26 Apr 2017


Floralia Brussels, Grand Bigard Castle

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1. April showers bring May flowers or so the saying goes. Has your April been filled with showers? Do you carry an umbrella, wear a slicker, or make a run for it? Besides rain, what else has filled your April?

What else ? Cold, moody, without energy, lazy, half dead !

2. What's something you could you give a 30-minute presentation on at a moment's notice and with zero preparation?

A speech, did it on my son's wedding, I didn't know that my DIL's mum had prepared a speech and read it from a sheet of paper, so I did my best without preparations. I think it worked

3. Share with us a favorite food memory from childhood.

I went with my grandpa in the woods to pick up wild mushrooms. My grandma prepared them in a huge pancake, at least it seemed huge to me because my mouth was smaller. I have never eaten such a good pancake afterwards ! 

4. What's a song you thought you knew the lyrics to, but later discovered you were wrong?

It's a French song of course, "Tombe la neige" (The snow falls) but after he stated that she won't come, I don't know the text anymore. We danced a lot to this song because it was romantic and slow ! 

5. According to one travel website, the most overrated tourist attractions in America are-
Niagara Falls (NY), Hollywood Walk of Fame (California), Times Square (NYC), Epcot (FL), Seattle Space Needle (WA), and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market (Boston). How many of these have you seen in person? Did you feel like a tourist? Did you care? Tell us about a place (not on the list) you've visited that might be considered a tourist trap, but you love it anyway.

I have seen all these attractions but from 1989 - 1997, and I don't remember the prices ! Today they are probably more expensive than at that time. The Epcot center was brand new ! I think everybody feels like a tourist in these places unless he lives there ! 

6. Your signature clothing item?
I have no special brand mark, I buy whenever I fall in love with something. That can be in a boutique or on a market. 

7. What's an experience you've had you think everyone should experience at least once? Why?
Must be the April weather (see above) but no experiences I had should be experienced by anybody ! Why ? Because  ! 

8. Insert your own random thought here.


25 Apr 2017


Hallerbos – ‘The Blue Forest’ – is located in the surroundings of Brussels. The forest is a favourite attraction, thanks to the beautiful purple carpet of bluebells, which bloom around mid-April. The giant Sequoia trees also make a visit to this forest more than worth it.
Read more here

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24 Apr 2017


It was really cold and during nights it even freezes. Poor flowers which are out or pointing their nose. There was an exhibition of sculptures in "Les ├ęcuries" which means "The stables" which has been restored and is now used for exhibitions, it is the "left over" of a castle which had been demolished.

The old farm and the stables remain. The park is public but there were not many people walking around;

The sculptures were real cute and at least not modern art !

The young artist being interviewed.

The next day it was a little warmer and I thought I will have a coffee at the lion, for a tourist watch.

Surprisingly there were many people who even climbed up the 254 steps to the Lion. People sat in the sunshine, me too, but with my coat. There were a lot of Russians and Chinese this time.

and while Mr. G. tries to get the world record in Whist playing with his computer, I visited my neighbour and asked how her new dog is getting used. She is a real friendly doggy and loves her new home.

21 Apr 2017



1. The week started a day later because of Easter Monday and we arrived around 5 pm from Amsterdam to Waterloo. It took us a little more than 2 h which wasn't bad. I thought there would have been much more traffic because people went home from a long weekend but apparently not in our direction.

2. When I opened the shutters the next morning it snowed ! I immediately wanted to return into my bed and close shutters and eyes !

Even cat Arthur could hardly believe what he saw ! Instead I decided to put on my fleece jogging and be in a bad mood the whole day. I thought this dammit winter was over and now it starts again with temperatures below 0°C !

3. Fortunately School holidays were over so at least I could go to aqua gym. This time we had a young girl who did the exercises with us and I found her much better than our regular one, because she let us make the exercises on the rhythm of music. Our usual teacher also puts on music, but I don't know what it is it sounds as if the notes are played backwards, and somebody makes primate cries or you think somebody gets strangled. Sometimes there are a phrase which is impossible to understand. At least I understood "I have money, I have money etc etc always the same scream. We decided to ask him to do the same as the girl when he comes back.

4. For the first time I went to the Bois de Hal,  to see the blue flower carpet, although this happens each year, I didn't know !! I had been to this wood before but never to see the bluebells.

The Bois de Hal is also named ‘The Blue Forest’ – thanks to the beautiful purple carpet of bluebells, which usually bloom around mid-April, but this year they were blooming already beginning April and these were the last days.  There are also giant Sequoia trees and even without the blue carpet it is a beautiful wood surrounding Brussels.

It looks stunning when you walk through the wood !

5. Painting class has started again too, but we were all not very motivated. For chatting of course, because we hadn't seen each other for 3 weeks !There were lots of things which had happened.

Nicole had discovered a new Restaurant called Soho,I really don't know why.It was supposed to have a huge buffet with all kind of international food. There was Chinese and French, because when I wanted to take a few shrimps, there were frog legs laying just besides. Except the frog legs I tried a little bit from everything, the salmon was delicious and probably everybody would find something to eat. What I didn't like was the inside of this huge restaurant which looked like a canteen of a company. It wasn't cozy at all I would rather call it functional.

At least I tried it, and now I know that I certainly won't go back if I am not obliged too !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

18 Apr 2017


In my part of the world we celebrated Easter this weekend, together with our son and family in Amsterdam - Ijburg. Unfortunately the weather was awful and we couldn't go out very much.

The house was nicely decorated with an "Easter tree" and of course tulips every where. It's the season now for the famous "Tulips from Amsterdam"

On Sunday morning after breakfast Grandson Toby started to look if the Easter Bunny had brought some eggs !

The decoration with an egg artistically painted by Toby

I had brought this Easter bunny

Then he started searching, first outside, but there were only some chocolate eggs which we had to pick up quickly because it started to rain and wet Easter eggs are certainly not so good.

But then he found a big parcel ! Inside was a Lego "Nexo Knights" ! Was he happy !

He immediately started to put these little things together and in no time it was done ! I couldn't believe it ! He is 6 and that thing was for 8 to 14 years old, in my case it would have taken the rest of my life to put it together. Now don't ask me what it represents, when I was a child we were afraid of monsters, and today kids love them !

He also likes to help in the kitchen and decorated the breakfast eggs.

My DIL had made Easter Bunny head pancakes, which I found very cute, Toby helped rolling the croissants together and even the rolls had the shape of an Easter Bunny ! I had never seen that here in Belgium.

In the afternoon we tried to go to the beach. They live close to the sea. It must be very beautiful there when it's warm and sunny. There is a huge terrace outside and you can look over the sea.

It was also very cosy inside and nicely decorated a lot of people had there Easter Brunch there.

This part of the land is quite new. It had been "stolen" from the sea. In 2014 a new phase in construction began, new groups of houses were built and the land is being extended to accommodate a series new buildings.

When complete, the neighbourhood will have 18,000 homes for 45,000 residents and should also include employment for 12,000 people. As well as homes, schools, and shops; leisure centres, restaurants, a beach, and a cemetery are planned.

The new part of the beach

If you want to read more about Ijburg it's here

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16 Apr 2017


I am in Amsterdam searching for Easter eggs with my grandson Toby !

14 Apr 2017


1. Finished the days where you could sit outside, we are back to winter and had to scrabble inside ! Our heads were smoking so much did we think to find words which bring the most of points. At the beginning I always looked for long words which brought little points now the penny dropped and even if I only place one letter and get more points I do it. Result for the first time I won !

our scrabbble board is a special one for half blind people, with huge letters. This suits everybody because they all need glasses to read, except me, I have to take the glasses off because I am shortsighted !

2. My oldest neighbor Vivi since 1975 had lost first her cat and then her dog one month later and she was in a terrible state. On top of that she is not allowed to drive anymore because even with the shots in her eyes she doesn't see enough anymore to be able to drive. It would be too dangerous.

Being prisoner in your own house is not very good especially when you were used to often go out. Her daughter who lives with her and takes care of her decided to take another dog, not a young one but an older one and she found this cute dog a little female 5 years old which was found on the street and brought to the shelter.

I crossed the street to see the new family member, which is very cute.  They called her "Fripouille" which means "Scoundrel" but in a nice way and now Vivi is happy, at least she has a companion and can walk outside with her.  She is far bigger as she looks on the picture and is not a pure breed neither.

3 After shopping I thought I will have a drink at the Waterloo Lion, to see if there were many tourists climbing up the hill. The sun had come out and I could sit on outside.

There was a group of Russians and some other nationalities, ever since the renovation of the site for the bicentenary in 2015, where all old restaurant and houses were shaved away, it looks rather empty and Napoleon is not very pleased. I saw a tent for probably a show on weekends to attract tourists and payed 4 Euros (4,30 $)  for a beer which a year ago costed half the price !

4. My friend Nicole had asked me to come with her to the Waterloo Bowling. She wanted to celebrate her 78th birthday not the traditional way but a little different. She wanted to book a bowling party  for her son and daughter plus partners and the 3 adult grandchildren and as she lives nearby afterwards the traditional cake at home. I found that a great idea and we met at the bowling

Despite the sunny (but cool) afternoon there were quite a lot of people playing.

There was also a Mini Golf for children, which she wanted to show me for my grandson. It was real scary in there, dark and full with monsters and everything what little once like today ! The children all wore fluorescent jackets, so that you could see them.There was a group of 6 to 8 year old kids playing, and had a lot of fun.

5. As desert for Mr. G's birthday I had bought a chocolate cake which was made out of
little bunnies.

They were like a mousse and declicious.

For Easter my cleaning lady had crocheted this beautiful bed cover, which Rosie had to try out of course and a little nest sweets in the red Bunny and a chocolate chicken ! We really were spoiled !

For the first time in my life the lillies of of the valley are blooming in April !! Normally they always bloom beginning of May and it is the use to offer a lilly of the valley for the 1st. of my. But this year I could offer a little bouquet to Ilona's mother for Easter ! She is 90 and couldn't remember either that this ever happened !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

12 Apr 2017

11 Apr 2017


The spring flower exhibition in the park and the greenhouses of the castle of Grand Bigard (Groot-Bijgaarden) offers an unforgettable flower experience. The park of 14 hectares incorporates nearly all spring bulb varieties. For the new flowering time, the gardeners of the castle have planted by hand more than one million bulbs. Special attention goes to the tulips, with almost 400 varieties, hyacinths and daffodils are also well represented. Read more here

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10 Apr 2017


This weekend we had a weather just like out of a fairy tail ! It was nearly summer temperature and at one time the thermometer rose to 25° !! Very unusual for April.

Each year there is the "Floralia Brussels" in the park of the castle "Chateau de Grand Bigard" I had always missed it for I don't remember what reason, but this year I went. It was the second day of the opening and it was just beautiful.

For two hours I walked through the park and admired the different flower beds.  There were tulips in the woods and so many colors ! An orchestra walked through the park and filled it with hunter music.

After my two hours I sat down and chatted a bit with the other people, before I returned home, rather exhausted. I will write an special post about this beautiful exhibition.

It hadn't been on the Brussels' Midi Market since a very long time, and decided to go there and maybe make a bargain. And I did ! I found two bathing suits Italian models, very chic and very cheap !

I also bought a bag because I had forgotten mine at home and a roasted chicken with vegetables. Once home I put the chicken quickly in a cupboard, because of my house thief, cat Arthur.

But he smelled the chicken in the bag and desperately climbed in the bag to check if there was not at least a crumb of chicken left ! He got part of it from Mr. G. of course in the evening.

We finished this nice weekend at the emergency service in our hospital ! Mr. G. scratching his back, had found something strange which he couldn't see and showed it to me. I am not quickly impressed by bloody injuries, but what I saw here I had never seen in my life. Part of his back was fire red and covered with black blisters ! I thought he had the pest which of course was nonsense. Anyway as it looked so horrible I drove him to the hospital although he felt nothing, no itches, no pain. There the doctor told him that he had the shingles  ! He has to take antibiotics and I have to disinfect his back. Strange is that it doesn't bother him at all. Besides the fact that he is very tired he has no other symptoms.

This ended our weekend the chicken was very good and Arthur happy !

7 Apr 2017


1. Again a week flew by so quickly that I have the impression that yesterday was Monday. Over our Scrabble this time lay the shadow of Charlie's death. Although Mireille has also a big dog called Tosca, she didn't have this cute round face and the big brown eyes like Charlie. But she is a very friendly dog and loved our company.

I couldn't take a picture of her face, because each time I tried, she ran towards me and the only picture I got was her nose !

2. I still suffer from a terrible lack of energy and am tired. I thought maybe another head would do me good, and went to the hairdresser. I asked to just cut what had grown half a cm, but when I saw my head at the end I thought her cm must be bigger than mine.

Each time I look in the mirror I think it is another person, but hairs grow.

3. My friend and neighbor  since 42 years, was in a terrible state she had lost her little dog because he was very old and just couldn't make it anymore. I hope there will be no other animals dying around me !

4. The house just besides ours where Dominique lived before her marriage is now for rent. I saw it on a poster. For 15 years we had shared our lives, went on travels spent New Years together and she was part of the family, since her marriage in September I saw her once, where she excused herself that she had never called and then she invited me for lunch the following week. This had been just after New Year and ever since I haven't heard of her. The last week she was here with her new husband to paint some rooms, but she didn't even come over to say hello. We didn't move either. Nobody understands her behaviour, not even her children.

We had no painting class because of school holidays, and as the weather was cool and grey, 3 of our group of 5 decided to play Scrabble.

This time my Pookie and Arthur stayed with us, as Charlie wasn't there anymore. They were no problems between them, but maybe the cats didn't like his dog perfume. As usual Mireille who is half blind won and I for once had a good score, had never had so many points ! We had a chatty afternoon with a good apple cake. Mr. G. came later and tried to put his nose in our game, but we chased him away ! Poor man.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.