Tag Archives: life is beautiful


Though I don’t remember the exact date; it is a good 10 years ago that I left Germany. What started as an Erasmus year in Grenoble, brought me back to Berlin almost 4 years later. Only to leave again after the best world cup summer ever to go to South Africa.

From there to Belgium and now? Now, Brazil after five long though full and fulfilling years in Brussels.

When being asked if I don’t miss living in Germany; my answer is no. I sometimes miss my family but not much more. I love to visit Germany and I still feel very much German, especially when it comes to football, but already the few months I spent in Berlin in 2006 felt like a step back.

Living abroad, may it be France, Belgium, Brazil or Trinidad & Tobago, is never easy. It’s often complicated, sometimes tiring and occasionally annoying. Not being able to communicate, not knowing where to go when you have a problem, not being aware of different social systems all make it challenging. And still, this exactly what I like.

To me, life feels richer, fuller. I know that this is just me. Other people think differently, have different values. I remember when being all new and naive at university, not even 19 years old; I met a French student, fluent in German, studying Japanese and preparing her next big trip. And I thought: Wow, this is what I want too.

Looking back at the last 10 years, it is kind of what I got. Do I enjoy it? Yes, very much so. Was it easy to get there? Hell no!

So, what do we learn from this? Not much, sorry. Try to do what feels right to you; correct it when it feels wrong. Not exactly rocket science but worth remembering sometimes.


Rainbow in the sky


Dish of the day

Two decilitres of patience,
One cup of gentleness,
Four spoons of good will,
A pinch of hope
And a dose of good faith.

Add two handful of forbearance,
A sachet considerateness,
A few grains of compassion,
A handful of this small, rare plant
that is called humility,
And a decent amount of good mood.

Season with a lot of common sense,
Let it braise
And you will get a good day.

Recipe from the 12th century
Found by the priest Michel Extra
in the kitchen of the parsonage
in Satillieu (Ardèche, France)

For download:
French original- Menu quotidien /German translation- Tagesgericht

White cold beauty

It’s some time ago since we had such a beautiful white Christmas. And such a cold one. But next to the tile stove it doesn’t matter at all.


I know that I have been lucky in life. Whenever I go back home and see my parents, my grand-parents, I am aware that not everybody had the chance to grow up surrounded by family.

When I was four, my parents moved into the farmhouse of my dad’s parents. I cannot remember being one day alone at home before the age of 14. It felt very weird then. One of my first memories of my granny K was making cake with her. She would pour one ingredient after the other in a bowl while I had to stir it. Of course I had the right to lick out the remaining dough.

It sure was not always easy for my parents to live with my grandparents in one house. My grandpa K could be quite a stubborn, hard man. But then again he would take us kids – my sister and me – with him in the garden, in the barn, or give us a hot potato that was actually cooked for the pigs.

In the kind of village it was, my sister and I were free to roam as much as we wanted from the day I was able to read a watch. Being home on time was the only condition. Amazingly enough, we didn’t do that much mischief. Probably also because there was always one neighbour or the other close by and sometimes my parents knew about what we had done before we had a chance to confess.

I also remember the day it snowed so much, my sister and I were able to build an igloo; or the many evenings we drove to the closest lake for swimming; the games and fights with the neighbourhood kids… It was a time of light heartedness; of safety, of love.

Happiness in real time

It’s this time of the year.

The right perspective

depends on the point of view.

Christmas mood in BXL

  • The bonheur to step into a pub and have a warm tea after a long walk over the Christmas market
  • People dancing on Grande Place at 10pm by -10°C
  • The quietness and beauty of snow…

Good morning

A few, dear moments without rain, or hail, or wind. And it even did last until I arrived dry at work.


Etang des enfants noyés - Autumn look

Can it be that we appreciate beauty, freedom and pleasures more when we know that we are not going to have them for a while?

Can it be that, usually, we don’t know when we’ll have to do without
and therefore don’t appreciate them as we should?

Can it be that we easily forget how it was without and are thus
not as grateful as we could?