Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's the end of the year and we know it

This it! 2011 is coming to an end. Fireworks will be making a hell of noise in a couple of hours time. People will be out on the streets, wishing others the best for 2012. By the time 00:00 appears on the clock, the mobile networks will shut down for a while, because they won't be able to cope with the numerous text messages. As usual, people will text their wishes to people they like. What is more unusual, is that all of a sudden, they have more friends than they knew. On New Year's Eve, the fine lines between friends and acquaintances fade away. People appear to be more happy and cheerful than they normally are.

I'm not a fan of December. I don't like Christmas and I don't like New Year's Eve. I wouldn't be sorry if December would fall off the calendar. Let's move on and forget about all the wishes and the good intentions. Nevertheless: I wish you all the best for 2012. Because that's what I'm supposed to say and that's what you expect to hear. I always wish you the best..

Friday, December 30, 2011


No, I'm definitely no homester... On the contrary, I love to go out and explore the world. I could stay home and tidy up the house, mob the floors and scrub the deck. There are always chores to be done and tasks to be accomplished. I find that very boring though... Those chores come back every week and I can't get any satisfaction from doing housework besides cooking. It seems so useless! It's great to come home in a clean house, I know, I'm a fan too! But how long does the satisfaction last?? Not long enough according to my point of view..

People often ask me: don't you ever get bored??? And to be honest? No, I don't... Really.. There are not enough hours in a day to have a good time. Maybe that's why I stay up late and wake up early? I don't know. I keep telling myself though, that I'll be more of a homester and a housewife the upcoming week, but the good intentions fade away pretty fast. That comes with some guilt, but it's stronger than myself. I know my flaws.. and I try to improve myself. I'll never be the perfect housewife, I realize that. It's not my goal in life either. I do what I do best. And I'm working on what I can do better...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

What an angel

I know, I've said it before.. but I just love my whippets. They are so sweet and lovable and they love to be cuddled and hugged. Their characters are so different but then again so much alike. They are both whippets after all.

Rebba was the first whippet in our household. She's something special. Came all the way from Denmark to Holland and now she's been living with us for 2.5 years. We're so happy with our little angel. She's just adorable.
I know there are people out there who think whippets are hideous or ludicrous, but that's only because they have no idea how wonderful they are. They are so brilliant, so funny, so whippet-like. I love them to pieces and I'm so scared something might happen to them. I don't know what I would do without them... They cheer me up, they keep my feet warm at night and they love me with all their heart. I'm so grateful for both of them. Unconditional love, that's what it's called..

Photo by Lana Joos

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Long time no see

My schedule is fully booked. There are so many people I wanted to see before the end of the year and have a talk with, but it's just not possible... Maybe you should all move a little closer to where I live, so we could have a date sooner?
No seriously, it's great meeting one on one every now and then. We always have a great time. Lots of talking, drinking gallons of latte and laughing like kids... It reminds me of that Mary Poppins scene with Bert: I love to laugh!
I have a couple more dates planned for this month, but I'll slow down in January. "Promised!"

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tête à tête

When she told me she wanted to make dinner for her boyfriend, I thought that was a very lovely way of saying how much she loved him.. I can tell they are deeply in love, because it shows. He's a good boy and he treats her well. And by the look in her eyes I can tell she's happy..

She started her preparations early that afternoon. Making sure she had everything handy by the time she really needed to cook. Going through the cabinets, looking for the dishes she wanted the use, I felt pride and joy for my beautiful young daughter, who is growing into a wonderful young lady. He's a lucky man. He'd better take good care of her and love her with all his heart. My gut feeling says he does. I have never heard him speak poorly of her or see him mistreat her in some way. It's a blessing to see my little girl in love.. We granted them some private time to have their dinner. The candles were lit while I was upstairs, typing this blog and enjoying the clattering sound of their laughter. Being in love does things with people. I'm so happy for them..

Monday, December 26, 2011

Loosing control

I'm a control freak, I know. That's just how my mind works. I love to be in control and hold the strings. It's my safe haven, it's something I feel comfortable with and I know what things will be like when I'm in control.

But I do realize, every now and then, I have to let go. Control can't always be my very own privilege. There are more control freaks out there. When I call us "freaks" I don't mean it in a negative way. Just like being a control freak is not a defect. It's just that thing we can't let go off.

There have been numerous occasions when I couldn't be in control. Not easy, trust me. I bite my tongue and lips and the inside of my cheeks whenever I have to let go. But I know I have to, every once in a while. You can't always be in control.. Sometimes the other one has a better idea. Or it's just not your turn to be in control. Ring the bell if you want to take over, okay?

Sunday, December 25, 2011


My alarm clock reads 9:15 AM. The silence around the house is striking. The girls are not home. We left them at grandma's playing Buzz with their cousins. They were enjoying themselves and clattering laughter filled the house with joy.
I am trying to figure out my new toy and it is great fun. I know Christmas isn't about presents and there is more to life than bingeing. We all love the good feeling of being around the people we cherish. Doesn't matter where they are.. Our minds are joined. I hope all of you had fun last night..

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Reach out and touch

I believe "reach out and touch" could be a good theme for Christmas Eve.. As usual, we all get together at the in-laws, to celebrate and enjoy each other's company. Two new sisters-in-law are joining us this year and I'm really looking forward to that. It's good to see the brothers-in-law happy again and it's great to have everyone present that night. Our sister-in-law will introduce her new partner to the family as well and we know he will be a hit! One of the 9 grandchildren will be missed but all the others will be there and the crowd will be loud and cheerful without any doubt. We hope to see the youngest grandchild on Christmas day.

The plan is that we all run some errands and the female side of the family will do the preparation for dinner. Many hands will help so the chores won't be hard or boring. We like to honor the grandparents and give them a wonderful evening to remember. All grandchildren love to go over to their grandparents. They'll probably have another sleep-over as well. Joy oh joy..

Have a wonderful Christmas season, all of you. Take good care of the people you love and be grateful for the people who love you back. Merry Christmas to everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Slave to love

It was really strange and I never found out who was the mysterious deliverer of the envelope..

My favorite place to go for a drink on a Friday night (my allowance wasn't large enough to go out on a Saturday as well), was a cosy pub just around the corner from where I lived. The manager was a great entertainer and he let me help in the pub in exchange for free drinks. It was a good deal for him, since I didn't drink much but I liked to hang out there and serve the other customers. That one particular night, there was a whole bunch of us, having a good time over a couple of drinks. The manager loved to sing a song every now and then. He was good at playing his guitar too (loved his pajamas blues), but that night, he sang Slave to love, by Bryan Ferry. We would all sing along and it was a great night.. I clapped my hands and thought it was a wonderful performance of a great song.

A few weeks later, there was an envelope in my mailbox. No electronic mailbox back then, just regular mail. It just read my name, no more. No stamp, no sender. I opened the envelope and was very surprised to see two tickets to the Bryan Ferry concert in Antwerp.. I was really amazed, since I had not expected this gift from anyone. It wasn't my birthday either and I had no special friend at the time. So strange, so unexpected. I had no idea..

I asked around in the pub. They all laughed and made fun of the mysterious gift. But no one stood up and claimed the deed. I didn't go the concert. It made me feel awkward. Until the day of today, I still don't know who bought those expensive tickets. And why two? I guess I'll never know..

Thursday, December 22, 2011


When I think of home, I think of a place, where there's love overflowing..  A place where you feel safe, nurtured and cared for. A place you never have to fear and a place you can always come back to. A safe haven, a place full of joy and laughter, but also a place where tears are allowed to roll down your cheeks. A comfort zone, a cosy chair, like gloves that fit well. Aren't we all entitled to a loving home? A home where you can be whoever you are, without fear, without being ridiculed. A warm home, full of caring people and shoulders to lean on. Strong arms to hold you, nice words when you're feeling down and thumbs pointing up when you did great. Someone to kiss goodnight and to hold you tight whenever you feel the need.. What more can one wish for..

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thank you

Thanks to all of you, our diabetes pubs have become a success. It's great to welcome you every month on our different locations. The subject of the night out is mostly some presentation on diabetes, but mainly we get together to meet up and have a good talk and laugh. It's a good way to meet other diabetics and strengthen the bonds. Some people come over without having met anybody else beforehand. And by the time they go home, they got acquainted with several others. That's what keeps us going, that's what gives us the energy to go on. I drive quite some miles to meet up with all of you, but it's worth every ride. I know many of you can't make it to the pubs and I wish it were different, but maybe one day, there will be a diabetes pub in your area too. Then it will be up to you to gather some people around you and keep up the good work. Together we're strong.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Could it be? Yes, it could..

My two girls... Never thought they would get along so well. It warms my heart to see how well they are doing in their lives. They are happy and cheerful and have plenty of friends. And best of all: they are becoming good friends to each other as well..

Eva attended boarding school for two years. During that period of time, the girls didn't see each other that often. It took them some time to adjust having each other around again, but they worked out a system and they do well.

I feel fortunate to have these beautiful girls as my daughters. They make me proud and I'm lucky they chose me as their mom. Life wouldn't be the same without them.

Christmas finals are over. They will get good grades, I'm sure about that. They studied well and they deserve some vacation now. I'm glad they will be home for a while. Looking forward to doing fun things together and enjoy their presence.. Love you girls.. xxx

Monday, December 19, 2011

Me gusta

I love food, I love to cook, I love to eat. Imagine my joy when I got this phone call last Friday. You won a cooking workshop for two in Brussels. Are you willing to come over here and help us cook a fantastic meal? Hello??? Of course I'll be there! So looking forward to that! There will be a crowd of approximately 10 people and we're going to cook a wonderful menu together. I'm so excited!!! Always ready to learn new things and have a good time in the kitchen. The recipes will definitely end up in my digital cook book. This is too awesome! Chef Philippe Leplae will be our host and I'm looking forward to learning new things. He's an excellent baker and I'm curious about his technical skills and experience.
Lana is willing to join me. I'm sure she will take superb pictures and she will enjoy a good night.

Thank you, Lekker van bij ons, for offering us this opportunity. What a great Christmas present!

Photo by Lana Joos

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dream on until your dreams come true

Looking around me, observing people and listening to their goals in life, I can only conclude: live your dreams. So many people out there that are stuck in life. People who find no joy in what they do or who they have become. What's the use in waiting for a better life? Get a grip on yourself. If you can't do it by yourself, get help. Set new goals and dare to take risks in life. Find yourself a motivator and try to find out what your dreams are.

One of my dreams in life, was to go the States for one year, to live and work there as an au pair. It was my dream and I worked hard for it to come true. And I'm glad I persevered, because it was a year never to forget. My life would definitely not have been the same without that special US dream..

It's not always the easiest way to chase your dreams, but absolutely worth the effort. It will give your life a boost and you will get more confidence and more selfworth. It won't be hard to persevere, since it's what you wanted to do the most. Go for it! Your dream can come true! Have faith, work hard and don't let anyone stop you. They will try, trust me, because they will want to challenge your belief. But remember it will always be your life, your choice, your dream.. and in the end your reality.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Talk to the hand

the ears are not listening. That's pretty much what I was like at the age of 19. I wanted to be independent, live by myself, make my own money. Still in college, I tried to make the most of it. Having my own car - in those days, I used to save money - gave me so much more freedom then I was used to. Living in a student room away from home, gave me the peace and joy I was looking for. It was great to have friends over and cook dinner for my guests. My cat loved to curl up on my bed and keep me warm. Who cared if the dishes weren't done for a whole week? So what if I ate a whole box of Honey Pops a day? I was finally free! I could make my own decisions and lead my life the way I wanted to lead it. And despite all the negative comments, I did real well in college. I had good grades and I didn't skip (m)any classes. There was no need to, because I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted to after school..

Three years of living all by myself, was the best thing for me. Having a social life and exploring the surroundings, without being stopped by curfews. College life was good, being 19 was sweet. I knew what it felt like to be captured in a cage. No financial problems whatsoever and always a place to sleep, but freedom was out there and not within reach. My sense for independence gave me the strength to move on and see for myself what life was about. I made mistakes and some things could've been prevented, but nevertheless, I never regretted moving out..

Discover who you are. Dare to be who you are. Find a life of your own and enjoy the good times. You will be 19 only once.. Happy Birthday, my friend!

Friday, December 16, 2011

An ear to ear grin

Just look at you!!! You look fab! Time doesn't kill you, it makes you wiser and better, like wine. Thank you for having us over tonight. Looking forward to our gathering and letting us be part of your family. It is highly appreciated. I'm sure you will cook great food for us and pamper us like you always do. Even though it's your birthday, you will make us feel at home and enjoy the company. Party animal: have a great birthday. We love you!

Thursday, December 15, 2011


December is a weird and confusing month.. A month of mixed feelings, darkness and bright lights at the same time. I'm no big fan of the holidays. Too much fuss, too much obligations and running around. All of a sudden, people run around like fools, cracking their heads open over presents they are assumed to buy but can't find. It's my least favorite month of the year. It makes me reflect over the past year though. And I must say: it's been a good year. We have done wonderful things in 2011, I have encountered great people and they have left beautiful memories in my heart. I feel loved and it is heartwarming to love back. To me, that's what life's about.. Life is good. If you have the ability to love and be loved, you can conquer anything. Make love your number 1 priority. It will make life so much easier. Maybe that would be the best Christmas present ever.. I'll wrap it up for you..

Photo by Lana Joos

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Purple Rain

You know the song, but did you know there was a movie too? I guess I was around 13 - 14 at the time and I didn't have much opportunity to go out with friends, but this time, I got to go. I remember the darkness in the movie theatre. My friend and I were pretty nervous, because two boys decided they wanted to sit next to us. They were French and we didn't understand them, so we signed it was okay. Our hearts were pounding inside our bodies and we feared they might ridicule our nervous behavioral issues. We giggled like only 14 year old girls can do.. I can't remember what the boys looked like and we probably never knew their names. We didn't tell ours either. But how exciting it was to have them sit next to us.. His hand on my knee made me freeze and I was too shocked to wipe it off my pants. So it stayed there all the way through the duration of the film. The hand didn't do anything. It just sat there, frozen to my leg. I couldn't concentrate on the movie. I do remember the music though and every time I hear the song, it brings me back to that Wednesday afternoon. My friend and I had something to think about and we were all excited about our grown-up adventure at the movie theatre..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Child Number Four

I was quite surprised, to hear about the expected little girl.. I had no idea you and your wife were looking into doing such a noble thing, as sponsoring a child in need. Goosebumps appeared all over my body.. What a wonderful gesture.. Your 3 other children are blessed to have you as their parents. A great family, full of love and friendship. And now, the 5 of you are ready to let this little girl come into your lives. Uganda is not exactly next door, but there will be several ways to keep in touch with little Cynthia. She just turned 4 and she would be a great playmate to your little girls. I'm sure your son would be very protective of her and he would show her off wherever he went. They will be so curious to hear all about her!!!

I'm touched, I really am. I already liked you but that respect has even grown bigger now. What a lucky girl Cynthia is, with her foster parents in Belgium...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Falling in love

What a wonderful feeling, the butterflies chasing one another in your stomach. Not paying any attention to the teacher, you wonder about your crush and what you're going to tell him. A thousand different scenarios cross your mind. He doesn't know about you nor your love for him and you prefer to keep that a secret for just a little longer. Just because it's such a wonderful feeling you don't want to spoil the moment..

You scribble small notes, that you fold and fold until there's almost nothing left but a hard piece of paper. Holding it between thumb and index, trying to decide whether you would try to make the piece of paper reach its destination. You hesitate.. what if he doesn't fancy you? What if the love is not mutual? Your eyes make holes in the back of his head, while you try to imagine the different colors in his eyes. His right eye is slightly more brownish with some extra green speckles. The little hairs in the back of his neck are just asking to be touched. There's no way you would try to do that. He's sitting besides your best friend. She's smiling at him. The corners of your mouth point downwards and you wish she weren't blond and her legs wouldn't be gorgeous stilts. He touches her hand while he reaches over and hands her his pen and jealousy has never been stronger. You wish you were her. You wish you were the lucky one..

The little piece of paper finds another destination, deep down into your pocket. Next to the other pieces of paper you wrote earlier that week. No way you will ever let him know how you feel. By no means will you approach him and make a fool out of yourself!

"Would you like to share my snickers?" he whispers in your ear. You didn't hear him come over. Startled by the moment, you are afraid to look up at him. He hands you over half of his snickers and you're too afraid to eat them. You cherish the piece of candy bar, because you know it touched his mouth.. He walks back to his seat, wrenching his legs as his knees touch the desk. He looks over his shoulder while he winks at you. Rolling his eyes, he listens to his neighbor - your best friend - but he thinks about you.. The brownish-green speckled eyes are sparkling and there's a hint of love in them.

The bell rings. You shuffle over to his desk, drop the folded pieces of paper in his lap, straighten your shoulders and walk out the class room. Victory.. and it feels great!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Yes, it's your turn! There are actually men who are no chefs but who love to cook and impress. And yes, I know a few and it's great talking to them. No matter how young or old they are, each one has his own particular talent and I love to discuss food and recipes with them. Maybe we should start a cooking group, that is if they would allow women as well... Although, when I think of it.. I might not allow other women in the group and keep those gastrosexual men all to myself!

Hubby is not gastrosexual at all and maybe that's beneficial. I wouldn't like to give up my kitchen. I have no idea what it feels like if your partner decides what's cooking. I have always been the cook around this house and I believe it's my job to feed the crew. It would be kinda awkward to let hubby cook and just grab a seat and wait at the table.. So not al men have to be gastrosexual, please. But every now and then, it feels great if a man tries to please you with his cooking talent! I'll happily stand next to you and sip my glass of Chardonnay.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stay with me

What if one day, you woke up and there was nobody left but you? What would you do? Would you enjoy the solitude and silence or would you go completely insane? Who would you miss and who could you do without?

So many people around, so many opportunities to have friends beside you. Life is beautiful. It's up to you whether you want to live this life in silence and solitude or in joy and entertainment. Do you value your friends and family for who they are? Do you ignore people who have no good intentions? Live the life you would like to lead. It's never too late to make choices. Don't loose any time. Tell your beloved ones how dear they are to you. Don't wait until it's too late.. Tomorrow is too late if you can say it today..

Stay with me. Fill my life with love and laughter. I'll be by your side too..

Photo by Lana Joos

Friday, December 9, 2011

I'm over the moon

While we were enjoying our midweek in Holland, I got notified by Facebook that two people wanted to become friends with me. Two names I didn't recognize, so I put them on hold, until I was home to check my laptop.
I replied that I was curious to know who they were. To my surprise, these people were whippet lovers. And even more: the lady behind the name is the proud owner of a sister of little Inthe! Joy oh joy! Inthe is from a litter of 6 girls. Spread around the country, we have not had the chance to meet up. And now it's really going to happen. Little Valerie and Inthe will meet again for the first time. Of course I will bring Rebba too and Valerie will bring her friend Vito, a beautiful male whippet who is only 1 month older than these two girls. We'll have a great time, no doubt about that!


Inthe and Rebba

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's not your fault

I know it's a horrible story and it involves someone who means the world to you. That makes it even more tragic. Listening to your reasoning, I can see where it comes from. But it's too much... I don't believe in coincidences but I do believe in love. This love was meant to be. You wanted that love. You didn't do anything wrong. Don't blame him for not loving your treasure. It's his loss, not yours. Hang on to your love and the people around you. You are not to blame. It's not your fault. It's nobody's fault.. It's just a hell of a disease.. Believe in him. Nurture him and give him all of your love, from the bottom of your soul. There's a bond between the two of you that can never be broken. Don't let any black thoughts destroy that. There's no such thing as a bad influence which infected that deep love.. That love will never go away.. The boo-boo will..

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Je suis aimé des femmes sans les avoir aimées

You know who they are... my favorite men. My pals, my buddies, my lunch dates and shopping friends. They are special, they are unique. And they love men.. Maybe that's part of the deal. Women don't need to fear the friendship of gay men, since they don't fancy your sexuality. They love you for who you are and have no interest in your body at all. And the love is mutual. It's a blessing to have meetings with gay men. We laugh and we talk and talk and.. talk. Yes, we do talk a lot. How good it feels to talk to men and share your innermost thoughts. Gay men are not afraid to open up to you either. They are not afraid to share their deepest feelings. They have no issues telling you how they really feel about you.. Because they have no desire to chase you. They don't have to look their best to meet up with you, since you are no potential lover. No need to flatter you. It makes life less complicated. Thank you, friends of the family, for being who you are and for being a bonus in my life. I love you.

PS Yes, I know not all my favorite men are gay.. I'll talk about you guys later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I long for your hugs..

I'm a hugger. Physical contact is so important to me. How good those hugs feel...hmhmhm... And I love to hug you back! Good hugs are so much more than just a kiss. Don't get me wrong, I'm a kisser too, but hugs are just a little different. You can't kiss just anyone, can you? At least, it's not done. But I believe one can hug whoever he/she wants. There are so many ways to express your feelings and hugs can be very representative.
So don't be surprised if I welcome you with a warm hug. That's just who I am.. If you feel uncomfortable about being hugged, let me know okay? But if you feel like hugging me back: go ahead!
Looking forward to this evening. So glad so many people will show up. Huggy time!

Monday, December 5, 2011

L'amour interdit

One of my favorite musicals - maybe even my most favorite one - is the French version of Roméo et Juliette. The CD I like to keep in my car, for lonely hours of driving all by myself. I like to crank up the volume and sing along. Although French is not really my favorite language, the French on this CD is pronounced so well that I love to listen to it.

L'amour interdit. Forbidden love. It happens all the time. It happens all around the world. Maybe it's even happening somewhere right now? Who will tell? Probably nobody since it's a forbidden love.. a love that is not meant to happen. A love that has to be left a secret, because it's an impossible love as well. If you haven't been there, you have no idea what it feels like. What if you're madly in love with someone and you're not permitted to let that person know? Or maybe that person knows but his surroundings disagree and see it as an impossible relationship? What if your parents try to mislead you by hiding secret letters from your beloved one? What if they don't pass you the messages left on the answering machine? What if they pout whenever you mention the secret love of your life? What if.. what if..

Would life have been different? Would you have married your amour interdit? Would the secrecy and mystery of the secret life survive if the secret were unraveled?

L'amour interdit. L'amour heureux. Forbidden love. A love story from all times. A reality for some.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

You won't believe this!!!

People are so curious! Sentences like: You won't believe this or Did you hear.. draw people's attention. Write it in the subject of your mail, and you may be practically sure people will give priority to your e-mail. It's just this curious tic that people want to know everything.

Yes, I admit, I'm curious too. Curious George might be my middle name. I ask questions. Don't feel obliged to answer them though. If I ask too many questions, just say: mind your own business. No hard feelings..

Just try out how curious people are. Can you withhold yourself from reading a message that says: you won't believe this? Probably not. You wouldn't be reading this blog otherwise..

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hear the leaves crunch

Photo by Lana Joos
Let's take the dogs for another walk in the woods. Inthe loves to play outside. She likes to race around the meadows, catching falling leaves. Her ears are always pointed, trying to locate a lost rabbit or a colorful pheasant. She just wants to play, our little toddler. Nearly two now, but still as playful and full of life.

Rebba guides over her. She doesn't loose track of Inthe and she calls her back whenever she goes too far out of sight. It's great to see them communicate. Although Inthe is pretty dominant, Rebba is still in charge. She's the older one, she's the leader of our little pack. She lets Inthe discover the world and she's very patient with her, but she will reprimand her if she goes out of line. Because that's her job and she cares so much for Inthe, that she wants to raise her in the best way she can.

Winter will be there soon. The fireplace in the living area will warm our feet more often. It will be harder each day to get Rebba going. But as long as Inthe will jump up by the sound of her leash banging against the hook on the door, Rebba will force herself to get up and going. It keeps us going too. I don't walk them as often as I should, but when I do walk them, they warm my heart and they bring me even more joy. I'm so grateful for these two.. they were the best present ever.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A crush

Hitchhiking home in the pouring rain on a Friday night, a car with English license plates pulled over. In English, he said he knew me from work, since we worked in the same amusement park. I had not seen him before, but I was cold and I wanted to go home after a lousy day at work. So I got into his car and immediately I felt comfortable and at ease. He started joking and babbling and the conversation was really amusing. The sound of laughter in the car still clatters in my ear.
He asked me where I lived and it was nowhere near where he was headed to. But he decided to take me home anyway. We remained seated in the car for quite a while, before I finally got out. He rolled down the window of his Vauxhall Cavalier and asked me out for a beer. I had to get over to his side of the car - since English cars have their steering wheel on the wrong side - to talk to him. I was puzzled by this mysterious man, so I asked him to join me for a drink in my favorite bar. I didn't have to ask twice. He hopped out of the car and in to my house, so I could take a shower and change outfits before we headed off.

I was truly fascinated by him. What an interesting man. So bubbly and full of life. He had tons of life experience and I'm sure his age had some part in it. He was not old old, but at least 15 years older than this 19 yo at the time. I looked up to him and I was proud that someone his age was interested in talking to this blooming flower. So we went to the bar - just around the corner - and my mates down there were surprised to see me in his company. Hello??? What was I doing? We were used to hanging out with peers and there I was, having a drink and a chat with a man who was quite a bit older than me..

His parents were divorced and his father was expecting a baby with his new wife. Shortly after we met, he introduced me to his family. They were very nice people and very down to earth. He was pretty shy around them, but between the two of us, he would open up and we had a great time together.
I was in college back then - he was an employee in the amusement park where I worked on the weekends and during the holidays. He would take me to places and ask me out to dinner in fancy restaurants. No other boy had ever asked me out to dinner. He was a man and I embraced the attention he paid me. He made me feel special.. He was so different from the "boys" I used to date.

At least 6 months after we dated, he invited me over to his apartment. There was something he needed to tell me. He was nervous and I had never seen him like that. I tried to calm him down and told him that whatever he had to say, was okay. I trusted him and he trusted me. He gave me this photo album of his youth. I saw pictures of him as a baby and more pictures of his teenage years. Playing tennis with friends. Pictures of tennis fields near a mansion. I saw a pool and I saw stables full of beautiful horses. He told me he was not really an "employee" at the amusement park. He told me that, back in England, he drove a fancy car instead of this worn out Vauxhall Cavalier. The reason why one day I had run into his dad at the amusement park, was that his dad was responsible for all of the roller coasters and rides over there. He was a wealthy businessman and his son was to follow in his footsteps. He told me he came from a family of billionaires. I was shocked. I was upset. Why did he keep this a secret for six months? Why did he dress in worn out jeans and crappy T-shirts if he were a billionaire??? Why had he not been honest with me?

Experience, he said. Too many women fell in love with him for the wrong reasons. Back in England, they knew his background and they were in love with the money, not the man. He decided to do things differently in Belgium. He wanted to have a good time and date people who didn't know about the dough. I had no idea, absolutely no idea he was this rich.. But I felt betrayed. I needed some time to think things over.. He was running out of time in Belgium. His dad and stepmom had already returned to England and they needed him over there. He asked me to join him. I could work as a nanny for his new baby sister, if I needed a job. That was kind of awkward to me. He was full of life and I was really happy I met him. But I realized our worlds were too far apart. He was too old for me. I was only a college student. He was a billionaire..

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Rosy cheeks

Saigon, the last weeks of the Vietnam war, April 1975. Gi Chris meets the 17 yo girl Kim in a nightclub. They fall in love with each other but it's not meant to last very long. While Kim is being left behind in Saigon without any message from Chris, he has left the city. 
Chris goes back to the US and marries Ellen, an all American girl. He never forgot about Kim, although he hadn't seen her for 3 years. Not knowing Kim gave birth to a baby boy, he builds a life with Ellen. Kim - living under Ho Chi Minh and leading a poor life - refuses the affection of Officer Thuy, to whom she was promised to by her parents, since her childhood.
Thuy can't cope with Kim's son Tam and he tries to kill her, ending up dead himself. When Chris finds out about Kim and their son Tam, he decides to go back and find both. 
He and his wife fly to Thailand, to see Tam. Kim doesn't know about Chris's new life in America.. 

For many years, our friends have been telling us about Miss Saigon. They promised us a very good story and a definitely-must-see-musical. I'm so happy they arranged tickets for us in Utrecht, Holland. I was all excited about this midweek away and the prospect of the musical. I'm a lucky girl..