August 31, 2014

Fun (at the market) or not?

Sunday markets are thriving. However, some shoppers do not seem to practice what they preach, which is understandable given the length of the lines. In your opinion, which one seems to be having more fun? 

August 30, 2014

Belgian beer talk

with chocolate in the background... what could be more appropriate to illustrate the Belgian way of life?

August 29, 2014

Rain, no matter where you are headed

Does one ever get used to rain? Continuous rainfall the last few weeks has left me craving for sun. It looks today as if there is hope at the horizon. 
Since I took up photography, I am less annoyed with the long red lights in Brussels and enjoy the opportunity to get my camera phone out, even when the results are blurry rainshots.

August 28, 2014

Marie-Antoinette in Westerlo

de Merode castle in Westerlo, located in the province of Antwerp, formed the magical decor for the historical musical "Marie-Antoinette,"  wife of Louis XVI. The costumes, the 3D projection, the cast, the stage set on the water.. glorious and spectacular. 
Graham decided to give a private, spontaneous - not part of the play- performance during intermission (last picture).

August 23, 2014

Maryangela, Human of the World.

 I am extremely pleased to introduce Maryangela Gusmao, a Brazilian woman of Belgium. 
I met her at the market a few weeks ago. While I was investigating the quality of the fruits on display, she generously offered advice on which prices were right, what to buy and how to cook it. We talked "mango scampi"... I ended up not only getting mangos but also a new, special friend.  
Maryangela is a colourful woman with an interesting history. She owns La Cantina, a Brazilian restaurant in the touristy central part of Brussels. Needless to say, I tried it out soon after meeting her.  I had a fantastic time: the food was interesting and delicious and I truly enjoyed watching Maryangela in action in the open kitchen. 
After visiting La Cantina, the risk of inviting Maryangela to help me cook a buffet for a large group of invitees, seemed manageable to me. My guests had a blast, everyone loved the food AND the cook. Without ever having put foot in Brazil, I felt transported to a different continent and our house felt and smelled like a colourful Brazilian haven.
My new friend is a writer, an artist, a teacher, a decorator, a reference point for anything and everything Brazilian in Brussels, a poet and a singer. You name it, she does it! Et pas n'importe comment!
Go enjoy a meal at La Cantina and hire Maryangela to cook in her exquisite, exotic way for you and your guests. 
Maryangela Gusmao +32 475615419
La Cantina, cuisine Brésilienne, Rue Jardin des Olives13-15, Brussels, +32 2 513 42 76

August 18, 2014

Flower carpet Grand Place Brussels by Els Hattink

 I will have no choice but to promote Els Hattink to permanent TiB guest photographer. I am grateful that she sent me these pictures of the bi-annual event which takes place during the Assumption holiday weekend, the  Brussels' Flower carpet. So many pictures have been circulating on the net but these are different because they show the interest and acrobatic manoevers of the public. 
This year  Turkish patterns and 600.000 begonias commemorate the Turkish immigration to Belgium.

August 16, 2014


At the weekly neighborhood market, I witnessed the Cuberdon revival. 
In Dutch it is known as "a neus (nose), in French, chapeau-de-curé and chapeau-de-prêtre (priest's hat).  According to tradition, the recipe of the cuberdon was discovered by chance by the Ghent pharmacist De Vynck in 1873. In order to increase the shelf life of drugs at the time, many were packaged in the form of syrup. When the pharmacist examined a failed preparation after a few days, he found that it had formed a crust, while the core was still liquid. From this discovery came the idea to use such a technique to manufacture candy"

August 14, 2014


Mechelen offers it all, historic sites, idyllic spots in the city and on the waterfront,  a boat trip on the Dyle....
More info here:

August 12, 2014

Brussels' beautiful square

                                                             Brussels' Grand Place. 

August 08, 2014

Galileo in the hospital

A lot of effort has been put into the renovation of the hospital known previously as St Elisabeth, now called Europe Hospital in the southern part of Brussels.
I thought the statue in the entrance hall looked like Kuifje/Tintin while in fact this sculpture "Galileo" by Kostis Georgiou, made in Athens in 2010, shows a scientist observing the sun.
The waiting areas in the various hallways still look pretty hospital-like to me though -- a red chair here and there does not do the trick.  What do you think?

August 03, 2014

Sunday morning in Brussels, random shots

This Sunday morning I left the house without my camera because I had to drive downtown to run a quick errand. The weather, quietness and the skies were so attractive that I could not help but use my phone camera: not every day does one see Magrittesque clouds right over the Magritte museum or hear Hare Krishnas  singing right in front of the Monnaie Opera house.

August 01, 2014


Since the soccer success of the Red Devils the Belgian flag appears or remains (?) in the most unexpected spots like on these construction cranes in Diest... and no I did not take this photograph on July 21, the Belgian national (as opposed to regional(s) ) holiday but in Diest after having visited Giusto Gusto (previous posting).