Belgium, Events, Travels

Ateliers, Building Sites & Petting Zoo

Behold! A shadow photo of D and I at the building site of Flanders Make.

So many things happening this weekend… Open Wervendag as seen above. Then, Aterlier In Beeld, where artists show case their ateliers to the general public. It was also Dag van de Zorg, but D and I did not have time nor great interest for that.

D and I spent this Sunday afternoon roaming South West Flanders, visiting three building sites, three ateliers, and a petting zoo. We had guided tours, free drinks, and feeling like the world does not know of the damn virus.

Admittedly, things have started to feel normal since E3. Like many others, I needed a little bit more time adjusting and easing back into a world that is still battling a pandemic. At some point in time, we need to have a bit of faith in the effectiveness of the vaccines, get ourselves back into the normal rhythm of life, and enjoy what our days have to offer.

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Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks, Travels

Mothers & Gardens

Mother’s Day 2022 felt like a pre-pandemic day.

In the afternoon, D and I went to a garden fair at Marke. We strolled about at leisure, drank beers, took some photos, and bought some local produce. Before leaving the park, D bought a potted dahlia for the mama.

We then proceeded to the parents house bearing the newly purchased gift. Since it was a weekend visit, there were drinking, chatting, ice-cream eating, and catching part of Giro d’Italia on tv.

D and I left at quarter to eight. Because D wanted to eat out and I did not feel like rush cooking a home-cook meal, we decided to try out a brasserie in town. Our neighbours love this place, and have been regulars for more than a year now. To D and I, the brasserie was just a typical place where food and service were decent. Nonetheless, it is nice to be able to add to our list, one more local eating place which is within biking distance. 😉

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Belgium, Health, Simplify, Travels

Train & Booster

My booster shot was scheduled at 12.10pm on 21/12/2021. Notice the zeros, ones and twos?! 😉

To get to my designated vaccination centre in Kortrijk, I took the train! How can I refuse and ignore the offer of a free train ticket? An offer made by NMBS to those who need to travel by train to their vaccination centres. I love train rides, I do not love it less because mine was only five minutes. The one kilometre walk from station to Budafabriek was pleasant and effortless.

Vaccination went smoothly and I was out of there in a jiffy. After a nice long stroll in the city of Kortrijk, and a short wait at the station, I was heading back home on my free 5-minute train ride. My mini adventure did not cost me a single cent and it was wonderful.

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Jibber Jabber, Simplify, Travels

Biking Errands

D did not have classes in the afternoon today. So, we ran some errands around the city by bike.

First, we dropped by the grocery store where I told someone that I was overcharged for the two crates of water I bought a few days ago. After getting my few cents back, we went to the post office so that I may purchase some stamps. Then we stopped by the pharmacy nearby to order two flu vaccines. We then proceeded to the bank so that I may perform an ATM transaction, and also to let the bank scan my ID for their record. Our last destination was the seafood store where we bought our well loved lobster bisque and garnaalkroketten. Also bought a nice piece of tuna steak.

Four kilometres of cycling and tuna tataki for dinner. It was a good day. 🙂

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Belgium, Human Nature, Travels

Garden Centre Outing

This afternoon, D and I went to a garden centre with his parents. I only had potting soil and maybe some outdoor pots on my shopping list, but ended up with four pots in total. In addition to that, we also got two indoor plants, candies and a bag of Japanese rice cracker mix. 😛

Maybe it is just me… but visiting garden centres seem to be legitimate fun outings this part of the world.

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Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks, Travels

Beer Festival 2021

Yesterday afternoon, D and I left for Ghent to attend a well-loved beer festival that was cancelled last year. The car was parked at a free park+ride zone and we took two short tram rides to reach our destination. Public transportation was painless, despite the compulsory mask wearing measures.

Beer festival was as normal as it gets in this Covid-19 era. D and I enjoyed six beers in total, enjoyed being amongst people, and the better weather in the beginning. It started raining when we were at our last glass of beer, but it was alright because we moved closer to a tent and I had my umbrella up.

Because of the worsening weather, we did not visit the city centre as I originally wanted to. We just took our two tram rides back to the parking. City trip will be for next time…

On our way back to West Flanders, D had to drive through a heavy rain storm! Scary, but we got home safely.

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Food & Drinks, Travels

Garden Gathering

Yesterday, D and I went to friends who lived 45 minutes drive away, to join them for a barbecue. The host family had only invited two families, which was not the usual thing they do. Times has changed since 2020, I am guessing that they were keeping the social bubbles small and manageable.

Children has grown. The friends are well. Most of us are vaccinated. All of us moving on with our lives and doing our best in enjoying what life has to offer. And that is a good thing.

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Flashbacks, Travels

Flashback Journeys

Now that D and I are fully vaccinated, we may travel to all the EU countries with our EU Digital COVID Certificates. Though I am grateful for this option, I am rather wary and dare not stick my head out of the bunker too soon. It is after all the early days of recovery, and the damn Delta variant is busy making its rounds.

Since the first lockdown, I have been utilizing my memory to relive past travels in my mind. And having been alive for half a century and have lived on three different continents, I am definitely not short of the ingredients to conjure up some lovely memories of past travels. I call these flashback journeys. 😛

Nevertheless, I do want to travel like it is pre-Covid. Wishful thinking maybe, but one may always dream…

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Belgium, Simplify, Travels

Errands By Bike

There were five things on my to-do list for this afternoon. I needed to return a couple of library books, use an ATM, check out the July sales at the shopping centre in Kortrijk, look for Shoe Goo, and lastly a short visit to the grocery store for a handful of things.

Well, the supposedly typical afternoon errand run turned into a mini cycling adventure for me. In a few hours time, D and I accomplished all the above mentioned tasks, and more. So as a reward for being brave and green, we treated ourselves to some good beers at a café.

For someone who had never learned to cycle, I did rather well. Tired thighs are normal and expected, but I noticed that my lower back discomfort has completely disappeared after the exertion. Well done, me. 🙂

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Belgium, Flashbacks, Numbers, Travels

At 31…

It was the year 2002.

The year started with my second semester in college, working towards a diploma in graphics design. I was staying with my cousin Eileen in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

My school days were spent learning new skills, making friends and exploring my creativity. Graphics design turned out to be something I was rather good at. At the college art show in November, I won several prizes including The Best of Show with one of my illustration pieces. 🙂

In the summer, I crossed the Atlantic for the first time to visit D in Belgium. My first European trip, and it was wonderful! Later, D and I travelled to San Francisco to visit my sister and get to experience the city together.

The year 2002 was filled with happy school days, new long term friends, and memorable travels.

Two days ago, a 31-year old cyclo-cross cyclist lose her fight to aggressive brain tumour. Rest in peace, Jolien.

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