Tag Archives: toys

Belgium, 2013: The Place

Our week of nights in Belgium had filled up quickly; so one afternoon my husband, daughter and I went to our friends house- Corrine and Ben- for a traditional French style lunch: our favourite. Corrine and Ben had a multi story home in the village of Tilff which was bright with all the autumn colours on the tress outside. They had two older kids of their own and I still remember how sweet Corrine was as I was distraught when our daughter fell off the couch. She was fine of course.

We walked around Dolembreux one morning, to the war memorial, the school and the fields behind the farmhouse. It was such a pretty little village and I could see why it would be a nice place to raise kids.

Another day we headed into Liege where we all enjoyed some authentic waffles and a walk around the city. We went to H&M and Mango of course and visited one of Steve’s friends who worked in a shoe shop in town.

Finding a car seat of the right age was easy with so many kids around. Although she did mange to wriggle out of it that morning as we were driving back from the city that day. Bit scary, but I think she was just trying to look out of the window rather than open the door.

We went to visit Yves in his nice house on the hill and he gave us a book of Liege photos that he had published. One lunchtime we went to the restaurant that Ben’s partner owned in Tilff. It was bright and airy and served the best baguettes.

Bill took the day off work to take us to Durbuy- reportably the most beautiful village in Belgium and a place where neither my husband or I had been before. It was ridiculously picturesque, even in the cold weather, with small cobbled streets lined with stone houses covered with red and green vines. There was an actual castle, a fort and a spa and the small town was encircled by rocks, fountains, water wheels and the river.

Our  daughter fell asleep easily in the pram as we trundled along and we kept warm by eating Chokotoffs– hard carmel treats covered in Cote d’Or chocolate. We stopped for lunch in a nice traditional French restaurant and drove home munching on sour gummies. All in all it was a day of beauty and eating.

With so many adoptive aunts and uncles, our daughter received lots of presents and hand me down clothing that necessitated a big rethink of packing the bag when we left. It was great for her to receive French speaking toys and good quality warm winter clothing, so it was an easy choice to pass on some of her clothes that we had brought that she was outgrowing anyway and we knew that they would go to a good home here.

Related posts: Belgium, 2013: The PeopleEurope, 2006, Belgium, 1997, People vs Place

Toys

My favourite toys growing up were a pyjama rabbit called Rabbit and a wombat puppet called Wombat. Very imaginative names I know.

I was only allowed to have one Barbie doll, so I got tropical barbie who lived in a white house with a red roof (which was modelled on our house) with Inspector Gadget who had spring arm legs and a helicopter that came out of his head. Their regular relations produced a daughter called Penny.

Having too many soft toys and collecting everything under the sun from stamps and coins to rocks and erasers; I was devastated to find out that my entire shell collection had been dumped in the backyard creek after a clean out of the shed and still feel guilty for stealing an eagle feather that a boy brought to school for show and tell.

I never received board games as an only child and was always every jealous when my cousins received Guess Who and Twister for Christmas. No, it was books for me- fortunately I loved to read.

My English connection meant that I received Beatrix Potter’s complete collection and all the Rupert books from grandma. I was also into watching Blue Peter, Noddy, Sooty and Sweep and the Punch and Judy show at the beach in summer.

I developed an early interest in science fiction by watching Doctor Who and in Japanese anime before I even knew that was what it was with Astro Boy; but my favourite show was the Lost Cities of Gold. I also liked Snoopy, Felix the Cat and Bugs Bunny with his Looney Toons.

There was always some craze at school- skipping ropes, then marbles followed by elastics.

Strawberry Shortcake, Snow White and Mickey Mouse were childhood staples and Archie double digests in my teenage years; but it was nothing compared to the Frozen mania that has swept the world of today. Disney has sure worked out how to capitalise on a brand there.

What was your favourite toy as a kid?

Related posts: Discovery, Kid at Heart, Dreams vs Reality, It’s the simple things, All things Disney, Books, books and more books, I first started writing