December 30, 2009

December 19, 2009

BookCrossing Christmas Spirit



This huge box, wrapped in Xmas paper, arrived today.

Heart-warming indeed! <3

Seeing where the box came from made me smile big time:
Phoenix-Flight, a BookCrosser from Amsterdam offered to send a "kerstpakket" (it's a Dutch tradition for employers to give their employees some kind of gratification around Xmas) to someone who wouldn't get one (for whatever reason). I joined the raffle, didn't count on anyting, but when I saw this package, I immediately knew what it was. OMG! I got my own kerstpakket!!!
I'll let the pictures do the talking :)
(still getting to know my new camera + my software for adjusting photos crashed = not the quality I'd like to show, but I just HAVE to share these!)
















Isn't it amazing how much sweetness, warmth and generosity fits in one box?
My gosh...
Thank you so much, Phoenix-Flight!!!

December 18, 2009

Camera Quest


Glorious day: I got to buy my new camera!!! I had been looking around, browsing reviews, going to shops to feel how the grip was. And I had been fallen in love very soon, but since I had to wait for money to be available, I browsed some more and tried some other cams as well. All kinda similar, 'cause the kind of camera that fits both our budget and my wishes is a bridge camera: still a compact cam, but more possibilities to adjust. And it's got a firm & rather large body, that's what I like :)

The first snowy day of the year and I knew traffic would have some problems, but hey, how could I wait another day or even week to go get my new buddy? That kind of patience is not my style ;)
As you can see in the pic (took it with my phone, so don't worry), the busstop here doesn't have an abri/shelter. At first I didn't mind, but when the first bus didn't show up and the snow came down harder, I got a bit cold. An hour passed and still no bus to Tiel. Chilled to the bone! A normal person would have gone home, I guess, so I went to another busstop and headed to Wageningen :)
Walked around in Wageningen for an hour and a half...no shop had "my" camera in stock! Aaargh!!
Ah well, when you know it's available in another city, you just take that long bus drive from Wageningen to Tiel.
Straight through to the photo store in Tiel and hooray!!! There it was!!!!
No, mr salesman, I don't want to try out others and I don't need you to convince me, I already made up my mind, now give me that thing asap...haha, the salesman said I was glowing and all lighting up when he handed me the bag. Indeed, I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face, guess I'm still smiling right now :)

 Celebrated my purchase with Danish coffee (w/ rum & cinnamon, it was yummy) before heading home.

On the busride home (phew, at least this bus did show up!) the bag next to me was begging to be unpacked, but I was a good girl and waited until I was home.
Oh and on my way from the busstop to our street, I was stopped by a policeman. I've literally never ever seen one in this small village of ours, there are only a few cops for the whole region and they seem to be invisible. Haha, now I've finally seen one and he was kind enough to let me go if I promised to walk instead of cycle (lights on my bike are always broken). No problem, the snow was too high already to cycle.

Well, time to show you my new buddy! This is an official shot:

And this is us, so happy together! :)


(better shots will follow, I've spent hours of testing & playing already, no artsy shots yet)

Snow!!!



Ahhh, it's always a joy to wake up in a snowy white world!
The cats were excited as well, but they all found it was too cold on the feet. Puschkin didn't even go outside, he's seen winter so many times before and he prefers his cosy basket ;)


December 13, 2009

Is it the hair?

Just bumped into a picture of my teenage idol: Koen. Oh, how did I adore him! I wasn't the only one, in fact I was one of the sreaming girls in the crowd who almost fainted when *he* appeared onstage.
Nowadays, I'm not so crazy about him anymore, I think he's kinda shallow and he's too much into car racing, soccer and gossip tv. But once in a while I play his old songs and picture him as he was back then.

I want to believe my taste has changed and hopefully improved since my teenage years. I still have a fling for an artist, I guess I'll always have a weak spot for who ever touches me through their music.
Since about 10 years that spot is occupied by Frédérique Spigt, a female singer from the Netherlands. I buy every album, even the one album I didn't like very much (it is in French. I hate chansons!) and go to the theatre when she's on tour.

I thought the only thing she had in common with my old fling Koen was the language...but look at these photos! I guess there's a lot more of Koen in Fré than you'd think...;)


December 5, 2009

Dank u Sinterklaasje!



Sinterklaas kapoentje
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje
Gooi wat in mijn laarsje
Dank u Sinterklaasje!

It's December 5th and an old Dutch tradition is to celebrate the birthday of Saint Nicholas today. Kids get presents (just like boxing day) and adults exchange gifts and write rhymes for each other.
On the Dutch BookCrossing forum, the tradition is very much alive and we got to send gifts and a rhyme to another BookCrosser, staying anonymous. And mailing out a package means receiving one as well! Hooray!
The package I received had been waiting for me for a few days already, hard to stick to the promise not to open it before today;). But I managed and it was worth waiting for! A box full of presents in jolly themed paper, golden coins and a very cute poem. And look what was in the wrappings! Aquarel pencils, a sketch book, a chocolate M, a cute little notebook and a set of ballpoints! Yes, definately a good way to get rid of a bad mood ;)
Dankjewel BookCross-Sint!!!

November 30, 2009

Typically Dutch


Saving money by using (parts of) buses other countries threw away ;)
I think OBS is short for observera ('note', 'caution') but I'm not 100% sure...Anne, kan du hjälpa mig? ;)

November 23, 2009

I made it!

Whoohoooo, just crossed the 50K finish! What a great feeling on this rainy monday! :)

November 21, 2009

You Know You've Been Spending Too Much Time On YouTube...

...when you start hearing "Weird Al" lyrics as you're listening to your favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers album...
*sigh*


November 18, 2009

Rain!

My friend just sent me this clip...amazing...it sounds much like...Holland! ;) I Love it! Kram på dig, sis!

November 13, 2009

Amazing Clip



Just awesome!

Today's Story...

Sigh...words don't come easily today...

X factor?



Who says only drunk people and children always tell the truth? Cats can be pretty obvious in their opinions as well!
Our cats are pretty used to loud music and it doesn't seem to bother them. But when I need to focus on something, I sometimes put on my headphones to shut the rest of the world out. I did that today and was listening to a song I really love, a song that helps me to find the right emotions for the part I'm writing. I was singing along, eyes closed.
Suddenly Molotov jumped onto my desk, staring at me with big eyes, meowing, placing his paw on my arm. When I put the headphones aside, I noticed Pavlov was sitting on the floor next to the desk, watching me with the same big scared eyes.

I assured them nothing scary was going on, gave them some cat candy and got back to my desk. I don't feel like singing along anymore, the cats had made their point: I definately don't have the X-factor!!! ;)

Beauty by e-mail

I couldn't sleep, my mind was restless. Couldn't even focus on reading, so I snug out of bed to have a little smoke. Turned on the computer and this is what I found in my mailbox. How precious. Now I know sleep is waiting for me when I return to bed in a few minutes...

November 5, 2009

:)

 ...and it's not all bullshit :)
I gave this tool a try this morning, but wanted to try out the hardest settings first. Just curious. Wrote for 30 minutes in the kamikaze/evil mode and wrote 1380 words, but they didn't have much content. Won't put that batch of words in my novel, that's for sure. But my gosh, what a stressy method, fingers hurt afterwards.

After a little walk and lunch I gave Write or Die a serious try. 634 words in 30 minutes to add to my novel. Meditated for half an hour, gave it one more try. The picture here shows the results.
Now I can slow down during the weekend, which will be very welcome with 2 birthdays in the family :)

November 4, 2009

Bad Apple


Is it just my overactive imagination or does this chip of dried apple really look evil?
He brought some buddies:

Please don't ask for better pictures; these guys are all in my belly now and they didn't taste bad at all ;)

4 days of writing...


...and 26 more to go!
As I mentioned here before, November will be my writing month. As a participant of NaNoWriMo my challenge is to write a story of 50,000+ words in 30 days. It's day 4 now, and my word count is 7005.

Previous participants told me how much fun it was to write this way. Part of me believed them, but the other part had a lot of doubts. I'm not a volume writer. I can be rather chatty in letters and blogs, but when it comes to 'serious writing' I'm focused on quality, not quantity, which means (to me) writing down 4 sentences and erasing most of them, just until I found the perfect way to put it.

I can't work like that if I want to end up with 50K of words, so the first challenge is to keep writing and leave all the flaws where they are; I can fix those later on.
I'm right on track with my stats (check them out here) and since this morning I kinda have a clue where my story is going. But nothing's sure yet, my plot has changed a few times already and even the genre varies. Let's call it "Other genre" for now ;)

I had forgotten how much blood, sweat and tears go into writing, but I'd also forgotten how much fun it is to stretch your boundaries and challenge your brain to produce a story. I've never written any fiction of more than a few pages. Or fiction? There's a lot of me in the story and I'm using my ex shrink & big a-hole as a villain. Haha, if this ever gets printed, I'll dedicate it to him! ;)
(Kidding, this is most likely not going to be printed; if I write with that in mind, all the creativity gets blocked. I'd rather think I'm just practising for 'the real thing', that's better for my nerves)

Well, these first few days I've enjoyed pretending to be a writer a lot. I even go to bed early so I can start writing early in the morning. This is life. I love it.

ps: the bunny in the upper left corner shows my present word count. For stats, go to my NaNo

October 24, 2009

Ballycumber Story Continues

A week ago, I wrote about finding our BookCrossing logo at an unexpected place. As said, I mailed that piece of text, together with a book (this one, you can read the text here in Dutch as well) and some promo stuff to the organisation that had placed 'our' logo on their paperwork.

Well, I got a response from them!
Response no.1: they entered the book's code on the BookCrossing website and said the book was being read.
Response no.2 arrived today: an official letter from the manager, in a bright yellow envelope, saying: "Thank you for the book you sent, our apologies for using the logo. I found this logo on the internet and we only used it on name tags, not aware that it's owned by BookCrossing. Our new name tags are printed without the logo. There is a possibility some of our trainers are now still using the "old name tags", but that will come to an end within a few weeks. With kind regards".



 Well, that's a friendly response! I guess we'll never know *why* they chose the illustration, but at least Ballycumber won't be printed in green anymore. Plus, now a few more people know what BookCrossing is!

October 19, 2009

October 17, 2009

Frédérique for the very last time



Last wednesday, Frédérique Spigt's Best Of tour, called 'Alles' (Everything), officially started. I'm looking forward to see her perform again, but will have to have some patience; we're going to see her at the last day of this tour, on December 21st. Yep, our wedding day :)

Now I'm not as jealous anymore of the people who went to see her last wednesday. One of her fans, a 47 year old woman, lost conciousness during the show. She was taken to the hospital, where she died of heart failure. My gosh, what a way to die...
I didn't know this woman, but still lit a candle for her. Hope she really really enjoyed Frédériques show for the very last time...

Later I noticed this quote in a magazine: "I actually never realized that I'm a woman". Albert wasn't too surprised by this quote, often calls her mr. Spigt. Ah well, doesn't love count more than gender? ;)