Monday, September 15, 2014

While the kids are away the parents will ....


Well that is not entirely true, we both had to work but we didn't have to rush home after work to sort out dinner for the kids etc. Plus, when you own a pub, or rather when your husband owns a pub going there doesn't feel like work (for me at least).

July was also nice and sunny so we spent long evenings sitting outside the pub, going for dinner and just hanging out. I think during the six weeks the kids were away I cooked a grand total of two times. We also went to a 60th birthday party and stayed out till 5! Whoever said you are too old to party by the time you turn 60 never met Michael!

Hanging out with friends


But we didn't just sit around drinking and eating, we worked on the house & garden, cleaning, painting, planting etc. All those things we don't have time for during the rest of the year.

We were also getting ready for the 5th birthday party of the pub. We had gotten permission from the town council to close of the street next to the pub, put up a stage and have a street party. It was a huge success.

Bru House party

I also got to meet a blog friend, Sarah, her husband Cory and very sweet daughter Lexi. They popped over for a visit to Belgium and the poor people were blessed with the best of the Belgian weather. It rained, the whole entire time they were here.  I felt so bad for them cause as much as I love Belgium it really is so much better when it's not pouring none-stop!  I don't think Belgium made a very good impression on them.

Night out in Brussels

Lunch in Gent (see Sarah this is what Gent looks like when it's not raining)

okay, I admit, we did do some drinking

Weekend away

Life is just better with great friends

And yes, I'm well aware that there are no pictures of the work we did around the house but when we work, we work. No time for selfies and photos :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

6 Weeks without the kids

Where the heck has the time gone? It feels like it was just last week that I was packing the kids stuff for their trip to South Africa!

The 6 weeks the kids spent in South Africa just flew by. Yes, I put my kids on a plane, all alone, and sent them to the other side of the world for six weeks. The were perfectly happy to go and not so happy to be back at home. Cept for the food, turns out they prefer my cooking to their Nana's (luckily she doesn't read my blog so I don't have to be worried about her finding out).

We arranged for them to keep up with their training while there. A friend of ours is an ex Commonwealth swimmer for South Africa so she was the perfect coach for Cat. And as luck would have it her boyfriend is a professional soccer coach so that was Tiger sorted. And it all paid off cause getting back into training here at home has been seamless.

Himself & I really missed having the kids around. The first couple of days it feels like you are on honeymoon, only having to think about yourselves but then you start to miss the little buggers. Not that they cared, getting them to talk to us on Skype for more than 5 minutes wasn't easy to do.

The great thing about them being is South Africa is that they got the chance to hang out with some of their cousins (they also have cousins in Australia but so far we've only manged to talk to them on Skype). Their aunties and uncles and their last remaining great-grandmother. 

As happy as I am about living here in Belgium, the one thing I am sorry about is the fact that they are growing up without their family around them. Some of my best memories are linked to my cousins.

Anyway, I thought I would add a couple of photos to show you they really were happy to be away from home for 6 weeks.

cousins going bowling

someone was kind and skilled enough to replace Mr. Brown's eye

The boys at the dino expo


Playing in my brother's garden

Hanging with Nanna B on her 83rd birthday

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Go devils!

World cup fever is at fever pitch here in Belgium. It is the first time since 2002 that we managed to qualify and we might just be in there with a chance to win the whole thing. 


As it often does sport has managed to get the whole country united for once and everywhere you go there are flags hanging up.  

I just hope that the games goes according to plan tonight (6:00 pm Brussels local time) Belgium vs Algeria.

Not to be outdone by the likes of Pitbull we have our own world cup song by Stomae (loved by both the French and Flemish speakers, another first).

our pub - the Bru House

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Four weddings and a funeral and Pain

Yesterday ...

You know the start of Four weddings and a funeral? 

It was something like that in our house yesterday. 

I woke up 5 minutes after we should have left the house!

Miracle of all miracles we all made it out the door, the kids got to school with time to spare & I managed to make it to the office only 5 minutes late for my 9:00 meeting. In fact, I got to work at 9:00 but I still had to log-on and get some coffee into myself.

Today ...

I'm pretty sure that someone of 90 can move faster and smoother than me today. I hurt, all over! Seriously, it even hurts between my ribs. I think my toes, fingers and ears might be the only part of me hurting.

I have finally gotten to that point where I can't stand the way I look I actually started doing something about it. 

I've owned the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred dvd since January, I think. I started using it on Monday evening. It hurt! But boy, it hurts even more today. And the only reason I'll be doing it again tonight is cause I have not put up with this pain for nothing. At some point it has to stop hurting. Probably going to be on day 9 or 10 and then the hurting is going to start all over again when I move up to level 2.

I took some before pictures but I'm not going to share them with you .... I'm not proud. But I hope to have some nice looking after pictures, and then, who knows I might be willing to share them.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I've been ...

Listening to ....

For some reason I couldn't load the video but if  you click on the link you will be able to watch it.
I know this is a Dutch song but the kids & I have been singing along to a quite a lot ... so I hope it even if you can't understand it you at least like it a bit.

In short it is a guy singing about a girl called Louise. How he thinks about her all day long but she never notices him. He is sure that if he won the lottery he would be able to sweep her off her feet. Take her out for dinner, take her to Spain.

Magic – Rude

Paloma Faith – Can’t rely on you

Michael Jackson & JT – Love never felt so good

Pharrell Williams – Marilyn Monroe

George Ezra - Budapest

Kongos – Come with me now

Kongos – Hey I don’t know

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Love ode ...

Tiger got this letter yesterday .... (see bottom of post for translation)

According to him this girl, his 'girlfriend' is the cutest girl ever.
He told me: 'If you look in a dictionary next to the word angel you would find a picture of Maya'.

I guess she likes him to:

My dearest,
I love you to madness & more
I adore you
I would die for you
I want to fall into your arms
You are seriously cute
The better I get to know you the more I love you
If you didn't exist I would be the saddest girl in the world
Kisses from Maya who loves you
ps. I wrote this in a hurry which is why it doesn't look nice

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

South Africa part 3

I’ve been off work sick. Nothing serious, actually, the dr. doesn’t know what is wrong, he told me to go on holiday.

Well, since I just went on a mini-break to South Africa (SA) I can’t really afford to go on holiday, so it is back to work for me.

And back to blogging. I really find it hard to blog when I’m at home. Too many other things distracting me. Not to mention these amazing books I’m reading at the moment. But I’ll tell you about those later.

Now, let me get back to telling you about my trip to SA.

The people.

If there is one thing that I miss about living in South Africa it is being able to just hang out with friends and family. Being around for both the big and the little things that happen in their lives.

The last time I was in SA was nearly 5 years ago so you can imagine how much the kids have changed since I last saw them.  My brother’s youngest Jae was about 8 months old.  So he really had no idea who I was. I mean, he has seen me on skype but it is not quite the same.

Same for Jude, he was a tiny baby when I last saw him and he is a bit on the shy side so he doesn’t talk to us much on skype.

My friends Char & Robin adopted a baby after we left SA so I was thrilled to finally meet the apple of their eye Jesse.  And she is the sweetest thing!

I met my cousin’s husband and baby girl. I had a look in on the sleeping form of one of my other cousin’s babies.

Honestly, I spent most of my time just hanging out with people I love. It was bliss.

Some times we even forgot to take photos of us together. But if you are interested here is a bit of a photo overload of some of my favorite people in SA:

Jae, 'aunty' Jo and Brand - at their favorite restaurant Spur

'old' friends - Joey, Jo & Charmaine

My other boys: Jude & Joshua

the very sweet Jesse-Lee


a little shy

The South African cousins ... yip, they are all boys

My cousin Lé-Ana, her husband and their little doll Zané

Rich & Marié (who made it home from the hospital (on call) to have a piece of cake for her birthday)