22 May 2015


1. It had been a long time that Nicole and I hadn't lunch together, so we opted for the "Jardin d'Asie" (Asian garden) and had a wonderful meal. After that we went together looking for a bread baking machine she wanted to buy, but all we saw were far too big for her.

2. As the bicentenary celebrations of the Waterloo battle will take place in exactly a month, the city had asked for volunteers speaking several languages to help the thousands of tourists who will attend this event to find their way to the battle field and other sites involved in the battle. I had been selected and had to attend a meeting in the city hall where we got an overview of what will be going to happen.

The responsible of the organization seemed to be not very competent, because the most important thing which are the public transports from Brussels to Waterloo he had forgotten. I got up and told him that we would need more signs in the Buses and trains and also in the Brussels' stations. He stammered something and then he said everything would be done ! I have my doubts ! We then got a form to be filled in and should also join a court record !

As I am not member of a terrorist group or had killed somebody I got it immediately. I then was asked to help out in the Waterloo Tourist center and at the station, to help British and German tourists.

4. The next day I went to the Waterloo Lion to if the renovation works had be done, as the city guy had told !

What I saw was a big mess and still a lot of work to do, a lot for only one month left ! The memorial should be inaugurated the next day with all the officials and I stated that the outside was far from being finished. I met a friendly soldier who was pleased to pose for a photo.  They certainly had to work through the whole night to get the access a little easier !

I then drove over to the "Hougoumont" farm, Wellingtons headquarters and there it was even worse !
Impossible to walk inside without wearing boots or at least baskets. While I took my pictures 2 ladies and a man asked me what I was doing there and it turned out that they were from the British embassy and also checked the works. We had a nice chat together and I gave them a few tips to improve the access to the farm, as there is no visible sign from the main street it was covered by graffitis. They took note and told me that they will contact the officials to get it right.

5. The next day I had a visit from a Blogfriend from Australia Little wandering Wren. She was in Europe and stayed with a friend in Brussels. We had decided to meet each other and she wandered til Waterloo where I picked her up at the station ! Despite the fact that we had never seen each other,  I saw her immediately and she saw me. What a pleasure to meet someone life out of Blogworld !

First I took her to the Waterloo lion and we were lucky there was the inauguration of the memorial going on and we could see and listen to the soldier's orchestra ! We were really lucky ! Compared to the day before, they must have worked the whole night, because the memorial entrance was now clean at least and the windows so clean that they reflected us taking pictures  ! After a drink in the Wellington cafĂ©, we drove to the Hougoumont farm !

We ended the afternoon at home, discussing technical problems with Google+ and Blogger, had a coffee and then it was already time to drive her back to the station ! In good company time flies by so fast !

Amazing was that she had brought me this beautiful kitchen towel, as if she had known that my whole kitchen is red and white ! It fits perfectly !

It had been a very nice afternoon !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


Andrew said...

It is amazing to see how everything can come right at the very end of a large project. That was kind of you to give some time to a visitor from your blog world. Questions are probably being asked, who was that woman at the meeting who kept asking sensible questions.

Linens and Royals said...

An exciting time to be in Waterloo and I know you will be very helpful and knowledgeable to all the visiting tourists. There are some TV specials to be shown here about 'The Battle'.
Good to meet blog friends and I'm sure Arthur was on his best behaviour.

Jo said...

I'm so glad they took note and fixed the entrance and should have everything ready in time for the big day. It's always great to see a blog friend. I remember when you walked into the Sussex Arms pub in Paddington, Grant knew who you were immediately. Even though he'd never seen a photo of you. I remember that meeting with fondness and will still come and visit your town one day. Have a great weekend. Jo

aspiritofsimplicity said...

What a nice treat to meet someone from blogworld.

Faith said...

wow it looks like you had a busy week!! i always enjoy your photos!

Sandra Carlier said...

Nice to meet blogfriend from Austria ! Sounds you had a such good time together ! Here it's very calm at home when Pierre arrive late in the evening ! Luckely I have the good place on the transat in the garden ! I can relax under the sun and even a little sleeping !

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

How fun to meet your blog friend IRL( in real life ). You had better be careful, or the City will put you in charge of the whole Anniversary Celebration. I'm sure you would do a great job... It seems they should listen to your good ideas at least.

jabblog said...

How lovely!I am impressed that you will be a guide but not surprised - I find it difficult speaking just one language!

Unknown said...

It's great to meet blog friends in real life. I met two from Norway in March this year.

Good on you for volunteering for such an important occasion. I've put my name down to volunteer for the Commonwealth Games which will be held here in 2018.

Willow said...

I have met a few blog friends and it's one of the highlights of blogging!
Your visits to the historical sites was interesting to read about. I hope everything is fixed and goes smoothly.

Susanne said...

How fun that you could meet a blogging friend! I'm sure you will have a fun time volunteering at that special event. Sounds like a lot of work is going into it.

Little Wandering Wren said...

Hi Gattina
Sorry for the belated chance to pop by and thank you for such a lovely afternoon, you are a perfect recruit for the tourist office. What fun we had, I love that photo of the reflection of both of us taking photos - what are we like? When two bloggers meet it's hello, hug (because we feel like we are meeting an old friend) then photos!!!!!
Looking forward to hosting you in Melbourne one day.
Love Wren x

eileeninmd said...

What a great time for you and Wandering Wren! Wonderful photos!