Thursday, November 01, 2012
I'm not American so don't do Thanksgiving as such. In the past, I've associated the month of November with the start of winter - cold, grey, wet, miserable days that have left me feeling decidedly down in the dumps and feeling a wee bit sorry for myself. Last year, one of my American buddies encouraged me to join her in thinking of one thing to be thankful for each day in November. It lifted my mood so much that this year I'm doing it again.
Today - I'm thankful that the Belgians celebrate All Saints by having a public holiday! They honour the dead, not just the saints but also their own ancestors. The cemeteries are a mass of colour as the graves of loved ones are adorned with flowers - chrysanthemums seem to be the flower of choice. It's a day off work and the schools are closed, which I'm particularly thankful for today as it means I didn't have to drag myself out of bed and head out in the pouring rain.
I'm feeling especially happy today. I have a good friend who, several years ago, was given the devastating news that she couldn't bear children. Yesterday she gave birth to a gorgeous baby daughter. That alone will keep me smiling for the entire month!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
So, I'm getting changed at the gym and an elderly lady spots the large bruise on my BTM (quaint English acronym for bottom, or butt as I think you call it in US). I explained that I'd tripped and landed hard.
"Oh," she says, "good job you've got plenty of padding!"
I put her lack of tact down to the fact that she was speaking a foreign language and simply replied, "Yes, I count my blessings every day....."
Her "kind words" helped me to do an extra 20 minutes cardio and I will be doing my squats religiously from now on!
Sunday, October 28, 2012
So, last Monday I took photos and blogged about the local neighbourhood where I walk. It was a balmy Autumn morning, unseasonably warm at around 18*C (65*F?).
Today, I decided to go for a little jog around the same route. I went out at about the same time, 9am, and was hit by the cold front blowing down from Scandanavia that had been promised by the weathermen. It was barely above freezing, about 2*C (35*F). I thought it would be fun to compare landscapes, a week apart.....
The big oak tree in the front garden
The street where we live
The cow field
Then I slightly changed the route and photographed the cows from the other side!
I did 2 circuits of the cow field to bring the distance up to 5K which I managed in just over 37 minutes, not too bad considering I stopped to take photos.
The decorated pumpkin raised €20/$26 for school funds which I was pleased with!
Friday, October 26, 2012
It's been a hectic Friday. This morning I began my new "job" - teaching English to some of the mums at the International school my daughter attends. I've many years experience of teaching kids but this was the first time I'd had adults as students. They were very well behaved, listening carefully and trying their hardest. I wanted to give them all gold stars at the end. We discussed the British custom of Bonfire Night and I took in some Yorkshire Parkin to have with our coffee. Happily, they all said they'd be back for the next lesson.
This afternoon I had to decorate a pumpkin for the school's Halloween event tomorrow. They are going to do a Silent Auction as a fundraiser. Halloween isn't big in the UK, or in Belgium come to that, but there are several American families at the school so the Halloween traditions have gradually become an annual event.
I've never made a "decorated" pumpkin before. In fact I only carved my first pumpkin some 4 years ago. To be honest, I wasn't sure what I had volunteered for but a quick google lead me to some interesting ideas and this is what I came up with. I just hope somebody wants it.
My daughter is at a friend's sleepover party tonight, so I'll be making the most of some "us" time with my hubby. He works in Amsterdam Monday to Friday so I'm always pleased to see him on a Friday night!
Oh, better mention that I managed to fit in a short 30 minute power walk, covering 1.78 miles and I have managed to eat healthily again today and avoid the biscuit tin/choc stash!
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