Friday, 19 September 2014

First steps!!

Since Wednesday the first carefull steps are being made.  Of course that is accompagnied by a lot of applause all the time and a big smile. (and some tears for mommy). What else would you expect?

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Walk in Ovifat

My parents-in-law came by in the Ardennes and after going out for a lunch we walked between the ski hill in Ovifat & the Botrange . 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Before the adventures of a new day

step by step
the staircase higher
Towards  your little room

Drowsy confusion, son of his mom
The morning light attacks your face,
Dive back into the

Little hands protect your eyes
Crawl…reach up…up…
searching mine
Fishing down,
then lift-off                                  in the air.

Cheek by cheek we walk down
Your head resting on my shoulder
A short moment to treasure
Your baby softness to capture
with all my senses 
in my mind for the rest of the day.

“Dada baaaaah?”
Your eyes start looking around
Glittering with excitement

For the adventures of the new day. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Facade painting variations

More than 2 years after we bought the paint and planned to refresh the back facade in the Ardennes, I finally managed to get started on it.   This greyed concrete "crepi" that had never seen any bit of paint surely could use a bit of cleaning. 

I started off with a transparent first layer of prime paint ...which was a very good test of my intrinsic motivation as you could not tell any result whatsoever as soon as it was done. 

Proof of that: this facade is now half painted with a prime layer...can you tell?

Unforatunately I used about twice as much as the bottle would have indicated so I ran out of paint, and we could only find "white" prime to continue....ha, now I could see how the walls would start to look!  Brilliant. Just hope that the use of 2 different prime paints will not show in the end result. 

And while I primed almost everything, except for a top corner that I could not/dared not to reach , I also took a start for one part of final paint :).
So int his picture you can try to spot:  a non painted wall, a transparently primed wall, a white primed wall, a white primed+ white painted piece and a transparent primed + white painted piece :)

Thursday, 11 September 2014


I've not seen Jan much this weekend as it was busy busy busy again with activities of "The men of the year " As always at the start of September, all the friend groups of men with the same birth year gather in Leuven for a jubilee day.   There's first a church services, there's a reception etc etc and then they parade through the city:  year by year all in their same outfit   , alternated with marhing bands of all types.  The men who turned 50 in the current year take the lead (this time being driven around in 50-year old Ford Mustangs)  and then the other years.

Jan took Kabouter along in the parade, initially just for a short stroll as sort of a joke, ...but the 2 of them had so much fun that in the end Kabouter was carried throughout the entire parade :p.  When later on I walked home with Kabouter in the stroller, I heard a pedestrian   "oh look, that is the baby that was in the parade :D  "

Just as last year, all the men and bands later on gather at some pubs and terrasses where they have a drink together, play some more music and enjoy the nice evening.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Lost cat rescue

Last Sunday I was getting out the door and just in front of our house was a beautiful cat running around on the street & sidewalk and as I appeard seeking shelter near the nearby doors.  It really didn't seem to belong if any cat would in fact belong on the busy street in front of us. It was so tame I could pet it and as I had this feeling to have seen it before in our back garden, I picked it up and brought it inside where I was left in doubt  :  should I release it in our back garden which connects to many other small walled back gardens in the block...yet didn't have a clear opening to the rest of the world as far as I know immediately    or should I leave it out on the busy road?     I opted for the first option, hoping my memory was correct and that I had seen it before in the back so it could simply run home.

But I had this nagging feeling about my choice and when I got back more than an hour later, it was still sitting in our garden, asking for getting pet.  I tweeted its picture and left a post on a well-known FB page from Leuven.  And soon it was shared ...while my garden guest was first miauwwing for attention and then settled curled up on one of our garden chairs. Surely it didn't live in one of the nearby houses, if not it would simply run home, wouldn't it???   Did that mean I had to put it out on the street again?

But hey, a little later a friend contacted me that a friend of the cat's owner had responded to her share. And so we were quickly in a FB chat: me, my friend, the cat's owner's friend and the cat's owner.  Turned out that our guest lived a few blocks further and that this was not its first escape adventure....yet in the mean time our friend was no longer to be seen in our garden and it didn't show up on my calls.  Argh.

I had to go downtown but in the evening all of a sudden our visitor showed up again.  Very easily I could approach it again, take it inside and fortunately the owner was near FB to get in touch.   Half an hour later she could carry her little escaper home....just before it had peed on our floor as it was desperately trying to dig a little hole in some corner  when she showed up.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

San Francisco - Alcatraz

After a few days alone with Kabouter in the city, Jan was done working and he could hang out with us a bit more before we returned home.  I had realised just in time that visiting Alcatraz requires pre-booking tickets that are oftend sold out up to a week beforehand, ... just in time to book us some spots on a boat on our last day.  Pretty good as visiting Alcatraz was one of the things Jan had not done yet while he was in SF before.

So we were well in time as instructed on Pier 39 to take the boat to the famous jail Rock.

Once on shore of the small island, we strolled around the few buildings below and then made our way up to the main building of the old jail to follow the guided audio tour there.
For all those that googled like me beforehand whether the island & tour is accessible with strollers (or wheelchairs) and get mixed results:   it is stroller accessible! The road up is steep and inside the tour are some staircases but the staff brings you to an elevator to use. So everything can be visted without an issue.

In the jail, the tour is quite interesting on life in this famous jail previously, some well-known riots & escapes that have taken place, ....

Slogans here and there remind of the Indian occupation of the island after the jail closed.

The outdoor where prisoners could be "aired" out for max 1 h a day.

Although the island naturally did not have any vegetation, there's quite a lot of flowers now actually...originally planted by the warden families that called the desolate island their home for so long.