28 Apr 2012


If you think your water bill is too high  you should have lived in the 17th and 18th centuries which were amongst the worst periods in terms of physical hygiene. Especially in France, which was one of the reasons that the best and most famous parfums were created there.

Nudity was frowned upon. For this reason people when washing did not take off their clothes. Into the 18th century, filth was considered as beneficial.

Medical theory of the time said water entered the body though the skin, causing diseases. Particularly hot water was harmful since it opened the pores of the skin, making the individual more vulnerable to diseases.

It is said that King Louis XVI took one bath in his life ..... on his wedding day. After that his mistresses sometimes fainted because of his strong body odor ! As there was a very  limited use of water for bathing, soap was not popular either until the late 1700s. In the 1700s, cleanliness and hygiene were sought in white linen. Because of this, until the end of the 18th century, most people bathed ‘dry’ or, in other words, using as little water as possible. Linen absorbed perspiration,and purified the body, and hence became a sign of the wearers cleanliness.

Therapeutic values were attributed to dirtiness. For example, urine soaked diapers were just dried before using them again. They were not washed. Urine was used as a beauty product to treat acne, amongst other things.

People avoided washing their hair since scalp oil was considered excellent for shiny, healthy hair. As a result, most people had head lice. If you could manage to endure the stench of a person, his house would finish you off. You would smell several chamber pots. Separate toilet rooms weren't popular until the 19th century. It was said that Versailles had a particular stench; since it was a long distance between chamber pots, one relieved oneself in a corner, any corner.

For the nobility, cleanliness was attempted through the use of cosmetics: perfume and cologne used in abundance to chase away bad odors, powder to dry greasy hair, etc. Artificial means, predominately wigs, were used to provide the appearance of cleanliness. Make-up could cover a variety of flaws.  In the 18th century, besides whitening their faces, they used blue coloring to touch up their blue vein lines. Black silk beauty spots were initially used to conceal blemishes and smallpox scars.

So take a bath once a month as we should save water .....

27 Apr 2012


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. We had another teacher at Acqua Gym, because the usual one had hurt her back and had to stay in bed. This one is far to energic and quick and we old ladies couldn't follow, so I told her just to imagine she was 20 years older and if she would then still hop around. That calmed her down and she said we should go all to the rythm we feel, which of course we did. It ws again an awful rainy weather in the afternoon and besides my blogging work I also did some household scores.

2. Yoga was very funny, first we did eye exercises,  where I only regretted that I didn't know that when I was a student to copy discretely on my classmate without the teachers noticing. Then we had to throw our arms into the air and then vigorously let them fall between our legs with a loud scream ! I did my best to scream, but then I couldn't hold back my laughter when I heard and saw the others. Fortunately I wasn't the only one, because two others also got a laughing fit. Excellent exercise when you see the world in black !


For once Mr. G. and I went out together, because his friend had invited us to the inauguration of his new own hair salon in the Wellington Gallery which was very beautiful. There were quiet a lot of people in the Gallery, whom I didn't know but Mr. G. yes, so I got the impression to walk a dog who stopped all five minutes at a tree. Only in this case the trees were replaced by people.


With my friends Nicole and Dominique we went to a Mexican Restaurant which had an extraordinary decoration with all old machineries. Unfortunately we only recognized a wine press, a wheel of fortune, a machine to make beer etc. We asked the owner to make a list of the decoration items ! It was really interesting.

It also was quiet cheap because at lunch time they served a "all you can eat" buffet for 11 € only (14.50$)

After the restaurant we had coffee and apple cake at Nicole's

Enviously observed by Charly after he had swallowed the bones of the spareribs which we had brought him.


After our painting course where  Charly was our art critic, I finally bought the barrier for Mr. G's bed and I hope that he doesn't jump over it when he dreams he jumps over walls or fences in his dreams.

26 Apr 2012


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

The old Waterloo still with a tramway from Brussels to Waterloo, today you have only cars, a bus once in a blue moon and traffic jams.

When we looked for a place to "escape to the country" in 1972 we found Waterloo, which we liked very much. It was a little cute town, almost a village, no supermarkets, only little shops, and for shopping and our work we had to drive to Brussels which is not far away only about 15 km (10 miles) from where we live now.

In 1975, our house was in a very quiet street, surrounded by fields and cows grazing behind our garden. I even had one looking through the French window into the living room which let me drop my cup of coffee. But this is all gone since 7 years and cows and fields were replaced by huge very posh houses. Fortunately our part of the street is still very calm. Today I don't have to drive to Brussels anymore for shopping, Waterloo has become a city with all boutiques and supermarkets.

Waterloo center now

Galleries Wellington, very posh and expensive

Waterloo station hasn't changed very much

The total population grew and is now 29,706. Non Belgians are mostly : French (1,237 people), Italians (537), British (503), Americans (445) and Swedish (425) many of whom work for institutions or companies in Brussels, a political centre of the European Union.

office park

Waterloo also became home to the European headquarters of MasterCard International. There is a Carrefour hypermarket, a Delhaize store, an Ibis Hotel, several BNP Paribas Fortis branches, office parks to the east of the town and two international schools: St. John's International School and the "Scandinavian School". As a result Waterloo is a polyglot and multicultural town, the Commune offers services in French, Dutch, and English. A row of shops, called Petit Paris is situated on the Chaussée de Bruxelles.

Park de Waterloo, Farmers market, Easter egg hunting, 

market and flea market

The name of Waterloo was mentioned for the first time in 1102 designating a small hamlet at the limit of a big forest (Sonian Forest) along a major road linking Brussels and Genappe, and further south to the coal mines area.

In the Wellington museum, there is a map showing 53 towns called Waterloo in the whole world, named after this Waterloo.

The Waterloo church with British and Dutch commemorating plaques.

The old cimetary, with graves dating from 1800

Waterloo started to develop during the 17th century. A royal chapel was built in 1687 in Petit-Waterloo. This chapel still exists and was extended in 1826 at the back to form today's main church of Waterloo. During the Waterloo battle the church was used as military hospital for the wounded soldiers

The Battle of Waterloo took place near Waterloo on June 18, 1815 between the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Alliance of the Seventh Coalition (the United Kingdom, Prussia, Austria and others), under the main allied commanders, the Duke of Wellington and General von Blücher.

A reconstitution of the Waterloo battle takes place every two years.

The hill with the Waterloo Lion and a couple in the 1815 clothes.

There is a memorial in the form of a statue of a lion (looking towards France) on a hill, with 253 stairs, called "La Butte du Lion". Other attractions related to the battle are the Wellington Museum and the Catholic Church of St. Joseph, where Wellington is said to have prayed before going into battle and where British and Dutch plaques commemorating the fallen are now to be seen.

From the little sleepy town it had now become a tourist attraction, which probably started when the group ABBA made it popular with their song "Waterloo".

When we moved to Waterloo, it wasn't a tourist attraction at all. You could climb up the stairs to the Lion for nothing and the Wellington Museum was a normal house, with Wellington's bed inside. Today you have to pay for all this and you can take a sightseeing bus which leads you through the battle field.

25 Apr 2012


more participants here


(Toby) Bruce Lee

24 Apr 2012

OUR WORLD - Spring ?

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If you have Spring season in your country, I just show you how it looks in my part of the world since 3 weeks !!

You leave your home in sunshine, and being optimistic you think that it would last the whole day, although it's still quiet cold 6°C (43 F), and the temperature raises only a few degrees during the day.

This was the nice way going driving to my Acqua Gym at 9.30 am. 

when I came out it looked already darker

Arriving on the parking of our supermarket, the weather didn't know to decide for what.

Of course it decided for rain.

coming home and looking out of the window it didn't look like the sun would come out again, and indeed it started to rain mixed with hail the whole afternoon ! Of course that mother Nature is a little late with leaves and flowers !

The one who said this is right !

Spring : What is it like ? "Is it the sun shining on the rain or the rain falling on the sunshine" ?

23 Apr 2012


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of April 21, 2012.

As spring still looks like a month of November and unless you want to catch a cold and get wet like a sponge, it's better to stay somewhere inside, therefore I decided to make a little tour at Ikea, it had been a long time I wasn't there. I was looking for a barrier to fix on Mr. G's bed, because he does such agited dreams that several times he had fallen out of his bed !

It had happened again this week, apparently in his dream he had jumped behind a hedge to hide ! I found him sitting in the middle of the room with all the bedstuff draped around him ! He really looked so funny that I had to laugh. But it is also dangerous because he could break an arm or leg or worse.

So I asked for a barrier and they send me to the children section, where I found one which unfortunately was not high enough. Whole Ikea was upside down, because they change everything so you get easily lost and with my sense of orientation, I wandered around and around and couldn't find the exit ! Finally I found it but in between I had bought a special knife for peeling apples not for murdering somebody, and napkins which hadn't been my intention !

When I arrived in the huge parking, I looked for my car. I had parked it at a corner close to the entrance and exit. What I didn't know was that there are two entrances (or exits) and I didn't remember which one I had used. After turning around and around for 15 min at least, I asked for help at the reception. A young guy came with me and we looked together for my car. After 45 min we finally found it, and yes it was on a corner near the exit and the entrance, but on the other side of the parking ! I was exhausted, and instead of going to the Garden center, I went home and then to Dominique who had invited me and Nicole for a drink. What an adventure ! This has never happened to me  ! It was the first time in my life that I lost my car in a parking !

The rest of the Saturday's afternoon we had a nice time together and talked about our forthcoming roundtrip through Tunesia in June.

Sunday we had "funeral" weather again, all grey and humid, it took me all desire to put my nose outside. Nevertheless we needed something to eat  I went to our Sunday market in Waterloo and between several showers I managed to stay dry. While I was waiting for our Thai food which was prepared by the Belgian owner's Thai wife while I was chatting with him, I was under a tent, when I ran over to the stand with the grilled chicken, the sun was shining and waiting in a line to get my chicken breast and vegetables it rained again while I stood under a tent again. As soon as I arrived at my car it poured buckets of water and this lasted for the whole afternoon, sometimes even with hail.

I did my laundry while I worked on the computer, and put it in the dryer, now I wait that the laundry comes up the stairs nicely folded and puts itself in the wardrobes.

Dominique came over as usual on Sunday's evenings when I could record a "Midsomer Murder" film, this time we only had 3 corpses, but still according to Mr. G. we are in the average. 

22 Apr 2012


This is not a joke but really happened in the north of France.

For one week, on the radar appeared the message "Fuck you" to drivers each time they exceeded the imposed speed limit.

No one realized it during a whole week. Not even the mayor of the city. And for a good reason: he rides a bicycle ! An employe of the company responsible for the radars, who likes to joke had programmed the radar with this not very polite phrase. As it was in English most of the drivers probably didn't even understand what it meant.

Finally, a local journalist noticed the message while driving by and asked that the text should be withdrawn. Unfortunatelly the company first couldn't manage to erase the text. Therefore, the text left unchanged for a whole week. By now the radar has been reprogrammed. It now displays a message more polite  "Attention, too fast".