I was born in Antwerp, in 1952.
In case you wonder, that’s in Belgium. Mmmmmm, don’t know where Belgium is, do you? OK, go to Google Earth, locate France. Belgium’s the tiny thing just above France. Belgium is the country of Rubens, Godiva, Bruges, Magritte, the Smurfs, Brussels (the capital of the European Union), Toots Thielemans, Django Reinhardt, Antwerp (a big port), James Ensor, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Delvaux, Tintin and Snowy, Hercule Poirot, Kim Clijsters, and—believe it or not—Audrey Hepburn. And so on and so forth.
Me, I’m the restless type. I practiced law for ten years, got restless, went to work for Hewlett-Packard, who knew how to handle restless people, moved around for the company, went back to work for the Belgian branch, and got restless again. So in the late nineties, I moved on and became the CFO for a big telecom company. Just when I was going to become restless again, I decided to set up shop as a business consultant. That was in 2005.
The nice thing about being a consultant is that you never get a chance to become restless: you go from one short or medium term assignment to the next, and never get a chance to become bored.
My companion (Inge) and I have four children: Thomas, Bart, Lieve and Lee. Lee was born in South Korea, by the way. She was adopted when she was two. And we have four granddaughters: Iza (9), Maëllys (8), Mica (7) and Elouise (7). Seven days, that is, for Elouise, at the time of this writing (11 August 2014).
I’v been a keen sailor ever since I was ten or eleven, when I first went to sailing school. I’ve sailed more different kinds of boats than I care to remember, on the North Sea, on the Atlantic, the Med, the Pacific. I had to stop because of a bum knee and a bad back. Rats…
The other thing I’m rather nuts about, is motorbikes. I used to ride them on the race track, but I’ve decided a few months ago to stop: you’ve got to quit when the going is good, and at age 61, the going wasn’t going to improve anymore. I still have a bike for the road, though. And maybe I’ll get myself some vintage Norton or Triumph or something, or some old, smelly two-stroke machine. Yummy.
So these days, it’s mainly bicycling. Like most Belgians, I’m totally gaga about bicycles and racing. I’ll stay home on a sunny Sunday to watch the spring classics. I did play golf for a time, but guess what? After about nine holes, I got restless…
Finally, there’s photography. I’ve always loved photography, ever since my dad gave me his Olympus Pen camera, way back, sometime in the sixties. I can’t have been much older than thirteen or fourteen. I learned the whole thing on my own, including the dark room part. I still make photographs, when I’m in the mood. Of course, I use the Photoshop darkroom these days.
A Legal Eagle in the Soup is my first book.