10 Jan 2014


1. Now that the Year's end holidays are over, Aqua Gym classes started again. We splashed around in the water while talking about our Christmas and New Year celebrations. Then we showered and got dressed. Ginny one of our group was late and was looking for her underpants she apparently had lost or left home. So she checked what we were wearing in case we had mixed up our pants, and those who were already fully dressed undid their trousers to show that they were wearing their own pants. Imagine the scene, all women laughing their heads off and showing their pants. Ginny finally gave up her Miss Marple researches and dressed without pants. Anyway nobody would notice. Then we all gathered in our little Tea room besides the swimming pool and continued our reports about our festivities. Suddenly Ginny showed up waving a white pair of pants over her head and screaming "I found them, I found them", we all congratulated her, and asked where they were, she had put them in the pocket of her coat just before leaving her house ! We laughed and laughed and she decided not to get undressed again, put the pants back into the pocket of her coat and went home without pants ! Nobody raped her, she arrived safe and sound.

2. My Fuji touch screen camera fell from my bedside table and the screen was broken. No way to get it repaired, it was dead. Living without a camera and being an assiduous Blogger, is like living with only one arm ! After the first anger and being furious with myself, I decided to buy a new one, but what ?? Certainly not one with a touch screen ! The answer came per pure coincidence per email. My friend Claudie from the South of France had her birthday and got a new camera from her husband because their house was burgled and the her camera stolen. Knowing him as a very thoroughly man who had certainly done a lot of researches to find the best quality/price, I decided to buy the same and off I went to buy a Canon Ixus 132, which has all functions I need, it's small, handy easy and even allows Paparazzi pictures, which is very important for me as I love to take pictures of forbidden things.

3. Mr. G. had to do the technical things like putting in the date and time, and then I played around whole day (or nearly) to discover how to handle my new toy working utensil.

I tried it out, "shooting" wild around me and am quite happy with the results. Of course I haven't found out all functions yet.


Trying to set the new mobile functions;

My friend Ilona in a rage of changes in her living room, had spent some sleepless nights to find out what she could do. It was so simple that she got angry that she hadn't thought about it before ! She just put the dining table in the middle of the room, decided to to take an ugly office cabinet out in which she had her computer (with tower), which would make the room much bigger and as her mobile phone had given up its soul she also had bought a new one and asked me to come over to give my opinion about the new look of her living room and also to help her to set up the new mobile. I found her living room now much nicer, and when her strong grandsons will have taken out the monster office cabinet, she will have a new room, without buying anything new ! Happy with the result we had a tea together with the usual chatting.

5. Our neighbor had brought us a Galette des Rois, (King Cake), for the celebration of Epiphany, on January 6th. We both had each one slide, which btw were delicious, and  the rest of the cake I had put on the cupboard in the kitchen, covered with an aluminium foil.

The next morning I found this in our kitchen ! Arthur who amongst all strange things also loves cake and had apparently enjoyed it very much, there was only a small piece left, and the crumbs all over the kitchen. Inside the King's Cake is a "fève" which is a little statue or picture or something else, and the one who gets it in his slice of cake also gets the crown which comes with the cake and then you are the King (or Queen) of the day.

I don't know where the "fève" is, maybe in Arthur's litter box !

After having cleaned up the kitchen I went to my painting class, where, of course I tried out my new camera too. I am painting a sunset/rise (I don't know) but it is not finished yet.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

More participants here at A rural Journal.

9 Jan 2014


Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

My son's best buddy was a little American boy when they both were 3 or 4. The boy's grandpa was an American officer who worked at the NATO in Brussels.

Little Patrick was the souvenir of his mother's holidays in Spain, and she had brought him back home to her parents,  hidden in her belly. Patrick couldn't deny his origins, he looked like a little toreador,  black curly hairs, burning black eyes and a temper like a volcano. I think it must have been hard for his very young mother (21)  to have this living souvenir running around in the house.

I didn't have a lot of contact to her, she was a rather quiet person, completely overwhelmed by her very temperamental French mother who had become my friend as she always picked up little Patrick at the Kindergarten. She had married her American officer just after the liberation of France. She was  from Normandy.

Anne's house was open to everybody and very often looked like a dovecote. It was very big, and the main room where everybody popped in was the kitchen. It was huge ! At least 14 people could sit easily around the kitchen table, it was a very cosy place.

One day we were invited to a "ham" party, because her eldest son who was also in the army in Frankfurt (Germany) had brought an enormous ham from there.

For this occasion I wore a very short flower patterned dress, the skirt full of flounces and with that high over the knees boots. That was very fashionable in the 70th. Grandpa stand in the kitchen and cut big slices of ham and everybody took its plate got a big slice and then sat in the very huge living room around a nice open fire.

At one moment nature called and I had to go to the toilet. When I came back, keeping myself very straight and very proud of my new dress, I heard people laughing behind me. I turned around to see why they were all laughing so hard. But when I had turned to the other side,  other people started to laugh too and again behind me. I really wondered what I had missed. And while I turned and turned to get at least a clue why they were all laughing so much, Anne finally came over to me and told me that my skirt was jammed in my pants ! The view they all had must have been really funny especially with my high boots ! I quickly put my dress in place and  laughed too, the best way to make the situation less embarrassing.

Mr. G. who meanwhile also had arrived from work,  looked just bored when he heard the story and informed the guests that things like that could only happen to his dear wife and that he was very much used to such situations.

In the past it looked a little better !

Of course I have never forgotten this "Ham" Party !

7 Jan 2014


More and more European countries gave up the winter and summer sales laws. I don't even know if it still exists in other parts of our world. But in Belgium there is a very strict legislation concerning sales :

"A seller can make a sale under the term "sales" or equivalent denomination only 2 times a year. 2 sales periods are fixed by law. The winter sales are therefore beginning on January 3 and ends on January 31. The summer sale will be held from July 1 to 31."

The result is, that when the Sales start, we have "boxing day" the whole month long. The first day is the worst. There people line up very early morning to get the best bargains as soon as the doors open,  when on the country side the rooster starts his first song.

I don't like this winter and summer sales, yes sometimes you can make a good bargain, but often the stores also cheat, they keep the same price, and put the "Sales" label just underneath. Therefore more and more people check prices of things they want to buy before the "Sale" starts and check if it's a real "Sale" or not an increase of the normal price. (That happens too) I was quiet surprised why two shop owners asked me why I took pictures. I explained for what. Afterwards I understood ! They thought I was comparing the prices before and after "Sales"

Armed with my camera I walked through Waterloo and here is how the city looks like now !

A little strange

On the main street

and in the two shopping galleries

Some stores translated "Soldes" into "Sales" and confused the poor people who don't speak English, "sales" means "dirty" in French and the kids probably wondered why they had to point out that their windows were dirty. The shoe shop wanted to be sure and wrote his "Sales" in all languages.

and these are the clever once, they don't mention the word "Soldes" they put "clearance" on their shops from time to time during the year and avoid the law !

Not on "Sales" was the church, Napoleon and Wellington !

6 Jan 2014


My friend Nicole called me and ask me to help her to put an advertising on Internet to sell her apartment at the Belgian coast. Of course I went to her, had already made a text, but when I arrived she told me that she had changed her mind, as somebody has rented the flat for whole February, June and July. Of course then it was impossible to sell it now. Instead she pointed on her old laptop which is really an antique, you can hardly read the letters on the keyboard anymore, thanks to her teenage grandchildren who probably had used fingers full of grease and other sticky stuff. The thing also worked like a snail and it took a loooong time until it was finally functional.

Therefore she decided not to sell her apartment but to buy a new computer. I am used to mind changes, I have them too. Off we went to look for a laptop. She wanted a small one a real small one to take along on travels. Now Nicole is not a computer specialist and has still not understood that Internet and a computer are two different things, and that she would never use it on a trip, she already avoids to use it at home. That's female logic. Finally I convinced her to take a normal size with a decent screen. She wanted a computer who also took pictures. I told her that this is only possible with tablets and not with a computer, for that she needs a camera. After some discussions, she finally agreed to buy a laptop and a camera. Then started the problem what to buy ! She didn't look at the technical features, she lifted all computers to test if they were light and not heavy and she wanted a white one and not a black one. I am sure the poor salesman  put an invisible finger to his forehead and looked quiet desperate, but I reassured him by telling him, that she is looking for a computer who also does her laundry. After an hour or so, I finally found one she liked and which was a good brand and had enough memory etc. She was happy and decided to buy it. Of course she had no credit card or money with her. The salesman gave her a paper with all information and she wanted to go back on Monday. When I returned home and told Mr. G. the whole story, he only shook his head, while I was still laughing, he knows her from the computer classes he does, and he had tried since 3 years to put some computer knowledge in her head.

Fortunately she has a lot of humor and is well aware of her problems so we had a very nice and rather funny afternoon. The same thing happened then with the camera, she was only fixed on a color, she wanted red no matter what for a camera it was. For that I will probably have to return with her on Monday. An another adventure in perspective ! Don't doubt about her intelligence ! Ask her how to place your money, which bank is the best, about laws, house building, what material to use etc etc. Everybody has his special skills, and she has helped me too with a lot concerning other things.

A for everybody useable computer

I also had to go to the post office to send the little sleeping companion of Grandson Toby, which his parents had forgotten ! What a drama ! Apparently they had left in such a hurry that the "Doudou" as they call it in French, was still laying under the bed. I hadn't been in the guestroom since Christmas and Mr. G. although he had checked the room when our son had called, hadn't found it either. Sending something by snail mail becomes a luxury, for this little thing I had to pay 10 € (14 $ !!) on stamps ! I could almost have bought a new one for this price ! But a Doudou is a Doudou and can't be replaced.

The "parents" of Chouchou, the cat I took care of during their holidays, returned too and it was about time, because the poor cat did only eat a little and was not well at all, although I had taken him to the vet. Hopefully he will get better.

I also went to the big Brussels market which becomes more and more a tourist attraction, you hear languages from the whole world and I even saw a group of Chinese, Chinese are always in groups and never as individuals. There are more and more British people too. It is also very multicolored ! 4 policemen were in the same café as I drinking their beer, which didn't bother my cigarette supplier. Somebody else also wanted to sell me a Rolex and a Swatch, and a "golden" bracelet. I told him that I have a lot of this stuff in my bank safe ! I bought fruits and a little purse and then took the bus home. Just in time as the sun disappeared and it started to rain.

BTW those who have red my post about Google + the poll gave following results :

Yes 33%
No 67%
no opinion 0%

A lot of them slipped into it with no intention to do so !