Sunday, July 29, 2007


Met up with the Tracey family visiting friends in Germany, Helen is sitting to the right of Anne and I, she missed being in the photo. This is what I learned going to Cologne for the day.
If you click on this photo and enlarge it you can see the signs with the town names. This is on the north side of Brussels where all of a sudden I have no clue what these towns are. I'm supposed to be going towards "Liege" the French spelling of this town, well now all the signs are Flemish, which is similar to Dutch. What is really strange, we were on the way to "Cologne" which I don't know the Flemish for but the German is Köln . So now you need to know the spelling for towns in three languages just to drive a couple of hours.
As we were coming back the signs had the German towns in German and the Belgian towns in French so "Liege" was back.

As we got out of the car we saw a miniature "Louvre" type structure. This is a sight were they are digging up the Roman city below the street level.

This is what you see looking down into the pyramid

Next of course something French, "la plus ancienne masoin parfum", this Italian living here created a new fragrance and named it after his home town. The word "cologne" in French is not as we use it in the states as the Kleenex of the perfume industry but only for fragrances from the city of Cologne, just as they use "Champagne"

This is definitely the Kleenex of Gothic, the DOM as they call it, like the Doumo in Florence, an amazing building that really gives you an idea of the power and influence of the church in Europe. When you look up Gothic architcture, this building is usally at the top of the page.

Monday, July 2, 2007


Pronunciation 101. East, West, North, South easy enough. Well lets first try to understand the rules for pronunciation. When do you pronounce the last letter in a word? Well it's pretty tricky. Let's start with "Est" or East. "Est" is also a conjugation of the verb "etre", pronounced "e" the last two letters thrown out. For east it is "est" you use them all. Now "ouest" like "oui" starts with the "w" sound and is pronounced "west" like west. So "nord" or north is "nor" the "d" is silent of course unless your saying northern "nordiste" where the "d" is used. "Sud" I see all the time, in the "nord" of Europe of course everything is "sud" but Belgium being the big beer capital of the world, I thought they were referring to suds as we refer to foam on the beer. WRONG, anyway back to 101, "sud" is the pronunciation with a long U, "syd" as they do the phonetics. OK so now I have to figure out the short and long vowel rules which don't seem to match ours, when to use and drop letters and don't forget the accented letters I don't have the keyboard for.
"Chapelle ouest" the 40th anniversary of SHAPE in Belgium, a service to remember class mates that have died

Just to show you NATO isn't wasting any money up grading class rooms at the international school in SHAPE. Still as they were when Anne went there in 1978
I found Biff from "Back to the Future" he was there the Conference Championship year, go Spartans, must be something in the name that inspires greatness.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Graduation Day

Amelie and her childhood friend Charlotte graduating High School
not as formal an event as we are used to
No cap and gown but Amelie sports her "Ian Anderson Boots".
She would have been a Tull fan if she was 30 years older
Seb passed all his tests also, so no studying this summer.