Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wedding Speech

Beste vrienden en familie, chers amis, dear friends,

Hier sta ik dan, een beetje nerveus toch wel, op de trouw van mijn enige zusje. Ik heb haar nochtans gewaarschuwd! 2 huwelijken op 3 lopen op de klippen!
Maar als er iets is dat de Mathijskes hebben dan is het koppigheid… en passie, en houden van. Ma soeur aime Cedric. J'aime ma soeur. Donc j'aime Cedric.

Het was nochtans niet voor de hand liggend. Haar interesse voor jongens kwam in mijn ogen pas heel laat. Toen ik al een echte jonge vrouw werd (op mijn 14de), speelde Elisabeth nog met My Little Poney, of protjes-competities met haar vriendinnetjes. Ik daarentegen had mijn eerste vaste vriendje et vond mijn kleine zus belachelijk. En wanneer ik eindelijk eens weg mocht moest ik haar dan nog meesleuren ook! Van mij moest Elisabeth dan doen alsof ze er niet bij was en op het voetpad aan de andere kant van de straat lopen. Dit gezegd zijnde, ze kon wel heel erg goed mijn geld beheren!!… haha, inderdaad, haar strategie was om mij te betrappen op het kussen van een jongen bijvoorbeeld, om me dan te chanteren. Ik heb nooit de kleur van mijn zakgeld gezien!  Pfff, en mama en papa maar zeggen dat ze niet begrepen waarom Elisabeth altijd genoeg geld op zak had, terwijl ik een gat in mijn hand leek te hebben. 

Mais cette époque est bien loin. Depuis les fou-rires devant l'évier pendant le rituel du soir, beaucoup d'années se sont écoulées. Je suis plus que jamais fière de ma petite soeur. Elle a fait les choses dans l'ordre (peut-être qu'elle a appris de mes erreurs ;-)), et aujourd'hui elle franchit donc un pas de plus dans cette belle vie. Prends soin de ton homme. Souviens-toi les leçons de Bompi: ne pas être trop dure avec lui, et se rappeler que l'amour passe par le ventre (et le bas ventre) de ton chéri. Ce qui d'ailleurs m'amène à ma demande suivante:  faites beaucoup de beaux enfants!! Mila n'a pas la chance d'avoir des petits frères ou soeurs près d'elle, et attends avec impatience les petits monstres Carnoy. Cedric, prends soin d'Elisabeth. (prendre accent Africain) Si je reçois des plaintes, je sais te trouver… et j'ai beaucoup d'amis! 

Aujourd'hui, je lève mon verre à vous deux… Je serai toujours la pour vous!

(translation in English on demand)

Monday, May 16, 2011


I don't have much of it… at least not family I know of or I am in contact with. People say: it's not the quantity that counts, it's the quality… but I seem to have been blessed with… Neither.
Ok, exception made of "het gezin". I have great parents, and a sister whom I love to death. Add to that my lovely daughter and I am done. 
So I have decided to extend the concept of family to my ex-inlaws in Brasil, my dad's new soulmate, my sister's future husband, my adoptive daughter Lais and my neighbors Valentine, Gregory and their kids. (If you would like to apply send me a personal message and I will organise a casting soon ;-) )

I do have real family, with related blood running through their veins. 

On my dad's side, we have alienated a long time ago. I think it had to do with the fact that they were living quite far away from us, that my dad was significantly younger then his brother and sisters and effectively fell between 2 generations. The "coup de grace" came when the small town boy moved to Africa with his family. They never understood and the distance did the rest. My dad's mum, whom I didn't meet because she had passed away shortly before I was born, never saw the sea… and she lived less then 2hours drive away from it!

My mum has a brother and a sister, both aren't married and have no children. So my sister and I are the only ones of our generation in the family. My fantastic grandmother who passed away was the last one to hold everyone together. She ruled the family and made sure we would all come together regularly to celebrate religious events, birthdays etc. Now she has gone and the family is falling apart. I regret her even more.
My dad claims that they always were like that, I am just disappointed. Spending those years in Africa made me a real family person. 

Luckily I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my grandmother. I called her Bompi. It all came from a very misplaced Oedipus complex: I didn't have any grandfather growing up and desperately wanted one. So I would look for a potential man for my grandmother and address anyone who looked old to me (I probably was 5 or so at the time), asking them to marry my grandmother. Hopefully they thought I was cute.
I didn't manage to find her soul-mate ;-) so I started to call my grandmother "Bompa" which means grand father. That kind of upset her though, as she was a very proud and coquette WOMAN. So I twisted it and invented "Bompi".
I have called my grand mother Bompi for the rest of her life and other people caught on (like my sister and other relatives)… Bompi has gone, but I will remember so much of what she taught me.

She used to say to me: "don't be so tough on men… they can't help it, they need us. you have to take care of them and remember that their love goes through their stomach" (and their lower abdominal area, LOL). She would always be very proud to visit me at my place and notice that it was spotless and fit to receive friends and relatives. I would eagerly try to impress her with my cooking skills… Oh boy, I miss her!!
So here it is: a little post in memory of my beautiful, intelligent, independent and proud Bompi!

PS: Thank God for my dear Friends! On my way to Geneva.. Missing you all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to switch off my brain?

I am pretty sure that whomever knows me well does not qualify me as an intellectual. And I don't define myself as one neither. Nor someone who spends a lot of time thinking about specific topics. I usually abandon when it's not pragmatic and becomes abstract... after all I am a true blond ;-)

But one thing I do realise: I don't seem to be able to switch off my brain. Except maybe when I have sex (well good sex that is). Then my brain does kind of has its priorities right. The rest of the time it is just busy processing. 

I have really bad memory: short term and long term memory. I have pieces of paper everywhere and forget the most random things. I though I had a selective memory, but not really. I forget things that are important and interesting just as often as unimportant details. Hopefully that doesn't sign me up for Alzheimer's?

I do think I am smart. But that isn't the same thing as being intellectual right? My sister is a scientist, soon to be doctor, doctor. I admire that type of brain... I think I am smart because I find many people dumb (and less complicated and more spontaneous and more happy?). Am I pretentious? Hope not... I hate pretentious, arrogant, over-confident people ;-)