Les Mis Trailer

Friday, 30 April 2010

Having a super time!

Still here in England but enjoying every moment, thank you! Today we are driving to Deal to visit my mother and sister as a surprise......the only things we have arranged are that we can take the C-Max Merc with its open top - yes, indeedy!!! - and will have lunch at the bay with my aunt. Visiting my mother and sister requires stealth and cunning. I rang Joanna and she thinks she will be out today. Maybe so, but I am not convinced so we are going to try and call anyway. And if I give my mother advance warning she will have something else to do and will excuse herself, so for the 30 minutes she will tolerate me for, this is the only way I know works. Sad but true, so I deal with it and take it in my stride. Having Clare alongside is the added bonus today. And after the rain the sun is shining and it is all looking like a beautiful day ( Elbow ref). I am doing well with my photo taking challenge and managing to get as many as possible every day. Some days are easier than others, for example extending the rockery around their pond was easy to shoot, but lying on the lounger in our sunhats was more demanding!! We have visited a gorgeous garden called Leonardslee which has Wallabies, and is closing to the public in June, so anyone wanting to visit should go now!! It is delightful and well worthwhile going. Its near Cowfold in Sussex. Yesterday we pottered in Bexhill and treated ourselves to lunch at a Siam Thai Restaurant in Little Common which was delicious. Each day we have lunched out so I am being thoroughly spoilt as you can see!!! But now the shower is next on my agenda this morning and so I will love you and leave you until I am home again! Sue xx

Saturday, 24 April 2010

One week in the life of...

Ali Edwards is busy with this visual documentation of her week - well, any 7 sequential days that you like, really, so my plan is to record the week ahead when I will be in England with my bestest friends in the whole world. So a bit of a cheat maybe as it is a special week, but at least it is one when I KNOW I will take photos every day, lots of, and I will want to share them when I get back here again. Two birds with, and all that jazz!!
Talking of jazz, it is soon going to be the Enkhuizen jazz festival and this year I intend to go to something with Gebke. Not sure what, but we agreed to go there together - just to be doing something new and exciting and different. It will be fun!! I have to look up exactly when it is, and who is appearing this year, and when is best to go and price of tickets etc, but now I sing in the place where it is held, I feel comfortable going there for an event. Crazy how shy I still am after 51 years?!!!!
So, this is my last post for a week. Will you miss me I wonder? Will you visit me here and look at old posts so you can see us? Will you read my craziness and laugh at me and remember how beautiful my new stool is?!!!.... I hope you do. I am going to miss you too. Stay safe and well. Call often!!
Sue xx

background on computer

Oh dear, I am such a saddo!!!
I have got the best photo as my screen background (now that I know how to change them), but it makes me want to sit and gaze at it all day long!!!!..aah............;-)
Sue xx

Todays thought of the day

"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return." Mary Jean Iron.

Finka's first foray!

She saw a bee for the first time and wanted a closer look but we soon advised her otherwise! watching, listening, looking....so long as no-one makes an untoward sound she is fine outside. The cats chair in the garden; what would I do without it?!! It is where they sit and sleep and cosy up together in the sun. Here Finka is just contemplating whether or not she should get down and take a wander around the garden................her coat is getting much darker now she is 8 months old, but she is still a scaredy cat when it comes to new things. The chair is the perfect place to start her explorations and she runs to sit on it when it gets a bit scary in the world. I do so hope that we have a suitable cat chair spot in the new garden..........
Sue xx

Happy Birthday sweet 13!

Genghis Khan is thirteen today, 24 April. He has lived and been loved by us since he was 6 months old; moved houses 3 times and country twice. He is as squinty-eyed as they can be, totally wrongly built for a Siamese Show cat despite his father being a champion ( Shere Khan) but he is also the loveliest, most devoted, most loving and contented cat I know. Here he is sunning himself in the flower border!!!! Right on top of the new growth too..................
Long may you live sweetheart!
Sue xx

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Quote of the day

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Emerson.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Fly baby

Everything is seemingly back on track for my trip to England this coming weekend thank goodness! It was rather worrying with all this volcanic ash floating around in the atmosphere, but fortunately that looks to be settling down now and flights are returning to normal. I did think that maybe I was being told not to go.................not that I am superstitious or anything like that!! Well, maybe intuitive is a better word to use. I tend to sense things very quickly and easily and just know stuff sometimes, without having to be told about it or read about it, just feel it. Spooky!! But I am getting myself ready slowly and trying to be all organised before the weekend as there are bound to be last minute things that require my attention, always are.
Having worked the past two days I am a little behind with my blogging, but here I am, sitting in my room thinking about today and all the possibilities it may bring. Lying in bed this morning I was having quite weird dreams about sticky frogs and clear water in Scottish lochs and children and pebbles and lovers..........all very interesting but quite a rich fantasy world I guess!! Sometimes I dream whole film scenarios, or books, and only wish I could get up the next morning and remember it well enough to write them down!! I have a tendency to dream in a semi- awake state y'see. Say nothing; I know it is odd but there it is. I do it during the day too, which sometimes leads to a little embarrassment on occasions. Not so much now, but when I was in school it was amusing for others when I was day dreaming and gave completely wrong answers when being asked something by the teachers! Especially in Geography because I hated the subject so paid very little attention to it, and was caught napping on several occasions. I did have a geography teacher who liked me, however, so I never really got into trouble for it; thanks Sir!!!! His name is lurking in the back of my mind right now, but not quite clearly enough to recall it, but he did look rather like a hippopotamus.................or a wrinkly prune as I recall...................
So, onto the next task since the floor downstairs is probably dry now, and I dare walk on it without messing it up with my footprints already, and I need to do some grocery shopping this morning. Tim is fast asleep still, so not going to wake him. We were thinking of going into town but tomorrow suits me better now. He did so well in his baking exam yesterday scoring the highest points in his year at his level, which is great, although I have no idea how that translates into his grade at the end of the whole exam thing. But it is encouraging so far!
Sue xx

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Tim was seventeen - hip, hip, hooray!

Birthday present and card time Tim!! Loes gave Tim some tins and a good spatula and some money so he was thrilled with this great gift from her and Gerard. Even worth a hug!!! Aahh........kitchen prince and princess for a day!! We gave him some cake icing books so that he can get to grips with learning the art of icing the English way. I'd made this Sunken Chocolate cake with creme fraiche, raspberries and strawberries which we eat as dessert in the evening. I think Tim had a super birthday and one he will remember fondly. It was busy, fun, great friends around him and lots of laughter. That's what it is all about, right?
Sue xx

Tim's birthday bake-in!!!

So Loes arrived at 9am and after the coffee and chat we settled down to the task of making 200 cupcakes for a little baby's party this morning ( saturday). She is Danae and Loes and Gerard's grand-daughter, so we had to get it perfectly right didn't we?! At the start we had all the mini cake tins out and one by one Tim filled then with the cake mix and off we went! First he used a spoon like we do when we make just a few for ourselves..... but then it became apparent that using the icing bag was far easier and quicker too!! All the cupcakes laid out in rows on our dining table. Mini- break for a beer and a rose!!! Lovely weather so we were able to enjoy it every now and then. Back to business and icing the cakes with white chocolate and then adding the soft icing hearts immediately on top as the first step towards decoration. All hands on deck, this is team work folks! Moved into the kitchen to add the flags ready for Tim to ice the swirls on top and add the tiny silver balls. Looking good Tim and Loes!!! Into the boxes ready to go off to the party. We were finally done around 5.30pm, then a quick tidy round and ready for dinner. The baker taking a well earned rest...............and seeing who had texted him birthday greetings..again!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TIM!!! Loes is just out of shot but her Meatballs are now legend in Westwoud too!!!! Tim, Arjan and Lex went off together around ten o'clock to sleep at Ann's so I went to bed myself, and slept the sleep of the exhausted mum!!!
Sue xx

Thursday, 15 April 2010


Before I go to bed this evening I just wanted to say that tomorrow is my son's 17th birthday. Isn't it amazing how no matter how many years go by, one can always remember the day your child was born with such clarity? It feels like only yesterday, but so many things have happened in the last seventeen that I wonder what I will be saying when the next have gone by too?.........where will we all be then I wonder?! I don't even dare to do the maths and figure out how old that will make us!!!? I don't need to know!
Tim is hoping for money towards his laptop which he wants, so that is obviously the present he is is saving for, but I have also got him a couple of great books which I am hoping will inspire him in the future when he is learning his trade in the world of patisserie. My humble offering is a great chocolate cake which will have raspberries and strawbs and cream laden on top of its sunken top - which is totally intentional and according to the recipe Miss Dahl!!!! It ought to be delicious but may not last long....
so, time for bed. Tomorrow we are baking all day - love it!!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The highs and lows of house-hunting.

Highs: haven't found any yet!
Lows: not enough houses to go around and all too expensive.
It is depressing searching for houses to rent as the number of people wanting them way out-number those available. I was told that the average waiting list time is 5 to 8 years here..........so NO CHANCE!!! And if I am to look, then in order to find somewhere quickly, I should look at the houses and area no-one else wants to live in. Great! How to feel cheerful, three easy steps!
So I am looking at the private house rentals, but in all honesty, that feels more difficult for me. Analysing my feelings I have come to the conclusion that a house rented from a housing corporation would feel more like mine than one I hired from someone like me. Maybe this is down to previous bad experiences with letting my own home, in England, and being totally ripped off severely, or fear that the owners might want it back at any moment............there is a niggle in the back of my head about this that I don't seem able to shift, so it is niggling me!
And the art of working out what benefits one is entitled to is scary indeed. What a pain!! It is like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack I can tell you! Some folks are just able to weave in and out of all the technical jargon and figure analysing but to me it is simply gobbledegook. What one appears to be entitled to on one line is counter-balanced by what one cannot get in the next - how does anyone get anything I wonder?!!!!
There is a house coming up in an area highly desirable and good but way out of my price bracket. And another I've been told about that looks lovely too and more reasonably priced. But they are both over the budget I need to stick to to get rent rebate - one only by 3 euros which is crazy! So I am in over my head right now and I have a headache from going over the pros and cons of the situation constantly and being unable to make a decision as it is all such a gamble after all. HELP!!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

holland becoming holland

This means that the tulips are beginning to show!! The yellow ones come first and then the rest of the colours so all around where I live, things are becoming more colourful by the day! When they are at their best I will take some photos. The fields are going to look terrific outside our village as we have a lot of flower growers here in north holland. Then there are the cherries and the apples and pears and all the orchards in blossom - isn't spring wonderful?
Sue xx

Monday, 12 April 2010

reading books

I am deeply engrossed in this book right now: The Memory Keepers Daughter. It is delightful, sad, touching, personal, intuitive and all great things a book ought to be! I know it is a No. 1 best-seller, and sometimes that means absolutely nothing, but this one is a must have read. I also finished the other book I got at the airport: Things I want my daughters to know - another very good read and one I guess which must have been written by someone exactly like me because I knew all her references, her wishes were practically the same as mine, and I felt like I completely understood where she was coming from. I intend to pass it on to my daughter next time I see her, as I won't have to write the things down myself, she can just read a better book!!!! I am also starting to pack my books up for the forthcoming move......whenever that might be!! But I have so many I have to start sometime, don't I?..... especially as each trip home I come back laden with new ones!!!!!
Sue xx

Always the way.....

Tim starts his last mock exams today and guess what? He is full of nasty cold!!! Always a healthy child he has now caught a chesty cold right when he least needs one! So he is dosed up on linctus ( why doesn't it taste the same as Calpol, mum?) and is sitting in bed until he needs to get up and dressed and cycle to school. I am working so can be of no taxi service today...aah!
I am off for my mammogram screening examination now - the over 50 one - first time, so my neighbour has assured me that it is alright, just a little painful......we'll see about that! Then working so I have to dash, just wanted to wish the kids good luck this week, and tell Ineke that I agree about The Wizard of Oz not being a favourite of mine either, but the show gets addictive once you start watching it!!! No favourites as yet though...........
Sue xx

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Easter at Becci's

Becci starting on the dark pink wall in her bedroom.......we didn't get too much of it on ourselves but Heathcliff had a few pink patches by the time we were finished! No stepladder so it was a long stretch for me to reach the ceiling every time! The bedroom was a pale yellowy creamy colour before we went to B&Q and saw these delicious colours! Much more Becci than cream............. My daughter loves Audrey Hepburn so her posters are everywhere, but they looked super in the bedroom with her old black 'n' whites as well. Becci in her painting attire here - we were not going for glamour!!! Getting the room back into some order when we were finished. I hope she sleeps better now...... Bathroom in need of painting!! All rather dull and peachy and not really her colour............. Bring on the Dulux!!! Here we have started painting it the colour WATER which we both loved!! Becci has to finish it herself as I was not done by the time I needed to leave for the airport.........did my best though! Becci taking a break from the hard work of decorating!! It was lovely weather but we didn't get to see much of it ourselves........every minute mattered! Heathcliff the Magnificent on the fence. Remember how cute and tiny he was in the first photos I put up on the blog? Now he is still not fully grown but his tail is fantastic and he is the softest most loving cat she could have. He really is a sweetie!
I left all my paint charts on her bed which is a real shame as I could use them myself once we have our new house. I loved the colours and their names are always such a temptation for me. Why can't I have a job choosing paint colour names, for example? I think I'd be good at that!!!
I have to start the task of boxing up our things soon, but it is hard for me to get on with it. It signifies the end of something as well as the start of something new, so a sort of bitter-sweet feeling all the time. I am mourning a lot right now, and am quiet and introverted much of the time, feeling lonely and lost some of the time, and strong and brave at other moments. It seems to come and go, which makes life difficult for me! So I am being rescued by my best friends, and going to stay with them for a week to try and find my equilibrium again, and re-energise myself to make this happen soon. I cannot thank them enough for having me - especially for having to be at the airport to meet me at 07.15 am on a Sunday morning!!!! It's just that I need to be somewhere familiar and safe and home for a while. Maybe I'll get to see my sister in hospital and my aunt..........that would be wonderful too. I know it is only going to last a few days but I need it so badly, and I am so happy to be able to go.............but I promise to come back too!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 9 April 2010

End of the week!

This week has passed quickly as I suppose it feels like it was a day shorter with it being Easter! Illogical thought processes are my speciality folks!!! So anyway, Tuesday to Friday has come and almost gone, and I have been busy the whole time!
So what have I done this week? Visited my friend who had her birthday on Tuesday; spent yesterday with Loes in town shopping and chatting and chatting.......which was lovely to do for a change, especially as it was sunny in the afternoon! Then it was time for choir which went well, only there were not too many of us present this week and our accompanist was also missing.
I also went to Tim's exam meal on Wednesday evening which was great! All the kids did well, and I am sure he got a pass for his efforts. The rest follow in a weeks time, and then in May so we are progressing nicely at the moment. The sun has been shining so sitting in the garden was a joy, we even hit 18C one afternoon!! And I could hang the washing out for the first time this year which is always nice to be able to do. Oh, and I got divorced too...........................the less said about that the better I guess, as life is sometimes utterly unbearable, but I have to be positive and think about the future and how we are going to get there. The rest is neither here nor there after all.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Exhausted from my little break!

The idea was to get away from it all, relax and enjoy doing nice things with my daughter.....the theory was wonderful, the reality was different!! But I did enjoy being with her...painting her bedroom and bathroom......buying her new glasses which she definitely deserved and through which her world will become much clearer I am sure!!!........watching movies with Heathcliff.....losing another kilo because we didn't go out anywhere or eat anything that wasn't on my diet (well, a couple of glasses of the old white wine were entirely necessary m'dears) ....rearranging her total downstairs living space.........all in all, a completely different weekend from the one that included a day out in Manchester for example.............but as someone said to me when I got home: 'this is what being a parent is'. True. And I was happy to do it for her of course, despite every bone and muscle aching in my body, the joints stiffening as I type, and the prospect of sleeping one I totally relish right at this minute! But I am a parent to another child, who is working this evening, and in need of a lift home when his shift finishes, and I am still waiting for that call to come in!!!!
Photos will appear once I have the time and energy to post them!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Photos!!

When I went to the charity dinner at Tim's school last month, I arrived just in time - to the dismay of my son - to take these photos of the class and staff involved in the evening. This one above shows Tim and his friend Chris on the back row in the middle. Here is the entire group!!!! Here are my precious cats with Finka being impossible sitting on poor, old, tolerant Genghis's head!!!! It really is a case of the old cat accepting that this new young thing is going to want to tease and play and annoy him at times but that she loves him too! She's a real girl!!! Genghis turns 13 this month so I wanted to take a lovely photo of his dear old face. He is a much loved and cherished member of my family and the absolute darling of Tim. I made a scrap of him and Genghis that hangs in the hall currently, which is proof of their special relationship.
Sue xx


I saw this delightful vintage image on the Background Fairy site and thought it was perfect to wish all my blog readers and their friends and families, a Very Happy and Safe Easter.
And since it is Easter and a time of renewal I thought I would share all the happy things I am feeling inside this week:
Happy because I helped a friend step on the path to a new twist in her life, one which may make her more confident and satisfied and delighted with her future.
Happy because singing was great on Wednesday and we are starting to nail the songs for the coming competition on 2 June!!!! The choir were in harmony with one another, musically as well as socially and it all went off well - hurrah!
Happy because I got to spend time listening to my favourite new songs of the moment - love the new Amy MacDonald CD 'A Curious Thing' (recommend it!) amongst others and thanks to Tim I now know how to get them all on my ipod in no time at all!
Happy because I am going to England this afternoon and spending time with my daughter, just us two, for a change.
Happy because I have spent time with those most precious to me this week, and delighted in their company so very much.
Happy because little Finka loves to curl up inside my cardigan and go to sleep on my chest, with not a care in the world because she feels totally loved and secure.
Happy because my son is about to start on the last leg of his school sentence ( he hates it!) and will be free this summer of all those long years of pain and distress. Just the exams to pass now, Tim, right?!
Happy because I am feeling more positive about the prospect of a new home and how I will decorate it and place all our things here and there and how it will be ME and TIM and will be done together.
So, happy to be alive and healthy and loved and treasured and surrounded by so much warmth in my life. Hope you all are too.
Sue xx

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Thought for the day

"Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.

The good news is that you don't know how great you can be,

how much you can love,

what you can accomplish,

and what your potential is."

{ anne frank }

Been busy in a nice way

I have spent the last few days in a lovely busyness that I really enjoy. Only doing lovely things with other people and nothing that I had to do or needed to do for others - just fun for me! It does the spirit good sometimes to be actively engaged in other people's lives and experiences and I do so love 'helping'. I am good at it, I'd like to think so anyway. I would really love a job as a life coach - that would suit me down to the ground, so if I had a wish this morning, it would be for more of the things I love doing for others but with a job attached!!!
I am almost ready for my Easter Escape - not quite Escape to the Country with Jules or Alastair but just as wonderful. I have bought my girl her Easter treats and also one totally unexpected one for myself and my new home ( when I get one! ) and I feel good. All that crying and tearfulness of last week is banished and my happy self has returned. All hormonal ups and downs no doubt!!!
The forecast is not good for Stafford my friends. Heavy rain; sunny intervals; heavy rain.....that is Easter!! So Sunday is our best shot for doing something nice. I am sure it will be fine only now I have to decide what to pack.........
Sue xx