Friday, September 29, 2006

Paradise in Lier

Wonder has been staying in a friend's country home in Lier (Belgium) since Sunday. He invited us to come and relax. Yesterday Ron and I drove over there. We left around 7am, because we knew we would get into traffic jams. Wonder called when we were on the ring road of Antwerp. He was just awake and we were almost there. :-) We arrived at 10am.

The piece of land is hidden away and seems to be on the edge of nowhere. It is huge (to our city standards), but not completely open. The house is situated on the bank of a little lake. Everywhere around it are hidden spaces, connected through beautiful and natural paths, bridges, etc. There is a circle made of rune signs, a spot with a big tipi, a small and a large sweat lodge and much more to discover. I have great pics, but I won't reveal everything. Let's just say the title of this post really does it justice!

We walked around, sat in the sun, talked, relaxed... We felt so good there! Ron decided to make a fishing rod of bamboo, a piece of thread and a paperclip. And it worked; he catched a little roach! The place worked wonders for Ron. He just sat there and enjoyed himself; no stress, no worries, away from it all. He wanted to stay behind when Wonder and I went to Lier itself.

Lier is a wonderful old town with medieval roots and modern accents. It has lovely streets and alleys, nice shops and old buildings. The bridges over the river Nete are decorated with an abundance of flowers. We drank something in the square by the Zimmer tower (with Jubel clock). We visited a magical shop named De Mysticus with a broad esoteric assortment. After all that we did some shopping for the barbecue.

When we got back Ron was still fishing. I had to rest for a while because we had walked a lot. Foofur and Boris loved the land, all the green and so much space! Ron and Wonder prepared the barbecue. We were quite hungry! When the last food was on the barbecue Wonder screamed "Help!" from inside the house. The toilet didn't flush and the living room was partly flooded. With a lot of towels the problem was solved and Ron fixed it as far as possible. We drank something inside, I slept for a while and around 10pm it was time to go. Reluctantly we said goodbye and left for the return trip. Because of road maintenance we needed 3 hours to get home. Exhausted but relaxed and satisfied we went to bed. A mini-vacation in a day!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

TT #9: random this week

Thirteen random things about this week

  • Wednesday I had a petshelter committee meeting at 5pm. A very inconvenient time and I've told them so. The new chairman wanted it to be the fixed time for the meetings. I stood up for myself and said no. Yay, I'm proud of me!
  • Bastet has been to the vet for her vaccination and to get a chip. She is doing great!
  • Ron is at home with a burn-out. He has to get a lot of rest, especially in his head. I help him wherever I can, but I feel so powerless.
  • Monday he had to go to his company doctor. We couldn't find the building, so Ron was even more stressed when we finally got there. The doctor was very understanding.
  • I have to take care of myself to be able to be there for Ron. I can't help him if I am too tired or stressed myself, but I have to be reminded sometimes...
  • Today we'll go to Lier in Belgium, where a friend of us is staying for a week.
  • It is something over two hours to drive, but Ron loves to drive so it'll be relaxation for him.
  • This week Ron has built in the car navigation. I'm glad because I totally rely on it for long drives and places I've never been before.
  • I'm not home to add all of your links, but please leave them in the comments and I'll add them a.s.a.p. I'll visit them all!
  • The aquaspinning season has started again. It is tough to get into it. I was exhausted but I'll see it through. I like it very much!
  • I'm still "clinching" with Oxxio, my mother's power supllier. I did everything to end it in the best way possible, but they just don't seem to want to understand... They have even hired a collection agency to get the money they aren't entitled to. Grrr....
  • Ron has tidied up the garage. I really need to do the same upstairs, but there's still a lot of mum's stuff and I'm not sure whether I'm ready for that.
  • The day after tomorrow there will be a fair in Velsen-Zuid (same district as IJmuiden). We'll be early, because there will also be an unregulated street market for kids.

I have Blogger Beta. If you have classic Blogger and don't allow anonymous comments, I can't leave a comment on your blog. I'm sorry! Blogger will fix that later. In the meantime I can recommend Blogger Beta!


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ peppylady ~*~ mztinkerbell ~*~ Silver ~*~ Darla ~*~ celfyddydau ~*~ Shannon ~*~ Ghost ~*~ Amy ~*~ LuluBunny ~*~ Jenny Ryan ~*~ Renee ~*~ Tinker ~*~ MommyBa ~*~

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Witchy Girls Night 7

Yesterday I attended the 7th Witchy Girls Night. This time Sorcha chose a location outside: an almost deserted part of the beach of Zandvoort. The weather was great for this time of year and the sky was beautiful pink and blue. We met each other on the end of the boulevard and first had something to eat and drink in Havana.
We walked along the beach and settled for a nice spot at the edge of the dunes. We made an altar from sand and decorated it with the things we brought. The theme of the Mabon-ritual was water, so we put the altar in the west. We made circles around it with candles / tea-warmers and sunflowers. In each direction we placed a bowl with some fruit (harvest). It looked wonderful, also when the darkness came.
The ritual itself felt really powerful and did me a lot of good. I was at the south this time, calling the element of Fire. That was the first time in a group ritual, but it felt ok. At one point we threw runes. My rune was Naudhiz (read here and here) and Luna's explanation was so true, bull's eye! One of the Girls had brought mugwort tea, strange taste but not nasty.
After the ritual we cleaned up and only left natural materials: the circle of sunflowers, the harvest fruit and on the altar pentagrams of wooden twigs. I'd like to have seen the faces of the people who first found our spot today! ;-)

Friday, September 22, 2006

SFGA: Mabon

Yesterday evening we had a SFGA-meeting in "In De Waag" in Amsterdam. The theme was Mabon, the Fall Equinox. We wanted to do something different, so Wonder and I had suggested to do crafts: making a Mabon wreath. Everyone had bought a wreath of willow twigs and brought some extra stuff: lavender, dried apple, feathers, berries, all kinds of natural decorations. I had some difficulty to make a start, but when busy I enjoyed myself very much. The results were very different, but all beautiful in their own way. This is mine; you can see all of them here. Ron liked it too and put it in our entrance hall on the door.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

TT #8: Rob

Thirteen things I love about Robbie Williams

  • his pop music, with superhits like "Rock DJ", "Feel" and "Kids" (with Kylie Minoque)
  • his swing music, he does The Rat Pack justice and brought swing music to a new and younger audience
  • he is not afraid to try something completely different for a new album
  • his eyes, beautiful green mirrors of his soul
  • his body
  • his tattoos, although I hope he doesn't take many more
  • his new logo (see also in header), he designed it himself from the Eye of Horus (he has that as a tattoo), a question mark and the letter R
  • he kicked the habits of alcohol and drugs abuse
  • his videoclips, artistic and controversial
  • his personality
  • he is a born entertainer and amazing live performer
  • from members that left a boyband (in his case Take That) to go solo, he is by far the most successful
  • he isn't ashamed to show his emotions

I have Blogger Beta. If you have classic Blogger and don't allow anonymous comments, I can't leave a comment on your blog. I'm sorry! Blogger will fix that later. In the meantime I can recommend Blogger Beta!


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ crse ~*~ Nathalie ~*~ Caylynn ~*~ Incog & Nito ~*~ Mrs Lifecruiser ~*~ The Little Woman ~*~ Carmen ~*~ Shannon ~*~ Ali ~*~ Darla ~*~ Eveline ~*~ tbirdonawire ~*~ Knitting Maniac ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Julie ~*~ Dane Bramage ~*~ Kailani ~*~ Brony ~*~ BecK ~*~ Charmed1 ~*~ astrocoz ~*~ nadnuts ~*~ amy ~*~ MommyBa ~*~

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Monday, September 18, 2006

London & Milton Keynes

I've had a fabulous weekend!!!!!!
Ron drove me to Twinkle's home Wednesday evening, where Hanneke and I spent the night to be in time on Eindhoven airport. It was hard to let Ron go, I missed him already. We have been texting and calling all weekend; my mobile phone bill will be high.

Thursday morning Twinkle's brother drove us to the airport. It was going to be my first flight. I wasn't nervous, but didn't know how everything goes. My luggage was 9.4 kilo, not too much (15-20 allowed). We were flying Ryan Air, the no. 1 in flying on time on these kinds of flights. Unfortunately our pilot had to change planes because of a technical problem, so there was a delay. Ron was watching us online by webcam. I waved to him before boarding the plane. I sat at the window. I love flying! The clouds are so beautiful from above. The flight lasted about 50 minutes, so we arrived earlier than we left because of the time difference. On London Stansted we met with Mon, who travelled along with us to Euston station. She left there by train to go to Milton Keynes, where she would be staying. We walked to the Generator Hostel, where RMF (from Denmark) was already waiting for us. The hostel was situated behind Tavistock Place. We put our suitcases in a special room. We had to wait for Aims (from Stoke in England) to check in, because she booked for all of us. In the meantime we had lunch and shopped a bit. When Aims arrived we went to our room. We had a little 6-bed room in very bright colours: orange, blue and red. I took one of the lower beds. We had dinner in the hostel, but the choice was not much and neither was the taste. Later in the evening Twinkle, RMF and I went out to have a drink at a nice place just around the corner.

Friday was concert day. Twinkle and RMF left early to queue for the Golden Circle. Hanneke, Aims and I had general admission cards, so we could go later. We took the train to Milton Keynes around noon I think. On MK station we took a cab to the Bowl, just 7 pounds for the three of us. We had to walk the last part. Aims had our tickets, but Hanneke had to get hers first at the Box Office (the cards weren't ready in time to send abroad...). Fortunately the queue there was short. The queues for the entrance gates were not! We decided to go for gate 4. The weather was dry and sunny, opposite to the forecasts. In the queue we met with Bry, another forum member. Around 2.30pm the gates opened. Hanneke ran and found us a great spot on the right side of the podium, just behind the Golden Circle. And then we had to wait again, while the Bowl filled up. The support acts started at 6pm; first DJ Coco, then Basement Jaxx. The members of BJ have been very rude in the press about Robbie fans, so I didn't feel like cheering and bouncing for them and so did a lot of the others.
We saw Rob's chopper arriving and the adrenaline started flowing. And then finally... Rob!!! He was amazing, the concert was the best. He looked tired but handsome as always. He seemed to enjoy himself very much. His father was in the audience too. The new single Rudebox is great live! I know it's different from what he did before, but that's one of the things I like about Rob's music. I'm looking forward to the new album (due in October). After the encores I was exhausted and had a sore throat, but it was so worth it..! Still in a rush we left the Bowl and walked to the rail station. There were extra trains and everything went quick and organised. We were back in the hostel very late. I fell asleep instantly.

Saturday we didn't set an alarm, but Twinkle, RMF and I were awake early. They had coffee and we sat outside on the stairs chatting. Later Hanneke joined us. When Aims was awake and ready too we left. We bought a day ticket for the tube (very muggy but cheap), so we could travel easily all day. We first stopped at Green Park to have breakfast next to a nice market. After that we jumped on the tube again to London Bridge. Right next to the station is the London Dungeon, a tourist attraction that combines real history, horror and humour to bring gruesome goings-on back to life in the 21st century. Live actors, a terrifying boat ride, shows and special effects transport the visitors to London's gory past. We had bought tickets in the hostel so we didn't have to queue. I liked the Dungeon very much! Even the toilets were in style. After we had a drink across the street we decided to go to Covent Garden to shop. It was very busy, but a great place to shop. In the Disney store I bought 2 Tinkerbell mugs and a fridge magnet. When the shops had closed we had dinner outside a nice place called My Kitchen. The menu was very extensive, so it was hard to decide. I took chicken & chips, served with bread and salat. It tasted very good. Aims and Hanneke wanted to go to the hostel, so we walked (through Soho I believe) to a tube station and did so. RMF, Twinkle and I decided to have another drink around the corner. We had some serious talk, but we laughed a lot also. I had Diet Coke and they took one glass of wine. When we got back to the hostel we were giggling like teenagers, so Hanneke and Aims thought we were drunk. We weren't, but we had a lot of fun. Everyone was awake, but in bed. We talked and laughed for hours. It was around 2.30am before we went to sleep!

Sunday morning I was awake early again and joined RMF and Twinkle on the stairs outside. Hanneke and Aims came later. We had to wait until it was time to leave for the trip home. So we had coffee and chocolate at Starbucks. I had Caramel Hot Chocolate, very yummy! I bought a big black mug for Ron. We walked together to Euston Station, where we said goodbye to RMF, who was flying back to Denmark from Heathrow. Aims accompanied us to Euston Square. Her bus would leave a few hours later. We took tube & bus to be on London Stansted in time. The checks were more intensive this time. My handbag was taken apart and emptied, but there was nothing wrong. We took off around 5pm and landed in Eindhoven at 7pm (1 hour time difference). Twinkle's (other) brother picked us up and drove us to Valkenswaard. About 15 minutes later Ron was there. I was so glad to see him!!! Unfortunately we had very bad traffic on the way back, so we were home late.

My pics are here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

This and that

The kittens are doing fine! Bastet is settling in. She and Freyja squabble a bit, but they wash each other and sleep together also, on their own or with me. When Bastet wants some rest alone, she sleeps on the radiator. Both Freyja and Bastet eat and drink very good and they are both clean (house-trained).

Tomorrow morning Joke, Gerard and I are going to scatter mum's ashes on a special place on the cemetery; the same place we scattered dad's ashes. It will be very emotional again, but it's good to have some kind of closure.

Tomorrow evening Ron will bring me to Twinkle to stay the night. Together with her and Hanneke I'll fly to London Stansted. I know them from the Robbie Williams forum and we'll meet some others in London. We call ourselves the F-gang (F for forum). My F-gang t-shirt (left on the front, right on the back) arrived today, just in time! Friday night I'll wear it at Rob's concert in Milton Keynes. We bought tickets for Wembley Stadium, but it wasn't ready in time. That means we'll have to travel by train for an hour. Ah well, that won't spoil the fun! I'll be back sunday evening.

Monday, September 11, 2006


It's 5 years ago, but I remember it like yesterday. Still know where I was, what I was doing, how I felt... Every time I see the footage it still feels surreal and unbelievable... That day I was glued to the television, again today. I watched the ceremonies, listened to each and every name spoken by relatives of victims. Very touching. My thoughts are with everyone affected. I'm just someone on the other side of the world, but I will never forget...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

TT #7: birthday

Thirteen birthday facts

  • Tomorrow is my 38th birthday.
  • I was born on September 8, 1968 at 8.50 am in IJmuiden, The Netherlands.
  • It's my first birthday without my mum (and dad).
  • I am a Sunday's child, but only in the literal sense.
  • My sister, brother and I have our birthdays within one week. Joke on the 3rd, Gerard on the 7th and I on the 8th of September.
  • That's not my fault. Joke was too late, Gerard too early and I was in time. Third time lucky! ;-)
  • When we all lived with our parents it wasn't always fun to have the last birthday of the three. I got a lot of my presents on Gerard's birthday and even sometimes on Joke's. Not all relatives visited 3 times.
  • I am a Virgo. In Dutch the word for Virgo and virgin is the same (maagd), so I often joke that I'll be a "maagd" for the rest of my life.
  • In the Chinese zodiac I'm a Monkey.
  • For my birthday Ron gave me 2 kittens, Freyja and Bastet. Freyja already lives with us and Bastet will come on my birthday.
  • It's the first birthday I celebrate since living downstairs. The last 3 years Ron and I didn't celebrate our birthdays, because of the lack of space upstairs.
  • This is my birthday chart. If you want to help me interpret, you're welcome to do so!
  • I share my birthday with Helga van Leur (1970, TV weatherwoman), Richard I - Lionheart (1157, King of England), René Klijn (1962, singer), Peter Sellers (1925, actor/Pink Panther), Sjeng Schalken (1976, tennisprof), Patsy Cline (1932, singer), Antonín Dvořák (1841, composer), Pink (1979, singer) and the Blessed Virgin Mary. *source: Who2 and Google*

I have Blogger Beta. If you have classic Blogger and don't allow anonymous comments, I can't leave a comment on your blog. I'm sorry! Blogger will fix that later. In the meantime I can recommend Blogger Beta!


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Friday's Child ~*~ Tug ~*~ Samantha K ~*~ My 2 cents ~*~ Lori ~*~ Kailani ~*~ Tracie ~*~ Nathalie ~*~ Incog & Nito ~*~ Mommyba ~*~ Lily ~*~ Carmen ~*~ Norma ~*~ Caylynn ~*~ Kathy ~*~ Lisa ~*~ Rachel ~*~ Knitting Maniac ~*~ Darla ~*~ Barbara ~*~ Danielle ~*~ mar ~*~ PRACTiCAL CHiCK ~*~ nancy ~*~ Ocean Lady ~*~ wrigley ~*~ cindi ~*~ Cheysuli ~*~ PinkJeweledCat ~*~ tbirdonawire ~*~ Better Safe Than Sorry ~*~ The Shrone ~*~ Mert ~*~ Cheryl ~*~ peppylady ~*~ Bernie ~*~ BecK ~*~ Natsthename ~*~ Jersey girl ~*~ Christine ~*~ Zeus ~*~ catherine james ~*~ Laura ~*~ Bunny ~*~ Missi ~*~ Renee ~*~ TC ~*~

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bloggers Postcard Exchange

In May this year I joined the Bloggers Postcard Exchange, a worldwide swap of local postcards by bloggers. I have sent out 8 cards of IJmuiden and so far received 5 cards in return. After mum's death it was calm for a while. Last week I got a card of Brisbane from Tey. I had already sent out my card to her. I'd love to exchange more cards with my blogging friends, so:

Do you have a blog? Blogspot, web-log, LiveJournal, doesn't matter where. I'd be happy to exchange postcards with you and link back to your log on my website. Just send me an e-mail to swap addresses!

You can see all of my cards at the special page I made for this exchange on my website.

Monday, September 04, 2006


The Crocodile Hunter is dead... He died after being struck in the chest by a stingray's barb while he was filming a documentary in Queensland's Great Barrier Reef. It's hard to believe, but on the other hand... He constantly played with danger, although he always knew exactly what he was doing. He took calculated risks, but enormous risks nevertheless. The stingray must have felt threatened, because they only sting in defense; attacks on humans are rare.

My thoughts go out to his wife Terri, daughter Bindi (8) and son Bob (2). Through the television shows it almost feels as if we know them. Ron and I are big fans of Steve's programs. He leaves a wonderful legacy. He made Australia Zoo into a huge success and did a lot of good. A big loss...

the bad news
wikipedia on Steve
NNDB on Steve

Sunday, September 03, 2006

New Wheels!

Yesterday we bought another car. We drove a BMW 318iS from 1992. I have driven a lot with it, in the neighbourhood and long trips. He never let us down, but Ron forsaw some big/expensive repairs in the near future. We were already looking for a stationwagon, in BMW-terms a Touring. Two weeks ago we made a testdrive and yesterday we closed the deal.
We now have a BMW 318i Touring Executive from 1999. Both pics are from our car, but the one on top was taken in dark weather, the bottom one in the sun. This afternoon we have taken him for a drive. It really is a magnificent car; I'm sure we'll become friends! ;-)