Monthly Archives

August 2017

Puglia

La Dolce Vita

Well, not an original title… But so true, here in Puglia!

We arrived here at Casa Vita at ten pm when it was already dark. I slept well, but when the first sun rays forced themselves through the sky light, I decided to open the door of the room to get some fresh air. It was only six a.m., but I just escaped to the yard. So wonderful, early in the morning. I got my camera, tiptoed between the olive trees, climbed up the roof and started taking photos. Continue Reading

Stories

Over the Border

Going back into history again. To World War II, a slight change from last week’s subject.

War is such a shocking word, and an even crueler circumstance. I have never been in one, luckily. But many people now, in the past, and very likely in the future, will be confronted with one.

This was the case for all those people – mostly Germans – lying underneath the endless rows of crosses in my hometown of Lommel. Two young men for one cross. In total about 39,108 war casualties. A few war criminals, but for the most part just victims, resting in peace (a cruel and ironic way of stating it).

I have been here many times, showing friends this physical embodiment of the absurdity of war. As a mother of two boys I cannot help but feel a deep grief when I see the dates on some graves: °13/06/1927  to 23/09/1944.

Close to this immense cemetery there are the buildings of the “House Across Borders.” This association organizes projects and activities for both youths and adults concerning peace and remembrance education. They also inform and help relatives or researchers regarding fallen German soldiers buried here. Continue Reading

Stories

The Summer of Love

Hi there,

How are you?

I have no specific subject this week. Not that I haven’t been busy, I have! A lot has been flowing in my direction. Last Thursday I had an exciting conversation with Helena from the German Cemetery in my hometown. They have a youth program, and I will be helping out with a debate/workshop on freedom of speech the following week. I will be talking on behalf of Amnesty, for which I am still volunteering when an opportunity rises. But more on this next week. Continue Reading

Stories

Childhood unplugged

On memories and movies

It is a mystery the way your memory works, and it will stay a mystery for a while.

Over time we get an overflow of pictures and movies, so a personal movie of almost five decades ago is a real thing to treasure. Continue Reading

Stories

Red Star Line

A visit to Antwerp! Always fun… Been there?

Took the train to Central Station – a beautiful one, if you haven’t been there – followed by the subway to the Groenplaats. Last days of sales. I felt the urge to go into a few stores in the city of fashion. A hit! A whole outfit from Julia June, a Belgian brand, and one of my favorites, at half the price! That evening I told hubbie how much I saved. “And what did you spend?” was the answer. “The same amount!” 🙂

Alongside the river Scheldt I walked towards ‘t Eilandje (translation: the small island), an upcoming neighborhood with new museums, a little marina situated in the old docks, and and a great location close to the new port of Antwerp.

Continue Reading