Les Mis Trailer

Saturday, 30 April 2011


Today the world here turns orange in celebration of the Queen's birthday. I was up early to get to the supermarket when it opened at 7am as there is a 'rommelmarkt' on the carpark by the local shopping centre and I wanted to be sure that I could park and get in and out quickly. I was amazed by how many people had already set up their stalls - barely any room over!! I had not realised it would all kick off quite so early! Anyway I was able to do what I needed to and come back home within half an hour which was fine by me! Since then I have done the housework and finally, yes, finally, written up my first case study for my course - yippee!!! It is just Parkinson's Law working its magic - the amount of time one gives to a task is the amount of time the task will require. One of the very first laws or rules I learnt when I went to train as an Occupational Therapist over 30 years ago and still valid to this day!! Knowing that I have got to hand it in in a week but that I have my study group meeting tomorrow where we are going to share our case studies, was the final push I needed to get it written down. Whether it is any good or not, is a completely different matter but at least I have accomplished the task I set myself, and can take it from here.
These pictures were just taken outside the front door as the village band played the children's parade through the streets and into the park. I love a good drum!!! It is lovely weather though a little breezy but it was fun to see everybody enjoying their day. The one of the cats was taken here in my little study as they love sitting on the windowsill on their cushion as the sun streams in here of a morning. My reward to me is going to be a huge mug of coffee in the garden now - bye!!
Sue xx

Friday, 29 April 2011

All very lovely wasn't it?

I did enjoy watching the whole royal shenanigans  today, and am delighted that there were no hiccups or unexpected disasters and that everything went off according to plan, precisely. As are we all, no doubt - all 2 billion estimated viewers around the world!! Ann and I exchanged several texts as events unfolded which was fun as it made it feel a more shared experience. I loved the dress - simple and understated but extremely intricate and well designed. Not everyone was well dressed with one or two fashion faux pas happening, even in the most royal circles....I really don't know how Bea and Eugenie manage to get it so wrong every single time!!!! And that hat was simply ridiculous, I'm sorry to say!
Our Queen was sweet too - and obviously happy to see her grandson get married, and got a good cheer from the crowd. I loved those trumpet fanfares and the music, especially the newly commissioned piece played whilst they were signing the register. But then I am a fan of Rutter's work no matter what it is!! The whole day was a delight and I am sure made memorable for all the very best of reasons. Where were The Red Arrows when the flypast went by?.......surely they could have done their signature red, white and blue smoke!!!
No doubt the partying in the palace will go on for hours; I've heard Harry is in charge and has ordered bacon butties for 5am tomorrow morning!!!! Will he see more of the maid of honour do we think?...........several hints being made out there, folks!!
And no one could be in any doubt about where Diana was today - numerous mentions and references and conversations included her at every chance there was. She was there, no doubt about that. All in all, a good day was had by everyone. And all those street parties happening throughout the country!
My lasting memory of the one in 1977 has to be Pete's dad's home made wine. That was so strong, I remember dancing back down our street with my dad, something he never normally did!! And having to go to the Green Man pub the next morning with Pete for the 'hair of the dog'. I distinctly recall my bed moving around as though I was in a hammock in a force 10 gale way out at sea, the whole night long........yuk!!
This time it was a glass or two of sparkling rose, and numerous cups of coffee, nothing more. Cheers!
Sue xx

A right royal wedding day!

Having turned my TV on just now, BBC 1 is already full of news stories about the wedding and how the country will be celebrating it today. Cheering hoards behind the camera crews, waving flags and banners, it is all fantastic to see and be a part of. Our flag is outside too - tomorrow the street will be a mass of Dutch flags as it is The Queen's Day here on 30 April every year, but for 'one day only' the Union Jack will take centre stage - yey!
I wonder if our friends are already in their places somewhere along the processional route - good luck Clare and Alice if you are out there somewhere!!! Hopefully it won't rain until later on today - given all the beautiful weather recently it would be a shame if today it rains.........but we have no control over that really.
It looks as though it will be a nice day here though much cooler, with a rise in temperatures during the weekend. I have to admit that I am looking forward to some uninterrupted sleep as for the last 4 nights the alarm has been going off ridiculously early so that Tim is on time in the bakery. At 3am this morning, I was not a happy bunny!!! After that I slept fitfully, so in and out of deep sleep, and now I feel really tired with pricking eyes and a heavy head. Ah well, this morning all I have to do is sit with the cats and enjoy a wonderful moment in two people's and a nation's history.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Daily Mail online....

...this site has wonderful images of the dress rehearsals the armed forces had in the early hours of this morning. I do love a man in uniform!!!!!!
It all looks so spectacular and truly British - warms the cockles of me heart, it do, m'dearies. I must admit to getting a teeny bit excited about watching it on Friday. We will hang the Union Jack out and frighten the neighbours! I am a real sucker for all that pagentry etc and seeing all those magnificent horses and the flags and the people, well, one can't help but get in the mood for a right royal wedding!!
Sue xx

An indoor forest?!!

It is getting interesting in Westminster Abbey!! Apparently there is going to be an English countryside theme going on...with these Maples trees lining the way to the altar!! I can't wait to see the finished thing! Wedding fever has certainly taken over in London and the whole UK. Every time I read the papers or listen to the news this is the main story, and I can see how easy it is to get caught up in the whole event. There are even people camping out in front of the abbey for the last 3 nights to ensure they get the best view of the happy couple!! My dedication does not go that far though friends of ours are going to be in London on Friday so I wish them a super time. Kentish wine is also being served at one of the palace 'do's' so that is keeping it all nice and local too. 
I was reading about the wedding in the Dutch papers at work yesterday and it was fascinating to see the difference in what is being reported or talked about, even with my colleagues. One of them was surprised that William is not having a wedding ring - how was that going to work in the ceremony she wondered - but we have different traditions to other countries and it is no big deal really. I am hoping for a degree of informality in the midst of a truly formal occasion however, as it really is only all about a boy getting married to his girl..............and love. Aahhhhhhh. I am a romantic at heart that's for sure!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The complications of tax forms

Things change here when your child turns 18 so I am trying really hard to figure out what I need to do as regards tax information, and probably getting into a helluva pickle in the process!! I have no idea whether I am doing right from wrong, but I am trying so hard to be an honest and upstanding citizen however, so my intentions are 100% honourable, your honour!!! I think I may need to seek advice yet again...........either I will end up paying too much tax or not enough, and we all know who usually wins in this race, right?!!
So anyway, I hope I have sorted out Tims health stuff by sending in the forms via the internet this evening but as to my own - well, another story entirely.
I have had no luck with the job applications. Didn't really expect I would so disappointed but not down-hearted this time. It is summer and my colleagues all need holidays so there is enough work to go round for the coming 3 months. I expect I will be more worried once they are over, so the autumn will see a return to my anxieties on this score unless something comes up out of the blue before then. Please!!
At the moment my thoughts are turning to trying to complete everything for the first year of my study. I need to start learning things off by heart for the theory exam, which means basically knowing all the different approaches to counselling as well as the ethics and code of conduct etc. One go at this exam is included in the course fee for this year so I d... well need to pass. It is an oral exam so rather nerve-wracking I feel, as there is no hiding whether you know the stuff or not!!! Scary thing is you have to book it yourself, when you think you are ready to take it; I know for sure that I am telling NO-ONE until after I have passed!! That's right, not even you!! This week I have to concentrate on my written work so I am sort of hoping for cooler weather and a desire to sit indoors at the computer and want to write and write and write. Think it will happen?
Well, today it was cooler slightly and I worked all day which was enjoyable. Tim is up early all week so that means I set my alarm clock 5 minutes after his goes off, listen to see whether he gets up or not, and then once I hear him get his bike and go, I try to sleep again. Sort of works most times, only my anxiety is greater than his so I tend to worry when he doesn't move as fast out of bed as I think he ought!!! His responsibility......I know...............
Sue xx

Monday, 25 April 2011

Its back to normal tomorrow!

The Easter break is almost over for another year. This time it was truly sunny and hot and delicious just spending time out of doors - everywhere. So many people out on their bicycles and motorbikes - even me!  I managed two rides over the weekend - mostly after having eaten too much first - and it was very pleasant. Must do it more often! There were also many, many boats in all shapes and sizes on the water around where we live - from the fancy to the very basic, 'this is still afloat isn't it'? variety. The cats have been in and out like jojo's, seeking sun or shade depending on how hot they were feeling at the time. The preferred evening spot is now the mat in front of the front door, where the sun shines in just perfectly for cats. I have the sun blind down so there is no chance of a few rays whilst sitting on the settee until later on!
I did some window-cleaning too. Not a job I enjoy cos I am terribly bad at it, but it was overdue really and I decided it would give me something to do in between bouts on the sun lounger. Pat on the back for getting it done, Suzanne!!! Still a lot of paperwork that I have to attend to this week....really, I do. But tomorrow I am working, and Tim is doing 4 days in the bakery getting ready for 30 April. So 4 mornings of early starts - hope that alarm clock doesn't let me down tomorrow morning!!!
Sue xx

Easter pictures

Finka & Genghis snuggled up together.

I know its my birthday - let me sleep!

This is where the sun is first thing in the morning!

My favourite flower.

Easter Blooms!

The serious shelf.

Old favourites shelf.

Where I do my dreaming shelf!!

So this is a selection from yesterday when I was using the camera to shoot birthday photos of  Genghis. It was so warm he was hardly outside, so hence these are all indoor shots. He went for a short wander from the back garden, to the corner, and round to the front door, but that was it!! He is currently lying asleep on the window sill here in my snug whilst I type this up!! The two cats are inseparable, that's for sure. I suppose being Siamese, that makes sense.............
Then I took some shots around the room, of our pretty flowers - which were mostly lying scattered under the table this morning curtesy of Miss Finka - and some of the bookshelves. In some things I am very ordered - not obsessive ( well, a tad, maybe) but I like to be precise with books. Have the ones I love the most to hand, for a spot of reading every now and then. And my study books are increasing steadily so they have a whole shelf already!!! My dream shelf has books about England and places to visit in the world, and interior decorating, cos I love that. Then there is a gardening shelf underneath as they are the largest books and the heaviest I guess.......and then there is always the Other Book Case - the one with.............maybe I'll shoot that one today!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 24 April 2011


to our beloved cat GENGHIS KHAN who turns 14 today! Yey!! He is the sweetest, most affable, most quiet, most loving creature and deserves nothing but love in his life, which he gets in abundance from us.
So enjoy the sunshine Geng, and the treats, and sleep your way through your special day with us.
Sue xx

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Just to wish you all a very HAPPY EASTER. Be careful in the sun and enjoy the wonderful weather we all seem to be having this time!
Sue xx

Thursday, 21 April 2011


...Your Majesty.
Our Queen is 85 years old today which is pretty amazing I think. Just listening to Radio 2 and the National Anthem is coming up shortly!!!

Yes, I am patriotic I guess. I enjoy all the pomp and circumstance of tradition and heredity and of belonging. I was looking at the photos of my friends walk along Beachy Head, this morning, and thinking how wonderful it would be to just go out and do that in the weekend................I felt twinges!!! For a moment I forgot my worries and cares, and just enjoyed their lovely walk from a distance.
Tim and I are thinking about plucking up courage to drive down to France and across the puddle home later on this year.........if we are brave enough........if the roads are quiet enough.......if it is light enough.........if it is cheap enough.........if desire wins over fear!!! Ha!!

But today is a day for doing as little as possible once I have got through my chores. The local bakery has told Tim he can make my Lemon Cake there this morning as they were happy with the one I had made
( 9am and the National Anthem plays - all stand). and if it works out then they are adding it to their wares!! Have to admit, I would be chuffed if they do...............
the sun is high in the sky and it is warm enough to wear shorts - wow! No wind either so a day for the sun lounger I think. Hope it lasts over the bank holiday weekend......would be nice.
Now, it is cheap petrol day at the pumps so I am off to get in the queue!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

and I quote............

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It's not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. "
Sue xx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Just a few photos

Birthday boy!

Our friends


....plus their tiny dog!!!

Tim's driving lesson car.

Carrot Cake!

Cupcakes for Kiki.

I didn't get around to taking many photos but these are a few of the ones I did manage to get. As usual I have to try and catch Tim unawares so sometimes his photos are rather blurry!! The cupcakes are the ones I was making this morning, early doors, which Tim iced for me super fast. I am feeling tired but satisfied this evening so am calling it an early night.
Sue xx

Super weekend

This weekend our son turned 18 so it has been somewhat hectic. Things got off to a wonderful start Friday morning...............and continued all weekend. The sun shone, though better today, and we hope everyone had a good time. Tim was dead chuffed with all his cards and gifts - he especially enjoyed the ones from Becci & Ric and Inekes ( where did she get my photo from, mum?). We made way too much food of course, and now have the 'left-overs' in the fridge, but since they are mainly cakes and desserts - ouch!!! My poor diet is really taking a beating right now!
I was up with the larks this morning as well, baking cupcakes and brownies to take for a birthday in Amsterdam. I was happy with the result, but since I did this on commission, then I am waiting to hear whether or not everyone at the party thought they were good or not............it was the first time I had ever tried to drive into the centre of Amsterdam too!!! Not faultless by any means but that map was a godsend getting into the centre; coming back we relied on Tom and discovered a totally different route!!!! But I have to admit, it was not too difficult since we came out near Ijburg and then I knew where we were going.
The rest of the afternoon I have spent in the garden whilst the sun shone, with the cats, in between bouts of housework and washing etc. I gather we are to expect a lovely Easter weekend, but I am working on Good Friday, by the way, so it will be the usual one for me. Tim will spend the week afterwards in the bakery for 4 days which he is looking forward to. And, they loved my Lemon Cake so much that Tim can try and make it there this Thursday so they can try it out in the shop  - yey!!!! Now if they liked my Carrot Cake as well.................:-)
I have photos to share but that will be tomorrow. I can feel my eyes prickling so I suspect it will be an early night for me, to catch up on my beauty sleep at last.
Hope your weekend is a good one too everyone.
Sue xx

Friday, 15 April 2011

Busy week

so what do you do when you cannot sleep any more and it seems a shame to waste your waking hours?
1. Stick photos in your son's 18th birthday album.
2. Iron cushion covers.
3. Write blog post.
4. Read mail.
5. Chop carrots for Carrot Cake.
6. Tidy kitchen.

.....and much more it would seem this morning!! It's now 5.25am on a Friday morning and I have been awake since Tim left for the bakery at 3.45am. Tried to get back to sleep but it failed. Too much on my mind, too little time to get things done in, butterflies in my tummy!!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Photos from the garden

 Finka in the flower bed!

Catching a few rays

Shady spot for the first planter

Squatters rights!

Much more civilised; we each have our own place to sit!!!

Over ambidextrousness and mouse thumbs.....

I was reading Ineke's current post just now, and could so identify with her tale about being ambidextrous. I do a lot of the same things as she, especially with regards to sport. No backhands for me - I just flip the racket from left to right hand and hit a wide forehand! Catching and throwing are somewhat hit and miss since my aim is always off course - playing rounders at school was interesting. I would stand at the base with bat in my left hand and wait whilst all the fielders shuffled round a bit in the outer field....and then miss!!! I recall just standing there with my eyes shut whenever a ball was heading in my direction as a fielder, as I was never ever going to catch it. I can throw with both hands, I'm just not very good at it. Going up a ladder is hard; I never know which foot to place first on the rail....a true dominant foot I haven't got!! Becci is even more crossed laterally; she writes with her right hand and eats left-handedly!! A simple question of heredity Becs. I am pre-dominantly left handed in most things apart from using scissors. These I do neatly with my right hand. I paint with both hands too, now I think of it. I can write with both hands and am especially talented at mirror writing; seems to be the most natural way to go for me. As to the mouse.....I use it right-handedly and have no problem, but I do suspect there are some ergonomic design faults at work, Ineke!! As an OT I can assure you that it exists and with over-usage and incorrect placement, you will have a problem.

I have been busy outside in the sunshine this morning, cleaning the slabs and in between them in the back garden. I also cleaned under the table and the umbrella stand - wow! My little bottle of cleaner from Action worked perfectly!! I had given some to our neighbour yesterday and when I was hanging out of the upstairs windows this morning cleaning them, I noticed theirs was remarkably clean too. What a euro will do for you, folks!!! It all looks so much better already, so we are keeping everything crossed that next weekend the sun will shine again................

On the Daily Mail pages today there is a lengthy article about the Menopause, which having read it, I don't know whether to laugh or cry!! It states that the average age for women to start is 52, in the UK. Then famous and other women go on to relate their experiences. Very few seem to have had an easy passage!! Me, I still really don't seem to have got there, even though all my friends have, practically, and I am still waiting for those dreadful hot flushes and tears, and sweats, and emotional instability, and loss of my womanhood...................or maybe I am the one who is going to sail through without even noticing? PLEASE!!!!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 9 April 2011


Not such a promising start as yesterday at this hour, but the forecast is good. There are too many clouds right now to say whether it is going to be another ' do nothing but sit in the back garden' day or not. I am hoping it will be! Several things to get done first, or rather, scattered at odd intervals during the day. First a trip into town to sort out some business - happy story but saving for later - and then a long overdue visit to my hairdresser - haven't been for months and it shows!!! - and then I need to think about repairing our sun screen at the front window. Since we are currently having some plague issues here - as in the biblical sense only so far no locusts ( have had ants!! ) the latest one was the snapping of the belt that hoists it up and down. It is now permanently down, which we are not amused by, as it is not necessary and I tend to bang my head on it a lot! I know it is a pulley system but I haven't got any rope to tie it back up in place, and alone it will only lead to more headaches when it falls on my head again!! Ouch, that is incredibly painful I found out!!
And the clematii are growing FAST. I was thinking I had more time to get some trellis in place but NO, they are whizzing up so fast I need to get some this weekend if possible. I discussed it yesterday with our neighbour, so I reckon I need to take measurements, do some recon down at the DIY stores and decide what I need for the job. Then it can get done please!?!

One week today and Tim turns 18. I'd thought I would have plenty of time during the coming week for all the preparations etc but it turns out that I will only have Friday and Saturday morning to do what  I have to do! It does feel kind of wonderful to think that he has survived this long in my care, but whilst staring independence and manhood in the face, the boy is still very much in evidence. One minute being sensible, practical, rational, solid, and the next impossible, tempestuous, irrational, annoying, frustrating - a teenager full-on!! We are giving him a driving lesson as his present, cos here it is 18 when you start to learn to drive. However, the laws are changing in September this year, and kids will be allowed to learn at 17 AND drive with people who have got their licences for a number of years already. I hope this will work in our favour and reduce the number of paid lessons Tim will require, but  we need to see how he gets on with the first one! Must sort out the flag....................

Just rambling on a tad this morning but that's due to the early start. Waking up at 5.30am and taking Tim to work so I can use my bike today, sort of gets the day going sooner than I find agreeable! But it provides great study time, thinking and planning time, coffee drinking time, blogging, and all those other silly little things that you can do before it reaches a reasonable time to put the washing machine on!!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 8 April 2011

Thursday, 7 April 2011

sun today??

Hope so! Each day I have worked it has been sunny, and each day I've been home it's been cold. How fair is that?!! I brought home some plants from work on Monday and I really need to get them planted today.
I now have one of the planters in the backyard full of soil.........ready............waiting..........hoping.............
one more week, as I have heard on the wind that I am due a garden centre voucher..............yes!!!! Thank you SO much Hillie & Kemal!!!! xxxxx

So Tim's back tyre exploded yesterday. Great. Just what we need right now!
Got an order for my cupcakes and brownies. Very good. Love baking!!
Did ironing at 5am this morning. Good time management or insomnia?? Not sure on this one!
Applying for jobs. Scary. Necessary. Essential in fact!! Fingers crossed everyone.
Countdown to birthday number 18; just one more week to go!
Posted a birthday card without a stamp. Apparently, can't even remember doing it!!!
Feeling a tad stressed...................adopting your knack of understatement m'dear!!! ;-)

Sue xx

Friday, 1 April 2011

they're making the film............

my personal favourite for Jean Valjean would have to be Alfie Boe!!!! Enjoy.
Sue xx

Excitement turning to dismay

as I realise that TOTPs will be shown on BBC 4 this Thursday!! Why oh why not 1 or 2 so we could watch it here too??? They are starting in 1976, and I would so love to see it all over again! Make my son sit up and listen to the music of my youth for a change!!!  Ah well, maybe if it proves really popular they will switch channels..............at the moment we cannot get i-player here although there are talks of that being made available at a price, later this year. It would take us right back down memory lane wouldn't it?....

At the moment I am being seduced by the smell of Brownies cooling in the oven, for tomorrow. If they have turned out well I am taking them to my study day. A little treat for all our hard work!!! Tomorrow we are presenting which is not my favourite thing to do when I know the audience; stand me up in front of as many unknown faces as you like and I feel at ease. But, family, friends or colleagues, and its another matter. You are listening to the girl who made her grandma sit in another room when she wanted to hear me play piano!!! Singing to myself in the car or living room or kitchen is super, but an audience?????
Last night we had our 20 minutes of singing tuition from the singing teacher who comes fortnightly to choir practice. I have to say I do love it! It is so helpful learning the proper techniques and how to make the right sound. Sadly there were only 9 of us present, which continues to be an extreme worry for the rest of us. We simply cannot manage much longer if we don't boost our membership fast. Good thing is we are learning a couple of songs from Phantom so I am in heaven!!! I enjoy that so much more than the Beatles and some of the other songs in our repertoire. I missed the Beatles completely (too young) and never really got into them. Nor the Stones - I was a true child of the 70's not the 60's. But we have our committee meeting next week so no doubt there will be lots to discuss again.

Tim and I are watching Masterchef the Professionals together. I know it is an old series but still, we do enjoy it especially trying to decide who we like the best!! It helps that it is on after Bondi as that is Tim's favourite programme in the early evening scheduling. We usually have dinner watching that at 6pm, and then Masterchef just naturally follows on. It always interests us how many of the chefs lack in their pastry skills - puddings are sometimes disastrous, yet they are what appeal to us the most. Sometimes it does make me want to try one or two of them, ones I have got plenty of recipes for but never tried. Or have tried but been unimpressed with the result. I have narrowed it down to three for Tim's birthday; just not sure which two I really want to go with....................at the moment it is worrying how many of the recipes seem to involve alcohol...........................

Been busy with birthday cards since April is one of the busiest months for  us as regards birthdays. I have a lot of friends who are born under the sign of Aries. I wonder what the attraction is between them and me as a Pisces? You can almost guarantee that when I get on really well with someone new, and then get to hear when they have their birthday, it will be in this sign. Even down to the student at work!!!
For me, I think it has to do with their down-to-earth-ness which I am lacking in so many ways. I always feel they are braver than me too. Moving forward with me tagging along behind until I felt ready to take my share. More earthy, grounded, sensible, practical......not many of them are dreamers like me!!! When I was on holiday with Gebke, she was totally the one who was prepared for every eventuality and had the sensible dress and baggage etc. I was better with timing and getting where we needed to be in plenty of time, but she was more practical and laid back about it all. Perhaps it is the complimentary nature of our two signs that makes us compatible as friends? Anyway, what ever it is, happy birthday to all my friends this month!!!
Sue xx