Sunday 30 September 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-24

Practicing my Greek on the ferry. I think I might stick to English for now though...

Tuesday 25 September 2018

Another one

While my parents were here, my sister and I turned two boring brown cushions into lovely and comfy cushions: my sister crocheted the covers and I fixed them. But, as I said: there wasn't enough yarn to do all four cushions, so another solution had to be found. Enter: the tweed!

I had bought some tweed while at the small craft fair my sister and I had been to a few weeks ago. Two large pieces of fabric and some left-overs in a bag. I got out those left-overs and searched for inspiration. The minute I saw the orange piece of tweed, I knew! Of course: a ginger cat.

The fabric was even a bit in a cat shape (the way I draw them anyway), so it was perfect. My mother told me which stitch to use and before long I was on my way to make a lovely cushion cover. Of course the apple tree beside the cat is completely out of proportion, but hey, the cushion is only so big... Now there is just one boring brown one left.

Monday 24 September 2018

They're gone

Well, they left last Thursday already, but since then I have been working non-stop. Apart from today when I had a course. 

So, what happened during their stay? Well, basically not that much. On Sunday we went to a local(ish) car boot sale, although it also sold a lot of cheap new stuff. If I am in the market for a carpet: definitely the place to get them. As for the car boot part: mostly tat, but good fun on occasion.

On Monday I had to go to Coleraine to get the digital tachograph card renewed. Mine was Norwegian and fast running out. Then the lady told me I should have had it done in Norway and they couldn't help me. But after a few more questions, a nice gentleman arrived, took all my paperwork and official papers (licence, passport) off me and returned a couple of minutes later saying all was okay, if I filled out yet another form, paid and he would then process everything that afternoon. It usually takes between two and three weeks to get your new card. Mine arrived within three days. Happy.

During the afternoon we visited Castle Dunluce, a ruin really, but very majestically and imposingly situated on the edge of a cliff. The weather wasn't the best: chilly and windy, but the rain stayed away mostly. Not too bad a day. In the evening we went out to dinner to celebrate my sister's birthday which was the next day.

National school
On Tuesday (ie my sister's birthday) we went to the open air folk museum near Belfast. You may have seen some photos already, as Brom had a not so nice experience there (read more here). But again, the weather was glorious and because it is term time, hardly anybody was there, giving us enough time to watch, chat and take photos. All indoor photos were taken without flash, so they might not always be the best, but that was the only way to take them. 

Rag rug. It was so dark in there, it was only the photo that showed us all the colours in the rug!
Wednesday was spent doing even less. The weather had turned and storm Ali was hitting Northern Ireland with a vengeance: branches and sometimes whole trees blocking the roads. As we hadn't yet been to my sister's place, this was the day to do it. We spent a couple of hours there, went to a lovely shop and in the evening had a farewell dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Nice! 

Inside of the Catholic church
On Thursday my parents were due to leave, but not until well into the afternoon. The day was spent (on my part) doing laundry and before my parents had even left, the guest bed was ready for the next visitor(s)! I took them to the airport in late afternoon, after which I hit the supermarket, stocking up on things that had been used during their stay. 

It was lovely having my parents over. They know now that I am doing fine. Not great yet, but fine, the great will take a while longer. My next visitor is going to be a Dutch friend of mine. However, she had this urge of jumping about on a trampoline for some reason and now has a severe back problem. Her visit might have to be postponed. Physical exercise is so overrated!! 

Dinner at the Indian restaurant
Other things coming up: Cirque du Soleil (my sister won tickets and asked if I wanted to come: duh!) and a visit to a massive craft fair in Dublin. We will probably make a weekend of it as well, staying over in a hotel and enjoying ourselves. 

All photos (apart from the last one) were taken at the Ulster Folk Park near Belfast. 

Wednesday 19 September 2018

Brom goes har har!

Coocoo Har har

Last year there was a pirate day and I so wanted to be part of it. But we realised too late and Mara didn't have time to make me an outfit. But this year Ann from Zoolatry sent us a notice like weeks ago and I told Mara I wanted to be a pirate this year! Well, I got to be a pirate and here's what happened to me...

I had been a bit naughty you see. Only a bit, but Mara says a bit naughty is still naughty! First I tried to keep a coin from Judge Gera when she came to the bank where I worked for the day.

Then I tried to have a taste of Judge Gera's donut.

She got fed up with me and had me thrown in the pokey! I tried to escape, but those bars were really  too strong for a little teddy.

When we got to court, she gave me a very stern warning to never do it again! I promise Judge Gera, I promise!!

As part of my promise I would have to tell others to be nice and not naughty!

I think next year I will be a pirate and just stay in bed!

PS: All photos taken in the Ulster Folk Park near Belfast, Northern Ireland

Tuesday 18 September 2018

Being crafty

As my parents were staying here, there was enough time to do nothing much really. So, it was spent reading, doing crosswords or doing crafts. I knit mice of course, but my sister at one point was a bit lost as to what to do. 

Well, that could be remedied. I have enough yarn and I knew exactly what I wanted her to make. I have four absolutely boring brown cushions (came with the Norwegian couch, which stayed behind) and last year I had seen some yarn and knew the colour would fit perfectly with the cushions. 

So, my sister got the yarn and then we realised that it needed a large crochet needle. Which I didn't have. Never fear though, my sister has some of her crochet stuff in my garage (to make room for me when I moved in with her) and lo and behold: a size 12 needle was found. 

She set to work and within a short time she had produced a lovely thick granny square. I then proceeded to sew it to the cushion cover. The result was perfect. She made a second one as well, which I also sewed to the cushion cover. However and unfortunately, I didn't have enough yarn for all four cushions. We (well she really) might squeeze a nice runner out of the remainder of the yarn though, which would fit well. 

For the other two cushions in the mean time I have had another idea. Seeing as I bought that lovely tweed material the other day, that might get used to make a bit more decorative cushions. Will show those if and when they are made. For now though: happy with the result and very thankful to my sister for making the granny squares.

Monday 17 September 2018

They're here.

Surfing in Portrush
On Saturday I picked up my parents from the airport and drove them home. When we got there, my sister was already waiting and helped get all the groceries upstairs. For the rest of the day we didn't do much. A bit of telly, we chatted and that was it.

On Sunday morning we made our way to a reasonably local car boot sale. There were also plenty of stands selling new stuff (usually much cheaper than in the regular shops), but in the end, none of us came away with anything. Tempted yes, but not to the extent of actually buying it.

Part of Portrush beach
And then today (Monday) I had to go up north anyway to get my driver's card sorted. First it was a no: couldn't be done, which would mean I couldn't drive at all. In which case I would have moved back to the Netherlands before the month was out. Then they realised that there might be a way to get it sorted and half an hour later, with yet another form filled out, I was good to go. The extremely helpful person would deal with my application today and then get it sorted and the card should be here some time this week (fingers crossed).

He: lovely temperature here
She: I am freezing!
Because it had taken nearly an hour, in which my parents and sister had been waiting in the car, we decided our first port of call after that was somewhere to get some coffee and perhaps something to eat. We got waylaid a bit by a supermarket (Lidl) in which I found so many things that I love, I will have to go back to the more local one very soon! But, then it was time for coffee!

Those hexagonal stones come from nearby 'The Giant's Causeway'
After our coffee it was time to do some sightseeing and in the end we landed at Castle Dunluce. It was ruined in the 17th century already, but it is still in an absolutely spectacular position right on the coast. We spent about an hour there before heading home. 

Castle Dunluce ruins
Tonight will be a birthday dinner (my sister's tomorrow) away from home. Tomorrow more plans have been made and after that: who knows?

Sunday 16 September 2018

Photo on Sunday 2018-23

Duck eggs. Bought at the large market at Nutt's Corner close to home.

Friday 14 September 2018


For those of you who are my friends on Facebook, you might have seen me wanting a hug. And I really needed one yesterday. I mean really! Nothing to do with the loneliness or the long hours or anything like that. But something to do with work. 

Let's just say my normally quiet route wasn't so quiet yesterday and after I had arrived in Glasgow I had to phone the office to give an account of what had happened. The person I phoned was extremely helpful and good, but sometimes you just need a hug!


In other news: today I worked a short shift, driving a bunch of school kids all of ten minutes to their destination and in the afternoon I drove them back again. Easy, simple and quiet. As I was home early, I could get some things done for tomorrow. Like getting the guest room ready for my parents. After a bit of deliberation, my sister and I decided to let my parents stay at my place. My sister doesn't mind driving every day, which is good, since her car holds four people okay, mine does not. 

Mind you, there were a few options about where my parents would stay during their holiday here in NI. At my sister's. At mine. One there, one here and change half way through. In the end as I said, they will be at mine, but if I do get fed up with them (ahem), I could always relocate to my sister's for the duration. It's good to have options!


Right now though, I will put myself in front of the television and take up my knitting. I have one mouse nearly complete and the other one is finished with the knitting part, but also needs to be put together. And one of those is an order I got from a lady in the office (for two)! Yoohoo!


Tuesday 11 September 2018

Mousy adventures

Several of my Norwegian friends went on a holiday recently. One of those friends (TK) was very kind to buy a couple of mice off me and one of those had taken up residence in her camper van. Which was used in said holiday. Well, that mouse definitely saw some sights I can tell you, as I got the photos to prove it.
The first photo shows several places in Norway itself, the one in the middle being the Atlantic Ocean Road, which is quite famous. The second photo shows some stops in Norway and of course some in Sweden (Stockholm being its capital of course).

Thank U for the photos!

Monday 10 September 2018


As I am still working for the coach company, I still make long hours every week. Although some changes have been made: I mainly do the Belfast-Glasgow run. Yes, they are long hours, but hopefully at some point I can get it into a rota of some sort. Or find the other job of course. 

Last Saturday I also had to do that run. When I got to the ferry terminal I already had a lot of luggage on and at the terminal even more people were waiting with luggage. Even though the coach itself was not full, the luggage hold certainly was! Because of all that luggage, I was very late getting to the ferry itself, but we made it eventually and after a little wait, we were able to check in and then drive straight on board. 

Example of the breakfast I usually have on board
On the other side (ie the Scottish side), we were late getting off the ferry, but it went more or less very smoothly once we did get on the way. You know where this is going don't you? 

Yes, if you thought trouble was coming, you were absolutely right. I knew a road was closed, but had hoped it was only during night time: it was not to be! Everybody and their aunt had to get off the dual carriageway and drive through a very busy town. I usually arrive in Glasgow at around 12.15 depending on traffic, but I finally got there at 12.55! I should have been well on my way back to the ferry again!

This is 'my' bay in Glasgow, but we had to use 54 instead as we were so late
Anyway, with the help of some passengers, we got all the luggage off in record time. The passengers themselves had been good and put all the seats back in order and had taken the rubbish out. However, there were other passengers waiting to get back on so we could get back to the ferry. We just chucked the luggage on, everybody boarded and within ten minutes I was on my way again. 

I had already phoned the office saying I would be late, because I knew I had to check in half an hour before the ferry left at 15.30. And that was tight. Very very tight! It takes about two hours to get from Glasgow to the ferry and any trouble underway would ruin it all. Fortunately the road going back was open, so we made good time. 

I had told the office my estimated time of arrival would be between 15.00 and 15.15 and could the ferry operator please keep the check-in open for me. 

My digital tachograph records everything down to the second
I need not have worried! In the end, I got to the check-in at 14.55. With a sigh of relief we got on the ferry. All very pleased of course that we had made it. Even my driving hours were not bad. Yes, I had gotten over the four and a half hours maximum driving, but only by 8 minutes, which can be explained and should not cause any trouble should I get checked up. 

I must admit though: I was glad to get home that evening though. And I certainly hope I won't have many more of those kind of days...

Monday 3 September 2018

Spinning yarns

As I told you a few weeks ago, I would be going to this Spinning Yarns festival in Antrim and yesterday was the day. My sister and I had booked a workshop as well, so we only had the morning to look around. Which turned out to be plenty time enough! 

One of the first booths we got to was one which sold tweeds and there were some lovely tweeds there as well. Dear though. So, we kept our hands in our pockets and moved on. Then we saw a woman crocheting in a very strange way. Normally you hook the needle under the yarn, this lady however was hooking the yarn over the needle, like I would do with my knitting. 

A short chat before we moved on and then spotted something. Two coasters and a little booklet later we got away. 

Mine was stripey
After that we got into a tent where they did several little workshops. We sat down and made ourselves a little lavender bag. Fast and simple. And since we had enough time and there was plenty of room, we made a felt pen as well. By the time we were finished with the pen, the tent was full of folk and we made our way outside. Lunch. 

At two in the afternoon, we made our way up to the room where we would have our workshop in rag rug wreath making. Apart from my sister and myself, there were two other ladies, so plenty of time for chats and project-photo-sharing. Of course the main aim was to make a rag rug wreath and once we all had the supplies we needed, we started. 

A bit of hessian, a pointy stick and plenty of tweed later and we had all produced a little wreath. Definitely something to do on a dreary night, since mine only took about 2 hours to produce. And you could add bows and ribbons and such to make it even more special!

Now, talking of tweed. During lunch I had realised that I would be sorry not to get any and straight after, we went back and picked some tweed. Not sure if and when I am going to use it. After all, I still have plenty of knitting yarn to keep me busy for years, Christmas fabric for the Christmas bed cover I want to make and some other stuff as well. But, it will keep. As long as manage to keep the moths away from it...

PS: no, I did NOT get any yarn!

Sunday 2 September 2018

Saturday 1 September 2018

Little Women

Beth, Jo, Marmee, Meg and Amy March*
When my sister asked whether I wanted to see a musical based on the book Little Women, I thought: why not? Even if I couldn't really imagine it as a musical. And when I found out the whole thing was performed by a local youth group, I was even less impressed! 

Of course it was a big case of prejudice, since the whole performance (apart from the first song, which I could not understand: music way too loud) was extremely good. The performers were brilliant, the girl playing Jo had a fantastic voice. There was humour, there were tears (yes, I cried) and I was very happy to have said yes to my sister. 

Next time she invites me to a show/musical by the Phoenix Players from Portadown? Yes!

*The photo was taken during the dress rehearsal by the Phoenix Players themselves.