I am so proud of myself! Finally, after years of battling the nicotine monster I quit smoking. I am 250 days smoke free today and I feel good! But, but….. Last month I noticed my pants were a bit tight. I had those ugly little rolls around my bra. And my knees. Don’t talk about my knees. They were protesting very loudly every time I had to climb the stairs. Of course I could blame the menopause. Everyone knows that you gain weight during menopause. Right? The hormones are raging, the ovaries want to retire badly. That could be a well enough reason I gained some weight the last six month. It could. It could also be my metabolism slowed significantly after I quit smoking. It really could be the reason. But who am I kidding? If I am honest I know that quitting smoking is no reason to gain weight. Continue reading
I honestly believe I finally did it. After years trying to beat the habit, I finally am convinced that I made it. How I know? I passed a small group of smokers on my bike earlier today and I was disgusted with the smell. Me! I actually was relieved to know I don’t smoke anymore. As of today I quit 240 days ago and now I can’t even imagine myself being a smoker. And I was a chain smoker. I started smoking at 18. First twenty a day, then forty. During the days one was still allowed to smoke at work, I used to smoke 60 a day. Continue reading
I love books. You can’t have missed that part of me if you follow this blog for a while now. I read in phases. There are periods I only read biographies. Or thrillers. Or just fantasy. Scratch that, I will always find time for fantasy books. But sometimes I just have to read all Jane Austen books, one after another. Followed by Charlotte Brontë. Apparently I am now in a period I just want to read books that make me happy. Like the Discworld books. Furiously Happy of Jenny “the Blogess” Lawson is one of those. Just like You’re never weird on the Internet (almost) of Felicia Day. But it is not for every book that I write a review. The book, or the writer, has got to have touched me, one way or another. Matthew Norman did just that with his debut novel. Continue reading
My sister called me last week. We don’t meet often, but our telephone calls are long and almost always end with stomach aches. Of laughter. Reminiscing the old day often has that effect on us. And that is a feat if I know one! Because our childhood days weren’t all that great. An abusive father, a mentally ill mother. Ooooh, I know, you’re probably thinking, “So what? You think mine were all paradise? Think again!” And you would probably be right. But this time my sister dropped a bomb: “Momma is thinking about euthanasia.” No, I definitely didn’t see that one coming! Continue reading
I like to read. As much as I can. Online, paper, books, blogs, magazines. My Kindle is almost burnt out right now. I can honestly say that reading is important to me. Books, well written books, will introduce you to a whole new world. They will bring you in contact with people you wouldn’t have got to know otherwise. You live with them, love them, breath with them. If lucky, you sleep with them. You’re sad if they die – Dobby anyone?. Continue reading
There are some days you just want to let go. Like Gemma did in season 1 of Sons of Anarchy. I mean, some days just work against you. I’m not talking about oversleeping and finding out you’ve got a flat tire. It goes deeper than that. Like walking under the awning at work and just that moment the water lodged there chooses to run free. Right into your neck. While you’re talking to your mom on your new mobile. And when you arrive at work the new intern is right there. In the same dress you’re wearing, just two sizes smaller. And less drenched of course. Do you REALLY think I’d feel like Bridget Jones at such a moment? Hell no! Those are the days I want to let my inner-Gemma out. Continue reading
Today I received the message that Matthew Norman will be publishing his second novel. Yeah! I received his first novel as an advanced reader copy through American Book Store in Amsterdam. And they published my review in their review section in 2011. Time to dust off that review and publish it here again. Maybe even read Domestic Violets again. In anticipation of his next novel We’re all Damaged. Girls! You all should read Domestic violets. You won’t be disappointed. Continue reading
Menopause. That is something to do with hot flashes and sweating women, right? Grumpy old women? Sadly for us women, grumpy or not, the menopause transition, or the perimenopause can cause a lot more problems then just being sweaty. Just speaking for myself: I hardly ever notice a hot flash or excessive sweating. Grumpy old woman? Continue reading
I made a serious mistake tonight! And it’s one that will cost me my goodnight sleep. No amount of meditation videos can help with this. I could have prevented this of course. It would have been enough to zap further. Or read a book. Or follow my original plan for the evening: playing The Witcher 3. Believe you me: The crones in the Witcher are less nightmare material. I know, I know, I shouldn’t watch. I;m the one to get mad when a child is the victim in Criminal Minds. But channel surfing is risky business for the unsuspecting couch potato. So here I was: stuck at RTL Z. They broadcasted the documentary the Benno Tapes. I was instantly shocked by the fact that a news channel would give airtime to a convicted child molester. By means of a documentary that is nominated for the NL Award. I fell right in the middle of the docu, so I didn’t see it all. But what I saw made me sick.
It’s everyones fault, except Benno’s.
Mister Larue is not satisfied with his breakfast. It would have been fitting to show some gratitude to the monks that offered him shelter, but nothing could have been further from the truth. No, he threatens and threatens. And complains and nags. What a creepy man. He cries because it looks like he’ll be homeless soon. And now he looses all he’s built. All his social contacts. What? He lives with monks, for crying out loud! What has he built? Who are his social contacts? The only thing he does is moaning and crying. Because he is treated sooooo badly. It’s is obviously the probation officers’ fault if he abuses a child. They should have given him a better home! Really, I don’t make this up! Benno Larue literally threatens to commit a crime on television, because he feels he isn’t treated right. The mental healthcare is responsible for him hurting another kid. Because he can’t be open with his current doctor. She is too critical in his opinion. He needs someone more cuddling.
What will this do with the parents and the victims?
It wouldn’t be so bad, if this program added something to the discussion. Like how difficult it is to turn back to normal life after a 6 year jail sentence. But instead the documentary just leaves me with a bad taste. All I saw was a sorry excuse for a man, doing nothing but whining and threatening. A little man, taking no responsibility at all for his actions. At least, not in the part that I watched. I had to wonder, watching this man feeling sorry for himself: How must this feel for the parents of the victims or the victims themselves? To watch this program, I mean? Will they watch? Maybe to get some much desired answers? Or do they purposely not watch, to prevent being confronted with the face of the child molester. And what if, you’re just surfing the channels and see his ugly mug by accident? What will you do then. If I’m this angry about this program, what will this program do with the parents? I can’t bear to think about that. So that leaves me with one big question: what was the point of this program? Why broadcast it at all? If you know the answer, please let me know, because I can’t see any point to it. And that leaves me with 30 minutes I can’t get back. No matter how I’d wish.
It’s almost bedtime for me. Maybe I’ll play some Witcher, to expell some of the images I was confronted with tonight.
I assume this won’t be a terrible surprise for you, but the menopause causes more than hot flashes and mood swings. With a lot of thanks to the estrogens that are reaching their retirement, one of the symptoms of menopause is a changing body odor. So, here it goes: 10 tips for a menopause with fresh armpits. Continue reading
For someone with love for traveling AirBnB has proven a true gift. Of course I can buy packages with Expedia. And Ticketspy offers me daily a lot of attractive travel opportunities. But sometimes it feels so much better to share a home with a local. To make your own breakfast instead of joining the queue at the breakfast service. And with 60 million users worldwide, in 197 countries, I’m apparently not the only one. That’s why I want to share my three favorite places with you. Three perfect spots I wouldn’t have found without AirBnB. Continue reading
Anyone who knows me even a little, knows how important last weekend was for me. It was the one weekend that would determine the planning for the rest of the year. Could it be this year? Could we plan for the summer holiday? Book flights? Check out hotels? Because it was last weekend, on Saturday February 20 that we had our last chance at tickets for Comic Con San Diego 2016. Continue reading
The 58th Grammy Awards were awarded yesterday. And sorry, but I haven’t taken a moment to see who won. Actually I couldn’t be bothered. I didn’t even know who would perform. If you’re here because you want to know who won, this is not the place. You best head over to the Grammy Site. Nope, in this case I’ve been completely blown away by Lady Gaga, who happened to pass by in my Twitterfeed. Again! Continue reading
Daughter dear and I chose a very sad weekend in February to explore the French Ardennes. But what do you do on a rainy and cold day in the French Ardennes? It’s low season – or off season whatever you prefer – most attractions are closed and the beautiful estate we ended up in, tried to seduce us to spend the weekend reading and drinking hot cacoa. So, here are three day trips to do on a rainy day in the Ardennes. Continue reading
Het was een kort nachtje, meisjes, en ik zit de slaap nog uit mijn ogen te wrijven, maar het was de moeite waard! Het begon met Lady Gaga die de Superbowl opende met een fantastische Star spangled banner die tranen in de ogen bracht bij menig kijker. Ik hield het niet droog toen de regisseur ook nog eens de soldaten liet zien, die op dit moment in Afghanistan dienst doen. In een uitverkocht Levi stadium in Santa Clara (California) was het vervolgens tijd voor de Denver Bronco’s om tegen de Carolina Panthers te strijden. Maar als je denkt dat je tijdens de Superbowl gedurende de pauze naar het toilet kunt gaan, dan vergis je je. De rust van de Superbowl is niet – ik herhaal: NIET- het moment om naar het toilet te gaan. Al helemaal niet als de NFL heeft aangekondigd om van de 50e Superbowl een jubileumfeestje te maken. Dat is gelukt. In een 13 minuten durend live concert, komen Coldplay, Mark Ronson en Bruno Mars én Beyoncé voorbij. Kenners noemen het de beste halftime show EVER. Ik houd mijn mond verder. Kijk en geniet:
Nummers die voorbij komen:
Coldplay: “Viva La Vida”
Coldplay: “Adventure of a Lifetime”
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars: “Uptown Funk”
Coldplay: “Clocks”/”Fix You”/”Up&Up”