30/04/2010

The queen’s birthday at Haarlem

by Rob on

Today the Dutch queen is celebrating her birthday (well, the be precise it was the birthday of her mother, queen Juliana… but anyway…).

Now living in the province of North Holland, I wanted to see how they celebrate it over here (heard some very nice stories about that). I was warned by people not to go Amsterdam, but cause it is always too busy there. And now I am really happy that I didn’t go for Amsterdam. But idiots putting a train in fire and pulling the emergency breaks in to other trains, all train traffic to Amsterdam was a big a mess.

But I already had decided to go for this day to the city of Haarlem. Never really been there before and I heard from many people that it is a real nice city. And I have to admit that they are right!

What me always makes me grin a bit is who people dress up with orange colours on this day (orange is the colour of the Dutch Royal house). Know that I don’t like orange really. And oh, the young lady on the picture below was a decent example of dressing with orange…

But in Haarlem itself it was very nice. The atmosphere was good and there were many gathered to enjoy the live music that was played throughout the city. Everywhere there was drinks and food available.

I liked the city of Haarlem a lot. Very soon I will go back when it is there more quiet and walk around the city to see more of it and make pictures.

On my way back home I had to take the bus to Heemskerk because the train traffic was still a big mess thanks to those folks who couldn’t behave.


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“Sanctuary for All”

by Rob on

Some time ago I was zapping a bit through all the Tv channels that I can receive. Somehow I ended up watching Sci Fi channels (which as SF lover happens so often to me). They were broadcasting a chapter of a series that I didn’t know.

In series all kind of strange and often terrifying creatures are roaming the world. Dr. Helen Magnus and her team are trying to give these creatures a home in her sanctuary. This leads to some very thrilling situations.

I like what I saw. The stories are good. The special effects are also very nice. And I love the humour that is going around in the series. And some very pretty ladies are playing in the series as Amanda Tapping (as Dr. Helen Magnus) and Emilie Ullerup (as Ashley Magnus) :P

So last week I ordered the first season of the series. And I really I have to say, I am hooked :). If I have well informed there are now 2 seasons. And as may be understandable, I want the second season as well.

More information on the series on the website Sanctuary for All.


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Give freedom and space to move….

by Rob on

If you love somebody, set them free.
If they return, they were always yours.
If they don’t, they never were!

At times it can happen when you see or read a saying or quotation that really strikes you and of which you feel it is really true. So for me with the saying above.

I believe that the relation that I have with Marion is so successful because we give each other freedom and space to move.

We don’t react disappointed when one of us wants to do something alone or with friends. When for instance Marion and Sanne want to go shopping alone, that is all fine with me. Or that they want to go together on a holiday (as last year to Sweden) that is okay.

We don’t push appointments up to each other. When one of us wants to go somewhere, we only check if we don’t have things planned together. We certainly not go asking if the other would mind if you want to go somewhere. Also we don’t expect the other to come along with all. If other wants to come along, then it good. No pressure on each other.

We respect each others interests and hobbies. We give each other time and room for those hobbies. As example, Marion loves to go shopping, which is not really my thing. On the other hand, I love to go to concerts and that is something that Marion doesn’t really like (she dislikes to stand in a crowd for hours).

People should stop to enforce own opinions, interests and things to do on others. Especially not in a relation. It will kill the relation in my opinion…. Hence the many divorces these days!

Freedom and space to move…. it makes the relation Marion and I have a better one.

(Edited a bit to make things more clear and to remove some bad grammar)


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Would have someone asked me about volcano’s some days ago, then I would have told how beautiful I find them…. beautiful, but very dangerous.

But right now I dislike them…. Why? Well, today I am celebrating my birthday and some of the people very close to me planned something really wonderful for me. Together with Marion they arranged that Marion would be coming to The Netherlands this weekend (she could combine it with something important she had to do in Europe for her work). And right now I have a feeling that everyone around me knew about this, except me of course.

Then this volcano on Iceland started to play up….. and because of the cloud of ash that this volcano produced all the airports nearby are closed (and they should, this cloud of ash can be very dangerous for air planes). So it is simply impossible for Marion to come to here…

This really sucks… I so would have loved to have her here with me in my new home…. even if it only would have been for two days.


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A sad job to do….

by Rob on

Those that know me or read here regular might know that the health of my mother got rather bad over the last years. Even so bad that she was not capable to care for herself anymore. Now more then a year ago she was taken into a nursing home. They wanted to try to teach my mother to deal with her health problems and learn to live on herself again. Sadly this failed in a very bad way. So now it is decided that she will be taken into that nursing home permanently.

Only the fact already that my mother cannot take care of herself anymore by those health problems gives me a sad feeling. Sure, my mother had already health problems for a very long time. But even after the death of my father she lived for many years in a very good way on herself. That is now sadly the past.

But all this leaded to something else. The house where my mother used to life must be cleaned out and given back to cooperation that rented it to her.

This house has been over 40 years part of our family. I know every corner and spot of it. I always felt comfortable there. And now this all soon will be gone.

Together with my brother and sister we started to clean out the house. Furniture is taken out and given away. The closets and boxes and looked through. Sure we find many things that bring back good memories, but also sad memories are there. A lot happened in and around this house.
Some items will be given away to friends of my mother. Other things are shared between my brother, sister and me. This all of course after talking it through with my mother. After all her body causes problems, her mind is clear and sharp as it can be.

With every piece of furniture and each item that leaves the house a little of the “soul of the house” leaves. And even now already it is not anymore a place where I like to be. The house is dead.

I am grateful that I have rather some things in my new house in Heemskerk that will keep up the memories of the times that I did spend here in this house.


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Months ago I bought tickets for the concert that Within Temptation would give in Enschede.

The concert was yesterday and I have to say it was awesome again. For Sanne it was her first live experience with Within Temptation. She only knew them from their bigger hits as “Ice Queen” and “Mother Earth”, but really wanted to see them once live. So Marion and I arranged together as a surprise a ticket for her (even being in the US Marion thinks of the ones that are dear to her :) ). I think after yesterday Within Temptation found a new fan :).

The concert belonged to their “An Acoustic Night at the Theatre”-tour. It was rather different then the other concerts I have seen of them. Lots of acoustic guitar work was involved. I have to say I really liked it.
And Sharon den Adel really a great voice. Clear, strong and a pleasure to listen to
The video effects during the show belong to the best I ever saw. Specially how the band-members interacted with the video-effects

Sadly there was no signing session afterwards, because I would love to have a signed CD by Sharon den Adel (the lead singer) and the other of the band. But somehow the place didn’t fit for that. Maybe the next time.

And of course I got the t-shirt. And Sanne was happy with the one I bought for her. It really looks great on her (she showed off later at her home :) ).. Luckily I could sleep at her place. My old parents house is not a place to be any more since my mother is taken into a nursing home permanently (about that more in another post that I will write soon).

On the brighter side, I have tickets for Katie Melua in December….


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For a very long time I wanted to have one day some luxury showcases to display things that meant a lot to me….

Well, for my new home in Heemskerk I bought two of them. Last week I have placed lights in the two showcases. And today I made the final step to hide away all electric wires as much as possible from sight. I also placed a photograph between the showcases.

In the showcase to the left are fossils and crystals. Some I had already a long time. Others were “Sinter Klaas”-gifts while I stayed at Gambheera’s place.

The other showcase holds things that have dear memories to me…. as my fathers golden watch, the glasses I did wear when I was a young boy, the last remains of my electric rail road, my very first analogue reflex camera, my first computer (a Timex Sinclair 1000) and a real ZX81, the bunny that was made by an aunt when I was born and more…

It feels good to have realized something I wanted for so long in my new home!


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Oh my dear…. I have done it.

by Rob on

Most people know that I like it to watch in the evening a bit TV or a DvD. And of course since I have my own place again (instead of the room I was hiring) I more able to do so. To be correct, I could watch TV and DvD’s on that room. There was a small TV and DVD player available. And I also watched rather some DvD’s on my laptop. But that is still something else as laying lazy on your couch, having a beer and watch a good movie.

In Haaksbergen I had a rather nice TV. An older one, still with a tube… 27.2 Inch display, 100Hrz. As said, a nice tv, but…

With the moving the feeling for a new TV was born. When I had to buy a new decoder, I got one that was HDTV ready. And that made the feeling for a new TV even bigger.

So all of a sudden there was today this great offer two colleagues pointed to me. And after all day thinking, doubting and overthinking I bought today a 40 Inch full HD LED TV. The one I bought is a Sharp LC-40LU700E:

Some specifications for interested people:
– Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels
– Full LED Backlight
– 100 Hz E-Motion display refresh
– Diagonal 40”/102 cm display
– Connectors: 4 HDMI, 2 SCART, USB USB, AQUOS Link, standard CEC,
AV in, component in, headphone, optic, CI, VGA, RS-232C

And lots and lots more!

Nice of this TV is also its very low electricity usage. In 7 to 12 working days Cinema Rob will open :)


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