7 Jan 2017


During the 80th I worked for an Iranian business man, who had fled Iran in 1971 when the Shah was overthrown by the Iranian Revolution. As he had married a Belgian, he had established his family in Brussels in a big house, unfortunately for her without servants.

He created an export company to buy everything possible in Europe and ship it to Iran. Now Europe and America didn't export anything anymore to Iran, but as usual there is always a hole somewhere and this time it was Sweden which didn't participate in the blockade. So what did my boss do, he shipped all the goods from bicycles to buttons, from clothes to machinery to Sweden to his brother who had an export company too and from there the goods were shipped without any problem to Iran.

The wife was quite special and very posh. She had poor education but was or had been a beauty. She was always dressed in very expensive clothes and amongst her various fur coats she also had a baby seal fur coat. It was just the time when the demonstrations against the massacre of the baby seals started.

One day she came into my office which was an apartment with kitchen, bathroom, living room and two bedrooms. I had one room the accountant the other and our boss the living room as office.

When I saw her my eyes almost popped out of my head ! Her so well combed hair was hanging around her head with something red and yellow sticking in it, the furcoat was red and yellow spotted and her face looked as if it was bleeding. She screamed and yelled and was furious and I tried to calm her down which wasn't easy but I managed with a cognac and a hot bath !! (my work was very various) and while she was sitting as God had created her in the bath,  she told me she had been to a market and when she walked around like a queen in person, people started to insult her and worse, threw eggs and rotten tomatoes on her and the precious coat ! She had to run away and save herself in her car, otherwise the people would have been even more violent. Now she complained to me, that these people were completely crazy that they had nearly killed her because she had that beautiful coat, and when I tried to explain her why they had behaved like this, she didn't understand what fuzz was made because of an animal !!

I was singing of joy inside but made a face full of compassion, it was useless to explain to this woman anything, with her IQ level she didn't understand anyway. She mumbled that now she had to throw this beauty away, and I told her it would be better for her not to wear her fur coats anymore on the street. As an answer she called home and asked her husband to bring her another coat and complained bitterly about what had happened to her, and that now she would go to the hairdresser to have her hair fixed. She had another cognac put on the coat her husband had brought meanwhile and disappeared. My boss smiled to me, he was used to worse and I returned in my office.

Link here

6 Jan 2017


1. As it was snowing and the streets not yet cleaned, I took the opportunity to get rid of all the Christmas stuff. Mr. G. carried the two empty boxes upstairs and we put the garlands, angels, balls and father Christmas in the boxes and closed it for the next year. I pushed a sigh of relief ! The older I get the less I like the year's end celebrities. When I was a child I loved Christmas, later as a young mother too, but now, nothing is the same anymore as I was used to my whole life.

The snow only lasted a day and then melt away, leaving us with salty streets !

2. From my son I had got this nice spring plant and it starts to bloom ! How nice is that ? Having spring in the living room !

My head looked like a mop it was really time to go to the hairdresser. This time I had another  one and was  very satisfied with the result. Sometimes changes are good !

3.As my travel computer had broken into two because of my feather weight when I fell in Egypt at the airport, I got a new one now for Christmas !

I had to order it online because there was none left in the shop, the price was so good that they were sold like warm rolls ! To my surprise it was rather difficult to find  a 11 inch computer, because now the fashion is two in one, or hybrid computers, which can be used as tablet or as a computer. But as I have already a tablet I wanted a computer. It's with window 10, so I am happy with it. Now I need to travel to use it !


I thought I had got rid of all Christmas stuff when I discovered the cushion cover, which I changed and under the TV I also saw 6 angels still sitting there with their instruments. I took them away and replaced them by 6 cats ! A good swap !


For the moment people are crazy because the "Sales" have started. In Belgium there are only two "Sales" periods one for winter and one for summer. And the winter sales had just started. So despite the awful weather the shops were full. Nicole and I went to a shopping center, we had forgotten that it was the first day of "Sales" and we could hardly walk ! Anyway we didn't want to buy anything just have a look and a little walk in the warm and dry center.  We didn't stay long and returned quickly home !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

more participants here at FIVE ON FRIDAY

4 Jan 2017


Two little Draculas, grandson Toby and friend

more participants here


1. Share one favorite moment/memory from your Christmas holiday.

We played cards and our 6 year old grandson won ! We didn't cheat, he really won, and Mr. G. made a sour face because he is a real player and can't stand to loose ! Even against his grandson !

2. What was the best thing you ate over the holidays? Was it homemade or store bought? If it was homemade did you make it?
We had Sushis and they were not home made of course ! I had ordered them.

3. What was one of the most beautiful things you saw over the holidays?

Beautiful was a bracelet in silver with red zirconiums here presented by Rosie

4. What does fresh start mean to you?
Getting out of my bed when it's cold and dark, that's always fresh !

5. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being very positive and 1 being not so great) how would you rate 2016 in terms of personal achievement and well being? Explain.
I had some up and downs so I would say 7

6. Every January 1st since 1976 Lake Superior University has published a list of words they'd like to see banished from the Queen's English. Words may be banished due to misuse, overuse, or just general uselessness. Go here to read more about how the words were chosen or, if you're like me, to find out what in the world the word or phrase even means or the context in which it's used. There were quite a few on this year's list I'd never heard before.
Here's the 2017 list of banished words-
You, Sir-focus-Bete Noire-Town Hall Meeting-Post Truth-guesstimate-831-historic-manicured-echo chamber-on fleek-bigly-ghost-Dadbod-listicle-get your dander up-selfie drone-frankenfruit-disruption
Which word on the list would you most like to see banished in 2017? What word or phrase would you add to the list?
I would banish them all, except "you" they all sound Greek to me and I have never used one of them, except BĂȘte noir, but that's a French word and means "the black sheep" in a group.

7. Large or small, light or deep, share with us one goal you have for the new year.
I have no goal, I follow the Beatles' motto "Let it be"  (but without mother Mary)

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I am happy that the year's end festivities are over and I can go back to my normal life ! I am ready to attack 2017 !

3 Jan 2017


I had made a whole program for what I would do today, but when I opened the shutters this morning my world was white ! So I thought to stay home this morning and maybe go out this afternoon when the snow is probably gone. It doesn't snow very often in Belgium and seldom a lot but even with a few snowflakes the whole traffic breaks down. 

The snow was still untouched, besides a few traces on the street. The truck with the salt hadn't come yet, for our little side street it was too early it was "only" 9.30 am.

The view out of my window while I answer emails

Mr. G.'s car has a white coat

and I can't see my beautiful fake flowers !

There hadn't been not a lot of cars in our street

The view to the left

Our garden, the snow can't be very high, because I can still see the grass a bit

Unfortunately it is very humid and misty

And my cat figurines have a white coat too !

more participants here

2 Jan 2017


This has been a quite busy weekend. Before my son picked up his wife at the station, because she had to work between Christmas and New Year, while he had holidays, they came already in the morning. Of course Toby wanted to know what Father Christmas had left for him in Waterloo a little late !

He was very happy with his Pokemon school bag and also with a Pokemon alarm clock. That's the fashion for all kids now, wherever they live.

Then my DIL came too and we unpacked our Christmas gifts. Toby wanted to take a picture of us which he did.

Besides the fact that Mr. G. has only half a head it came out very well. He is wearing his Christmas gift a nice bathrobe. Toby is now 6.

Then he wanted to add his parents and took a picture of us four.

All this made hungry and Toby waited already for the Gnocchis.When I brought the bowl on the table my DIL laughed and said, we now would have to eat Gnocchis the whole week ! I had cooked 2.700 kg for 4 and a half people. Believe it or not, they ate the whole bowl and no question of eating during the whole week. We couldn't believe it ourselves but the fact was there, the bowl was empty. The Gnocchis were with Mozarella and fresh Basil and tomatoes.

After supper we played cards. I don't remember the name of the game but we had a lot of fun ! Toby won nearly all the time, although we didn't let him win. Mr. G who is a real player, made a face because he, who always wins, lost !

Before supper we had made a little walk through Waterloo and stopped for coffee and cake. It was a very pleasant day.

The next day it all started over again, preparations for the New Year Eve. Fortunately there was nothing special to prepare, I just made a rice salad with lots of vegetables, boiled eggs and ham, together with olive oil and balsamico vinegar.  Nicole brought a whole plate of little starters and Chantal had made a Tiramisu as dessert. I put everything on the table and everybody helped himself.

To pass the time until midnight we played a funny game, everybody had brought little gifts which we had put in a basket and then one person took one gift, showed it around and we had to find out what was in there !

Sometimes it was really difficult, and it took time, but we had fun and almost missed midnight !

Poor Charlie had less fun, he is so afraid of fireworks and gets hysterical. He starts to scratch on the floor as if he wants to disappear under the ground, shakes like a leaf in the wind and tries to hide.
We comforted him as much as we could, and were happy when the fireworks stopped and the poor things calmed down !

The next day Toby and parents stopped for a short while before they returned to Amsterdam.
Here he is building a tower with his mum  !