The natural and traditional family...


This story is making the news since yesterday:

"Three children freed from a cellar in which their mother had been imprisoned and raped by her own father for 24 years had never seen daylight, police in Austria have confirmed.
Police spokesman Franz Polzer told CNN that 73-year-old Josef Fritzl admitted holding his daughter, Elisabeth Fritzl, 42, hostage in the windowless cell and fathering seven children by her. "The mother had memories [of the outside world] and got used to the situation," Polzer told a press conference Monday afternoon. "The others knew nothing else." The main question reverberating from the small Austrian town: how could a man keep his daughter locked in his basement for 24 years, where she gave birth to seven of his children while her mother and three of those children lived upstairs without an inkling of the horrors in the cellar?"

Remember those people at Action Famille and their statement that the natural and traditional family is the best place for a child to develop harmoniously? Yeah, I can totally see that.

11 years and 97 days...


Yesterday we finally managed to celebrate our tenth anniversary at the Godevaart in Antwerp!
Only a year and 97 days late, but it was worth the wait (for an overview of the food, look to Twitter on the left. The wines were memorable too, especially the Muscadet, which came with the scallop).

It's been an interesting ride, with immigration issues, petitioning the government, befriending a Belgian consul, no job, a job, deciding to have a baby, having a baby, considering a second, buying a house, downsizing professionally, upgrading professionally...

Who would have thought that the editorial assistant in Antwerp and the graphics editor in Atlanta would ever meet up, fall in love and be here all this time later? Who could have predicted all this, considering that the night before I flew to Hotlanta for the first time, I basically painted the town of Antwerp bright bright red, consumed the best part of a bottle of Lagavulin, and managed to sprain my ankle as I headed down the infamous staircase of my apartment building (the aerobics queen of Belgium even gasped and gave up on the third floor, but the views were unbeatable: the river Scheldt on one side, cathedral on the other).

What could she have thought when this vision of loveliness growled 'get me out of here' as I limped through the sliding doors after having passed US immigration positively reeking of whiskey? In fact, I am still surprised that I made it through immigration at all in that state.
These days I'd just be hauled back to the plane for that return flight after a strip search.

I was surprised, overwhelmed and honoured that she would have me.

And that, dear friends, is the morale of this story: she consented to have me and to hold me. And she has all of these eleven years. And for that, dearest SO, all I can say, is abject thanks on my behalf and I love you.

I want to ride my bicycle...


Diamond Divas!

I've been completely fascinated by the poster for the exhibition "Diamond Divas" at Antwerp's Diamond Museum, which has been plastered all over Antwerp since a few weeks.

The fabulous eyes and lips of the grande dame of Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson herself, have been chosen as the embodiment of the quintessential Diamond Diva. A better close-up, don't you think. Personally, I never knew that she was so fortunate to own so many diamonds. But, considering that she was the mistress of Joe Kennedy, I assume that he must have showered her with some gifts.

I was aware, however, of Marlene Dietrich's fabulous diamond cuffs and the beautiful ruby bracelet, which she wore in Stagefright... All were used for a settlement for unpaid taxes with the IRS...

Other divas include Daisy Fellowes, the Duchess of Windsor, the violet-eyed Elisabeth Taylor, the girl who famously sang that 'a kiss on the hand may be quite continental, but diamonds are a girl's best friend'.

The exhibition is on my list of things to do next week! Not that I'm vying for my own rock... I'm a silver girl, no rocks required.

Eurovision - not a chance in hell


There is no way that the Belgians are even going to make it anywhere near the top... if you compare their act to this flaming gay extravaganza. But somebody must be deep into Matt Lucas, that's all I can say... The Icelandic entry, This is my Life, by Euroband for this year's Eurovision Song Contest. Gotta love 'em!



The Belgian federal government recently launched a campaign and blog aimed at young people between the ages of 15 and 18 to raise awareness about their attitude to gay people. Research has shown that 43.5 of Flemish male teens have a negative and intolerant attitude to the LGBT community, compared with 23.5 of Flemish female teens.

Actie Gezin, a christian association, with supporters among the Christian-Democrat fractions, which are once again part of the government coalition, reacted rather forcefully with a letter-writing campaign. Said association campaigns in favour of traditional family values and is worried that the campaign slogan is not aimed at bringing about equal opportunities for gays.

Personally I didn't quite get at what point the statements that '1 in 33 gay men has the HIV virus' and that 'serial monogamous heterosexual relationships promote HIV' were related in a cause-consequence kind of way, but according to the little people at Action Famille, this campaign is promoting free sex and sexual debauchery (their words, not mine).

I can understand how people would object to the use of the word 'fuck', but let's be realistic here: every teen uses this word freely throughout the day.

While perusing this association's site, I came upon a document which outlined their opposition to gay adoption of any kind, and by extension gay people raising children...
Some of the cherser statements:

- the natural and traditional family is the best place for a child to develop harmoniously
- children in lesbian families are forced to be raised without a father
- children of lesbian parents have more psychological issues according to studies
- homosexual relationships per definition are unstabler
- love alone is not sufficient; the joint love of a mother and father offer the best chances of development and happiness to a child.
- adoption should be reserved to heterosexual couples only

Well, pardon me, while I go barf in a corner. As a lesbian, I am naturally predisposed to arguing that the two-women family model works perfectly well. But more importantly, and based on the reactions of people in general, I am inclined to say the same. How many times have we been told, 'look at your munchkin, what are you worrying about, does she look unhappy? You are such good parents. Stop worrying'.

Earlier this week, I ended up chatting with another mum of a classmate. Recently divorced from her husband, who was an alcoholic, she was worried about the impact on her child's behaviour and development. The little boy in question is now under observation by the school psychologist, and there are obviously some issues. A little confused boy, as I witnessed first-hand that afternoon.

I don't know what the answer is. But the prejudiced views of this association, which refuse to even take into account the fact that LGBT couples are capable of raising happy, well-balanced children, let alone raise children, in this day and age, seems so 'bigoted', for lack of a better word. The reactions on newspaper discussion forums, however, prove that they are not alone and that there is still a lot of ground to be covered. In the meantime, the young Christian-Democrats have reacted, saying that any association which promotes a lack of tolerance, based on race, sexuality, etc. tarnishes the reputation of the party. Ah, Belgium, it never ceases to surprise me...

oh she was gorgeous - Yma Sumac


After firing up the old iPod earlier this week, I rediscovered my Yma Sumac LPs.

For those of you unfamiliar with the original Glamazone, that songbird from the Andes, here is a clip. Yes, that is her voice throughout and I so am craving some false eyelashes...

I think I would have fared better in the 1950s or maybe as a professional ballroom dancer...

My top 5 affairs


The lovely ladies at Grace the Spot and Dykes and the City were discussing their top 5 of famous people to have an affair with (if the opportunity would present itself of course). I thought about that for a second, and the usual suspects came to mind.

So here's my top 5 (nothing new, as I've featured them all in one or other post on this blog already). I'm so boring.

1. Nigellaaaah (Lawson, of course, because that expanse of creamy skin, those silky brown eyes, and her body just do it for me (and I don’t care what the Daily Mail says about her knees))

2. Sophia Loren (all that goodness, and it’s all due to pasta)

3. Tilda Swinton (again, the white skin fetish)

4. Emma Thompson (for a lark!)

5. Marcia Cross (more white skin, alas).

*looking at my tan and freckled blonde SO as I type this*
And here's yet another Nigella photo: just because. Nah.

Care for another lashing of lust?
I'm sure you do, I do.

How can you not adore her? I think that I'll just go eat something now.

Words fail me


If I told you that this is a photo taken of an opera performance in Germany, would you believe me?

This is happiness!


oh she was gorgeous - Sharbat Gula

Many decades ago, before I was a lesbian in the making and my blue school uniform came emblazoned with a monogramme, I remember being particularly impressed with the cover of the National Geographic Magazine of June 1985. The photo - taken by Steve McCurry - had a young Afghan girl staring out at the world, with iridiscent green eyes.

Seventeen years later, photographer and subject were reunited. Like a latter-day Pre-Raphaelite beauty, Sharbat Gula's face continues to mesmerize people worldwide, like myself.

Lest we forgot the message behind the beauty of this young woman, here is a short reminder...

Dyke dolls!


I'm sorry, I've been sitting on this link for a month now and I wanted to share it with you all. Get your own. The world's first lesbian action figures. Barbie redux? Not for the glam princesses in this casita, who love pink Barbie. But ole Bobbie might make a nice replacement for Kendoll.

4 minutes...


The munchkin's been doing a cute imitation of Madonna's new song "4 minutes to save the world", singing 'tick tock tick tock' with a huge grin on her face. It beats hearing 'gimme gimme gimme' from the backseat by a long stretch (caused by being inadvertently subjected to Britney Spears' latest hit).

But let's examine the Material Girl's latest output: am I comfortable with the fact that she looks like someone took an eraser to her face? Not so. The corsetry? Nice, but been there, done that. Coming on to Justin Timberlake? Pffft. Janet Jackson did that years ago, and showed us a boob in the process. The body? I admire her stamina, but I hate to think what she will look like by 75.
The song itself? Well, it sort of crawls up on you, takes you by surprise, and then you find yourself humming it for days on end.

But I find myself missing that cutting edge that characterised her music and videos in the 80s and 90s... Twenty-five years since it hit me, the Madonna Effect is MIA.

So, as yet, no Hard Candy for me.

Olympic flame extinguished...


...during a tussle in Paris. Does this mean bad luck for the Olympics, I wonder?

I don't know why they chose Beijing in the first place. Yes, China is a world power, and the interests of multinationals underbuilding the Olympic Games cannot be ignored (God forbid). But c'mon, you knew holding the Olympics in China was going to ruffle some Tibetan and other feathers. It's tantamount to basically condoning the occupation of Tibet by China.

*shakes head*

Enduring: Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians

I can't remember when I did not like this music.
It is forever stuck in my mind because my former dance teacher introduced me to it. Belgian choreographer Anne-Theresa De Keersmaeker based her choreography "Rain" on this piece.

It is music that I return to time and again when my mind needs soothing. I enjoy the sensation of being engulfed by wave after wave, layer after layer of sound.

Eek, I've been tagged


Thanks, Sieg, for thinking of me.

My first 'meme':
The Rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book of 123 (or more) pages.
Nigel Nicholson's memoirs, Long Life. I already read it, but it was at the top of the nearest book pile. 'Alice in Wonderland' is currently residing under the bed.

2. Open the book to page 123 and find the 5th sentence.
'We were well aware that so controversial an order could have not originated with 6th Armoured or 5th Corps.'

3. Post the next 3 sentences:
'For all we knew, it might have come down from the Chiefs of Staff in Washington, who were anxious to appease Tito. That he started to withdraw his partisans from Carinthia on the very day, 19 May, when the repatriations began, strengthened our suspicion that a deal had been struck at the highest level. In my summary of the campaign, written after the crsis was over, I said: "As the world now knows, Tito agreed to withdraw his partisans..."'

I tag:
- Lesbian Dad
- The Reluctant Blogger
- Piglet Wildebeest
- Fresco
- Dykes and the City

Only because I'm really interested to know what people read.

oh she was gorgeous - La Divina

Coming to us through the mists of time...

singing Amina's 'Ah non giunge' from Bellini's La Sonnambula.

For a live version, director Leonard Bernstein (1955), click here.
For a more introverted studio recording two years later, click here.

A marked difference between both, highlighting the changes in Callas' life.

There's not much to add, I feel. The images and most of all, the voice, say so much more.

I'm starting to like this gym thingy


Soooo, I've been to the gym twice this week and I'm beginning to like this gym thingy. Okay, I'll fess up to still not being able to go anywhere near the locker room except to put my things in said locker, and God forbid that I should go anywhere near the showers (I'm sorry, but I have public hygiene issues as a result of never being sent to brownies) but the equipment...

Initially, my first thought was that this was a different take on a dungeon. Except, of course, there are no hot women in latex or leather strolling around, no women in handcuffs or other kinky restraints, and everyone looks distinctly sweaty.

But I've discovered something interesting: I'm loving me some treadmill time. In fact, I don't even want to get off the damn thing and I find myself hogging it for 20 minutes at a time.

Interesting. I go back on Saturday for my next hit.

Help, I've become a gym junkie.

ETA: it's an all women's gym by the way.

Current mood: mercy!


The reason why is because I'm now officially going to the gym three times a week.

ETA: fixed defunct link, replaced with video.

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