Breakfast on bed.

by Rob on

It is a little tradition that Marion and I have in the weekends that we are together at least one breakfast on bed. No strict rules here that we make it by turn or that there is count on how many times each of us has made it. No, just who is awake first.
It is always nice when you are still in bed and you hear in the kitchen some working on breakfast. You dive deep under the warm blankets and wait until the breakfast is ready.

But this time I was the one that waked up early and so I made breakfast. It is so simple and it is so nice to share.
Some fresh orange juice, a nice tea (a mixture green and white tea with bergamot and roses), boiled eggs, a toast with marmalade and another one roast beef, some warm “kaiser breads” with cumin cheese and ready is your breakfast.

And no coffee yet, because the meaning of breakfast on bed is that you stay in bed for another nap. And coffee will not help for a nap.

I do understand to those with children such a breakfast on bed is harder to do. A breakfast on bed with children is different as for a couple alone (and please note that I say different, not better or worse). But I could imagine that also for people with children a breakfast on bed alone would also be very nice now and then.
But anyhow, Marion and I like it a lot and it is for us a tradition to keep…

I just looked outside and saw it is raining. A pity, because we had planned a walk on a beach somewhere… but not in the rain.

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A lazy day and wild boar steak

by Rob on

Today Marion and I had the super lazy day we had planned the first weekend of my vacation and which was ruined by me becoming ill.
So yesterday evening we dropped the mattresses from our bed in the living room in front of the TV-set. And there they are still. If I not needed to do some shopping I would not have get dressed all day. Having such a “lazy day” every now and then is good thing. Relaxing, resting, chatting, napping, cuddling… it is all part of such a day.

Marion is now taking a nap, so I have a moment to write something here on my blog (and to answer some mails).

Of course I made something nice to eat for us (one of the reasons I had do some shoppings). I decided for Wild Boar Steak…

The Wild Boar Steak was baked as a normal steak. But normally I would wrapped a steak after baking in aluminium foil so it will become nicely done. But on advice I placed the steaks in a beef fond, added some honey and thyme. All on temperature I left the steaks in the fond for about 10 minutes. It gave the steaks a very nice stronger taste.

To the steaks I served some slightly fried oyster mushrooms.
The vegetables are a mixtures of boiled garden peas, corn and carrots.
The rice is Basmati rice mixed with baked champignons and a little soy sauce. A very nice and tasteful combination.

As wine I served was a Los Vascoos 2007. A very nice wine from Chile with a nice strong taste that fitted perfectly to the steaks (a very good advice from the owner of the store where I buy most of my wines and such).

Even when I say so myself, it was delicious again!

Me? I will grab a bottle of beer and jump on the mattresses in the living room again and watch some TV until Marion wakes up again.

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by Rob on

Today I had planned to go with Patrick to a concert of “Blut Engel” in Germany. Everything was arranged, I would travel to the town of Oldenzaal where Patrick lives and from there we would drive to Germany. Then Friday evening we would celebrate Patrick’s birthday and in the weekend I would drop by in Haaksbergen.

Well would… but I had the become rather sick last week and although I am feeling better then last week, on advice of many I dropped the made plans and stayed home to recover more from my illness. As said, those who really care about me where really afraid that all this travelling, little sleep and lots of beer would not be good for me right now. And I guess they are right!

The Style of the German band BlutEngel is somewhere between “EBM” (Electronic Body Music) and “Darkwave”. But there also “Techno” and “EuroDance” influences. So normally they place BlutEngel in the category “FuturePop” (Eh, WikiPedia is saying this. Not me. So it must be true :P).

Anyway, I got to know BlutEngel through a Danish young lady. She made me listen to the song “Children of the Dark” and I was deeply impressed. And yet it took some years before I really got interested in BlutEngel. Downloading the album “Seelenschmerz” from iTunes was the first step. Since then many of their albums found their way to my iPod (and yes, all legal :P).

And well, today I could have seen them. Maybe even got a signed CD and a t-shirt. Ah well, it could not be this time… but there will be another time!

But there is something else what annoys me also. It has been some time that Patrick and I met, talked and shared some beers. It has been way too long. And I was looking forward to have some laughs with Patrick again. Well, not also that could not be…
But as I Patrick already told on the phone (and I am very serious about this) I will make to sure to catch up on this on short term. I will travel to Oldenzaal or Patrick will come this direction… but we will share some beers very soon!

“Es ist die Maske,
Die Maske die Du trägst
Und die Gefühle,
Gefühle die Du nicht verstehst…”

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The weather…

by Rob on

It is getting close to the end of November, I have slept last night with the door of my balcony wide open. And I was just on my balcony for some fresh air, the door will be open again this night.

I don’t know if there is something wrong with the weather, but something in me is telling me that it should be a lot colder outside now. It should be freezing, maybe even snow and some hail.
Then again, I am pretty sure that when you look at the statistics then it shows that nothing special is going on (but you know what they say about statistics… you have lies, darn lies and statistics!).

Sure, I don’t mind really… I love to have as much as possible fresh air in my house. But still it is very weird!

BTW the picture I made in March 2008, somewhere between Haaksbergen and Hengelo (right before the town of Beckum to be precise).

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Today Sanne was here again to see if she could be of any help for me, after all I am still ill (as Marion states, as long you have fever, you are ill). And yes, I appreciate it very much that Sanne comes around so often. A very special friend she is indeed.

Today she had two of her dogs with her again. Both are a so called “Drentse Patrijshond” (a Dutch pointer breed). They are good trained and well behaving dogs. On the picture below is one of Sanne’s
dogs with the sweet name “Femke”. The picture was made somewhere last summer when we visited the beach of Zandvoort.

I really like these dogs. Yes, I do like dogs… when they are properly trained and have learned how to behave (and no, you don’t learn a dog something by beating and “breaking” him). I also do not like all breeds of dogs. I don’t the breeds that are very unnatural… like boxers and bulldogs (many breathing problems there).
I like more pointers and collies, but that is me :P (Of course there are more dog breeds I like then only those).

Whenever Sanne was here, I have to think of the dogs that I owned in the past or maybe I should said, with who I shared my house :P. Bas (a half breed “Friese Stabij”), Bommel (a not completely pure Jack Russell), Binke (“Friese Stabij”) and Boukje (also a Friese Stabij). If I am informed well, only Boukje is alive and must be on age now (of the others I know that they don’t live anymore).

There are times that I would love to have a dog again. At the same time I realize that this would not be a good thing. For a normal working day I am around 9 to 10 hours per day away from home.

Apart from that I (we… this goes for Marion as well) have chosen for a life with as less as possible dependencies. The freedom we both have grown into we want to maintain as much as possible.
Sure, certain dependencies will always be there. Even the LAT-relation of Marion and me has certain dependencies and that is of course logical… without any dependencies there cannot be a relationship at all. But compared with the more traditional relations, we have much more freedom and less dependencies. And we are both very happy this way.

And lets be honest, a dog would create a big dependency. With the way I am currently living there is no room for such dependency. Again, this is me!!!!

Anyway, I really liked the visit of Sanne. It is a good feeling that people care for you and are willing to invest time in you.
Sanne was so kind enough to drive to town and do some groceries for me. And as she said, it was also for her fun to look around in the shopping centre of Heemskerk. According to her we have some nice and interesting shops over here.
After the visit to me she went with her dogs to a beach for a nice walk (I believe the beaches of “Wijk aan Zee”, but I am not sure).

This evening I watched on the couch with a blanket over me (darn fever) the latest Harry Potter-movie “The Deathly Hallows – Part 2″…

I got this BluRay as gift from Sanne. As we just today discussed this movie she knew I hadn’t seen it yet. When she saw it in a shop in Heemskerk, she considered it a nice gift for me. And right she was. I was very happy with it.

When I saw this BluRay, I am happy again to be able to play BluRay-discs… what an graphic quality, what a great sound. When I see a movie like this, I know why I invested all this money into this Pioneer set. It proofs it self again and again.

The movie itself? I have a weak spot for Harry Potter movies. I enjoyed the movie, but I have to be honest. I could understand why some people would find this movie a turn down.

Okay, time to try to get some sleep again and lets hope this fever really starts to drop!!!

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What a day again…

by Rob on

What a day again indeed…

This morning early I started with a job I had planned for this holiday. Already for some time the drain from the kitchen was not working as it should. It took ages before the kitchen sink got ride of all the water in it.
So somewhere last week I bought a tool to help me to clear out the kitchen drain…

This morning I started to work on it. But it just didn’t go the way I wanted it. Somehow I couldn’t get around a corner. And all was dirty and stinking… To be honest, I didn’t feel well at all.

All this started to annoy Marion (who was still here at that time). And after that I was working on it for an hour, she stopped it all. She made me clear that I had still some fever and that I was making it worse again. But what annoyed her even more (and believe me, Marion is very good in making that clear) that I was struggling around with it to save some money, while there a specialized company with proper tools who can do it within 25 minutes without all the mess.
Basically she put me back on the couch and “forced” me to call such a company. She would pay the bill, so it would not be different for me anyhow.
And although I don’t like it, I have to be honest…. Marion was right. This young man came in with his machine and 15 minutes later he left. All was working again as it should and most of all, no mess (apart from some dirty towels).
The very kind man gave some good advices. Also on how some things are currently handled with the drains and when I get a new kitchen, I should make sure that is done different then.
And this all for € 90.00…

Later on after the guy left, Marion and I talked a bit. And she made her point clear. As she said, sure it is good to try to save money and do as much as possible yourself. But there is an balance… on the other side of this balance you should leave it to people who are specialized in that what has to be done. In her opinion this was a clear example of that.
Don’t tell her, but I think she is right…

In the end we did split the bill, so € 45,00 for each of us. And with the good advices that were given it may be a long time before this needs to be done again.

One more thing happened, while I was fooling around with the drain the door of the kitchen cabinet came loose (it is after all an old kitchen). I will try somewhere this week to place it again, but if that fails Marion had a nice idea… we will place a nice kitchen curtain for the cabinet, as her grandmother used to have. That would make it a real retro-kitchen… She made me laugh with that idea. And why not, the kitchen will be replaced anyway!

In the afternoon Marion left for her work and I escorted her to Schiphol. This time with a bit more resistance as normal, I have to admit.

In the evening I enjoyed the benefits of tv-on-demand and watched the X-Files movie “I want to believe”. Very good movie. I enjoyed it a lot.

Yes, what a day it was again….

Tomorrow will be a rest day. Maybe I will dust the display-cases that I have in the living room on the inside… but not more that that. I have to admit that Marion was right, I still can feel that I was sick :(.

Tomorrow it will be a bit better again :)

(Credit photo The X-Files : Sky )

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Today I saw a discussion about Christmas on Facebook. It was about “Keep Christ in Christmas”.

Rather some reactions were claiming that Christmas should not be a commercial celebration. With that I agree. Funny fact was that the “Keep Christ in Christmas”-statement was coming from a webshop where you can buy all kind of things with sayings and texts related to Christianity. Talking about being “none commercial”. But that as aside…

Of course here and there the discussion went nasty. As so often when religion is the subject. This from both sides I have to admit.

Someone said “What would be left if you take ‘Christ’ out of Christmas?”. Well, the first reaction I have is that what is left is “Yule”, the celebration where old European populace celebrated that the days were getting longer again, meaning the easier times of the year would arrive again. In the Scandinavian countries Christmas is still called Jul (which I really like). It was a celebration of happiness where the trees that stayed green during the winter were used for decoration… Ermm, wait a moment? Our Christmas Tree? Yes, our Christmas tree and other Christmas decorations have directly their origin there.

Matter of fact, there are more so-called Pagan celebrations that are “overtaken” by Christianity. Just think of Easter! Sometimes I think that was the only way Christianity could handle these Pagan celebrations. They could not abandon them, so they only way was to replace them by something that was more in line with the teaching of the Christian school.

It makes me laugh at times when I look at Christian religion and see how it is filled up with Pagan signs and traditions. The more I look at Christianity, the more I am happy I decided to step away completely from this.

Me? I just think that everybody should celebrate it in their own way. You think Christmas is a Christian Celebration? Fine with me, but allow others to have Christmas in their own way. Just a nice being together. Time to spend with family and friends. Or even the original meaning of Christmas, the getting longer of the days again…. I go for a none religious being together with those I care about. More then enough for me…. And oh yes, I am also happy that the days are getting longer again :)

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by Rob on

Yesterday it was 11 November 2011… A normal day it may seem, but not for everyone. For a big group of people it was 11-11-11, a very special day it seemed. Lots of people married this day, thinking this would bring good luck (so much for trusting your relation to need something like that as good luck).

Special events were held trying to get people to make a picture at a certain time frame??? Or make it all of a sudden The Day of Sustainability? May I blink surprised?

And of course all kind religious and mystic humbug. People who are never are interested in pyramids and such, can suddenly not stop talking about it.

To be honest, I don’t believe that a date on calendar of a planet somewhere in the slums of the galaxy has any mystic influence at all.

But what really makes me laugh loud, is that it was not 11-11-11… it was 11-11-2011, so no repeating of 11 through the complete date. People are so good in fooling themselves!!!!

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Today I prepared tenderloin (“varkenshaas”) for Marion and me. I tried something new and it worked out well (Miranda, thank you for making my idea complete).

I prepared a marinade of peanut oil (“arachide olie”). I mixed the oil with black pepper, salt, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I placed the tenderloin for hour in the marinade, turning it every now and around.
I heated a little olive oil and baked the tenderloin. First on a high fire, later on a low fire. Next I wrapped the tenderloin in aluminium foil for around 10 minutes.
When placing the tenderloin on the dish I smeared some goat cheese on top of it. You could watch it melt. After the cheese was nice melted I spread some caraway over it.

I wok-baked leek, red onion, parsley and chestnut mushrooms in olive oil. After all was mixed up and nice on temperature I added a home-made teriyaki sauce (rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, bouillon and olive oil).

I serviced some fruit compote (apple and pear) along with it. On the compote as spread some cinnamon.

I know, my dishes could be decorated much nicer. But somehow that is not important for me (although I can understand that for a professional as Miranda it is very important). For me the taste counts… but then again, I am not a professional :).

It all tasted wonderful again. but I do admit that I used a little too much olive oil for the teriyaki sauce.

After we cleaned up the kitchen we both just wanted to lean back and relax for the last evening of the weekend. And how to do this better then watching a nice movie? So while I was looking through my DvD’s and BluRay’s I picked up “The Blue Brothers” DvD. It was a long time ago I watched that movie. I showed the movie to Marion and she agreed that was a good movie to watch.
But there was something I really never noticed before…

The Blues Brothers DvD I have is not normal one, it is the 25 year anniversary DvD! And today I noticed something I never noticed before. The package holds 2 DvD’s… and on the second DvD is the extended theatrical version of the movie! Marion adn I agreed on watching that one…

And oh, what a movie… lots of extreme good music… and so much humour!!!

Anyone who hasn’t seen The Blues Brothers???? Be ashamed…. be very ashamed!!!!

“And this one is for Wilson Pickett…”

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To process or not to process…

by Rob on

This I like so much. An evening of complete relaxing. The lights in the living room are dimmed. Some candles are lighted. A concerto from Bach fills the rooms. A wonderful mood…
Marion was reading, but by now she is sleeping on the couch. A nice sight. She is fallen into a deep sleep. You can see that. I let her, she was very tired when she got here yesterday.

This weekend I am process of the photo’s taking at the party last week of the company where I am working. Nice work, but something you have to breaks regular from. At least I consider as something that makes you very quick tired, especially your eyes.
But I have now close to 40 photo’s done. Maybe enough for now, the rest might have to wait a bit.

Anyway, this brought me back to a question that has been asked many times: “Does every digital photo needs to processed?”

My answer to that is… depends :)

Personally I consider “cropping” or alike small actions not really as processing. But I do know there are people who think different about this.

Having said that… yes, the photo that doesn’t need any processing exists, but it is rare. In all thousands of photo’s that I made it happened only once or twice to me.

Processing means for me means making the picture of better quality. Not altering the reality. That is when altering the reality is not your specific goal. Look at the wonderful work of Miss Aniela and you will understand directly what I mean with “specific goal to alter reality”. I really love her work…

Anyway, my goal is not to alter reality. As my photo-site says “Photography is the skill to steal a moment from time”. It is for me to capture memories. To get hold of that one special moment. Freeze that one special sight.
Even more… I want to keep the reality as much as possible. Lets say, a picture made of Marion is her house. On the picture is a plant that is a bit in way or taking away too much attention of the real subject of the picture (Marion in this case), I would not (if possible at all) edit the plant away. I know that plant should be there and not seeing the plant would make it fake for me.

And so has everyone his/her way handling this kind of things. There is no good or bad in it… just different :P.

Ah well, I think it is time to softly wake up Marion, else she might not sleep very well tonight…

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