It’s been a lovely weekend – relaxing and family oriented. Victoria joined for both lunch and dinner, and as I am trawling through the weekend in pictures I find this shot. With animal ears and glasses!! Perhaps I should change to a new frame (I only wear my glasses in the evening).

new spectacles?

You rarely have a weekend where you suspend work and routine and succumb to Netflix, a glass of red and PJ’s. But a rare spell of fatigue sees you doing just that….nothing. And discovering one of the best crime dramas you have watched in a long time. Top of the Lake – A New Zealand production, portraying a small town torn up over the disappearance of a 12 year old pregnant girl. It’s one of those dramas that don’t leave you for a second, haunting your dreams as your morning to the extent you decide to spend the rest of the day seeing the conclusion to the mystery that could have just as easily passed for Scandi Noir. Perhaps that is part of the attraction…

And when it stops, and you should really pick up the task list for the coming week, you go in desperation on the quest of finding the second part of the series – China Girl. But before you hit the play button, you take the time to let the pieces of the puzzle land whilst looking up the soundtrack on Spotify. Although you don’t find exactly what you are looking for, Opening by Philip Glass seems to fit the bill. So you put it on repeat and launch just another blog post.

The days seem to trail although they are getting shorter. So when Friday evening comes the only option seems to be a takeaway and Netflix. It lasts you into the wee hours when you realise you ought to go to sleep. So you do, to a documentary about the medical condition of Abraham Lincoln.

You wake up to the rain smattering against the window. You ought to take the opportunity to sleep in but rest eludes you. So you walk downstairs, fetching something to eat and are at once confronted with the remnants of a week gone by. Dishes, administration in a neat stack which grab along with the breakfast. And some very colourful paintings depicting The Mr Men and Little Miss characters from Roger Hargreaves’.

You smile at the felt pen drawings. Somehow even Cecile managed to secure a place.

drawings with the books that just arrived for Sebastian although we all love them πŸ™‚

Whether by nature or circumstances, I am a pragmatist and utilitarian through and through. There are probably a lot better examples of this than I will list here, but take for example my propensity for watching documentaries whilst doing any menial task. Or working whilst getting a haircut or pedicure. I do my concalls during manicures, and on a Friday evening (the day I typically don’t work out), I conduct the grocery shopping, as to get my daily exercise built in whilst stocking up on necessities. Another word I suppose one could call it by, is the fashionable term lifehack or plain old workflow management will also do.

The same goes for my breakfasts. If I have the time, I prefer a sturdy start of the day, which will buy me more time before hunger sets in. Cottage cheese, nuts and whatever fruit I have available is my favourite here. If I happen to be en route, it’s invariably a protein yoghurt and an apple. Practical is the key. So it’s extra special when I discover a mango (which coincidentally is the only fruit left) and put together the mother of all practical breakfasts – in 180 seconds flat.

Who knows when I will have the opportunity to have such a morning meal again. But excellent it was!

My start to the morning

It’s back-to-school, and as every other parent, I am getting used to the new schedule. Fitting in new appointments, rearranging others and finding routine to an otherwise hectic autumn. Swimming lessons have reverted back to Wednesdays and with that Mexican dinners with the Brady Bunch. It’s a welcome break to the week, which usually comprises of a mix of homemade cooking and takeaways (depending on time and level of energy). Well coming to think of it, I am more of a routine person – whenever situations allow for a bit of planning. In that sense I welcome back the autumn. Especially when it’s cold and I can sit by the fireplace with a cup of strong black coffee, working in my dressing gown.

the obligatory chicken salad at Popocatepetl

mornings are colder than usual, which calls for the fireplace to be inaugurated

 

Just before leaving the office, Victoria sent me a tempting picture of a dozen of cupcakes with icing and all. I am not sure if it was a bribe for joining us for a takeaway, but how could I refuse? All well and done, spareribs, hamburgers and cupcakes stood on the menu….and a few games of memory. In all its simpleness a lovely family evening. Thanks hun β™₯β™₯β™₯

As of recent I wake up earlier than normal. Not because something is brooding, but as it seems my bio rhythm has changed without rhyme or reason. Where I could easily sleep into past ten on a weekend, I wake up at quarter past eight invariably. My weekends are much the same though as in the past. Saturday starts off with coffee, news, emails and admin followed by running errands and a late afternoon gym session.

Sunday typically is a variant of the Saturday. Classical piano music, email and blogging followed by a late breakfast serving as brunch, and then catching up on whatever slipped through the net the previous day. After gym and an early dinner, I typically wind down with preparations for the week to come and a good film. Tonight I have my eyes on the French L’affaire SK1.

But seeing the glorious autumn weather, I might just substitute the latter for a solitary evening walk. Thinking twice about it, I might do just that. It won’t be long until those sunny days will be a mere memory.

 

pictures from yesterday’s evening stroll

it won’t be long until those leaves will shift their colour

Yesterday, as I had finished the grocery shopping for the week to come, it really hit home how much I missed Cecile. All those moments, which with their significance had lodged into memory. Good and bad…although Cecile always had a tendency of turning the latter into the former. Dogs have that rare gift I suppose – being man’s best friend. They have this sixth sense of feeling grief in their human companions, and do their utmost to erase it. Whether with wet kisses or party tricks. Yes I remembered it all, but this time around there was no Cecile to obliterate my sorrows. I distracted myself with a film on the Nelson Mandela trial where (oddly enough) I found some relief, until midnight struck and the only option left was to put the day to an end with the hope that the one in store would scatter the clouds. Luckily it has….somewhat.

“It’s taken 2 years ago to the day, when Cecile was still part of the family. It was a time of great change and upheaval and if I think about it, the picture was taken in an act of defiance. To the outside world, but more so to myself. I am ok. We are fine. We will survive.”

I came home last night from an improvised trip to the amusement park (or more like a fairy tale park) Efteling. It’s one of those places which has something to offer for young and old – in fact every age. The fairy rides, the village based on children stories such as Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood, and the amazing rides and shows offer much entertainment for any family.

In short it was the perfect ending to the summer holidays. On that note enjoy your weekend πŸ™‚

family fun…and yes we won a stuffed doughnut πŸ™‚

my gorgeous Victoria

Let’s see where this ride will take us

several fairy tale rides offer magnificent splendor

like snapshots from well known bedtime stories

undoubtedly the cleanest park in the Netherlands thanks to Holle Bolle Gijs

we already started on the bedtime story book

the day was preceded by family dinner

and swimming at the hotel swimming pool

 

An incredibly sad day for our family as our much loved Jack Russel family member, Cecile, had to be put to sleep after some months illness. Needless to say, too sad to write an obituary for this sweet little dog, who came to us when she was just months old. Yet very happy we got to see her when on our last vacation in Malta. Love you and will miss you tremendously Cecile. ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀ ❀

Miss you sweetie

remember snuggling up to her in bed

and playing with the kids

the most adorable little dog

a very happy meeting last month after not seeing her for some 18 months