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
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.
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.
I hate moving, I really, really, really hate moving. This was actually my 5th or 6th move, so by now I can probably write a book about what to do – and especially about what not to do – when you prepare to move. Anyway, we survived. Barely, but we did. Our new house has a bigger office space and it’s closer to the offpring’s school. Everybody happy. More or less.
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Forest of Averbode (Belgium). This photograph was actually taken in July, although with pine trees that doesn’t matter does it…
Halloween and All Saints Day are over, and as I sit here eating the offspring’s Halloween candy (note to self: stop bying candy as if you have 10 children), I can’t fail to notice what an incredibly dull and generally gloomy month November is. Though I shouldn’t complain, considering it’s about 15° C warmer than it usually is. We even went out for ice cream at the abbey of Averbode yesterday. Not really something you would consider doing when winter is nearing. Averbode is our ‘go to place’ when we have friends over and we’re looking for a relaxing way to entertain them. We took the kids out for a walk in the forest and a delicious ice cream, everybody happy. Although we did get some strange looks. All Saints Day is a serious thing in Belgium, and the fact that my daughter was dressed as a ‘devil princess’ (for want of a better description) for a small Halloween party we had yesterday was clearly not to everybody’s liking… Continue reading