Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fan of............?

No I have never been a real fan of whatever music band. I always liked listening to the music of Abba, Smokey, Boney M, etc. and to much more music of which I never knew who made it or was singing it. But now, due to reading weblogs of Roger Hodgson fans, I started being interested and wanted to know what his music sounds like. So I listened to a song on Sabine's blog and it rang a bell for it sounded familiar.

Just now my husband returned home and saw me surfing the internet for cd's of Roger Hodgson for I thought I might as well go and buy a cd to listen to his music. And what a surprise for there seems to be a cd of Roger Hodgson somewhere in this house without me even knowing it. Well not of him solo but when he was part of Supertramp. So there I was pulling open drawers and closets with cd's and rushing from one room to the next trying to find it (with 3 teenagers around the house you just have to look everywhere when you are looking for something, especially cd's!). And guess what I found it and right now here I am enjoying the music of Supertramp and beginning to understand the fan bit a little. Not enough to go up to the Biddinghuizen in Holland where he will be participating in the Arrow Rock Festival on 30th June 2007. Kathy travelled all the way to Niagara Falls to see him perform and here he is much closer (only 106 km from where we live) and I am not even thinking of going. Well I guess that's what fans are for. But thanks for letting me know about him and his music for it really sounds great.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Horsedays

Just a few pictures of the Achterhoekse Horsedays.



Monday, May 28, 2007

2nd Pentecost day

Today is a public holiday in The Netherlands and we call it 2nd Pentecost day. Most people like to spend this day visiting furniture boulevards. Not for us though! It is much too busy in those boulevards on such days. The weather is making people go there today for it has been raining a little most of the day so far. In fact Ikea is doing well as the radio just now mentioned traffic jams on the way there.

As our youngest is crazy about horses he left early this morning with his dad and a friend to visit the Achterhoekse Horsedays not far from where we live.

For me it is a nice and quiet day supposed to be spend studying most of the time. However this morning I decided to watch the Da Vinci Code movie on TV. We had the film at home but so far I didn't find any time to watch it. It was a good film and I did enjoy it but I still prefer the book to the film. A book is able to describe so much more and therefore adds more suspence to the story. I read the book a year ago so the film was a kind of reminder of the book. In my opinion you will understand the film much better if you have read the book first. The film reminded me of our visit to the Louvre museum in Paris over a month ago. In fact I should have seen the film before so that I would have looked for the places you see in the film.

Yesterday morning our daughter returned from a daytrip to Paris with school. All Form III students of their school left early Saturday morning for Paris. They arrived in Paris at around 10.00 am and left Paris at 10.00 pm. So they had a nice long day in Paris. They visited the Dôme des Invalides with Napoleon's grave and made a boat trip on the Seine. Besides that they went to see the Notre Dame and Montmartre and climbed the Eiffel tower. They returned home early yesterday morning and had terrific fun but were dead tired. Most of them will have spend the day in bed yesterday. As for me well I was very glad that she returned home safe and sound. For though we wish our kids to do such things it always leaves me at home hoping everything will go well.

Now I am off to do some housework before getting back to my studies. Have a nice day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Walking four evenings

This week is "eveningfourdays", well that is the literal translation and most probably you don't know what I mean with it. Once a year they organize a walking event when you can walk a certain distance every evening, four days long.

Here in town you can walk distances of 5 or 10 km. All primary schools in town join the fun and the kids walk in groups with their own schoolclass. If you walk four evenings on the last evening you will be welcomed back with loads of flowers and for the kids toooooooooooo many sweets!! Well everybody really has fun walking and singing very loud when on their way. Not just singing all kinds of songs but typical walking songs!! I can't sing so I can't let you hear the sound.

Though it is fun. It is also a very stressful week for many people as you have to eat very early every evening so that those walking will be in time for takeoff.

For us it is not stressful anymore as our son can go and come on his own now. So after many stressful years we are now enjoying the fun by watching and waving some places on the route. This year we have been lucky so far for the weather has been really lovely and that makes it even more fun to walk.

I keep my fingers crossed for the days to come as they are forecasting rain and thunder for Friday evening. Hopefully the walkers will be back home by the time that comes down.

The pictures I placed here were taken in previous years to give you an impression of this typical Dutch event (as far as I know).


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ascension Day

Today is Ascension Day, a public holiday here in The Netherlands. If possible the Friday after is taken as a holiday too so that you will have a nice, long weekend. This year my husband was lucky as he also got Friday off. So we are in for a long weekend.

Traditionally we should have gotten up very early this morning to go for a walk or bikeride in the countryside. There are still people in this part of the country that get up early to do so. But not us as we prefer to wake up a little later and spend the day doing whatever we feel like.

Looking at the weather forecast that is promising us even more rain we won't be spending much time outside today!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Mum's taxi

Every now and then I saw these car's passing by with this sticker on the back saying: "mum's taxi". Today my car felt like mum's taxi as I spend nearly the whole day driving hither and thither. The weather was so bad that it was no fun going by bike and we felt really sorry for those kids we saw doing their bike examination while we were sitting nice and dry in our car.

Indeed it looked as if the rain that didn't fall in April is now coming down all at once. The past one and a half week we have had really lousy weather and it doesn't look as if it is going to end. We were lucky we made these little corner's in our garden when the weather was still good.

Well the soil and the plants must be feeling happy with all this rain but I must say that it is getting at me already even though I am inside most of the time studying.

Today even hailstones fell down so that's why I was glad to be able to use the car as a taxi to take our daughter first to the doctor and then on to hospital to give some blood to check it for anaemia. While she had to go I thought I might as well let them check my cholesterol as that is a hot item over here. Nowadays you can even let them check your cholesterol in a supermarket every now and then but that's not for me as I prefer to do it in the normal way.

After getting home I grabbed a cup of coffee before having to drive her to school as it was pouring outside. In between I managed to do some shopping as tomorrow supermarkets are closed.

In the afternoon I had to take one of our other kids to the orthodontist to see if he needs braces. Luckily for him and for us (as we have to pay the bills) it didn't look as if he would be needing braces but they want to check him again in over a year, after he has changed all his milk teeth.

From there I rushed over to school again to pick up our daughter. So indeed I felt like a taxi driver and unfortunately the day is nearly over now as I have to start preparing dinner.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A Mother

We don't celebrate Mother's Day as we find it has become a much too commercial day. Still 2 of my kids did remember mother's day. Our youngest because at primary school they always make something for such occasions and our daughter gave me a really sweet present when I least expected it just because she wanted to do so.




Besides that I always have a little gift for my own mum at home just in case I see her that special day. Well I didn't see her so the present is still lying here waiting to be given to her!



Surfing over the internet I came across this poem about Who is a mother?

Who is a mother?
a mother is a woman,
a wife,
a child-bearer
and a home maker.

Who is a mother?
A mother is a great teacher,
a knowledge passer,
a great mentor
and a hope planter.

Who is a mother?
a mother is a foreseer
a future builder,
a great thinker
and a role-model.

Who is a mother?
a mother is a motivator,
a creative person,
a talent flourisher
and a potential unlocker.

Who is a mother?
a mother is a problem solver,
a peace maker,
a sensitive person
and a risk taker.

Who is a mother?
a mother is a compassionate person,
a shoulder to lean on,
and the first person to talk to,
in times of crises.

written by helen araromi

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Busy

Just in case you are watching this space, sorry but you won't be seeing much of me around here as my exams are approaching. Doing two subjects at this level is costing me all my free time at the moment so this is all you will see of me the coming time unless I really feel the need to blog about something.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Berlin Day 2

There is so much to discover in Berlin that we were lucky to have a second day to do so. First of all we made a boat trip on the Spree, discovering Berlin from the riverside. Here we are approaching the Berliner Dom. Because of the lovely weather there were many places to sit on the riverside. These places were all very colourful and looked nice and cozy to sit down and relax a bit. After leaving the boat we made for one of those relaxing places. To get there we passed behind the Reichstag and saw the memorial crosses for the victims of the wall. On this picture we are strolling over the promenade along the Spree. The Bode museum and the Fernsehturm are in the distance. Ah there is that nice and cozy place! Here we enjoyed a little rest and had a Berliner Weisse while watching the boats passing by. Later we walked on to the Hackische Höfe.
From there we walked on to the area surrounding the Nikolai Kirche.

And from there to the Museum Island. Here is the Altes Museum and on the right hand side is the Berliner Dom.

From there we walked on to the Gendarmenmarkt, a famous square in Berlin.

By then our feet were even worse than the day before so we walked to Unter den Linden where we took a bus to the Potsdamer Platz as we had not seen the Sony Center the day before. And my it was worth going there. What a construction! Lovely to see. On the first picture we are inside the Center looking outside and the second picture is taken looking up to the "ceiling" of the Sony Center.

Well we found a nice place to eat in the Sony Center so we spend some time there before taking the U-bahn to Charlottenburg Palace.

As especially our youngest son wanted to see the Olympia Stadium that was our last stop in Berlin before taking U-bahn, S-bahn and train back to our hotel in Potsdam.

Berlin was worth the visit and it really impressed me. I can recommend it to anybody who wishes to visit a city. If I ever return to Berlin I shall surely try to plan a visit to the Pergamon museum on Museum Island for I have seen pictures on the internet and the collection it houses looks really great. So perhaps one day..........

Monday, May 07, 2007

Berlin Day 1

Berlin impressed me!
What a wonderful city and what a space there is everywhere. It is a city busy renewing old buildings and creating modern new buildings. Old and new are close together in this city that is developing itself very quickly. Of course it has an awful history which confronts you at many locations. This history makes me very sad and very angry at the same time.
Our first day in Berlin was spend walking past most well known historical monuments. Our first sight of Berlin was the Hauptbahnhof where we got off the train. It is a very modern building and it stands in a very open area with the river Spree right in front of it. We walked along the Spree to the Reichstag which we would have liked to enter but on seeing the long queue we decided not to do so. From the Reichstag it is only a small walk to the Brandenburger Gate.
Here I am on the Unter den Linden side of the gate. We walked a little over Unter den Linden before turning right to visit the Holocaust Memorial. Here we are on Potsdamer Platz where they placed parts of the wall where it used to be. Here we could read about the history of the wall. On the Potsdamer Platz they build these very high buildings and I think it is a good symbol of the new Berlin. To realise what has been realised here in a relatively short time you should see the pictures of what it looked like just after the wall came down.

From te Potsdamer Platz we walked to Checkpoint Charlie.
Here you see a replica of the cabin as the original cabin has been placed in a museum.

By then our feet were killing us so we took the U-bahn to the KaDeWe a big warehouse near the Gedächtniskirche. The church is located on the Kurfürstendamm, one of the most famous avenues in Berlin.

Before taking the train back to our hotel we walked along the Kurfürstendamm. We didn't buy a thing as prices here are much too high for us.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Potsdam

It's already a week ago we left on Sunday morning for Potsdam and Berlin. We stayed in Potsdam and on our first and last day we discovered Potsdam. My dad had told me about Sanssouci and I guess the name itself has always made me want to see it.

Well here are some photo's of our time in Potsdam.
This is the Art'otel in Potsdam where we stayed.
After checking in and leaving our luggage in our rooms we went for a walk through Park Charlottenhof en Park Sanssouci. In fact it is one very big park with lots of greenery and many palaces.
This is Schloss Charlottenhof with wonderful tulip beds next to it. This is part of the Neue Palais. I liked the angels on the wall. There are many figures on top of the palace and in one of my books it said that there once was a general who said very sarcasticly that it was busier on the roof than in the streets surrounding the palace. And finally here is Schloss Sanssouci and it felt great to see it after wishing to do so for many years. We finished the first day in a little Trattoria eating pizza and my husband had a Berliner Weisse to go with it. On our last day our feet were killing us so much and there was still so much we wanted to see in Potsdam we decided to rent some bikes. First we cycled through Park Babelsberg. On this picture you see Glienicke Bridge as seen from Park Babelsberg. On this picture we are approaching Glienicke Bridge from the Berlin side. We cycled over the bridge back into Potsdam. This is the Cecilienhof Palace (the scene of the Potsdam Conference in 1945 at which the allied leaders met to decide the future of Germany and postwar Europe in general). After that we cycled to the Belvedere on the Pfingstberg and my it was a climb to get there but it was worth it for this building has already been totally renovated and looks really nice. From there we rolled down the hill to the centre of Potsdam.

Before returning our bikes we cycled through the Hollandisches Viertel with typical Dutch houses. Like our daughter remarked: "typical" for a certain part in Holland for we don't live in such a house or such a street.