5 Apr 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. On Monday I was extremely busy ! Although it was Easter Monday I and should have rested ! 

Instead I pushed the button of the washing machine and did the laundry, put Oscar the lawn mower Robot in the middle of the grass, pushed again on a button and then collapsed overworked on the sofa and assisted to a little murder in my crime story on TV ! Arthur did the supervisor on Oscar's work and when the lawn was mowed, I took it in and connected it to the charger. Working so hard would have been very much appreciated by my Grandma who loved all new inventions ! That must be in the genes.

2. Mr. G this time went with me to Ilona's to clean and update her computer. While he was busy

we were sitting in her gazebo and had a cup of tea. She has arranged it so well and cozy ! The sun was shining and it was quiet warm in there, and I had the impression to sit outside on the terrace. Mr. G joined in from time to time and admired all the little cat sculptures she has in her garden.

3. Now that I am feeling my old self again, I suddenly needed new feathers for spring ! It's still very cold only 4°C (39 F) but this didn't stop me !

I bought a cute little mouse for my travel notebook and was so surprised that the mice became so cheap ! I only payed 4 € (5 $) ! And I found trousers just as they were in fashion when I was 30, (old  fashion comes back) and a black T-shirt. The good thing is I don't even look ridiculous ! Mr. G. loved the trousers !

4. Having informed Ilona about my shopping results, she called me and asked me to go back with her ! She bought red jeans and a red striped T-shirt, and we thought that now we are well equipped for our round trip through the UK. After that I took her to the whole sale store, she had never been there and she was so surprised about the prices there. As always the store was full !

5. Our fridge was empty and I had to go shopping for some food ! On the way back I stopped at Nicole's and met a friend there I hadn't seen for 18 years ! We had lost contact, she is the wife of one of  Mr. G.'s colleagues and also German. Of course we had a lot to chat and automatically spoke German together so several times Nicole had to interrupt us and ask to speak French ! We had some self baked chocolate cake together and coffee and of course the two dogs, Charlie and Daisy wanted some cake too !

Daisy is only a little bigger than Charlie's head, but they are the best buddies !
We two women with some diplomatic talent also managed that our men called each other, and now they will meet again tomorrow after such a long time !

4 Apr 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

Every single day in the News we are reminded that we suffer an economical crises. This fact is a good excuse for some stores to increase their prices although it is not justified at all. But the most happiest people are the  Treasury Secretaries or Finance ministers. If in normal life they are quite boring and unimaginative and usually not creative at all, when it comes to invent taxes, they suddenly devolp an extraordinary phantasy ! With hungry eyes and pointed ears they look and hear everywhere where they could get some more taxes to collect !

I suppose it's in every country the same, and in this one our Finance Minister, hasn't slept either ! After taxes on house, ground, car, bykes and motorbykes, heritage, income, pensions and fortune (it's better you remain poor !) he now saw his chance in air pollution, world warm ups, smogs and ozon.

He happily rubbed his hands and his heart was full of joy ! What kind of taxes could he create to also profit from our sick globe ? The garbadge ! Yes ! that's a good idea but how ? He thought it over and over and then had the idea of his life ! Just banning the heavy metal garbadge bins and only allow special colored plastic bags. The garbadge men also would be happy (and then vote for him) because it's less heavy to carry. But what color ? He looked to the sky and choose light blue for cans and plastic bottles.

He looked at the white (short) skirt of his secretary and choose white for household trash. Of course you have to buy these bags in the city hall and if ever you put another plastic bag on the street, it is not taken or you even can get a fine.

But what to do then with paper and cartons ? So he added a little tax on the house tax and allowed the garbadgemen to pick them up twice per month. Meanwhile your cartons and papers are piled up to the ceiling in you house. To make the tax again a little bigger, he also added a little bit for street cleaning.

He racked his brain and hurrah ! he found something else ! Pollution caused by cars and trucks ! Little more taxes to pay on the trucks and some more fine to pay for car owners if they don't respect the speed limit when there is smog.

Finally he thought, it's not so bad. With the VAT (value added tax) on all bills and invoices there is also some money coming in. And then last but not least, now when the summer arrives why not invent a tax on barbecues ? It pollutes the air too ! To watch over all the culprits who make a barbecue in their gardens he would create a special police unit who should overfly the gardens by helicopter and by walky talky send a special agent to this house to collect a barbecue tax.

But there was a problem. Sausages do more smoke then steaks, and pork and beef is also different so what to do ? Easy ! For sausages it will be 40 € and for steaks 30 € tax on barbecue, payable immediately. For pork he is not sure yet, he has to try it first himself when he makes his next barbecue !

The last tax invention was reported to the population in the News of April 1st. It created hot phone lines, overcharged internet and almost riots !

2 Apr 2013

OUR WORLD - Brussels Royal Park

Despite the unusual cold weather at the end of March, I went for a walk through the ROYAL PARK also called the "Parc de Bruxelles". It is the largest urban public park in the center of Brussels. The area of the rectangular park is 13.1 ha (32 acres). Read more here

1 Apr 2013


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of March 30. If you participate please put the little logo on the top of your post and leave your link.

Our weekly "conversation" with Toby was rather short, he was very busy with other things and had no patience at all to see his Nonna and Nonno's faces. We finally got a smile after Daddy probably had encouraged him to do so. Of course for a two year old telephone conversations are rather boring, I think when he is in his teens he will have the phone stuck to his ears !

We were supposed to go to Amsterdam to celebrate Easter together, but as we both were sick and still not running at 100 % we preferred to stay home.

I had no energy this year to take out our Easter decoration and decorate the house, the only thing I did was buying this couple and put it on top of the TV set.

As we stay home we "babysit" Dominique's little birdie. I think it likes our guest room very much because since its arrival it has laid two eggs on which it is sitting now. Mr. G. hopes for a nice omelette, and our cats try to get into the room where the birdie twitters ! Apparently it is a member of Twitter.

Ilona and I are suffering from this long lasting winter and were really color hungry. So on Saturday we went to a Garden store and did a little walk through there at least it was warm ! After having bought some potting soil and two little cat statues for our garden, we went to her house and had tea in front of the burning stove !  Fortunately we don't have a "White Easter" !

This night we were switched to summer time and had to get up one hour earlier. I don't care for an hour I don't even realize. We have a second animal to feed, our neighbor's cat Chouchou because they went on holidays to France. Of course Chouchou doesn't care about summer time either and was rather happy when I brought her breakfast so early ! As soon as I open the garage door she already sits in the middle of the street and shows me the way to her bowl !

On Easter Sunday we had 0°C (32 F) which increased to 4° (37 F) a tropical temperature. Nevertheless I wanted to go photohunting as I run out of pictures  ! I dressed myself for an expedition to the North Pole and drove to Brussels.

Brussels City had organized an Easter Egg hunting for the kids in the Royal Park of Brussels. The park is just in front of the Royal Palace. Despite the cold weather there were lots of tourists around. The Park was packed with children and their parents, the egg hunting had just finished and I heard that 30 thousand eggs had been distributed ! There were lots of activities for the children and stalls with food, and even seats with tables but it was far too cold to sit there ! I made a very quick tour and then hurried back to my car, where I put the heating on a maximum ! After not even two hours I was back home and downloaded the pictures. The rest of the day we spent watching TV and rested.

I think it was the first time that I saw the park without any green leaves or even a little sign of a sprout. It still looked like deep winter, now on a first of April !

31 Mar 2013


When I was a little girl and lived with my grandparents in the country side, many farmers had rabbits. When Easter approached I watched the rabbits in their cages and hoped to see when they would lay eggs.

Unfortunately that never happened and my grandma told me that they would do this probably during night. Still I was very happy when on Easter morning my grandpa told me that the Easter bunny  had come and I should look in the garden. My grandma gave me a basket and off  I went to search for eggs, which on this special occasion weren't white or light brown, but were in all colors ! blue, red, green, yellow what fun ! There were also little Easter bunnies in chocolate.

When I moved with my parents to Belgium, there were no Easter bunnies at all. Here the bells of Rome brought eggs and chocolate eggs and fluffy chicks. Meanwhile I didn't believe anymore that a bunny could lay eggs not even on Easter, but how to explain to a kid that a bell lays eggs ?? I quickly learned that the bells don't lay eggs but they bring the eggs.

In Belgium and France the predominant religion is Roman-Catholic (90%). No city, village or town is without a church. Many of them date back to the twelfth century or before. Most churches have a bell,  On the Thursday before Good Friday, all church bells in France are silenced in acknowledgement of Jesus' death. In fun, children are told that the bells have flown to Rome to see the Pope. Easter morning, the bells ring out once again in celebration of the Resurrection, declaring that Jesus is alive again. In some villages, people kiss and embrace one another when they hear the bells ring.

Easter morning is a happy time for children who wake to look for colorfully decorated Easter eggs (les oeufs de Pâques) hidden in their gardens, homes and playgrounds. Parents tell their children the eggs were brought from Rome (where the bells had gone), and that when the bells returned they brought the eggs with them. (I never saw a flying bell btw !)

Back to the Easter Bunny ! There's no story in the Bible about a long-eared, cotton-tailed creature known as the Easter Bunny. Neither is there a passage about young children painting eggs or hunting for baskets overflowing with scrumptious Easter goodies.

The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season.

The bunny as an Easter symbol has it's origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. These were made of pastry and sugar.

The tradition of making nests for the rabbit to lay its eggs is soon followed. Eventually, nests became decorated baskets and colorful eggs were swapped for candy, treats and other small gifts.

Today the Easter Bunny has settled in everywhere even in France and Belgium, although the Roman Bell story still remains. Poor kids, who finally brings the Easter eggs ? The Easter Bunny or the Roman Bell ?