2 Feb 2013


When I visit blogs to read posts and make may comments, I am suddenly stopped by a hint,  I don't open the Blogger's Blog but a Google + (plus) page.

I wanted to know for what it is useful to a simple Blogger like me who writes stories of my life including neighbors and friends, and also some opinions I have. Nothing very important to make the world better.

When I have a question, I just  ask Google for this purpose it's rather good. Therefore I googled to know more about the importance and use of Google + (plus). I found nothing but articles about Google, Google videos, Analytics, Webmaster tools, Google Reader, Maps, Earth, Translate (!!) Google groups and Google jobs, but nothing about Google +, finally at the very end I found "Searches related to Google +"
and had the choice between
google plus,
google + login,
google+ sign in,
google social network

Which made me come to the conclusion that Google itself doesn't know what Google + exactly is. After all if they don't know why should I know ? I felt already less stupid. 

Just by curiosity I clicked on "Google plus" found my profile and the information "Join Google+ by creating your public profile" (how many profiles do they need ?) No explanation for why I should join the Google plusers group and what for ! I never subscribe to things I don't know without a proper explanation.  I am already very bad for Facebook to which I was forced to subscribe because I only wanted to see photos my son had taken, and nothing else. Suddenly hundreds of people I never heard of wanted to become my friends ! I am not that lonely yet that I need hundreds of virtual friends !

Google + is just a loose of time in my case, because of some Bloggers I land on their Google + page, find the corresponding blog, which often is not even mentioned and I can't even leave a message without subscribing to  Google + and become a member ! That's really forcing people ! If at least the users would put a link to their blog ! When I have not enough time, I just don't comment, I try to send an email  to those who have an email on their blogs, that I can't comment !

The one who always helps me to understand all kind of things is Wikipedia. So I asked Wikipedia about Google + and here is the beginning of a very long explanation, which unfortunately didn't help me.

Google+ (pronounced and sometimes written as Google Plus, sometimes abbreviated as G+) is a multilingual social networking and identity service owned and operated by Google Inc. (sounds like Facebook )! It was launched on June 28, 2011. As of December 2012, it has a total of 500 million registered users  (victims of the mousetrap) of whom 235 million are active on a monthly basis. (Fortunately only monthly, some people have also to work !) Unlike other conventional social networks which are generally accessed through a single website, Google has described Google+ as a "social layer" (what is a social layer ? I only know liars) consisting of not just a single site, but rather an overarching (goodness me !) "layer" which covers many of its online properties. You can read more here. 

I gave up,  it just sounds like a Facebook imitation !

Conclusion : I will never (although you should never say never) join the Google + "social layer" they have to try to keep on without me, and remain faithful to my Blogs only.

1 Feb 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. From almost one day to the other, the temperature raised from - 6°C (20 F) to + 9°C (48 F), and with that, it poured buckets of water down on the streets, made them first slippery, because of the melting snow and then wet ! The landscape from one day to the other changed from white to green and grey. 

Sunday ... and Monday afternoon !

At least our Aqua Gym took place again, it had been closed because of the snow. It was the first time after Christmas that Dominique and I went there to pick up our normal routine for Mondays.

2. It was time to fill in the freezer again with yummy plates for the whole week. It took me not even an hour and I was back home. It rained so much that I could hardly see through the windshield ! My poor neighbor (the house you see above) had water in the basement ! The rest of the day I stayed home spending my time between computer and drying wet cats !

4. When I am stuck at home, I have sometimes ideas to change places of  the furniture in our house, if it is possible. And I found something ! Since at least 15 years we had an onyx table sitting in front of the sofas, and a round  table between them. I thought why not just change them around which would give more space. 

With the help of Mr. G. who for once agreed to a change, we pushed the furniture around and were satisfied with the result.

Now he can pull out the support for his legs and watch TV more comfortable, and not laying around on the Sofa like an old Roman. I only wonder why it took me 15 years to have this idea !

5. We celebrated again a birthday in my painting course, with cakes and champagne,  last week it had been cancelled because of the snow. A few classmates were absent, because they had a cold. With this roller coaster weather it's no wonder.

31 Jan 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

Keys are my enemies ! They make me loose time, because I am always looking for them. Of course I always put them on the same place, the trouble is, the places change, not the key ! You wouldn't think that you can loose a car key when you are in your garage you had switched off the engine and climbed out of the car. But the next time I wanted to take my car they had disappeared. Usually I always put them besides my seat, there is a little place to put small things. Of course no keys there.

After having looked under the seats and everywhere in the car, I finally took my spare keys. When I came home I emptied my purse, turned it upside down, shook it, but besides some crumbs nothing fell out. A week went by, without finding the key, which must be somewhere in the house, but where ? One day I found it in my purse in a little side pocket closed with a zip ! Of course it couldn't fall out.

And this is only one example of uncountable key searches in my life.

Neighbor keys, kitchen door and entrance keys

Despite my key "wars" we keep the keys of our next neighbor's, 4 houses in total. I am not alone, because they too, forget their keys and then come over to pick up the spare keys. It often happens with the 17 year old son, who leaves them inside or looses them, and Dominique is a champion in key forgetting too.
So I am not the only one.

Now I wanted to know who had invented the key which causes me so much troubles ! And I found out that the first key and lock were made out of wood some 4,000 years ago;  !! That means for 4000 years people were loosing their keys !  However it is unclear which civilization was the first to invent them. Probably they want to stay anonymous !

The first all-metal lock appeared between the years 870 and 900, and are attributed to the English craftsmen. It is also said that the key was invented by Theodore of Samos in the 6th century BC. I wished that Theodore had never been born !

In Ancient Rome, having keys—or anything worth locking up—was uncommon. So the key was as much a status symbol as a security device. Affluent Romans often kept their valuables in secure boxes within their households, and wore the keys as rings on their fingers. The practice had two benefits: It kept the key handy at all times, while signaling that the wearer was wealthy and important enough to have money and jewelry worth securing. A pity that times have changed. Now you have to lock your house like a door in Fort Knox. I never thought that a key could be a social status symbol ! These Romans !

30 Jan 2013

29 Jan 2013


Today I want to show you some less well known parts of Brussels.

Besides the Palace of Justice which sits on a hill, there is a lift going down to lower Brussels to the oldest part of the city. Here you can find a flea market, artists, old cafés and very old houses. This area is called "Les Marolles".

all kind of houses

Matongé or Matongué is known throughout Belgium for its large community of people of African origin, and served as a centre and residence for university students from the Belgian Congo. After the independence of Congo, the district faced an influx of immigrants from the Congo. There are also communities from other African countries like Rwanda, Burundi, Mali, Cameroon, and Senegal present in this district. You can find all African specialities in the shops and of course on the market.

The Royal Palace in Brussels is a stop for the sightseeing buses. Less known are the cellars under the palace. The entrance is just besides the palace in an aisle open to the public.

click to make it bigger

It looks a little creepy in there !

The Tour &Taxi  building along the canalside was a warehouse and customs depot. It was built over a century ago by the Tour et Taxis family, who founded Belgium’s postal service. I remember that before the creation of the Common Market (today the European Union), we had to go there and pick up parcels we got from abroad.   Today the buildings have been transformed into  a complex, hosting temporary exhibitions (such as Star Wars), and harbouring a growing collection of industrial-chic shops, bars and restaurants. The renovations are part of an ambitious blueprint to rehabilitate the entire canal quarter.

Tour & Taxi inside is quiet impressive

Brussels old harbor. Today you can take a sightseeing tour on a ship or a water "bus" and see Brussels from the canal, which leads to Antwerp.

During the summer months, an artificial beach with sand is created every year, the banks are transformed into a real urban beach for "Bruxelles les Bains". The beach is provided with huts, deckchairs and fountains. 3.000 tons of sand from the North Sea covers the site  of 1 km length.

St Gilles is one of the 19 municipalities in Brussels, and has beautiful old houses dating from the 19th century or even earlier. It's sadly famous for its prison, which looks like an old castle.

Around the old North station lots of old houses were demolished and modern buildings grew like mushrooms. When I returned there after years, I didn't recognize anything.

Brussels architecture has a lot of varieties. There are also lots of little parks and green squares with banks to sit and rest.

28 Jan 2013


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of January 27. If you participate please put the little logo on the top of your post and leave your link.

On Saturday morning it started to snow again which made me very upset, I thought we are again prisoners of the house ! Fortunately it didn't last long and we could cross the street without any problems

to celebrate my neighbor's birthday ! She was the first one I knew here in our street when we moved in  38 years ago ! On the pictures you can see Mr. G with Dominique and my neighbor's eldest daughter. Her grand daughter served the birthday cake, which was delicious it was a cake called "chocolate bomb" and I swear it really was a bomb ! I couldn't eat supper and even Mr. G. who usually eats like a horse, after two slices had more then enough ! It was real nice we talked about old memories and the neighbors who moved or passed away and had a lot of fun.

Sunday morning it was a disaster ! It was raining cats and dogs and a strong wind blow. The temperature had raised and the snow was melting. I heard "thunder" rumbling on our roof, when the snow in big pieces slipped away.

Then we had a call from Toby who said quickly hello before he returned to his very important occupations, he was faking to make  tea in his little kitchen and served it in a little cup. I got one too, through the screen ! Then he waved good bye. The tea was very good !

Meanwhile it had stopped raining and all the snow was gone ! It had happened so quickly ! I had promised Ilona to come helping her with some computer questions, and I had thought I couldn't make it because of glaze. Instead the streets were clean and the sun even  appeared  for two seconds. We also talked about doing a nice trip together to celebrate our 70th birthday. She is my only friend who has the same age. My other friends are much younger. Making holiday plans are always fun ! We are thinking about a round trip through the UK, from London up to Edinbourg and then over Wales down to Bath and Stonehenge. Now I have to gather all informations. It's not sure yet, but we are both dreaming already !

In the evening I "prepared" supper Tagliatelle with salmon and zucchinis in a delicious sauce. It was a terrible work, I had to put it in the microwave and push the bottom ! On the picture it's still frozen because I forgot to take one when it was warmed up !

It was so good that Mr. G. was surrounded by our cats, especially Arthur of course who always has to put his nose in the plates !

27 Jan 2013


In 1963 when I was 20 I worked for a company in Brussels which made magnetic colorful letters. Each year they exposed in Nürnberg at a worldwide famous toy fair in Germany.

My job was to translate into French and to look cute and friendly and keep the stand where our products were shown. I was alone and hungry, it was around noon, my boss and another coworker had gone for lunch, but the hall was still packed with people. I took my sandwich out of my bag and put it on the floor so that nobody could see it and from time to time I looked around,  bent down and took a bite.

A few stands further I heard people laughing and laughing and told myself that they must show something very funny and that's why probably I had nobody at our stand.

Then I noticed that one of my nylon stockings was loose (there were no panties yet) and had to be fixed to the garters. As only my top could be seen,  I pulled up my skirt and fixed the clip. Another bout of loud laughter. I became curious and as my stocking was fixed I walked over there to have a look and to find out why people were laughing so much and evidently were very amused.

When I approached the laughter even increased and I didn't understand a thing. And then I saw what happened ! The exposed object was a video camera (very rare at that time) directed right to my stand and you could even see what happened behind the counter ! Now I understood why there was so much laughter, everybody had seen me eating under the counter and also my legs while I fixed my stocking !

What should I do ? getting a red face and look ashamed or laughing ? I preferred to laugh with them !