Friday, December 31, 2010

Last post of 2010!

The last weeks I haven't been posting much. Don't worry, I'm still here! I've been busy with some major issues in my life. I won't beat around the bush... In a very sneaky way the eating disorder monster found its way back into my life. I hate to admit it, but it's true. Good news is I'm fighting back with all I've got! It is hard, but I'm more determined than ever to get rid of it once and for all...
Another big decision: I decided to try a life without anti depressants. They've helped me in the past and I'm glad they did. After I forgot them for a week (yes, really forgot!) and didn't even really notice it I decided to give it a go. So you see... major issues...
This morning I walked a labyrinth on a foggy beach and it was magical! The fog in my head is slowly clearing away. It will take some time until the ad remainders left my body completely. I asked some guidance in the labyrinth.The answer was clear enough: have faith! So that's my intention for 2011...

To all of you: blessings and all the best for 2011. May your best day of 2010 be your worst in 2011! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For Ron

Our love started off on rocky ground
But together we stood tall
Because the love we found
Can really conquer all!

If it wasn’t for you
I wouldn’t be here
The reverse is also true
We just need each other near

Together we are strong
Two halves of one heart
Friends, lovers, soul mates all along
A bond never to fall apart

All the words in all the books can not describe my love for you
So it will take all of my life and more to prove you that it’s true


Today is our wedding anniversary, we got married 15 years ago. We are together for 24 years though. I remember that beautiful day back in 1995. Very cliche perhaps, but it really was the happiest day of my life...

Each day I love you more
I love you more than I did yesterday
But less than I will do tomorrow

Monday, December 06, 2010

BBC Booklist

I encountered this list again (on Facebook) and finally decided to see how I did and post about it. :)

So the BBC (anno 2003) believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here. Bold the ones you've read, and italicize the ones you've read parts of but didn't finish.
  1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (my all-time favourite book!)
  3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
  6. The Bible (Roman Catholic school and upbringing)
  7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare (yep, all of it!)
  15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
  17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
  18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
  24. The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  25. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  26. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  27. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
  28. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
  29. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
  30. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
  31. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
  32. Emma -Jane Austen
  33. Persuasion - Jane Austen
  34. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
  35. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
  36. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
  37. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
  38. Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
  39. Animal Farm - George Orwell
  40. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
  41. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  42. A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
  43. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  44. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
  45. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
  46. The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
  47. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
  48. Atonement - Ian McEwan
  49. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
  50. Dune - Frank Herbert
  51. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
  52. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
  53. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
  54. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  55. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
  56. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
  57. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
  58. Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  59. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  60. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
  61. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
  62. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  63. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
  64. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
  65. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
  66. Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
  67. Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
  68. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  69. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
  70. Dracula - Bram Stoker
  71. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
  72. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
  73. Ulysses - James Joyce
  74. The Inferno - Dante
  75. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
  76. Germinal - Emile Zola
  77. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
  78. Possession - AS Byatt
  79. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (still read it every year)
  80. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
  81. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  82. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
  83. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
  84. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
  85. Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
  86. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
  87. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  88. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
  89. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
  90. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
  91. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
  92. Watership Down - Richard Adams (love it!)
  93. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
  94. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
  95. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
  96. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
  97. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
  98. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Not 100 because in the original list there were several Harry Potter books, now it's one. The winner was The Lord Of The Rings and I couldn't agree more!

Wow, I got 70 out of 98! I didn't read all of them in English, but also in Dutch of course. I always try to read a book in the original language if possible (mostly English, some German and French).

How did you do??

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Disneyland Paris

Thursday Ron, Joke and I returned from a 4-day/3-night stay in Disneyland Paris. We had a fabulous time! Because of the snow and x-mas decorations it was a true winter wonderland. So beautiful... We stayed in the Santa Fe Hotel in a simple but well-equipped room with double beds, decorated in Cars-style. A shuttlebus service was available to go to the parks.

The first day we left early, because it was a 500 km (310 mi) drive. When we arrived we moved into the room, unpacked and rested for a while. We decided to take the bus to the parks to look around a bit. Joke had been there before with Leo, so she knew where to go. The parks were covered with snow. Around 5pm the Once Upon a Dream Parade started, my absolute favourite thing to do (watch). Main Street looked wonderful. A few times my eyes filled with tears of sheer happiness. Finally there, as I've always wanted ever since the opening in 1992... My inner child enjoyed herself to her heart's content!

After an early night and deep sleep we had an early breakfast, so we could leave for the parks early too. Guests of the Disney hotels are allowed early access before opening hour. The first thing we did was Space Mountain. Holy moly, that was quite a ride! I loved it, although I was a bit unstable when I got out. Some attractions were closed because of the weather and/or refurbishing. We did all we could and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. From thrills to wonderful attractions like "It's a Small World" and "Peter Pan's Flight". It was very tiring but I walked on adrenalin! We never had long waiting times; that's the benefit of going on weekdays outside holidays. For dinner we had booked the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Great entertainment and the food was good (except for the cold potatoes).

Wednesday we 'did' the Walt Disney Studios Park. That one is smaller but also great in a different way.The absolute tophit was The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! Woohoo! Inside it looked spooky and the ride was awesome. The Moteurs... Action! Stunt Show Spectacular was abridged because of the snow, but still spectacular. It was very cold on the grandstand, so after the show we had some hot chocolate and went into the theatre to get warm again. When we had seen what we wanted, we walked to the other park again to shop and of course watch the Parade again. I bought and got some wonderful Tink-stuff! We had dinner in The Steakhouse about which I can be brief: a big disappointment, not something I'd recommend. But we didn't let that spoil our fun too much! We returned to the hotel, very tired (and Ron with painful knees) but very satisfied after another great day.

Thursday we decided to skip the parks and drive home early because the weather forecast was bad. The homeward journey was long. In France and Belgium it wasn't that bad, but in the Netherlands we fell into an early traffic rush hour. We were home around 6pm. First we picked up the dogs at Ron's sister; they were so happy to see us! I had missed them a lot, and the cats too. We ordered dinner in and talked about our adventures. What an experience, what an amazing time...

A selection of our (800+) photos are in my Facebook album "Eurodisney December 2010".