Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Warmer Beer Festival in Brussels December 2010

Beer We Go!

Up-Front Live are organizing a Winter Warmer Beer Festival on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 December from 3.30 pm till late on Place du Luxembourg, Brussels, to sample:

Abbaye de Roes Noel (draught and bottles)

Afflighem Christmas

Barbar and Barbar Winterbok

Grisette Fruits des Bois (draught and bottles)

Dupont Stout - world premiere!

Dupont Bon Voeux

Black Sheep Bitter - all the way from England



Palm Dobbel

Winter Koninck

St Feuillien Noel

Tournay and Tournay Noir

Enghein Noel

Find out which bar they are in on 0472 280 878

Source: Up-Front - the guide to what's really happening in Brussels

Monday, November 29, 2010

100 Most Popular Belgian Songs

On Saturday 26 November radio 1 played the 100 most popular Belgian songs. I enjoyed listening even though I had only ever heard about 15 of them. Here is the complete list:

1 (1) Raymond van het Groenewoud - Twee meisjes
2 (2) Jacques Brel - Ne me quitte pas
3 (3) Jan De Wilde - Eerste sneeuw
4 (4) Wim De Craene - Tim
5 (7) dEUS - Nothing really ends
6 (6) Arno - Les yeux de ma mère
7 (5) Absynthe Minded - My heroics, part one
8 (9) Gorky - Mia
9 (16) Kris De Bruyne - Amsterdam
10 (8) Yevgueni - Als ze lacht

11 (14) Jan De Wilde - De fanfare van honger en dorst
12 (20) TC Matic - Oh La La La
13 (23) Wim De Craene - Rozane
14 (11) Mira - In de fleur
15 (42) Daan - Housewife
16 (18) Hooverphonic - Mad About You
17 (46) The Kids - There Will Be No Next Time
18 (--) Absynthe Minded - Envoi
19 (76) Toy - Suspicion
20 (24) dEUS - Suds and Soda

21 (10) Hannelore Bedert - Altijd nooit meer
22 (35) Twee Belgen - Lena
23 (12) Zjef Vanuytsel - De zotte morgen
24 (32) The Scabs - Hard Times
25 (--) Daan - Icon
26 (19) Wannes Van de Velde - Ik wil deze nacht in de straten verdwalen
27 (21) Admiral Freebee - Rags ‘n' Run
28 (17) Bart Peeters - Heist aan Zee
29 (30) Kommil Foo - Ruimtevaarder
30 (64) dEUS - Instant Street

31 (29) Ann Christy - De roos
32 (13) Buurman - God, ik en Marjon
33 (85) Red Zebra - I Can't Live In a Living Room
34 (40) Stash - Sadness
35 (31) dEUS - The Architect
36 (66) Luc Van Acker & Anna Domino - Zanna
37 (--) Amatorski - Come home
38 (56) dEUS - Hotellounge (Be the Death Of Me)
39 (26) Johan Verminnen - Laat me nu toch niet alleen
40 (81) Daan - Swedish Designer Drugs

41 (--) The Pebbles - Seven Horses In the Sky
42 (48) The Wallace Collection - Daydream
43 (38) Jacques Brel - La chanson des vieux amants
44 (63) Raymond van het Groenewoud - Gelukkig zijn
45 (53) Arno - Les filles du bord de mer
46 (78) Hugo Raspoet - Helena
47 (36) Raymond van het Groenewoud - Meisjes
48 (41) Monza - Van god los
49 (74) dEUS - Little Arithmetics
50 (34) Noordkaap - Ik hou van u

51 (67) Nacht und Nebel - Beats Of Love
52 (49) Novastar - The Best Is Yet To Come
53 (28) Adamo - Inch Allah
54 (55) De Mens - Irene
55 (60) K's Choice - Not an Addict
56 (43) Louis Neefs - Laat ons een bloem
57 (61) Luna Twist - African Time
58 (87) Noordkaap - Een heel klein beetje oorlog
59 (51) Jacques brel - le plat pays
60 (68) Ozark Henry - Indian Summer

61 (--) Hannelore Bedert - Met uw ogen toe
62 (62) Wannes Van de Velde & Roland - Oorlogsgeleerden
63 (82) Novastar - Wrong
64 (37) Johan Verminnen - Brussel
65 (83) Ozark Henry - Sweet Instigator
66 (93) Hooverphonic - Eden
67 (65) Ann Christy - Dag vreemde man
68 (52) Ferre Grignard - Ring Ring I've Got to Sing
69 (84) Jacques Brel - Marieke
70 (--) Raymond van het Groenewoud - Brussels by night

71 (22) Bart Peeters - (Zo van die) zomerdagen
72 (50) Axelle Red - Sensualité
73 (--) dEUS - Roses
74 (79) Zita Swoon - Thinking about you all the time
75 (24) Eva De Roovere - Fantastig toch
76 (--) Absynthe Minded - Moodswing Baby
77 (--) Raymond van het Groenewoud - In m'n hoofd
78 (--) Jacques Brel - Amsterdam
79 (--) Buurman - Middellandse Zee
80 (--) Front 242 - Headhunter

81 (--) TC Matic - Elle adore le noir (pour sortir le soir)
82 (91) Raymond van het Groenewoud - Je veux de l'amour
83 (45) Stef Bos - Papa
84 (--) Moondog Jr. - TV Song
85 (94) The Scabs - Matchbox Car
86 (--) Scooter - You
87 (--) Novastar - Never Back Down
88 (--) TC Matic - Putain Putain
89 (--) Dirk Blanchart - Building an Empire
90 (--) Irish Coffee - Masterpiece

91 (--) Allez Allez - Allez Allez
92 (--) Yasmine - Porselein
93 (90) De Kreuners - Ik wil je
94 (100) Admiral Freebee - Einstein Brain
95 (--) Daan - The Player
96 (98) Neeka & Stef Kamil Carlens - Don't Hold Me Back
97 (--) Won Ton Ton - I Lie and I Cheat
98 (54) Gabriel Rios - Broad Daylight
99 (33) Milow - You Don't Know
100 (73) Arsenal - Saudade

Source: radio 1

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Amazon Offer Free Delivery to Belgium

Fantastic news. I always order my books, CDs, DVDs, toys and electrical items from Amazon. They have the best selection and usually offer discounted prices. Of course, VAT in the UK is 17.5% compared to 21.0% in Belgium so there is bound to be a difference. Delivery is usually quick and now DELIVERY IS FREE.

There are certain Terms and Conditions for Super Saver Delivery (eligible European destinations):

* Applies only to orders completed on or after 9th October 2010 with £25 or more of eligible products (including VAT at the European destination rate), at

* The following products are not eligible for free Super Saver Delivery gift certificates, certain large electrical items (where so stated on the information page for the relevant product) and products purchased from third party merchants using Marketplace.

* Applies only to orders that are to be delivered to a single delivery address in the eligible European country.

* Applies only to orders that you have selected to "Dispatch when entire order is ready".

* Does not apply to purchases made on,,,, or

* May be used in conjunction with a promotional certificate. To qualify for free Super Saver Delivery, the total amount of the products purchased before the promotional certificate is applied must be £25 or more.

Amazon always offer great suggestions of items you might not know about. For example, they sent me some ideas for fun family board games.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Language-Divided Belgium Faces Decisive Deadline

Language-divided Belgium faces a decisive week as a French-speaking leader Monday mooted a break-up ahead of a deadline set by the king to resume marathon talks to form a government.

"The situation is very serious," Elio Di Rupo, head of the Francophone Socialist Party, said in an interview in the daily Le Soir.

"If a political party really wants to show the federal state no longer works ... that it wants to step towards the detachment of Flanders, then I believe we must be 'honest' and organise a popular vote in Flanders," said Di Rupo.

"I don't think most Flemish people want independence," he added, referring to the country's 6.2 million Flemish-speaking majority, compared to 4.5 million French-speakers. "But if that were the reply, French-speakers would keep Belgium, made up of Brussels, Wallonia, and six (Brussels) districts."

Belgium, which plays host to pre-eminent world bodies NATO and the EU, has been rudderless since June elections, with leaders of the country's Flemish- and French-speaking communities so far failing to bridge differences and form a coalition government.

Following the collapse of the latest round of talks, King Albert II on Friday gave the head of the Flemish nationalist N-VA party, Bart De Wever, until Monday next week to bridge the rift in order to facilitate new talks to form a government.

But De Wever's party this weekend threatened to launch a parliamentary challenge against special voting and legal rights enjoyed since the 1960s by 130,000 French-speakers living in the Brussels suburbs, which are part of a Flemish region.

The threat has caused new tension ahead of the sovereign's October 18 deadline, with one French daily saying "We will keep Belgium" on its front page.

It was the first time Di Rupo had spoken in such detailed terms of a break-up of the country, in which the richer, Flemish-speaking north would separate from the capital Brussels and the French-speaking south.

Di Rupo's Socialists and De Wever's nationalist N-VA were the winners of the inconclusive June vote.

Jan Jambon, president of the N-VA's parliamentary group, said Sunday the party would introduce a measure to end what Flemish leaders see as "undeserved" special rights of French-speakers in the Bruxelles-Hal-Vilvorde (BHV) area if the political deadlock at the national level had not been broken by October 18.

Di Rupo reacted sharply, saying "We are not going to let ourselves be impressed by ultimatums. But if the end solution was a smaller country of French-speakers, comprising the capital, we can live this way too!", he said.

Last week De Wever broke off talks in frustration at the refusal of French-speaking parties to agree to the federal state devolving more tax-raising powers to the three regions, Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.

Francophones fear their Wallonia region, already less wealthy than its northern neighbour Flanders, would become poorer under such a fiscal reform and warn it could lead to the break-up of Belgium.

Belgium, one of the EU's founding members, currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-member bloc until December.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Toen God de Mannen Schiep

Toen God de mannen schiep,
beloofde hij aan de vrouwen
dat goede en ideale mannen
in alle hoeken van de wereld konden gevonden worden.

En toen.....................

maakte God de aarde rond....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Helen Fairchild War Effort Recognized

I met Ivan Newman who visited Poperinge to unveil a plaque dedicated to Helen Fairchild, a US nurse who attended the sick in Belgium and was killed by gas poisoning, aged just 33. Her services have never been fully recognised but her niece, now aged 80, never gave up her efforts and now a beautiful plaque stands in her honour.

Click to read Ivan's report of his visit to Helen Fairchild's plaque unveiling.

Ivan is himself a triathlete. He has been swiming, cycling and running around the world since 1983. His blog Triathlon - touching the Heights tells of his adventures.

Ivan Newman's company Living Inside the Brand is the home of brand and service excellence. Ivan helps clients to ensure fast brand recognition and highlights interesting anecdotes of companies doing this...or not.

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Make The Law of Attraction Work For You Workshop

My friend, Lydia Proschinger, is giving a workshop entitled

"Make the Law of attraction work for you"

When: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 19h - 21 h

Price: EUR20.00 per person

One52 (Expatica Café)
First floor meeting room
Rue Francois Gay 152
1150 Brussels

Join us for a learning workshop. This concept allows Networking Business In Belgium, to bring to our community a number of experts who present interesting subjects to stimulate us, introduce us to new ways of looking at special needs children and provide an opportunity to get answers to some old questions. Below, you will find information about our next workshop, the workshop leader, together with location information and joining instructions.

The Expert and workshop leader: Lydia Proschinger

Lydia Proschinger, Certified Life Coach, LOA Mindset & Health Expert,
Advanced EFT & Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner
Owner, Life Pro Coaching
Tel: +32 (0)4 77 890 727

Description of workshop:

The workshop is held in 12 parts, each part building on the previous one – therefore it is best to sign up for all – even if you feel you are already more advanced and have a body of knowledge from reading books and following other seminars.

This seminar is geared towards people who would like to learn more about

- getting the crisis out of you’re mind and body
- understand quantum mechanics and the concept of T.I.M.E.
- understand electro magnetism and the concept of E.M.O.T.I.O.N.
- learn how to speed up the manifestation process
- creating the field for a clearer vision
- eliminating resistance and self-sabotage
- take continuous & constant action
- establish a mental routine & daily energy clearing
- allowing and detachment from outcome
- discover unconscious patterns re: relationships e.g. with partner / money
- creating new healthy patterns, habits, relationships
- practice of gratitude without platitudes
- consciously bringing JOY to enjoy your life
- practice L.O.V.E abundantly

A manual with interactive exercises will be made available to everybody at a cost of 15.00 and can be used to continue the LOA practice at home. If you come with questions and/or suggestions and prepared exercises, we can close in on specific issues you have.

This workshop has 16 available places – reserve early to avoid disappointment.
Participation Fee; 20.00 per person, per session: This covers: speaker’s fee, administration and snacks. Drinks can be purchased from the One52 bar.

Payment must be made in advance to secure your place. We offer a returns policy for all cancelations 48hrs before the event.

If you would prefer to make a bank transfer, here are the details
Centea; 860-1063625-02
IBAN; BE32 8601 0636 2502
Reference: LOA

Chalks Corriette
Tel: 02.613.2703
Fax: 02.613.2702
Cell: 0478.48.20.23
Media Partner;

Brought to you by:
Expatica –
Europe’s Children Our Concern (ECOC) –
Community Help Service (CHS) -
People to People International Europe -
Networking Business In Belgium –

Visiting us;
There is some good street parking; and we can also be reached by Metro (Tomberg and Montgomery) or Tram (39 and 44).

From Tomberg metro; walk down Avenue Henri Pauwels. This runs into Avenue Val d’Or and we are on the corner at rue Francois Gay.

From Montgomery metro; walk up Avenue Tervuren away from Cinquantenaire. On your right will be Woluwe Park, on your left you shall see Avenue Val d’Or. Walk along Val d’Or. We are on the corner at rue Francois Gay.

Or, take the tram from Montgomery (39 or 44), or if you are coming from the other direction of Tervuren (44) and Wezembeek (39), get off at stop Chien Vert or Jules Ceasar. Walk up Avenue Val d’Or. We are on the corner at rue Francois Gay.

Please also use Google Maps ( to find the best way to get to us from where you are – either by private or public transport.

RSVP to this Meetup,please call Chalks 02/613.2703

Thursday, September 9, 2010

25th Scottish Weekend Alden Biesen 2010

The 25th Scottish Weekend will take place in Alden Biesen on 10 - 12 September. See my earlier post on last year's weekend:

Visit the official 25th Scottish Weekend Alden Biesen 2010 website for full details.

Friday, June 18, 2010

No Prison Sentence for Man Who Mowed Down Our Scouts Leader

The man who fell asleep at the wheel on 13 July 2008 killing 20 year old Bolderberg scouts leader Leen Dayers as she cycled home to our village and injured Charlotte Proesmans will escape prison sentence. He must pay a fine of 3,300 €, carry out 300 hours of community service and has been banned from driving for 30 months. He fled from the scene of the accident and when traced claimed first that his car had been stolen by joyriders, then that he had hit a dustbin and finally that he had fallen asleep.

Vik N. (25), de jongeman uit Zolder die op 13 juli 2008 twee meisjes van het fietspad maaide in Bolderberg (Heusden-Zolder) en vluchtmisdrijf pleegde, heeft van de correctionele rechtbank van Hasselt geen celstraf gekregen voor zijn daden. Hij moet wel een effectieve boete van 3.300 euro betalen. Daarnaast krijgt hij een werkstraf van 300 uren en een rijverbod van 30 maanden opgelegd.

In de vroege ochtend van 13 juli 2008 reed de man Leen Dayers (20), tweedejaarstudente toegepaste economische wetenschappen en scoutsleidster, en haar vriendin Charlotte Proesmans aan toen die terugkwamen van een fuif in Kermt. Nadien sloeg hij op de vlucht. Beide fietsters werden zwaargewond naar het ziekenhuis gevoerd. Leen Dayers overleed er uiteindelijk aan haar verwondingen.

De doodrijder liet zijn beschadigde voorruit enkele uren nadien al vervangen. Ook andere mogelijke sporen op zijn wagen liet hij onmiddellijk herstellen.

Toen hij werd opgepakt, zocht Vik N. hopeloos naar uitvluchten. Zo beweerde hij onder meer dat zijn auto gestolen was door joyriders, dat hij eerst een vuilnisbak geraakt had en dat hij in slaap was gevallen.

"Milde straf"
De politierechter in Hasselt veroordeelde de aanrijder in december vorig jaar tot een celstraf van zes maanden (met uitstel), een werkstraf van 125 uren, een boete van 1.375 euro en vijf maanden rijverbod. Het parket vond de straf echter "te mild" en tekende beroep aan tegen de uitspraak.

De correctionele rechtbank veroordeelde de beklaagde donderdagvoormiddag dan toch tot een zwaardere straf. Voor het ongeval zelf krijgt hij een werkstraf van 120 uren, een boete van 1.100 euro en zes maanden rijverbod. Hij moet zich ook aan een psychologisch onderzoek onderwerpen.

Voor het vluchtmisdrijf krijgt Vik. N. een werkstraf van 180 uren, een rijverbod van twee jaar en een boete van 4.400 euro, waarvan de helft met uitstel. Hij moet ook de gerechtskosten, zo'n 3.000 euro, zelf betalen.

De werkstraf moet de doodrijder uitvoeren in een instelling voor mensen met een niet-aangeboren hersenletsel of een voor slachtoffers van verkeersongevallen. De rechter wil de schuldige zo "met de neus op de feiten drukken". De straf moet bovendien binnen het jaar worden uitgevoerd. Doet hij dat niet, dan moet hij toch nog naar de gevangenis.

Source: Het Belang van Limburg

Monday, June 7, 2010

Bolderberg 5 Bedrooms Villa For Sale

My lovely villa is for sale.

Location: beautiful residential area in the woods next to Domein Bovy, Bolderberg, Heusden-Zolder, Limburg (11km from Hasselt, 2km E314, 4 km E313/E314 crossover at Lummen, 75km Brussels and Antwerp, 36km Maastricht)
Various hotels, cafés & shops at 600m, excellent Flemish primary/junior school 800m.

Bolderberg is a friendly village of 3,000 people with lovely walks in the surrounding woods, fishing lakes, tennis club, sports hall and is home to Circuit Terlaemen, Belgium's no.2 motor racing circuit. On sunny weekends, people flock to Bolderberg for walking, cycling and relaxing in the cafés. The school and scouts are a key part of the community.

Description: 5 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms

Ground floor: 2 adjacent bedrooms could be converted into a "granny flat", bedroom with dressing room or consulting rooms; bathroom & separate WC, large living room with windows on three sides and sliding doors to the terrace and garden, separate dining area, kitchen, storeroom, garage with washarea

First floor: 3 large bedrooms 38m2 playroom/hobbyroom, bathroom with storeroom

275m2 built.

1550m2 plot, south orientation with beautiful developed garden, 2 sheds, large terrace of which part is covered.

New roof in 2002 is south-facing so ideal for installation of solar panels for which grants are available.

Price: 325,000 €

For further information and to make a viewing appointment, please contact me on 011/281132 or 0497 550813 or email

Antonia Harrison

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sinksenfoor - The Largest Funfair in Antwerp

The largest fair in Antwerp is being held from 22 May to 4 July.

De grootste kermis van AntwerpenElk jaar wordt op de Gedempte Zuiderdokken, aan de Vlaamsekaai en de Waalsekaai, de grootste kermis van Antwerpen gehouden. Traditioneel start de Sinksenfoor op de zaterdag van Pinksteren. De naam Sinksenfoor stamt dan ook af van de woorden Pinksteren (=sinksen) en foor (=kermis).
De grootste kermis van Antwerpen duurt officieel elk jaar 5 weken, maar in de praktijk wordt er vrijwel altijd ontheffing aangevraagd om een week extra te draaien.

Waar? De Gedempte Zuiderdokken tussen de Vlaamsekaai en de Waalsekaai (zie kaart)
Wanneer? In 2010 wordt de Sinksenfoor gehouden vanaf zaterdag 22 mei 2010 tot en met zondag 4 juli 2010
Openingstijden op maandag van 15:00 tot 24:00 uur
op dinsdag van 15:00 tot 24:00 uur
op woensdag van 14:00 tot 24:00 uur
op donderdag van 15:00 tot 24:00 uur
op vrijdag van 15:00 tot 24:00 uur
op zaterdag van 14:00 tot 01:00 uur
op zondag van 14:00 tot 01:00 uur

Parkeren Op en rondom de kermis is het overdag betaald parkeren. Over het algemeen is het erg druk met parkeren en wordt er door de politie veel gecontroleerd op fout parkeren en niet betalen. Bij het Justitiepaleis en de Scheldekaaien kan er op betaalde parkings geparkeerd worden.

Source: Alles over Antwerpen

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Amazing Offer at Hotel Metropole in Brussels

I love the 5* Hotel Metropole in Brussels with its Art Nouveau bar and stylish bedrooms. As a member of the Dream Trips travel club, I can share this fantastic 3 day trip with you at a bargain price.

•3 Day & 2 Night stay at the 5 Star Hotel Metropole in Brussels, Belgium
•Superior Room accommodations
•Situated in the heart of downtown Brussels, just steps from world-class shopping, attractions and nightlife
•The "de Brouckere" metro station is just steps away from hotel
•Fully equipped fitness room
•Must have a valid passport
•Must book your own airfare into Brussels Airport (BRU)
•Must provide your own transportation to the hotel, which is approximately 7.5 miles away from the airport


The instant you step into the lobby of the Hotel Metropole, you'll sense what sets us apart from rival Brussels Belgium hotels - over 100 years of history. Inaugurated in 1895, this majestic landmark is the only 19th-century hotel still in operation, dazzling travelers with impeccable service and luxury amenities. Whether you're visiting for business or leisure, you'll delight in our diverse host of pleasures. Hotel Metropole offers four gourmet restaurants and cafes, including the award-winning l'Alban Chambon. Hotel Metropole is an easy stroll to local treasures such as the Grand Place and the Royal Théâtre de la Monnaie.

WHEN: July 16th - July 18th

•Best Online Price: $137.00
•Average Savings per Couple: $96.00

This trip will be closed for booking by June 15th.
Limited availability

Visit Dream Trips Travel Club
Enter Sponsor ID 11013301

The number of available rooms at this price is limited so first come, first served. Only members of the Dream Trips travel club may book at these low prices. Hundreds of other Dream Trips are also available throughout the world including cruises, weekend city breaks, hotels, resorts and self-catering accommodation.

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon 2010

If you feel like running a great course through Brussels, then mark your calendar for Sunday, 10 October, Cinquantenaire Park, Brussels, for the Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon.

All distances finish at the lovely Grand Place.

The full programme is as follows:
9.00 am: Brussels Marathon (42.195 km)
9.30 am: Mini-Marathon - 4 km
9.45 am: Ladies Run - 4 km
10.15 am: Chiquita Kids Run - 1 km
10.30 am: Brussels Half Marathon (21.097 km)

Tel 0032 11 45 99 99

You can register at JoggingPlus
You can also register in the JoggingPlus stores starting right now. The first 400 people to pre-register for the marathon or half marathon will receive a €30 discount voucher for a pair of running shoes. When you register, you will also receive your bib number and chip to take with you.

JoggingPlus has outlets in Brussels, Louvain-La-Neuve, Liège and Gosselies.
Please go to for addresses and opening hours.

Pasta Party
As of this year the Brussels Marathon & Half Marathon honours a world wide marathon tradition : the evening before the marathon you can enjoy a delicious pasta meal, next to the marathon expo. You can order tickets via the marathon entry form. Tickets are € 12 per person.

I Am Not a Tourist Fair in Brussels

Sunday 6 June and 17 October 2010 – Experience our “i am not a tourist” Fair in Brussels. This is Expatica´s Community fair for internationals and expatriates living and working in Belgium. Mark it down in your calendar and visit us at Espace53(Autoworld Museum), Cinquantenaire – Brussels. Bring your family and friends for a fun day out.

The “i am not a tourist” Fair will have a range of valuable resources from previous European fairs, but with extra attention given to community related resources for the experienced expat. Those of you who already have your bearings in Belgium can therefore enjoy as many of the features as the newcomers; including food and drink, entertainment, local clubs and workshops. A number of artists and photographers, Belgian and international, will also be exhibiting their work.

So even if you have lived in Belgium for some time already, do come to our fair to discover what’s going on in the rest of the expat community and learn more about your adopted country. Our fair is all about enriching your life abroad, whether you are new to the expat lifestyle or an experienced hand!

Espace53 - Autoworld Museum Brussels
Cinquantenaire Parc 11
1000 Brussels

10.00 - 18.00
Sunday 6 June 2010

PS I shall be exhibiting with information on how hypnotherapy and NLP can improve your life.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Latin in Secondary Schools

Having suffered five years of compulsory Latin at my English grammar school up to GCE 'O' Level, I was quite surprised to find Latin on the secondary school curriculum here in Belgium. Not just find it but to see that it is the number one choice for the brighter, more academically minded children. In my son's school, as long as a child is doing well above average in Dutch, French and Maths then he or she may choose 4 hours of Latin in the middelbare school or 2 hours of Latin with 2 hours of scientific project work.

My 12 year old son loves his classical history and so immediately chose for 4 hours of Latin. In year 2 he can then choose to add 3 hours of Greek.

I checked to see whether British school children are still studying Latin and was dismayed to find that it is not part of the National Curriculum and with a few exceptions, only children at fee-paying private/independent schools have the opportunity to study Latin.

A study by Friends of Classics, unveiled at a meeting, found that 2% to 4% of state primary schools teach Latin compared to 40% of independent schools.

Mr Boris Johnson, Mayor London, said it was "absurd" for Latin to be left out of the curriculum. Mr Johnson, who studied the language at Eton and at Oxford, said:
"I firmly believe that we must not starve the minds of students eager to embrace the great intellectual disciplines of Latin.

"And we must stop the classics being the fodder of the independent sector alone.

"There is simply no better way than to make young minds think in a logical and analytical way."

Dr Peter Jones, co-founder of Friends of Classics, said: "There is no question that the demand is there for Latin."

The study found that a big reason for not teaching the language was lack of funds and resources, with 40% of schools facing difficulty in recruiting staff trained in Latin.

I am delighted that my son has chosen to study Latin. I think this discipline will serve him well in learning how to learn, to think analytically and as a basis for the necessary approach to studying sciences.

Source: BBC

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

5 Tips for Starting a Business Abroad

My friend, Masha Malka, is a successful coach based in Southern Spain. She is being featured in a popular online magazine Expat Women this month.

She talks about her experience of working and living in a foreign country. Here she shares top 5 tips for starting a business abroad:

Don’t rush in

When starting a business abroad it is important to take the time and get to know the culture, the locals, the location, the customs, etc.

What you think might be a perfect business somewhere because it worked where you are, might not be the case in the place you are going to. Also, how you are going about setting up or promoting the business might be different.

If you know someone you can trust who is part of the community and can give you guidance that would be helpful; although, I would still take my time before launching into a business or investing into anything.


It can be lonely and scary to move to a new place, especially a new country where people might speak a language you don’t speak yet. Find local business groups such as Women in Business or charity clubs you can get involved in. Also, join the local American or British or any other clubs where you can initially speak in your own language and meet other expat women.

From my experience, expat people are eager to help other fellow expats because they’ve been there and know how hard it is to start out and integrate plus, they always look forward to meeting someone new!

Get to know the local media

No matter where you are, it is not just hard work but who-you-know that is important when it comes to succeeding in what you do. Local magazine and newspaper editors, radio and TV personalities, as well as socialites can help you raise your profile and attract more business.

But remember, before you ask for anything, think of how you can help someone first.

Find the right balance

By balance I don’t mean work / family / personal needs, etc., though of course it is very important. I mean the balance between integrating into a new culture and still being true to your own.

I love living in Spain but I also find it essential to go to the USA at least 3 times a year and “get recharged”. The energy in the USA, especially New York is so different to the energy in Spain and I need it in order to do my business at the standard that I am doing it.

The fine balance is not to integrate into the new community so that you become one of them and at the same time not to be too different that they can’t relate to you. You want to maintain your uniqueness and bring newness to the community and, at the same time, understand their needs and “speak their language”.

Remember why you are abroad

It is inevitable that there will be times when things become difficult, when you become nostalgic, and when you wish you never chose to move. When it happens, remind yourself why you chose to move abroad. What attracted you to that country in the first place? What is great about living there? What did you learn in the process and how did it help you grow?

At the end of the day, it is people who make our life enjoyable no matter where we live. So make sure to make plenty of friends – be giving, loving, open-minded, and caring and, of course, have fun in all that you do!

Read the full article here

Open Air Summer Concerts in Diest

Visit for great open air summer concerts in Diest, Vlaams Brabant:

•Zaterdag 29 mei, Kathleen Vandenhoudt, Guy Swinnen, Tom Robinson € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie (UITVERKOCHT!)

•Zaterdag 5 juni, Toots Thielemans: € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie

•Woensdag 23 juni, Suzanne Vega € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie

•Zaterdag 10 juli, 10cc: € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie

•Zaterdag 14 augustus, Carmel: € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie

•Zaterdag 4 september, Anne Clark: € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie

•Zaterdag 11 september, The Scene: € 25.00 + € 1,6 reservatie

Tickets zijn online verkrijgbaar via, maar je kan ze ook aankopen in alle Belgische filialen van Free Record Shop.

Het openluchttheater van Diest is een amfitheater en maakt deel uit van het gezellige Warandepark. Omgeven door bomen biedt deze pittoreske locatie zitgelegenheid aan bijna 1.000 bezoekers. Tijdens de acht avonden van Diest Live wordt er net buiten het amfitheater een gezellige drank- en eetzone voorzien, die vrij toegankelijk is. De concerten starten telkens bij zonsondergang, om +/- 22u.

Belgians €9 billion Richer at End of 2009

Belgian collective wealth increased by €9.3 billion in the last quarter of 2009, according to figures from the National Bank, bringing the total wealth to €715.4 billion.

The increase was largely due to more money in savings, the investment of choice for Belgians in the middle of a crisis and in large part a substitute for spending. While Belgians saved €10.7 billion more in the last quarter, they put less money into current accounts and fixed-term investments. The preference for saving over spending depressed demand in the economy as a whole, leading to problems for consumer businessses.

A smaller part of the increase was due to the rise in share prices. An increase of €2.5 billion on the value of the stock market brought total gains in wealth to €13.2 billion and total holdings to €900 billion.

However, debts also rose in the final quarter by €3.9 billion to €184.6 billion. The biggest increase was in mortgages.

Source: Flanders Today

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Belgian Frietkots or Frituuren

In Belgium, chips are part of the culture - no two stands alike.

Bernd F. Meier tours the country's chippers and discovers what anyone living here already knows: Frietkots- The Belgians love them.

Tourists passing through Belgium cannot fail to notice the "Frietkots" and "Frituuren", the stands where French fries, or chips, are sold.

These golden-brown delicacies made from the humble potato are on sale at more than 4,000 stands across this relatively small country.

And they are offered these days with more than 30 different sauces, from sweetish mayonnaise to piquant chili.

Belgians see their Frietkots as a kind of bulwark against the invasion of American fast-food chains, regarding their own homegrown fast-food as intrinsic to their culture. In the city of Antwerp there is even a museum to the Frietkots.

In Brussels, the numberless bureaucrats of the European Union stream out of their glass palaces at lunchtime every day with one thought in mind: the nearest chippy.

"Maison Antoine", run by Pascal and Thierry Willaert at the Place Jourdan, is an institution these "Eurocrats" know well. Here members of the European Parliament and prominent public figures wait their turn in the queue with humble secretaries and lobbyists for their portion of chips. This fast-food outlet has been there for more than 50 years.

Frietkots are something of a cult in Belgium. They are everywhere: at street markets, on church squares, along the promenades of the North Sea beaches and at the highest point in the country, the "Signal de Botrange" between Eupen and Malmedy, 694metres above sea-level.

"Chips, pralines and beer make up Belgium's Supertrio," says Bernard Lefevre of the National Association of Chipmakers, the 1,500-member professional chip friers body.

Friday evening is traditionally chip time, when Belgian fathers go out to the outlets and take chips home for the family. High season is in July and August. Some people like their chips - "Frieten Special" - with mayo, ketchup and onions.

The first Frietkots in Belgium were set up in the second half of the 19th century.

"Hawkers offered fried potato chips to their customers during the annual markets in Antwerp and other towns," according to the art historian Paul Ilegems, who himself hails from Antwerp. "A couple of decades later, more permanent chip establishments were set up. And with the passage of time, this spread right across Belgium," Ilegems says.

Some of them have been turned into works of art by Gilles Houben, who works in oils and acrylic. He has immortalized more than 100 chippies in Antwerp and Brussels, exhibiting them in his studio high up under the roof in a Brussels house.

Houben notes with regret that many of the subjects of his paintings have given way to the march of time, as buildings have been torn down to make way for new projects.

"With them, part of Belgian life has passed away," he says.

Unlike the mass-produced architecture of U.S. fast food joints, no two Belgian chippies are alike. Some are converted caravans, some former shipping containers and others simple wooden huts.

"Drive through our country with open eyes and watch out for Frietkots and Frituuren," says Ilegems, the author of a book on the topic. "The chippies reflect the character of my countrymen, which is characterized by individualism, improvisation and surrealism."

Ilegems, who takes his chip research seriously, sees many positive aspects to Belgian fastfood culture. The Frietkots appear to unite the three main ethnic groups in Belgium, the Flemish, the Walloons and the Germans, in a way that nothing else does.

Right across the country, the potato sticks have been prepared in much the same way for generations. Whether in Bruges, Charleroi, Hasselt or Eupen, they are eaten in much the same way. Moreover, there is no class prejudice when it comes to the humble potato chip. "Top managers and working people alike are regular customers at their local chippy," Ilegem says.

Since the 1980s he has been collecting anything and everything connected with Belgian chippies. Some of his large collection is to be seen on the upper floor of "Frietkot Max" at 12 Groenplaats in Antwerp.

Among the most recent additions to his collection are old vinyl records on which bands with bizarre names like "De zingende Frietboeren" - The Singing Chip Friers - sing the praises of the chip in a "Frituurballade".

Belgian chippies have developed their own way of preparing the potato chip. The 10-centimetre long sticks are pre-fried at a temperature of 160 degrees Celsius. Then they are cooled and kept ready for an order.

Once the order comes in they are fried once again, this time at 180 degrees in vegetable oil or in beef fat.

"This double frying ensures that the chip is really beautifully crispy and crunchy," Ilegems says.

There are minor regional differences, discernible only to the most demanding customer. In Limburg and Wallonia the chips are on average 11 millimetres thick, whereas Antwerp's citizens prefer them a millimetre thinner.

In Ghent in the heart of Flanders they are slimmest at nine millimetres, and in Eupen they reach their maximum girth of up to 14 millimetres, according to Jozef van Remoortel, who runs Remo Frit in Verrebroek near Antwerp, one of around 100 chip-making firms in Belgium.

Remoortel's firm delivers ready-cut potatoes to chippies within 24 hours of the raw product arriving at his factory. The preferred potato varieties are "Bintje" and "Hansa".

"We deliver the fresh potatoes vacuum-packed, and not frozen, to the chippies. That's what gives them their characteristic flavour and texture," Remoortel says.

Truck drivers - true connoisseurs of the chip - vote as best chippy the one to be found on the A1 motorway linking Brussels and Antwerp, where an old bus has reached its last parking place between Machelen and Weerde.

Now brightly painted, the bus dispenses huge quantities of chips under the banner "Hunger Killer".

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Source: Expatica

Carrefour Strike on Friday 30 April

I heard that some Carrefour supermarkets will be on strike again this Friday 30 April and Saturday 1 May is a holiday so, your weekly supermarket trip will have to be brought forward.

The Sacred Rituals of Frite Almighty

Kimberley Lovato has an audience with the "Missionary of the Belgian Fries" and uncovers the sacred rituals of Frite Almighty.

While Belgium has much to offer visitors and residents alike, the country is known the world over for one thing in particular: French Fries (Frites in French).

Michel Mes, self-proclaimed “Missionary of the Belgian Fries”, started his popular website back in 1995. He now receives at least 10 emails a day from inquiring fans and travels the world promoting franchise opportunities, while spreading the word about the true Belgian fry, proper tools and techniques, and most importantly, how best to eat them.

Your site, is an homage to Belgian Fries. What prompted this endeavor?

As an IT guy some 15- years ago when the internet was opened for the big public consumption, I needed a subject to practice the new HTML programming language. I chose "The Secret Recipe for Belgian Fries". I thought it would be a good idea to promote this great Belgian food and let the world know where “French” fries really come from. It was an instant success. Everything grew out of proportion from then on.

What is the secret to making the best Belgian fry?
The trick is very simple: Belgian fries are double-fried. First there is the cooking process, then the fries need to cool down and finally, just before serving, they are fried again to make them crispy and golden brown. Of course, the correct type of potatoes is very important, as is the choice of frying oil. Fries should always be fried in animal fat. In Belgium it used to be a mixture of horse and ox fat. These days most shops will use an ox fat and vegetable oil mixture. Details on how to do this at home are on my website.

Do you use a recipe?
I have no recipe. I use the 2-stage frying method, but as potatoes are a "living" raw material (i.e. their structure changes throughout the season) you need some experience to cook them to perfection. It is different every time, you need to watch and listen, especially during the first frying. It is very hard to explain but practice makes perfect.

What is the biggest mistake people make when trying to recreate the Belgian fry?
Don't put too many raw potatoes strips into the fryer for the first frying! The temperature of the oil will drop down dramatically, the water in the potatoes will not escape quickly enough and thus the result will be too greasy. For a perfect final result you need to pay close attention to the first frying. The second frying will not correct any mistakes made earlier.

How should Belgian fries be served and with what kind of sauce do you prefer?
I never eat sauce with my fries. Good Belgian fries will have a lot of taste on their own. Don't spoil it with sauce. A bit of salt is ok. And please serve in a paper cone. But if I need to make a choice I would go for mayonnaise (home made of course) or a spicy sauce like Banzai.

Do you have a favorite location in Brussels to eat fries?
Chez Martin (Place Saint-Josse). He used to run a very nice looking stand next to the church but had to move recently to somewhere else in the area of the Rue des Deux Eglises. A lot of tourists know Chez Antoine (place Jourdan) but I don't like their fries. The toll of their success I guess.

Does it bother you that Belgian fries are referred to as “French”?
Not at all, because it is a totally different product. Once more, after the chocolate, pralines and a lot of other products, the term "Belgian" stands for freshness and quality. Also, the term “French” fries does not link to the French people or country. It is derived from the old English verb "to french" Originally they were called "frenched fried potatoes".

How often do you eat frites?
Maybe two times a month. You should never exaggerate the good things in life!

Kimberley Lovato
Follow Kimberley's blogging adventures, A Broad In Belgium.

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Am Not a Tourist Fair in Brussels

The "I am not a tourist" Fair will have a range of valuable resources from previous European fairs, but with extra attention given to community related resources for the experienced expat. Those of you who already have your bearings in Belgium can therefore enjoy as many of the features as the newcomers including food and drink, entertainment, local clubs and workshops. A number of artists and photographers, Belgian and international, will also be exhibiting their work.

So even if you have lived in Belgium for some time already, do come to our fair to discover what's going on in the rest of the expat community and learn more about your adopted country. Our fair is all about enriching your life abroad, whether you are new to the expat lifestyle or an experienced hand!

Regarding those practical necessities, for those new to Belgium and in need of information, our fair will supply a selection of the best resources this country has to offer. The "I am not a tourist" Fair brings a broad range of companies and agencies who specialise in expatriate services together under one roof. From banks, investment firms and insurance companies to schools, local clubs and tax agencies, all have their place at our community fair. The stand holders are there to help you with house and job hunting, immigration and permits, staying long term, starting your own business, having fun and more.

Whether you've lived in Belgium for 5 months, 5 years or even if you haven't yet made the move, you will surely find something of interest to you.

The "I am not a tourist" Fair gives you access to the international community, be it through individuals, groups, clubs, or businesses.

For more information, check out

Date & Time:
Saturday, 6 June 2010 – 10h00 to 18h00

Espace53 – Autoworld Museum
11 Parc du Cinquantenaire
1000 Brussels

Tel: 02 732 22 87
Fax: 02 733 22 87

Merode Metro is just a 5-minute walk away, but the venue also has a large parking area.

Tickets to the fair are free when ordered online and EUR 10 when purchased at the door. To order a ticket online, please go to . One e-ticket holder will be randomly selected during the fair as the winner of a dinner for two at the Expatica Café. Be sure to join us at the fair and see if you are the lucky one!

If you would be interested in exhibiting at "i am not a tourist" Brussels, please send an email to

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

John Cleese Pays 3,800 Euros for Taxi to Brussels

The British comedian John Cleese decided to take a taxi from the Norwegian capital Oslo to Brussels in order to avoid the flight ban affecting large parts of Europe.
Related ArticlesHalf of transatlantic flights to be cancelled Friday
Brussels airport expected to close because of ash
In Belgium no news is good news
Road deaths rise in BelgiumCleese was in Norway for a talk show, but got stranded after the Icelandic ash cloud closed airports in Norway and Britain.

Cleese then decided to make the final part of his journey via the Channel Tunnel and take the Eurostar from Brussels to St Pancras.

It set him back a pretty penny. Cleese paid 3,800 euros for the long taxi trip. Three drivers took turns to drive the taxi all the way from Norway to Belgium.

Cleese managed to get hold of a ticket for a Eurostar service for Saturday before they sold out.

Norwegian TV did seek alternatives to the long taxi trip, but all ferry services and trains were fully booked.

During the journey Cleese was apparently repeatedly reminded of the joke 'How do you make God to laugh?'

Answer: By telling him about your plans.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tourist Guiding in English and French

Sarah Strange is an English lady who offers tourist guiding all over Belgium in English and French. She charges 30 € per hour with a minimum of two hours.

Contact Sarah at 02/673 28 44 email

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Travel Films in Brussels with Angolo dell'Avventura di Bruxelles

L’Angolo dell’Avventura di Bruxelles presents

"20 Years around the Pacific Ocean on a Sailboat"


"Men of the Ocean: life on a lost atoll between the Philippines and Indonesia"

"Men and Dragons: people and giant lizards struggle for space on a small archipelago"

by Carlo Auriemma and Lizzi Eordegh

Thursday, 22 April 2010, at 20:30

More info

We are Carlo and Lizzi, the two of us and our sailboat "Barcapulita", the "clean" sailboat. We went and looked for islands where no one goes, the most remote coastlines, the most far away corners of the planet. We have criss crossed the Pacific Ocean, going to Polynesia but especially to less known islands like Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga.

We went where it is difficult to go. In 20 years of sailing and research we have seen a lot. We met with whales, swam with sharks, lived with primitive and gentle peoples and spent months and months on totally uninhabited islands.

Today, through our videos in English, we will show you what we have witnessed.

Carlo and Lizzi will be with us, and their DVDs and books in Italian, français and English will be on sale this evening.


"20 anni in giro per l'Oceano Pacifico in barca a vela"


"Tra Indiano e Pacifico: vita sulle isole Heremit, Banks e Tikopia"

"Gli Dei del Vulcano: le tribu dell'isola di Tanna, alle Vanuatu"

NOTA: questi video sono diversi da quelli di ieri in inglese!

di Carlo Auriemma e Lizzi Eordegh

Venerdì, 23 Aprile 2010, alle 20.30


Siamo Carlo e Lizzi. In due, su una barca a vela, siamo andati a cercare in mezzo agli oceani quelle isole dove non arriva nessuno, le coste lontane, gli angoli remoti e le nicchie più improbabili del pianeta. Ci siamo fermati specialmente nel'Oceano Pacifico, in Polinesia ma soprattutto nelle isole meno conosciute: Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Tonga.

Siamo andati, insomma, nei luoghi dove è difficile arrivare. In venti anni di navigazione e di ricerca abbiamo visto tante cose. Abbiamo incontrato le balene, abbiamo nuotato con gli squali, abbiamo vissuto con popoli primitivi e gentili, e abbiamo passati mesi sulle isole deserte.

Carlo e Lizzi presenteranno il loro lavoro ed i loro libri e i DVD in italiano, inglese e francese che saranno in vendita questa sera.



"Iran: The Factory of Martyrs"

by Camilla Cuomo & Annalisa Vozza

V.O. Farsi, S.T. English

Monday, 26 April 2010 at 20:30

In cooperation with Faito DOC Festival

A journey through today's Iran, by means of the huge paintings commissioned by the government, which tell about the myths and values of an evolving Islamic society.
A full-lenght documentary, coproduced by Fabrica and RSI, Swiss Television, broadcast on RSI on December 2008 and presented in several international film festivals, including Toarmina Film Fest, 2009 and Faito DOC Festival.


In partnership with: RSI, Radiotelevisione Svizzera


Le lieu de toutes nos réunions est:
Le Cercle des Voyageurs

Rue des Grands Carmes, 18

1000 Bruxelles - (30mt du Manneken Pis)

Tél: (02) 514-3949

La cuisine ferme à 22h15.

Tickets: 8 Euro (Une boisson au bar comprise).

Nous vous attendons à partir de 19h00.

Parking: Grande Place, Albertina, Hotel Bedford (rue du Midi 135)


To be informed about our future evenings, click here to consult our website.

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Brewers Launch Mega-Blend Geuze

Eight brewers from the Senne Valley and Pajottenland areas of Flemish Brabant have come together to produce the Oude Geuze MegaBlend 2009 which will be sold in limited edition 75 cl bottles from 26 April. The geuze, described by the producers as a "the mother of all beers" is a joint effort by brewers Boon, 3 Fonteinen, De Cam, De Troch, Hanssens, Lindemans, Oud Beersel and Timmermans.

Geuze is produced by blending young and old lambic beers in a process that allows the sugars in the young lambic to induce a secondary fermentation in the bottle. Lambic itself, particular to the Pajottenland, used wild yeasts and bacteria from the air for its fermentation which gives the typical acidic taste. Lambic is also the base for the production of fruit beers, the most famous of which is kriek.

Lambic probably takes its name from the town of Lembeek. The name "geuze" may derive from the word for "geyser" because of its champagne-like fizz, or from an old Norman words for wheat.

The launch will coincide with a tour of the breweries, organised by the High Council for Artisanal Lambik Beers (HORAL). Each bottle will be numbered and will cost 6 €, with the exception of the first bottle, numbered 00001, which is currently being auctioned on eBay until 20 April.

Visit Gueuze

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Nature Damage on 21 July 2009 Can Be Claimed From the Government

The giant hailstones experienced in my village on 21 July 2009 and other freak nature on that day have now been recognised as natural disasters and the state will cover the cost of any damage not covered by insurance policies.

This is good news for the people in my village. Six families had most of their roof ripped off. Many cars were damaged and not covered if the owner did not have at least a 'klein omnium' policy. The damage to my car cost 6.000 € but the insurance settled direct with the bodywork garage.

I had a broken window and a lot of garden damage. The insurance policy covered some of the amount but there was a 250 € excess to pay and they did not pay for the garden damage.

We have three months to submit claims.

"De federale regering heeft de hagelstorm die op 21 juli 2009 over West-Limburg raasde, erkend als natuurramp.

Heel wat inwoners liepen materiële schade op tijdens dat stormweer. Door de erkenning als natuurramp, kunnen alle getroffenen een beroep doen op het Rampenfonds. Dat fonds kan tussenkomen in de kosten die niet gedekt worden door de eigen verzekering.

Zodra het regeringsbesluit verschijnt in het Staatsblad, hebben de getroffen inwoners drie maanden tijd om hun schadedossier in te dienen."

Source: Het Belang van Limburg

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Strike at Carrefour Supermarkets Estimated to Cost 14 Million Euros

A strike at 117 Carrefour supermarkets today was estimated to cost 14 million € in lost turnover.

I did not know about the strike so drove 14km round trip to Carrefour Kuringen only to find it barricaded with lines of trolleys. This is the only shop anywhere near us which sells fresh milk in the cooler fridges as opposed to UHT milk which my kids won't drink. We then drove another 20km round trip to LIDL in Heusden, the next nearest shop. Several items cost less than at Carrefour but there were many items not stocked, including the milk, so I shall have to waste my time and fuel returning to Carrefour in the week.

Whe will strikers understand that a strike costs their company a huge amount of money which makes the losses greater? They are not going to overturn their decision to close 21 stores with a loss of 1.672 jobs. Those shops are closing because they are uneconomic to run or superfluous as they have other stores very close by.

Carrefour: staking zaterdag kost 14 miljoen euro omzet
Vrijdag 26 Februari 2010 | 1 d. | powered by (Belga) De staking die zaterdag gepland is in 117 Carrefour-winkels, zal de distributiegroep ongeveer 14 miljoen euro omzet kosten. Dat zegt de topman van Carrefour België, Gérard Lavinay, in een gesprek met De Tijd.

Na de aankondiging van een forse herstructurering bij Carrefour riepen de vakbonden donderdag op tot een algemene staking in de winkels die Carrefour België zelf uitbaat. Het gaat om 56 hypermarkten en 61 supermarkten. Op een gewone zaterdag zijn die winkels goed voor een omzet van 14 miljoen euro, waarvan 10 miljoen in de hypermarkten. "Ik aanvaard de staking, maar dit zal ons een fortuin aan omzet kosten. Bovendien zullen we onherroepelijk klanten verliezen. We hebben dus allemaal belang dat de staking niet aansleept", zegt Lavinay. De topman hoopt zo snel mogelijk de sociale dialoog over het herstructureringsplan op te starten. Komende woensdag is een bijzondere ondernemingsraad gepland. Lavinay geeft nog aan dat de directie en de kaderleden ook zullen moeten inleveren. "De directie zal dezelfde inspanningen moeten leveren als de rest van het personeel. Er zal voor die mensen geen loongsverhoging zijn in 2010 en de bonussen over het boekjaar 2009 zullen beperkt worden tot bijna niets." Carrefour Belgium kondigde dinsdag de schrapping van 1.672 banen en de sluiting van 21 winkels over het hele land aan. Bedoeling is om een aantal andere supermarkten te franchiseren en te verkopen aan de distributiegroep Mestdagh. De franchisewinkels van Carrefour zouden zaterdag gewoon open zijn. (MUA)

source: skynet nieuws

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ben Je Equiwoman?

• U bent een vrouw?
• U bent zelfstandige?
• Uw bedrijf bestaat minstens 3 jaar?
• Uw bedrijf beschikt over een gezond administratief beheer (RSZ…)?

Schrijf u dan zeker hier in voor de verkiezing van de “Equiwoman Award”! Deze prijs zal uitgereikt worden op 1 april in het kader van “Vrouwen die Ondernemen” en beloont de vrouw die op een optimale manier haar privé- en professionele leven combineert.

De ‘Equiwoman Award’ moet een inspiratie zijn voor vrouwen die carrière willen maken maar evenzeer een bruisend familiaal leven willen leiden.

Denkt u dat u door uw persoonlijke ervaringen een voorbeeld bent voor andere vrouwen? Twijfel dan zeker niet u voor deze Award kandidaat te stellen, uiterlijk tegen aanstaande vrijdag 26 februari!

Uiteraard is inschrijving volledig gratis. De uitreiking van de award op 1 april zal ingeleid worden door de Minister van KMO’s, en dit om 12u30.

Save 50% Off Flights From Brussels

Fancy a trip to Seville for some Spanish sun? But your travel partner prefers a weekend looking at Roman ruins?

Well, with Brussels Airlines
you can save 50%* on flights to all European destinations this spring, so you can go to both Seville & Rome! Or perhaps, you prefer London & Barcelona. Or how about Marseille & Venice? There are over 40 European destinations you can choose from.

Wherever in Europe you choose to go this spring and whether you pick one, two or even three destinations, you can fly there at -50%*! Which means you can travel twice as much!

So hurry! Book your flights by midnight 1 March 2010, and fly between 10 April and 30June 2010.

Save 50%* to over 40 European destinations:

Athens, Barcelona, Berlin, Bilbao, Birmingham, Bologna, Bristol, Budapest, Catania, Copenhagen, Krakow, Faro, Florence, Geneva, Gothenburg, Hamburg, Lisbon, London, Lyon, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Marseille, Milan, Naples, Newcastle, Nice, Oslo, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Prague, Rome, Seville, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Toulouse, Turin, Venice, Vienna, Vilnius, and Warsaw.

* This discount is valid for all return tickets booked between 23 February and 1 March 2010 for a European flight between 10 April and 30 June 2010. This discount only applies to the base price of a b.light or b.flex ticket. It does not apply to airport and fuel taxes or ticket processing costs. It is only valid on flights to and from Brussels, operated by Brussels Airlines.

Visit European Travel blog for European travel ideas and special offers and EuroTravel the one-stop site for travel to and within Europe.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Car Boots in Belgium

Go to for a listing by region by month of all car boot sales, flea markets and antique markets. The Dutch for a flea market is rommelmarkt. You can also register for the updated info to be sent to your email inbox every month.

www.WatTeDoen.Be also lists lots of other useful info eg what's on guide, Christmas markets, exhibitions, workshops, shops open on Sunday, weather forecast and small ads including dating.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Coconut with Balsamic Vinegar

I went to a very unusual food tasting given in a TED X talk by Bernard Lahousse. He is an internationally renowned food scientist who gives advice to top chefs and food companies all over the world.

He told us that certain groups of foods have a basic similarity which makes it possible to mix foods within that group and find them pleasing to the palette, even though the idea of putting them together might not have occurred to anyone eg kiwi + oyster, chocolate + purée of oyster + vodka. It is in this way that creative chefs are pairing foods to bring us new gastronomical choices. This is termed "molecular gastronomy" and more information can be found at

Have a look at and you will find a chart showing links to different foods which pair well with an apple including
Foods: Parmesan, Butter and Gruyere
Beverages: Castañal Galicia, Chardonnay and Chardonnay (oak)
Chocolate, coffee, tea: Tea black, Dominican Republic white chocolate and green tea.
We can also look up a food on the site to find an alternative with similar taste if we are missing an ingredient for a recipe.

Many chefs around the world are now using Food Pairing.

We were invited to mix and match foods from a selection as follows:

- chicken, salami, caviar
- dessicated coconut, blackcurrant jam, dark chocolate
- balsamic vinegar, cherry vinegar, kecap manis sauce (a bit like black treacle)
- mustard, mild chili paste, sesame seeds, cashew nuts, olive oil
- cheddar, butter, soft cheese
- mint leaves
- whisky, rum

This was a fun game and as odd as it may sound, I recommend:
- coconut with balsamic vinegar
- mustard with mint leaves
- chocolate with cheddar and chili paste
- chocolate with caviar

The Flemish Primimitives will hold a seminar exploring new tastes on 8 February 2010 at the Concertgebouw in Brugge. Famous chefs and scientists will present their ideas including the renowned Belgian chocolatier, Dominique Persoone. Tickets costs 295 € + VAT.

"The Flemish Primitives is a unique combination of the strong history in gastronomy in Belgium and the cutting edge of a new generation of chefs. It's amazing." - Heston Blumenthal

You can hear Bernard talking on this video at The Future Summit 2009:

and at Ikanda, a congress for 1,400 Flemish 12 year olds which my son attended:
For more information on food pairing contact Bernard Lahousse - Food Pairing and Sense for Taste

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

English Theatre in Antwerp

Artistic director David Llewellyn Child formed English Stage Events in 2007 realising the popularity of English language theatre outside the UK. After performances in The Netherlands and Prague, they are now staging their first play in Belgium.

The Fever will be performed on 26 March 2010 at 20.30 in Theater Het Klokhuis, Parochiaanstraat 4, 2000 Antwerpen by Jeremiah Fleming.

The author, Wallace Shawn delivers us a nameless person from a privileged world, suffering from a sense of disconnection from his comfortable life, who travels to a country in the midst of a civil war.

Deliriously ill, he confronts an internal chorus of conflicting voices: dreams of comfort, images of physical and economic violence, accusations of indifference and cold-blooded arguments in favour of oppression. The central question: what, if anything, is a morally consistent way to live in the world as it is?

Full info and tickets at
Tickets: €10/8 per person/group bookings discount

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Looking for Snow Boots

As we have several cms of snow here in Limburg, I went to buy my son some new snow boots yesterday. They had hundreds of pairs in Carrefour some weeks ago but yesterday not one pair in any size could be found in any shoe shop in the area. C&A had summer sandals but that is not much help right now.

Why don't shops stock products when we need them, not months in advance when we don't?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Snow Again in Limburg

We came back from the UK on Sunday night to find our village in Limburg covered in several cms of snow.

The boys went back to school on Monday walking in snow boots. I decided that was safer than slipping and sliding in the car, relying heavily on the ABS.

Snow is expected again in the UK and they are already talking about closing schools, not going to work. Typical. We manage to turn up in Belgium so why not England?

Visit Living in Belgium for information on what's on, where to go, photos and useful tips for making life in Belgium more interesting.

Brussels Airlines Extra Flights Belgium to UK

Brussels Airlines have increased the number of flights between Belgium and the UK.

From 10th January 2010, there will be 3 daily flights to both Bristol and Newcastle and 4 daily flights to London Heathrow, a total of 19 flights daily between Belgium and the UK.

Click BRUSSELS AIRLINES for current flight offers.

Brussels Airlines offer some of the lowest rates in Europe with flights from as low as £40.

There are daily long-haul flights to Moscow, Helsinki, Africa and more.

Visit European Travel blog for European travel ideas and special offers and EuroTravel the one-stop site for travel to and within Europe.