Les Mis Trailer

Thursday, 30 September 2010


Lost in my own thoughts today, sometimes ones that weigh heavily on my mind, sometimes ones for the universe to provide answers to, sometimes ones that are unanswerable and sometimes ones that are simple to ask, and impossible to decide what to do with the conclusions. A little down in mood.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Easy start

Waking up half an hour earlier than normal has its bonuses!! I have had time for breakfast and some tea, to iron Tim's baking clothes for college today, read my mail, potter and take longer in the bathroom! Genghis is outside having his morning prowl - so far no hissing or loud cries from other neighbourhood cats so its quiet on the streets! - and Finka is mewing as she complains that she doesn't know where her furry friend is. My burn is peeling now, which makes it more painful again, so not impressed. It opens it up to irritation and I can feel it as I type, just being tender again. It's part of the healing process so I have to accept it, but I do wish I had a large soft plaster to go over it this morning!!
Nothing much more to add, and my time is fast running out as we approach 7.30am. I am better prepared for the coldness of our woodwork section and have got my coat out so that when we are wandering the town this afternoon following our paper trail, I will still be warm and toasty. This time of year is ideal for catching colds ( Tim sneezes on cue ) so best to wrap up and drink more tea - or coffee!!
Sue xx

Monday, 27 September 2010

Looking forward

"Every small, positive change
we make in ourselves
repays us in confidence
in the future."
{ alice walker }

I am hoping that this is what I am going to discover within myself during the course I am beginning next month. The fact that it is getting closer is making me look more at what I have actually signed up to do.........and one of the things is writing essays about myself!! Not my favourite past-time to be frank, but unavoidable and something I need to get used to all over again. As a therapist I used to be involved heavily in reflective practice and supervision and I suppose that is what it boils down to here; looking at what one does, how one reacts in situations, what one feels or says, how one learns from one's actions....how the past affects current and future choices and decisions. Am I ready for all that?! Not sure, but it is a positive opportunity to change things within myself that perhaps need to be changed, take stock of what is good and improve and value that more, and learn to love myself for the person I am and not the person I imagine I ought to be. The last one is the hardest. Maybe that is where my focus should lie if  I am to be any good at all this one day. 
I learnt something about myself today at work. I was to work in a group situation that was new to me, even though I knew all the clients and it was within my usual workplace. I had not expected it and it was just a given when I saw that my colleague had left notes for the coming fortnight addressed to me!!! I was a little unsure for the first part of the morning, but as the day wore on, I realised that I can handle it just fine, and so long as no-one expects me to use any of the machinery, we are all going to be okay!! I did try to use an electric screwdriver but I was not at all offended when my colleague told me my client was better with it than me; it was the plain truth, that's all. But they were really helpful, and did everything possible to support 'the new girl' and ensure we did all we needed to do, so here's to the coming 7 days of sawdust and noise, paper and boxes, and 'my guys' getting it all just right! I am sure they will, I know they can, and I will just do my best not to get anything wrong. When they suggested that it was probably best to let them tow the cart around the town tomorrow whilst I just walked beside them, I knew they understood exactly what my role is to be!! ..Nice lady who sings as they work!!!!;-)
Sue xx

I guess this is why Tim wants to go to America!!!!

The lovely girl in the forefront of the picture, spread across the other two dancers, is his girlfriend!!!
Sue xx

My sixth sense is alive and kicking!!!

Picture son standing before me at 6.45 this morning. I know he wants to ask something because he always just stands first and the cogs are whirling in his brain but nothing is coming out of his mouth! I tell him I know he wants to ask me something, and just to tell it to me. He says he needs time to think about how to say it. I say I already know what he is going to ask. He, disbelieving, says I cannot possibly know this. I assure him I can and do! He starts to open his mouth and I say ' you want to ask whether you can go to America and study if it is possible'. Son's jaw drops wide open, eyes astonished...'how did you know that?!!' he says. I tell him his mother is a witch and she knows things before anyone else!!! ;-)
Then follows discussion about ' would you have any objection to me going to America for say, three months or longer, because Jacky's father knows a way to do it, maybe?' I ask all kinds of questions to which he gets irritated and says I am being melodramatic and he only asked one thing, would I mind!! I say, there are conditions attached and all kinds of information that has to be found out about, but by now he is not happy because I am being sensible and realistic about it all, and he just wants to hear ' you can go.'
It is too early in the morning to be confronted with this sort of thing, and I am trying to be calm and reasonable without discouraging his optimism, but at the same time knowing that this is what we call a 'shot in the dark.' Oh dear, when does it get easier please?
Sue xx

Sunday, 26 September 2010

When you just know........

......there are not going to be enough hours in your day to achieve all you have thought of in your head!!
First things first though; we woke up to a warm house!!! Hurray! So nice, and not too toasty that I didn't want to leave our bed but just warm enough to encourage me downstairs. And upstairs. And the attic. And down again, and back up...exhausted! I am glad of the huge attic space as it is ideal for drying the mountain of washing facing me this morning, but it is the two flights of stairs that I hate, carrying the ironing up and down afterwards. So I am having a little break before I do more. Though in between I have painted another coat over the door thresholds and they look much better already. Cats are stepping neatly over them without any trouble, and we are just going to have to 'watch our step'!!
It is misty and damp outside at the moment. A day to stay home really and indulge in nice things, but I want to get some stuff organised before the week ahead starts as I am working every day. And that's why the crush of hours today is so frustrating!! But hey, there's always my skype date to look forward to AND my sentimental film time this evening. Life is good!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 25 September 2010

really nice day.

Ann and I have had a lovely day out together in Deventer today. I got brave and drove there myself which actually went really well! We took the 'back route' as it were, avoiding the major motorways and Amsterdam, but it was quiet on the roads and we did just fine. Pat on the back!! The town was not too busy and we were able to potter slowly and do what we wanted to, in the time that we had allotted, and despite the occasional shower of rain, it was a pleasant autumnal day. We went to visit my mother-in-law before leaving for home again, and I was very happy to see her and my sister and brother- in-law as well. It was a good surprise that they came round, so thank you guys for doing that. It was good to hear about everyone in the family and catch up with their things and just feel I was in touch with them again.
The drive home went well but it was horrible weather and there were the most awesome rain clouds over the Isselmeer as we drove across the dyke. People were even stopping to take pictures! It made such a difference having Ann in the car beside me, reading the directions and just chit-chatting away, and it didn't seem to take the time it used to, to get there. A stress-free day!!
Getting back home and relaxing has been the only thing I needed to do so now I am going to take that a step further and go to bed. I plan to enjoy my Sunday and get ready for the week of work that is ahead of me. You too?
Sue xx

Friday, 24 September 2010

Mishaps continue to dog my day.....

So nice heating man came and gave me a swish round thermostat that does nothing more than the old one, just looks prettier!! And the temperature difference between the two was 2C so hopefully we will now be warmer! I had a quick lesson in how to save energy, whilst he was enjoying coffee and one of Tim's pastries, and hopefully we can now manage without the expense of buying a new one.
Meanwhile I was busy painting the thresholds downstairs, and of course, today being today, I managed to drop the top of hoover onto one of them leaving a million cat hairs stuck in the wet paint!!! How to get rid of them - anyone?!!! I was annoyed to say the least. But on the positive side, my Roasted Onion and Pepper and Carrot Soup is smelling delicious! A little known recipe, having made it up as I went along this morning, but edible, so that is fine!! My fingernails are a little orange still, from peeling off the skins but since they now have paint scrapes under them as well, who is looking?.................
11.48am..............8 minutes to go!!! ;-)
Sue xx

careless, sleepless...

Being only half awake this morning is proving to have it's pitfalls! Not only did I press 'reject' on the mobile whilst intending to press 'accept', but I have gone on to nicely burn my arm whilst putting the iron away and that hurts!! The dear boy was still jabbering away at 2.15 this morning, and the thin wall between us and him is exactly that - thin! So I was party to the skype conversation in the room next door which didn't thrill me one little bit! So I sent him a text......which accidentally went to someone else.......so then I had to apologise quickly and send it again to Tim.........and before I knew it I was hearing the alarm going off and needing to get up! The heating man can come at any time after 8am so despite the fact that he probably won't appear until 12.00 I have to be ready for the 4 hours in between. And my head hurts, and I need to go and eat breakfast now or else my blood sugar level is going to zero out before too long............
Sue xx

Thursday, 23 September 2010

thunder and lightning

Whoa, driving home in this storm was scary!! I don't see well in the dark at the best of times, but this evening it was a constant shower of lightning that gave me the creeps! The rain was really heavy at times and I could barely see the road, so was I glad to get indoors safely. Yuk!! It is still thundering away but the rain has lessened and finally there are gaps between the white lightning strikes so hopefully it is now moving away.
A long day. Work was slow but not without its problems so I was glad when it was over. And tomorrow I am free so plenty to do but at least all within the house walls. Time to pull that wallpaper off from the hall!
Tim has a stinking cold but is well enough to eat!! As though anything could put him off his food! Good thing really, as he is a growing boy............let's leave it at that, shall we? Otherwise I would be tempted to say something else!!
Weekend!! Have a good one.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Becoming independent.

It is sometimes hard to know who and where to ask about things when you have no real understanding of how the government organisations work when it is not your own country, so this morning, having the extra time before work, I have dedicated myself to ringing numbers, hanging on the line, and eventually sending emails once I had managed to find ones to send my questions in to!! Some sites even state that it is impossible to contact them directly, only through forms and questionnaires, and others tell you that you will have to wait at least 10 minutes before someone real - and other than an automatically generated voice, actually comes on the line!
So, the tax office, the education department, the central heating service..........all sorted this morning! Pat on the back, my girl! Not that I got much joy out of two of the above, but the nice man at the heating service will send someone out this Friday morning as 'he didn't want to think of me being cold!' How nice is that?!
The tax office works in the same mysterious ways as it does in England; you are entirely in their hands as to when they will get around to answering your question, roughly 8 weeks is necessary it seems, and they can't give you any indication of which way it will go before that time comes. And as for the education one....they only work using questionnaires so finding the one that is accurate for your personal question is like finding the proverbial!!! So I have to be more patient, dig deeper into my pockets and try to eek out what we have for a while longer, but still keeping my fingers crossed!

I also got technical Ineke!! Yey! I have got an earpiece to allow me to answer phone calls whilst in the car. I know, very advanced stuff for me! I got it to work once but then that was it, so this morning I decided to have another go - this time reading the 'F Manual' as well - to see whether I could get it to work again.
"YES - I CAN!"
So this means I am going to try again today and see whether whilst in the car driving, I can still remember what I have to press!!! I now know what I was doing wrong..................so that helps, but I will be reading the page again before I go, just to imprint the steps in my brain, and hoping that someone calls me so that I can test it!! ;-)
I think my reward for all this is knowing that Sense & Sensibility is going to be on this coming Sunday evening and I can sit and enjoy it once again. Never get tired of it!! Think this calls for a video clip......
Sue xx

Sunny start

The sky is quite beautiful this morning as I look out from my snuggery window. I face the east, roughly, towards Enkhuizen, so see the sunrise in all its glory. It is not pink though, just clear and with the stripes criss-crossing it from all the plane trails. It is not cold, 20C in the living room but there is an autumnal nip in the air, and the windows are steamed up. I think Becci's walk over the Chase this morning will be stunning!
Cannock Chase in her Autumn Glory
Fantastic isn't it?! Imagine having this on your doorstep and being able to go there for walks whenever you want to..................I hope they have the same weather as we are expecting here today, and she takes her camera with her!!!!
I am getting ready slowly for my half day at work. It is allowing me to have a cuppa and warm up my towel before showering!! Yes, I cannot quite get used to cold, damp towels first thing in the morning, and miss it.
I have had to place my jug of roses in here because Miss Finka is determined to pick them out one by one and strew them all around the house! I thought it was just red ones,  so bought white instead, but she is obviously not fussy and likes to play with all colours! What is the fascination? Xander had it for tulips so eventually they were banned from the house, but she is a girl, so loves roses; who can blame her?!!!
She leaves all others alone, my flowers on the table not having been touched  ( apart from the odd chew on their leaves...) so I suppose its roses out, tulips back in!!!
( p.s. a kind friend commented that they liked my 'new look', so there!!! And it was an unsolicited one too!!! ) Have a nice day!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Hope to get to see this for real!

Russian Christmas at Chatsworth
Oh, this is so me!!!!
I am going to be visiting my friends in Yorkshire for our annual December gathering, and have suggested that we visit Chatsworth House at the weekend because THIS is on!! Their Christmas Theme this year is Russian and who do you know that collects Russian Dolls???? ME! Oh, and Becci, so hopefully this will encourage her to come along with her friends and make a wonderful day of it. Doesn't it look entrancing?
Sue xx

It's a small world, after all

Today is 21 September and Internet for Peace Day. Hence the video. Living in a small rural community here in the Netherlands, one is still aware of the diversity of cultures and peoples living near to one another. Take us for example, within our street there are English, Dutch, Italian, Irakian and Polish households to name the few I am aware of, and I am sure there are probably more, all going about the same daily routines as one another, peacefully and without tension. If only that were global!! So for my part, I will continue to be a peace-maker and do my best to live in harmony with my neighbours and do what I can to make my own small corner of this world a tranquil and pleasant place to be. We all have a story to tell, reasons why we are here in this village, living the lives that we do, some simple, some complicated, but all worthy of our respect and tolerance. It's a small world, after all.
Sue xx

Jude Law for Internet For Peace

The Christmas Etsy Cribbles are starting!

Fatal, browsing Etsy. I am constantly amazed at the diversity of handmade items and crafts people are busy creating in their homes. If you have never taken the tour, make a cup of tea, lock the door, turn off the radio and indulge for an hour or two: www.etsy.com   -  FANTASTIC!!! I try to support all things handmade or from the FairTrade stores or brands as much as I possibly can, because as a scrapper, I know how hard people work to design and produce their own personal creations, and giving or receiving something another person has taken the time and effort to produce is worth such a lot more than something mass produced. In my opinion anyway, and since I am now in a situation whereby I cannot afford all the glitz of shopping in the department stores etc. I hope to get back to my own humble creations next month, once all of my stuff is unpacked and in my snuggery cupboard again. I am having to make choices though as I have too much to squash into the two cupboards, but the third one is going up in the attic so I can save things up there!! I have started blog wandering in scrapland again, to see what I have been missing and getting up to speed on what's new, but the challenge is going to be using up all my scraps first, and I think it is the nearness of Christmas that is giving me this shove in the right direction!! The stamps are all in my room, and this week the inks are making an appearance again, it is just the general lack of new paper as always that is bugging me, especially as I have not unearthed my stash as yet!!! Who put it in the boxes right at the back of the attic?!!!!! Ideas are brewing and my fingers are itching so these are the signs of an active creative vein once more throbbing with the  intention to DO instead of procrastinate!!!
Happy Tuesday to you!!
Sue xx

Monday, 20 September 2010

Greetings Deal-ites!!!

It has come to my attention that there is interest in my blogging saga from an unexpected quarter!!! You have been sussed!!! Anyway, please leave a comment next time you stop by and say HELLO!
Sue xx

"Rain, rain, go away....

.........come again another day"!! As the poem goes.
It is a damp drizzly morning and still quite dark despite being 8.17am. I took Tim to the station as he asked nicely and I was up anyway, and wanting to get to the housing corporation soon, so that is my good motherly deed for the day! Oh, picking him up later will be the second one!
I have things on my mind, and things to say, which I didn't say at the weekend but now I have formulated them in my mind and am clearer about my answers. Do you ever have that? Someone asks you a personal question but before you can answer you need time to really think about how you would reply so as not to get it wrong? And by wrong I mean, allowing your emotional response to colour your word choice and leave you regretting how you said something important? I am a stewer; I find myself thinking hard before I commit myself to revealing my deeper feelings, and I suppose a lot of that has to do with my own insecurities and past experiences and fears about what will happen if I do say them out loud.........going into this course on counselling and coaching is intensifying my own reflective processes which is a good thing, but on the other hand frustrating for those wanting immediate gratification!! (As I always do, too; I know you will be thinking that even as I type this)!!! Anyway, if you remind me, I will now be able to recall what I have thought about and repeat it and feel ok about doing it!!! :-)
Time to button up and brave the rain!
Sue xx

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Nice surprise!

I was just switching on my computer about an hour and a half ago, and about to click away my Skype when I was called on it!! Total coincidence, but there, on the screen, larger than life was.....(Becci) Spot's daddy!! Ha!Ha! Yes, my very old friend who gave Spot to Becci when she was a little girl, was saying "Hi". He now lives in Cheshire which is about as far removed from London as I ever imagined he would go, and sounds very well indeed. He is living there for his work but his heart is definitely still in the south so going back is on the cards I would imagine. Funny how people never really change isn't it? I probably haven't spoken to him for many years - hazard a guess at around 6 years but then only on email.....and as for having seen one another, that has to be around the Spot Time, so 20ish? He was finding it hard to get used to the countryside and the isolation ( well, all one needs is a pub, right?!) and I was finding it hard to understand why he was sat at home and not down at Bridgemeer Garden Centre having a wonderful time walking around that huge paradise of plants and everything else one could hope to find there! I used to drive there with Becci when she was a baby, with my aunt, when we wanted a good day out, so have very fond memories of his area. I lived in the south for many years but always consider myself a northerner and he is the other way round, so sometimes there is no getting away from one's roots, is there?
Anyway, we had a lovely time catching up with one another, and since we have been friends since I was about 13, we go back a very long way! Of course, not being in regular contact with one another, it is always me who seems to have changed direction, got divorced, moved to another country etc. when we do cross paths, so hearing that he had moved out of London was shocking!!! Usually nothing has altered at all apart from him having moved up the ladder with his job, so this was a nice change. Hmm, I'm in need of a cup of tea I think!!
Sue xx

Whoa! I managed something new!!!!

A cats 'n kids Heart Collage!!

It was really bugging me that I couldn't master the mosaic the other day, so this morning I have tried something new - a collage!!! It took a matter of a couple of minutes to organise, (my kind of computing) and I just found some photos of the children and Xander and Heathcliff and voila! Here they are!
Sue xx

Sunday morning

........definitely eating my breakfast with a cup of coffee whilst I blog!!:-)

Lots of printing to do for choir this morning; time to pick up my tasks as secretary, ladies! We are singing again at the Enkhuizen Koopkoren Festival on 7th November so we have started learning new songs for the repertoire starting with "The Longest Time" by Bill Joel. I like the song so that makes it easier to want to sing so I am sure it will become one of our better ones. I cannot abide singing doo whah doo all the time I am sorry to say!! This time the soprano's are taking the tenor part and the alto's are the melody/ sopranos......I guess because of the range required for both parts and without a single man left standing in the choir now, we are doing a shuffle with the harmonies. However the arrangement is fine with this song and we get our share of the melody too, so I cannot get grumpy about this one! Anyway, we enjoyed the festival last year so looking forward to singing in the shops again this time.

Looking out of the window it is grey and cold. Inside we have two weather extremes: Siberian cold or Sahara hot!! Oh boy, this heating is going to be the death of me!! It only comes on at 21C and we boil within half an hour, so have to switch it off and then an hour later we are reaching for extra pullies cos we are freezing cold!!!! There is no way to regulate it either so it is a question of leaping out of bed at 6am and switching it on so that at 6.30am we can get out in the warm and shower etc, so guess how many colds we can expect this winter????? I suspect that we need to buy that other thermostat............soon!!!
And I also notice that with the cooler weather, when I am cooking, the whole kitchen turns into a steam room as I don't have an extractor for the oven yet..............so my priorities are shifting with the seasonal changes really. Imagine at Christmas: I won't even be able to find the turkey if we are so steamed up!! I won't be saying 'bah, humbug' but 'bah, steam!'
Right now I have to get up and on with the washing-ironing and other tasks, not with great enthusiasm I confess, but there suddenly appears to be several weeks worth in the basket that Tim brought up to the attic this morning.....
Sue xx

Saturday, 18 September 2010


We are back to normal thank goodness!!! Tempers are soothed, communication is flowing and harmony has been restored - thank goodness!!!

On the other hand we have found a leak in our attic thanks to the vigilance of our neighbour who had one and came to check whether we did as well........I think it is the tiles maybe that could have slipped etc but the housing corporation will come and take a look once they know about it, so I am not too worried really. Nothing is actually dripping up there!

Finka has discovered a new game: jump in the bin!! She dives in and then pops out again usually with some paper between her teeth.........not that we are impressed by this new talent she has perfected, since in a full bin it would be rather unpleasant to say the least, but her obsession with balls of paper and playing fetch is fun to watch as she skids around the living room at high speed chasing them. Her favourite though, is when I throw the ball from the bed and it falls down the stairs so she can helter skelter down the stairs, almost flying, the pitter patter of her paws sounding like a drumroll she goes so fast and then jumping up onto the bed and placing it just out of my reach ready to go again. Who needs a Retriever when you have a Finka?!! Tim wants to film her in action so watch this space! Maybe I will use the flip video camera at long last, eh?..................

We got a few little jobs done today which I am very happy about. Progress though slow is still progress and it was with quite a shock when I suddenly realised how soon it is until my friend comes to stay from England. Just two and a half weeks!!! So tomorrow I have to make a start on peeling off wallpaper in the hall and getting the doorframe cleaned up so that it can be sealed back into place. I can manage that!! It will be this weeks job. I hate mess and dust especially but there is no avoiding it I fear so I will just have to get a  mask to wear if I start wheezing too badly. And we had a little present in the post today from Bosch!! We have been waiting for the 'free' attachment set that was on offer with the electric screwdriver we bought back in July, and it is still delayed, so to thank us for our patience we now have a small set of bits to add to the one that will some day arrive! Well, that is fine by us. It was a lovely day after all.
Sue xx

Friday, 17 September 2010

Heating issues

Brr...very cold in this house cos I can't get the heating to work properly yet!!! It was ok earlier as I turned it up for a while and I was then too hot so turned it off again, and then I got really cold so now I am going to bed to warm up again!! It feels more cold-damp than chilly if you know the difference? Anyway, I hope to get a better look at it tomorrow because this is not pleasant at all!
My issues with 'the dear boy' remain unresolved. Rather than going into them in great detail let me just say that I am not finding it easy at the moment, and the attitude of a certain teenage boy is not helping. I was once a single mum with two small children, working full-time juggling that many balls I can't even believe I managed it now looking back. And yet here I am, alone with an almost grown son and working off and on and one would think it would be a doddle, but no, that is not what it is at all!!! Frustration, frustration, my cup runneth over - or rather BOILS!!!!! Perhaps we are both suffering from the same emotions and therefore rubbing each other up the wrong way right now - it is a good possibility, but one that nonetheless is awful for us both. We are both now moving into our stubborn "I am not going to give in first" positions which I find easy to justify on the tit for tat scale, but not on the "I am going to sort this out and get it right" scale. I know I have to stick to my guns and not succumb to the easy option this time. It can go two ways right now, and that is my struggle, as every parent will understand, but I will stay calm and undeterred and see how that works out..............we both need to learn from this impasse.............
The weekend! Isn't it nice how at the end of every five days there are two which we treat differently from the rest and look forward to each time they come around? And even though we don't know beforehand how these two days are actually going to pan out, we hold great expectations for them anyway? Like this weekend f'instance. For two of my friends they are the last two of their holiday so when they are over it is a  signal that work is about to start again. For Tim they mean a day's work followed by a day of total relaxation and sleep. For me they are uncertain and could be either wonderful or disastrous, long or short, quick or slow, I am not going to know until they come around. But they cannot begin until I have been to bed and hopefully got sufficient sleep to rouse me from my moody-me mood and righted my head upon my shoulders so that the world seems a brighter place in the morning. Like the fantastic double rainbow I drove through this morning on my way to work - spectacular! So somewhere, over that rainbow..............
Sue xx

Thursday, 16 September 2010

My cousin is 50 tomorrow!!

Stephen enjoying his 50th birthday weekend in London
I'm caught in a trap, there's no way out, but you know how much I love you baby....
Stephen turns 50 tomorrow, happy birthday, cousin!!!!
I was there at their wedding and their 25th wedding anniversary and have so many happy memories of playing together as children and grown-ups. You're my favourite cousin Pitch!!!!

Tomorrow is my cousin Stephen's 50th birthday. We are great friends with one another and have so many happy memories that we share, from the very earliest days to now......here's a few:

Easter Eggs, in the hayloft, all nicely broken up and hidden from our respective sisters.....only to find them eaten by the farm cats!!!
The AI man.......no need to go into more detail, right, Pitch?!!! It was fun!!!
Hide 'n seek in the farmyard late at night at Christmas......
Shooting with the airgun at tins and later at clay pidgeons
Being Secretary to his Chairman of the Young Farmers Club
Barn dances
Tractor racing
Gigggling and giggling and giggling............
Christmas Eve Fun and Games
Becci's God father
Christmas 2009

These are just a few but there is photographic evidence of many of the above mentioned!! But you would have to pay a price to see them!!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Nice thought..............

Accepting the inevitable

Well, it had to come - the day that I begin to appreciate fully just how different it is going to be now that I have embraced the idea of natural hair colour!! In other words: - grey!! I have just come back from the hairdressers and had as much as I dared chopped off so that the in between phase of growing colour out and allowing white/grey to show through would be as brief as possible. It is different....usually I come home with fresh strong colour and look in the mirror and think ' nice, great, much better'. Now I thought
'whoa!' I have not had this short a cut for years so that is rather scary in itself, and it is far less curly and thick of course, so total change. But maybe that's not a bad thing - I have put on a lovely colourful top and added pretty earrings and necklace and taken my photo. Hmm............takes some getting used to I guess but not too bad....................
My friends flight has been delayed so I guess it will be dark when I pick them up so they won't have to see the full extent of my metamorphosis this evening!!! So that just leaves Tim's reaction and that of my colleagues and clients tomorrow. They are honest to say the least so I will leave further comment up to them!
Sue xx

sun and cats go together purrfectly!!

Despite it being wet, Finka still prefers their  proper cushion even when it is on the ground!!

Genghis spreading out with the chair to himself.

Sharing the cushion in the garden on their chair.

Finka's cushion in my snuggery.

Where there is a spot in the sun you will find a cat. And today is no exception, as our two are making the most of a sunny morning in the garden whilst I bake! Well my intention was to get into the attic but time is flying by and I am not really enthusiastic enough to shift millions of boxes around the space! I have unearthed the glassware that was in the bedroom box and done as I said, reduced them by one..........and I intend to take them away later on but at the moment I felt it was nice of me to let the cats enjoy the peace and tranquility outside. Wafting on the air is my Cherry and Almond  Bake - yummy! It smells delicious so roll on coffee time! Actually I am rather late but it can replace my lunch right? Tim has brought home what he made yesterday so our cup runneth over with biscuits at the moment so I think some of them are going with me to work tomorrow as our clients love cookies. Then the temptation is removed from home too ( smart!).
Yesterday it was Shropshire on Escape to the Country and I was really surprised when I saw my friends old house on the telly screen!!! And the shop my mother's cousin used to run....it was fun! Took me back to good times in Shropshire. Maybe Becci and I will take a trip out there if  I go to see her in November? 
Our friends return from their holiday in Italy this afternoon and boy, has the time flown by since they went!!! It is 10 days and seems only like one or two; why does time have the ability to fool our brains like this?......I am picking them up later so will get a message with the train times later this afternoon I suppose once they are on it! Looking forward to hearing all about it. 
So, I have to go now - first mission was accomplished this morning by getting up early to buy the bicycle pump on offer at the supermarket! Silly what things you have to replace when you go your separate ways, and now that Tim is cycling to the train station daily I thought we ought to have one!!! At that price it was sensible to treat ourselves I think.
Coffee definitely calling me now, so enjoy the sun where you are too!!
Sue xx

Monday, 13 September 2010

busy bee

The perspiration is dripping off my forehead!! Ouch, maybe I am not as well as I thought! Every time I start to do something my head thunders and I feel all hot and bothered again, so what to do? Sit here and relax, right?!
This morning I got a lot done and that feels good. I needed to be doing things, so when my friend rang to say she was able to pop over for coffee that was as good a reason as any to feel glad I had done so much so early on today. We sat in the garden and philosophized  - my 'Buddism for Sheep' came in very handy!! 'A trouble shared is a trouble halved' being the core of our conversation and our reflections about ourselves were useful and productive. Thinking about today, and not the future and not the far distant horizon which is fuzzy to say the least, does bring peace and quiet to the soul we discovered. Always questioning, doubting, wondering, fearing, missing, it is no use at all, and so I hope my friend went on her way a more cheerful and positive person than when she arrived. She has qualities she fails to appreciate in herself, therefore she constantly puts herself down in her eyes, failing to see how marvellous she is in others eyes. Makes it hard on herself which is a shame. I did try to use some of the 'coaching' techniques as we chatted to see whether I actually can do it...instead of the 'what I think you could try' ones but I would estimate I was only about 50% good at it! So a long, long road ahead. I am a novice again, when I am used to being the expert in my job, and that is tough on occasions.
What else is new in blog-land? It would seem that the run-up to the end of the year is causing people to take stock and share things about themselves that are both factual and fanciful and unknown to many in their circles, and I always quite enjoy reading what insights people have about themselves. I would hazard a guess that if I were to choose my top ten things about myself, on a spur of the moment/what pops first into my head basis, I might even surprise myself! Perhaps it would be more interesting to wait until the end of 2010 and then place a list about the top things one has either achieved or learned this year? I would add that my friend Ineke has to be top of the list for her developing technical abilities!! So impressed  with her
 "who needs a man to change a lightbulb" attitude and her tenacity with plugs, leads and sockets!!! Girl power is alive and well in Zoetermeer ladies!!! I confess to being more of the "know a man who can" type of girl as I have two left hands and two left feet and very little in between when it comes to DIY!!
The cats and Tim are enjoying Lord of the Rings on DVD by the sounds coming from his bedroom so I think it is time I searched the web for some ideas.........
Sue xx

Good morning!

Ugh, what an awful weekend I ended up with! It started Friday evening when my headache became unbearable and according to Tim I suddenly fell asleep on the settee and was un-rousable so he left me there  until I woke up by myself and crawled upstairs to bed. He was a little frightened I think as he is not used to seeing his mum ill, but he did the right  thing by leaving me alone so that was fine. All night I was in agony with a pulse beating throughout my body making every blood vessel sound as though it was Niagara Falls!! I was scared myself to be truthful.........all I wanted to do was drink lots of water. Anyway, I vaguely recall Tim going to work and me falling in and out of deep sleep the rest of the day. I only went downstairs towards the end of the afternoon but then that was to sleep on the settee!! The headache was terrible but whether it was a migraine or not I have no idea not being a sufferer, but it is finally easing today and I feel re-energised!! Sunday was a slow day too, to be honest, sitting outside with the cats for a while was nice but I didn't do anything much.
But as they say there is no peace for the wicked, so our dear son came up to me this morning at 7am to enquire where were the books and files we bought for college as he needed them for maths this morning. I reminded him that he had decided not to buy any during the summer as he simply didn't know what he would need; quizzical look from son: didn't remember that at all!!! So he went off to college with nothing this morning asking me to meet him this afternoon and go buy what he needs now he knows what that is!! I asked him, just for interest you understand, why he had not thought about this at the weekend.
" I don't think about college at weekends, mum!!!"
I suppose that is what they call living life on the edge!! No planning, no preparation, no thinking ahead, just waiting for the moment to come along and then sorting out everything around it instantly. Hmm....does that work for you?!! Certainly not always for me! I suggested he went into the shop at college and bought what he needed for today whilst he was there ( an obvious choice me thought ) but no, not going to do that, will go to the Action later with mother dear!! So I am enjoying the freedom of home this morning, with only the cats and the sunshine and things I want to get done on my activity list. This currently involves sitting here resting as I have over-exerted myself in my enthusiasm for pain-free living, and now need to calm down. Head beginning to thump again............
Sue xx

Friday, 10 September 2010

Romantic mood

So today I am feeling romantic and happy and whilst searching for something completely different this morning I stumbled across this excellent video of 'Becoming Jane' which I absolutely adore. In many clips the music is all wrong or the ending gets excluded but for this film the ending is crucial and I was so glad that a tiny snippet of it was included; so watch right to the very end please!!! The story is a true one and I prefer those to any other, and as Jane Austen is a huge favourite in our family what better than the one of her own? Great film, brilliant cast and locations and wonderfully filmed. So if you are in the same mood as me this weekend, go out and rent this one and I defy you not to be in floods of tears before the end!!!
Sue xx

Thursday, 9 September 2010


The sun is shining and I have the most fierce some headache ever. Right in the front of my head, ugh! The plan is first pancakes for breakfast and then tackle the rubbish heap of Lutjebroek ie Tim's bedroom!! I think he just made the first sortie into it by filling the washing basket..........always makes for more room in there!!! And then I hope to do some housework - my to-do list - and then see what the end of the day brings my way. I am a good person too!!!! ;-)
Sue xx

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

the cosmos working for you

According to my darling daughter she is leaving it all up to the cosmos at the moment confident that it will all work out in her favour because she is a good person and she deserves good things.
But is that what is really happening or have the fates decided that she should do nothing because that is what they need her to be doing right now............so is her decision hers to make or not?  By thinking that she is not influencing the future is she is fact doing exactly that? Do they have contingency plans for if she decides to take a different route and actively believe she is taking her fate into her own hands instead? How will an earlier decision about this coming weekend impact on the doing nothing theory - who might she meet whilst she is doing this thing and what will that spark off? Am I tying you in knots yet Becs? These are the sort of paralysing questions that frequently occupy our thoughts: the age-old 'do nothing' theory:- 'When in doubt, don't'. But what if it was 'when in doubt, do' instead? What if all this standing around doing nothing is just a waste of time and the parallel reality is so much better if only we dare consider that it exists? Is playing safe always the right way to go, or should we go down the 'feel the fear and do it anyway' path? I don't know. Do you?
Sue xx

Great programme!

Just in case any of you have missed this series, take a look before it is too late! We love it! BBC2 " The Great English Bake-Off"; well, what do you expect with a son who wants to be a patisserie chef/baker?!!! I have to say that I am not terribly impressed with the standard of the baking but I just adore all that history about puddings and why we British are so attached to them, for example. It is great seeing a programme not just about meals and preparing food as a would-be chef; this focuses more on what we women - and men - enjoy doing as part of our family cooking rituals, and since Mary Berry is one of the judges, well, who hasn't got her books on their shelves?!! Since Tim and I do enjoy a good Queen of Puddings - actually the last real pud I served for our friends recently, it was fun seeing it on the programme last night. I like that the contestants have to come up with a variation on a well-known pudding but I am so glad I don't have to deal with suet!!! Not for me I can tell you - hate the taste! Maybe it has something to do with school dinners.....................the next episode takes them to Cornwall; whats likely to be on the menu there would you say?! Very obvious isn't it?
I was planning on replacing my song clips with one of my all-time favourite video clips but I am afraid it might be taken the wrong way, so I have simply watched it myself, promised myself the whole film one day soon, and will leave it at that for now. I know it will have its day.
Sue xx


I am so going home!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Life in Lutjebroek!!

Genghis playing statues with the Frog!
Gebke proving her worth at dismantling work!!
Just rewards; sunny seat in the garden  for lunch!
Genghis & Finka are settled in comfortably on 'their' settee.
Girls doing dishes, men planing off door!! Dessert will follow,  promise!
During an evening of cleaning and making the house ready for  us moving in.
Tim and Harry on the one end...Frans busy at the other!!!
Frans came well prepared with his power tools!!!!

Sorry that I haven't got the sequence of events quite right but I am still learning how to upload now that blogger has changed the system!! Wish they wouldn't; confuses the old girl, y'know. But anyway, ages ago I promised I would show some photos of what has been happening over the past month, so here are a few now. The first one was taken last Sunday when we spotted Genghis sitting in the flower bed in front of a stone frog, looking for all the world as though he fancied being a statue in the border himself!!!
Then there are a few of Ann and Gebke when they have been over to help clean the house or paint or move rubbish etc for which I am eternally grateful to them for. Hence the dinner party to say thank you for all their support and friendship. We did need a small favour during the day though........and whilst I had got the plane at the ready, to be taught how to use it myself, so  I could tackle the door under supervision - Frans announced that he always carries his toolkit around in the car and if I had the power, he had the electric plane!!! So Tim man-handled it down into the garden and Harry and he held it straight whilst Frans did his thing!!! Don't have a photo cos I was at work but Harry did come round and weed the front garden for us so I feel very honoured that there gentlemen were so gracious towards me. Thanks guys!!!
I am busy up in the attic as was my intention today but this is a temporary sit-down/break/re-energise/memory moment.  I was going through some of the boxes to see if I could get rid of another one, and sort out the wardrobe, when I came across some smaller boxes which rattled. I came across an old, dirty silver locket which I used to wear constantly years ago. I knew which photos were in there without needing to look, so I took it downstairs and cleaned it up, and now it is sitting here beside the keyboard looking back at me. I guess the pictures it contains are from around 20 years ago now............maybe less, but definitely the Penistone era. Not a grey hair to be seen!!!! And then I have unearthed two very old albums, from '75 and '80........wow, doesn't that bring back a lot of memories!!! Hence my distraction and mini-break!!!
Sue xx

Another chapter closes as another one opens

I have been to the solicitors this morning to sign the last documents around our divorce and I can truly say that it did not make me feel much at all. Well, maybe relief, I suppose that would be true. We sat there, side by side, and signed on the dotted line and hey presto, another chapter closed in my life. (Where would it  take me up to in my book?!! All this soul searching and home-sickness usually leads to me picking up where I last left off, as I write so much better when I am in this kind of emotional turmoil). However, I am going to save that for a while as I have other pressing matters to attend to!

Tim started his college course this morning - leaving everything to the last second as usual!! 'Where are my things, mum', at ten past nine...........the train was going at 09.35!!! He was nervous but didn't want to show it, but like any mum, you know your children inside out and back to front so his moods are clear to me whether he admits to them or not. He didn't sleep too well so that never helps of course, and tonight he will be wanting to tell his girlfriend all about it; I'll be lucky to even get a grunt out of him!!! So school is officially behind our lad and he is a student now, embarking on his choice of career, and following his chosen path. Good luck Tim!!!

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." 
W.B. Yeats.

Becci reminded me of this beautiful verse when we spoke at the weekend. We all have our dreams and since Tim is starting out on his today, and Becci has just begun her new job and I am about to start out on a new direction myself, I decided to place it here. It is also about daring to share one's dreams or secret desires, of allowing oneself to be seen to be vulnerable and open to another, and risking all by doing so. (Back to me being not that brave)!!! Doesn't bad weather just make you want to curl up in front of the fire, with some brandy and candles, and soft music and a great book? But not alone!!!! :0
Sue xx

Happy birthday!!

Just wanted to wish my aunt a very Happy Birthday today! 81 and still going strong. So hello aunty Margaret - have a wonderful day and I hope our card reached you on time!!
Sue xx

Here are my dreams...................

Monday, 6 September 2010

that restless feeling...

D'you ever get it? When with all your heart and soul you just know you are meant to be somewhere else? It is so difficult for me when I feel this way, and the onset of autumn is one of my most vulnerable moments in the year because I dream of faraway places and I long to be there. It only has to be windy with the scent of rain in the air and the smell of the sea and I can transport myself there...........several times today I heard clients telling me to open my eyes and wake up! I was not sleeping, just dreaming I guess, and I was so far away in my thoughts. I see exactly where I want to be: two places are my favourites. Either I am on a sandy beach with the rocks and cliffs behind me, and the breakers screaming from the ocean so loud I can hardly hear myself breathe, or I am standing on the edge of the rocks gazing down below me at the barren beauty of the landscape and the wind is holding me upright as I lean back into it. North and South have their appeal for me, I just love them both! My soul is homesick. I want to go home.
Sue xx

Sunday, 5 September 2010

weekend closing

I finally talked to my daughter today, which was lovely, but as unique as always, Becs!!! I promised you something on the blog so this is for you, maybe it will help!? I listen to this Tracy Chapman song a lot myself, for reasons you would understand,  but I have never shared it with anyone before, so this is me letting you in. Sometimes her words are rather difficult to hear but you can find them on the net if you can't hear them clearly enough.  I think it is because of how deep her voice is at times, but oh so soulful.
Anyway, let me know about the other thing we discussed and I will see what I can do sweetie.
Just watched EMMA which was of course lovely. Me and the cats curled up on the settee
and enjoyed the film together!
I wonder what series are due to come to the BBC this autumn, apart from Strictly ( big fan) and Arthur.............my Saturdays are going to be pretty well spoken for I can see!
Well, time for a cup of tea and then an early night for me. Makes the morning come quicker!!!!!
Sue xx

Chance to chat

Sitting in the sun having lunch with Tim was really nice today; he was in the mood for talking!!! So we discussed his yearning to play basketball again and the fact that he would need a knee-brace in order to do that, and that his favourite coach and old team-mates would love to have him back...and that he would need to pay his subs himself........and about books and Jacky coming over from America at Christmas, and his internet game and just stuff. I enjoyed it! He was relaxed and talkative which is something one has to grab when offered by a teenager, right?! So we have ordered his last book in the trilogy he is reading, and his beloved Lord of the Rings set, which he is buying himself, with huge discount ( don't you just LOVE Amazon.co.uk!) and now we are doing our own thing again. Such is life! Check out my wishlist sometime!!!
Decisions, decisions m'dear. What do I want and where? how high and how big? Oh, I am going to have to take time out to consider all this!! I suppose deep down I know the answers but I don't want to seem too demanding or explicit and I want to be flexible and easy-going but it is so hard!! Maybe Tim described me perfectly; what d'you think?!
I was thinking that there are different types of people in this world: some are adventurers and others perfectionists; some are laxidaisical and others indifferent. Some need to seek out new ideas or travel the world.......I am just a home-body. I love my home and I love making it feel comfortable and homely and cosy and welcoming and individual, I can be very happy with just that. I suppose I feel un-nerved when I see you looking around and not saying what you are thinking about it all. I would rather know!! Maybe you hate it and it makes you feel uncomfortable and strange? Maybe my taste is so alien to your own that you just don't know how to tell me? So I need the comfort of curtains from my home years ago in order to feel I belong here? I can make them fit!! Maybe I am not modern and straight-lined and matched to the hilt?! Maybe I attach far too much sentiment to things I have been given by friends over the years and have to find the right place for them in every house I live in. But this is who I am  and it is too late to think I can ever change. Maybe right now I am just being a prickly pear!!!?
Sue xx

Saturday, 4 September 2010

"Smelly stuff" happens!!!!

Grr........remember that niggle I've had about my car which has prayed on my mind for a while now? Having had the light replaced already this week, and booking it in for a mini service/oil change etc. I toddled off to Kwikfit this morning with my fresh copy of Seasons in my mitts and the hope of a quiet hour waiting for Phoebe to be done. Oh no, sorry madam, this will take until the afternoon!!! Have a coffee!! Ha! I thought I was stuck there for hours but I was very lucky that my friend Ann could come and collect me and take me back again this afternoon. Ring me when it is ready, said I. They did ring but to tell me my brake pads were rubbish and some other stuff and in total that it would be 3 times as much as I had expected! Safety comes first so no choice in the matter really but it is a real headache now this month and I am trying desperately to 'always look on the bright side of life' and equate this expense with everything else that I have to do................and not worry myself silly! In the great big scheme of life, my problem is tiny, I know that. And complaining never solved anything, so I am being positive and very glad that another friend rang to invite me to dinner this evening! I do believe that it will all be alright in the end - its the getting there that troubles me!!
But hey, the sun is shining and the cats and I have been out in the garden with a coffee and excellent home-made Carrot Cake, done some weeding in the back and tidied up the borders etc and now I am considering what to do that is useful but at the same time rewarding..........offers please?! Ah yes, I was going to start sorting out my shelves for in the snug and get them down, and start unpacking some of my scrapping supplies ( you thought I was never going to get started again, right?!) I just wish I could find that box with my other pictures in 'cos I am missing them now....................
Sue xx

Friday, 3 September 2010

choose a word for the weekend

What if we had to give this weekend a word to describe it? What would spring into your mind? Would it be BUSY or FUN or HECTIC or ROMANTIC or WORKING or RESTFUL or....there are trillions of words that will have described your weekend once you are over it, and Monday morning is staring you in the face once again, but before it starts? That's hard!! Would you want to break it down into parts so that there was more than one word available? Would it be practical to do that or just the easy option cos just choosing one word is like, really difficult?! I don't know. At this moment I have no idea what my weekend is going to  turn out like, I can only plan the tasks and try and carry them out, and see how I felt about them afterwards, so.......what does that leave me with as my word? FREE.
Sue xx

Thursday, 2 September 2010

This is beautiful.

Someone died recently and at the top of the card sent out to family and friends it read:

"The fantasy was sometimes more beautiful than the reality. I have so enjoyed it!"

I think I could use that myself - I have a rich and beautiful imagination where I sometimes want to live a little too long, and as someone who sees the world through rose coloured spectacles at the best of times, I can put myself inside this person's mind so easily.
Sense v Sensibility: the duel of my life!! I swing from the one to the other in the split second it takes someone to make an innocent remark that then cuts me to the quick, and then I feel so hurt and alone. It is so difficult trying to explain that this happens to me, and the subsequent battle that has to take place before I can see sense again, and not carry things with me that were not meant to hurt me at all. You see it happening, I know, and then you want answers and explanations which I am unable to give at that moment. It is not about keeping secrets but about keeping up my guard, and I am so used to doing that after all these  years that letting it down is hard. That's why I have chosen this song this morning. And time is not always on our side, and it is time and patience that is called for here!! If a challenge is what appeals, then you have got one on your hands!!!!
Sue xx
ps. I prefer even numbers!!!!19...20...