The weather was quite cool, but I wanted to go out and decided to spent a little visit to Ikea. I didn't need anything but I like to walk around and have a coffee there. As I had been there many times, I was sure that I wouldn't need my Madame GPS and went on the highway. The normal way I had to do is on the map of Brussels (below) indicated in red. Very easy to find, for normal people, but apparently not for me. Ikea is located on a chaussee de Mons (Mons Avenue) which is very long. It leads from Brussels to the city of Mons which is about 50 km (31 miles) far.
I peacefully drove on the highway, saw the exit and left. As soon as I had done this I realized that I had taken one exit too early and found myself in a completely unknown area. I fixed Madame GPS on her support, thought in a logical way and invented a house number on Mons avenue. For an unknow reason I selected 560. Madam GPS told me : turn left, turn right, enter roundabout etc. and finally "arriving at destination on right" The destination I found was not Ikea at all it was in front of a big Renault garage and close to Brussels center !
I don't give up so quickly, I thought 560 must have been wrong I will take n° 100. I told Madame GPS and she put me on the right way.
Brussels has 19 municipalities. Normally I had to go to n° 1 on the red line.
The "sightseeing" I did.
Instead I went to n° 7 from there to n° 13 where I realized that I was wrong. My second choice took me up to n° 4, which suddenly was the South station where I usually go on Sunday mornings on the market. From n° 9 on I was completely lost and as it was quite late I thought there is only one thing to do : push on the button and tell Madame GPS to go home ! I was already more then 1 1/2 h underway instead of 20 min. I had done a very nice sightseeing. I had been in parts of Brussels I had never seen before and had even discovered a port and a canal with lots of little ships.
Satisfied with myself I pushed on "go home" and followed the instructions. Suddenly I found myself in a quite beautiful area with old houses and a colorful market ! I parked my car where it was not allowed to park (that I realized later) took my camera and went to the market.
where I took these pictures.
At this moment Mr. G called me. He thought I was in Waterloo. I said, no I am in St. Gilles.
- In St. Gilles ? what the heck are you doing there ??
- I wanted to go to Ikea
- but that's on the other end !
- Bah, I know, I missed the exit
I walked a little around the market and then got back to my car, where I noticed that the parking was reserved for the police, their office was just in front. A safer place I couldn't have find. Once again I pushed the button on "go home" and Madame GPS this time, guided me safely.
Mr. G. had his wife back.
At home I checked the IKEA house n° .... it was 1460 !! and not 560 or 100 !
17 Oct 2009
16 Oct 2009
More participants here
Before I started blogging in 2006, I had never payed attention to Halloween. Apparently it slowly moved into Belgium only from 1999 on. (see my post below) Now the malls and shops are full of Halloween decorations and cities organize Halloween festivals and people private parties. Not as much as in the States but at least a little.
I liked the decorations I saw on the American blogs so much, that I started to buy some witches and other little cute Halloween things and decorated our living room and the entrance. My friends found this wonderful and love to come to see how I decorate each year. We usually have a little drink together for Halloween too.
and here is my decoration this year.
you can biggify !
At the entrance you are greated by the big witch and my little Halloween basket. The huge spider on the left is sitting on the wooden cat, I had to put it in a more discrete place as it invites women to screem usually ! I have to admit it is particularly ugly.
15 Oct 2009
more participants here
13. Historical things about Halloween
1. Halloween's origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain
2. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
3. To commemorate the event, Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where the people gathered to burn crops and animals as sacrifices to the Celtic deities.
4. During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other's fortunes.
5. in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.
6. The festival has its roots in France and the British Isles. In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with new immigrants. These new immigrants, especially the millions of Irish fleeing Ireland's potato famine of 1846, helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.
7. Taking from Irish and English traditions, Americans began to dress up in costumes and go house to house asking for food or money, a practice that eventually became today's "trick-or-treat" tradition.
8. By the 1920s and 1930s, Halloween had become a secular, but community-centered holiday, with parades and town-wide parties as the featured entertainment.
9. Between 1920 and 1950, the centuries-old practice of trick-or-treating was also revived. Trick-or-treating was a relatively inexpensive way for an entire community to share the Halloween celebration.
10. A new American tradition was born, and it has continued to grow. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6.9 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country's second largest commercial holiday.
11. In Ireland, where Halloween originated, the day is still celebrated much as it is in the United States. In rural areas, bonfires are lit as they were in the days of the Celts, and all over the country, children get dressed up in costumes and spend the evening "trick-or-treating" in their neighborhoods.
12. Halloween has become increasingly popular in The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Austria since the early 1990s. From early October, stores are full of merchandising related to the popular Halloween themes. Students and little children dress up on Halloween for parties and small parades. Trick-or-treating is uncommon,
13. Other European countries under the American influence start with Halloween parties and decorations too.
*****I started to pay attention to Halloween since 2006 when I started blogging and saw all the decorations on American blogs and heard about the festivities and customs. Now I celebrate Halloween in blogworld at least and a little at home.
14 Oct 2009
13 Oct 2009
more participants here
In the heart of Brussels is the "Ilot sacré" (sacred island and not secret island as I wrote previously by mistake, sorry) which includes the whole area behind the Grand'Place
It is always a very busy area the whole year around and a well liked place by tourists
Of course in summer it is even nicer
There are lots of shops, cafés and bistros
Beer glass candles
and a little market with all kind of decoration things.
Entering the "secret island" you will find 100 of restaurants, side by side you only have to choose.
These little streets are also called the "devour alley", I think everybody can find what he is looking for and all Belgian specialities are present. In summer, spring and automn you mostly eat outside really on the streets. When it is too cool they have outside heatings. Only when it rains people eat inside.
All little streets land up here in the Gallery St. Hubert
I saw this adorable bronze statue
there are also lots of Belgian chocolate shops
and other decorative things. But you also can find jewelry, clothes etc.
12 Oct 2009
Wendishness, our host this week proposes following theme :
This week it’s all about gadgets! I would like to know what gadgets you can’t live without and those you could get rid of. It doesn’t matter what part of your life or house they dwell in, whether it’s the kitchen, your desk, shed or any other place but what works well for you and what doesn’t ?
What I would have considered as "Gadgets" when I was working, had a child to raise (the husband is still there) and a household, are not at all "Gadgets" to me in my today's life as a retired person.
It just would be like considering a hearing aid or a guide dog as a gadget.
Since I fill in my days with blogging, photo hunting and other nice occupations, I absolutely need my little "baby" computer when I travel. It has the size of a book, allows me to get on Internet and also to download my pictures and publish a post even when I am not at home.
my travel computer
and of course my window to the world, a "normal" one for home. If I hadn't this I would die of boredom.
Second very important "gadget" is my GPS ! When I was working I didn't need one, because my car found the way to the office alone. When we travelled Mr. G. used to drive and I became stupid. When I retired and wanted to go with my car to different places I always got lost. It came to a point that I didn't want to drive anymore except for shopping and on the streets I knew by heart. Since I have my GPS I feel free like a bird ! I can go everywhere I want to and it always brings me there safely. Today I couldn't imagine my life without a GPS.
Of course the mobile phone is also a very nice "gadget" which makes me available wherever I am and I also can call for help in case I find myself in the middle of the woods without petrol or a flat tire.
And last but not least my microwave ! what would I do without it ? It even bakes and grills and heats up everything when I am too lazy to cook.
These "gadgets" are really essential to me. I couldn't imagine my life without them. All other stuff is apparently useless, because nothing else comes into my mind, unless a camera and a TV is considered as gadgets.
Unfortunately a lot of women my age are still living as if there were 30, with the same appliances. They are afraid of a micro wave, because of unvisible rays, a mobile phone because it's too difficult to handle and they have lived their whole life without it, not to speak about a computer (!!!) this engine bites and a GPS ? why ? they can read a map. I am unable to read a map, I never now where I am.
11 Oct 2009
More participants here at Sarcastic Mom Weekly winners
I went for a photo hunting and landed up in a little town, very industrial and therefore very ugly. That's why I don't name it. It once had been a very prosperous area with lots of factories which are all closed down today and it looks quite sad.
The canal where once ships transported the goods
The abandonned factories
and the council houses
But there was joy in the air, people prepared the town center for Halloween !