Les Mis Trailer

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Absent blogger

I've had a fall and am feeling rather sorry for myself! My knees are black and blue! It happened at the weekend when I slipped on black ice. Silly really  but it is impossible to stop oneself from going down!
My left knee is totally blue all over and all around as that was the first one to hit the ground. My right knee is swollen above the knee and has an impressive bruise on the inner side. Ouch! I twisted my neck at the time to avoid hitting my face on the ground but that is getting steadily more flexible and does not hurt any more.
I'd like some tender loving care please!
Sue xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

snow and ice

It's getting gradually colder isn't it?! Saturday morning going to Alkmaar with Tim and we had ice rain and such cold air! Still, getting into the shops was the only option, right?!!!
We managed to do a couple of his things but he spent Sunday there with Amber and they got a lot more done it would seem.
I went to see a friend and we walked around her village and then visited the local garden centre's Christmas Display. No where near as impressive as De Driesprong naturally but she got a few nice things including some lovely clip-on birdies .. . she loves birds! I reckon I can make some out of paper if I try. I have placed a couple of decorations in the living room to test Will's reactions to them. Baubles in glass bowls seem to be ok - my little Santa's as well . . . .will add more things this week and see how he does!!
Dentists today. Not looking forward to it that much but it is something I have avoided for a long time and that has run out! With health insurance being what it is here I need to go before the end of this year if I am to benefit from it; next year we can think about the next outstanding thing!!!
Right, off to brave the cold.
Be safe on the roads everyone.
Sue xx

pss. anyone know how to delete old photos on blogger so that I can add new ones? Seems my quota is up!!!!

Saturday, 1 December 2012


1st and counting!!!! I usually make a 12 days of Christmas mini album and call that my December Daily and this year I am doing one again.
Take photos!!! That is the key to it, because otherwise I have  a pretty little album and nothing to show what we did!!
So with that in mind...off to fight the good fight in the town as Tim does his shopping!!
Sue xx

Friday, 30 November 2012

It's got to stop!

I am waking up at 4am and sitting down at the computer and working on things!!
I am making Christmas cards and reading and making notes.
I am not sleeping.
I am falling asleep at 8pm and missing out on things I want to do in the evenings!
My body clock is failing me....

I  ought to just roll over and go back to sleep.
I ought to get a drink of water and slip back into that comfy position again.
I am going to try it because I need to sleep.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Almost the end of 2012

and December is just around the corner now. Listening to radio 2 brings it all a little bit closer!! Here it is the last shopping weekend before 5 December - and guess what? Sonny boy wants to go shopping on Saturday for his presents!!! I suspect he has not got a long list, in fact, no list at all. I asked him what he was buying for his girlfriend; 'don't know.' And your sister? 'don't know.' ' I'd like a gift certificate from Douglas please"....'I have got something else in mind so no, you are not getting that!' Well, at least he knows what he is NOT going to buy!!!!!!
My children do not like surprises. They are inquisitive and plague me with questions or go feeling presents until they are satisfied they know what they contain. I was the same when young too, so hardly surprising is it? But I do like the fact that I can remember during the whole year what they have mentioned and liked, and even though it might not come as a surprise, it will be what they really, really wanted.
On that note I am going to get ready for my trip to Christmas Wonderland in Zoetermeer!! Todays the day Ineke and I have our annual winters day in the garden centre De Driesprong. Its my favourite for its showiness and huge range of decorations. I am expecting a lot from the creators once again this year!!!
Will take photos!
Sue xx

Sunday, 25 November 2012

one little word

Have you started thinking which will be yours for 2013? I have certainly got a shortlist this time!!!!!
Of course we have to get past 21-12-12 first, but if all the disasters that have befallen us so far this year are not enough, then bring it on. I am hoping that by 22-12-12  I will have passed the worst and be heading for a brighter future.
It is such hard work, living in the now; being mindful; practicing thinking only about what is happening and not what has or what is going to. I'm not very good at it to be perfectly honest. After a period of not sleeping properly I have returned to the vivid dreaming I am prone to. If Steven Spielberg could only read my mind whilst I dream I reckon we would earn a fortune together!!!! Sometimes they make no sense at all and at others I can see what it is all about. I remember them word for word, I seem to dream a whole film or book at a time!! Tiring? Yes it is!! Suggestions? There is a programme about sleep disorders coming to the BBC soon; guess I will be watching that!

Last night I went to Ann's for Strictly. We sat and had coffee watching Pointless . . .got to the credits and bang, the TV went fuzzy and suddenly the picture disappeared as the titles for Strictly started to roll!! We tried everything and couldn't decide if it was her TV or Ziggo....what to do? Race back to ours, turn the TV on . . .same thing here so it was ZIGGO!!!!! Watched a film and waited for the text to come that all was restored and we could enjoy Merlin after all. Ahhh.....
I have just watched the Strictly clips on their site; what are Flavia and Louis playing at?!!! Dropping down the leader board!! I do like Vincent and his partner and she can dance so well....dark horse indeed. Not too keen on Denise and think Lisa is wonderful. So, still an open competition which is good. Last four weeks!!

I've had a week of being ill and am just starting to feel slightly better. Hence the absence of blogposts recently. Just can't seem to concentrate on anything for too long right now.

If you are in the flood areas of the UK - just watching it on the news is awful, so I cannot imagine how terrible it must be for you all. Living here the need to manage the water is such a  top priority that it seems sad that so much expertise and knowledge does not seem to be available in Britain. If the water gets the better of us here the whole country would go under. There have been disasters enough over the years, so the Dutch have learnt from them and got the whole thing nicely under control nowadays.
So, perhaps it will now be time for the government to wake up and sort it for everyone who is at risk of flooding and stop the tide.
On that note,
Sue xx

Thursday, 15 November 2012

A selection box of Christmas cards

As promised, some of the designs I have created this year for our cards. Keeping it simple as I also vowed, and using my distress inks and polychromos pencils and not buying any new stuff!!!! It worked out quite well. I sourced some ideas and techniques from various crafters and used stamps I have not used for a while to keep it all as easy and pretty as possible. What do you think? Colouring using a water pen and the distress inks is great. Works fast and with the card stock it doesn't leak through to the other side of the paper as ordinary stazon will do etc. So all done. Maybe I will do some more now I am in the swing of things!!!!
Sue xx

Monday, 12 November 2012

A Sunday walk

Yesterday it was lovely weather here so my friend and I took the opportunity to do a walk around the dijk near her home. It was peaceful, no wind, just sunshine and lovely skies. Since we are suffering an extraordinary amount of rain this year, it was good to be outside in the dry for a change!!!
Sue xx

Thursday, 8 November 2012

My own thought for today..

 ' Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.'
  Ian MacLaren.

Sue xx

Monday, 5 November 2012


and my son is planning on doing the 'mo-vember' facial hair growing thing!! That he is old enough to do it is hard to believe, and whether or not he will achieve a whole month without shaving it, well, we will just have to wait and see. Good luck I say!!!

The weather feels rather like the backlash from Sandy with a weekend of so much rain I feel I am drowning! The skies overhead are magnificent however, and the many layers of light to dark storm clouds are simply stunning to see. I stayed indoors the whole weekend in the end, doing some more clearing out in the attic - well, moving around of boxes and reading their contents and putting them back in the same place - and making some Christmas Cards. Like I said, simple this year. Basic criteria being:

  • do not buy anything to make them
  • use up everything you already have
  • every tiny scrap of paper is precious
  • yes, you can use the lovely ribbons you have been saving for ever!
  • making the same design is not a problem
  • only a few are really necessary for those who appreciate home-made
  • good for my stress levels
  • do it because you enjoy it

So this is what I have stuck to and I am ok with the results so far. Can't help reading lots of lovely
crafting blogs and seeing amazing creations floating past my eyes which are sometimes quite green with envy at their creators imagination and dexterity!!! If this all goes to plan, then I will crick myself up a notch and consider my annual December Daily Project which I have been doing for several years now.
I only do 12 things though. Not having small children any longer, and not being in England, and not having my family around me, it is sometimes harder to make the month special enough to scrap!!!
What I do like, however, is getting the small albums out each year as part of the decorations, and looking back on Christmas's Past....that is the real pleasure in doing it. Once again, same criteria apply though I do think I will need some paper . . . . . a Christmas present to me.

Sue xx

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The times they are a-changing

I am sorry not to be a better blogger at the moment but my attention lies on other things that are creating a whole lot of stress and uncertainty for me right now. Not stuff to share really. Maybe once I get into the christmas spirit and start on my cards as a boost to my stress levels, if I can settle on a design I like, I will return. Hope so. Miss writing but stress and being quiet go together with me.
Sue xx

Monday, 15 October 2012

trying hard

to wind up my creative juices for the coming jolly season! I've been approached to make 700 - yes, 700 cards for clients in my old work place, and by that I mean creating something simple with my stamps that they can finish off by themselves, same as last year. So I am searching around on the web, looking up all the sites I used to regularly visit to see if I can find some inspiration there. I am so out of the habit of card making this year. Overwhelmed by other less fun things and a tiredness that comes with the resulting lethargy I have done so very little stamping.  Hardly any at all. I do miss it. I do wish I could think about it again. I am going to try harder to get going again. Maybe it will cheer me up?
Sue xx

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Along the dijk in autumn.

Beautiful sky 

A little further round and into the wind!

Busy out there on the water!

Evidence that there is still work being done.

My solitary bike.

Harbour still busy in September.

Last weekend it was cooler weather but not that windy so I decided to get some fresh air and cycle up and down and around the lanes here. It was fine when I set out and not too busy or cold but once up on the dijk it quickly deteriorated and I got cold and miserable and suffered from the increasing head wind on the way back home. Once home I was shattered so did nothing more than lie on the settee, both cats settled on top of me, and we all had 40 winks!
This weekend no chance. Its colder, its windier, its unsettled and I have a nasty cold.
Sue xx

Saturday, 22 September 2012

One of my favourite

authors is Brene Brown. I love her books and her insights into vulnerability and she has a new one out!
It's titled 'Daring Greatly'.

The title was inspired by this quote by Theodore Roosevelt:-

" It's not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who's actually in the arena, who's face is marred by dust and blood and sweat, who strives valiantly, who errs, who comes up short again and again.
Who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.
Who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

I'm hoping it is going to inspire me to keep working on getting that job in the end.
I'm hoping it will inspire me to worry less about what other's think about me or what I feel about myself. 
I'm hoping that a break is going to come . . . soon.

To fellow darers, we just have to keep on hanging on in there!!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 21 September 2012

The Invitation.

"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for,
And if you dare to dream of meeting
Your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
For love, for your dream,
For the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
If you have been opened by life's betrayals,
Or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain,
Mine or your own,
Without moving
To hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy,
Mine or your own,
If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
Without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself,
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty
Even when it is not pretty every day,
And if you can source your own life
From its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure,
Yours and mine,
And still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair,
Weary and bruised to the bone,
And do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn't interest me who you are, how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
In the center of the fire with me
And not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
From the inside
When all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
With yourself,
And if you truly like the company you keep
In the empty moments".

autumn equinox

is tomorrow. We are passing from summer to autumn and as I look outside it is obviously more the latter than the former!! Gone are the summer clothes - banished into storage for another year. I've worn my precious boots with tights and a skirt for the first time and am debating when it is ok to turn the heating on and have warmed towels when I shower each morning!!!! In my head I have decided on 1st October. Seems reasonable don't you think? Not too soon but a sensible date to increase our heating bill once again!! Last year we managed to only use four radiators throughout the whole house, all downstairs apart from in the 'wet room' ( well, there is a shower and a hand basin and not much more so I have opted for the posh term)!!! More layers is the answer, both in and on the bed!!
Barring a ridiculously cold winter we shall stick with the same plan this year.

So I am living with disappointment once again. I had yet another interview this week, and once again didn't get selected for the job. It's not doing my self confidence any good what so ever!! It does feel rather like banging my head against a brick wall, and to be honest, it is beginning to really hurt! I have resolved to have a day without tears today, but it is a struggle. I am thinking happy thoughts with all my might!!!

So, the greyness outside speaks volumes for the greyness in my mind. Lets leave it at that for today.
Sue xx

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Gazing at the moon

I just love moon gazing hares!!!

I have always had a particular fondness for the moon gazing hare. When ever I see one it seems to say
'take me home with you' but so far I have never been able to quite manage to.
One day I will.
I feel a similar desire for one of these beauties too but for so many other reasons!!! I suppose I am a fan of William Morris who said " Have nothing in your house that you do not believe to be useful or know to be beautiful." These two certainly fit the bill in my book!!!!
Kitchen Aid Artisan.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Midnight Walking

Anna & Becci doing their midnight walk for
St. Katherine's House
Hospice in Stafford.

Becci and her friend Anna recently did this walk for their local hospice. They have both 
lost friends and family to cancer, and so I am very proud of them for doing this together.
Well done girlies!!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

a little bit of sunshine

Things have been rather difficult recently and although I won't go into any details, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been and are supporting me through this time. Couldn't do it without you!!!

I have cheered up a bit and have finally got some decent sleep in and some rest, and am just hanging on until the end of the month when I will see my daughter and family again.  I am busying myself with the odd cycle ride and the last of the summer sunshine - though it is cloudy and rainy today once again - and trying hard not to dwell too much on the things that are making me miserable and stressed.

Finka is looking better too which is a huge relief. She has been under the weather for about a month and at long last seems to be improving. Will is definitely a chef reincarnated as he has a passion for food of all kinds that I have never known in a cat before!!! I think he eats, sleeps and dreams about food and has his nose in everything we prepare given half a chance!! Soon they will be called Little and Large!!!

School has restarted today for Tim. He reluctantly went off this morning with his girlfriend and I wonder how it will have gone . . he is now in his third year of training and gets to focus more on a specialty - which he has always wanted to be chocolate-  so I am curious what delicious things he will make this year?? Lets hope he enjoys it more than he thinks.

Not much more to tell really.  I will try to be a better blogger once more and 'always look on the bright side of life' as the song goes!!!

Sue xx

Friday, 7 September 2012


Sorry not to be blogging lately.
 Times are a little tougher than usual. 
Sue xx

Friday, 24 August 2012

Turning point

Right about at this time of the year one notices the seasons starting to melt into one another. I always think summer into autumn is the most noticeable slide, especially in the garden. Plants are losing leaves and the flowering ones have a rather sad display of last fling flower blooms and there are gaps in my borders where there once were annuals. I am thinking pansies. They fill the borders in the back garden well and last longer than most other plants. I feel impatient with the wilt of the Astilbe's and the rather forlorn looking Fuchsias and the lack-lustre of it all.
I wish I had some secateurs to cut back the larger shrubs in the front but I only have scissors so it is not a job I relish!! It takes me ages and doesn't really do the plants much good but one has to work with the tools one has, right?!! I will whisper lovely things to the leaves and hope they forgive me.
This morning I cycled to the shops and back along the cycle paths between the villages here. It was cooler and I didn't need sunglasses but it was still warm enough for no coat or jacket. It is the same with  choosing clothes it is with the garden - the in between phase when the day starts off cool and I layer up, only to find that as the day wears on I am wishing I had less on! Too hot to think about boots and shoes; too cold to not want to wear sandals all day. Hey ho, such is life!
Sue xx

Monday, 20 August 2012


Too hot to stand still for too long right now. I spent the whole weekend on my bike instead and despite certain sore bits I had a great time cycling along the pathways around here. These are taking in Enkhuizen by the way. Sort of a Monet thing. But so peaceful and still. Last night was unbearably hot and sultry and no-one slept well. I am taking it easy today, resting the tender areas somewhat! There was some thunder in the distance during the night but it doesn't seem to have amounted to much. I am going to take a cold shower and start my day off feeling cool and collected! Wonder how long that will last?!
Sue xx

Monday, 13 August 2012

Every picture tells a story!!

Yesterday was glorious weather here so we set off on another marathon around the dijk but heading in the opposite direction just for a change!! As you can see, even the cows were in holiday mood sunning themselves by the sea!!! We made it beyond Hoorn, having set off via Venhuizen so certainly the long way round,  and with the wind with us of course, and these photos are from Hoorn and there a bouts. They don't require any commentary methinks?!!!
Sue xx

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Bucket List

Do you have one? I do, always have had one even before the film of the same name came out. Things one aspires to do/see/go/be/have/gain/earn during this lifetime. I crossed one off mine yesterday by going out all day on my bike with Gloria and taking the trip on the ferry from Enkhuizen to Stavoren. I've lived in these parts for several years now, and always wanted to do it; so thank you Glo for making it happen!!!
It was lovely weather, calm waters and relatively little wind. We are rather sunburnt in places but hoping to move into a more tan-like colour soon! We did over 32 miles on our trusty steeds with only one small incident when I toppled to the side on a cobbled road and wobbled into Gloria and she fell towards the pavement. Drama! Luckily she was unscathed and we pedaled onwards. The boat was due to leave again at 14.05 and just as we were reaching the harbour we saw all the people gathering before the boat, so same as those terrific olympians do, we 'lighted our burners' and hit top speed to reach the ferry in time!!! We had only a couple of minutes to spare and there were not so many passengers anyway, luckily for us, so no problem. Once back in Enkhuizen we trundled to an ice cream and iced coffee watering hole, and then home. I tell you, I was in bed before 9pm last night and slept like a log!!!
Needless to say we are venturing forth today again, since sunny, dry days are few and far between this summer, and it looks like being a super weekend!! Enjoy yours what ever you are doing, and be safe.
Sue xx
Gloria looking out towards Stavoren.

Quaint places on our tour.

Back into Enkhuizen.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Its been a while

but I have been here or thereabouts anyway, and just not in the mood for blogging as yet. Perhaps it is the incessant rain and thunder we are experiencing right now. Or maybe it is the tiredness I feel at the end of the day. Or it could be the silence I feel inside that just says nothing needs to be told or relayed or said or shared right now. Or most likely a combination of them all!!
I will be back but maybe just a while longer before I start writing again. Bear with me!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Absence makes the heart

grow fonder, they say, so going away for a few days will do me good. I can see if I miss it here. I can see if I am ever going to stop calling 'home', 'home'. I can see how I feel about things - what is important and what is not. I can assess my life. I can take stock. I can reflect. I can make decisions.

Well, of course all that is possible but whether or not it happens remains a secret of the future. Because today is about the present. Getting ready. Cleaning. Packing. Sorting out things I've neglected for a while. Checking and double and sometimes even triple checking I have got everything I need!!! I packed a while ago but this morning  I unpacked and re-packed and weighed the suitcase and felt comfortable about it being less than I feared. I watched the sun go in and the rain start. I cuddled our cats and told them not to fret whilst I am away. They will not be here alone!!! This is a solo flight. Something just for me to enjoy and recharge my fading old batteries. I need to see the hills and the distances between them. I need to be me, free from everything else, back with my family and friends, and just breathe in the air that I miss so very much. It's been too long since I was there, and I am feeling the strain just a little too much. I suppose it is understandable given all that happens and the ups and downs I experience. I long to jump off this roller coaster ride and get back on those prancing horses that just gently bob up and down and go round and round and look so pretty. I need to hear the music of my life again.
Sue xx

Monday, 16 July 2012


....will the sun stay out all day? It was beautiful at 6am this morning but already there are more clouds gathering above and although it is warmer than of late, I am dubious about how long it will stay nice.
I have been cooking since waking up as friends are coming for lunch in honour of Tim and Amber getting their diploma's this last week. The usual worry of 'will there be enough' has not subsided as yet, but I hope so. Numbers are increasing daily!! I am sure I have enough desserts. They are what I enjoy baking the most so the hard part is normally more about which ones to choose. I've gone for something new, not tried before; something I am very fond of, and Tim's request for a boozy Strawberry Trifle!!!
They do not go at all with the Moroccan main course!! But who cares???? Nor will the wine match the meal, or the plates, or the glasses or the napkins, or the chairs, or anything pretty much, but I do not mind in the least. I am just so happy that everybody is coming here! And I am organized, phew!
Enough time to sit back and relax and do nothing for an hour or so, which is pretty good going. Long live the Slow Cooker!!

It was a beautiful day in the end - and the sun stayed out til the evening. I think everybody went away feeling full!!! I certainly did. Thanks for coming one and all.
Sue xx

Thursday, 12 July 2012

What a treat to look forward to!!!

This looks like being amazing!!! On December 14th this year the movie musical of Les Miserables will come to the big screen. I can hardly wait! Though no doubt I will have to as it will get here later as usual. Wow, Hugh Jackman; Russell Rowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Siegfreid . . . .to name just a few of the stars in it. Watch this official trailer......wait for the tears to fall.....sing along.......lovely.
Sue xx

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Who eats all the plants, then, Will?!

The most severely nibbled plant on the windowsill.
Attacked on daily basis!

Plant he has barely touched as yet . . . 

Plant on other windowsill so far ignored by Will.

Middle plant on windowsill showing signs of
nibbling already!!

Mr. Innocent himself!!!!
"What me, eat plants? Never!!! How could you
think such a thing"?!!!

Of the two, which one would you be most likely to
suspect, then? Got it in one!!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

They've got their Diploma's!!!

TIm and Amber are now both Banket Bakkers level 2!!! We went to their college this evening for the awarding of their Diploma's. This means in English that they are Patisserie Chefs!! Both of them have got bakeries taking them on for Level 3 so they will work and study at the same time. So happy for them both!!!
Sue xx