18 Aug 2012


I am still busy with my new job as sightseeing guide, showing the most important things to be seen in Brussels to Claudie and Pierre !

We have a lot of fun together

17 Aug 2012


more participants here

1. As I expected our guests from the French Riviera, my friend Claudie and her husband, I had quiet a lot of shopping to do.

2. You also clean and do things, which you only do under pressure, at least that's my case otherwise I always tell myself, I will do this tomorrow. That's why I finally pulled out the weeds which grew cheerfully in our gravel in front of the house.

3. I have known Claudie through blogging about our cats. Then we became blogfriends, and  we met for the first time "life" in April 2011, when she invited me for a week. She then came for a visit with her daughter in August the same year, and I went again for a week in February this year.


and finally they arrived and I picked them up at the Waterloo station !

After a fresh cool Belgian beer we visited the Waterloo battle field, and the British Lion who sat on his hill turning his head towards France, as Napoleon had lost the battle here against Wellington and his allies. While Pierre took pictures of us, Mr. G. took pictures of him and then we posed together.

Unfortunately the site was in quiet a mess, as it will be completely renovated to attract more tourists. The total cost of this renovation will be around 40 million € ( 49.000.000 $) I hope the result will justify this amount. Finally it comes partly from our city taxes ! After visiting we then tried the good "Waterloo" beer, especially brewed for this historic place.

After Mr. G's prepared supper of Tortellini filled with salmon we had an Italian icecream and chatted the rest of the evening. We had beautiful warm or even hot weather 30°C (86 F) and it was great to sit outside ! It was the first time this year that we could eat on the terrace ! The weather had always been so cold and rainy.

5. The next day I took them to Brussels, to the hill where once the gallow was and now the Palace of justice. From there you have a wonderful view over whole Brussels.

Then we went to the Grand'Place, where the flower carpet was desplayed as they do each two years. This year the theme was "African" and about one million flowers were used. It is absolutely spectacular !

Then we walked through the little streets had some chips and  they had a special Belgian beer called "Kwak" in the old Toone puppet theatre which also has a little garden. It was amazing to sit in the middle of a huge crowd and noisy streets suddenly in such a quiet nice place. The evening ended with a typical Belgian plate, a Stoemp with sausages. It's more a plate for winter, but they wanted only eat and drink Belgian things. They already tried 6 Belgian beers, Leffe, Chimey, Waterloo, Kriek, Bush, and Kwak !

We had a lot of fun together.

16 Aug 2012


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

Mr. Gattino has a friend named Pietro. Pietro is a heart of man and the only thing in his life he really hates are problems. Problems have to be solved by mostly saying yes to everything or ask his wife to handle them.

But this time it was different, a catastrophe had happened ! It concerned his mamma ! You have to know that for an Italian his Mamma is the most important person in his life. Especially when he is grown up. Even in Mafia circles men always listened to Mamma (see the "Godfather").

Mamma is respected by everybody in the family and despite the fact that everybody thinks Italian men are machos in front of Mamma they are like little boys. Pietro's Mamma in the respectable age of 94 had to be hospitalized, at least that's what she had decided. The whole family was informed like a queen's desease is announced to the public.

Therefore Pietro rushed over in a hurry like a headless chicken, he thought his Mamma was already half dead.

He immediately wanted to call an ambulance but Mamma had first to dress up in a very elegant dress, to comb her heavy silver hair as if she would go to an opera, put make up on and her best jewels and only then she was ready to suffer and to receive the men with their ambulance.

Pietro had to lay her down on the stretcher, not the men from the ambulance, although he suffers badly from his back. But Mamma had insisted ! Now Mamma could be the star of the whole street ! She is not the type of suffering in silence, so while the ambulance guys carried her on the stretcher, she was lamentating, moaning, groaning and gesticulating with her hands, while looking around to see if the whole street really could have a good view on her suffering.

They all, Pietro, father, aunt, uncle, nephew and grandchildren followed the stretcher, loud talking, fighting and discussing while Mamma suffered loud. The nurse who saw them coming, almost fainted and threw them all out. Mamma screemed for her son.

The nurse shut the door and looked at the elegant outfit, took everything off and put her to bed. Mamma shouted her protestings so loud, that almost the whole hospital could hear her. Finally she calmed down and lay like a diva, with her silk new nightgown on the bed.

Next day she got hysterical and called for Pietro, so that even a deaf could hear her. She complained that the bed was too hard, the Belgian TV had no italian channels, the nurses came not fast enough, the doctors were all stupid and don't do with her what she deserves, the room was too warm, she was freezing at night and of course she couldn't close an an eye.

The poor women who shared the room with her had almost gotten a nervous brakedown and hadn't closed an eye, because Mamma was moarning the whole night like an old cat in love.

Of course she didn't eat, no, the hospital food was just rotten and she asked Pietro, her son and not the husband to bring her food everyday otherwise she would starve. Of course it had to be italian food and nothing else all other kitchens are bad. So poor Pietro every day went to a catering service and bought italian food in his lunch hour time.

Mamma was an "easy" patient, she rang the bell every five minutes for the nurse, to open the window, to close the window, to bring fresh water, to bring her a mirror, to give her a cover, to take off the cover etc. Finally doctor and nurses had enough of Mamma and asked Pietro, to take her home. Pietro of course called again the ambulance and went with Mamma home. Papa was always behind. In front of their house, Mamma, laying on her stretcher greeted everybody like a queen her subjects. Of course she complained that Pietro had forgotten to buy her some flowers.

Now Mamma back home, poor Pietro is not out of his troubles ! Mamma lets her husband call him mostly around 3 am to inform him that Mamma cannot sleep, and is to weak to speak, that she suffers worse then Jesus on his cross and that her end is near and every morning before going to work Pietro has to bring her croissants from a special italian bakery and not another one !

The whole family watches like Pitbulls and Dobermans together poor Pietro and they blame him when for once he dares to say that he is tired and just wants to rest for a day. No, they say, you only have one Mamma, now she is so sick, you at least have to take care of her like she did when you were a baby.

The baby meanwhile is 65 years old and has a family. But that doesn't matter to Mamma, she is half dead although she looks like a fresh rose compared to poor Pietro with his mouse grey face.

PS. This is a true story which my best friend had told me. Fortunately my mamma in law wasn't at all like that, she was a wonderful woman and we were very close friends.
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us Mamma ready for the ambulance

15 Aug 2012


more participants here

Lammas festival Eastbourne

14 Aug 2012


On my way back from the English coast I visited the London Tower and the Crown Jewels.

read more here

13 Aug 2012


This meme helps you to remember what you did on the weekend of 11 August.

I am definitively back to afternoon coffees instead of 10 days tea time. On Saturday Christiane, one of my painting courses friends came for a visit, she wanted to see my UK holiday pictures. We sat in the garden, it was finally summer and had a nice cup of coffee. She didn't want to drink tea, although I had brought a box of the good English tea I was used to drink with my friend Ann. But Christiane doesn't like tea !

I also went to Ilona, we first wanted to have an ice cream somewhere in a nice café outside, but then decided to stay on her terrace and had a Vanilla icecream there with a hot self made blackberry/rasberry sauce. It tasted delicious. We chatted the whole afternoon, there were so many things which had happened while I was away.

On Sunday Nicole asked me if I wanted to go for a walk with her to Groenendal, a wood around Brussels, to a place which I didn't know. She always goes there to let her dog Charly swim, because there is a nice pond there. Dominique joined us, and finally we didn't walk there at all, sat on our seats which we had taken along and watched Charly playing in the water.

Big drama, Nicole had forgotten his ball !

But he met another dog, who had two balls, so he stole one and then didn't want to give it back when the owner wanted to leave !

after a little drink out of a special bottle for dogs, he found another ball somewhere in the grass and chewed on it.

We also met a homeless (at least that's what he told us) who sleeps in this little car together with 5 huge bird cages. When I wanted to take a picture of the birds, he refused and said he has his reasons ! We found that rather strange, and then Dominique recognized the birds, they are worth 250 € (307 $) per couple !!

He sleeps with a fortune ! We thought he sells them probably.

When we had enough sunshine and Charly was more or less dry, we went to Dominique for an icecream ! There Mr. G. couldn't resist and came too !

Sir Arthur wasn't bothered at all to find a dog in the neighbor's garden, came over too to check on him, but Charly isn't used to cats so he wanted to play with Arthur and run after him. Arthur just moved on the other side of the hedge and looked at Charly through a hole !

It was too funny ! Unfortunately I didn't manage to catch a good picture of them.

A nice and sunny weekend. Almost like holidays !