14 Aug 2015


1. I am pleased to say that the warm to hot weather continues. It's a miracle, for once we have a real summer in Belgium.

I went with Dominique to the Chinese restaurant, I had recently discovered which was so good. She had never been there ! I love the decoration. There are beautiful paintings on the walls and the tables are separated by these "art deco" looking glass panels. As the food is served as a buffet, we had two starters, one cold one hot, then the main course, the dessert, fresh melon, Kiwi, Litchi and pineapple cubes with ice cream and then a coffee. She couldn't believe the amount of the bill, 12 € (13 $) per person ! She immediately thought to take her family there for a special event.

2. Although I enjoy my "office" on our terrace, I need to go out to see some people. Nicole was in the same case, so we went again tourist watching at the Waterloo Lion.

There were as always quite a lot and we also noticed that now a bus is running from the Lion mound til the Hougoumont farm.


Before we had a little train like this which took the tourist from the Lion mound into the Waterloo city center. Now it doesn't exist anymore and is replaced by this stinky bus only going to the farm ! I really wonder who has decided that !

4. Chantal another friend had invited me for the afternoon to show me her new Pergola and also how she had arranged her terrace.

She had restored an old rusty bench, and painted it in black and yellow. The old sewing machine was freshly repainted too and a new flower pot sits on the top.  It looked very pretty together with the yellow flower boxes. When I looked in the little pond all fishes came, they thought I would feed them. Apparently they are not as stupid as one could think.

5. My fringe had grown and fell into my eyes and I really hate that. I didn't want to go to my hairdresser only for the fringe so I went to Ilona who is very talented in cutting hairs. The result was perfect and now I look like new ! It was so hot that we couldn't sit outside, her terrace was like a furnace. In the evening we had a terrible thunderstorm, the sky suddenly became so dark as if it was already night. It also pourred in buckets and I could hardly see the neighbor's house. It lasted for about an hour, fortunately we had no damages.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

13 Aug 2015


It must be a sign of getting older, because memories come back parts of of my childhood which I thought I had long forgotten or they had completely disappeared. For years and years I have never thought about my childhood or only when it was related to people but not at all how I spent my time as a child.

I was seven when my parents moved to Bonn the ancient capital of Germany. Bonn had been severely damaged through WW II and when we arrived in 1951 there were still a lot of traces of the war end.

Luckily we lived in a range of apartment houses which had been quickly built for the employees of the new Government. Although we had no central heating and the apartment was heated by a tiled stove in which my father put coal, he carried up from the basement, we, compared to others lived in luxury. All the people  who lived there had lost their homes and sometimes even castles there was no social gap we were all sitting in the same boat. But this I only realized later  when I learned that the father of one of my classmates was the daughter of  Graf Stauffenberg. He had been shot after an attempt to kill Hitler. I only remember her mother and their apartment which looked exactly the same as ours.

As I had lived with my grandparents in the countryside I had never seen completely bombed out cities.

We were surrounded by houses still in ruins, with broken windows and empty. Often the owners lived in their basement in which they had stored their furniture and belongings. I found this very romantic  when I went visiting  my school friends living in a basement under their damaged houses. I had no idea why our city looked like that and to me it was completely normal.

We had a lot of fun with playing in the ruins, nobody cared, people had other things to do than paying attention to what their kids did after school. We had our own Disney Land, and all famous attraction parks for children, we had the best and it was free ! We climbed in the ruins, discovered basements where we sometimes found plates, cutlery and toys. There was one which was our favorite. It must have been a beautiful mansion with a huge garden around. The kitchen was still standing so we pretended to cook for our dolls. The basement was full of interesting stuff to play with and the now wild growing garden was the perfect playground. Nobody ever thought that it could be dangerous, we had such a lot of fun.

Bonn still looked a bit like in this collage when I arrived, except the rubble was gone and the city center had been restored. But a little outside there were still facades standing as shown in the picture above left. The street where we lived was not far away from the church in the picture below left. I recognized the street immediately when I saw it on Internet. Of course the street had been cleaned and repaired when we arrived.

We had such a lot to play with, we didn't need playgrounds, every day we had other adventures and were rather sad when they started to demolish ruins and built new houses. What a disappointment for a little child !

This is me at that time together with my mother and my paternal grandma. We never realized that our parents had a completely other view on this situation, we had not to struggle to get food on the table or providing clothes. My parents also were lucky to have my mother's sister who had married an American and sent us parcels with goodies and the most wonderful clothes for me ! I was always dressed like a princess which I of course took for granted. Other girls were not so lucky and had to run around in old self made clothes.

I really wonder why all these memories came into my mind only recently. When I was a young woman and heard old people always talking about their childhood memories, I found that rather boring. Now I do the same !

Jenny Matlock
more participants at Jenny Matlock's Alphabet Thursday

12 Aug 2015


Seen in Waterloo's park on National Day July 21

more participants here

11 Aug 2015


I visited the Lego exhibition on Napoleon’s life and the Battle of Waterloo which was held in Waterloo this year to mark the 200th anniversary. Close to 1.2 million blocks have been used in the ‘History of Bricks’ exhibition to create scenes depicting the life of Napoleon including his wedding and an eight foot high centrepiece of Les Invalides in Paris – his final resting place.

The exhibition took two years to put together. It took 5,000 hours to build, and used more than a million Lego bricks. Unfortunately it had been closed on July 31.

"Les écuries" where the exhibition took place

At the entrance was Napoleon's hat all in Lego of course

The "Arc de Triomphe" in Paris, amazing details !

The "Malmaison" castle in Paris, Napoleon's home and headquarters

Les Invalides, where Napoleon is burried

His last headquarter during the Waterloo battle

The Hougoumont farm, where Wellington won over Napoleon

The Lion's mound

London Bridge

The armies

and cute little figures

A huge picture of Napoleon all in Lego, look at the details ....

a harp with stunning details

And finally a picture of Wellington and of Napoleon and Josphine's wedding.

In one corner of the exhibition there was a huge table for children to play with Legos. The exhibition had a big success.

more participants here

10 Aug 2015


The summer weather continues I purr like a cat ! I did some laundry and when I took it out I found this

First I didn't know which medication it was and then I could read "Aspirine". Now I have freshly washed and clean Aspirin in our home pharmacy. 

One of Mr. G's card club players, has started to work on a computer. So he had helped her to install everything and also Picasa. Now he is good for all technical things, but when it comes to photo programs he has no clue ! On Saturday she invited us for a coffee and at the same time I explained how to work with Picasa.

She lives in this beautiful house, now as a widow since two years. I have to say that in Belgium the houses and apartments are far bigger than in other European countries. We are very spoiled. What is called big in the UK, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands is an average house in Belgium. We had a very nice afternoon and she loved to learn how Picasa works so it was real fun to explain.

On our way back we stopped at a Greek's take away and I bought two meals, which we ate while watching the News and they were delicious !

Sunday morning I finally created my little sign (A charming lady and a grumpy old man live here) !

To put my photo on the wooden sign, I took a CD, and glued the picture on it and then the CD on the wood. I was quite satisfied with the result and Mr. G. hang it up at the entrance !

In the afternoon, it rained a bit, but nevertheless Nicole and I wanted to have a look at the flea market which took place in a town nearby.

There were lots of stands around the church and the city hall.

Charlie of course was with us and pulled us from toy stand to toy stand, looking for things which squeak and he knows exactly what could squeak ! We could just save a little duck he had taken out !

When we sat on the terrace of a café he bravely lay besides the table and didn't move. Unfortunately there were 3 not very respectful Harley Davidson motor bike drivers who made a lot of noise and annoyed all people who sat there. Nicole was gone inside the café and I just could jump up and hold Charlie by his collar, gathering all my strength, he the so sweet and kind dog wanted to attack them and he was barking and growling and showed his impressive teeth. I hesitated for a moment to let him free, as these three guys were really very impolite and utterly ruthless. A little bite in their legs would have done them very good ! But I am a peaceful girl and I refrained from this idea.

It was nice to watch people, meanwhile the sun had come out and as it was getting late, we returned home.