Tag Archives: Belgium

The Darkest Hour, The Suspect V

I finally got to watch the much lauded film The Darkest Hour last weekend. Gary Oldman’s performance as Winston Churchill certainly deserved the Oscar Award for Best Actor. Equally deserving were the creative group who won the Oscar for Makeup. … Continue reading

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The Message in the Laundry

One day in 1944 my future existence hung by a tenuous thread. If a message secreted in a batch of laundry had not reached its intended recipient I would never have been born. On such tiny twists of fate and … Continue reading

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On Learning I’m English

I learned some shocking information this fall. It was a simple matter of spitting in a tube for one test and swabbing my cheek for another, but the results were complicated and confounding. I learned that the majority of my … Continue reading

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How St. Nicholas Became Santa

When I was a small child growing up in England we didn’t have Santa Claus and we didn’t hang up stockings or set out cookies on Christmas Eve. Instead, following the tradition of my mother’s Flemish homeland, my sister and … Continue reading

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Please, Not in the Cathedral!

                    It looked like an enormous vacuum cleaner part – a black plastic tube emerging from the stone archway of an upper gallery, coiled into a knot in midair, and dangling … Continue reading

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Paris in the Terror

We saw a real guillotine on this year’s summer travels, with the original blade and bag to catch the head still attached. It was a gruesome reminder of Terror past as we visited three countries living in the shadow of … Continue reading

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On My Bookshelf – Turning Tides

At a dinner party in Berkeley some years ago I met a visiting history professor from the University of Leuven in Flanders. Naturally I told him I am half Flemish. When I tell people that they usually just assume that … Continue reading

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