New year

We wish you a most wonderful 2016!

by Rob on

In the New Year, let’s resolve
to get less stressed, upset, anxious
about things over which we have no control.
Lets have a narrower focus on our lives,
loving and helping our family and friends,
making our community a better place to live,
to create peace and contentment.

In the New Year, let’s resolve
to pay less attention to depressing stories
on TV, in magazines and newspapers,
and to stop focusing on what we want
that we haven’t got,
instead of appreciating
the many blessings we do have.

In the New Year, let’s look for the good.
We may have to search
through a mass of negative media,
but the good is there,
all around us.

We wish for you a New Year filled with good,
engulfed in serenity and happiness!

Marion and Rob.

ps. The peom is not written bij us, but Marion knew it already for a long time

The picture above the poem is made on the beach of Eftalou where many refugees arrive on Lesbos.
The picture below was made during the New year of 2014.


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A New Year’s Resolution

by Rob on

The party was wonderful, but sadly over again. And so now it is 2014… a whole new year ahead!

After a small breakfast Marissa, Jennifer, Miranda and Richard went on their way back home again. Of course they want to spend some time with the friends and relatives too. Great people as they are they made sure that we were not left behind with a big mess over here. So we can start to enjoy our January 1st.

So 2013 is gone and belongs now to the past. Was it a bad year? No, good and nice things happened. But there was one shadow in 2013, that specially had its influence on the second part of the year. And that was the accident I had end June and where I hurt my left foot badly.

In the beginning I had to move around with two crutches. That was for me a complete disaster. At that time I had to eat in the kitchen, because I was not able to bring the plate with food to the dinner table. Later on I learned some tricks to do things better, but it all was still very inconvenient. And real cooking was not possible. I have no problem with a microwave dinner every now and then, but not every day.
Things got a bit better when I could walk around with one crutch, but still it hindered me a lot in doing things as I wanted to do them.
What did hit me very hard was that, after making so much progress in the good direction, I slipped and fall on my way home from work and had to walk with two crutches again. To be honest, that big step back broke me emotionally and was very bad for my mood (and yes, I am very good at hiding that). Anyway, I got over that again as well.
Well, after all these months I am walking without crutches again and that feels good. My foot is still not fully recovered. Walking long distances is still a problem, but it is getting better and better again.

Thing was, that this all made me very immobile. It was hard to go to do things and go visit places. I have been only to 2 or 3 concerts in 2013. The places I have been to are very limited. And that I consider the big down of 2013 for me.

So I have for 2014 just one New Year’s Resolution: Go out and do fun things again. Go visit concerts. Make walks through forest, dunes and along beaches. Visit exhibitions and museums. Go to places worthwhile seeing…. and of course, making much more pictures again as I have done in 2013.

And with Marion at my side and having good friends as Sanne, Marissa, Richard, Patrick, Miranda, Jennifer and many more around me, 2014 must become a blast again :-)

For everyone: Make 2014 a good year and have a great time out there!!!!


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Life is there for… 2013!!!

by Rob on

And then suddenly it is 2013…

Last year I had basically only one new years resolution and that was not to throw as much food away as I used to do. I really managed to do that.
I take a bit more care of the amounts of food I buy. Which can be a bit hard at times, because mostly through out of the week I only need to buy food for one person and many things are not available in packages for one person (weird as you realize how many singles there are nowadays). Sadly you can not put everything in the freezer and apart from that, my freezer is pretty filled up.
I try to save things I used for a dinner and are left over to use in other things I will prepare. Some times that works, some times that doesn’t. But the amount of food that I have to throw away really dropped and that is a good thing.

Without any doubt I can say 2012 was a good year. Nice and good things happened. For Marion and me not many real bad things occurred. They only real sad thing that I can remember is the passing away from Marion’s aunt in March. Apart from that, we went to visit nice places and did a lot of fun things. And I think I can say that our relation with all its strangeness (according to some people) has become even more solid.
Our deeply valued friendship with Sanne has even become stronger, against what all doom thinkers predicted. And yes, I haven’t forgot your hateful words… or were it words of jealousy? Whatever, I am happy with this friendship. Sanne has proven to be a good friend who is there when needed, always willing to help, loves to do fun things and shares interests as chess and photography.
My photography hobby has been taken to a new level since I bought a new camera (the Nikon D300s). I hope to be able to buy some nice lenses to it, but then again, there is still so much more that I want and/or need… and it all costs money :P. Anyway, I made nice pictures at the Hortus Botanicus (Amsterdam), at the different dunes and beaches around here (Heemskerk, Castricum, Wijk aan Zee, Zandvoort) including one time with heavy storm, “Forteiland” (IJmuiden), Bad Bentheim (Germany), Leipzig (Germany), Scheepsvaart museum (Amsterdam) and many other places.
And experimenting with black/white photography, which I recently started to do, is a lot of fun. Another part of this hobby that I share with Sanne and Marion. Much appreciated!

Yes, all with all 2012 was a good year.

There is one thing I hope to be able to keep up, my refusal to judge people because of a group they belong to. And with group I mean race, origin, religion, reputation, political background. sexual preference and so on. I always try to judge the individual person and not “the group” he or she belongs to. It is so easy to blame a group, while maybe just a small part of that group is really acting against your opinions or what is acceptable for you.
As people may know, I don’t agree with religions (and yes, I have turned into an absolute atheist). Specially the Catholic Church often “makes my neck hair raise” (not sure if that is English expression at all :P), but that doesn’t mean I dislike every catholic out there. Far from that, I know catholic people I respect a lot. But this demands a certain respect from both sides and luckily that happens a lot with common people.
So when I meet someone out on the street, I will not judge this person on his race, religion or the other things I mentioned before. I will judge that individual on my personal experiences with that person.
Yes, this does mean that at times I run into a stone wall. But on the other side, I got to know some awesome people because of my way of acting in this and that makes it worth while.
I think this is recently a bit more in my mind because a discussion I had with someone about this. But this is not a new years resulotion, it is just the way I am :-).

I want to work more on my blog again, that I have done the last months a little less than normal. But then again, I had always those periods that this happened. So no real new years resolution there.

So in the end I think my only real new years resolution will be not to write 2012 when I mean 2013 (and normally that happens a lot to me during the first month of the new year) :-).

A very good 2012 errrr… 2013 to all of you!!! *WINK*


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Farewell 2011… Hello 2012…

by Rob on

So at the end of the year it almost custom to look back at past year and pondering a bit about it all. Overall I can say that has been a good year, which doesn’t mean that no sad or bad things did happen.

Most sad thing that happened this year is of course that my mother passed away April this year. It is something that is still often in my thoughts.

What was a strange emotional experience was the funeral of my mother on Friday 8 April and that I signed the next Monday the papers to buy the apartment that I was renting already for about a year. This Monday was 11 April. This date was chosen a bit with a reason. It was the my birthday of my father who already passed away many years ago. I thought that my mother would like that idea as a little respect towards my father. I have spoken with my mother about it and she indeed liked this a lot, not knowing that she would not live through that day herself.
It was here that Sanne came with a comforting thought. She said that I was the only one of my mothers children that was not settled down completely. My brother and sister were married, found a place to live and even have their own children. Sure, I had Marion at my side. Found a good job. The only thing missing was a place that I could call really my own. With the appointment for signing the mortgage-papers and the property transfer of the apartment to me I was settled down as well. And that was, according Sanne’s thoughts, that everything for my mother was good now. All her children had found a place in their lives. My mothers work was done…
Neither Sanne or me know if this all is true, but it is sure a comforting thought and one that I still carry with me…

So yes, this year I became the owner of an apartment in the town of Heemskerk. I have to admit that before moving here I thought that Heemskerk was somewhere in the province of Groningen.
It is not very big apartment, but more then enough for 1 (some times 2) persons. After staying more then a year in a room in Amsterdam, it is good to have a place of my own again (but not a bad word about the room in Amsterdam, the kind landlady always made sure everything was okay. And it solved for me during that time a big problem).
I really like the apartment. It has a wonderful wide view over this part of the town of Heemskerk. On a clear day I can see on the horizon the cranes of the Amsterdam harbour. In the evening it is a wonderful display of lights.
There is a nice balcony where you can sit in the summer enjoying the nice weather. I find important to be able to go outside and with this balcony it is possible to sit outside… have there lunch or dinner… read a bit… or just enjoy the view and the weather.
There has things to be done to the apartment. And most important is a new kitchen, but as what I want is very expensive. So I have to safe money for that.

Most important of course is my relation with Marion. It seems impossible to me, but it is getting better and better. With the passing away of my mother, she showed very clearly that she is also there for me in bad times. It was a great comfort to have her at my side during that time.
And I know that in the eyes of some people the relation we have is weird, but more and more it proves that this is for both of us the best. Committed to each other and yet room to be independent and freedom to move around (to avoid confusion here, we don’t have an so called “open relation”… in this relation we are committed to each other).
For me (and I know this goes for Marion as well) it’s like a puzzle where more and more pieces find a fitting place. And it is wonderful and great pleasure to work together to on this (maybe never to complete) puzzle.

The days out with Marion we also very enjoyable. Burgers Zoo (where we went together with Sanne) was great. And so where our visits to Maduro Dam and Madame Thussauds (among others). Our trips here in the neighbourhood to Uitgeest, Zandvoort, Castricum, Haarlem, Amsterdam and such were also very nice.
Of course I have to mention Cirque Stilleto this year Januari in Haarlem (with Ellen ten Damme). It was my way to say thank you to Marion for those nice years together. And in August we saw Ellen ten Damme again in “Het Concertgebouw” in Amsterdam.

Work is also going well. Still enjoy a lot to work in the team where I am part of. Maybe for next year we should have a little more team events again. Would be nice to have as group some fun again outside of the company as well.

This year I also bought some nice things as a new computer (a real speed monster) and a very nice Pioneer media-set (BluRay player and speakers included). And I continued to decorate my apartment and that is of course a job that will never finish.

As I already said, overall it has been a good year. And I feel positive about the coming year…

So all the best wishes for 2012!!!!


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