8 Feb 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. The days are coming and going and it seems to me that a week is just like a pearl necklace,  each day looks the same ! Even my activities, like each Monday going to aqua gym in the morning and then having a cup of tea together and chatting, which of course has different themes. Lots of people have the flew or a cold and the City's babysitter service is fully booked as the babies are sick have to stay at home while the parents have to go to work. Not everybody has a grandma at disposal.

2. Now we are 3 to go to Yoga, Dominique as usual but my other neighbor Vivi has decided to join in and she likes it very much. I booked my trip around the UK and now I got the confirmation and it's done ! The rest of the day I was looking at pictures of all places we will visit !

Preparing a trip is nearly as much fun then doing it !

3. My friend Nicole had internet connection troubles with her laptop, and as she has no internet at home she always goes to the internet service organized by the city with 9 computers to be used by the citizens who don't have a computer or don't have Internet. But she wanted to use her own computer. I picked her up and we had lunch together in our little Greek restaurant and afterwards she came with me to fix her internet connection. It turned out that a piece was broken and she had to buy a USB key for WiFi.

4. Although our house is not a castle, some people loose their orientation sense and always end up in my storage room instead of the toilet. While I was taking off my shoes in the basement she went upstairs, and found herself nose to nose with brooms, vacuum cleaner, handbags etc instead of the toilet, and on her left Mr. G. was snoring sleeping peacefully in his bed for his afternoon nap. Poor Nicole got a shock returned to the kitchen and then we burst out in laughter !

5. No birthday to celebrate this time in my painting course, but our coffee break was as cheerful as usual

One of my classmates took these pictures while we were working very hard !

On my way back it started to snow again, but it didn't last it's not cold enough. No regret ! I have really enough of snow and winter.

I stopped at my pet food store and said hello to Cookie, the parrot of the shop's owner. He greeted me with loud whistles and was very intrigued by my camera. On the last picture I just had time to go one step back he wanted to bite in my camera ! He is a very funny boy !

7 Feb 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

If the whole world would speak the same language it would be much easier to create a peaceful world because we all would understand each other and no translator can do a mistake or translate wrong on purpose !

For instance lots of people don't know that "Allah" means "God" in Arabic and is exactly the same God  as in all other languages. And when men fight they all ask the same God to win the battle ! We ask Dieu, Dio, Gott, in our mother tongues. A language is very important as it is a tool for communication.

The European languages are divided into two origins, Romance and Germanic.

The oldest of all languages is called Proto-Germanic (also known as Common Germanic), which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe.

The most widely spoken Germanic languages are English and German. They belong to the West Germanic family. The West Germanic group also includes other major languages, such as Dutch. The North Germanic languages include Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Icelandic.

The Romance languages developed from Latin in the sixth to ninth centuries. The five most widely spoken Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian.

That's why it is so difficult for people with a Germanic language to learn a Romance language. It's much easier for an English to learn German than French for example and of course the other way around. I personally learned English quiet easily, but with French it was another story ! That took me some time ! But then once learned it helped me to learn Italian, because it is of the same "family". German also helped me for Dutch.

For a long time French was the official language for diplomats. It also was the official language when the Common Market was created in 1958, which today is called European Union. With the British joining in 1973 slowly the English language moved in too, and today  has become a sort of "Esperanto",  more and more Europeans speak English and it became the first foreign language to be taught in schools. Meanwhile it also has become the diplomats and politicians tool to communicate.

Amongst all languages English is the easiest one and the most precise one in short phrases.

For example :

Where is the next bus station ?
Où se trouve l'arrêt du bus la plus proche ? (French)
Wo ist die nächste Bushaltestelle ? (German)
Dove si trova la prossima fermata dell' autobus ? (Italian)

You don't need to know the language to see which is the shortest one. That's why more and more English words are moving into the other languages like Weekend, Babysitting and Kidnapping which are just coming into my mind and which are not translated anymore in French, German or Italian.

Today you say "Bon weekend" instead of " Je vous souhaite une bonne fin de la semaine !

I am sure that in the next 100 years there will be more and more English words used in other languages, the Frenchs complain already that their language becomes too English ! When I listen to the modern German, it is a big difference to the German I spoke almost 50 years ago ! There are so many English words !

6 Feb 2013

5 Feb 2013


As I am still in forced hibernation, because of the bad weather, I take you on a tour to castles which are not very far away from Brussels.

The castle of Beersel The castle was first mentioned in the 12th century. The present fortress was constructed by Godfrey of Hellebeek between 1300 and 1310 as a defensive base for Brussels. Today you can visit and see the creepy inside and the torture basement.

Chateau de la Hulpe (The castle of La Hulpe) , was built in French style in 1842. It is surrounded by a 227-ha domain with pastures, woods and ponds, known as Domaine Solvay. The castle and the domain. In 1988, the movie Le Maître de musique (The Music Teacher) by Gérard Corbiau, starring José Van Dam, was made in the castle and park of La Hulpe.

Corroy le Chateau (Corroy Castle) is a castle built in the early twelfth century. The building is remarkably well preserved. Still inhabited by the marquis, the castle serves as a backdrop for cultural and artistic activities and for various events and seminars.

Gaasbeek Castle, is today a national museum. The fortified castle was built around 1240 to defend the Duchy of Brabant against the County of Flanders. It is surrounded by a beautiful park and woods and a well liked destination for an excursion. There are often Expositions taking place in the castle.

Domain of Huizingen  is today a family park in a superb natural setting. The castle today belongs to the city and has been transformed to a wonderful restaurant. The park contains an unique rock garden and garden designed especially for the blind. 45 ha of woodland plus a little zoo. Lots of Brussels' families spent their day in this park and picnic.

The Lac Genval (lake Genval) is a popular vacation and holiday destination, the lake is surrounded by beautiful, turn-of-the-century homes built during the Belle Époque. Situated to the lake's south lies the Château du Lac, an exquisite five-star hotel, restaurant, and bar. It is very close to Waterloo and often on Sundays we walked around the lake, especially when our son was little.

4 Feb 2013


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of February 2. If you participate please put the little logo on the top of your post and leave your link.

It was a rather quiet weekend, besides the strange weather ! On Saturday I went out for a little shopping tour in the new shop which sells stocks from brand marks of all kind from household cleaning stuff to toys. The sun was shining the sky blue, wonderful I thought. When I came out of the first shop, it hailed terribly and the sky was dark and grey I just could cross the street and jump into my car, before I got holes in my head. On the way to the second shop, it started to rain ! I hurried to get into the shop without becoming wet like a sponge, made my tour came out and the sun was there together with a blue sky ! On my way home, it started to snow ! When I arrived the street was slightly white ! In not even 2 hours I had the whole scale of weather possibilities, a dream for all weathermen in the world, they couldn't get wrong !

My friend Ilona gave me this picture which was published in a local News Paper. 5 generation of girls under one roof ! The great great grandma holding the baby girl, Great grandma Ilona to her left, Grandma Marlen in the back to the right and the proud mom to the right ! That's very seldom nowadays !

I also had my little chat with Toby, this time he was very busy with a firemen truck and showed it to me ! For a deeper conversation he was far too busy.

On Sunday morning I went with Nicole to the Midi Market in Brussels to meet my cigarette "dealer" ! Don't worry I am not the only  "lady" or "gentlemen", he has a good clientele  from all social classes ! It had been a long time I hadn't been there, because I had brought cigarettes from Egypt. I found him immediately and we sat down together on a terrace of a closed hotel and we agreed to meet again in 3 weeks. He is a very  kind young man. That happens when cigarettes become too expensive. People don't stop smoking they try to get them cheaper ! Of course the police knows it, but they probably close their eyes, maybe they are also customers, who knows.

Then we were looking for cardigans and pullovers and both found some very nice underwear to the ridiculous price of 3 € ! We also bought fruits and Nicole some vegetables before we took the bus back home.

In the afternoon I was busy to look for hotels in London, because I will book the tour through the UK today to celebrate Ilona and my 70th birthday.

We choose end of May. As the tour starts very early morning, we have to arrive the day before and take a hotel. That's nice so we can spend a whole day in London before starting the tour.

This kept me busy because I wanted to check what was on the travel "menu".

Evening supper looked as always ...

Mr. G with his two fur terrorists, sharing chicken ! He suffered very much as you can see !