Les Mis Trailer

Friday, 30 March 2012


tired-day. Feeling exhausted, mentally and physically this week. A grumpy old woman indeed!! Pain, tears,
frustration, misery, short-temperedness, irritation, sadness . . . and so it goes on. All in the name of womanhood!!!! When is it going to stop?????!!!!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Day out

I enjoyed a lovely day out shopping with a friend today. We were looking for patio furniture and a BBQ for their new garden and we managed to find everything she was looking for!! It was a case of 'inpakken en wegwezen'!!! (pick it up and go!) We managed some lunch en route as we were starving, restrained ourselves from deviating from the task in hand and ogling anything else, and managed to get some bargains whilst doing so. Yesterday I bought a small bistro set of two chairs and little table just for that bit of the garden that gets the early morning sun. They were a real bargain too! Finka is loving her cat grass I planted amongst the flowerbed and has now stopped eating the other plant she was steadily chomping her way through thank goodness. This is far better for her! Making the most of the current sunshine this week as it is all about to change . . .

I am suffering from some sleepless nights, waking at 1.30am every time, in the middle of strange and exhausting dreams, and not being able to get back to sleep for hours. Hence feeling quite exhausted this evening and calling it an early night.
Sue xx

Monday, 26 March 2012


and the sun is in God's heaven, as the saying goes! Heavenly weather that's for sure!
I was up in the attic yesterday turfing out my summer clothes to see what is still good - or fits - and getting the chosen few into the wash!
We did a  marathon bike ride yesterday of over 20 miles ( 30+k ) and by the evening I was shattered. not tired really, but happily sleepy from the sun and the fresh air. A good sense of well-being I guess. There were bits of me that felt quite tender for a while, but luckily that has gone now - until I sit on them again!!!
and nothing really aches anywhere. I was going to cycle again this morning but where I was going was
cancelled at the last minute so I was spared! Instead I sat and plant-pondered with Finks. She is a demanding girl these days. She is not content to have her chair in the vicinity of mine, oh no, it has to be next to it. Then she leaps up, rolls onto her belly and waves her paws in the air for a tickle tummy session!
She is so lovely, really. Anyone thinking about whether Siamese make good pets or not, don't hesitate. They are amazing! If they attach themselves to you of course. Otherwise they will have nothing to do with you at all. Luckily for us, the look of love is in her eyes and we are her chosen people....aaah.

I went shopping this morning too, as there were some good offers that were great for Tim's birthday - which is coming up soon! By now you all know what a planner I am, and how I enjoy thinking about events long before they are due to take place - a good quality in my opinion! though some would have it otherwise.. my theory is, Tim will be all last minute and decide at the eleventh hour that he wants to do something for it, so I am sparing myself the panic by getting ahead of him and preparing on the QT so that mum is all calm and collected and chilled out long before he says 'about my birthday'. With Easter popping up in between, and shops having irregular opening hours etc. and me hating the crush of weekend shoppers, I know I am being sensible. Right?!

My crotchet is coming on full steam too. I've used up all the balls of wool I had bought to start me off, and got three squares out of each ball, so I was pleased about that. Just several 100 squares to go!! I have chosen all bright colours which I think Becci and Ric will like, and am looking forward to seeing their new home when there is a chance for me to get over there this summer. I like the fact that it is something one can do anywhere, any time, and that you don't need to carry around huge amounts of materials where ever you go!

Well, that is all for this Monday morning. Things to do, places to be, people to see!!!! Bye!
Sue xx

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Busy bee

Yesterday I felt in need of some distraction so decided it was about time I cleaned the slabs in the garden, and the umbrella stand etc and got everything spruced up for Summer Time!!! I normally use a broom, a bucket full of water and some algy cleaner from ACTION 'cos that is the cheapest method. And yes, this year was no exception!! For around 2 euros the stuff from Action works a treat, and I was pleased with the results of my hard labour. I went between all the slabs removing the green weeds etc once they had dried, and was satisfied with the results. Its not paradise, nor the most inspiring garden ever, but it is ours, and it will one day look magnificent!! This is only our second year here so I don't think it is going so badly really. I have ideas in my head for more improvements, but this year it is about getting more shrubs in and the climbers going well, and maybe a little bistro set for by the window as the early morning sun is hottest there . . that will be expensive enough!!
I got out in the front in late afternoon, still seeking distraction, and started the heavier work of digging over the whole patch, weeding etc. Trouble is it gives me backache (poor old thing!) and I didn't last long. Maybe it was too late in the day and I was tired, but the work still has to be done, and I am glad I made a first attempt! Can hardly believe it will soon be Easter and that the clocks sprung forward last night!! All at odds this morning with my body clock telling me completely different things!

I am going cycling this afternoon with a friend. It's been a while since I did the whole dijk route and since she is keen to go as well, we are setting off at 1pm. I think it will be lovely though at the moment there is low cloud preventing the sun from peeking out from behind it and warming us up. As regards cycling, then no wind is far more important than no sun, so that is a good sign. It will all help with the browning up process as I have been feeling incredibly 'white' this winter not having had too much sunshine last year!! My arms and face are windblown now, and that healthy glow is beginning to appear.
Cycling is one of the best activities for getting a tan!! I will take the camera with me so you can enjoy the  views from the comfort of your computer chairs!!!
Sue xx

Friday, 23 March 2012

Sunny weekend has started

The little tree we planted for Genghis is flowering nicely.

The Cherry Tree is starting to bud and is looking

A morning for sunning myself as I did my
crotchet and keep Finka company
in the garden.
It's almost summer time - clocks go forward tomorrow night and the weather is fantastic! Finka and I sat outside in the back garden all morning just enjoying the wonderful sunshine and warmth. I had my summer jeans on too!! Even got as far as painting my toenails summer red for the first time this year!!!
A sign of the change in seasons along with the rapid growth within the borders. Everything is starting to shoot or sprout and it is wonderful. Garden centres are acting like magnets for just about everybody, me being no exception. We are planning a trip over the dyke sometime soon to visit a huge place selling garden furniture as my friend and her husband are in need of some for their new patio etc. I go along for the ride!! I saw a great bistro set the other day and was sorely tempted but until I know we can afford it, I'm sticking with 'just looking.' It would be ideal though . . .

There are four birthdays on my calendar for tomorrow - amazing so many on the same date - so to you all, a Very Happy Birthday indeed.
Sue xx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Time flies

'when you are having fun' is how it usually continues but fun is not what we are having at the moment!!!

Sometimes it is difficult to know what the right thing to do (in any given situation) is, and one can only go with one's intuition, sense of justice, morals and personal ethics. It is about meaning what you say; about 'walking the talk' to use a modern idiom, and standing by ones beliefs in the face of obstacles and circumstances we would rather avoid. 'Turning the other cheek' is another one that springs to mind right now, as well as 'being the better person', and my personal favourite; "it is a far, far better thing that I do now"....so if you are someone who finds themselves in a similar situation and questions how they ought to act:- try to be honourable about it. Stay true to who you want others to believe you are as a person, and don't give in to the dark side!!! Not easy, never is, but at the end of the day only one person is going to judge you, and that's the one that counts.

Our poor little Finka is having a very hard time adjusting to losing her best friend and constant companion, Genghis. We are too, but she is really suffering as we always knew she would. Her security is her red blanket where she curls up in all day long, and I only see her eating when it gets to the evening. I sat outside in the sun with her for a while yesterday, placing her chair and cushion next to mine so she could pat me with her paw every now and then, and we sat together there, quite companionably. She hates it when no-one is home so we try to be here as much as possible just to let her know she is not alone. She needs a new little friend, there is no doubt about it, so our search has begun.
Its hard finding another cat, especially a Siamese, but we are looking and being put in touch with people etc and hopefully we will make Finka happy once more before the summer arrives.
In order to do this we have to try to sell some things, so my task this week is to get onto Marktplaats or E-bay and make some good adverts!! I'm not very good at it but I reckon between Tim and myself we ought to make a fair stab at it. I'm good with the photos and Tim is good with the text!!! I am resigned to parting with our stuff as it is for Finka's well-being, and we have a responsibility to her as a member of our family same as to anyone else in it. I wonder how we will get on? . . .
Sue xx

Friday, 16 March 2012

one's got to do what one's got to do.

Yesterday evening I arrived home to find that there was something the matter with my lights on the car yet again. They were not working and not going off when the engine switched off which was very strange. I rang my new best friends - the ANWB - and waited for them to come and sort it out. I was quite pleased when the chappie arrived and was equally stumped as to what the problem was initially - y'know, being a girl 'an all, I thought it was me being simple - and it took quite a while to figure out what was happening. Eventually he disconnected the computer (apparently Sooty has one!) and things looked more hopeful after that. It was too late to get to choir unfortunately, but I was so fed up with the constant stream of misfortune that we seem to be having, I went to bed in the end and tried to stop thinking about everything.
Tim was asked to go to work early and thought he would miss school today but it turned out that he started at 3am until 8am, came home, had some breakfast and a shower, went with me to our important appointment and then caught the train to school. He will get home late and go to bed early again ready for more work tomorrow morning! Only the young can take this and survive I reckon!! So, rock on, Timbo, Sunday is a day of rest!!!!

Our choir looks like it will disband in April unless someone last night had a brilliant suggestion for our problem, or everyone agreed to meet on Friday evenings. I sort of expect them not to want that, but hey, you never know. I will hear soon enough no doubt. We have one last performance next Thursday evening at the Home for the Elderly, and then that's it in all probability. Shame. I love singing!
But perhaps it will allow us to start swimming instead. Tim and I are considering doing some lengths once a week to improve our fitness, and since we have a nice pool locally it is a cheap option. I have not swam for some time now, but it is about the only sport I actually enjoy and am any good at. We'll see; I know we ought to do it....I cycled yesterday and enjoyed it as it was brilliant weather, no wind and only sunshine and warmth on my hands. Finka and I sat in the garden and it was gorgeous. I re-potted some house plants that desperately needed doing, and sat back and just faced the sun full on. This morning is disappointing as there is too much mist and cloud for it to be lovely as yet. Some wind as well . . .ah well, I now have a parrot to keep me amused (technically speaking you understand) so between that and the blinds I have lots to amuse me this weekend!! Oh, and Ann and I are going to see The Descendants on Saturday evening, so looking forward to that one too!
Sue xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Photos from the garden

The newly extended Box border with Cherry Tree and Prunus
and not much else yet!!! Oh, a Clematis Montana as well.

Three tub, one s with herbs and one with
some leaves sprouting up.

At the back there are 2 Clematii and a Helleborus just coming up
with perennials in the front.

The daffs and crocuses I had for my birthday; froggy lives here
on a permanent basis. The Love Lies Bleeding just sprouting!

Moving round here are some surprises cos I can't remember what
I have got in here!!

A new Helleborus with Pansies and Aubretia etc.

The Love Lies Bleeding always gives a fantastic show each spring
but I fear it is outgrowing this tiny border and will have to move . . .

I've three of these coming back up but no idea what they are???
Looking pretty though!

There is just a teeny tiny hint of a green leaf left over
from the harsh frost on the left side. 

And the other side has got some bulbs showing which
I think are Fritillaria . . .

These two tubs were going to be thrown out from work
so I gained them last autumn. They are full of plants that
make a great green show most of the year round. But
not right now!!

This one has the climber which I hope will spread further
this year and cascade around the banner properly.
It doesn't look very much at the moment but I wanted to capture what is happening so that I know where plants are going to appear and where there are gaps in the borders. I tend to lose my memory once I get in a garden centre and start meandering through the halls. The back is where I need to start this spring, and once it gets a tad warmer progress round to the front. I have no plan there, so it is not inspiring me into activity as yet. And I am sad to have lost some great Hebes this winter, which would have looked so lovely any time soon. However, the slabs we removed from the back are going to turn into stepping stones round the front, and life will be a lot less muddy after that! Can't help wishing the Box hedging was so much taller already, and giving better definition to our garden edges . . . .still, that will take several more years patience won't it. I was going to do more today but it is a lot colder and there is no sun whatsoever which is disappointing. A day to potter indoors instead.
Sue xx

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Lovely weather!

Chicken Gougere Hongraise

Birthday Roses
Yesterday it was fine enough to pull out a few of the annuals that were well and truly dead!! I did the front side bit of the garden as that is not really strenuous work, and I moved some of the small Box plants around the new patch in the back where we have our 'memorial tree' for Genghis. This morning it is beautiful though colder so I am readying myself for another foray outside shortly.
Both mornings I've slept so much better after 4.30am so have indulged in a longer lie-in than I normally would do, and so am only starting the day as the church bells ring at 10am!! I have a heavy head still full of the dust of sleep, but a coffee is calling me downstairs and Finka wants to go into the garden to spy on birds so that is what  I am going to do!
Have a good weekend everybody.
Sue xx

Friday, 9 March 2012


So it was a lovely sunny morning and I felt in the mood for a run out to the two garden centres I prefer around here. Two because I had two different sets of vouchers to spend! Firstly I went to De Boet for my garden clogs - eyeing up several lovely looking plants as I walked around there. Then onto Intratuin a bit nearer home to buy a small slow growing tree, something we had decided to do over Genghis's spot. Actually it is close by but not directly over him as I didn't want to risk disturbing the old fella. Its a Prunus I think, and has pretty white flowers. It doesn't require pruning which made the decision as to which to buy somewhat easier, and it will be nice in the autumn according to the label. I also added two more Aubretia's to the border as they are a particular favourite of mine. It is tempting to rush out and buy more plants now but there is still a good chance of more night frosts or even snow so I have to hang fire and be more patient. A patient gardener in fact!!! ( if you've seen the film . . )

The news from the taxman is too depressing to even think about so just know it is worse than before and brought me no joy at all yesterday hence the need to look at beautiful plants this morning to cheer myself up!

I am making a Gougere Hongraise for dinner. Yes, you might well wonder what it is, but my aunt had made one for us on Monday and it was delicious so I got the recipe from her and am trying my hand at making one in the slow cooker for this evening. If it is successful then it will be something for when friends come round for dinner.

Ugh, Tim is off college today due to staff illness so I am being 'treated' or tormented by his loud rock music belting out of his bedroom! Not my taste at all - at the moment I am into Christina Perri and the new Katie Melua. Both of these CD's are great. Can I convert him? Doubtful!!
Time for some lunch methinks!
Sue xx

Thursday, 8 March 2012


I must admit to looking forward to some sunny weekends and weather conducive to garden activities. I am a fair weather gardener, true. But it would seem that several of our plants have suffered too much frost damage to save this year. Good news in that  I can look around for some new ones to replace them, bad as I did rather like them!! I received vouchers for my recent birthday that are burning a hole in my pocket, so once it really feels safe enough to start sorting out the remains, then I will be happy to pay several visits to our local centres. The garden chairs can be cleaned, and the slabs freed up of all the weeds and green sludge that is covering them in patches, and we can enjoy sitting outside once again. I have plans!!!

Today it is more about hoping the car will start; doing some paperwork and preparing to ring the chappie who does my tax returns to see whether he has good or bad news this year. I hope it will be better than the disaster of 2010 - that was awful. He requires more information from me so I am tossing up whether to call there later on today since  I will be in the neighbourhood anyway . . . lets let that debate start as I make myself a coffee!!
Sue xx

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Back home

to an eventful evening!! Thinking of taking fire fighting up professionally . . . . .right back into another crisis.
Sue xx