Thursday, 29 October 2009

Welcome back, you square hockey legs!

Well, I have to say, I can definitely see improvement on the leg front. Those awe-inspiring square hockey legs are making a come-back, slowly.

My 'normal' hockey competition has finished now - hockey is a winter sport and is not being played over summer. But: some fun competitions are put in place instead, so I'm involved in the Masters competition, a short competition for 35+'s. This consists of 6 games, 11 people on the field per team, halves of 25 minutes, normal field size. The teams are a bit scrambled together, as not everyone from the normal competition is actually 35 years or older.

Last week it had been decided that all teams needed to dress up in costumes with a 'P' theme, whatever that was. I saw a team all dressed up in pyama's, which was actually quite funny. And we were 'Pak 'n Save Princesses', dressed in yellow supermarket bags from the Pak 'n Save. Good Heavens. We planned to go as Prisoners, in prison costumes, which we could have gotten our hands on through the team's connections with the Police (I am not the only one from the Police in my team...). But playing hockey totally covered in paper suits didn't actually appeal to us that much, and 11 suits would have been too much to ask for, we guessed. So yes, yellow plastic instead... This doesn't mean that the games aren't serious, no, still hard work, bang for your bucks, literally, lots of wounded people with ice-packs on knees, ankles, etc.

Then on Thursday night it's summer hockey time: teams of 6, half field, including side-barriers you can use too, mixed (men/women), no age limits, and halves of 15 minutes. That is good fun! I always like to play with men, as my own game improves with their speed and skills. Tonight was the first game, and this goes on till March. We all hadn't met before, so you see each other a few minutes before the game, say hi, hit a few balls together, ask 'where do you want to play', and then off you go. We won with 27-6. A bit crazy, but it was still a good quality game, hard work, lots of sprinting and fun.

Then this Saturday we'll both have our first tennis matches of the interclub season: 8.30am on the field for a game of doubles, and then each of the team (consisting of 4 players) plays a singles match too. This takes ages to complete, usually around 1pm you're done and exhausted for the rest of the afternoon. The home-playing team brings a plate (which means: serves refreshments and (home-baked) goodies), to be had afterwards together with the opposition. Very nice!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

New link added

In the section 'gluren bij de buren', which means something like 'snooping around in your neighbours' lifes' a new blog has been added: the blog from Jessica Watson, an Australian 16-year old girl, who is attempting to sail around the world as the youngest person ever, solo. She keeps a blog about her adventures and that could be juicy to follow. Especially when you know that just 2 or 3 weeks ago she collided with a giant container ship on one of her training trips!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Our Singapore break in brief

  • The climate in Singapore can be compared with walking around wrapped in hot and damp sheets, and there is no escape other than an incredible amount of enormous, sleek, and air conditioned shopping malls. We got the impression that working and shopping are the most important things Singaporeans do.
  • We found the Singaporeans we dealt with very friendly and very helpful. This is in contrast with the way they walk on the footpaths: there is no system in the stream of people, they're not walking typically left or right and they refuse to go out of your way. A big city thing perhaps, where 'me, myself and I' are the center of the universe?
  • Taxis through town are incredibly cheap.
  • The suburb Little India is like a time warp - you're really suddenly in India. The people are Indians, lots of bling bling, crowded stalls, shops and malls, the food is mainly Indian, etc.
  • A swimming pool near by is a life saver in such a climate.

Our trip back to Auckland went well; we had a new Sing Air plane, much bigger screens and reasonably comfy chairs. In Auckland we bumped into Ellery, who was underway to Vancouver for two weeks, quite a coincidence! Of course a real Wellington landing, with strong Southerlies, 11 degrees and rain, the perfect welcome.
And now we're fighting against our sleepiness and body motions (like you're still in a car), and we have a very happy Ziva here. She can't stop cuddling and can't choose whom to give her affection :-)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

More images

See that giant 'tv'-screen?? Three stories high, including sound?? Well, our apartment is on the opposite side of the road... You know how bright this thing is??? We do!

Loungen in Singapore on the roof top

Our technology-crammed fun hotel room at Schiphol Airport

The chalet in Doldersum

And a shed in Drenthe

Monday, 12 October 2009

3200+ k's and counting

Well, we've reached the 3000k mark with our car, and have nearly come to the end of our stay in Holland. I have to say that holiday-wise I'm sort of looking forward to the next couple of days in Singapore. I had no idea that talking, sitting, eating and more talking and even more eating for 3 weeks could be so exhausting! I haven't even finished my book, which is unique for me.

Tomorrow we'll clean up the chalet we've been staying in, situated in beautiful surroundings, although we haven't been able to explore much of it. Then later on we'll have dinner with my Dad and then we'll travel to Amsterdam, for our last night here, in a hotel at Schiphol Airport. Saying goodbye has begun!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Our last location - in Drenthe

Time flies! We've left Friesland and are now in Drenthe. Terschelling was very nice, but very wet too. We stayed in a B&B, run by two men from Utrecht, who started their business 2.5 years ago and have been back to the mainland only once! That sounds like a real immigration to us :-)

On Thursday we met my brother with his wife and daughter in Oranjewoud, where we had lunch (kroketten of course), followed by a nice walk through the forest there. No time to see where they live now, as we had to get back to Sneek for a dinner appointment with a couple of our Frisian rowing friends, one of them being our dentist, so we nearly ended up in her chair, but managed a narrow escape.

On Friday we had separate programs: Age went out rowing and had a dinner appointment with some former colleagues, and I had some quality time with my Mum. We both didn't have much inspiration and couldn't think of anything nice to do, as the weather was quite wet and unpredictable. We did some shopping in Zwolle, had afternoon tea, and got some frieten and another kroket. Then she dropped me off for a facial, which was quite painful (you know, modelling your eyebrows, and mine were (past tense) quite furry. But the lady finished with a hot stone massage which was quite pleasant. Age as well as I were home way past midnight...

Saturday a busy day with more appointments and a dinner - very nice, catching up with a lot of new kids... Sunday an early morning row, still have a sore bum and musles, then packed our stuff and went to our last location in Drenthe. There we met with Ad and Geertje, whose chalet we're currently in, and had a very nice dinner with them and with Elbrich, Werner and Minke, who came to see us in the afternoon.

On Monday Age got a sore throat, but luckily we had our day off then! Still not well, but today too is a sort of quiet day - just had my Dad and Stijnie for lunch.
From tomorrow on another couple of full days...

Friday, 2 October 2009


Typical (Frisian?) farm in Oranjewoud

On top of the viewpoint, with Maarten (my brother), Susan, Arianne.

Outlook from a viewpoint in Oranjewoud, near Heerenveen. Back on the mainland. Before we left Holland for NZ we lived at walking distance from here.

Typical street view of West Terschelling

A certain type of ancient yacht - no idea which type though...

On the ferry from Harlingen to Terschelling

Time difference at the Frisian Islands


Evelyn and Miffy (Nijntje) go for a ride.

Age with his book case - very proud.