patho's blog

The 5th Way

Ages ago I published my 4 favourite running routes, which to date still remain my top training tracks. Since I got to prepare again for the "20 kilometers of Brussels" in May, and recently I became member of the "Zeilclub Hofstade", today I ventured direction Mechelen to test my luck in the forested domain surrounding the sailing club.

Cool Skating atop the "Doode Bemde"

Doing a fair amount of ice & inline skating - respectively during Winter and Summer - but so far I've only gone rogue over frozen water in Harbin (Songhua river), the Summer Palace in Beijing (Kunming lake see last photo below from 1992) and as a teenager at Boekenbergpark in Antwerp (bit less exotic location).

Die Wende up-close

Tonight a ribbon of thousand domino's falling from Potsdamer Platz via the Brandenburger Tor to the Reichstag will symbolize the coming down of the infamous Berlin Wall on the 9th November 1989. This major world class event marked the effective beginning of "Die Wende", leading up to the re-unification of East & West Germany on 31st August 1990. This twentieth anniversary means a lot to many, but most of all that I got a couple of days older.

Soaring across Lago di Garda

2nd week of August 2009 we plotted an Italian fun mix of sailing, sun, sightseeing, shopping and sheer slackening. Early morning Saturday 10th at 4 o'clock we finally embarked destination Lake Garda - Italy's largest lakes in the Alps measuring approximately 50 kilometres South-South-West to North-North-East - on eastern shores in the province of Veneto.

Hiking SGR-12 (final) part IV (2009)


110 kilometers from Soissons to Senlis

between the rivers l'Aisne and l'Oise

crossing the forests of Compiège et Chantilly.


Baobao's Beijing Tour

Half a year flew by working, while my diary notes covering the week after the Beijing Olympics in August 2008 were left untouched. Back that time, my wife Shanshan and daughter Nicole had returned to Brussels, so did my Belgian colleagues Zhijun and Rik, while my other colleague Fred had hopped to Japan to realise his Tokyo dream.

shí èr shŭ xiàng de gù shi

Seldom in a lifetime one is offered the unique opportunity of becoming the heaven's one and only Jade Emperor (or yù huáng dà dì). This great honour was bestowed on me during the act performed by our first year of the Eurochine Chinese School (Floralia in Woluwe) on Saturday 24th January 2009. The entire crew has been working extremely hard on the play composed and directed by our Li lao shi (teacher Li).

Shanghaied into Chinese

Learning mandarin Chinese (a.k.a. "pu tong hua") is a real challenge compared to most European languages. In some ways it is easy, as words do not change with gender, number or even tense, and there are few grammatical traps. However you got to pronounce the five tones correctly (flat, down-up, up-down-up, up-down, neutral) and peculiar sounds such as "c", "x", "ch", "sh", "zh" ... (as transcribed in pinyin) or you might say very rude or totally absurd things without being aware.

My father's short biography

My father was born in Roeselaere on 8 oktober 1933 as the son of Maria Muylle and Maurice Hoornaert, who was a skilled carpenter, crafting everything from coffins to staircases out of wood. His mother Maria got hit by a car in Roeselare when crossing the road and died on 29th December 1960 (his Sailor's book indicates he was crossing the Golf of Mexico that time aboard the S.S. Louis Sheid). His only sister Magaretha died following a cerebral hemorrhage on 13th April 2004.

My father's voyages as a sailor

My father started his career as a sailor 10 years after W.O. II in 1955 at the age of 22. Slowly he climbed up to the rank of "Chef Cuisinier". He stopped sailing in 1969 when he met my mother. Some sections of interest out of his "Sailor's book" below:

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