Monday, November 20, 2006

Sinterklaas arrived in our town

Yesterday afternoon all of sudden Sinterklaas passed through our street and see here how he arrived in the town we live in. He was lucky for when he arrived it just stopped raining for some time.

The kids were delighted and rushed outside to wave and to get some candy from Zwarte Piet. In fact one Zwarte Piet came inside to bring some sweets to my brother's boy of 1 year old who was watching everything from behind the window.

Sinterklaas always brings loads of presents and as they didn't fit in the carriage they followed by car and of course Zwarte Piet took good care of them.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My brothers and I TODAY

And this is what my brothers and I look like today!

My brothers and I

Today was a dreary day and too wet to go outside. And all of a sudden my two brothers and their families came to visit. It is always fun to be together again though it was busy with 15 people around the house. It is so good to see our children getting along so well and they are always happy to spend some time together.

The eldest kids are my twins and they will be 15 in a few weeks time. The youngest is 1 and he is so sweet just taking his first steps on his own. The other kids are 12, 11, 10, 6, 6 and 5 years old. In fact in a few weeks time we shall see each other again as we shall be celebrating Sinterklaas at my parent's house and if my information is correct Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet will bring a real visit to us that day, a very exciting thing for the younger children to look forward to.

For old times sake here are some photo's of my brothers and I taken a long time ago.

The picture above shows us in our schooluniform, ready to go to Laura Vicuna School in Ghasri (Gozo, Malta). This picture was taken in our flat in Marsalforn (next to the Calypso Hotel) in 1975.

The following picture is taken in 1982 on the roof of our house in St. Julian's (Malta) where my parents lived the last year of our life in Malta. In that period I was studying in Holland but returned home every six weeks.

Here we are in the back garden of my parent's house in Borculo (The Netherlands) in 1985).

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Sinterklaas

HE is here again and I must say I am so relieved that there are no believing kids around this house anymore.

Anyway Sinterklaas arrived in Middelburg today by steamer from Spain. Actually he will arrive in every town of The Netherlands the coming weeks and the children will welcome him by singing traditonal Sinterklaas songs.

Sinterklaas is always accompanied by at least one Zwarte Piet and on this picture you can see what they look like.

Traditionally, in the weeks between his arrival and the 5th of December, before going to bed, children put their shoes next to the front door with a carrot or some hay in it "for Sinterklaas's horse", sing a Sinterklaas song, and will find some candy or a little present in their shoes the next day, supposedly put there by a Zwarte Piet or Sinterklaas himself.

Typical Sinterklaas candy include the first letter of the child's name made out of chocolate, a figurine of Sinterklaas made out of chocolate and wrapped in painted aluminium foil, coloured marzipan shaped into fruit, an animal or some other object.

The children, up to an age of usually seven or eight years, almost religiously believe in Sinterklaas. The period between his arrival and December 5 is therefore very exciting.

At family gatherings where a stand-in Sinterklaas in a rented suit appears, parents have reported in advance to this Sinterklaas what the children have done good and bad and make it look like he knows everything about the children when he looks in his big book.

After kids stop believing, families often continue to celebrate the holiday. Also secondary school classes and colleagues at work sometimes celebrate it together.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Musicals

Missed me? Yeah I guess you did. Well I have been busy and haven't been feeling very well the last week. Besides that the weeks just seem to fly and before I know it, it is weekend again.

The week was filled with studying as I have to do an examination in a few weeks time and the closer it gets the more I need to study. Don't feel sorry for me, for it is my own choice and I don't mind learning new things. Indeed I enjoy it.


This week we, the musical group (www.mpgsite.nl) in which I help as a volunteer, have finally decided which musical the children shall do in July 2007. We are going to do Toffe Tommie Zorgenloos, a musical about Micky and Malou, two children roaming the streets of a busy city. Micky tries to survive by using his fists and Malou trusts her worries to her little dolls of which Toffe Tommie is her favourite. Tommie helps her to survive and finally how to find a way out.

The last musical we did with the children was The Pied Piper of Hamelin of which you can see several photo's here. We did the musical in February/March 2005 and our three children had a part in this musical. It was a great succes and the kids really did very well and enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately our three kids stopped with MPG after this musical.

Because I really like musicals and this group in particular I stayed on as a volunteer.

MPG, the musical group I help has three groups:
G-Sleuteltjes (8-14 years)
G-Mineur (12-16 years)
G-Majeur (>14 years)

G-Majeur is busy rehearsing for West Side Story at the moment. They will do WSS in the theater in October 2007. The last musical they did was The Wiz and here again I can say I really enjoyed the show and the songs. In a next post I will show you some pictures to give you an impression of our version of The Wiz.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Anholt

This morning we went to Anholt (just across the German border) and we parked our car under these wonderful trees and walked to :











We justed walked around a little. Unfortunately it started raining when we were there so we decided to go home again.

But not before I took some more pictures to share with you.

For more information see: http://www.imaginethegarden.co.uk/anholt-prolog

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Wind and rain

The weather is really autumn like right now. Lots of rain and wind. So today was spend mostly inside and it looks like Sunday will be much the same. This afternoon it was dry for an hour or two and so I took my bike to get a breath of fresh air.
This evening we watched TV while my parents were visiting. We watched a program on television showing three families that are spending several weeks in the jungle with native tribes. It really surprises me that these European families can live under such circumstances. Especially the way these tribes eat and what they eat makes my stomach turn.

Here you see two of the tribes: the Hagahai-tribe in Papua New Guinea and the Suri-tribe in Ethiopia.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Den Bosch

Just in case you ever come to Holland you must surely pay a visit to Den Bosch. For not only is it a lovely city but you can discover it from different sides.
We visited Den Bosch this summer and made a city walk to see the historical places. But what we found most amazing is that you can see Den Bosch from a very different perspective when taking a boat-tour on the river Binnendieze that runs through much of the centre. The tour is made with small open boats.


A little history:

Den Bosch is nicknamed the 'marsh dragon' for its position as a powerful city on the formerly swampy banks of the river Dieze, which made it hard to conquer for centuries. As space was limited inside the city-walls many buildings, including the town hall and St. Catharina's church, were built over the river, which was gradually tamed and renamed Binnendieze.




Thursday, November 09, 2006

For my biggest fan

Here are some flowers for my biggest fan: my mother.
I am so proud of her because she learned how to use the computer and looks in my blog daily. There are so many people her age that are not at all interested in computers but she learned and wants to learn still more.


Most people will know the following poem but this time it is specially for my mum.




M is for the million things she gave me
O means only that she’s growing old
T is for the things she taught me
H is for her heart as pure as gold
E is for her eyes, with love-light shining
R means right, and right she’ll always be

Put them all together they spell MOTHER
A word that means the world to me!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Trimming

It's becoming more and more difficult to find something interesting to write in my blog. The days have become much shorter since the clock has been put back an hour. By 5 pm it is already getting dark. Oh I hate these short days with this gloomy weather. And not only the days are getting shorter but over here they are also trimming the trees making them ready for winter I guess. See the difference in the little path I cycle through several times a week.

This picture was taken a week ago:


And this is what it looks like now:

Well it does look much brighter but I preferred it fully grown.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Learning

They say you are never too old to learn and that surely is something that applies to me as I am always curious to learn new things.
This evening my daughter has given me some lessons Paint Shop Pro and see here the results.


This photo was framed by Paint Shop Pro and by just pressing a few buttons it turned out to look like this:


Funny, you can hardly recognise the original photo.

Well I know it doesn't look much but it surely kept me busy this evening.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Bronkhorst

This morning we visited Bronkhorst, known as the smallest town of The Netherlands. The last time we were in Bronkhorst must have been in 1993 when friends of us got married and gave their weddingparty here.


In Bronkhorst you can find the Dickens Museum and this reminds me of the time I used to go to Secondary School in Malta and had to read Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol for English Literature.


http://www.dickensmuseum.nl/

Just outstide the Dickens Museum there is this well.

In Bronkhorst there are lots of little curiosity shops open on Sunday.

We walked through the little town and before we knew it we were on the otherside.

If you continue on this road you will arrive at the river IJssel where you can take a little ferry to go to the otherside of the river.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday

Well Saturday didn't bring anything exciting but just the normal stuff. The kids had to play badminton and football. While they were sporting I had the house to myself and did things around the house. They returned home towards the end of the morning and had won with the following scores: badminton 6-2 and football 9-1.

In the afternoon the boys went to the Shetland pony's that our youngest takes care of.









Here you can see that chicken are still under cover as Dutch authorities have ordered that everybody must keep their poultry indoors to prevent the country falling victim to a new infection of bird-flu.


My husband spend some time painting.

My daughter and I went shopping and see what we found.

They are not the first signs of the coming season as the shops are literally filled with all kinds of St. Nicolas goodies. Normally I buy these things as soon as the season has really started but today I made an exception as I bought this marzipan for Sabine who is on her way to London right now. Have a nice time in London Sabine and watch your post when you are back in Gozo.

Morning


I love to wake to each new day,
And brush my dreams of night away,

And look out through my window wide
To see what weather is outside,

And wonder what exciting thing
This shining, un-used day will bring.


Friday, November 03, 2006

On my way to work

It was a lovely morning today. It was cold but still the sun was shining and there were lovely things to see on my way to work.

This is the little path I cycle through several times a day coming from and going to my work.


These horses must have been wondering what I was doing for they really stared at me.

There was a little mist hanging over the river and the sun shone through it.


My son and his friend passed me on their way to school.

Just some roads I cycle along very often to and from my work and also when I go shopping.