Health, Simplify, Travels

Biking Around The Lake

Today is warm and sunny. It is the perfect weather for a bike ride and a picnic lunch at the lake. So, D and I packed up some sandwiches and drinks, biked to the lake and enjoyed our lunch sitting on a bench under the trees. After lunch, we biked around the lake just for fun. It was lovely. I am still amaze and grateful that I get to experience all these wonderful things for free.

Health, Simplify, Travels

Spring Day Picnic

Today is one of those sunny breezy spring days. So after some light gardening, I suggested to D that we bike to the Gavers for lunch. I prepared and packed up some sandwiches, took some cold drinks out of the fridge, and put these into D’s bag. Although I was prepared to carry these, we ended up dividing the tasks. We biked leisurely to the lake, parked our bikes near a cafe, and then walked to our favourite bench to enjoy our simple lunch. After lunch, D took some photos of the lake and its surrounding. While biking home, we made a quick stop in the forest and took some photos of wild hyacinths.

D and I are truly fortunate to live so close to a lake. We need not travel far to get in touch with nature, to see beautiful things, and to have a picnic lunch outside our home.

Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Elephant Paths

Not too long ago, I read a Dutch article explaining how modern society can benefit from the reduction of car usage. We are all encouraged to create ‘elephant paths’ – unpaved trails created by foot steps or bike tires.

This morning, I made my way to the grocery store via a paved and familiar elephant path. This is a path I have known since moving here. Destinations may vary from the bus stop, the train station, the pharmacy, banks, the post office, the city hall, the grocery store, or my beloved library, but the path remains the same.

At the individual level, I do what I can to leave behind a smaller carbon footprint. I try to eat less meat, walk more, not use harsh chemicals, reduce, recycle, reuse, repair, have fruit trees, a flower bed and a vegetable patch. In some small ways, D is also affected and have gradually become greener. One person may not be able to do much in this big wide world. I believe that there are like-minded individuals doing whatever they can at their own individual levels. Add us all up and maybe we are making some kind of impact.

Food & Drinks, Simplify


Yesterday, D and I went to Puur Vlees at Wakken with the intention of checking out the place and to buy some meat. And what you know… it was open-stal-dag (open stable day). In Flanders, open-door-days often mean freebies. We had some free beers, ate several bite-sized appetizers, visited the stable of the Limousin cattle, and bought a kilogram of beef!

In the next few weeks, I will be doing some research and then have fun cooking different types of beef dishes.


Carrots & Radishes

I moved the potted rosemary outdoors this morning. Preparing it for transplantation to a sunny spot in the vegetable patch. In the afternoon, I sowed carrot and radish seeds. Carrots will need about three weeks before they germinate and sprout. Radishes a bit faster. I will be preparing to plant some sweet peas and purple string beans in the next few days. Planting season is officially open!

Belgium, Simplify

Before Easter

Easter holidays are coming up soon. So this afternoon, D and I ran some errands in order to stock up our pantry and fridge necessities. One does not want to be stuck behind long lines of noisy kids and stressed out (grand)parents at the grocery stores during the 2-week school holidays. Yep!

Health, Simplify

Need Less

Not long ago, I came across an article discussing the subject of fasting. On the specific topic of Alcohol Free February, the person interviewed said that he goes alcohol free right after the year-end holidays. His fast will go on for several months, only to be lightly lifted on a specified summer day where he enjoys a good glass of rosé. Now, that is just so simple and smart.

The general picture is: when you need less, you spend less, and in the long run cause less damage to yourself and the environment.

Health, Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Sunny Wednesday

Today the weather took a turn. On this beautiful sunny Wednesday, I buried my kitchen scraps. It pleases me tremendously whenever I do this. I am also surprised every time when I do not come across previous digs. Mother nature works fast.

After composting the kitchen scraps, I roamed about the back yard tidying up fallen leaves. I also went about trimming off dead leaves and twigs. How wonderful it is to be able to be outside doing some garden work, enjoying the sunshine and not too chilly breeze.

Food & Drinks, Simplify

Chicken Fillet

D had to go get bread this morning. So, I asked him to drop by the grocery store to take advantage of a one-plus-one-free promotion. I currently have 1.5 kilogram worth of chicken fillet which I have cleaned, separated into individual containers, and stored in the freezer. Chicken breast meat is a freezer staple in this household.

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Slow Thought

Read an essay entitled Slow Thought: a manifesto. The following excerpt did a good job in summing up the essence of this movement:

The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on, you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.