What happened in October

November is usually the depressingly boring month, when the autumn really sets in, turning everything into grey, wet and cold misery. Then the nature goes to sleep, sun does not want to rise anymore and people are getting ill and depressed. At the same time the wheels of the economy are starting to spin faster after the summer break. That is usually a bad combination, and unnatural, in my humble opinion.

The starting of my October was not quite that depressing, or business-wheely. It started of with a birthday hike. Our dear German friend from Karhunkierros was getting older, and she had had the wonderful idea of hiking a part of the famous Mullerthal trail accompanied by hiking people. For us that was also a wonderful opportunity to get together with more or less the same group with which we hiked the most important hike of my life. Oh the nostalgia and the pretty memories! We should start doing that more often!

The planned hike started from Mullerthal and looped back via Larochette, 37 km of Luxembourgish countryside for us to hike in 2 days. We drove to Mullerthal in pouring rain. The weather didn’t get much better when it was time to get going on foot. So we all ended up looking more or less like walking tents in our rain gear.

The first day took our convoy through a beautiful valley all the way to Larochette. By the time we got there the rain had more or less ended and our wet convoy of hikers was able to get their feet dry. The evening was starting to turn a little bit moist though; Someone had brought some absinthe, and the store of the camping had a good supply of beer. We were able to get our birthday girl, and more importantly, the rest of the group, nicely tipsy. Soon there were plenty of inappropriate German jokes and out of focus pool games around.

The return hike to the car began in the late morning and was sturdily hangoverish. The convoy was walking less than straight, but everybody seemed to be pleased with the small party we had had the night before, I certainly was. We crossed quite a bit of beautiful Luxembourgian countryside with rain and wind on our backs.

The ending part of the trail took us to a wooden path that was extremely slippery after a couple of days of rain. On every second step someone was almost dropping off to greet the bushes. Soon we started to see more and more people, we were approaching the very popular bit of the famous stone formations, waterfalls and bridges, which many people obviously want to see.

Soon after that we found the cars, packed all the wet hikers into them, and drove home. For us it was a bath awaiting accompanied by some good wine.

The next weekend it was time to teach some basics of kiting to our dear friends Maria and Bram, who we have met via my Dutch lessons. One Friday we sent them off to Les Hemmes with their camper van and children. We would be coming after them on Friday.

That weekend turned out to be full of surprises.  First one being, that the camping we have started to use, was closed for the whole winter.  We had sent our friends there to find a closed gate and felt very bad about it. They had to go look for another campsite for the night.

On Saturday we arrived too, and got a confirmation of the camping really being closed. Another set of our dear friends, Maarten and Yvan, had found us another camping and even reserved a spot. Lovely people those guys! So we managed to focus on the more important tasks at hand, socializing over a beer with buggiers that is.

There was of course eventually a time for the beach too. The beach was perfect, I realized and felt immediately sorry for myself, since my wrist would not allow me to kite or drive at all. But the weather was nice, I had a chair, a camera and a good book with me, so the beach life would not be that bad.

By the time Maria and Bram joined the group we had already built our buggies and enjoyed a very buggier-like portion of beer, thanks to our dear friend Maarten. It was definitely time to drag ourselves to the beach. We set camp and Waffle started teaching.

Waffle’s day turned out to be hectic. There were two adults to be instructed and their kids to entertain. He was driving our tandem up and down the beach all day long, with too low wind and massive kites and kind yelling at him to go either faster or slower. If he wasn’t driving he was teaching people to fly a kite. I was ruminating my own misery of not being allowed to even touch a kite (I did though, do not tell Waffle).

That teaching resulted to the next surprise of the day. Bram was incredibly talented. Waffle shoved bigger and bigger kites into his hands and he didn’t die. Soon Bram found himself in a buggy with the kite and sure enough, he drove! He found the correct wind direction very easily and managed to drive some very impressive lines. Either Waffle is getting great at teaching or Bram is phenomenal.

The following day the wind was completely gone. Other activities needed to be invented. Since there were kids and all, we decided to go see the seals. As usual, to see them we had to drive through the makeshift refugee camp, The Jungle. Driving through that place is always an experience. To the kids it left quite an impression for sure.

At the shore we saw quite some seals. Apparently very contempt and happy seals. I have never seen them so relaxed before. They were just floating around with the current and socializing with the other blobbers. It was great to end that weekend like that, watching something so beautiful.

After that my October became a little bit more business-wheely. I had to stop my Dutch lessons (still getting my diploma though, with 89% score!) and get to work. So it finally started. My new challenge in working life. I work in the EU quarter in Brussels, right in the middle of EU politics. Which is surprisingly lot of fun. The job is interesting and the people are great, finally I am happy to be working again!

But I do spend a lot of time on the road. It is not the optimal journey to work from Rupelmonde to Brussels, especially as I am for the time being refusing to drive to the center on my own. That is why I haven’t been writing too much lately, at least in English, so sorry about that. I just haven’t had the time. But I’ll try to get it going again.

We do have some things coming up. Waffle is doing his No Alcohol November and we are going to Mallorca for a getaway weekend. There is another set of Finnish Beer Festival coming up and of course, Christmas is here pretty soon. I am happy to announce, that we’ll be spending it in Finland!

How is autumn getting along there, where ever you are?


(Bijna)Twee Weken Buiten de School

Ik merkte op dat er een beetje stof op mijn Nederlands lag, dus moet ik jullie verblijden met iets in het Nederlands te schrijven. Na het post “Veranderingen” heb ik nagedacht. Ik was een beetje ambitieus. De tekst die ik schreef was veel te moeilijk, dus nu zal ik terug naar de basis gaan. Ik moet als een 5 jaar oud kind denken, omdat mijn Nederlands beperkt is.

En wat is er gebeurd in de laatste twee weken? Werk is begonnen. Eerst ging het langzaam maar nu is het al beter. Ik heb veel nieuwe dingen om te leren. Ik werk nu in het midden van de Europese wijk en ik werk met Finnen! De mensen zijn zeer leuk en het werk is best wel aangenaam.  Het was raar om terug in het Fins te werken, want mijn kantoor hersenen zijn  gewoon geworden aan het Engels. Nu moet ik dit veranderen. Het enige minpunt is dat de verplaatsing van Rupelmonde naar Brussel saai en lang kan zijn. Hier moeten we nog een goede oplossing voor  vinden.

Ik heb niet veel tijd gehad om te schrijven, noch in het Engels, noch in het Nederlands, omdat ik lang op de baan ben. Maar we hebben een heel mooi oktober gehad! We waren in Luxembourg voor een verjaardag van een vriendin en we zijn ook naar Les Hemmes geweest. Nu wachten we voor onze reis naar Mallorca binnen amper twee weken, en we hebben ook vliegtickets voor Kerstmis in Finland gekocht!

P.S. This is still practicing, please be gentle on my grammar! 🙂


Jaha, ik denk dat het nu een goed moment is om een Nederlands deel aan mijn blog toe te voegen. Waarom, vraag je je af? Ik zal het je vertellen.

Ik heb nu al (bijna) 3 cursussen Nederlands gevolgd en dus ben ik intussen uit de luiers. Met andere woorden ik kan al een beetje Nederlands. Ik weet dat het niet perfect is, maar ja, wie is perfect?

De titel geeft je misschien al een hint. Veranderingen zijn een andere reden voor deze post. Aangezien ik werk gevonden heb moet ik met de cursus Nederlands stoppen. De combinatie voltijds werken en studeren worden hierdoor onmogelijk. Maar ik ben heel blij om te beginnen werken, maar toch zal ik  de lessen een beetje missen…

Ondanks ik niet meer naar de school zal gaan, denk ik dat het belangrijk is dat ik de zojuist aangeleerde taal niet zal vergeten.  Zo, nu hebben jullie het plezier om in het Nederlands over mijn gedachten te lezen. Hoewel, ik betwijfel dat het een echt plezier zal zijn…

Om af te sluiten, heb ik nog een kleine vraag: Voor al wie Nederlands spreekt als moedertaal, of het reeds vloeiend spreekt, laat je inwendige criticus ontwaken en corrigeer mijn grootste fouten. Ik beloof je dat ik niet boos zal worden!

P.S. Waffle went through this with quite some scrutiny, so good luck with finding the mistakes!