Wednesday, May 31, 2006

It's Only Rock 'n Roll, But I like It

Oh, yes I like the radio. In fact I can listen for hours. Music is my passion, that's for sure. But there's nothing as strong as real live music. You never know what's going to happen. Isn't that exciting? I love all those artists. I wish I was one too. I can feel the stage fright allready, what about you?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Kissed by the Moon

Have you ever been kissed by the moon? Well, as you can see, I did. Honestly, I think this means good luck. It's the kind of blessing I was hoping for, because I'm going to need some luck on my travels. Looking at the moon, I wonder where that I'm going to stay, who that I'm going to meet and what that I'm going to see. Oh, I think I become philosophical again...

Monday, May 29, 2006

Rainy Day Rats # 16 & 02

Belgium is a country where it rains most of the time. And although I like that rain, sometimes I long for endless days of nice weather. I wish that I'd feel the sun on my grey skin and I'd have some cool drinks on the beach. Yes, that would be nice, woudn't it? Maybe my journey will take me there. Who knows? I can only dream...

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Rat @ Night

The Nighttime is the right time for a rat. Like I told you, I do like old castles, caves and the underground world. At night I love to sneek around at these places. There is always something hidden. I even might dig for gold or for the secrets someone left behind. You are welcome to whisper some or your secrets in my ears. I won't tell anybody.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Among the Garbage and the Flowers

It's amazing what humans throw away these days. I always like to collect these things or make another use for them. Sometimes I might even sell some. Even a rat has to make a living, you know. Someday you might find me among the garbage and the flowers. You just have to know where to look.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Anywhere I Lay My Head...

Anyplace a rat must feel at home. Sometimes I like it crowdy, but now and then I prefer abandoned places. I just love old houses, ruins, castles and all those places humans once left behind. Mostly it's true to say that when humans leave, the rats come in. But for myself, I do like humans and anywhere I Lay My Head, I'm Gonna Call My Home.

Drinkin' Belgian beer...

Ah, I like to drink a few bottles of Belgian beer from time to time. On my table today are a couple of Trappist beers and a Gueuze.
The principle of the Trappists beers is that the beers are manufactured in the community of the abbey. There are "only" 6 Trappist beer brands in Belgium: Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, Westmalle, Westvleteren and Achel.
Gueuze is considered as the Champagne of the beer world. It is only made in the south-west of Brussels, in Pajotteland, which is the region where I live. The thing that makes Gueuze unique is the manner of their spontaneous fermentation.

Oh, I sure will miss a Belgian beer from time to time when I am on the road.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Don't leave me hangin' on the telephone

It's good to hear your voice, you know it's been so long
If I don't get your call then everything goes wrong
I want to tell you something you've known all along
Don't leave me hanging on the telephone...

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I think God forgot summer this year !

It is springtime, the month of May... but it looks like it's autumn. The wind howls outside, raindrops are tapping on my window and the leaves are falling down. I think God forgot summer.
I put on my sun glasses to dream of sunny beaches.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Writin' a letter from time to time...

"I will write you a letter from time to time,
As I'm ramblin' you can travel with me too.
With my head, my heart and my hands, my love,
I will send what I learn back home to you."

Within 2 weeks I am leaving. Sometimes it really scares me.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Comin' home

Came home today, after a long exiting week in the city of Brussels.
I washed my clothes, took myself a bath too and exposed myself to some fresh air of the country side. Quite relaxing!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

De Munt / La Monnaie

Also rats do like high culture. Tomorrow I'm leaving Brussels, but tonight I went to D'un soir un jour in De Munt/La Monnaie.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Manneken Pis

New York has the Statue of Liberty, Copenhagen has the mermaid and Brussels has the ... Manneken Pis. This statue of a little boy in a somewhat compromising position has since several centuries been a majour tourist attraction in the city. I visit the little boy everytime I'm in town. We are the best of friends.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Grand'Place of Brussels

The Grand-Place is the main tourist attraction of the City of Brussels. All through the year it is visited by thousands who like to spend some time wandering around and admiring the beautiful buildings, or sitting down on one of the many terraces having a good Belgian beer.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Saint-Michaels' and Saint-Gudules' Cathedral

One cathedral, two saints! This must be Belgium.
If you want to know more about it, just follow the Saint-Michaels' and Saint-Gudules' Cathedral-link.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The St. Hubert Gallery

“Around 1840 it was briefly fashionable to take turtles for a walk in the arcades. The flâneurs liked to have the turtles set the pace for them.

If the arcade is the classical form of the intérieur, which is how the flâneur sees the street, the department store is the form of the intérieur's decay. The bazaar is the last hangout of the flâneur. If in the beginning the street had become an intérieur for him, now this intérieur turned into a street, and he roamed through the labyrinth of merchandise as he had once roamed through the labyrinth of the city...

The flâneur is someone abandoned in the crowd. In this he shares the situation of the commodity.”

I think Walter Benjamin said that.

"I'll let you be in my dreams if I can be in yours." I said that (sauntering in the St. Hubert Gallery).

Cétait au temps où Bruxelles rêvait

Place de Broukère on voyait des vitrines
Avec des hommes des femmes en crinoline
Place de Broukère on voyait l'omnibus
Avec des femmes des messieurs en gibus

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Come day, go day, God send Sunday

A quite square on a Sunday afternoon in the center of the capital of Europe. A heaven of peace very close to where the governments of Brussels, Flanders, Belgium and Europe make their decissions.

With four governments and four parlements, Brussels must be the record-holder of governments and parlements.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Shoppin' in Brussels

Saturday afternoon on a sunny day in May. Tomorrow it's Mother's Day. Brussels is full of shoppers. I like to be part of the crowd on days like this.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Brussels, here I come!

Tonight I left for Brussels, just a few kilometers from where I live. I am staying with some of my nephews, nieces and uncles who live there right under the Royal Windsor Hotel, a lovely place to be!

I think I will stay there for a few days since I will not see my family for a very long time when I am on the road.

Goin' to Brussels I always travel by metro. I love to hang around in the underground network.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Real rats do love cats

Some rats profess to dislike cats because they are sneaky, conniving and cunning. However, given some time living with a cat, these same qualities will serve to endear the little beasts to the former cat hater.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Takin' a pause in life's pleasures ...

... on a sweet-smelling bed of azaleas.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Oh my name it is nothin'...

My father gave me my name. He was fond of Woody Guthrie and ever since I was born I have listened to Woody's songs. These songs made me dream of ramblin' around, just as Woody did. Although, when I am listening to his songs nowadays, I must confess I am a little scared. This is what Woody is singing in Ramblin' around:

"Ramblin' around your city, ramblin' around your town. I never see a friend I know, as I go ramblin' 'round boys, as I go ramblin' 'round"

I really hope this never happens to me.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Livin' in the land of Pieter Breughel

Pieter Brueghel (1525-69), usually known as Pieter Brueghel the Elder, to distinguish him from his elder son, was the first in a family of Flemish painters. Brueghel traveled to Italy in 1551 or 1552. Returning home in 1553, he settled in Antwerp but ten years later moved permanently to Brussels. A lot of his paintings and landscapes were painted in the countryside just outside Brussels.

And that is exactly where I live nowadays! Maybe you recognize some landscapes on this site: Bruegel06.

You probably will not believe this, but the church behind me is the church of Sint-Anna-Pede, very close to where I live. It is said to be the church on Brueghel's 'Parabel of the Blind', painted in 1568.

Popular in his own days, his works have remained consistently popular and you find them in famous museums all over the world. I hope to see a few of his paintings when I am travellin' around.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

As I went out walking one morning in May

As I went out walking one morning in May.
I spied a young maiden who was making her way.
I stood with amazement and was struck with surprise.
I thought her an angel that fell from the skies.

"Good morning, good morning, good morning", said she.
I said, "My pretty fair maid, if you will come with me".
And so we walked together, till late afternoon.
To view the fair fields and the meadows in bloom.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Didn't I tell you I love accordions?

To be honest... I am nuts about accordions. Today it's Saturday. Saturday night is party time! And I love it! Makes me mad!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Vistin' Jerome, the gnome

Last night I went to visit my good old friend Jerome, the gnome. He always is telling me stories. My absolute favorite is his story of rambling, gambling Willie.

Will O' Conley gambled all his life, had twenty-seven children, yet he never had a wife.
He had a reputation as the gamblin'est man around. Wives would keep their husbands home when Willie came to town.
But Willie had a heart of gold and this I know is true. He supported all his children, and all their mothers too.
He wore no rings or fancy things, like other gamblers wore. He spread his money far and wide, to help the sick and the poor.

It was late one evenin' during a poker game. A man lost all his money, he said Willie was to blame.
He shot poor Willie through the head, which was a tragic fate. When Willie's cards fell on the floor, they were aces backed with eights.
So all you rovin' gamblers, wherever you might be. The moral of this story is very plain to see.
Make your money while you can, before you have to stop. For when you pull that dead man's hand, your gamblin' days are up.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Wanderin' around in the woodland

Today (04.05.06 !), I was wandering around in the woodland close to where I live. In the beginning of May, when the weather is fine, it is wonderful up here. The wood anemones are blooming, which is a magnificent sight. Ah, I love these woods. I sure will miss this when I am gone.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Introducing myself...

Hi, I'm Woody Rat. I live in Vlezenbeek, close to Brussels, the capital of Belgium. I just decided to leave my hometown and to do some travelling. I am still thinking about when and where, but I promise you to keep you informed about my plans and my future travels. That’s why I am starting this Blog.
Like all rats I live in an extended family with my grandpa, grandma, pa and ma, lots of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, uncles and aunts, etc. In short, a very warm and friendly environment, but getting’ older you need some fresh and new ideas. So, I started dreaming of leaving my rat castle…