Archives for category: Brussels

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Since Mathilda was born we grew quite familiar with hospitals and doctors. Every four months we have to check the eye pressure. For this we go to the Reine Fabiola Hospital for Children here in Brussels-Jette. It’s always a daytrip because it involves travelling to the other side of the city, waiting, experiencing belgian bureaucray (which includes more watiting) and a screaming Mathilda. The examination is on the open eye and with Mathilda getting older it is no longer possible to persuade her holding her head still so that a doctor can look into her eyes.

So this time it was extra hard. Today it took three adults ( us and one doctor) to hold her lying still on her back on a bench and an expert to measure the eye pressure with a Frankensteinish instrument. She screamed like hell. And I cried to. This is the last time we do it this way. It’s not good for Mathilda nor for us at a parent. Luckily the results were negative.

Afterwards we treated ourselves with a waffles at the hospital bistro. Needless to say it consisted of 1000% sugar. But Mathilda liked it. The orange colour is from her eye drops.

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The last 10 days I spent in Germany. Mathilda and I toured the south of Germany to meet friends and family. We stayed at my parents at Tübingen which is a romantic university town with retro feeling. Hippies and incense sticks included. It reminded me of my own student days. Years, no, wait, decades ago.

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Compared to Bruxelles the  whole city was covered with children. A lot of fathers with their little ones on the playground, mothers breastfeeding at cafes and lovely toy shops. Felt like an oasis for children.

Mathilda ate her first Spätzle, the national dish of  the south of Germany. Apparently she liked eating proper food so much that she now is growing her first tooth.  Pommes de frites and Brezels watch out!

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My culinary treat was a Cronut. Not very typical. But I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw some a local bakery. To my disappointment  it was very greasy. I don’t understand the fuss about it. It tasted like fried butter.

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Traveling by plane was easy peasy with M. No crying and no ear pain. The flight to Stuttgart took only about an hour and you are allowed to take a stroller or a car seat for free. Only the other passengers – male ones – proofed to be quite ignorant. Nobody helped me with my luggage in the plane or made room for me. They only starred at us. Here in Bruxelles I always get offered a seat at the tram and got help when entering the bus with the pram.

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The late summer sun and the early autumn cold marks my favourite season: autumn. It’s still warm but kind of velvety and cold enough to wear cosy woolen wear. This sunday the weather was perfect for an amazing outing: the garden days at Abbaye d’Aywiers at Lasne.

After a 30 min drive south of Brussels and passing by a lot of almost bucolic sceneries like cows lying  in a green hilly countryside it’s hard to believe that Brussels is so close by and that the city is actually surrounded by idylic landscape. Fête des Plantes et du Jardin  takes time twice a year at the Abbaye D’Aywiers. The garden of the Abbaye is lovely and very informal. Like a big farmyard with an orchard complete with sheep. Nature wore it’s brightest colours and celebrated the last late summer days (Sorry, for trying to be poetic).  We were early and wandered around the estate, bought marmelade and some plants at one of the numerous stalls, saw a lot of french looking belgian men wearing floral shirts and wellies and took (numerous) pictures when Mathilda picked her first apple. For a garden and plant aficionados it must be heaven.

Already marked for next year in my calendar: May 2014 when the next flower & plant market will be taking place. Bring you wellies.

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Okay, it’s not really Bruxelles, it’s a 30 min drive away by car. The Hergé Museum at Louvain la Neuve just opened three years back and is a must-see for every Tim & Struppi aka Tintin & Milou aka Tintin & Snowy fan. Very impressive to learn about the process of comic making, too

Looking back again at all the familiar characters and stories from my childhood was like a trip on memory lane. I devoured Tim & Struppi when I was a child. It’s a timeless classic. The museum tells the story of the life and work of Hergé and of course of Tim & Struppi.  The most fascinating and fan friendly rooms where the exhibition of the original decor like the rocket model from “Destination Moon” or the life size shark submarine which was build only for the books as a reference for Hergé and his fellow workshop artists.

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Pic from The Comicsreporter (there’s also a more indepth review of the museé)

We spend a lovely afternoon in the museum and have to come back: every first sunday of the month is free entry!  Although the location of the museum at Louvain la  Neuve is a bit strange. It’s a superficial student town (catholic university) with a very sterile atmosphere.  At the museum I missed a bit the critical historical connection between Hergé’s work and colonialism or the war.  But I enjoyed the ride through Hergé’s and Tintin’s world.

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