Friday, 29 October 2010

this week I saw

my kids copy Mr Bean after we watched
'Mr Bean's holiday'

Sunday, 24 October 2010

creatieve tante

O! wat hebben mijn kinderen een creatieve tante :-)

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Cake day

Does such a thing exist in the Netherlands? Welcome to the UK – the fattest population in Europe.

Friday is my youngest's first cake day. Just in case such a thing does not exist in the Netherlands: it’s a fund-raising initiative; every Friday one year group at school is responsible for bringing in some (ideally home-made) cakes, which are then sold after school to celebrate the start of the weekend. The proceeds fund some little extra (books or other educationally sound stuff) in the class of the year group who brought in the cakes. 
Unlike my eldest, who will lovingly copy me as I slap myself on the head, do a big ‘oh dear!’, shrug my shoulders and agree a cheerful ‘Little Miss Forgetful!’, my youngest has been beaming at me all week that it’s his class’ cake day.

For various reasons I’ve actually taken the kids out of school this Friday. Still - I love my son so here we are, Thursday 11pm, and the second lot of cakes has just been taken out of the AGA:

We will decorate them tomorrow morning and drop them off at school before we set off for the Netherlands -armed with Fluffy, because we’ll be staying in this lovely little hotel on the way.

Impossible to find, needless to say free smileys

Monday, 18 October 2010


I’ll be doing a lot of driving through a lot of Europe with a 4- and a 5-year old on the back seat and no one in the passenger seat next to me over the next year or so. As soon as there are no obvious signs directing me to my destination (read: as soon as I’ve left the motorway) I will be in need of a map-consultation-stop at every junction. Not only have I got no sense of direction, my sense of any correct direction is usually the direct opposite. Friends will ask me: ‘C, where do you reckon?’ and I will think carefully and proclaim: ‘I reckon we should turn left!’ on the basis of which they will all turn right, knowing that is where we should be going then.
I’m not offended – I have simply come to terms with some of the facts of life.

So – today was the day. I tried the SatNav my parents kindly gave me this summer. I set the language to Dutch, thinking it would be a nice bit of exposure to that language for the kids while we were driving, and off we went. Asked the kids what name we would give the kind lady and the unanimous vote was for ‘Fluffy’. Of course I couldn’t work the thing out (give that girl a PhD). On the way out to my friends for some reason no directions were being provided, however this did not stop Fluffy from her other apparent duties: all I kept hearing were gentle reminders to ‘please observe the speed limit’ whenever I went any faster than 3 mph. Fluffy was switched off pretty promptly – I know where my friends live.

The return journey was slightly more interesting. I went from one, to a different set of friends, from whose house I always get lost on the way home. That, combined with his job in GPS type stuff (yes I’m blonde, just in case you’re beginning to wonder) meant I could not leave their house without Fluffy fully instructed with the coordinates of our house and blurting out instructions as to where to go next. Wonderful! I marvelled at the cleverness of the thing, how it tells you to turn left after 300m and then again exactly at the turning! Amazing – hurrah for technology. It only took me a split millisecond to completely surrender to this machine and let it guide me through the clever back routes to the M3.

What beautiful countryside England has.

And such a lot of it.


Having identified the button with which you can switch off this thing to ‘avoid motorways’ (excuse me???) we happily joined the A303. Hurrah! Progress at last. What a shame about Fluffy’s constant need to comment on my driving. Mindful of the passengers in the back I refrained from commenting, but equally mindful of an empty road, 3 rumbling tummies and the fact tomorrow we’re all back to school, it actually didn’t even occur to me I might respond to Fluffy like a grown up. Imagine my glee when the two in the back at some point started talking back at her!! ‘Yes we’re doing that!’ unfortunately I soon realised they were not being loyal to their mother at all – it was just their poor grasp of the Dutch language. Whenever they heard her complaining about my 'snelheid', they thought Fluffy was telling me to join a 'snelweg' (motorway) & failed to observe I’d already done that (which I hadn’t, clearly, but you try & explain that to my two).

Oh well. Practice – lots of practice! J

Monday, 11 October 2010

animeaux nuisibles

OK, ‘t is effe opwarmen, zo’n blog. Maar wacht maar..... als ik eenmaal op gang ben! Mijn challenge voor de maand is de **** plaatjes. Op gegeven moment dermate wanhopig dat ik denk van OK – ik laad ze op op mijn werk. Maarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr dat vindt big brother dus niet goed! Mijn eigen blog lezen op mijn werk, dat mag, maar iets aktiefs ermee doen.... uh uh. Nee hoor. Heel goed, want er zou natuurlijk geen enkel Nature artikel uitkomen hierzo op die manier.

Dus... hier zit ik weer op maandagavond, geduldig te wachten tot de pagina mijn plaatjes (ongetwijfeld weer niet) oplaadt. En ik hep toch heus een sjieke laptop hoor. Hartstikke powerful. Goed, ik woon hier zo’n beetje in het moeras dus de internetverbinding laat enigszins te wensen over, misschien is dat het. De lezer wordt dus uitgenodigd om zich iets moois voor te stellen bij de volgende foto’s uit/na Parijs:

-         een regenpijp met daarop gepubliceerd telefoonnummers voor: a) pianolessen; b) een interessante massage...; en c) lessen russisch (mijn reisgenote vroeg zich onmiddelijk af of dat nou hetzelfde zou zijn als ‘french lessons’ in engeland...)

- de étalageruit van een winkel voor ‘destruction des animeaux nuisibles’ – met daarin hangend netjes op een rij 20 successfully destroyed ratjes (L)

-         (voor het contrast) twee prachtige Alexander McQueen outfits in Colette J met heel veel goud & zwart

-         twee ‘vintage’ kellogs melkkannetjes, aangeschaft voor de snoepies thuis zodat ze zonder knoeien hun melk ’s ochtends op hun cereals kunnen gieten

-         en tot slot 2 bloembossen: 1 met witte & gele chrysanten en 1 met roze anjers & rode rozen – zorgvuldig geselecteerd door mijn respectievelijk jongetje & meisje omdat ze zo blij zijn dat hun ‘mummy’ weer thuis is.

hoera! - de oplossing is - via een picasa web album. hè hè... en driewerf :-)