Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grandma Melrose's 1st trip to Belgium.

Marion came over for Jacob's 10th birthday and stayed for 10 days. We had fun exploring the area over the two weekends that she was here. I also had fun taking her out and about while the kids were at school and Allen at work. It was Remebrance Day while she was here and she came along to the service. She also experienced a family's happy hour and did lots of knitting with Abi. We went out to a town called Binche to go to a mask museum. It had been recommended on a web site that SHAPE families use. It was very interesting and we toured the museum with a headset finding out about the town's traditions with dressing up as Gilles. A strange custom but one we will want to go and witness. Have a look at the varierty of photos from the afternoon! I've also added one of Abi and Grandma knitting. Marion and I went to Brugges and had a wonderful day. I drove, we could have gone on the train but there was a strike! The shops were great, the town was beautiful and the weather was lovely and sunny. We found lots of presents and had a superb lunch in a busy little restaurant. We got back in time for the end of school so an excellent trip out. We also had another trip out to a local market in a town called Soignies. It was lots of local vendors and we came away with home made quiches and homegrown garden produce. We also found an excellent bakery that served coffee and cake so Marion was happy. My Mum and Dad are coming out for a couple of days so we're going to revisit Brugges as the ice sculptures are now there as are the Christmas markets. Marion did manage to go to the Canadian and Norwegian ones on base and got a few bits. There has been a Christmas market on base each week since! The British one was pretty good but I have to say the German one has been the best so far.

Jacob's 10th Birthday

Jacob was lucky enough to celebrate his birthday on a Saturday and have Grandma Melrose here too! He didn't get up too early, which was handy as he and Abi had gone with Allen to get Marion the night before, so they had a late night. We only live 25mins from Charleroi airport, a lot easier than before.
Jacob had already had a treat for his birthday. I had managed to get last minute tickets to WWE in Brussels. He went with Allen and they had a brilliant time. He had also had a party back in The Netherlands as we weren't sure what was on offer here.
So for his actual birthday we went bowling and then Grandma, Jacob and Abi went to the cinema. We had cake when they returned and an easy evening. Abi had chosen a wrestling ring as his present and they both played with that for ages. His main present was a Kindle, he got lots of Amazon vouchers too which he will be using to buy books to put on his kindle. The library here also lets you borrow books to put on your kindle for a few weeks so he'll be using that too.

I've included some photos from the day.

SHAPE, Mons.

We have moved into a house right next to the base of SHAPE. We are living on the border of Casteau and Mons. Jacob and Abi are going to the British School on SHAPE. This school does take other Nations but priority goes to British children. Some classes are very mixed others are mainly Brits. Both Jacob and Abi have made a variety of friends and have settled in well. Abi won an award on Friday for high achievement and settling quickly. Jacob's taking it all in his stride and has his first invite to a party next week. I've included a photo of them on our doorstep on their first day of school. They now own proper school sweatshirts with a very nice International logo on them.
We also went into school, as Abi had been away on an overnight trip, and they did a presentation on this. She went to Ypres and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was impressed that she went as she'd only been in school a week. She did her presentation with great confidence.
I have also had my first day of supply. It went extremely well and I have a couple more days booked for Decemeber. Hoping I get something quite regularly, I am volunteering in school as well.

I have included a couple of photos from Abi's trip away.