October 24, 2014

Chantal Neveu

Chantal Neveu is a Canadian poet, author and interdisciplinary artist, who spent a few weeks in Belgium as a participant in Passa Porta's program "writers in residence". She lives in Montreal.
She is described as "an innovative creative producer who works in a variety of media", "she mixes multiple forms of art to deliver new insights into language and culture".
I had the great pleasure of meeting this interesting lady at Villa Hellebosh, a charming country house on an unique piece of property in Vollezele, a small village about 30 km from Brussels.

October 21, 2014

Roger Brawn shows portraits from rural Normandy

      photo by Els Hattink 

Roger Brawn, an English photographer living in Brussels since 1987 and studying at the RHOK art school in Etterbeek, describes his project "Portraits from rural Normandy" as a project concerning a village in rural Normandy where the pressures of modern life are imposing change on a hitherto mainly agricultural community. The countryside is becoming increasingly urbanised. While farms decrease in number each year and those remaining grow ever bigger and more mechanised, the village is still home to a generation of older inhabitants whose presence is testimony to the earlier tradition of the self-sufficient smallholding.
Frequent guest photographer Els Hattink brought this event to my attention and sent the photo of Roger in front of his work. Thank you, Els!

October 19, 2014

Enjoying October

                               photos by guest photographer Els Hattink
Els shows Brussels' Place Keym, Watermael-Boitsfort on Satuday afternoon, second half of October. Delightful.Is anyone else out there is interested on showing work as a guest photographer or blogger on This is Belgium?  The only prerequisite is a link to Belgium and observance of the policy: no religion, politics, advertisement and the likes.

October 16, 2014


                              photos Marie-france André
After living abroad,  Marie-france André is on a rediscovery tour of Belgium.  She okayed the sharing of her wonderful pictures of our beautiful Ardennes, for which I am grateful. Marie-france's trip is not finished, it seems. More to come!
"The village of Vierves is listed among the most beautiful villages of Wallonia. At the start of the walk, you will walk along the impressive castle of the Barons of Vierves and later on of the Hamal family. Via an alley you descent (sic) towards the bridge over the Viroin before you start climbing the Ardennes slope". 

October 14, 2014

Arboretum Wespelaar

Photos by Joseph and Nuria
 "Arboretum Wespelaar is situated on the border of the triangle Brussels - Mechelen - Leuven.  Philippe de Spoelberch, a passionate dendrologist, started his botanical collections in Herkenrode in the 1970’s. In order to accommodate ever more plants, he decided to extend the collection towards the north of his garden, on what would later become the Arboretum Wespelaar. The Arboretum is managed since 2001 by the Foundation Arboretum Wespelaar, which was set up to guarantee the survival of the collections and to arrange for their opening to the public. Today, about 2000 different species and cultivated varieties can be discovered on the 20 hectare grounds, with the main focus being on trees and shrubs from known wild origin".

October 12, 2014

De Haan / Le Cocq

This is what life looks like in Belgium beach town Le Cocq/De Haan on a Sunday afternoon.  Have you ever seen a more attractive decorated police station,  painted in pink? 

October 11, 2014


 There is more to Averbode than ice-cream - topic I have touched more than once- as some of you might conclude after reading a previous Averbode post. There is also the new beer called "Averbode", cheese, bread and goodies. 
The abbey was founded in 1134 by Count Arnold II of Loon founded and know. It flourished, grew through the centuries, had its own printing office and published books and magazines ( Zonneland, Zonnekind, Tremplin, Bonjour, Doremi.. ) for the Belgian schools. The abbey was during a long time the motor of the village and surroundings with  "also a school, a harmony, a library and a thespian society. It was the center of Marian-centred pilgrimages, which attracted many visitors and benefited the local shops and bars....
In 1896, the abbey first started with missionary work, when two canons left for Pirapora, Brazil,... A second mission started in 1903 in Denmark, where the abbey founded the parish of Vejle, with a new Roman Catholic school and from 1913 on a hospital...."