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    • Day54

      Lunch in Tervuren

      November 6, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ 🌧 11 °C

      Today we had a slow start and also got a few things done around the house and garden (washed and rehung the curtains and raked up leaves in the garden) before we head off to Holland tomorrow.

      Gui and Geertje had invited us over for lunch which was a lovely afternoon - great food, great wine and lovely company. Today the weather has been pretty grey and wet and so we weren’t able to go for a walk with Gui and his gorgeous dog Pablo.

      Geertje is a wonderful cook and today, after some lovely snacks and champagne we had a delicious lunch inspired by Gennaro Contaldo. We had meatballs with herbs, garlic and spaghetti, roasted capsicum salad and a green bean salad. For dessert we had apple crumble - made with apples from their own tree. The entire meal was so good and the crumble was so delicious that I had 2 serves but forgot to take a picture. It was a wonderful day and now I am stuffed to the gills, so it will be toast or yoghurt for dinner tonight I think.
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      Creating beautiful memories. Great photos. Pablo is gorgeous.


      He is a gorgeous dog, so affectionate and very well behaved

    • Day33

      Visiting family in Tervuren

      October 16, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      Following a lovely morning of wonderful architecture and then art we are preparing to head out to spend the rest of the day with my cousin Gui, his wife Geertje , their son Rob, Brigitte and then of course Pablo and Carlos the two family dogs. We caught the metro to Stockel where Gui picked us up. We went back to their place and then got ready to have a lovely walk with the dog through the woods that are adjacent to their place.

      It was a lovely warm afternoon and it was so nice to take a long walk through beautiful woods on a lovely autumn afternoon. Pablo the golden retriever had a ball and we found lots of interesting mushrooms.

      When we arrived back at the house Brigitte was already there and Rob arrived soon after. Geertje prepared a fabulous dinner. We had stuffed mushrooms to start (they were so good and I was too busy stuffing my face that I forgot to take a photo). This was followed by Veal Milanese with spaghetti and then a delicious apple pie made by Gui with apples from his tree. We drank some lovely wine from Bordeaux and had a lovely night. I sometimes wish we didn’t live so far away from my cousins and their families. Although they are a good excuse to visit Europe.
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    • Day51

      Paying our respects

      November 3, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ 🌧 14 °C

      The tradition here in Belgium is to visit loved ones who have passed away on 1 November, which is a public holiday here and known as “All Saints Day”. As we only returned from Denmark on 31/10 and because the cemeteries are so busy on 1/11 we decided to delay our visit by a couple of days.

      Brigitte’s parents, Wim Pleysier and Paulette Ollivier, as well as being my uncle and aunt were my godparents. They also, let me stay with them in Paris when I travelled in my twenties, they were wonderful people who I have some great memories of. They also gave me some wonderful experiences when I would visit. I got to stay with them in their apartment in Cannes and I went skiing in the Swiss Mountains, visited Geneva and many other beautiful cities with them over the years.

      They also opened their heart and home to Ian and Angus when we visited Belgium in 2001. Then again in 2008 we spent Christmas with Paulette and her family in Brussels which was wonderful. I then didn’t get the chance to visit until 2018, when I came to Brussels after Ian and Angus headed home after our European holiday. I stayed predominantly with Brigitte but spent my last few days with Paulette. Then in 2019 Ian and I spent another week in Brussels which turned out to be the final opportunity I would have to spend time with my dear and favourite aunt Paulette. Not long after we left Brussels she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away in early 2020.

      I am not one for cemeteries, but I have to say the one where Wim and Paulette are in Everberg is small and beautifully maintained.
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    • Day26

      Lunch with Family

      July 20, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      Today we have been invited to have lunch at Gui and Geertje’s. We were due there at 12.30 pm but unfortunately, due to a big car accident, we again had to divert and take a different way to their place. My aunt Paulette and their daughter Lisa also attended, which was lovely. We had drinks out in the garden with nibbles, and then a Nigella Lawson pasta for lunch. We then had a traditional Belgian dessert - Cheese Tart - which was delicious. It was lovely to catch up with Gui and Geertje, as this was the only opportunity as they head off on holidays tomorrow. Lisa said she might be interested in travelling to Australia, so hopefully she will come in the next couple of years. Lisa has recently returned from 7 months in South America, so I think she has the travel bug like her younger brother Rob. We had a lovely afternoon, but it was all over too quickly - it was so nice to catch up with family.Read more


      Omg, I see some common features!

    • Day23

      On the way to Brussels

      June 27, 2016 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      It was a very full day: Maastricht to Vaals to Brussels. Early tomorrow we fly from Brussels to Florence and the day after that we head to Venice.

      It was Steve's (the guy who is running the trip) birthday today and Sophie turned 15 two days ago, so there was a surprise cake on the bus for them.Read more

    • Day29

      Lunch with Paulette

      July 23, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      We have just returned from a wonderful lunch at a local restaurant called Nostra Culinair Huis. We were given an amuse bouche of Gazpacho which was a lovely start followed by Chateaubriand with mushroom sauce, pommies frites and a salad followed by palette de sorbet - passion fruit, lemon and raspberry - a perfect dessert on such a warm day! Of course we had a bottle of rosé to accompany our meal from the south of France.

      It was over 30 degrees as we were returning to her house and now I just feel like a siesta!

      I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening getting organised for my trip home in the morning. Had a little supper (because my aunt insisted) about 9pm of some bread and cheese with a glass of wine. Finished packing and headed off to bed about 11pm - it is really warm tonight with no breeze so I am fortunate I was able to use the fan which allowed me to get a pretty decent sleep.
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    • Day29

      Last full day in Brussels

      July 23, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      This is my last full day in Brussels and so I am hanging out with my aunt Paulette who is also my godmother. Paulette has recently turned 86 and is in very good shape, she lives alone in the family home with a swimming pool and she swims everyday and keeps the house, her grandson Stephan helps keep the large grounds under control. Last night she cooked me a delicious meal - rack of lamb, roast potatoes, tomatoes Provençal, green beans and a salad and then strawberries for dessert, and of course wine ( rosé ) to accompany the meal. I had a pretty good sleep last night but it is still very warm in Brussels - today it is about 30 degrees with it climbing up as the week progresses. I will be departing early tomorrow morning as I first have to fly to Heathrow where I will catch my flight back to Melbourne.

      For lunch today I am taking my aunt to a lovely Italian restaurant in the next village, it is important for me to spoil her as she has done this for me many times over the years and also, I don’t know if I will have the opportunity to see her again, hopefully I will, but you never know.
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