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Posts from the ‘Messages’ Category


Age is Just a Number


  1. Do you know how it feels when you give up ?
  2. I always thought I would never give up….but I did.
  3. After fitness training with a personal trainer for 7 years…..I stopped.
  4. At first I felt elated.
  5. No more aching muscles, no more pushing  yourself  to the limit.
  6. Then after a year….I felt my body change.
  7. I lost muscle strength and …gained a few pounds
  8. … and worst of all….I lost my drive to stay healthy.
  9. It took me another year to finally realize fitness is not an option…
  10. …it is a life long project.
  11. Since we all are living longer and at home….I have to keep fit.
  12. I cannot depend on others to lift heavy bags of cat litter
  13. …take out the garbage and do house- and gardening work.
  14. I have been inspired by many women …for example:

100 year old Ida Keeling who started running at 67….and is still running.

Read her story HERE.

82 year old garden architect Penolope Hobhouse

garden writer, designer, historian and lecturer….still works the soil 5-6 hrs a day!

Here is one of her beautiful creations!

Leontine van Moorsel:  Olympic athlete (Dutch)  and international champion

  1. At the end of 1993 and beginning of 1994,
  2. …it seemed Leontien’s career would come to a premature end.
  3. Health problems developed as a result of an eating disorder.
  4. Leontien tried to keep her weight down….particularly for the cycling climbs.
  5. Leontien was tired both physically and mentally —
  6. …it became the lowest point in her life.
  7. Then it changed when she met Michael Zijlaard.
  8. Michael was a competitive cyclist.
  9. He is credited with teaching Leontien to live healthily and eat properly again.
  10. They married  in October 1995.

All these women are proof that age is just a number

  1. …and  physical and mental strength can be achieved.
  2. Now I have decided to get back to my training.
  3. I know I can do it with the help of   Sport Met Hart
  4. It starts today @home  with 2 weeks  walking, stretching
  5. …plank exercises, push ups and perhaps
  6. …later some jogging.
  7. My diet is varied and I am following the advice of  Dara Torres.

  1. Her meal plan looks like something I can live with!
  2. It all starts with a different breakfast every day!
  3. My plan is on the kitchen counter….and I’m ready to go!
  4. I will keep  you updated on my progress….because
  5. I know this is going to be tough
  6. …and it is going to hurt!

Breakfast plan:




Saturday cocktail: Brandy Crusta


  1. It’s a summer Saturday afternoon.
  2. The sun is still warm yet I notice even now
  3. …the days are getting shorter.
  4. Time to continue searching for the perfect summer cocktail.
  5. I’ve added a new item to my home bar….ice crusher.
  6. It is the greatest little gadget!


  • The Brandy Crusta was first created  in the 1850’s by an Italian.
  • Joseph Santini opened his ‘Jewel of the South‘ Saloon in New Orleans.
  • The recipe has 4 basic ingredients + lemon juice.
  • 45 ml  brandy
  • 14 ml  Maraschino Cherry liqueur
  • 22 ml Grand Marnier (or Cointreau)
  • 22 ml  lemon juice
  • dash of bitters ( I used Fernet-Branca)
  1. I poured the ingredients in a wine glass filled with crushed ice.
  2. Others use a cocktail shaker..shake with ice, strain and serve.
  3. I prefer to leave the ice in the glass….to keep the drink cool
  4. …and not TOO powerful.


  • The taste is exquisite…
  • …a perfect after beach drink.
  • Just sit back, sip and enjoy the sunset!




Hug your dog start reading!

Illustration:  M. Ulriksen in his book Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly


  1. Lists were my downfall in June.
  2. I was drowning in them…..trying to come up for air.
  3. After many weeks reading where my mood took me
  4. BARTENDING at La Floridita Bar in Havana (for Hemingway)
  5. CHASING  a corrupt  wheeler-dealer in New Jersey (CF)
  6. WATCHING  history unfold during the Civil Rights Movement 1960-63 (history)
  7. TIME-TRAVELING back to the Middle Ages in the middle of The Plague (SF)
  8. …it is time to get back to some structure in my reading.
  9. Brona@brona’sbooks posted her LONG AND SHORT OF IT comments
  10. and now I will choose a few books from her lists…and start reading!


Aussie Read:

Waiting  by P. Salom – shortlist Miles Franklin Award

Philip Salom is well known as a poet and believes this background helped create the mischievous narrator for his acclaimed novel Waiting.

Waiting revolves around four central figures. Big and Little, two of the world’s marginal people, live in a rooming house in inner Melbourne. Jasmin is from another world. She teaches semiotics at a university. Angus, the landscaper who ost his house in a fire in the Adelaide Hills.


UK Read : 

Lincoln in the Brado  by G. Saunders –  longlist Man Booker Award

Now 58, Saunders has written four short story collections and one full length novel: Lincoln in the Bardo, which explores the short life and death of US President Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie.



The Bloody Mary Book

  • Author: Ellen Brown
  • Title: The Bloody Mary Book
  • Published: 2017
  • Trivia: National Bloody Mary day is January 1
  • ….I’m a little late celebrating!
  • #20BooksOfSummer



  1. Well, here is a book ‘HOT OFF THE PRESSES’
  2. If you ‘google’  around the internet you will probably
  3. …discover  the same
  4. anecdotes I have included in this blog post.
  5. Let’s see if Ellen Brown had something new to say!


Remedy for hangover:

  1. Salt and spices replace lost electrolytes
  2. while the vitamin C, vitamin B6
  3. …and lycopene ease the havoc that
  4. overindulgence has wrought on the body.
  5. You are better off with a ‘Virgin Bloody Mary’
  6. on the day after!



  1. I like a Bloody Mary quite simple, lots of ice, a garnish of with celery
  2. I’m not crazy on the wacky garnishes you see – bacon, prawns and the like.
  3. I do like a vodka Bloody Mary
  4. …which is definitely the more standard version.



L/R:      Hemingway and his wife Mary, Nancy Hawks, Spencer Tracy, George Jessel, unknown.

  • There are many stories about the origin and naming of the Bloody Mary
  • …as there are variations on the recipe.


  1. Pete Petiot:  bartender at Harry’s New York Bar in Paris, 1921
  2. Story:  Petiot named the drink ‘Bloody Mary’ after a woman who sat at the bar for
  3. …long hours pining for a boyfriend who seldom kept appointments with her.


  1. Colin Field: head bartender of Ritz Paris’s Hemingway Bar, 1950’s
  2. Story: The doctors had forbidden Hemingway to drink.
  3. Mary his wife  had taken this seriously and placed Ernest under close watch.
  4. Stealth and cunning were needed…and the bartender devised the ingenious mixture
  5. …a drink packed with alcohol that could not be detected on the writer’s breath!
  6. Hemingway was so pleased that he got the better of his ‘bloody wife’ that he
  7. …named the drink after her, Bloody Mary!


  1. History: Queen Mary
  2. Story: Some attribute the name to notorious Queen Mary Tudor
  3. who executed hundreds of Protestants in the name of
  4. Catholicism during her short five-year reign from 1553 to 1558.


Entertaining trends:

  1. Look at this appetizing display in a café bar  for DYI  
  2. Virgin Bloody Mary’s    (no alcohol)

 Here is a Bloody Mary at the Breakwater in Stonington Connecticut….
…I’ll have to work on my garnishes!  Thanks Kathy for the snapshot!
Bloody Mary Cocktail
  • 50 ml vodka
  • 100 ml fresh tomato juice
  • Dash balsamic vinegar
  • 6 drops of Tabasco
  • 4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 shot fresh lemon juice (15 ml)
  • 2 pinch ground pepper
  • 2 pinch  salt
  • Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into an
  • ice-filled long drink glass garnish celery and lemon wedge!

First impression?  

  2. ….and I LOVED  the sound of a real cocktail shaker
  3. filled with ice…and ingredients!
  4. It was just exciting!
  5. ps….I just finished my cocktail
  6. …and would love a second one…but I will restrain myself!
  7. Next week…..a new cocktail…a new blogpost!

Shot glass:





  • Keeping the celebration simple!
  • A good French wine….
  • Boeuf Bourguignon and
  • …and home-made Clafoutis avec cerises!
  • Vive la France!






#6 degrees July 2017

Picnic (1955)

  1. Brona’s Books religiously posts her
  2. #6degree meme  (read her post here)
  3. and I always promise I will try to
  4. write a post as well….I never do.
  5. Why?
  6. I hate to make the connections, have no talent for it.
  7. So, I will join Brona this month because  I know that interaction with bloggers
  8. is important to keep the ‘writing’ juices to flowing!
  9. I let her do the hard work (connections)
  10. …and I’ll just add my 2-cents.
  11. PS – #6degrees is a monthly meme hosted by Kate Books Are My Favourite 


Picnic #1 – eponymous play by W. Inge ‘Picnic’ 

  1. I have it on my TBR list.
  2. I was swept off my feet by the movie version (1955).
  3. The hot and steamy chemistry between Madge (the ravishing Kim Novak)
  4. and William Holden (Hollywood 1950’s hunk) fogged up my glasses!
  5. The dance scene at the picnic is my absolute favorite.
  6. If you watch femme fatale Madge and  drifter tough guy Hal
  7. sashaying and listen to the movie’s theme song
  8. …Moonglow by De Lange (words), Hudson and Mills (music).
  9. I dare you not to get skin shivers…it is so  good!


Picnic #2 – Sound of Music…. based  ‘The Story of The Trapp Family Singers”.

  1. If you haven’t seen this or read the story….you’re from another planet!


The Gilded Age NY society – That will have to be Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow

  1. This was very popular in the 1970’s but I had just shipped off to  The
  2. Netherlands and landed into a world very distant from the NYTimes best sellers list.
  3. I was in survival mode…no time for books yet!
  4. It won the National Book Critics Circle  Award for fiction in 1975.
  5. Not really a Pulitzer….but close enough.


Pulitzer connection:   – Angle of Repose

This book surprised me.

  1. Many readers love this book and I keep asking myself why?
  2. I too was drawn into the book in the first pages…but soon lost interest.
  3. The writing was not ‘powerful’….it was seductive.
  4. Stegener uses pathos that appeals to emotion to ‘bamboozle’  me.
  5. I was not impressed.


Forgotten classic: – The African Queen by  C.S. Forester

  1. My mother did not like movies  but I was addicted to them.
  2. There was one film she would watch with me…and we watched it a zillion times!
  3. This was ‘our’ movie.
  4. I decided to read the book….just for old times sake!
  5. Charlie: free-spirited libertine; drunk; loner.
  6. Rose: well-educated, snobbish; head-strong; bossy; devout tea-teetotaler
  7. This combination was explosive….and  yet a very tender love story.
  8. …another ‘classic’  movie from the 1950’s with Oscar winning  Bogart and Hepburn.


Existential hero –  The Sheltering Sky by Paul  Bowles

  1. The existential despair and determinism (fate) was dripping off every page!
  2. This book review will be posted soon…but take it from me
  3. …this was an exhausting read!


Road trip –  Walking the Nile  by Levison Wood.

  1. You probably know I love to travel and learn about the world
  2. …but I hate to leave home.
  3. #WorldFromMyArmchair  started by Paul Halfbook, Halfman was just
  4. …what the doctor ordered!
  5. This walk  with phython snakes, croc’s an hippo’s, red mites, insects and feral dogs
  6. …was an adventure pur sang!


  • Now there you have it….my #6degree connections
  • …with a little bit of help from a friend, Brona…who really travels!
  • Have a look at her second blog  Four Seasons!



Slow down…


  1. I can collect all the LISTS in the world.
  2. I can join a million reading challenges.
  3. But a book all comes down to my mood.
  4. At the moment…I’m in a rant  mood.


  1. I’ve been so disappointed with a few classics on
  2. Modern Library’s  list of best 100 novel…so dejected.
  3. Who puts three James Henry books on  the list
  4. one was more than enough?
  5. Light-weights….
  6. The Postman Always Rings Twice,
  7. From Here to Eternity, Kim, Catcher In The Rye
  8. USA by Dos Passos and The Magnificient Ambersons
  9. …are good but not TOP 100 novel-ish.
  10. So I have decided to replace the Books I Dread
  11. with some books  I really want to read.
  12. Terry Pratchett was a very wise man…..



  1. I took the time to think for myself and choose books
  2. Some are diamonds…some are glass…
  3. but most important
  4. ….they are all books I want to read


Science fiction:  Fahrenheit 451 – R. Bradbury

  • I always thought that science fiction was just mumbo-jumbo.
  • How wrong I have been.
  • In 1953  SF moved from magazines to the novel genre.
  • There was a market for these books filled with veiled
  • commentary on the times.
  • Bradbury touches on  destruction of culture (book burning by Nazis)
  • public’s addiction to TV, the power of advertising and McCarthyism.
  • This is just the first SF book I will read.
  • I want to learn about all that I have been missing!


Science fiction:    The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula Le Guin

  • I hope Ursula Le Guin wins the Nobel Prize one day.
  • It should be soon because she is 88 years old.
  • What is her strength?
  • She gives us a view from the other side…
  • showing us that that our perception of reality may be incomplete.
  • The author M. Chabon says Le Guin gave 21st C writers new tools
  • to work in the “borderlands,” the place where the fantastic enters literature.


Biography:  Orwell – M. Shelden

  • I found this book by accident.
  • Again…dreading books by George Orwell I thought
  • if I learn more about the man….reading his books would be easier.


Fiction:  1984 – G. Orwell

  • Ironically after reading the introduction to the  Orwell the biography
  • 1984 is a the only book from my ‘dread’ list that
  • …I am keeping on my list.


Fiction:    The Slow Natives – T. Astley


Short Stories:   several collections

  • I need a quick read  while
  • …drinking my morning coffee with the cats.
  • Short stories  have  never lost their artistic value
  • …but I seldom read them!
  • I am going to choose stories from several collections:
  • The New York Stories  – Edith Wharton
  • The Early Stories – John Updike 1/103
  • Complete Stories of – Dorothy Parker
  • The Rendezvous and other Stories – Daphne  du Maurier
  • Collected Stories – Katherine Mansfield
  • Complete Stories of – Flannery O’ Connor
  • The Collected StoriesWilliam Trevor


Crime fiction:    several choices

  • I will try yet again to read more crime fiction.
  • Le Carré – The Perfect Spy
  • Len Deighton – Berlin Game
  • Rex Stout – Some Buried Caesar – READING
  • Olen Steinhauer – An American Spy
  • D. Sayers – Strong Poison



  • I have several books written ‘about books, authors and plays’.
  • In the past I never allowed myself the time to read them.
  • Now it is time…to slow down and enjoy these books.
  • Approaches to Teaching the Plays of August Wilson – S. Shannon, S. Richards
  • Introduction to the American Short Story – M. Scofield
  • The Figure of the Detective – C. Brownson
  • Seamus Heaney – H. Vendler
  • The Politics: in Shakespeare’s History Plays – U. Kizelbach


Magazine:  The New Yorker

  • I have been reading this magazine since grammar school.
  • The literary content was beyond me at the time
  • …I just loved the cartoons.
  • Now every week the magazine arrives…and I ignore it.
  • Why?
  • No time to read it….I say to myself.
  • Now I’m making time to…
  • enjoy one of the best magazine in the world!
  • Issue 26 June 2017 – READ  cover to cover –  03.07.2017


Afbeeldingsresultaat voor terry pratchett quotes


  1. I find the slower I go…the more I want to do!
  2. Terry Pratchett said something that really stayed with me:
  3. “So much universe…so little time.”
  4. Clive Jones  poems Sentenced to Life is a book I cherish.
  5. In his title poem he said:
  6. “No birds touch down in the trees without me seeing them.
  7. I count bees.”
  8. A True lesson in slowing down…
  9. and end of rant.

Love My Garden II

  • Here are some photo’s taken to capture the beauty of my small garden!
  •  29 March

29 April 2017

29 June

21 August 2017


My first dahlia…




Wainwright Prize short list 2017


  • If you are looking for a relax read this summer here is a great short list!
  • The Wainwright Prize  not really  promoted in USA, that’s a shame.
  • The Wainwright Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for
  • the best work of general outdoors, nature and UK-based travel writing.
  • The Running Hare – J. Lewis-Stempel – READ (review)





Books I Dread


  • My goal is to read Modern Library’s  Top 100 Novels.
  • But there is one problem:  some of the books I just  DREAD.
  • It seems every time I look at the list I shudder.
  • So without any further ado  here are the top 10.
  • I will read them and get it over with
  • I must muster up the courage…like going to a dentist’s appointment.
  • I’m not even going to buy the books!
  • I’m using  Project Gutenburg and put them on the Kindle.
  • Are there any books you dread?

Update: 30 June 2017   ‘Slow down…’

  1. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. S. Fitzgerald – replacement = W. Trevor short stories
  2. BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley- replacement = Plays of August Wilson
  3. THE WINGS OF THE DOVE by Henry James – replacement = Fahrenheit 451
  4. THE AMBASSADORS by Henry James – replacement = The Left Hand of Darkness
  5. TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald – replacement = The Slow Natives
  6. THE GOLDEN BOWL by Henry James – (too late to replace, almost finished)
  7. POINT COUNTER POINT by A. Huxley- replacement = Strong Poison (D. Sayers)
  8. TROPIC OF CANCER by H. Miller- replacement = Seamus Heaney (H. Vendler)
  9. THE NAKED AND THE DEAD by Norman Mailer – replacement = The Perfect Spy
  10. 1984 by George Orwell – stays on list!


#NeedCoffee  … and lots of it !