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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

Random Happenings 3

Initially, when I decided to do these “Random Happenings” posts in February, I thought that writing one catch-up post at the end of two months would be easy. We’re not that busy, I thought. I will totally be able to keep up this posting schedule. However, carving out the time to write this post has been difficult, hence the delay. Our lives are so full right now, it is almost overwhelming. Almost.

There were a few events that happened in May/June that deserve their own posts. My hope is to write them during July. The events that will get their own post:

    Anita’s VIP day at the Tour of Luxembourg
    Anita goes to Gibraltar
    Jaime visit Luxembourg

Our first major activity in May was our trip to Oudenaarde, which Will told you about in detail. I was riding as much as possible before the trip, taking some long rides with our friends and some with Will. Generally, if it isn’t raining on the weekend I’m on the bike.

We attended the Memorial Day ceremony at the American Military Cemetery, which was additionally touching as they celebrated 70 years since the landings in Normandy. For the first time since we have been attending, Grand Duke Henri came to present his wreath. Continue reading “Random Happenings 3”

Return to Flanders, Part 3

In his comment on Part 2, Dave wrote, “I can’t imagine what your arms feel like after all those cobbles!” On the cobbled climbs, actually, it was all about the legs and the lungs.

When Anita and I talked about our rides in January, she talked exclusively about needing strong legs and endurance. At some point, it occurred to me to ask, “You never did any flat cobbled sections did you?” Anita had no idea what I was talking about. So as Rachel planned our Return to Flanders, I insisted that Anita had to experience something very special from my ride in January.

The Mariaborrestraat is almost entirely flat. On a map, it looks like an indirect way to get from the Koppenberg to the Taaienberg.

The Mariaborrestraat is also a cobbled road in very bad condition. After my experience in January, I wanted Anita to see what cobbles could be like, at speed. Continue reading “Return to Flanders, Part 3”