Monday, July 26, 2010

A 'klein' weekend

Klein in Dutch mean small, but our Klein weekend was anything but. It was great and full and lively and so full of laughs that I shall treasure it in my memory for many a long month.

Klein is of course the surname of our wonderful blogger friend Anne Marie. She and her absolutely dear husband Austin came to visit us for the weekend before leaving for Schipol this evening and Canada tomorrow morning.

We had such a special time with them and talked ourselves into a deep and enduring friendship. Sindy adored them both.

On Saturday, when they arrived, we chatted a while and then went out for a late lunch, then talked more before Austin cooked us the most fabulous meal in the evening.

Yesterday dawned wet and windy, our first rain for weeks, but a shame for them. Still, we took ourselves off on the Fast ferry to Dordrecht and showed them round its delightful historic centre before heading back to Rotterdam. We ended the day in probably the best Italian restaurant in town, and Austin, our gourmet guide was suitably impressed. The atmosphere there is intimate - a real Italian family restaurant. In fact, it's the place my girls took me on my birthday, so it's rapidly becoming a favourite.

Today, we took a stroll over to see Mo and Craig on their ship, and then spent the afternoon sharing stories, music and laughter again until it was time to make supper and for the two of them to catch the train to Schipol. I felt quite choked to see them go. Next time, I really hope it will be our turn to visit them, but whatever the case, Anne Marie and Austin have become real friends, not just for now, but for life. Be safe you two! Lots and lots of love go with you xxx


  1. Val, Koos, and Sindy,
    Thank you for such a memorable, magical weekend. Like I said on my own blog, it is with a heavy heart that we are leaving. Lots of love to you all too.


  2. What a wonderful weekend you all had. Really great photos, especially the last one of all of you :)

  3. Its always great to see old friends.
    Keep up the reports of the boat, there is always something for every one to learn from others. I spent the weekend searching for a damp smell that had suddenly appeared on board, fearing the worst. I eventually found an old bag of potatos that were emitting the aroma of rot :)

  4. Hi Val,
    a good headline with play of words for a post.
    I'm happy, you had such a great weekend together. Hope Anne Marie and Austin had a safe trip back to her country.
    Love Stefan

  5. Anne Marie, it seems very grey and quiet without you, and Sindy is definitely suffering from post AM depression, bless her. I hope your trip home was easy and relaxed. Thank you so much for the wonderful company and shared laughter. Brilliant! We miss you!

    Grace, it was fabulous and I've changed my profile pic in their honour. Anne Marie was so sweet to Sindy she's positively sulking now they've gone!

    Geoff! Grreat to see you here. I shall post some pics of the boat again next time, since the rush to have it finished was for these visitors. I still have some jobs to do this week, but then it will be done.

    Stefan, glad you enjoyed the word play ;) It was a terrific weekend indeed.

    String. Wonderful is the right word :)

  6. Hi Val,
    We had a great flight back, and are home safely in the beginning stages of another heat wave. :) Austin is off to the airport to get some California girls, and Giz was kind enough to bring us home from the airport but leave Whiskey at her place until we sort a few things out here.

    So sweet of you to change the profile pic. It is really quite a good visual gauge of the weekend- lots of laughter and fun indeed. You give both your sweethearts a big hug from me, and then an extra one for Sindy as I miss her very very much too, darling thing.


  7. This has got me smiling!
    You all look wonderful in the bottom photo - makes me wish I was there!
    I love the idea that you all got to meet once more and share some good times.
    It's neat, although we have never met in person, I feel as if I know you all so well.
    That is to be cherished!


  8. Val,

    I can relate to your words. Enough said without getting to soft. Glad the week-end was wonderful. A&A are special people as I'm sure you and K are. (at least that's what I've heard from A&A and G&R).

    I can't wait for my turn to see your barge. Maybe one of these days.

  9. What a lovely time you obviously had together with your friends. Precious moments to tuck away in your memory store and then pull out in the cold winters of life.

  10. Your weekend sounds just perfect. How wonderful to find friends with whom you can talk into the small hours of the morning and have such fun together!! I hope you can visit your friends soon.

  11. Thank you all! Friends made through blogging have brought us some fantastic memories of good times spent in each others company.

    I feel privileged to have met A&A, and also Margie from Australia (in Paris 18 months ago), and also Maria, Hans and Ingela in Finland. Invader Stu is also a friend via blogging. I am most definitely looking forward to returning Anne Marie's visit and meeting you, Lesley and Dale on the same trip.

    I'm also looking with longing eyes towards Venice, Janys! I am going to Italy in October for a weekend, but it will be spent walking the Cinque Terre, so I'm afraid we won't make it to Venice that time, but with the wonderful Ryan Air, it won't be long before I get there again ;)

    Stefan, Germany and Kassell are also on my list, and wy not closer to home, Aledys? So many wonderful friends and places to visit..blogging is still the best!

  12. My young second cousin and her Chilean husband were here with me a couple of weeks ago for a couple of days... and then from here they went by train to the Cinque Terre and hired a car to visit the area. Then they moved on to Rome, the Amalfi Coast and Positano. Had a lovely time and did a lot of walking. I think they stayed in an "agriturismo" - farm holiday centre which sounded wonderful.

    So I shall look forward to your visit at some other time... who knows - we might make it to Holland first as our first big biking experience!

  13. Oh yes yes yes, Val, please do come visit!!
    The vista awaits.

  14. The quartet of you looks absolutely lovely in that last picture!

    It's such a special thing to meet blogging friends from faraway in real life.

  15. Janys, it will be...of that I'm sure!

    And Dale, we really really want to. just a question of moola and time...although that's almost the same thing

    Maria, speaking as one who has met you, I can say that's absolutely true. Meeting you was one of the highlights of my year!

  16. Val,

    And I can say the same about meeting you!

  17. wow, i'm so happy for you guys. i, too, met up with blogger friends last week - two from the u.s. and two from finland. it's been such an exciting year in this respect.
    hope to see you again soon!

  18. Sounds like you had a great weekend again

  19. Hi Maria, Ingela and Stu. many thanks for your comments. I'm sorry I haven't been by here lately, but blogging has had to tak a back seat to getting the Vereeniging finished for my sister's visit this last weekend and then the weekend before that, my daughter and son-in-law..or skoon son as I like to call him (corruption of the dutch schoonzoon ;-)) came down to Westdorpe for a mini break where they gave us a lot of help.
    It's been a busy old time since Anne Marie and Austin left, I can tell you!


Apologies for switching on comment moderation, but this is to make sure everyone can comment without jumping through captcha hoops! However, anonymous comments will not be published, so please would you sign your name.