My real diary

My real diary.

I’ve got a diary, a real diary. A square note book with a spine so that I can turn the page over 180 degrees, this enables me to write neatly and with ease – on the lined paper.

I love my real diary: it lives in my handbag and it travels with me where I go. On the lines are words. Words of things that come to mind, like a place I want to visit or a person I need to contact. Maybe some special gin I think of or a movie I should see; a café that I heard about and like to explore. And goals, I write down goals that I aim to achieve; I make a note of a word that I hear yet not recognise: things I need to google. I write it all down, within the lines with my special pen. Once in my real diary, all my thoughts are safely stored for a later date, when I open my diary to read what I wanted to remember.

During the year my diary, my real diary, becomes a kaleidoscope of words, thoughts and sentences, references and quotes I hear along the way.

The only entries my real diary doesn’t have are my appointments. My appointments go into my smartphone. I plan, arrange, invite and share my appointments on my iPhone. Once the time and day of the appointment have passed, the screen shows a grey reminder of the details before they eventually disappear.

But my real diary is an overview of spontaneous thoughts, book- and CD titles, names of people I meet, gift ideas for loved ones, anything that moves me is written down in this book: a collection of inspirations. Those entries stay in my diary so that at any given time, I can flick through the 52 and some pages.

The entries don’t get binned or deleted: each entry in my real diary is a reminder of what moved me on a particular day in a particular year. A bundle of thoughts, my thoughts that become memories, memories that over years I enjoy to read again and again.

And that is why I’ve got a real diary.

1 January or New Opportunities

Regardless the year, I love 1 January.
It’s 8.00 am on 1 January. I have just enjoyed FaceTime sessions with my nephews in the Netherlands, who gave me a lovely and noisy run down of their fireworks activities. I also spoke with my octogenarian parents while they were watching the firework displays in Rotterdam from their high rise apartment.
Everyone sounded happy and excited; we all exchanged wishes for health and good times in the year to come.
What a wonderful 1 January tradition this is – wishing each other prosperity.
That, however, is not the only reason that I like 1 January.
I also like 1 January as it is the annual opportunity for betterment, an almost tangible chance of making better what wasn’t quite right in the year gone.
Over the years I have learned to not any longer make a list with resolutions as those lists lost their UseByDate nearly before the ink had dried. No, these days I have a general idea of how I’d like to adjust what I didn’t quite achieve in the previous year.
And the adjustments are predominantly focused on relationship (also with myself) and health: spiritual and physical well-being. With those two elements taken care of, life becomes and stays more enjoyable.

Looking back at the past year I feel confident that I am on the right track and now it is a matter of staying focused and continue believing in what I have achieved so far.

I am looking forward to the year to come; bring it on 2018!

New Chances

My perfect world

For one and a half hour every morning I live in a perfect world. The sky is blue above me and the autumn sun is warming up a new day – a new day that feels full of promise.

In this perfect world of mine, a car stops and waves when I wait to cross the road and the council worker wishes me a good morning while the builders along the path stop and say: “g’day, you’re back!” With a spring in my step I turn left and smell the grass while I softly sing simple songs. I watch the majestic swans, the wobbly ducks and sometimes I watch the pelicans landing on the water, still and clear as a mirror’s surface. I sometimes stop on the path and joggers pass me by, bicycle riders veer around me – not a word of irritation that I am in their way; a perfect world.

A small nod of the head, only recognized by those in the know; a glance, eye contact and a smile for acknowledgement.

I live in my perfect world when I take Jack in his stroller for our daily walk.


Perennial Faves: How to Think Up Good Comments

Perennial Faves: How to Think Up Good Comments.

I really enjoyed this article. The only thing that I would like to add in relation to leaving comments is to be always positive and to never offend. A respectful disagreement could start an interesting conversation. Also, I find that if I read about a subject expressing a different view than my own, I try to spend time and think about the opinion expressed. Most blogs can be an addition to your own way of thinking and/or writing.

Time flies or Living your life to its full potential

Hotham River

  Boddington along the Hotham River

The other day we drove back from the Stirling Range where we had spent a few days with our friends. On the way back home to Perth, we came passed the Boddington sign, a 120 minutes drive South East of Perth along the Albany Highway. We turned off for a visit to this sheep farming- and gold mining town.

In November 1986 we were newly married and we moved from The Hague, the Netherlands into this sleepy Australian country town along the Hotham River. With open eyes and an open heart I threw myself into the country life, knowing full well that I had to earn my place in the tightly knit community. We enjoyed some very good years but in April 1989 we left Boddington to be relocated to another Australian town at the other side of the country.

Years later we moved back to the West and whenever we had the opportunity we would nip into Boddington, or visit the annual rodeo there. On those occasions we always drove passed our “old house”.

So last Friday we drove into Boddington and we stopped again at the house where we had lived the first three years of our marriage, the first three years of our Australian life. While we parked opposite, the current owner, whom we know well, arrived with her two grandchildren. It was a very warm welcome that she gave us and she invited us for a cup of tea. Hesitantly we walked inside and shyly we looked around. After a bit of encouragement, I relaxed and showed our friends around: this is were we lived and through there you will find the formal lounge. And over there, that glassy area, is the atrium where ekidnas kept us awake at night.

An hour later we left this beautiful house on the hill and we continued our trip back to Perth. My heart was full with memories and an feeling of panic overwhelmed my thoughts. Twenty nine years since we moved to Australia, twenty five years since we left Boddington – so long ago yet it felt like it only happened last week. Where had time gone? Unexpectedly that confrontational question crept up – what had I done the last twenty nine years?

I rested back in the car chair and I closed my eyes while hundreds of pictures went through my head like a slide show gone viral. I  wondered had I lived my life so far to its full potential?  With eyes still closed I concentrated on this question. After a while an easiness got hold of me, I relaxed and I opened my eyes. I looked out over the road ahead of me: silence, not another car insight; the blue skies above me and my soulmate next to me. I felt contentment – yes, I have a very good life and yes, I live my life to its full potential. How lucky am I?

Mad Max meets the Circus or Why I love PIAF

Copy right NoFitState This photo is copied from NoFitState website.

Bianco, a show by NoFitState, where Mad Max meets circus: a bunch of young, strong girls and similarly aged chiseled boys who climbed like monkeys under and over scaffold-like props. These props were removable objects standing in the middle of Le Grand Chapeau while we, the audience, stood in a big circle and watched in total awe.

After every act the audience was gently directed to make space for the props coming off and for the new ones to come into the ring. While all the amazing acts were executed, the band played exciting or soulful music.

The energy, the rawness, the no pretense of this show in combination with the excellent live music made this show a better circus experience than Cirque du Soleil ever was for me.

Art, an emotionally stirring experience. Pablo Picasso once said that the purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life of our souls. Reminiscent of a vibrant Fringe World Festival and now at the end of PIAF, the Perth International Arts Festival, I believe that Picasso hit the nail on the head.

And this to me is the importance of PIAF; this Arts Festival is an opportunity, an invitation almost, to see performances we normally would not choose to see, or rather, performances that would not come to town. However, at the end of a hot summer, all the outside bars and eateries that are especially set up for the festival, are an encouragement to go out and to explore art. The festival creates the opportunity to discover for ourselves what art (form) we like but never knew we did.

Obviously, sometimes we miss but mostly we hit and surprise ourselves. Honesty requires me to admit that occasionally, a pre-show anxiety creeps up in me and I look for excuses not to go – thank goodness that my excuses are weak: not one show of the many we have seen over the past few years have disappointed. And, if a show doesn’t surprise me, delight me, or move me, it is thought provoking – but never boring. Although …

This season I attended one show that took me completely out of my comfort zone: all I could think of was “avant-garde, this is pure avant-garde”. Yet, although I found the performance totally inaccessible, at the same time I realized that I was watching a class act with the best musicians supporting the best artist in his field. What a chance to experience this!

And now it has all come to an end for another year.  But in November, after the program launch, we will eagerly bend over the program to read about, to discuss and to select new shows, new art, new experiences.

For 2014 however, the festival is over …

My Thermo Man #1

Are you happy with your thermomix? What do you use your thermomix for?  A thermomix? Just a dust collector, isn’t it? Oh wow, you’ve got a THERMOMIX! Yes,I have heard it all.

So what is it with a Termomix?

It must have been three years ago now that I attended a Thermomix demo at my friend’s: I saw its potential and I realized that I wanted one so I got one.

Beautiful dips, healthy dips, special dips, new dips, more dips. And all this with the minimum amount of washing up. But how many dips, and soups for that matter, jusitfy $1900? So as of this week I am going to regularly use my Thermomix, fondly nick named Thermo Man, and on an irregular basis I will update my blog to share my experience.

Disclaimer:  I have no interest in Thermomix other than finding justificaiton for having one.

That distance, that sometimes unbearable distance.

On our way to Wave Rock


She has gone back home; the lingering fragrance of her perfume. Am I sad? No, I am not sad at all!

I am satisfied and I am happy with the time we spent together and I am also happy to see how this holiday positively affected her.

For three weeks my sister travelled through Australia by herself: looking around, discovering the country, discovering herself. And when she came back to Perth after her travels, she treated us to her fascinating experiences, her observations and her analytical conclusions.

No, I am not sad and neither am I upset that she has left but my goodness, her absence hurts so badly.

I think and I ponder. Living in Australia means living with this constant distance. The distance between a mother and her daughter, between sisters and brother; living in Australia means living without my loved ones.

Living in Australia means taking my loved ones back to the international airport to see them go through customs and to be left alone, again.  And when I wonder if living in Australia is worth this pain I say “yes” it is, of course it is, I would not wish it any other way.

I once exchanged my country of birth for this sun burnt, endless country called Australia at the other side of the world; it was the best I ever did.  And with that move to Australia came a void that will always linger in the back of my mind, a pain that sits on the bottom of my heart, a missing that hides in the pit of my stomach. The separation from my family, especially now that my parents grow older, is sometimes unbearable but it is the price I pay for following my heart, to move to Australia, my chosen country.

My sister has gone  home and her plane flew over the back garden while B and I drank white wine in the night. I remember how she said to have her own room in Australia and how she will return to that room; so no farewell just see you again.

She is leaving

She is leaving

That distance, oh that sometimes unbearable distance.

Tomorrow morning I will walk around the lake without my sister and the missing of her will cut through me like the sharpest knife but what can I do?

My sister's plane

My sister’s plane

There is nothing I can do but move on as life goes on; the hurt will fade whilst the memories and the photographs will stay, forever.




Baby cot, bibs and Renault Koleos

Yesterday Barrie bought a second hand Renault Koleos, at auction! and, he is very proud and excited as he entered a totally new, predominantly boys’ world.

This boys’ world is totally different from the young parents’ one, the other totally new world that both of us entered two weeks ago. The mind boggles when entering a joint like “Babies-R-Us”.

It all happened when Greg, Barrie’s eldest son, visited us at the end of January to be with his father when the latter turned 70. As Greg and his family, Angie and baby son Jack are moving to Perth at the end of March, Greg used his time here to prepare for their arrival. So off we went to Babyland, Baby Target and the earlier mentioned Babies-R-Us. Initially Barrie and I walked like lost souls through mini items with adult price tags.

Shopping doneAs Greg had a shopping list longer than my weekly supermarkt one we spent a fun time amazing ourselves about the organic foods, the accessories and matching bits and pieces for a year one old. No wonder a child costs from 0 – 18 years upto $1,000,000!

After Ange had approved the cot that we had choosen – Greg sent her the pictures through his phone and within 10 minutes Wingrave had given approval – we went home to take the measurements. When Greg and Baz went back the following day, the sales were over and the favourite cot was $250 more expensive, consequently no cot was bought. Less than a week later another sale was on and Barrie and I found and bought a similar one.

Cot to be assembledThe new cot is now comfortably waiting to be assembled.

Talking amongst ourselves we all agreed that it would be very helpful as The Family, upon arrival in Perth, had their own car: they will have enough to organise in way of Medicare Cards, enrolling  at Town of Cambridge, fixing up appointments with GP, potential employers not to mention toddler meeting places. Therefore Barrie “offered” to look around for a car. No, for an SUV. – really any excuse to do car orientated things with Gary.

Last Monday Barrie and Gary left for the car auction, a wholesale place and John Hughes car yard in Vic Park. After it appeared that Barrie was unable to get the price down on a Kia he had spotted at JH, he & Gary decided to make a bid on the Renault. Consequently, on Tuesday Barrie went back to the auction place to register himself and yesterday he successfully made a bid on the Renault; today we are picking the car up.

First buy at a car auction

Summarizing – since 30 January we are now confident grand parents on a mission in any baby shop while Barrie is scheduling visits to the Manheim’s car auction place to pick up  run around cars for a very low price …..


At Manheim’ Auction, Barrie is now registered client 951

Oma is a member

Needless to say that I registered for the Babies-R-Us VIP Club Membership


On 8 february I wrote: I have just renewed my subscription – upto February 2017!

Followed twelve days later by:                                                                                                         After I wrote the above words down I kept making notes on subjects I thought would be fun or interesting to share – and as per usual, time slipped through my fingers.

However, today, 20 February, I received notification that Marlissa had started a block and I enjoyed reading it that much that I immediately continued mine. So today, 20 February I made a third (last and successful) attempt to regularly write a blog.

All good!