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. 

Proof:





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

Cake!

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)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

South Africa - part 2



I noticed during my quick trip to South Africa was that while I clearly was not a tourist I could look at some things from a more ‘touristic’ point of view. Things that the locals have to live with every single day were things I could just look at and smile. Cause, you know, I don’t have to deal with the bad service, or terrible roads, or lack of common decency.  Also, I know for a fact that you can have the same experience in Belgium, or anywhere in the world for that matter. I just chose not to focus on those things.

The one thing that was totally unavoidable thought was the load shedding. Sure I had heard of it from everyone but this time I actually experienced it. Let me tell you, I can see why people get, to put it plainly, pissed off about it.

I have a very good friend Val who went to high school with me. We weren’t such great friends in high school but over the last couple of years we have kept in contact and email and call each other about once a week.  So, on the Wednesday we had agreed to meet up and he would buy me a nice lunch.

I took the very convenient Gautrain to Centurion where he picked me up.

The Gautrain is South Africa’s first high speed train connection between Pretoria and Johannesburg (including the airport). It has been operational since 8 June 2010.

It was quite funny to see the people on board’s reaction. Some of them were using it for the first time and taking photos and calling their fiends and family saying ‘guess where I am?’

A couple of them even asked me where they had to switch to get on to the airport line, at which point I had to tell them that it was also a first time for me. ‘Wow, are you loving it?’ ‘Well’ I had to reply, ‘I actually live in Europe so high speed trains are nothing new for me’. I did, however, mention how super impressed I was at how clean it all was. And it really was.

But I’m getting off topic.

So, my friend Val and his four boys picked me up outside the train station and took me for lunch to Irene farm. It was my first time there and I loved it! 


According to the boys this is not the most friendly of swans
My friend Val with his four boys

On the way there I noticed that none of the traffic lights were working … what’s that about I asked. Load shedding.

When we got to Irene farm we were told that they were without electricity and could offer us something to drink but no food.

The boys were happy enough with that and raced off to go explore while Val & I sat catching up. Finally the boys all came back saying they were starving and could we go get some pizza somewhere. No problem ... or wait problem … we needed to pay for the drinks but:

  1. no electricity meant no payments by card
  2. Val didn’t have cash on him … they usually don’t accept cash and he knows this cause they go there often

Not to worry, I had cash on me and managed to count out the exact amount (they also couldn’t give any change).

We decided to go try our luck at the Irene Mall. They also didn’t have any electricity but we were able to get some pizza for the kids and Val was able to get cash from one of the grocery stores.

Not even the cell phone towers were working which was really strange since they don’t need electricity.

My sister-in-law is a 5th year med-student and she said that the hospitals have generators but that they are used for essential services only. This meant that none of the electric door locks were working. She was on-call that night and they couldn’t lock the door of the on-call room or lock off any of the wards which usually are ‘locked down’.

As developed as South Africa is the cracks are starting to show. Load shedding like this is becoming quite the norm which is really worrying since the government doesn’t seem to be overly concerned about it.



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Unexpected

My friend Noreen works as a occasional journalist for a local expat radio station called Radio X. The money isn't great but she gets to interview interesting people and sometimes get free tickets to events.

I got a call from her at 6 last night. She had managed to get her hands on two tickets to see Russell Brand, last night. Dang! I couldn't make it. Himself was working and I had to fetch Cat from swimming and go home and feed the kids etc you know be a good mom.

So after both Noreen & I called around, I managed to get someone who was willing to drive out to pick Cat up,  drop her off at home and make sure that the kids had dinner.  Which means that I flaked out on mommy duty and went to go see Russel Brand.

He was hilarious! Really really funny.

I know he might not be everyones cup of tea but I had tears running down my face from laughing at some points.

I said sorry to the kids this morning for not being home early last night. Oh we don't care they said. What did you do. I told them that I went and saw Russell Band (aka. Katy Perry's ex-husband). What does he do, asked Tiger. Well, he is a stand-up comedian so he tells jokes.

'Awh you have all the luck', he said, 'I love jokes'. 'Yeah, but these were jokes for grown-ups'. 'But I really love grown-up jokes' he said.

I have a couple of photos but the man doesn't stand still for very long so please excuse the quality.


He was asking this lady why she was wearing a dress with a huge cut-out and padlocks on it
When she told him that that padlocks were for safety he told her he things she miss understood the whole thing and if she wanted to keep her chest safe she might not want to wear a dress with a huge hole in it.