Belgium, Events

Monuments 2018

For this year’s Open Monumentendag, D and I decided to go a little bit farther than Kortrijk. In doing so, we discovered that Heuvelland is a popular destination for the weekend tourists. While staring at the crowds, we even crossed the French border unknowingly – yep, it was that close to France.

Our first monument of the day was a vineyard. We took photos, walked a bit, climbed a bit of a hill and ended up doing half a cable ride for free?! Don’t ask how…

Our next monument was German trenches from the first world war. The guide was very thorough in his explanation and interjected his facts with some interesting stories. Again, we walked about the site, took photos and then moved on.

Monument number three and number four on our list were no longer accessible due to administrative and time limitations. So, D and I went back to Harelbeke to check out a local product market event. We drank a beer each, said hi to the mayor and enjoyed the sunset before heading back home. 

Despite the two sites we were not able to visit, it has been yet another lovely Sunday.

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Jibber Jabber

Eight Euro Short

This Friday afternoon, D and I went to Kortrijk to check out a 3-day side-walk sales. As usual, I am the least interested half when it comes to buying non-food items. My head started to spin after half an hour of clothing stores.

Fortunately, we proceeded to the next thing on our afternoon agenda without much delay. D and I dropped by our go-to Asian market so that I may purchase a few items I need. On our way home, we stopped by the local grocery store to take advantage of certain coupons and promotions. My shopping cart balance was €8 short of getting a discount. Damn, sometimes you just cannot have it all.

After I have put away the grocery, D and I biked to the Lokaal. We bought a loaf of bread for tomorrow and some meat for next week. Even though we were tempted to order snacks, D and I managed to convince each other to just have one drink each. We then biked back home to prepare a late dinner. Money saved.

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Quotes

New Prospects

It is paradoxical, yet true, to say, that the more we know, the more ignorant we become in the absolute sense, for it is only through enlightenment that we become conscious of our limitations. Precisely one of the most gratifying results of intellectual evolution is the continuous opening up of new and greater prospects.

~Nikola Tesla

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Belgium, Events, Travels

Hanging Between The Trees

It was Open Gaversdag yesterday afternoon. Because I was unable to pre-register for any of the activities this year, we just roamed about happily among the crowds after parking our bikes. First, D and I went to the beehives, then the petting zoo, and ended up at the café drinking a beer each. We met a couple we knew, chatted a bit, drank some more and then continued with our walk.

We saw our favourite ice cream lady, waved and walked on to the swimming zone, then proceeded to the forest area. Before I realised it, D and I both had on climbing gears and were swinging about the trees. Boy did we had fun!

D parents, whom we met up later at the café terrace, were already informed of our monkeying antics. News travelled faster than D’s photos if you know people. Ha!

Not feeling like cooking dinner, we biked to a nearby brewery brasserie. I ordered the steak tartar which I have been craving for a while now. D had the stew. The simple dishes, served with fries, were washed down with beers that were brewed at location. After the enjoyable dinner, we biked home leisurely.

What a wondrous Sunday afternoon …

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Belgium, Movies, Books & TV Shows

Movie In The Woods

Last evening after dinner, D and I biked to his parents house, parked our bikes, then walked to a small forest nearby. We joined a handful of people and watched a 90-minute Belgian animated film called ZOOks.

The ecologically-themed animation was enjoyable. The forest an enchanting location. It was a cosy gathering despite the fast dropping night temperature. 

After the film, a couple of drinks each, and saying goodnight to the parents, D and I biked back home. On our way back, D’s back light fell off. The old thing just dropped off and went ‘kaput’. Time to buy a new one.

Movie in the woods. Done it and may cross that off…

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Food & Drinks

Octopus Challenge

A week ago, D came back with a culinary challenge. Octopus – all eight tentacles, beak still attached, a beautiful intriguing creature that is now lifeless yet scary at the same time.

This evening, D and I shall prepare it two ways. Grilled for a starter and then pan seared with tandoori spices served with pasta for the main dish. This will be a fun experiment for me. Definitely a culinary and taste exploration for both D and I. 

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Food & Drinks, Simplify

Grape Juice – Batch II

I spent half a morning de-stemming, washing, and then boiling many kilograms of grapes. I let the liquid cool, filtered the grape juice into glass containers and placed these into the fridge when they have cooled down to room temperature. 

This is the second batch of grape juice I made this year. According to D, there will be at least four more times of this!

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Belgium, Jibber Jabber

Coffee Time

This Sunday afternoon, we had a family of five over for coffee time. D has known H since the early 90s, and I have known and met H and his family on several occasions for years now. There is no better time than the present to re-connect and to get to know each other a bit better.

Quirky H and his lovely wife have very well-mannered children. We had two medium sized cakes, many cups of coffee, countless glasses of fruit juice and some shiitake chips. After a while, someone jokingly made a remark that the gathering felt a bit like a visit to some West Flemish grandparents. We chatted, laughed and ate some more when I fried up some of my home-made dumplings and spring rolls.

At the end of the day, D was laughingly accusing me of gorging our visitors with food. How I adore people, particularly children, who have healthy appetites and appreciation for unfamiliar food.

I think I can easily be that nutty grandmother who feeds the grandchildren like pigs and spoils them rotten…

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Simplify

Recycling Textile

My very basic self-taught sewing skill allows me to use the sewing machine as a recycling tool. So far, I have been able to turn old pyjamas and other worn out clothing pieces into disposable vacuum bags, baby pillow cases and so forth.

My next project will be to convert some well-liked tee shirts, which can no longer be worn nor donated, into little cushions or pillows. I shall fill these up with shredded old socks.

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Jibber Jabber, Simplify

New Pyjamas

Since there will be no more unbearable warm nights, D and I dismantled, cleaned, and folded up the tent. It is now stored away in our attic ready for the next heat waves.

After that, I went on to clean the windows which I have purposely neglected for two whole months! While I was busy with my chores, D proceeded to replace the hand grips on my bike. The old grips have been melting away during the extremely warm summer days and staining my hands black every time I go for a bike ride.

In the afternoon, D and I rode our bikes to a nearby clothing store to check out the twice yearly inventory sales. When we biked back home, D was carrying our stuff in a huge shopping bag. In it were his three sets of pyjamas!

What a productive Thursday this has turned out to be.

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