Many thanks for the lovely birthday wishes and a fantastic celebration with the family who have gathered in Malta for the summer. Being a stickler for traditions, we ended the day with a sumptuous dinner at the Barracuda before heading back to for a last nightcap and yet more unpacking (we just arrived the other day!).

Birthday celebrations

with the family

thank you fall for making it a memorable day

Some things are rushing into existence, others out of it. Some of what now exists is already gone. Change and flux constantly remake the world, just as the incessant progression of time remakes eternity.

We find ourselves in a river. Which of the things around us should we value when none of them can offer a firm foothold?

Like an attachment to a sparrow: we glimpse it and it’s gone.

And life itself: like the decoction of blood, the drawing in of air. We expel the power of breathing we drew in at birth (just yesterday or the day before), breathing it out like the air we exhale at each moment.

— Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

Blogging hasn’t been the highest of priority, as I unfortunately came down with the seasonal flu. On the upside this gave ample opportunity to dip into movies of the past such as Dangerous Liasons with Glenn Close. A cinematic feast both visually and intellectually, its script still remains unsurpassed in its genre. Such as this little gem…

You’ll find the shame is like the pain – you only feel it once

I use my blog invariably for self-serving purposes. These posts spring from out of pure boredom, to being a creative outlet, to noting down occasions worth remembering….and sometimes they are just….like this post….a note to self. That going for a Gillian Anderson’s Stella Gibson hairstyle in the Fall works wonderfully if you are a blonde in your 40’s.

Secondly that the Fall is an exceptionally good serie, which has gripped me ever since finishing the first installment of Netflix’ Mindhunter (waiting with eager anticipation for the next series).

Thirdly that Amsterdam’s the Duchess is still a restaurant to recommend if you are after a cosmopolitan experience (not to mention the cocktail itself ;).

Now on that note…

my own interpretation…

…of Stella

…I can’t help thinking about you

After another sleepless night which I spend mostly catching up on the emails I didn’t get around to last weekend, I finally drag myself to the cross trainer with my laptop tucked under the arm. It stands downstairs so the chill is unmistakable. The cold temperatures certainly awakes me, so much that instead of putting on a playlist and leaf through my social media accounts, I go straight to the Guardian and click on the article promising news on last night’s Golden Globe. it opens up with a speech from Oprah and what a speech at that. It certainly sits up there with Obama, JFK and Martin Luther King. I must have watched it at least 3 times over as it lasted my entire 35 minute workout.

So, I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue.

The truth couldn’t echo more loud and clear.

Please watch the speech in its full entirety. I just wonder (and hope), when will we see #oprahforpresident?

Those we love don’t go away, They walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard, but always near, Still loved, still missed and forever dear.

I’m so blessed to have had two loving, strong and intelligent women in my life. Margite & Pia (mormor and mamma), not a day goes by without thinking of you

I hope you had a better one than I did after a particularly rank case of food poisoning. Looking at the whole episode from a philosophical angle (which I’m generally inclined to do) I literally purged the last year. Thus very few pictures exist from what was going to be a dinner at restaurant Chateau St. Gerlach followed by a New Year Party. Nevertheless the short break did me some good and before illness set in, I took a long walk with my son, vising the castle cemetery, talking about family crests, knights and feudal society. We continued into the woods where history turned into more of a geography lesson on sandstone, pine, caves and the occasional bunker.

We came home wet, muddy and tired, but managed to build some lego police vehicles and get Sebastian ready (can’t help but feeling so proud of him as he was such a gallant gentleman in looks and spirit, helping me whilst fighting against my stomach content whilst being dressed up to the nines).

Ah well a New year has finally begun and I can’t say I’m sad to see the last one being relegated to the ash heaps of history.


…got the most amazing view of the Maastricht fireworks from the top of a hospital car park


earlier in the day we went for a long walk in the woods. The obligatory group selfie which we evidently are not very good at looking at the cheesy grins

last pics of the year

Another manor house

lovely scenery

and animals too 🙂 

I escaped the Haarlem just before the weekend for a few days of rest and peace in the area of Maastricht, Valkenburg and surroundings. It’s been a lot of walking, some shopping, sightseeing and exploring great restaurants. A special recommendation goes to Restaurant Le Baroque in Valkenburg. Even if it’s the last thing you do, do try the pigeon with foie gras and truffle sauce. It’s one of the best dishes I’ve had this year.

The mulled wine speciality of the region – with amaretto

Pigeon breast with foie gras and truffle sauce

Valkenburg is lit up – including the light parade we watched yesterday


Wishing everyone of my readers a Merry Christmas and to those of you from far-flung corners of the world Happy Holidays! We have celebrated it yesterday as is customary in Sweden with traditional ginger bread baking followed by a Christmas smörgåsbord including obligatory delicacies such as meatballs, gravad lax, foie gras, wild boar pâté and stuffed turkey of course (courtesy to the British influences running in our family).

As the Christmas party was close to as stuffed as our turkey, we made a break for unwrapping the presents under the tree followed by Rice a la Malta, coffee, baume de venise and petit fours.

Julafton has arrived….finally!

starting off with baking ginger bread 

Christmas smörgåsbord

Come on! Time for gifts

Bricks Arms & Lego stood on the wish list 

Gift exchange in action

and wonderful desserts courtesy of RP x

No pics please!

waking up to many wonderful gifts

I love waking up in the mornings to an albeit small but tasteful decorated Christmas tree…..all credits to the kids who discovered the best pieces, discarded some and fought over the tree top decorum – Star or Peak. It became a star in the end. Keeping in line with family tradition, we put up the yearly decor purchases, this time three pieces from Villeroy & Boch’s collection which we acquired on our last trip to Lille.

Tree waiting for gifts from Father Christmas

Reindeer from the Villeroy & Boch collection