9 May 2020


The day I found a cavern, it must have been 1950 just 5 years after WWII had ended. I lived in Bonn which at that time was the capital of Germany and had been badly dammaged by the bombs. We were a small group of 6 to 8 year old children all living together in buildings with very small apartments that had been built quickly after the end of the war for federal government employees in Bonn

Bonn just after the war

The Rhine valley with the Venusberg in the background

The Venusberg from far

There was a small mountain called Venusberg (Venus mountain) just besides the buildings.

With a fortress on the top

Steps were leading up to the top of the mountain where also a hospital was and American soldier families lived here in a sort of "Ghetto". We didn't have a lot of contact with them but when they saw us they always smiled and were very friendly and sometimes we got even some sweets, which was a rarity and it wasn't easy to buy.

We kids loved running up the mountain through the woods  playing cowboys and Indians what we had learned from the American occupation.

One day when we ran through the forest again, one of our group suddenly disappeared. We looked around but saw nothing but a hole from which suddenly screams came out.

We quickly looked into the hole which had been hidden with branches and leaves and into which the boy had fallen.

He shouted that we should come down too because he had found a cavern with a narrow path. We discovered a few steps carved in the sidewalls, leading down into the cavern where it was very dark.

It was a little scary and two children didn't want to go further. But I wanted to know where this path led and went on. A few others followed me. Suddenly I saw light coming from a hole in the ceiling.

We were in quite a big room. To the right and left were old camp beds which were pretty rotten. In the middle was an old table with rusty cutlery and Lead dishes on it. There were a few uniform jackets in one corner and some leather bagpacks. I was only 7 but I realized that we had discovered a secret cavern built in the mountain, where soldiers probably hid from the enemy or the other way around.

We were very proud of our discovery and it became our secret. We brought a lot of stuff there, which we "stole" from our parents, like an old blanket which we put on one of the beds.

We couldn't bring very much because our parents had only the strict minimum and nothing to give away.  But we found apples on trees which we ate with gusto and sometimes when we were really lucky a mother had baked a cake and we brought slices of cake in our cavern !

When I think today where and with what we played at this time, it was our Disneyland ! Adults had no time to to pay attention they had to built up the houses again and hunting for food. We were lucky we lived in this nice area outside Bonn, where houses still stood but people mostly lived in their basements, because there were no windows anymore or the roof was missing.

For us children it was a very happy and adventurous time !

Linking to Linda G. Hills SOCS - Cavern

8 May 2020


Being still locked in I could copy and paste the events of the days because they seem all to be same, with some little differences, I had to find a moving company and asked Facebook friends from Waterloo. I thought once the lockdown lifted, there will be a long line of people who want to move so it is better to book early to be sure to get one. It should be from June 15 on so the date approaches. To my surprise I got quite a lot of answers from moving companies, but I have to wait because they can't give an estimation for the move yet, all thanks to Coronavirus.

On Monday km long lines of women waited at the doors of fabric and sewing accessories stores to be opened, it was almost like the rush on toilet paper. I don't know why people are so crazy, even those who can't do any handiwork are standing in a line to buy a needle only because another shop has opened. That must be a psychological disturbance !

Warm weather has returned and we met at M's. Her lawn is now full of holes and it looks as if several mole families had moved in and digged their apartments, but it had only been the gardener who had taken out weeds.

We discussed about our "liberation" and what we would do at first. We all had one common wish ! Going into a restaurant and have a drink somewhere on a terrace ! But this will remain a dream until probably end of May.

On Wednesday I filed photos and stumbled over a macro photo of a flower which looked almost the same as the naughty virus which causes us so much troubles in the whole world ! It looks as if Mother Nature had created a flower looking similar. I don't remember where I took it !

My cleaning lady came and did the whole household. I am getting more and more lazy and have no energy left, except for blogging.

In the afternoon I went to N, and sat on her terrace. It was so warm that I had to take some layers of my clothes off ! M. didn't come, she was so tired, the gardener had come again to close the "mole" holes with earth and a loud machine to get rid of the moss, and probably had made a lot of dirt.

N and I enjoyed the sunshine, apparently it is getting bad again.  As usual Isis kept us company.  Fortunately we have these little meetings, otherwise we would be all three in a mad house.

The second phase of deconfinement begins on Sunday which is Mother's Day. We are allowed to receive 4 visitors.  Now the big question in the families is .... who goes for the visit ! I have no trouble with family they are not allowed to come here for Mother Day anyway, as the border between Holland and Belgium is still closed.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

7 May 2020


This quote is exactly what I learned at a very early age ! In my mother's generation women had not much to say "legally" that didn't mean that they were stronger then their husbands, but officially a man had to be strong and a woman had to be weak. Man could work and study what they wanted, women were mostly trained to become good mothers and housewives.

When I was about 10, I felt that there was something wrong with my parents. My mother was mostly ill and my father as soon as he came home started to nag and critisize my mother and me. My mother's reaction as she wasn't a strong woman was to get all kind of diseases which I realize today were mostly psychological.

I never got a compliment from my father, I was ugly, too skinny, too stupid, impossible, and anyway there was nothing to do with me, all other girls were perfect only I wasn't.  In short I was not a "normal" girl.

And that was because I was very independant, I learned to defend my mother and told my father things which were true but which of course he didn't want to hear.  As I had always to fight against him and protect my mother I became strong, or it made me strong.

I never cried when I started school like all the other little girls, I walked home alone and feared nothing. The first time I travelled alone was when I was 7 years old, my father put me in the train with a carton around my neck with name and address, and asked the ticket inspector to keep an eye on me and so I sat in the wagon and chatted with the adults and 300 km further in Frankfurt my Grandpa picked me up.

My grandma was a strong and independant woman born in 1894, and she taught me to never be afraid of a man and only to marry if I find one who lets me live and not a guy like my father ! For that there was no danger, I still have my diary from when I was 14 and there is a full white page with only one sentence on it "Never marry a guy like your father". And  I didn't.

Later when I was adult and married and mother myself he tried to interfere in my marriage and the way how we should bring up our son. I didn't listen fortunately !

When I found the right man and we married, I didn't need to defend myself or our son  Mr. G. was not a father but rather the sweetest daddy in the world who allowed everything, with the result that I had the impression to bring up not one but two sons !

Linking to Linda G.Hills SOCS - Independence

6 May 2020

5 May 2020


This convent is located in a municipality of Brussels in the Forest de Soigne, a wood of 5000 hectar (12.355 acres).

The name Rouge-Cloître is said to have its origins in the color of the protective coating, made from crushed tiles, which covered the walls of buildings.

In 1693, a fire ravaged part of the cloister. The library, which contained a treasure trove of manuscripts produced on the spot, was fortunately spared but it was necessary to rebuild what had been destroyed.

Today,  the municipality of Auderghem /Brussels, is the tenant of part of the buildings where different institutions coexist: the Red Cloister Art Center, the artists' workshops, the Maison du Conte in Brussels and the a.s.b.l. Horse and Forest.

It is a beautiful place to walk around, to watch artists painting or doing sculptures

This was as it looked in the beginning

The buildings are still remaining

The courtyard surrounded by building which contain today exhibitions, artwork and reception rooms

On the other side of the courtyard

A pond

workshops for artists

The entrance to the buildings

artist workshop

An old couch. There is also a little café there where you can have some refreshments.

You can read more about it in my travel blog COUNTRIES & CITIES

more participants here

4 May 2020


Me and my grandson when we were two years old !



On Saturday it was cold and grey. Mr. G had the first symtoms of the lockdown and didn't know what to do with himself. Nothing was good. Fortunately before I had time to kill him, Nicole arrived because she had a little problem with her computer.

She arrived with mask and gloves, but took them off only the mask she wanted to keep. I think everybody should do what he thinks is the best for him.  As she is 81 she also belongs to the persons at risk.

So they were busy, first he cleaned her computer and then she explained how to play Scrabble online with her and other people. I thought that's a good idea because now he is really fed up not to play his Whist three times per week !

Sunday it was cold. Fortunately in the afternoon it got a bit warmer, but I had never thought that we would be able to sit on Nicole's terrace !

It was nice and warm in  the sun and we enjoyed our get together and had a lot to discuss, because on Monday there will be the first step for the deconfinement, fabric shops will be opened and some companies will start to work again. They all had to reorganize their offices so that the employees or workers had the requested space of 1.50 m, enough masks and special work coats and also the working hours so that not all of the personel arrives at the same time.

For those who can it is requested to continue to work from home. In public transports masks are obligatory and if you don't have one you get a fine. They also have less people allowed in the wagons or buses so that it is not overcrowded. Now this are all theoretical advices and installations, on Monday we will see how it works. One thing is sure I don't put my nose outside when they all rush to the fabric shops and hamster fabrics like they did with toilet paper ! In any case I don't need fabric I can't sew !

Myriam before she arrived had two gardeners working for her to pull out weeds and these are the bags we have to use for green rubbish. The bags you can buy in stores or at the city hall. It can become quite expensive when you have a big garden !

On my way back I enjoyed the empty streets, probably for the last time, I would have enjoyed it even more if there were not these dammit bikers who during the lockdown thought they were the kings of the road, didn't respect any traffic rules, were riding in the middle of the street, even with little children and I had to horn several times because they just didn't move !

As long as the streets were nearly without cars it was not so dangerous, but we don't have any specific lanes for bikers so it can become really very dangerous. I hope it will change again when more cars are on the street. Or they have to change the whole traffic system and built lanes for bikers only, like in the Netherlands although there too they drive like mads without looking !