Sabine Heyvaert

Hello from Belgium! I am a Dutch-speaking, working mother of 2 lovely daughters and try to learn Russian in my free time. I love languages; and you? Sabine

'The Madonnas of Leningrad'

It is becoming rarer over the years but now and then I still get touched by a book. 'The Madonnas of Leningrad' by Debra Dean managed to move me this week. It is the story of an old Russian woman who has Alzheimer's...
I read this book years ago (hmm possibly even reviewed it here on BlogHer) and I loved it. It's ...more

Next holiday destination: Ukraine

As a mum of two little daughters, it is not always easy to travel where I want. But here is my next destination: Ukraine. A bit limited in time, but hey, it is important to honour the small things... Sabine

Russian food

Yesterday we had our Christmas party in the evening school where I study Russian. Thanks to the book Culinaria Russia (, even I managed to prepare something for the everyone-brings-some-food-or-drinks party. If you always wanted to know what blinis, zakuski, borscht, pelmeni... are, then put this book on your Christmas wish list!!...more

Turning 40, being greedy

I'm turning 40 and I realise: I am greedy!

Memory loss

Why do we forget so easily when we are learning a language? Is it general or does it have to do with age? (my concern as I am turning 40 this year :-)) Whatever the reason, I decided to start looking for remedies! Sabine

Too much food for the brain

So we took a good start with our Russian class. We have a new teacher this year which corresponds to a new style. She is a native speaker and we will talk talk talk this year. Sabine

Back to school: for mummy as well...

Classes started again last week, on 1 September to be precise. My daughters had an excellent first schoolday, happy to see all their friends again. And mummy had the same experience in the evening :-) Sabine

Show me the beauty!

It is my impression that it is in - especially among (mostly male) correspondents, journalists, photographers - to show anything but the beauty of Russia. Sabine

Deutsch Deutsch Deutsch - piece of cake

I am currently doing an intensive summer course German. Compared to studying Russian, German is a piece of cake (for me with mothertongue Dutch). Sabine

Hip hip...

Today is the first anniversary of my blog 'The pleasure and pain of studying Russian'. Time for a little party :-)   Sabine