Belgium, Health

Shrinking Bubbles

The Belgian health administration of the COVID-19 crisis has spoken. Our social bubble of 15 variable people per week has been reduced to 5 fixed people, effective this Wednesday. And as expected, there are outcries and confusions coming from every direction imaginable.

Our monkey brains cannot process this. We cannot deal with the temporary laws which limit our freedoms. We become very unhappy and sometimes furious when we think we are being imprisoned unjustly. We become depressed when we get stopped from doing things we like.

Well, it is either that or get sick and die. What would you have?

Belgium, Health, Numbers

24-Hour Health Scare

On Friday evening, my father-in-law was admitted into the Covid19 wing of Leuven University Hospital. He had a bad case of food poisoning a week ago, started coughing on Thursday, and was running a fever on Friday.

D and I were on our toes for 24 hours. Yesterday evening, he called D to let us know that his coronavirus test came back negative. Oh thank goodness!

I do not want to live through that again…

Belgium, Health, Human Nature

Riding The Waves

How does a nation of quarantine-tired people deal with an earlier-than-expected second wave?!

To be sure, there will be those (hopefully a majority) who will bite down and deal with this next coronavirus infection like good calm obedient citizens. But I fear that there will be quite a few that would probably just throw up their hands, and convert themselves into some idiotic rebellious ‘bug chasers’.

Regardless of how we will be dealing with this second wave, I know this one thing: One might not die from it but may suffer life-long physical and mental damages. Heck, I can probably get it, not suffer at all but kill someone else by passing it along unknowingly. That is not something I want to have on my conscience. I am suppose to live till age 107. That is a long time to be guilty of anything!

In the months to come, I shall try my best in reading my personal collection of books, practice my calligraphy brush strokes, paint some still life (I was very good at this in school), start and finish some long-delayed home maintenance, take care of my garden, and continue having fun in my culinary experiments.

Health, Human Nature, Simplify

Higher Ground

As long as there are people, there will be disputes. And unfortunately, the nastiest quarrels often happen amongst family members. Sibling rivalries being one of the most intense and severe.

When someone makes you feel rotten, it is actually futile to response in kind. An eye for an eye way of doing things are usually pointless. Life has taught me that it is best to take the higher ground. Staying calm, taking a step back, and just letting things simmer over are simpler ways to deal with most disagreements. It is an act of kindness to all those involved, especially towards oneself. Response in kindness, not react in vengeance. We all have just this one very short life. No repeats.

Food & Drinks, Health, Simplify


I have been harvesting chives from my vegetable patch since March. They kept growing back over and over again, and that is a good thing. Sprinkle some chopped up chives on your food, and the vibrant green will instantly make the dish look better and healthier. Want to fancy-up any meal you put on the table? Chives will be the answer to that. In addition, the short-lived chive flowers are wonderful as delicate edible garnish.

Events, Health

Stranger Danger

Yesterday was the Flemish Feast Day. For the occasion, the first Zomerstraat was organized here in Goudberg. It was sunny and dry, with the occasional refreshing breeze criss-crossing the blocked off streets. The children were playing, laughing and having the time of their lives, while the adults enjoyed the moment with snacks, drinks and being amongst each other…

For some of the adults, the combination of good weather, alcoholic drinks and happy children brought on the false feeling of safety. People started to gather closer together, ignoring the 1.5m rule, talking loudly, and laughing without constraint. At those moments, it seemed like the virus does not exist or had been beaten. For me, the words stranger danger took on different meaning.

In the past three months of quarantine, most of us have respected the health measures, for fear of the unknown dangers surrounding the virus. We have stayed home, shrunken our social bubbles, and minimized our exposures in order to beat this crisis together! Neighbours are not strangers, but the people in their social bubbles are. It was quite worrying when all these bubbles merged together for hours.

D and I walked about the 2-street neighbourhood, stopped by the neighbours who were out and about to say hello, chatted with some, played a few games, and then had some drinks. Overall, D and I had a good time, we just know when to call it quits. We know perfectly well that we can only control our very own social bubble. And with D’s father in mind, the two of us took a few steps away from the group, and slowly strolled back home.

Food & Drinks, Health

Local Produce

D and I could have kept the ceramic dish as a souvenir but did not. So this afternoon, we made a quick stop at the one Michelin star restaurant and returned the item before proceeding to our butcher in Wakken.

After buying about €70 worth of meat, we stopped by Lokaal at Deerlijk for some fruits and vegetables. And then, we both sat down to have a beer each. Might as well live the moment…

Health, Human Nature

Second Lock-downs

People who live in Peking, Leicester, Lerida, Melbourne, and Lisbon had to be placed under a second round of lock-downs. These seemingly milder quarantines are enforced in order to curb the recent increase of new coronavirus cases. I feel sorry for the people who have to endure yet another challenging period…

This health, economic and psychological crisis is far from over, and that is a fact. Survival of the fittest and most adaptable.

Food & Drinks, Health, Human Nature

Quarantine Break

This afternoon, D and I headed off to one of our favourite butchers to purchase some meat. This outing includes a lengthier than normal car ride, some scenic views and meat purchase that will last us for weeks. A damn good quarantine break.

After acquiring €60 worth of quality meat, we proceeded to Lokaal for a loaf of bread. I initially intended to stay in the car, but curiosity got the better of me. In the end, I purchased a little something from almost every stall. And since we were there already, might as well go all out and have a drink at the café. D and I had two beers each, and enjoyed being amongst people again. We have both missed this tremendously…

Food & Drinks, Health, Simplify

Taste Of Asia

This afternoon, D and I went to the Asian food store in Kortrijk to stock up on items that are not readily available at our regular grocery places.

The last time we went there was in March, before the lock-down. So, excuse me for getting a bit carried away. Especially, when it comes to all those special sauces with their unique tastes (aka umami).

I hope with all my heart that there will not be a serious second wave of the Covid19 virus. But in any case, I do not have to worry (at least, in the near future) about taking any health risk to get my hands on a bottle of soy sauce!