So far so good

Well, I've been quiet lately, which doesn't mean I haven't been busy.

I've taken a few steps towards finding out more about becoming a professional trainer.

I contacted an ex-colleague who is director of an agency who gives trainings on the off-chance he would accept to meet with me for an informal discussion, and he did!

I saw him yesterday and had a really good feeling about the discussion, as I felt I was really comfortable, just asking for information and trying to figure out the big picture, while he basically offered to put me in contact with one of their trainers, let me have a trial run in a fake training session so they could give me feedback and perhaps even put me on some projects if they think I have the potential.

Of course, it's going to be a huge leap of faith no matter what way I go about it, as I will have to quit my current job - there's no way in hell I can combine the two - and I wouldn't be able to work full time as a trainer from the beginning. I'd
also have to invest a lot of time and money in following trainings myself. Which I know I'll enjoy but leaves me wondering how I'll pay the mortgage at the end of the month.

Today was interesting as well as I was following a training for work on presentation techniques and got to see myself on camera as I gave a presentation. Damn, I desperately need to lose weight. Other than that I was pretty happy with the result. I also talked a bit with the woman who was giving the training, but didn't want to sound too enthusiastic or get too concrete as she is after all working for my boss, and as long as I'm not sure what I want to do I'd prefer he not know I'm looking around.

I'm pretty happy with myself for taking these (baby) steps, and at the same time extremely nervous and scared of the big unknown.

Eating out: Skievelat

Last night I met up with some friends at the Skievelat, a "brasserie" type resto-bar near the Sablon. We had a few drinks, dinner and then some more drinks and had a really enjoyable evening. I love the atmosphere at the Skievelat, with loud music and dimmed lights, and the fact they serve delicious, cheap food and know how to make a mojito.

Tom's One Man Show

Tonight I went to see "J'ai jamais compris", a one man show by a friend's brother.

The friend, who I went to high school with, has spent the last few years developing a career managing and producing upcoming comedians. His brother Tom has the same bug and recently wrote his own show. It was a really good evening, fun show and opportunity to catch up with friends I don't see enough of.

He has a few more dates planned, and I would definitely recommend going to see him!

Sunrise today

I'm up earlier than usual this morning so was able to catch the sun coming up.

The Atomium

Last week I had the opportunity to rediscover some of the more touristy areas of Brussels with my 8 year old nephew who was here for a weeks holiday.

One of the places we visited was the Atomium. This strange structure, composed of 9 huge balls representing an atom of iron, was built exactly 50 years ago, when Expo58 was held in Brussels.

You can go all the way up to the top, where there is also a restaurant - not recommended though - and look out over a good part of the north of Brussels. Interactive screens are supposed to let you zoom in for a closer view and point out landmarks, but when we were there they weren't really working.

4 other balls are open to visits, but don't really offer any interesting features, a part from a few exhibits about the construction and history of the Atomium.

What is impressive are the stairs and escalators that link the balls to one another. To reach the top ball, a lift with a see-through roof whizzes upwards at a pretty dizzying speed too.

I was glad we went on a week day, as it wasn't too crowded and we were able to enjoy the views. I wouldn't want to go there in high season, though. Lol.

Sunset over Brussels

I have an amazing view over Brussels from my apartment. The most fascinating thing about it is watching the sky change and seeing all the different colours and cloud formations. Better get used to the view cause I'll be posting a lot of pictures of it :)

The Votes on stage in VUB Kultuurkaffee

Last night the Votes performed in the VUB Kultuurkaffee, the center of student life for VUB students.

The Votes are a pretty new group - they started rehearsing about a year ago - but they've got really catchy songs and hopefully they'll go a long way.

You can check out their Myspace page to listen to their music:

Oh, and the drummer is my husband-to-be, but that doesn't mean I'm biased ;)

It was really nice being back in a student setting, weird as that may seem. The untidiness and lack of formality were so refreshing and brought me back to a simpler time, when playing card games and drinking beer were top priorities on your agenda.

I especially enjoy the way students dress. Well, I guess I still dress like that. Not really caring what you have on, as long as it's comfortable and doesn't smell too bad, lol.

Student life was perfect for me. I never went to lectures, preferring to spend my days chatting and playing cards, either in the Campouce or the Foyer, or on the lawn outside the library on a nice day. I'd basically arrive around 8, as I had to pretend I was going to class for my dad. On most days there'd be a steady flow of regular friends to chat with, and games of whist for mental exercise. Some days one of the "Cercles" would organise a "TD midi-minuit", or drinks and music from noon to midnight. Great opportunities for drinking games, passing out and arriving home drunk for dinner.

I just wish I'd chosen a more inspiring subject. Business School was nothing for me. I was attracted by the diversity of topics, but truthfully, none of them managed to captivate me. I would probably have spent more time in the auditorium if they had.

I'd love to go back to university. I'd study Psychology. And hang out in the Campouce playing cards. Of course, I'd basically be 12 years older than the other students in my year and I'm not sure anyone would be interested in hanging out with me, lol.

My Scanner Daybook - April 15th

This morning in the shower I imagined playing the stock market to make some quick money and fund my early retirement.

I have the idea that you can either play the stock market 2 ways: the scientific approach and the gut feeling approach.

Either you spend hours and hours studying fluctuations in the market, tracking historical movements in stock prices and applying complicated statistical models to diversify your risk and maximise your return (all things I learned during university but have since very much forgotten).

Or you follow your gut feeling, with minimal input, just some common sense. I definitely like this approach better and am sure the results can be just as good, if not better.

I mean, I'm sure if I was looking to invest 10 years ago, Google would have "felt" like a really good horse to bet on, and I'd be stinking rich by now. Something I'm sure no statistical model could predict. So the idea would be to identify the next Googles of the stock market and invest my money in them (not that I actually have money to invest, but I'm speaking theoretically here).

So, what would I look for? Companies just starting to make a name for themselves on the market place. Probably offering simple but effective products or services, usually creating a market for themselves by tapping into previously unrecognised needs. I mean, who can live without Google in today's world? When 10 years ago most people didn't even realise they could one day have any use for its functions.

Of course, that would imply some research, scanning the internet for articles, news, new trends and recently developed features. I firmly believe internet is the future and will see amazing developments in the very near future, so I'd probably investigate internet companies first.

I would also need to look into the best way to actually buy and sell. Would I have to pass through my bank? That seems so tedious and slow. I'd look into online services that allow small investors to manage their investments online in real time. Hopefully something like that exists and doesn't cost you a huge commission. It would be almost like a video game. Probably very intangible. Which would make it fun to do, especially starting with a small sum to limit the risk of losing everything I own :)

Bye bye Aidan

Going home!

This is me in the airport in Brussels, waiting to board. And this is the plane I will be flying to London in.

Morning market

This is Aidan getting cooked. More chocolates for you, mum!

Disneyland - The End

In the afternoon we went to Walt Disney Studios and saw a cool show with car stunts. We had dinner in the Pirates of the Caribbean cave then went on the ride 2 more times. Then it was time to in home. I slept the whole way back.

Day 2 in Disneyland

We got up early today to go to the park. We've already been on 5 rides. Pirates of the Caribbean was best. I got a pirates chain.

Speak to the hand

Cause the face ain't listening.


Today was our first day at Disneyland. I didn't like the first ride we went on, it was too rough. But after that we went on the cars and watched the parade. That was fun.

Feeding time at the zoo

Feeding the otters...

Sea Life

Lots of cute animals here...