Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Made in Belgium: Compact Disc Dummies

This  year 2 very young techno brothers (17-19) have won the Humo's Rock Rally and have been getting a lot of airplay with their first hit The Reeling. They were also already on stage on some of the major festivals in Belgium.   Way to go guys, keep it coming!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to simple lay-out

I really like the dynamic templates in Blogger but they give constant issues with some browers and seem to also have issues in allowing you all to leave a comment on my blog.

and I must admit: I love receiving comments. It's fun to know that a visitor came by and to hear their response to my post. I am very curious when I type a post, what you'll think about it.  And in all honesty, for those of you that click through from's actually more fun to receive a comment on my blog itself as that stays linked to the post forever while FB updates & comments disappear as soon as there's enough other posts in the feed to catch our attention.

So anyway....hope this boring straight forward template will work better now.

Preparing a babyroom

Little by little we are getting ready for the arrival of our little wonder in a few weeks.  We've received already a lot from family and there is still so much stuff that we'll need to get later. I have no idea where we'll have to store it all and how to get organised then. But I belief we now have the most urgent essentials ready, right at plan, which feels good.  We even practiced securing our maxi-cosi correctly in the car today :). 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Made in Belgium: Jali

I recently came across the name "Jali" on a concert announcement ...who on earth is Jali. So I looked him up and he seems only known in the Wallonian (frenchspeaking ) part of Belgium. His Rwandese roots are promising ( cfr Stromae !) but his style seems a bit more singer-songwriter.  Quite some catchy rhythms/songs though although I've not really grasped the texts yet.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Family BBQ

August 15th is a Belgian holiday and traditionally we have a family bbq that day.  Upon arrival there were a couple light showers but later on in the afternoon the promised sun arrived.

It was a pleasant afternoon although I dozed off when laying down on a lawn chair for a bit.

Our nephew liked it when Jan and I cuddled and cherished my big belly: "Jan and Goofball are in they have to kiss", was his new mantra

Good start of a long lazy weekend to arrange a lot of baby stuff and catch up some sleep

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Hall in transformation

During the major renovations in our house, we never truly finished the hallway...the newly built/renewed part was freshly plastered, the old part had some old paint ...both areas abruptly going from one into another. Later one some windows where renewed...also adding fresh plaster over the old paint. The addition of support beams had created some cracks and all finishing touches were missing. 

We had always hesitated how to approach our lang narrow staircase hallway, in a safe approach. After a while you don't notice the unpainted walls anymore and they were left as they were. Then we were renovating in the Ardennes first. This winter I realised that with the baby on its way, the chances were even slimmer that we'd ever finish this part of our house in a reasonable amount of time ourselves.   

Last days we're camping in our own house and literally trying to be out of the house as much as we can, either spending time in the Ardennes, at our work or ... because our hallways has been invaded by professional painters. Yeay, finally the much needed transformation. So looking forward to see the finished part :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A walk with my parents through the boglands

Previous weekend my parents came to stay with us.   It was a cooler weekend but fortunately on Sunday the sun came out for a very nice short walk around the boglands of the Fagne de Polleur.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Made in Belgium: Gene Thomas

Several weeks ago I dedicated a post to X-session the dance pop act popular at the end of the nineties.   The singer Gene Thomas then chose for a solo career which was quite a change in genre: he chose for Dutchspeaking songs.  To be honest, really not quite my style, but I do belief Gene has gained a lot more authenticity and for that I like him.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Keep walking

I'm growing to a size at the moment that I literally start to understand & feel all the comments & warnings that the last weeks will be hard as you are becoming very imobile. Indeed, putting on shoes, getting out of a low chair, walking on some days/moments are all becoming clearly harder.  Yet my newest pregnancy complaint is constipation, so I realise I must keep moving .

So I do, I try to do :).  Still being at work & commuting obviously helps (I walk to train station or to /from hotel or office) .  

Yesterday we enjoyed a brief but lovely local walk along the nearby lake/river Warche that I always enjoy with some visiting friends... at a very calm pace but fun to be out and goof around a bit.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Made in Belgium: Janez Detd

Janez Detd is a Flemish punkband of which I mainly like their catchy covers that really make me smile.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Evening walk

Scouting groups camping in the area

I went to Beleuvenissen again in July

I don't dare to book expensive tickets for big festivals this summer, not knowing in advance how awake and fit I'll feel and if my belly would cope heat and loud music and standing up for long.

But Beleuvenissen, the free concerts going on in the city center of Leuven each July Friday evening are closeby and easy to reach (and enable you to leave at any moment if you don't feel well).  So I went to see some Folk concerts in the beginning of July, some French chanson the week after,  the third Friday I slept (the "special" program usually doesn't make me very enthusiastic) and last week we went to see some "best off" concerts.

At folk I was very curious to see "Altan", an Irish folk band which I learned to love (with 2 songs at least) in Canada many many years ago.   My host father in one of my host families in fact always played a Celtic compilation late in the evening before going to bed.  That celtic music grew upon me and was the root of my love for folk.   Altan was one of the bands on that CD but since then I had not really heard from them again.

So it was quite cool to see the route cause of my folk love on stage, bringing indeed very traditional Irish/celtic music. Nice!

On the vismarkt, the Dutch "paganfolk" group brought very tribal sounding folk which I could appreciate very much. Haha, in fact I was a little disappointed that they were not Belgian so I could not spend a "made in Belgium" post on them :p.

However we soon moved to the Old Market Square to see my folk heroes "Urban Trad".  I was quite positively surprised to see them on the program this year since they had quit a few years ago no?   There was no sign on their website of a reunion or announcement to start touring again, yet there they were  with all their friends they often partner with e.g. the Belgian/Galician group  Ialma.
The square was cosy filled up but not quite packed at all and the sound didn't convince in the back part of the square. So I had the feeling that most people were enjoying a drink with nice company, having the music as pleasant background noise but there was no true engagement with the stage as I am used to when going to see Urban Trad. A bit disappointing though.  I had the feeling there live reputation was a bit lost...or maybe I wasn't in the best mood and expecting too much from them?  Only at the very end with some of their biggest hits, some more link with the public seemed to take place.

The 2nd Friday we went with a visiting friend to go and listen to French Chanson. While we were having a nice but extremely slow served meal on the Old Market Square we were surprised not to see the announced Isolde Lasoen to climb on stage but a pretty good Latino singer.  Nice...but a bit odd in the theme of French chanson?   It wasn't the only square where the theme was used very losely: on the Hoogeschoonplein our one-time Eurovision winner Sandra Kim was English. I guess that the fact she's a native French speaking  Belgian was close enough to schedule her tonight.
Jo Lemaire with her ever impressive voice was more like it at the Vismarkt, but we got back in time to watch Gerard Lenorman.   The name didn't ring a bell at all, but many of his hits surely did   "la balade des gens heureux"  , "si j'├ętais pr├ęsident"  etc etc are all classic sing-alongs that managed to set the square on fire.  Turned out we were standing next to group of drunk big fans , dancing away to the music of this famous French chansonnier.  

The last time we went to Beleuvenissen this year was a "best of" evening.  

For the 2nd time in 3  years, I watched Buscemi performing on the Vismarkt   , nicely fitting in the hot temperatures with his tropical sounding dance music.  Very nice.
Nevertheless i also hurried to see the end of the performance of the big Mr   Raymond Van 't Groenewoud , one of the biggest musicians in Belgium.

I truly love living in Leuven on Friday evenings in July...all this top music, just around the corner, all in pleasant cosy atmosphere.  I love it. this 25th edition surely was well done again.