Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Howling Winds

It has been windy for days. With sudden downpours and wind gusts at more than 20 km/h, there is no way one can do any yard work.

Today, I just took it easy and completed my indoor chores at a comfortable pace. When there was a short break in this deary Belgian weather, I would step out to the shed and back, quickly doing what needs to be done.

This is also a good moment to go through my food storage, using up some items from the fridge, freezer, and pantry. Into my dump soup goes some homegrown endives, pumpkin puree, and a few late summer tomatoes. Healthy, yummy and with minimum food waste.

Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Summing Up

The snow carpet has completely melted away this morning. Temperature is currently at 8°C. Not much of a winter anymore, just rainy and gloomy. This allows me to quickly empty out the kitchen scraps bin. Dumping and burying the contents of a full bin into my back-of-the-shed compost area felt good.

One of Belgium’s most influential philosophers has passed away last week, but the sad news was only made public this week. A man with a stubborn logic but gentle manner, he had advocated laws concerning abortion and euthanasia in a very Catholic Belgium. He was a strong believer that overpopulation is the source of human miseries. We are on the same side here, Mr. Vermeersch. Rest in eternal peace…

I have borrowed my in-law’s sewing machine. With all the sewing projects planned, I shall be an industrious squirrel next week. Next week, D and I would need to go on our shopping and grocery errands for we are low on sparkling water, beers, drinks, and so forth. And because it is still January, I shall probably have to tolerate a visit to the shopping mall to look for some fancy pants. Ha!

Soon, I shall be implementing the Swedish Death Cleaning into my life. Cleaning out my crap so that those surviving me will not have to dump my stuff away heartlessly. The Marie Kondo ways are too mild for me. Because of all the moving around since my twenties, I find my organizing habits very similar to a lot of the KonMari applications. Yep, Death Cleaning is the next level for me.


Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Snowfall 2019

Today, we woke up to the first snowfall of the year. Yeah!

A pretty snow carpet laid in our backyard before the morning was over. In the mean time, I managed to conjure up an excuse to go to the shed. I just wanted to walk in a snowfall, leave some footprints in the fresh snow and revoke my strange liking for white winters.

Belgium, Food & Drinks

Stay Home Sunday

Yesterday evening, D and I went to have dinner at our friends’ home in Kortrijk. Main dish was Moambe Chicken, the national dish of Congo, served on a bed of rice with a side of cassava (manioc). Dessert was a home-made blueberry cheesecake. Food was interesting and satisfying. Our friends were hospitable and chatty. All sorts of drinks were flowing generously while we talked and laughed. D and I only stopped drinking, shortly before we put on our jackets to leave!

After such an evening, we are making today a stay-home Sunday.

Belgium, Creative Business, Health

Third Option

Yesterday, I phoned the local hospital to make an appointment for a medical check-up. The call went first to a language option menu where I may choose Dutch, French or English! Ten years here and I suddenly have an option of using English to book my appointment.

Well the funny thing is that I chose Dutch in the end. It just felt more normal speaking Dutch to a Flemish receptionist. And I have practised the sentences so many times in my head before the call. Besides, I have had made similar calls in the past years without encountering any issues.

The English option offered by the hospital did surprise me. This may mean that the hospital is becoming more global – possessing experts who cater to a diversity of patients. A good thing then.

Belgium, Creative Business, Simplify

January Sales – Part One

Instead of piling everything on this coming Shopping Sunday, I have decided to do part of the Kortrijk city winter walk and January sales this afternoon. D and I were able to take our time and enjoy these activities at a slower and less stressful pace.

After Kortrijk, we went to Lokaal to do some grocery for the weekend. We met a few people whom we know and thus spent some time with them drinking, chatting and laughing.

In the evening when we got home, I quickly cook up a chicken curry and rice dinner.

Belgium, Simplify

Shop Some More

Tomorrow will be the beginning of the weekend as well as the start of Christmas vacation this part of the world. Because most people are still in school or at work this afternoon, D and I were able to continue our pre-holiday errands without much delay. Has avoidance of the holiday crowd become an important modern day survival skill? I wonder…

Belgium, Food & Drinks, Jibber Jabber

Pancake Robot

It is open-door-day at a DIY store this afternoon. So, D and I went to take advantage of some free drinks and pancakes while doing some light shopping. It is really impressive how the pancakes were made. The pancake stand has a machine which squirted out the batter on a huge hot plate in three orderly rows. The stand can handle hundreds of orders and need only be manned by two individuals. A person to flip and move the pancakes into a pile, and another to sell and serve these to the customers. The robot makes delicious pancakes and can be entertaining as well.

Belgium, Events

Putteke Winter 2018

Yesterday evening after dinner, D and I biked slowly to Putteke Winter 2018. We spent the first hour watching a Snow Globe Circus performance, which I find quite entertaining. Then we took the 3.5km stroll into the forest and by the lake. Along the trial were several light installations, mini performances, and art displays. One of these art, I find rather disturbing. I don’t know, I find a display featuring hundreds of soft toys hung or tied to a tree super creepy…

D and I did not stay to drink or eat this time. Instead we cycled home to enjoy warm cups of chocolate milk in the comfort of our living room.

Belgium, Events

Science, Shopping, Beers & Sushi

I found out about Dag van de Wetenschappen (Day of the Sciences) from tv and from reading the free weekly regional newspapers. So this Sunday afternoon, D and I went to visit a college called VIVES in Kortrijk. Frankly, I am curious about the higher education infrastructures here. The visit to the campus brought back some memories of my university days in Michigan. Ah those cold dark days where one scurried from one building to the next to attend the day’s lectures.

After an hour at the college, we went to Kortrijk to check out the koopzondag. Can you believe that the parking at the mall was full at 4pm?! D and I only did some window shopping. Neither of us need anything. And hey, we got a free glass of sparkling wine each, courtesy of the mall.

Later, we walked to the city centre and saw part of a car rally event. We then proceeded to one of our favourite beer places and had a couple of beers each. Since we were sitting comfortable and I really do not feel like cooking a rushed dinner, we decided that we shall order sushi to take away and to eat at leisure back home.

This Sunday is about sciences, shopping, beers and sushi.