December 30, 2011

December 31 - A very happy New Year

In closing 2011, I would like to send all of you, wherever you are, the very best wishes for 2012 and, as photographs very often say it all, to accompany my wishes I chose these three pictures of people celebrating. 

The first picture was sent to me by Myriam, a dear friend from high school, who has lived in Barcelona with her husband for quite a number of years and whom I saw again last year for the first time after too many years to mention here.
The young lady in a local shop was dressed for the celebration already yesterday and gave a nice smile to match the mood.
The last picture shows a reception in Bozar in Brussels.  Were it not for warm light from the beautiful chandelier, this last one might be viewed as showing more serious reminiscences about the ending of the Old Year than happy thoughts about the approaching New Year!
Happy New Year!

Gift alley

Little alley in the Center of Brussels

December 28, 2011

Belgian stained-glass window in Bethlehem

Christmas is behind us and here I am after the fact with a posting related to it. The excuse for sending just one more Christmas related posting into the blog-world is that via Facebook (!) I just learned about the central stained-glass window by the brothers Ganton of the Church of St. Catherine in Bethlehem. 
This is the church where the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem celebrates Midnight mass on Christmas eve. The church is a Catholic church and Franciscan monastery  connected to the Church of the Nativity. 
The window, a present of Belgium, originally installed in 1926,  was restored in 2004  by Luc and Ingrid Mestdagh, of the well known glass workshop in Ghent.
Belgium's Consul General in Jerusalem at the time, Mr Guido Courtois, lent his support to the project and saw it to completion.
The window shows Jesus with his parents, with St Francis and a Franciscan brother. The stamp bears Belgium's coat of arms and the locket portrait of Belgian Cardinal Mercier.

December 22, 2011

Belgian cowboys in Colombia

I plucked this photo, named "Belgian cowboys" by its unknown maker, from the above website, which relates the story of two adventurers who embarked at the end of October on a trip around the world. One of the adventurers is my son. The trip has so far taken them to Nicaragua, the USA (California), Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia.

Also on their blog I found this picture of what they described as "Belgian Government". It was taken just before the end of the 541 day period during which Belgium was government-less (and had only a "caretaker" government).

December 21, 2011

Shoppers on high heels

"Think of pedestrians, you will see them better".

December 19, 2011

Fantasy and Events

Three members of this family were dressed rather originally for a quick stop at the small grocery store  at lunchtime.  This charming friendly quartet functions as an event organizer. They do face painting and all sorts of entertainment.
Lieve is writing down the contact details and addresses of their blog and website.
( under construction) 

December 18, 2011

Pierre Gauthier

For designer Pierre Gauthier,  Christmas is showing selected pieces and holiday season gifts in his boutique in Brussels' rue Edith Cavell.

December 16, 2011

3 in a row

Three merry go rounds hiding Leuven's beautiful town hall.

December 15, 2011


...untouched by the hectic holiday pace all over the city and totally oblivious to anything going on around him...(from  my car-photography series)

December 12, 2011


Cristina who is Greek, Italian and German has her own communications-design company in Brussels. 
Its clothes designers are what she likes most about Belgium. She was delighted to show her favorite Dries van Noten coat and blouse for the camera.

December 09, 2011

The worshipper

I already mentioned Luc Tuymans before,  in my posting of March 30 at the occasion of the retrospective of his works in Brussels' Bozar.  
This is something totally different. The worshipper by Tuymans  was shown at Paris Photo last month. 
The artist said the following about this work during an interview by Artinfo in 2007: 
".....Well, yes, painting is my medium, but I’ve made something like 80 or 90 prints. The Worshipper is from something that I saw in the [International Carnival and] Mask Museum in Binches in Belgium, while I was preparing another show about Gilles de Binches. [This carnival, protected by UNESCO, is supposedly the oldest carnival in the world.] While I was doing the research for that, I went to the museum and I saw this sort of white doll. The image when I took a Polaroid of it came out very strange because of the flash: It appears to be very close to the wall, and it has a very strange shadow underneath the hand and next to the face. Also it erases the imagery of the figure. It looks very archaic, like he could very easily be a Russian orthodox priest. This gave me the idea of something strangely fanatical, and that’s why I called it The Worshipper."
Excerpt from 

December 07, 2011

Nicole Dehalleux

During the holiday season Nicole Dehalleux decorates windows of local businesses. I caught her just when she was packing up after finishing decorating this café.
The rest of the year she creates jewelry. Her next collection will be on show and for sale during the Marché des Créateurs in Schaarbeek on December 16, 17 and 18.
Information and contact details via

December 06, 2011

and here they are......finally

© reuters
family protrait of the new government after being sworn into office today.. 
it took 540 days ...

December 05, 2011

Saint Nicolas - Sinterklaas

Many bloggers are already in the Christmas spirit but here in Belgium (and in the Netherlands as well as in Northern France) we are first celebrating Saint Nicolas or Sinterklaas on December 6.
Last weekend, the Sint was meeting the young children to inquire about their wishes. 
Every year, the Sint arrives on a steamboat from Spain with his helpers. He goes from house to house on his white horse to deliver the presents to the children, but only if they have been good this past year.  On the night of December 5, the children put a shoe in front of the fireplace.   A carrot, a sugar cube, an apple  etc. is put in the shoe as a treat for Sinterklaas' horse. The next morning the carrot is gone and the children find candy or presents in their shoes. Drawings made by the children are put into the shoes as a present to Sinterklaas.

December 02, 2011

"Belgique - c'est chique" by Mirjam Devriendt

Mirjam Devriendt is a professional photographer and a photography teacher.  
She is originally from Kortrijk/Courtrai and after having spent quite some time in Brussels, she now lives in Ghent.  
Mirjam has a precious gift in the sense that she is able to see talent everywhere, and in everyone. To be able to deal with a student body as heterogenous as the one at the Academy of Anderlecht - they are as diverse as they come, in age, in origin and background, they speak various and different languages, they have nothing in common, except of course the one thing that connects them: photography - you have to be not only unusually patient but also quite special. Mirjam is fantastic in organizing shooting opportunities for her students, in having them participate in big cultural events (one example is the Kunstenfestivaldesarts), in getting them out there. 
Besides her work at the Academy, Mirjam is the photographer of artist Berlinde De Bruyckere and of several other artists.  
These pictures are from Mirjams album "Belgique c'est chique".
More of her photographs can be found on: