So now it is really official…

by Marissa on

Engaged
How things suddenly can change…

A little after the wonderful Christmas dinner we had at the house of my aunt and uncle (Marion’s parents), Richard came to me and asked me if he could have a little talk with me.

A bit confused because this is not the normal way of acting for Richard, I followed him to the other side of the room.
There he looked at me and I could see he was nervous. While stumbling over his words, he told me that he was very happy with how the things were going between us and that he was very glad with the change that I have brought into his life.
And then the question came… if I was ready for the next step in our relation!

The first thought that I had as a reaction was “Shit! No!”.
In many talks Richard and I had about our relation we agreed that we took it all easy, no hurry or pressure on anything. And now suddenly the next step? Moving together or even marriage?
Richard must have guessed my thoughts by the expressions on my face. Quickly he explained that he didn’t want any big steps. No moving together or anything. He only wanted to make it a little more official.

After thinking on this for a moment, I had to agree that maybe after all this time it would be good to make it all more official.
We talked about this for some time and we agreed that “engaged” (or “verloofd” in Dutch) sounded pretty nice.
By coincidence, I looked in the direction of Marion and Rob, the big smiles on their faces made very clear that they knew what was going on here. Richard admitted that he talked with Rob about this.

After asking me, he told the people that were present at the dinner. People reacted very enthusiastic. Many congratulations and hugs. And I swear I saw some tears in the eyes of my mother (Maybe she was thinking that her little she-devil was finally tamed? Well, no.. :P).

So now we are officially engaged. Does it feel any different? No, not for me at least. For Richard it confirms that we will go on together (not that there was not any doubt about that). For others it will make things more clear and that is good.

So this weekend we will go to Enschede to replace our friendship rings by engagement rings….

Wooaa, who would ever thought it: I am engaged! *SMILE*

Photo by zelle duda on Unsplash
Marissa
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gabriel-matula-300398-unsplash

Really, this has to stop…

That people are not happy with “Zwarte Piet” (Black Pete), I can understand in a way (I say understand, not agree!). “Zwarte Piet” is often displayed as a clumsy, no too clever person. And quite as a stereotype. So yes, I can understand that people don’t like that.

But now all of a sudden it seems that a lot of sayings involving animals are anti-animal…

In The Netherlands we have the saying “Iemand blij maken met een dode mus” (“Making somebody happy with a dead sparrow”, meaning to promise someone something that seems to be nice or good, but turns out to be worthless or useless). Well, it seems this is not acceptable any more.

Same goes for sayings as “Beat a dead horse” and “Take the bull by the horns” should not be used any more.

I am mostly considered as “Politically Correct”, but even for me this is going too far!

I was not surprised to find out that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was behind this all. They are known for this extreme kind of actions. Just a little browsing on the internet shows that PETA is fully ridiculed for this action. And as far it concerns me, right so!

If you really want to do something for animals then there are so many active ways to do so.
Go work as a volunteer at an animals-shelter. Help clean up deer parks. Work at a petting zoo. Start eating meat from animal friendly farms or stop eating meat at all. There are so many ways to help animals.
But not by this, sorry I cannot call it differently, bullshit… (Oops, I assume that “bullshit” is also not proper to use anymore…. Whatever!).

Photo by Gabriel Matula on Unsplash
(If you wonder why I have chosen to use this photo with this article, it shows how I feel when I hear bullshit as I describe in this article)
Miranda
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Marissa, Marion, Jennifer and Richard informed me that they started to receive spam through the contact form here on the weblog. I will investigate en solve the issue (add protection to the contact form or find a better solution).
For now I will disabled the contact form as spam is something we really don’t want!

Rob
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Zapekanka

by Rob on

Zapekanka

Begin this week a colleague was so kind to bring a dish from her homeland (and surrounding countries if I have understood correctly). This dish is called Zapekanka and she made it herself.

Looking around on the internet it shows that Zapekanka originates to the Ukraine and Russia (and most likely some more countries in that area). I found English names for this dish as “Cottage Cheese Cake” and “Farmer Cheese Coffee Cake”. But I was told not to refer to it as cake. So I won’t. *grin*
Anyway, more about this later on in this article.

When I tasted the Zapekanka, among the many very nice tastes, there was one flavor I recognized, but I could not place right away where I knew it from. It triggered a memory from long ago, so to say. But still I could not pinpoint it down!

Curious about this dish, I looked up a recipe on the Internet and I even found one in Dutch. And looking at that recipe it suddenly hit me like a bolt out of the blue: “griesmeel” (semolina).

When I was a young boy my mother often made “griesmeel pap” (semolina pudding). And I have to admit that over then I disliked it. But tasting it now so many years later the taste is rather interesting, to say the least.

Funny that a taste can stay that long in your memory!

But back to the Zapekanka… It seems that it is very popular in the countries of its origin.
One thing is very clear when you search the Internet, Zapekanka can be made in many ways and variations, but as far I can see now it is always prepared in an oven and egg is always an ingredient.
I saw variations with eggplant, mushrooms and fruit. And that makes it very interesting to experiment with.
Yes, I surely will try to make Zapekanka myself.

I really love these dishes from other countries and specially when they taste as good as Zapekanka *THUMBS*

Rob
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Christmas Cactus

by Rob on

Lidcactus

I think that the Christmas Cactus is one of most common houseplant around. In Dutch we call this plant “Lidcactus” or “Kerstcactus”. The scientific name for this plant is Schlumbergera truncata.

So you may wonder why an article about a plant that is so common.

Lidcactus

Well, I have one Christmas Cactus that is very special for me. It is a cutting from a plant that once belonged to my grandmother. My grandmother passed away in the year that I was born (22 March 1963 to be precise, so just before I was born).
Have a cutting from this plant, that has been so long in our family, makes it very special to me.

And now the days are getting really shorter, it starts to bloom (hence the name referring to Christmas).

Lidcactus

After it has bloom I will move it to a bigger pot with fresh soil. But before I do so I will take some cuttings from the plant and let them grow roots, so I have these when something goes wrong with moving the full grown plant to a bigger pot.
The change that anything will go wrong is very small, the Christmas cactus is a very strong plant. But with this plant I don’t want to take any risk.
Which may mean that after moving the plant I will have a number of new plants from the cuttings. 

There are already several people I know interested in them *HEART* .

Rob
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WordPress 5.0

by Rob on

I just upgraded our weblog to WordPress 5.0 and the upgrade went well without any issues, just as I am used to with WordPress.

The most important change of this new version is that there is a complete new editor for writing the articles added.
This new “Gutenberg Editor” is block orientated and is more or less “what you see is what you get”.
I am fully aware that this new editor will take time to get used to… Ergo: I need time to get used to it! *WINK*

By now I found one issue and that is cannot be displayed centered anymore. This might be an issue with the theme that is used.
I will look if I can come with a solution for that. If not, I may have to look for a theme that supports this new editor fully, which would mean that we can use all the new features offered through the new editor. So maybe I will have a look at a different theme anyway.

I would like to encourage the authors of our blog to play around with the Gutenberg editor to get familiar with it. And if there are any issues, please let me know.
For the time being the old editor, refereed to as the “Classic editor” is still available to use. Although I have to say that I have no idea how long this will be the case.

Enjoy!


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Perfume

by Marion on

Today I got a wonderful perfume from Rob as gift, but there is a little story to it.

Begin this week, Rob was travelling home from his work. The train he was travelling with was over a hour delayed. Rob was feeling cold and hungry.
But instead of losing his good mood, he found something that cheered him up.

In the busy train he was standing next to a woman who used a perfume that grabbed Rob’s attention as he really liked the scent of that perfume.
Rob was bold enough to ask her politely which wonderful perfume it was that she was using.
After first being surprised by this question, she realized that Rob’s question was sincere and told him with a smile the name of the perfume so he could buy it for me.

He told me about this perfume and that he had ordered it online, but he refused to tell me the name of the perfume. Rob knows me enough that this would make me very curious and that I would try many things to get to know which perfume it was.
On a certain moment I got the idea that everyone knew about which perfume this all was, except me!

This evening I arrived at Rob’s place and finally I got to know which perfume: “Lacoste Pour Femme“.
And it is really a fresh perfume with a wonderful scent of flowers. A light and enjoyable perfume, just as I like them.

As Rob really loves this perfume I will save it for when I am with him. And so I will place this truly awesome “Lacoste Pour Femme” with the other perfumes that he gave to me (“Armani Code”, “Muguet En Fleurs” and “Boss Ma Vie”… among others). These perfumes will stay in the bathroom at his house. Have a look for that at the photo at the top of this article.

On the photo, apart from the perfumes, two other things that are worth mentioning.
The bottle with the purple liquid is a shower lotion. It was a gift from Rob’s mother to me. As Rob’s mother has passed away, it is very precious to both of us.
The perfume bottle in the shape of a swan is rather old and also belonged to Rob’s mother. The perfume in the bottle is not useable any more, but that doesn’t make it any less important as memory. Rob and his mother were very close.

Did I already mention that I really love this perfume I got today as a present? 💕💖💕💋


Marion





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Sanctuary of Mesa (or Messon)

by Jennifer on

During our holiday to Lesvos this year we saw many beautiful things, but there was one location that made a deep impression on all of us: The Sanctuary of Mesa (or The Sanctuary of Messon, as it is also referred to).

Messa

Specially for Rob visiting Mesa/Messon was very high on his wish list. His interest for Lesvos and its history is great and there is already so much he knows about it.
And I have to admit that now I have been there, it made a deep impression on me. Even so deep that now I want to know more about it. Since our return to The Netherlands I have been reading a lot about this Sanctuary (online and offline). “I have been touched by its magic” as Rob calls it and it is quite contagious according him.


 

The temple is near the town of Agia Paraskevi (Αγία Παρασκευή) and is the biggest temple on the island. It was dedicated to Greek deities Hera, Zeus and Dionysus or the so called “The Lesbian Triad” (and no, that has nothing to do with the sexual preference, but with the geographic location).

There are two inscriptions from the second century BC where the name Sanctuary of Messon is preserved. It served as seat of the Kalloni Commonwealth. But the Sanctuary was already as early as the sixth century before BC a place for pilgrims to come from all over the island, but even from various cities of Asia Minor. It is told that beauty contents and dances related to fertility were hosted there.

Messa

When we visited the Sanctuary we were the only visitors and that made it even more special. The silence was breath taking. The atmosphere was very peaceful. Mostly I am always very down to earth, but here you could literately feel that this place has a very rich history and that important events took place here.

Messa

Rob had a long talk with the local guide of this historic temple and excavation site. He asked many and many questions. He wanted to know as much as possible about this place and he impressed the guide with his knowledge about Lesvos. And yes, he really knows a lot about this island.

And yes, this is one of the places that I never will forget…

Jennifer


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Wish you were here

Yesterday evening we had a very nice get together with some of my direct colleagues. I had with my colleague Tridip a very nice talk about music. What kind of music we like, concerts we have been to. Turns out he has a very good taste of music!

There was a request for a bit more relaxing and Tridip asked me what I thought was the best song that kind of music. There was right away one song that popped up in my mind: “Wish you were here” by Pink Floyd.

“Wish you were here” was the first album that I got to know from Pink Floyd, the first of many to follow. Which is of course not strange as Pink Floyd belongs to the legends of music.

Here the lyrics of the oh so awesome song and below the lyrics the song it self!

“So, so you think you can tell
Heaven from hell
Blue skies from pain
Can you tell a green field
From a cold steel rail?
A smile from a veil?
Do you think you can tell?

Did they get you to trade
Your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
Did you exchange
A walk on part in the war
For a lead role in a cage?

How I wish, how I wish you were here
We’re just two lost souls
Swimming in a fish bowl
Year after year
Running over the same old ground
And how we found
The same old fears
Wish you were here”

Rob


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Ever walked into the house and your partner starts to sing for you?

Well, that happened to me this morning *WINK* .
I returned from a short visit to Patricia, when I walked into the living room Rob started to sing with a big smile on his face…

“If you were the only girl in the world
And I were the only boy
I would say such wonderful things to you
There would be such wonderful things to do
If you were the only girl in the world
And I were the only boy…”

I recognized the song, but I had no clue how he got that song. With a big smile he explained it.
He was looking for something on the internet, when he ran by coincidence into this picture…

LP Rudi Carell

This is the cover a vinyl long play record. It is the recording of a show done by the Dutch artist Rudi Carell. The show is about how he is stranded on an uninhabited island.
The show is recorded in 1964, so Rob was around 1 year old and I was not even born. So it was not that Rob can remember this show.

Rob’s parents owned this vinyl record and he loved it. He must have heard it many times. So even that he knows the lyrics of all the songs by heart. That even after all that time and that it has been for many years out of his active memories.

He searched on the Internet and found recordings of the show and we watched those together. And I have to admit that I had some good laughs. And laughing together is even better. I placed these recording below at the end of this article (and sorry, the show is mostly in Dutch).

What I really like is that Rob can be so deeply happy over such a relative simple thing! His mood was really enjoyable and that made the weekend even better as it already was.

Enjoy!

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Marion


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