Site stats 2012

I’m pretty happy with how things worked out for my blog in 2012.

I had 297 unique visitors.
My blog was visited a total of 1162 times.
The best day had 89 views.
I’ve had 154 comments this year.
My best read post is: My love with 68 views and 9 comments.
Most of my readers are living in the US.
The people who most visit my blog live in London and (funny enough) my hometown (must be me).
Most people use Firefox or Chrome.
Funniest searches that found my blog include: “Alistair Appleton nude”, “Baby Frouk pics”, “great tits” and “adult thong”. I have no idea why they found my blog…

 

Woudagemaal

Woudagemaal

Earlier today, we visited the Wouda Gemaal in Lemmer. It’s the worlds largest steam-driven pumping station in the world still in use.Even today the monumental pumping station ensures that the people of Fryslân keep their feet dry during high water. When that happens, the ‘cathedral of steam’ pumps up over four million litres of water per minute from the Frisian ‘boezem’ (drainage pool) into the IJsselmeer.
Since 1998 the Woudagemaal is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This list includes monuments of such exceptional value, that they rank as the common heritage of humanity. Among others UNESCO calls the pumping station ‘a highlight of the Dutch hydraulic engineering’ because it shows in a special manner how man controls nature by steam power.

Steam Engine

These are just two of the many pictures we have taken. I will post more pics at a later date, when I found the best ones.

For more info on the Woudagemaal, please visit:
Woudagemaal
Wikipedia

My love

When I peek through the window and see you outside
My heart jumps.
When we are together
I feel so alive.
When I leave you behind for work or for fun
I miss you like crazy.

When I walk towards you
There’s a skip in my step.
I’m always talking to you, touch you
I love you so much.

Now that you’re slowly growing older
I dread the day we will be apart
Please let that day be far from my heart.
I love you so much dear…
You are my car!
Ford Ka

For more posts about Immortalized in Stone, please visit Dailypost.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Surprise

When I think of a surprise the first thing that pops into my mind is one morning in March 2005. Nothing could have prepared me for what I saw when I opened the curtains that morning…

The weather forecast didn’t say there was snow coming. So when I closed the curtains the night before I didn’t think they world would’ve changed so much the next morning.
I woke up around 7 AM. It was awfully quiet outside and the light was a bit diffuse. Like it always is when there’s been a nice layer of fresh snow…
I slipped out of bed and went to the livingroom. I peaked through the curtains and looked out. It was snowing quite bad. I closed the curtains again and then realised I had seen something odd. I peaked again. My eyes registered what I mind just couldn’t cope with. Our garden had disappeared. Completely!

Everything was covered in a lot of snow. I ran to the bedroom and told Jay to come and look. He looked out and couldn’t believe it either. We grabbed a tape measure and went outside, in our PJ’s. The outcome of the measuring was astonishing. 52 Cm of snow…

I turned on the radio and listened to the local news. Schools closed, roads closed, people who couldn’t get to work as their car was snowed in. People calling in with the own measurements. 25, 30, 40, even 70 Cm of snow. All over the province.
Later, the local weatherman called in to explain. The previous night a band of clouds crept up from the east and covered our province entirely. And instead of moving along it decided it liked where it was and stayed there. Releasing it’s snow steadily. Slowly but surely the ground got covered in snow, more and more snow.

So when the world woke up the following day, it woke up to a world filled with snow. A world where, suddenly, everyone greeted each other, talked to each other. Even though they had never met before. I wish the world could always be covered in snow.

For more entries for this weeks’ photo challenge, click here.

 

Hiring a removal company or not?

Last night I got linked to a lovely blog where I found this post. The author, Helen is talking about moving (she is about to move) and has hired a removal company. I replied to that post, as hiring a removal company is the BEST idea ever! Really, it is.

When we moved last year we decided to hire a removal company. We did the 3 moves before that with help of family and friends and it took ages. The last move took us 3 solid days. One to move the big pieces of furniture and two to pack, unpack and move all the boxes. We couldn’t afford to buy many boxes, so instead we packed and unpacked and then packed them again… Very tiring.

So this time we decided to do it differently. We looked into renting a small truck, but that was expensive to say the least. Not to mention there’s only one person we know with a license to drive a (small) truck and that is my dad. So if we did this, we would have to wait til he had time to help us. Don’t worry, he’d love to help, but he barely had time to do his own hobbies.
We asked 3 companies to come around and give us quotes for the move only. Packing and unpacking I wanted to do myself. The first was twice the price I hoped it would cost. I was shocked to say the least. The second was a little cheaper, but only because I said it was too much. The third was the cheapest, but still more than I hoped it would cost. Then a friend of ours told us about a different company and said they were good. So I asked them around. The quote they gave me was less than I thought to begin with, so I booked them there and then.

We had thought we would get the keys of our new house (not really new, but new for us) in October, but as it turned out, we got them in September. So I called the removal company and asked them if it was at all possible to push the date forward by 4 weeks. No problem at all.
They brought the boxes (all 60 of them…) the following day and we started packing like mad. Meanwhile we were busy in our new house, packing boxes in our old and both working. Hectic time to say the least.

boxes

Then the day of the move came. They were supposed to arrive at 8 AM, so we brought the cats to my mother’s the night before. At 7.30 AM a giant truck arrived in the tiny dead-end street behind our house. We had to ask some neighbours to get their cars out, otherwise they’d be stuck until we were gone…
There were to guys doing the move. They went through the house one time to see what they wanted first. Then one guy stood in the truck while Jay, the other guy and I were given instructions as to what the guy in the truck wanted us to bring out. Within 30 minutes all big pieces of furniture, washing machine, dryer, fridge and freezer were gone. At 10 AM everything was packed in the truck, even our bikes. The house was almost empty, just a few pieces we were adamant we wanted to do ourselves (pc’s for example) remained.

So we sat off. I remember telling them not to go through the tiny villages most GPS devices tell you to go through. They drove away while we followed. We had to stop briefly to get more water out of the fish bowl, as it was too full. And then we didn’t see them again. I drove quickly, not caring too much about any speedinglimits, in order to get close to the truck again. But they were nowhere to be seen. By the time we were fairly close to our new town we were starting to wonder where they’d gone…
Turns out our instructions weren’t clear enough and they ended up on the very small country roads with a giant truck… Must have been so much fun.

When they finally arrived, a good 20 minutes after we arrived, they were greeted with coffee and cake. They started unpacking the truck and around 2 PM everything was in the house, most of our stuff was where we wanted it and they were off for their next job.
I still can’t believe how quickly and smoothly everything went! They only broke one bookcase when it fell over. Everything else was fine.

We picked up the cats around 4 PM and that was about it basically. I can tell you, I never want to do another move. But if I have to, I won’t hesitate to get those guys in again. So much easier, quicker and less painful than doing it yourself.

So if you are going to move and have doubts if you can do it yourself, don’t! Hire a removal company. Ask a few quotes and choose whichever you feel most secure with.

Wrapping it up

2012 began on a low for us.

With a move at the end of October 2011 and many, many hours of DIY and sorting out our belongings we were shattered by December. Then, we got a phonecall. One that we’d been waiting for for quite some time. It was my dad, telling us my grandma had stopped eating and drinking.
Many trips were made to the nursing home that lovingly cared for her and had been doing so for the last 4 years. Early in the morning, on december 30 2011, her heart finally stopped beating. She was 92 years old.

My grandmother

The days that followed were frantic and filled with clearing out her room (to make space for the next person who desperately needed a secure place to live), getting the cards ready, arranging the funeral and 2 nightshifts. All of this in a festive period.

I don’t really remember much of the days between my grandma’s death and the funeral. Two things I do remember. Waking up to a card with spelling mistakes and finding out it had already been printed. And me falling asleep whilest arranging the funeral with the rest of the family.

After the funeral I felt terrible. I was so, so tired. Tought my Graves disease was acting up again. I had  quite a few appointments with my GP, only to find out my thyroid was working fine. As it turned out I had gotten the Kissing Disease. How? No idea.
It took months to recover.

Whilest recovering we had a few projects going on. My dad and my uncle came to lay down the tiles in the kitchen and hallway. Until then we’d been living on a bare concrete floor.
We wallpapered the hallway, the stairwell and the study. We painted the study, finished the flooring and instelled a desk. Finally, on March 10, our pc’s were turned on for the first time in 6 months.
The biggest project, the one we spent most time on, was the garden. We spent almost 4 months on it (and it’s still not finished). My dad came over quite a few times to Help Jay with it.
In summer we’ve spent many hours just relaxing in the garden.

Wild flowers in our garden

In July I got back to work fully. Despite still being tired sometimes. The tiredness still lingers to this day.

The last few months were frantic again, many people who needed our help with things and we have been away many weekends.

For 2013 I want a bit more time to relax. A bit more time to finish the house. We’ve still got loads to do. I want the skirtingboard going up in the livingroom, the hallway and stairwell painted and I want to start my veggie garden.
Oh, and I want a fullblown winter with lots of ice and skating!

2012-02-11 12.36.46

I hope to spend even more time on my blog. These were my top favourite posts:

1. Escape to the Country

2. Thank you mom/dad Bloggers

3. And there it is again…

 

And there it is again…

That question, that one question that I don’t like. I don’t want to answer it, as it certainly is followed by another question that I don’t want to answer.

“Do you have children?”

No, we do not have children. We don’t want children. I don’t like children. If I give this answer the previous question will be followed by:

“Or are you having problems getting pregnant?”

I haven’t got a clue. Never tried it. Why would I try to get pregnant if I don’t want kids? People seem to think that if a woman says she doesn’t want kids, there’s got to be something wrong. Either with her or her husband. It seems not possible that there are women who simply don’t want kids, don’t like kids. It’s impossible…

One time I answered the first question with a ‘funny’ answer. I told the woman who asked: “Yes, we have 4 kids. 2 cats and 2 cars.” She didn’t think it was funny. She didn’t speak to me for ages…

written in response to the daily prompt : plead the fifth  ’What question do you hate to be asked? Why?’

Christmas tree

Despite not liking Christmas trees or rather, not liking to decorate a Christmas tree due to my OCD, we bought a tree yesterday.

CHristmas 2012

I put the lights in, rearranged them over a dozen times, got the balls, rearranged those several times. Forgot to add the guirlandes, found them again and put those in as well.

I’m sure I’ll rearrange everything several times over the coming week, and when I’m finally done with it, I’ll be sick of the tree and throw it out on boxing day…