The Belgian Postal Service has released a commemorative stamp for the 'trone swap' as it is literally translated. AKA: the abdication of Albert II.
Here's the original stamp as it will be sold in post offices across Belgium:
Here's what it actually should have looked like if it embodied the full spirit of a trone swap:
The courgette plant has been supplying us with humongous vegetables for a couple of weeks now. Tried all kinds of recipes to keep enjoying them.
To give you an impression of the kind of copious amounts we have to deal with on a regular basis: here's a photo to clarify. I added my garden glove for scale's sake.
We currently have two plants doing very well and not likely to stop growing as of yet.
We are strongly considering planting just the one next year!
This weekend it's the F1 Belgian Grand Prix.
I was looking at some pictures from the press conference on Thursday and came across a funny one.
I just couldn't resist adding a few text captions.
It's probably a bit obscure if you're not following F1.
We made some more salad...
For good measure, and variety, I changed the recipe slightly.
- 150gr of couscous
- 2 slices of chicken filet
- fresh peas
- fresh beans
- fresh tomatoes
- fresh courgette (about a quarter, thinly sliced)
- fresh mint
- fresh rosemary
- olive oil to unstick the couscous
- some lemon juice
- some drops of balsamico vinegar
- curry power & chicken herbs to bake the chicken
It wasn't too bad, first time I had made couscous. It's so simple. 160ml hot water for 100grams of couscous. Just add the water, let rest for 8 minutes, done!
Judging by the reaction the same national newspaper receives from it's readers online, working for the government isn't very popular, despite reports there was a considerable increase in people wanting to apply for jobs.
In an article written for the Biz section (Biz as in short for Financial News, not Showbusiness -_-) sporting the title "The best and worst government jobs" it lists some boring stuff about boring jobs.
Anyway, in a bold font at the end of the article it says: "Should you think about applying for a government job, press the 'respond' button at the top of the page on the right."
I've been following the World Championships Athletics in Moskow on and off for the last couple of days.
Today the Borlée brothers were running their semis.
One of them didn't make it.
Incidentally one of our national newspapers sported two pictures next to each other.
The left hand caption says: "Firstly, point to what's going wrong" where the 'loopt' could be interpreted as 'running' when translated literally.
Right hand caption says: "Jonathan Borlée through to WC final, Kevin eliminated.
I can tell what's going wrong. He's on the phone, not entirely focussed on his race. Kids these days. Can't go without their cell phones for 5 minutes these days...
I've been roaming around the garden since the weekend before last with my camera. It was a very long time since I snapped some wildlife and I went in headlong. There was a butterfly counting weekend, so we made ourselves useful. We've not too good at naming the insects so I took pictures, we compared them to others on the insecternet and hey presto; some eight different species popped out:
Polyommatus icarus (which I hoped would have been the very rare Adonis butterfly (Polyommatus bellargus).
This was more than I had expected to see in the garden.
Looks like the combination of wild flowers, a veg garden and a manicured garden with a lawn, herbs and the surrounding fruit trees are a very good combination for attracting all sorts.
What a difference compared to where we used to live. We realize what an unhealthy environment that was, notwithstanding we were in the middle of greenery and fruit trees too. But it just shows that all those pesticides they used on the fruit trees and the farmland were a complete disaster for the fauna over there.
I was taking a break from my studying, and chanced upon the beans Dr Livingstone had sown a while back. I thought it was still just some greenery with flowers, but they are already sporting a huge amount of beans.
So as you might have already guessed, this is what we will be eating for the following couple of days, with come courgette thrown in for variety.
Much against my will, this entry will look like a cookery blog for once.
We're having a lovely salad this evening made with fresh ingredients from the garden:
- 1 red paprika
- 1/2 cucumber (from our neighbour)
- about 20 large pole snapbeans
- 1 tomato
And for extra spunk: pasta (farfalle), one carrot, balsamico vinegar, olive oil and some ground black pepper.
We have been harvesting our own vegetables for some time now. The courgettes are incredible. This thing yields us a fresh, humongous piece every other day. We've been racking our brains how to prepare it. Fried, cooked, raw. We've make courgette smoothies and courgette soup.
So they're a big succes. We only planted two of them, just in case one would die or something, but against all odds it went fine.
Also the pumpkin plant is bringing forth huge pumpkins. It is slowly taking over the front garden, creeping along unnoticed. Until we eat everything in the fall.
And of course the lovely strawberries are a special treat. Once I plucked a whole bowl of them. They went down with some yoghurt.
We've also been giving away fennel, sharing bundles of raddish and Dr Livingstone has been eating lettuce in copious amounts over the past weeks. He had planted too much and everything was ready to eat at the same time. He bought some new seedlings for harvesting in 2-3 weeks time and also some rhubarb. Yum!
I also managed to harvest a handfull of green peas, haven't cooked them yet.
And our F1-tomato plant and the cherry tomato plants are giving us 2 to 3 small tomatoes a day. It will be pasta all the way for rest of the week I think.
I haven't been updating the blog of late, as there is so much work to do at the shop, in the house, with the studying, in the garden.
I promise I will make some time and post some garden pictures pretty soon. I will leave you with a picture of Mouser's share of hard work.