spring

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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/cvwuaemp/domains/bartlog.be/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
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Return To Africa

It's been almost a year since I've last been to Africa, so high time to get back before I get detox symptoms. And I desperately need some sun and heat, this grey winter weather and the cold and the rain is really getting on my nerves.

Although we did enjoy the first few pre-spring days this week. Last week we took the boys to the Zoo (just for a visit, we took them back home) and although the sun was out, it was still a winter sun. But it was very nice, although I almost managed to leave my backpack behind, WITH the video camera, when Wolf slipped and hurt his mouth.

Today we had a really nice sunny day, at times it got really warm. Not Africa warm of course, but spring is definitely coming. We made a nice walk through Antwerp, just strolling without the need to run from one store to the other. People enjoyed the first warm weather in a typical Belgian way: they 'did a terrace' and had a drink outside in the sun. Wolf gobbled down a giant ice-cream; it took me half an hour to get most of the chocolate from his face and then he still looked like he'd put his face into a bucket of mud. We went to look at the ships sailing on the river Scheldt, but we only saw one. And then it was time to head back home.

Tomorrow Mrs.B and the kids will bring me to the airport, Wolf is looking forward to see all the aircraft. Mrs.B on the other hand is looking forward to a breakfast with American pancakes at the restaurant at the very beginning of the check-in lines. And I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to my little guys, because I know I will miss them terribly in the next two weeks.

Warming Up

In a trough coup d'état, spring has taken hold of the capital, occupied the television station and set up road blocks on every crossroads in town. The change is so sudden that I'm sweating in my thick winter coat and my three layers of sweaters every time I poke my nose out.

The sudden change in temperature has some funny side-effects. Wednesday was really a nice day, so I decided to make a walk during my lunch break. But when I came at Brussels' Warande park, it was as if someone had organised an impromptu marathon. The whole park was full of people jogging, sprinting or walking at a leisurely pace in sports clothing pretending to make an effort. There were so many joggers that they had to queue at some places, hopping on the spot like maniacs.

It was so funny, these people looked so... desperate to me. I've got a long history of hating to run. I think it's a tragically boring way to get around or to loose some kilos. Whenever I'm late for something or when I have to be some place really quick, I always try to teleport myself by sheer strength of will. Only if this doesn't work (it generally doesn't) I'll resort to running.

So I did the sensible thing and walked to the city centre to bask in the sun on a bench and enjoy the smells, sights and sounds of Brussels in early spring.

Sniff That Air

The weather has been lousy for the past couple of weeks and although the weather man promised us blue skies and balmy temperatures, this weekend brought us more grey weather and showers. But there was a glimmer of hope on Sunday afternoon, and now spring really is here.

The sun was shining brightly today. On the way home I noticed fresh buds on the big trees, while smaller plants bring a first spray of fresh young green. Crocuses and Narcissus radiate their white and yellow colours, while a myriad of other flowers pop up their heads and open up to the sun.

I took a deep breath of spring air, and in the back of my nose I could feel a familiar inkling.

The allergy season is about to start.

Dreaming Of A White Easter

At the end of a rather balmy winter, the weather gods have apparently became aware that they've been a tad on the lazy side this year. So they surprised us with a snow bombardment. Of course, the B-family was on the other side of the country when the first flakes gently floated down. By the time we said goodbye to Mrs B's big sister and mother, it was really snowing. Thirty minutes later, we were caught in a veritable blizzard. I barely missed a bunch of penguins on the highway.

This morning, we woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow. It was at least seven centimeters thick at places – eat your heart out indigenous tribes' people we're not allowed to call 'Eskimoes' any more! But when I got off the train, it had already turned into that dreaded filthy mushy sludge that clings to your shoes, soaks your trousers and chills your feet faster than when you submerge them into liquid nitrogen. Wearing shoes with big cracks in the soles doesn't help either, so I spent the day in the office with cold, wet feet.

Can't wait until spring, Bandini.

Ardennes In Early Spring

We went to the Ardennes for the Easter weekend. It's a beautiful mountainous region in the south-east of Belgium. It's one of the few more-or-less natural reserves we have in this country, excellent for walking. And photography of course.

Can you smell the resin?Can you smell the resin?

The area is criss-crossed by small streams and rivulets. Sometimes there are small bridges or trees laid over them. But sometimes you have to wade through, as we had to do at this point.The area is criss-crossed by small streams and rivulets. Sometimes there are small bridges or trees laid over them. But sometimes you have to wade through, as we had to do at this point.

Spring is in the air!Spring is in the air!

I used to eat these when I was a baby.I used to eat these when I was a baby.

We heard a strange sound and looked up. It was a flight of cranes flying to the north.We heard a strange sound and looked up. It was a flight of cranes flying to the north.

These ladies are not native, but immigrants from North America. My brother lives on a bison farm.These ladies are not native, but immigrants from North America. My brother lives on a bison farm.

Spring Is In The Air

The weather’s been lovely these last couple of days. What a contrast with last year, when the Spirit of Spring returned home and found the God of Winter on top of his wife and the kitchen table. He got so angry then that he left the country and refused to come back until his place was finally taken over by the Lord of Summer. But this year it seems that Mr. Spring and his wife have consulted a marriage counsellor, because the sun is shining, the flowers are popping up and the birds are singing – until our cats bite their sweet little heads off, the darlings.

The nicest thing is that I’m seeing daylight again. In winter I leave home in the dark, take the bus in the dark to the dark train station and it’s still dark when I arrive at the office. I spend my whole day in a dark corner of the office. And when I leave in the evening it’s dark from the door of the office to my own door. Very depressing!

Just before my trip to Niger, the light came back. I first noticed it while waiting on platform 8, the sun just peeped its head over the horizon. Now, a couple of weeks later, the sun is already up before I am. And in the evening, it accompanies me from the office to the train station and all the way back home.

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