For years I’ve told my Canadian friends that Lydia, Lore and Baziel live in Nukerke, Belgium. Actually they’re on a farm surrounded by other farms … and the village of Nukerke remains a mystery.

Until today. I have a doctor’s appointment – with Lydia’s doctor.

I’m sitting in the train station of the city of Oudenaarde, waiting for the bus to Nukerke. What will I discover there, beyond the renewal of my medications? Stay tuned.


Now I’m sitting in the cement stands of KSV Maarkedal, the local football (soccer) team. I hear three sounds – cars on the freeway across the field, tweeting birds in the trees, and sheep grazing somewhere out of sight.

There’s a clubhouse with lots of tables primed for viewing the Nukerke heroes rushing down the pitch. Also lots of beer kegs. Everything is empty in the morning sun. I’m the only human in sight. And I am being warmed.

I just found the sheep! Or rather they found me.

Nukerke is so small. My feet have already taken me out of town to the fields beyond. I love vistas.

I round a corner and suddenly … more visitors! I wonder if humans are as curious about me as these folks.

As roads become streets, I’m once again surrounded by people, even if they’re mostly behind their windows.

But some of them step out onto their front lawn to greet me. Hi guys! They’re pretty quiet but I think they’re smiling.

One more visit: to Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Hemelvaartkerk – the Catholic church in Nukerke. It’s a home for the living and the dead. The beating heart of the village.

And now for my prescriptions …

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