19 Jun 2015


1. Because of my job as temporary tourist guide, it had been recommended to wear our jacket wherever we go in Waterloo, in case a lost tourists need some information.

So while I did my shopping, two tourists asked me how to go to the Lion's mound.

Others were waiting at the bus station and asked me in which direction they had to go and which stop to take to get out of the bus and walk to the Lion.

2. Before the whole show started, I went to the Hougomont farm to take some pictures. I was all alone because officially the site was closed to prepare it for the VIP's visitors from all over the world. My green jacket was my passport !

The farm looked really nice now. No comparison to the ruin it had been 2 years ago.


I also took pictures of the stands where Charles and Camilla and other VIP's would sit. I only hoped that the ladies didn't wear high heels. (More about "Behind the scenes here)

4. The next day I saw them all on TV

There was a long reportage about the ceremonies

This collage shows the most important moments. Charles and Camilla together with the last Duke of Wellington. The presentation of the figurants, revealing of two new statues and a handshake between the descendants of the army leaders. The actual Duke of Wellington, Prince Charles Bonaparte (Napoleon)  and the German Prince Blücher a sign of peace between the countries.

 5. After my painting class, I quickly drove over to the Lion. Today is the big day with the official inauguration of the new Lion site. On my way I noticed that suddenly lots of restaurants and cafés served "English Breakfast" which I had never seen before !

The way to the Lion was closed, Soldiers arrived along the street, others had breakfast, from far I could see the campers, and police on horses arrived. I couldn't go further, because ....

at the same time on the other side of the hill arrived the Royals for the official ceremony under the Lion. The Duke and Duchess of Luxembourg, Queen Mathilde and King Philip, Queen Maxima and King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands.

Even with my green jacket, as I was not great great great etc grandchild of Napoleon or Wellington, I had to return home.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

18 Jun 2015


Waterloo celebrates the bicentenary of the Waterloo battle. And that is a big event ! For those who are not so good in history here is a very short lesson !

Napoleon was Emperor of the French. With his battles, he rapidly conquered most of continental Europe. His ambition was to become a second Ceasar the Roman, who had been a little everywhere. 

Napoleon's first defeat was when  he had the good idea to conquer also Russia which ended in catastrophic failure for the French.

After another battle he was sent to the isle of Elba, from where he escaped and tried to get back his former power.

He never succeeded because meanwhile the Brits, Dutch and Germans had united their forces and he lost the battle in Waterloo on the 18 June 1815 at the Hougoumont farm.

This fortified farm saw a very bloody fighting. It was an advanced position which protected the allies' right flank. Napoleon attacked it on 18 June towards 11:30 am and lost.

If Napoleon would have won, Europe would have a completely different face today and we probably would all speak French in Europe.

So when today somebody says : that was your Waterloo, it means that it was the end.

The Abba group made Waterloo famous for everybody in the whole world with their song "Waterloo" ! Many people still believe that Waterloo is in France, but that is wrong it is in Belgium, the town where I live.

My, my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and I have met my destiny in quite a similar way
The history book on the shelf
Is always repeating itself

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

My, my, I tried to hold you back but you were stronger
Oh yeah, and now it seems my only chance is giving up the fight
And how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose

Waterloo - I was defeated, you won the war
Waterloo - Promise to love you for ever more
Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

So how could I ever refuse
I feel like I win when I lose -

Waterloo - Couldn't escape if I wanted to
Waterloo - Knowing my fate is to be with you
Waterloo - Finally facing my Waterloo

You can see pictures of the Hougoumont farm and the British bivouacs, I was there yesterday. There will be around 6000 soldiers for the re-enactment of the battle ! Continue here .....

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

17 Jun 2015


British figurants arrived to participate in the re-enactment of the Waterloo battle.

more participants here

16 Jun 2015


The festivities for the bicentenary of the Waterloo battle will take place just in a couple of days. It starts on June 17, with the inauguration of the renovated Hougoumont Farm. For this event our King Philip has invited the representatives of all countries which had participated in the battle 200 years ago. There will be Charles and Camilla (for the UK) King Willem Alexander and his wife Maxima, the Duke of Luxembourg and his wife, the president of Germany and other VIP's. The only once who won't come are the French Government. They still haven't digested that they had lost the battle 200 years ago. Read more here .....

more participants here

15 Jun 2015


Not even one week before the great re-enactment starts, I wanted to see how the lion site looked like before the crowd arrives 200.000 tourists are expected from all over the world ! The King and Queen from the Netherlands, Charles and Camilla, the Duke and Duchess from Luxembourg are coming for the bicentenary of the battle. The only once who won't come are the Frenchs ! Apparently they still haven't digested that Napoleon lost the battle here, although it is 200 years ago when it happened. It's only the government, there will be lot of French tourists, who find this as ridiculous as the rest of the Europeans does.

Before the Lion site will be closed during the re-enactments people had free access to the Lion and the Panorama which represents the battle. At least I thought so. The next day I was told in the Tourist office, that it was not free at all, only an employee had forgotten to close the door to the Lion Hill ! They must have lost quite some income, considering all the buses packed with people and all the others I included went in there for free. That I call a good organization !

It looked as if it was almost ready, only little details still had to be done. The new restaurant was open, and lots of tourists had arrived to climb up the 226 steps. Some of them had to give up and went down again. I sat there and watched. Wherever I went I got a VIP treatment, even on the terrace I was served immediately while others had to wait. I didn't understand until I suddenly realized,  that I wore my Tourist guide jacket and they all probably thought that I was here to check if everything worked smoothly and I had only thought to help out tourists in case they were a little lost !

On Sunday I worked again from 9.30 til 1.30, answered the phone and gave information. I discovered another glitch. On the Webpage of the Battle there was written that you could rent bikes at the Tourist office from Friday on. I talked about that to the responsible of the Tourist Office and she rang her hands in despair because nobody had informed them and of course there were no bikes. But how explain that to the people who want to rent a bike ? Somebody asked for the house number of the Office, none of us knew it I had to go outside to look and then gave the information. A Canadian lady asked me if I could tell her the history of the battle, because to read it all was too long. I gave a quick resume of not even 2 min and she was very satisfied.

It seems to me as if they are totally lost and some of the volunteers are really useless because they can't handle a computer and all informations are in the computer.

I stayed a little longer because the 3 volunteers who came after me, didn't know anything, not how the telephone worked, not how the back door could be opened etc etc. Finally I left at 2.30 !

After this hectic morning I sat in our garden and rested a bit, before I started to do my own business

which meant writing this post and answering emails, while my cats kept me company !