23 Jun 2017

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE - FIVE ON FRIDAY

1. Since 1976 Belgium never had such a hot weather, and that was in July and not in June ! 35 °C (95 F) and no rain since a long time. Everything is dry the grass yellow and people walk around in slow motion. We are not used to such a hot weather ! Accordingly was my week ! It started by getting up opening all windows to let the cool (?) air in and than close the shutters to keep the warmth out. Moving as less as possible.



2. Same as n° 1 only I went to aqua gym, and we found that even the water was too hot, in winter we complain that it is not warm enough ! The only place which is bearable is my car and I could drive around the whole day, because it has air conditioning ! The stores and shops too, I could also spend my day sitting in a chair in the bank observing who is rich and who is not, private houses have no airconditioning or only very few. What we usually need here is heating and an umbrella against the rain but not the sun !

3. I had my new smart phone connected to wifi everywhere. To try it out I googled for something in a big store. Notifications are announced with a chirp of a bird and when I was connected my phone started to chirp and everybody around looked at me wondering where the bird was ! The only action I did this day was returning to aqua gym I had to catch up a day. Top theme .... the hot weather ! 
Late evening I heard that a terrorist had been killed in the central station in Brussels, and that the station was closed. Nobody was hurt, fortunately he had been killed in time. People now take it easy, we are getting used to it that's better otherwise you would always live in fear. Anyway what an idea to commit an attack in this heat !

4. We were asked to put water out for birds and other animals, which I did, not necessarily for the birds because of my killer cats, but for hedgehogs or foxes. I am lucky to live outside Brussels in an open area where at least there is some air. The poor people in the city can't sleep in this heat.

I also went to Ilona and we sat under her lilac tree and drank some "Champagne" without alcohol. It tasted very good and we emptied the whole bottle.

5. Reluctantly I went to my painting class, because it's always very warm there, our class is in the festivity room of the city's retirement home. And as old people are always freezing the heat is accordingly. But to my big surprise they had air conditioning installed and it was nice an cool while we painted. Outside it was even more hot the temperatures climbed up to 36°C, ! The rest of the day I spent outside under our pergola at least there it was a bit windy.

Probably on Monday I will complain about cold and rainy weather, this heat can't last forever !!




Mr. G. and I







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21 Jun 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?
First I will make a round trip through Ireland, from Dublin to Dublin, then rest, then probably holidays in Eastbourne UK, then rest, during August my friend from France will come and there is a lot to visit, then rest, so my plan is made and fulfil even more than ten ! 

2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas

I used to collect seashells wherever I was, but then I had so many that I only kept a few and the others went to the bin. I can't count the beaches I have visited during my life. And now I don't want to visit a beach but lay on it and visit more interesting things than sand.

3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.

For the moment I come out and return into my shell, it depends on the weather

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?

Pull out steady growing weeds and garden work in general, because I don't have a green thumb

5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?
Some of my friends, yes it bothers me because they have changed so much getting older or old ! 

6. Insert your own random thought here.
As it is early morning and already quite hot, I think how to spend my day in this heat. I will start with swimming. Which bathing suit should I wear ? 








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19 Jun 2017

WATERLOO BATTLE FESTIVITIES

Since I started to watch the reenactment of the Waterloo battle which takes place all two years, this year I was so disappointed with what I saw as preparations that actually I didn't go at all in the afternoon. The celebrations took place on Saturday and Sunday, with a reenactment of the battle not at the Waterloo Lion as it had been for years and years but at the Hougoumont farm nearby. This farm had been in ruins for years until 2012 when suddenly somebody discovered that money can be made out of it. The farm was the place where Wellington won the battle. It was totally renovated for the bicentenary 2 years ago, had costed a fortune with a great participation of the British government.

So no more fun for the ignorant folk who don't care about history and the real battle and it's geographic situation, the celebrations this year were scattered around places where Napoleon and Wellington had put their precious feet. The Lion was probably disappointed not to see anything this year as he had seen for years until the day where the bicentenary was celebrated and everything had changed to so said "historical reality" of the battle.

Since the mayor of Braine l'Alleud, a little town which nobody knew before the bicentenary, had discovered that the Waterloo Lion actually stood on his ground and not on Waterloo ground he had started to claim his rights on the Lion ! Despite this fact it's still the Lion of Waterloo and not of Braine l'Alleud, confirmed even by ABBA !

Wellington had only signed the defeat of Napoleon in Waterloo and now after 200 years the battle of Waterloo should  be named the battle of Braine l'Alleud which of course nobody knows. And who has to run around like a headless chicken to find where the battle festivities actually took place were the poor tourists. But money is money so every little town around where Napoleon and Wellington had put their feet 202 years ago wants its share.





The entrance of the farm to the fields where the bivouacs were



The farm and a shuttle bus which took tourists from the Lion to the farm



The first thing I saw was this mobile "restaurant, where the soldiers could get something to eat and drink.




It was in the morning so there were not a lot of people or soldiers yet.



They had built up their tents and I saw even one single canon !



For each participant was a reserved space on the dry grass !






Modern camping I had never seen a solar bag for a shower !




Slowly everything got into place



First and very important for the English soldiers was the fire for the kettle to heat water for the tea !!



And here is the historical door through which the French tried to get in and beat Wellington's army; It was a very bloody battle and lots of soldiers died or burnt alive  in the chapel.

I made my tour and chatted a bit with the German and English soldiers.



And at the Lion there was nothing a few soldiers who played music. Some tourists tried to climb up the 253 steps to the Lion, which was quiet difficult because of the heat !

Sunday morning I wanted to go to the marked in Braine l'Alleud which wasn't at its usual place. Instead I found tents.



Battle souvenirs were sold here. Napoleon didn't sell but was only a poster.

I asked if there was something else concerning the battle and was directed towards the church  where a  little "village" was made up to show the craftsmen of this time




There was a terrible smoke here where the baker tried to get his oven ready






I observed how butter was made and was invited to try it, but I don't like butter I thanked. According to the others the butter was delicious;



This women spinning wool made me think of my cat who produces as much hair as the sheep ! If I would have such a spinning wheel I could knit cat wool pullovers or scarfs !



a few soldiers were walking around



Straw and blankets for wounded soldiers



Peeling potatoes





cooking a meal



Handmade arts and crafts



clogs which were also worn in Belgium



Carpenters

When I had taken pictures of everything, I returned home ! It started to get very warm, the poor soldiers in their historical costumes !





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WEEKEND REVIEW JUNE 17

This weekend was the commemoration of the Waterloo battle. 2 years ago was the bicentenary, last year was nothing and this year it was completely different than all the years before since the over 40 years.

I went to the Hougoumont  farm, where Napoleon had lost the battle and where on the fields around the soldiers coming from the UK, Germany and the Netherlands built up their bivouacs while the French are in another place as they were enemies at that time.



They had just arrived and were busy to install themselves. I chatted a bit with them, the Germans came from Cologne and even Munich, which is quiet far away.

In the afternoon my friend Ilona came to see a bit of the events, and while we drove there I saw at our Toyota garage an Aygo with a special price, - 30 %. Ilona who badly needed a car, hadn't seen it, so I told her and said we could go in there because we had already bought 2 cars in this garage and I knew the salesman. Ilona was a bit over rolled by my enthousiasm but followed me.



She knew the car already because Mr. G. has the same, and in not even half an hour, the deal was mad, the papers signed and a very happy Ilona went out of the shop to celebrate with me ! Now she has to wait until July.

We went to have  drink at the Lion where a few soldiers walked around



and an orchestra arrived and played for a while. There were a lot of people and we chatted together and Ilona proudly told about her new purchase. Everybody congratulated, it was real fun !

16 Jun 2017

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE - FIVE ON FRIDAY

1. Summer moved in with sunshine and warm to hot weather. According to the weatherman it's too early but honestly I really don't mind ! The farmers complain and indeed everything is dry.

2. I finally finished our front yard, and "planted" flowers in the pots. I had to buy a few new once, but now it's all right.



Everybody who passes by admires my beautiful flowers, which are not real once but fake ! That's now very easy I don't have to water them, and I told Mr. G. not to do so, because he asked already if we don't have to water the plants. Now the garden work which I hate is finished until autumn !

3. I had to go with my 17 year old cat Kim to the vet, because she behaved so strangely.



No wonder she had a half loose rotten tooth and infected gums ! I left her there in the morning and picked her up in the afternoon, because she had to be anesthesized I thought now she would eat only soft food but no, she eats as normal her dry food !

4. For the moment I live in outside



The grass is dry which suits little Rosie and Arthur the kind cat waters it.



I blog or watch a little movie on the terrace and almost feel like being on holidays



In the rock garden it blooms despite the dry weather.

I have booked now my hotels in Dublin, for my trip around Ireland on the 30, I arrive 2 days earlier and leave one day later as the tour. It was very hard to find a Hotel the prices were impossible and the other once all fully booked. Finally I found one to stay at a decent normal price. But it took me quite long ! Now at least the papers are all ready, what a relief !

5. During our painting course we chatted more than we painted, I think it was the sunny weather which made us all so cheerful ! I forgot to take pictures for our Facebook page "Gibloux Couleurs" once again ! When we had finished some of us went to "La Pomme" (The Apple) which has very good salads. I had a Cesar salad.

Clouds are coming up and a thunderstorm is in the air !













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14 Jun 2017

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - WEDNESDAY HODGEPODGE

1. The Hodgepodge lands on June 14th this week, Flag Day in the US of A. Do you fly your country's flag at home? Sometimes, often, or every single day? Have you ever visited the city of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia)? Did you make a point of seeing The Betsy Ross House? Have you ever made a trip to Baltimore? If so, was Fort McHenry on your itinerary? (where Francis Scott Key was inspired to write The Star Spangled Banner)

It's quite unusual to fly the Belgium flag in private houses. Most of the population doesn't even have a flag. They are hanging on official buildings, some elderly people put a flag out on National day, but only very few. I wouldn't even know where to buy a flag ! 

2. Red flag or white flag? Which have you encountered most recently? Explain.

Honestly I don't pay any attention to flags. I know the colors of the Belgian and the German flag, because they have the same color only one has horizontal and one vertical stripes

3. Are you a stay in the car listen to the end of a song kind of person? What kind of person is that?

No idea, anyway if I am in a hurry I wouldn't stay until the end of the song. I would stay maybe for a song of Freddy Mercury !

4. What are some of the traits or qualities you think a good dad possesses? In other words, what makes a good dad? What's an expression you associate with your father?

A good Dad plays and spends time with his child equally like a mother. My father only took care of the material needs, to pay was easier then spend time with a kid.

5. What's one rule you always disagreed with while growing up? Is that rule somehow still part of your adult life? Is that a good or bad thing?

I think I always have disagreed with rules or authority and that has never changed. I was and am a rebel. No idea if it's a good or a bad thing !

6. Insert your own random thought here.

The sun is shining and it's warm, so I am thinking what to do this afternoon, there is already a holiday feeling in the air !





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13 Jun 2017

NEW ABBEY OF VILLERS LA VILLE

There was a medical flower exhibition in the Abbey of Villers la Ville . It was a beautiful day and my friend who is very interested in these kind of flowers wanted to see this exhibition.

To my surprise the Abbey entrance which had been a door, leading into a little room to buy the entrance tickets and then immediately into the ruins, had completely changed. Since June 14, 2016 there is a new one very interesting, click here New entrance and pathway The view over the abbey which you never had before unless you would have taken an helicopter, is now there just in front of you and it is indeed very impressive 

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9 Jun 2017

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE - FIVE ON FRIDAY

1. As it was whit Monday, Waterloo's city center was dead, all shops closed and nobody on the streets. There was nothing going on either. Ilona needed to go out and we went to the old Mont St. Jean Farm, which had once been a Hospital for Wellingtons wounded soldiers 200 years ago.



Behind the farm is L'Orangerie du Prince our favourite place for a drink. There of course it was full, we hardly could find a seat outside with this wonderful view on the open fields.

2. We discovered a "new" (for us) restaurant in Waterloo with a nice terrace outside, the owner is Italian and there were of course a lot of Italian specialities on the menu card. Unfortunately for me, because I eat Italian each day ! But for a drink it was OK !

3. The friendly gardner I had found through the Waterloo Facebook page, came and trimmed everything which had grown so much, and put new bark on the ground. Now the garden looks clean again. The only thing which is missing are the flowers in the pots. The pots are still empty. I decided to put fake flowers in them, it's in front of the house and nobody will noticed the difference when they walk by and I don't have gymnastic to do and climb up the little hill to water the plants. Mr. G. had it done once, with two plants because he hadn't noticed the difference amongst the real once.



Rosie had found a new place

4. We had a terrible storm 90 km/h and all parks and graveyards were closed. There were quite some damages but fortunately not in our area. I don't like this strong wind whistling around the house.
Therefore I couldn't "plant" my flowers and the pots are still empty. Now it rains !

5. After painting class Ilona and I went to our Greek restaurant where we could sit outside then we had a good cup of Espresso here. Ilona went home and I had to go to the groomer with Kim !



Despite the fact that she allows now Mr. G to groom her, there was a huge amount of hairs coming out of her fur ! I am more and more convinced that she had been a sheep in her former life !






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