With elections approaching, there’s much debate about immigration and integration here in Belgium. Whether it’s poor (African, Turkish) immigrants or rich (western) expats, the Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang party don’t like us foreigners much.
But here’s a cool example of the fusion of the expat/immigrants with off-the-wall Belgian creativity. This is Ted Fletcher shedding light on the great mysteries of our time. Among his many credits, Ted was excellent as Shelley Levene in our production of “Glengarry Glen Ross” in October 2006.
I love the seaside but in the 12 years living here I’d only been to the Belgian coast on a couple of day trips. I didn’t know what I’d been missing until we went for a week – in February.
I spent childhood family holidays at various seaside resoorts around England and Wales but since then I’ve always flown south for beach holidays. Why? First of all to visit new places like Greece and Turkey and wander around ancient monuments, and then when small children arrived, for a holiday we could enjoy with them. Continue reading
Despite the advancing years, my memory remains excellently “fit-for-purpose”, as any number of public figures currently seem unable to avoid saying. The purpose being… to rewrite my past in a way which fits my current needs.
Prompted by Bruce Lawson’s Undertones post, I remembered my son asking me about the first gig I ever went to. I told him about Killing Joke. They were a product of the early eighties post-punk scene, and are widely cited as influences by better known bands such as Metallica, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, or more recently Korn. Continue reading
Flemish men are much more potent now than they were 15 years ago, according to the latest scientific study. The dramatic improvement started in 1995 – the same year that I arrived in Belgium. However, no statistically significant correlation has been established between these two facts.
On 22 February flandersnews.be reported encouraging new research under the noteworthy headline “Quality of Flemish sperm surges”. Continue reading
I’ve been into podcasts for quite a while now – since I discovered the joy of listening to all those BBC Radio 4 programmes I’d normally miss, while travelling into the city on the train. I don’t spend a lot of time exhaustively combing the podcast listings, but I’ve found there’s some good stuff out there – amongst the piles of rubbish.
I never much cared for the idea of the walkman, or the ipod. Partly because of my low opinion of those inflicting a drum beat serenade on their fellow travellers, and partly because I’ve always enjoyed music in a social context rather than as a solo activity. Continue reading
Just like a certain major British retailer, I feel the need to demonstrate my environmental credentials today.
I could walk the 10 minutes to school with my kids in the morning instead of taking the car. I could invest in energy-saving improvements in my home, like new light bulbs. I might get radical and turn off the lights when I’m not using them. Continue reading
Seven weeks into giving up the fags and I’m finally ready to risk going to a pub again. After all, from 1 January 2007, smoking is banned in all public places in Belgium right? Oh, I see. All public places where people don’t mind not lighting up. Continue reading
If there’s anything calculated to bring me out of a blogging stupor it’s a case of parental dotage. October is school photo time – so here they are.
These are pretty cool compared to the horror cases produced by Cecil Wilkins “Photographer to the Stars”, who blighted the lives of thousands of Worcestershire schoolchildren in the 1970’s and 80’s. I was victim of a few of those in my time and they were, of course, the one’s my Mum loved. You know, those ones with eyes half-lidded and mouth open guppy style. Or even better, showing the victim in the act of suppressing a particularly strong impulse to Continue reading
Yes – we are champions of Europe. Our production of "The Real Lady Macbeth" won first prize at FEATS 2006 in Luxembourg this weekend. Read more
My Dad and I have a new joint project – family tree building. Not immediately exciting and entertaining I'll admit, but interesting and maybe even fascinating.
Ok. It may just be a sad guy thing, but then…
Since I can do a passable impersonation of a certified tree hugging, home-knitted jumper wearing, weekend-unshaven, web-literate, Johnny-no-mates social scientist type, I did the initial research. Records of births, deaths and marriages, 1901 census records and all that. All pretty dry mechanical stuff really but someone's gotta do it. Continue reading