Undoubtedly my worst sin... but can one resist such an assortment of cheese?

Clockwise starting from the right of the bread:

Keiems Bloempje with black truffle (goat's cheese)
Cabecou (soft goat's cheese)
A nice Brie de Meaux (cow's milk)
Rovethym (goat's cheese)
Soumaintrain (cow's milk)
Camembert with Calvados

And an excellent walnut/raisin ficelle.

It's been three days, and I'm on a monster cheese bender; the school where the munchkin is at day camp is next door to the cheese supplier to the Belgian court, Michel Van Tricht.

This blog is starting to veer towards gastroporn, sorta.

An apple a day....


Conversation overheard:

- Munchkin: I don't eat apples with a peel.
- New BFF: But I like apples with a peel.
- Munchkin: I like apples because they have "vitamientjes".
- New BFF: I don't eat vitamientjes.

Someone's taken a page out of someone's book...


Don't you think?

Christina Aguilera in her new video for "Keep getting better" vs.
Flemish girl action hero Mega Mindy...

Still on the subject of salads...

I'd like to share my take on Suzanne Goin's persimmon salad with you.

Ingredients: roast hazelnuts, salt, truffle oil, red onions, rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, pepper, persimmons, pomegranate seeds, more truffle oil, olive oil, rocket...

An ideal reflection of the season's colours, don't you think?
It's also a perfect way of dealing with the consequences of ten days' worth comfort binging.
And the nice thing about it is that it comes packed with vitamins, texture, crunchiness and all-over goodness.

Now if only I could have had some good dark bread on the side.

Repeat to self: my body is a temple, my body is a temple...

To buy or not to buy



Egg gadgets (the egg puncher and the egg beheader, especially for you, Vikki!)


You will maybe remember my post about (F)Uggs some time back.
Well, add Winter Crocs to the list of fashionable footwear faux-pas...

The importance of rituals...


I am a strong believer in the handing down of rituals and so this morning, as the munchkin struggled with her boiled egg, or rather with the yolk, I suggested that we cut her toast into "soldiers". Oh, the sparkle in her eye and the joy with which she wolfed them down. And the warm fuzzy glow of a maternal heart... Memories recaptured of an era bygone.

Let them eat cake...


No, dear readers, I'm not having a Colombine, Comtesse de la Vache moment, although I did have some cake myself this morning and it was baked by my own little frogspawn.

Moist, dark, and chocolatey; a truly sybaritic experience.

But back to more elementary matters: I was actually thinking of those mor(m)ons, who are financing the campaign in favour of Proposition 8, in California. And of Sarah Palin, and her Halloween sidekick. And of the CEO's of banks, who command excessively high golden parachutes for squandering people's money. And the list goes on.

So, in my humble defence, today I paypalled some moolah to a dear blogging friend, Vikki, to further the cause of the "No to Prop 8" campaign, so they can hopefully reach their target and tell those idiots to back down. I thought about Hillary Rodham Clinton wistfully and wished she was still in the running for the US Presidential election. And I thanked my lucky stars that I don't need my savings for another twenty-five years.

As the wine slowly oozed into my beleaguered system, my mind turned to more beauteous things. Like...

Kate Walsh, for example. Hummunah, hummunah. Not much I can add to that, but hey, at least I did manage a blog post on top of all my other tasks. Now, next on the list: World peace! Or maybe not.

Current mood: get down tonight!


Maybe we should all take a hint from Mr KC.

Turning over a new leaf

I realise that I have been somewhat indolent lately when it came to updating this blog. Should I blame the credit crunch? Maybe. As a self-employed person, one's income is never far from one's mind and there were a few days last week where I feared the worst. Since then, my prospects and, as a result, my outlook have changed for the positive. I reinvented myself somewhere around 2001 and I am sure that I will be able to do so again, should the need arise. I have no shares to worry about, my pension fund will be sitting in the same position for the next 30 years at least; we bought our house for a rather low amount at a very low interest rate and it will remain the same until it is paid off, while it can only go up in value. In that sense, I am luckier than most, as evidenced from a mail that we received earlier this week, where a family member spoke of losing "mucho dinero".

At the same time, I was trying to concentrate on our nuclear family. My significant other is only six days away from her next run-in with the surgeon's scalpel, which, admittedly, does give rise for some concern.

So, instead of overwhelming you with my solicitude, I shall instead bore you to tears with the more mundane aspects of my existence on days when inspiration is far, far away, even though I am wearing my best red GAP Inspi(RED) T-shirt...

In recent weeks, I have been taking a long good hard look at myself in the mirror. A few stray grey hairs here and there, which I tend to yank out with a vengeance whenever the light catches them; on the whole not too many wrinkles; a cleavage, which my new Trinny and Susannah BFFs told me was just begging for a push-up bra to be revealed in all its glory (gulp); and alas a body, which could shed some ballast. There is a good reason for this. I have been suffering from lower back pain off and on since 1999. Gaining a pound or two means distorting the delicate balance between my vertebrae and such has been the case in recent weeks. I cannot afford to be laid up for a month.

So I shall focus on eating healthier; I do concede that I will have to make concessions as regards richness, but not taste; and all must be pretty.

Today's effort included mixed greens, smoked duck, a pomegranate, and some raspberry/pomegranate juice.

Followed by a good cuppa.

Life should always be so fabulous.

Weekend shots


Weekends should be reserved for photo blogs as one doesn't really have the time to post anything else. Today I headed to Ostend, the former pearl in the crown of Belgium's seaside, to pick up our new side table (Eileen Gray's E 1027 if you must know). I was agreeably surprised to see how it had changed; all the Leopoldian architecture is still very much present, but generally in a better state than I remembered. The munchkin, of course, enjoyed the scenery, the stone critters, and the sea. Still not very satisfied with the new haircut, but it will take some time and a lot of straightening agent to make my peace with it. Oh, did I mention we saw an organ grinder?

Some impressions*:

*taken with my phone, so the quality is so-so.



The gathering season is here. We harvest the squashes, find chestnuts and hazelnuts, gather blankets and sweaters around ourselves. Hot chocolate becomes the evening drink of choice, soon to be followed by mulled cider, as we wait for our neighbours to bring us some freshly made from Normandy after the weekend.

Time to enjoy the brief burst of colour, before everything turns yellow and dies. Time to reflect on the year past and to prepare for the dark season.

Our munchkin is a little gatherer; I have to empty her pockets before I put anything in the laundry. It goes without saying that she is in her element. We use the pickings to create little arrangements around the house such as this one in the kitchen. The photo in the background is part of our 'wall of fame', which includes photos of relatives, friends, who are never far from our hearts. My father. The small B&W photo to the right is the younger man, at the end of his teens on a beach in Egypt. The left-hand photo was taken the year before he died. Eleven years this autumn. My daughter found the heart-shaped rock in the street...

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