Wednesday, 29 July 2009

The witch parade (Heksenstoet) in Beselare, bands, July 2009

Marching bands at the Heksenstoet in Beselare

Over the the last weekend I attended the Heksenstoet or Witch parade, in the little village of Beselare, in West Flanders. This takes place once every two years and for a tiny little village, Beselare puts on a very good show. This is the first post in a three post series, this one, a clip of some of the marching bands from the parade, the second a photo post and the third a clip of some of the witches from the parade.


Monday, 27 July 2009

Harry Patch Joins The Other UK Trench Fighters

All together now

Harry Patch was not the last surviving Great War (World War 1) veteran from the UK, that is a sailor Claude Choules but he was the last who saw active service in the Trenches, as part of a machine gun team. He was wounded at the Third Battle of Ieper (Battle of Passchendaele). Sadly Mr Patch passed away on Saturday 26th of July (links at the end of the post), an event that marks the passing of a generation that suffered so much to help secure our futures. Please take a moment from your day to remember not only Harry Patch but all of his comrades, who are all now at peace.

BBC NEWS | UK | Obituary: Harry Patch
BBC - Somerset - History - Harry Patch in profile
Last UK veteran of WWI trench battles dies at 111 - Yahoo! News
YouTube - Harry Patch, 109, at Passchendaele


Saturday, 25 July 2009

A bouncing festival event - Waiting for the train - Some blogs for the blogroll and an information website

Bouncy festival entertainment

To say that the Flemish like to celebrate summer would be an understatement. From the largest city right down to tiny villages that are a little more than a dot on the map, almost every location will have a festival, feast or a parade of some sort over the summer period. At one of these festivals, in a small village, I spotted the two lads, that you see to the left, entertaining the folks with some gymnastic antics and a little clowning. the clip of this is at the bottom of the post.

Waiting for the train

I am unwilling to post clips here that are not my own work, so I will link to the next clip. It is a clip about an occurrence in a Belgian railway station and is very entertaining. I do highly recommend it.

Waiting for the train at Central Station Antwerp (Belgium)

Blogs for the blogroll and an information website

Heaven is in Belgium - A mostly photo based blog from a Flemish lady, Jientje, living in Antwerp.

Baron's Life........ - A blog from a Canadian based motorcycle enthusiast that often has a humorous twist.

Ed Dixon - The website of a history enthusiast who writes about the military aspects of the 20th century in Northern Europe, especially the Great War (World War 1).

Bouncy festival Guys


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Lille war memorial and fountain - June 2009

This was not what I was planning to post today but as I sit in front of the computer, in a bit of an angry mood, I found the sound of running water calming and so decided to post this clip now.

For info on Lille visit Office de Tourisme de Lille or Lille - Wikipedia

The town war memorial and a fountain in Lille


Monday, 20 July 2009

Antwerp Ship Museum, May 2009 - A photo post

The ship museum, in Antwerp, is located on the banks of the River Scheldt. It is called Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum in 't Steen in Flemish. Steen is a castle in Antwerp and houses the smaller inside displays of the museum, unfortunately the castle has been closed, till 2011 as far as I can tell, presumably it is being renovated. The exterior displays of the museum, with many boats and some small ships, is still open to the public, in the daytime and has no admission charge. I went there in May, with some visiting relatives. Unfortunately I did not possess a camcorder at the time but I did take some photographs.

Boats at the Antwerp Ship Museum

Only in Belgium

A beer bottle shaped hydrofoil, there are photographs by the craft proving that it does work.


Saturday, 18 July 2009

Ramparts CWGC cemetery clip 2, June 2009

As promised the second clip of Ramparts cemetery, maintained by the CWGC. This clip starts with the view across the Ieper moat, pans across the cemetery and ends on the Cross of Sacrifice.

Ramparts CWGC cemetery, clip 2


Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Ramparts CWGC cemetery clip 1, June 2009

I am very interested in history, especially military history and as Ieper (Ypre) and it's surrounding battle fields, from The Great War (World War 1), are not too distant from where I live, I visit this region often. Doing this I visit many cemeteries of a military nature and so these will pop up from time to time on this blog. This and the next post will show two clips of the very small but evocative CWGC cemetery of Ramparts, which is set into the remnants of the old medieval defensive system around the old town of Ieper.

Clip 1 Ramparts cemetery, across the water


Monday, 13 July 2009

Cycle beer racing, July 2009

The Flemish are famous for some of their unusual sporting pastimes, competition smoking, wooden cheese rolling, things like that. This one is a very sensible sport though, it should be part of the 2012 Olympics. Basically a beer balancing device, with a 25cl (about a half pint) glass of beer is connected to a stationary bicycle and well, watch the clip to find out :)

Cycle beer racing


Saturday, 11 July 2009

Harlebeke to Kortrijk on the train - Some blogs for the blog roll - Starting an informative sites list - Happy Flanders day

Happy Flanders day

Today is Flanders day here in Belgium. It is a celebration of a victory of Flemish forces over French forces back in the middle ages. If you wish to know more follow this link Battle of the Golden Spurs.

Information sites

There is a new list in the side bar, to your left, It is of information websites and is titled "Info Websites". It will mostly contain sites about Flanders and history websites. Here is a website to kick it off.

Flanders Today - This is a weekly, English language, internet magazine about what is going on in Flanders.

New blogs for the blog roll

Emm in London - A blog from another ex pat, a South African Lady living in London England.

Michael John Grist - Another ex pat blog, this time from an Englishman living in Japan. When you go to this blog you do not see the whole post, you have to click on the post title to see all of the post that you want to see.

Harlebeke to Kortrijk

Take away the stress of the day and finding out which platform that you should be on and all the other hassles of a train journey, then looking out of a train window can be very soothing. I have made a few "Between Stations" clips and will be posting them from time to time, they are a great way to see the good and bad bits of the landscape and get a bit of stress relief. Enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Lille - Grand Place and war memorial, a photo post

As promised some photographs from in and around the Grand Place in Lille. For more info go to Lille - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia or Office de Tourisme de Lille.

The Lille war memorial

Love it or hate it, you have to admit it is one of the most impressive town war memorials in Europe.

A few photos from Lille's Grand Place


Monday, 6 July 2009

Life going on in the Grand Place, Lille June 2009

Starting off looking down a street at Lille's main town War Memorial (there will be a photo or two of that in the next post), this clip is a pan around the Grand Place in Lille, showing life going on in an normal, weekday sort of way. The next and last post in this little series will show some photographs of this area of the city.

More info about Lille from Office de Tourisme de Lille.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

Buskers in Lille, June 2009

A couple of buskers in the Grand Place, Lille

This is the first of a three post series, about the Grand Place (Town Square) In Lille, there will be two clips and some photos. As you can see, in the clip, this is a pro am production. I am the am with my little tourist camcorder recording this scene from some steps, if you look to the left of the buskers you will see the pro, someone with some serious video kit. I feel a bit outclassed but at least I did not get some old guy in a white shirt doing his best to ruin my shot.

For the tourist information site visit this link Office de Tourisme de Lille.

Buskers in Lille


Thursday, 2 July 2009

A local car rally, Wervik June 2009

This is just a clip of a check point of a small local car rally, that I stumbled across. It is part of the 12 hours from Wervik rally, an event not on the main rally circuit that gives the smaller teams and amateurs with one of the events that they can compete in.

Rally check point