Les Mis Trailer

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Happy boy!

We have finally booked Tim's flights for August and his annual visit to his sister in Stafford. He really misses her not being closer so I always feel it is important to keep their contact up to a healthy brother/sister level. And this time he will meet her boyfriend/partner - what do they call them these days I wonder? - for the first time, so also nice. They will have a great time and since I am working most of August it will be nice and quiet at home too. Still waiting to hear when Jackie is coming over in the autumn, so I have someone to look forward to seeing again. Oh, and of course Ineke will be braving the roads northwards after her holiday!!! I make the best chocolate brownies, by way of encouragement!!!
The sun is out once again and its a beautiful day. I am baking and cleaning and doing all the ordinary tasks we cannot avoid each week. Last study day coming up on Saturday so got to make two cards and some cakes etc for our last lunch. Got to is not right; I want to, am happy to do so, enjoy it!! Waiting for inspiration to strike for the cards - been a while since I got creative with ink!
Well, having said all that I think its time to dip into my stash and see what I can come up with while the brownies are baking...........oh, the smell of chocolate wafting upstairs, divine!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Don't they look good?!

Becci & Ric at their friends wedding.

Nice to see Becci and Ric's photo from a recent wedding they attended, Ric was an usher so extra smart!! They are at the age when friends marry or have children, so no doubt the coming few years will see call for more posh attire!! Having spoken to Becci via skype the other night, seeing her wearing an owl woolly hat in bed, it is to be hoped for!! Wonder when the day will come that I need to dress up like this?..................

The predicted thunder and 'disasterstorms' that were due to hit yesterday didn't. Well here anyway. We had a really sultry day with amazing temperatures, then some cloud and small drizzly rain for an hour, and then 30C again until the evening when it started around 8pm. The lightning was pretty impressive but the thunder was more a distant rumble than heavily overhead. The cats slept through it so that says enough! This morning it is very humid here in house but I understand that it is much cooler outside so I think it will be ok at work. When I arrived yesterday every door and window was open, which helped.
It is overcast and dull outside, no wind, and just the birds flying around searching for breakfast.
Have a good day!
Sue xx

Monday, 27 June 2011


and the first bad thing to happen was the washing machine chewing up my favourite bra!!! Totally wrecked sadly, so a replacement will be necessary.
Second thing going wrong was me turning up for an appointment dead on time, only to find the guy was not home and had forgotten his diary entry for today. So I came home again only to have to do this all over again on Thursday.................bah!
It was incredibly hot today - 32C in the garden so the parasol was up and the cats were settled on their chair under it whilst I had an hour on the sun lounger before watching Andy Murray go through. Well done that man!
Sue xx

Sunday, 26 June 2011


and sitting in the garden all day was wonderful. Karen was over for the afternoon, and I do so enjoy her company which is sort of study related still, but more about sharing our personal stuff with one another etc and keeping in touch about the course etc. And enjoying the left overs from Friday's dinner party!!! I have to say that I really liked the Gazpacho and it was equally tasty today; handy, a cold soup!!
After a rainy day in Haarlem ( sounds like a song title ) yesterday it made a pleasant change to just sit in the sun and chat. All in all a very satisfying weekend!
Sue xx

Saturday, 25 June 2011


for my day out with Hillie, what a shame!!! We were looking forward to a dry day but at the moment it seems unlikely. Ah well, more coffee stops, longer lunch, we'll be ok!!
Last night we had a lovely evening with friends, and as Tim says on his facebook page " great food and good company " - what more can we want?

I have been reading the awesome blog by Neil Pasricha and listening to his TED talk on youtube, to try and re-motivate myself and stay positive. It's so hard when you want and need a job really badly, and in your heart you know you are not going to get it that easily. Even when you know that it does not mean that you are a failure or not good enough or not lucky enough to get chosen, it feels personal. There is no getting away from that sense of rejection one feels in those moments after being told you didn't get the job.
But I have to keep trying and looking and thinking about all the skills I do have, and all the things I can do, and believe that it will all work out in the end.
" Everything will be ok in the end.
 If it's not ok, then it's not the end. " 
This is what sits on my bookshelves and stares at me every morning - my tiny spark of hope. This is what I read and allow to seep into my unconscious self so that I feel it inside and know that there is still hope. Listening to Neil's talk, and reading his blog, and hearing his story, I do appreciate and value all that I have in my life, and I never forget the awesomeness of all those special moments I have been privileged to enjoy. He talks about loving 3 year olds as they discover the wonder of learning about new things for the first time. About us not forgetting that first time we did something; met someone; achieved something..............I have never forgotten one single second of it.

Hm, at this rate it will be galoshes and macs and brollies and a very wet day out!!!! Just an hour to go before I get the train, so time for coffee and breakfast and a chat with the cats, and off I go!!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 24 June 2011

Friends coming round

this evening so busy cooking and preparing for our summery mediterranean meal!! Pity the early morning sunshine has turned to rain at 11am........it was so lovely when I went shopping at half  past eight!! What did you do to the weather?!! But it won't stop our pleasure I'm sure of that. At the moment I have got the top half of the Vacherin cooling in the oven, and the bottom two thirds of the raspberry cream, brownie cheesecake, and the Gazpacho so we are on schedule. Wouldn't the Mrs. Harrisons be proud of my time-keeping?!! Both the Domestic Science teachers at my school were called Mrs. Harrison but they looked like chalk and cheese from one another. I always had the slightly rounder one teaching me, which I was happy about, as I thought she was the more lenient one of the pair, and more inclined to bake cookies!!!
I didn't do O level DS though as I always did better when I was practicing than during the actual exam.
And my O level music score was too high to exclude in the choices...........shame. Who knows, I might have turned out to be a pastry chef if things had gone differently??????????

We had our Karaoke evening last night with the choir, to round off the year. I confess to being a shy and retiring violet who didn't get up there and singalong to the rock songs. However, it was a nice evening and plenty of other willing and budding soloists did take the floor!! I have photos but they need to follow when I have more time. Not today that's for sure. Maybe next year I will take my turn.......

Tomorrow I am going out for the day so let's hope this rain comes today and goes tomorrow. Spending the day with my friend Hillie in Haarlem, well, that's the plan. I just about have enough left in my bank for the train fare, but nothing more, so it will be a fun day of window shopping, chatting, and hopefully sitting on the terraces facing the sun for some summer warmth.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

A lucky escape

Amazingly I have escaped from a very nasty accident with barely anything to show for it, but it could have been so much worse! We have a small cooks blow torch and it was empty, so needed filling again. I tried to do it, didn't succeed; asked someone else to try, also no luck, so yesterday I went to buy the gas to see what we were doing wrong. Whoops!!! I filled it alright - in the kitchen - then thought I ought to test it. There was an enormous whoosh and the whole of the kitchen lit up including me!!! The huge flame swept across my body and hand and burnt all the hairs off my right arm, and scalded me in several places. My hair got caught so lots of burnt bits falling out all over the place..........the flames did catch my top but luckily it didn't catch fire otherwise...........................someone was watching over me I guess, from up above. I smothered myself in vaseline so amazingly I have very little to show for it today. The pain is more or less under the skins surface so if I don't touch it, its fine. Hurt a bit in the shower this morning though!!!

What else? Oh, didn't get yet another job............least said about that the better, right. I love it that my friends all say such nice things about there being a better one out there somewhere for me - it just needs to appear soon, that's all!!! I cheer myself up with the knowledge that where I work at the moment, the clients are very fond of me, and whenever they see me, I get so much love and positive responses from them, it makes me feel better.
Well, there is nothing else happening; this is enough, right?!
Sue xx

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sunday sentiment

"If you do not know where you stand within yourself,
where does that leave you?
When you stand centered in your own space,
it will become clearer what your choices are
and which ones to make."
Ron Rathburn from "Words that Matter."

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Now I'm just plain

tired!!! I had an incredible headache all yesterday but I think it was because of the change in weather and it being so horribly humid all day. The paracetamol didn't help either which was a shame as I slept so fitfully all night long and am now only half awake, but needing to do some stuff before bedtime. A good sing though - and by the look of the night sky I am home just in time as the wind is gathering speed and those huge grey clouds are beginning to spit water from the heavens...........just like this morning as I drove to work. Couldn't see the road in front of me at times, so bad. It eased off around lunchtime but apparently here it was awful all day long. Well, one more day of work to go and then things ease right down again for me. Sort of looking forward to having some time in the house as I see housework getting neglected and not so shiny taps in the bathroom.....whoops!!! I miss being at home to do the chores, as I like to tackle them little and often - and you would not believe the cat hairs at the moment!! I think there could be a jumper in it for me if they continue shedding at this rate!!!
So now I am tired enough to fall straight to sleep ( I hope.) I'd opened the bedroom window just now but I think I'd better shut it fast!
Sleep well.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Quote of the Day

I like todays from Kissenger, but for me there can't be a crisis THIS week, 'cos my schedule is so jam-packed full I just simply won't have time to another one!!!

Back to listening to Gabrielle, and my fave song of hers, not that it will do me any good but it sort of goes with my melancholic mood. On the brink of applying for another job, which sort of brings that negativity along with it as the belief that I stand a chance of getting it is at zero. Going to work this week and not feeling the love!!! Hard to feel motivated after last week..........still a bit wobbly about everything right now.
Sue xx

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Food for thought

I enjoy it when Karen and I get together for our study sessions. We get along so well with one another, despite being dead opposites in many respects, but perhaps that is the connection we have? We were talking about the big challenges in our lives, today, the ones that require heart-shattering decisions, and how we allow or trust the universe to be on our side when trying to square up to making them. One of us is willing to sit back and wait for the universe to hand us the answer we are seeking whilst the other takes command and goes into action, seeing what the universe has to say about it all once the play is in full swing. Which is the better course? I really don't know, but I do believe that what is out there waiting for us does sometimes need a helping hand; to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and held in place until it settles. Then I watched Grand Designs about the two chaps from Leeds who went off to Harris and started a campsite there. I fell in love with the island, the raw beauty of nature in her splendor and magnificence, so hey, perhaps the universe sent me a pointing finger?................damm sight closer than Alaska, but still remote enough!!!! Where are my running shoes?.............................
But first I plan to be more assertive in my actions and focus all the universes power on getting me a proper job. Its what I need and its what I deserve, so that is how I am going to change my energy into something positive and rewarding this coming week. Take the bull by the horns, steady the charge and blast my way forward!!!
(Anyone seen Tonto)?
Sue xx

Friday, 10 June 2011

Getting there slowly

Its been a rough week when all is said and done, my friends, but I am hoping this bank holiday weekend will bring me what I need and I will start next week in better spirits.
It is pop festival weekend and the boy is going to his first one, PinkPop, in Limburg, and I am trying very hard to be cool about it, not fuss and definitely not 'controlling'!!! But he is shattered after having worked two really long days at the bakery, and facing another night of it before getting the train tomorrow morning. Right now he is sleeping, and getting the rest he badly needs. He worked from 4am this morning until 4.30 this afternoon, and is starting again at 1am through until 7.30 tomorrow morning, then he has to be on the train at 8.30am!!! I just went to the bank for him; his bag is in the hall, the food still has to go in, and last minute stuff etc, and I have stuffed the wet weather gear into the bottom - just in case - and the rest is up to him. He has to learn what he needs to take and what he will find he misses, and although Melanie will have thought to take most everything with her, he has to pull his weight too. So the coming 3/4 days its just me and the cats at home, so a lot of sleep is likely!! Time in bed is what I really need!!!!!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Body blows

I was hoping the week would get better but so far I am being proven wrong. If life were a seesaw, then an elephant is sitting opposite me on mine, and he is flinging me far off into the distant atmosphere never to see land again!! An over-dramatisation naturally, but speaking metaphorically, this ride is one helluva tusker!!! Ever had that feeling that you are being targeted from above by a whole gang of seagulls whose talent for scoring bulls-eyes is uncanny and 100% accurate?!!! Yup, I've got it right now.
The sad thing about it all is that it is ruining my little happy slice of good news; that tiny piece of feel good that I had for a mere smidgen of a moment last Saturday; that one small thing that made me feel great and would have felt so good to share when I was riding that high....................I know it will never sound the same again when I finally get to speak it out; the moment is lost forever. And I feel incredibly sad about that.

Oh, Tim passed his exam, so congratulations are in order!!! I'm sure he must be feeling good about it despite still continuing his current mood........................
ah well, we have to work with what we've got, right?
Sue xx

Monday, 6 June 2011

Stormy waters

What to do when teenage rebellion is in full throttle?! Sometimes it is the hardest job in the world being a mum/parent and without back-up it is a lonely place to find oneself in when things get tough. I am going with the flow and determined to ride the stormy waters out, but it is as uncomfortable as heck whilst it lasts!! You want to help them, but when help is rejected and everything you say or ask about gets shouted down etc. it is heart-breaking. I hate getting locked into the 'you treat me like this so I will treat you the same' kind of scenario, but it can be the most effective way of making a point without resorting to shouting and screaming at one another. So we are not yet at the truce stage. There has been a tentative exchange of words this morning, but I am still being given the silent treatment by teenage son. Why is it that up until age 17 and 364 days, we are able to say and do parent-like things but on day 365 and 18, it's suddenly all over???? Wish I knew. It will all be alright of course, this is just another temporary blip, but I wish it was simpler like in days gone by...............

My mate Peter celebrates his birthday today!! Happy birthday old 'un - you're always one year ahead of the game! Have sent him a message this morning so perhaps we'll have a chat soon too.

Work this week with only one day free - how's that?! Earning a bit of money at last even though I won't see it until the end of July. That's the worst thing about working such ad hoc hours, never getting paid the same every month etc. I think that when I have to use our telephone for something, I will have to remove the cobwebs from it first!! I have not used it for so long to avoid any extra costs on the bill, it is virtually redundant. The beauty of skype is that I still get to connect with people who really want to talk to me, and my friends here can call for free as we share the same provider, so right now, it gets us through the lean times doing it the way we are.

Time to go. There was a huge thunderstorm here yesterday and it looks like it might come back today, but here's hoping it will be another sunny weekend as it is PinkPop and a weekend under canvas at a festival in the rain, is something Tim wouldn't be wishing for!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A good day

for me yesterday. It was the second to last practical day of the first year of my study, and with 6 of us students left over from the original 12 who started together last October. We achieved a lot yesterday, and because we are coming to the end of the year and the certificates will be given out by our trainers, we were given some individual feedback and an inkling as to what is going to be on those precious pieces of paper.
I think we were all given great compliments about our personal growth and learning over the past months, and useful insights into which direction we ought to head in - counselling or coaching - some of which proved surprising for a couple of ladies who perhaps were inclined to see themselves doing the opposite of what the trainer recommended - and how we can best proceed next year. The second year is starting in January, apparently, and we have to chose an area of special interest for ourselves, and do much more intervision, client case work, supervision etc. I hope I can afford it, and if not, then it will be later on in the year because I have to get to the end if I am going to be able to practice as a counsellor in the future.
I was given some other really exciting news yesterday, but I am waiting to share that with someone first before I share it here!! It's killing me, holding it in, and keeping it quiet, but it is the sort of news that you need to share face to face and not over the phone or in an email. For me, it is a dream come true. That's all I can say!!!!

After all the beautiful weather this week, it is raining, thunder is in the air, and the garden is getting its essential free watering this morning! Why?! Just one more day of sunshine would have been delightful; I had hoped for it so much. Looking at the weather forecast there will be a burst of sunshine this afternoon, but then more storms. Not good, but there it is. You know that game of "scissors, paper " etc? Well we play a game that is all sorts of things against me - I never win it!!!.......I am thinking of not playing it any more. Someone please tell me what to do when the odds are stacked so heavily against you?????

Enough of my maudlin-me. On the upside the rain gives me the opportunity to write my notes up from yesterday whilst they are still fresh in my memory, and every now and again, I will ponder on what was said, and enjoy my little inner happy thinking all by myself. Aaah.........
Sue xx

Saturday, 4 June 2011

away days

in the sun.......in the back garden..........breathing deeply and closing my eyes and just laying there...........

be back soon!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Aaah, Jim lad!

It's one-eyed Sue here!! I really don't know what has happened to my eye but when I tried to wake up this morning around 4 the left one remained shut! It was so painful and swollen and red - yuk. I then spent 3 hours with a cold flannel on it trying to get it to go down so that I would be able to drive to work in the afternoon. It did help, but as the day wore on, it got more inflamed and red and fiery and it bloomin' well hurts ' terribly much'!! to put it politely!! Luckily my eye itself is not red, but under the lid is where I can feel the most irritation and it is itching like mad right now. I'm still inclined to think it is a midge bite cos the beggars love my blood, and I always have extreme reactions to them, otherwise I don't know what it can be?

Whilst at work today I spotted a email announcing that there is to be a full day " team day " on 1st July.....I wonder if that will include us holiday girls or not? My mail address was not on it anyway...............maybe it means we will be asked to cover the centres so that the team can have an away day? Am I making assumptions based on prior experience? Yes. Am I learning that this is wrong and to be avoided at all times? Yes. How hard is that going to be? Very!!! But I am adopting the 'wait and see' policy and trying to keep an open mind. I'll let you know!

So beautiful sunshine again today which was lovely. I have made the decision to bite the bullet and talk to our neighbour on the other side about planting my tiny hedge along the adjoining side of our front gardens because the weeds are growing there and I want to create a barrier between them and our plants. I figure if I ask him to say where he thinks the boundary falls, he cannot complain later that they are in the wrong place. I know where it is - in front of the downpipe between the two houses, but I'd like it if he agreed with me! It is just one row of small box plants, but time it was settled. As the coming days are bank holiday ones here and the forecast is so good, it is the ideal time to get the front garden up to scratch and tidy up the weeds I sprayed last week etc. and make us look pretty. I am feeling inspired by my window shopping in Zoetermeer!!! I have some 'grand designs ' in mind for the back courtyard - hardly a garden yet - but they are for next year or even the one after that, but it is nice to just have the germination going on in my head when I am sitting outside keeping Finka company and drinking coffee.
Mostly I confess to staring at gardens with trees in them just around here and from the upstairs windows. I am trying to imagine trees in the garden along the fences, and I can see that everyone else seems easy about planting them, and I don't. But why? I see that slim borders have been created that are flush to the stone slabs etc whereas I prefer them to be raised a little, so I make little border walks figuring out whether or not I can use the smaller ones on their sides so that they stand up and I don't need to buy any new ones!! I guess I just prefer landscapes that are not flat. Undulating. That is better. Tim is still insisting on grass but that is another leap of my imagination that has yet to be made!! How to garden on a budget of zero euros is a challenge I can tell you!! Maybe I need to spend some time with my books and pen and paper and do some dreaming.................the only dreaming I am going to do now is in bed!!!!
Sue xx