Friday, February 27, 2015

Music Flashback: Beat-it

When I was a pre-schooler, I started to have interest in the music on the radio and I started singing along.  As a little Dutch speaking toddler in a world full of English speaking pop-music, this singing along would be phonetic parroting without realising any of the meanings for at least another decade to come.  Hell, I still sometimes have huge "aha erlebniss/eureka" moments when I realise what some of my child iconic songs is truly about!

One of the songs I really liked to "sing" was Beetit Beetit Beetit noshiwasshiwasshi beetitttt beetit.

On a Sunday morning the radio is on as always in the kitchen, broadcasting a local radio station and all of a sudden the DJ stated that the next song was going to played especially for little Goofball, the little sister of Goofball's sister.  Whaaaaa, they were talking about me! On the radio! Magic!

"Beetit Beetit Beetit noshiwasshiwasshi beetitttt beetit."

My sister stormed into the kitchen right after, waving a bright orange cassette tape, which she proudly pushed in the tape recorder in the kitchen...and there was the announcement again
"Did you hear it?  I requested that song for you! Cool huh.  I have it on tape.   Right after "We hebben allemaal een neus" from Vader Abraham , which I have also recorded for you.  here, this is your cassette , for you, with music you like.

And now in a top closet, a bit out of reach and a bit forgotten, among my >200 other cassette tapes from my childhood sits still the bright orange cassette tape , the very first I have ever owned thanks to my sister.  I have no more tape player to put it in, but I will not throw it away.

"Beetit Beetit Beetit noshiwasshiwasshi beetitttt beetit."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Made in Belgium: Orion

I've greatly neglected fok music in my "made in Belgium" series lately.  But my love for folk music started with the Celtic Legacy CD at my host family in Canada, which played most nights before bedtime.  I grew quite fond of the sounds and the evening routine.
Much to my surprise I learned that one of the songs on the CD was by a Belgian folk group Orion.

Later on, I've been on many folk festivals in Belgium but never quite heard of them anymore. Nevertheless they are quite present online.  And I still enjoy their sound.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A last walk in the snow??

We made it very briefly to the Ardennes today, up and down for the day.   Usually I don't have the motivation to go if we can only be there so briefly but I really felt like making another walk in the snow before it's gone.  

While the rest of Belgium starts dreaming of Spring, we headed back to the highest area of Belgium where the rain of the previous days has turned the area back a bit white just before it had all melted. The sun joined us as well, so it was great for a last walk in the winter wonderland. I guess it'll be gone by the next time we can get there...who knows.

Jan's still bugged by bugs so I had the honor to carry Kabouter on my belly while Jan trailed along at a little bit more distance. Just when I was going to suggest to extend our walk up to the next village at a road split, Kabouter had had enough of hanging idle so I did not need to pronounce the suggestion at all.  Fortunately I could magically turn up a cookie out of my pocket and we could make it back home in peace.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Why parent's get nothing done

This is circling on FB at the moment and it's hilarious (to young parents) as it is so recognisable and true.

  • Climbing in the dishwasher and unloading the cutlery while I'm loading or grabbing breakable dishes : check
  • Turning box with toys upside down as soon as we try to clean them up: check
  • Making a food mess and creating new hairstyles with banana & potatoes as starch : check
  • Placing hands in every possible mirror, preferably toothpaste saliva creamed hands, especially when it just got cleaned again: check
  • Taking things out of the garbage if he sees us throwing something in: check
  • Swimming through the dust if you've are sweeping the floor: check
  • Closing the fridge in between 2 items that you are taking out...but standing in the open fridge door that you are trying to close : check 
  • Running off with the socks that you are trying to pair again after laundry : check
  • Running off with your keys when you have to leave in a rush: check
  • Stretching out on toes and taking the cutlery that you've just put on the table before dinner: check
  • ....

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Sleeping beauty

When Jan was ill, Kabouter has gone to a new year's reception/party with me and stayed up longer than usual.  The next morning he slept in way longer than usual, so I went to check a few times.

But then you see this....

....and you






Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Made in Belgium: Zwartwerk

When I heard ZwartWerk on the radio this week, I first assumed they were Dutch.  It is my impression that there is a much more vivid hiphop scene in the Netherlands.
But I was wrong: these 4 young men from Mechelen, with roots in Angola & Congo have formed a band 1,5 years ago.   Last week, they got into the final of the StuBru contest "De nieuwe lichting" but didn't win.  Nevertheless they've been programmed at the festival Maanrock in Mechelen this summer.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Thinking of spring

On the one hand I am not ready for Spring yet...I want to spend a bit more time in the snow in the Ardennes.  Despite all the snow we have got there in the previous weeks, I feel like we've not fully enjoyed it yet.  Always someone was ill or ... But snow is melting there and I'm not sure if it'll come back again this winter.

On the other hand it was really soft weather this weekend and it felt so great to walk out (for a short distance to the car) in just my sweater. Ooh all of a sudden I longed so much for Spring.

The flowers in the house vote for Spring.

Friday, February 13, 2015


  • I saw a small crocodile being carried on a daddy's arm when I got out of the house.  
    My FB feed got filled with fairy's ,  a clown, a ninja , a mouse, a flamenco dancer, ... and an ex-colleague mentioned a Minion at home.  This week I saw at a school a lion, pipi long stocking, knights, thieves, ...

    Our own Kabouter didn't realize that he might have missed carnaval in daycare while still being ill at home with his dad. I don't know whether they celebrate it there or not or if this is only done in all schools. Anyway,  I already stress that in 2 years I'll clearly have to come up somehow with a fun kids costume on this day.  Help. 
  • Jan opened his pizza box and a spontaneous soft "ooh" escaped (he has almost no voice).
    Kabouter immediately opened my box and also announced a loud "OOOOH"

    We have a parrot in the house.
  • I managed to combine a business trip in a few weeks with a weekend city trip. yeah, looking
    forward to that!
  • My crocuses & hyacinth on the table start to bloom.
  • My new phone got activated.
  • The viruses still fight with my boys. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Boy's flu

The flu is in our house since a week, when Jan returned home from Paris sick.   You might not have noticed that it's been really quiet here, since I had been really blogging productive 10 days ago with more than a week worth of prescheduled posts (yeah, I'm a cheater :)).

Instead I've been busy visiting friends and family and doing a lot of shopping over the weekend, going to a volunteering meeting and a new year's reception with the little one...  By doing so I was giving Jan a bit of rest in a quiet house (that got replenished with food)  while at the same time I was hoping that Kabouter and I would have less opportunity to be caught by the bugs if we were out so often.   It's the first time I've seen Jan so sick for so long, not just miserable from man's flu but the real thing.

On Tuesday I picked up a highly feverish Kabouter from the daycare and I could spend part of my evening in the doctor's office.  It's amazing however how quickly such a little one can switch back and forth with the help of some fever medicine.

So far, touch wood, I am only very tired from rushing around without much time for myself in the evening and from sleeping badly with 2 sick boys in the house.  Oh well, it's almost weekend.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ordinary things that make me happy

Lillith made a list of ordinary things that makes her happy, based on a column that is published each week.  I totally agree that happiness comes from the ability to enjoy ordinary daily things, so it can be worthwhile to list some of these.  
  • Listening to Kabouter's drinking on my chest, cosy on our bed in the semi-dark, just before he goes to sleep  (or when waking up).  
  • Coming home and finding a parking spot right in front of our house 
  • A tickle fight with Kabouter or Jan,  sitting together,  those 30 seconds of drowsy cheek-to-cheek when I carry him downstairs in the morning, ...or simply watching his adorable grin.
  • Realising that the book I just started to read is a page-thriller that will keep me going. 
  • Waking up and realizing I slept in
  • A beautiful orange ball rising up at the at the horizon in the morning when I drive to work...or some sunbeams falling through the forest on the golden leaves in the fall. 
  • Discovering a robin in the garden
  • Tortilla chips with salsa as appetizer
  • A good mojito in the summer
  • Waking up in winter time, consciously feeling the warm little nest that my bed has become and turning around once more for a snooze (or two or three)
  • Cooking a meal and being really proud of the result  
  • A summer evening late outside on the terrace, reading, talking , having a drink or smoking a water pipe while darkness falls, bats start flying by 
  • The purring of a cat on your lap
  • Dozing off on a sunbed...and allowing it to happen
  • Coming home on the day that the cleaning lady has come
  • Making a long walk in beautiful nature
  • Going under when scuba diving and hearing the bubbles of my breathing
  • A hug
  • Confusing/Amusing some Dutch colleagues/friends  with a Flemish phrase
  • Having my bangs cut finally after they had been annoyingly long for a few weeks 
  • Feeling the floor heating on my bare feet
  • A vase of tulips in Spring
  • Singing loudly along with the music in the car together with Jan  (while Kabouter in the back is clearly amused by his crazy parents)
  • A warm towel that has rested on the heating radiator after my shower
  • Unintended saying something silly and watching Jan start to laugh
  • Someone who passes you by on the bike, who is humming/singing along with his/her music
  • Reading the humoristic/sarcastic/creative tweets for a specific hash tag on twitter when something is getting mocked with reason in social media 
  • A toilet when I really need to go
  • A back or shoulder massage
  • The moment that you can slip into dry comfy & soft jogging suit after been out in the rain and cold
  • Your nose that pops open all of a sudden after having been clogged for hours
  • Spaghetti bolognaise or macaroni cheese or fries as comfort food after exhausting difficult day
  • Smelling my baby fresh out of bath
Do you wanna read what other people listed (in Dutch) ? Lillith listed the other blog posts

Thursday, February 5, 2015

White stuff

The air is filled with
                                    white stuff
The land is filled with 

You can't see where they touch.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Made in Belgium: Gorki

End of November a shock rolled over the Belgian music scene : Luc De Vos had unexpectedly passed away.  Luc was the singer/gitarist of Gorki, a popular rock band.  He was a well loved panel guest in many talk shows, always his unsophisticated self with an opinion. He was a well known face in Ghent. I've once spent an evening in a pub next to him: him drinking Duvels with a pal and me and my friend on the other side...nothing special in Ghent and as a polite Belgian I didn't disturb his night out.

Gorky participated in Humo's Rock Rally but came in third in 1990 while Noordkaap won.  That's something I don't understand as Gorki is much cooler.  Their hit "Mia" was voted multiple times best song ever between 2000 and 2006 on different radio stations.  Gorky split in 1993 and Luc De Vos continued solo as "Gorki".

At his funeral early December 2014 there were many many thousands and it was main news. In all hitlists at the end of 2014 he was voted (or awarded by decision) the top position. A nice but a bit a hyped artificial tribute, if you ask me.  Nevertheless, we will miss Gorki.  I'll mainly miss his attitude.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

More snow

It was snowing heavily in the east of Belgium on Sunday...a few cms in a few hours.   Before we left, well in time to drive in daylight and before the load of returning ski tourists, we took another quick walk around the village.   Kabouter seemed to enjoy the sentiment of snow flakes falling on his face and tried to catch them with his tongue.

We made the mistake of driving via Belgium's highest point (and skihills) as usual and ended up in a stand-still traffic jam because people had been so smart to "park" in the snow edges with >40cm of snow. Dugh . Fortunately we know the area well enough to quickly turn around and take a different road home.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Snow is fun if your hands are not cold

It snowed now and then a little bit in Belgium previous week but it melted each time...except above 500m. There it is slowly accumulating to 20-40cm. Yeaay, all Belgian ski runs are open (cross-country and the handfull existing downhill ones) . 

Luckily enough the neighbors had already shoveled the entire driveway we share together, but we still had a little fun clearing out our parking spot where we piled up the snow half a meter high. 

We walked to the nearby village and then pulled Kabouter via the Ravel (old railway) bike path in his sledge. We still had to drag a trace for him. He loved the hobbling through the snow at first with a big smile and even kept his gloves on for a short while.

But then as usual the gloves had to come off (and after we put them on again, they went off again)
and then of course he was curiously touching the snow
and then of course his hands were cold
and being in the sledge was no longer fun at all. 

But a transfer back from the sledge to daddy's belly stopped the crying after the while much to our relief and we got home after a lovely walk with a sleeping kid.