Sunday, December 31, 2006

Fireworks and oil balls

Old years day: the boys are busy with fireworks and I hate it!!! while they have been looking forward to it for weeks and are really glad that it is finally 31st December.






On old years day it has become a tradition that I bake the "oil balls" for our family. You can buy them everywhere but for us the homemade ones taste best!


So that's what I was doing an hour ago and here are some pictures to share with you. Mmm they taste good!

Everything is ready for the visitors to arrive. My parents are coming over for the evening to finish the old year together with us and to welcome the new year. We have been celebrating this evening together for many years. We don't do anything spectacular: we eat, drink, talk, play games, read, watch TV with all kinds of shows and then fireworks at 12 o'clock.

Have to go now. Wishing all of you a nice evening!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Old year rolls

Here you see me baking old year rolls. That's a tradition I took over from my mother for she used to bake these rolls together with her sister.

The rolls are made from flower, butter, sugar, cognac and anis seeds. They taste delicious!

These rolls symbolize the old year for that is rolled up now. Some people also bake these cookies but don't make rolls but leave them flat and then they symbolize the new year lying open in front of you.

After baking these cookies you have to roll them very quickly for otherwise they will already be hard and cannot be rolled up anymore.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Utrecht

Before going to the musical last Saturday we walked through Utrecht as it is always fun to walk through and see different places.

The symbol of the city of Utrecht is the 112-meter-high Dom Tower. This tower is more than 600 years old and stands on the spot where the city originated 2000 years ago, now Dom Square. Here you see this tower in the background.

Of course there were lots of Christmas decorations everywhere but this house in particular caught my eye.

Utrecht owes its lively character partly to the city’s beautiful canals. The canals in Utrecht are unique. No other city has quaysides directly located on the water. We walked along one of these canals in the middle of the city.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

45 years married!

All these flowers are for two people that are very dear to me:
MY PARENTS
who celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary today!
Mum and dad : CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
Already 45 years shining together like a star
Already 45 years giving love to each other
Already 45 years happily married
Already 45 years more sunshine than rain.
Thank you for sharing that love with us!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Glass house

After the musical we walked to the glass house in Utrecht to have a look. Three presentators of Radio 3FM stayed 6 days in this house, without food, to collect money for the victims of landmines.

Our musical group donated a sum of money for this serious request.

Last Sunday the campaign ended and the final score was 2.648.495 euro. That is the Dutch score for the Belgians collected for the same campaign 2.419.426 euro. So the total amount going to the victims of landmines is a nice sum of money.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Wiz

Last Saturday we were lucky to get tickets to go to see the musical The Wiz in the Beatrix Theater in Utrecht. We went to see it with 60 people (members and volunteers) of the musical group that I am a volunteer for.

It was a delight to see this musical and we really enjoyed ourselves. As our group did this musical a few months ago we were very critical but still it was fun to see what another producer and of course more money makes of a musical. The music, the clothes, the lights, the scenery, the dancing and the acting. It all fitted perfectly and we enjoyed ourselves very much!

Though, having seen this professional Wiz, I must say I am still very proud of the way our group did this musical and not to boast but I enjoyed our Wiz more and found the way our producer made it nicer to see and hear. In one of my next posts I shall share some photo's of our musical with you.

Here you see our daughter in front of the Beatrix Theater looking at the photo's they placed outside to give an impression of the musical.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas day 2006

Hi there, hope you all have a nice Christmas day. Cheers! Have fun!
We just finished our Christmas breakfast and soon now the little gifts under the tree shall be opened.

We had christmas crackers to go with our breakfast. That is an English tradition I learned about when living in Gozo and of course I wanted our kids to get acquainted with it. Some firework at table and a wish, a trinket and a hat to go with it. Well it was fun and they liked it!

The weather is not Christmassy at all: meaning there is no snow. Indeed the temperature is 5 degrees C outside and it is dry. So not bad at all.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a merry Christmas. Hope you have a nice time and can relax a little to feel the Christmas spirit in whatever way you prefer to celebrate Christmas this year.

We shall be spending Christmas with our family and we shall enjoy doing nothing else besides eating, drinking and opening presents.

Thanks to everybody who sent us Christmas wishes by card, by e-mail or whatever other way. Just the fact that you thought of us is wonderful and makes us feel special.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Shortest day

Good thing that today is the shortest day of the year because that means from now on the days shall be getting longer again. Must say that this is not the favourite part of the year for me. Inside it is nice and cosy but outside it is cold and dark!! Evening falls very early and I don't like that at all.

This week I did my exam and to my idea I didn't do as well as I should have. The results will tell but that will not be before the end of January. On my way home from Arnhem, where I had to do the examination, the sun shone bright and everything looked great outside.

At home I threw my studybooks in a drawer and they will remain there for a few weeks. At least now I can start looking forward to Christmas and that special feeling that goes with it. Only one more day to go and the kids and I will have two weeks holiday. Wonderful!

December has been very busy this year so it is nice that now there is time to relax and read a good book or two.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas gift

Here in Holland it is tradition that the organisation you work for gives you a Christmas gift in the week before Christmas. The gift is mostly a box with Christmas design filled with all kinds of things to enjoy.

Today my husband came home with his box. And my it did look good. The DVD Cook your way to a stress-free Christmas with Jamie Oliver was included besides all kinds of Italian ingredients to go with it. So now you know what we could be eating this Christmas.

Good thing they didn't forget the skipping rope for after eating all that stuff my body can use a little exercise.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

15 years old

Today they are 15 years old!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Market

Yesterday the weather was nice and sunny so we went for a walk and walked over the Christmas market close to home. The first thing we came across was Santa's sleigh, so he must be around somewhere.
Here a christmas market means that shops are open and the rest is like a normal market. Lots of stalls selling all kinds of things. Because it was a christmas market you could buy all kind of christmas decorations. What surprised me though was that the music played weren't christmas songs for that would have given the whole thing a little christmas spirit. We did come across Santa though as he was also walking over the market.

The shops looked very nice with all kinds of christmas things.

On the whole there were many people having a look around so it was quiet crowded. The weather was lovely so it was a nice day to go and walk over this market. However it lacked a christmas feeling. I guess we have to go over to Germany for that for there you will find real christmas markets with gl├╝hwein etc.

They even placed a machine to get some snow and of course the kids really enjoyed playing with the fake snow and it gave a lovely picture.

On the way back home the christmas trees were waiting in the field to be sold and to be decorated for christmas.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Eating out

This week we had a study day for my work and so I spend a whole day eating out in a very chique restaurant. The sphere was really comfortable and dinner was delicious. However you can imagine my surprise when I received this in front of me. It made me think back of many years ago when my husband and I had dinner in this same restaurant and we got a large plate in front of us with just a tiny bit to eat in the middle of the plate.

This time I thought "nothing changes much" but it was hilarious to see other people's reactions and still now it makes me laugh.

But don't worry we didn't go home with an empty stomach for this plate was meant to be covered with a good mosterdsoup. And mmmmmmmmmmmm it did taste good.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dickens Festijn

Every year in December the 19th century town of Charles Dickens comes to life in part of Deventer. It is called the Dickens Festijn and it is lovely to see. We visited the Dickens Festijn last year.

To enter the Dickens Festijn you have to wait a long time in a row with a large amount of people. On the left we are waiting in the row and even here you see typical 19th century people passing by. Most people depict persons from Charles Dickens books A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, The Pickwick Papers, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist and The Old Curiosity Shop. So you can see David Copperfield, Scrooge, Marley, Oliver Twist, Fagin, etc.. passing by. But it is not only the people that depict that time but also the whole area and what is sold there, things like English punch and chestnuts.

Finally, after waiting a long time, we entered the Dickens Festijn and saw everything for ourselves. It was truly worth the long wait. To give you an impression here are some more photo's.

Just in case you are in the neighbourhood the Dickens Festijn takes place this coming weekend. See http://www.dickensfestijn.nl/

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

5th December: Sinterklaas

Well Sinterklaas is over and Christmas is slowly approaching. Today we celebrated Sinterklaas at home by cooking on our Royal Gourmet in little pans on the table. The whole house smells of cooking right now.

After dinner we watched the musical film Oliver. I read the book a long time ago for English literature but this evening I realised I forgot most of the story.


The past few weeks have been busy with several party's, work, studying and all normal things. The weather is like Spring. Indeed it is much too hot for the time of year. Today it was 16 degrees C!!!

You won't hear me complaining though for I prefer these temperatures to winter and when I look at the photo's Wade placed on his site (about a week ago) and saw all the snow in his part of the world, I am so glad to be living in a country where we don't get so much snow. However these high temperatures now make me fear for winter and coldness in March when I will slowly start longing for Spring and Summer again. Time will tell.

Last Saturday we celebrated Sinterklaas at my parent's house with the whole family. Here you see him entering the house. Of course he didn't come alone for Zwarte Piet came along and they brought loads of presents and threw typical Sinterklaas sweets around the room.