Sunday, November 25, 2007

Eating at Amadeus

Last night we were going to visit some friends and so we asked if our youngest could stay with my brother and his family. The other two are nearly 16 and can stay at home alone if they wish. But they also decided to go along and stay at my brother's house. It is really great having family living so close by!! Thanks brother and sister-in-law for taking them all in for the night. This was really luxurious for us so as soon as they were gone we decided to take this opportunity and go and eat out: just the two of us!!! Nice and relaxed. There is this new steakhouse, close to where we live, and from the outside it really lookse nice. So that's where we went. We were lucky we came early and so they still had a free table for two. Later on in the evening that wouldn't have been possible any more.

Before I knew it I lost my hubby behind the menu. It didn't take long for we decided to stay in Amadeus style and we both ordered a steak Amadeus and later a dessert Amadeus. The food tasted really good and we had a lovely meal. Nice and quiet, just the two of us.

When we left the place I looked back and took this picture. It shows how cosy the place is. There is stuff hanging everywhere. Candles and soft light give the restaurant a charming look. Don't know if this is typical American but that was the impression we got.

Before leaving we had to use the little room. The man's room had this funny toilet and while doing their thing they can read the latest news for that is hanging on the wall above the toilet.

Glad that it's not me having to clean that toilet, for I think reading the news and doing their thing is not going to make them aim in the right direction! I underestimating the opposite sex???

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Educational day

Perhaps I told you before that I work in the primary education. Not as a teacher but as an administrative assistant to a general manager of 10 primary schools. Mostly I am concerned with the financial part of all these schools.

Today we had a day for all people working for these 10 schools as all our schools will have a whole new computer network as from January 1st.

Each employee, for 99% teachers in primary education, visited three different workshops to discover the possibilities of the new computer concept in the educational programme we offer.

Even though I am not a teacher there was enough to learn. I visited three workshops: how to make a picture book using powerpoint, how to use the computer with history lessons and how to use the interactive whiteboard. This last workshop was my favourite. In fact it makes me wish I followed my job ambition when I was a little girl. I always wanted to become a teacher. What possibilities there are now using the internet. So great and useful!!

We all had lunch together and the catering did a great job.
The day ended with a cabaretshow about education. It was hilarious and a good end to an educational day.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My blog's reading level

cash advance Wow this is amazing!! I found this little tool on Sabine's blog and I tried it out. The result really surprised me. A postgrad college level for the ramblings I am putting here in this blog. Funny too because right now I am still trying to achieve my bachelor's degree and might never do a postgraduate study. Equally amazing as I always have the feeling that my English could be so much better. Well I guess I should take this reading level for what it is: just a coincidence. Thanks anyway to whoever invented it. It gave me a good feeling. Back to my studies now for otherwise I will never reach that bachelor degree. Pfffffff exams are coming close and the subject is harder than I thought it would be. Especially the probability theory (the branch of mathematics concerned with analysis of random phenomena) is giving me a real hard time trying to understand it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Ciao, ciao!

Early this morning the exchange week was over for the Italian students. They left by train from Emmerich station at 7.15 a.m. . Good thing the strike in Germany ended at 2.00 a.m. this morning for otherwise we would have had to take them to Cologne Airport and that's 1,5 hour by car from where we live. Here are some pictures to show some of the things they did this past week

After our Sunday in Utrecht it was party time in the evening!On Monday the Dutch students showed their Italian guests their school and in the evening they went swimming. On Tuesday they went to Amsterdam and meet this funny figure on the Dam. They also visited Madame Tussaud and the Rijksmuseum. In the evening they ate Mexican food.

On Wednesday they had to work on their projects at school. And in the evening they did a creative workshop. On Thursday morning they started the day doing sport at the sportschool. Afterwards they were busy preparing the presentation evening. We all went to school in the evening to see the presentations. The language quiz, a fashion show and we tasted Italian food. Besides that we watched a video of Siena and surroundings for that is the place these students come from. After the presentation all the students went to the disco and had a great time.

On Friday they slept long and after they took the train to Winterswijk to do streetgolf and do some shopping. In the evening they all ate Chinese food at school and watched a movie.

After the movie they came home and we said goodbye to Laura, the girl that stayed with us.

It was a wonderful week and we greatly enjoyed it. It was nice to have Laura as a guest in our house. But time flies especially because it was such a busy week, most of all for the students. Good thing they will all meet again in April when the Dutch students shall be visiting Siena and staying with the Italian students that came here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The most musical museum

Today was Family Day and we had to think of something to do with our guest. First of all we asked her if there was something particular she would love to see in Holland. But she had no preference whatsoever. She told us she wasn't very sporty so we didn't have to think in that direction.

But what to do? and preferably something typical Dutch? The weather didn't allow us to discover something outside so it had to be inside. Finally we decided to take her to Utrecht to the most musical museum in The Netherlands.

On our way to Utrecht we passed through typical Dutch countryside in real Dutch weather and we saw a lovely rainbow in the distance. In Utrecht we walked through the little streets near the Dom and the Autumn colours were just wonderful.Here we are going into the most musical museum: 'From Musical Clock to Street Organ'.The next pictures show bits and pieces of things we saw and heard inside the museum. The museum is home to a living collection of mechanical music.

Here we are in the hall where we saw and heard street organs. It is unbelievable that in the past a man would walk through the streets with such a large street organ. I guess that's only possible in a flat country like Holland. Imagine having to push such an organ up a hill. They even let us hear the music the organ makes and the sound was really overwhelming inside the museum. Here the kids are having fun making music while cycling over the music sheets. Ah, yes we Dutch people can do a lot of different things with a bicycle. After leaving the museum the terraces looked inviting but it was far too cold to sit down for a while and enjoy a drink so we just walked along and returned home.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

International exchange week (1)

The school our daughter goes to always organizes an international exchange week in Form IV. There is more than one Form IV at school and each group exchanges with a different school in another country. Due to expenses these countries are all in Europe.

This coming week the first week of the exchange is taking place and the group of our daughter is expecting a group from Siena, Italy. Right now our daughter is collecting her exchange partner from the train station in Emmerich, Germany. In April 2008 her group shall go over to Siena for a week and she will stay with this same exchange partner.

They have a busy program and they have to work together on a cultural project. To give you an idea, the children have to work on the following projects:
1. Theatre or dance and/or live music
2. Fashion for young people
3. Language
4. Journalist group
5. Food

These cultural projects will be presented to the rest of the group and to the families at the end of the week.

If you are interested you can follow what the Journalist group is doing for they have to make a weblog from every day; every project group and every aspect of the exchange week. If you click here you will find their weblog.

Besides these cultural projects they shall be going to swim in Bocholt, Germany and they will do a creative workshop. Of course a visit to Amsterdam is also included and the school didn't forget that these kids love going out, so there is a Big Dance Party for all the groups together.

To me it looks as if it is going to be a really fun week and I think it is great that a school makes such an exchange possible.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What a colourful show!

Just a few impressions of the colourful concert whe visited last night. I found the pictures on the internet as we weren't allowed to take a camera inside.

Symphonica in rosso

Just returned home after a great evening out. It was just wonderful. What a colour, what a music, what a show!!! It was fantastic.

A nearly 3 hour non stop show! We had perfect seats opposite the platform, so we could see really well, overlooking the crowd standing in the middle of the hall. Normally it is a football stadion so the distance was far and Paul was a little doll. There were screens on both sides of the platform showing him, the orchestra and all his guests from close by.

The colour was red and Marco Borsato came to sing this song and while singing it a big wave pulled through the whole crowd. It was wonderful to be part of it all.
Besides Marco Borsato, Paul de Leeuw invited many other famous Dutch popstars. What touched me most were the memories of those people that are no longer among us.

And then the songs Paul sang alone or together with other popstars. Wow just lovely. What a man, what a voice and what a sympathetic person. He even came close to our side saying that he wanted to be close to all those people that got a free ticket because of Dubbel Friss. So he and his pianist sang two songs close to where we were sitting. Loads of candles on the piano and beautiful songs!! What a popstar! and what lovely songs he sings. Really touching at times.

In the end it seemed as if he couldn't stop for he kept singing even more songs and it looked as if this hadn't been practiced at all. All those 32.000 people sang along with most of the songs he sang. He made the evening and he did it really well. It was just perfect!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dresscode red

After having drunk Dubbel Friss for a few months now tonight is the night we did it all for!
Finally tonight we shall go to Symphonica in Rosso, a concert of Paul de Leeuw.

To be able to buy tickets relatively cheap we bought 30 boxes of dubbel friss to get 3 free tickets!! Every 2nd ticket was free with 10 boxes and in that way we were able to afford such a concert.

Dresscode is red and the clothes are lying ready. The newspapers gave really good reviews so we are really looking forward to seeing everything for ourselves and to seeing Paul de Leeuw life, even though he will be a small doll on the stage. What with nearly 32.000 people visiting each concert the platform is not close to where we shall be sitting!

Every Saturday evening Paul de Leeuw's programme is our favourite programme on TV and we hardly ever miss it. We like the way he sings and the way he makes jokes. At times they are not always very sympathetic but it seems as if he is the only Dutch person able to say these things. On the whole I really enjoy everything he does and says! He really makes us all laugh and is always subject to talk about!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Family afternoon

My mum has only one sister and in the past both families saw each other very often. In the years we lived abroad my mum's sister and her family came to Gozo very often.

Later when we returned to Holland we got together for each and every birthday. After we all got married and kids arrived we got busier and busier so we didn't visit each other that often any more. And nowadays the sisters organize a wonderful family outing once a year so that we can chat with each other and have fun together. This year we got together someplace not far from where we live. It was even closer to where my brother and his family lives so they came by bike.

Here the kids are having fun outside before we all went inside. Inside we did all kinds of old Dutch games that were suitable for all of us and even the little one gave it a try. Must say he preferred to play football with that little ball. So before something could go wrong they gave him a plastic ball to football with.

After doing all these games and at times laughing our heads off we finished the afternoon with a delicious buffet.

Thanks mum and aunt for this fantastic afternoon!!