In 2015 around this time of the year I placed a message on Facebook related to Marion’s and my vacation to the island of Lesvos. It was after a long time that we would be going there again.
On one of the photo’s of the area where we would be staying there was an island visible and for no clear reason that the island got me interested.
When I found the island on Google Maps my interest even became stronger as it showed two buildings, a road and a pier.
We were thinking of a small farm, but we let also our fantasy run wild. Maybe a millionaire was living there. Or maybe someone was murdered there and now it was haunted.
Through a map of Lesvos that I had bought I found that the island was called “Agios Georgies”, which translates to “The Island of the Saint George”.
And we learned that the island had a nickname: Rabbit Island.

Rabbit Island Rabbit Island

Sadly during our vacation of 2015 we didn’t get a change to visit the island. But we made for up for that in 2016, when we visited with our best friends Lesvos. We had a great day and night on Rabbits Island. Again, I like to thank you Mel for making that wonderful experience possible.

The first thing we learned last year was that the building on the island wasn’t a farm, neither the house of a millionaire or a place that is haunted. It is a small chapel, of course dedicated to Saint George.

The name Rabbit Island finds it’s origin in the fact that somewhere in the past people released rabbits. There are no natural enemies for the rabbits on the island, so the rabbit community grew… well, as rabbits ;-).
No natural enemies, except the humans of course. In the last century people from the surrounding cities hunted all the rabbits until there were none left any more.

But recently someone has placed rabbits on the island again and he is taking extra care of them by feeding them and bring them fresh water when needed.
So Rabbit Island has its rabbits again!

The island offers a small pier to dock your boat, a nice beach and a secure place for a BBQ. And that, is apart from the chapel, all there is.
We had there to most fresh fish I ever tasted, caught and cleaned that morning.

The ladies enjoyed the beach to tan. And of course we took the opportunity to snorkel there, a very nice experience.

I have really great memories of this time we spend on Rabbit Island. Most likely for never to forget. If possible we would like to visit the island together with Mel again!

Below you can find more photo’s that we made during our visit at Rabbit Island. When you click on all the real photo’s (so not on the two Facebook screenshot) a larger version of the photo will be displayed. Enjoy!

Rabbit Island

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The missing heartbeat!

by Marion on


Over the years I developed a small habit. Rob sleeps at times on his back. So when he is asleep I crawl up to him and lay my head on his chest (sorry guys with your perfect “six packs”, this is a comfort you never will be able to give in this way!). As automatically he put his arm around me, which gives me a very secure feeling. And with my head on his chest I listen to his heartbeat.
For some reason I find the rhythmic sound of his heart very relaxing. It helps me to fall asleep.

So a few years ago I was listening to the soft beating of his heart when it suddenly stopped… to continue as normal after one or two missing heartbeats. It scared me for some moments, but Rob’s normal beating heart made me rest assured.

But a few weeks after that it happened again and I became worried. It felt to me as a heart defect.
Without telling Rob I consulted my family doctor. When I told her about my worries she laughed softly and told me how awesome caring I was. But this was nothing to worry about. According her everyone has this… She, me, Rob and everyone else.
She told me to see this as that the heart takes a moment of rest, some kind of break of all the hard work. And if the hearts pick up its normal work, then everything is very fine.

Yesterday I was listening to Rob’s heartbeat again. And it stopped. I noticed that I was thinking “Okay, you had your break. Now back to work!”. And at the same moment the heartbeat returned. I had to grin and I believe that I fell asleep with a smile on my face!




(The used picture is released to the Public Domain, please see Public Domain Pictures)

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RSSYesterday Marissa asked me if there was not an easy way to see if something new happened on the weblog or the forums. I was happy that I was able to say that there is indeed something for that: RSS, which stands for “Really Simple Syndication”.

Let me explain what RSS is. With RSS you can register to a news feed and track the changes. That sounds cool, but doesn’t really explain anything.
A news feed can be any online source with changing information, such as a weblog, forum or vblog. Oh wait, we have a here a weblog and some forums. So that is a good start.
So with RSS we will be able to see what has changed here on our weblog and forums.

So how this all works. Well, it is not that difficult.
First, lets have a look with what application we are going the results of the RSS stream. There are special applications, as “Feed Reader” the view the RSS content.
Nowadays every self respecting mail client supports RSS.
But every modern browser also supports RSS, directly or through a plugin. I prefer this way as a browser is often already active.

You can see if a site supports RSS by the symbol at the top of this article or by a text referring to it, as on our weblog (see the picture below).


Activating an RSS feed is simple. Click the RSS symbol or the link provided with the referring text, select where the RSS feed should be stored, confirm your selection and you’re done.


An RSS will not only show the latest content, but it will also show if you have read already.
But here is a little catch: The article will only show as read when the article has been opened, reading while browsing the articles will not let RSS mark the article as read.

Both the weblog and our new forums support RSS.
The weblog supports 2 RSS feeds: One for articles and an second for comments on articles.
Our forums also has two RSS feeds, one for the public forums and another for the private ones.
Maybe needless to see, you can see the content through the RSS feed. So the private articles and forums can only be accessed when to proper rights are given and when logged into them.


I hope this helps and when there are questions, please let me know! And oh… there are many site out there that support RSS. Use it, it is very handy (at least I think so).

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Miranda vs supermarkets

by Jennifer on

Miranda vs supermarketsVisiting a supermarket with Miranda is always fun! It is really Miranda vs supermarkets :-)

She really dislikes, how people squeeze hard in a bread to feel it is really fresh. Or how people go through the packages with cold cuts to get the one with the latest “best before date”, not realizing that they take all the other packages out of the cooled environment. And there are so many more examples.

Mir really refuses to buy food items at the supermarket. Things as washing powder is okay with her, but food.. no way! So for the bread we go to the bakery, for meat to the butcher, for vegetables and fruits we go to the greengrocer and so on.
Apart from the reasons mentioned above, the quality of the food at the specialized stores is much better and mostly more free of all kinds of additives to make it longer useable. Sure the prices may be a bit higher, but that is it well worth according Mir (and me as well).

So yes, taking Mir along to a supermarket is a fast way to get her grumpy. This morning again.
Mir went along to the supermarket to get the things that we normally buy there (as washing powder and such things). I warned her not to do so because it would be bad for her mood. She assured me it was okay.

When we entered the supermarket, I saw already that Mir’s face changed. There was a plate with orange segments and everybody was grabbing it. This goes against every hygienic rules Mir knows.
I told her to go and have a coffee at a nearby restaurant and that I would come there when I was done. No need to get in a bad mood this way.

I know that there are people who find this all ridicules, But please realize that “food” is Mir’s profession, she has to be serious about it. And consider what if she wasn’t that serious with the food that she might prepare for you…

And of course, every human is allowed to have his own little piece of craziness :-)




(Used photo was released to the public domain, please see Public Domain Pictures)

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About black olives…

by Miranda on

OlivesLast week Jennifer and I had a visitor that stayed for dinner. Our quest enjoyed the dinner very much, but there was one thing she had a remark about: The olives that I served with the dinner!
According her these olives weren’t of the best quality. As she always had these shiny uniform coloured black olives. Those were the real good ones and those more greenish pale coloured I had were not.

I had some bad news for her!

The olives I served were brought back from Lesvos by Marissa and Richard, who spent their vacation there.

The thing is those deep dark shiny olives don’t exist, not by nature anyway.

Maybe lets first see what the difference is between green and black olives. The colour shows how ripe the olives were when they were picked. Green olives are picked before riping and black olives when they are ripe, which is when the colour turns black.
Lets right away make a point here: Ripe olives are not black, they are more dark purple and are not uniform in colour (how much depends on the species). So these ripe “black” olives are not the deep black uniform coloured olives you can buy in the supermarket.

The shiny black olives from the supermarket are really green olives that are treated during the curing with calcium chloride salts, iron salts (ferrous gluconate). This gives them the dark shiny colour and they are this way faster edible.

There are some health concerns about calcium chloride salts and ferrous gluconate going around, but I don’t know how serious these have to be taken. But a fact is that olives treated with this salts lose in taste. This special strong taste the olives normally have is lost and that is a big pity. So taste was sacrificed here for how the olives look.
Of course the big Olive Companies in California will try to convince you other wise. But those who have tasted the “real natural” olives from Greece or Italy know better!


And oh, since our visit to Lesvos the Kolovi olive is my favourite, closely followed by the Kalamata.

For your trivia: Olives are fruits. Yes, they are *SMILE* .

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Many years ago I bought a vinyl long play record of Tony Hazzard. I was still going to school. So yes, really a long time ago.

First of all, I can imagine that specially younger people don’t know who Tony Hazzard is. Even in “The Gang” only Miranda and Jennifer knew right away who he was (Ladies, age shows :P).
Anyway Tonny Hazard is an English songwriter (born 13 October 1943, Liverpool). But when I mention that he wrote “Fox on the run” and “Ha! Ha! Said the clown” for Manfred Mann, then almost everyone knows these songs. But he also wrote for the Hollies, Andy Williams and others.

Loudwater House

Anyway, the Album I am referring has the beautiful name “Loudwater House”. I bought it at a store for second hand records in the city of Enschede. I don’t know why I bought this record, because at that time the name Tony Hazzard also meant nothing to me. I must have been 13 or 14 years old (the album was released in 1971).
Maybe it was the effort the precious owner took to protect the cover with transparent tape (which now has a more negative effect, but okay). Or maybe it was the very stylish and wonderful signature of the previous owner…

But what really made me buy the record was what I saw when took out the record to the check if it was not damaged…

Loudwater House

“Stone The Crows” was written with big characters on the paper over. Somehow these words made a big impression on me at that young age. I don’t know why. I had no idea what it really meant, but it felt as some kind of secret message.
Remember, at that time we didn’t have Google or Yahoo. Now I know that it can be an “exclamation of incredulity or annoyance”. Or that it can refer to the in 1969 formed British Blues-Rock band (I assume this is what it about).

At home I listened to the record I had bought. And right from the first moment I loved the music. And I still do! It is a kind of very relaxing rock. Good lyrics and a nice sense of humour.

But playing that record over the years so many times, did no good to the quality of the record. Specially my very old equipment was not that good and that did a lot of harm. So I started to look if there was an CD version available, but sadly I could not find anything. But to be really sure about this, I turned towards the person who would really know this, Tony Hazzard himself. So I sent him a message:

“Dear Tony,

I have a question for you 🙂.

A long time ago I have bought the vinyl long play record “Loudwater House”. I loved that album and I still do. But over the years playing that album so often the quality went really down.

So I wondered, is there ever a CD version published of that album? I have been looking around for it without any result, but that doesn’t mean anything. So I thought I ask you directly (cause who should know better as you 🙂 ).

Thank you for all those years that I have enjoyed your music.

Best regards,

To my own surprise that was within a few hours an reply:

“Thanks, Rob.

A double CD came out on Sanctuary Records in 2005 called ‘Go North – The Bronze Anthology’. It consisted of ‘Loudwater House’ plus ‘Was That Alright Then?’ plus various outtakes. Unfortunately the company closed, along with the stock which sometimes appears on eBay. In fact I had to buy a copy on eBay! It’s also available on download on iTunes and Amazon. You can also buy used (and sometimes new) vinyl copies on the internet. You can find my later work at www.tonyhazzard.com

Cheers, Tony.”

I was very happy with this fast reply.

So first thing I did was downloading the mentioned album from iTunes, so I have the music is good quality again. Next task will be looking for the CD on eBay or our own Dutch “Marktplaats”.

And oh, somewhere in the future “Loudwater House” will get a new meaning!


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