Sunday, February 07, 2010


When I left Rotterdam to sneak off down to Zeeland on Friday, I promised Mo I would do a new blog post this weekend. I didn't have quite as much work this time as last weekend so that made it I thought, anyway. Well, it's still been pretty busy with some roleplays to assess, lessons to plan and of course, keeping up with my self-imposed determination to do at least one module of the TEFL course I am doing.

It's strange to think I've been teaching English as a foreign language for ten years but have never had that particular qualification - others yes, but not a TEFL. Anyhow, better late than never and it's good discipline for the higher diploma that I want to follow it up with.

However, I digress. We did sneak out for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon, even though the weather wasn't exactly encouraging. It was very foggy and visibility was awful, but Koos courageously negotiated the country lanes till we found ourselves at the Westerschelde estuary. We could hardly see a thing, and in the swirling mists the harbour looked eerie with the boats sitting on the mudflats. The only sound was that of a big ship's foghorn booming mournfully into the void. I really loved it.

These photos don't really do the atmosphere justice, but hopefully they give some idea of what it was like - the loneliness and the emptiness. Wonderful.

Then we made our way back along the road that hugs the foot of the big sea dyke, past the memorial to show where the seas had breached the old dykes in 1953 that cost the lives of so many Zeelanders, and on to De Griete near Terneuzen. Here we stopped at a small country café/pub and had coffee and appel gebak (my favourite) before wending our way home again.

It wasn't a major excursion, but it was a memorable one. Did me good too.


  1. Lovely post Vally - what a fabulous excursion. The photos are beautifully atmospheric. I love mist - it's very eerie, and appeals to my mysterious side.

    Is your course like the Cambridge one? No matter - once you've been doing something for ten years, everything else is just a piece of paper. You certainly seem much in demand, so you must be good!

    I hope the pace settles down a bit for you soon.

    Love, M x

  2. Good for you for studying towards getting your papers- I always think of doing that as insurance, in case regulations change.

    Lovely photos- they certainly capture a sense of desolation.


  3. It does look lonely, but there is a certain peace that accompanies the swirling mists.
    If the view was clear and sunny all the time, we would lose the change and variety that we need in our lives.
    The mountains in my valley are always morphing - sometimes dark, sometimes beaming in the alpenglow, occasionally stark against a clear blue sky and often shrouded in clouds and mist in the winter.
    Good for you to get that certification, too, Val. Funny how a little piece of paper can make one more valuable...
    And an outing, or change of pace, can revive ones spirits, as well. Like the saying goes, "a change is as good as a holiday".
    And I am assuming it's low tide?


  4. Hi Val,

    great fog pics. It looks like in the autumn. Here it's cold and I don't like to go out. Hope the spring will be comming soon.
    Next week I will see the premiere of Wagner's opera
    "The Mastersingers of Nuremberg" here at the opera. Konsti will be comming with me. 4,5 hours of music. Hope it will be a good evening.

  5. Luverly pics. Glad we weren't there on Snail as apparently, even with the radar reflector, we're too low down to be spotted!
    Feeling better today and looking forward to seeing you soon. Must find Koos some photo opportunities here. xx
    ps Are you getting my emails?

  6. Nothing like boats in the fog and the feeling of fog, which deadens sounds wonderfully!

  7. Nice pics of what we hate the most. Poor viz and the possibility of the occasional thump, either floating or static below the surface, makes us look so unprofessional, good job we have these new fangle dangle plotter thingermies, we know we pass the navigation bouys as we didn't hear the thump, more qualifications upon more paperwork. No matter how old one gets you can still learn new tricks. K&H.M.W

  8. I think the fog makes for some great photos. It's very atmospheric.

  9. Your photo's made me shiver, it was the fog that did it for me. The other week we had fog for three complete days it was a cold wetness that permeated into the bones! Oh give me sunshine, am glad that you enjoyed yourselves the cafe/pub souned idyllic.

  10. "The fog comes on little cat feet..."

    Carl Sandburg

  11. Love the photos - fog always has such a magical mysterious quality to it ;)

  12. I really like that photo of Koos preparing to snap a shot.

    The damp, rocky beach, the grass and the mist - I can see, feel, hear and smell it!

  13. I've seen documentaries on the big sea dyke and for me to see it would be a huge excursion.

    Love the pictures. For me they don't depict loneliness, but dampness through to the bone - just like a November's day in our countryside.

    good luck with the new credentials


  14. Woa! I've been off the net for several days. In fact we've had an 'iffy' connection for more than a week, so my activities have been severely curtailed. It got so bad that this morning I went to the phone shop and got myself a dongel, you know, one of these mobile internet thingy's that work on a SB stick. Just as I'd signed the contract, Koos sent me an sms to say the internet was back up! Ah well, it's my insurance in case of future problems.

    Anyhow, many thanks for all your comments. I haven't really been able to look here, so it's lovely to see how many of you hae 'dropped by'. The mist is over now and we're back to snow and ice again. I am now officially fed up with winter!

    I'd love to sit and write a comment for each of you, but I think I'd better go off to bed now. Ive been marking assignments all evening so I'm a bit tired now, but tomorrow...I will...I will...

    Thank you all again. I really do appreciate it!

  15. Vally!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love the photos, and fog for that matter. I am a little odd that way.
    I always say this, I know, but I cannot wait to some visit and take a trip with you and Koos one day! It WILL happen!
    Have to check out those bilges you know!
    Much love, hugs to you both.
    Word verification: fixen.
    As in a female fox fixin' the kitchen sink??

  16. Though I usually don't like fog and moist in winter i would give my left arm to trade weather conditions with you now!
    Great pics and a nice shot of Koos in work :)
    A mobile dongle is a great backup, It is the only thing that work (but sloooow...!) at our summer house and a great backup when the ordinary network is down!

  17. Are you still surrounded by the mists?

  18. Excursions are very good for the soul Val! And important to know when you need a break and take one.
    I love the photos, especially the one of Koos with his camera!
    I find fog so eerily romantic, in small doses! Not so sure I would fare well in a place with too much of it.
    much love,

  19. I love your new id pic!

    ...verification "outtlect"
    sounds like a place you might visit!

  20. Thanks all...
    Hans,Stefan..Stevie and Dale! Lol Dale about the mists, and glad you like the pic. You inspire me to experiment with my phone camera!xx


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