Vive La Difference!


As regular team blog readers will know, I’m a confirmed Belgophile, so what better to talk about today than a comparison of Belgium’s oldest woman’s magazine, “Femmes d’Aujourd’hui “ (Women Of Today), founded in 1933, and our very own “People’s Friend”! Many’s the time after a hard day’s sightseeing when I’ve chilled out over a copy of this bright and appealing weekly publication.

So how do “The People’s Friend” and “Femmes d’Aujourd’hui” compare? Well, both offer lots of reading for an affordable cover price and, like the “Friend”, “Femmes d’Aujourd’hui” is a family-orientated magazine, although with a strong emphasis on fashion and beauty. And whereas we offer readers lots of fiction, “Femmes d’Aujourd’hui” has none nowadays, although in the 1970s it featured popular graphic editions of novels such as “Pride And Prejudice”.

Health and wellbeing are well represented and a recent issue included an article on yoga positions to safeguard against colds (must investigate this!) and the benefits of tea drinking for health. I knew there was more to my refreshing cups of green tea than meets the eye!

Gardening is included, part of a section which includes other topics about house and home. Unfazed by winter, an article encourages readers to grow tropical plants indoors and to make sure that their vegetable plots are well dug over until spring planting. For those without a garden, there’s an article about making a pavement garden but don’t forget that all-important official permission!

The Belgian love of good food is legendary, so it’s not surprising that cookery is colourful and tempting! I’ve spotted sweet and savoury mandarin recipes for St Nicholas Day (December 6th), no less than fifteen broccoli recipes, ten health reasons to eat soup and there’s even popcorn making for the whole family! Mmm, I’m hungry already. Bon apptit!

“Femmes d’Aujourd’hui” often carries slightly formal articles about children and their upbringing, rather than material to entertain them. A recent online edition shows children on video speaking about what they think of their mother. Oh, l l!

Leisure and going out isn’t forgotten and a wide selection of exhibitions and outdoor excursions are listed. With shorter, darker days in mind, readers are also advised about the top five novels to read by the fireside.

The readers’ forum showcases various topics such as interior decorating tips and queries about pets. And entertaining cat and dog videos aren’t forgotten, either! An array of small ads placed by readers showcase all manner of things from Delvaux handbags to dating enquiries.

“Shedeals” pages offer readers a host of “super rductions”. Now, I did like the look of that offer to go to Ice Magic in Bruges!

Not least, like most magazines today, “Femmes d’Aujourd’hui” can also be purchased to read on App. So there’s no reason for me to miss my copy when I’m not on holiday and what an entertaining way to spend my commuting time!