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    • Day 3

      Lazy Saturday

      September 16, 2023 in Belgium ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      I had a lazy start to the day - relaxing and reading and adjusting to the time difference and warm weather.

      Brigitte and I did some shopping and then started preparing for dinner as we had Gui, Geertje, Luc, Nathalie, Sohan and Stéphane and Emma for dinner.

      I made an apple cake which ended up being a disaster as the cake form Brigitte had leaked and so the floor of the oven was covered in cake batter. So no dessert tonight.

      We are having a barbecue with brochettes and sausages. I made some guacamole which was a big hit with everyone and we also made a potato salad and a green salad.

      It was a lovely evening catching up with family.
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    • Day 8

      Rainy Thursday

      September 21, 2023 in Belgium ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Woke up to the rain falling. We had planned to go to Brussels today but there is rain predicted all day. So I spent the morning doing some laundry and getting organised for our trip to France as the next few days before we leave are going to be very busy with social engagements.

      For lunch we met up with Brigitte’s friend Eva and we went to Le Bar à K a lovely little spot in Wavre that Brigitte and I frequented many times during my visit last year. They both had garlic prawns and I had prawns with Chicory. We had a lovely bottle of rosé to go with the meal. It was also an early celebration for Brigitte’s birthday which is Saturday.

      After lunch we went back to Eva’s place in Limal for coffee.

      Tonight Brigitte made the National Belgian dish Chicons au Gratin, (there is some debate about what is the National dish - some say Waterzooi (Soupish Stew) Moules Frites (Mussels & Fries) Cannibales (a type of steak tartare) and Waffles are all on the list. Chicons au Gratin consists of Chicory that is boiled and then wrapped in ham, placed in a baking dish, covered with white sauce and cheese and then placed under a grill. It is an interesting dish and quite delicious. It is a good dish on a cold day.
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    • Day 16

      Visit with Lieke!

      August 20, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      Everyone meet Lieke! Lieke is my dad's cousin who lives in Brussels :) I made a quick stop to visit and boy was it fun! We started by walking around Brussels, saw the main square, ate muscles, and saw the arch at night (it was raining lol). Lieke is also a big salsa dancer and recommended seeing the street salsa dancing under the arch. So cool! Then the highlight. Saturday morning Lieke took me to meet her horse, Mourenna, who is lovely. She is currently training her so we practiced in the ring. It is amazing that all of the commands are done by expression. Just inhaling tells the horse to start to trot and exhaling tells the horse to slow to a walk. Amazing! We also went for a quick little bareback which was great :) we ended off with a walk in the park and had some YUMMY pastries and Belgian chocolate 🥰 love family❤️

      Now off to Amsterdam! 🇳🇱
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    • Day 36

      Markets of Wavre and lunch!

      October 19, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      After a nice slow start we headed into Wavre again today to check out the Wednesday Markets. The whole of the town centre is closed off to traffic and they have a huge market. I sent a box of winter clothes over to Belgium for me to have as we travel north where it is much cooler. Unfortunately the box is still with customs! I was very clear with what was in the box - my personal clothes and boots - but someone the customs office thought Brigitte had ordered these clothes from Australia and wanted to charge importation tax of 544 euros - for my old clothes!!!! Brigitte finally spoke to someone and explained they were my clothes and so the charge has been waived but we are still waiting for the box to be delivered and we leave for Copenhagen on Monday. As I don’t have many warm clothes I purchased a couple of things at the market. I have also found a store with great boots, so if I don’t get my box in time I will need to buy some jeans and boots.

      After wandering around the markets for a while we decided to get lunch at a brasserie owned by friends of Brigitte called Bar A K. It was such a fun place - great food and wine and a wonderful ambiance, a bit quirky and everyone was so friendly. This brasserie is also a bar and has lots of live music and it would be fun to attend a gig if we get the chance.

      A quiet night at home trying to catch up on my blog, with a wonderful Caprese salad with the wonderful tomatoes from Brigitte’s garden.
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    • Day 60

      Last Saturday in Limal

      November 12, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ ☀️ 8 °C

      Today we are just getting a few jobs done. The most important is to box up the knives, some of the souvenirs and some of my clothes and post that back to Australia. So we purchased a box and then we went back home, filled it and completed the paperwork which was much easier than when I did it in France. So the Laguiole knives are finally on their way home!

      After that I suggested to Brigitte that we go somewhere for lunch and so we went back to Le Bar à K where I had the Scampi Chicon and Brigitte had the Scampi with garlic. The bar is a really nice, with a great vibe. Joe and Kat who are the owners are lovely and very welcoming - they use old records as place mats and play old rock and roll music. After lunch as it was such a warm day, about 19 degrees we walked through Wavre to enjoy the sunshine.

      When we got back home I started the task of packing, which went very well. A quiet night at home watching some Netflix and eating some more delicious Dutch cheese was the perfect end to a lovely day.
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    • Day 5

      Get things done!

      September 18, 2023 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

      Today we had a slow start as we weren’t in a rush to go anywhere. We had a number of errands to run and things to do. We headed off to Ottiginies to purchase a large box from the Post Office so that I can send a whole lot of clothes I left here last year when the plan was to spend 4 months in Cahors.

      Then we picked up some lovely soaps from Provence that I really like and we went and bought some delicious chocolates as a thank you to a women who found a number of cards belonging to Stéphane that he had lost. I then also got my hair cut as my hairdresser went on holidays recently and so I wasn’t able to get a trim prior to heading off on holidays.

      I then took Brigitte out to lunch to a favourite restaurant of ours, Maxime, in Wavre. Brigitte had moule frit and I had steak tartare, the meals were delicious.

      After lunch we did some grocery shopping and planned dinner- deciding I would cook schnitzel, which was a hit with both Emma and Stephane.

      We also harvested some of the wonderful produce Brigitte and Stéphane grow including tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and pumpkins. I also finished my first holiday novel - Before the Coffee Gets Cold - which was a lovely read and I have now started reading Vanessa McCausland’s - Dreaming in French - which I am thoroughly enjoying.
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    • Day 7

      Relaxing Day in Limal

      September 20, 2023 in Belgium ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

      After the big day visiting Gent yesterday, today is going to be a nice relaxing day hanging around home and getting some jobs done. I had left a whole bunch of stuff at Brigitte’s place last year as I had intended to spend several months in Europe this year - plans change and now that extended stay won’t be for a couple of years. So I packed up all my warmer gear and posted it back to Australia.

      The weather is still very mild, although some cooler and wet weather is forecast over the next couple of days. Stéphane, Brigitte’s son has created a wonderful garden that produces so many vegetables, so today more produce was picked from the garden including pumpkins, zucchini, potatoes, onion, cucumbers and tomatoes. The zucchini are huge and plentiful so I decided to show Brigitte how to make zucchini slice. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the slice - something they had never had, but will now make as it is a great way to use up zucchini.

      I also spent some of today reading my second holiday novel - Dreaming in French by Vanessa McCausland - it is such a good read I am afraid it will be finished in a couple of days!
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    • Day 49

      Dinner with the family

      November 1, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ 🌙 14 °C

      Tonight Nathalie, Sohan, Stéphane and Emma are coming over for dinner. Brigitte is making her delicious Spaghetti Bolognaise. Sohan will be spending a few days with us as Nathalie is working and he has school holidays. Stéph isn’t feeling well, so he is here but keeping his distance.

      Lia is also here tonight and although Stéph is her favourite, she has taken quite a liking to me also!

      We have a lovely evening, the Spaghetti Bolognaise is delicious and we have a special tart that Steph has been promising to bring for two years apparently. It is called Tart Vi Paurin a speciality of Rixensart which is a delicious tart of apples, raisins, crème anglaise, caramelised almonds and rum.

      It was great to have a nice relaxed dinner with the famille Mouchette, unfortunately Luc had headed to his property in France for a couple of weeks, so he wasn’t there.
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    • Day 37

      Gardening and Chocolate research

      October 20, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      This morning Brigitte and I did a bit of work in the garden before heading off to Lio, a local chocolatier in Limal. Brigitte said she had only discovered this place last year after receiving a gift basket from work when she retired. She highly recommends them so I felt we needed to get some to compare to the Pierre Marcolini, Neuhaus and Mary that are my favourite Belgian chocolates. We decided on a mixed box, so we could establish which are my favourites. Brigitte has already declared salted caramel as her favourite.

      The weather has been quite wet and overcast this morning, but our weather Ap is saying sunny and dry this afternoon which would be good for our Geocaching activity.
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    • Day 35

      Life in Limal

      October 18, 2022 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      This morning the first activity on the agenda is to get a haircut. It was well overdue and so Brigitte took me to her hairdresser and they did a good job. I even had a mask put on because my hair is feeling very dry.

      After haircuts we walked around the lovely town of Wavre, where we did a bit of essential and non-essential shopping. I then took Brigitte out for lunch to a lovely local brasserie - we were going especially for mussels but unfortunately they weren’t available as they were still waiting on a delivery. So I had steak tartare and Brigitte had grilled prawns on skewers. The food was delicious and our waiter was very entertaining and cheeky. It was a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

      We then headed home and we had planned to go for a walk in the woods but we got a call from Stéphane asking Brigitte to pick Emma up after school. So we delayed our walk until Emma was with us. It has been a beautiful sunny mild day, so it has been nice to be out and about, we are trying to make the most of this lovely weather as the forecast is for rain in the coming days.
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