Tag Archives: Belgium

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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Belgium. Cry, My Beloved Country

Belgium is my arcadia, my beloved country of memories and dreams. A different Belgium than my mother knew – a country suffering under German occupation, so poor that her widowed mother had no choice but to place her little brothers … Continue reading

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