Google+ Followers

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Summer goes out with a bang

For this last week of school holidays, the weather shows its best side. The sun came out yesterday afternoon, and it's supposed to remain warm and sunny until the weekend. It will even be the hottest week of the entire summer vacation!



The coast can't complain of a bad season. The weather here was in general better than inland. It's often that the coast gets better and more sunny weather than the rest of the country.

Everyone I spoke to said they'd had a good season: hotels, restaurants, those who rent chairs at the beach. The terrace of the bistro next door was fully occupied most evenings and more flats were rented than usual, also in our own block of flats. We're lucky that only owners live on our floor. Next door lives a family from Ghent. They bought the flat a couple of years before we bought ours. Nowadays the elderly couple doesn't come so often anymore, but there son and daughter-in-law do and also one of the granddaughters with her boyfriend. We've never had any trouble with them.

Unfortunately, my sister has to start working on Thursday again, so we need to return home tomorrow. More's the pity, because inland the temperature goes into the 30° Celsius! That means staying indoors at the heat of the day, and doing your shopping either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Death of a jazz legend

This morning, jazz legend Toots Thielemans died in his sleep, aged 94. He was taken into hospital after a fall some time ago.

Jean Baptiste Fréderic Isidor - Toots - Thielemans was born in Brussels, in a neighborhood called De Marollen. He was fascinated by jazz and learned to play the harmonica when he was only three years old. Later on he emigrated to the USA and became an American citizen.

He will be well-remembered by the music he left, especially the tune 'Bluesette'. He's also worked together, or made records, with Ella Fitzgerald, Quinccy Jones, Natalie Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and many others.


2016 is a year when many a legend is leaving us.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The definition of a fine evening out

When you're talking about an evening out, this could take many different options. Going to a nightclub or disco, spending a night at a bar, going to the movies, or going to a performance of arts (ballet, opera, mime, theater, ...).

For me it is mainly going out dining. There is nothing so good as to sit in a restaurant behind a table and eat the best dishes and sample the best wine. It is so relaxing and it guarantees to set me in the best of moods.

Here in Knokke-Heist we're blessed with a variety of fine restaurants. (Well, in general there is fine dining all over Belgium.) It is a region where there are most Michelin-stars in a circle of about 20 km. In Heist (Knokke and Heist were originally two different villages, but they were fused in the 1970s) we have Bartholomeus (2 stars), which is the top. I guess chef and owner Bart Desmidt will get his third star in the near future. But that is not the only good restaurant. Already next door we have a nice bistro and some steps further you have another one.

Yesterday evening we went dining at La Guera. A new restaurant with a very young chef. It doesn't have a star yet, but it won't take long. The chef is full of dedicaton and the right ambition and it's heaven to dine there. Best thing, the dishes are not overpriced (neither are they at Bartholomeus) and you can have a good bottle of wine for a decent price.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Amaluna

Cirque du Soleil never fails to astonish the public. But the performance they now bring in Knokke (Belgium, coast town) is one of the best I've ever seen!



Amaluna was a perfect mix of high-tech acts, poetry and fun. And the costumes were more than great.

We saw some wonderful acts of acrobates, and laughed at the caprices of the pair of clowns, but what I admired most was the act of a Chinese (I think) girl who balanced bamboo poles. I don't know how she did it! Probably took 4 or 5 years to perfect this act!



And of course there were also some Belgian performers. Two young men who took part in a trampoline act (man, how high they went!).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fighting Blind

Author C.M. Seabrook is my guest right now, and she's doing a book blast tour for her contemporary romance, Fighting Blind. The novel will soon be available.

The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please use the following link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1832/



Blurb

Mackenzie Brooks is everything I've ever wanted.

Three years ago, she walked out of my life. No explanation. Just gone.

With the biggest fight of my career only weeks away, she walked back in.

I'll do anything to protect her. Destroy anyone who tries to hurt her. When it comes to Mac, there isn't a line I won't cross.

I've loved her my entire life, and now that's she's back I won't let her go.

She refuses to speak about the past, or the secrets I know she's hiding.

I know she's planning on running again. But when you love someone, you stay and fight. Even if you're fighting blind.



Excerpt

“Hi.” Long brown hair rolls down her back in glossy waves. Soft, full lips that I’ve only dreamed of kissing open and close as if trying to decide what to say.

An explanation of where the hell she’s been for the past few years would be a good place to start. 

“I…just wanted…” Her words come out in a stutter, and she tucks her hair behind one ear.

She’s nervous. Good. She should be fucking nervous.

I move toward her. The muscles in my jaw are so tight they feel like they’re going to snap. I can barely process the emotions that are slamming into my chest. But I can’t take my eyes off her. I’d almost forgotten how gorgeous she was. Hell, I’d tried to forget.

Eyes the color of caramel, with flecks of amber and gold, stare up at me with uncertainty. 

Those eyes. They could pierce a man’s heart with a single look. And they had.

I’d have given everything for her. Would’ve sold my soul to the fucking devil just to please her. All she had to do was ask. Instead, she walked away.



Bio and links

C.M. Seabrook is the author of the Amazon bestselling fantasy romance Cara's Twelve, as well as the Therian Agents paranormal romance series, and co-author of the Mated by Magic series.

When she isn't reading or writing sexy stories, she's most likely spending time with her family, cooking, singing, or racing between soccer, hockey and karate practices. She's living her own happily ever after with her husband of fifteen years and their two daughters.

She loves creating new exciting characters - from sexy, bad boy alphas, to the passionate, fiery women who love them.

Canadian born and bred, she started life in Edmonton, Alberta, and now resides in London, Ontario. She attended Western University where she graduated with an Honors degree in Anthropology.

Her guilty pleasures include red wine, pasta, binge watching Starz originals, and hanging out with her rescue pup, Jaxx.

She loves to hear from her readers and can be reached at cm.seabrook.books@gmail.com






Twitter – @chantelseabrook

Sweden and the Middle Ages

We just returned from a trip to Sweden. The weather was not all that good (you're in the north, of course) but we were lucky that it didn't rain too much.

First we visited the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. We stayed at a hotel where we had a wonderful sight from our room window, over all the canals. Stockholm is called 'Venice of the north' and it's true that there are a lot of waterways and small islands.


Next we took a ferry (it leaves at Nynäsham, some 40There  minutes drive from Stockholm) to Gotland. Gotland is a bigger island in the Baltic Sea, at the height of Letland and Estland. We stayed there in the main town (well, town is a bit exaggerated) named Visby. Every 38th week of the year, this town celebrates the Medieval Week. Every inhabitant walks around in medieval dress and all the time there are tournaments and other historical events. This year they also did a reenactment  of the Battle of Visby, where the Danish king Waldemar conquered the city.




Visby is UNESCO World Heritage, because it is a city that is completely encircled by city walls, just like it used to be in the Middle Ages.

The only remark I have about it is that they don't seem to like foreign tourists overall. An example: when you asked for a reservation in a local restaurant, they said it wasn't necessary. But when you arrived in the evening, you got to hear the restaurant was fully booked and there was no space!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Back from a trip & dead tired

My sister and I have just returned from a trip to Sweden and Visby (at the island of Gotland). We only came back late in the night, slept at the airport hotel and now have come to the coast to spend a last week of holidays here.

However, I caught a nasty cold (all those plane and ferry rides) and am dead tired at the moment. I'll post a blog about the trip tomorrow, when I'm feeling better.