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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Christmas Markets, Part 1

We have just some bits of text for these photos — hopefully these holiday decorations will speak for themselves. As usual, click on the photos for larger images. I must point out that, to the right, a cartoon panda appears to be photo-bombing Anita’s pose with Santa at Luxembourg’s Christmas Market on the Place d’Armes.

Luxembourg’s Christmas Market at Place d’Armes

Continue reading “Christmas Markets, Part 1″

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Random Happenings 5

September and October were packed with many events. Some of those events deserve their own blog post. I will highlight them here, but I plan more detailed blog posts in the future.

My future blog post list additions:
• Will’s trip to Toulouse, France
• Anita’s trip to Delhi, India
• Our trip to Prague, Czech Republic
• Random Prime Minister spotting

The first week of September I was in Basel, Switzerland for a quick work trip. While most of my time was spent with my boss in meetings, we did manage to get out and walk around the city a bit. Basel is lovely but has a far more “working” vibe than many of the other spots in Switzerland.

 

Looking ahead at the calendar, we realized that the rest of September would likely have travel for both of us. We decided to make the first weekend a big Lux weekend. Continue reading “Random Happenings 5″

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Random Happenings 4

Writing up the July-August blog post, I cannot comprehend where the last nine weeks went. The heat of summer has left Luxembourg and we are heading quickly into fall. Before I turn around it will be November, I just know it.

July started off quietly. During the first weekend, I talked Will into a nice Sunday ride with our friend Vikki. We did an out and back towards Junglinster, where we tackled the infamous Bourglinster cobbled climb. This was the second time we have forced Vikki up this hill and everyone enjoyed it more the second time. Continue reading “Random Happenings 4″

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