Les Mis Trailer

Sunday, 31 October 2010


Did you know that Hallowe'en originated in Ireland? And that turnips were first used there for the lanterns which were placed in the windows to ward away the evil spirits? Then many Irish emigrated to the states where they found pumpkins which were already being used as lanterns and were far better than turnips for sculpting and hollowing out and eating!!! The fastest time in the Guinness Book of Records for carving a face on a pumpkin will be just about 20seconds. And in 59 seconds a guy in England carved 102 pumpkins to beat the former record by a long score!! Spooky!!!
End of the weekend which was actually a really nice one. We invited our neighbours round this afternoon since we had not seen them since they got married. That was a pleasant couple of hours for everyone, and then it was time for dinner and the slow slide towards bedtime!
Tomorrow is another day, as the film title goes, and mine will start off with a lot of phone calls to the bureaucrats who don't get things right!!! Then for my injections.........bravery level not great at all. I have a full week to look forward to so that is unexpected. Motivation still high for my healthy eating, so happy with that and how it is going. Not much else to tell you really, so its time for bed!
Sue xx

Winter time!

Hmm, the time might have changed during the night but my own body clock still woke me up at the usual six oclock so what is a girl to do then? Get up, make tea, feed the cats, let Genghis out, cuddle Finka and sit at my computer to blog gaze awhile. I will be tired later on, that's for sure but right now, I am wide awake (and nothing better to do)!!
Not that it has been a waste of time, on the contrary, I have been browsing lovely ideas for this years Christmas Cards which I now need to start producing if I want to make my own again......November tomorrow!! And ideas for hand-made gifts which is probably what I need to aim for as well given the budget I am on, but also my commitment to all things hand-made. Art Journey has some lovely stamps from Stampendous again.........drool..........I still need to unpack so much of my hobby stuff though; that is never-ending! Can't buy more Suzanne!

I've stuck well to my healthy eating this past week and am now rewarded by a 2.9kilo loss!! I am using the Dukan Diet if anyone is interested - saves having to buy all those shakes etc and food substitutes and works just as well I think. My goal is to lose another 4 kilos before my visit to England in a months time. There, I've said it out loud so it is on record and I have to aim for it!!! I keep a record of progress on my computer as a sort of diet diary, and take a photo once a week to see if I can actually notice the difference...so tomorrow I have to take this weeks picture. Handy, having that mirror in the hall, isn't it?!!!
But now I am feeling the strain of being awake for two hours and think I will go back to the warmth of my bed. Bye!
Sue xx

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Enjoying life

The ups and downs of it that is!!! :-)
Yesterday my final choice of what to cook for our friends was ....( fanfare....) Chicken Tikka Masala! So I busied myself marinading the chicken - lots of garlic and garam masala - one lick of the spoon and wow!
That was good, all done. Cleaned the house throughout including the cats dirt tray of course.....put everything back in its place and thought, well done Suuz!! Even found time for a little study too.
So I came downstairs this morning early doors and discovered that I had neatly replaced the dirt tray the wrong way around!!! Our poor cats had been cut off from their loo for a day and a night!! So how had they coped? This morning they both went in it together, so desperate were they, and I went on the hunt for the smell that was lingering in the living room, and discovered it before too long. Poor things, they had done their best but the nicest way to put it is that we now have a new armchair and settee cover and their basket is in the shed!!! So I was busy making meringues around 7am this morning and the fruit salad and hoovering the stairs etc before heading off for Amsterdam Ikea at 8.45am!!! In and out like a flash, hardly any time spent lingering, looking, measuring, toting up, adding to basket, no sir-ree, I was back home before you could say ' money well spent'!! There was a thought in my head before I went that I might get my bookcases because they are reduced too right now, but the price of the cover and then the spectacular offer on the chair meant that they have to wait for another day sadly. I had measured everything before I went too ( you'd be proud of me!) and knew what was what, but ah well, I am very pleased with the room now, and have no regrets ( really?...well, a couple...bookcases).
Once home I made the sauce for the pot and got the room in order and had just enough time for a cup of coffee before our friends arrived. We had a lovely time together, and they had brought all their photos of their recent trip to America, so we looked at those as well, and the meal was great - love that Lidl Samosa's and onion bhaji's have in stock now!! And Tim was on form and it was 'gezellig' and a good time was had by all. Just done the washing up and tidied round and changed the clocks - yes, winter is officially upon us, and headed for bed.

Just a thought: how can the tax office decide I am entitled to some money as a single parent, and then pay it to my ex-husband instead? Even though it was my account number on the application form and not his? And the reason for the benefit is because I am divorced from him and earning a low wage???
And he doesn't need it either?!!! Hey ho, that's what I will be asking them first thing Monday morning!!
Sue xx

Friday, 29 October 2010

Theory into practice worked!

Whenever one of the cats needs to visit the vets, the other cat seems to smell the difference, the pure scent of the vets or something, and acts mean towards the other one; well, I am talking Genghis really.  He hates the vets and runs away and hides when he spots their carrier in the hall, but if we take Finka and she comes home and tries to get some sympathy and a cuddle from the Geng, he is just all angry and grizzly towards her and tries to make her go away, which she doesn't understand naturally. So I had this idea of taking Genghis with us in the same carrier as Finks and seeing what happened when we got home. They were stuffed in quite snug in the carrier but then again, they sit on top of one another constantly at home so they actually had more space in there! Once at the vets, Finka had the necessary attention etc and Genghis sat in the carrier and watched from a safe distance!! Even got a sweetie, aah. So far so good we thought, and it does seem to have worked! No growling, no unnecessary biting and grumbling, and they are cosied up together as usual on their cushion - hurray!! We seem to have found the key to happiness!!

Anyway, I am now going to see whether I can saw the curtain track to the correct length..............for the record, I have eight fingers and two thumbs before I start!!!
Sue xx

Friday morning, early dawning

Having slept better  I woke up to the strangest dream about cows who had never seen another animal until they met some sheep whom they then assumed were cows like themselves and that this is what they looked like!! A sort of ugly duckling story! I think it has to do with me deciding what to eat this Saturday when our friends are here for dinner. They don't eat pork...or is it lamb....or was it beef..no, I think it's pork, so I was looking at all sorts of recipes last night before choir and came down to chicken ( what a surprise!) but then again, what sort of chicken? I started with a curry, then went more mediterranean, then thought about using the slow-cooker as this is practical and easy, but which version of my favourite recipe to choose; simple or more complicated but better tasting............the curry takes a long time, start today if decide on that, but better for my diet..............anyway, sheep, cows, all the same to me apparently!!!!

Then I moved onto dreaming about ideas for starting off my essay for my course. Boy, thinking about that already Suzanne?! I have something I want to write to start it off so I am up bright and early in order to get it into the computer pages and not forget that I had the idea later on.

Got the track for the curtains though - by hook or by crook, right?! Exchanged my signature for a ride, seemed fair to me and all above board. It is so long!

I was a tiny bit pleased last night because I finally got to hear about how the girl I helped with her poem for  her school exams got on. I had been wondering about it. Anyway, she gave me a huge hug and said thank you and then told me that she has now submitted the poem, her own version and then the one she altered after I had made some suggestions about how to improve it etc. She said the tutor felt that the second version was 10 times better and that her grade will be top marks!! She also told me I ought to be the teacher, yer, I would so love that. Maybe this is something I need to put in my essay about my specialism later on.....................

But now it is time to get dressed and face the day. It is now 7.32am and there is an appointment at the vets to get to this morning, and a far nicer one this afternoon!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

matters got worse..........

to cap it all, my needle broke mid-stitch so I had to make an emergency dash back to the shop ( thank goodness it is only up the road ) to buy a set of new needles for my old machine. You realise that all that needs replacing now is the machine itself?!!!!
Just watched Masterchef semi-finals and a very emotional young man getting through to the final, despite nerves of jelly and a will of iron to overcome them and succeed. Was in tears with him by the announcement at the end. Had to turn TV off immediately afterwards as simply couldn't bear to sit through a programme about abandoned cats in London!! I would have wanted to adopt each and every one by the end of it!
Sue xx

Thwarted at every turn; bah! humbug!

So it went like this:
went to the supermarket near us........hadn't been there for ages........under total re-construction.
decided to try the same one but in Andijk............diversions along the road towards here......took me for ever.......but worked out in the end.
went to sewing shop and asked for a bobbin...........what machine do you have? a Singer from 1982. hmm......finally she returned with a few that would fit so bought 4. you never know when I might need more than the one.
got the material ready, did the sides and tape along the top of one......so far, sew good you think......but no, I ran out of heading tape so not enough for the second one! do they sell this in Holland? No! can I find some spare in the attic? No!
went to buy the curtain track from the Gamma. found what we wanted, paid and then tried to stuff it in my little car.....no way was 350cm of metal rod going to fit in Phoebe!!! took it to the desk and asked if I could collect it later or on Friday, depending on when a good soul comes along prepared to get it for me in their larger more smarter vehicle????? total frustration now setting in folks!
going to hem the other curtain ready so that it will be ready for some tape if I can have some sent over from the UK, otherwise it will be a long wait until December, and I will not be happy!
Sue xx

Enjoy in Enkhuizen

Sunday 7th November is koopkorendag in Enkhuizen. During the day various choirs will be singing in the stores around the town, including ours, so if you are interested in a good day out, shopping for Sinterklaas or Christmas, Enkhuizen is the place to be this day! We took part last year as well, singing Hallelujah amongst the lacy lingerie and swimwear and the shoe shop. The music is so diverse as the choirs are great and small, and from all genres, so there is entertainment to suit everyones taste." Come one, come all"!!
( I know that is a quote from some book or other? )

'Hey ho, a day to sew'
well, at least that is my intention this morning!
Going to get the shopping done early on, so better get cracking glancing at the time - whoops! - and then go to the Gamma for my track and the sewing shop for the other necessities. Let you know how I get on!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Rush of blood to the head

  " There is no try, there is just Do or NOT DO"
        - Yoda (Star Wars)

Today I started work with a terrible headache which slowly went during the day but came back later on. I am not sure why I have it, but I can do without it that's for sure!!! However, it was a quiet and enjoyable day as I was working with our student and a volunteer, and that made life an awful lot easier for me! Now I am home, sitting at my computer playing with numbers to see whether I have enough for the afzuigcap or not!! I think it will be a question of putting some money aside and then adding to it at the end of next month............depending on how much it is going to cost to get Finka's jabs and my own!!! I hate injections. Now I have to have three, and I am not looking forward to them at all! I have put it off until next week.........maybe I will be braver then......but I cannot escape having them, so the 'do' or 'not do' refers to my struggle with that and the reason I need to have them makes it all worthwhile in the end. That's the theory...when my arm is throbbing and I feel awful, maybe I will be singing a different tune!!!
Sue xx

Monday, 25 October 2010

Messing about with photobooth

When you feel poorly and not up to doing that much, experimenting with the various applications on your computer is quite therapeutic! For example, notice the nicely flushed red cheeks cos I have a temperature and feel full of cold still, and how I am holding my head up with my hands to prop me up whilst I sit here!
Phew, I do not feel very well at all, and I have to work tomorrow so I am hoping that a good nights sleep will do the trick. Never been one for a steamy hot bowl of water and a towel over my head, I'm afraid, but I do think cups of tea work wonders. And that was where I left you............
Sue xx

just a small by the by....

I usually read Suze Wienberg's blog because she is fun, but this morning she had placed photos of Israel where she is going on holiday shortly. She gave a brief history lesson and one photo was of the Wailing Wall. Reminded me that I have been there, 28 years ago, stuffed my wish into the crevices and asked God to do his stuff and make my wish come true. I am still waiting...............he is not in any hurry I guess!!!
Sue xx

Coughing 'n spluttering!

"Here I sit,
at crack of dawn,
aching, creaking, and
stifling yawn.
Oh how nice
it would be
if someone brought
a cup of tea"!!

No chance, but then again the cats have not mastered making tea as yet! Ouch, my head hurts this morning, and my nose is sore and my throat is sore and I feel horrible. Go away cold!!!
What are the good things about this morning?
I have got my plans more organised for my trip in December now that various friends have sent emails and confirmed we will be seeing one another, goody.
I have found all the magazines with Christmas Fare in so that I can decide what I need to buy when in the UK for our Christmas meals etc.
I have made a list!
I have resolved to start my healthy eating/living style as of this morning! The book is open, the cupboard is bare, so no excuse not to buy what I can eat the coming 10 days, and I have got to get my bike out this afternoon and cycle to the sewing shop! I have given myself a timeframe and a goal so hopefully I will remember it each day and keep my determination high. I need to feel fitter, indeed I do!
I found a perfume I liked whilst using up all the samples I had squirreled away for when my usual one ran out, which it now has, so 'necessity is the mother of invention' as Einstein said, and I have stumbled on one I would otherwise never have tried! I smell divine! :-)
Hmm, run out of steam now as my head is throbbing and I need to get moving otherwise  I will never get stuff done!
Sue xx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Hit a snag.....

Got the tape, the thread and the machine, yey, but now the thingy is broken to wind - oh, yes, the bobbin, that's it - the tread onto, and  I can only find one, so I am thwarted in my determination to start on the curtains today. Not happy. Wanted to get started. Still in the attic searching for that one elusive box that  I simply cannot lay my hands on and am starting to worry is missing. It was at someone's house I think, but where it is now I have no idea. And it has precious stuff in it that I miss. Woe is me!! Cold no better........sniff, sniff.
Sue xx

Day one behind me

I am able to say that the first day on my course went well, interesting and informative and I am sure that I am doing what lies closest to my heart by taking on this new direction in my working life. The drive was as easy as I had been told it would be, thank goodness, although still pretty scary- negotiating driving and walking over tram lines in particular!! The weather in the afternoon was atrocious, so not pleasant coming back home, but I also know that I am a country mouse by nature and that the big cities are not for me at all. How happy was I once the roads narrowed and all I could see were fields and pretty farmhouses!!
I have done my homework this morning, as it is going to be essential to keep a sort of written record of every practical session in order to write my extended essays later on, and am looking forward to starting the study group sessions that have to take place every month. More than this  I cannot talk about as it is obviously a private and confidential and ethical condition of this type of course/work. I feel positive.

I was also happy to receive news from a couple of friends back home whom I haven't heard from recently, and hope to see soon. Ann came round for Strictly last night, which was fun! I think Anton has the best humor possible, and his relationship with Anne W is blossoming into something special. My respect for her deepens. The talent on this years show is already 'a-ma- zing, darling', in Craig's words, and I think Matt and his partner are incredible. I still feel that Pamela is pretty special, she looks like a born dancer every week, and her partnership with James is super. They are well matched!!! Good to see Billy Connolly in the audience this week supporting his wife. How fantastic to watch your partner doing something like Strictly?
But today it is a day to relax and look for my curtain heading tape which I absolutely know I have got, but cannot place exactly in my minds eye, and the sewing machine. Hmm, I am determined my dears!!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Nervous or what?!

It suddenly occurred to me this morning, very early on, when I had not slept all night for coughing and sneezing, that I might have to take a different route home again this afternoon!! Yipes, I hadn't thought of that before! I always tend to print out the 'get to' route and forget the 'get back' one is also handy to have. So, just printed it out, and used street view to get a picture in my head of what it will all look like when I arrive......the day itself does not bother me, it will be fine. It isn't raining which is good, and I ought to be coming home again whilst it is still lightish. The nightmare will be the coming months as I hate driving in the dark especially on motorways as my sight is not so good then. Tend not to know where I am!!
Anyway, maybe there are easy trains and trams if the worst comes to the worst, eh?
Well, better get my breakfast and lunch sorted, drink coffee to wake me up more after a terrible night, and pass the next hour comfortably downstairs!
Sue xx

Friday, 22 October 2010

All in all...

......a good day.
I took the new bike out for a little trip up the road and back and it felt weird but also better as it was far more comfortable and that bouncing saddle is great!! I went over humps and bumps without a care in the world! I also started my Christmas Shopping- yeh!! My daughter loves little and plenty so her parcels are always super to wrap. There is the traditional chocolate letter ( she knows this of course) and the interesting Christmas Tree decoration ( got a good one this year Becs!) and then the unexpected. Knowing that I will see her in December has led to this flurry of present hunting, as I need to have it all together before meeting her at Mr Darcy's country seat. I am enjoying the challenge as everything I buy for her I could easily choose for myself as our tastes are practically the same. But I would give the game away if I said too much here so mum's the word!! But I KNOW WE WOULD BOTH LOVE NEW PERFUME!!!!!!

We now have our coatrack and mirror hanging sublimely on the wall in the hall. I am so pleased chaps!!! It all looks wonderful and when all the other outstanding jobs are completed it will look a picture ( which I will possibly take and post here). Yes, I am feeling better again, talking non-stop, dreaming up projects for the house and possibly going against the given norm for myself when I say that I am convinced I am onto something with my curtains!!!! They don't believe I will carry out my idea for the curtains....but I will try it and see what I think after that, because I am no lover of the old singer and am still using one I was given when I was 24, which is practically ancient by now, like me, and only able to go up and down with the odd zigzag thrown in for good measure! I only do one width and length......after that it gets too complicated, so I have come up with a good scheme to overcome my inadequacies nicely, and I think it will work. My caveat still holds good for squid and oysters however, so don't go forgetting that I mentioned that at the time!! ;-)
And now I am going to sit down and have a coffee and some lovely banana and walnut loaf which I made yesterday, and watch Sheldon, whom I love dearly because he is so impossible and he makes me laugh out loud.
Sue xx

Feeling a tad better

Not a great week for me really, felt pretty awful at times but am now on the mend thank goodness. I start my course tomorrow so was hoping to be up for it with no more problems from the infection!! Only nerves I have are about finding the place; I am not one for driving in large cities and Amsterdam is large!! We have gone through the route and I have enough print-outs to fell a tree, but it is not the same when you are in traffic and suddenly find yourself in the wrong lane wanting to turn left.............and this from a girl who fearlessly used to drive across London when necessary!!! Paris, done that too, but never ever going to attempt an Italian city!! Oh and German autobahns are a definite no no. So, on that basis, finding my way tomorrow will be easy peasy................I think there are about 10 of us on the course looking at the email addresses I received this week. Mainly women too I would think, and possibly English and American names so a mixed bag of nationalities I imagine. Just need to gather my belongings together today so that I am not scrambling around in the morning.
What shall  I wear for goodness sake?!!! Totally forgotten I need to think about that!!!

Tim had a good chat at the bakery yesterday and is looking forward to starting there now. I sat in the freezing cold of the car whilst he was there, and was surrounded by an intense olfactory aroma I recognised: Apple Tart! Millions of them being baked right behind where I had parked - it smelt divine!! Wonder if they do doggy bags for young students to take home to their mums?.........Tim came out munching on a biscuit so he was happy. He starts on 4 November so not long to wait now. He has even succumbed to a haircut this morning so that's where we are heading shortly. ('bout time too Tim)!!! Me, I'm putting it off until November so that I am all set for my trip. I fear this time the front will be completely white and the rest a smattering of grey/brown/black/white but no false colour any more.....aah! Times is hard folks!!

On the keep fit /fuel saving/eco front I have bought a second-hand bike so that I can cycle more and get fit. My old second-hand one which has served her ten years well with me now, has just about hit rock bottom but will do for visitors, so I have changed my nice saddle over to the new one and am just waiting for an opportunity to take her for a trial ride. Maybe not today as it is cold and I have been unwell, but then again, a little twirl around the block would open my tubes and do me some good so I'll see. I have other activities in mind for later today!! Maybe even getting the coatrack hung and the mirror?

I thought of something else but it has skipped my mind now that I wandered into pleasanter dreams, so bye bye!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Laughed til tears rolled down my cheeks!!!!

I read this somewhere whilst in blogland this morning and it just had tears rolling down my cheeks!!! They are answers from 16 year olds from last years General Education Examination. Read 'em and weep my friends!!!!

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large  pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids 
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs   (Shoot yourself now , there is little hope)

Q.. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery       (So true)

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow    (Simple, but brilliant)

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorised (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I,O,U..  (wtf!)                                                 

Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie

Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control 
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium  (That would work)

Q. Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.    (Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)

Q. What is a terminal illness 
A. When you are sick at the airport.   (Irrefutable)

Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word 'judicious' in a sentence to show you understand its meaning
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face.    (OMG)

Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight   (brilliant) 

 Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shrek wears on his head
They say laughter is the best medicine so this was my daily dose - brilliant!!! Tim has gone off to college with a copy to read in the train - he may have to explain it to his friends in some places but I think they will chuckle about it as well.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

A little worse

..............not going well! Woke up to a temperature and pain around 3am and didn't get much sleep after that so rang the GP and went this morning. Just waiting for the results now! Not much blogging only sobbing going on here!
Sue xx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Little better

I finally got to sleep last night and was able to feel comfortable after a while, although the infection has not disappeared yet. I am coping, best I can say.
It is a beautiful day so there was nothing else for it but to get outside and clean windows!! Not my favourite job, but one that gets done on days such as these. I also got the garden raked and tidied after the trampling it got from the painters out front, so feel good about what I have achieved this morning. The eternal round of washing and ironing is in full swing as well, so since I am going out this afternoon I think I had better get the slow cooker slowly cooking!!!
I am enjoying words right now. I am helping someone with their English written task for a school exam and I am loving it!!! I do so enjoy being involved with this sort of project and I hope that it ends up a ten for her. I am only allowed to advise, suggest, discuss, point out etc as it has to be entirely original and the work of the person doing it, but that is fine. A sort of coaching really!
The fridge is not working properly which is causing me some concern this weekend. The fan has stopped going round...........and I feel sure that is not a good thing?! It is still cold in the fridge but a little condensation is forming on the shelves and back..............not a good sign? I hope it is a minor problem that can easily be solved because I love our fridge!!!
And the afzuigcap - I have now seen the same one on two sites and at the same price only the discount varies from the original cost to what they are offering it for! I think an 80cm one is the likely candidate as there is not quite enough room for the 90cm. It is nice, not too cluttered for the small space it has to go in, more than I really want to pay, ( naturally) but possibly the best choice unless we can find something similar for less money. However, if the fridge is beggared then that has to come first. You can tell I am just thinking aloud here, right? Rambling on with my own thought processes instead of concentrating on writing something terribly interesting for you all...........sorry!! Comes from spending too much time on my own I suppose. Beloved son is not interested in these dull domestic issues, preferring to keep out of the way unless food or drink is being offered him! Anyway, other things are calling for my attention now, so here's hoping you are enjoying the same sunny autumn day as me.
Sue xx

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Woe is me!!!

Oh dear,  I am suffering today! I have got a nasty infection and it is causing me a lot of problems. I feel most unwell, so nothing more to add this evening, sorry!! Going to try and sleep it away........if the dog sleeps too!
Sue xx

Cats are silent creatures..........

dogs are not!!! Oh, what a terrible night I've had!! Our neighbours are back home again and with their small dog - who howled the whole night through, poor thing. Obviously not liking being alone in a strange house, it cried for hours and hours, which I could hear clearly unfortunately, and so I finally got to sleep around 5am..........only to wake again at 5.30 when Tim got up for work!! So I am not as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I would like to be this morning!! I hope it settles tonight otherwise I am going to be cream-crackered by Monday.
Today I am going to try and look for some items I hope to add to my 'to save for' list so that when I can afford them, I know where to find what we like. The most important one being the 'afzuigcap'  above the oven. Just can't think what that is in English right now! ??? I have a couple of places  I want to look, but first I must make a list and take measurements and some photos as I just know I won't be able to explain it all properly when I get to the stores!! They say a picture tells a thousand words, right? So time to get to the shops for the essentials before it's coffee time - plan what I want to get for the weekend - tidy round a bit - nothing too strenuous as I am not up to it this morning ( yawn) and later on phone my mother who turns 80 today. Happy Birthday to you!!
Sue xx

Friday, 15 October 2010

Good day overall

I worked today.
A client hugged me.
I ate salad for lunch!
It rained.
I got soaked.
I dried off.
I drank too much strong coffee.
I am learning to like being called Suus.
I sang at work.
I swiffered under sports school bikes and disco danced with my ladies!
I had dinner with a friend.
She gave me a CD I had wanted for ages.
We talked frankly about life, love and relationships.
It made me stop and think.
I came home.
I hate driving in the dark and the rain!
I cuddled the cats on the settee and cozied up next to them for while.
I came upstairs and read my mail.
I typed this.
I missed you.

Sue xx

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Hard going this evening..

There is always a balance to be found in the universe and whilst Ineke had the most marvellous practice of her choir Enjoy, this morning, I had a difficult and frustrating one with my choir Enjoy, this evening!!!
When our keyboard player is unavailable it makes life very hard when we need to learn new songs and since we cannot afford to miss a week, it is time to grit ones teeth, suck it up, and spit them lyrics out!!
My voice was not good tonight - I think affected by the paint fumes as they and asthma don't go well together really, so I struggled to sing the high notes clearly at times. We did not sound good sadly, but that is what practice is for, right; to make perfect???? The 'wanting more' still holds good!!!!
Sue xx

"Let sleeping cats lie"

I wondered where the cats were this morning.....
....apparently snuggled down in bed together!!!
 Just how I sleep when I get too hot; point my toes out from under the covers!!!!

Eau d'emulsion

It is hard not to smell of paint when you have been busy for a couple of days, but despite my best efforts to clean up and dress freshly, I can still smell the fumes around me which are overpowering the last drops of my perfume and getting right up my nose!! Why is it that DIY involves more cleaning up and preparing tasks than actually getting the job done?! I have washed and scrubbed my paint pots til they shine, and my wonderful B&Q paint brushes have been lovingly placed back in the cupboard to await their next task, and the ladder is gone and the floor has been intimately searched for the very smallest of paint spots and we are done. Well, almost..................
The surprise of the day was finally - tan, tan tara!!!! - receiving our Bosch 100 piece set which was free when we bought a tool way back in July. It is magnificent. 100 separate pieces that look useful and mysterious to me. Round ones, things that twist, light up, measure, drill...........you name it, we've got it!!!!
It was obviously worthwhile waiting for it anyway, which we are happy about.
I have another niggle today about the car. Phoebe is all nicely washed and polished this week but when I was putting petrol in today I thought I ought to check the tyre pressures as well. But the air went in all wrong...............I seem to have got too much in the front and just right in the back; rather like Goldilocks!! I  set it correctly but there was a distinct lack of peeping when the front tyres were being filled, yet the perfect peep when I did the rear ones. So!! What to do now?
My tummy is rumbling so I think dinner would be the answer - Pooh would be proud of me!!!
Sue xx

Paint inside and out!

There was a letter through the door this morning informing us that the housing corporation are about to start painting the outside of the houses in our street - the guttering etc - so we are going to get scaffolded any time soon!! I am happy about it as this is a good time to do it, before the winter, and it will pretty the house up no end! The firm doing it seems to belong to the guy who lives opposite us, so he will not have far to go each morning! Good opportunity to get to know a neighbour maybe. Bound to want the odd cup of coffee I imagine?!
At this point in the day there is little to add really, only that I am doing top coats today and working tomorrow so that gives me the incentive to get finished with the emulsion before the weekend. Then back up into the attic for another search through the boxes trying to find the one elusive one that I really, really want to find and can't locate as yet. S'pect it is the one right at the back in the far corner, barely reachable and under everything else.............
Sue xx

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Paint, paint, and more paint!

Not that I am complaining you understand - I am enjoying the metamorphosis our house is undergoing, and  despite every bone in my body aching this evening, I feel I made good progress today. Two coats on one wall and all the others have one lick of paint all over so only one more round to do tomorrow. Hopefully, if the paper has been perfectly painted over. Then it will be onto the adding of the accessories, which I enjoy the most, of course, and then I will have to continue papering up the stairs and into the landing upstairs. And I notice that the door frames need doing and the doors are now not the right colour for the rest of the scheme and under the stair treads above our heads it is not painted properly.....................maybe I can ignore that for the time being!?
My head is still fuzzy though I think that is from tiredness more than confusion which is progress I think you will agree. Though if I were being honest, then my quote of the day would have to be from Dickens:
"please, Sir, can I have some more?"
Sue xx


Jackie is safely back home again so the house is quiet and I am missing her company. We had a great walk around the area yesterday morning, once again in glorious sunshine, met a few more of the neighbours who were outside gardening etc. In the afternoon I started the job of painting the hall. As I was putting the colour on, I couldn't help but think that there was a theme going on, which is totally sub-conscious I swear, but possibly worth a laugh or two. It suddenly occurred to me what the colour reminded me of.............but, hey, I am leaving that for people to decide themselves!! I like it, nice and peaceful and as it is perfect for the accessories we already have to go in the hall, I am glad I chose it. The other walls are going to be different so I think the overall look will be marvellous, ha!ha! Bet you are curious now!!

I have an addled brain at the moment, something that happens when I am forced to question and look at things from a perspective other than my own, and it confuses and upsets me, makes me sad and angry and unpredictable in my decision-making. Always happens when my friends visit, which is not their fault, but it is only ones true friends who can say things to you that no-one else can, and since their opinions matter to me, they are bound to affect me somewhat wouldn't you agree? I get all tangled up in mixed emotions and find it takes time for all that to settle down again. I didn't sleep well enough and I was awake and miserable this morning so it is taking me some time to get going today. Hm, reminds me that I have to think about how to get to my course next week - the thought of role-play/getting to know the other participants/information gathering/the strangeness of 'new' things - all rambling around in my head with no-one to hear.....................
Sue xx

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Printer pets etc

You are never alone with a Siamese!

....they come in pairs!!!!
Yes, whatever or wherever I might be, there they are. This time I was busy on my computer and both cats felt the need to see what I was doing, so they took up squatters rights next to me beside the keyboard and on the printer!!
At the moment they are not feeling very well. Genghis has got a cold I think and Finka has pink eyes again so she is resisting my attempts at putting the eye cream in both of her eyes. Still, it has to be done.
My friend has gone home again this afternoon so I have busied myself painting the hall. I went to choose the paint for the long wall, and bought the one I fancied......got it home, started painting and just had to chuckle because I know exactly what you are going to say when you see it!! In fact I could place a bet and win!! It is the right colour for the final overall scheme, rest assured by that, but it depends on whether your vision is the same as mine I suppose.........I have decided in my minds eye which accessories are going in the hall once it is finished so the complete look is decided, but for anyone just calling now when I am in the middle of things, it will possibly look odd, strange, different, unusual, quirky, what ever name you want for it! But I am convinced it will look chic and splendid in the final analysis, so there! Tim came home and just said "it's.............." ( name of colour) and nothing more. He has got his placement details today - moving onto another subject entirely - so between 4 November until February he will be working at Bakerij Stevers here in Zwaagdijk, almost next to where he works on Saturdays. It is not a shop, but rather the bakery itself, so we are curious as to what that experience will be like for him. He dashed off to fitness almost as soon as he came home, muttering that I have to leave it to him to sort out the initial interview etc. so mums the word!
Well, one coat, one wall, tomorrow is another day!
Sue xx


Posing nicely, one, two three................

Jackie praying the lunch will come soon!!
We enjoyed a beautiful sunny day yesterday in one of the old villages along the water here in Noord-Holland. But when we arrived the only thing on our minds was looking for the 'old building with large windows' because it was way past lunchtime and we were hungry! The fish we choose was delicious and then we were ready to explore further. Volendam which we had driven through had been absolutely heaving with tourists but here was quiet and peaceful and so much nicer. We just pottered along the small cobbled streets and then found a place for a cup of tea before walking back towards the car and driving home. Mondays are not good for shopping as the majority are closed in the mornings, if not all day but we didn't need anything so no problem but if anyone is planning a mid-week trip here then opt for the second half of the week!
Today Jackie flies home again so this morning is up for discussion as how best to use it, so I will take her her cup of earl grey and see how she feels about getting up.
Sue xx

Monday, 11 October 2010

The weekend workers

Jackie enjoying the terraces of Schagen after a hard days shopping!!

Settting the plumb line to start the wallpapering in our hall.

First paste going on the wall!! Yippee, it is really happening!!

More troops arrived as Gebke popped in for an hour or so which speeded things up a little.

A tall boy comes in handy for right up in the highest corner on the stairs. He managed it well so hey,, hey, next time I need help, he will be called on again!!

Yes! Jackie finishing the last piece of paper above the kitchen door.

You are wondering what I was doing in all this - apart from taking the photos!! I was helping too, and we shared out the tasks of cutting, pasting and hanging so really although no-one took a picture of me, I was doing my part too. It is a sort of paper that sticks firmly to the wall, for ever, and then you paint over it to get the  finished result, as at the moment all the old marks and lumps and bumps on the walls are still apparent. Great stuff for this sort of uneven surfaces and easy to handle as you can never have too much paste!!! We are proud of our efforts anyway, and hopefully by the end of the week I will have painted it as well, and be ready to add the accessories to finish the 'look' off.
Oh, and I have a small present for you! We were in the shop where I bought the coffee table, and I saw a little something which was perfect for here, and the nice lady there gave it to me free of charge!! I was really surprised and delighted, so there you are; good things happen when you least expect them.
Today we are going out for lunch and a lovely walk around one of the old villages here nearby. The weather is good so I think it will be very pleasant. Have a nice day yourselves!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Going well

So far, so good! The awful rubbish from the wall is all gone and the garden looks much larger all of a sudden, and the hall is stripped of the old paper and we are ready for the Sunday Start: wall papering the hall downstairs and possible stripping more paper off upstairs, and then getting it all ready for me to paint once Jackie has gone home. Today we are going out for the day, since it is her holiday as well as bootcamp! The sun is shining and the day is fresh, autumnal and lovely.
Sue xx

Thursday, 7 October 2010


It appears that the Erasmus University has got a Happiness Measurement Tool on the internet whereby one can measure how happy you are against other people in a similar position to yourself. I thought I would try it! It was brief, covered basis questions and took less than a minute to complete (I estimate) and at the end of it I discovered that I am way happier than the average Dutch, single, 51 year old, parent with hardly any income and a child living at home!! BUT......what does that mean for me I wonder? Am I naturally a happy bunny with more than my fair share of Seratoin floating around in my body, so no matter what my circumstances I tend to be fairly optimistic about life? Or do I have a morbid tendency to rate my happiness higher than it really is because I am more of a cup half full sort of gal? Or are other people less positive about themselves so cannot rate their emotions reliably for this sort of questionnaire.....I found it to be the sort of thing that tells you nothing at all in the end - I am no more happy than I was before I found out that I am, in fact, happier than other people like myself. It has changed nothing. Or has it?.............
Sue xx

Blast from the past!!!

I don't think there is anything to add to this, do you?!....
My guess would be around 1976, so that makes him still one year older than me!!

Sometimes its not the choosing, it's the deciding!!!

What is the difference?
Does wishing on a star really work?
Why do lightbulbs blow in pairs?
Why do we see shapes in the fog that are not there?
Which coffee tastes best first thing in the morning?
Why are warm towels such a luxury?
Will this early morning fog delay flights to Schiphol today including my friend Jackie's?
What is the best time to buy the train tickets if I am not sure about the fog?
Where to go Saturday.......

As you can tell, I am not yet fully awake and functioning this morning but at the same time, I have been awake most of the night so that is not strictly true! Where does tiredness come into it? The awake or the half asleep part? Cup half empty or half full dilemma?
Saying thank you to the lads and lasses at work yesterday was actually quite emotional for me. I had lots of hugs and the odd kiss or two, and when I left I was sad not to be seeing them again for some time. It had been a tough day with some hard work in it but I felt I handled it well and that pleased me. It's not the sort of thing I talk about, but we got there in the end and that is what counts. Some of them didn't understand that  I wouldn't be there on Monday though!
The fog this morning is almost pea soup thick here. Genghis is out in it but this is the worst so far this year I guess. He will be the white phantom if he meets anyone at this early hour!!!
Finka is on her cushion here with me.
Tim is asleep.
Ann and I have exchanged emails ages ago!
We have talked.
The rads are on warming my towels!
I have to go to Kwikfit for my lightbulb.
Nescafe......jury still out on this one!
I hope so.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Front and Back

 Looking out from the front of our house this evening Tim took this beautiful sunset.
Looking out from the back of our house - at the same time - I took this photo of a vague rainbow wisp.

Dancing at the Movies

C'mon Becci, I'm sure you will recognise all 40 of the different movies that went together to make this happy video!! For example:- singing in the rain; seven brides; flashdance; saturday night fever; billy elliot, to name but a few!!! Enjoy this.
Sue xx

Genghis the Brave

Me too actually, for daring to allow him to venture out in the dark last night for the first time! He is a sensible old boy though, and does listen to my whistling when I call him back. He doesn't go too far I suspect, and during the day he is still rather wary of the neighbourhood cats, so I think this is his solution to  getting outside here. He appeared from across the way when I stood at the corner of our street and whistled him, and then we walked sedately home together. Finka goes crazy when he is not around, sitting by the front door waiting for him to return. She is potty about her furry friend!!
I seem to have done something painful to my neck when I was climbing up the steep steps to the storage part of our department on Monday carrying large sacks of shredded paper. Ouch! It does hurt and my range of movement is rather limited so not nice when driving the car. We shred lots of paper at work and these sacks go to an animal sanctuary for the dogs, cats etc to sleep on and so on. The guy came for it all yesterday and I felt happy that we were doing our bit to support such a worthy organisation.
And now it is my last day-for a while at least. My clients are excited about the return of my colleague next week as they have really missed him, and I know he will have plenty of humorous anecdotes to amuse them with on Monday. Still, they would have me back I think next time he wants a break!
Like the song? It was on the radio yesterday when I was on my way to work.
I have found a great program for playing with photos that is something to do with Alienskins......there is a free 60 day trial which I am going to download and try. I liked what I saw and it seemed easy enough, so that is my 'new thing to do' this month. I am not good with photoshop but that is because I don't practice enough or regularly, so something quick, uncomplicated and different might be just my thing. Confidence of having done a mosaic master heart I hear you saying !!! Well, maybe, but I will have a go anyway.
Now, time to get ready for work. Still very dark outside this morning, and no beautiful sunrise like yesterdays which was stunning. However, there is still time.
Enjoy your day too.
Sue xx

Monday, 4 October 2010

A good feeling

Yes, I made the scones!! Always so quick and easy and yummy to eat whilst freshly baked and still warm!
I was pretty tired when my friend was here however, and felt rather dullish company last night, but never mind, we enjoyed ourselves so that is all that matters.

And back to work today!  I've been promoted! Allowed to do some painting by my gang, which was great. They are really looking after me well and I am going to miss them when this is over. We had tons of paper and cardboard to sort today and in amongst it all we found some long thin strips of 'schuim' - can't think what the word is in English, sorry! Anyway, they were ideal light sabres........(of course, why didn't you think of that immediately)?!.........so I bagged being Obi Wan whilst one of the lads was, oh, Luke SkyWalker say, and we had a little go at fencing with them!!! Ok, probably not the most grown-up and sensible thing to be doing at work but I simply couldn't resist it once the idea popped into my head that they were perfect for the task!!! No-one else saw us...........no-one will tell on us and we had some fun!!! And that is what life in a sea of paper and cardboard is all about, right? So I didn't mention it to you earlier.........I tell it much better here and it will make your morning start with a smile I hope? I am sure you can picture me, light sabre in hand, making all the appropriate sounds etc................zuummm!!

Just waiting for our new coffee table to arrive. After months of saving up for it, we are expecting it within the next couple of hours. According to one of my clients, I have to hope that it turns up because since I already paid for it they might not deliver it and make off with the money instead! She thought that would be funny....but I am sure it will arrive and the first thing we will do is? Yup, have a cup of coffee!!!!! :-)
Sue xx

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Sun seekers

Whilst I was busy getting the spare bed down from the attic and ironing and moving furniture etc Finka and Genghis were sunning themselves on my snug windowsill. It was the spot with the most sun this morning and where I am they usually can be found as well, so it was hup! onto the cushion I keep there  for their pleasure, and a swift stretch and a yawn and........back to sleep again! Someone once commented that if they could be reincarnated, they wanted to come back as one of my cats!!! Pampered or not, they are the sweetest creatures ever and deserve our love. At the moment the sun is still in the back garden so Genghis is out on his chair while Finka keeps me company on her cushion, not quite snoring but it wouldn't surprise me! This is my mid-day rest.  I am toying with the idea of some baking but then again, maybe not. I got the weeding out of the way quite quickly which was helpful, and later on my friend is coming over for dinner and a chat. Will be nice to see her and hear the latest!! So perhaps thinking about the fact that she loves scones, I ought to go down and bake a few for her.........
Sue xx

Saturday, 2 October 2010


So the first round is over and although there are a lot of possible contenders this year, my money is on Matt right now. This is a terrible photo of him however; he is so nice really! Ann and Anton got the attention we all knew they deserved but I do fear for her Samba............and Anton's feet! He is the perfect partner for her and I see her as another John Sargent type..............so my guess is that Ola and Paul will go first now that I have seen the whole line-up dance. Roll on next Saturday!
We had a very pleasant autumn day in the end. The sun came out and I was able to sit in the garden between jobs and enjoy the sun on my face. It is raining again now of course, but tomorrow ought to be fine as well so the weeding is next on my to-do list. And making space for the spare bed and sorting out the attic with Tim - maybe even getting my last cupboard up, dare I say it?... so lots to do and then the weekend is over.
I had an unexpected treat today when my mother, sister and brother-in-law ( well, you are in the Dutch sense of the word John! ) all rang to talk to me! How nice I thought.............until I realised that they are not quite getting my blog log-in right: 'bag lady scrapes'????!!!!! John, John, this is not way to speak to a lady surely?....not even one made of paper?!! ;-) And as for philosophy - try 'Buddism for Sheep', you'll get more out of it than Proust! Just the right amount of sincerity mingled with humour and truth. Plus it is easy to read!!! And won't take 10 minutes let alone 10 years!!
Then Becci rang for a long chat which was very nice. Caught up with her work and love life and all that is happening at the moment, plus the promise of coming here in January which is wonderful news. She is still in the thrall of the cosmos and since it appears to be working for her, go Becci! My feeling is, if it feels that right, and you know it is worth going after it, don't be put off by anyone else's opinion, just see how it all turns out, and add a little push in the right direction when you think it is necessary. Obviously enlisting the help of Heathcliff is a good move!
Sue xx

Strictly Amazing!

Last night I went round to friends to enjoy and judge ( now we are '3 on the settee'!) the first 7 pairs of this years Strictly. The standard is amazing already, and it is obvious that once a gymnast, always a gymnast is the motto for Becci's favourite Matt Baker. Wow! Can he move!!! Onto the floor with a foreward flip, first outing.......got to be impressive. Even Craig was nice about the routine, totally ignoring the 'props'!!!! Initial  showing would suggest that Ola will not be around much longer this year as her partner has not got what it takes, and I feel that the viewers will swing more towards Ann Widdecombe and Anton than Ola and Paul. And Pamela Stevenson was beautiful; but can she rumba?!!! Anyway, the standard is set for this evening and the other half of the contestants ought to be nervous now..........all in all it looks like a great season and it makes the run -up to Christmas start with a twirl!!!
It's raining here. The forecast is better for this afternoon so I am going to get my shopping out of the way etc and do all I need to here so that if the rain stops, I can get outside for a while. I slept really poorly last night, tossing and turning, so feel only half awake, but I heard Tim go off to work earlier without feeling the need to get up until an hour later. So the washing is on, the heating is on, Genghis is back in, dried off with the towel and cleaning himself on the settee along with Finka's assistance...two licks are better than one!!!!
I went to investigate small hedging plants on my way home yesterday and am taken with the Berberis, so think that is my plant of choice for between us and the neighbour on the one side...haven't mentioned it yet to the other side, but I think it will be fine when I do. It has a lovely burgundy tint to the leaves this time of year which I rather like, plus the price was surprisingly good. But they are not available for another 3 weeks, so I have plenty of time to save up.
My week in the woodwork department was good in the end. We all got along well, in harmony with our singing, and freeing the town of its paper and cardboard at a good rate. The chaps were great and I enjoyed being with them a lot. Promised cake for next week as they were very interested in what I brought in for my lunch!! So just another 3 days and then my friend Jackie will be here from England - hurrah!! I am so looking forward to having her company here and catching up with all I have missed back home etc. The plan is to tackle the hall downstairs and see whether or not we can manage to decorate it by the end of her stay...............perhaps a tall order but if we don't aim high, we'll never know!!!!
Sue xx...ooh, rain stopping I do believe................

Friday, 1 October 2010

Morning ritual

Alarm goes off 6am. Shower. Talk. Feed cats. Let Genghis out. Make tea and yoghurt. Dress. Turn computer on. Finka finishes her breakfast! Watch the sun start to rise. Blog. Drink tea. Swiffer kitchen floor. Let Genghis back in. Go to work 7.40am. Phew!! Welcome October!!!!
Sue xx