Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ruislip Lido, U.K. (the sequel)

This is a picture right after the harrowing moment (see yesterday) when Maddie tried to make me feel better with a bit of a cuddle. Thanks a lot for that Maddie!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Ruislip Lido, U.K.

I have been having a wonderful time here in London. Last weekend Robin and her family took me to Ruislip Lido. We were enjoying a nice few days of perfect fall weather and I was lying out by the beach. It was all very wonderful until this cheeky chap mistook me for a small fish and tried to eat me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Birmingham's downtown

Last weekend we had a great time and even got to see a bit of Birmingham's downtown. Here's a picture of me with Robin, Elizabeth and Madeleine.

Everyone is very nice but I think I am developing an allergy to baby drool ... alas what is a poor rat to do!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Birmingham, U.K.

I am stayin’ in the U.K. for about a week now. I am livin’ with Robin, a doctor in in Linguistics and Cognitive Science. She is interested in big questions about the nature of human language and how humans (not rats!) produce and comprehend languages with such ease. She specialized in signed languages since signed languages offer a powerful and little-used tool for addressing these questions.

Last weekend we went to Birmingham for the opening of the new Deaf Cultural Centre. It is very exciting because it is the first one in the UK. Here is a picture of me signing "hi" with Robin and some of the people she works with (Dafydd, David and Rob). They all work at the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (which is why their shirts say DCAL).

Monday, October 15, 2007

London revisited

Two days ago I arrived in London, so I am back in Europe!
What a difference: from sunny
San Diego to the gray sky of London. Here’s a picture of Karen (left) introducing me to Robin (right) who is my hostess here in London.
I feel wonderful and forget about gray skies between both these two beautiful ladies.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Swimming in Carlsbad

Today was my last day in Carlsbad. I went to the swimming pool. Tom is a swimmer and I came to watch Tom practice. On the photo you see me with Tom after the workout.

Tomorrow I am leavin' the American continent again ... I am flyin' with Karen back to Europe.
Thanks for your hospitaliy Jon, Tom and Karen. It was nice travellin' with you and stayin' in your family in sunny California. So long and goodbye America!

Monday, October 08, 2007

South Carlsbad State Beach

This weekend we went to South Carlsbad State Beach.
San Diego beach features swimming, surfing, skin diving, fishing, picnicking and …Wi-Fi Service.
Another great day in paradise !

Friday, October 05, 2007

Carlsbad, North San Diego County, California

Yesterday I arrived in Carlsbad, which is in North San Diego County in California.
Today we were hanging out in the backyard of the Linker family where I live now.
On the picture you see Jon who brought me here, Karen his wife, and their son Tom on whose knees I am sitting.
Finally, I am back in the Golden State and to be honest, I love it to be here.

California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see (if you have the do re me, boys!).

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Paris, France

After a too short stay in Belgium, Jon and I stopped for one night in Paris.
J’aime bien Paris, la ville lumière et du bal musette …

You see me here on the balcony of Villa Panthéon, the hotel we stayed in, right in front hotel California … and that’s exactly where we fly to tomorrow: North San Diego County, California where Jon and his family live.
Europe … see you soon.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ghent, Belgium

What a surprise … David didn’t tell me anything when we left Houston! A few hours later we landed in Brussels to go to Ghent.
So close to my home, friends and family! Sorry, mom and dad … but we really didn’t have the time to visit Vlezenbeek. David was busy attending the SOHO 20 conference in Ghent. It’s there he handed me over to Jon (left on the picture).
Thanks David for everything and greet David jr., Andrew and Caeleigh for me when you’re back in

It really felt good to be back in Belgium for a few days.
As you might probably know since the last Federal elections on June, the 10th there are negotiations going on to form a new government in my little country. These negotiations are characterized by the disagreement by the Flemish and French-speaking parties about the need and the nature of a constitutional reform, which resulted in a political crisis. On September 18, a symbolic 100 days have passed since the election, making it one of the longest formation periods in Belgian history. The 2007 formation is now the second longest formation period in
Belgian history.

During my stay, on September 29, King Albert II again appointed Yves Leterme for a second time as formateur. So the negotiations can restart next week. I don't know whether my stay in Belgium had an influence on the negotiations, but I can leave Belgium (for a second time) with confidence.
Before I return to the
U.S. with Jon, we’ll have a short stay in Paris