14 Jul 2023


I started the week with an empty fridge, as if the fox who always attacks the garbadge had entered my kitchen. Therefore I had to go out to fill it ! I hate that.

Coming back with two big shopping bags, now my fridge is full, I hope for a while. Anyway it's only me who plunders it

I had to answer a lot of virtual cards which I got for my birthday, it was so nice that so many people sent me birthday wishes, even from people I met a few years ago on my tour around Ireland and the Eastern Countries. 

The whole week the air was bad for me, I didn't feel well due to my hay fever so I stayed inside and blessed the day I started with Internet, computer etc, which was in 2005, and so I didn't get bored and time passed so quickly that suddenly it was time for dinner.

I watched the arrival of John Biden in London where King Charles received him with a worried look,  he looked so frail as if  he would break into pieces in the next second, and it seemed to me that the King had the same thought. Biden looked like a robot doll. He really should retire before something serious happens. 

In my mails I found a strange email from my Blogfriend Marie who lives in London, asking me to do her a favor. I wondered why she didn't ask directly what she wanted and answered : of course if I can.

Back came a mail "signed by her" asking me to buy a Google play game and not spending more than 200 £. That she is away and will give it back to me when she returns. 

I understood immediately that somebody wanted to earn 200 £ easily and answered that he should ask somebody in the UK as they are not part of Europe anymore and added that I don't believe that she is Marie. The next day I found a message in Messenger, asking again for 200 £ but this time I should send them on the account of the "niece" and refer to Marie. I asked him (I am sure it was a him) to call me then I would recognize Marie's voice. After an hour I blocked Marie from my Messenger, no phone call had arrived. Fortunately I have a nose for those hackers being for such a long time on Internet. 

As Isabelle and Laurence are on holidays and my neighbors away to their families, I didn't speak a word the whole week except to cat Rosie and thought if Rick sees me like that he will be worried, he loved it when I joked and was going out and in a good mood. He probably would have laughed, that this week, I took the remote control with me instead of my phone and only realized it when I wanted to call. Suddenly I had enough it was as if he pushed me to go out so I thought if I can't walk because of breathing problems I have no problems in my car. I took the car keys and off I went. I just drove and drove wherever I saw a park or something green, don't ask me where I were, but it was nice. And suddenly I found myself in front of a castle, which I knew it was at the end of the Waterloo park and had been converted first to a convent and the huge rooms divided into little prison cells. When the nuns left it became a retirement home. Nicole knew it from 30 years ago because she had an aunt who was an "inmate" there. Apparently the rooms hadn't been changed and still had the size of a prison cell. But I had read somewhere that it had been closed for renovation. 

This was the castle from the front

In the mood I was, I thought I will have a look, I can't stay in my huge apartment forever without doing anything, I would die like a plant. I needed some motivation and somebody who kicked me somewhere. From outside the castle looked very nice and had a few outbuildings too. As there was nobody outside I went behind the castle and saw a beautiful park 

It was very huge and there was even a chicken coop at the end ! and then a long terrace where people played a game. It looked so welcoming.

Then I went inside, nobody was at the reception, I took the opportunity and walked a bit around and could take pictures from the entrance and the dining room. 

I arrived in a huge room full of books along the wall and a lady sitting there. She asked me what I wanted and I told her my story and that I was looking for a nice place. She was pleased to show me her room. It was very spacious 30 m2 with a terrace and a beautiful view out of the park. I felt so happy in this room, she had brought her own furniture and it looked real cozy.

A young woman arrived and asked me what she could do for me. I told her the story from the terrible reputation this home had, and that I only had discovered now that it had been completely renovated. She laughed and told me that it was quite a long time ago.  In fact the little cells had been transformed into big rooms with en suite also large, had free WiFi, free TV connection. Everything I needed.

She showed me around there were so many places and activities, which I discovered later in the brochure she gave to me. I drove home with a relieved heart. Now I knew the place I want to be in the future. Normally I would have signed up straight away, but I know I'm always very spontaneous and Rick would slow me down, so I listened to my inner voice (or his) and at home I read the brochure and pondered. I have a contract for my apartment that will expire next year. I still have to check all of that. There I would also be free,  I can travel, keep my car but I don't have to worry about anything anymore and I also have company. There are even pottery classes !

I also found the different prices in the brochure and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't too expensive and I could afford it and that the home is in the same group as the one where Rick was.

So now I have a project for the future and on Monday I will return and put myself on the list, because I want the large room with a terrace and a view of the beautiful park.



more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

13 Jul 2023


1. Is your life simple? Elaborate.  

That depends on whether it is material or emotional.

I have no material problems and can lead a good life. Emotional I am rather in a deep black hole and struggle to get out, with up and downs.

2. What simple pleasure are you currently enjoying?  

The sunshine and the view from my terrace, and seeing 16 year old Rosie still playing and running around. 

3. Travel by plane or go on a cruise? walk or ride a bike? swim or ski? ocean or mountains? 

Plane or a cruise is OK. I am not a walker and I don't ride a bike anymore. I love swimming, hate ski and love both ocean and mountains !

4. What's the last thing you bought online that you really loved? 

Nothing, except a new case for my tablet. I haven't ordered anything exciting;

5. What’s your 'back in my day we' story? 

In my case there is no "we" anymore, but I found a quote which suits me


6. Insert your own random thought here. 

It's now one year that I am a widow (what a word) The first year I went through without having a lot of time due to the administration work. Now this year I have the impression that all the worries I had in the last years have left their traces. I feel like a plant with no stick to hold me or a dog licking its wounds.

I've always thought I was a strong woman, I probably am, but not without him. Now I have to learn again, what I have done before I married, walking on my own feet. Not so easy after 54 years of a happy life together.  I really need to get out of this hole.

12 Jul 2023


If you want to visit whole Europe still with the UK and Brexit replicas, in an hour, or if you run you can make it maybe in half an hour, come to MINI EUROPE in Brussels, just underneath the ATOMIUM. We visited it in two hours, but if you want really to go in all details, you can also spend the whole day there.  HERE  are listed all the countries and their famous attractions

An overview of MINI EUROPE taken with a Drone


After having strolled through Europe we had booked a table in the Atomium Restaurant, which is in the last and highest ball.  

From there you have a very clear (depending on the weather) view of whole Brussels !  

You can see some pictures from the inside of the Restaurant in the previous post. 

more participants here, and Image-in-ing

10 Jul 2023



Charlie when he was still amongst us and was our bodyguard when Nicole and I went on vacation to Normandy.








Usually I don't care that much about Birthday celebrations, but this one was special because it was a milestone birthday, I turned 80. I wanted to do something special.  

I made a few suggestions to my son, e.g. make a baloon ride over Waterloo. But that didn't work because my DIL gets dizzy. Then I wanted to visit a grotto, but my son was afraid that I would trip and fall. 

I can't remember why I suddenly thought, why don't we go to "Little Europe" and then in the restaurant of the last sphere of the Atomium. That was something special. Everyone agreed with that. 


The Atomium is a landmark modernist building in Brussels, Belgium, originally constructed as the centrepiece of the 1958 Brussels World's Fair (Expo 58).

My little 12 year old grandson                     

In the last ball is a very nice and modern restaurant. The food was extremely good and the presentation an artwork. The portions were enough even for my two men who both eat like horses. 


This was the main course, Salmon, a Steak, and cod. Toby tried to make a selfie from the three of us and cut his father's face off. 

The ceiling


Son and Grandson

The inside of the restaurant

The meal lasted quite some time, we started at 7 pm and came out at 10.30 ! The elevator in the middle tube which takes you to the restaurant, is so quick, that you almost not realize that you arrived already.

It had been very hot this day 30°C and before we went to the restaurant, we visited "Little Europe" which is just underneath. I surprised myself that I had no health problems at all, I walked around like if was 20, despite the sun shining on my head, but after an hour I had to sit down in the shade and had a bottle of water. 

I was really happy that my birthday went so well, and that I had nothing, and could breath and walk. And when the two had brought me home and left for Amsterdam, I wasn't even tired !

I will write another post about "Mini Europe". It is so interesting for adults and children and so well done, you walk through whole Europe, through all countries, with all important buildings. I felt like a giant walking through all these countries. Big Ben just arrived at my shoulders !