13 Dec 2013


more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

1. While on Monday we did our Aqua Gym hopping around in the warm water, the group who had their gym just before us had a Christmas party. So at 10 am they were dressed with Father Christmas hats, laughed and chatted and it became loud and louder because they had some bottles of champagne and a nice cake. And while we were suffering in the water, they jumped around the swimming pool, with their Champagne glasses, Christmas hats and barefoot of course. I should have taken a picture !

2. Although I have already bought most of the Christmas gifts, there are still some bits and pieces missing. I went to Waterloo's center for a shopping round and saw that now the Christmas decoration was done. They had started just after St. Nick's and in the Shopping Gallery it was finished.

There was a nice Christmas tree and the Boutiques had done their best for a festive look. I found what I wanted and returned home.

Just opposite the Gallery for the first time a Christmas market is built up, with these little chalets, all the other years it had been in a huge tent. It will be opened this weekend.

3. Very close to Waterloo, in the most expensive of the 19 municipalites of Brussels, where actors, singers and other celebrities have their homes, a Christmas market should take place. They had made a lot of publicity and I thought I take the bus because it's impossible to find a parking space in this area and have a look.

It was very disappointing because there were just 5 chalets selling food to eat there or take away ! Oysters with Champagne, a wine and beer chalet, African food and Hamburgers !

I walked through the very expensive Shopping Gallery and disappointed I went back.

4. In the bus on my way back a group of young 14-15 years old students climbed into the bus. As they were gesticulating with their hands I thought it must be a noisy Italian group. But they were so silent, and didn't disturb anybody. After a short moment I realized that we had stopped at the deaf and dumb school of Brussels and although the young students seemed to have a lot of fun because they laughed and laughed, pushed each other and behaved like normal students but in a total silence. It was a bit of a strange feeling for me, but they seemed to be all very happy.

5. I finally found the Christmas tree decoration I wanted to put on the tree for my little grandson Toby. Little bears, snowmen angels etc. The balls too have Disney designs.

Rosie had to check and then sat in there as model.

12 Dec 2013


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

I don't remember exactly when Mr. G started to speak in his dreams but I am sure that it was after his retirement. Before he had never spoken when he slept.

Not only he speaks but he does it the Italian way, with hands and even feet, knocks over the bedside table and the painting which hangs over his bed. The cats know that, so as soon as he switches off the light, they escape to other night quarters.

Strange is, I always thought when somebody dreams he would dream in his mother tongue, in his case Italian, but or he is a special case or it is normal, that when he talks or shouts in  French he usually fights with somebody speaking French, who usually are colleages he hasn't seen for 40 years at least. In Italian it mostly is an Italian family member or an old enemy, German when he is fighting with my father but not yet with me, this he does during the day. Sometimes the words are so clear that I learn a new vocabulary he usually doesn't use during the day, and sometimes I can't understand a thing. But this night I woke up because he spoke again and apparently he was quiet angry and suddenly he spoke English ! He said loud and clear :" I am here to learn English" ! When I asked him where he wanted to improve his English, he didn't remember anything. He is quiet a phenomena.

In his agitated dreams he also used to fall out of his bed, because he was saving an old aunt from falling down the steps,  only this aunt is dead since at least 20 years. I heard a big "boom" and  found him sitting in the middle of the room with the bedlinen nicely draped around his neck. Since he banged his head badly at the bedside table corner, I bought a barrier to protect him from falling out of his bed,  I thought he will break his neck or something else if ever he dreams that he is in a wrestling ring !

Now he only talks or rather shouts in 4 languages, as his voice has an incorporated microphone he wouldn't need any if he was a singer ! I should wear earplugs not to wake up, but I am far too curious to know what he says ! I am a woman after all.

A part from that he is a very peaceful man at least during the day.

11 Dec 2013

10 Dec 2013


Braine l'Alleud is a little town melting into Waterloo's city end, that means you don't know where Waterloo ends and Braine begins.

The Sunday's market is bigger than the one in Waterloo and also has more choices and is less expensive because it is not Waterloo ! Therefore I prefer to go there when the weather allows it.

The market is located in front of the old post office and you can find almost everything there from food to clothes and household appliances.

These are different stands, with a great choice of different kind of cheese, a bakery with freshly baked bred and cakes. You can also find "Foie Gras" and other delicatessen.

Flowers and now Christmas decoration are also sold

Great choice of winter plants and Christmas trees

The city has decorated all trees with big balls which are blue when they are lightened.

The old post building hasn't changed and the post office is still in there. It had been modernized of course.

There are quiet a lot of boutiques around this place which are exceptionally open on Sundays during the market.

The city hall is a beautiful old building

and there is a kind of "Pub" too

Of course to warm you up you can eat hot snails served in a little a paper box

and the Belgian waffles are not missing either.

8 Dec 2013


On Saturday morning I got a Skype call from Grandson Toby to show me the gifts he got from St. Nick. It was the once we had already left there when we were last in Amsterdam. I had bought a little computer, very educative and talking in French. It even had a little mouse. In the Netherlands St. Nicholas is more celebrated for kids then Christmas.

It looked a bit like this

Apparently he liked it very much and the funniest thing was, as we had no instruction manual, Mr. G. had tried it out and had found some things but with difficulties, and this little one handled his new computer like a professional ! We had to laugh how he had found out different functions in such a little time, and Mr.G. spent quiet some time with this thing to find out some !

I had to buy cat food for my 4 always hungry little monsters. On the way back I stopped at a store who is called "Destock" and that's what it really is ! They sell almost everything from all kind of retailers who have too much stock ! Of course the prices are very cheap. I wanted to buy some new Christmas tree decoration, more childrenlike, as my grandson is now 3 years old and certainly will enjoy Teddybears, angels and Father Christmas and Disney items more then the classical balls.

First I only saw very little and nothing interesting, but then the shop owner told me that all decorations are just arriving they sell only after St. Nick, which is also very important in Belgium. And indeed the 2nd floor was packed with Christmas decoration, so much that I couldn't really see any details and at the entrance stood a little truck filled with another load. I told the owner I would be back during the week when he has made his displays. In this mess it was impossible to see something.

The afternoon was cold, windy and rainy (as usual on weekends) and I went to Ilona's who had already nicely decorated her living room and had put up her Christmas tree. As you can see she also is a cat lover !

It was very cozy and we chatted the whole afternoon about important and less important things and also about the life of Nelson Mandela who had done so much not only for his own country, but had brought his ideas of freedom and racism through the whole world.

We also celebrated our 44th wedding anniversary, with a big plate of Sushis, we both like very much.

Sunday morning I wanted to go to a Christmas Market in one of the Brussels' communities, but it started to rain a bit and for taking photos it wasn't the ideal weather. So I went to the next town which almost melts into Waterloo and could take some pictures there.

In the afternoon Mr. G's young friend (he is only a little older then our son) came for a visit and after staying a bit with them, I escaped to Dominique, she had asked me how to do photo collages with Picasa. So the men were able to complain about women and I didn't disturb or contradict them.