10 Sept 2011


For our new front yard I needed some more plants for my exactly 11 pots. There is one nice garden center at the other end from Brussels, but with the highway it usually takes me not even 30 min to get there.

This time I had less luck. I didn't take my usual way but asked Madame GPS for a shorter one. She guided me on the same way but then suddenly told me to leave the highway. Which I did of course. Then suddenly I didn't hear her anymore and there was no km indicated when I had to turn left or right. I stopped to see what was the matter and why she was suddenly voiceless. I didn't see anything wrong and continued my way, at least I thought that I was in the right direction. Suddenly Madame GPS 's screen indicated that there was no battery anymore and she died !

Unladylike a pronounced a few words and plugged her in correctly, which apparently I hadn't done before. Suddenly she came back to life again, found her voice and then the nightmare started : "Recalculating" ... I changed direction and came back the same way. "Turn right" she said, there were works going on, I had to take another street "Recalculating" she repeated, I waited until she was finished with her calculations and went on. Works again. "Recalculating" ... and so joyfully I turned around and around until finally after 1 1/2 h (ONE AND A HALF) hour I finally stopped in front of the shop. In 10 min I had selected my plants and rushed back to the car. I wanted to call Mr. G. just to tell him that I would be later but of course I had left my mobile phone in the plug to be recharged ! Apparently I was in war with modern lifestyle this day !

Normally she also should know where works are going on but I hadn't read the instructions correctly, it is my new Madame GPS which I got for my birthday.

For the way back I thought I take my usual way, at least there would be no surprises. Wrong ! The road was closed ... works ! recalculating ... works, recalculating ... etc. until finally after again 1 1/2 h again she said : Arriving at home on right !

I was exhausted. Next time I buy my flowers in Paris or London that goes quicker !

9 Sept 2011


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. The 2 months school holidays are over and Belgium woke up from its beauty sleep and has returned to a normal life and tries to form a government as we are still without since 1 1/2 years now. I returned to my acqua gym on Mondays together with my usual group and as we hadn't seen each other for so long, it took us 1 hour of commun chatting to update ourselves after the gym.

2. Our entrance is finished now too, we had added another 3 bags of bark and now it looks clean and far more bright too

The tunnel to the entrance, everything taken out

and the result. No weeds anymore because under the bark is a plastic cover and I only have to renew the flowers in the pots each year. Only two Hortensias remained, but they don't grow high.
We both love a nice garden but have no green thumb, and I don't like to work in the garden at all.

3. I had to do some shopping our fridge was empty. I did it very quickly because once again we are sitting in the rain and on top of it it's very windy and rather cold !

4. Poor Ilona is still stuck with her broken toe and can't drive. Of course it is very boring when you can't go out. I visited her yesterday, did some shopping for her and then we spent the afternoon together, guess with what ... chatting !

5. My painting class started again too, but honnestly we didn't paint very much, there was such a lot to talk about our holidays and what we had done. We all complained about the bad weather we had during these two months. I started a new picture, but didn't go very far ! With all this chatting I forgot to take a picture of our coffee break, which finally was almost longer than the class itself.

8 Sept 2011


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

I love to watch the BBC series Escape to the country a series which helps prospective buyers find their dream home in the country. I don't want to find my dream home, but I like to see these beautiful English landscapes and there is always a historical story or site presented which interests me far more than the houses, but they too are interesting to see. The way of living is completely different than in Belgium.

While virtually visiting mansions, or into houses converted churches, barns, and windmills, I learned something new : they all have a UTILITY ROOM ! I had never heard this word before and found the following definition thanks to my private consultant Wikipedia :

"A utility room is a room within a house where equipment that are not used in day to day activities are kept. Utility refers to an item which is designed for usefulness or practical use, so in turn most of the items kept in this room have functional attributes. A utility room is generally the area where laundry is done".

During my life I have seen the inside of all kind of houses from council houses to castles in different countries, but none had a "Utility room". Either the so said "utilities" were in the kitchen, or in the cellar. I for example have half of my utilities, the dishwasher and the washing machine in the kitchen but the dryer is in the basement.

Family members with dirty shoes are coming through the garage and leave their boots there. My cats too have their cat flap in the garage so they can clean off the worst of their muddy paws walking through the basement before they arrive in the kitchen. Fortunately cat paws are not so big !

In some houses there are laundry rooms, where people also do their ironing. I don't iron anymore, since we are retired and I only buy wrinkle free stuff.

I think a "Utility Room" is very useful when you don't dispose of a basement. I keep all our things which we don't use every day in there and the shoes too they sit on a shelf, so when we arrive in the kitchen we have our slippers on, except the cats of course.

Googled Utility rooms

My utility room

7 Sept 2011


more participants here


Grandpa tries to get on his feet again

Grandson Toby : United Colors of Benetton

5 Sept 2011

OUR WORLD - Another view of Brussels

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Usually when you visit the Grand'Place in Brussels your stay in the middle and admire the beautiful buildings of this square place.

I wanted to show you some details which usually an occasional visitor has no time to discover because this place is really very impressive in its entire architecture.

Above this bank was a dancing place where I used to go when I was 18 !

Of course at that time I had never noticed this beautiful sculpture of Romulus and Remus the founders of Rome, who were raised by a wolf.

I had never noticed this spitting statue either which is a fountain with drinkable water.

A very old sculptured tablet of the very old shoemakers, a Swiss company which still exists today

little dolls dressed in Brussels' lace

funny graffitis

A place where ladies have their afternoon beer and chat

houses built against a church

with a man looking out of his window

a shop with 250 kinds of Belgium Beer

And the golden Statues on the top of the buildings.


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of September 3. You never know if you need an alibi ! If you participate please put the little logo on the top of your post and leave your link.

This weekend I was very busy ! Summer suddenly came back for 2 days exactly, and we had temperatures up to 32 °C (89 F). In this heat it took me all my courage to put the flowers I had bought in the empty pots, after that I was half melted.

Of course they have to get bigger now, but Rome wasn't built in one day either.

In the evening our son arrived with his little family. He wanted to celebrate his 38th birthday (which doesn't make me any younger) with us in Waterloo, where he still has lots of friends.

Of course little Toby played with Nonno, who was in heaven to keep his little grandson busy !
On the pictures you see Toby eating a banana, then rolling around with Nonno, checking his teeth, reading with Nonna and try to walk with mom. It's a bit early because Toby is only 9 1/2 months old but he loves standing on his feet.

The birthday party took place at my son's best friend, because he too has little children and is far more better equipped for such a barbecue than we are. He had prepared at home a delicious pasta salad in a Pesto sauce, and in his friend's garden you see him here busy with the barbecue.

Sitting around the table all together with the kids, we had a lot of fun.

Benjamin the little son of our son's friend is 14 months old, walks and has the same size as Toby. Toby is a little giant. He has the average size of a more than 13 months old, nearly 80 cm (31 inches) and accordingly his weight is a little more than 10 kg (22 lbs). It was so funny to see him crawling behind little Benjamin who walked like a drunken sailor. Benjamin's sister Camille had her 6th birthday, so we celebrated all together. Toby tries to catch her on her bike, I have to say he crawls very quickly, only with his arms. Just like a soldier in exercise.

We all enjoyed the birthday party very much and the sun was shining as if payed for !

During the night was a big thunderstorm and it cooled down and rained.

There were so many left overs that I invited my friend Dominique to share them with us, before we started our "Midsomer murder" TV evening.

The young family had returned home to Amsterdam and left behind a tired Nonno and a half tired Nonna. We have to learn our new job ! When he starts to walk it will be better because now, carrying around 10 kgs is rather difficult !

4 Sept 2011


I had to do my job as Nonna (Grandma) watching over 9 months old Toby while Mom and Dad were shopping. We both read a book together, while Nonno tries to get on his feet, after having made the clown with little Grandson. Toby watches with interest the efforts of his Nonno.

"See" you all on Monday !