25 Apr 2020


May 1 is not only Labor Day, it is also the day when we offer sprigs of the lily of the valley to people we love. This tradition is not new. In ancient Rome, celebrations in honor of Flora, goddess of flowers, peaked on May 1. The Celts celebrated the start of summer on the same day. They erected a tree around which they danced to chase away evil spirits. They also granted the lily of the valley virtues of good luck.

The use arrived in France on May 1, 1561, when King Charles IX received a sprigs of lily of the valley on that date, and he decided to offer it each year to the ladies of the court. The tradition was born.

Ever since we offer these little bouquets to our family and friends, neighbors, or office collegues on each 1st of May.

As the weather was so nice and warm, they bloomed already in my garden far too early ! So I told my neighbors to pick them up if they want too and offered a little bouquet to my friends.

This year it will be different, as we are still locked in in our cages but if everything goes smooth between the doctors, scientifics and the government we will be set free on May 5.

So for the first time since the 61 years I live in Belgium there will be no street vendors no  people on the street with their little bouquets and nobody will get them or maybe they will lay in front of the door.

Linking to Linda G. Hills prompt SOCS-Val

24 Apr 2020


I think I can slowly begin with the countdown of my imprisonment ! Another one and a half week confined in my golden cage and then the door will open, I stretch my wings .... and return home. The first day there are probably too many people around and I am not used to it anymore. We have to wear masks probably obligatory and gloves too and keeping the distance of 1.50 m ! I wonder how we will do that in some narrow streets ??
Apparently we will get our masks from the city, if the delivery is not delayed as it already was.

The week started with Monday (as usual, since the Gregorian calender was introduced in October 1582) and that day I mean Monday and not the calender it was very windy cloudy and cold. At least the weather changes from time to time, not our days they are always the same.  Get up, drink coffee, answer emails write my post, eat lunch, watch TV, return to computer until supper, eat supper watch movie (often a Barnaby) and then it's bedtime. I think in a few years if ever this nightmare is finished I will think of the Coronavirus when I watch Inspector Barnaby discovering murderers.

Then came a welcomed adventure. The owner of the apartment I loved so much called me and asked me if I could come, to finally visit it but paying attention because visits are not allowed. I took a bag with books and some cookies, in case somebody would ask me what I am doing in the building so I just could answer that I would bring the books and cookies to a very old person who couldn't go out anymore. Fortunately I didn't need to lie, nobody was in the entrance, I rang the bell, got in and was also alone in the lift.

I had seen the apartment on video which he had sent me, but in life it was even more beautiful. In the middle of the town, surrounded by green lawns and trees on the fourth floor where the white crosses are. The living room was gorgeous very big 40 m2 and a terrace surrounding the apartment. I will have sunshine (if there is any) the whole day. There also were 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms and of course the kitchen. When I had finished he asked me to give him an answer but I told him that we can't do anything because of the lockdown and I would call him the next day.

Instead of driving home I went to N. because she has quite some experience in owning houses and apartments and renting them and asked her what I should do. I wanted to rent from July 1st on, he wanted June 1st which is too early, the papers for our house sale maybe not ready. N told me to insist on July first and if it wouldn't work propose June 15.

We sat on her terrace in the warm sunshine and talked about the apartment. Isis the cat was brushed, and we also had a coffee together and then I went home and told Mr. G what N had suggested. He agreed immediately and would have moved right away, now he is not anymore against the idea to move, no now he wants to  move immediately.  Not women always change their minds, men too !

The next morning I called the estate agency and they knew already that I would take the apartment and she told me that the owner was very happy with us, we are the ideal couple for renting, we are both retired, nobody can fire us and he will be sure to get his rent each month. We won't give loud parties (but you never know) and no kids are hopping around.

Mr. G. and I started to make plans how to organize the move and do it right away, the house can stay empty with the junk inside which we can take out later.

The next day we went to M. she had cleaned her swimming pool, it was warm and we  chatted about the apartment, how to arrange the furniture, where to put the shoes etc etc.
For them it was a nice change too, otherwise you only hear Corona related stories and statistics, how many death, infected and saved people !

respecting the distance of 1.50 m, but no masks ! too hot ! We are really lucky in our golden cages !!

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

23 Apr 2020


Still sitting in my golden cage,  jogging from computer to TV, and of course the telephone and also sometimes into the kitchen, my world is rather limited and mostly virtual.

I never was a Facebook fan and rarely published something, but now I started to read the comments and there you learn a lot. Hiding behind their screen lots of people become vulgar, aggressive, and insulting. For everything and nothing. Others are very helpful and offer their services. Very interesting to read how people become even worse when they are locked in.

I am getting nervous because of the house sale which is normally sold and the apartment which I choose and I should normally get. But as nobody knows when everybody is allowed to work again normally, we are all stuck. Paperwork can be done via internet which is a great help.

To get to the point of this prompt, I always remember a proverb my aunt used to say when she had to pay a big amount of money and that was


Which is very true. Now that we have time to think about everything and see the world in another way, maybe not all of us but certainly a lot, I think I will keep this in my mind as an advice to follow and enjoy life as much as I can ! This is a truth which will never age !

More participants here at Linda G. Hills One liner wednesday

22 Apr 2020


Once I could go into an "all you can eat" restaurant ! Now I am not allowed, anyway all restaurants are closed. Only memories remain and our lockdown is only one and a half month old ! Seems ages to me. The worst thing is, I  become more and more lazy ! Can't do anything not even clean out the rubbish and things I could throw away. Everything is closed. Therefore I leave everything as it is and just wait until we will be allowed to go out again and we are getting back to normal life, although I personally think that life will be another "normal" !

more participants here,
and Image-in-ing

21 Apr 2020


This Basilica is the fifth largest church in the world and the largest Art Deco edifice ever built. It contains the Musée des Sœurs Noires (museum of the black sisters)  and the Musée d'Art moderne religieux (museum of religious modern art).

It is the only cathedral I ever saw which also houses a restaurant with a theater and organizes expositions.

The Basilica sits on a hill and you can see from there whole Brussels.

Sitting on the steps we overlooked whole Brussels.

Photos I took from outside the church

and the inside

Here it goes to the restaurant and theatre

Looking down on Brussels

The restaurant and behind the theatre stage with the red curtain.

I haven't been there yet, but friends of mine have and they said it is really worthwhile to see a theatre play and the restaurant is very good too.

more participants here

You can read more here on my travel blog COUNTRIES & CITIES

20 Apr 2020


Normally he should pose besides the cat, but maybe he was afraid !

Watching us painting

Running water tastes better

This parrot is in an animal food shop and whistles behind me !! (In the past it was men who whistled !)



Besides the food shops since this weekend Garden centers and DIY shops are open now too, which caused again a hysterical rush on all kind of products except the so famous toilet paper. The shops opened at 8.30 but at 7 am people already lined up to be sure to get something ! I saw this on TV because I am not crazy enough to go the first day for buying seed or a hammer, and line up for hours ! The distance between the people was respected, guardians watched !

I spent most of the time on TV and computer but also on the telephone, it rained outside and it was quite cool, no way to sit in the garden like the days before !

Another hysterical fashion broke out : self made masks ! As there are apparently not enough masks for everybody women  with sewing skills were asked to sew as much masks as they could ! I don't understand, because Mr. G. went to the pharmacy and got another 10 masks without any problem. Now we have 20. Maybe they are not self made and not out of fabric, but for what we need it's enough. It's only for shopping and that doesn't last long. The mask is supposed to be efficient during 6 to 8 hours and with that we have largely enough for at least two or three days before throwing them in the bin.

Of course the fabric masks are washable and you can make them out of all kind of fabrics, with flowers, points, stripes or whatever and even fitting to your clothes ! The problem is now  that you can't find any elastic bands anymore !

On Sunday it was grey and cold, so we met at Nicole's. We were talking about the masks and poor M has to sew 6 for her daughter and family. N can sew but is too lazy and I am both !

There are some funny masks to do, and if ever we all have to wear a mask once we are let free, then I would prefer a funny or an elegant one and not a blue or white mask !

For fun I had taken a meter with me and before we sat down I measured the distance between M and myself and N took the picture.

Now that the death and infection rate drops, the psychological problems raise. Several help lines have been set up to help people in difficulties or who just need to talk.

There are more centers and houses  which welcome women who escape domestic violence.

Another 2 1/2 week to wait and we will know if we will remain confined for longer or not. At least we try to make the best out of this situation, it's not always fun to be in a cage although we are lucky our cages are rather golden.