Jibber Jabber

A Saturday In October

I woke up at 7.30am this Saturday morning. There goes the idea of sleeping in on a weekend. This however gave me an early start which allowed me to get things done sooner. By lunch time, all my Saturday’s chores were completed.

Later in the afternoon, D and I rode our bikes to the cultural centre to check out a handelsbeurs. Not much to see but we were offered free drinks. At least we were out of the house a bit despite the colder temperature. 

After we got home, D went on to mow the lawn and I started preparing a dinner of fries and stew. 

Just a simple Saturday in the month of October.

Belgium, Events, Travels

Glitter & Glamour

A few weeks ago, D won two tickets to a show called The Art Of The Teese. Yesterday, we drove to Antwerp after lunch so that we may spent some time enjoying the sights and sound of the largest city in Flanders before the evening show.

After a few hours of wandering about, D and I stopped by a café for drinks and a bit of a rest. I happily discovered a wonderful apple ginger concoction which I am sure I can recreate at home. Yeah to that!

Later, we moved on to a restaurant next to the café to have a bit of a snack and to drink beers we never had before. What a unique venue it turned out to be. The dark interior is decorated with religious statues of the Catholic church. The menus are leather-bound. The wooden furniture dark, stained and heavy. One just cannot stop looking around discovering little visual surprises at every nook and cranny. D and I laughed when we noticed an out-of-place statue of a Roman centurion. We should have asked why that one was placed there.

After finishing our drinks at Elfde Gebod, we walked leisurely to the performance hall. I noticed that many amongst the audience were dressed up, obviously also fans of Dita Von Teese. The two-hour show was a beautiful celebration of glamour, glitter, sensuality, and sexiness. D and I had fun and were truly entertained. For a moment there, it also made me miss glittery Las Vegas…

Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Last Pot Of Honey

Knowing that the midday’s temperature will be above 20°C, D and I cycled to De Gavers to have our lunch by the lake.

After finishing our packed lunch of home-made sandwiches, we cycled around some more to enjoy a bit of nature and the glorious weather.

Because I still half-believe that local honey is a remedy against pollen allergies, I mentioned to D that I would like to purchase a pot of this golden goodness at the visitors’ centre. And what do you know… the young man who went in search for the honey came back from the storage room holding the last pot. Oh boy, what wonderful luck was that? It was like that I have won the lottery!

Belgium, Events

Local Election

Yesterday morning, D and I cycled to the library and voted. As a permanent resident, I may only vote for the city government whereas D had to cast vote for the provincial government as well. At 10am in the morning, there were plenty of people fulfilling their voting responsibility. Here in Belgium, voting is compulsory! The time-tested system of moving people along made the entire process smooth and efficient. There were no drama and we were cycling to the baker and then home in no time at all.

In the afternoon, D and I went to visit several participants of Present@Zwevegem. We dropped by 9 locations and encountered more than 15 businesses. And as usual here in Flanders, there were no shortage of free food and drinks. In just a few hours time, D and I had fries, frikandel, sparkling wine, beers, appetizers, chocolate and even ice cream…

How can one not love this country?!

Jibber Jabber

Remembering Popo

It has been three years since grandma passed away. For the rest of my days, I shall let the positive happy aspects she brought into my life warm my heart. I will also try my best to learn from her mistakes and avoid the negative aspects she had encountered.

Today is also the warmest October 13th ever experienced in Belgium. I am wearing my blue summer dress for one last time…

Food & Drinks

Quince Jelly

D and I embarked on a mini culinary adventure together and made quince jelly. No fingers cut, no eyes taken out, no hot jelly splatters and no yelling. After all the labour intensive steps, and the massive cleaning up, we now have 14 jars of beautiful orange-coloured jelly cooling off on the counter. The funny thing is, neither D nor I are jelly fans.

Belgium, Events, Travels

Pipes & Ostriches

The first Sunday of October is Open Bedrijvendag. D and I started early this year by visiting three companies which are close to home. A glass construction company, a pipe cleaning company (their system is ingenious), and a big construction company. Starting in the morning somehow meant that one gets to drink beer before noon.

After a short break at home, we proceeded to a new library which is situated in the middle of a park. Then, we went to a small brewery. The visit did not take long, so we decided to end the day by visiting an ostrich farm. 

To me, the highlights of this year’s Open bedrijvendag were the pipe-cleaning company, the crane-powered ride which gave us a bird’s-eye-view of several cities, and the ostriches.

Food & Drinks

Potato Croquettes

I own a croquette press, which I have gotten from my mother-in-law many years ago. So, about three years ago, I tried and made potato croquettes successfully. Then the press was promptly stowed away in one of my many kitchen shelves and duly forgotten.

Yesterday, I announced to D that we shall have croquettes instead of our weekly fries on Saturday.

Dang, making croquettes sure was labour intensive. There were so many steps involved, so many things that needed to be done. Peeling, boiling, mashing, pushing the mashed potato through the press, cutting it up, letting it cool overnight, then dredging it in flour, egg white and breadcrumbs. Holy crap, and the cleaning up afterwards!

As of now, the croquettes are still to be fried up and eaten. Let’s hope that the whole process will be worth my while.

Jibber Jabber

Troubled Rest

My mind was filled with family matters last night. So, when I woke up at around 2.30am this morning, I found myself having problems getting back to sleep. Instead of rolling about fruitlessly and waking up D in the process, I decided to bring my tablet downstairs and read Blindsight, a hard science fiction novel which I have been struggling to finish.

Despite the need for sleep, I somehow managed to read 10 pages and was a bit wiser in following the story. Ah well, at least I got something out of my sleeplessness.

Some strong coffee will probably be needed today. I have many things on my to-do list. One of it is to make some chicken spring rolls to fill a recent order. I shall have to make up for lost sleep one way or another…