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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Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Summer Days Are Arriving

If the weather forecast is to be believed, today is supposed to be the last rainy day of the week. Starting tomorrow, we shall be experiencing the summer days that have been eluding us all these weeks.

This afternoon, D and I went grocery shopping. Amongst the things that I bought to fill the pantry, refrigerator and the freezer are meat for the barbecue. We are prepared. Bring on the good weather!

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Belgium, Events, Numbers

Sixteen Days

Olympics 2020 in Tokyo has ended. The past 16 days went by unnoticeably fast!

Belgium won seven medals. Not bad for a country which does not invest much in top sports.

Olympics 2024 will be in Paris. I wonder what the world is going to be like by then. Three years is not such a long time from now.

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Belgium, Flashbacks, Malaysia

Floods

The south east part of Belgium had endured some serious floods in the past days. So serious that it had cost more than 30 lives and enormous material damages.

Yesterday, it rained heavily again and parked cars were flunked around like rubber duckies in a bathtub.

Having lived in a tropical country, I am very aware of the danger and damage floods can cause. I feel sorry for these people who are at their wits’ end. Experience tells me that the floods are just the beginning of their troubles. When water roars through places that it is not suppose to be, it brings along many issues.

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Belgium, Jibber Jabber, Numbers

Above Twenty Five

The daytime temperatures will be hovering above 25°C this entire week. I shall try not to complain too much about the heat. UV kills germs. Solar energy production will peak. Besides, I have an air cooler, will use ice babies and have many ways to keep D and I cool.

That said, I have done a quick grocery walk this afternoon before the temperature became unbearable. And D mowed the lawn. We are ready.

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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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Belgium, Events, Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber

Burgers & Beers

D, his mother and I went to a nocturnal shopping event at a garden centre yesterday evening. The parking was packed. There was a line going in. And a line coming back out.

At the check out counter, the cashier gave us coupons for a burger and beer each. As we sat there enjoying our free burgers and beers, and listening to live accordion music, we realised that it was more than a year ago that we attended such an activity. My record shows that our last normal activity was the lunch we three had at the hospital cafeteria on the 10th of March, 2020! Talk about pre-corona era…

Nonetheless, I do believe that we have adjusted our lives effectively to the crisis all this time. Shortly after the first lockdown, D and I have enjoyed drinks, amongst other people, at the Lokaal. We have also participated in simple careful activities with the neighbours last summer. Despite the restrictions and health measures imposed upon us in the past year and a half, D and I did adapt and still get to do our usual activities in reduced mode. We carried on with grocery shopping and errand runs as normal as possible. We even enjoyed the occasional city trips and train rides. Most importantly, we have survived this without getting sick. Amen to that. 🙂

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