6 weeks ago I left Brussels, my home for the past 19 years, and moved to Kessel-Lo, a town with 26.000 people and a funny name. The word Kessel has the same root as the English castle and means fortress, and Lo is an old word for a forest clearing. The origin of the name was a fortress that once stood on the Kesselberg, a hill overlooking my new  hometown.

The street we live in is one of the busier ones in Kessel-Lo, but there are sheep and goats in the neighbouring garden and fields and woods are but a short walk away. My boyfriend and I are very happy in our new home, but the happiest one is surely our dog Loki, together with whom it is fun to explore the new neighbourhood.

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5 minutes down the street is a big park, the Provinciedomein Kessel-Lo, which appears to be a popular place to bring children. Personally I had never heard of the place, but when I mention Kessel-Lo all friends with children go “Aah, that’s where you have Provinciedomein Kessel-Lo.” It is a lovely big park with two small lakes. Loki loves the lakes, although I am not quite sure how happy the park guards would be if they discovered his bathing activities.

Accross the street from our house there is a humble-looking little path disappearing between some houses. It did not rouse my curiosity all that much but after a week of living in our new place I decided to check where it went. To my joy I discovered it was not just another path meandering at the back of people’s gardens but that it led me in between warm golden fields of barley and bright green fields of corn.

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Loki and I decided to investigate further and discovered a lovely route leading to Lindenbos, a wood about 3 km away. And on the way someone has even put up a little dog cafe!

While I am admiring the beautiful landscapes Loki has a more concrete goal in mind. It seems he has set his mind to finding all the lost balls of Kessel-Lo. Using his incredible “ball-radar” he has found no less than 8 balls in the neighbourhood. One minute he is walking happily along the path, the next he is diving into the bushes to appear again a moment later with a new ball. I wonder if there is any demand in the market for a ball locating service….

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Loki with one of his new balls
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