martes, 30 de abril de 2013

Patriotic feelings for this expat 30/04/2013

30/04/2013.. A very important day for my country.

Although I am happy living in Spain , I felt quit patriotic yesterday during Queens day.

Queens day is a very happy day, when every Dutchman/woman in and outside the country is having at least a bit of a patriotic feeling. The whole country is colored in Orange and everywhere the flags will hang out.
The biggest part of the citizens are outside enjoying a jumble sale, outside gigs and other activities.

Would like to know the history? OK..OK.. here the history, very fast:

Queen Juliana with her daughters
- 19th century : no Queens day but her predecessor ´Waterloo day ´ because of the remembrance of the battlefields.
- 31 of August 1885 : First Princess day .. still a predecessor.. , this as it was the 5th birthday of the young princess Wilhelmina.
On princess Wilhelmina´s 18th birthday on 31 August 1898 , she became Queen and from that date Queens day was a fact. It started as a party for children and only became a national bank holiday after the socialists and social democrats reconciled with the monarchy. before that it was i dividing of 1st of May ( workers day) and Queens day for the citizen parties.
- When Queen Wilhelmina´s daughter, Princess Juliana followed in her mother´s footsteps in 1948 , the date for Queens day became the 30th of April. Now also this bank holiday became an official free day for the citizens of Holland.
-  When Queen Juliana´s daughter Beatrix on her turn took over the throne 
( 30 April 1980), she kept this date as Queens day, as her birthday on the 31st of January was not very good for outside activities.

So now back to square one again...
The reason I felt quit patriotic is because yesterday we got a new king, which is of course as you read the history , The son of Queen Beatrix. His name is King Willem Alexander and his wife Queen Maxima Zorreguita who is from Argentinian background.
King Willem Alexander , Queen Maxima, and their 3 daughters Amalia, Alexia and Ariane

To feel a bit united with our people, we hung up Dutch flags in the office. and watched YouTube for a Live stream of the official ceremony. When I heard all the lovely stories of the day from my family and friends , i only got a slight bit jealous...

 But how do we experience the monarchy in the Netherlands?
Well of course i can not speak for other Dutchies, but I can for myself..

The monarchy in my eyes is nothing more then a tradition, a culture to keep in place, and i´d say, one of the most important traditions.
Of course they have their duties , but the countries main decisions are done by the Government. Do they spent much money now we are all in a crisis?? Yes they definitely do, but what do you think the ministers of the government get paid in ..potatoes?? And its not that they have the same salary then us workers... 
Once I saw a YouTube movie of EU ministers checking in on a meeting in Brussels to then walk out again to enjoy their ´free´day.. Why coming in the first place you would ask? Well just so they could claim the money ( which means our tax money of course) without having to do something for it.. This said, that doesn't mean I am anti -Europe , but this is just an example to say that Ministers make a lot more ( not worked for ) money, and the anti monarchy persons don't really consider that.

As this post was meant to share my patriotic happiness and not a rant about politics and money , I will finish this blog by saying : 

Lang Leve de Koning!!!

viernes, 26 de abril de 2013

The Voyage, Simply speaks for itself..

The Voyage..

I am a sailor, you're my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate

Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the hearts treasure, together we set sail

With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force

Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together we learned how to cope

Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled water that keeps us afloat

When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew

Together we're in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip

Our true destination's not marked on any charts
We're navigating to the shores of the heart

(by the song of Christy Moore)

jueves, 25 de abril de 2013

Busy lifes..

While chatting with one of my Besties Monica, who lives in Ireland and is from Portuguese origin,  I am realising the value of friendship, no matter where we are.

Friendship has for me a very big value in my life.
I am a very social person as many of you know, but to really make a true friend is never easy.. not for me at least..

I had to learn to not just be friends with everybody , but be selective to not get hurt, which happened to me several times.

As an expat having lived in 3 different countries I also have the luck that the group of friends I have are from different origin.

I am a truly lucky and blessed person with the varied group of friends, mostly virtually around me.

Below some pics of my friends, unfortunately i have not many pictures of them , but definitely great memories and many to come!

Monica and me at work in Cork
My Hen night party with my friends
Machteld and me in Gauganbarra

My Best Friend in the right corner with her daughter. ( She doesn't like pics taken lol)

Shona and me on her pink Bday party

lunes, 22 de abril de 2013

Settled in Spain... you think???

Back from is I...

After a couple of months of settling into Spain , Malgrat de Mar.. we decided we didnt lost enough kilo's from the stress of moving to Malgrat.. So our best choice was to move again!

This time we stayed in the country and moved closer to Barcelona.
unfortunately we did it for nothing , as the kilo's are still there.. grmbl..
But we are happy that we don't have to travel so far from work and back anymore as for me it was a 5 hour journey altogether every day.. ( what was i thinking?????)

Now we moved to a lovely appartment ( 135m2) in the mountains of Montcada I Reixac.
This time we decided to not take on all the prehistoric furniture from the owner as in usual cases here in Spain ( and Ireland as well ) and we bought all our furniture and ofcourse decided to paint the house in various colours...

And have I known that!!! Hubbie decided that he didnt want to paint one single wall as he has trauma's from once needing to paint 300 hotelrooms in a winter job in Malgrat a year before yesterday.. But ofcourse he only decided to tell me this little news when I told him already we wont hire a painter to do it,we easily can do it ourselves.. uhuh.... So on one fine Monday morning our aupair Lorena and myself went to the new house and started the horrible job.. I have to tell you , without a ladder and having to stand on a Ikea side table was not one of our smartest moments.. I stretched every muscle in my body and so did Lorena.. It took us 4 days to finish this helluva job, which I am very proud off!!

Then Shayne called and had the nerve to tell me the planning for the next weekend ( the moving weekend)..
We would move everything on Friday and I ( yes you woman!!) had to come back on Saturday to clean the damn old place!! I think I hung up on him, but not sure anymore..

Eventually the moving day turned out like this.. Me in the morning with our friend in the car to the new house, quickly back.. Lorena brought the kids to school.. Shayne went with the moving van.. Jany cleaned the old house.. ( yep woman..sigh.. , there goes my feminist side..)Then went around 4 with the double buggy filled to the rim with stuff and Livia and the single buggy with Sofia , Lorena of course also in the train to Montcada.. Lorena and me were a bit angry at Shayne for letting us do that ( shouting that we weren't a bunch of well say it nicely again.. homeless  people..) I called him in the train , to pick us up in Clot Aragot ( the station where we had to change trains, about ten minutes from our new house ) . His answer was very clear.. ' No, I don't want to be seen with you bunch of (well say it nicely again).. homeless  people..!! ' uhmm Shayne.. get your lazy dingdong here NOW!!!!!!

Ok I am not totally fair now with my beloved, its not that he didnt do anything at all..
I am sure that the 50 boxes of flat packed furniture we got from IKEA , was a pain in the ....bottom..

Now the moving is done and dusted.. we are sort of settled in again..
Sofia posing while having a walk around the new place..
Some boxes still need unpacking.. they are put away for now in our guest room, together with the 50 empty IKEA boxes, which we have no clue what to do with!

The girls are settling in fine, although they are really ready to go back to daycare now again, which they will next week hopefully.
relaxing in the new place..
You can see that Sofia is really getting bored now in the house , with letting her imagination run a bit to far.. pretending the new chair is a coloring pad.. the markers are nail polish.. and my hairspray being well whatever she thought when she sprayed in her bedroom.. I say again and again.. never trust toddlers when they are quiet and out of sight!!!

Livia is growing really fast and is progressing bit by bit.. she is a happy little bunny , who sings and talks, in her own language though, the whole day..
happy in the playground
She now got the joys of the playground, which before she wouldn't step foot in and also figured out that she can climb on everything lately.. which means we find her on top of tables and chairs in no time!!

Shayne found a cricket club in Barcelona, which he had his first training with last Sunday.
He came back red burned in his face and with a bruised finger.. He told me that he had to take of his wedding ring.. uhuh Shayne.. way to go!! Well i trust him totally , especially when he did so while training with 22 Pakistan guys on a parking lot.. GO GO Barcelona Eagles GO! we will see what the season will bring. I on the other hand am especially happy that he can play his much loved sport again, which is something he missed a lot in the last months..

I mentioned Lorena before as being our aupair, which she is now since December.
A nice girl , who takes good care of our little ones, when we are at work.
As Lorena is Spanish, that means my Spanish is getting better bit by bit.. as that is the language she speaks
 ( duuhhh) Sometimes I even forget she also can understand a bit of English which means i am doing pictionary with her in the living room , trying to make something clear, while she would understand me also in English.. yep.. hardheaded I am...

I am also settling in fine here, am very happy about the commute to work, which now is only 45 minutes.
I am also chuffed with the house, as it has so much potential for my crazy creative mind.. which means in the end that I am more on Pinterest finding DIY ideas then actually being crafty.. 

So that's it for now again , Hasta pronto!!

handmade candle holders for our terrace.