So now it is really official…

by Marissa on

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
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My ethnic origin

by Rob on

The result of the DNA test came in and, as I already expected I am on this matter boring: I’m 100% North and West European. No exciting branches into Africa or South America (a pity, I would have liked that). No touch of Greece (now that would have been a real bonus, but alas). Just West and North Europe, meaning The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and France.

So the stories about Gipsy blood from South Europe in our family line? Not correct. Fully disproven now.


This is what is said about the North and West European ethnicity:
“The population of Northern and Western Europe mainly includes German, French, and Dutch people. This region has been influenced by significant historical events including the formation of the Catholic Church, the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, and the Industrial Revolution. Imperial conquests and the age of colonization have spread Northern and Western European peoples across the globe, with significant populations across the Americas and in parts of Africa and Oceania. The area is the birthplace of Western culture, including innovations in art, literature, philosophy, and scientific methodology that have become standard around the world. In particular, Western Europeans take food very seriously. European culinary practices and dining etiquette are highly developed, with artisanal wine and cheese-making, pastry baking, and cooking having been elevated to an art.”

So as said, I am a boring European according my DNA.

But there was also something not so boring, based on my DNA a match to a 1st line niece, which is confirmed by the an ancestral surname (and one other that I know is in our family tree). I will disclose any names or anything alike here (yes, you know that I am a privacy freak :P). How cool is that?
And to make it even less boring, there were now 4167 DNA matches with other, more distant, relatives. Very interesting indeed.

I might dive deeper into this all. It is very interesting indeed.

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Me and my big mouth…

by Rob on

You know it when you say something you don’t really mean, out of fun… to make others laugh and have a good time. And suddenly it gets a slight bitter taste.

Many will know that Marion and I have a so called “LAT” relation (Living Apart Together). The weekends we are mostly together, but throughout the working days we are not. A good situation we both support and are very happy with.

More than 4 weeks Marion has been sleeping next to me. The nights before our vacation to Lesvos, during our vacation and the days after our vacation.
It felt good, also the “special” nights (don’t ask :P).

And all the time I was bragging about how nice it would be to have the bed for me alone again… No one to bump into, all the spaces, blablabla…

And now the vacation is done and all returns to normal.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to change anything in the way Marion and I are living…. but the bed is suddenly very empty. Me and my big mouth….




(Source photo:

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by Rob on

SilverIt is not that I have many silver items in my house. Not at all I would say. Just 4 and those are on the photo in this article.

The little pig was a gift for the customers of the company I work for (although the company has now different owners),
The other three items have more value to me. They belonged to my mother and I can remember that they were gifts for mothers day. So yes, they are kinda special to me.

Now I have been told that it not good to polish silver too often. So in that way I am taken really good care of my silver things. I mean, when I walked this afternoon through my living room I suddenly noticed that they were not shiny any more, but looked really grey. I realized that this was moment to polish them.

I can remember that my mother always used something called “Silvo” to polish her silver. So I went to the local supermarket and to my pleasant surprise this silver polish is still available.
I also can remember that this silver polish had a very strong scent. So I decided to do the polishing on my balcony and that was a good decision, because the scent was everything but pleasant.

Now, 30 minutes later, the silver statues are all bright and shiny again!

But I am very afraid that somewhere in the future there will be a day that I suddenly wonder when these silver statues all turned grey instead of shining brightly!

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For us Easter is always a moment to relax. Maybe with a close friend as Sanne, but no big crowds. In our every day life, Marion and I are often surrounded by quite some people. So some days as Easter are perfect to be for a little away from that. This year we have even chosen to be just with the two of us.

So we took this morning a long and enjoyable breakfast. We spent almost 2 hours at the breakfast table. Talking, laughing, enjoying the good food (see the photo at top of this article with al the nice food). Both of us just one egg, we both don’t like eating a lot of eggs as some people do with Easter.
And of course we were not eating all the time. As said, most of the time we were talking and enjoying tea or coffee.

So really time for us.

Easter flowers

I do know that Easter is for many Christians an important festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, described in the New Testament as having occurred on the third day of his burial after his crucifixion.
And that is perfectly fine with me. As said, as long one respect that someone believes other things that are not in line with you own believes and can live and act in full freedom to his/her own convictions (within the laws and such of course), then I support freedom of religion.

But, as yesterday on a forum, someone claims that I should be not allowed to celebrate Easter because I am an atheist, I will explain calmly that Easter originally had nothing to do with Christianity, but it was the celebration of Eostre, who was the pagan goddess of fertility. The rabbit was her sacred animal and the egg the symbol of rebirth. And there we have it again, Christians use very pagan symbols for their celebrations and that is something that is not allowed according the bible (Not that I care, it is their bible. Not mine).

My point? Very simple… every one should celebrate Easter in their own peaceful way!




(Credit photo’s: Rob)

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Rob and Marley

by Marion on

Rob and Marley
Today I found this photo of Rob and Marley on my private laptop. Some time ago Rob made a backup of some old photo’s on my laptop (with my permission). That backup is still there and it was fun to look through those photo’s. And one of these photo’s was this photo of Rob and Marley.
Marley was Rob’s horse. Rob told a lot about Marley (Marley was from before the time I got to know Rob). Marley was big (1m76 on the withers), proud and stubborn, honest and a good sense of humour (as can been seen on the photo).

And look at Rob! Not as grey as he is nowadays. And his belly slimmer! I think this photo must be over 15 years old. And yet, I don’t want Rob any different as he is nowadays, as he is now he is “my Rob”.

Marley died in a terrible way. Most likely scared by fireworks close to his stable he pranced in his stable, hit his head against a wooden beam which caused a cerebral fracture, which was fatal.

Even with the sad story about Marley, I like to see these old photo’s. They tell stories about Rob’s life from the time before I got to know him. And by these photo’s Rob shares his memories about them with me and that is very nice (although there are also bad memories and experiences).
Luckily there are many more old pictures in this backup on my laptop *SMILE*




(Credit photo: Rob, private collection)

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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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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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I am ready for skating!

by Marissa on

Skates / Skating
It seems that this is the coldest November that we have since 20 years. And yes, this evening on my bicycle from my work to home I felt freezing cold.

At home I turned the heating a bit up and the warmth spread through my room I started the feel comfortable again.

Then I realized that when the weather would stay like this, soon the ice would become thick and strong enough for some real serious skating. So I after dinner I went up to the attic to get my ice skates. Last time I used them I stored them clean and in good condition away. So all I had to do was to remove the dust and polish the leather. The irons were still very nice sharp, so no worries about that.

When I placed the ice skates in the shed, ready to be picked up when I need them, my father smiled and gave me a big hug saying: “Clever thinking, deerneke. I will do the same tomorrow”.

Back in my room I also made sure that some very warm clothes are ready to grab for when the big moment is there!




(Credit picture: Public domain, see Free Cliparts & All Archive)

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