Les Mis Trailer

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

admitting it to myself

I have to. I have to see things for how they truly are and not how I want them to be. I have to be realistic and sensible. I have to dismiss my dreams and listen to reality. I have to get this right. No more rose- coloured spectacles for me!! Its not my strong point, that's true. I'm a dreamer, a fatalist, a believer, a romantic, an optimist, a cup half full, proud sort of gal, but right now these are not the characteristics that are serving me the best!! I need to eat humble pie......................
Sue xx

Saturday, 27 August 2011

yet another challenge to be faced!!

So, all my resourcefulness is being called in to play this month as we face another crisis in our self-sufficiency!! I am trying to be positive and see it as a lesson in frugality that is helpful in the world of financial doom and gloom we know as the world economy! I thought we were already at the living at the basic level but now we have to dig deeper and cut back even more drastically. Though why that gives me a gigantic headache as well, I do not know!! Thinking clearly is what I need to do and headaches don't help that much!
So, if I am absent for some days, it is because I am in the attic rooting around for items to part with, emptying the cupboards in the kitchen hoping to stumble across food items that I can use to create meals from scratch, and generally making lists of how to live on fresh air for a month!! It can be done, can't it?...

Here's what helps me: -
I have it on the bookshelf to remind  me.......
"Everything will be ok in the end. 
if it's not ok, then it's not the end."

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Back home

Last night I collected Tim from the airport and enjoyed hearing all about his week with his sister and Ric. He certainly sounds as though he has had a great time! His suitcase was only 3 ounces below the 23kilo limit!!! But then it is a small suitcase according to him! And we'll need another before next year.............
He had brought me some Black Magic chocolates - because they were the ones my dad always put in my Christmas Stocking for years!! However, I have to say that the quality and the quantity in the box for the price you pay, is not good any more. What a disappointment!! I remember a long slim box with two layers in and stuffed full with delicious chocolates; this time there were far less flavours and one stingy layer of choccies - shame on the makers!! It felt like quite a rip-off actually.
Then I had some books - aah - and magazines - and the famous Dreamies for the cats!!! Apparently cats go crazy for these treats, and Genghis certainly did. Finka was more hesitant but once she had tried them she was making her little approving noises and munching delicately on one dreamy at a time. Geng just ate the handful in one go!!! I see more packets being added to my list, Ann!!!
Then there were the sweeties - Polos, Minstrels and Galaxy - yey! When will Holland start selling our favourites??! They really are delicious folks!
Well, I was awake bright and early this morning so now I am going to read my Country Living Mag and make notes of all the interesting articles and websites that are always in it, and see where my fantasies will take  me this morning.
Sue xx

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Weekend feeling

lying in bed until after nine this morning was wonderful! It was hard to crank myself up and out of the cosiness of the many layers on top of me, but eventually I made it downstairs and out into the sunshine...Finka and I sat for a while, blue skies, sun peeking through - then a sudden shower with a dash of thunder hit us, we scampered back indoors, and now it is gorgeous out there!!!
I worked so hard in the gardens yesterday, that my poor old body was exhausted by the end of it. The scent of autumn is in the air - truly - so it was time to dig out some of the summer annuals ready for new plants for the coming seasons - yey! I don't like the inbetween time when there is bare soil and gaps between plants.............I love it when the borders are absolutely brimming with plants. But I pulled up the ones that needed to go, and tidied up some pots and moved one or two plants into better positions, and I'm ready. Well, one bed is. The other still looks fabulous so leaving that one alone for now. I got out into the front as well, but by the end of it my back was aching and my elbow was feeling the pain of  repetitious digging, so I gave up. Me and the Geng came back indoors and sat on the settee together and vegetated. Later on I made a delicious Pear & Ginger Cake as Jose came round in the evening for a natter. It was good using up ingredients I had in the larder etc as I am not particularly fond of pears generally speaking. I am up for an Apple Cake this week as I promised something for work on Thursday as a treat with our coffee! And since we are on the subject of my habit of forward planning ( yes, we are, you didn't realise it? ) I had time to make a little list of menus which I enjoy making for dinner occasions. I was going through my notebook in which I write my favourite recipes - ostensibly for when Tim leaves home and needs a cookery book - and decided that it required some menu recommendations. It's amazing how many times one goes back and chooses a certain recipe - it felt so warming to just be able to flip the CHRISTMAS DINNER MENU off the top of my head!!!! ( Ok, I'm scary...give you that!!! )
Ann is going to England next month; I think this is what is causing me to check out our store cupboard for those essential ingredients that one cannot buy here.............I like being prepared!!
Today is more about resting and enjoying being at home doing as little as possible. There are small tasks to be faced, but the sun is once more out and I feel like making the most of these last hazy days of summer before the sun sinks lower in the sky and the cobwebs become more abundant and the days get shorter - wonderful!!! Can't wait for the winter pansies to be bought!!!
Sue xx

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Beautiful programme

last night on BBC 2 about the wildlife that lives in these beautiful gardens in Cornwall. It was really a total delight to watch, and has made me even more eager to visit them next year!! Last time we were in Cornwall we didn't have the opportunity to go there but I am going to ensure that THIS trip includes them!
Finka was fascinated. She sat on the edge of the coffee table and watched completely engrossed as the foxes and badgers and birds all paraded in front of her; the perfect birthday treat!!! She got up a few times and actually say right in front of the telly, wandered around to the back and back again, just checking whether she could get any closer or not - but brilliant to see her enjoying it so much, ha!ha!
Tonight its something different as I am indulging in a soppy movie 'The Lake House', so tissues at the ready!!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

House seems empty already!

Well, Tim has only been gone an hour and a half and already the house feels empty without him!!! Just that sense that you are all alone now..............he just rang and is at Schiphol finding his way around with all the new fangled equipment for checking in etc - so funny to hear him telling me about it all!! Anyway, he is sitting near his gate and just has to patiently wait until he gets called to board in about another hours time!!

So what are my plans whilst he is away?!! Work, work, work, hopefully garden if the weather holds in the weekend, work on my study.....nothing much else probably!!

I have got help with some advertising for my new practice wow, that sounds grander than it is!!! For the second year of my training I need to have lots and lots of client contact/work, and so I am trying to advertise for prospective clients both locally and via skype. Because I am a student still, I give my time for free, just need any costs to be paid if I need to travel anywhere etc. so it is a pretty good deal I'm offering! All I require is a signature on a certificate stating that I have completed the hours and been of benefit etc. So...........should you be interested, watch this space!! Ineke is working away at some super advertising material, which I know is going to be so cool - the text is our baby, and we are doing that both in English as well as Dutch, so that as many people as possible can be reached. It's feeling so good to be making real progress on my future career and learning so much in the doing. Thank you to everyone who is supporting me.xxx
Sue xx

Birthday girl

Finka is two years old today, Xander would have been ten today, so we are celebrating! She seemed delighted with her new ribbon which she immediately ran off with when I gave it to her. They are her favourite playthings, and you will find them lying around the house, or garden as she throws them about everywhere!! Genghis doesn't seem impressed - just headed straight for his spot on our bed as usual, without so much as a second whisker at Finka. The sun is out so she can have a day in the garden if Tim is willing to accommodate her wishes. Me? Another day at the office!!! Getting up early each morning is not normal - I like a day in between to recover! A busy one today, at two centres so lots to do and lots of clients so better be on my toes!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011


I heard some shocking news about a friend and its making me feel very sad and worried, so lets take a moment to appreciate all that we have to be grateful for, everyone. We are hoping for a positive outcome, and a full return to health, so I want to leave it there, and wait until we know more in the coming days. I was wondering why I was having such terrible trouble sleeping over the last few nights, but this would explain it. Sometimes I just know there is something happening that affects me in some way, shape or form, and whereas this time I was not able to focus in on the who and the what, I did have a sense of something tragic................I think tonight I will sleep better knowing what was going on and that it sounds hopeful.

I had a whole other host of things I was planning on writing about until I heard about this, but they are ordinary and insignificant by comparison so I am going to leave it there for todays post.
Sue xx

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Sunday Morning

And I'm thinking recipes!! And I am fancying Coq Au Vin for dinner!!! I suppose the fact that Tim is going away this week is making me feel like cooking us a lovely sunday dinner -as opposed to lunch...his favourite pudding maybe...or another one we both like? We are going shopping anyway, and can decide when we see what there is in the supermarket. I was up early facing the ironing head on as it is not one of the chores I look forward to each week, but getting it out of the way before 9 is somehow more acceptable.
What is your least favourite chore to get done each week? My way of getting things done is to spread them out over the week so that there is never a whole lot to be done at any one time or day! I am not a spring-cleaner either; my moment of madness usually arrives at the end of the summer as I like to get the house in order before the autumn and winter arrive. Maybe I have a secret yearning for hibernation?....
But anyway, it's done and I can rest easy until he returns with a suitcase full of washing.

Yesterday I baked the Cinnamon and Orange Crisps that Tim had carefully laid open in the cookie book when I came downstairs on Friday. Have to say they are fiddly and time consuming with the waiting periods etc but have come out spectacularly deliciously!!! And there are not many left! I have bagged enough up for my ladies tomorrow as we are working away from the centre where there are no cookies for our coffee breaks and I always ensure I take some with me as a treat. Yummy!

I watched the film "Four Minutes" yesterday afternoon as I was sleepy and in need of a quiet sit down. It was good! So nice sometimes to watch a movie that has no bad language, no violence, no extreme examples of behaviour; no, a simply told story about Roger Bannister running the first 4 minute mile. Lovely.  And true which are the ones I prefer. Time to roll out my " Inn of the sixth Happiness" next weekend whilst Tim is away? Though I am convinced that my version has been edited and some things left out or changed as my memory tells me I am missing some scenes..............which is a shame as I prefer the original if I am being honest.

Well I can hear the cereal is almost eaten and Tim is dressed so we can go shortly. He looked sort of bemused when I suggested that he doesn't put his hoodie up when he is in England next week but he had told me that every time he arrives at the airport he gets questioned about who is meeting him and are they there already, and he feels they are suspicious about him travelling alone. In light of the current troubles, I think his idea of a fashion statement had better be less in evidence this time. A shame that this is my thinking right now, but one can never be too careful apparently. So, Becci & Ric - be on time please!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 12 August 2011

holiday makers!

This is the first photo Becci and Ric have shown from their recent holiday in France. Can't wait to see the rest!! I looked at some taken by another friend from their group but they were not that interesting to be honest - too many shots without people in them!!! I've never really been to France very much, only one real summer holiday and two trips to Disneyland Paris. Becci was only 18 months old when she went for the first time - shows how long ago it is since THAT holiday!!! I know that it is a very popular destination for many families in Holland, and Becci said that they met a lot of Dutch people whilst in the Dordogne. Must admit that Tim and I have started thinking about next year and where to go in the autumn if a chance comes our way...............yes, we love to dream in our family!!! Never hurts to have a germ of a plan always in the back of one's mind, right? But first things first - Tim is going next Wednesday to theirs so time to check trains and timing etc as I am working all week and need to feel prepared! He is looking forward to his week with his big sister, meeting Ric, and generally getting out of the house and away from mum for some young living!!!! Must make that list of goodies to bring back home...............polos top it every time!!!

I have my first supervision this evening, with one of our trainers and at my study mate's house. Looking forward to seeing them both as its been a few weeks. Lots to catch up on first with Karen and then the nitty gritty of supervision. One down, two to go; three counselling sessions, when I have the money for them, and we are getting closer to me completing the requirements for year 1. Gosh, you have no idea how fantastic I am going to feel when I have that certificate! It will be my affirmation of my year post divorce, my joy at doing what I absolutely love doing, and my ticket to a better future. That champers in the fridge has been there too long already just waiting to be popped!!! Glasses at the ready m'dear!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Utterly ashamed

One cannot have gone the last few days without reading or hearing on the news about the terrible rioting happening in England right now. It is shameful to see what some people actively chose to do to our great cities, how they spare no thought for the livelihoods of others, or their welfare, and how helpless we are to stop them. It is spreading like a mexican wave across the country, only this one is accompanied by flames and looting, violence and destruction, and it is deplorable.

At the same time I read with joy and pride about the army of 'morning after' local residents who stand on the streets the next day, armed with brooms and cleaning materials ready to clean up their neighbourhoods again. Look on twitter and facebook and see just what having community spirit means. These are the Brits I am proud to associate myself with!! Tim is going to England a week from today. He will arrive in Birmingham, wants so much to go to Manchester and it is simply not safe to do that right now. The pleasure of visiting these two great cities has been swept away by violence in just a few nights of erupted anarchy. Reverse the trend and fast, my friends. Return to normality and regain control of the spiralling domino effect being created by those who are not capable of stopping themselves. Please.
Sue xx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

A must-see film!

This is one film I've been looking forward to seeing this summer! I tend to agree that her Yorkshire accent leaves much to be desired, and it fluctuates between reasonable and terrible the entire film, but I like her as an actress ( she was Jane, after all ) so I can get over it! Who can I see it with?

This morning it was gorgeous. Me and the cats sat outside under the sunshade having breakfast, sunning ourselves in brilliant sunshine, and I thought it was looking like a summer Sunday. Tim came outside and said that it was 'bright too soon' and he was right. Shortly after that the heavens opened and the rain is currently coming down with incredible force, and pouncing off the rooftops, the sky completely grey and heavy and the prospect of thunderstorms later on. A huge disappointment! And proof that one should always 'seize the day' and never leave anything to chance. So there is nothing else for it than to give in to doing the bathroom, since all other excuses not to have just been swept away!!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 6 August 2011

out with the old...

and in with the new!! We've been looking on and off for a new blind for the garden end of the living room, as there is no space for curtains etc and it needed something pretty to make sense of the new decor. There was one we liked in Ikea which was fairly similar to the one we ended up choosing, mainly because this one was wide enough for our huge window. I liked them both; both white with grey flowery pattern etc, and so we took advantage of the discount this weekend and went out and bought one! Tim begrudgingly put it up for us.............see what you think:-
This one is a light cream colour which was left here by the previous tenants.

Boy Wonder doing his thing with the fittings!!!

Pretty new white and grey patterned blind in place!!!
The end walls are a very light grey paint with the one long wall now white, and the other one waiting to be painted in September. We will go for the same white shade now that the blind matches those two colours though there is a small temptation to add some tiny red sparkling stick-on gems to make it 'custom-made'!!!! I might try it and see what I think of the result.....................anyway, we are happy with the choice and it lightens the room up even more, so when the other wall gets painted we will be giving out sunglasses!!!

Last night we had our ladies night dinner party. It was really enjoyable and we had a great time. They brought me presents, which touched me as I was very pleased to receive such lovely gifts as a surprise. All the food was devoured which pleases me immensely as I feel satisfied when I see clean plates! I was particularly pleased with the Churri - it was delicious even though I say so myself. The curry was not too hot and the only thing  I don't do so well is cook rice. I was disappointed with that so won't be buying that brand again. Tim has just finished the Eton Mess as I had saved him a portion on request. I am looking forward to eating the remaining dishes with him this evening. Easy cooking, lazy telly watching evening and a good sleep to follow!
Sue xx

Friday, 5 August 2011

Curry on the go!

My friends are coming round tonight and so I am making Chicken Curry for the three of us. Back by popular demand!! I am taking a break from the kitchen as it got rather hot under the collar downstairs, and I'm sure that its not all me!!!
I've got my favourite Vegetable Samosa's and Spinach Pakhora's which I lurve, and I made a Churri as well - Indian Rice as the last thing to go on, and not forgetting the delicious Mango Chutney and Naan Breads!
It is a feast alright! We are having Eton Mess for afters; I figured since curries are as English as Strawberries and Cream, made into an Eton Mess they are even more irresistable. Yummy!! There will be wine, and chatter and laughter and sharing, and music and its all good. I do love cooking for our friends and family!
The weather is mixed today. Neither sunny nor dull, hot nor cold, just humid and damp and a little overcast. It is perfect weather for sitting outside with a cold beer and contemplating ones navel!!! Think that might be next on my to-do list, only a glass of rose would suit me better. I'm saving the rest of the afternoon for some other pleasures I'm hoping are going to come my way...........
Sue xx

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

no sun, go shopping instead!

It rained early on this morning so Tim and I decided to go shopping instead. We went to Ikea and he bought a new desk and some stuff for his room. I got some little items for the house, saw plenty we liked for the future, had something to eat, drove home and did the shopping for Friday's meal with my girlfriends, and came home again! It is so hot and sticky and feels like a darn good thunderstorm ought to happen tonight. Maybe it will..........
Sue xx

Times they are a-changing

I suppose it all has to do with growing older, and acquiescing to the things that happen to our bodies as that occurs. For me personally, I was wondering when it would happen - the final change that women experience - and how I would feel about it. I believe I am starting to find out!!! Given that most of my female friends have already been there, done it, and got the t-shirt, I sort of felt I was lagging behind!!! I wanted it to be over as well, but instead showed no signs of it starting for longer than I had imagined. But now, suddenly, I think I have arrived! And the sensation of breaking out into a hot sweat whilst you are sleeping, is just as unpleasant as I was warned about! Quite unlike anything else but the closest would be comparable to a high fever in some tropical disease..........I woke up in the middle of the night to experience, literally, beads of perspiration bursting out all over my body. Even on my eyelids! As each one rose to the surface of my skin, I felt the bubble form, grow and then burst and trickle water all over me. I felt so acutely aware of it at  that moment, it was quite strange really. Fortunately I  could throw off all the covers and just lay there, still, until it passed. Does this happen every night from now on, ladies, or just sporadically?! You know the answer I am looking for!!! So now it is the daytime flushes that I am waiting for.................happy days!!

Yesterday was a funny sort of day at work. I felt that we were being wrong-footed all day long, and that meant it was a long, hard day. I am glad to be off today. Its always the same at the start of the holiday period when we as relief workers take over the running of the show and our colleagues have all disappeared. They leave great notes behind, what to do, when to do it etc but it is never possible to write the ultimate guide to where things are, and how they work!! Simple things, like how to work the mobile phone............where to get the money to buy our shopping when the admin is off too.........where envelopes, rulers, pencils, notepaper is stored when you are working in a different space...........so yesterday was all about searching for what I needed, pacifying others, reporting incidents, going to new locations, eating ice cream, lunch an hour too soon, squabbling...........and differences of opinions. I heard someone tell me the other day that when they go on holiday from work, they leave behind a detailed board with everything written down in detail, so that nothing can get missed. Maybe that is not such a bad idea after all.............but at the end of this month, I will have learnt so much more than I knew before, and it will have all been down to my own endeavours, and I like that better.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

What a day!!!

I couldn't agree more with the sentiments of the daily quote...........I am so glad this day is almost over!!!
Sue xx

Monday, 1 August 2011

August 1st

and summers arrived just coincidentally with my full month of work!!! Bang goes any hope of a tan!!!!
I woke up this morning to the sun blazing in through the bedroom window, at 6am, and no wind, birds singing merrily - wow, we've been waiting for days like these!
At least I am outside as well as inside today I hope - Im working with some clients away from the centre so we might be able to 'catch some rays' at lunch time.
So if you are on holiday or working outside, or just at home doing the everyday stuff, have a good one!!!
Sue xx