Back to work

I’ve had a two week Christmas holiday but it really went by in a flash! Busy Christmas days, nice New Year’s Eve with friends and after that I thought I’d have all the time in the world to relax. That wasn’t quite the case. Went to IKEA for a new desk for Mr E’s work room that he shares with my daughter, the room then needed to be painted (which Mr E and my daughter did), I then helped organize everything there again. Also did my refugee volunteer work, my mom and sister needed help with stuff, cleared away Christmas things, got things organized in the house, etc. etc. It all kept me pretty busy.

On Saturday we finally got around to going on a day trip to a town called Bergen op Zoom, about an hour from where we live. I’d never been there before, but it was a sweet place…

Today it’s back to work. Luckily I get to start easy, with a cup of tea in a lovely mug beside me and a little time to blog. From tomorrow it gets very busy again.

2023 is also starting with some challenges in our little family, like Mr E still struggling with some stuff with work since the fall and verging on a full-blown burnout, which means he’s had to take a step back and re-construct things. Junior in the meantime has quit his sports management studies. He has decided that full time school is just not for him, mixing with 17-18 year old students and a university programme that does not live up to its promise. He does want to do something to better himself, so is now working a part time job and from February onwards will do university part time as well (he’s going to study marketing), where he can use his job for all the practical coursework that comes with it. Luckily I’m still happy with my job and mini me is doing well studying nursing, so there is that. Anyway, fingers crossed that everything works out OK for my two men!

I came across this little song today, which is so pretty and very fitting in a way. A good one to keep in mind, and a new artist for me to follow as I really like what this Rose Betts is doing. It’s all about silver linings…

Have a good start to the new year, everyone, with a little love in your life.

Merry Christ/Richard-mas

So, yeah, I probably should have mentioned this earlier but it’s been quite crazy around here, so I haven’t been in the right headspace to do so. About a week or so ago I received the item I won in the auction of the 2022 December FundRAiser: the Thorin Oakenshield’s belt buckle necklace! It came in such a beautifully crafted box and it is perfect for discreet Richard Armitage fangirling. It’s really lovely and I’m very happy to be the new owner.

Not only did I receive this lovely Richard-themed Christmas item, a little over a week ago Mr E and I and two good friends of ours went on our yearly Christmas market trip to Germany. This time we visited Heidelberg, which is only 30 km south of where I used to live in the 1980s. We left on the Friday (the 9th) and spent two nights there, right in the center of the old town. My younger brother also came and met up with a good friend of his there but met us in the evenings. On our last morning (Sunday) we were even greeted with a dusting of snow, which made everything look even more magical.

On our way back, we also stopped by Heppenheim, where my dad used to work and where I lived for a bit with my family. We used to live in the yellow house in the first picture. The white house is the “Martin Buber Haus” where my dad used to work and where I have also worked in the little library that house used to have (I don’t know if it’s still there). The small town center/marketplace is only a minute’s walk away from the Buber Haus. It was really fun to get away for a weekend.

I addition to all this Christmas stuff, we also have Richard’s Christmas message which landed on Tiktok, and thankfully also on Instagram…

A few snapshots from that video. So cute to see him so happy and relaxed!

He suggests giving to Shelter this holiday season, supporting the homeless. Link is HERE if you are so inclined.

It’s been really busy and somewhat challenging of late, but these are definite highlights during this Chistmas/Richardmas season of lights.


Mini me is in Seoul right now, visiting my 22 year old niece who studies there (in the blue jeans in the first picture), accompanied by my other 17 year old niece (riding piggy back in the green sweater below). They’ve been having a blast there.

Earlier this evening the news reached us that something horrible was happening in Seoul. Apparently at Halloween festivities in the city at least 146 people have died and 150 have been injured in a mad crush of the crowds. We contacted mini me and were assured that she and the girls were fine. She told us that the three of them and a fourth friend were also headed to that Halloween party but on nearing the area found it all too crowded and had decided to turn back. They were safely back at my niece’s apartment when they heard how bad it all really was. Thank goodness they are all fine! My heart breaks for the terrible loss of life and all those who have been injured. Our thoughts are with Seoul tonight.💔


Mr E does volunteer work for an organization that specializes in heraldry. For that he had to be in the southern tip of The Netherlands for a day and we decided that as it’s the fall break, we’d make a real trip of it, including a few nights in a hotel. We found one on the castle grounds of a castle near Maastricht, drove their yesterday after I finished my volunteer work and today, here we are! We went for a lovely walk in the beautiful area, rested a bit, walked to a neighbouring town for dinner and all that with glorious weather.

Tomorrow is the ‘heraldry day’ Mr E came for and then on Saturday we take our time getting home again. I love mini breaks.

There she goes!

My 18 year old daughter (dressed in black) and my 17 year old niece are off to Seoul in South Korea. We dropped them off at Schiphol Airport this afternoon.

They are off to visit my other (22 year old) niece who is studying and living there and they are somewhere over Azerbaijan now, according to our flight tracker. It’s a 12 hour direct flight from Amsterdam and my daughter will be gone for two weeks. It’s a little scary, knowing she is so very far away from us in such a different world, without us there to help guide her, but it’s also a comfort that she’s not on her own and that the girls will be hosted by my 22 year old niece who already speaks Korean and knows her way around Seoul (she’s been living there for two years now). We really are happy for mini me that she has this opportunity, she will learn and see so much, and we are sure the girls will have a marvelous time together. Little girls grow up so quickly…