Friday, September 28, 2007

Shock therapy in advertising?

This week Italian womenswear brand Nolita has caused a lot of commotion with their new and controversial campaign. The photographs of 27-year-old emaciated anorexia patient Isabelle Caro (a French actress) bear the legend 'No Anorexia'. You can see it here (Flash needed). The pictures were shot by the Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, who in 1992 photographed a man dying of AIDS for a Benetton campaign. It's no coincidence the campaign is coinciding with the Milan Fashion Week. The size zero debate is very much alive!

Caro herself does not blame the fashion industry for her disease, from which she began to suffer at the age of 13, owing to a difficult childhood. She seems sincere in her hope that allowing her emaciated naked body to go on public display will help dispel any "romantic" ideas young girls might have about the condition. She writes a blog about her illness and says: "I've hidden myself and covered myself for too long. Now I want to show myself fearlessly, even though I know my body arouses repugnance. I want to recover because I love life and the riches of the universe. I want to show young people how dangerous this illness is."

The Nolita campaign has received backing from the Italian Ministry of Health. From the point of view of Italian health minister Livia Turco such publicity is a good thing. "The disturbing image of Isabelle Caro could open an original channel for communication and encourage people to shoulder their responsibilities in the area of anorexia," she said.

The reactions are reaching from positive to negative and everything in between. I have very mixed feelings about it. I'm not shocked by seeing the pictures, I've seen it in real life often enough. I am very glad though that I don't think it's beautiful or something to strive for anymore!!
For a lot of anorexia patients these kind of pics are nothing new also. They are displayed on every pro-ana site to glorify the "anorexic lifestyle". On the other hand seeing them in the streets on huge billboards and 2-page display in newspapers might be different from glancing at them in the privacy of their own home. I've been thinking what my own reaction would have been in my anorexic days, but I'm not sure. Sometimes shock therapy like this is the only thing that can cause a change or even revolution in behaviour and thinking.
I don't know...

What do you think??

Thursday, September 27, 2007

TT #58: Tinkerbell stuff


(This header is a present of Cindi. Thanks!!)

Thirteen Tinkerbell-thingies I have
You know my nickname is Tinkerbell and I'm a Tinkerbell fan. Over the years I've collected some stuff featuring Miss Tinker Bell herself! Here's a picture of my collection:

Tink collection
  • Today I received 6 balls from a Gacha machine I won on E-bay. In them were 6 Tinkerbell DIY-kits. It took me a while, but with Ron's help I completed the set.
  • I've got some crockery too: 3 stone mugs and 2 plastic cups. The mugs on the outside I bought in London, the middle one was brought from Disneyland Paris.
  • To wear Tink as an accessory I have jewelry: pins, loose pendants, chain with pendant, key chain and a musical jewelry box with ballerina Tink to store the little stuff.
  • No fairy without a magic wand of course; Tink has her very own wand!
  • There are more Tinkerbell Barbies on the market, but some are pretty expensive. I have a cheaper Barbie, still nice!
  • When "Back to Neverland was released on DVD McDonalds had a set of Peter Pan action figures, of which I have the Tinkerbell one. The leaves open en close while Tink is turning around.
  • I have little cards and a Tink ballpoint to write them (which I don't!).
  • For hobby / crafts there's a lot of Tink available: I have stickers in all shapes and sizes and a stamp set. This little Tink has a stamp under her feet.
  • Christmas tree decorations I own are a single sitting Tink and a 2005 ball with Tink on it. I'd love to have more; my dream is a Tink-tree!
  • Ron gave me this beautiful figurine "Let Your Dreams Blossom" by artist Jim Shore.
  • I love snow globes, so there had to be a Tink globe in my collection!
  • I end with something I don't have (yet?!) but would loooove to have: the limited edition Tink pendant with Swarovski crystals, issued for the celebration of 15 years Disneyland Paris. I haven't found it yet, but my friend Jenny & Alex are going to Paris next month. If the shop there has it (and the price is reasonable), I've asked them to buy it for me. Fingers crossed!!


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Samantha Lucas ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ ellen b ~*~ Yuriko ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Nicole Austin ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ madamspud169 ~*~ Malcolm ~*~ Special K ~Toni ~*~ busy91 ~*~ Yen ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Happy Mama to Three ~*~ WorksForMom ~*~ Buck Naked Politics ~*~ Lori ~*~ Gattina ~*~ grace ~*~ .:mar ~*~ amypalko ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Mom Not Mum ~*~ N.J. Walters ~*~ Darla ~*~ Daisy ~*~ Siani ~*~ Sandy Carlson ~*~ Lori ~*~ Sue ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Aline de Chevigny ~*~ Mark Caldwell ~*~ Tempest Knight ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Dorothy ~*~

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!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

CoT #4: yawn!

Cats On Tuesday CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who write about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

When I'm stressed I like to watch my cats, it calms me down. Play with them, stroke them... or just looking at them while they are sleeping or washing themselves. Irresistable to me is when they start yawning; before I know it, I'm joining in! Who can resist this:





To conclude this CoT I want to share a picture I made last week that makes me go all weak inside, so cute. Aaawwwww....


Monday, September 24, 2007

Brookberg Mabon

Last weekend Wonder and I celebrated Mabon on the Brookberg. With Lammas (August) there was no celebration with the Children of the Circle, so it was a long time ago. We arrived early, but there were already others. The weather was very good and it stayed all weekend: warm, dry and sunny. The lake looked gorgeous as always. The view from the tent was magnificent.

In the stone ceremony preparing for the sweatlodge we each dedicated two stones: one for healing for ourselves and one for someone else (max. 2). I felt that this session would be very intense, and I wasn't wrong... We did three rounds in the sweatlodge. The first round as usual, the last two with our drums inside. The second round I drummed myself, the third round I let the women next to me use my drum. It was very special, different from before. It was heavier, but a unique opportunity to really let go of things. I was ready for it and stayed until the end. My old guide Carmen was there, dressed in lilac, and the black panther, my power animal. I was floating over the crystal plain. The message I got was: don't try too hard to see specific things, you can see and do all you want, the world is opening up for you. With the sweat I let go of a lot of old stuff, I felt reborn. After I left the sweatlodge I took a quick dip in the lake; cold, but I needed it.

Afterwards I had a huge appetite and thirst. Dinner time! Wonder had made a delicious dish (Ren dang?). I had brought fresh juices from my power juicer: kiwi, red apples, green apples, white grapes, orange and a mixed juice. After dinner Wonder took a nap and I was talking inside with some others. Bart has brought beautiful crystals. My eye fell on a big green piece of malachite. It fitted exactly in the palm of my hand and I held it close to my heart. I smiled, the piece gave me a happy feeling. It felt so wonderful; others noticed it too. Bart said I could have it and I couldn't believe it. I hesitated, but couldn't say no. I'm so grateful! I want to give something back, but I don't know what yet.

Later that evening we joined around the fire again for a drum circle. We followed one steady rhythm. I got in some kind of trance. Sometimes I just forgot to drum, startled and drummed on. A strange but wonderful experience.
I was very very tired so I went to sleep right after the drum circle ended. I slept good, deep.

The next morning a lot of people had to leave early, so we closed the circle with the 10 people left. This weekend has brought me a lot and I feel it will go on, it's only just begun...

Some pics I made: a feather in the wet grass, geese near the lake, trees in the distance, mushrooms, the sun through the trees, Spike in the lake, the sweatlodge, the rapeseed field (compare the field with Litha) and lots more!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

TT #57: Mabon


Thirteen things about Mabon

Mabon (pronounced 'MAY-bon') is one of the eight witches' sabbaths. It is relatively unknown, so I wanted to tell you some things about this festival.
Other names that are used: Harvest Time, Fall Equinox, Autumn(al) Equinox, Feast of the Ingathering, Harvest End, Feast of Avalon, Alban Elfed, Michaelmas, Cornucopia, Feast of Dionysus, Festival of the Vine, Gwyl canol Hydref, Mea’n Fo’mhair, Second Harvest Tide, Witches' Thanksgiving.

  • Mabon signals the beginning of autumn in the northern hemisphere: the moment when the sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. It occurs between September 21 - September 24, varying slightly each year according to the 400-year cycle of leap years in the Gregorian Calendar. It is the moment when the day (light) is equal to the night (dark) and balance is created between them.

  • This holiday is a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of the earth and a recognition of the need to share them to secure the blessings of the Goddess and God during the winter months. It is the second of the three harvest festivals, preceded by Lammas and followed by Samhain.

  • At this festival it is appropriate to wear all of your finery and dine and celebrate in a lavish setting. It is the drawing to and of family as we prepare for the winding down of the year at Samhain. It is a time to finish old business as we are preparing for a period of rest, relaxation, and reflection.

  • Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries. It is a time to reflect on the past season, celebrate nature's bounty and accept that summer is now over. A time of rest after hard work, and a ritual of thanksgiving for the fruits of nature. Time to look back on the past year and what you have achieved and learned, and to plan for the future.

  • The name Mabon comes from Welsh mythology: the god Mabon ap Modron (literally 'son of mother'). He was a hunter god who was stolen from his mother three days after his birth. Mabon stayed a young adult forever. He is the Welsh god of music, love and fertility. He represents the change of seasons, and can be equated with the Greek goddess Persephone.

  • During their celebration druids honour the Green Man, the god of the forest, by offering libations to trees. Offerings of ciders, wines, herbs and fertilizer are appropriate at this time. Witches celebrate the aging goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone, and her consort the God as he prepares for death and re-birth. At the Autumn equinox the goddess offers wisdom, healing and rest.

  • There is a Celtic custom at the autumnal equinox of dressing the last sheaf of corn to be harvested in fine clothes, or weaving it into a wicker-like man or woman. It was believed the sun or the corn spirit was trapped in the corn and needed to be set free. This effigy was usually burned in celebration of the harvest and the ashes would be spread on the fields. This annual sacrifice of a large wicker man (representing the corn spirit) is thought by many to have been the origin of the misconception that pagans made human sacrifices. In Scotland, the last sheaf of harvest is called 'the Maiden', and must be cut by the youngest female in attendance.

  • Although the traditional American holiday of Thanksgiving falls in November, many cultures see the second harvest time of the fall equinox as a time of giving thanks. After all, it's when you figure out how well your crops did, how fat your animals have gotten, and whether or not your family will be able to eat during the coming winter. However, by the end of November, there's not a whole lot left to harvest. Originally, the American Thanksgiving holiday was celebrated on October 3, which makes a lot more sense agriculturally. It was later moved by Franklin Roosevelt in a bid to help post-Depression holiday sales.

  • Mabon symbols (use them to decorate your home or altar) include: baskets (symbolizing the gathering of crops), apples and anything made from them, pomegranate, grapes, vines, wine, seeds, colours: orange / red / brown, fallen leaves, dried corn, pumpkin, marigolds, autumn flowers.

  • This is a time of initiation into the mysteries, or reinitiation or rededication to our studies. The time of coming in, preparing for the cold season when our activities will be inner rather than outer. Rather than working outside we will curl up by the fire and read, research, and contemplate the accumulated wisdom of our elders, and create crafts and useful things for gifting and for ourselves to use in the next season of growing.

  • The song of John Barleycorn tells perfectly the story of this time of year. This old folk song is a metaphor of the mystery of death and rebirth. The song describes the life, death and resurrection of the grain as it tells the story of John Barleycorn (called the spirit of the fields), who was killed, buried, sprang up in the spring, grew stronger in the summer and grew weaker in the autumn. It is a story of life and not death. The cycle of the year and of the sacrifice and transformation of grain into food and drink.

  • Mabon is a perfect time for crafts. You can make corn dollies, a Mabon wreath, chain of autumn leaves, prosperity candles, etc. Just google on "Mabon crafts" and get started! :-)

  • I love the song "Autumnal Equinox" by Narsilion. On YouTube I found the song accompagnied by beautiful autumn images, look here.

Mabon Blessings

sources: Chrystalinks, Everything2, New-Age,, Avalon Visions, Google


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ Sandee ~*~ Lori ~*~ Judy Callarman ~*~ WorksForMom ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Wylie Kinson ~*~ Mishelle ~*~ Damozel ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Grace ~*~ JoyIsMyGoal ~*~ mar ~*~ Robin ~*~ Rae ~*~ MomNotMum ~*~ Ann Aquirre ~*~ WAHM ~*~ julia ~*~ Mama Pajama ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Titania Starlight ~*~ Adrian Drake ~*~ Dorothy ~*~ Linda R. Moore ~*~

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!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Starhawk in Amsterdam

StarhawkStarhawk is a witch, author, environmentalist, activist and so much more. She is a co-founder of Reclaiming, an activist branch of modern pagan religion. If you want to see her, watch this YouTube clip, where she is talking about permaculture.

From 14 to 16 September the Dutch Witches Reclaimingforum had invited Starhawk to give a lecture and two workshops in Amsterdam. Quetzalquatl and Freya have done an excellent job in organizing all this. They had arranged a wonderful place to host it: a huge, spiritual and very beautiful living room in the heart of Amsterdam. Sorcha and I had signed up for the workshop on Saturday: "The Earth Path: Giving Spirit Roots". In this workshop Starhawk guided us through a process of learning to use the tools of observation, awareness, and magic, "the art of changing consciousness at will" to deepen connections with the natural world, and to create the myths and rituals that can bring us into harmony with the full community, human and beyond-human. We talked, danced, sang, did a wonderful meditation... It was a very special experience.

Although I'm not a Reclaiming witch it was very nice to meet Starhawk in person. I have several of her books. The Spiral Dance is a well-known classic. I have studied The Twelve Wild Swans in a little group. I had brought my copy of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, which has helped me a lot last year (and still does sometimes) after mum died. I told Starhawk about that and asked her to autograph it for me. She did promptly and told me today was her mother's birthday. She wrote the book after her mother died.

To experience contact with nature first hand we all walked to the Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, a museum with a beautiful classical garden, the biggest private garden in Amsterdam. Peace and quiet in the middle of the busy, noisy city! We gathered in a circle around a magnificent tree. In the middle, under the tree, was a red cat. He looked around and seemed to approve of us being there. Then we spreaded to discover the garden. I was glad I had brought my camera: a spider in its web, drops of water on leaves, a sundial... all beautiful. I collected some little stones and a feather to add to our altar in the workshop room. On our way out I noticed a great statue of a woman figure.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

TT #56: visit Velsen / IJmuiden!


Thirteen things to do or see in Velsen / IJmuiden

I live in IJmuiden, one of the 7 residential areas of the municipality of Velsen. In this TT I'll share some places of interest and things to do in Velsen. Where possible the links go to English-language sites. If it's just Dutch, click some links to see the pictures. :-)

IJmuiden sign
  • beaches - We have IJmuiden aan Zee with Seaport Marina (click here to download the PDF-file "Discover IJmuiden aan Zee"), IJmuiderslag (my favourite place to walk with the dogs!) with 'inside sea-lake', and the Noorderstrand (the wind and water sports beach in Velsen Noord).
  • dunes - National Park The Kennemerduinen and the Heerenduinen with their varied plant and animal life are among the most beautiful wildlife areas in the Netherlands. It is a varied wildlife area with dusty dunes, inland dunes, dune lakes, ancient dune oak woods and landscaped park woodlands. Here you will find the best developed and most extensive dune forests in the country. The entire area is riddled with hiking and cycling tracks that connect to a multitude of tourist attractions in the region.
  • Fort Island - Fort Eiland is situated at the entrance of the port of IJmuiden. On this island a fort was built in 1888 for the defence of the North Sea canal. The fort is part of the Defence Line of Amsterdam.
  • bunkers - The Heerenduinen are host to a battery of bunkers and a Bunker Museum. There are guided bunker tours by Stichting WN2000.
  • port of IJmuiden & docklands - IJmuiden is the maritime gateway to Amsterdam and is the Dutch port for fish (IJmuiden is one of the leading fishing cities of north-west Europe) and steel (Corus). The seaport and locks are definitely worth visiting.
  • Spaarnwoude - North of the hamlet Spaarnwoude lies the Spaarnwoude recreation area, which is located in between the municipalities of Velsen and Haarlemmerliede en Spaarnwoude. It has beautiful nature and a lot of activities.
  • Pieter Vermeulen Museum - The Pieter Vermeulen Museum is the natural history and environmental education centre in IJmuiden aan Zee. The museum introduces you to the variety of natural habitats to be found in Kennemerland, beautifully displayed in the natural history museum and the Moerberg Gardens behind. The centre also supports Velsen’s schools and other educational institutions in their natural history and environmental education programmes.
  • De Visserijschool - This Maritime and Harbour Museum is devoted to the creation of the North Sea canal, with realistic reproductions of the harbour towing services, salvation and transport activities. It also houses a complete ship’s bridge and exhibits different types of radar equipment.
  • Brederode ruins - The Ruins of Brederode are what remains of the mediaeval castle of the lords of Brederode. The castle was built on the remnants of an older fortress in around 1355. From a military and trading point of view, the castle was in a very strategic location; the swampy peat bogs that surrounded the castle considerably reduced the risk of surprise attacks. In 1573, Spanish soldiers nevertheless succeeded in plundering and setting fire to the castle, and it has been a ruin ever since.
  • De Zandhaas - This flourmill was built in 1779 and in use until 1957. In June 1991, it was agreed with the municipality that the Zandhaas Flourmill Foundation was to become the tenant of the mill with the objective of maintaining the mill and restoring its milling capability. Thanks to two major restorations in 1991 and 1998, De Zandhaas can now use wind power to mill again, turning it into an working monument. These days, the mill is kept going by a professional miller, and part of the old mill shed has been converted into a visitor’s centre. A shop on the mill’s ground floor offers a wide range of grain, flour and baking products.
  • Gemaal Velserbroek - This little pumping station is very old and has obtained monument status. In 1914 the old steam engine was replaced by the nowadays unique Brons diesel engine. The station has the capacity to keep the surrounding polder area (460 hectares!) dry, even with heavy storms.
  • Duin- & Kruidberg and Beeckestijn - Remaining two of the beautiful "buitenplaatsen" this region once had. Rich families from Amsterdam, Utrecht etc. had summer residences in the countryside and near the coast. Beeckestijn Museum is closed since 2006, but the famous 18th century gardens are freely accessible. Duin- & Kruidberg is open for public since 2002.
  • Oud-Velsen - Built around the 12th century Engelmundus church and with monumental houses and streets this preserved core of the old village of Velsen has a lot of charm. The old Town Hall plays host to exhibitions by various artists.

There's more to see and do,
so if you ever come to The Netherlands, don't forget my hometown!
See a lot of pictures on the website of Coos Ernens.
Live webcam from the townhall looking towards the harbour.

sources: Toerisme Velsen and Wikipedia on 'Velsen'


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Sue ~*~ busy91 ~*~ Friday's Child ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ Christine d'Abo ~*~ WorksForMom ~*~ Mark Caldwell ~*~ Joely Sue ~*~ Amy Ruttan ~*~ PJ ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ No Nonsense girl ~*~ armywife ~*~ Helena ~*~ Lori ~*~ Dorothy ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ A Cowboy's Wife ~*~ julia ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ Yuriko ~*~ Wylie Kinson ~*~ Jessie ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Ann ~*~ Retta ~*~ MomNotMum ~*~ Damozel ~*~ mar ~*~ Grace ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Darla ~*~ Robin ~*~ WAHM ~*~ Hootin' Anni ~*~ Judy Callarman ~*~ Sparky Duck ~*~ Ann Aguirre ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Nicole ~*~ Cassandra ~*~ Joshua ~*~ Mama Pajama ~*~ the diva ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ TopChamp ~*~ Capt. Lifecruiser ~*~ Natalie ~*~ The Bluest Butterfly ~*~ RennyBA ~*~

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 12, 2007

Another dream about mum

Tonight I had another dream about my mum. I was walking in the Hema (a Dutch department store mum and I often visited) with Ron, when someone came in with... my mother. I fainted at the spot.
The next moment Ron was explaining to me that he had talked to the woman and that she wasn't my mother. I looked at her and couldn't believe him; she was her spitting image! I knew Ron would never lie to me about something like this though. A feeling of pain and grief came over me and then I woke up.
I know I'm still coping with mum's death, coming to terms with it at daytime and most certainly in my dreams...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

CoT #3: running taps

Cats On Tuesday CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who write about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

What's it with cats and running taps..? Water in a bowl isn't interesting at all, fresh water from the running tap on the other hand is veeeeery interesting!

GarfieldLast week I told you about Garfield. He always drank from the running tap. He jumped on the kitchen unit and looked emphaticly at the tap, until I turned it on dripping.

Last February I made this video of Freyja & Bastet playing in the sink:

They still like to play around it, ending up all wet. :-)
Bastet & Freyja

The running tap also helped them to except Maia.
She just played along and joined in on the fun!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lost my Bastet pendant...

Bast pentacleThis morning I took the train to Wonder. I was a bit early, so I visited the bookstore in the train station. When I left I suddenly felt my necklace fall. It was stuck in my bra, but the Bast pendant was gone. I turned my clothes inside out, searched the station and the bookstore, asked around... nothing! :-(
I know if you lose something you won't need it anymore or it is worn out, but Bast means a lot to me and I want to express that by wearing her pentacle. I ordered the pendant in the USA, because I couldn't find this one over here. It was my favourite pendant and now it's gone... I'm so sad about it. I hope it is still available somewhere, although that won't feel the same.

Regrets, decisions, pride

Turtleheart tagged me for a new meme Nio at Solidly Average started. It’s about moments we regret, decisions we’ve made, and moments of pride.

Here are the rules:

  1. Having children/getting married doesn’t count, nor do their accomplishments/non-accomplishments. This is about *you* and *your* choices, not about your children, nor your spouse.
  2. Link back to this post
  3. Be honest

"Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention..."
Of course I have (had) regrets, but at the moment of decision I did what I thought best. Sometimes that turns out to be wrong. I accept that (and admit it) and try to move on. Regrets are too late most of the time. If I can do something to make it up, I'll try though.
Having said that... I regret the pain, worries and troubles I caused for Ron, my family and friends. I don't feel guilty anymore, but I still regret it. I've told them, it's okay.

"You gotta do it gotta do it gotta do it all alone
No one else will do it for you
You're on your own
Do it"
After years of having eating disorders and trying every treatment in the book, I tried to accept the fact that I'd be chronically eating disordered for the rest of my life. It was a very depressing period. Then suddenly one day I said: "NO!! I don't want it to be chronical! I'm going to do something about it, now!" It cost me blood, sweat and (many) tears, but it was the best decision I ever made for myself. I've always had support around me, but this was something I had to figure out all by myself. It still took me some time to get there, but I did it!

"And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive"
I'm proud of my overall positive outlook on life. I'm a survivor, I'm strong. In everything I try to see something positive. It seems like a contradiction: I'm using anti-depressants, but in my heart I'm an optimist. All the troubles and difficulties I have encountered and still do, somewhere deep within I know I'll be allright. That has helped me through very hard times and ordeals. It helps me to cope with my health problems too.

Normally I don't tag specific persons, but I'll make an exception this time.
I'd like to read the regrets, decisions & pride of:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My birthday

Yesterday I had my 39th birthday. In the morning we did the shopping / supermarket part. The postman brought cards and a birthday package. Sorcha had sent me a beautiful card and a lovely all-nature notebook. Online I also received a lot of birthday wishes. The visitors came in the evening. Wonder was a bit earlier, because he had to pick up Swiss guests from Schiphol Airport later. He gave me two wonderful presents: a little statue of Guan Yin and a crystal lotus flower. I have been looking for a Guan Yin statue for months, but couldn't find exactly what I want. This one is perfect! Jenny gave me Tinkerbell bath foam. From the other guests I got money. That's what I asked for, because I have ordered a planner for 2008 and a very special binder in the USA. I'll show it when it arrives. On this picture you can see the presents.
We were with a small group, because half the guests couldn't come, but we had a very pleasant evening. When the group is small you have time to sit and talk yourself instead of walking back and forth to the bar and kitchen. Even the cats didn't disappear as usual, but joined us. Around midnight most people went home.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I signed up for PPP

PayPerPostYou may have noticed the buttons on the bottom of my sidebar, they are from PayPerPost, an incredible self-service marketplace that allows you to get paid to blog about the products, services and websites you love. I joined some time ago.

I have decided only to take opportunities (sponsored posts to write), that I like or use myself. I don't want to recommend something I haven't tried and approved just for money. Of course the goal is to get paid for posts, but they have to fit in my blog and match my principles and values. If that means I'll earn less, that's okay. I don't think my readers are waiting for plain advertsing here and that's not my intention at all. I will just add a sponsored post now and then. The money I'll set aside for something extra or special.

This week I discovered two great blogs through PPP. I visited them, liked them and added them to my GoogleReader. In that case I'm okay with writing a post about it. I cherish my integrity and I will always be sincere. You can count on that.

Having said all that I must say I like PPP very much. Companies, services, businesses... they all like to use this friendly way of blog advertising. It's easy to do and the choice of opportunities I want to take is all mine. I search through a list of opportunities, make a blog post, get the content approved, and get paid. It's that simple!

In case you were wondering... yes, this post is

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday blog tip

I'd like to introduce the latest addition to my GoogleReader. A tip just for Friday? Yes, that's right! This blog is only updated on Fridays. That's why it's called A Cool Friday, a weekly tech/ lifestyle blog with interesting news, gadgets, art / design, books etc.
Last week it showed 8 pictures of great camouflages in the animal world. The week before that a cool gadget: slippers with headlights! *LOL* Take a look for yourself! You can still see al the previous posts.
The blog is available in English, Dutch, German, Norwegian, French, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese and Russian. You just have to click the matching flag right under the top image. Now, that's service, isn't it? ;-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

TT #55: Robbie quotes


Thirteen (quotes from) lyrics by Robbie Williams

Rob writes most of his lyrics himself. Love him or hate him, but he has written great songs. He has been nominated and won several Ivor Novello Awards. For "Angels" he won the Ivor for Songwriter of the Year. I thought I'd share some of my favourites. Some go straight into my heart, some are just plain funny, some are amazing...

  • From Angels it's so hard to choose, so I'll just take all of it!
    - I sit and wait
    - Does an angel contemplate my fate
    - And do they know
    - The places where we go
    - When we're grey and old
    - 'Cos I've been told
    - That salvation lets their wings unfold
    - So when I'm lying in my bed
    - Thoughts running through my head
    - And I feel that love is dead
    - I'm loving angels instead
    -- And through it all she offers me protection
    -- A lot of love and affection
    -- Whether I'm right or wrong
    -- And down the waterfall
    -- Wherever it may take me
    -- I know that life won't break me
    -- When I come to call she won't forsake me
    -- I'm loving angels instead
    - When I'm feeling weak
    - And my pain walks down a one way street
    - I look above
    - And I know I'll always be blessed with love
    - And as the feeling grows
    - She breathes flesh to my bones
    - And when love is dead
    - I'm loving angels instead

  • I'm using this quote on a lot of forums in the space at the end of every post:
    - If you're willing to change the world
    - Let love be your energy

    The world would be such a better place if more people lived by that...

  • - Hello. Did you miss me?
    - I know I'm hard to resist
    - Y'all can come and help me
    - Pick the sweetcorn out of this
    - It's hard to be humble
    - When you're so fucking big
    - Did you ever meet a sexier male chauvinist pig?

    This is the first verse of "The World's Most Handsome Man". The song is often misunderstood. Rob likes to play the cocky entertainer, but in fact he is insecure. He even says that in the same song:
    - Please don't drop me
    - I'll fall to pieces on you
    - If you don't see me I don't exist

  • - Make friends with your past
    - And you can leave it at last

    I know from experience this line from "Revolution" is so true... It's a duet, on the video with Katie Kissoon.

  • - How do I learn
    - To give love and be loved in return
    - If this is heaven I'm falling
    - I'd rather jump and run away
    - Than see it burn
    - I feel I could die
    - Before I sleep I kiss your cheek
    - And say goodbye
    "Love Calling Earth" speaks to my heart. I feel the hurt, the fear. Better stop it yourself than see it die slowly. It's hard to learn to trust.
    - Please don't hurt me...

  • - Close your eyes so you don't feel them
    - They don't need to see you cry
    - I can't promise I will heal you
    - But if you want to I will try
    "Eternity" is such a beautiful song... Music can be a great healer!
    - We sat and watched the sun go down
    - Picked a star before we lost the moon

  • - You're one of God's better people
    - And you don't know
    - That's why you're special
    - It must hurt to see your favourite man
    - Lose himself again and again
    - And I know that you're my only friend
    - From way back when

    Rob wrote this song for his mother. Some say he's a mommy's boy, but he just has a very good relationship with her.

  • - How do you sleep
    - You've never loved
    - Why was I never good enough
    - You thought you'd leave me falling forever
    - Karma killer

    This is a great song if you're truly mad at someone and need to let off some steam. It has some harsh words, but that's exactly what you need in that situation. Rob wrote it about his former Take That manager, but it can be used for more people. ;-)
    - You're so full of sin
    - Even the devil hates you
    - I hope you choke
    - On your Bacardi and Coke

  • - They all say
    - I'm too restless
    - But words cut deep
    - When you're defenceless
    - And they're killing me, killing me slowly

    "Killing me slowly" hasn't been a big hit, but I like it a lot. In fact Rob has made more beauties that don't deserve to be relatively unknown.

  • - Know no fear I'll still be here tomorrow
    - Bend my ear I'm not gonna go away
    - You are love so why do you shed a tear
    - Know no fear we will see heaven from here

    "Heaven From Here" is the kind of song every girl wants her man to sing to her. A mixture of being safe in his arms and his vulnerability:
    - I'll shelter you make it alright to cry
    - And you'll help too cos the faith in myself has run dry
    - We are love and I just wanna hold you near
    - Know no fear we will see heaven from here

  • - I like to reminisce about a time I've never had,
    - a book that no one read,
    - a film that never made me sad
    - and you remind me of a place I've never been
    - and something no one said,
    - when I was seventeen.
    "One Fine Day" can make you think, but you can also just sing along and say it's funny. Depends on my mood what it will be.

  • - I don't miss you
    - Just who you used to be
    - And you don't ring true
    - So please stop calling me
    - Your "I love you"'s are ten a penny
    - You're dropping clues like you've got any
    - You got to choose
    - There's been so many...

    "She's Madonna" is Rob's most recent single. I really like his new CD; it's different, but that's exactly what I like about his music. A new album is never more of the same.

  • I'll finish with the whole lyrics of my all-time favourite song by Rob: "Feel"! Watch the clip until the end, it moves me every time...
    - Come and hold my hand
    - I wanna contact the living
    - Not sure I understand
    - This role I've been given
    - I sit and talk to God
    - And he just laughs at my plans
    - My head speaks a language
    - I don't understand
    -- I just wanna feel
    -- Real love fill the home that I live in
    -- Cos I got too much life
    -- Running through my veins
    -- Going to waste
    - I don't wanna die
    - But I ain't keen on living either
    - Before I fall in love
    - I'm preparing to leave her
    - Scare myself to death
    - That's why I keep on running
    - Before I've arrived
    - I can see myself coming
    -- I just wanna feel
    -- Real love fill the home that I live in
    -- Cos I got too much life
    -- Running through my veins
    -- Going to waste
    - And I need to feel
    - Real love and the love ever after
    - I can not get enough
    -- I just wanna feel
    -- Real love fill the home that I live in
    -- I got too much life
    -- Running through my veins
    -- To go to waste
    - I just wanna feel
    - Real love and the love ever after
    - There's a hole in my soul
    - You can see it in my face
    - It's a real big place
    - Come and hold my hand
    - I wanna contact the living
    - Not sure I understand
    - This role I've been given
    - Not sure I understand...

There are so many more I could share...
Advertising space, his song for Elvis...
Toxic, which I play often...
Come Undone, great lyrics...
but it's Thursday Thirteen so I'll leave it to this. ;-)


Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
~*~ Mama Pajama ~*~ Joanne ~*~ madamspud169 ~*~ Chelle Y. ~*~ busy91 ~*~ Mark Caldwell ~*~ The Gal Herself ~*~ Nicholas ~*~ WAHM ~*~ Susan Helene ~*~ Lori ~*~ Yuriko ~*~ WorksForMom ~*~ Nicole Austin ~*~ Thomma Lyn ~*~ Friday's Child ~*~ Lara Angelina ~*~ pussreboots ~*~ Judy ~*~ Tina ~*~ L^2 ~*~ Amy ~*~ Jessie ~*~ Robin ~*~ Gattina ~*~ Misc-Mum ~*~ mar ~*~ N.J. Walters ~*~ Samulli ~*~ Xakara ~*~ Tilly Greene ~*~ Lori (Cowboy's Wife) ~*~ LA Day ~*~ Tara ~*~ Darla ~*~ Dragonheart ~*~ April Elizabeth ~*~ Dorothy ~*~ Alasandra ~*~ Sandee ~*~ Elisa ~*~ Matthew ~*~ Kimo & Sabi ~*~ julia ~*~ Nancy Bond ~*~

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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 05, 2007

    Karl Moore

    Karl MooreKarl Moore is the author of two best-selling books on programming and codes. He is CEO of the media group White Cliff and the founder of The WCCL Network, which promotes self-development tools, Windows utilities, and products for writers and artists, through a network of affiliated sites. He also hosted a technology show with the BBC for over six years.

    Sounds boring? Not really! Well... it depends on your interests, but agree or disagree about that: Karl's blog is definitely worth a visit! Once you've been there I bet you'll return! He posts to his blog daily: inspirational messages, stuff about his life, etc.
    On Mondays he posts a "Random Act of Kindness", an invitation to make a change. This week it's "Save a spider", last week "give away £1 / $1 / €1 of your hard-earned money in the best way you can". Just to name a few! Always a little challenge, but doable for everyone.
    On Fridays he posts a "Friday Factoid", interesting facts about books, writers, cities, television or any subject he can think of. Aha!-moments aren't rare. :-)
    I added his blog to my Google Reader.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    CoT #2: Garfield

    Cats On Tuesday CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
    who write about their cats once a week,
    hosted by Gattina.

    26 Feb. 1987 - 21 Sep. 2003

    Today I want to tell you something about Garfield. When Ron and I started to live together in 1988 we went to the pet shelter to get 2 cats. One of them was Garfield. He caught our attention by playing with a ping-pong ball. He had been there with his brother, but stayed behind when he was taken. He was 1 year old. He had a ridiculous name, so we re-named him : Garfield!

    Garfield adapted easily to living indoors. He liked to play and loved to sleep on my lap. He stood very high on his legs and was a real gentleman. After him came a lot of other cats: kittens and older cats. He made it clear that he was the boss, but once that was settled he was very friendly. For the kittens he was like a mother; he helped, protected, raised them. This is one of my favourite cat pictures ever:

    Garfield & Mickey

    Garfield is sleeping with Mickey in his paws after he washed him. Mickey was the first kitten Garfield took care of. They were bosom friends and truly loved each other...

    Garfield experienced 4 moves with us, but everytime he adapted to the new home without any problem. If we were there and he knew the place of his food & water and the litterbox, it was okay with him. A few months after the last move (to our current home) he got skinny and his always shiny fur got pale. His health became very weak the last months. His heart and kidneys couldn't handle the other complications like his thyroid gland that was working too hard. Old age problems. He didn't have pain, but he was sooo tired. He died in my arms...

    In his online photo album there are more pics of this very special cat!

    Monday, September 03, 2007

    End of challenge!

    The 10:4 challenge has ended! This is my result:

    • April 3 (my start): 110.2 kg - 46% fat - BMI 36.8
    • May 1 (10:4 start): 104.9 kg - 45% fat - BMI 35
    • June 5 (1st update): 99.3 kg - 43% fat - BMI 33.2
    • July 3 (2nd update): 97.5 kg - 41% fat - BMI 32.6
    • Aug. 1 (3rd update): 93.5 kg - 42% fat - BMI 31.2
    • Sept. 1 (10:4 ends): 92.3 kg - 40% fat - BMI 30.8
    (1 kg = 2.205 lbs)

    The goal of the challenge was "To lose 10 pounds between May 1st and September 1st; 4 months, 2.5 pounds per month." The last month I didn't lose much weight, but I defeated the object some time ago. I did it in the right way and I'm happy with what I've achieved. In 5 months I lost 17,9 kg (almost 40 lbs), 6% fat and 6 BMI-points.
    This is not the end of my diet though. I still want to see where I can end up with my weight by dieting in a healthy way. I want to be under 90 kgs, but I'd love to go under 80. We'll see if that's possible. I'm doing my best and that's all I can do! :-)

    Sunday, September 02, 2007

    Wow... thanks!

    I-<3-your-blog award Stine honoured me with the "I luv your blog" award started by Tish & Mike of BlogsWeLuv. It's always nice to hear people love to read your blog.
    I am allowed to spread the love to other blogs I love to read. I'm not going to check whether they already got one, here are mine in no particular order:

    My list of favourite blogs is a lot longer, so don't feel sad when you're not in this list! :-)