Tag Archives: countryside

Making my Home at Home

23 Jul
It's in the little things you notice that someone else is living in your appartment

It's in the little things you notice that someone else is living in your appartment (indeed, the pink shoes are NOT mine ;-)

When I arrived back to Brussels after a month in laid-back Portugal, I got a city-shock. I had forgotten there were so many people, traffic, pollution, noise, etc. I think I’m ready to move out of the city – but where to? As a test I’m setting up camp at my mum’s place in the countryside, because I rented out my apartment in Brussels for the duration of my sabbatical year. And then we’ll have a look in which quaint village there’ houses for sale.

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Going Local in the Portuguese countryside

22 Jun
Relaxing at the pool, euh, watertank

Relaxing at the pool, euh, watertank

Visiting my sister and family in Portugal is like going back in time: back to the countryside (where I grew up) but then in the Portuguese mountains instead of the Flemish lowlands. A typical visit there has become staying in a tent in the garden, living at the rhythm of the kids, enjoying nature (hardly anything else around) and some desperate attempts to stay in touch with the rest of the world via the one internet connection 10km away. But still I’m charmed by it and might move out of the city myself… Continue reading

Countryside blues

25 Dec
Christmas at my mum's in the countryside

Christmas at my mum's in the countryside

I went back home to my mum’s for christmas. It takes 2 trains, a bus and 10 minutes walk to get to my roots in the countryside. This is the place where I grew up, and where I’ll return to after Asia (as I rented out my apartment for the year). It is very strange to go back to the past. It feels familiar, even after moving out 10 years ago, but at the same time I have forgot the names of the people and the places. It is part of me, but I do not feel I belong…

It was nice however to spend some time together with my mum, talking about her 78 years life experience, at the same time being at the good old home, heated during these winter days till 25 or more degrees Celcius to combat potential arthritis attacks (sure this is great preparation for the tropical heat in Asia!). Life slowed down to the rhythm of TV-series my mum is watching, punctuated by a hot lunches and sandwich dinners, followed by doing dishes together.

Back in my old room...

Back in my old room...

I was sleeping again in my old room filled with boxes which I exported in a car filled to the roof (thanx Tomas). My old bed (which had served 2 of my brothers as well) was hanging on the floor because the mattress springs stayed around more than was good for them (and for my back). But I slept so much better than in Brussels. Maybe because the heat in the house subdued me. Maybe because the shutters kept out the morning. Maybe because of the fresh air. Maybe because I got stuck in front of the telly till late (as I don’t have one in Brussels). Maybe because there’s no noise in the countryside, besides a dog or a rooster in the neighbourhood.

Saying goodbye to the countryside...

Saying goodbye to the countryside...

There’s definitely nice things about living in the countryside (what I am considering to do at some stage after Asia): fresh air, space, quiet, nature, slowing down,… The question is how much I would like to slow down – because there’s nothing much happening. Luckily there’s some unsecured WIFI network I can capture every once so often… I think if I would move to the countryside, I would anyway just change the environment, I guess my head will remain open to the world and be drawn to the internet, friends, activities, sports, communicate, etc

Christmas dinner Flemish style...

Christmas dinner Flemish style...

The christmas dinner was also the opportunity to say goodbye to the family, half of which I don’t know (very) well. As I don’t go home a lot, I hardly meet the new members of the family (girlfriends, babies, partnerssomething to change…). This christmas my mum chose a traditional ‘kempense koffietafel’ (folk buffet of the area we come from which we used to have at farmers’ weddings) with a feast of meat balls with hot cherries, blood sausage with apple sauce, raisin bread with cheese, etc. All of that with coffee in stead of champaign. So quite a difference from the turkey or the roast but a nice goodbye meal before jumping into 4-5 months of Asian cuisine…

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