23 Apr 2018

HOLIDAYS IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE




I am with my friend Claudie (a former blogger) in the South of France in Sanary. We  have wonderful weather it's very warm and sunny.

Therefore I don't know if I have time to answer emails or to participate in memes.

20 Apr 2018

FIVE ON FRIDAY - FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

Chantal my friend who lives in the next big town Nivelles had invited me for a coffee and cake



It had been a long time I haven't been in her home some things have changed but it was good to see that the garden started blooming and her two dogs are now quiet old gentlemen in their 11th.

We have new neighbors since last October but haven't seen them only a few times. Fortunately they are a very nice and friendly, a couple with 3 children  but already grown up, 18, 16 and 12. First I thought they would be noisy but not at all not even music. It almost looks like an empty house.

Probably that will change now when they can sit outside.




I found a football in our garden and saw the whole family eating outside. I said hello and gave back the ball.  He asked me to wait a minute and came back with this delicious plate, specialities from Lebanon. They live since years in Belgium. Mr. G. was pleased and found it very good.

From one day to the other we went from winter to summer with temperatures around 25°C (77F). Mr. G. uncovered the garden furniture and our cleaning lady cleaned them. I also "planted" a few fake flowers in the pots nobody ever realizes that they are not real and admire that they always bloom so nicely and I am happy not to water them !

Now we have to do the front garden.

I went again to our Asiatic Restaurant where I had been last week, but we were both disappointed, the food was too spicy and I had the impression that I would spit fire if somebody lightened my breath. Couldn't even eat it all ! The new cook is too Asiatic he should spice the food a little less and those who like it spicy could add the sauce ! But the sun was shining and we could eat outside in the garden.It had been one of our favourite restaurant but if they don't change we won't return there.



Now the furniture is clean and we are ready to sit outside. Even cat Kim enjoys the warm sunshine.



We also had our Scrabble afternoon this time I lost again and dog Tosca supervised the game ! And of course wanted a piece of our strawberry cake ! It became so hot on the balcony that we had to go inside. It's never right or it is too cold or too hot !





We also had our feet nails done by a pedicure because it is too difficult for us too reach our feet. Cat Arthur watched and checked our feet afterwards.

Tomorrow I am off to my friend Claudie in the South of France as I do each year, except last year where it wasn't possible. Now that the weather is nice in the north it's cooler in the south and there is the big question : I don't know what to take along !





more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.







Shadow shots & Black and white Weekend are here

18 Apr 2018

WORDLESS WEDNESDY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE



morning



evening



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Hodgepodge

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don't have an actual list that's fine, pretend you do.
First holidays in South France, then the garden. Other plans can't be done due to the moody weather.

2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?
Sitting in the sunshine on a terrace, watching people and having a drink. The last time was last weekend.

3. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What's your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes?

Definitively not celery. I don't like it. I would take cucumbers and cherry tomatoes ! 

4. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you're having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you're thankful for and one what's weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day

Nothing of the listed things. except that I get dressed. Before 8 am I still sleeping. I start my day with blogging and prepare a post for the next day. In the afternoon I usually go out with friends or do some shopping. It all depends on the weather.

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

I don't like routine, I do what I think is absolutely necessary, 

5. Describe the view from your window.



I see my neighbor's house and the street where from time to time a car appears. Otherwise there are joggers or people walking their dogs. There is no traffic at all, only the people who live here in our street. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
What do I have to buy before going on holidays to my friend in France ? 








17 Apr 2018

LA HULPE PARK

The first time we really had a spring weather day, Bunny and I made a walk through this beautiful La Hulpe park (also called Solvay park)



From far we could see the castle but we went to the other end of the park



This part of an old farm had been transformed into a restaurant. Lots of people come here to have a drink outside with a beautiful view on the park



and the other part of the farm is now a museum where lots of exhibitions take place



The first spring signs








The lake with happy ducks






The view from the restaurant




On our way back we saw the blooming Japanese cherry trees

More about the history of this park you find here La Hulpe park




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16 Apr 2018

WEEKEND APRIL 14

The gardener came with 10 packages of bark to cover the piece of garden on the side of the house. He first he cleaned the ground and made it even, then he covered it with a tarpaulin, so that no weeds could grow. And then he put the bark.



Now I just have to put my cat statues and a flower pot and it will look great. At least something done. The do it yourself time is unfortunately over. For me all this would have been too heavy and Mr. G. with his arthritis is handicapped too. Fortunately the guy was very honest in his price and I am sure it will not be the last time I have to call him. I found him through Facebook ! Sometimes Facebook is good !

Mr. G. had his 77 birthday and we celebrated with a chocolate mousse cake.



Of course Bunny celebrated with us as they are born on the same day and the same year ! We had a very nice afternoon and the cake was delicious.



While we were watching the News, suddenly a thunderstorm arrived and it hailed terribly. Our terrace and the garden looked as if it had snowed. We had no damages but in Waterloo there was also flooding, restaurants and streets and the fire service had a lot to do.



My hibiscus plant honnored us with another flower, it's always one at the time looks beautiful, but only lasts one day.



My cleaning lady had crocheted a bed cover for me some time ago, and now for Mr. G's birthday she
had crocheted this one. Of course cat Arthur had to inaugurate the cover. Isn't it pretty. 



My seven year old grandson Toby had made a painting in the style of the painter Keith Haring  at school. It had such a success that it is used in merchandising and printed on mugs, table sets, etc.

You can imagine that we are very proud. My DIL helped of course, she also has an artistic talent.

13 Apr 2018

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE - FIVE ON FRIDAY

I started the week with a lazy day, between computer and TV, the rain had come back and it was rather cool too. I wonder when I can sit outside !

Looking at our living table I suddenly found it very dirty and used. The brass of the legs and underneath had become a bit black and wasn't shiny at all anymore.

Off I went to buy some black color instead of shrubbing the brass and painted the brass in black !



It took me two days, but it was worthwhile because now it looks completely new ! I only had to paint one lay, the color covered everything at once. Instead of reading the notice before starting to paint, I read it when everything was finished. To my surprise it was a color with which you paint school blackboards ! Such thing can only happen to me, but the color is really good !

Mr. G plays Whist in his club 3 times per week, which is a good occupation for him and for me it means a "free" afternoon. After nearly 50 years of living together I think I am not the only one. Fortunately my friends have difficulties with their computers and on the days where he doesn't play cards, I send him to explain and help to solve the computer problems. This time he had a lot of work because my friend had a real mess in her computer.

My friend Bunny had her birthday. The funniest thing is that she was born on the same day, the same year with 6 hours difference as Mr. G. She in New York, he in Italy. So she calls him her "twin" brother.



I invited her to a Thai restaurant, where we had a delicious meal. When I wanted to pay at the counter a man stood behind me and I (probably) stared at him, because I thought he looks like Prince Laurent the brother of our King. Finally the curiosity won and I asked him "Monsieur are you Prince Laurent or are you his double" he smiled and answered "No I am the original" !


Prince Laurent with King Philip and Queen Mathilde

I told my friend, you see in what posh restaurant I invite you where you even meet a member of the royal family ! In reality it's a nice restaurant but not especially exceptional, the kitchen is good and the prices too.

There are still Easter school holidays and we don't have our painting class during that time as if we were still at school. Therefore instead of Monday we play scrabble on Thursdays.



This time it was at Nicole's and when I cut a piece of cake, it turned over and we laughed. Nicole instead of spring napkins had given us some from Christmas. We had a real nice afternoon ! The two  (above right ladies) are 80 and 79 !

For Mr. G's birthday I had painted a photo of our grandson, by an artist in Egypt.



Mr G. was very happy with his birthday gift and even took a hammer and a nail to hang it up over the TV.

Through my Facebook group of Waterloo, I finally found somebody to do the garden. Apparently they are 3 and do everything also electricity and plumber work. Ideal for old couples ! He came punctually which is rather seldom when you wait for a worker ! Late afternoon it will be ready, hopefully.




more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


11 Apr 2018

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE





small talk



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1. April is National Jazz Appreciation Month. Are you a fan? If so what's a favorite you'd recommend to someone new to jazz listening?

I like as music Jazz, but I can't think of any special title.

2. Mandolin, ukulele, harp, accordion or banjo...which would you be most interested in learning to play? Or do you already play one of the instruments listed?

Banjo is quite cheerful, harp romantic, but I do not want or cannot play any instrument.  I prefer listening.

3. Do you judge a book by it's cover? Elaborate. You may answer in either/both the literal or figurative sense of the word.

I don't really know it could be,  usually I read the resume and see if it is interesting or not.

4. According to a recent study the ten most nutritious foods are-almonds, cherimoya (supposed to taste like a cross between a pineapple/banana), ocean perch, flatfish (such as flounder and halibut), chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, pork fat (shocking! but I don't think they mean bacon), beet greens, and red snapper. Are any of these foods a regular part of your diet? Any you've never ever tasted? Which would you be most inclined to add to your diet?

For me it's simple. I don't care what I eat it just has to be good and tasty.  I never tasted cherimoya, chia seeds, and  red snapper I even don't know what it is. Probably I can't buy it here either.  I wouldn't eat any insects or roasted worms.

5. Besides a major holiday what is the most recent thing you've celebrated with your people? Tell us how.

The most recent was Easter, but we didn't do anything special. But there are upcoming birthdays to celebrate. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

No special thoughts, just what do I serve as supper tonight ? And what to do on Mr. G's birthday, he doesn't want to celebrate. I think I will invite two friends for an afternoon cake and coffee.






10 Apr 2018

TEXTILE AND GLASS WORKSHOP MUSEUM AVESNOIS FRANCE

I participated in an excursion to the region Avesnois in France near the Belgian border which had been organized for the seniors of our city. Located in the south of the Nord d├ępartement, it is so green that it is known as "The Little Normandy of the North". A little paradise for green tourism, hiking and cycling... It is an area that was classified as a Regional Nature Park in 1998 and which is famous for its wooded countryside, its forest-covered slopes ...

We only saw this through the bus windows and unfortunately not too much because it rained a lot the whole day.


we were in the green bus

But the purpose of this excursion was not for the landscape but  visiting the industrial life of this region in the past. So the rain didn't bother us too much.

We first stopped in Fourmies where we were served a cup of coffee and a huge croissant.



Read more here






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9 Apr 2018

WEEKEND APRIL 7

Somebody had recommended me a new lung doctor in a little town near Waterloo. I have to say I was a little fed up with my pneumologist because she was very expensive and a real pessimist, because I got the impression that I had already one foot in my grave.



We all were used to go to the Braine hospital belonging to Waterloo too, but it had become a real factory over the years and it's not at all the same anymore. You are just a number.



This one was a medical center and in a house, it was old, but the machines were the same and modern and that's what counts. The doctor was very friendly and competent and an optimist, he prescribed me a new inhaler and told me that I don't have to worry.  I paid less then half because in Belgium "posh" doctors can ask what they want, but the health insurance always pays the same amount for the consultation.  I was quite happy with the result at least it hasn't gotten worse.

Finally spring arrived and we had sunshine and Ilona and I celebrated her birthday outside sitting outside.



it was a wonderful day, and you could hear everywhere the lawn mowers !

On Sunday it became even better the temperature climbed up to 25°C (77 F) and made the warmest April day ever since 1902 !



My friend Bunny who had the intention to do her paper work on this Sunday left everything when I called her and proposed a walk to the park of the Chateau de la Hulpe.

We walked along the lake and the orchards there were a lot of people who had the same idea as we had and had a drink on the terrace of the restaurant near the castle. Which of course was full and we had to wait a little until we got a table with two chairs. Since we know each other since we were teenagers there are always a lot of memories to dig out and we enjoyed the first real sunshine.

Mr. G. sunshine or not was glued on the TV screen to watch the Formular 1 and was happy that Ferrari won again which hadn't happened in the last years. I have to admit I couldn't care less.

It is really amazing what such a warm and sunny day can do I was feeling much better



and could have purred in the sunshine like cat Arthur did.

6 Apr 2018

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE - FIVE ON FRIDAY

Easter Monday beat all records it rained and rained and rained.



That's what I saw from the inside looking into the rain, while cat Arthur sat on the window sill under the roof and admired the rain from outside.

Fortunately Nicole had some work for me to do on her computer, and to explain, so we spent the whole afternoon together. We didn't have our scrabble afternoon, because all the others were busy with their children and grandchildren. Mr. G. hid behind his computer and played Whist as usual.

The next days were not better, I just could do some shopping to feed my "What do we eat tonight" husband, this is usually the sentence I hear when I just wake up. Sometimes I can understand that people have killer instincts. I blogged a bit and looked on Facebook, at the group "Living in Waterloo" because I badly need somebody to help in our garden. Usually it always works people are very helpful. I put a little request and now I am waiting for an answer.

Another friend wanted to join Facebook but didn't know how to do so. I don't know very well either only that it is better to adapt


this policy, because some people can get so aggressive and have no humour at all. That's why I told her to only read and eventually comment in our group, although even there are some black sheep.

As we missed our scrabble game on Monday, we did it today



As usual the winner was always the same, our half blind friend (red pullover) !

What a boring week again, I feel like in prison who wants to go out in the cold, wind and rain if it is not absolutely necessary !




more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.