Three Years Ago Today, Approximately

Happy Birthday! It’s Jimi’s birthday today, well kinda. He turns 3 years old in human years. We don’t know the exact date of birth. Jimi arrived sans papiers in the shelter and the local vet estimated Jimi was born early September and wrote down ‘2018, September 1’ on the registration papers.

Jimi gave himself a little present, namely a mouse… I’m always trying to save the life of a caught mouse and set it free again. But this time I was too late. But hey, it’s Jimi’s birthday!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

I’m Still Here

Missing us? I just noticed I didn’t post something on the blog in July. Shame on me! So here’s a quick update…

Well, there was a lot happening, I had good days, I had bad days. There were some unexpected issues concerning the inheritance from my father and the real estate sales. And summer doesn’t seem to start overhere.

Two weeks ago we were all shocked by the disaster floods. It was one of the greatest natural disasters Belgium has ever known. It cost the lives of many people. I’m lucky to live in an area that was spared.

Last week I invited a few friends to celebrate a special day. All of my friends and family are vaccinated but we still follow the Covid-19 rules, just to be safe and sure. We had delicious desserts, wine and coffee outside in the garden. Jimi seemed to enjoy the people hanging around and had some treats too.

Jimi loves my garden and is always trying to catch some butterflies in the large bushes of lavender. He also tries to catch mice in the stone walls and waits patiently for hours…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding. 

June 10, 2021 Partial Solar Eclipse

The Beginning

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Hey Jimi, there’s a partial solar eclipse in a clear blue sky…

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The Observation

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Conclusion: I don’t care…

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Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

The Missing

Summer’s here! Late spring/summer finally arrived in this part of the world, after weeks/months of rainy and cold days. Temperatures are above 20° Celsius and everybody is so happy, especially from a mental point of view. Sunlight is often perceived as a cure to your health, however, because of risks of sunburn and skin cancer, we need to be careful how much sun we get. But it feels so good to have breakfast outside in the morning sun…

Unfortunately, there’s someone who’s going to miss the daily rainfall. Jimi went outside between the rain showers to drink fresh rainwater almost every day. Mr. Bowie also loved to do this, probably as most cats. 

Jimi stays outside the whole day and is still discovering all the special places in the garden. Some of his favourite spots were also the spots Mr. Bowie liked to stay for hours. I noticed he prefers to stay in the shadow from noon. One of my previous cats, Mrs. Jones, was a sun cat. She stayed in the sunshine, even on the hottest days during a heatwave. Jimi loves to disappear under the numerous bushes.

Finally, I just got the message I’m getting my Covid-19 vaccine next week. I should had it weeks ago but due to a human error or computer failure, my name was removed from the list in the local vaccination center. 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Chairman Part 2

Garden update. A few days ago, on a rainy day and Mr. Bowie’s birthday (he would have turned 12), a crew of technicians and workmen arrived at my home. They brought a lot of heavy duty material to install a construction covering the terrace outside my kitchen.

Lately, we’re having a lot of rainy days and I would love to stay outside having my coffee instead of running inside for shelter. I decided to use the same materials like the carport; dark grey painted posts made of aluminium and transparent polycarbonate panels. Can you spot Jimi in the photograph?

After the construction was finished we had some heavy rain showers but we could enjoy our coffees without running for shelter.

Jimi also likes this new place a lot. Immediately, the chairman picked his favourite spot on the wooden bench. It looks like I have to look for another spot…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Chairman

What is a chairman? Someone, especially a cat, who is in charge of a garden, a meeting or directs the work of a committee or an organisation. Meanwhile, new outdoor chairs arrived and new work planned in the garden. Something big is about to happen. I will soon be updating my blog.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

The Guard Post

Shedding new light on a geopolitical hotspot, confronting the myth of a war between a cat and two blackbirds.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

CIS

Feeling like a fraud? Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like your friends are going to discover you’re a fraud? Research has shown that cats experience impostor feelings. Cat Impostor Syndrome (CIS) refers to an internal experience of believing that a cat is not as competent as other cats perceive the cat to be. While this definition is usually narrowly applied to intelligence and achievement, it has links to perfectionism and the social context.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Beware

Forewarned is forearmed. I decided to place a warning sign at the entrance of the garden so that unexpected visitors know which hazards are waiting for them. A cat under the influence of illicit drugs like catnip may suddenly and unexpectedly act very weird and threatening.

Meanwhile, Jimi’s chilling out on a rock. Unfortunately, the negotiations with the blackbirds ended in a stalemate.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Snow On a Tuesday

And you may ask yourself, “Where is that beautiful spring?” Last week I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I was drinking coffee outside in the garden. Today I’m wearing winter clothes. It’s cold. It’s snowing. O Spring where art thou?

Jimi keeps checking out all the special places in the garden, just like Mr. Bowie did. While walking on this high gabion wall he can spy on the neighbours.

Meanwhile, I declared war on those pesky blackbirds. Each morning, they keep destroying our catnip plantation. Jimi’s also kind of in a foul mood. We need to take some action asap…

A few days ago I came across this remarkable phenomena of nature. This tree fungus is called Tonderzwam Fomes fomentarius. According to a specialised website this is lethal for the birch in a long term. I’m always enjoying my daily walks in the nature. There are always new things to discover. While walking is the most underrated form of exercise, it improves fitness, cardiac health, alleviates depression and fatigue, improves mood, creates less stress on joints and reduces pain. And when you get back home there’s always chocolate and an espresso waiting for you…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

High On a Monday

Catnip is the healing of a cat nation. Jimi was willingly to help me with the fresh catnip plants. He knows alcohol depresses the nervous system but catnip and chocolate does not! 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

One Fine Day

Letting the days go by. It’s been a while since a wrote a post. I’m still busy with getting everything about my Dad’s passing officially in order. I was shocked to see all those papers required by the government. But it seems I’m almost at the end of an unpleasant task.

Last week I had one, no, a few fine days. I watched the latest Spike Lee film, David Byrne’s American Utopia, a concert film from a critically acclaimed Broadway performance. The film includes several songs from Talking Heads and David Byrne’s solo career. David Byrne is joined by 11 musicians, singers and dancers from around the globe. I also enjoyed the brief monologues from David Byrne when he addresses various sociopolitical topics from police brutality, immigration and climate change. After watching a few songs you want to jump up, dance and sing with the musicians on your TV. This concert film makes me feel good, every time. David Byrne’s American Utopia calls on all of us to think, connect and dance. The musical masterpiece is thought provoking and gives us exactly what we need today. Something to celebrate life.

And you may ask yourself, “Where is that beautiful cat?” Well, Jimi’s doing fine and enjoys his walks in the garden. Last year he always seemed to be anxious outside. But recently, it seems he got used to the environment. And I love the moments in the morning, when he jumps up the table and asks to play with him.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Flore

How to warm you up on cold winter days. After a few days of hesitation, Jimi decided it was time to go outside and check out the garden covered in snow. Much to my surprise, he was enjoying his walks and soon he was following the tracks of the sparrows and blackbirds in the snow. As you probably know, I don’t like the winter but I do enjoy my daily walks in the snow.

Thank goodness I found a good recipe for these cold days. I just bought the latest CD from Gabriel Rios, ‘Flore’. Gabriel Rios (born 1978 in San Juan, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican-Belgian singer songwriter currently residing in Belgium and New York. It’s his 5th studio album and a pecan to the music of Latin America and the Caribbean. It’s a Latin album made in isolation and exile, not only because it was birthed during last year’s pandemic, but because it finds Rios looking back from afar, maybe for the first time, to what remains of his past and his roots. More specifically, these are songs that go back to both his father and grandfather’s youth; songs they would have loved to hear him sing. Feel free to check out this warm album of a great musician. (Info from Sony Music)

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Just When I Thought…

“Just when I thought I was out (of the winter), they pull me back in!” – Michael Corleone

First snow of the winter. More snow coming. Just when I thought spring’s around the corner, I woke up in winter…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Not On Speaking Terms

Oops… Jimi is not on speaking terms with me. Why? Well, I completely forgot it was his birthday yesterday. He’s two years old now. I’m so sorry, my furry friend… Happy birthday!

Actually, we don’t know the exact date of birth. The local vet in the shelter estimated Jimi was born early September 2018 and wrote down ‘2018, September 1’ in the Date of Birth box on the registration papers.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Teared Up A Little Bit

I have to admit I’d get a little misty. Mr. Bowie would have turned 11 today. I still miss him every day. But knowing a lot of people from all over the world share beautiful memories of my sweet boy comforts me. Happy Birthday, my dear Bowie.

Mr. Bowie enjoying the spring sun in 2019.

 

Watching the Detective

What’s up, Doc? Cats seems to sense when something is wrong. Jimi noticed strange sounding noises in the neighbourhood and went outside to check it out. It appeared to be my neighbours working in their vegetable garden so everything was safe. Thank goodness there were no idiots, even some morons carrying heavy armer, outside protesting against COVID-19 measures like in other parts of the world.

We’re almost 2 months in lockdown modus. Up to last week my family and friends were all safe and healthy. Unfortunately, recently some friends got sick due to the Corona virus. And an elderly couple in my circle of friends passed away both, in one week time. This is hard and confrontational.

That night, to my surprise, I heard a certain idiot in the U.S. of A. saying his country is doing great compared with some countries in Europe, especially Belgium. Well here are some other facts. Public healthcare in Belgium scores well thanks to its combination of health insurance and social security contributions. Belgium didn’t need to deploy a 1,000-bed hospital ship or set up field hospitals in parks or convention centers. Even during the highest peak almost 50% of the hospital beds with respiratory equipment in the COVID-19 IC units were still available. Why is Belgiums death toll so high? According to Belgian authorities, that’s because the country has chosen a reporting system that differs from pretty much every other country’s method of counting.

Okay, sorry for talking politics. Next post will be about cats and a dead fish. And now if you’ll excuse me, I need an espresso and chocolate. Stay safe and healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Tough Times Part 3

Easter 2020. Well, this is the most weird Easter celebration of my life. All family celebrations and gatherings are canceled. We are now 4 weeks in lock down modus and everyone’s convinced the measures will be extended next week by the National Security Council. But hey, there are also some benefits: empty streets, no traffic jams, no chemtrails, the pandemic has cleaned the polluted skies.

I’m spending a lot of time in the studio during the day and in the evening I’m catching up some series and movies. I recently watched 10 seasons of Larry David’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’. Larry David stars as a fictionalised version of himself in one of the funniest comedy series ever. He also created the television series ‘Seinfeld’, together with Jerry Seinfeld.

Today was a big disappointment. The Easter Bunny, a folkloric figure in this part of the world, didn’t show up to bring me chocolate Easter eggs. I don’t know if it’s related with the Covid-19 situation or Jimi who’s on guard in the garden. After staying inside for months he can now check out the garden. So far, he seems to like it out there and thank goodness, zero escape attempts.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

First Snow/Last Snow

Finally, we’re heading to spring! The days are getting longer, yeah! I’ve got a good feeling about it. Last week, we had 2 days with light snow fall. Jimi was very interested in what was happening outside. I guess this was the first time in his life he actually saw snow. It reminds me of Mr. Bowie, he loved going outside and play in the snow. Feel free to go back in time and check out this post.

Meanwhile, European countries are on high alert as coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading rapidly across the region. A few days ago, the government announced the first coronavirus case in my hometown. We have to be very careful at the moment.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Any Way the Wind Blows

I’m very lucky. There are a lot of intersections in my neighbourhood where you can switch from one trail to another. I do this on a regular base so I can go from one beautiful spot to another. I love to walk in areas where there are rivers, canals, lakes…

 A few days ago I followed a trail on the Albert Canal. It passes an industrial area with big petrochemical plants. On the left side of the photograph you can see the new bridge. I wrote a post about it some time ago. Thank goodness you can also find a lot of windmills. But I switched very quickly to another trail and got back in the nature.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Left Alone

Let’s go for a walk! A friend told me recently the Department of Nature Conservation (re)opened a new hiking trail that follows the riverside of the river Grote Nete (aka Molse Nete). The hiking trail crosses a natural region where you can see a lot of different wildlife animals. That’s a bonus for me because the trail is only a few km away from my house.

 

Last week I went walking for hours on this trail and I had a great time. I had a lot of encounters with all kinds of animals. I also met this strange dude. It’s a sculpture made by a retired stone carver.

Pleased to meet you!

 

Coming back home I saw that Jimi was very disappointed he had to stay at home. Well, if you were a dog you could join me for these long walks, my furry friend.

   

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

To Catch a Thief

Wireless home door window burglar alarm DIY safety security alarm system. To prove his innocence after a spate of candy thefts, a young cat must catch a burglar. Or some pesky sparrows and blackbirds.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Steppin’ Out

Jimi’s first days out. I let Jimi outside in the garden a few days ago. The first time he was very cautious but the second day he was climbing into all the espaliers trees. And that’s a big problem… If he reaches the top of the trees, it’s rather easy to jump on the roof of my neighbours garage. And then it’s very easy to get in their garden. But my neighbours got a big mean dog, one of the breed that loves to chase terrorists in dark tunnels… Mr. Bowie never climbed into a tree and the fence was high enough to keep him inside the garden. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the future, keep Jimi inside or let him out again. I’m afraid that Jimi wants to discover the world on the other side of the fence after a while…

Meanwhile I received a photograph of 2 Maltese dogs who follow Jimi’s blog. I wonder if Jimi would love to play with his 2 new friends… 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Record-Breaking Heat Wave

Another record-smashing heat wave! This week the Belgian’s all-time record temperature will be broken, with highs of above 40°C forecast. The Heat Health Alert level Code Red is in force since yesterday. We need to stay inside, drink a lot of water and have a lot of ice cream, of course.

This morning, while Mr. Bowie was having a break, the temperature was already above 30°C in the shade. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have to get ready to go swimming and have another dose of ice cream.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

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