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July 2017

Interior happiness

Summer Party

Do  you like throwing a party?

I certainly do! I always love to organize, plan ahead and of course: decorate!

No, I won’t go into the details unless you ask, but I just want to give you ideas if you are thinking of giving a party. Let me know if you want more info or just need a hand with the decorations. I love to do this.

It all starts with the invitation! I always make invitations (and X-mas cards – more on this by the end of the year) myself in Photoshop. If you use your own pictures, it becomes so much more personal. Nothing wrong with sending an email, but I adore real cards. Since it has become quite exceptional to receive one, it  is so much more appreciated.

I think it is important that you decide upfront what you want to do yourself: what you like to do, what you are good at and what doesn’t give you too much stress. I wanted someone else to do the music.  A friend from a friend was DJ and he got half of the guests on the dance floor till 3:30 am, so no need to say we were satisfied.

I was also very happy to have found a good photographer. Asking a family member or a guest to take photos is not a good idea, because they want to party! It is such a shame if you don’t have good quality pictures, they are such precious memories. And ask your photographer to come a little earlier, so you can have some nice family pictures, while everyone is there and dressed up. I am so happy we now have some recent photos from all of us together. Continue Reading


Going West

Many of  you are on vacation right now. This is always a great moment to take the time to wander back through times long gone, or make new plans for the busy times ahead.  Today I want to write about the vacation we made to the US, three years ago. This morning I started reading through my diary, but unfortunately I didn’t write very much about that trip. I made a photo-book though, and will share a few pics along with memories that stuck to my mind – those must be the best ones, right?

I hope to inspire you, or give you ideas if you’re ever traveling in that direction! This poster I made for Youngest when he had to give a presentation on his trip.


July 2014

Seems like ages ago.  We traveled to the West for a family vacation, the last time with the five of us.

Summit and New-York

We were warmly welcomed by our old friends in Summit,  where we used to live over fifteen years ago. Summit is a pretty small town in New-Jersey, with easy access to Manhattan with the train. Want to know who went to school here? Meryl Streep! She went to Kent Place, a private school, while our kids went to a (very good!) public school. We walked by our old house on Harvey Drive. It is a pity Youngest didn’t remember much of that time. Continue Reading


Covering Life

You must recognize this famous image! Do you remember the photographer? It is Steve McCurry.

Two early birds – Daughter and I – hopped on the train on Saturday. Destination: the exhibition of Steve McCurry in Brussels. The exhibition was slated to end on June 24th, but I was so happy to hear it was extended until August 20th!

After two hours and a bit on the train, we stopped at Paul’s for a coffee, tea and a delicious strawberry pie. We slowly walked towards the Beurs in Brussels (ten minute walk from Central Station in Brussels).

The set-up was great, all the photos printed on huge forex canvasses, with roof to floor transparent curtains, and all the light focused on the pieces of art. You get a free audioguide with your ticket, where McCurry’s voice (and the translator) tells you the story behind the photos.

Continue Reading


Learning Italian

Now the party’s over,
feel so tired…

Avalon, by Roxy Music

This song perfectly describes my mood. I am on a slower pace right now.

We still have those long summer evenings here in Belgium, where it’s ideal to stay outdoors and read. I just started The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. Good to enhance my English a bit.

I also need to work on my Italian.  The past year I didn’t practice enough Italian, blame on me.   But from my niece Anouk, I received an Italian book for my birthday: Io non ho paura, by Niccolò Ammaniti. I was able to translate the title: “I am not afraid.” My abilities ended by the first page, I am afraid …

Anouk put a beautiful quote on the first page:

Il segreto per rimanere giovani sta nell’avere una sregolata passione per il piacere
A passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young, by Oscar Wilde

I do prefer the Italian version!

Going to Puglia several times helped my Italian a little, of course. I also watched an Italian series on politics and the mafia, mingled with a lot of intrigue. It is called 1992. Set in Rome, Milan and different Italian cities, the TV series follows six people whose lives are intertwined with the rapidly changing political landscape in the early 1990s, during which Italy was gripped by the Clean Hands “Mani Pulite” investigation into political corruption. It is being shown on Belgian TV again this summer.

One Friday night I was watching it, a glass of white wine accompanying me, when Oldest came home with a friend. They were at a barbecue and it was getting cold by now, and Oldest hurried upstairs to pick up a vest.

His friend came into the living room to say hi, smack in the middle of a very explicit sex scene. It was too late to zap it away and I could feel my cheeks getting red.

“Hi, Sophie, you ok?”
“Sure, I …” while secretly watching the screen again, hoping it was over now, but no, still full action, doggy-style.
“Watching a bit of porn, are you?” Big smile.
“No! I am learning Italian, this is about politics in the early nineties and …”
“Yeah, right.”

The moment was too funny not to share with friends, but now whenever I say I am learning Italian, I get a wink in return.




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