15 Feb 2020

CHEEK KISSING

When my parents moved to Brussels, I was wondering why all people kissed each other 3 times on the cheek, starting on the right, then the left and then the right. Everywhere and everybody, except maybe your cleaning lady but not even that. In the morning cheek kissing started at school and by the time you had kissed yourself til the last pupil, it was time for class.

When I was invited I had to kiss the cheeks of the parents of my friends, the grandma, uncle and everybody who was in the house. Later on when I started working it was the same at work after a few days, the cheek kissing started, even with the general manager when I knew him better.

I started art school and it was the same people I didn't even know were kissed on the cheek and in aqua gym the same. Getting older I refused during winter time because of colds and flus, but some people still insisted although I tried to step back.

First time in Italy it was even worse ! Normally it was 5 times you had to kiss the cheeks but some had reduced it to 4. Honestly I didn't like it but I didn't want to be unpolite.

In France it was also 4 times but they started on the left cheek so I had to get used to that. Some younger once got lazy and kissed only once.

50 years later when I visited friends in Germany where when I left nobody kissed nobody on the cheek, eventually the family, now they kissed too ! Fortunately only once, sometimes two, probably those who had travelled abroad.

Apparently cheek kissing has spread over Europe, the worst are the Russians in my opinion, because they kiss on the mouth, at least I have seen pictures.





There is even a Cheek kissing culture in Wikipedia !

Linking to SOCS - cheek

14 Feb 2020

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

As Nicole had a doctor appointment we played our Scrabble on Tuesday and not on Monday. So I stayed home listened to the storm and cleaned the entrance a bit blow almost away and returned quickly inside. The storm has slowed down a bit, but still it's better not to wear a wig, it would blow away !


Miss Isis was a bit troubled and anxious with the noise of the wind

Our Scrabble was very difficult this time and we were one person less, so it lasted very long and finally when one had done a scrabble we gave up and devored the fruit and chocolate cake which Nicole had served. We talked about the damages which the storm had caused, fortunately all the people we know were covered by their insurance, because when your roof blows away it can become very expensive.

It still rained a bit but it was not stormy anymore and so we went to the Garden Center we wanted to go on Sunday and couldn't because of the storm. We found the Buddha we were looking for immediately, but nothing else, it was a bad time, between two seasons, Christmas finishd, Eastern not yet there, for flowers and plants it was too early so they had taken the opportunity to move everything around to make space for the new collection of furniture, decoration, garden sheds etc.



The buddha as birthday gift



One of the garden decorations ! Very tasteful :) ! I sent a photo to my friend and told her we have found the Buddha !

The main subject of our conversations during our painting class was of course the storm Ciara. Many had quite strong damages ! After that as usual we went for lunch together this time in the Lunch Garden because we were all in a hurry.

I had an appointment with an Estate Agent who also was my son's best friend because we had decided to sell our house and move into an apartment more in the city center. He knew our house of course I had gathered all needed papers, he checked and took notes. Now the big step into another part of our life is taken ! I was relieved ! Suddenly the decluttering, the moving etc seemed so easy to me, while the weeks before I had anxiety attacks, when I thought about moving. As soon as the weather is better I will sell most of my cat collection, give all the books to the red cross and call somebody for all the furniture we won't need anymore. The best thing to do now is to sit on my sofa and tell myself, I will do that tomorrow ! Anyway I have 6 month maxiumum but hope it will be sold as quick as possible.

Now each time I have nothing to do I am on Internet to look for an apartment ! That's nice too !






more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

13 Feb 2020

MY WINDOW OF THE WORLD

I discovered Internet because of Egyptian cats ! We came back from holidays in Egypt and I was intrigued about their history why they were considered as goddesses and also mummified cats were found in royal tombs. Mr. G. told me if I don't want to carry tons of books from the library home, he would show me how to use Internet. I was a bit reluctant, he was an analyst programmer since 1971 when USB sticks had the size and look of a car wheel. He always talked about computer and as I didn't understand a thing I sat in a corner and faked to listen when the men talked computer ! I was disgusted of everything concerningt computers.

But thinking it over I thought why not, I give it a try and from this day on when I found my first Egyptian cats forums, blogs, articles, and I even discovered Wikipedia, I was impressed ! Slowly but with more and more curiosity, I finally created a blog about cats and Blogging became my Hobby and Internet my work utensil.


2010                                                                        2019

If Internet allowed me to follow up the development of my little Grandson who lived in Amsterdam it was thanks to Internet. I saw him each week from birth on thanks to Skype and later thanks to Whatsapp, til today and he is 9 by now. If I hadn't learned to use the computer and Internet it wouldn't have been possible.

Internet is a great invention, it brings people from all over the whole world together. I have met a blog friend from South Africa in London, I have spent holidays in the South of France thanks to my Blog. Same with Canadian friends and Australians which without Internet I would never ever met.

For me personally, the Internet is the best invention of the last century. With its help, it has become my window of the world.


Linking to Linda G. Hills One liner Wednesday - Internet

11 Feb 2020

STORM CIARA IN WATERLOO

Since Saturday evening Belgium expected the strongest wind or storm ever recorded. Everybody was talking about that in the Newspapers, Radios and TV and gave instructions what to do to protect the properties or houses or buildings or themselves. Now this makes it sound exaggerated to people living in countries where storms are something nearly "normal". This is not the case here the last one we had with winds over 180 nearly 200 km/h was in 1999 and from that day on, each time a breeze is blowing every wood, park etc is closed. We fell from one extreme to the other.

This time the wind speed should reach 140 km/h or a little more. And it happened ! At the coast it was even more

Here in Waterloo we had rather small damages compared to other countries. My friends were lucky except two, one had a piece of her gazebo blown away and the other the fence of her garden like  on the picture below. We had nothing except two flower pots which turned over and now I have all the earth on the white tiles of the entrance !!

Finally we were lucky because we head no dead maybe a few injured but nothing serious.




This garden had less luck



The renovation of the new shopping center was seriously disturbed



The works had to be stopped of course and you could just watch how things collapsed




Some roads were blocked by old trees which didn't resist the strong wind and fell across the streets.



This old barn was also heavily damaged



There is a lot to do for the firemen and other helpers to cut the trees and free the streets.

Of course all woods and parks were closed.



A renovated school was also heavily damaged



and of course some cars



The historical building was lucky the tree didn't hit it



Some people couldn't get out with their cars until the firemen had pulled the tree aside



The old cemetary of Waterloo was heavily damaged too. It's very close to our house, maybe tomorrow I could go there and take some pictures, it's certainly closed because too dangerous for visitors.








Our train station  is beeing modernized and was quite damaged by Ciara.

Besides the material damages, there were also car accidents, trains retarded, and airplanes cancelled.

While I am typing it is still howling around the house and the worst noise is in our open fire although I had closed the flap, but the wind plays in the chemney.




more participants here






10 Feb 2020

AWWWW MONDAY - WEEKEND NEWS FEBRUARY 8









Linking to AWWW MONDAYS



Our TV station made people hysterical announcing almost the end of the world only because the storm Ciara would arrive ! I had already seen the arrival  yesterday on a blog from a little island in Scotland where it had arrived and was already very strong, more then 145 km/h ! Everything is exaggerated in this TV station.

On Saturday it was only grey and humid and I met with a friend, she is the wife of my son's best friend and we wanted to have a little chat together only the two of us. We seldom have the occasion. It was very nice and we had a cup of coffee and a piece of chocolate cake. It's a very nice place and the only one in whole Waterloo and the little cities around where you can get a real breakfast (even an English one) from 6 am on ! Otherwise the poor tourists have to wait until 9 am !



and they have a big choice and a lot of success of course !

On Sunday we wanted to go to a special Garden Center which has also statues for the garden, to buy a buddha as birthday gift for a friend. The Garden center is about 20 km far from Waterloo. Already in the morning a very strong wind started and then I heard in the News that the storm called Ciara had hit the Belgian coast. About twenty flights operated by Brussels Airlines were canceled from Sunday late afternoon due to the storm Ciara. Just like other countries which had announced to reduce flights.

I didn't give up so easily and as agreed went to Nicole to pick her up ! But underway there was a lot of wind even in the city and sometimes hit my car which shook a bit. Maria didn't want to come she is quickly scared. At the end we decided to stay at Nicole's and



watched a movie. Around the house whistled the wind and suddenly we heard a big boom it was a very heavy flower pot with a palm tree in who was blown from one side to the other of the very large balcony ! As it rained we couldn't pick up the earth and had to leave it there.



Nicole's little cat was restless and had a strange expression in her eyes as if she feared something.



Later at home I saw a few damages on Internet and amongst the others also a picture of the street we would have taken to go to the Garden Center. Fortunately we didn't go !

Knowing cats quite good, it was the behaviour of Isis which convinced me finally to give up !