Les Mis Trailer

Sunday, 31 July 2011


Thank you so much Ineke!! I have just sat and watched all of Les Miserables and it was magnificent! Not a dry eye in the house!! It was so great seeing the original stars at the end because they were the ones performing the show when I went to see it an incredible 19 years ago. We sat somewhere high up in the gods right at the very back and I was suffering from morning sickness as I recall, being pregnant with Tim at the time. We'd travelled all the way down from Yorkshire by bus as well...........but my memories of that day are still fresh in my mind, so if you want to see it again?.....I'm your gal!!!
Sue xx

First year present

For that empty space on the wall.........
I am hoping this will arrive soon!!! Always a tricky business but I am placing my trust in air mail and hoping for a safe arrival! I love it! Actually I really like all Jeanne Oliver's prints and artwork so it was really the text that made me choose this particular one for our home. I am looking  forward to welcoming her in!
Sue xx

365 days later.........

our first year here in Lutjebroek is over!! We have survived, and not only that, we have arrived at the end of that year intact, whole, complete. At the beginning I was full of fear and anxiety about our ability to cope and survive with so little behind us. I knew nothing about so many things key to that survival, but I have learnt so much in retrospect, that I know now, that I can cope with so much more. If happiness were to be measured in money terms, then we are on the brink of depression, but measured in emotional terms, we are joyous millionaires. No regrets- that is what life is about. Taking ones chances, doing what feels right and true, and not thinking so hard about the consequences that it prevents action. Its gone so quickly this year of ours, and we have grown as individuals and as a family. Sure, I can wish for more. I can dream about achieving my goals about turning the whole house into a lovely place to live, but there is still plenty of time to do all that. One of the best decisions I made was to start my training to become a counsellor. That has given me so much support this year, and brought my decaying grey cells back from the brink of extinction! It has set me on the path to my future, however that may turn out, and I can't wait to start the second year. I know some really great ladies that I would otherwise never have met. I have rediscovered the resources within myself, and found that there are people out there willing to help us if we only ask them to. My faith has been restored thank goodness, and my personal seagull is flying high once more.
Sue xx

Friday, 29 July 2011


The best brushes ever!! 

Brushes, paint, tape, paracetamols, newspaper...think I'm ready!!

Almost at the end of the first coat- what a difference!!

Everything back in its place...aaah.
I completed the wall, two coats 'n all, got everything back into its place, cleaned and tidied, and now I need to go to bed! It looks great, but needs something to liven it up.......I'm thinking something above the windows.....maybe a pelmet so I can introduce the white and red theme and tie it all together somehow...it needs a little something more........
Sue xx

Lunch break!

This is my rest hour thank goodness. I have spent the morning painting the long wall in the living/dining room, and got one coat on which has pleased me immensely. I have photos to show you but they are downstairs and I am currently up in my little snug and have no energy for climbing stairs. I will add them at the end of the day, promise.
Actually I am pleased with the colour - Wimborne White - from the Farrow & Ball collection, however, the shop where I buy it makes its own alternative paint up to their colours so it is NOT the real Macoy, but just as nice! I like the eggshell finish as it wipes clean easily, and matt doesn't. That simple really. Already the room seems much lighter and brighter and I think we will enjoy it once it is all completed. We are in discussion about whether to chose another shade for the back wall or do the same white. I talked about it in the store yesterday but was not convinced with their view, so the jury is still out on this one!
Anyway I better go and get started on the second coat............makes sense to do as much as possible today, and sit with my elbow in a padded sling all day tomorrow!!! Ouch, it really is painful..........
Sue xx

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Lovely day

spent outside with Ineke who braved the traffic and ventured north to visit me! Having had such a lovely day yesterday I was worried it might not last but once the early morning clouds had lifted it was sun all the way. We even took Le Tour de Lutjebroek ( which takes longer than you imagine! ) before a healthy lunch and more relaxing. Finka has declared Ineke her new best friend - I think she recognises a true cat lover when she meets one, and purred and allowed herself to be stroked and stayed on her chair whilst we were outside too. It seems she is just afraid of men, restricting her favours to just one or two. Can't say I blame her!! Ineke had brought some computer gear along so that I can now watch some movies on my imac. It took a while to configure everything but she came prepared and it all worked before she left, so that is a treat in store for a rainy day. All I need to do now is buy a disc and watch it on the 'big screen' in blue-ray!!!
And I finally bought the tub of paint for one wall.......yes, the spirit moved me sufficiently to make the decision to start. The wallpaper went on in February and we are six months further along, so its time. A sort of celebration of our one year here. It feels right to do it now, make that statement, and continue moving forward. I am dreaming of that little counselling practice too.............I wish I may, I wish I might............
Sue xx

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Busy in the garden

One under, one on top of the cover!!!

Cherie, the Cherry Tree!

Picture on the wall

..eventually going to be surrounded by this creeper!!

I tidied the front whilst I was busy, too!

Our thin bit is filling up nicely now

Part of the back border
The sun timed it perfectly today as I had energy for the garden which badly needed attention after the recent rain. And with my work schedule looking pretty full on for the coming month and a half, it was time to make a start and get it all neat and tidy again. The main task was planting the tree and creating the  small border around it. I think she fits in very nicely! The larger tree will wait til autumn but this was car-sized so we upped her in, and found her a spot along the sunny side fence. The cats were not impressed as you can see - bottoms facing away from me!! I have got Bursitis in my left elbow which restricts my working too long and hard unfortunately, and at the moment it is quite painful again. Not boding well for painting a wall, which is worrying as I was finally going to start! Still will, but maybe with a bandage to support it?  The front garden is growing up fast - so handy having the sunshade already in situ when we moved in a year ago. We have them front and back and they are super handy. Sadly we don't live next door to keen gardeners, so maintaining the garden weed-free is impossible. Sometimes I feel as though I am fighting a losing battle, but then again, we want ours to look pretty so what alternative to more elbow grease is there? Exactly!! None!!!
All in all a hard days work both indoors and outside, and I am feeling pretty tired right now. I fell asleep for a while in the stool outside, which was heavenly, but a good nights sleep is what I really need tonight.
Lets hope we both get one!
Sue xx

at last!

The sun is out!!! Hurrah for a sunny day - get out there and enjoy it folks!!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

that's it!

So, I have done with fiddling and adjusting sizes and being precise about everything..........this is how it stays for the foreseeable future!! But what is foreseeable? How far into the future can I see?....
Hope you like the changes anyway, and can live with them as I can.

Today was fun! I was totally planning a different day to the one that it turned out to be; but much better in so many ways so I am not complaining! Having got some chores out of the way before 8am Tim suddenly decided he needed to do some shopping, so we looked up the weather forecast for Hoorn and Alkmaar and decided to follow the sun! It was really nice having the morning in Alkmaar together. We haven't been for about a year, and had been thinking about the annual summer trip to buy necessary items for Tim's holiday, so it was great to do that today. He bought some good stuff and was sensible with his money which pleased us both, and had a nice lunch, though our favourite diner is no longer as nice as it was sadly....the decor has changed and it just doesn't have the same ambiance as it did with the previous owners...........but the food was still good! Anyway, on the way home we stopped at the garden centre ostensibly to buy the additional Box plants I needed, but really to look at what was on special offer etc. and came home with a little trained Cherry Tree!!! So Cherie has joined us in the garden!! Tim was handy at shifting the sand and adding the soil etc so the tree is in the ground and tomorrow I will get the Box bedded in. Then we were able to drill the holes for the nice wall hanging.........smiling faces all round!! A few shrubs are required so that the cats don't see the soil and think they are meant to be in there.............and I will take a photo or two. It rained off and on the rest of the afternoon so all this was accomplished in between showers, and there is still some work to be done before we are satisfied. Maybe that BBQ will be on the list next year.................

My friend Ineke is coming on Thursday and having read her latest blog post I am glad that what I was planning on serving us for coffee and lunch is not going to ruin her healthy eating regime, or mine for that matter!! So no worries, we will be good and enjoy the food without gaining anything!!! :-)
Sue xx

Monday, 25 July 2011


with the template designer!!! It is not ideal but at least now I have some colour and a background and a photo for the title.........and I like the fonts etc so I suppose this is it for now!!! I even went so far as to watch the demo, shows how determined I am to get it right! I never watch demos and barely read instructions..........

Still raining but it was only a small amount this afternoon so Tim and I went outside and lifted the slabs ready for the new border! He only needed the tool for the first one really, then the leverage was there for the rest to get out using hands only. We decided to rearrange the table and chairs too, and I think it actually improves the overall look of the back garden. It is even starting to look like a garden! All the plants are at full strength and growth with all the rain we have been getting, and my goal to hide/cover the wooden sides of the border boxes is coming along a treat. This time we are going to edge with Box to give a more green feel to the hard paving etc. Once the trees are in to give it some height and shape, it will look so cool!! I know all this is very low budget and is taking a long time to create, but that is the challenge. Either that or Rob and his team need to come along pretty sharpish and overhaul the lot!!! Since that is a long shot from here to the moon and back, then I think we will have to make do with our slow approach, and budget buys. The satisfaction will be greater for it in my eyes anyway. There was nothing here a year ago and when we are a little further ahead with our planting I will take some photos.
Right now I am obsessing about getting out there tomorrow to dig out the sand and replace it with good quality soil!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

not making things any better!

So things are going from bad to worse with my fiddling around on blogger!! Help is at hand but I think it is going to require starting from scratch.............undoing everything I did might be really complicated but I am unhappy with what I have ended up with so I guess there's no choice? I thought I'd give it one more go before going to bed but no luck..........just imagine how hard it would be if I had to create my own website?!!!!! (So glad you are going to help me out with that one)!!
Sue xx


Having read about the tragic events in Norway this weekend, I would just like to pay my respects to all those who died and all those who will have to live with the memory. To parents, siblings, friends, acquaintances, their communities, schools, workplaces........it stays with us all.
Sue xx


I started off idly seeing whether I could change my blog around a bit and discovered that having made some changes I cannot get back to where I originally started from! Help!! Of course this sort of experimentation never takes place whilst my computer wizard is on holiday - but I looked at Inekes' holiday slideshow yesterday so KNOW that help is at hand!!!! I went into the design on blogger and into template designer because I had found a nice new background I was attempting to download using their new easy system. Phah! It is not easy for everyone.........that means me! I like the fact that I have changed the fonts etc - that is fine, but I don't like the blue heading and stripes that appear when I combine it with my own background, and I don't like my photo of the cats being off centre. See my problem? So, if you know how I can return to whence I came..............let me know!!

I had other plans for this morning but the weather put paid to them. It is awful here - more like autumn than high summer. Wind and rain and cold...........brr..its chilly indoors. I want to make another small border along the fence so that a tree can join our garden in the autumn. I trundled off to the garden centre and bought some box plants that were on sale, finally, so all that remains is for me to lift the slabs, move them out of the way and add some new soil and the box edging. But I don't have the right tool. So I have borrowed one, and want to get started! It was in my head how to do it, and once that happens, I need to get cracking! I sort of have this thing about gardening in the summer and decorating in the autumn and winter months - my indoor/outdoor split as regards work at home. Hopefully it is going to improve this week so that I can get on with it before August when I have to work my socks off. Keep your fingers crossed for me that the weather turns soon................
Sue xx

Saturday, 23 July 2011

hacked off!

I have just visited my facebook page and discovered someone had posted something terrible under my name, so I promptly deactivated my account! I suspect that it is because I used my mobile as that is the only thing I have done differently since holding the account. I am not happy!! Terrible to think that it can happen just like that - and it is not something I want to be associated with quite frankly. So bye bye facebook for the time being. Sad but necessary and I didn't hesitate to make this decision for one little second!
Sue xx

Friday, 22 July 2011

quiet in blogland

Its holiday time! Well at least for many bloggers as there are far less posts around at the moment, which probably indicates the world is elsewhere. Not me, my holiday is not until next year, but my daughter goes away tomorrow and my son in 3.5 weeks time. What it does mean is that my colleagues are all about to rush off to foreign parts and I get to work in their place so August to me means WORK!!! One more week of staying home and then practically 6 weeks full-on until it comes to a standstill in mid September.  Am I ready for it? Not really but then again this has been the pattern for the past four years so I suppose I have come to expect it, and plan my holidays outside this prime time. I'm sitting here waiting to skype Becci so that we have talked before she goes away. Actually I am not feeling too well this morning with a most unsettling tummy ache, but the sun is still shining here in these parts - heard that elsewhere had torrential rain yesterday but we missed it, so no worries.
My new mobile is great! It has 'new' buttons to press which herald access to facebook, twitter,  hyves, google and all kinds of exciting things! Whether I ever learn or want to use them remains to be seen but I did achieve a facebook post from my phone yesterday which was amazing!! I went out and bought it a pretty case this morning as I am worried about the screen getting scratched etc. The man in the shop was so off when he offered me BLACK - my eyes were focused on the dainty turquoise one just to the left....in suede......yummy! Well, without having nice colours in my handbag how do you expect me to find anything?!!! It is the black hole ok Calcutta in my handbags and any help I can get to recognise purse, phone etc is welcome!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Foo fighting!

Don't you just hate it when the 'establishment' takes you, the little person, for a ride?! That what seems to you to be simple, uncomplicated and easy to arrange, takes two months, numerous emails, phone calls back and forth, and still confusion reigns at the end of it?! I have been 'mis'-communicating with the insurance company this week, trying to sort out policy matters with them, making myself very clear ( or so I thought ) and finding that they could give a masterclass in stalling techniques when it comes to giving one their money back! Classic excuses, irrelevant and wasteful use of paper, stamps, envelopes, ink, " oh, it just happens that we were dealing with your request today, actually' ( think I believe that??? ) and still there will be no resolution until September. The final thing that was said to me on the phone was ' do you have any more questions? ' I said I might have after 1st September had arrived!! Fortunately this was all carried out in a non-violent way, and we were both able to laugh at the end of the conversation, but it is just so irritating and annoying when you KNOW they are hanging on to your money for as long as possible and just waiting to see how patient you are going to be before contacting them, and startling them into action!
Trouble is I had exactly the same experience with two other insurance companies, so I am wiser now, not so gullible, and way less patient!!

Todays duty was to face up to my essay task and start the process of completing it. Yey! I read it all and then duly made notes, then got started typing, and then stopped. It is hard work getting into the same frame of mind each time to work on something so personal and unique, as it has to do with memories, and events, and life experiences, and with the writing comes the emotions, all over again. I was surprised to find that it was shorter than I had remembered which means I need to get cracking again and whip up quite a few more soul-searching pages before I can hand it over to be tarted up and made to look pretty for the adjudicators. What I realise is that this one is a baby by comparison to the next level, which involves more than 50 pages of inner growth at Level 2, so I better get some notes down about what to include in part 2! Am I on an odyssey here?.....................an epic journey into the dark corners of my mind to dust off the cobwebs once again, and start sand-shifting my memories? I think I am!!!!
Sue xx

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Don't you just love quotes?!!!

For Becci

For Life!

For me.
The weather has only been pleasing for ducks today, so I have spent much of it near the computer in my little snug. I finally got around to joining PINTEREST as I love that site so much!! And it was there that I found a wonderful page of quotes which I duly noted, put into my computer, printed out on my own scrapbook paper, framed and sat back to admire!! The last one is one of a pair that I will hang in the bedroom eventually. Can't afford to decorate it yet but know what colour scheme it will be, and had this lovely frame from Ikea already, so; one framed, one to do!!!! The top quote appealed to me for Becci as she is a huge Audrey fan - I can send it with Tim next month if he promises not to squash it!!! The middle one is my kind of peptalk to myself - and we all need these little reminders every so often don't we? Plan to hang it on the stairs when I have found some more to go alongside it. Y'know me; a place for everything and everything has its place!!!!
Sue xx

tree dreaming

I've never been great at knowing how to fit a tree into a small back garden!! But I do so want one!!! Looking over the fences of neighbouring gardens I can see that there are many different ones all flourishing and looking gorgeous, but when it comes to making a decision about ours; that takes a lot of research time!!
I have picked out two spots where I'd like to 'expand' the garden. One is on the long side towards the gate as I feel a small pretty tree there would block the line of vision and make it more attractive and interesting. In my mind I'd only need to take up about 4 of the slabs, move more soil in and plant a tree. Done! On the other side I think I'd like to take up a line of slabs and make an additional border stretch so that a tree and some shrubs etc could be planted along the fence on the opposite side. This would make it harder for Finka to climb over into next doors - a bonus indeed. Tim is keen on having some grass eventually, so I think this would all fit in ok - but WHICH TREES should we buy? I'm trying to prepare myself for autumn and buying them then as this is not the right season and I have to save first. I spend ages researching on all the various internet sites from the RHS to Eigen Huis en Tuin, but cannot decide. So, anyone got got advice or experience to share with me, let's hear it please!!!

Yesterday I made two Christmas Cards. Shocking, isn't it?!!! Don't know why really but it was awful weather outside, not a bit like summer, and I was in need of some creative activity for a change, and so I got the inks out and some stamps and made two cards. Then I stopped and decided I was better off tidying the mass of papers I have still got scattered around, seek more inspiration from magazines etc and wait until I can get some new cardstock. It was brief but enjoyable!!! :-)
Sue xx

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Photo update from recent posts

Finka under the seat protector!!!

Finka asserting herself over Genghis!!!

TIm giving Genghis lots of love and attention

Clematis and Ivy on our new trellis
All of these photos have been blogged about recently so since I promised photos, here they are. All makes sense now, doesn't it?!!!!
Happy Weekend.
Sue xx

Friday, 15 July 2011

batteries are low

and getting lower so boy, am I happy that tomorrow is Saturday! The weekend cannot come quickly enough for me this week!! My first plan is to sleep in tomorrow morning.........not that I am a great one for staying in bed in the morning, cos that for me is a waste of the whole day, but the very idea of sleeping beyond 5am right now is extremely appealing!! Tim is starting at 2am so that is a 1am alarm, which I can handle as I probably won't hear him with any luck, and then silence. Bliss!! I really want to hit that 7am chime from the local church and still be in bed! Seriously, I am not adapting well to his new summer routine of 3 days 5am wake-up calls followed by the 1am on Saturday but he is happy to do it as he is saving desperately for his holiday next month. He's been asleep now for a couple of hours ( still only 9pm ) whilst I was watching some TV. nodding off every so often if I am completely honest....so I am as quiet as I can be......shush..........................

The quote today is one I can really identify with! "Everything comes in time to those who can wait. " Someone once said of me that I have the patience of angels, though it does get tested to the max on an all too regular basis, but I am not sure whether it is a good or bad thing? When is being patient a help or a hindrance? For example, I have learnt that I can be oh so patient when I am waiting for someone to open up to me in a session. That just sitting there patiently is sometimes the best thing I can do for them. However, patiently waiting for money to be paid to me for things I have done for someone, is not always helpful to my bank balance! I dislike having to coerce or nag or remind people to come up with the promised or agreed payment or goods. But how much patience can I really afford to have? Is there a statute of limitation on my patience?! How do I know when the time has come to stop being so tolerant and stand up for myself? Is it a question of having faith over patience; is that what it actually boils down to?...
I really don't know the answer so let's agree that it can swing both ways, and see the virtue in my patient nature for now, and hope that my faith or belief that my time will come stays strong.
Sue xx

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Was it worth it?

Yes! A rousing end to the Harry Potter epic, even though those 3D glasses were incredibly tiring to wear for the whole film! Won't bother again. But did see two more films for our diaries: The 3 Musketeers and Sherlock Holmes, both attractive for different reasons but both ones that Tim and I love watching. We are suckers for good old fashioned fiction, m'dear.......fantasy or not, both damm good yarns!! So there are more opportunities for you to enjoy using your imagination together with us, ok?

Stormy weather forecast apparently today, but off to brave it any minute soon.
Check out Rick Steins' SPAIN series starting tonight on the Beeb. Already got the book, so will watch the series - unless it conflicts with P&P naturally.............tell you what; lets take one each and then we will miss nothing?!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Living in the moment;

staying in the present; being mindful; being in the here and now - all ways of saying the same thing: this moment is all we have for certain, the rest remains unknown.

I sat in the garden alongside Finka this morning, she curled up under the seat cover that I place there to avoid the  inevitable cat hairs on the fabric because that is how she prefers it; me with my latte ( treat ) and Patti Digh in hand, reading about the advice various blog readers ( of Patti's blog ) had given their 17 year old children when leaving for college etc. " What I wish for you: simple wisdom for a happy life" its called. A book readable in one sitting, under an hour, satisfying and inspiring. It took me back to a car journey with my daughter when she was about 15. She asked me if it mattered that she was not good enough to go to university and become a lawyer like her friend, or something high powered and important like others were aspiring to at her International School. She was worrying about not passing her exams because she is Dyslexic and that I would be disappointed in her. My answer was that I was immensely proud of her, and that all I hoped for her was that she would be happy in life, doing what she wanted to do, being who she was, able to live an independent life for herself, enjoying the ride.
My daughter is now 24. She chose her own pathway through education, working during the day and learning at night to become the teacher she has always been. Working with those who find it difficult to learn; to read or write, to complete forms for job interviews, who were expelled from school due to challenging behaviours or problems, and who is currently teaching Life Skills to young homeless people for a charitable organisation in the Midlands. She is never going to be ' in it for the money '
( thank goodness ) or wealthy in terms of material things but she is rich beyond measure because she is following her bliss, and being all that she can - with idiosyncrasies galore!!! All of which makes her who she is - special to me and many others.

What Patti talks about through her book is her own path of acceptance of not being her child and her child not being her. Becci and I differ in many ways but we share so many more similarities than I dare to think about!! We understand one another but know that the one is not the other, and that right from her birth, she was uniquely her. Our wisdom and experience in our own lives cannot always be passed on to our children when we want - only when they are open to receive it from us. I can put the protective cover on the seat outside because it saves on cat hairs; Finka just loves snuggling under covers so she interprets it as being for her delight and pleasure - who is to say the one or the other is right?! Just being ourselves is the hardest task in the world when we are faced with so much criticism and obstacles and decisions and heartache. But even harder for me, is learning to live in this moment, not worrying about the future that may or may not happen. Enjoying what I have right now because that is the reality of my life. Loving what I have not yearning for what I hope to possess. Making my surroundings loving and inviting and safe and happy, not coveting more. Cooking those pancakes this morning for our more than capable son who stood there telling me he was hungry whilst I knew he was really asking me to make him some food instead of him raiding the fridge! Doing something selflessly for others every day - I think that matters to me a great deal. If that is something my children can learn from me, then they will be wise enough for their slice of this world.
Sue xx

Sunday, 10 July 2011

almost over

- the weekend that is! I didn't start off feeling too well to be frank, but that is now going a lot better so apart from the tired feeling, I think I am back to normal. I am of an age when things begin to change.........well, I think they are!! and that sometimes leaves me wondering what all the aches and pains really are! I tend to shrug them off mostly, and ignore them, but once in a while they are a tad scary and then I have to stop and think more seriously about my health. So, starting tomorrow, back on the strict diet regime that has lapsed for ages now, sadly, but has to be given the attention it deserves if I am to retain this new slimmer version of me!! Maybe those pains will disappear if I do...............
Then there is the obvious motivation of having passed on my diet to another friend, who reports great success and enthusiasm for it still, AND who is coming to visit us in October!!!! Since she is the person who originally challenged me to lose half a stone when she was here last year, and whom I haven't seen since, I better have something to show her when she arrives! Oh, and there is the small matter of the M&S black trousers that I need to shorten the legs on but are a size 16, folks!!!! WOW!!! We won't talk about generous sizing with M&S or pretend that every pair I wear is going to have that label in the back, but, for now, I can get in them, do the zip and button up, and want to wear them out on Wednesday!!!
Talking about Jackie visiting, makes me focus on the decorating again, and set me thinking about doing some wallpaper stripping on the landing. Ideally it will be the bedroom that gets the makeover, but if I do the hall myself, then maybe we can do that when she is here - oh, bad plan, then we'd have nowhere to sleep!!! So other way round maybe? Then there is the painting in the living room which is absorbing my thoughts on a daily basis now. I am toying with the idea of rollering it; not myself, you understand, because me and rollers don't go well together, but there are suggestions of how to achieve it if I let go of the control need, and move into a more trusting groove...........hmm, jury's still out on that one!! I think it is after watching Grand Designs on Sunday evenings that this urge to decorate and improve our house becomes stronger. I see what huge projects people undertake, and it sort of puts this one into perspective, and I realise that all that it requires is some elbow grease, time and effort, and a great deal of imagination, and it could all look so much better! Obviously buying the accessories is out of the question right now, but the hard work only requires volunteers.......

What else has been rattling me lately? Oh, yes, the mobile issue. Mine died recently, never to be resurrected, and so I started off using Tim's old one. Way too complicated, heavy, unnecessary and one I didn't seem comfortable with at all. So then I was given an old Nokia which is fine except now it is proving unreliable when I text and I cannot use my hands free thingy when I am in the car, so not a happy bunny here! I have been promised another one, similar to my old Samsung, which makes me very pleased and delighted, and I can't wait to get it. Then when December comes, I will be rewarded with the new one Tim took over from me, 'cos he is hoping for something much more spectacular.....i...think ( hint, hint ).
And last but not least, I have started thinking about Christmas..........and what homemade presents I can give this year...........the leaning is towards stitchery my friends, totally inspired by The House Wren Studio blog of course. Charlotte Lyons has beautiful things in her Etsy shop and on her blog and its well worth taking a look there. I spent a happy hour yesterday smooshing around the net looking at various patterns and ideas and threads and colours - and doodling on bits of paper, and day dreaming about designs. Fun!!
Well if this hasn't caught you up with events in my world, then I don't know what else to say except....
P.S. I said it wouldn't rain, and it hasn't. Who's right now?!....
Sue xx

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

We've booked our seats!!!

Tim and I are going next Wednesday to watch the last Potter movie in 3D.........7pm it all kicks off!! He has been looking forward to it for such a long time, and now it is only 7 days away.............do I really have to sit there in those silly glasses though? And do I really want to watch a 3D enormous snake coming at me from right out of the screen???? I'm not sure I do! but his choice, so its got to be done. He's even got a voucher to give us lots of money off our seats!!! I'd forgotten about that so a nice surprise.

It was the last day of his first year of college today so hence the decision to go ahead and book our seats. He has got his new placement - Botman in Grootebroek - and its on Tuesdays and Wednesdays so all change. He is working tomorrow now as well, which is good news as its all money towards England, so we are happy. Happy, happy.
Sue xx

feeling the urge to...................

stamp again!!!! I've been asked to make some CHRISTMAS & NEW YEAR CARDS for someone, and so here I am snooping through all the wonderful sites with stamps and paper and inks and everything I have not bought for so long now....................and I want! desire! covert! need! drool! so much new stuff!!!!! OOh, such a lot has changed since I last paid a visit to my favourite stores over here, I think a trip is coming up soon, don't you? Just to look, make notes, see in the flesh, touch, dream, think about what I really need to replace or update - yes, I'm there!
I suppose on the less fluffy cloud which hovers beneath my huge billowy immensely fluffy and dreamy one I mostly inhabit, it all boils down to a need to buy cardstock. Nothing more!! I guess there are inks that could do with replacing as they are drying up, and maybe some embellishments, but I have a lot of stamps already, and plenty of ideas, so do you think it might be possible for me to go and ONLY buy paper???? Hmm, doesn't fill me with so much joy but it would make me feel very Sidney Carton if I did the decent thing and kept within my penny pinching budget and let frugality triumph over greed...
Sue xx

So true................

“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you.”
 Anne Lamott

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


Tim and I have been patiently waiting for this book to be delivered for months!!! We ordered so long ago that I simply can't remember when, but it was here when I got home this afternoon, and boy, is it worth the wait!!! Everything you could possibly want to know about pastry is in this marvellous little book! Chapters are devoted to different types of pastry and both savoury and sweet dishes are included. I wanted to start baking immediately!!! I sat and read it through a couple of times when I was downstairs, lingering on some pages more than others to be honest, and wondering when I might have occasion to pick something out to make. I've always fancied having a go at Salmon Coubliac..........you might like that? Personally I love Cherry Clafoutis in the summer, with double cream...................the choice is amazing anyway, and I will definitely be browsing it further this week! Have to think of something to celebrate so that we can push the boat out and eat a really good lunch. Or dinner...............candlelit maybe? I think we are due one of those m'dear.
So it is official now - I am going to be an assistant trainer on the Counselling & Coaching International Course when it starts again in September!!! I am so excited and thrilled to have been asked to do this by my two trainers, especially after only one year, so bring it on, I say!!! I won't have to miss my monthly excursions into Amsterdam this autumn after all! Let's hope it leads to bigger and brighter things in the future.
I'm having an early night. Probably means I will wake up early tomorrow morning but that is ok, I am better able to work in the early hours than late at night, and I want to accomplish one or two things before my session tomorrow afternoon. A failure to plan is to plan to fail; isn't that sort of how the saying goes?
Sue xx

Monday, 4 July 2011

the weekend's work!

getting it in place!
So this weekend was a busy one for us. I had the last practical day of the first year of my course, which was sad and happy at the same time. We had a delicious lunch cooked by our trainer, did some final work together, sat and talked the afternoon away, got our certificates and went home! We are starting again next February - yey!!! I am going to miss everyone and the days together but we still have plenty of work ahead so that will continue. I drove straight from there to my friends house for her son's 18th birthday, which I enjoyed, and then home to find our son fast asleep after his long days at work.
Sunday we were able to finally place the trellis for the Clematis where I wanted it, so here is Tim doing his thing!!! It is going to grow fast these coming two months and the flower buds are showing so I am very happy. It has such a delicate blue flower and is so different from other Clematii that I am glad it travelled well and has settled into Lutjebroek with us. Almost a year now - wow, can you believe it?! We will have to celebrate!!!! It may not be all smooth and easy for us yet, but my spirit feels so much lighter and I am definitely so much happier and able to be myself, that that is worth celebrating.
Sue xx

Friday, 1 July 2011


I love the TEX talks that can be listened to on You tube. They are incredibly varied and the speakers totally inspirational, and this latest one I came across had me enthralled from start to finish. Take the time to listen attentively to every single word Jill says - watch her and marvel at her recovery from her stroke, and take heart from the insights she offers to our world. Hats off, lady - you rock!!
Sue xx