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Updated: 2018-01-24T09:41:55.529+01:00




Sleeping in the wet bathtub and then drying in front of the radiator !more participants Wordless Wednesday and image-in-ing**********1. January 24th is National Compliment Day. Is it easy or not so easy for you to accept a compliment? Share a recent compliment you've given or received.It is not a question of easy or not easy, I am just happy if somebody makes me a compliment. I am certainly not fishing for compliments. I don't remember when I got a compliment. It's nice but not important. I made a compliment to my grandson because with his 7 years he had built this Lego Techno ship  all alone ! 2. Ten little things you are loving right now.To be honest right now I love nothing except my cup of coffee, because I just got up. I rather have 10 little things which I don't like right now, the weather, making the beds, decide what to dress, clean a cat vomit on a rug,  making a shopping list, collect cat hairs, thinking of all what should be done, and that's it for the moment. There is not even a bird chirp to enjoy !3. Would people describe you as a positive person? Do you see yourself that way? I read here a list/description of eight things positive people do differently-Positive people find something to look forward to every day, they celebrate the small stuff, they're kind, they stay busy, accept responsibility for their actions, forgive themselves, know when to move on, and resist comparisonsWhich action on the list would you say you do regularly? Which action could you add to your life to give you a more positive outlook? If you're a positive person, what's something you do regularly that's not on the list?I am certainly a positive person I always look at the bright side of life. I stay busy, I love travelling, I need every day something new.  4. Homemade chicken soup, beef stew, or a bowl of chili...what's your pleasure on a cold winter's day?Certainly not that kind of food, I would rather read a book or watch TV or visit a friend and sit in front of the open fire5. The best part of my day is....Difficult to say for the moment I prefer afternoons in summer I also like the mornings. In fact it depends how I get up with the left or the right foot, which means in a bad mood, or full of energy !  6. Insert your own random thought here.Should I stay home or go to the shopping mall, because it is the end of the "Sales", and there are reduced prices on the reduced prices ! From this side of the pond [...]





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more participants here**********Plus the rain and wind it's true ! Fortunately I had some nice activities over the weekend.We had our very first Facebook meeting of our group "Living in Waterloo" (vivre à Waterloo) and even our mayor was present (on the first picture above left, the handsome blond girl in the middle). It was great fun to see each other life and we talked about everything going on in Waterloo.During the day there was not much to do as the usual things in the household.The next day the city had organized a "Gospel" concert. We were all very keen to go and finally we were 5. The concert was a catastrophe we were expecting a group of black singers as it should be, but it was a white group who moved like brooms and had not the special voice of a real gospel singer.The leader of the choir started with explaining the origin of Gospel and I don't know from where he got this story, but most of it was absolutely wrong.  Besides there were not all gospel songs or only one or two. Amongst Jazz songs,  they even sang "Amazing Grace" in a "Gospel concert", which  has nothing to do with Gospel. Most of the people didn't know what it was, as they hardly know their own country's anthem. Fortunately in a few songs was a black female singer, and she was absolutely great, she killed the whole choir with her powerful voice. Nicole fell asleep, didn't even wake up when I took the picture with a flash, only when the black singer started she woke up ! Of course we all laughed. We were happy when the concert was over !To recover we went in our newly discovered Tea room (see post below) and I ordered cream tea. I was so curious how they would present it as you can't find clotted cream here. When my friends saw what I got, they wanted to try they had never eaten a scone so we all had cream tea.Despite that the cream was not clotted the scone was freshly baked and still a bit warm, the blueberry jam was homemade and both delicious and to replace the clotted cream the cook had added a bit of lemon juice to the whipped cream and it really tasted very good. Now they all decided that we would always have our cream tea when we are going, Mireille (half blind) Nicole         Monique         MyriamMy friend Monique  had sent me these photos taken in the tea room and had added : "I bet if we had been on stage " as the 5 Angels" There would have been more ambiance"And she is absolutely right ![...]



For about 10 min we had sunshine for the 1st time since one month !  More participants here atSkywatch Friday1. As usual we started the week with our brain training = scrabble. You can see on their faces how concentrated they were. Although I often play scrabble on my smartphone, where I now win from time to time, in real I am nearly always the last one. It was the blue Monday and outside it stormed and rained, awful !2. I went to my friend Bunny (she was born on Easter) because she had learned the Chinese foot reflexology, and I wanted to try it out because I have no energy and I am very nervous. She did it very professional and I have to say after 45 min I had almost fallen asleep and really felt good. Amazing better then all pills !! In two weeks she will do it again, because that's the laps of time you need. Otherwise it is too much. 3.Nicole and I had discovered a new little café which is very cute and the furniture is mixed with old and new. They have cake and coffee and tea and even scones ! I asked the lady who does all baking herself where she gets the clotted cream, because I have never found it in any shop or supermarket except in an English one. She told me she did it herself. I was a little surprised and asked how she made that, and she told me she takes cream and adds a bit of lemon juice !! Next time I will try it out ! 4.We were not many in our painting class. Outside a storm was going on and I almost blew away when I got out of my car.5.Impossible to go out, there is a terrible storm blowing over Belgium, causing even one dead so far. Fortunately in our region the wind is less strong then in other parts especially at the coast where the wind blew at 100 km/h. Nicole's garden chair blow over the terrace wall and fell down in the neighbor's garden !! So far there is nothing in our street. more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.Fast Blog[...]



Grandson Toby more participants here1. What keeps you blogging?I love writing. I have written all my life since I learned it, and when I discovered by pure coincidence Blogs, I immediately started one, first writing adventures of my cats.  But that was not enough I had also others things to write and I started this blog. It became a hobby for me a nice occupation when there is nothing else to do, or better,  a good excuse for when there is something to do !! 2. Some people like to travel in the winter months. Do you enjoy the beach in winter? According to Southern Living the best U.S. beach towns to visit this winter are-St Simons Island (Georgia), Hilton Head (South Carolina), Bald Head Island (North Carolina), Seaside (Florida), Bay St. Louis (Mississippi), Cape San Blas (Florida), South Padre Island (Texas), Folly Beach (South Carolina), Chincoteague (Virginia), Duck Key (Florida), Nags Head (North Carolina), and Fairhope (Alabama)Have you been to any of the towns listed (in any season)? Which on the list appeals to you most this winter?If I could I would stay at least 2 month in Egypt in my second home hotel. For the moment I always go end November for 2 weeks. There is never rain and the sun is shining. I have no breathing difficulties which I have when the weather is too humid.It would never come into my mind to spend winter holidays in the States,  too far and too complicated now ! I have visited the States in the 80/90th when my aunt still lived in Madison and have seen quite a lot : Madison to Orlando FloridaWisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, FloridaBack over Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee (Memphis), Missouri, Illinois, Madison WiNew York to Madison.New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts (Cape Code, Hyannis, Boston), New York (Syracuse, Niagara Falls (on 4 July but in Canada), Michigan, Madison WiBack over Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsilvania, New Jersey 3. What's a song you're embarrassed to know all the lyrics to? Are you really embarrassed or do just think you should be?I usually only keep the first words in my mind the rest I forget, so I am not embarrassed  anyway I am never embarrassed or I can't remember. 4. When you were a kid what's something you thought would be fantastic as an adult, but now that you're an adult you realize it's not all that fantastic?I wanted to be a filmstar, sitting in a luxury car and waving to the crowd. Now I see the truth and  I think it's better not to have such a public life ! 5. Share a quote you hope will inspire you in 2018.I think this suits me best6. Insert your own random thought here. I just wonder how the foot reflexology works and if it really efficient ? I will go this afternoon to a friend who had learned this kind of massage. From this side of the pond [...]



After our visit of the Pompeii exhibition we walked along the new pedestrian zone which is expanded from 28 to 50 hectares and now includes a large part of the Boulevard Anspach, the Place de Brouckère, the Place de la Bourse and the Place Fontainas. The project includes the construction of more than 3000 m² of green space, a system that allows rainwater to be absorbed so that a large part of the water that is used for the green spaces in the pedestrian zone comes from a sustainable and environmentally-friendly source, seats with graffiti-resistant paint, more drinking water fountains, more intelligent trash cans, more energy saving thanks to public lighting with LED lamps and 1,000 parking spaces for bicycles ! (not for me) I hope there will be a bit more for disabled people, because it was rather difficult to find a parking place for Chantal who has to walk with crutches. With all these projects underway the government hopes to improve public health by reducing air pollution, noise and stress as a result of the excessive traffic that is often unnecessary. To bring a more pleasant atmosphere into the city by investing in cultural activities and events. To decorate the city through the redevelopment of public space by rebuilding real squares, by renovating the facades of remarkable buildings and harmonizing the various shop fronts. Meanwhile real nice and funny graffiti hide the renovations. There was a band playing and a lot of people listeningA long part of the Boulevard Anspach is now free from cars. You can walk in the middle of the street, but we didn't because we also looked at the shops.And everywhere where they worked were panels with real nice Graffiti, some modern some out of comic books.  There are much more of course, but it was getting dark and we returned home.more participants here[...]



My hibiscus plant is blooming more participants here********Poor people who have to work the whole week and on weekends the weather is bad. I made the laundry and put the bedsheets over the radiators to dryArthur loves to smell the fresh sheets and for a little nap the place is nice and warm. He didn't mind about the company.As I couldn't go out, I did some filing in my computer and saved the 2017 pictures on my external  disk. Meanwhile Mr. G. took his bath and later when he returned into the bathroom hefound Arthur sleeping in it ! Crazy cat ! When Mr. G. watches his Quiz shows in the afternoon, I often watch a movie on my little computer. Arthur on my nap, doesn't mind that I take his back for a table. And late afternoon when normally the non existing sun goes down I saw blue sky !! The first blue sky in at least 3 weeks if not more. I ran outside and took these pictures they will become history !On Sunday I went with Chantal and another friend to Brussels. We wanted to see the exhibition about Pompeii.It was very interesting (I will report in an extra post) but we were a bit disappointed we thought it was much bigger, the entrance fee even for seniors was very expensive for what it was.But we didn't regret to have it seen.After the exhibition we were thirsty and we went for a drink in the "Fallstaff" brasserie. It was built in 1886 in art deco style.You can drink the Belgian beer here and also eat the typical Belgian dishes.When we came out the day just ended and we could still see the Christmas decoration which certainly had been very beautiful. There were also some singers on the street.We had all three spent a very nice afternoon. [...]






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Mrs Longleg

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Grand'Place BrusselsMore participants here atSkywatch Friday1. Another week  went by, I get the impression that when Monday starts, a few minutes later it's already Friday. !Our wifi is still laying on the street, it must be 3 month by now, the permission to open the street is in the hands of the city administration and there of course they work with the efficiency of a racing snail. I only hope that the cable will not break.2. We started with our scrabble group again, during the two weeks Christmas holidays we were not fresh enough to play on a Monday !! This time it went a bit better with me, I was not the last but the third and we were five. 3. I found a nice place for the photo frame we have got for Christmas, just at the entrance. It is the official school "portrait" of Toby for the year 2017. He is now 7 !Our oldest cat (18) choose a strange place for napping at least 23 h per day, the entrance. Maybe she thinks that she is the watch dog cat of the house. Fortunately the doorbell doesn't ring very often, because then she runs away. And it's not the warmest place in the house either ! 4.I had to buy a new coffee machine our old one died ! I bought the same Philips Senseo, but with this new model you can also make a coffee pot for 7 cups, or one cup, or two cups. Very practical. It works with pads. The coffee is very good.  With the old model we only could make 2 cups at one time, which was rather annoying when we had guests.5. Our painting class has also started again an we were nearly all there. For the moment there is a flu epedemic in Belgium and lots of people are sick. I hope I won't get it anymore, just finished one !It was nice to meet again and there were a lot to chat about our year's end celebrations !Now  the days are getting longer, if only the sun would show it's nose !more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.Fast Blog[...]



New Year 2018 Grandson with friendmore participants here*******1. January is National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?Can't rate any experience, because I never had a mentor or I don't remember, maybe I have been a mentor to somebody, but really I don't now.  2. What current trend makes no sense to you?The sexual harassment witch-hunting.  Maybe it will get a bit better but I doubt that it will stop ! The line between agreement and harassment is very very thin, and both can easily be switched. Revenge has always been sweet ! In the 60th when I started working, it was considered as normal. Was up to you to refuse or accept. Men have harassed me but nobody reached his goal. I think it is a question of character and social situation. A woman in need is more vulnerable then one who doesn't need anything. 3. I saw a cartoon on facebook highlighting a few 'weird' things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. (Credit for the cartoon goes here) Of the 'weird' things listed which one makes you happiest? What is one more 'weird' thing you'd add to the list?Sorry but I couldn't find the list in these cartoons. Anyway I love sipping coffee any time even if Mr. G. is up (he does the same) of course fresh sheets, driving through the countryside looking for good photos to make. 4. What's the last good thing you ate?A self made marble cake after our scrabble game. 5. Describe life in your 20's in one sentence.Going out, dancing a lot, having fun,  travelling and a job I loved !6. Insert your own random thought here. I am so fed up being locked in due to the humid weather and rain !That's meFrom this side of the pond [...]



January in general is a rather boring month. There had been too much in December now people rest. I haven't been anywhere since the New Year started because of the bad weather.So I thought to show you through a potpourri  of Waterloo near Brussels where I live. The main church where in 1850 the wounded soldiers of the battle were taken care of. There are a lot of British memorial plaques inside. I saw this fancy artwork in a gardenThere was a very important football (soccer) game in Belgium and our city too was decorated for the Belgian team the Red Devils. Therefore the car here has red horns !Very unusual summer temperatures in April ! The site of the Waterloo battle. Wellington won, but you only see Napoleon ! a lot of works are going on Waterloo seems to be the victim of moles ! The view from my friend Nicole's terrace, I wished spring would arrive ! more participants here[...]



more participants here******When other countries disappear in tonnes of snow, but at least the sun is shining and the sky blue we are sitting (not dancing) permanently in the rain ! 12 h sunshine in one month, 2 h more then last month ! What a progress ! The result is that I still avoid to go outside because of the humidity. Fortunately it's the use here to invite or visit people to wish a "Happy New Year". My friend Bunny had invited the whole group from our New Year's celebration for a coffee and cake. Everybody loved her new apartment which is very big and she had decorated it for Christmas in a very tasteful way. All in silver.Chantal, Mr. G. I, and Nicole and Irene, enjoyed all these cakes !! The lady cutting the cake is nearly 80, has a laptop, a computer with tower and a smartphone ! So there is no excuse for old ladies ! This is the cutest tea maker I have ever seen. First you see only the head sticking in the cup, then after the right time it's taken out and at the end you have a little Japanese doll. Normally "La fête des rois" (Three kings day) is on January 6, we celebrated one day before, everybody cuts a slice of a special cake containing a little statue or something elselike this for exampleand the one who gets the charm becomes King or Queen. In our case it was Monique who became Queen ! It was a very nice afternoon.Ilona and I hadn't seen each other since before Christmas so she invited me for a Three Kings cakeAs she had eaten a piece for breakfast, she had gotten the little statue which was inside and was the Queen of the day. We had a lot to chat about our New Year celebrations and then her daughter and husband came to wish her a happy new Year. It was funny because Ilona always speaks French, but with her children Flemish (Dutch). I understand Dutch very well but have difficulties to speak, so we had a mixture of French/Flemish, because the daughter also speaks French but the husband less. It was easy, they spoke Flemish I answered in French and vice versa.They had just come back from one week in Moscow and had celebrated the New Year there. It seems that it is very beautiful town and doesn't look poor at all. The metro is beautiful they said and they preferred Moscow to St. Petersburg. It was very interesting to listen to what they told.Then I returned home and another day is finished. Tomorrow whole Belgium will go back to normal as the school holidays have ended. [...]



Since I am back from Egypt on December 9, I only see these skies. More participants here atSkywatch Friday******1. After our nice New Year celebration, we were quite a little tired, going to bed at 4 am is very unusual. We just spent the day in doing nothing but watching a movie on TV or "working" on our computers. At 8.30 pm we were in bed ! When I think that even with 25 when we were just married we danced until 5,  went home, changed and went working ! Without any problem we weren't even tired. Times have changed !2. Sitting at my computer and staring at all the Christmas decorations, I suddenly had enough. I pulled all my strength together and in no time I got rid of all this which I don't like to see anymore. Mr. G. took the boxes into the basement and now I am ready for spring and long days !! Mr G doesn't care. He could live in a country where it is dark the whole day and night long.3. Sales have started and apparently only slowly, the weather was so bad, we had a storm called Eleonor which blow at some places at 127 km/h, but fortunately didn't cause major damages besides fallen trees and damaged roofs. I didn't even hear anything, I think Eleonor preferred to go another way, because there was really nothing in our area.4. With this humid weather I avoid to go out, because we have a very high level of humidity, 99 % today ! That's poison for me and I whistle like a locomotive if I do any physical effort. Patience is not one of my qualities and I start to get fed up being locked in the whole day.I took the opportunity and made a new collage of Toby with pictures from 2017. Each year I change it. Now I have to say between 2016 and 2017 there is not much difference. Only he got taller.  5. My son had sent us his photos of Christmas. We had spent Christmas day with his best friend. And now their sons are the best friends. Little Benji and his sister spent a week in Amsterdam for the Christmas holidays. It is really cute to see these two playing together. They complete each other really well and Toby also has a French "teacher" because Benji only speaks French and a bit English.Now I only hope that the sun will show its nose for once !  more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.Fast Blog[...]



The masters of the universe..... grandson Toby and best friend more participants here and here******1. It's that time of year again...time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they'd like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or genera uselessness) in 2018. You can read more about the decision making process and word meaning here, but this year's top vote getters are-unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Cofefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater (hot water doesn't need to be heated), and gig economyWhich of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you'd like to add?English is not my mothertongue so all these words sound right to me even the hot water. We have these absurdities in French too. Anyway languages change, you only realize it when you have been long time out of the country. When I once visited my girlfriend in Germany she bought me a dictionary to understand the youth ! Although German is my mothertongue, there are so many new words !  2. What's something you need to get rid of in the new year?There is no need, everything can stay where it is, I couldn't say my husband could I ? .....  3. Where do you feel stuck?For the moment everywhere, no energy I recover from the festivities and  a flu ! 4. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter's day?How lucky I am that it is no Soup Month here, I hate soups ! So I never do open a can or do it myself !!The only one I like is lentil soup but I don't call that a soup, as it is not really liquid5. Tell us one thing you're looking forward to in 2018.To this travel in August 6. Insert your own random thought here.My thought is that I am happy that all these festivities are over, and I can return to my normal life ! here[...]



Between Christmas and New Year nothing special usually happens the city is rather quiet and the shops empty. It was the silence before the storm. The reason is that everybody is waiting for the January 2nd where winter sales start and then it is the hell because to make good bargains people line up and the shops are full. I strolled through the Waterloo Gallery (because it was raining as usual) I needed to buy a new Swatch. I was surprised that the Gallery which usually is full of posh people because there are a lot of very expensive boutiques in there, was nearly empty. Even in the Swatch shop I was the only customer ! and that's the one I choose it looks a bit like a bracelet. The usually so crowded Gallery was nearly empty at 2.30 pm. I have never seen that !There was nothing to buy for me, even with sales prices the boutiques are very expensive.New Year's Eve we spent at Monique's. That's the "girl" with whom Mr. G. plays card in his group and is my friend too.She had prepared the table for a meat fondue. Everybody had to bring little gifts, like a bottle opener or a book sign, nothing expensive. These were all wrapped and we had to find out what was inside. The one who found what was inside got it.We started while we had our apperitif with little appetizers and Champagne. We all had brought our drinks and a plate. One brought the appetizers, one the cheese, one the desert a delicious Tiramisu and I had brought a fruit salad. So the meal was complete.We had a lot of fun in finding out what was inside the parcels ! Mr. G. won these "shoes" to keep his feet warm. Unfortunately they were just a little too small. I guessed, and got candles, and a bowl. Sometimes it was real difficult to find out ! It was already rather late, so we decided to eat. There was a lot of meat, I would say half a cow (not really) the meat was so tender and everybody could cook it the way she wanted. With that we had salad and chips. The vintage girl besides Mr. G. is my oldest friend we know each other since 1962 and used to go out a lot, when we were young. She had moved recently near Waterloo, so now we can see each other more often.We had to interrupt our dinner because it was midnight ! we almost missed it.And then we continued with our gifts, and at 3 am we all left. I wasn't tired a bit. We had a very very nice New Year celebration.more participants here[...]



More participants here atSkywatch Friday********What happened this week ? Not much besides Monday which was Christmas day and I described it in the post below.I didn't do much the next day I felt like a bear of whom you had interrupted the winter sleep. But I had to go outside pick up Ilona who had had put winter tires on her car and had to wait until it was finished. As Nicole lives around the corner we went to her and over coffee we chatted about our family Christmas experiences and came to the conclusion that it is rather difficult when you are getting older, apparently children have difficulties to get used to it. From Ilona I got this cute little purse for beach or little walks, it has just the right size for the important things like phone and wallet and bank cardsWhen I looked in the mirror the next morning I thought just a stick was missing and I looked like a broom with a face. I pulled myself together and went to the hairdresser.  I don't know why but I made the whole saloon laugh and so we all had a good time. And while we discussed about Christmas, the too much eating etc the girl cut and cut and cut and I didn't stop her I hadn't realized. But there are still some hairs left and Mr. G. and my friends like the new cut only I have to get used to it but anyway it will grow again !Not the best selfie ...And while we discussed about two policemen from whom a real bad person had taken a picture while they carried a Christmas bag during working hours.  He had put the photo on Facebook and later it went through the press. Fortunately the majority of the people took it with humour and defended the two brave guys. The best comments were " they protected a shop and took the opportunity to buy something for their wives", and "why are you complaining, they only did their job and checked the bags if there were no explosives in it. It almost became a political scandal but finally the good sense won, and they got no problems. They were also supported by most of the population. I mean these guys do a hard job anyway always on the street watching if there is not a little terrorist around. Don't forget Trump has said that Brussels is a hell hole !The next day my Swatch watch (sounds good) didn't work anymore. I supposed it was the battery. I took it off couldn't do anything and put it on again, with the result that during shopping  I lost my watch and found it again besides my car, looking like this ! The glass completely broken ! I don't know yet if it is worthwhile to repair it otherwise I have to buy a new one,  Mr. G. said it is better to buy a new one and it would be a belayed Christmas gift !This will probably be the last post of the year 2017 ! So I wish you allmore participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.Fast Blog[...]



Grandson discovers Egypt and a mummy !more participants here*********As there is a holiday break for Wednesday's hodgepodge, I take the opportunity to write for myself and those who are interested to read about our Christmas celebration.We  celebrated here in Waterloo/Brussels, the German way on Christmas Eve, which means Father Christmas came through the chimney while we got dressed for the aperitif ! Fortunately he didn't get stuck with all the gifts he brought ! There was a happy little boy when he discovered all the boxes !I have got this cute cat which is a piggy bank for my travels. And there was even a "starter" in it. The Trump looking like rider is Mr. Muscles which Toby had put on it. This thing was amazing you could pull arms and legs in all directions I thought it is an ideal gift for stressed people ! They also brought me this beautiful Christmas bouquet.Then we had a light supper and I went to bed because I still suffer from the sequels of my flu.When I woke up around midnight, Mr. G. told me that the 3 had gone to the hotel, because apparently in our guest room where until this day or rather night they had always slept, Toby couldn't sleep because he coughed, he is allergic to cats ! (having a grandson allergic to cats that just takes the bisquit) Strange is that the whole afternoon and evening he was completely normal. Maybe it's the fact that they were 3 in the room normally my DIL prefers to stay in Amsterdam, as she doesn't speak French and not everybody English I can understand that it's boring for her. On Christmas day we had a wonderful lunch. Our friend Monique whose son is a wholesaler for seafood and fish,  had brought too much to his mother. She called me if we would like a lobster and some salmon. Of course I didn't say no !! It was absolutely delicious ! Now 7 year old Toby is very much interested in Egypt, ever since he got a book from his other Grandma "Dummie the mummy". Therefore I had brought from Egypt all kind of things, piramides, camels, gods etc. Even a sarcophagi with a mummy in it and a card with the Egyptian alphabet. I suggested to write "Merry Christmas"  not believing that he could, but he did ! He even added "to Tom" to his friend in Amsterdam, because the father was Egyptian ! On Christmas day we were all invited at my son's best friend, and as both sons became best friends too and are both the same age, it was a lot of fun ! Toby inspects the butterfly on Camille's pullover !We had a raclette and all a very good appetite. That's fun to eat, everybody cooks his stuff himself and as desert we had the traditional "buche de Noël", or Yule Log.I don't know what I have done, but I miss a lot of pictures on my photo camera. I think it's getting old.So one year's end celebration is over, comes the next on Sunday.My friend Ilona also had the flu while I was in Egypt and she told me that it takes at least 2 weeks to feel "normal" again. So I have to wait another week ! [...]



More participants here atSkywatch Friday******1. The flu apparently was over, but I felt very weak to go from one room to the other was as if I had done  100 km ! And still no Christmas decoration, it was about time. My moral was plummeted !Fortunately Mr. G. who had always disliked to do the shopping, now apparently likes it, or maybe he has no choice so I make a list and off he goes. Unfortunately he doesn't read so instead of buying my face cleaner he bought humid toilet paper, because the package looks similar. Now you know with what I have to clean my face !2.Finally I pulled myself together and spread balls, angels, father Christmas, garlands etc all over the living room and in the entrance. Then I was exhausted for the rest of the day, but it was made !Outside Mr. G. had put up the two reindeer which illuminate our frontyard, unfortunately one has lost the lights around his head so we have one headless reindeer when it gets dark. 3.Each year our city invites the seniors to a concert followed by a drink.This year it was  Jacques Brel "a Belgian singer, songwriter, actor and director who composed and performed literate, thoughtful, and theatrical songs that generated a large, devoted following—initially in Belgium and France, later throughout the world. He was widely considered a master of the modern chanson". (Wikipedia) allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="215" src="" width="300">Jacques died in 1978 ago, but his songs are still in fashion. The man who sang like him, was fantastic, if you closed your eyes you could hear the real Jacques. I hesitated to go, but I so much wanted to. As I was sitting, and had no effort to do it was OK, but I didn't go to the reception too many people and I couldn't sit. So I went home. Nicole told me that I hadn't missed anything. 4. Feeling a little stronger in the mornings I went to Aqua gym and it really did me good. I even managed to follow the exercises because in the water you feel as light as a feather and when you get out as heavy as an elephant. 5. We had our yearly Christmas celebration in our painting class. First I thought I couldn't go, but then I decided to go to take pictures, because I am also responsible for the Facebook page and then go home.Everybody had brought something to eat and we had a lot of fun I just sat on a chair once my duty done, so I could stay a little longer. Then I left. I will see them again in January. Another year ends.The rest of the day I spent in my recliner recuperating ! to all of youmore participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.Fast Blog[...]



For all floors and restaurants etc.Christmas items in the whole hotel in Egypt and a beautiful treemore participants here*******1. Where have you found unexpected magic or delight this holiday season?Unfortunately I didn't find any expected or unexpected magic or delight this holiday season. For me personally Christmas has become a chore I have to go through. Too many pain and tears last year. I had to learn that Christmas has changed. The beautiful Christmas of my past as child and young mother don't exist anymore. It took me a long time to understand. And many people are in the same case, amongst my friends too.  2. What's your favorite type of holiday gathering? Will you/have you gathered in your favorite way this month?I have no special favorite type of holiday gatherings, I enjoy birthdays, New Year, or just occasional gatherings without any reason. 3. Time has named 'The Silence Breakers' (women who came forward with stories of harassment) 'person of the year' for 2017. Would you agree? If not, who do you think deserves the title? I don't know who deserves the title, I haven't followed this story. I only know that when I started working in 1963 sexual harassment was "normal" some women even accepted to go further in their career. I personally would be a rich woman if I would have reported to the police. Sounds a bit pretentious, but I always defended myself, with my sharp tongue, a slap in the face, my knee or with a high spike heel ! At that time nobody would have listened to me anyway. 4. How did you spend your time this year? Are you happy about that? ElaborateI can't complain, it was a nice year, concerning travels, I enjoyed my tour around Ireland, and then my holidays in Egypt and in the meantime I visited friends for a few days. I also enjoy my scrabble and painting group, and was happy to "babysit" my grandson for the first time after 6 years  for a few days ! 5. Bid farewell to 2017 in ten words or less.Good bye anyway I won't see you again ! 6. Insert your own random thought here.Despite my flu and being so weak, I finally managed to decorate our living room for Christmas, but there are still some things to organize and buy and thinking of all that I feel I would be in front of the Mount Everest and had to climb up to the peak. When you are not in your normal state everything becomes a problem. I make an elephant out of a mosquito ! No Christmas  tree this year[...]



1. Starts with X
2. craft
3. growing


X-mas tree. The personal of my hotel in Egypt has a lot of fun to decorate it !


Beautiful craft work with fruits and vegetables


Inner yard of the hotel, fresh plants growing

Linking to Eden Hills Photo Hunt



Christmas tree reflecting in a ceiling mirror

Linking to Weekend Reflections(image)



Only blue sky available at the red sea in EgyptMore participants here atSkywatch Friday*******We enjoyed our second week of holidays and I can't really number the days as they are the same like a pearl in a pearl necklace.While we were there the hotel was repainted, and we all thought under what condition these workers are doing their job, without any security, the whole day long in this heat and they also worked during the night, but they were so discrete that we were not disturbed at all and they were always in a very good mood, laughing and joking. Of course our day started with a breakfast as you wished. You could eat, whatever you wanted, from continental breakfast to the English breakfast, warm, cold everything was there. I loved these cookies they were so light and not sweet at all. Then we started our work on the beach. The windscreens protected us from the wind, as it was always blowing a bit and they also served us as "wardrobe" it looked like a Arabian Souk around us.We had some funny incidents like a bottle of oil in Nicole's beach bag which she hadn't closed completely and all the content was oily ! We tried to save a maximum, but the bag she could throw away! There was always happening something to her. Our French friend we had met last year and who had joined us from France, still fought with the mosquitos and was dressed from head to feet, and she always had her mosquito repellent thing with her, but there was nothing to do, the mosquitos only loved her and not us. I haven't even seen one ! When we had taken enough sunshine we had the sea at our feet for cooling down. Chantal and Nicole snorkeled to watch the colorful fishes. I don't like water in my face and watched them.Before the sun went down, we had a drink at the swimming pool where the water was heated and it was just wonderful to swim in there. For our health we ate a lot of fresh and delicious vegetables which were so nicely represented ! We also had an Arabian night, with a beautiful decoration and as usual excellent food. On our last evening we asked somebody to take a picture of us 4 in front of the beautiful Christmas tree. The whole hotel was decorated and everybody enjoyed it. The Egyptians as well as us Europeans. This time there were no Russians, Mr. Putin still doesn't let them fly to Egypt because of the airplane  crash of last year. I have to say I didn't miss them at all and my friends neither. Then came the day of our departure and we were picked up by a bus at 2 pm. which took us to the airport. We stopped at several hotels, and here a Father Christmas was repaired he had lost his hand !Arriving at the airport, there was no wheelchair for my friend and I was feeling bad with my starting flew. Finally we got one and had to wait for the plane for a little more than an hour. The plane was just a year old and looked beautiful, Brussels Airlines had bought these new once and we travelled with the one which showed the Belgian painter Margritte.  For the first time the once who suffer with their ears had nothing, nobody not even one baby cried ! They were all very surprised and we supposed that something had been done with the air pressure.Arrived in Brussels we had to wait more than an hour for our luggages. They had 3 days of a terrible mess at the airport due to bad weather and were still busy sorting out luggages from all countries.At 2 am I finally reached my bed and now I have to take care of my flew ! more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.Fast Blog[...]



Christmas decoration in our hotel in Egypt. And a tourist who decorated his umbrella !more participants hereHodgepot1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?I don't have any strategy yet, I push Christmas in the last corner of my mind,  because after 2 weeks of sunshine at the Red Sea and hot weather it will be difficult to start all preparations, I hope I cope ! Holiday Christmas tree2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?I don't have a to do list, I decorate my home just as it pleases me and that can change from year to year. Some jobs ? I try not to make a hysterical celebration of Christmas everything in perfection and then fall exhausted in my bed  !  Too much is too much ! and no I am not a do it yourselfer, I hire someone whenever I can. 3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc). What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk? The first thought ? Crazy ! I eat what I want and not what some scientifics invent because it brings money.  As long as I can eat and drink what I want and  it doesn't harm me, I only listen to my body !  4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!? Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple. If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018? I had no idea what Pantone is and looked up in Wikipedia. I like purple although it is a color used for funerals but maybe Pantone doesn't know. In my house the main color is red or orange, maybe I have a purple cat with little white flowers,in my 450 cat collection but from here I don't remember. Of course I would choose red as color. 5. Favorite book read this year?The craziest quotes from Trump (Les citations les plus folles de Trump, V.Deryke)  Brussels ? It's like living in a hell hole !  If you need a good laugh, this is THE book to read !! Random thought . I think of my flight home, as bad weather is foreseen a lot of wind, rain and cold, perhaps some snow and there could be fog. If you don't hear from me anymore I landed somewhere or not at all ! From this side of the pond [...]



Since exactly a week we arrived from Brussels cold and rainy weather in Hurghada/Egypt at the red sea. First thing we did was taking off all layers ! We had dressed like onions and finally arrived in our "winter home" in Jeans and T-shirt. Lots of things had changed to the better, now we had internet in the whole hotel and even in the rooms and on the beach and not only at the reception.The animation team had changed and was even worse as last year, so we were not interested at all in their animations we animated us ourselves.The animation team hopping the entrance of the restaurant we were greeted by "fake" Egyptians. Nicole and I had breakfast while Chantal and Diana went immediately to the beach. I talked with Nicole and it seemed to me that I had to speak very loud and louder, because she didn't understand me. Finally I almost screamed and asked what happened to her ears, when she suddenly stated that she had still her earplugs in her ears. Of course we all laughed and I didn't have to scream anymore. My room cleaner who is a man (no women clean in Egyptian hotels, they have better jobs) made every day (or nearly) such a nice decoration on my bed with the bath towels.The view from my room was almost the same as last year and the town looked the same way. Unfortunately this year we had mosquitos which I never had. Our poor friend Diana was the favorite target of the mosquitos. Despite a special mosquito repel plug and another sound instrument, spray and creme the dear little animals always came back to her!I first thought she was exaggerating, but then I shared my room with one and woke up all 5 min. It bit me and fortunately I remembered my Grandma's recipe, soap on the swollen parts. That helped then I left the bathroom light on and closed the door and apparently it was locked in there. I asked my room boy to please play a serial killer and get rid of them. which he did. There were a lot of renovations going on. Inside and out, but they were so discrete that it didn't disturb us as all. after "little" breakfasts like this we lay down on our beach beds. Fortunately Diana is an early bird and "booked" our beds at 5.30 am otherwise the best places in the sun were taken. The sun goes down at 3 1/2 and it becomes dark and cooler. Of course it's winter here too only you have the feeling to be in the middle of the summer. Not to become fat like a Buddha we swam a lot in the warm water. I saw an enormous turtle, in the water, but unfortunately couldn't take a picture of it.In the evening we are so tired that at 9 pm we go to bed and read a little or watch TV. It's probably the fresh air which makes us so tired ! But we are up at 7 to enjoy the sunshine.On St. Niklaas day big boxes appeared and a bunch of men started to put up a beautiful Christmas tree with a Father Christmas and the reindeer. We all had a lot of fun. The Egyptian people are always in a good mood and have a lot of humour.In the evenings we took our main meal. The food was excellent real organic ! The chicken tasted like a happy chicken, and the vegetables had their real good taste. One lady had her birthday which was celebrated with a chocolate cake and an "Egyptian happy birthday song"A fruit parade with the cooks on the beach, we all could take what we wanted. A guest had even decorated his umbrella with Christmas decoration !!As yesterday it was a bit cooler we finally went shopping. On the way back we had a taxi which was really special. The whole inside[...]




I am happy to announce to you that I am escaping the cold and rainy weather in Belgium and will leave for Egypt.


I will  stay in my "second home" the Sunset Holiday Resort in Hurghada for the 8th time. Each year I go there for two weeks to prepare me for the winter and fill my tank with vitamin D.
If I am not overloaded with work, I will write or participate in themes.

more participants here



This tiny fruit sat on the birthday cake, I ate it, but I really don't know what it is.more participants hereOur weekend was very nice and funny ! We celebrated Grandson Toby's 7th birthday a little late because the exact date was on November 17. So he first celebrated with the Dutch family, parents, grandparents uncles and aunts etc and then with us, his best friend and parents.First on Saturday afternoon we went to the Circus ! What an event, none of them had ever been in a circus and it was of course wonderful for them. We were a bit disappointed because it was a restricted winter program and there were only few animals, dogs, ponies, and camels ! With the new law wild animals are not allowed anymore in a circus, but the horses were missing too.never mind, armed with an enormous candy floss (in French we call it "Barbe à Papa" Dad's beard)they watched the show for two hours.In the evening we went to a usually very nice restaurant but this time everything went wrong. First we had to wait for an hour then finally the starter came, but there were only 2 waiters, very strange for such a lot of guests. Suddenly Toby got sick, one of his eye swelled and as he is allergic his Dad took him home and we wanted to pay and follow, as we had already eaten. No way to get an invoice there were tax controllers in the kitchen (on a Saturday night) and that's why probably there were only so few personal, they had escaped for tax reasons. After a long discussion and nearly a fight, the men finally could pay our meal and we returned home, where poor Toby lay on the sofa, not feeling well at all. We returned home because Toby stayed with Benjamin his best friend.Benjamin lives in a big house with a huge property around with even a little wood so that they can run around and play as they want and don't have to feat to be run over by a car.We had the birthday mealchicken, roasted ham and vegetables, and of course this beautiful cake.That must have been the best because the boys after having blown out the only candle we had (Toby was complaining that he is not one but seven) attacked the cake and not much left.and here we were all posing together except Benji's mum who took the picture.It had been a very nice weekend. [...]