Will Belgium win the Eurovision Song Contest ever again?

In the aftermath of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool I wrote an op-ed for Songfestival.be, a Flemish fan medium. This is a translation and slight adaptation, as the original was written fit for the Songfestival.be audience. Belgium won the ESC only once, in 1986 with Sandra Kim singing ‘J’aime la vie’.

Plans for a steam train heritage service between Brussels and Mechelen shelved

“If all goes well, Train World will operate steam train between Brussels and Mechelen (Malines), reports Gazet van Antwerpen. The service could start in 2020″, we wrote in 2019. Quod non. Minister for Mobility George Gilkinet (Ecolo) declared in Parliament it’s not happening because it’s too complicated. 

Belgium’s Great Spa Town of Europe Spa

After visiting the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Oriol and I decided to have dinner in the spa town of Spa. Yes, the word spa comes from Spa in Belgium, just as the duffle coat is named after the Belgian town of Duffel. 

67 countries where gay sex is illegal

On Friday, 14 April 2023, the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean decriminalised homosexuality by repealing the law “indecent acts between males”. Time for an update of the list. Both ILGA World and Erasing 76 Crimes count the countries and US states which have laws against gay sex. Spoiler alert: the number of countries criminalising…

NS’ ICNG train set makes passenger debut as Benelux deployment delayed

On Wednesday 19 April 2023, Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) introduced its ICNG, nicknamed ‘Wasp‘, into commercial passenger service in the Netherlands. The rolling stock will further be deployment over the next months. Introduction on the Brussels – Amsterdam Benelux service is delayed.