4 Oct 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. After a relaxing weekend life got back to normal although Mr. G. is still very tired, apparently it takes at least a month to get rid of the effects of the anesthesia. I learned how to change the plaster on his 3 scars. It would be easy, but it's a special one which sticks everywhere as soon as you take off the protection so it's quiet an unnerving operation until that thing sticks on the right places. I am pleased to see that the scars are healing very well.

2. Aqua Gym had started again and the swimming pool was quiet crowded, as always in the beginning. We were 12 instead of usually 8. After our gymnastic we had our usual tea time chat about husbands, grandchildren, travels etc. I felt real good when I got home, but after my lunch I missed my crime story because I fell asleep ! When I woke up, the murder had been solved and I pushed the rewind button to see what had happened.

3. As the weather was so nice and sunny, I went to Ilona's and we could sit in the sunshine. We had a lot to talk about, because she had been on holidays in Spain and I got rid of my worries. Unfortunately her holidays had been awful, she had followed the invitation of a friend she knows since 30 years, but who had become a fanatic sort of Guru of a group and instead of enjoying the sunshine on the beach, she had fights because she didn't want to meditate and follow the crazy ideas of this woman. Instead of a relaxed Ilona I found a rather furious and very disappointed one. Sometimes it is really crazy when you know somebody for such a long time and then she had become another person.

4. On my way back I got stuck on the completely congested highway, there had been an accident. I regretted that I didn't have my new hybrid car yet, because I wouldn't have used any petrol, driving so slowly but only electricity which doesn't cost anything. But I got some very good news, my car is ready standing in the Toyota garage, all it needs now is a license plate and an insurance contract. So only some administrative work, which hopefully doesn't take too long.

5. Our painting class has started again and we have a new teacher. She is very nice and very funny too !

Last week a photographer from the Waterloo city came taking pictures of us in full work, because we have our yearly exhibition on October 19. So we are all working hard on our last paintings.

I have painted only 4 this year, I just had a black out in creativity. But since I dropped painting cats, suddenly I am as busy as a bee, to get the last one ready for the exhibition.

This one I finished today.

3 Oct 2013


For some years I used the train to go from Waterloo to Brussels to make my little stroll through the Midi Market.

Now I gave up. I take the bus ! I pity the poor tourists who arrive in Brussels South (midi) and wander around looking for information ! First surprise, all announcements are first done in Flemish (Dutch) which nobody understands besides the few Flemish and the few Dutch. Then the voice croaks the same in French, then in German and then in English. By the time the voice has finished you risk to miss the train.
On the information boards, the cities are sometimes named in Flemish. If you look for Nivelles for example you will have to look for Nijvel and if you have to go to Lille in France you have to know that you have to go to Rijsel, which sounds not at all the same.

The information desk has usually friendly employes, if .... you ask in English. I once asked in French, which platform I have to take to go to Braine l'Alleud, he told me that I have to look for Nederbrakel, which is the name in Flemish. Why do they translate the city names ?? Of course I had never heard of Nederbrakel and when I finally found the platform I had to ask if this was really the train to Braine l'Alleud.

Besides that, if you have the chance to stand on the right platform which is indicated on the information board, for example n°10 the voice suddenly croaks that you have to go to platform 15, so those who understood run over to n°15, steps down, steps up to arrive on platform 15 where a train is waiting but not to the city you want to go but to another one. The train controller doesn't know why, in short he only knows the door of his train. When I had this adventure, I became leader of a troop of sheep as apparently I was the only one who understood at least one of the languages. I also noticed that the loudspeakers badly need to be renewed as the croaking voice could also speak Chinese, so hard it was to understand.

Then we waited. A young mother with a 3 week old baby in a buggy stuck on me because she only spoke Arabic and a little French and felt completely lost. She had to go to Nivelles. The voice said, that the train now starts on platform 11, so we all run from n° 15 to n° 11 steps down, steps up, helping the young mother with her buggy. When we arrived the right train was waiting, indicating Nijvel. But people wanted to go to Nivelles. It took some time before they realized that Nijvel and Nivelles were the same town. The buggy didn't fit in the large door because some intelligent man had decided to put a ramp in the middle of the entrance. So we helped the young mother to lift up the buggy over the ramp and put it down on the other side. Baby didn't bother and continued to sleep.

Finally sitting in the train, after 10 min, the train stopped. No information at all. The ticket controller must have been invisible or locked in the toilet. We waited for half an hour. Through the mouth to mouth telephone we got the message that another train blocked the rails for an unknown reason. Those who were in a hurry became very angry, the others took the opportunity to chat together and laugh.

With nearly an hour late I finally arrived in Waterloo to find a  Japanese couple only speaking English, who desperately looked around to find the Waterloo Lion and the battle field. I explained them that there is a little bus going to the city center where the Tourist Information office is. They thanked and waited at the bus stop. Meanwhile I had taken my car and when I drove by I saw them still standing there with two question marks in their eyes. I stopped got out of my car to see on the timetable when the next bus would arrive. And what was written there ..... no buses on Sundays ! I felt ashamed ! The city earns a lot of money with the tourists but the transport and information service at the station is more then lousy. Finally I put their belongings in my trunk, loaded both of them and drove them to the tourist office.
And this is the reason why the minister of transport always claims : "Take the public transport "! He probably had never taken a train !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

1 Oct 2013

MY WORLD - Yvoire a little Jewel at the Geneva Lake

Yvoire is an old medieval city situated at the Lake of Geneva, being located at the tip of the Leman peninsula. This medieval town, ideally situated on the expanse separating the "little lake" from the "great lake", still possesses some of the essential elements of the fortifications of the 14th Century : the castle, doors, ramparts... Read more here ....

30 Sept 2013


On Saturday Mr. G. thought he felt better, men seem not to know themselves. He had agreed to a visit of his friend Pierre who wanted to come in the morning.

Which he did, he showed up at 10 am, bringing a box of the best Belgian chocolates. Unfortunately Mr. G. is not allowed to eat them, because he has a slight diabetes and as Pookie doesn't like chocolate either, I am the happy victim to eat them all !

It was very nice of Pierre to come and see him and they had a lot to discuss. The poor man was happy to escape home, because he has to stay in bed until his wife has cleaned the house (or rather disinfected !) and this every day ! Therefore the visit lasted until it was lunchtime.

Although Mr. G. had enjoyed the visit very much, he faded slowly more and more and when Pierre finally left, he was so exhausted that he hardly could eat something, before he fell into his bed and slept for 3 hours !

I had downloaded his favorite game "Solitaire" on my Kindle so that he could sit in the living room comfortably instead of sitting behind his computer. First of course he refused but then once he had learned how to handle the Kindle he was quiet happy.

Besides resting, there is not much to do, he has to take antibiotics and I have to change his plaster. It's also not so easy for him to eat because the movement of mastication hurts. So on the menu are easy meals with not much to chew and the bread crust I cut off. Everybody says that he looks good.

Before and after !

Which is not at all my case. I avoid the mirror now ! I look like the shadow of myself.

I never thought that this surgery would affect me so much ! I did mechanically and efficiently everything what I had to do, but now the stress comes out and I feel worn out. Mr. G. now is worried about me I had always been the strong woman (at least that's what everybody thought) . Even after 45 years of living together and sometimes just wanting to send him on the moon or to hell, there is a strong bond between us and I just had feared so much to loose him. I dug in the past when we started our life together, the fun we had together, the up and downs, the fights, but still looking back the fun and happiness won over everything else in our couple.

Usually being an optimist, I suddenly surprised myself of thinking how I would organize his funerals and then my life without him. I tried to pull myself together but without a big success.

What had hurt me the most were the harsh words of our son, when I refused that they come this weekend. It really would have been impossible, even if they would have gone into a hotel. We were so tired.  Fortunately I have my very good friends who tried to cheer me up and were very supportive. I can't remember when I was so tired the last time. But life goes on and now the worst is over.

I just did some shopping for food, otherwise I spent my time distracting myself, creating new headers and just relax.

I thought I would need some fresh air, but was unable to walk for a long time so I decided to potter around a bit in our garden. I cut the ivy who invades each corner but couldn't clean it up. No strength left.

In the evening very early we watched a movie together and then he said "how was the movie ?" with a big smile, I had fallen asleep !

Obviously I don't have the strength anymore I used to have to cope with difficult situations. I can't remember that I had these reactions 11 years ago, when Mr. G. had a prostate cancer.

We are getting old but we are getting old together.

On Sunday morning when I got up after an almost sleepless night, I am still not myself. Instead of turning around in my bed, I got up made my post for the photo theme, which I had forgotten, returned to bed and reading my blog friend's posts on my Kindle, helped me to fall asleep again. That doesn't mean that the posts were boring !! Now I really bless this gift my son has offered me for my 70th birthday.

Then I had to play the nurse ! What an operation ! I had to wash his hair which was very sticky from the sterile product they had put on his head. He had to sit on the bathroom floor, which took some time and groaning and  moaning then leaning back his head on a blown up half moon cushion, wash the hairs, squeezed between the toilet and the bath tube, get him up and sat him on a chair to change the plasters. First I took the old once off (he was very brave and didn't say a word) then I saw two scars a small and a longer one with decorative blue yarn stitches covered in dry black looking blood. Thanks to Midsomer murders I was used to this view.  I cleaned it, put a brown looking anti infection liquid on them and then glued the plasters under and besides the ear. Now he looks clean again ! Conclusion,  to a wife's duties also belong nursing knowledge !

After lunch, I went over to Dominique. We had decided to paint together on Sundays when we both have nothing special to do. She has a little atelier which she had arranged for the two of us. There were two easels, two tables and two taborets. The sun was shining in the room which made it very cheerful and we started to paint and chat of course. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of our nice place. She finished a portrait of a little girl, while I finished my second abstract painting.When we made a break in the garden, Mr. G. showed up too joined in a little chat and laughed about our colored hands

And while Arthur hoped to sneak into the house and watch the budgies in their cage, which of course he didn't manage, I waited that my painting was dry and then returned home. I felt much better and relaxed. Painting is an excellent therapy. Mr. G. was happy too he had spent the afternoon laying on the sofa and playing solitaire on my Kindle. After supper at 8 pm, he was so tired that he went to bed.

I think it will take some time until he fully recovers from a surgery which had lasted 4 hours where he was under anesthesia.

Tomorrow starts another week and I feel my energy coming back !