Wear Sunscreen

An historian's view on life, love and leisure

Category: Happiness

My Valentine: down to earth romance with 3 last-minute tips

Russia-stop and read.

Padlocks declaring eternal love in Russia.

I can’t believe it’s already Valentine’s day. Things are happening so fast here, that I’m having difficulty keeping up with things.

If you don’t know what to do tomorrow, or if you don’t know if you’re going to do the right thing, read on.

Valentine’s day is very special to me. It’s the day I got married! Continue reading

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5 Sustainable and Trendy Presents for a Caring Christmas

5 sustainable and trendy gifts

 

It’s the time of year again when you know Christmas is only a few weeks away and you realize you have no idea what you’re giving. You did funny socks last year, or cases of wine or tickets to a concert or whatever else. But this year, your mind is blank.

Or maybe you don’t really like the way Christmas has turned out to be more about who gets the best or the most presents, instead of about spending time with the people you love.

For me it’s always a challenge to try to find a gift that people will like, that they can use (yes, I actually buy or make presents that are useful!), that will not make me go bankrupt and that I can more or less defend as being not too bad for the environment. I have an issue with presents that seem nice or funny, yet get thrown out as soon as the holiday season is over. Because really, who is actually going to wear a pink and yellow striped tie?

 So here are 5 ways of doing it differently

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Hallelujah and Armistice Day

For the past two days, everything people are talking about, all over the world, is the election of Donald Trump as the new president of the USA.

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How to achieve total #freedom in 5 easy steps

Russia

Disconnect

Step one: switch off your phone, your tablet, your pc, your laptop, your TV and every other machine that seems to be controlling your life. Instant freedom.

Have you ever travelled to a place without Wi Fi or an internet connection? With no newspapers and no network coverage whatsoever?

After experiencing some minor withdrawal symptoms and panic attacks (the dreaded FOMO), you will quickly realize nobody really misses you, your friends can eat pizza without you, the 3.685 newsletters you receive each day will still be there to be deleted without a second glance when you get back, your colleagues were glad to be left alone for a change, and your cat did not die.

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Expats and Belgians: living happily ever after?

The ancient palace of the dukes of Burgundy in Brussels

17th century view on the ancient palace of the dukes of Burgundy in Brussels by Jan van der Heyden and Adriaen van de Velde. The palace on the Coudenberg was the quintessential meeting place for European diplomats and a true expat heaven for centuries before it was completely destroyed by fire in 1731. Its foundations can still be visited today in the Museum on the Coudenberg.

When The Bulletin (for those who don’t know The Bulletin, it’s the first, best known and largest of the media targeting the Belgian expat community) featured the results of the Expat Explorer Survey undertaken by HSBC, the reactions on social media were far more interesting than the results of the survey itself. Many of the issues discussed on social media weren’t even part of the survey and had nothing whatsoever to do with the article featured in The Bulletin. As the comments on social media demonstrated, people are often bewildered by the culture that surrounds them, even if that culture is not so very different than the one they left behind.

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