Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Into Running? Tomorrow is the Rotterdam Marathon.

Hi, all you joggers:-)
I'll let you into a secret, but don't tell anyone. Ssssshhhhht. I do not jog.

I used to, but that's 40 years ago, and jogging was not even invented then. We used to call it running, and I had to do it in school. And actually...I was pretty good at it! Long legs, long muscles, and stamina from all that cycling to and fro school I had to do every day.
Nowadays I sometimes think back to those days, when I weighed 52 kilos...sigh.

But that's not at all what I want to tell you about.
Tomorrow is the annual Rotterdam Marathon, and it draws thousands of runners and thousands of spectators and it is a festive, fun event.

And this year, 2014, it is even more fun (and rather special) for me, because my son has participated in making a promotion film about running in Rotterdam and I am bloody proud of it. The film is by wonderful Rotterdam photographer Chris Bonis. But Wibe is in the credits, hurray! I'll leave you with the link, right here.
A film about running in Rotterdam by Chris Bonis


April the Cruelest Month? Perhaps - but not when I am in my garden.

Good (Saturday) morning, garden lovers!
This is another post for you. I promised to keep you up to date with the progress of my garden, and look at it today! I am so pleased with how it looks.

We have had amazingly mild weather this winter, so all the plants are advanced in their growth, and blooming all together instead of in the normal stages. It makes it a riot of colour.

Just look at those tulips!!!
They were supposed to be planted out in planters for the big party for my kids on April 26th, well...By that time they will have bloomed themselves to bits. I'll have to think up something else. (We could have covered the roof of the greenhouse to hold them back, but frankly we were a. too busy to do that and b. we enjoyed them too much)

This is how far the tulips in the border outside have advanced. Keeping my fingers crossed they will still be in flower on the 26th... The yellow Monarda on the right is shooting up as well.

And look at the Camellia. This is a 'rescue plant', meaning we got if for next to nothing at the plant centre because it was half dead.

My herbs and rock garden plants (the remains of which we have in pots since our rock garden has been demolished some years ago to make way for the greenhouse) are coming along nicely as well.

Most of the work is done by my husband, so kudos to him!

This is where I find my peace. 
Life can be hard at times, and sometimes even more than hard. For some (to me unfathomable) reason in this family Spring is crises time, and has been for the last 20 years.
But I look at my Betula and am reminded that I am here only temporarily, that this tree we planted 17 years ago will most probably outlive me (if some future thickhead doesn't cut it down) and that this is the way it is. Nothing more, nothing less.
This is it.

Have a lovely day, you!!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Juicing: Do You Take it Seriously?

Hi, everyone.
This is a post about cancer.
All my grandparents died of it, my step-Dad and Mother-in-Law died of it, my Mum has survived it 4 times so far, and the chance that I will develop it is 1 in 5, I am told.
Besides this not so very positive fact, I know so many people who either have had it, or are suffering from it, that you could say I 'already live with' cancer even though I do not have it myself.

It isn't the fact that I would get it and die from it (I entire life is geared towards dying  - it will end one way or another) that scares me, but the fact that most deaths from cancer are slow, painful, demeaning deaths. Far into my past I have taken care of dozens of people with cancer, right until their final breath and afterwards, so I certainly do know what I am talking about.

So, long story short, I read a lot about cancer and the various new developments around it. And one of the interesting viewpoints I have come across, is that a simple technique may (may!) help you prevent it, or even cure it.
I write this with great hesitation, for there are as many doctors who say this is rubbish as there are doctors who say this might be true. And I do not want to give anyone false hope!

Could it be so simple, though? It sounds too good to be true. But: and this is the great news, even if it IS rubbish, and doesn't prevent or cure cancer (or any other illness), as far as I've been able to ascertain it doesn't do you any harm either!

This simple technique is called juicing. 
And all it is, is putting raw (meaning mostly uncooked!) vegetables through a juicer, which separates the pulp from the juice. So not a blender or a kitchen machine, but a built-to-purpose juicer. And drinking this juice immediately, using the fresh energy.

Now, I have bought a juicer when I was pregnant with my daughter, 17 years ago. I was made enthusiastic by a friend and colleague of my husband, who juiced himself to the hilt. And man, this guy was fit!!! But, as such things go, after juicing for a few months, when my daughter was born I was so busy (she was a cry baby due to lactose allergy and I had my 4 year old son to take care of as well), the cleaning of the machine proved too much bother. So I moved it towards the back of the kitchen cupboard and forgot about it.

Until recently. It has yellowed a bit with age, but it works!
I have started juicing again, and contrary to 17 years ago I now use vegetables as well as fruit. And I add super foods, like hemp, wheatgrass, linseed, all kinds of berries etcetera. What I really would like to add as well is cannabis, but growing enough of it is a bit of a bother (I think 6 plants is the maximum allowed in my country, where you would need an acre if you would want to use some every day).
It's an adventure. Especially when I make 'the green stuff', as my daughter calls it. She is a wishy-washy eater (meaning she'd like to live on sweets, crisps, chips and fruit).

So. My question to you.
Do you juice?
And what is your favourite juice recipe???