong. But loves makes blind.

5. Chantal suggested to have lunch together with Nicole, so we first went to the Lion, but there the lunch was Lasagne and I just had had them the evening before. So finally we ended up in the "Lunch Garden" and had half a chicken, with vegetables and chips. It was very good but too much for us that Charlie certainly had also half a chicken, because he got all left overs.



Here he is laying with a full belly even too lazy to watch people going by.





more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

SPECIAL PARKING SPACES

Ever since I drive with my friend Chantal who is handicapped due to a polio when she was three, I realize how poor we are equipped in Waterloo or Brussels to help to make life easier for them. There are not enough parking spaces not to speak about the public transport ! Until 4 or 5 years ago, people in a wheelchair had to be carried up by two man to have access to the cinema ! Now finally a lift has been installed.

So it makes me always very angry when I see a car on a parking reserved for handicapped, with somebody in (man or women) who are as handicapped as I am, jumping out of their car and running in the building. These are mostly kind of Land Rovers owners far too big cars for our small streets, who probably think they are in the far west ! When I see one I tell him that I only wish that he or she never would really need such a parking ! Usually they make big eyes and pretend not to understand.

But one day I caught one ! It was a young man just arriving and of course on a a parking for handicapped. I got very angry, I was just parked besides him. I opened the window and made a sign and he opened his window too and saw my angry face and then I told him that it is a shame that at his age he steels these places etc etc. The young man listened and didn't say nothing but suddenly he smiled and pointed with his finger on the back seats ! What did I see ? A wheelchair ! I was shocked and then ashamed and excused myself a thousand times, but he said please stop excusing yourself, I wished there were more people like you !

I gave him a little smile and then drove away before he got his wheelchair out. Afterwards I thought how sad, he certainly had a car or motor accident for loosing his legs. There are no wars where I live.





Linking to Jenny's Warm heart Wednesday

10 Feb 2016

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY







For those who don't know : The Manneken Pis, symbol of Brussels,  is a little boy who pissed on the Spanish invaders and this statue was built in his honor. Now he is dressed as a soldier to piss on terrorists and for the Chinese New Year celebration he was dressed as a Chinese.

9 Feb 2016

CHINESE NEW YEAR - BRUSSELS

For the first time a Chinese New Year celebration with parade took place in Brussels.

read more here




more participants here

8 Feb 2016

WEEKEND REVIEW February 6, 2016

Since the boring January is over, February started with preparations for Carnival and other activities.

For the first time there was a Chinese New Year celebration with a New Year parade, which started at the Grand'Place in Brussels. I had seen Chinese New Year festivities long time ago in London, so I had to go there just to see how it was. Apparently there are 40.000 Chinese living in Belgium.

I wanted to arrive early to see the preparations of the parade and have the opportunity to take close pictures of the various costumes. We arrived at the Grand Place and I was lucky to find a parking space, it was almost a miracle ! Nicole was with me and we had lunch first.



When we arrived a quarter to 2, the parade was not yet ready, but we could see the costumes. Some were really very beautiful. The Chinese were lucky, it didn't rain and even the sun came out. But there was a very cold wind and the poor girls in their costumes were freezing. The place was packed ! Mr. Donald Duck Trump's Brussels hellhole was full of joy and instead of soldiers and policemen we only saw tourists from all over the world. I am sure he would prefer to go to hell than to heaven under these conditions !



We were very lucky ! We found a table at the window of the restaurant/bar "Le roi d'Espagne" (The King of Spain) which used to be my dates' meeting place, and I could take all pictures through the window and see the whole parade in the warmth of the room and drinking a coffee.

But to see the parade we had to wait ! It had been announced that it would start at 2 pm. At 3 there was still nothing. One Chinese who was sitting besides us, told us that they were waiting for the ambassador who would hold a speech. But I don't know if this was true, because the parade finally started around 4 pm two hours late !! I told him that even our King wouldn't dare to be 2 h late.
The waiting was worthwhile the parade was not very long but very nice and everybody had a lot of fun.

On our way back, Nicole wanted to show me a very special place, one of the oldest caf├ęs in Brussels. It's still the place where artists meet, painters or actors and the walls are full of their paintings or designs.



It was so typical "Brussels",  some of the guests still spoke the Brussels' dialect, and all people talked together and it was really very funny. The man had taken the first picture of us but then insisted to also be on the photo. I will write more detailed in another post.

The next day I had to pick up my friend Chantal from the airport. She came back from Toronto where she had been to take care of her sick son, who is fortunately far better. I especially arrived an hour after the landing and I was right, the handicapped people are the last once to leave the plane and there were 24 on board waiting for a wheelchair and then the luggages had to be collected.

I just waited 5 min when she arrived together with a man who was carrying her suitcase. She had had a nice time, it was sunny in Toronto and there were even 15°C on one day. Her son lives on the 20th floor of a building of 50 floors, and inside is a swimming pool and fitness room, cinema and shops. So she didn't have to go outside.

The afternoon I stayed home did our laundry and despite the sunny weather didn't go outside because there was a terrible wind and the parks closed.