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Monday, December 11, 2017

Let it snow, let it snow...

Yesterday, it snowed all morning and well into the afternoon. It was the first time this year the snow remained for a while. This morning, we woke up once more to heavy snowfall. It's still going on right this minute, and I won't be able to clear a path (I tried to, but you don't see it anymore).

We usually don't get this kind of snow. Most of the time, when it snows, it's just for a short while and the snow disappears before you know it.

This reminds me of my years in Germany, when winters were cold and snow fell abundantly. We went skiing and skating of the frozen lakes. That was great fun. Last week I was talking with someone (during a check-up at the hospital) who equally spent time in Soest. Lots of memories came back. It really was a good time and I enjoyed those years a lot. I remember I had so much fun there with my friends I barely came home (only when I didn't have any clean clothes left).

Friday, December 8, 2017

The shame of Brussels

Yesterday, it was decided that Brussels won't get any EC 2018 matches. A real shame. They just don't get the Eurostadium ready in time - well, the building hasn't even started.

This is a great problem in our country. I.m.o. it's because of all the different governments we have. Indeed, for such a small country we have various government: the federal, the regional ones (Flanders, Brussels and Wallony). And then you must know that we have a high debt...  Wouldn't it be easier if we just had ONE government, like in the old days? It would save a lot of money, that could be used to build more schools, improve the police force, get more public building done.

But no, they rather fight over who has the right to do something.

The Eurostadium isn't the only building project gone wrong. There is equally a big problem with Brussels Airport, where the Brussels regional government hands out fines for planes flying over their territory. Also in my home town of Dendermonde we have two projects that just aren't going to be. Ten years ago, it was decided the railway station and its environment needed a make-over. But protest from locals has prevented this. Up to now nothing has been done. The same with the new prison. The existing one has become too old, too small for the number of prisoners incarcerated there. So they wanted to build a new prison, completely up to modern standards, on a piece of land near the river and the railway line. Nobody lives there. But some farmers have been succesfully fighting this decision. I think they hope that when the plans are definitely burned, they can sell that ground as building lots (for lots of money).

I.m.o. public good should prevail over private interests. What do you think?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Thankful for little things

These last weeks, I've learned how precious the little things in life are. Always having been full of health, full of energy, I didn't think of being ill. I enjoyed my life to the full - good food, good wine, lots of trips abroad. Life was great.

But now I'm suffering from the effects of a chemo-treatment I've come to know how precious those things really are. Right now I feel thankful for being able to eat without being sick afterwards (mind, nothing to heavy on the stomach, light meals). I'm thankful for being able to walk to the town center - last week I was unable to stand on my feet as they hurt like hell.

Every day without major trouble is a good one nowadays. I just hope the treatment helps to reduce the metastasis in my body. The main tumor has been removed but a couple of small lumps remain. The medicine I take should be able to reduce the size of them, even can make them go away. But it's poison to the body. Just think of it: if it doesn't kill you, you might get better!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Tabula Rasa

Yesterday, we watched the last - and very surprising - episode of Tabula Rasa:  a Flemisch tv-series with Veerle Baetens in the leading role and of course a lot of other prime actors.

'Tabula Rasa' is about Mie D'Haeze, a married woman who suffers from amnesia since her car accident. Mie (short for Annemarie) can't remember anything - not even what happened just ago. And then someone goes missing and she's the only witness. The police place her in a mental institution in the hope the doctors there can make Mie better so she remembers where Thomas is.

Inside the institution, Mie gets visits from her mother and husband and she gets friendly with another patient, Vronsky. She also gets visits from the police and her psychiater, Dr. Mommaerts. She keeps a scrapbook in which she draws pictures of her dreams. Sometimes she gets mysterieus letters, warning her not to believe everything she sees or hears...

Bit by bit the viewer get more insight in what really happened. For instance, we learn that Mie's little girls - who plays around in the first episodes - in reality died in the car accident. And that she meets the man who is deemed responsible for that accident.

It was a rather special series, but both my sister and I loved it. And we never saw the end coming!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kick-off of the 1000 Classics

Today my home town Dendermonde had the honor of being the one where Radio 2's lauch of 1000 Classics was to take place. The 1000 Classics are always aired during the first week of the Christmas holidays and everyone can vote for them. You just go to one of the happenings, or simply go online to make your top-three of favorites. The number that gets most votes will be nr 1. For a couple of years, that's been Queen's  Bohemian Rhapsody, which is also my all-time favorite.

The radio vans of Radio 2 were parked on the market square of Dendermonde, and if you voted, you got a free ticket for a special attraction. Santa's sleigh was being lifted high up in the air, and when inside you had a magnificent view over the town. The only minor thing was that it was rather foggy, next to being ice-cold. But you were treated to a warm soup or a glass of cava (good quality). That warmed the bones!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Winter's coming

This morning, we woke up to grey skies threathening with snow. That's early. Last year, we had soft temperatures all winter - when we were in Budapest (Hungary) with Christmas, it was even warm and sunny!

Looks like this year it will be different. Normally we don't get a lot of snow in Belgium, but when it falls, the owners of ski gear in the Ardennes will be very glad. According to the weather bureau, there'll be snow to ski on this weekend already.

I like snow, as long as it don't become mush. And I especially don't like it when they put salt on the roads and pavements. I know it's supposed to make the surface less slippery, but it does a lot of damage to your shoes. I use a pair of old snow boots in these conditions.

How's the weather where you are? Care to share?

Monday, November 27, 2017

Haven't been feeling well

I haven't written something for a while yet, the main reason being I was not feeling very well. My treatment against cancer has some side effects and not every day is a good one. That being said, I must say I count myself lucky because I do have days in which I feel OK. Some patients are poorly every day.

At the same time, I also suffer from a severe head cold and that's not helping either. Just like watching tennis the past weekend. Belgium didn't win the Davis Cup. David Goffin was his usually great self, but Steve Darcis could better have stayed at home.

Today is a day not to go outside (but I had to, as I need to run some errands). I got drenched! The rain keeps falling. When there's one thing I hate it's rain. It chills my bones. I can stand extreme heat and cold, as long as it keep dry.

Just heard on the radio that Prince Harry and Megan are finally engaged. Harry has always been my favorite British prince.