19 Jul 2013


Saturday's Photo hunting is here

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. The whole week we had really wonderful summer weather. Warm but not too hot always around 25°C (77 F). I had no energy to waste for doing something special so I put myself on holidays in my home.

Anyway I had my bronchitis again, but didn't feel sick, the doctor had come and has prescribed me again the pump with the mask and inhalations 3 times per day. My cats are used to the noise now, and while Rosie watches me, Arthur checks on the neighbors or people in the street.


 My favorite office. I am supervised by my cats Pookie and Rosie

Each day was similar, in the mornings some little household scores, and preparing Blog posts for the next day. In the afternoon sitting on the terrace with my notebook in the carton to keep out the light and a little sunbath for 20 min not more, that is enough to get some colors. I hate roasting in the sun !

3.  I learned more and more to use my Kindle Fire HD which I got from my son for my birthday, and am very happy now because I know how to use the features I want to use. I managed to download 3 books, one in German, one in French and one in English, and have started the German book which is a very funny crime story.

4. Now the half an hour of inhaling the medicine is almost a pleasure because the time goes by so quickly thanks to the Kindle ! I watch "Escape to the Country" on YouTube, or something else, and try to discover more features. I can read my mails, the newspaper, etc and it's really nice ! Now I can say what a wonderful gift ! Much better then an ebook reader only.

5. I went to the hospital to pick up my friend (and neighbor) Dominique who had a spine surgery and was allowed to return home. It was a pleasure to see her so happy and walking around without pain. I had filled in her fridge with frozen plates for 5 days so she won't starve. I was only upset about her family, from her 5 brothers and 4 sisters in law and her 3 adult children, nobody had time to pick her up. The children were on holidays. This confirms again that when you are in need you see who is really there for you. When she had rested a bit we sat in our garden and had an ice cold Karkade  (Ibiscus) tea.

Now I am looking forward to my next trip on July 25, first a day in London before taking the train late afternoon to Eastbourne at the English South East coast, staying with my friends as I do each year.

18 Jul 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

When I "was" moved to Belgium with my parents, I was 14. To move to a Kingdom was the only thing which was of interest to my romantic soul. I read everything available about the King of Belgium at that time King Baudouin, very shy, very catholic and not at all a King as I had imagined. Of course I didn't think anymore that the King and the Queen are running around in their palace with the crown on their heads, as I had believed as a child, but I was a little disappointed because he looked too normal !

When he died in 1993 his brother Albert became King. The enthrownment was without glamour, he just wore a uniform, no royal guests were there, but I thought that it was due to the death of Baudouin.

On July 10 King Albert announced that he will abdicate in favour of Crown Prince Philippe on July 21, the country’s independence day holiday.

At 79 and having health problems he probably had enough of being a King and he will be handing over the throne to his son Philippe, who is 53. Albert said his age and health no longer allow him to carry out his functions as he would want to and I think he earns a nice retirement.

“After a reign of 20 years I believe the moment is here to hand over the torch to the next generation,” Albert said in an address carried by all of Belgium’s major broadcasters. “Prince Philippe is well prepared to succeed me.”

Therefore I will live another enthrownment, not a coronation ! And it will probably be as "romantic" as for Albert. No crown, no king's clothes, no nothing. I haven't heard or read that any of the other royal families will be present. As soon as his father has abdicated, he will be enthrowned and the whole thing is celebrated on the National holiday. That I call saving money !

My romantic soul suffers !

Philippe was groomed from childhood to succeed his childless uncle King Baudouin.

He was born in Brussels on April 15, 1960. His place in the line of succession meant he received an appropriately rigorous and diverse education, first the school, and for the first time a public one.

This was followed by a four-year stint, from 1978 to 1981, at the Royal Military Academy, and training in the Belgian Armed Forces as both a pilot and paratrooper.

He later studied constitutional history at Trinity College, Oxford, and went on to receive a graduate degree in political science from California's Stanford University.

When Philippe entered his late 30s, we all thought that he will never find a queen, because he was so shy and unremarkable. He also had difficulties to read his speaches, which you could use instead of a sleeping pill, so monotonous it was. This all changed when he met  23-year-old aristocrat Mathilde d'Udekem d'Acoz while playing tennis in 1996. And finally he married !

It was not long before she had won the hearts of the Belgian people. Beautiful and glamorous, she also bridged the country's difficult divisions having been raised in the French part of the country, but coming from a noble Flemish family.

With Mathilde at his side who was a speech therapist (which came on purpose), Philippe  enjoyed a boost in popularity following the couple's wedding, and enthusiasm for the pair further increased with the arrival of their first child, a daughter, in 2001. His speeches were no longer sleeping pills.

When she eventually ascends to the throne, Princess Elisabeth will become the only female Belgian monarch in 171 years, thanks to a law in 1991 ending exclusively male succession.

So on July 21 we will have a new King and Queen. I wished there would be a little more glamour when he "climbs" on the thrown (yes at least that we have, and it's cleaned just now for the event)  maybe not so much "show" like in the UK but a little bit like it happened in the Netherlands.

The old and the new King

The future King and Queen, Mathilde and Philippe

The new royal family

Belgians in front of the castle when the news were announced

17 Jul 2013

16 Jul 2013

OUR WORLD - The Water bus in Brussels

Since July 6 Brussels city has a water bus ! This should help to free a bit the traffic on the roads. For the moment it's only a try to see if the investment is worthwhile.

I tried it out together with 3 friends and we had a great time. It's rather a cruise and the ship goes very slowly. But it takes you to very interesting places which are impossible to see from the streets and are usually not shown to tourists. But it should be a transportation mean. Read more here ...

15 Jul 2013


Helps you to remember what you have done on the weekend of July 14 . If you participate please put the little logo on the top of your post and leave your link.

On Saturday morning I woke up with my trachea aching when I breathed. I thought that isn't true, I won't start again with these bronchitis ! My mood sank  I ! There is nothing to do I have to go to see the Doctor again. Nevertheless I didn't feel sick so I went to Ilona's who wasn't in her best shape neither.

Together it's easier to carry our miseries, which we did while sitting in her garden and having tea. We chatted a lot, after all we had nothing at our tongues. As you can see Ilona loves cats too !

The evening I spent fumbling around with my Kindle tablet, each day I learn a little more by pushing on all available links and buttons, and then I find what I wanted, but don't ask me how. I was able to change my Kindle name and even set the clock which still had NY time, managed to open one of my downloaded books, and downloaded some photo albums too. So now I am  quiet happy, although I still have to get used to handle it properly.

On Sunday morning I took the bus to the midi station. Since July 1, there are new travel cards for seniors, not free travel anymore but you have to pay 30 € per year for that. The State needs money  ! And instead of increasing the taxes for four wheel drive cars and Jeeps, blocking the narrow streets in Brussels, and ask  a tax to use it for driving in the city center, no, they prefer to take the money from those who already don't have enough.

The weather was beautiful and I walked around found a nice turquoise cardigan, and cheap fruits, and then had a cool beer on the terrace.

The man who sat in front of me had this awful tattoo in fact he was full of tattoos and his wife too. They should see themselves when they are 70 or more !

We have lots of Moroccans  in Belgium, living around the South station, coming over from France as it had been a French colony before. Since the religious troubles started with 9/11, more and more women are wearing scarfs. Even more then I saw in Morocco. It seems to become an identity sign, because you see young girls in mini skirts and scarf (certainly not approved by Mohamed) or other very sexy clothes. I think I will wear a scarf, because it protects well from wind and sunshine !

The afternoon I spent in our garden at my favorite working place when the weather is warm and already the weekend was over. Especially Sundays are quiet boring as all shops and stores are closed and the streets empty.