29 Mar 2023


Except the first picture, the others leave me wordless ! And don't remember why I took them and for what purpose. Painting tubes and nails are practical, but the others ??


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28 Mar 2023


 If you fancy a city trip, I can recommend the following cities! Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels and probably other European cities. Don't ask me for what they strike, it's too much

You can also do a sightseeing tour in Ukraine, Russia and Israel where it's more interesting, it's war. The benefit is ACTION which you love so much on a a big screen with a box of popcorn on your knees ! 


27 Mar 2023


 Why does she call me "my little snail" ? A snail is not so pretty as I ! 

Did you get up one hour earlier ? I didn't, I sleep anyway the whole day so it doesn't matter. I didn't even realize, but then she she juggled around with cups and spoons and I woke up ! Too early for breakfast she was wrong ! I turned around and continued to sleep. She told me that now we have summertime, but anyway summer or winter it's the same weather !


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Saturday when I woke up I was angry with myself because I didn't want to get up ! I needed a crane to pull me out of my bed. For a moment I considered to stay in there the whole day, but then I thought if I start with such ideas then it's the end of my active life and just have to buy a bigger basket and share it with Rosie the whole day ! 

Finally I ate my breakfast and started my blog, made comments and answered a few phone calls. After lunch I intended to go out and buy a card for an old mobile which I wanted to use when I couldn't find my smartphone, which contained my whole life ! But then the rain and wind held me back. I had lunch and watched my little movie, at least I thought I had seen it, but I had seen nothing, I had fallen asleep !

I made myself a strong coffee so that the spoon stood up to wake  up for the rest of the day. I did two new headers and suddenly it was evening and getting dark.  I hope that tomorrow something exciting happens, Fortunately all clocks set themselves, except  two, otherwise I would probably get up several days too early! I can't even count on Rosie


25 Mar 2023


I think to write the weekly FFF, I just have to copy and paste the text from the weeks before ! Except this week nobody died ! The weather too was the same, grey, rain, etc just the right weather to sing and dance in the rain ! 

Tuesday for the first time the Family assistant came and it was so funny because we knew each other, she had taken care of Rick. She was sad that he had died and remembered that he used to show her his watch collection. Then she did all the things that are too heavy for me, folded the laundry and tidied up  my closet which was a mess. I still have this lack of energy.

 From now on she comes every week and also helps me with paperwork. This is a great relief for me.

My son came on Thursday morning, the poor boy left Amsterdam at 6 am to be at 11 in Waterloo to attend the ceremony of our Indian friend. He knew him since he was a baby and his and my son were the first friends in their lives. So funny to see when they were a month old laying side by side, one looking like a hedgehog with a lot of black hairs standing up and mine bald, just with a few hairs in the middle like  a punk ! And today it's the opposite, My son has a lot of hairs and his friend is bald !


We met at the Funeral ceremony room and arrived nearly at the same time.

I had googled how Hindus celebrate funerals and knew that my friend had tried to combine the Christian and the Hindu "religion" so different. I was a bit disappointed because only the two sons, their wives and the two grand children had respected the Hindu rules. They were dressed in white and all of them had a little speech full of humor which made us laugh, exactly as it should be.

I wore a white blouse and black trousers and a red jacket. The colors of Hindu funerals are yellow, orange and red. As they believe that there is a life after the death, it's not a sad but a cheerful ceremony.

But here with all the posh oldies they came in black and made crosses. After the ceremony we gathered in a room and had coffee, wine and sandwiches. Funny was that I met the mothers of the boys I knew from Kindergarten, we looked at each other with question marks in our eyes, before suddenly we recognized each other, so many years later and with  wrinkles ! 

Of course we all wanted to know what our boys had become in life and I was very proud that the one who had made the best career and had become the best of all, was my son ! And he was so bad at school. The little genius of one of the mothers was proud to say that her son had become a doctor, as if he had become a king ! I said nothing, for me it was enough that he had made such an amazing career. 

After a while I had enough and went home.  D stayed a little longer of course it was so nice for him to see his old classmates again after all these years ! 

The rest of the day he started to do little things which I don't know or had no idea how to solve the problem. The problem was to leave my home  key somewhere, in case I fall and the ambulance has to get into the apartment. My neighbors are all too old and refused it was to stressing for them, which I could understand. 

My son found the solution ! He disappeared, and came back with a "key safe" a great invention I didn't know at all, You put the key in, lock with a code and put it at your door or in another place. I am lucky I just have a space with the fire tube in besides my appartment and put it in there. Now I have to give my code to the Telehelp. 

Then he installed useful apps in my computer for exemple one in where I can stock all my passwords and codes and which opens only with a code. 

But the best thing was, he connected his computer (in Amsterdam) to mine here in Waterloo, so when I have administration problems etc, he can handle them from there. I was really happy ! One worry less. And to end his visit he vacuumed the whole apartment ! After that we had a Hamburger and then he drove home not to get in the traffic jam. 

He left a happy mother who watched a movie and then went to bed ! I hope that next week there will be weddings, births and baptisms. ..... and sunshine !


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23 Mar 2023


1. Did you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in some way? If so tell us how. Are you a fan of corned beef? Cabbage? The color green?

I don't even know who was St. Patrick, and why he is celebrated. So I googled, but there was so much to read that I gave up but I leaned that Saint Patrick didn't wear green. That everybody thinks that he was Irish but he was not, he was British. According to Irish legend, Saint Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity when he was first introducing Christianity to Ireland. Irish immigrants brought St. Patrick to the USA, where it is more celebrated than in Ireland itself; A few European countries introduced him too, but it's not really very well known. Although he didn't like green, the people dress in green and shamrocks (clovers) are a symbol I am not at all a fan of corned beef, which is typical American (I think) I have never seen a can here yet. In Germany yes. Cabbage I like, but green as clothes or decorations I don't like at all. I only like green in nature. The green green grass !

2. March 22nd is National Goof Off Day...will you celebrate? Your favorite way to goof off? Last time you had a whole day to spend 'goofing off'? 

Here spring starts on March 21 (or was it yesterday) anyway National Goof Off Day, I have everyday if it means doing nothing, I am retired and can goof whenever I want to,  Never heard this word and the translation is rather funny, it means doing the fool the whole day ? OK I am ready !

3. Something on your to-do list that has been there more than a month? Will this be the month you finally cross it off? 

No idea ! Each day I want to cross out what is on my to do list, but so far I just did the laundry, this was a must, otherwise I had nothing to dress anymore.

4. In your opinion, what emotion is the most beneficial? Which one is the least useful? 

Happiness when I win  a lot of money and disappointment when I loose !

5. What was your favorite thing to do as a kid? Elaborate. 

Reading ! As soon as I had learned reading, I devoured books !

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I only have sad thoughts, I have to go to the funerals of my colleague and friend, he is the fourth neighbor in my old street ! It's time that nature shows a bit more spring !



22 Mar 2023



The worst is behind us (at least in my part of Europe) since a few days officially spring has started ! I wait to see flowers coming out, the nature full of colors and the trees green ! 

But the reality looks different, our spring started like this 


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21 Mar 2023


In the Northern Hemisphere, the astronomical Start of Spring is also known as the Spring equinox. It starts on March 20, 2023, at 5:24 PM EDT. Spring will last from March 20 until June 20, when Summer officially starts this year.

And if you don't want to look in a book when spring feelings start, just look around you or even better take your children to the zoo, and explain ....


20 Mar 2023


Our little clown Arthur


Saturday I was like a zombie. The fact that my collegue and friend had passed away too, only a few month later than Rick and that his wife went to all that what I had just behind me, occupied my mind and made me sad.
Sunday I felt quite depressed, fortunately my neighbor from the  first foor had the good idea to invite us for à Coffee so my afternoon was very nice.
At 4.30 pm I had to leave to say good bye to my friend. We all sat in a room and one by one we went by the open coffin. It was just like with Rick. I met some of his friends and as he was no Christian but Hindu it was a rater cheerful atmosphere. After an hour I returned home and felt so terrible tired I couldn't eat anything and went early to bed.


18 Mar 2023


On Monday I wanted to try out my new wireless vacuum cleaner that looks like a pole and is as light as a feather. My neighbor girls  had  put it together so nicely and it was loaded too.. 

So I took it off the charger and tried to put all the poles together! That was exactly as if I put it together for the first time. I was angry that I was so stupid and fiddled with the thing for at least half an hour until it was right and I could finally vacuum the bathroom. Then I was exhausted for the whole day!

It's not for cleaning a big surface, but just enough for the bathroom and bedrooms, as my dear Maria is in Ireland to help her daughter with the baby girl to come ! Her daughter had married an Irish from Northern Island and it is so funny, if she doesn't understand what I want to say, or if I have to leave a message, I call from Belgium to Ireland, tell her what I want, and then she tells it her mother in polish.

 First I thought I take another cleaning lady for this month, which we get for a very cheap price from the health insurance, but then I thought the few hairs little Rosie distributes in the whole apartment, with this light thing of only 800 gr I can do it myself. I can get nearly everything from the health insurance, ironing, cleaning, administration work food, and a driver if I need to go to the doctor. This had been established,  to keep elderly people as long as possible in their homes. Of course this is included in our monthly taxes on the salary when you are still working.

Next week comes one to help me to empty finally the still unpacked Rick's belongings. I need somebody at least to keep me company. 

On Wednesday I got a message from my friend that my Indian ex colleague had been hospitalized, he had a generalized cancer for a while and now he couldn't stay at home anymore. Now she is at the same point as I a few month ago. He and I started together to work in 1964 and remained friends ever since and I became friend with his French wife which he married shortly after our marriage.

Then it went rather quickly, he had organized his funeral celebration himself. He wanted to be euthanized and the day was fixed on Thursday. He wanted to have a last meal (although he couldn't eat anymore) with his two sons and wives and had asked for a Sushi meal. The nurses and his doctor were really very nice. They had prepared a festive table with the Sushi and they had their last meal together. In Indian Hindu "religion" death is nothing sad and horrible as in our Christian religion. They had their meal together it was quite cheerful, then one by one said good bye to him alone, and then everybody left and he stayed with the Doctor and the nurses and then he passed away in peace. When my friend told me this I found this so full of dignity and respect and really admired how he had organized his passing away. Indians are always incinerated but there the date is not yet fixed. 

The last day of the week I visited Nicole. She was in a good mood and we laughed a lot which was good for both of us. Unfortunately her physical conditions get worse and worse, she becomes weaker and weaker. Nevertheless we had a nice afternoon, She has a new person, a man sitting at the next table, unfortunately right behind her, who farts constantly and it sounds like a machine gun, she told me. Of course, the poor man couldn''t help it, but she asked the nurse to put him in a corner where he can fart against the wall. 

When I came home I put all photos I had from my Indian friend on a USB key and drove over and put it in the letter box. She wanted to make a slide show during the ceremony.

As you see all is well. I have decided to go to our Waterloo Facebook meeting, first I didn't want to go, but then I thought life continues and if Rick is observing me he would say go and have fun !

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15 Mar 2023


In bed at home

and staying with friends


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14 Mar 2023


Rick had a friend named Giorgio. Giorgio was a heart of a man and the only thing in his life he really hated were problems. Problems are solved by mostly saying yes to everything or ask his wife to handle them. 

But this time it was different, a catastrophe had happened ! It concerned his mamma ! You have to know that for an Italian his Mamma is the most important person in his life. Especially when he is grown up. 

Even in Mafia circles men always listened to Mamma (see the "Godfather"). The Italian Mamma is respected by everybody in the family and although everybody thinks that Italian man are machos in front of Mamma they are like a new born babies. 

Giorgio's Mamma in the respectable age of 94 had to be hospitalized, at least that's what she had decided. The whole family was duly informed like a queen's disease is announced in public by the media. Therefore Giorgio rushed over like a headless chicken, he thought his

 Mamma was already half dead. 

He immediately wanted to call an ambulance but the half dead Mamma had first to dress up in a very elegant dress, comb her heavy silver hair better than a hairdresser, put make up on and all her jewelry and only then she was ready to suffer and receive the men with the ambulance. 

Giorgio had to lay her down on the stretcher, not the men from the ambulance, although he suffered badly from backache. Now Mamma was the star of the whole street in the center of Brussels ! She was not the type of suffering in silence, so while the ambulance guys carried her out on the stretcher, she was complaining, moaning, groaning, and gesticulating with her hands, while looking around to see if the whole street could have a good view on her suffering. 

They all, Giorgio, his father, aunts, uncles, nephews and grandchildren followed the stretcher, talking loud and louder, fighting and discussing about who cares for her the best while Mamma suffered loud too. The Belgian nurses who saw the whole cortege coming, almost fainted and threw them all out.

Mamma screamed for her son. A nurse shut the door of Mamma's room and looked at the elegantly dressed up woman, she took everything off pulled a hospital shirt over her head and put her to bed.

Mamma shouted her protests so loud, that almost the whole hospital could hear her. Especially her hair looked uncombed now !  Finally she calmed down and lay on her bed like waiting for the coffin.

Next day when poor Giorgio arrived to visit her she complained so loud half in Italian and half in French so that even the deaf in the hospital could hear her. The bed was too hard, the TV had no Italian channels, the nurses came not fast enough, the doctors are all stupid and and don't know their job, the room was too warm, she was freezing at night and of course she couldn't close an an eye. 

The poor women who shared the room with Mamma had almost gotten a nervous break down and hadn't closed an eye, because Mamma was moaning the whole night long like an old tomcat in love. 

Of course she didn't eat, the hospital food was disgusting and rotten and she asked Giorgio, her son and not the husband to bring her food everyday otherwise she would starve. Of course it had to be Italian food and nothing else all other kitchens are bad. 

So poor Giorgio every day went to an Italian catering service and bought Italian food. Mamma was an "easy" patient, she rang the bell every five minutes for the nurse, to open the window, to close the window, to bring fresh water, to bring her a mirror, to give her a cover, to take off the cover etc. 

Finally doctors and nurses had enough of Mamma and asked Giorgio, to take her home. Giorgio of course called again the ambulance and when Mamma was all dressed up and had checked her looks several times in a mirror, he went home with Mamma. Papa was always behind. In front of their house, Mamma, laying on her stretcher waved to everybody like a queen to her subjects.

Of course she complained that Giorgio had forgotten to buy her some flowers for her homecoming. Now back home, poor Giorgio was  not out of his troubles ! 

Mamma lets her husband call her son  with  a preference at 3 am, to inform him that she cannot sleep, and is too weak to speak, that she suffers worse than Jesus on his cross and that her end is near.

Therefore every morning before going to work Giorgio had to bring her croissants from a special Italian bakery The whole family observed poor Giorgio and he was strongly criticized when for once he had  dared to say that he is tired and just wants to rest for a day. No, they said, you only have one Mamma, and she is so ill, now you have to take care of her as she did when you were a baby. The baby in question had been 75 and had a family too. But that doesn't matter to Mamma, she said she had already one foot in her grave, despite that, she looked like a fresh rose compared to poor Giorgio with his mouse grey face. 

This is a true story ! It was the mother in law of my best friend Jeanine who also had married an Italian. I was more lucky with my Italian MIL We were best friends ! And she had rather a northern temperament.

Now when  you think it over the best American actors are from Italian origin !


13 Mar 2023


Years ago I had never seen alcapas except in a zoo. The first time I saw them grazing in a field was in the UK and I was told that there were Alcapa farms. I really like these animals, they have such a funny face and they look down on you from above as if you were just a nothing. People told me not to go too close as they would spit. Of course I wanted to try out, and went close to an alpaca which looked friendly down on me and .... didn't spit !

Since a few years I have noticed that now here in Belgium there are also Alpaca farms, and each time I see them in the fields I stop my car to watch them a bit. Now this gave me an idea, I googled and was surprised that around my town there are quite a few farms to visit !

A farm to visit

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Dominique was still there and we hid in Rick's room until Maria had cleaned the living room. 

Domi  left around 11 because she wanted to see her brother who lives near me. I was just eating my cheese sandwich when I got a message, that my old friend and colleague from 1964 had been hospitalized, he had cancer since a year. His wife and good friend of mine knew that I just went through the same, because at the end they all have the same symptoms whatever disease it is. So it is just a matter of days and he will pass away too. 

And as if this was not enough I got a second message from a friend that her daughter and husband will separate after 20 years. I know them both and honestly it was a shock. I only hope that they will separate in good terms and that it will not be a "war of the roses" ! They have a 2 year old daughter. Some couples are better without children. Apparently it started after the birth of the baby. 

After all that I went to bed and read some blogs. 

On Sunday it was again a suicide weather, grey, rainy, windy everything ! Fortunately Miss Rosie jumped on my belly to tell me that it was time to get up and feed her ! Fortunately the first message I got was from my son who is in Malaga (Spain) on "Golf" holidays. He sends me pictures from this really beautiful place every day. At least he has sunshine and it is not too hot. and I see some sunshine too !

11 Mar 2023


I rake my brain to remember what I have done (or rather not done) this week. I had decided to stay home and rest, to finally get fit again. It's been over a month now that I can't get rid of this bronchitis and I feel so terribly weak. 

So I sat in front of the TV or computer all day long, sometimes with the phone to my ear. Once I even went shopping and came back exhausted. But it's slowly getting better, I'm not breathless so quickly anymore, but the laundry has to wait a little more to be washed. 

View from my working place

On Wednesday, the only day it had snowed in the whole country, the black cat from the first floor had disappeared, and owner two girls were very worried. I took my binoculars went on the terrace and looked down on the snow covered lawn, but no black spot in sight. I took the opportunity and looked a bit into the windows around me, but most of them had their curtains closed. I called the girls and told them that it was now raining cats an dogs and that their cat would certainly hurry home not to get too wet. And I was right, 5 minutes later they called me that a black sponge had run into the living room ! They were so happy. 

On Thursday I had to take little Rosie to the pedicure, fortunately not to the manicure too ! For the first time since I live here, she must have felt something, because when I wanted to put her in the carrier, she disappeared under the armchair. Finally I got her out not very gently, pulling at one paw, but I was so out of breath, that there was no other mean. She sang like Whitney Houston the whole way long, and it took not even 10 min to cut her claws ! Then we went back, and there she didn't sing at all. She probably knew that we were on the way back. As soon as I arrived on my floor I let her out and she ran immediately to the right door and waited until I had opened the door. She would never go elsewhere ! Door open or not. I fell again in my sofa and realized that I was still not in my normal state which made me a little depressed. 

Home again, she in full shape, I half dead ! 

My week ended very nicely, Dominique came again for the weekend and we went to the cinema together. The film was very nice and at least played for 6 weeks, it was the last film of Tom Hanks "A man called Otto" which had been "translated" into French "The worst neighbor in the world" which I think is a better title then the English one.

 We both liked the movie very much, it was sad and full of humor at the same time; We laughed a lot !

After the cinema we wanted to go for supper in a nearby restaurant, but the water came down in buckets from heaven and the wind blow us away. So we returned home and had one of my frozen food, pasta with seafood and vegetables in a lemon sauce. Was very good. 

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