The weather was hot and sunny on Monday so my friend Ilona and I decided to escape the city heat and go to the beach. Brussels is only about 100 km (60 miles) far from the beach. Following the advice of our government "take public transports" we took the train. There also was another reason, as retired persons we only pay 5 € for a train return ticket in whole Belgium. Buses and tramways are free.
When we arrived at the Central station we realized that we were not the only people who had this glorious idea. The platform was packed with people of all ages armed with all kind of beach accessoires. I had forgotten, there was still one week school holidays left.
Several trains arrived at the same time with or without delay it was a mess. We were standing there with our bagbacks just waving good bye to the train which was supposed to take us to the seafront. It had stood at the far end of the platform and we at the beginning so we hadn't seen it.
Not giving up our adventure we looked for the next train to take us to the sea. 10 min later we were pushed inside a wagon by a human wave. It was already full. I just could catch one seat which we had to share for 1 1/2 h ! But we were lucky, the other people were standing. At the South station another wave of beach hungry people stormed into the train. Now every space was occupied, the floors the entrance there were even people standing in the toilet ! There was no first class anymore, the commun people had occupied these precious places too where the seats should be more comfortable but honnestly there wasn't a big difference.
I had never ever seen that in my whole life except in movies ! It was just unbelievable. Thanks to my Yoga excercises I managed to climb over sitting and squeeze myself through standing bodies and made my way to the toilet where I had to ask 3 people to kindly wait outside until I finished my little business. I don't know how they did, but they managed to melt into the mass. Of course no controller could make his way through this exodus ! One thing was for sure, there certainly was no government member in the train claiming "take public transport" !
Finally we arrived at destination. It wasn't far from the station to the beach and not knowing this little town at all we just followed the crowd like sheeps would do in a herd.
Exodus to the beach !
We rented an ombrella and I a beach chair and finally had a very nice day.
After a cup of coffee with a "crèpe" (thin pancake) we went back to the station to see exactly the same amount of people waiting on the platform. This time I was lucky. The train kindly stopped that I had a door just in front of my belly. I waited until the mass got out and jumped in and on two seats ! After me nobody followed I didn't dare to leave my seat and looked out of the window. A man had been pushed in the gap between the train steps and the platform and they just tried to pull him out ! This too the minister of transport hasn't realized yet, that these gaps are dangerous ! Fortunately the man had nothing and was only very angry. The seats were taken in a second and the others had to stand ..... (see above) !
In the evening I heard that the motorway (or highway) wasn't better. The whole traffic was stuck and the police had to escort the cars lot by lot in a speed limit until the sea !
This is Belgium in summer when it's warm and sunny !
29 Aug 2009
28 Aug 2009
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When my son lived in London I usually came back with a lot of stuff because compared to Belgium many things were much cheaper. We blamed the Euro that all prices went up. But the UK has kept their pounds and the prices had gone up too ! and I would say even more ! Everything I used to buy was the same price more expensive, so it was not worthwhile to fill up my suitcase for nothing.
To comfort myself and bring something with me I bought these cute little keyholders in a Charity shop for cats.
you can take off the coin and use it for your trolley. Only I can't use it because a pound is smaller than a Euro coin.
I also bought these salt and pepper cats.
and to show that I was at the English coast, I found these cute marine cats.
When I came home, I saw this cat hanging at the cupboard. A friend of us had been in Moscow and had brought me a Russian cat ! It really looks very funny.
My electric plate gave up its soul after 15 years of work. I had to buy a new one, which I did, just before leaving for the UK. While I was away Mr. G fed himself with help of the Microwave and restaurants but had the plate installed ! This was a nice surprise for when I came back. It has no buttons anymore just a touchable screen. Great for cleaning !
I didn't participate for a while, but now I am back !
27 Aug 2009
more participants here
Mr. G's best friend collects misfortunes, it's a miracle that he is still happily amongst us. He is a very funny guy with a great heart and a lot of money. He was a jewelery creator and very famous especially for the rich arabic Sheik's ladies. He drives a Ferrari and used to squeeze himself in a Smart, now he has a big BMW van which I call a hearse because of its black color. His last idea was to buy and transform a café/bistro in the Waterloo Gallery.
Take it easy ! He is the first to laugh about it (afterwards)
The 13 misfortunes of Jacky
1. While closing the gridded door of his shop, it suddenly fell down and hit him on the back. Fortunately he only got a big blue spot.
2. When he wanted to pick up his car from the BMW garage, the barrier suddenly went loose and hit him on the head. He needed 3 stitches
3. After having taken a shower, he slipped on the wet floor and broke his shoulder
4. When the shoulder was almost healed, he stumbled over a step in his house and broke it again.
5. He got his driver licence withdrawn for a week because he had too much alcohol in his blood. After a month, he called the police, only to learn that they had forgotten to send it back !
6. He was stopped by the police with his Ferrari because he was far over the speed limit, the policemen insisted to drive the car home and made an accident with it ! (Even policemen can't resist driving a Ferrari)
7. While he was celebrating I don't know what in a bar, he got so drunken that he offered his Ferrari watch (€ 450) to somebody but he can't remember to whom !
8. He bought a restaurant and had it completely renovated with the most modern kitchen equipments. The electricity went off in the whole Galery nobody had electricity anymore because his new electric stove had a short circuit. It took hours to find the cause.
9. His cook broke his hand and couldn't work anymore, so he cooked himself. Apparently quite good because nobody complained.
10. On fathersday, his dog died and his daughter ran away with the plumber who had done the works for the restaurant
11. He received an invoice for the leasing of a new big mercedes, which he had never ordered
12. He wanted to have a motorcycle and bought a big Harley Davidson, when it was delivered, he realized that it was far too big and heavy for him, he couldn't lift it up. He sold it as a used one.
13. He had to fly to Marseille and missed his plane 3 times, because he overslept. His wife was on holidays !
Cats are supposed to have 9 lives, Jacky must have at least 50.
24 Aug 2009
Our host this week is Faye and she wants to know about our past or present "Back to School" feelings, if we still learn etc.
When I went to school, there was no "Back to School" at all. I went to school in Bonn (Germany) and then in the German school in Brussels. At that time the school year ended at Easter. Then we had 5 weeks holidays and school started again. That was it. If something new was needed, it was bought, the books I think we got from school but I don't remember at all. I never liked school not the primary school not the highschool, I don't even know how I slipped through all that. I went to school for chatting, meet my friends and have fun, which was not at all appreciated by my teachers. Without knowing apparently I even learned quite a lot. I only was good in things which I liked, that was history, english and German because I loved to write. I even started a book at 13, but I don't find it anymore.
Then I became a "self made woman" that suited me much better then the restrictions of a school system. I learned French during my studies as "Commercial Correspondent". I improved my school English by working in American Companies. I learned Italian because I had an Italian boyfriend and later an Italian husband. With 4 languages, life was quite easy.
In 89 I rediscovered my love for painting and went to Art School, where I stayed as long as possible by doubling and tripling classes, which made me a total of almost 10 years. I didn't want any diploma, it was just for fun. After that I continued in painting classes organized by our city until today.
End 2005 I discovered Computer and Internet, in 2006 I slipped into blogging without knowing what it was and of course without knowing anybody. Then I learned every day a bit. Html, creating headers and decorate my blogs. When I write about a country or city I do researches not to write stupidities. With blogging I also discovered photography and this is my last study so far. I think I am learning every day. I want to know what is new on the market in the computer and camera world, the only thing I am not interested in at all are sophisticated mobiles which allow you also to make a call. Or I pods or MP3.
Conclusion : Since the day I left school, I started learning and I am far away from having finished !
From 1989 til 2008, workshops, Expositions, School
and even once in the local Newspaper (Chat means Cat in french)
For the moment I do more photography then painting, but I still have new paintings to add to my Painting Blog
23 Aug 2009
More participants here at Sarcastic Mom Weekly winners
On one of our excursions we stopped at Battle Abbey shortly before Hastings. The Abbey is very old and was built around 1094. William the Conqueror had vowed to build an abbey where the Battle of Hastings had taken place, with the high altar of its church on the supposed spot where King Harold fell in that battle.
The little village around the Abbey was just beautiful
and of course also Pubs