April 30, 2012

Colorfully international

I was happy that this man did not have to think for a second when I asked him if it would be ok to take his photo. He said he was from Kenya, the States and from Gabon and that his attire came from Egypt and West Africa. His was the only stand on the market that day. I guess that his colleagues listened to the weather report because shortly after this shoot rain came and stayed for the day.

April 27, 2012

Mark Eyskens

Remember, a few weeks ago I wrote about chatting with the street cleaners and the girls preparing their bachelors party?  I continued my promenade through Leuven and realized, just a bit too late for my camera to be ready, that Mark Eyskens, the former Belgian Prime Minister, Minister of Economics and Minister of Foreign Affairs, was walking right beside me. 
I am sure that Mr Eyskens would have agreed on posing for This is Belgium but I decided against disturbing  him and left with these two shots of him walking swiftly through the Munstraat in Leuven, where he resides.

April 25, 2012

Meet Rose on her second birthday

                                             photo copyright Celien
My friend sent me this picture of her granddaughter Rose celebrating her second birthday last Monday. This was such an adorable shot that I really wanted to post it here.  Rose is proudly wearing her special hat and brand-new umbrella as she walks to the daycare center where everyone is waiting for her arrival to celebrate her birthday. 
For just this once no one was complaining about the rain in Belgium; it permitted Rose to put her birthday present to good use.

April 23, 2012

Nancy Rossignol, Ambassador of Belgium in Zagreb

                       hoto: courtesy Belgian Embassy, Vladislava Iordanova
Nancy Rossignol is the Ambassador of Belgium in Zagreb, Croatia, shown here at an official ceremony commemorating the Holocaust at Jasenovac,  which is located approximately 120 kms from the capital.
Croatia commemorated yesterday the largest detention and work camp  (1941 – 1945) because it was on April 22, 1945 that out of 1073 prisoners, 600 broke out and barely 100 of them survived the breakout. The remaining 473 who did not attempt to escape were killed or burned, according to reports by Croatian television.
Since March of this year, Belgium is presiding the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education. Hence the important role of the Belgian Ambassador at the commemoration ceremonies. 

April 22, 2012

Sunday churches



St Gilles
While my kids are running the Antwerp 10 miles today,  I plan on going on a ROA-hunt (see previous posting) because I am convinced that there must be some around here and not only in Perth, Australia and am determined to find them. ... It does not really matter to me whether his art is - as some of you said in your comments - cool, ugly, inspiring, lugubrious ... I just want to find more ROA right here in Belgium. 
So, that is hopefully coming up soon... For today, I found inspiration at Genie's from http://parisandbeyond-genie.blogspot.com/ who shows a Parisian church every Sunday.

April 20, 2012


Reading about Belgian artist ROA on a blog made in Perth,  Australia  surely got my 100% attention.
Here is the link  http://perthdailyphoto.blogspot.com/2012/04/road-kill-or-over-kill.html and here is the story: 
"Thanks to JM from oeirasdailyphoto who after seeing my post Not a Bansky sent me a super informative link to more of Belgian artist ROA's work right here in Perth. According to the link there were some murals in West Perth, so I rang mon ami Marie who used to work in the area to see if she could help, she directed me to a very narrow alleyway off Hay St. which led out into a private car park space and there on the wall of the Mayfair multi storey car park, not one but three giant ROA's..jackpot!!. The kangaroo is definitely a victim of road kill, not sure about the emu or the other little marsupial that could be a bush rat or quokka. You can see just how enormous they are in comparison to the parked cars. Personally I thought three all on the one wall was a tad over the top, and as there are even more around Perth that I will look for, methinks Monsieur ROA had a pretty lucrative 'gig' in Perth.....!
As I was taking the photos the parking lot attendant told me there was a bit of a story attached to the paintings, they say if anyone unauthorized parks here they'll end up as roadkill and went off chuckling to himself, hmmm! he seemed so nice up until then haha! Joy, it's raining in Perth, niiiice! Hope you have a fab Thursday, special day for me tomorrow....!"
Also, today is a special day for Gracie, the author, so please join me in wishing her a happy blog-anniversary 

April 19, 2012

Window patriotism

As seen in a store window in the Netherlands. 

April 17, 2012

The coast

There is something special about the Belgian coast, the North sea - the air, the waves, the wind, the skies....  I love nothing more than taking zillions of photographs there. I know that photographers, locals and even tourists complain about nature not being what it was, the built up areas along the dikes, the commercialization due to tourism, the masses of people .... 
This is no doubt true but I still love the ambience, and when I am there on a cold and windy day I can even have the place more or less to myself!
I would be happy to do nothing else than photograph the water and the ever changing skies but wonder whether viewers would find it of sustaining interest.
Nonetheless, I am planning on making the Belgian coast a regularly recurring theme and hope you will bear with me!

April 15, 2012

Belgium's best barber

If you happen to spend a few days at the Belgian coast go see Steve, the best coiffeur ever. Steve has seasonal clients but also people who travel from the other side of the country just to have him do their hair.  Steve is a master who takes care of cutting, coloring, and all the things a coiffeur does.  
On the weekends and holidays Steve is helped  by his mother, a gifted artist and jewelry maker.
Studio Steve, Europaplein 3, Duinbergen, 050 515600

April 13, 2012

Mathilda's photos

"City gardening at any price" is the title of Mathilda's final work to graduate from the photo Academy in Anderlecht (Brussels). Mathilda is a retired schoolteacher and thoroughly enjoys her new passion. 
In June,  the works of graduating students will be on display for the general public to admire at the Academy, opening Friday June 22.

Academie voor beeldende kunsten Anderlecht
Dapperheidsplein 17 - 1070 Anderlecht
Tel. 02 523 03 71 - Fax 02 523 02 81
e-mail: klik hier

April 11, 2012

Banana girl

I just like the banana girl and think she could be ubiquitous... this is to say that the picture was taken in Istanbul last week :)

April 10, 2012

Belgian weather

It is true that Belgian weather CAN be awful, wet, grey, depressing...Maybe you too, if you live in Brussels or surroundings, could use a break from the ongoing rain and cold weather... How about looking back at how cheerful everybody looked two weeks ago.

April 09, 2012

Traditions, new and old ones

I have to make a confession... I went to the market  yesterday morning and Nathalie recognized me as "This is Belgium". I took her picture a month or so ago with the promise to post it. Things came up, new photo ops appeared and.. I completely forgot about my promise.
So here is Nathalie of Traditions Nouvelles, who together with Amand, proudly presents fresh, seasonal and fair trade products and who also caters parties, receptions, dinners.
My original idea a month ago was to talk not only about their Traditions Nouvelles but also about Emile and Fils who keep the old traditions going by offering an exquisite selections of wines.

April 06, 2012


Meeting someone like Zeynep is what makes traveling extra special. Zeynep keeps a jewelry shop in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul. I just returned last night from a fun short holiday and first time visit to this mysterious city... the trip did not allow enough time to see all the wonders but there was enough time to become friends with Zeynep whose sister lives in Belgium's Charleroi and cousin in Antwerp. She is therefore saving up and planning her very first trip to Belgium next year. 

April 01, 2012

Capturing city sounds

It was a mystery to me what this crew was filming and even more so what sound they were taping. I did not venture to go closer to investigate because a microphone stuck in a blooming bush might pick up interference. The lady in the black coat did not seem very happy about my interest.