Wednesday 27 April 2011

Of Romans and Ducks

We went to the Archeon today: an archeological themepark which shows how people lived in the Roman and Medieval times. I took my camera along and here are the results. The first photo shows a Roman soldier. I could have taken a real life model, but they kept moving about! Very annoying...

Romans liked to bathe and stuff. So, this is the resting area in a bathroom. I think...

Well, he is no Kevin Costner, but he was one of the two men trying to get kids (and me, but even though my colleague says(!) he took photos, I didn't see any proof of that) to shoot at the target and actually hit! However, they would need to gather up all the arrows after they had all been shot!

Aren't they just adorable? There was a rather peculiar smell coming from this particular area of the park though. I wonder what that was.

But the sweetest thing must have been these! Mum had a bit of trouble getting her 12-strong brood to the pond. She kept running into a wicker wall and then would step all over her offspring (who didn't seem to be any worse off).

In the end we decided to give them a hand and blocked certain routes. She finally caught on and she and her little large family made their way on the path to the pond.

They finally made their way to the pond and they all went in where the chicks stayed close to Mum while they swam off into the sunset (well, not quite, but it sounds good!)...

Monday 25 April 2011


Ah well, if they can't spell...

Sunday 24 April 2011

Day 2-5

Tower Bridge
Suffice it to say the traffic was murder in London! Oh my Godfried Bomans, I had never seen so many coaches not being able to park! Fortunately I was able to park in a spot where I a. didn't have to pay and b. wasn't crowded and c. in the shade. It was a lovely spot and when I made it to the other side of the Thames I took a Thames Clipper and raced along the river! The only time on Tuesday, since it was so incredibly busy on the roads.

Tower of London
On day 3 we went to Duxford Imperial War Museum, Wimpole Hall and Cambridge and the roads were okay. Not too much traffic and we were able to get everywhere on time. Back was the same, even though I did feel queasy by the time we crossed Dartford Bridge. Driving on the left side of the road, with the steering wheel on the left and then looking down over the railing into the River Thames: not a good thing for me! The day didn't finish that well for me though. We were nearly at the meeting point and I had to turn left with my (14 meter) coach. I was straddling both lanes so I could take the turn properly without hindering anybody when a car suddenly drove in front of me and stopped again since his light was red. I honked the horn to let him know I was not happy with his behaviour and turned left. By the time we had gotten to the meeting point I had told the kids on board to immediately walk towards their host families and not inspect the damage. The next thing I know a woman is walking up to the coach, holds out a badge, tells me she's a police woman and can I please get out of the coach! Yes, I had hit the car and it turned out to be an unmarked policecar!!!

An hour and a half, two more police cars, five more police officers, a breathalising test and a sermon later I was finally allowed to leave again! I maintain my stand though: if she had just waited for ten more seconds, we would have both been fine! Idiot!

O2 Arena
On Thursday of course the traffic wasn't any better and we had to make a change to the program in order for me to have my required 9 hours of rest. Fortunately by the time we left at night the traffic was a considerable amount less and we made good time. Until I turned into a wrong street that is and nearly got stuck! In the end I had to reverse back out (after moving a car a few meters along, sigh), turn and retrace my tracks.

Mail Box in Cambridge
Friday started off with more beautiful sunshine (we had had beautiful weather all week) and we left on time-ish. When we arrived in Dover though, we realised that even though we were on time, we would not catch an earlier ferry: it was so incredibly busy! When we finally made it to the check-in it was 11.40am and we were booked for the 12.40pm ferry. An hour to kill! However, someone liked us anyway and the next thing we know we are on the 11.50am ferry (last on) and we are leaving Dover Harbour! We drove through France and Belgium, had a couple of stops and at exactly a quarter to ten at night I steered my coach onto the school's parking lot!

What a week...

Day 1

Remember how I went to London last week? Well, I've decided to make a list of everything that could have gone wrong and tell you what actually happened!

1. Oversleep. I didn't. I actually underslept, waking up two hours before I should have, which meant I was not as rested as I would have wanted.
2. Car trouble. Nope. Car was fine, except for the radio not working, but that hasn't worked in quite a while now: we're used to it.
3. Coach trouble. Neither. The coach was fine, everything worked, not a problem there.
4. Heavy traffic towards the pick-up point. Njet, although the heron probably thought differently after he had been hit and was lying in the middle of the road trying to get up again. I hoped he was killed soon after, since it was clear he was quite hurt (and before you ask: no, I didn't stop my coach on the motorway, that would have been suicide).
5. The group was late. Non! The group was there on time, including the teachers and my teacher friend Pepperfly.
6. Heavy traffic towards Calais. Ah, now, that would be a yes. But even so we still arrived on time in Calais: an hour before our ferry was due to sail.
7. Missed the ferry. A definite yes. Two in fact! Because of those nuptials next week of Katy and Billy, customs had decided to check everything. Well, that would have been an explanation, except they didn't. They were just being extremely slow and awful and instead of the four o'clock ferry we finally made it on to the six o'clock ferry! Two hours late. Grrrrr...
8. More heavy traffic towards London. Fortunately not, I was over an hour late for my shift (15 hours maximum) as it was!
9. Got lost. I had been at this particular meeting point before, so no, I didn't get lost.
10. Children didn't do their job. Well, four of them got all the luggage off the coach and another four cleaned the inside of the coach. So I would say they did their job!

Sunday 17 April 2011

Garden and stuff

Lobelias, petunias, begonias and busy lizzies. Oh and dandelions. Those flowers have featured quite a bit over the last few days, as I've been planting them or (in the case of those dandelions) trying to remove them. And then of course I had to do the laundry as well, since I didn't have a single uniform shirt left clean. And my boss doesn't think it's very nice if I show up for a job with a dirty uniform!

So, Saturday was spent working in the garden on and off and today was spent doing laundry. But right now, the flowers are in the ground (even still some dandelions, they are like weeds :)), the shirts are all clean, ironed, folded and in my suitcase, I've got my paperwork and my camera and I am set to go. Because I will let you in on a little secret: I am going away tomorrow! Five whole days, starting tomorrow morning at 5am! And if you're wondering where I will be: well, London of course! After all, next week it's Easter!!

Anyway, I might not post as much as I do, oh, yes, I've hardly been posting at all lately, so you won't really know the difference. Ah well, I might post this coming week and otherwise I will be back next Friday (very late) and probably put my travel story on here next Saturday!

But, just so you can see (especially Carolina) how my garden looks closest to the house, I've included some photos I took today!

Wednesday 13 April 2011


I've got a sluggish feeling about me. I know I've forgotten to do something, so I keep trying to remember what it is. The thing is though, I also know I haven't forgotten to do something, it's just a feeling I can't seem to shake.

I want the whole emigration process to move a bit faster than it is right now (stand-still), especially since I will be away next week and won't be able to do anything at all.

I am waiting for the invitation cards to send out to the family for our family day in May, but it takes so long! In reality it isn't, but it just feels like it. I need them to be here by the end of the week though, since I will be away next week and won't be able (didn't I just write that?) to do anything at all.

My shoulder has been hurting for a while now, ever since I dug up the garden (who says gardening is good for you?). According to my cousin it might be something like bursitis and when I looked it up I realised it would take ages to heal! I haven't got the time for that! After all, I will be away next week...

All those things together (and work as well) make me feel sluggish and blergh and I just wish something would happen. I wouldn't mind winning the lottery or having a nice holiday to somewhere warm and quiet or both.

Sunday 10 April 2011

Little Africans

I planted 30 Little Africans yesterday in my quest to keep the housing association people very far from my garden this year! I do not want to deal with those ignorant people again and I figured if I just keep on top of it, I should be fine. (By this time both of my parents will be nodding their heads furiously and will say to each other something along the lines of "finally")

And before you all start wondering about those Little Africans: no, I didn't go to Africa to pick up 30 little children. I am not Madonna! I didn't stay here and find them in the nearest fugitive center either. I picked up 30 little Africans at the supermarket and since they are the perfect colour for the Netherlands (ie orange), I decided I would fork out the amount asked (5 euros). And then I planted them!!

For those who can identify the flowers by looking at them: well done! For those who can't: the English name is Marigold, the Dutch name is Little African...

Saturday 9 April 2011

Another week

Well, another week has passed without a single blogpost from me! Wow! And yet again, I wasn't out of the country without access to internet, I didn't break all of my fingers and I wasn't lying dead in a ditch. Instead I've been working reasonably normal hours, visiting my parents (who weren't home) and during the last few days I have been tired.

Yesterday saw me starting to work at 6.15am and I finally made it back to the lot at 8.20pm! And by that time I was shattered. The work hadn't been difficult and I hadn't done a long journey either, but still, it was really tiring. It started with a school run: quiet children who say good morning and sit down. No mess, no over excited goings on, just easy. Then I went to see my boss about my new uniform parts: the trousers were fine but too long (they're being fixed as we speak by a local tailor) and the shirts were too wide at the collar and waaaaaaay too narrow everywhere else. Whoever thought that tailored shirts were good on a woman who wears a few sizes in the plus is a moron!

Then I had to do some swimming runs and I wasn't even very grumpy this time. And last but not least I had to do the office run. Which proved to be a massive lesson in patience since an accident on the motorway had blocked all the other roads leading to (and in a lesser degree from) the motorway. I was late on two occasions and they were probably late all the time! Waiting for the last run to the trainstation my stomach started grumbling in earnest, so as soon as the last run was done I drove to a restaurant and had myself a good meal, courtesy of the boss.

Tomorrow I will tell you all about the little africans...

Saturday 2 April 2011


The last few days have been dreary. Drizzle, rain, wind and in general just blergh! But today was a different kettle of fish. The sun shone all day, the wind had died down and the temperature shot up to about 20 degrees. It was fantastic! The laundry was drying outside, the cats were outside, I bought some daisies to cheer up the garden which doesn't have much colour in it (apart from the yellow in the background) and it was just glorious.

At some point Wuppie got really interested in some bug or other, but he didn't go for it, which is quite unusual. Until I saw what it was: a big bumble bee. It's black and yellow and he's been stung in the past by bees and wasps and he must have learnt his lesson! Who said Wuppie was dumb??

I don't know what that bumble bee was about though, since it was just crawling through the grass and dried leaves. I did hear it zoom for a minute, but it never flew off. Isn't nature fascinating?