Jibber Jabber

Decreasing Birthrates

Lately, I have been coming across articles and tv segments announcing the alarming decrease in birthrates. Some of these articles made the phenomenon (which is only happening in a handful of advanced nations) seems like the end of days are upon us. Hell no… look around, there are simply too many of us. Look at all the miseries of the world, I repeat, there are too many of us!

The thing is, we, the societies with the decreasing birthrates will just have to adjust our systems to embrace this new situation. Invest and improve in the efficiencies of our healthcare, education, workforce, technology, sciences in general, environment and in decent human relationships.

Less is more. Less miserable mass, more meaningful lives.

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.

Jibber Jabber

Autumn Garden Clean Up

Today is dry, sunny, windless and not as cold compared to yesterday. Thus, a good time to clear off some fallen leaves, remove weeds from the back lawn and the two tomato plants in the vegetable patch. There are more tidying up to do, but those are for another day. It is too freaking cold to be spending too long outside. Even for a die-hard year-round gardener like me…

Health, Human Nature, Simplify


Ikigai is a Japanese term for “a reason for being.” The word ‘Ikigai’ usually refers to the source of value in one’s life or the things that make one’s life worthwhile. The word roughly translates to the “thing that you live for” but it also has the nuance of “the reason for which you wake up in the morning” similar to a daily purpose. Each individual’s ikigai is personal to them and specific to their lives, values and beliefs. It reflects the inner self of an individual and expresses that faithfully, while simultaneously creating a mental state in which the individual feels at ease. Activities that allow one to feel ikigai are never forced on an individual; they are often spontaneous, and always undertaken willingly, giving the individual satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life.


Food & Drinks, Simplify

Dump-It-All-In Quiche

What do you do when you have left over cheese, too many Brussels sprouts, and two bags of endives? Well, you unroll a pre-made pastry shell (because it is convenient), cut up the vegetables, add two eggs, mix in some cream, and bake this wonderful dish for 45 minutes. My home-made almost vegetarian quiche is one of the best ways to avoid food waste.


Adopted Sculptures

This morning, D and I went to De Palingbeek to adopt a few commemorative sculptures made by volunteers and dedicated to the victims of the Great War. We picked them up from the cold wet field which was no man’s land a hundred years ago, brought them home and laid them carefully on our living room’s floor. They shall be cherished and cared for as long as D and I are alive!

Creative Business, Events

Haunting Reminder

Yesterday, D and I went to the fifth edition of E-Commerce Xpo in Kortrijk. Even though most of the talks will be unsurprising and maybe downright boring, I do enjoy the free sandwiches and drinks they have at the event. I can be such a glutton.

I was my happy carefree self till I heard my ex-employer mentioned by the keynote speaker in one of her afternoon sessions. For goodness sake, it has been eleven years since I left Zappos. I am still hearing its name and greatness, and of all places here in Belgium. Is this going to haunt me till the end of days? After that, happy self turned into confused self. Nevertheless, I was still able to gobble down several sandwiches and a few drinks before leaving the venue.

Today, I cannot bring myself to attend. The mention of Zappos reminded me of how I was shaped during my early 30s. Reminded of the rough plans and vague destinations I had before Belgium. It is a sign and a knock on the head. I need to sort things out.

Belgium, Events


Today we commemorate the end of the First World War a hundred years ago. D is experiencing the commemoration by having a drink at the city hall with his fellow city dwellers. Meanwhile, I chose to remain home to think of the lost of lives during this horrible phase of our world history, in peaceful stillness.

Food & Drinks

Good Quality Meat

I came to a realization that I have not bought pork tenderloin from any grocery stores since being a customer of Puur Vlees. I told this to D with a bit of a surprised tone because I never thought I will be so easily won over. This afternoon, we walked away from the butcher with almost 5 kilograms of meat. The freezer is yet again my best tool in mindful frugal consumption and storage.