Random Happenings 10

In theory, July and August were supposed to be quiet months. We were supposed to have time to recover from the busy first half of the year, plus catch up on some of our outstanding chores. While July and August were a bit slower than the rest of 2015, by no means were they empty!

We kicked off July with a Fourth of July event co-hosted between the American Women’s Club of Luxembourg (AWCL) and Democrats Abroad. Since the Fourth fell on a Saturday, the groups arranged a picnic at a lovely spot in Luxembourg. In the weeks before the event, there was much concern about the amount of indoor and/or covered space available at the location because Luxembourg tends to be quite rainy. However summer 2015 proved to be the second hottest on record and July 4th was the hottest day in July…. ever. Continue reading “Random Happenings 10″

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Random Happenings 9 – Part 2

June found us missing our friends but pushing ahead with the normal fun things that we like to do in Luxembourg.

First up was the Tour of Luxembourg, which is the annual five day cycling event held around Luxembourg. I took two days off so we could make enjoy as much of the racing as possible. On Friday, we decided to ride our bicycles to the race, which was something we haven’t done in the past. Not only that, but we attempted to ride up the big climb of the day, thinking that the road would be closed to cars in advance of the race. No such luck… we had to fight the cars all the way up the hill. Continue reading “Random Happenings 9 – Part 2″

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Random Happenings 9 – Part 1

I have found this a difficult post to write. May was a busy and emotional month for me. I believe I have put off writing about it because I haven’t fully processed the changes. I know I’ll want to remember May 2015 in the future, so I will do my best to document it all here.

The events of May/June actually started a few days before, in late April. Will departed for a three week trip to the US, with a side-trip to the Dominican Republic for meetings. While normally I might be a bit lonely while he is away, this was no normal May. Continue reading “Random Happenings 9 – Part 1″

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Random Happenings 8

[Anita's note: I wrote this blog post on the last day of April with the intention of inserting the photos and publishing in the first few days of May. Then.... May happened. You will hear all about it in Random Happenings 9, but let's just say May was a bit busy! My apologies for the long, long delay on this post.]

In movies and on television, occasionally they will use a clock that starts spinning faster and faster to illustrate time flying or life getting out of control. At this moment, I feel like our clocks are spinning faster and faster. Both Will and I are grabbing precious time with our friends as best as we can, but we cannot stop the clock. It’s moving season in Luxembourg. Moving season is the hardest season of them all!

March and April were two months where the clock spun faster than ever. While work slowed down a bit for me, it was as busy as ever for Will. Thankfully, he was able to free up time to do lots of fun things during our time together on the weekends. Never let it be said we aren’t good at balance!

March started not with a bang, but with a bark. Dexter the dog arrived to stay with us for a week. Dexter last stayed with us in June 2014 when he got to tag along with us while we watched the Tour of Luxembourg. Continue reading “Random Happenings 8″

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Voting Day in Luxembourg for the Referendum

Anita and I cycled all over the south of Luxembourg today, through more than a dozen small towns. We often take a ride on Sundays because the traffic is light. Usually the small towns seem almost empty, with quiet voices from a few backyard get-togethers and nobody walking the streets.

Not so today! In every town we passed in Luxembourg, there were people walking purposefully to and from the center, where a voting facility was usually housed in the town hall or a school. In many towns, there was a sausage-and-crémant stand nearby with a crowd of adults and kids sitting in the sun and chatting.

Luxembourg is serious about voter turnout. Voting is mandatory, with a fine for citizens who fail to vote or obtain a waiver for a good excuse. (The fine is seldom collected, but still.) Voting day is almost always on a Sunday, when most shops are closed and few people work.

Although I’m eager to know the results of the referendum, they are really beside the point of these blog posts. I’m most interested in the debate — the justifications and arguments offered by the political parties and cited by the voters. So no matter what happens today, I’ll write a few more posts on that theme.

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The Poster Debate on Luxembourg’s Referendum: Part One

[Note: Edited June 5 @ 1215 EDT with corrections. Thanks Giny!]

For political debate, the United States has its soundbites and those thirty-second commercials ending with, “I’m Joe and I approve this message.” Luxembourg’s most visible political forum consists of tidy rows of posters from the major political parties. Every time an election approaches, these temporary structures appear all over the cities and in many towns, with each party assigned a numbered space.

For national and local elections, these posters often feature the faces of candidates. For the upcoming referendum, the message on most posters is a simple recommendation. Continue reading “The Poster Debate on Luxembourg’s Referendum: Part One”

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Constitutional Referendum in Luxembourg

These are exciting times for civil rights in the European Union, especially in Ireland and Luxembourg.

Two weeks ago, the Republic of Ireland voted for marriage equality. Much of Europe considers Ireland to be slow to adopt progressive legal structures, particularly regarding women and LGBT persons. The overwhelming vote for the 34th amendment to the Irish constitution put paid to that reputation. The Irish moved from political silence to civil partnerships to equal marriage in just a decade.

Here in Luxembourg, same-sex marriages became legal on the first of this year, by parliamentary legislation. This week, Luxembourgers are considering whether to extend another civil right: voting.

No, no, don’t misunderstand: LGBT people aren’t denied the right to vote in Luxembourg! The question before the polity is whether to extend voting rights beyond citizens to include long-term and demonstrably committed residents. This Sunday, June 7, Luxembourg’s citizens vote on that constitutional question. Continue reading “Constitutional Referendum in Luxembourg”

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Random Happenings 7

Editor’s note: Anita went rogue this morning and had a terrible time publishing before she was ready. The Management apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced.

Welcome to 2015! While you would think January and February would be quiet months, Will and I have managed to both have pretty full schedules.

Since my job has many accounting elements, I was busy at work the first two weeks of the year. Even with being busy, we managed to take advance of a beautiful winter day on 4 January by going on a hike near the Mosel. It was exactly what we needed to help our winter spirits. Continue reading “Random Happenings 7″

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Random Happenings 6

While writing has never been a pleasure for me, I have enjoyed creating these Random Happenings posts. I hope those reading at home have also enjoyed hearing a bit about our routine life in 2014. I plan to continue in 2015 if for no other reason than to remind myself about all the things that happen, both large and small.

Unfortunately I did not manage to write the detailed posts on various topics I promised in 2014. I have hopes to manage one or two, but my track record says to not get excited about those anytime soon. We’ll see if I do better in 2015. Continue reading “Random Happenings 6″

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Christmas Markets, Part 2

…with bonus New Year’s Eve!

First, let’s wrap up the Netherlands with a Christmas-specific store in Leiden. We saw just a little of Leiden and it’s now on my list of places to see again. Continue reading “Christmas Markets, Part 2″

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