Posted in JOURNAL

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday

‘First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday’ is hosted by ‘Bibliophile by the Sea’, where bloggers share the first paragraph of a novel they are currently reading or want to read in the future.

This week’s paragraph comes from Tumbledown Manor by Helen Brown:

Chapter 1

A birthday ending in a zero was nothing to make a fuss about. There was enough to be grateful for—her health , a solid marriage, kids old enough to be off their hands (technically), a passable writing career. Why anyone would want to celebrate being another decade closer to filling a funeral urn was beyond Lisa Katz.

Would you continue reading?

Posted in JOURNAL


I have no idea if I ever shared this with you guys, but I used to live in Brussels for a while. And as you probably know their chocolate is HEAVEN! So for any of you guys living there or simply travelling I want to share this dirty secret of mine. THERE IS A NEUHAUS OUTLET JUST OUTSIDE BRUSSELS!!!!!!

The outlet is a no frills shop: just chocolate and lots of it. It carries Neuhaus’ signature prepackaged gift boxes, but they are the same price as at a Neuhaus store. The real reason to go to the outlet is to buy chocolate in bulk.

Sampling the chocolates

Sampling the chocolates

In one area of the shop is a table with 1 kg boxes of pralines stacked up to 10 boxes high! You can circle the table and sample again and again until you decide what to buy. Other bulk options are the bags of one-bite chocolate squares.

This is a great place for presents. You’ll soon find that you’ve picked out several shopping bags of chocolate. Be sure to purchase some of the empty tins they often sell so you can make your own assorted packs from your bulk purchases.

There is plenty of parking for small and large groups. However, check-out can be slow since there is only one woman working at the register.

Bags of chocolates Bags of chocolates

It makes sense that Neuhaus would lead the way with one of the first chocolate factory outlet shops; Neuhaus has always been a leader in chocolate innovation. Jean Neuhaus came to Brussels from Switzerland in 1857 and opened a pharmacy with his brother-in-law in Europe’s first covered shopping gallery, the trendy Galerie de la Reine, still an elegant shopping area today just down from the Grand Place. Neuhaus began by making pharmaceutical confections for coughing and stomach ailments. His son Frédéric joined his father in the business of making confections and eventually the business transitioned from a pharmacy to one of Brussel’s finest confectioners. In Belgium, there has always been a close connection between chocolate and health.

Frédéric’s son Jean Neuhaus Junior took over the business in 1912 and created the first filled chocolate, which he named “Praline.” His wife, Louise Agostini, was equally creative and invented a decorative rectangular box for her husband’s pralines called a “ballotin,” which is still the praline box design favored by Belgian chocolatiers. Neuhaus is one of the Belgium chocolate houses known the world over with shops in most European capital cities, the United States, Canada, Japan, Colombia and Guadeloupe.

Upon leaving the outlet and having sampled every kind of chocolate on display, one might wonder if it’s possible to eat too much chocolate at one time. Mais non! We’re in Belgium where chocolate is a way of life. Besides, the average Belgian eats 49% more chocolate than the average American so you probably have some catching up to do.



Address: Postweg 2, 1602 Vlezenbeek, Belgium
Tel: 02-568-23-10
Hours: Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. | Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The outlet is open during the lunch hour.

Bon appetit.

Posted in JOURNAL

The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot



We are the hollow men

We are the stuffed men

Leaning together

Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!

Our dried voices, when

We whisper together

Are quiet and meaningless

As wind in dry grass

Or rats’ feet over broken glass

In our dry cellar


Shape without form, shade without colour,

Paralysed force, gesture without motion;


Those who have crossed

With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom

Remember us — if at all — not as lost

Violent souls, but only

As the hollow men

The stuffed men.




Eyes I dare not meet in dreams

In death’s dream kingdom

These do not appear:

There, the eyes are

Sunlight on a broken column

There, is a tree swinging

And voices are

In the wind’s singing

More distant and more solemn

Than a fading star.


Let me be no nearer

In death’s dream kingdom

Let me also wear

Such deliberate disguises

Rat’s coat, crowskin, crossed staves

In a field

Behaving as the wind behaves

No nearer —


Not that final meeting

In the twilight kingdom




This is the dead land

This is cactus land

Here the stone images

Are raised, here they receive

The supplication of a dead man’s hand

Under the twinkle of a fading star.


Is it like this

In death’s other kingdom

Waking alone

At the hour when we are

Trembling with tenderness

Lips that would kiss

Form prayers to broken stone.




The eyes are not here

There are no eyes here

In this valley of dying stars

In this hollow valley

This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms


In this last of meeting places

We grope together

And avoid speech

Gathered on this beach of the tumid river


Sightless, unless

The eyes reappear

As the perpetual star

Multifoliate rose

Of death’s twilight kingdom

The hope only

Of empty men.




Here we go round the prickly pear

Prickly pear prickly pear

Here we go round the prickly pear

At five o’clock in the morning.


Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow


For Thine is the Kingdom


Between the conception

And the creation

Between the emotion

And the response

Falls the Shadow


Life is very long


Between the desire

And the spasm

Between the potency

And the existence

Between the essence

And the descent

Falls the Shadow

For Thine is the Kingdom


For Thine is

Life is

For Thine is the


This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Posted in JOURNAL

Book Blogging


I couldn’t wait to share this with you, guys: I just recieved a copy of The Wolf in The Attic by Paul Kearney from NetGalley. I am filled with excitement for tonight when I will get the time to start read it! The description sounds so promising. Anyway. Back to work. Till later guys!