Monday, April 6, 2009

New Blog!

So I finally got my new blog up and running.

It will (hopefully) follow me through the next 28 months during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.

Check it out here!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Check it out

I've just set up a new blog for Eurodad, it's here!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Journalism...Belgian Style

Belgian Television Network Mistakenly Declares Queen Fabiola Dead

Brussels, Belgium (AHN) -- Belgium's Queen Fabiola was mistakenly declared dead last night.

A Belgian television network's website announced that the 80-year-old royal - who is in a hospital with pneumonia - had died. The website quickly withdrew the story, blaming a "publishing error."

A network spokesman said, "This was human error. We are very sorry and our online news team has sent an apology to the royal family."

In response to the article, the Belgian Royal Palace announced that while Queen Fabiola remained in intensive care there had been "slight improvement" in her condition.

The queen - who had surgery to correct a thyroid problem earlier this month - was admitted to St John's hospital in Brussels on Friday, complaining of chest and throat problems. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and is currently in a "serious but stable" condition.

The wife of the late King Baudouin - who died in 1993 after 42 years as sovereign - sparked controversy when she elected to be sedated using hypnosis instead of general anaesthetic during her recent surgery. The royal's surgery went well and she was allowed home three days later, but was back in hospital within a week.

Fabiola - who was a hospital nurse when she met the king in the late 50s - was Belgium's queen consort between 1960 and 1993.

Monday, February 2, 2009


So my last work week has begun. We are in our new office (although the toilets are not ready yet, and it still looks like a construction site…because it still is a construction site), and I have moved in with Emma. All is going well my last week at work and in Brussels.

Emma and Eimear leave for work WAY earlier than I normally do, so I arrived at an astounding 830 this morning (after walking all the way there and getting coffee served to me in a soup bowl, because the normal coffee cup just wasn’t big enough), only to remember that I don’t have a key. Luckily the building’s facilities guys are workaholics and were in the building ready to open the door for me. (I have a key now).

It was an interesting (and by interesting I mean cold and dangerous), walk to work today, as it was snowing quite hard (not much on the ground and most of it is gone now), and in true Brussels form, the sidewalks were icy, not cleared and of course narrow and uneven. Regardless, it took me longer than it needed to because of these inefficiencies. But I didn’t really mind as I was really early anyway.

That’s when I found the deli near the office that only had one size (tiny) take away coffee cup, and when I asked for a bigger cup, they gave me a takeaway soup bowl…much more like it.

I’ve mainly been unpacking and training the new intern today, and we went to a great African restaurant (it’s next door) for lunch which took about two hours (luckily the boss came with us). So, it hasn’t been too stressful (yet).

Friday, January 30, 2009

My only spare moment....

I figured I'd shoot something out as I waited alone in the office for the movers to come. Everything's a bit hectic, We started packing yesterday at work, I went home, and did one last load of laundry there and packed all the clothes I won't wear for the next week. (While I crash at Emmas, and my mom comes to visit!). Then I passed out around two when most of the preliminary packing and cleaning was done, woke up at seven thirty, got to work, finished packing the boxes and started moving computers to the new office.

Tonight I'm going out, because I think I need a break.

Which means, (as I have to be out of my flat by noon on Saturday), I am going to have to get up around 6am on saturday and do the rest of my packing and cleaning. Regardless, I may be a bit cranky.

Therefore, after Emma and I drag all of my stuff to her house, we're going to the spa for a rub down, steam room and scrub.

I'm staying with Emma until Thursday when my mom comes in and then I'm going to stay with her in the hotel. I have to go to a meeting on Friday morning (as I'm running it apparently), so my mom has kindly said she doesn't mind going on a tourist bus and seeing the city, but we'll meet up for lunch and do some real siteseeing afterwards.

On Saturday, I'm going to take her to Antwerp which should be great, as she's never been to Flanders before and it is such a great city (some good shopping too!). Then back on the Eurostar Sunday morning, where I will be working for Eurodad from home (in both the New Forest and London).

And there it is, the rest of my planned life!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The calm before the move[s]

Just to let people in on the ridiculousness of my life:

Friday: Moving Offices
Saturday: Moving into Emma and Eimear's out of my flat here
Thursday: Moving from E&E's to Mom's hotel room
Sunday: Going back to London (with all my stuff, luckily my Mom is going to help me bring it!)
Feb. 13th or 20th: Helping my parents move from their house in London into a smaller flat (lots of furniture swapping and bringing down to the country required).

Also, as a sidebar from my Luxembourg post, because I forgot to post about this, and it's great... I would like to mention that Luxembourg is a Duchy, meaning it is ruled by a "Grand Duke" (It has a parliamentarian representative democracy, that is ruled by their monarch). Now I know this sounds similar to the British royal family, however there is one slight difference.

The Duke, Duchess and their kids, look like they should be in a Ralf Lauren Magazine ad, (I mean that in the worst way possible).

I know.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Peace Corps Update:

I have officially passed my medical - my placement should be coming shortly!

More to come when I find out!

What the Lux?

Emma’s guidebook painted a pretty little picture of Luxembourg and Luxembourg City. We decided as it was one of my final weekends in Belgium, it was only fitting we took a weekend trip somewhere, and Luxembourg had a well reviewed cheap hostel, and we got very affordable train tickets.

During this process, we were telling people of our plans to go to Luxembourg and every single response we got back was negative (with the exception of Javier, who has never been to Luxembourg). Even Emma’s usually positive and upbeat French teacher was like, “don’t go there, there’s nothing to do”. Everyone said it would be boring and there was nothing to see.


SERIOUSLY? What are you people thinking? Luxembourg is a great city with an archaeological site you can walk around, and GREAT ruins. The main attraction of the city, the casemates or underground caves you can walk around in the foundations of the old fortress were even closed and we still had a great time. I mean, I’m not saying people should pick up and move to Luxembourg city, but it is a wonderful city to visit for the weekend, and it is cute, has some great sites and is quite inexpensive.

In addition to seeing Luxembourg City, we also went to Esch-sur-Sûre,(Pictured Below), a town with a population of 250, and a great “crumbly” ruin (as Emma’s guidebook describes, although she claims to have seen much “crumblier” ones in Greece) at the top of a hill.

The town sits, peninsula style, in a bend in a river, and is built around a small hill. Similar to hill towns in Italy I have seen. It is very picturesque and was very quiet! (Although we are told that motorcyclists tend to descend upon the town in the late spring and summer, ruining most of the silence).

All in all, the trip was very successful, and the all you can eat salad and soup bar and free breakfast at the hostel was simply the icing on the cake.

Therefore, if you are in Europe, and you have a free weekend, Luxembourg is a great, inexpensive option.

I'm going to upload some more pictures tonight, (see right hand column)! There are some winners!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Wrapping Up

So, I have decided (as I will have no where to live), to go back to the UK at the beginning of the month and work for Eurodad from home. This is good, because I get all the perks from living at home, and I won’t be bored out of my mind, as I will have things to do for work, and I get paid and I won’t have to pay rent!

So these last couple weeks, I am busy wrapping things up in the office, and trying to finish the Fight Capital Flight campaign, and send out all the boxes by the end of the week (there are A LOT of boxes). But then my mom is coming to visit me on the 4th of Feb. and I’m going to show her around Brussels, and then she’s going to help me carry all of my stuff on the train ride home which is nice.

Therefore, this weekend is my last weekend here, so Emma and I are going to Luxembourg City (pictures to come), even though everyone we talk to tells us it is not worth visiting, I think we’re going to have a blast. I want to see the fortress.

Let me know if anyone has been there and has any suggestions about what to do! (The caves are definitely on our “to do” list as well).

Friday, January 16, 2009

American Idol Realizations

Why do I love pre Hollywood American Idol? I think the tryouts for American Idol are great, once people start being “serious” and they go to Hollywood I always phase out, but for some reason I can not get enough of the crazy people making fools of themselves on television.

It probably helps me feel sane and normal, which is nice. I suppose I am a total sucker for reality television, not to mention I appreciated the producers’ sense of humor and hilarity with their ridiculous job. While I would probably hate myself if I had to force the worst out of people and make them cry for ratings, watching people do it doesn’t seem so bad. I suppose it’s like working at the slaughter house, somebody’s got to do it, because I really want my roast beef sandwich, I just DO NOT want to know where the hell that roast beef came from (thought I prefer free range, less chewy).