Quotes Loved Lately ... and an early run at a birthday

Homelands don't exist.  It's an invention. 
What does exist is that place where you were happy.
Susana Fortes, from Waiting For Robert Capa.

A sign you are getting better is when you care less what others think of you.
Robert Moore.

Great artists don't have careers, they have lives.
Gregory O'Brien.

It showed her she had to live 'in the gap between what could be said and what really happened'.
Nelly, in The Invisible Woman

The writers I know, or whose lives I have read about, have one thing in common:  a stressed childhood.  I don't mean, necessarily, an unhappy one, but children who have been forced into self-awareness early, have had to learn how to watch the grown-ups, assess them, know what they really mean, as distinct from what they say, children who are continually observing everyone - they have the best apprenticeships.

Doris Lessing.

Today was mostly about a birthday, not mine but an early Miss-9-celebrating-10.  Her birthday falls in the school holidays and she has made some precious school friends here in the city.

It was all about water fights and laughter, a toast made with plastic goblets, and gifts that made her swoon.

It was a good day here in the flatlands of Belgium.

Oh, and about this Flemish side of Belgium, the place where I live ... VRT News channels made this.  It so captures the Flemish I know.  They have their serious face ... and then there is this crazy-beautiful side that I sometimes forget about.

On my facebook page I wrote, 'One of the biggest secrets about Belgium is how amusing and wicked the Flemish folk are. VRT-Nieuws is our news channel of choice and it was hilarious (and yet unsurprising) to see them ALL dancing to Happy here. They wear a serious face oftentimes but scratch the surface and ... well, you get a sense of them here. Loved this.'