Today marks the 79th anniversary of the tragic death of Queen Astrid, consort of King Leopold III. Ironically, August 29, 1935 dawned bright and clear, promising an enjoyable alpine excursion to the royal couple. As Time reported:

For days it had been raining in Switzerland. Leopold of Belgium and Queen Astrid, vacationing in the Villa Haslihorn near Lucerne, sent their three small children back to Brussels. But next morning the sun came out hot and strong, with the promise of a fine day for a mountain climb, a sport of which Leopold was just as fond as his father. Hobnail boots, ropes and alpenstocks were piled into the back of the royal Packard touring car beside the chauffeur. In front Leopold took the wheel while Astrid sat beside him, holding a road map. They started down the lakeside road, keeping close to the curb because the pavement was slippery. In a second it was all over. Just before reaching Kussnacht, with the car rolling along at 50 m.p.h. Leopold turned his head to look at the road map. The right wheels of the car slipped through one of the 18-ft. openings in the concrete curb. For some 95 feet it careened along, the right wheels at times three feet lower than the left. Then it struck a young pear tree, swerved at right angles. The Queen and the chauffeur were thrown clear. The car rolled down the bank, caromed off another tree and into the shallow water of the lake.

With his hands sprained, his lower lip slashed and a rib fractured, King Leopold crawled from the car and over to the body of his wife. He could see that she was already dead, her skull fractured, her chest gashed with broken glass. Aides following in a second car rushed hastily back for an ambulance while King Leopold, dazed and bloody, stood looking down at his dead Queen.

Witnesses reported the devastated King crying “Astrid ! Astrid ! ” and clasping his wife’s body to his heart. Later, he would confide to the Queen’s best friend, Anna Sparre: “My life is over." In a voice broken by sobs, he asked his secretary, Robert Capelle: " Why did the good God take her away from me ? We were so happy ! ” The tragic death of his father, King Albert I, only 18 months earlier, had plunged Belgium and its royal family into deep mourning, and now all the sorrowful scenes would be repeated…

An Angry Architect

Mijnheer Coudenys,

In de METRO van heden, ******** merk ik dat je een blog hebt, met naar jouw mening een selectie van “gedrochten en wansmaak”, zoals de journaliste titelt.

Even neuzen op je blog leert mij dat op nr *** een ontwerp van mijn hand staat, opgebouwd in **** in de ********** ********
Ditzelfde ontwerp heeft alle lof gekregen in het weekend-n

ummer van de Standaard op 30 & 31 januari 1988 onder de titel: “Wonen onder golfplaten”.
Voordien was dit ontwerp gepubliceerd in het boek “Met Natuur als Buur” 1987 met als titel van een uitvoerige beschrijving “Soberheid en perfectie maken een woning groots”.

Het is dus duidelijk dat je van architectuur niets kent. Dat je zelfs niet eens weet een onderscheid te maken tussen een gevel en architectuur door beide begrippen met elkaar te vereenzelvigen.
Sta mij toe je dus te bestempelen als een WAARDELOZE NIETSNUT wanneer het over architectuur kritiek gaat. Dit blijkt overigens ook voldoende uit heel wat andere waardevolle ontwerpen die op de blog te zien zijn.

Ik EIS dus dat tegen maandag ********* **** de in onderwerp bedoelde foto en commentaar van je blog verwijderd zijn en dat er geen sprake kan zijn dat deze in een of andere publicatie terecht zou komen zonder mijn toestemming en die van de bewoners.

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Suitable sanctions for Nico Rosberg

Because Mercedes asked for ideas for possible ‘sanctions’:


  • Banned from using any hair product during the next race weekend
  • Tea and coffee making duty for the garage
  • Pack up after the race in fancy dress
  • Must bake individual ‘I’m sorry’ cupcakes for the team
  • Has to clean Lewis’ whole hat collection
  • Poop scoop duty for Roscoe and Coco
  • Participate in a ‘Shit Happens’ photo shoot a la Red Bull Racing circa 2010, but with Toto and Niki
  • Has to learn he entire Pussycat Doll back catalogue…
  • …Plus the dance routines…
  • …And perform them at the Christmas Party

Two Reutlinger postcards: Maud Amy and Mégard


Dans un sentier bien retiré
marchant toujours vaille que vaille
un beau gars a l’air déluré
Tient sa …. par la taille;
je ne sais si c’est le printemps
Mais elle tremble la mignonne
De l’amant les yeux caressants
La trouble fort, elle frissonne
Gentil calin, lui parlant bas, 
il fait la cour à la fillette, 
La petite ne répond pas
Mais ele sourit la coquette; 
Devenant plus entreprenant
Sur ses lèvres il ose prendre, 
Un doux baiser qu’en rougissant
On se dépêche de lui rendre

Little baby, lay your hand
On your pretty cradle-bed;
Shut your eyes, for now the day
And the light are gone away
All the clothes are tucked in tight
My baby dear, good night

Maud Amy postcard: sent in Belgium in 1904

Collection: Elly Snowe


Tuesday August 26th, the Belgian feminist activist group Lilith’S took Liège airport by storm to condemn the airport authorities’ role in supplying arms to Israel. Under a banner bearing the slogan “HOW MANY TONS OF WEAPONS FOR SO MANY LITERS OF BLOOD ? “, the activists spilled a hundred liters of fake blood, creating a red pool to symbolize the slaughter committed by Israel in Palestine.


Belgium’s  Flower Carpet Festival 

The Flower Carpet Festival is a popular event that takes place in Grand-Place Brussels every other year. Since 1971 over 600,000 Begonias flowers are arranged in an intense pattern filling the city square with a powerful and graphic carpet made entirely out of flowers. Taking months of planning to produce (with only 48 hours of install time) the event brings together landscape architects, technicians and hundreds of voluntary participants weave the flowers in place for the five day event!