29 Nov 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. After aqua gym, I had done my duty to keep me fit and in good health, so that the state has to pay longer for my pension. It's a little contradictory, on one side the government tells us that we have to live more healthy and that seniors have to do some sport, they complain on the other hand that we are living too long and we become too expensive for the community. That sounds a little paradox.

Therefore I went home and spent the afternoon at my computer creating cards and headers for Christmas and didn't move anymore, but not with the intention to die earlier. Since I have moved my desk to the window, I can also watch what is going on in the street, which means nothing, besides some people walking their dogs.

2. For my always hungry Senior baby Mr. G. I had to fill the fridge and freezer with food. I do shopping once a week, because I just hate it. Now we have our menus for the whole week. For the moment I am like my cats I only go out when it is absolutely necessary as it is so cold and humid and the ideal weather for catching colds. The difference is that they go out not for shopping but for private business, which I prefer to do inside. But I did some sport ! I surfed on Internet for Christmas present ideas !


My little "Callas"

Since a few weeks I had noticed that my cat Pookie had probably some troubles with her teeth. To take a cat to the vet is not an easy job. The usually always inside staying Pookie had decided this very day to stay outside. It took me some time to get her in. From there I had to get her out from under the bed, catch and carry a struggling cat and put her in the cage. By then I was already red faced and exhausted. With an opera singing cat I finally arrived at the vet. And yes indeed she has to have two teeth to be pulled out on Monday ! I will take forces over the weekend.

4. It's crazy what time you spent when you are creative on your computer ! It's almost like painting a picture ! Time flies by until suddenly a hungry husband turns up making noises like an elephant to announce me that it is time for supper !
That mostly happens when I had just found an interesting website. But for peace sake I switch from an intellectual on the computer working woman to a brave cooking housewife.

5. My friend Vivienne needed her monthly shot in her eye against the Macula, to restrict this awful disease which can make you blind. Unfortunately she couldn't go the last two months because the poor girl had a throat cancer and had radiations. So her view suffered a bit. There is so much money spent for completely useless things and there is not enough money for more medical research. Apparently it's more important to be able to walk on the moon, then becoming blind or find more efficient medication to heal cancers. After that I went to Nicole, who wanted to order a book on Internet and didn't know how to do it. There was an awful traffic jam on the way back probably because of the foggy and very humid weather.

28 Nov 2013


From the year on I was allowed to stay up all night on New Year's Eve, besides all other New Year's traditions I loved Bleigiessen, which means Lead Pouring and is a fun way to “predict” the fortunes of the coming year.

We all got a little figurine in small shapes of animals, mushrooms or other subjects cast in lead together with a metal spoon. Then we had to hold the spoon over a candle’s flame until the lead melted and then had to pour it quickly into a bowl of water. The water immediately cools the lead into pieces, no two of which are alike. We then retrieved the cooled lead pieces from the water for inspection. We had to figure out what they could be, just like some modern art sculptures, when you have to rake your brain to see something real. The melted lead sometimes had so funny shapes and we had a lot of fun to find out what it could be and predict what will happen to that person in the coming year. It was a very creative game and even the usually so serious adults developed an amazing phantasy.

When my parents moved to Belgium in 1959 this tradition didn't exist at all. Actually at that time people spent the whole evening around a table and ate until midnight. There wasn't even a firework. I found this really boring. Each year we returned to Aachen which is just at the Belgian border and bought our German tradition's Christmas and New Year's stuff on the Christmas market. I remember the first year when in the street we lived together with other German families and they had started a firework in the garden, the Belgian neighbors were afraid and called the firemen ! What a memory ! Over the years fireworks on New Year also became a use in Belgium and now at midnight besides the official firework in each town families also have their own firework. In Germany the total costs for fireworks in 2012 had been 113 Million Euro (153 million $) !

In the first years of our marriage I tried to keep up with the Bleigiessen tradition and our friends were enthusiastic but then with the arrival of a baby we had less time to go to Germany and buy Bleigiessen sets. This year we will celebrate with all our friends at Dominique's and I found a Bleigiessen set on Internet ! I immediately bought 4 boxes ! And on New Year's Eve we will look into our future !

26 Nov 2013


A few weeks ago I visited  together with some friends of our painting group, the traveling exhibition of Leonardo Da Vinci - The Genius. It took place in the Brussels Stock Exchange.

The building was erected from 1868 to 1873, and mixes elements of the Neo-Renaissance and Second Empire architectural styles. It has an abundance of ornaments and sculptures, created by famous artists, amongst them also Auguste Rodin. Today it's used for exhibitions.

Of Leonardo da Vinci I mostly knew that he was a painter and had painted the famous "Mona Lisa". But that he also  was an inventor, artist, anatomist, sculptor, engineer, musician, architect, philosopher, ... but above all a man of genius, and a visionary, was quiet new to me. This man invented things centuries ago which today we are able to make and which we use. He was centuries in advance of his time. We could see

70 three-dimensional full size machines, reproductions of anatomical sketches drawn by Da Vinci,
the secrets of the Mona Lisa and identical replicas of artworks

Da Vinci was born out of wedlock to a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina. Little is known about Leonardo's early life. He spent his first five years in the home of his mother, then from 1457 on he lived with his father,  in the small town of Vinci. Amazing is to me,  that at this time the father took care of his illegitimate child and payed for his education.

He made anatomical designs, as if he had x-ray eyes !

What impressed me the most was the drawing of a baby in his mother's womb in a time where men didn't even know why their wife's belly became like a balloon !

I couldn't read his writings because they were in mirror-image and I had no mirror with me of course. It is said that the reason may have been more a practical expediency than for reasons of secrecy as is often suggested. Since Leonardo wrote with his left hand, it is probable that it was easier for him to write from right to left.

He thought already about being able to fly

measure the wind speed

using a submarine

invented flippers and a diving costume

There was a little mirror room which showed that you could see yourself from all sides

He even was a fashion designer !

and of course he painted the Mona Lisa. Apparently he painted mostly to earn some money which he then used for his researches.

You can read more about his life and creations here

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25 Nov 2013


November is really an awful month. It's cold, grey and humid. But on Saturday afternoon it was dry and Ilona and I decided to take some fresh air and do a little walk. But when I arrived at her home, a strong wind had come up and it was so cold that we preferred to stay inside with the fire in the stove and a good hot cup of tea.

In the evening we had our monthly theater play. As usual we had first supper in the restaurant which is part of the theatre.

The play was called "Venice in snow" and it was absolutely hilarious. We laughed that much, that our bellies hurt when we came out. It was a real good play and the fact that we had laughed so much during 2 h, was good for our morose moods !

On Sunday morning I had to go to the Brussels' midi market. I was really lucky. I left with a little rain, but when I arrived the sun was shining.

I could even sit outside and listen to the accordion player, who played old French chansons. I bought some fruits and a pajama and caught the bus just in time before it started raining again.

The rest of the day I was busy with laundry watching TV and made collages for Christmas cards !