28 Mar 2014


1. On Monday I had the blues. It was the first day at home after my one week holidays in the sunshine of Tunisia. I just did nothing except my aqua gym class, and found that I had done enough for the day.

I didn't even unpack my suitcase much to the delight of Rosie who had one more day to sleep in it, while Arthur played with my beach slippers.

As we had a breakdown of our internet, I finally decided to sort out my holiday pictures and put them in order, at least I had the impression to be there again.

2. Looking in the mirror and saw a mop like head, I called my hairdresser for an appointment, before I got back to civilization outside our house. Then I could make my weekly shopping and say hello to my friend Nicole.

3. Brussels was blocked by the visit of Mr. Obama ! The streets were closed in many places and  trams, buses and even the subways were not allowed to run. Although the city was quite proud to receive such an important visitor for the first time, the companies, shops, stores etc were not so happy. Nobody could get through.

They block all the roads, and I am only arriving by helicopter ?!

In reality he arrived in the evening with his special airplane Air force one and its twin. The planes were escorted by 2 helicopters of the marines, 5 helicopters of the army, 3 airplanes carrying "the Beast" and two other armoured  cadillacs. 45 patrol cars escorted the convey. 900 employes worked on the organization, 300 security agents were posted all around and snipers were on the roofs. This less then 24 h visit has cost Brussels 500.000 € (689.000 $) and 10.millions € (1.4 millions $) for the USA (according to the British Newspaper "The Guardian) !

Quite an expensive excursion for only one man.

He was greeted by our King and the Prime Minister, and the next day went to the military cemetary in Waregem, called  "The Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial". It is the smallest World War I American cemetery in Europe and the only one in Belgium.

Although the American president is very much appreciated in Belgium, people found these security measures a little too much !

 4. My friend Ilona had her birthday so I went to give her my birthday present. I had bought her a USB stick so that she can do back ups. She just had bought a new computer and had lost all her photos and documents which were in the old one. Fortunately I had almost all photos of her paintings, as it's always me who takes the pictures, which she regretted the most but also from our trips together, which I had put on the stick. Ilona and I have the same age both born in 1943 she is only 4 months older.

Here we are in Edinburgh together

5. Nature has changed in the one week I was gone ! The trees are starting to become green again

I have put some red (fake) flowers at the entrance and the Magnolia tree of my neighbor is in full bloom.

For the first time this year Oscar the lawn mower robot had to work, while Mr. G. and I were busy on our computers ! What a difference ! Two weeks ago we had to mow the lawn with our "normal" lawn mower and for our handkerchief sized lawn we needed two days, the grass had grown so fast and it had rained all the time so that it was wet like a sponge and too high for Oscar.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


More participants here at A rural Journal.


Jo said...

Amazing how much is spent on dignitaries visiting anywhere. We had a bad experience when Obama visited Dar Es Salaam last year at the end of June. All the hotels were booked up and we had to stay in the worst flea ridden hotel I have even been to! I love the fact that you can have the lawn mowed while you work at your computers. xxx

Linens and Royals said...

Even Queen Elizabeth II wouldn't have that much security but Americans are always a bit over the top. I thought Obama was going to the Hague.
That's the trouble with holidays, too hard to settle back home again.

J Bonafilla said...

Whaow! What a lot of expense for a 24 hour visit. I wonder if he could have just phoned instead! We had a similar experience with the G8 (as they then were - pre-Crimea) came to Northern Ireland. Still it gave the locals something to talk about. Have a lovely weekend, Bonny @ just saying ...

Reader Wil said...

In the Hague every street in the neighbourhood of the Peace Palace and the Houses of Parliament were blocked like in Brussels. But we had 43 politicians from abroad, among them many prime ministers and several presidents.

Andrew said...

That is a lot more security than when our Queen last visited Australia. Or perhaps her security is more discreet. You and Illona both look much younger than I know you are.

diane b said...

Looks like Spring has arrived. You should be happy now. Now go and unpack that bag!

EastCoastLife said...

That sum of money could allow me to backpack round the world a few times. :P
Happy birthday to Illona!

Snap said...

Spring is coming! Sounds like you had a good trip ... I often feel like I need a vacation from the vacation when I return home! ;) I'm getting hair cut today and will be a new woman...Ha! Kitties love getting into luggage and playing with shoes -- especially when those shoes have been someplace they haven't. Welcome home!

Nancy @ A Rural Journal said...

Everything looks so fresh and green my friend! Happy Oscar has a job again. :)

Anonymous said...

It's often hard to get back into the groove after vacation. Hope the greening up of the grass and trees and plants is a signal of warmer weather to come.

We'll have to see if we can find an Oscar after our youngest leaves home - he's our main grass-cutter now, LOL.

Sarah Huizenga said...

Welcome back home. Great photos.

Sandra Carlier said...

Can't believe time goes so fast! Luckely the meteo should be nice for the WE by you! We had the same panic in Paris with the chinese President! People were very angry cause it was a such traffic jam and metro was closed! But our president did some business plans and the parisian have to be patient!
Happy Birthday to Ilonna!

Kathie said...

That's quite a bit of security - we don't have anything like that when any of the Royals visit here.

Nice to see some springtime green - I'm hoping to post something like that SOME day! :) Hopefully before July.

Happy weekend to you!

Ida said...

When people take vacations they generally need a vacation from their vacation. - What is it with cats and suitcases and slippers. Our cats love laying in things like that too.
Well that is to bad about the disruption from the President's visit. I agree we waste to much money for things like that. He's not my favorite President so I won't say anything more.
Love that spring is arriving. I've never heard of a lawn mowing robot. Wouldn't work for us as we have a decent sized yard.

peppylady (Dora) said...

I saw one president once, Jimmy Carter.
In my state of Idaho which is conservative, Obama isn't well receive.
Anyhow I wish they would vote out those republican tea party in the house of Representative. There bring our country in pits.

I'll shut my mouth on my politics.

Coffee is on

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I like President Obama very much, but I have never understood why all of the Presidents have to do so much traveling with all that security. I'm sure it is for good will, but I am not sure it is worth all the money and disruption.

Very nice and thoughtful BD gifts. You are a good friend.

Susanne said...

No lawn mowing for us yet. We are still under snow! This has been one long winter and your holiday sounds like just the thing to get warm! I'm sure your kitty appreciated you not unpacking.

Wow, the cost of that trip for Obama could have done wonders to help some people in need. I can't even wrap my head around why they need that much security and vehicles and staff.

Robyn Lee said...

We've had lots of rain and the grass has also grown! I like President Obama but the amount spent on his visits to various places could subsidise a small country.

I'm glad you had copies of Ilona's photos...there'd be nothing worse than losing it all. I love USBs...the best invention since sliced bread or something.

A Lady's Life said...

Our magnolias are all beginning to bloom I really am beginning to dislike this Harvard Idiot Mr Obama.
We survive on USB sticks. lol
Glad you are back.

wilbo43 said...

Are you sure the Americans are paying for the President's visit? I wouldn't be surprised to find out the Belgian government paid for most of it, or probably the EU. When the Royals visit us here, Australia picks up the tab.

Leovi said...

Very funny, seem to love to travel!

Anonymous said...

The first day back from a trip is always the worst--it's a good day to rest. Sorry to hear of the disruption our President's visit caused to your city. The costs are astounding.

Willow said...

When the president comes to Los Angeles, I make sure I don't plan a trip to visit my friends. It's always a traffic nightmare and LA doesn't need any help with traffic problems.

I see you have some hope of spring. May your week be blessed with spring flowers!

Anonymous said...

Aw, I bet your kitties were happy to have you (and your suitcase, of course) home! :o) I'm envious of your robot lawnmower... maybe I can convince my hubby of such a brilliant invention!