Posts Tagged ‘ birthday ’

The shape of the things yet to come

It’s a Tuesday morning, 9.20 am and I am in bed with my laptop. What is wrong in this picture?

My hours at work have been cut to a meager 20 for this week. If it is only for this week, I should be happy, as I am running behind on my course work and I could really use some extra time to get back on track. Last weekend was spent in Colchester again, and I took my laptop with me hoping I get could some work done, but of course it never works out that way.

Last weekend was fun though! Steve and I watched a few films that I wouldn’t have dared watch on my own (Terminator: Salvation and Aliens), we had Nando’s and I made my spareribs for these unsuspecting sweethearts. Unfortunately we couldn’t go to Colchester Zoo because of the rain, but Natz and I went out into town for some shopping instead which was just as amazing.

Colchester Zoo last year February

And luckily there’s a lot to look forward to as well! I’ve got a day off on Friday, got day school in Cambridge on Saturday (a 2,5 hour train journey, cannot wait..) and in March we’ve got two birthdays, my 2,5 year in the UK “half-a-versary” which needs to be celebrated, the Ill Nino gig in London, the family day at the end of the month which will garantuee me a trip to Holland, and I’m taking back with me my dear friend Claud!

Anyway, I digress – I should really be going back to my course work now. I will try to update soon!

Chrisje xx

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Que Sera, Sera

Since my last post, I have had a near-endless To Do list to follow up that has miraculously appeared with my re-awakened inspiration. My days are now filled with a new enthusiasm to excersize and be healthier, my work life has had an adrenaline injection, my evenings home are always too short now that I have new hobbies and things to pass time with.

For hours I have browsed for online shops for running gear (one of these new ventures), entertaining tips and recipes (the new season begs for casual dinner parties), and the most influential change: Sex and the City season 6 was dusted off and watched again. Tears have spilled, smiles have cracked, fists have punched the air, the boyfriend has been forced into stand-by mode to hug me back happy.

And it doesn’t stop there: next week, the 12th of June, I will also celebrate my 21st birthday. My little sister is coming over from Holland to celebrate this with me, my boyfriend has planned me a surprise birthday party, and I will have five heavenly days off work to enjoy the (hopefully, great) summer weather.

The things I would like to do over the next few weeks would be: 1. go home and see my family, 2. make a family tree, 3. gather old pictures of me and family (to show my boyfriend and friends here), 4. bring new fire into old friendships.

That’s one of the things I dislike about this whole moving-to-a-different-country thing. I’ve not only given up a fabulous life, but I’ve also lost contact with a lot of great people. I feel like I’ve lost really good friends and an array of experiences that bear no relevance in this new life, because there seem to be very little people that can relate to the lifestyle I led.

My life was drenched with pleasure, in a way that some people might consider it to be far from grown up, but hey, I considered myself a student, and ‘we’ do not do ‘grown up’ – yet. I worked a job I loved, for very little money, I lived in a fantastic room in a house close to the city centre, I studied art and I studied International Business and Management. In my free time you could find me at gigs or in the pub, or I would be promoting bands and venues, practising photography, web design or writing free reviews or articles to create a name for myself. My holidays to Belgium and London were far from extravagant, but always fun and definitely something to look forward to.

Now, these things seem to have passed, and I seem left with fractions of memories, pictures and videos, emotions and quotes, that I share with no one but my laptop. The people in the picture are now leading their own lives, geographically closer than they’ve ever been, but ever so far away.

The upside to this story is, obviously, the new experiences, the new friends, the new family I gained. I’ve grown up so much in the last year and 9 months – I’m in a full time job, live in a beautiful apartment with my beautiful, successful and smart boyfriend, my first attempt to get a driving license is coming up and for the first time since my move, I feel confident enough within myself, and also proud, that I have made the right decision moving here.

Luckily, we are blessed with the Internet, the medium that enables me to have most of the things I had when I was still in my old house. Via Facebook, Hyves and MySpace I can still chat with the people I used to chat with 2 years ago, via Skype I can call my sister and speak with and see my family. It’s not as great as the real thing, but it has shown me how important it is to have a firm home base. Something to fall back to.

My mum used to sing Doris Day’s Que Sera, Sera to me and my sister.. Hearing that song reminds me of seeing her sat down in our living room, in the corner near the heating, reading one of her 800+ page books with a cup of coffee. It’s one of the best memories I have from being young. Knowing I have made the right decision has given me the freedom to reminisce without feeling guilty.¬†Good times ūüôā

xx Chrisje

It’s always quiet in the eye of the storm

It’s been very quiet on my end lately, as you can see by the lack of posts. I’ve got quite a few drafts lined up that I was so eager to work out to proper posts, but I’ve either forgotten my line of thoughts, or the event happened too long ago.

One of these drafts was about my Easter Weekend, yes, very dated, but also about the macarons I had received that weekend, that had been brought to me all the way from the Rousier Yvan¬†patisserie¬† in Versailles. I haven’t had the chance to upload the few pictures I took then to accompany this post, but I hope to do this soon.

The small selection of macarons I had received, namely 8 small ones and 1 large one, did not see much of the world. The array of flavours was dazzling, however all known to me: almond, chocolate, pistachio, passion fruit, raspberry for the small ones, Turkish delight with a¬†marzipan¬†filling for the large macaron. The small ones were delightful. I tried to make them last longer but the temptation to suck them, bite them and devour them was too big for me to fight. The large one was less of a treat, in my opinion. I’m not a big fan of Turkish delight, and this macaron was very sugary, much more ‘there’ than the other ones.

I’ve shared my experience with a friend whom I had told about my small obsession. She then went to Paris, tried some, and was blown away by how good such a tiny little thing can taste. She also told me that Gordon Ramsey has a recipe for macarons in his dessert cookbook. Have not been able to take a peek, but I will do soon enough and will give that baby a go! Another ‘expert’ on this subject might be Hisako Ogita, author of I love Macarons:

Weirdly enough, things have changed in a revolutionary way. In my life, I mean. I had more time to think about what I’d like to do with my life (and that at my age!), and more importantly, what I don’t want to do. As you might know, I’ve been thinking about going back into education by starting a degree from home, next to my full time job. After long consideration, this might be something to put on hold. I’d like to enjoy the summer and spend more time with my boyfriend and with my friends, and also I need to spend more time reconnecting with old friends and family, as I’ve not been able to do this properly for almost a year now.

If I’m going to do this degree, I want to do it properly. I want to do it to the best of my abilities and perfect it, and for that I need to be in a more relaxed state of mind, in a better environment for my physical and mental health, in a less demanding atmosphere. This is something I can’t get deeper into right now, but might come up a bit more later as well.

I’ve also thought about writing an article about female breadwinners. It appears that there is still some sort of taboo attached to it. As a female breadwinner myself, I have to admit at first I was uneasy about my ‘role’, and I still am when telling people about my home situation, but it also feels like something I should not be afraid to admit.

I could go deeper into my reasons for being OK with being the main breadwinner in my relationship, but then that would defeat the object of writing the actual article. For those having a problem with this, I would obviously be interested in your opinions and motivations, so please do not hesitate to voice them.

The next few weeks are going to be pretty cushty for me; I’ve got a new project coming up at work, have a day off planned next Friday, and a nice set of Dutch bank holidays are coming up for me. On the down side I won’t be allowed to have the English bank holidays off, but that is fine seeing as there’s plenty of days I do get off.

The last week has been A-OK as well. I’ve had some more time to see friends and to spend time with my boyfriend. I’ve been out a bit more than I’ve lately been able to, and I’ve been clothes shopping! That always cheers me up. I saw this great top at New Look on their website, but they didn’t have it in store unfortunately.

Not to mention my birthday is coming up! June is still far away but speaking in weeks; it’s closer than I thought. I will be having a nice long weekend off to celebrate my 21st, and my sister is coming over from Holland. If the weather would be close to what it’s been recently, I’ve got nothing to complain about ūüôā

xx Chrisje

The best chocolate cake in the world

Earlier today George’s mum and stepdad came round to visit us for Mothers Day (today) and Georges birthday (tomorrow). As I did last year, I have made George a birthday cake, one with a beautiful brownie-like consistency, simple yet so mouthwateringly good.

So I’ve decided to share the recipe with you. Don’t worry, it doesn’t need many ingredients, and it’s quickly to make. It is nice with buttercream icing, or without, or warm with some vanilla icecream. This recipe serves 8 to 12, depending on the size of the pieces. Unfortunately no picture of the end result as it got eaten before I had the chance!

Easy chocolate cake
Ingredients:
200 grams of unsalted butter
200 grams of good quality chocolate (of 70% cocoa or higher)
100 grams of flour (sieved)
300 grams of fine caster sugar
6 medium eggs

Directions:
Melt the chocolate with the butter au bain-marie, or in a bowl in the microwave on a low setting, stirring well every 30 seconds. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a separate bowl, whisk the caster sugar, the sieved flour and the eggs. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Put the cake batter into a spring form and put into the  preheated oven for 40 minutes.
Let cool before cutting and serving.

If you’ve tried my recipe, please let me know what you think! ūüôā

xx Chrisje

Little plans for March

Snowy

Archive: Snow in February 2009

It has been ages since my last post. Normal life has picked up again, and my ever demanding job is beckoning once more. My first attempt was to write a post on how I struggle to find my creative spot in times like these (the so called ‘grown up’ life), having taken notepads and sketch books with my on my commute to and from work in the hopes of at least coming up with basics that I can later on expand into workable posts or pieces of art. I noticed that those methods do not work for me as it feels to me I’m forcing creativity, which is working against me.

So I’ve decided against writing a whiny post on ‘Why I can’t write’, or something similar, as I’ve found other ways of entertaining myself. One of them is my re-found passion for literature. I say ‘re-found’ because I haven’t had the opportunity to read properly in ages. The Metro every morning doesn’t count obviously.

Currently I’m reading The Winter House by Nicci Gerrard , which is about a terminally ill cancer patient named Ralph and his childhood crush Marnie, who meet up in a secluded cottage in Scotland after a mutual friend has informed Marnie that Ralph is dying and wants to see her. I’m 139 pages into the book and I’m surprised at the style of writing that has been chosen. Both characters tell you their side of the story, however Ralph seems to be telling his from his own thoughts.

I’ve also purchased a set of Terry Pratchett books, as they’re quite entertaining and¬†humorous, something that is more than welcome before and after a hard day’s work. Especially these books are helpful as inspiration, as the man’s got a very lively, and may I add, consistent imagination.

And, as it is (almost) March again, I’ve got other events on the list. My little sister will turn 19 on the 2nd, and I haven’t bought her a present yet (shame!). Also my gorgeous boyfriend will celebrate his 20th birthday on the 15th, for whom I’ve decided to bake a big chocolate brownie birthday cake (sans the pink icing this year). Exactly one week later, our good and always amusingly sarcastic friend Nigel will blow out a few candles as well.

Actually, come to think of it, I could just take some pictures of the birthday cakes and foods, if I’m unable to find anything else to write about or to take pictures of. At the same time I could re-bake my revised recipe for Dutch Apple Pie and you can feast your eyes upon that beauty. Nigella – move over!

xx Chrisje