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 !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

15 Mar 2023


In bed at home

and staying with friends


more participants here, and Image-in-ing

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

Linking to AWWW MONDAYS 





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 !