April 26, 2010


So this is me, celebrating one of the most recent piercings. I expected this one to heal better than the last, but helas...it got infected and not only the pierced area was swollen, my cheek was as well. It hurt like hell and I was asking myself: "what was the reason again for having holes punched into your flesh?". No deeper meaning, no other reason than: I love the sight of piercings, I just like 'em.

Been using sea salt compresses a few times a day in an attempt to tear the goo out and noticed the best way to reach the inner part of the ear (where the other side of the piercing is) is with cotton sticks. Acupuncture for softies, Albert says ;)

This is what I hope it will look like in a few months. Let's hope it heals fast:)

April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Albert!

My love turned 39 and his idea of a perfect day out is a day at the zoo. And I agree, it's a joy to stroll through that park together. Ouwehand's Dierenpark in Rhenen is just a bus ride away. This is an old zoo and lately there have been a lot of improvements going on. The spaces for the animals are bigger now and more like their natural habitats. Most of the big cats have moved to other parks and that's a relief to us. Of course it's great to be able to see every detail of the animals we love the most, but their space was too small and the cats didn't look happy. Now there are only lions and tigers left and they've got plenty of space to run around.

We saw a lot of newborn animals and watched the old bears frolic like cubs. Just a happy, cheerful day.
Afterwards we walked to the "pannenkoekenhuis", a pancake place. Yummie! Albert went for apple-raisin and I couldn't resist the pancake with stir-fried veggies & cheese.

Came home early, took a little old people's nap and watched a movie.

At the moment Albert is reading, a rare thing. He's just not into reading, like I'm not into some of his hobbies. My gift to him was the autobiography of his all-time rock idol, Biff Byford, and it was the first time I saw him get really excited about a book. So glad I could get my hands on that title!
In the 1st 2 pics Albert is wearing pyjamas. A bit of an inside joke between us, he's been talking about buying p.j.'s forever so I decided to buy him a set. It's his last year being thirty-something, he'd better get used to being old ;)


April 19, 2010


Finally, finally, finally it was Convention time! A 3 day event, but I decided to join only one day, being aware of my limited energy.

My gosh, it was worth waiting for!!! Albert and I had such a good time...

We left early in the morning and took the luxury of taking a (cheap) taxi to the train station. We brought about 40 books, so it was nice not have to drag the luggage to the bus stop ;)

Smooth trip to Amsterdam and I noticed something weird: I was excited but not nervous. Hooray!
At the metro stop near the convention location we met the first foreign guests: Citibelle & husband from the UK. Wonderful people who had been lucky enough to fly to Amsterdam a few days earlier.
The Griffin (convention location) was easy to find thanks to the BookCrossing logo that showed us the way.

A warm welcome at the Griffin. A lot of new faces, but their names were familiar and everybody welcomed each other. During the day quite some people told me how glad they were we made it (I've listed myself for meetings so often and almost every time I couldn't be there because of issues). Felt so welcome and the atmosphere was so relaxed!

Phoenix-Flight, one of the organising BookCrossers, opened the day and told a little bit about the programme. Then Bruce, CEO & co-founder of BookCrossing, revealed the new look of our website, which will be online soon. It's gonna be friendlier for visitors, with less text and an easier interface. And lots more, but I won't bore you with that ;)
There were several speeches and performances during the day. We attended them all and enjoyed most of it. It was great to see Bruce, BookCrossing co-founder & CEO and his wife Heather IRL. The new fresh look of the BookCrossing website was presented and wow, it looks good! It's not online yet, but will be soon.

A writer of historical children's books, Rob Ruggenberg, had a great speech about his latest book.

The best performance of all was done by 2 storytellers and a poet. I wasn't sure if I was gonna like it, but the moment the first storyteller entered the stage (no, tóók the stage!), people were blown off their seats. My gosh, what a performer, what a vivid way of telling! A second storyteller joined him and later a singing poet completed the beauty by singing poems. There was a wonderful piece of the poet Rumi in it and that sent shivers down my spine. Standing ovation!

Albert and I went to a Greek restaurant during the dinner break, together with a BookCrosser who lives in our region. Yummie food and relaxed conversation.

When we returned to the Griffin, it was time for the Mystery VIP guest. Haha, I guess no one could have guessed it would be Sinterklaas himself, together with 2 zwarte pieten! :)
Sinterklaas did also draw the winning lottery tickets and quite some people won really cool prizes like a reading blanket, a pair of clogs and an eReader. Nope, Albert and I didn't win.
Although I was exhausted at the end of the day, it was hard to leave the convention, to say goodbye to all the people we'd met. To finally see faces behind the screen names I've known for years and to find out the click was there in real life as well...priceless! Can't wait for the next meeting!

The trip back home was a bit of a struggle. I had ran out of 'social energy', couldn't handle the switch between that feels-like-home atmosphere and the dark outside world very well. Was scared of every stranger that came by and I panicked. But with the help of Albert and my old friend Xanax I managed.

On Sunday I woke up with a mental hangover, but I hád to sort out, adjust and upload the pictures I shot. Kinda been doing that all day and in the end I knew I should have taken it easy, my head was running over. So I went to bed early, but in the middle of this night I woke up with the need to write about the convention and to upload the bits of video I made.
It's all done now.
I'm off to bed and will stay there for as long as I need!

Here are my photos & videos:

Piece of mu

April 17, 2010

Off we go!

In a few hours we're off to Amsterdam to join the international BookCrossing Convention. A huge pile of books in English, Dutch, German, French and Finnish is waiting to be taken along (so glad I don't have to carry them all by myself!).

It's been 2 years already since we (the Dutch BookCrossers) were chosen to organise this Convention (it's in a different country/state every year and several countries were battling to be chosen) and people have been working on it since then. So much to organise when you know over 200 people will visit the event; finding a place to hold the event, finding sponsors, getting the finances and administration done and lots more.
I didn't join the organising team but have lend a hand by designing the official themed bookplates, gathering goodies for the goodiebags and prizes for the lottery/tombola and I made a bunch of themed bookmarks. So I've been busy with it as well and I'm thrilled to be part of this all.

The Convention last 3 days, starting yesterday. Three whole days is too much for me, so with a little pain in my heart I decided to go only one day. This way I know I can probably handle the being-social part well enough without crossing my boundaries too much.

223 people from 18 different countries (if I counted correctly^^) have bought tickets and have been planning & booking their trips & places to sleep. Major disappointment when that vulcano in Iceland lead to mass cancellation of flights; quite a bunch of people are not going to make it because of that. Such a turn off for them and for the organising people!! Some found other ways of transportation, but the trains and ferries were out of seats in no time, mostly taken by business people. Boohoo!

I've just been watching the first bunch of pictures from yesterday evening, all looking really good & fun. Today we'll be part of that fun (yes, Albert, the non-reader, will join me and he's looking forward to it as well) and of course I'll bring my camera. Pictures will follow soon!

Offtopic: we've been worried about Puschkin lately. He's so fragile and his fur has gotten greasy since he can't reach all the spots anymore. I looked for powder or foam shampoo to help him clean, but in the end we decided a check-up at the vet's would be more helpful. The vet said he's probably only got a mild case of artrosis, it's just the high age that causes the stiffness in his limbs. They took some blood samples and the first results are in: no liver problems at all and his kidneys function well for a cat this old. Next week we'll get the results of his thyroid gland (?? schildklier).
It looks like our little old guy is in better shape than we thought! What a relief!

April 14, 2010

Silver Balls & Linings

A new piece of steel in my ear, my grey hairs wanted to be in the picture as well ;) (sorry for the bit of blood)

I hoped the piercer would replace my helix piercing for a ring, but since it's not completely healed (takes about 9 months in cartilage, it's 3.5 months now), he only wants to do it with a sterilized ring. I chose a nice & tiny one (8mm), will go back there next week.

But I'm happy!
Couldn't pass the 2nd hand bookstore without browsing & buying, scored 3 more books in English for the convention (already this weekend!!!).

Have had some health problems lately. First a jaw infection and right after that a flu-like stomach virus. The fever is finally gone now and I'm saving my energy for the convention.

@Anne: you were right, the tragus feels like it instantly healed, quite a difference with the helix. Hope it will give as less problems as yours. Thanks for being my info person! <3