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.

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. 😉

Belgium, Events, Food & Drinks

May First ’22

Making today a lazy Sunday after yesterday’s art and music festival would sound about right for D and I. But heck no, there were too many things to do today, we were not going to miss out!

It was my in-laws 51st wedding anniversary, so we dropped by the house to congratulate them. We gave them a box of cookies as gift. It was the thought and gesture that counts 😉

After the brief visit, we proceeded to Kortrijk to experience the last day of Paasfoor. We purposely parked at one end of the city, and then threaded our way slowly to the other end where the MayDayMayDay Festival was held. D and I drank beers, shared a burger, and enjoyed the music of two performers we went to see. Before heading home, we bought oliebollen from the Paasfoor. One must have oliebollen when one is at a fair.

What an afternoon. And this evening, we shall pass out…

Belgium, Flashbacks

Six Years Ago

Six years ago today, religious terrorists attacked the airport at Zaventem and a metro line in Brussels. March 22nd, 2016 was a dark day, and the shadow of the attacks still hang upon us today. Once again, the senseless acts of terror and violence have forced us to impose all those annoying security measures. Why do human beings treat each other this way? What is there to gain, all the pain and sufferings?

Belgium, Jibber Jabber

First Lawn Mowing 2022

The lawnmower was sent off a week ago for some much needed maintenance. We got it back yesterday.

So today, D mowed the lawn for the first time this year.

Even though long unkempt grass does not bother me, there is something comforting and satisfying to look outside and see a properly mowed lawn. 😉

Belgium, Health

Geen Gaatjes

Yesterday, I managed to schedule a dental appointment for this afternoon. There must have been a last minute cancellation, because this particular dentist is usually fully booked for months!

My last dental appointment was in the pre-Covid-19 days of November 2019. Damn, that seems like ages ago.

Despite the wait, the rather rough plaque removal procedure, and all the bothersome Covid-19 prevention measures, I was told by my dentist that I do not have any cavities and may walk out the office without paying a single cent.

Thank you social health care.

Belgium, Human Nature

Wat Helpt

Als vloeken helpt, dan vloek je maar.
Maak herrie, stennis en misbaar.
Scheld schel en luid je goudvis uit
en schreeuw je scherven bij elkaar.

Als bidden helpt, bid dan gerust.
Als het je troost of sterkt of sust.
Of vraag om raad. Als Hij bestaat
dan is het goed, maar ‘t is geen must.

Als huilen helpt, ga dan je gang.
Het is niet niks en het duurt lang.
Het kan geen kwaad als het niet gaat.
Het mag gezien zijn, wees niet bang.

Als praten helpt, bel me dan op
en steek van wal, hals over kop
en van de hak weer op de tak
of zachtjes sluipend uit je slop.

Als lopen helpt, vertrek meteen.
Zeer doelgericht of nergens heen.
Het hoeft niet snel, al mag dat wel.
Met verre vrienden of alleen.

Als zwijgen helpt, wees dan maar stil
en duik – als dat is wat je wil –
een tijdje weg van pijn en pech
– als je weer opduikt, geef een gil.

Als lachen helpt, ken ik een grap
of val dolkomisch van de trap.
Denk aan je kat die keer in bad
of aan het Belgisch staatsmanschap.

Als dansen helpt, is er muziek.
Als breien helpt, dan hou je steek.
Als boos zijn helpt, geef ik kritiek.
Als bakken helpt, let there be cake.
Als yoga helpt, wees fluks en zen.
Als slapen helpt, stop ik je in.
Als schrijven helpt, scherp dan je pen.
Als poetsen helpt, welaan: begin!

Je voelt je murw en overstelpt
en snakt naar stranden, wit geschelpt…
Hou vol. Vat moed. Want het komt goed.
Doe ondertussen maar
wat helpt.

~Stijn De Paepe (18/08/1979 – 22/02/2022)

Belgium, Flashbacks, Malaysia

Power Outage

What the heck?!

There was a 30-minute power outage, and now I have to reprogram all the digital clocks in the house. Half an hour of no electricity meant no radio, no buzzing sound from the boiler, the refrigerator, the freezer and every other electrical appliances we tend not to think of all the time. So freakishly quiet…

This reminds me of the serious blackouts I used to experience in Lahad Datu. Day-long power outages meant that refrigerated perishable food had to be cooked and consumed quickly. No lights, no televisions, no radios, no fans! And in the later years, no computers and air conditioning. But blackouts then were never quiet. There were always the animals, the insects, people conversing amongst each other, and my parents scolding me for messing with the candles or oil lamps.