About Me

My photo
Antwerp, Belgium
Welcome to the new, and improved version of Heaven in Belgium. I am Jientje. "Jientje", like the boys name Gene, followed by "chu"? "Gene-chu", that's how you pronounce my name. Yes!!!!That's it!! So now you know huh? I am an addicted blogger. I was born and raised and am still living in Belgium. Yeah, the "this-is- Tuesday-so-this-must-be-Brussels" kind of Belgium .. There, you see? Maybe you couldn't find it on the map, but at least I'm trying to change that a little by sharing lots of pictures. I really love to cook and create new things, like this blog for instance. I am a mother,a grandmothe and a wife too! They say I'm a traveler, and a photographer. Well that's just what they say, I love to make pictures, but I am far from professional ... If my English is not perfect, that would be because it's my second language. I do hope you'll forgive me any possible misspellings or strange vocabulary ... Now, as a result of all of the above, I get way too little sleep and my days are always much too short!


Heaven is in Belgium

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ruby Tuesday, Gotcha!

It looks like I was not the only one who wanted a picture of the Benedictine sisters at the beguinage of Bruges.

Find more Ruby Tuesday pictures here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Macro Monday, The Place with the Daffodils ...

The beguinage in Bruges is a stunning sight if you visit it in the Spring season.
There are sixteenth century houses and cobblestone streets, and the lawn in the middle is covered with yellow Daffodils. As if time has stood still ...
You can see some pictures of it in yesterdays Weekly Winners post. Click here to see it.

I knew I just HAD to get some macro shots and close ups of the Daffodils.
So I got down on my knees and started playing with my camera a little.

And while doing that, I kept my eye on the white houses on my camera screen.
I focussed on the flower, and I used a shallow depth of field to make the houses in the background a little blurry.

My Macro Monday for this week...
Find more Macro Monday pictures here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekly Winners, Bruges ... Through my Eyes

Welcome to this new blog, dear visitors.
Jientje wanted me to guide this tour today.
She wants me to take you with me in the town where she was born.
She wants me to show you what this beautiful town looks like seen through my eyes.

I guess she has a point there.
After all, swans like me know their way around Bruges.

I think Bruges is the prettiest village in the whole world.
Hey, you don't have to believe me. After all, I'm only a swan.
But I live here, and I love my city.

I mean, look at that architecture.
I LOVE the old houses with their crow step gables. They feel so much like home.

Okay. I got a little carried away here. Don't want you get your wet feet while following me.
I almost forgot that your feathers are not as waterproof as mine.
There are umbrellas in case it might rain. After all, this is Belgium.
Hop on the boat, and I'll take you places, okay?

I know my way around the canals.
It's much like your streets, only on water. Right?

You folks of course need bridges to cross the water.

That's why Bruges has so many of them.

If I'm not mistaken, I think this is the oldest one.
But hey, names places dates ... I'm only a swan, okay?

There are always people watching us.
Hmmm, I think I like this.

But hey? We look like a fairy tale, don't we?

Come on, follow me.
There's still one place I want to show to you.
A very special place.

The beguinage.

The place with the daffodils.
Breathtaking, isn't it?

There. I hope you enjoyed this little tour.
I know I did.
But I'm rather in a hurry.
I need to get back to my home now.
It's Spring you see. I still got a couple of things to take care of...

Find more Weekly Winners here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Photo Hunt " Hands"

Theme for this week is " hands"
As soon as I saw the theme I knew exactly which pictures I wanted to use.

Two people caught my eye. They were having a glass of Champagne in the wine bar.
She was the one who did most of the talking, and I loved how she talked with her hands.
Some people have expressive faces ... she had talking hands.

And he was the one listening ...

Friday's fave Five, an Award and a Meme

Another week has gone by, it's amazing how time flies.
I like this meme, it's hosted by Susanne at Living to tell the Story, and I like it because it makes me look back and share some of the highlights of the past week.

1. It's been a week with very capricious weather and a lot of rain, but there's a blue sky right this minute as I'm writing this. It's still rather chilly so I cancelled my plans to step outside to take some pictures. For now.

2. Ladybugs. Have I mentioned before how much I like them? They always remind me of my grandmother. She used to love them so much and I think I got that from her.

3. What really made me happy this week is the help I got from blogger friend Terri to create this new blog. I could not have done it without her! Last time I tried to change something in my template I lost all my Haloscan comments! I decided to steer clear of it this time and create a new blog instead. She sent me the codes and helped me each step of the way to create a one column blog. I love how I am now able to share bigger pictures.

One thing I still might need to change is my header picture. I wanted to keep the old one for a while to make my readers feel at home, but there might be some of you out there who have not noticed this is a new blog? What do you think?

4. Most of my readers have followed me here, and I want to thank them as well.
I did not want to loose you guys and girls!

5. Sunday brunch. Whenever I can I try to make Sunday breakfast special.
Last Sunday I made American pancakes. Well okay, the recipe was English but that was because it allowed me to make a smaller batch. I had only two eggs left in the house, so ...

One more thing before I go. Susanne tagged me with this meme.

The rules are to list 7 things I love (and then to tag 7 people).
I don't do the tagging bit, feel free to pick it up if you like it.
But I love to share my list, here it goes.

1. Life
2. The people in my life, and that includes my blogger friends anywhere in the world.
3. My camera. I could not live a day without it.
4. Blue skies and sun. As long as I can see a blue sky, even in Winter I'm happy and energized.
5. Music
6. Kitchen accessories.
7. Comments on my blog. Have you noticed that I answer them?
Some of my blogger friends answer their comments, and I always loved to go back and read their comment on my comment. From now on I'll do that too, I like the interactive communication.

Wait!! I'm still not finished yet!

Avril , my South African friend from Mom's Meanderings has given me this nice award two weeks ago. I know I suck at awards, I get them and then forget all about them! It's not that I don't like getting them, I do. It's much like getting a compliment, I love it.
If you ever gave me one and I forgot to pass it on, please don't be mad at me.
I just tend to forget, sorry!

1. Pass it on to five other Fabulous Bloggers in a post.

2. Include the person that gave you the award, and link it back to them.

3. List five of your Fabulous addictions in the post.

Anyway, I'm going to pass this one on to ....

1. Terri : at Ways I see the World for all the help I got from her creating this blog.
2. Thom: at ScuttleButtMoTV Because he calls me a Belgian Bombshell and I like how he always answers his comments.
3. Tatersmama: She loves to cook, and she has a great sense of humour.
4. Brenda at Brenda's blog from Paraguay who's going through a very hard time right now.
5. And Susanne from Living to tell the Story because she hosts this meme.

As for my addictions: ;-)
- Blogging
- My camera
- Coffee
- Magazines
.... and flip flops.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quilly's Three Word Challenge

Here we go for another episode of Quilly's three word challenge.
Where we are supposed to write a story with some of the forgotten words Quilly has dug up for us from the dark catacombs of the internet on line dictionaries.
You can find their definitions by clicking on the links.

So hang on to your hats girls!
Oh and um ... If this is just a little bit over the top, that's just how it's supposed to be!
It could have been better, but it could have been worse, I'm a novice at this.
Please forgive me.

The people in the village had been whispering stories about bacchanal rites and orgies in the woods high up in the mountains. Stories about evil female creatures living in the wild.

The stories were laced with hitonious details on how they killed wild animals. How they slaughtered anything and anybody within their sight, tearing the flesh from the bones of the game they prey on, devouring even their own children in a frantic euphoria.

He did not believe much of the tales people told. To him this was a canard, a horrific tale made up in the wee hours of a hot Summers night by half witted characters that had been drinking way too much wine while staring into bonfire flames.

Or maybe the stories were made up by shrewd mothers to keep their husbands and sons away from whatever it was that went on in the mountains.

It was a good thing he had a perspicacious mind.
Whatever it was, he was determined to explore the mountains to unravel the truth about these mysterious man eating nymphs. He was now old enough to doubt and question the casuistries and the rumours people seem to love to spread around.

He was in his early twenties when he left the village and its volgivagant populace.

He mounted his horse and set off at the crack of dawn.
He had caught this horse and mastered the skill of riding it so well he had no need for a saddle or a harness. He looked at his reflection in the lake as he drove by and he liked what he saw. The horse and him looked as if they were one. With his well shaped slightly hairy and sun bronzed torso, he looked like an Adonis.
Hmmm, not bad!" he thought, " so this sight of me and my horse must have been how centaur myths came about, not bad at all!"

He drove for days on end until he reached a coppice.

The thickness of the brushwood and the steepness of the slope made his horse jib. This forest was no longer accessible on horseback. He would have to leave his horse and continue the journey by foot. He climbed and walked for hours. It had been raining for days ( I guess he must have reached Belgium by then!) and the moss that covered the soil felt queachy under his feet.
All of a sudden he heard a soft tinkling sound.

He stood and listened, but still he could not define it, although there was something familiar about the delicate notes that reached his ears. It was music! Elegant isangelous music.
There was something very feminine and fragile about this music.
He held his breath and listened. This was so beautiful. It was not a harp though, he remembered how he had often listened to his mother playing the zither.
As gently as he could he tried to make his way through the brush into the direction of the music. And then he caught his first glimpse of the Maenads.
He pinched himself to make sure he was not dreaming.

He stood in awe at the sight of this sun bathing bacchante.
She looked like a goddess. She was nothing like the hitonious creatures from the stories he had heard in his village.
He could not take his eyes off the mellifluous curves of her body. He wanted to touch the dew droplets on her soft skin.
And then he turned around and saw another one.

She was dancing. Her whole body was the expression of absolute joy.
"So this is what volgivagant people would describe as bacchanalia?" he said to himself.
"Look at them! I mean, look ... drunk raving out of control women ?"
"Maniacal dancing, loud crashing sounds of cymbals causing huge fracas?"
What a teterrimous exaggeration! Those women are merely enjoying and celebrating life to the fullest. What's with all those narrow minded people, making up stories like that?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Melli's Alphabet Challenge, S and T

For weeks now I've been running around with my camera, looking up, looking down, upside down, searching everywhere. I even looked in mirrors, and from all kinds of angles. People have been turning their heads at the sight of me, bending myself in the most awkward positions trying to find letters for Melli's ABC challenge.
I'm not sure if I'm brain damaged yet or not, no tests have been executed yet.
But the men in white coats have not yet come to fetch me either.
However, if I keep seeing photographing things that nobody else finds interesting, then I'll let you know.
I'll thank you for it Melli.
I'll thank you for that twist extra button in my brains, that clicks every time I see one.
Take last week for instance.

This was somebody's front door.

And this is the door latch at the beguinage.
But it looks like I already had this brain disorder an eye for alphabet letters in the past.
Because while I was browsing through my archives, I discovered these...

This one was from Crestet, when we were on holiday In France last year.
I might have been looking for dragons ;-) but I'm not sure.
(Click the link for a virtual tour of this pretty village in the South of France.)

And this one was taken on one of my walks in Antwerp last Summer.
A perfect T.

But the next one beats it all. I want drumrolls now

Not only is there an S, there is a T in there as well.
And not only that.
* Insert Space Odyssey grand finale paukes NOW!*
(for full effect click the link to hear the music before you scroll down)

because ....


* Bows and leaves the stage*

Visit Melli to find more brain damaged players see more ABC challenge pictures.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ruby Tuesday

'A new brush sweeps clean but an old brush knows the corners'

Day two, and I'm pretty well settled in in this new place of mine.
Thank you all for sticking with me and following me here.

I think I'm going to have so much fun here!
Can't wait ...

For more ruby pictures, visit Mary the teach at workofthe poet!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cloning a blog ...

Well, yes ... cloning.
Sort of.
You see, Terri asked me in a comment why I did not use bigger pictures in my posts.
I told her that I would like nothing better than that, BUT I had no idea how to do proceed to get them bigger. I may be a blogger, and I may be a photographer, but a geek I'm not. ( yet)
Anyway, one thing led to another, and she has spent hours emailing me and helping me out.
It turns out that I CAN upload bigger pictures by changing some of the HTML codes in my template. However, changing stuff in the template would cause the loss of all my comments again. It has happened in the past, and I know I hate to loose them. Your words and comments are very precious to me, and I don't want to jeopardize them again.
Basically, there is only one solution, and that's to start with a clean slate on this blog.
The only thing changing will be the size of the pictures, and a minor change in the name of the blog. The rest of the widgets, Twitter, archives, all of the stuff that used to be in my side bar ... you'll find all of that at the bottom of this blog.
Just think of it as a twin sister, okay?

From now on the new name will be Heavenisinbelgium.
That's not so bad eh?
I mean, .... some of you seem to think it is?

So please please, if you were a follower of heaveninbelgium, would you sign in to follow this one instead? Or adjust the link in your reader? It would mean so much to me. I sure hope I will not loose any of my precious readers by moving here?

On with the business of the day.
Macro Monday!

Tink suggested I should enter this post in Mellow Yellow Monday, so here we go ...


I think I like this.
How about you?

Find more Macro Monday posts at Lisa's chaos.
Click on the butterfly banner to find more Mellow Yellow Monday posts.

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