Let me share with you some funny stories related to myself and my career in the Oil & Gas industry :
Kicking Penalties in the Bernabeu Arena
Real Madrid is by far the top football team in the World. From Di Stefano, Kopa and Gento to Raul, Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo the most famous footballers have played in the mythic Santiago Bernabeou stadium. In June 2012, I had this unforgettable opportunity to kick penalties in the arena in front of an….empty stadium.
Citizenship and heart are
two distinct things.
In 1995, I decided to get
the french citizenship.
Automatically, I lost my
native belgium one. Even if you are proud to get a new citizenship, your heart never follows. The best test is the world cup. When the « diables rouges » play, my heart accelerates and my hands are wet. When the french blue team plays…nothing happens.
In « pane e cioccolata », the italian actor Nino Manfredi wants to become a blond german. No chance of success… when the Squadra Azzura scores. A great film of the seventies.
Proud of being french but… heart remains in Belgium
Who has not played as a child David Crockett, famed American trapper who died in 1836 at the famous "Alamo" fighting against the Mexican army for Texas independence. I have recently visited Fort Alamo located in the center of the beautiful Texan city of San Antonio.
Big Mamma and Tropic of Capricorn
Namibia is one of the most faboulous country in the world. The capital Windoek is only one hour flight from Luanda (Angola) where I was expatriated with my family during three years.
The first big emotion was the famous « big mama » (the highest dune of the world). Climb up and then run down it at full speed. The gravity takes you up to the heaven.
Coming back to Windhoek, when i crossed the panel « Tropic of Capricorn » i was suddenly brought back to the geography class in the midddle of the sixties. For a belgian baby boomer France was a common destination. Spain was an exception. North Africa was a dream. Tropic of Capricorn was simply… another planet ! did it.
Any belgium has a « beer chromozone » in his blood. But as a french citizen, I love wine too. And I was very surprised when recently after a conference in Belgium I was offered a magnum of wine called « Schistes ».
If schale is a good rock for oil & gas to mature, it is also an exceptional soil for red wine to develop. Try it >
My favour vintages
I've always been a big fan of Jazz and I had the opportunity to listen to mythic players like Stan Getz, Chet Baker and Ray Brown. But, the most outstanding memory is of having met in the legendary Hotel Métropole in Brussel the living legend Toots Tielemmans, the most famous Belgian jazz player. Born in 1922, he is the author of Blusette, a famous piece of the 60's. Played with harmonica or simply whistled, Toots remains incomparable.
Listen to it >
Most people know Astana as a cyling team. In the Kazakh language, Astana, where I was expatriated during three years, means Capital. Astana is the most distant capital from the sea in all direction and so the most continental one with extreme temperature ranging from -40°C in winter and +40°C in summer. The architecture like the « Baitirek » or the « Khan Shatir » add to the mystery of this lost city.
Skiing is one of my great passions. I know almost all the slopes of the French stations. But after flying over the rocky mountains and landing in Salt Lake City, I had the opportunity to discover Alta a 4000m ski resort. Unforgettable.
Three years in the mysterious Astana
But my most famous vintage remains a bottle of Tabasco labelled at my name. It was given to me in Houston. TABASCO home lies on Avery Island, Louisiana, about 140 miles west of New Orleans.
Surrounded by swamps and marshes, Avery Island is a mysteriously beautiful place where the pepper fields grow, the factory hums, and the McIlhenny family and their employees continue to live and work much as they have for generations.
My favour vintages