13 Dec 2017


Christmas decoration in our hotel in Egypt. And a tourist who decorated his umbrella !

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1. 'Hurry less, worry less'...what's your strategy for making that happen this holiday season? How's it going so far?

I don't have any strategy yet, I push Christmas in the last corner of my mind,  because after 2 weeks of sunshine at the Red Sea and hot weather it will be difficult to start all preparations, I hope I cope !

Holiday Christmas tree

2. Do you have a list of to-dos that need accomplishing in order to prepare your home and/or property for the winter season? What are some of the jobs on your list? Are you a do-it-yourselfer or do you hire someone to accomplish these tasks?

I don't have a to do list, I decorate my home just as it pleases me and that can change from year to year. Some jobs ? I try not to make a hysterical celebration of Christmas everything in perfection and then fall exhausted in my bed  !  Too much is too much ! and no I am not a do it yourselfer, I hire someone whenever I can.

3. According to dietitians surveyed, the most popular health foods for 2018 will be -turmeric, sprouted foods (bean sprouts, breads with sprouted grains, etc), veggies in place of grains, dairy free milk, and pulses (lentils, chickpeas, etc). What's the first thought that ran through your head when you read this list? Of the foods listed which one might you add to your regular diet? Also, can milk really be dairy free? Is it still milk?

The first thought ? Crazy ! I eat what I want and not what some scientifics invent because it brings money.  As long as I can eat and drink what I want and  it doesn't harm me, I only listen to my body ! 

4. The Pantone Color of the Year for 2018 is Ultra Violet. According to the Pantone site 'Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking pointing us to the future.' What say you? Do you like the color purple? Did you see the movie or read the book-ha!? Is purple a color you wear often? Describe for us one purple item in your home without using the word purple. If you were in charge of such things what color would you select for 2018?

I had no idea what Pantone is and looked up in Wikipedia. I like purple although it is a color used for funerals but maybe Pantone doesn't know. In my house the main color is red or orange, maybe I have a purple cat with little white flowers,in my 450 cat collection but from here I don't remember. Of course I would choose red as color.

5. Favorite book read this year?

The craziest quotes from Trump (Les citations les plus folles de Trump, V.Deryke)  Brussels ? It's like living in a hell hole !  If you need a good laugh, this is THE book to read !!

Random thought . I think of my flight home, as bad weather is foreseen a lot of wind, rain and cold, perhaps some snow and there could be fog. If you don't hear from me anymore I landed somewhere or not at all ! 

8 Dec 2017


Since exactly a week we arrived from Brussels cold and rainy weather in Hurghada/Egypt at the red sea. First thing we did was taking off all layers ! We had dressed like onions and finally arrived in our "winter home" in Jeans and T-shirt. Lots of things had changed to the better, now we had internet in the whole hotel and even in the rooms and on the beach and not only at the reception.

The animation team had changed and was even worse as last year, so we were not interested at all in their animations we animated us ourselves.

The animation team hopping around.

at the entrance of the restaurant we were greeted by "fake" Egyptians. Nicole and I had breakfast while Chantal and Diana went immediately to the beach. I talked with Nicole and it seemed to me that I had to speak very loud and louder, because she didn't understand me. Finally I almost screamed and asked what happened to her ears, when she suddenly stated that she had still her earplugs in her ears. Of course we all laughed and I didn't have to scream anymore.

My room cleaner who is a man (no women clean in Egyptian hotels, they have better jobs) made every day (or nearly) such a nice decoration on my bed with the bath towels.

The view from my room was almost the same as last year and the town looked the same way. Unfortunately this year we had mosquitos which I never had. Our poor friend Diana was the favorite target of the mosquitos. Despite a special mosquito repel plug and another sound instrument, spray and creme the dear little animals always came back to her!

I first thought she was exaggerating, but then I shared my room with one and woke up all 5 min. It bit me and fortunately I remembered my Grandma's recipe, soap on the swollen parts. That helped then I left the bathroom light on and closed the door and apparently it was locked in there. I asked my room boy to please play a serial killer and get rid of them. which he did.

There were a lot of renovations going on. Inside and out, but they were so discrete that it didn't disturb us as all.

after "little" breakfasts like this we lay down on our beach beds.

Fortunately Diana is an early bird and "booked" our beds at 5.30 am otherwise the best places in the sun were taken. The sun goes down at 3 1/2 and it becomes dark and cooler. Of course it's winter here too only you have the feeling to be in the middle of the summer. Not to become fat like a Buddha we swam a lot in the warm water. I saw an enormous turtle, in the water, but unfortunately couldn't take a picture of it.

In the evening we are so tired that at 9 pm we go to bed and read a little or watch TV. It's probably the fresh air which makes us so tired ! But we are up at 7 to enjoy the sunshine.

On St. Niklaas day big boxes appeared and a bunch of men started to put up a beautiful Christmas tree with a Father Christmas and the reindeer. We all had a lot of fun. The Egyptian people are always in a good mood and have a lot of humour.

In the evenings we took our main meal. The food was excellent real organic ! The chicken tasted like a happy chicken, and the vegetables had their real good taste.

One lady had her birthday which was celebrated with a chocolate cake and an "Egyptian happy birthday song"

A fruit parade with the cooks on the beach, we all could take what we wanted.

A guest had even decorated his umbrella with Christmas decoration !!

As yesterday it was a bit cooler we finally went shopping. On the way back we had a taxi which was really special. The whole inside was painted with skulls and the music must have come from an horror movie, Nicole tried to sing to the music which caused terrible laughter and the driver made the music louder and pointed with his finger on us sitting in the back when he met another taxi driver.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

28 Nov 2017


I am happy to announce to you that I am escaping the cold and rainy weather in Belgium and will leave for Egypt.

I will  stay in my "second home" the Sunset Holiday Resort in Hurghada for the 8th time. Each year I go there for two weeks to prepare me for the winter and fill my tank with vitamin D.
If I am not overloaded with work, I will write or participate in themes.

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27 Nov 2017


This tiny fruit sat on the birthday cake, I ate it, but I really don't know what it is.

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Our weekend was very nice and funny ! We celebrated Grandson Toby's 7th birthday a little late because the exact date was on November 17. So he first celebrated with the Dutch family, parents, grandparents uncles and aunts etc and then with us, his best friend and parents.

First on Saturday afternoon we went to the Circus ! What an event, none of them had ever been in a circus and it was of course wonderful for them. We were a bit disappointed because it was a restricted winter program and there were only few animals, dogs, ponies, and camels ! With the new law wild animals are not allowed anymore in a circus, but the horses were missing too.

never mind, armed with an enormous candy floss (in French we call it "Barbe à Papa" Dad's beard)
they watched the show for two hours.

In the evening we went to a usually very nice restaurant but this time everything went wrong. First we had to wait for an hour then finally the starter came, but there were only 2 waiters, very strange for such a lot of guests. Suddenly Toby got sick, one of his eye swelled and as he is allergic his Dad took him home and we wanted to pay and follow, as we had already eaten. No way to get an invoice there were tax controllers in the kitchen (on a Saturday night) and that's why probably there were only so few personal, they had escaped for tax reasons. After a long discussion and nearly a fight, the men finally could pay our meal and we returned home, where poor Toby lay on the sofa, not feeling well at all. We returned home because Toby stayed with Benjamin his best friend.

Benjamin lives in a big house with a huge property around with even a little wood so that they can run around and play as they want and don't have to feat to be run over by a car.

We had the birthday meal

chicken, roasted ham and vegetables, and of course this beautiful cake.

That must have been the best because the boys after having blown out the only candle we had (Toby was complaining that he is not one but seven) attacked the cake and not much left.

and here we were all posing together except Benji's mum who took the picture.

It had been a very nice weekend.

25 Nov 2017


1. Starts with U
2. mosaic/collage
3. “I ate this”

I am very unimpressed by these modern mouse !

This is a mosaic made from little cuttings on which each of our painting class mates had to paint a little picture, with no theme, just what we wanted. Then the pieces were put together and out came this mosaic.

It was then used as poster for our 2017 exhibition


Linking to Eden Hills Photo Hunt


Linking to Weekend Reflections

24 Nov 2017


The new flat where a friend just moved in

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1. There are weeks which go by and you absolutely don't remember what you have done during the week unless something special happens, like a an unwanted visitor, or a breakdown of electricity etc. Nothing happened.

The week started with a very bad scrabble game for all of us ! In fact we all lost. Tosca the dog watched us playing and moved his tail up and down from time to time to support us.

2. The days are split in two parts, blogging in the morning and housework if there is any in the afternoon. This time I was looking for a pullover and came out with 5 which I would never wear again but which I kept as souvenir probably, no honestly I had them forgotten. I will give them to my cleaning lady who is always very happy when she gets clothes.

3. Aqua gym too went by without any drama nobody drowned, not even a little bit. There was only one thing to mention, one of us had forgotten her underwear. But that is not the first time it happens.

4. I went on Christmas gift hunting, and as usual I have always to forget something, in this case the list with the references of my Grandson's Lego gifts. I was so angry that I went in the next shop and bought me a beautiful blouse ! Then I went home !

5. I returned to the shop for the gifts, and meanwhile they were 15% more expensive,  when I had ordered them there was a special offer ! My fault ! The salesman had pity with me and proposed to put the 3 Lego cartons aside until the next day because it was "Black Friday" ! and all toys costed 10 % less. That was really nice of him, so I will send Mr. G tomorrow to pick up the gifts. Two years ago nobody knew about black Friday except me because of my blog and my American friends, now it has moved to Belgium too. Last year not yet so much but this year !!!

The rest of the day I was in  war with my photos, I had misfiled them and even Hercule Poirot and Mrs. Marple together haven't found them yet !

Finally I found them because they were our passports, very  important for our trip trough 10 countries  in August. There is certainly a lot to prepare. I am going again with the Expats, like this year around Ireland and the year before around the UK. They are very well organized and there is nothing to complain.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.