Posted in Culture/History, Photo

Monastery of Batalha

The impressive and beautiful Monastery of Batalha.


Posted in Border hopping, Personal, Poems

A Bucket Full Of Hugs


Many miles keep us apart

and how I wish

I could cross this ocean

to take care of you.

But I can’t.

In stead I’m sending

positive thoughts

loads of patience

sweet dreams

peace and quiet

and a bucket full of hugs

with love

straight from my heart


Photo: National Geographic

A bit of warmth and well wishes for who needs them. But especially for my dear friend Jules. Stay warm, stay safe!


Posted in Books, Border hopping, Guest writers, Writing

Dancing in Heaven is Dancing in Holland!

Today, after work, a parcel was waiting for me on the side table in the hallway. When I came closer, a big smile spread on my face: Christine M Grote‘s book had arrived! Dancing in Heaven made it safely across the ocean.

I threw down my purse, left the groceries at the kitchen table and gently attacked the envelop.

Look at the cute page marker:

When I opened the book, I saw this message:

With a happy sigh I closed my eyes and took a moment to mentally thank Christine for this marvelous gift.

While I’m reading it, Dancing in Heaven will be on my nightstand. And after, it will find a permanent home in my bookchest, with regular sleepovers at my friends’ houses! The story of Annie will spread across the continent.

But first it’s my turn…

THANK YOU, Christine, for sharing your words and thoughts with me, with other Dutchies, through Dancing in Heaven. For the story of your sister Annie. I feel deeply honored.

Your friend,

Related posts:

Here you can find more information on how to purchase Dancing in Heaven.

Posted in Culture/History, Photo, Technology

Citroën 2CV

To my surprise and delight, I encountered up to three Citroën 2CV on today’s stroll. This deux chevaux-vapeur (meaning ‘two tax horsepower’) was an economy car produced by the French car manufacturer Citroën between 1948 and 1990.

 It was technologically advanced and innovative, but with uncompromisingly utilitarian unconventional looks, and deceptively simple Bauhaus inspired bodywork, that belied the sheer quality of its underlying engineering. It was designed to move the French peasantry on from horses and carts. It is considered one of Citroën’s most iconic cars. In 1953 Autocar in a technical review of the car wrote of the extraordinary ingenuity of this design, which is undoubtedly the most original since the Model T Ford. It was described by CAR magazine journalist and author LJK Setright as the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car.

The Citroën 2CV was designed for low cost, simplicity of use, versatility, reliability, and off-road driving. For this it had a light, easily serviceable engine, extremely soft long travel suspension (with height adjustment by lengthening/shortening of tie rods), high ground clearance, and for oversized loads a car-wide canvas sunroof (which until 1955) also covered the boot.

The 2CV belongs to a short list of vehicles introduced in the middle of the 20th century that remained relevant and competitive for many decades, such as the Jeep, Land Rover Series, Fiat 500, Mini and Volkswagen Beetle.

These cars are called Ugly Ducklings in Holland, but I think they are adorable! When I was young, we used to have a Citroën Dyane back home, and I loved driving in it.

What do you think? Are these really Ugly Ducklings, or Beautiful Swans? 😉

Information: Wikipedia.
Posted in Animals, Personal, Photo, Six Word Saturday

Black Is Beautiful

Six Word Saturday:


Beautiful Black. At night. In Daytime.


3.30 am: wide awake
4.30 am: in car
4.50 am: arrival at destination
6.10 am: arrival of target

Yes, youngest son on a day tour to London with his school. He left in the middle of the night and arrived again in the same conditions.

I felt like a private investigator while I was waiting, but perhaps I’m reading too many thrillers. The night was gentle and the long wait was not irritating. In fact, it was relaxing to watch cats at hunt in the dark of the night, to hear birds greet the early morning, one not necessarily related to the other. In the light of a lonely street lantern the letters of my book were barely legible. When my son and his three friends (age 18) arrived, I guided them to my little car. Let’s say it was cozy inside 😉 After which I was welcomed by a warm bed to sleep in on this Saturday, April 21st.

Later today, we visited V-man’s brother, who needed help in electric stuff. While the men were busy, I could not control myself any longer and went outside. To the neighbors. Who have horses. Magnificent creatures. I absolutely adore this black horse. Her name is Pietje, the daughter informed me. Pietje is a boy’s name. But who cares when this black beauty comes strolling towards you and gently muzzles your fingers…

Black is beautiful, at night and in daytime. And especially on Saturdays!


Want to play along? All that’s necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words.


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Posted in Animals, Photo

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

Other photos of this week’s challenge at

Posted in Books, Border hopping, Guest writers, Inspiration, Writing

A Book, Dancing Across The Ocean

Christine M Grote. I met her last year. Out there, in Blogging Land, and I have been following her Random Thoughts From Midlife ever since.

I have opinions about many things, but am trying to age gracefully and not continually tick people off with them. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

I write about what is on my mind when I wake in the morning unless my mind is blank in which case I ruffle through my digital photos and slap one up.

Her posts are gentle, insightful and full of humor, writing about nature, animals, her parents and other people, genealogy, the places she visits. And about little Arthur. Her wildlife photos are stunning, some are made in her own back yard (foxes, birds, deer).

Christine wrote a book about her sister Annie, who was was permanently and severely disabled at birth, called Dancing in Heaven.

My sister Annie never outgrew the needs of an infant. She didn’t walk or talk. Our parents fed her, changed her clothes, and lifted her from her bed to her wheelchair and back  for her entire life. Although the doctors who initially diagnosed her predicted she’d have a life expectancy of eight years, Annie lived to be fifty-one years old.

Dancing in Heaven is an inspirational story about Annie’s life, death, and her significance in the lives of those of us who loved her and others who were touched by her. This memoir provides a window into my family’ s life with a severely disabled member. But more importantly, Dancing in Heaven is a testimony to the basic intrinsic value of human life.

The love Christine has for her sister is present in every word, and those words reach out to others, to me. So when Christine asked me if I wanted to receive a copy of Dancing in Heaven, I was delighted. She wrote about what happened next in the humorous post Dancing in Heaven dances across the ocean. Dancing in Heaven needs to be read – to be heard – throughout the world. And its first journey across the ocean will end in the tiny Netherlands. Awesome!

So now I’m in my hallway, keeping an eye on the front door. Waiting for Dancing in Heaven to land in my hands.

Posted in Personal, Poems



heartbeat drums at night

stirs silence into echoes 

of entangled lives


For Vman, who kick-started my heart again with his first mail, exactly four years ago.

Posted in Nature, Photo, Six Word Saturday

Dirty Hands

Six Word Saturday:


Feel The Earth Between Your Fingers

… the result of a visit to the garden center in my village. The pinkish one is called Isla Bonita (Osteospermum). And here I was, thinking it were daisies. The green bush on the right will be full of purple flowers.

Have a flowerful weekend! 🙂


Want to play along? All that’s necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words.


<< Click the button for more Six Word Saturday.