Saturday, October 01, 2011

Catching up again

Where do I start? What do I say after all these weeks when I've hardly posted a thing but so much has happened?

Perhaps I should take one thing at a time and post as and when I can. First thing of note is that we are having a blessedly glorious Indian summer. This last week has been everything summer should have been and apparently we can expect it to continue until next Wednesday, maybe even longer. The temperature has been in the mid twenties all week, the sun has shone endlessly and it has been dry, dry, dry! Simply wonderful. I really needed this as I've felt pretty down about the lack of UV rays my body has been able to absorb this year.

The downside is that it has been an exceptionally busy month work wise, so the freedom to enjoy this marvellous tonic has been confined to cycling to work and back and walking Sindy. Still, it's done me the power of good.

Apart from that, what has happened? Well, in a nutshell, Koos's sister celebrated a big birthday (out of discretion, I won't say which one) and we were privileged to share it with her. We had a lovely day with his family as there was a surprise trip round Rotterdam's harbours by boat, followed by a very luxurious meal at one of Rotterdam's top locations. And I mean top! It was in the restaurant high up in the Euromast tower from which the view is quite literally awesome. I think Koos has published a film he made of the view on Facebook if anyone is interested and hasn't seen it.

What else? Well, I have started teaching Chinese students at the Rotterdam Business school. It is a one year assignment and I give lessons two days a week. The students are charming, but always tired, so where discipline is no problem, keeping them awake is! I have to invent all sorts of interactive activities simply to keep them busy during the three hour sessions.

The other main event has been the opening of Koos's exhibition in Hulst, Zeeuws Vlaanderen. 15 of his finest photos are being exhibited at a small arts centre in this very pretty, previously fortified, border town. Last Sunday was the first day of the exhibition and even though there was no official opening, a couple who knew Koos from long ago turned up unexpectedly because they had seen the announcement on Facebook and decided to drive the sixty odd kilometres to have a look. Nice, hey?

I'm sure there are other things I should write about, but in all honesty I am too tired to remember anything but the main events, so with that I shall leave you with a couple of pics: three of the harbour trip and one of Koos's perfect photos.

Koos's sister and husband confirming their ongoing affection for each other.
Out on a grey and windy Maas
How the big boats clean their bottoms
One of Koos's abstractions and one of my favourites. I call it industrial art

Have a lovely weekend everyone.


  1. Val, that sounds like alot going on right there.
    Well, after all this time of you having a dreadful Summer weather, I sent you mine, you sent me yours. we are going into a very early Winter weather pattern. Rainstorms on the way for all next week. :(.
    truly enjoy your Indian Summer, you deserve it - finally!
    How wonderful cycling back and forth. and of course the Sindy walks. exciting.....Koos exhibit. What an honour. To have his photos up in an exhibition, very cool.

  2. I know what you mean about the weather, it is glorious here as well! Looks like you are busy too! Great news about the exhibition, Koos is a brilliant photographer, one of the best in my opinion!

  3. the balmy weather is all around there, or I take heart that weather there is weather in the UK.

    lovely industrial art by koos. I am up for a calendar again, but only ask (gently) no graves; or, October this year I see All Saints Day in Poland ;-).

    I thought of a tool for classes the other day. A carrot! Wave, honestly, a carrot at them or an eye on the pie or that kind of thing. Wakes them, gives them a laugh, and if this can be incorporated into any lesson, creates memory for what's to be learned.

    Sindy is happy ;-)

  4. Val, so happy to read you are having a lovely fall, after the poor summer you seem to have had compared to the North Americans. I am thrilled that Koos has an art exhibition- so well deserved.
    I can't complain of being too busy, because at least I get to choose what I am busy about. Am planning to blog later today about a wonderful concert I saw here in San Fran last night, so it's nice to see the bloggers back in action.

    Love to Sindy and Koos.


  5. You have been busy and congratulations and good luck to Koos with his exhibition, I wish I could get there to see it in person. Why are your Chinese students so sleepy, are they working hard outside the class? Singing may well wake them up, I have found this to be a useful teaching tool in the past. Enjoy the sunshine, we are xxx

  6. Thank you all. Yes, we are very happy with this lovely spell of odd to see people out in shorts and flip flops in October, but fantastic all the same.

    Koos's exhibition does deserve special attention, so I'll do a blog about it too later. It's great because Hulst is a very arty centre and there are always lots of people about in the town at weekends.

    Fran, the Chinese students are all very new to NL, so I think it has to do with adjusting and adapting and working hard at the same time. Unfortunately, my job is to teach them good academic and business writing skills, so singing isn't on my programme. I think they probably do it in pronunciation classes though. I keep them busy with lots of puzzles and card matching games to make good sentences.

  7. I am so very glad that you are having lots of sunshine, while we bathe in warmish rain :)
    Very heartwarming to see the photo of Koo's sister & her husband canoodling, love between people ought never to be hidden.
    It sounds as if you may have caught the same complaint as your Chinese students - i.e. too much work and not enough play/sleep??

  8. Val, I was thinking just the same this morning as I had a moment at my disposal. I decided to post a thought on FB, but changed my mind and post on my blog instead.

    It sounds like you've had the perfect Indian Summer! We managed to get a week of holidays - a visit with an old and dear friend in Saskatchewan followed by a few day's camping in Idaho. The weather was splendid!

    Congratulations to Koos' sister - what a good-looking couple. I cannot think of a better way to spend a landmark birthday in Rotterdam than what you did.

    Why is it the Chinese students are all so tired? How old are they? What is it they do or don't do that they have to fall asleep during the day? Or is ESL too much for them?

    I have been observing Koos' photos on FB and I love them! However, I still don't have a computer of my own, so I am unable to watch any videos. :(
    Congratulations to Koos on the exhibit - I'll bet you are both quite proud!

    I am looking forward to making time to be around more frequently.



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