Posted by: beckylou27 | June 4, 2011

it’s the final meltdown *do do do dooo etc*


I have done as much packing as I can until the boxes get here along with Dad to pick me up tomorrow afternoon, ready for the off on Monday morning. Not only am I covered in dust but I am also super scared! I keep dreaming that I am going to leave Liege booing my eyes out and then that makes me feel really sad! Of course I will miss it here, just as much as I will miss all the amazing people I have met on this 9 month journey of self discovery (and I’m not talking about being pregnant!).

My last few days in Liege have been great – hot weather, staying above 20*c for the last two weeks, culminating in about 30*c today (hence meltdown), great company and some pretty good food! I’ve almost cleared out my fridge shelf, my food cupboard and any other treats I had lying around. I have quite possibly thrown away my own weight in plastic bottles and unwanted paper/leaflets/brochures and will have to lug them downstairs to the bin in a sec!

So I find myself standing at a crossroads in my life. One thing is ending, new things are beginning. I am leaving Belgium but next year I’m moving into a lovely house in Cardiff with two awesome friends of mine. I am leaving ‘work’ to return being a student… ooer missus. I hope I can remember how to write history essays!

Liege – Pro’s and Con’s:

  • some parts of the city are very beautiful – Les Terrasses, Parc de la Boverie, Thier de la Fontaine, Montagne de Bueren etc
  • the cafe culture and sometimes the atmosphere in the Carre
  • the events – Fete de la Commerce, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Marche de Noel
  • the food and drink – boulets, gaufres, frites, liegeois, Jupiler 😉


  • the amount of people that smoke!
  • the tramps and beggars
  • the city, whilst pretty in places is very dirty in others
  • the non-plussed attitude to important things some people have and the overcomplication of every day things

All in all a fantastic year for my French, my social life, my independence and knowing myself better! Will be sad to leave but everything has to end sometime.

For the very last time – au revoir, tot ziens, a tantot Liege!

Over and out.


PS: I have decided I rather like blogging, so please continue to follow me on my new blog – The Girl Who where I will continue my adventures of being a 4th year undergraduate and will inevitably muse upon life. The first post is in the making but not yet up – so if you see a generic ‘hello world’ post, don’t be disheartened, the good stuff is coming soon!

Posted by: beckylou27 | May 28, 2011

standing level with the swallows in the sky

“un sms vient d’arriver, j’ai 21 ans, 9 mois se sont écoulés et toujours pas d’enfants.
l’horloge tourne, les minutes se dérrident et moi je rêve, tranquille je prends mon temps Mickael Miro – l’Horloge Tourne

More or less one week left of my year abroad in Liege and it’s winding down very quickly. So many goodbyes to say! It’s crazy!
Had a lovely evening last night with some friends in Tam Tam and the Brasserie Sauveniere after many attempts to get a seat in a cinema to see ‘The Tree of Life’ or maybe ‘Le Gamin au Velo’. We arrived to find there was a massive queue and decided after around 10 minutes we weren’t going to get a seat.

Now that summer has come I find myself, on the 11th floor, standing level with the swallows and swifts that have made the sky above Liege their home. When I open my window, I’m half scared they’re going to fly in!  Amazing nevertheless.

I have done very little this week and yet it still seems to have sped past like lightning. I went to Mons with a friend – that’s the furthest I have been all week. It took an hour and forty five minutes on the train. It was very very pretty but there wasn’t much to do and apart from the few photos I took, the only souvenirs I will take away from there will be the very painful sunburn and the not very attractive postcards.

Talking of postcards, I have started my year abroad scrapbook! Probably sounds sad, yes, but it’s fun and it’s a great souvenir to remind me of the amazing-if-stressful-at-times year I have had in Belgium. I think that if I had a bit more money, I wouldn’t say no to another month here, exploring a little more without lesson/work constraints. I would definitely move and try and find my own apartment for that month – I’ve had about all I can take of the noise from the Boulevard d’Avroy and chairs scraping on the kitchen floor. Besides it would mean that I could sing in the shower/my room and not worry that every time someone wants to use the lift they can probably hear me warbling… well at least I get all the English lyrics right 😉

Has this year changed me? I reckon so. I can speak French more fluently! I can understand more than I could before! But besides the language yes, it has. It’s made me realise two things. Firstly, its made me realise who my real friends are and taught me to not take those amazing people for granted, just as I’d hope they don’t take me for granted.
Secondly it’s helped me see my future more clearly. When I left Cardiff and Thatcham to go to Liege I was sad, I didn’t want to go, didn’t want to leave things behind. I admit, I was all for finding a guy and settling down blah-di-blah-blah etc.
Now I have realised that my world is my oyster and the only person I have to please is myself. I shouldn’t have to change for anyone and they shouldn’t have to change for me – friends, family and boyfriends alike. I want to sort my career out and I want to see the world and these are my dreams and they come before anything else. This year has been my personal ‘epiphany’ if you like.

This may well be my last blog from Liege – I will try to write one before I leave just to sum up the last week and then probably one about the overall year when I’m back home!

I started with a song quote, so I’ll end with one too:
“Allez hop! t’occupe t’inquiete, touche pas ma planete, it’s not today que le ciel me tombera sur la tete
ca plane pour moi, ca plane pour moi, ca plane pour moi moi moi moi moi, ca plane pour moi…Oooo-ooo-ooo-ooo! Ca plane pour moi!” – Plastic Bertrand – Ca Plane Pour Moi

Over and out

Becky 🙂

Posted by: beckylou27 | May 16, 2011

hurtling through life at a million miles an hour

“A hard beginning maketh a good ending.” –  John Heywood (English Playwright and Poet, 1497-1580)

I just got Vaseline on my keyboard… eww.
Anyhow, to the point. This time 3 weeks today, I will be back in the UK for good… and I never thought I’d say this, but I am SCARED. I really am petrified. I have to go home, readjust to life in the upper-middle-class South of England, (Berkshire to be precise), where mostly life is rosy. I have to find a job to get some money. In September I have to go back to university to write a 10,000 word history dissertation which I have no clue on how (or what) to start.  I have to make decisions about my future! In other words I have to grow up pretty damn fast and become a truly responsible adult. ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!

This year has gone ridiculously fast. I remember arriving and thinking  ‘how will I survive 9 months here?’ and now with only 21 days left I am thinking ‘how am I going to leave here and not feel sad?’. I have adjusted, mostly, to the culture shock. Nothing surprises me here anymore. I’m used to nearly getting knocked down by cars on zebra crossings, I’m used to being shouted at by tramps and pervs. I’m used to my Belgian diet. I’m used to hearing the carillon playing on the hour at the Cathedral St Paul. I’m used to the stupid banter on Radio Contact at 6.45am on a Monday morning.

As for the language… well quatre-vingt-dix will now forever be nonante, soixante-dix will forever be septante, bonbons will always be chiques, when I am shocked I will say oufti! instead of sacré bleu! C’est cool will now be c’est chouette. A bientôt will be à tantôt.  My lecturers can’t penalise me for my Belgicismes, I have spent a year here and I have adopted the words that fit here. My French has not just improved, it has evolved into Belgian French. Language is part and parcel of my aim to learn more about my Belgian heritage.

I do feel like my life is travelling at a million miles an hour. When I turned 20 years old, I decided that one of my life goals would be to see the whole of Europe before I am 30 years old. At age 21 I have visited 18 countries already. This academic year alone I visited 12 countries (although some of them I had been to before). The amount of miles I have travelled from Belgium around Europe (for pleasure, not day to day) approximately adds up to 11,000 miles. That is nearly halfway around the world! Crazy stuff!

This year has had its ups and down but overall it has been epic… so with three weeks to go, I am going to make the most of it and try and cram in eveything I wanted to do before I leave!

Wish me luck 🙂


Posted by: beckylou27 | May 9, 2011

casually sitting around in my underwear…

Yep. That’s what I am doing. Mainly because I have a temperature… and then get really cold. I ‘ve got a stomach bug and have resorted to dry cereal and Aquarius as my method of cure. This whole rehydration thing sucks. Water goes in, makes me feel sick, water comes back up. Add into this the fact that it’s about 25*C outside even though it’s half past nine and you get the picture. The shower is surely calling?

I did make it to work today however, I’m quite proud, and the students were actually quite responsive today about my text on anorexia in young children. Maybe a little high brow, but it gets their brains working. They have exams soon and I worry. Some of them will ace them no problem and some are going to crash and burn. I hope that they revise hard – especially as their exams involve some of the texts I’ve used with them this year.

In other news: a lovely weekend was spent having what is most likely to be my last trip to the Carre. Then Ostende on Saturday as temperatures reached 29*C here in Belgium. The beach was great, but a little too hot for my liking, especially as we were sat in full sun and no shade. Sunday was a bizzare day – one of my friends won 50,000 euros on the Belgian Lotto, and then found out this morning  that he hadn’t and all the plans of grandeur went down the drain.

I was thinking to myself today how I would spend 50,000 euros. It equates roughly to £43,768. That’s enough to pay off my student loan, pay for my MSc, travel and put the rest aside for a deposit on a house! Pretty neat. Although, I don’t have 50,000 euros and probably never will – not in a lump sum anyway. What would you guys (my lovely readers!) do with all that dosh?

On a final note, it was sad to hear today about the death of Wouter Weylandt – a Belgian cyclist from the Leopard Trek team. He died after falling at high speed in the Giro d’Italia. If you’re interested the story is here. RIP Wouter, you will be missed by many in the cycling world.

Keep safe and healthy, Keep Calm and Carry On (or maybe you fancy the opposite as I saw on a t-shirt yesterday ‘Now Panic and Freak Out!).

Tot ziens


Posted by: beckylou27 | April 29, 2011

a fleeting moment in history

Time for a new blog post me thinks…

So it’s Friday the 29th of April, can anyone tell me what that means?

  •  It’s 304 years since the English/Scottish parliament accepted the Act of Union, forming Great Britain (1707)
  •  It’s 155 years since the end of the Crimean War – Russia and Britain signed a peace treaty (1856)
  •  It’s 125 years since the Netherlands got electricity (1886)
  •  It’s 69 years since during WWII the Nazis forced the Jews wear a  Star of David in Netherlands & Vichy-France (1942)
  •  It’s 44 years since Aretha Franklin released “Respect” amidst the struggle against segregation in the USA (1967)
  •  It’s 20 years since a cyclone struck Bangladesh, 139,000 died and 10 million were left homeless (1991)

There’s just a few facts from history that may or may not interest you as having taken place on this day.

Today in the news demonstrators are massing in their thousands in Syria and seventeen people have been killed in a ferry accident in Egypt and the truce between Thailand and Cambodia has been broken already. Despite there being a Royal Wedding going on today (and many congratulations to the happy couple HRH the Duke and HRH the Duchess of Cambridge), the world outside that little bubble of celebration in London is going on as usual. It doesn’t stop.

And now to lighten the mood – wasn’t it an occasion! Such a show of Britishness that has seemed at times to be lost. It was nice to see so many people out there in the Mall and Hyde Park just having a carefree, free day off to celebrate a wedding. I must say I got a bit excited at some points, especially as I seemed to have been bombarding twitter every five minutes with an update! It took a heck of a long time for them to actually get on the balcony and kiss though didn’t it? And all this talk of the Balcony Scene, anyone would think we were expecting some kind of Shakespeare play! Windsors and Middletons…. Montagues and Capulets anyone? Not that I’m saying that Wills and Kate (their Royal Highnesses if you please, okay yah?) are going to end up as the fated star-crossed lovers, of course. I was merely making a tenuous link.

Now for all those out there who are looking for a match made in heaven with a royal title to boot, look no further – here for your persual (and possible university choices to stalk…) are just a few of Europe’s most eligible royals:

    1. HRH Prince Harry of Wales: Age: 26  Job: Soldier  Pros: not yet balding, unlike his brother, cheeky, funny Cons: ever so slightly racist!
    2. HRH Princess Eugenie of York: Age: 21  Job: student at Newcastle University Pros: prettier than her sister Cons: Sarah Ferguson…
    3. HRH Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland: Age: 31  Job: Naval and Royal duties Pros: really quite hot Cons: lives in Sweden.
    4. HRH Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark: Age: 27  Job: cinematographer Pros: multilingual Cons: lives in Los Angeles.
    5. HI&RH Prince Amedeo of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este: Age: 25  Job: works in Deloitte in New York Pros: all family are noble or royal, a royal of 2 countries  Cons: lives in New York, will never be King.

Now get out there and search! No, I joke, please don’t become freaky stalker people…

So there you have it. A fleeting moment in history, a boost for the country and a union of two people in love. Enjoy your street parties back in the UK if you are having them and get into the atmosphere, but also remember to take a look at what else is going on in the world today. We all owe the millions of people around the world that aren’t as privileged as their Royal Highnesses that at least.

God Save the … Underdogs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Becky 😉

Posted by: beckylou27 | April 23, 2011

Jesus on a bike vs. the professionals…

Well it could have been! Whilst struggling back from Delhaize in the 24*C heat with my food shopping I saw a man in a white tunic and sandals on a bike with longish hair and a bearded face. Your stereotypical Jesus, on a bike in the centre of Liege!

On that note, I am back! After all my moaning over the past months, Liege is actually beautiful at the moment – we have sunshine, heat, blue skies and all the trees are back in leaf. It’s finally green again in Liege.

I had a nice time at home, 2 weeks wasn’t really long enough to do everything I wanted to, but oh well only another month and a bit here. Hoping to fit everything into these last 6 weeks that I need/want to do before I jet off back to the UK for good. Highlights will hopefully include: Cologne, a night out in Brussels, Leuven, a few more trips to the Carre and maybe another trip to the beach… although I don’t actually have my bikini with me so will have to go and buy one if I want to swim! I’m also perving on Ryanair for any cheap flights to anywhere last minute! Gotta make the most of the cheap deals after all!

I’m scared how fast this year has gone. It’s really worrying. I hope the rest of my life doesn’t do this or I’ll be 80 before we know it!

Off to the Carre tonight with some of my CityLiving friends, which should be good and then tomorrow, coming full circle now, I’m going to watch Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which I am really excited about. LBL, a professional cycling race, is known as La Doyenne (the old lady!) as it is the oldest Spring Classic. It was first held in 1892 and has varied a little bit from year to year, but now follows a pretty standard 265km route starting in Place St Lambert in the centre of Liege, making its way to Bastogne in the Province of Luxembourg (which is in Belgium) and back again to Ans, a suburb of Liege. Yes, maybe it should be called Liege-Bastogne-Ans but it doesn’t really have a catchy ring to it does it? The experts are tipping this man – Philippe Gilbert -, a local rider from Verviers, to win, but I’m rooting for this guy –Andy Schleck -, the Luxembourgeois superstar and the rightful 2010 TDF winner, to win. With predicted temperatures of 24*C in bright sunshine, there’s bound to be more than one rider over the line with a sunburnt nose, not to mention those who will abandon because of sheer dehydration, especially considering the hills such as the Côte de la Redoute, 2.1 km long at 8.4 % slope, the Côte de Stockeu 1.1 km at 10.5 % and the Côte de Saint-Nicolas 1.0 km at 11.1 %, the last of which is at the finish. All in all it should make for an interesting race tomorrow and hopefully I should get some decent pictures to post up next blog.

Thats all for now, gotta get ready to go out!

Speak soon

Posted by: beckylou27 | April 5, 2011

top of the pops and morbid tots…

Hello all, hope everything is well? Its one of my days off today and I decided that I had a spare fifteen minutes between coming back from Easter Egg shopping and cooking lunch, so I though, blog time.

Part One:
The first part today is about music. I must say I was actually inspired by TectonicRob from the runningjump blog . (If you’re reading, Mr TectonicRob, I loved the Overtones!) I have decided to post up some of the videos of music I have heard and liked whilst over here in Belgium. I previously posted Caro Emerald on another post so here are another 5:

1. Ben L’Oncle Soul : a kind of soul, easy listening mixed in with a bit of r’n’b pop singer. He sings in French and English. This is ‘Soulman’ – one of the first songs I heard coming to Liege.

2. Hooverphonic : I guess they’re kind of an Indie band. They’re from Flanders and sing in English.
This is ‘The Night Before’ – often played on the radio.

3. Indochine: a French Indie (??) band who have been around for years. They sing in French and possibly English.
This is ‘J’ai Demandé à la Lune’ – another one from the radio.

4. Jenifer: French pop. Enough said.
This is ‘Je Danse’ – heard in the Carré and on Rue Pont d’Avroy.

5. Julian Peretta: French pop/slighly Indie, maybe a French Paolo Nutini or Mika… he sings in English and French
This is ‘Wonder Why’ – I think I heard someone playing this a bit too loud on the train one time.

Part Two:
I was talking with some of my students a while back about nursery rhymes and I came to realise how morbid British nursery rhymes are!
I mean I realise a lot of them have political and historical origins and comment on social conditions, for example:
Ring a Ring a Rosies was about the plague.
See Saw Marjorie Daw talks about having ‘but a penny a day because he can’t work any faster’ – commenting on child labour and social conditions

Then there are just those which are kind of sick really if you think about it:
Sing a Song of Sixpence tells of a blackbird pecking off the maids nose – how painful?!
Three Blind Mice get their tails cut off with a carving knife!
Jack and Jill sees Jack smash his head open!
Hush-a-bye Baby – who puts a baby in a tree? Also who thought it was a good idea to sing about the baby falling out of the tree?

There are probably a few more, if anyone can think of any more post them in the comment box below. It is interesting though, how songs we sing to out children/have had sung to us, are more than just simple nonsensical rhymes. They have history behind them and, more often than not, a story to tell. The site which I have linked to for the rhymes is very good in explaining some of them. Having said that many are morbid, won’t stop me singing them to my (potential) children. When I was five it didn’t worry me that I was singing about a boy who falls down a hill and splits his head open. I think they’re harmless enough and part of our culture. So, to conclude, yes, some of them are a bit sick, but I say Long Live Morbid Nursery Rhymes!

Enough from me now… I need to eat! Enjoy your afternoon!

Becky 🙂

Posted by: beckylou27 | April 3, 2011

its late

Yep, its late, I need to be in bed really, as I have class tomorrow at 7.45 ish! Argh!

Anyway, its just a short one.

I got a heads up today about how negative and sometimes offensive/hurtful I seem in this blog. I would like to take this opportunity to ‘publicly’ apologize. I won’t lie, I tend to use the blog for ranting and sometimes things slip out that I don’t think about until it’s too late. Negativity is something I have issues with and I promise to try to be more positive and I pray that I am given clarity, guidance and  the mindset to be more cheery.

I’m not going to make any excuse for it. I am awfully unthoughtful at times and that needs to change. So, from the next blog, I will endeavour to be more upbeat about things and try to curb the negativity and watch what I write. If I cannot do that then I will have to either close the blog or only keep it open with a privacy setting only for those who read regularly/are subscribed because I am away from home and this is a way to catch up.

I am sorry, again, for those who I have hurt, offended or bored to tears with my negativity.

Thanks for the continued support from those who read this.


Posted by: beckylou27 | March 31, 2011

lift etiquette and the theraputics of Disney

Hello all, I am back! Dazed, confused and possibly bruised but back.

It’s been a weird week, I’ve spent half of it being counselled by friends and half of it trying to escape.

Workwise its been a good week, most of my lessons have gone down well and its actually been quite nice being a ‘teacher’ this week. On Tuesday, I took the opportunity of having a day off and good weather to visit Ostend and get some sand in my shoes. It was actually quite nice! My preconceptions were that it would be very industrial and just a port town, but it actually had a fair amount of shops and the beach was great. I spent two hours reading and sunbathing on a nice stretch of sand with about half of Ostend it seemed! The only thing that was remiss was the seemingly shocking lack of chip shops! In Liege you can’t miss them, but it took me at least 20 minutes to find one, and then waited 20 minutes for the chips to be cooked! I regretted getting mayo with them because it wasn’t very good mayo, so ended up only eating half… a bit of a waste, but hey, it stopped me getting dive bombed by seagulls! The train took 2 and a half hours to get there. It was quiet on the way there, but on the way back we hit rush hour Bruxelles and everyone seemed to get on the train 😦

Wednesday came and I decided to go to a concert, just to satisfy my inner classical music geek! Went to see what I thought was going to be the pipe organ played with some of the orchestra… but it turned out to be students playing their compositons and some other pieces on an electric organ. I was a little disappointed but never mind. I did enjoy the performance by Jean-Luc Thellin, he was very good! And quite nice looking imho 😉

I have in school nearly all day today, so its nice to be able to sit down and relax. I’ve started watching Grey’s Anatomy, from Season 1. Yes I gave in! I vowed not to watch it, but I’ve almost finished the first episode and I’m actually loving it!

I have also been musing on lift etiquette. I don’t think it’s something we have in the UK; the whole thing of having to say hello to someone when they get in the lift and then saying goodbye when they leave. I am in a lift, I don’t want to have to say hello to everyone. Its a lift, not a social gathering. Maybe I am just unsociable! You have also say hello if you walk into a shop. I’m not used to it. I’m likely to not hear you and then look rude because I’ve ignored you. I don’t expect half the staff of Tesco to come over and say hello to me, so it’s strange when you get several ‘bonjours’ walking into Carrefour… Its the same when I go into the kitchen for five seconds. My flatmates are lovely people and really friendly, but I’m only popping in for five seconds to get a yoghurt from the fridge and I feel obliged to tell them the story of my day, when I’m actually really busy and just want a yogurt. I am convinced I am turning into an old lady!

Another thing (or anothing as I previously typed! oops!) I have been musing upon, with the help of my lovely friend Ellie, is the theraputic effect of listening to Disney songs when you are sad or stressed. I will admit it, I am a closet Disney fan, and especially fond of the Lion King! It still makes me cry at halfway to 22 years old! I especially like ‘This Land’ from the Lion King. Its got a lovely pipe-y / flute-y bit at the beginning where you can wallow in the mellow sounds and let the sadness wash over you, cry a little even, and then you’ve got the rousing African singing and drums bit at the end which kinda kicks you up the butt and says, get up, you’re alive, this sadness/stress/annoyance won’t go on for ever! Have some hope! And most of the time I believe it. Its really good, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, I think thats it for now, better go, got class tomorrow and need my sleep!

A tantot 🙂 will write again with something interesting soon – I’m hoping to start reshaping my blog as things are winding down here in Belgium (only two months left! and two weeks of that I’m in the UK) so I can carry on using it but to write about other things!

Take care.


PS here’s the music from the Lion King I that wrote about:

Posted by: beckylou27 | March 28, 2011


UPDATE 28/03/11 – due to personal issues I have retracted my blog post from yesterday and part of the blog post from Saturday and my closed my vlog on VYou. I think I need to learn a bit more about these things before diving straight in. Learn some tact too. Has taught me a valuable lesson though.

Please bear with me readers, going through a car crash of things at the moment. Will write again soon.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Becky x

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