TeaMany of us drink often tea, or something that we like to call tea, and have almost no knowledge about tea at all.

Tea is an aromatic drink prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over cured leaves of the tea plant. There are many teas around that we call tea but isn’t tea (because no tea leaves were used). Just like apple wine isn’t wine because it is not made of grapes or white chocolate isn’t chocolate because it doesn’t contain cacao.

Tea has its origin in South west China, where it was used as a medicinal drink. It became popular as a recreational drink during the Chinese Tang dynasty, and tea drinking spread to other East Asian countries. Portuguese priests and merchants brought it to Europe during the 16th century.

There are different kinds of tea.
Green tea is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong and black tea. Green tea originated in China, but its production has spread to many countries in Asia.
Black tea is a type of tea that is more oxidized than oolong, green and white teas. Black tea is generally stronger in flavour than the less oxidized teas. All four types are made from leaves of the shrub (or small tree) Camellia sinensis.
White tea may refer to one of several styles of tea which generally feature young or minimally processed leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.
Oolong is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) produced through a unique process including withering the plant under strong sun and oxidation before curling and twisting. Most oolong teas, especially those of fine quality, involve unique tea plant cultivars that are exclusively used for particular varieties. The degree of oxidation can range from 8 to 85%, depending on the variety and production style. Oolong is especially popular with tea connoisseurs of south China and Chinese expatriates in Southeast Asia, as is the Fujian preparation process known as the Gongfu tea ceremony.
Rooibos (meaning “red bush”) is a broom-like member of the Fabaceae family of plants growing in South Africa’s fynbos. he leaves are used to make an herbal tea called rooibos or bush tea (especially in Southern Africa) or sometimes redbush tea (especially in Great Britain). The product has been popular in Southern Africa for generations and is now consumed in many countries. It is sometimes spelled rooibosch in accordance with the old Dutch etymology. So by definition it is not a real tea. As a fresh leaf, rooibos has a high content of vitamin C. Rooibos tea does not contain caffeine and has low tannin levels compared to black tea or green tea

Tea can be stored for a very long time without losing its quality (when stored in a right way: air-tight, dry and not in direct sunlight). Although some tea can be stored more than a year, replaces Rob once per 6 or 8 months the teas he has. And today he did that. The whole room is filled up with the wonderful scent of tea, herbs, spices and fruits.


So now we have the next teas here at Rob’s house:

“Greek Mountain Tea”, also known as Sideritis thee or Ironwort and comes from Florina (West Macedonia, main land of Greece). The tea is made from the dried leaves and flowers of the plant Sideritis. This plant with its velvety, greyish leaves and yellow flowers grows to about 45 centimetres high. The tea is rich on iron and antioxidants and it is said that the Greek mountain tea is good for digestion and is anti-inflammatory.
Mel is always kind enough to send us this tea (among other Greek products) directly from Greece.

The other teas are bought at a Dutch webshop and are a good collections of green, black and white teas, all with their own combination with herbs, spices, flowers and fruits.

Tea honey

We always drink our tea with honey and if you have tea of a very good quality, you also want honey of a high quality. We always use thyme honey. Greece is known for it very fine honey. And yes, thanks to Mel we are never without honey *SMILE* .
Honey contains antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal agents. Besides honing contains many valuable nutrients-including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Honey is used for centuries as treatment of a sore throat. And of course honey is already used for ages as Outside the product served honing earlier usefull as sweetener.


And oh, before I forget, the title of this article is taken from “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, the book that Rob likes so very much.



(Credit photo’s: Marion)

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Some facts about flying….

by Patricia on

Facts of flying
This will be for me the first time I publish something here on this weblog. I am not very good at this kind of things, but still it looks fun to me.

As might be known, I am working as a flight attendant for a large airline company. Yesterday I found this nice article online about things and facts that not everyone may know about flying. I thought I may share those here (after discussing it with Rob, who thought right away it was a great idea).
So I copied those things I know also from my own experience and adjusted it where needed.

Have fun with it :-)


It is nearly impossible for turbulence to crash a plane (even the bad stuff). Turbulence is only dangerous because of things flying around the cabin and that includes people not wearing seat belts. Most accidents happen at take off and landing that’s why we make you do all of those things before take off and landing.
The plane can move like a seesaw so seats nearest to the wings can have the least turbulence and seats farthest away will be the worst.

Fun times

on trans-oceanic flights there is a cabin for crew to get some sleep. No, you won’t be invited in for fun times. On some newer planes there’s also a hold for people who have died on the flight. No, you won’t be invited in for fun times either.


We know if you’re having sex in the bathroom. It happens all the time. We can also open the doors, easily, from the outside.

Facts of flying

Problems with the aircraft

Lots of passengers panic when the flight is delayed for technical reasons or when they see the maintenance guys board the aircraft. Lets clear some stuff up.
If you see mechanics running around, that’s actually a good thing. It just means we’re aware of a problem and won’t budge until it has been resolved. Much better to be aware of a problem on the ground than at 36000 feet!
The pilots do thorough pre-flight checks to make sure that everything is okay, and the engineers check the aircraft at the end of the day. Flying is safer now than it ever has been, no need to worry!

Don’t say ‘bomb’

DON’T say, “bomb” on an air plane. Don’t even joke about it. DON’T. SAY. BOMB. It is not funny at all!

Don’t try to get into the cockpit

We have fire axes and extremely heavy emergency equipment on board and are under orders to stop you entering the cockpit by ‘any means necessary’. Just saying.


Smoking really is an issue on board, please please don’t do it. We’re all trained in fire fighting but it’s still extremely dangerous to do so on board. Vaping on the other hand is completely harmless but forbidden anyway, purely because it may entice other passengers to light up real smokes.

Being drunk

You get drunk quicker on board due to the air pressure (or something) and we don’t tolerate drunken bull crap. It’s not a bar; you don’t just get thrown out by the bouncer. You get off-loaded and possibly even black listed. If you’re clearly loaded before we’ve even taken off, then chances are you’re not going to be going anywhere.

Changing baby diaper

DON’T CHANGE YOUR BABY’S DIAPER ON THE TRAY TABLE. This happens all the time. It’s unsanitary! People use the tray table to eat, put their personal things on, etc.

Lifting bags

it is NOT the responsibility of a flight attendant to lift your bag. There have been multiple injuries caused by flight attendants lifting heavy bags to be friendly, and then they’re out of their job for months or even years. If you pack it, you lift it. If it’s too heavy for you, it’s too heavy for us.
Elder and disabled people are here the exception to the rule.

Facts of flying

In case of events

In the event of a situation where passengers have to cover their heads you should not ‘lock’ your fingers over your head. Instead, place one hand on top of the other. That way, if something falls on your hand/head, you’ll still have one good hand to use.


One thing people definitely should know is that a surprising amount of the delays that happen are due to passengers. Yep, passengers.
That one guy who throws a fit because he can’t take four ounces of liquid through TSA and decided the gate agent was a great target to take out their wrath on caused your delay. So did that family that decided it was a great idea to bring three strollers and two car seats for their single child.
And that last delay you had that the agent told you was due to maintenance? Was thanks to some guy trying to steal a smoke alarm from the plane.




(Credit photo’s: Gecas, Britsch Airways, KLM)

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Friday the 13th

by Marissa on

Friday the 13thSo today it is Friday the 13th, which is considered by certain people as day of bad luck and misfortune. I am not superstitious at all, but I cannot admit that I have an interest in this kind of things. So I did some investigation after Friday the 13th.

First thing to discover is not all country/cultures around the world see Friday the 13th as a day of bad luck. In Greece, Spain and Latin America Tuesday the 13th is considered a day to be very careful, while in Italy it is Friday the 17th.

The fear for the number 13 has even an official name: “Triskaidekaphobia”. And if the only really comes down to Friday the 13th it is called “Paraskevidekatriaphobia” or “Friggatriskaidekaphobia”.

One might think that in these “modern” and “enlightened” times people seem to have grown above the fears of this day. Well, it seems not. Stock markets have a bad day as people don’t want to invest on Friday the 13th and this may lead to complete other negative effects. People don’t to fly on this day or even go out for dinner (which means loses for companies). Yes, there are even people who will not leave their house. So yes, the fear is real.

It already starts with the number 13. So many buildings don’t have a 13th floor or restaurants that don’t have a table numbered 13. On our holiday to Greece last year we saw how on request of some guests from England the number of studio 13 was changed to 134 (Thank you Rob for allowing me to use that photo).


Studio 13


So the number 13 is already bad enough, but being Friday the 13th makes it even really worse.

But lets see, where does the fear for Friday the 13th comes from.
Well, one of the explanations is that Jesus was crucified on a Friday the 13th. It was normal for the Romans to do their executions on Fridays. Maybe this gave Fridays a bad name. Maybe even more because also in England executions were done on Fridays.
Or maybe it was because on Friday, 13 October 1307, Philip IV of France gave order to arrest hundreds of the Knights Templar and had them executed.
It is also said that Friday the 13th is derived from a Norwegian saga where the evil god Loki as uninvited thirteenth guest at a party pushes the earth into a deep mourning.
And of course on Friday the 13th witches and alike would gather.

This is all very nice, but recent research has shown that the superstition about Friday the 13th is not that old. In the 17th century it was for first time written down that Friday was a day for bad luck. That the 13th would make the Friday a real bad day was added much later. It was 3 April 1896 that for the first time Friday the 13th was mentioned in a Dutch newpaper.
Of course Friday the 13th was also a very good subject for horror books and movies.

    Some “facts” about 13 and Friday the 13th:

  • Every month that starts on a Sunday has a Friday the 13th!
  • The longest period that can occur without a Friday The 13th is 14 months, either from July through September of the following normal year or from August through October of the following leap year!”
  • There can not be more than 3 Fridays the 13th in a year, but every years has at least one!
  • President Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never host a dinner party with 13 guests in attendance and refused to travel on the 13th day of any month!
  • Cuban leader Fidel Castro was born on Friday, 13 August 1926, while outlaw Butch Cassidy was born on Friday 13 April 1866!
  • Exactly 200 characters have been killed in the 12 Friday the 13th films.

Anyway you better be very careful today, stay away from that black cat, don’t drop a mirror, do not waste any salt and you will be all right :-)





(Credit foto: Rob)

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The flowers are back…

by Marion on

Now the Christmas decorations are removed again, the flowers are back…

The flowers are back

And I have to be honest, how much I liked the Christmas decorations, I am happy the flowers are back again. They brings so much nice colours and wonderful scents into the house. With flowers in the house there is always a little piece of spring around. Flowers are for Rob and me part of the every day’s life in our houses. And because of that I am always very glad that when we go to my house that my mother always makes sure that there are nice fresh flowers on the table.

Sometimes people make the remark that when you have so often flowers at your home, flowers cannot be used as gift any more. That is not true, flowers are always a welcome gift. And is it so hard to come up with something else as a gift?


There is something else I really like. This afternoon Rob and I were reading in the living room. Rob always put on some very nice music (As “Oxygen” of Jean Michel Jarre or “Wish you were here” of Pink Floyd). On his TV he loads a slide show with his most beautiful photo’s (and he has quite some).
So when you reading, you just have to look every now and then up from your to listen to the music. And then you look almost automatically to the TV that displays photo’s that hold so many memories.
I really like this kind of afternoons together.



(Credit photo’s: Marion)

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Today is the day
Of course any one knows celebrations like Christmas, Easter and Halloween, to mention just a few. And I think also almost everyone will realise that there are many more celebrations, after all every country, culture and religion has its own celebrations.
But there are many more celebrations. Some serious, some less serious. So lets have a look at today is the day of what celebrations!

According the website “A list of today’s holidays” today celebrations are (every item in the list is a link to a website with more information about that day):

There so many celebrations to choose from.

I would go for the “Bubble Bath Day” and if we would have been at Marion’s house we might have celebrated it…. nice warm filled bath tub, candles, wine and some light snacks. Done it before and it was very enjoyable.

Anyway, I knew that this kind of celebrations existed, I mean “Talking like Pirate Day’ is quite famous. But that it would be so many was a complete surprise to me. The website I mentioned earlier gives a very nice overview of all these celebrations. Enjoy!

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2017It is always good to have at the begin of a new year a moment to look back at the year that has passed by. So lets have a short look from 2017 to 2016

I think for me personally it was a relaxed year. Of course there were things that went not completely the desired way. But there were no life shaking things that happened.

There was one thing that I really enjoyed and that was our vacation of 3 weeks to Lesvos together with our best friends (who are also the persons who can post articles on this weblog). We have seen there so many beautiful and amazing things like the wonderful nature of the island. We met such wonderful people, tasted awesome food and drank great ouzo and wine.
We laughed a lot and did fun things, which was because we know each other very well nothing else was to be expected.
And thanks to Mel we saw and learned a lot about Lesvos, the rich history and its culture. We have been at places where “normal” tourists would never come. Thank you for that, Mel. We loved and enjoyed every moment of it.

Talking about Mel: We, Marion and I, met Mel for the first time on Lesvos in 2015 (she is already for years friends with Sanne and that is how we got to know her). There was right away a good contact between Mel, Marion and me. The vacation of 2016 was the begin of a real friendship. And through the wonderful ways of modern technology we stay in close contact with each other.
I am convinced that the others that travelled with us to Lesvos also hold high and warm thoughts towards Mel.

As said, for me personal is was not really a bad year. For Marion 2016 was also a rather good year (we talked about this of course).
For Marion it was a very busy year at her work, but she managed very well. My own job was also challenging at some moments, but that also went well.

I have a feeling my left foot finally really starts to recover and that is really a good thing, although I expect drawbacks at some moments. But lets be positive and hope it continue to get better this way.

But when I look around me then it becomes very different. So many negative things are happening.

The terrorist attacks, the rise of right populism (and also of radical left), the activities of politicians as Geert Wilders and Donald Trump, the move of religions to get more influence again (and not only in the countries where the Islam is strong, but also in the US where conservative Christians try to get power again), leaders of countries as Rodrigo Duterte (Philippines) and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey) that go completely berserk.

Not to mention the hatred and disgust against refugees that seems to live with many now. And when you ask it turns out fast that they have no real knowledge about the situation of refugees and that they act by often complete wrong information. An example, you hear often that all refugees from Africa are coming here for economic reasons. Wrong, refugees from Eritrea are coming from an extreme suppressed country (and there are more places like that in Africa). Or that refugees get a fully decorated house for free. Yes, wrong again. They get a loan to buy the basic things for living. And no, they don’t large amounts of money every month.

Although I am not complaining for myself, I do hope that 2017 will be a better year for the world….

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