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Monday, December 26, 2011

Next holiday destination: Ukraine

 Lonely Planet
Hohohooo. Not Santa Claus but me in good cooperation with my husband/babysitter and my good old friend/travel partner made it happen: today I booked my next holiday.

Destination: Ukraine.

Travel partner: good old friend with whom I used to do lots of citytrips until we both got kids. Luckily last summer we found each other back in our travel yearning and we headed off for Bilbao. It tasted like more...

The travel programme: limited in time as the kids will be missing us (we think/hope/fear), we will cover Kiev and Crimea in 4 days/4 nights. Good preparation will be everything, so I am already the proud owner of the Lonely Planet Ukraine. It is a little pleasure of mine - especially during grey, boring days - to leaf through travel guides and dream of what is yet to come :-)

Anyway, next to the vacation with my family of course, this is something in 2012 I am really looking forward to! And yes, of course, I hope to speak some Russian there. I know it is not the first language of the country but I hope there will still be many opportunities to speak it. I will soon find out!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Russian food

Yesterday evening we had Christmas party with our Russian class. It was an everyone-brings-some-food-or-drinks party and devoted as we are, we all did our best to bring something 'Russian'. Luckily for me - being everything but a cook - the prefab blinis (little pancakes) have found their way to our mainstream supermarkets. Just as wodka of course. And although the champagne, fish and seafood we brought were most likely not really from Russia, they gave our buffet a Russian touch.

For those interested in Russian food, I can highly recommend the book Culinaria Russia. It is full of interesting information about Russian food and drinks: history, habits, regional specialities, recipes, it is all in the book. So if you always wanted to know what exactly борщ (borscht), квас (kvas) or пельмени (pelmeni) are, then don't hesitate and put this book on your Christmas wish list.

In the meantime, let me whet your appetite by showing these pictures of some закуски (zakuski) and блины (blinis)!
Culinaria Russia

Friday, December 9, 2011

Noteer alvast in uw 2012 agenda: 'Rusland voor beginners', op Canvas

Het concept: 'In "Rusland voor beginners" verkennen 10 Vlamingen de Russische samenleving in al haar facetten. Ze worden geholpen door Lena De Winne, de van oorsprong Russische echtgenote van Frank De Winne.' (aldus

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

4 декабря: life at different levels

Dear readers,

As announced, on Sunday 4 December I became 40 years old. I invited a few friends for a breakfast and played Stratego with my kids in the afternoon. I had a very nice day.

That same day, Russians went to vote for a new Duma. I can advise you to read about it in the professional press: Western and Russian press, trying to get an objective view on it.

Two days later, in my little country Belgium, we finally manage to form a government. Negotiations went on for how many days? We voted on 13 June 2010, press helps us remember (one would almost forget) and we have a government on 6 December 2011. A year and a half, let's say, without government.

Dear readers, I leave it up to you to follow the press and, yes, to judge.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Turning 40, being greedy

Next Sunday will be a milestone in my humble life: I will turn 40!
I am not really panicking. My life is okay (perfect husband, kids, friends, work and house) and 'je ne regrette rien' (if I did stupid things, at least I learned from them). Yet, turning 40 makes me reflect a bit. Upon the past, upon the future. Every year, the first becomes a bigger, the latter a smaller part of my life.

And thinking about my life makes me conclude that I am greedy. If it were up to me, I would try all the chocolates in the box. They all look tempting. Well most of them, from a few I already know I don't like the taste (after all I am in life for 40 years now). But there still remain a lot to try.

And as a result, my resolution for my +40 part of life is to do as much fun and interesting things as possible in the coming years. Don't imagine a young lover, sports car and the like now. Being me, I am first of all thinking of (city)trips: on my own (to Russia) as well as with my little daughters (a bit more nearby to start). And of books, operas, films, courses, musea, gardens, restaurants,... Oh yes, I am greeeedddyyyy!