Monthly Archives: April 2010

Yesterday was a disaster on the Dutch roads. Everyone has somehwere to go as weekend started early with Queensday celebrations (today) and then the start of the May vacation. We were all stuck for hours in traffic and even the trains were not working properly which caused even further jams. Reinout, being the handyman with the camera took out his roadrage with his iPhone as only tool. Reinout for video blogging, anyone??

I’m in bed not feeling well at all. A looong day, hours in traffic, a cancelled meeting, a great prokect kick-off….and I’m beat. Well I was suppose to upload my little blog post of todays happenings hours ago, but as I fell a sleep shortly after 9 pm, here is it in unrevised format…

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It must be one of those idiosyncrasies that only women are so prone to….at midnight, just having completed a draft business plan and downing the last bit of Prosecco that was standing on my bedside table, a thought came into my mind. What was the weather going to be like for the coming day? I quickly pulled up my Mac from under the bed and googled “Amsterdam weather”. 21 degrees and sunshine! My mind started going in loops. What do you wear on the first summer day of the year? The green Jean Paul Gaultier, a tight conservative number from Karen Millen or a newly bought black, beaded dress from Paul & Joe? I settled for a blue and white striped (very French, very chic) number from Edith & Ella, accompanied by a waist high (or low) white cardigan, black Mary Janes from Karen Millen (always works) and patent leather handbag from Mulberry.

Laying there, in utter darkness fantasizing about my wardrobe for the coming day brought back memories from adolescence. I recalled those late spring days in Malmo, when summer hadn’t yet conquered it’s predecessor, and weather was as predictable as the Presidential elections. I would run out on our balcony checking the temperature. If it was marginally within reach of 20 degrees, it was shorts weather and any Benetton or La Coste shorts from my limited collection (I was not such a collector in those days) came out on display. A few years later, when flowery dresses supplanted the shorts trend, I would start the very same process of picking out my dress du jour the evening before. No wonder I couldn’t get to sleep…

…now….in a cab for a lunch meeting in Amsterdam South, then presenting business plan…then who knows…the weather is good….I quite fancy a glass of Prosecco…

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Dress from Edith & Ella

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Shoes Vintage Karen Millen, Bag Mulberry

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Happy camper in the back of a cab

Still working on a business plan, so going to the funfair is out of the question. But Reinout & Sebastian just sent their report…sweet!

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So when you’re finally on the roll for going on a holiday, things don’t look so certain any longer. As weeks becomes days, and days becomes hours in vacation count-down, work is piling up…fast. So when Reinout comes in this morning and suggest we go for a drink and visit the Kermis (Dutch word for fun-fair on the city centre square), I say I can’t because I have work to do. My husband looks surprised “Work? What work?” he exclaims.

I know the argument. If he, in his role and capacity being far more important than mine, can take off for a few hours so can I. It doesn’t take long until an argument is in full swing. Importance of work doesn’t always equate effort of work. Small things can take far more time, especially when there isn’t a network or workforce to delegate it too.  My argument has little impact, and the debate is going even deeper into conference calls, their purpose and importance and other work details. When an agreement (or an agreement to disagree) is as far away as the Great Wall of China, I suppose my husband sees the writing on the same very Wall, and takes off in a huff. I run after, shouting a few warning words before I get back to my work. Our crazy neighbour on the other side of the street peeks out from her semi-transparent curtains. She must feel happy she’s not alone anymore being the neighbourhood loony!

Albeit a fiery relationship, an argumentative and verbal one, it does have its perks of letting off steam in something that could easily be script worthy material for Coronation Street. Kiss and make up is one, but perhaps more importantly a deeper understanding for ones issues. Why suffer in silence when one can bring out the linguistic boxing gloves and have a few punches at ones loved one?

Four hours later, my husband is back and my threat of not going on a holiday is all forgotten. We agree on a compromise instead. We’re leaving on Saturday giving me Queensday to wrap things up. And at once peace descends not only to the house and our relationship  but to my frantic mind.

There was an email that stood out above all other emails from lat night. It simply read: “It was our wedding anniversary yesterday.” I stood there in disbelief having missed one of the most crucial days of our entire joint life. If you feel gutted, then this is the moment. I ran downstairs to apologise, in my tattered dressing gown which didn’t make it for yesterdays wash. Reinout was outside and I lept out on my bare feet to stand on street waiving to the unknowing subject. People were watching. I ignored. I stood there for some time whilst my husband was playing with Sebastian and his three-wheeler. After what must have seemed like minutes he noticed me and came over.

“I’m sorry” I meekly apologized.
“I wanted to see when you would remember. But obviously you didn’t”.

I apologized once more knowing that time was not on my side and I needed to make a move to get ready for the day. But as I applied my make-up and curled those strands of fake Chinese hair that adorns my head, I had an epiphany. One of those, “hold on” moments.

The notion of my husband waiting a whole day, watching my every move, every word uttered across my Dior lipstick stained lips in anticipation of a revelation….and still not saying anything. Not whisking me away for a dinner at the local Indonesian, or a home cooked meal, even if I would have to pick out every single macaroni to adhere to my Atkins diet. The thought baffled me. I would have reminded my husband, even if it was my birthday and he’d forgotten. I would have reminded him.

And people make mistakes. People get consumed in every little detail called life, random moments forever changing course and direction. Defence or not, legitimate reason or excuse, people make mistakes. Now let’s move on to bigger and brighter things. Such as a holiday looming on the horizon!

Susanne
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And PS: Any anger soon evaporated during a phone call between the bus stop and work…

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Finally tucked up in bed after a hot shower. Like most Monday’s it’s been pretty full on starting with an early 9 am conference call. As Caroline was cleaning the house (it’s becoming ever more cluttered with shoes, handbags and other female paraphernalia) and sorting out my mess of about 20 books laying scattered across the floor since yesterday’s bookmarket, I was going on with my project and business requirements’ document for my new project. It’s shaping up nicely which is great!

But at 2 pm my laptop, which happens to be a Mac, grinded to a halt. I must admit it had been acting weird in the past weeks, taking on more and more PC like behaviours such as random freezes and going from multitasking to single tasking. It was the queue for an upgrade so I headed for the Mac store for some extra memory. In the meantime as my Mac was getting some well needed surgery I was treating myself to a gruelling gym session, flexing my muscles to Armin van Buren whilst watching a mute Oprah. I’m not sure what was more motivating, but I set a new record in calories consumed over 35 minutes. 432 to be precise!

Mac was in order an hour later, and it’s working brilliantly again. I continued my plan, including some harsh input from my husband who fails to see the semantic sides to linguistic nuances. A steak and tomato was my dinner (I’m once again on a diet!) and now I’m happily tucked up in bed with my best friend…the Mac.

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Reinout is watching football downstairs; I on the other hand is nice tucked up in bed. I’m not tired, yet I have no energy left for work. So I stare at the screen, mindlessly browsing the news in the hope that something will lift my mood. It’s been a good day…in places. After work I hooked up with Reinout in town for a drink at Viqhs. Victoria joined in too and not long after MJ. We drink, then play some games at the fun fair which is currently residing at the market square. I win a red cuddly toy resembling some creature out of the Muppet Show. Or perhaps it was Sesame street, We head for dinner, Mexican. I’m hungry and order beef fajitas which is gone within 10 minutes of serving.

An hour later I come to regret my choice of dinner…or rather my intake of it. I should not have ate so much and so fast. I can feel that now. Bad move. On the other hand the food and the wine is making me tired. Apart from absolutely no aim with this blog post, this must be the queue for going to bed…

The day is coming to a close and despite having lost my way to work, I eventually arrived…half an hour late…and very cold. I love my new office, spacious, nice view and a lot of light. Meetings and research has been the theme of today, and an ever growing action list. I’m not complaining, this is going to be great! In an hour off to home and then salsa lessons tonight. I’m a bit tired but nothing the latin rhythms won’t be able to take care of.

Ta ta for now!

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Oh and as you can see, thank God the fake tan is gone!

It’s always exciting when you start a new job. Butterflies in your stomach, you know your first weeks are what counts. You want to give a good impression to your colleagues, walk that extra mile, and keep output at a constant flow. It’s also a buzz, new people, new challenges and definitely some new objectives you want to make sure that you just don’t meet but exceed. I always put the bar high, some people might say too high. So when external circumstances (or due to your own mistakes and shortcomings) makes it difficult to meet them, you might not only face the original problem but also one of an entirely different nature.

Well, I like to believe that in the past year, having made a concerted effort to set some work and private goals, and foremost grow….as a human, I’m on the right track.

My new job is in Naarden and thus a little bit further than my previous job in Amsterdam. It means waking up early (I’m thinking 6.45), go for a 40 min run and then hit the shower. It will need to require more organisation, and I foresee some interesting challenges. But as someone wise said, problems are only opportunities in disguise. And on that note I will have to love you and leave you, because my train is approaching Amsterdam Central Station.

Wish you all a great day, and a fab week!

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I’ve been pampering myself this evening, leaving my favourite glyco peel from Natura Bisse on extra long, to remove any traces of the “perma tan” I sustained last Friday. My skin looks a lot better now, and the orange shade is finally gone. I use these great products from Natura Bisse. It’s a beauty range from Barcelona and not really well known outside the few privy of this well kept secret. Now, I’ve used ridiculously expensive products – from MBR (Medical Beauty Research), to the likes of Sisley and La Prairie but non lived up to their great reputation. Instead I felt cheated after throwing away hundreds of euros on some tiny jar.

Natura Bisse is different. It’s expensive, but still affordable, and their highly customized creams and peels fit a wide arrange of skin types. And they last for ages, rendering them very cost effective.

But all is not expensive in the land of beauty, and recently I came across a couple of dirt cheap products I love. First out is the Demak Up pads, which with a bit of water rinses away all make-up in a matter of seconds. What most expensive facial cleaners fail to do, this one delivers on! The Bio oil for about EUR 8;- per bottle is another great buy. It’s perfect for dry skin without clogging up and making it oily. And it’s suppose to be great against scarring and hyperpigementation too.

The Diadermine capsules are super for under your make-up cream or foundation. It’s one of those wrinkle fillers which makes the skin feel very smooth. And last but not least, a favourite of mine for years, La Roche Posay Anthelios factor 50 sunblock for the face. It’s a very thin cream, penetrating the skin well before applying the day cream. I use this one in factor 30 in autumn/winter and the factor 50 version for spring and summer.

Who said beauty had to be expensive?

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Expensive, but oh so good!

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Cheap and cost-effective