T.D.’s Blog

  • Florence Foster Jenkins, an Off-key Muse

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    “People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.”      Those inspiring words belong to Florence Foster Jenkins, a most unusual muse. This coming Friday, August 12, 2016, Meryl Streep opens here in the US in a film about  the opera diva and impresario. (The film opened in Europe in [Read More]

  • Belgian Cuisine, A Cultural Sampler

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    Jim and I moved back to Chicago a little over six months ago. We miss our friends and the familiar surroundings of the Belgian capital just as we missed our US based friends when we lived in Brussels. One such set of Chicago friends is our quarterly dining club. A few years ago, we decided [Read More]

  • Puhi for President! I’m With Him!

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    It’s been just over four months since the Family Arkenberg returned from our two-year European adventure. Jim has settled into his work routine, establishing strong bonds with new work mates. Sadie, our Golden Retriever, loves the return to her old garden as seen in smiles and the spring in her step. Sadie roams the lawn’s large [Read More]

  • Brussels, Post Script to Terror

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    Two weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. Perhaps unthinkable isn’t the right word. Most of us who lived in Brussels believed that an attack was inevitable. The city was on lockdown last November under the threat of imminent terror attack. Click here for my post on those events:  Brussels Terror Alert, November 2015 Unspeakable isn’t a good [Read More]

  • Rebranding, the New Imperative

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    “Not easy to reinvent yourself. Takes guts. Constant target for enemies eager to see you fail.”   A cynical business school chum speaks those words to the heroine of my new novel, None Shall Sleep, after she reveals her grand plan. Nearing forty, Isabella Fabrini longs for more out of life. She decides to follow her [Read More]

  • Our Expat Adventure Comes to an End

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    There are places I remember all my life Though some have changed Some forever, not for better Some have gone and some remain… (Lennon-McCartney – In My Life) Hard to believe four weeks have passed since Jim and I boarded a plane in Brussels for our return trip to Chicago. Returning to our house and [Read More]

  • Guest Cat No More

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    Many of you know that Jim and I will soon be leaving Brussels. Jim’s employer has given him a new assignment that takes us back to Chicago. The farewell is bittersweet. We’re looking forward to seeing the friends and family we left behind when we embarked upon our Brussels adventure two years ago. But we’ll [Read More]

  • #Thanksgiving & #Terror Threat Level 4

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    November 26, 2015. For those in the USA, it’s #Thanksgiving. For the rest of the world, it’s simply the fourth Thursday in November. And for those of us in #Brussels, it’s the sixth day of life under #Terror Threat Level 4. Despite the heightened threat level, normalcy is gradually returning to the Belgian Capital. Schools [Read More]

  • Winter, Webcam Wonderland

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    Brussels’ Christmas Tree in the stunning Grand Place. The annual spectacle draws thousands to the ancient square for the tree, Nativity scenes, and light show. This weekend, the city put this year’s tree, a real beauty, on display. But the throngs of ogling spectators didn’t come. Instead, dire warnings of an imminent terrorist attack put [Read More]

  • Alive & Well & Living in Jacques Brel’s Brussels

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      Since the terrorist atrocities committed in #Paris on Friday, November 13, friends and family have reached out with concern to Jim and me. Email flurries intensified after #Brussels became the focus of investigators. Thanks to all who checked in with us. We, along with the nearly 1.2 million other residents of Belgian’s capital are [Read More]