Sunday, March 24, 2013


Spring forgot to buy a 2013 calendar so it seems and is still asleep, both in Europe as in  Canada & parts of US if I can keep track on Facebook.

Yesterday we went out for a nice dinner with friends and since I was the designated driver, I stared outside at the new snowfall a bit nervously. Fortunately we got home just before the sky really started dumping it down.

Small snow dunes are good bike parking aids :)

With the forecast given, the Easter bells & Easter bunnies will need to find tactics to hide the eggs in snow without leaving visible traces.   Quite different to previous years.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Made in Belgium: Geike

It's been more than 3 years already that I blogged about Hooverphonic.   In the mean time Hooverphonic has a new leading lady Noémie and builds up multiple new successes, although I feel alienated by Noémie's cold appearance   and also the ex-Hooverphonic singer Geike has started a solo career last year.

Geike, despite all her talents & beauty , isn't at her Hooverphonic level of success (yet?) although she'd deserve it.  I must say that I had to search for her music in Youtube and only one of the songs I found rings a bell from the radio.  It's very unfortunate as she deserves big hits again, don't you think?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Old buildings in a bit of snow

Yeah yeah, the big melt 2 weeks ago didn't last long, so we were yet again back in a melting country.  As the  forest trails on the valley slopes turned out to be dangerously slippery, we spent most of the weekend on village roads.  Both Monschau and its burg  and Reinhardstein castle were romantic as ever.



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Made in Belgium: Jonas Winterland

I heard of Jonas Winterland for the first time when he was the guest musician in 'de 7e dag' (a famous Sunday morning debate/news program).   His appropiate name seemed a suggestion to me to post him now.

This singer-song writer from Leuven brings intimate poetic songs that make you dream, think, reflex & relax. He's a brand new but very promising name in our music scene. 

Mensen zijn gemaakt van dun papier ( people are made from thin paper)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring greetings from Leuven

More than 20cm of snow ...all in all not too bad after 24 h of non stop snowing

Well if you didn't believe it yesterday, you sure had to belief it when getting up this morning.  Snow had been falling for hours and snow continued to fall. Well "falling",   with the wind gusts, the flakes often flew by vertically, piling up in big dunes when hitting an obstacle.

You can't belief the relief that I had scheduled a work from home day and didn't need to travel to Amsterdam as so often. Traffic even got stuck in front of our house, where apparently (despite it being a main road) could not be cleared effectively. 
Belgium broke it's traffic infarct record which is now set at a all time high of 1640kms , international train traffic stopped and national train traffic also almost failed completely.  Never seen it that bad before.

Oh gosh, how glad I was I just had to walk with my cup of coffee to my basement office space with well functioning heating. Pheww. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Can you believe it?

From 18C on Friday to 0C yesterday with icy wind.  And today I went to Amsterdam and returned to a white country (although just slightly yet...we'll see what tonight brings more) and very slippery roads with loads of accidents.

Pffff, geez, thought we were ready for Spring, but clearly not yet.

I almost get in Christmas mood like this, maybe I should put up the tree again! (since we always have a green Christmas, maybe it's an effective strategy to get this snow away again, what do you think?)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sniff sniff hatsjeee

Sniff sniff hatsjeee
[breathing heavily through my mouth]
[breathing heavily through my mouth]

sorry, this is just a self-pity post because I didn't notice the nice spring weather with my teary eyes and my snot filled head.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Made in Belgium: Monza / Meuris

Almost exactly a year ago I posted about Noordkaap.  This band stopped in 2000 and the singer Stijn Meuris formed a new band in 2001 "Monza".  With several hits this project ended in 2007 and now Meuris is more making solo music.  1974 has just been released.

I am not a tremendous fan of his sound so I probably wouldn't listen to a full album in one go as it starts to sound whiny and dragged, but despite that he has some pretty good songs made.   (To be honest, I am more fan of Stijn's theatre shows where he shares his passion for stars: check it out here (in Dutch) ....he is a contageous teller !! I think he's a barrel full of emotions, sometimes positive, very often frustrated or angry or sad...which is a good source of inspiration for an artist.


 wat een fijne dag/het zou niet mogen zijn

 Van God Los

 Dood aan alle meisjes

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Almost the end of winter?

Next week lovely spring temperatures have been announced. I must admit that I do, as almost everyone I talk to, count down towards sunshine and softer temperatures.  I like it when winter is a true winter, one with snow and frost, not with meek drizzle.  But now it seems to have lasted enough.

In the Ardennes, they've had about 8 weeks of snow but even at these harsher Belgian heights they expect winter to withdraw....although a bit later and much slower than the rest of the country, as always.  But this weekend, winter was still king.

In order to prevent road damage (?? my guess),  many local roads in the woods have road restrictions.  Although those 'forbidden' roads are still fully the domain of the locals, that speed by with amazing style on their cross-country skies. Quite a difference with the tourists step-slide-step-step skiing a few kms further.

"Thaw" road restrictions already in use

Can you see at which height it is still freezing?   (the tower peeking over the treeline, is Belgium's highest point).

see the frost line?
Two days we heard loud shreeking from a far distance and now we saw the source of the noise swarming by in the sky.....Lines and lines of a sort of geese were migrating by.  (update:  it was in the news today that in this area 120000 migrating cranes were that is this huge noisy bunch we heard all weekend).

Jan's favourite highland cows  to which he hilariously talks to with a Scottisch accent...they weren't too impressed though.