August 31, 2011

Midi fair

After iphoneography, the blurry pictures, today's experiment is a result of pictures taken while I was driving, and I hope that the Brussels police are not reading this blog.
This time I am inspired by Pierre Boyer ( who takes pictures while traveling.
The first photo is taken at the end of the  "Foire du Midi" (see excerpt website just below), a phenomenon which returns to Brussels every year in the summer.
The second one shows how Brussels, probably just like any other major city in the world today, is struggling every morning.
"Ever since then, the Midi Fair, the most important fair in Brussels, has opened each year on the weekend before Belgium’s national holiday on the 21stof July. The Midi Fair is held throughout July and August, for over one month and is situated between Porte d’Anderlecht/Anderlechtsepoort and Porte de Hal/Hallepoort.
Over the years, the once classical fair has greatly evolved and applied the newest technological developments to its fairground attractions. Traditional images like wrestling rings, fortune tellers, merry-go-rounds, and street organs have made way for modern variants such as bumper cars, roller coasters, and big wheels".

August 30, 2011

Almost back to school but not quite yet

September 1 and school starts again. I felt like making the holiday last a little longer by posting the pictures taken at the end of the previous school year. The first one in Mechelen, where the girls were obviously delighted and the second one in Paris, where an excursion to the musée Rodin does not seem to excite the boys very much.

August 28, 2011

Men in the bar on a Sunday afternoon in summer

When I passed by this café, I hopped in and out with my camera, my goal being not to frigthen these men in a row, who seemed quite happy with their beer in the tranquility of the place which, I am guessing, must be a very familiar spot to them. I therefore used no flash and the bar was rather dark. But still I got these guys and, even if the result is rather blurry,  the atmosphere is there and the phenomenon is rather Belgian. Also, I can't help but wonder when scenes like this will be a thing of the past.

August 26, 2011

"Pauvre B"

At first, I had not even noticed the writing on this contraption, fascinated as I was by its construction and colors. A closer look at the hood revealed references to the actual Belgian government-less situation. I detected Belgian flags, "Pauvre B" ( poor Belgium?) and votez (vote - meaning, no doubt, vote AGAIN).
How long has it been since the Belgians voted? 
Everyone -French and Dutch speakers, Flemings, Brussels folks and Walloons, the German speaking community  - is looking for a sign, if only a tiny bit of sunlight.  
Let's hope that the holidays brought vitamins and wisdom to the politicians who find themselves around the negotiating table again, looking for a way to reach a balanced compromise.
Wishing them well.
Fingers crossed.

August 25, 2011

The coast seen through i-phone

New York City blogger Urban Muser ( has inspired me with her fascinating iphone-shots. I particularly enjoyed her post "Culinary shadows", dated August 21. 
So, here are my first iphone attempts (no photoshopping or editing) of the Belgian coast. At the left the harbor of Zeebrugge. 

August 23, 2011

Smurfs all around

Impossible not to notice the smurfs these days. They are simply EVERYWHERE... on the street, in the shops, in magazines,  on television, in the grocery stores... on trucks. They appear on t-shirts, on ready-to-go-to-school material, on dollhouses, toys. There are smurfs figurines, dollhouses, smurf facebook fan groups, breakfast cereals. The smurfs even have their official website:

Parents stand in line in the grocery store to collect as many stamps as possible on their "fidelity cards". The goal is to get the card stamped at the cash register because a full card  gives the customer the right to choose a figurine.

I thought the smurfs were a thing of the past because they appeared in magazines a long time ago, at the end of the 1950's,  and kids growing up in the 1980's remember them from the Sunday TV programs.
The cause of this renewed Smurfmania is the release of the full-length feature film, The Smurfs Movie 3D.

Why am I talking about this? Well, I got a photograph of this colorful truck... and the Smurfs' creator was Belgium's Pierre Culliford - better known as Peyo (25 June 1928 – 24 December 1992). In order to be totally fair though, I must add that, as his name might suggest, his father was English, his mother was Belgian.

August 20, 2011

Moules frites

Only in Belgium... (do they taste like this...)

August 19, 2011

Storm hits Pukkelpop festival

Thinking of everyone at Pukkelpop, their families and friends.

August 18, 2011

and what if...?

As my holiday in Provence, France is slowly approaching its end, I am showing work by French artist Pierre (jeans and black shirt) who made this unique piece about a year ago. He thought at the time that a certain degree of divine intervention might somehow enhance Belgium's government formation process.....

August 15, 2011

Segway Bruges

In my posting of June 8, I talked about the Segway as a means of transportation in Brussels. Here is the Bruges' version. I did not get an opportunity to ask questions because the eloquent guide was really into his story but from what I see on the website there are Segway city tours, Segway dinners, Segway parties etc.

August 09, 2011


For some of you the holiday is or is almost over..not in Belgium. This is what our local Brussels boy scouts look like when they leave for their holiday camp, dressed, fed,  showered, hair combed, shoes cleaned, gear 'spick and span'... I would like to see what it's all like when they return...

August 06, 2011

Kwak, Leffe, Duvel and the others

There are so many Belgian beers and not being a connoisseur, I would not have an idea where to start.
To me the glasses that the different beers are served in are at least as interesting as the beer itself.  My favorite glass is the Kwak glass. When ordering a Kwak, the glass comes on a wooden stand because the glass, with its round button, would not stand by itself. 
"According to the Kwak website: “In Napoleon’s time, Pauwel Kwak was a brewer and the owner of the De Hoorn inn (near Brussels). Mail coaches stopped there every day, but at that time coachmen were not allowed to leave their coach and horses,” “As a result, the inventive innkeeper had a special Kwak glass blown that could be hung on the coach. In this way, the coachman had his Kwak beer safely at hand.”

August 03, 2011

The man who vacuum cleans Bruges

Never before have I seen anyone vacuuming the street ....until Sunday afternoon, July 31, in the center of Bruges.
Belgians used to spend much time cleaning their houses, particularly windows,  and their cars.  Belgians of a certain age still do.