Les Mis Trailer

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Tiring day

TIm and I are just home from the longest day so far! We have shifted all the boxes and odds and ends from our storage place this evening, and the attic is steadily filling up! BUT! The floor is looking fantastic and I am delighted with it, and once we are moved in and all our things are out and Tim has sorted out his bedroom, it will start to look like us. It is such an individual thing, taste/style etc and although I do not mind if no-one else likes it, it is something that is so innate in ones genes that it is almost impossible to go against what comes naturally when choosing colours or furniture or cars or clothes etc. and I for one do not intend to give up on my vision. Laugh at Shrek; call me crazy; say its awful, but I can't be someone I am not, and so I have to go on until I reach that point when it is all finished and the end result is there for all to see. Maybe I just wanted some more enthusiasm.....................or maybe it is just me needing to hear that it is ok, I don't know.....but I was still delighted that my chickens had arrived home!!! :-)
Genghis is still spitting and hissing at poor old Finka since her visit to the Vet. Genghis hates the vets with vengeance so because she was there yesterday suddenly she has become enemy no1. Poor girl, she is suffering with her eye and loss of Genghis's cuddles, so I am trying to make it up to her myself. I know what is is like to need a cuddle and not get one!!! So all I can hear in the background whilst I type is the odd growl and hiss and meow.....................
So the big push starts tomorrow evening. Trying to get the larger items in, including my bed apparently!!! and beating the rain which is forecast for Saturday. I think it will be fine. Worried about how we will get some large pieces in, to be truthful, but where there is a will, there is a way, right?
Just had my first glass of rose in a week, and it was most welcome! Even ate my first meal this evening if you can call a MacDonald's 'dinner'!!! It was better than nothing which is what I have been on the rest of the week. Well, it is all in a good cause and so I 'mustn't grumble'!
Need to do some administrative things now before bed, as the computer will go down tomorrow too of course. Next time I blog I will be somewhere else!!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

fabulous friends

This evening Ann and Gebke came round to help me again which was wonderful! I am so lucky to have such fabulous friends. So I thought this song was appropriate for the way this week has gone so far and to say thank you to them both. I have managed to complete painting the kitchen and the whole house is clean and ready for the laminate to arrive and be laid tomorrow, and the hall is almost stripped of the old wallpaper so we are on target anyway. Lots to talk about but too tired to so listen to this song and think 'girl power'!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

my lovely daughter on holiday

I read on Becci's facebook that she is training for the 3 peaks challenge, which involves walking up the 3 highest peaks in England within 24 hours of one another! She and a group from work want to do it for charity so good luck Becs!! I think it is fantastic that you are going to gear up and do the necessary training for it, and you will only look more fabulous once you are fit enough for it next spring. This is a photo from her recent holiday I guess - looking tanned Becci and very happy so that makes me happy as well.
Love you sweetie,

Happy little sandboy!

Ah the bliss of a paintbrush.............I have spent the evening painting the kitchen walls green. Tim rather rudely thought it looked like Shrek........but I have assured him it is 'kitchen green' I am using! And I have smartened up the awful white standard units by adding new handles; makes such a difference I reckon! Tim managed to get them all on for me as well as ripping off wallpaper in his bedroom and sweeping upstairs ready for the flooring on Thursday. I saw it in the shop when I went to pay this afternoon..........still love it!! I think from the outside the house is just bog-standard utility housing but inside.............yes, a Devon cottage in the making!!!! I am loving the green!!! We worked solidly all evening until just about half an hour ago which is pretty good going. Heaven only knows at what point I will fall asleep at work tomorrow; it was round about 2pm when I felt myself sagging somewhat today, and by four I was ready to drop. I think I was half asleep driving home.............
Anyway, we are still ploughing on although my admiration for all those people who take on renovation, restoration or new builds is rapidly increasing by the minute!
Well,  I ache all over now, and have green paint splattered on me but nowhere else so it was easy peasy work today and it was good.
Sue xx

Monday, 26 July 2010

dem bones, dem bones....

Oh my goodness, can a body ache more than mine right now? Probably, but in my world, No!!! I am fit to drop this evening and if it wasn't for my friend Gebke answering my distress signal this evening, I think I would have just collapsed in a heap and given up for the night. What is it about rollers and paint that I just cannot get the hang of? Somehow there is no connection between my brain, my hand and the roller. I started to do the kitchen ceiling and it was a total mess. I think ceiling paint the most awful sticky stuff I have ever come across!! I guess I am just really tired too, but in the end I rang Gebke to come to my rescue as she is very handy with the bloomin' roller thingy, and luckily she was  able to come over and do it for me. She didn't splatter at all - and I even managed to get paint up my nose when I tried to do it! I got the radiators all done and most of the wallpaper off in the hall, but by 9 o'clock we decided to call it a day. Having gone there straight from work, it was long enough.  It is definitely a question of 'girl power' in my house so far!!! Ann is stepping in on Wednesday and tomorrow I aim to paint the kitchen walls..............
we are getting down to the wire now, and every free moment counts. My dearest wish right now would be for a massage..............I deserve it, don't I !!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Exhaustion setting in!

Boy oh boy, do I know where muscles ache in my body.......and how stiff I am going to feel in the morning?!
So it is an early night for me as I am totally exhausted.
Sue xx

Friday, 23 July 2010

I will survive!

Phew, working every day and then having a home to unravel is some kind of extreme sport let me tell you!!!
First of all, anyone wanting to visit us needs to  bring doggy bags or food parcels or whatever emergency food aid is called in these situations! My budget just got blown today when I went to the Karwei..........even with the extra discount I took advantage of sweetheart!! Wow, DIY is certainly not the cheapest hobby to take up............and tools!!! Well, I hope I need to use them many times over if  I am going to get my money's worth. Anyway, Tim and I now have the necessary items to start this weekend; just wish we had the know-how to go with it! If the whole of the Streek suddenly hits an electricity failure then we did it wrong!!
Secondly, there is the physical energy required to just go between places - this is supposed to tie in neatly with the mental energy required to actually function appropriately whilst there - and the weirdness of how that feels when it sort of mis-syncs. Sometimes I can almost see myself floating up on that ceiling wondering what the heck I am supposed to be doing!
Thirdly there is the sadness of being aware that our darling cats are feeling rather neglected by us right now, as we are hardly home and they are noticing this decrease in adoration and attention. I know it is only temporary but they are rather spoiled with me having been home so often that working 5 days a week and then getting home later than usual is a shock to their delicate systems. However, we do manage a cuddle up on the settee during the evening so it is not all bad lads and lasses!
And now I need to get some sleep as it will be a long weekend. Hopefully progress will be made and there will be something to show when we are through.
Sue xx

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Decisions, decisions

My head is reeling from all the different things I have to do this coming week. That's right, it is now down to the wire for us and our move, and I am having difficulty organising the jobs in my head - I know now what the chicken and the egg felt like!!!
At least the awful wall between our bedrooms is gone and the cupboard is lying in pieces on the floor upstairs. I think we can use the shelves again in either the shed or the attic so they are worth something to us. The rest is just to be disposed of asap. Luckily the new wall will be there on Saturday morning!!
Loes, Ann, Tim and I went round this evening to take a good look at the house together and drink a glass of red wine together. It is good  to have everyones ideas and suggestions and helpful hints about how to do things as I am pretty clueless about so many DIY jobs. I can make a place look pretty but the stage in between has usually been left to someone else to sort out! I am good at the finishing touches! It isn't helpful that I have to work every day for the whole summer period which just leaves me limited time for the larger jobs, but the weekend is coming and I have a list already!!
Wasn't so hot today which is a blessing now. Rained here for a while but nothing heavy really. Going to bed with a good book now !!!!!
Sue xx

going un-noticed..........

Y'know, I thought I had undergone a radical change at the weekend but to my amazement no-body appears to have noticed a  thing! Not even my nearest and dearest!!?
My conclusions are as follows:

1. The change is so subtle that everything thinks I always looked like this.
2. No-one takes any interest in how I look therefore they can't see that there is something different.
3. It must really suit me so well that it looks as though it was always like this!
4. It's awful and they are all being kind and ignoring it so that they don't have to tell me!
5. I can't think of a 5th!!!

So, I will say nothing and just wait until someone comments.....................
Sue xx

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

First day over

An early start to my day but I was there on time to collect the keys to the new house and hand over my money etc! Actually I was there about an hour as the lady and I had a really good long chat about ourselves and family and work and children and just about everything! It was all very nice and friendly and very helpful. Then I took my first carload of stuff round and just sat in the garden for a while 'contemplating my navel'!!! Letting it all sink in in other words. I was busy unpacking the second time round having then cycled over there to get my bike settled in, when the neighbour over the fence began another very lengthy conversation with me for about an hour!! So far, little was achieved but I know all about them now!!
Living next to a computer guy is handy to know!
Then it was time to get into the details of how the house looked and what I needed to do and how....so very glad you were there too!! It is going to be a week of flat-out hard work, but hey, that was to be expected and now I have seen the size of the challenge I know what I have to do. And that wall can come out as soon as possible!!! Hopefully tomorrow whilst I am working............and then re-built when there is a bit of space in the week.
There is something nice about starting the house off from scratch I think. It will be definitely all ours when we are finished and we can sit back and tell ourselves we did a good job. Getting downstairs nice is the first task and that is going to be done, leaving some time to save up again for the finishing touches and all the niceties I am hoping for...............see, not even going for 'beautiful' just nice over nasty ugliness!!!! :-)
There are obviously restrictions with it being a rented house, so I have to accept the limitation of some of the work that has been done in the past, but hey, I have great doors!!! And I am dead set on a green and red kitchen and new door handles!! Make such a difference to the feeling of the kitchen I think.
But now I am very tired and hot and bothered and just crave a white wine and a good film this evening.
Tomorrow is another day.....
Sue xx

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Tomorrows the first day of the rest of....

as they say! Yes, tomorrow I will get the keys to my new home and I am as much excited as I am nervous! I want it to go well, and I want to feel I am confident about everything that will come with it in these coming months but I suppose I feel that until the end of this year, it will all be a matter of taking things slower than I am used to and with more information about practical issues than I have had to deal with for years, and I am apprehensive about that. I do not doubt my own capabilities, but it is a long time since I have been on my own and 100% responsible for everything, and I have to get used to it again. I know that I am well supported and not really alone in this, but to some extent I am, so no good pretending otherwise!! The buck lands with me, right?.................
so I am going to try and sleep and get some rest before the morning, and then take the day as it comes.
Sue xx

Monday, 19 July 2010

sizzlingly hot!

It has been just under the 30C mark all afternoon here and don't I know it! The cats have retreated indoors somewhere as it was just too hot for their comfort, and I have been reading under the umbrella and wearing my hat so that tells you something! Actually it is good getting out old favourites to re-read as they are so familiar that I can just skim through them, remind myself of the details again, and move onto another one in just under a couple of hours!! I dearly want a good library area when we move............almost dare I say, essential to my well-being? I was reminded of a book I have got somewhere only this afternoon when I was on the phone.........time to read it again methinks! Anyway it prompted me to check out Amazon again and before I knew it there was the click of a button and 3 new books were on there way to Lutjebroek!!!!
Be happy, they are for us both!!
Sue xx

Monday morning

It promises to be a lovely sunny and hot couple of days so I am happy not to be working today! It is absolutely blue sky out there without a cloud in sight!
How was your weekend? Mine was quiet but okay I suppose. It feels strange to be this close to getting our keys to the house and yet not being able to do anything for two more days - sort of a limbo feeling. I live here but I will soon live ten minutes up the road sort of feeling!! I suppose this coming weekend will be when  I really feel I am doing stuff and filling the last remaining boxes etc. My books are still on the top floor!! Maybe I ought to just be glad that I can rest now as soon that will be a luxury of the past!
Tim has his friend staying with us for a few days so maybe they will have plans for today. I am awake quite early so no doubt they will not emerge until half way through the morning!
So, a very good morning to everyone reading this where every you may be.
Sue xx

Saturday, 17 July 2010

happiness is a pot of paint!!

Today I found the paint I like for our house. I was imaging I would have to either go to England or Belgium to get what I wanted, but thankfully here in Hoogkarspel they know what good paint is!!!
I can now start to think colour and that makes life interesting.
I am being a good girl and listening to all the advice I am getting from one source or another, but at the end of the day my stubborn, independent streak will probably win the day!! So red goes with green, right?! My plan is to detract from the horrible kitchen cupboards which have to stay, by making it a bright and happy little place to cook in. Swinging a cat is not possible as it is too small for that, but hey, that is just a figure of speech and not something to take literally!! And once I have made some blinds for the windows in there it will all look lovely. Aah.............
It is raining here this evening but the sky is the most glorious pinky gold colour at the moment. Huge fluffy clouds racing by the window as I type, and gentle rain tinkling against the slope of the windowpane. Summer rain in fact.
What else is new? A surprise!!

Friday, 16 July 2010


Friday already - this week has flown. I am almost into the last week of living here and it feels good to be moving on. I have mixed emotions flowing through me for all sorts of reasons right now, good and bad, and it is not possible to talk about them so I am going a little crazy in my head at times! But anyway, this is where its at and its time to think about paint!! Yes, one of my favourite things to do is choose colour schemes. Sad, I know, but I enjoy looking at colours and paints and wallpaper and material and although I have not got the money to put all this into action at the moment, there is nothing better than having the ideas of what it is all going to be like in the end. My friend Jackie is coming over in October to help so I have some time to do all the peeling off of the paper and smoothing the walls etc before we start on it together. The first thing I need to do is get a tape measure this morning because it is driving me nuts thinking about spaces and lengths and room........I am pretty good at making estimates of what room there is for furniture and can plan it all out in my head easily enough, but there are somethings one just has to know the length of!!! WORKTOPS!!!!...............
Other things to say but not right now........
Sue xx

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Only 6 more days...........

until Tim and I get the keys to our new house!!! I am finally starting to believe it is happening and we are moving. I think it is a little like going on holiday: you plan it for so long beforehand that when the time comes, it is over before you realise it! I went shopping for the ordinary stuff this morning - y'know, the cleaning items that are essential but boring!! The reality is that no matter how tidy the house will seem, I know I will have to clean it myself. A sort of nesting instinct I guess, putting my stamp on the house and saying 'here I am'. We won't be able to move in straight away as flooring needs to be laid etc but as least I will be able to walk around the whole place and really take notice of what needs doing and what is good about it and where I can make improvements over time etc. Wouldn't feel the same without a good list or two!! I have been thinking in large general terms about what we can and must do to organise the move, but now we need to macromise (my own word for it I fear!) and plan the final small detailed jobs that need my attention as well. The cats for one thing - new address tags and a lead and harness for Finka who is going to be SO miserable when she realises she has to stay indoors for a while to adjust to losing her gardens. Genghis will be fine I am hoping as he is an older cat and used to moving house and country with us. I can keep him indoors easily once he has arrived but Finka is young and easily scared so I think she will need watching.
Yesterday we had a BBBQ at one of the day centres where I work. It was fun! So great seeing our clients enjoying themselves, getting up and singing and dancing with one another - and me! I have not waltzed in years but one gentleman wanted me to dance with him so I gave it a whirl. At least I didn't tread on his toes or fall over! I was happier doing the Conga!!! I remember one BBQ on a beach many years ago where everyone was doing that thing where you have to get under a low pole by shimmying..........and I just daren't try it in case I made a total ass of myself! I think I am older now and might even attempt it because life is too short for small cares and worries and it is for living. Still haven't got any better co-ordinated though!!
We had the tail end of the storm I think this evening, nothing like the predicted weather warning we heard all day long. It has not cleared the air so it is hot and humid here and I am in for another tossing and turning and dreaming night I can tell. Pity, I was so looking forward to just sleeping..................
Sue xx

Stephanie Spielburg???

I think I must be aiming for an Oscar every night when I go to dream - sleep is far away at the moment! I dream intensely and deeply usually, but yesterday was a first for even me! When I woke up I was in some kind of twilight zone I guess because I had a conversation on my phone that I can't recall, and my head felt so heavy and vague.........all I remember is my dream. The whole day I was suffering from a terrible headache and 'out of mindness' that made it difficult to concentrate at work for any length of time.  A thought I am having now, is that it has to do with the weather we are experiencing this week - all the thunderstorms etc. Maybe it is affecting me too much?!
This morning I woke at 5.30 and went to the bathroom before returning to bed and a dream in which I was in medieval England and wanting to win a contest over all the men in order to become their leader. My name was Emma and I did win - but it was like a film script in some respects as that is the way I dream; half awake and talking and being those people. If I could tap into the whole thing  I would take Hollywood by storm!!! ;-)
It does leave me exhausted that is the only problem, but my imagination is so alive always, it is the main reason why I cannot watch things that are too disturbing or upsetting or scary as they are hard to get out of my mind. So don't go asking me to watch 'Nightmare on Elm Street', ok?!
And I totally agree, Ineke, the version of Pride and Prejudice that was on this week is nothing in comparison to the BBC series. Too weak character portrayals by the Lizzie and Darcy and others, and the story was so condensed that the love story got lost in translation somewhat. The best Jane Austen films are 'Sense and Sensibility' and 'Becoming Jane'. Both worthwhile watching Ineke, if you have never seen them!!! I always cry during both of them!!

If you had to be a character from a book or film do you have any idea which one is the closest to who you think you are? For me I would have to be a mix of:

JO from Little Women
ELEANOR from Sense and Sensibility
KATY from What Katy Did
LIZZIE from Pride and Prejudice.

I think these women shaped me in some way as I read so much about them as a child and loved everything they got up to and how they experienced their worlds - along with their romantic heros of course!! Probably why I am still expecting my knight in shining armour to come galloping around the corner at any minute now!! What do these characters all have in common then? Well, they are strong women, with ideals and dreams and responsibilities over and above the norm, and love affairs that are never straight forward!!! Jo falls for the german professor, Eleanor for the humorous would-be vicar, Katy for her sailor and Lizzie for the rich gentleman. (Hmm.............ring any bells?!!!) Jo is the tomboy scatterbrain with a love of writing, Eleanor the quiet down to earth manager of house and family, Katy the school girl who grows up as the eldest sister looking after Clover and going travelling with her aunt to meet her man, and Lizzie is bound to her own romantic ideal of marrying for nothing less than love of her soulmate. (Big Ben ringing in my ears!!!!! ) Since Becci has also read all these books - and more - I see the same thing in her but maybe it is a good thing, as any lover of literature only has to read the entire library to stand a chance of understanding us and meeting the challenge of loving us!!! Can't wait to get all by beloved heroines back on my bookshelves to be read once more...............
Sue xx

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Holland expects.....

Its usually the phrase 'England Expects' but this weekend it is definitely Hollands turn!! They have made the final of the World Cup and will play Spain tomorrow evening. This weekend the only colour to be seen in is ORANGE! And it is my least favourite colour of all...............I confess to wearing a t-shirt with orange mingled in with many other colours  this morning but it was more by accident than design! It is extremely hot already today and I have several chores to get done so started early. The cats are in and out depending on how hot they are feeling, and Finka is loving it. She is a real garden-girl. Genghis prefers the comfort of our bed when it is this warm and sneaks upstairs to lie in the shade on our bed.

I have been so busy recently trying to organise the move and booking people for gas and water and the internet etc. I went to Ikea and finally ordered the things Tim and I wanted from there but not all of them because it was too expensive right now. I have to confess to falling in love with a coffee table I saw in another shop this week - and plan to have saved enough to buy it in October!! Something to look forward to I feel....though when it comes to interior decorating I have the patience of a gnat!!! I want it all done yesterday - no escaping that fact, so I am having to have the brakes put on me by someone else this time!!!
I do appreciate it and know it is what I need to hear, but forgive me if I turn deaf suddenly every now and then!?
Well, time to move onto the next task on my list before the temperature soars above the 30C like yesterday.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

For a friend..........

"I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, 
acutely miserable, racked with sorrow,
 but through it all I still know quite certainly
that just to be alive is a grand thing."
{ agatha christie }

Monday, 5 July 2010

Life on the sloot

It was certainly an intriguing day yesterday! We have a water coot nest right next to our terrace on the water but it seems that it is a highly desirable property for several other families! When I went outside in the morning to see how they were doing, I was astonished to see a Tortoise plonked right in the middle of the nest!!! I could hardly believe my eyes so I called my neighbour to come and look and decide whether we ought to phone the animal rescue service or not. We did, but they told us not to worry, there were hundreds of tortoises swimming around the waters of Noord-Holland!!! I feel he is our very own Nessie anyway!!! But that was not the end of it. Later on in the afternoon, Gertrude, my non-quacking duck swam by for her bread, accompanied by her one little tiny baby, and promptly waddled up onto the same nest with baby to have a good cleaning session!!!! Meanwhile, family Coot were swimming around nearby watching all this going on, collecting more and more reeds to rebuilt the nest once these invaders were gone........and by the time I went in, the babies were once more settled under mother's wings for the night!!! Here are some pictures I took during the day.                                                     

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Glyndebourne Opera

This is the actual performance ending of the chorus that Gareth led for the Glyndebourne modern opera, where his youngsters are seen singing on the stage. It is too short to be really appreciated but what a difference from those first auditions!!! And it all went so well, very professional and an awesome experience they will never forget.
Sue xx

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Becci in a paper dress.......why?!

Apparently it was a staff team building challenge and Becci says her team won!!! Always a tad differently dressed from anyone else, I can see why they chose Becci to wear this paper creation!! Luvverly darlin'!!!
You'll be a sensation in Menorca!!
Sue xx

Friday, 2 July 2010

Making progress

Apart from the fact that today was the warmest of the whole year to date - 35C - I managed to get some things done that were very satisfying for me. I made a decision about the flooring I want for our new house and went to look for that, and then I received the training package for my course that starts this October, all very exciting. It looks such a lot to digest and take in, but I am a fast reader so it ought to be fine. After the move I will find the time to settle down and read, read, read. What really appeals is the tiny germ of an idea that I might be able to do my masters after this year, as it is a matter of writing a dissertation on something and I reckon I ought to be able to do that................something to think about later anyway.
And Holland won against Brazil so that is pretty neat too!! A good second half to the game and a well-deserved win. Bad luck Andy Murray though - knocked out by Nadal who was playing top tennis today. I think he will probably win the tournament now, but the other guy was phenomenal in the other semi so maybe not. At any rate a great final in store.
Still wrestling with the name game........went to a site with place names in England on it, and some were unbelievable! My current favourite was Upper Wummer........just for the way it sounds ha!ha! But I have another serious contender that I need to think about.............keep you guessing!!
Sue xx

Thought of the Day.

"Twenty years from now you 
will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do
than by the ones you did do."
{ mark twain }