Hail to the Sleeper!

What an unparalleled viewing experience! I love to watch movies. I love to watch movies in the best possible circumstances. That’s why I stopped going to the theatres and installed a very good home cinema system. So goodbye to the distracting noises of nasty people around me.

Last night I watched ‘Black Hawk Down’, a 2001 war film directed by Ridley Scott, in UHD 4K Dolby Atmos. What a superior way to watch a movie. I was very impressed and didn’t lose focus for a second. But cats look at this in a completely different way…

Mr. Bowie didn’t like watching movies with me. He always disappeared after a few minutes and went to the studio or bedroom upstairs. Jimi prefers to keep me company and sit out the movie. Well, kinda…

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

A Reason to Be Cheerful Today

Happy Gotcha Day, Jimi! Today we need to celebrate Jimi’s Gotcha Day. Two years ago he decided to move in. But I also feel the loss of Mr. Bowie very deeply on this day. He will be missed for ever.

Jimi got 2 plates of his favourite food, shrimps. But he was wondering if there was also dessert… Well, the human had a celebration with chocolates.

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

Once a Year

This is not my beautiful house! (Reprise) Jimi was due for his second annual checkup today. Just like last year, all went well and Jimi’s in top condition. But unfortunately, Jimi was so, so stressed… I have mentioned before how Mr. Bowie enjoyed the car rides. What a contrast compared with Jimi, he’s so scared inside the car. Glad we’re back home and enjoying our treats in the garden on this warm summer day.

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

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.

Daytime Job of a Cat

More rainy days. The summer of 2021 is already the wettest summer ever recorded in this part of the world. And it looks like it’s also one of the coolest. It makes me think about all the heatwaves in the previous summers and the ice cream we enjoyed in the garden. What is going wrong with the weather lately? All these extreme changes in weather conditions…

I’m spending more time in the studio because of all the heavy rainfall. Sir Jimi, the studio technician, keeps me company but always falls asleep on the job, just like my previous technician, Mr. Bowie. But there’s one big difference; Jimi stays in the studio while Mr. Bowie always left the building due to his ear problems and the effect of very high-frequency sounds of synths. Or maybe he just didn’t like my music.

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

Fallen Astronaut

Man in Space. Once a famous FBI agent, Dale Cooper, told me following wise words, “I’m going to let you in on a little secret: Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it, don’t wait for it, just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men’s store, a cat nap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black coffee.” I love getting advice from a spiritual seeker, an amateur philosopher, a loyal friend and a lover of coffee. So every day I’m giving myself a present, like an extra espresso or a chocolate cookie. Last week I was lucky to find and buy a beautiful numbered sculpture inside a blue acrylic block called ‘Fallen Astronaut’. Do I have to tell you I’m very happy with this gift? Jimi was more interested in the box but finally disappointed to find no ‘Cat in Space’ sculpture…

Fallen Astronaut is a 8.9 cm aluminium sculpture created by the Belgian painter and printmaker Paul Van Hoeydonck. It is a small stylised figure, meant to depict an astronaut in a spacesuit, intended to commemorate the astronauts and cosmonauts who have died in the advancement of space exploration. It was commissioned and placed on the Moon by the crew of Apollo 15 at Hadley Rille on August 1, 1971, next to a plaque listing the 14 men known who died. The statue lies horizontal on the ground among several footprints. The crew kept the memorial’s existence a secret until after completion of their mission. 

In January 2019, Van Hoeydonck and Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot Al Worden announced the sale of a limited edition replica inside a blue acrylic block, as Van Hoeydonck originally intended, which would have allowed the statue to be placed upright on the Moon to “symbolize humanity rising” via space travel. NASA had rejected the acrylic enclosure’s inclusion on the flight as a fire hazard. A smaller number of enlarged sculptures are also to be sold. (From Wikipedia)

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

……….

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

……….

The Observation

……….

Conclusion: I don’t care…

……….

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.

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.

A New Routine

‘What if I fall? Oh but my darling: what if you fly?’ – Erin Hanson

Life goes on. I feel that I am ready picking up where we left off then. My Dad passed away about a month ago. We had an intimate ceremony with only 15 people, due to the Covid-19 measures. But I received a lot of messages, phone calls, postcards of people paying respect to my Dad. He was loved by so many people… I still feel an emptiness in my life without him. And pain. Sorrow… But life goes on as normal, but quieter and greyer than usual.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments made me feel better and helped me get through these empty and sad days. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments. I guess I also missed some of your posts on your blogs. But I will try to catch up…

Jimi helped me to get through the dark days of January. Every day he took a few minutes to sit down by the photograph of my Dad. It made me feel good. But one day, Jimi was very disappointed because there were only vegetables and no shrimps (for him) on my sandwich.

There were also some good days last month. After waiting for 3 months, finally, a big box arrived from the U.S. of A. containing a Sequential Prophet-5 synthesizer. Just like I mentioned in an older post about the ARP 2600 synth, the Prophet-5 synth was also very high on my bucket list and I didn’t expect to get one. Sequential introduced new versions of the old model in 2020. The Prophet-5 is an analog synthesizer designed in 1978 by Dave Smith and John Bowen and was the first fully programmable polyphonic synthesizer.

So yes, life goes on, it’s a cliché and it sounds trite. I will find a new routine and get used to it. But it will take some time. Please stay safe and healthy.

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

‘Count your blessings. And if life is difficult, count them louder.’ – Roger Scruton

Farewell, My Dear Dad

With teardrops running down my face, I bid you farewell. It is with great sadness and deep regret that I inform you of the passing of my Dad. My Dad passed away on Sunday, December 27. 

My father passed away peacefully in his sleep but I am so grateful I spoke to his deepest soul that evening while he was holding and squeezing my hand. 

Burying my father this Saturday was one of the hardest things I ever did. But I am happy he’s back home, in the village where he lived for almost 95 years. And I believe he’s reunited with my mother, sister and brother, up there.

I know you are listening out there, somewhere. There are no goodbyes. May you rest in peace, my dear Dad. Your memories will never be forgotten. 

º 11-03-1925/† 27-12-2020

Real Happiness

Happiness is only real when we share (food). I love shrimp croquettes a lot, they are simultaneously crispy and soft. I prefer to eat them with French fries. Jimi is wild about shrimps too, it’s his favourite human food. So while I was having lunch, he was patiently waiting for his portion… And afterwards we had a delicious dessert…

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

Ice Ice Jimi

Looking for ice cream. A cat making eye contact can mean anything from “You don’t exist to me” to “I want food, human!”. What is the most intelligent way of responding to a cat who won’t stop giving you the mean Clint ‘Dirty Harry’ Eastwood stare? What is the best way to look confident and relaxed? Saying “no” is one thing, but getting the cat to listen is another. Just give your cat what he wants… and join him for ice cream. Even if it’s a dark and winter day.

I feel the ice cream move under my paws
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever ice cream’s around

“I Feel the Earth Move” – Carole King

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

About My Dad (and Jimi)

Update about my dad. My dad is living in a retirement home for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It was a very hard decision we had to make, especially in these Covid-19 times… He stayed one week in isolation and was tested twice for Covid-19. Thank goodness the results were negative. Since last week he can move around free in this home and have contact with other inhabitants. I moved some furniture, pictures and photographs from his apartment to his new room. It looks like he’s still living in his apartment. Right now it seems he’s happy in his new environment. The staff are wonderful and devoted people. I really believe and hope he’s going to have some good years ahead…

The evenings are very difficult for my dad, he doesn’t like darkness. I’m keeping a lot of lights on and keeps him company until it’s bedtime. We’re watching football (soccer) on tv and he really enjoys this time with me.

I know it’s a hard time for me, but I still feel like there’s a lot of good in this world. Professional people told me I need at least 3 weeks to get used to this new situation. For the first time in my life I’m having lunch and dinner alone by myself. Due to the Covid-19 measurers, I can’t invite family or friends to my home. But Jimi seems to be very happy now we’re sharing more time together. Yesterday, he was faced with a difficult choice to pick the right box.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments made me feel better and helped me get through these hard times. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

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

About My Dad

Update. As you probably noticed, it’s very quiet on the HoB blog. I won’t be posting a lot in the near future due to the health situation of my dad. Last weeks/months, his health has been deteriorating and his isolated way of living (due to the Covid-19 situation) aggravates dementia. Dad needs supervision 24 hours a day. We are doing everything to find good help and support but it’s very difficult because of the pandemic. I will keep you informed.  

Jimi is doing well but he misses me a lot because I’m spending a lot of time with my dad. A few days ago Jimi went AWOL because I didn’t close the front door. Thank goodness he returned back home after 5 hours.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation is even worse than during the first wave early this year. Our country is going in lockdown mode for at least six weeks. Thank you so much, you selfish idiots ignoring all the rules and instructions. Shame on you! 

One more thing… For my American friends and followers, please be wise and do the right thing.

Be safe, careful and take care, my friends.

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

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