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Tuesday, 29 July 2014


Work  continues over the road. But still we do not know what the new main windows will be like. Another van arrived on Friday and there was much banging and scraping. When it finally left, and the view was clear again, we could see a new door for the garage.  I think we are the only house in the street without a basement garage. Another big difference with England is that there is much excavation involved in house building here and a cave is almost obligatory.  Many of the houses have their principal rooms about half a storey above street level, rather like a London Georgian town house. We however live at ground level

The neighbours cat feels braver with less noise, the workmen are upstairs and, through the windows, we can see tiles going onto the bathroom wall.  After a little investigatory stroll the cat settles down on his doormat - he is in control again.

The cat, like his family,  is an ardent Belgian and, ready for the World Cup which was in full flow when we first arrived here, he hung the national flag from the big projecting bay window of this Art Deco style house and filled the window ledge with abundantly flowering geraniums in the colour of The Red Devils

This sketch is from pavement level. You can see that the cat will have trouble parking his Jaguar tonight, so big is the flag!

once again, fountain pen and water colour on cartridge paper

Thursday, 24 July 2014


 Back in February I wrote on the strange diversity of architectural styles here in Belgium and illustrated the blog with a drawing of the two houses opposite us, as seen from our bedroom window.

The house on the right has been empty for about 5 years , you can see the roller shutter down on the right hand ground floor window, and the building has gradually become more and more dilapidated.  A few weeks ago scaffolding appeared and  work started on gutting the interior, and the roof was relaid  with new tiles and lots of insulation.

As the scaffold came down a fortnight ago I mentally kicked myself for not making drawings of the activity.

Yesterday a big van , a HUGE van, appeared and it seemed that new windows would go in

.We had much discussion and we were wondering what kind of windows they might be. We hoped that the slightly off ball, mock Versailles, effect would not be lost.

This morning they were back and whilst we ate breakfast the old windows on the first floor went and, before I could get my sketch book and draw, the high speed workers were fitting new ones.  They were so energetic. Drilling and screwing and leaping up and down like jack in the boxes, (Jacks in the box?)  This quick sketch shows one man drilling and standing on the outside window sill, his mate is admiring their  handiwork and the central , completed, window is shown closed..

In case you are wondering they are dark grey, enamelled aluminium. And as you can see it is another lovely sunny and  warm day, 31 C and very humid.  Tomorrow we may know what they will do with the French windows downstairs.

Al three drawings are made on cartridge paper with a fountain pen and water colour.