October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween

                                    photo Ellen Spinks Gates

Today, October 31, I wanted to share a photo I really like and introduce  you to Mary Kellen en Meg, adorable and lovely daughters of our cousin, celebrating Halloween in Alabama.

October 29, 2014

Spanish restaurant in Brussels

                                 town hall photo by Nuria

The Spanish restaurant La cueva de Castilla "... concocts creative and delicious Spanish dishes. They take the typical specialties right from the Iberian Peninsula and let Chef Roberto go at it. On their menu you can choose exactly what you are in the mood for in an appetizer portion or as the entrée along with any sides you would like… If your mouth isn’t watering yet, come and try the roasted dorado with sherry sauce, grilled swordfish with piquillo pepper, large grilled prawns, paellas, ham hock, chicken with garlic and lemon… all of this with “verduras,” “patatas,” “salsas”…"
I highly recommend a Spanish evening at this restaurant preceded or followed by a walk in the immediate vicinity where you can admire magnificent art deco houses, the absolutely gorgeous Schaerbeek town hall and stroll along the Alfred Verwee street, named after a painter known for his depictions of animals, landscapes and seascapes. 
Place Colignon 14
1030 Schaerbeek

October 26, 2014


 A few weeks ago I had found a great observatory spot on a bench on Ostend's dike. It goes without saying that I could not help photographing this trio in their efforts to get rid of the sand on their feet. 

October 25, 2014


                                   photo by Els Hattink
This is not my favorite season, at least not in the city. 
Fall has arrived in Brussels.

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...."

October 09, 2014


Believe it or not,  a few days after spotting Jan De Cock at lunch time and showing off about this good fortune @ http://whatisbelgium.blogspot.be/2014/09/jan-de-cock.html,
I noticed him again. It happened  just before my visit to the wonderful exhibition in Strombeek  As I feared this might be too much of a good thing, I procrastinated a bit.  
I do not know the guy but I do fear that one day he will look for the author of TiB in order to accuse him/her of stalking. 

October 06, 2014

Alexandra Cool, Moments of Being

Alexandra Cool's exhibition opens tomorrow in Etterbeek.
Excerpt from a review by Bernard Dewulf:
"When I first saw the “Alzheimer heads” by Alexandra Cool, those residents immediately came back into my head. I could again hear some of them chattering, while others appeared quiet and uncommunicative. Also, Louise’s beady eyes came back vividly to me.Thus, more or less, I imagine it will be for me one day. Meanwhile, I look at the heads Alexandra Cool has ‘made’.How quiet they are. But perhaps how feverishly they are working inside.
Who can tell?
Perhaps this question inspired Alexandra Cool when she embarked on these heads, faced with the ineffable, or speechless faced with speechless...."

October 05, 2014

Approaching Kemskerke

Jacques Brel sang about "Le Plat Pays" and I drove through it today after I left Ostend. Klemskerke is typical, a beautiful little village in the Polders not far from De Haan/Le Cocq.  Its windmill from 1693 and its restored church (picture 2 if you look carefully) are protected monuments. "The flat land at its best, where quiet country roads invite walking and cycling. Klemskerke is a very old polder village. The first written document in which the town is mentioned dates back to 1003".

October 03, 2014

Unusual or not?

And yes, we are still being treated well, weather-wise  ... people are taking advantage and enjoying the outdoors to the fullest, even in the city.

October 01, 2014

Josaphat Park by Mirjam Devriendt

                                photo: Mirjam Devriendt
If you happen to be in the neighbourhood the coming days, do go check out this exhibition of photographs by Mirjam Devriendt. 
Josaphat Park is a wonderful public part designed years ago, a remainder od "the old Linthout forest that began at Dailly square. It was inaugurated by King Leopold II on June 6, 1904. Its name comes from the resemblance between the valley of the Roodebeek (a tributary of the Maalbeek) where the park is located and the Valley of Josaphat in the Holy Land, noted by a pilgrim back from Palestine in 1574"