July 28, 2007


After a fairly chaotic week, I decided on Friday that it's time to take a break so I have the coming week off work. Very very good.

Although I'm planning some serious stuff, it started with a wonderfully relaxing day at Elysium. We spent the whole afternoon wandering from sauna to steamroom to deckchairs in the sun to the restaurant and back to a sauna. I feel almost completely zen, ready for a good week.

But first, a semi-serious meeting to take care of tonight, before saying goodbye to a close friend who's heading to Uganda! Why do almost all my friends always take off travelling to the strangest places? So not fun (for me of course, it's great for them).

July 24, 2007

Pet #1 & Pet #2

My evenings this week look like this:

- come home and feed Nemo-1, -2 & -3 (yes, they are back, but I've been told these are actually not their official names);
- feed Machi;
- take a walk through town and feed Garfield-1 & -2.

It's all good though. By the time I have my own pets, I know where to call in some favours.

*evil grin*

July 23, 2007

Domestic travel prep

So, no foreign travel is planned for quite some time. Sigh. But, I'll try to see as much as I can of my own country in the meantime.

Last year, my mum and I decided we should start doing yearly hiking trips. The first one took us to Nijmegen and surroundings, in two weeks time we're going to an area around the IJssel river, just a bit further north. We booked hotels today and I'm really looking forward to it!

See, good travel doesn't necessarily have to be far away.

July 21, 2007


I tend to start buying stuff if I'm delayed travelling. Not good.

So, today, stuck at the airport/station for a bit I innocently wandered into the bookshop. And am now immersed in Harry Potter Part 7. Wheee!

(I'm truly not that addicted to the series, but yes, I do wanna know how it finishes before all the spoilers start appearing!)

July 20, 2007


It took me a full hour to get my computer up and running tonight. Gah.

True sign of addiction I suppose, with rebooting and so on, et cetera, while I should really get some sleep and I'll have proper access again in a couple of hours in the morning anyway. And I've resorted to IE because Firefox won't load. Grr.

So, addicted. It must be that. Alternatively, it's time for a new 'puter.

July 18, 2007

I like work on days like today

Although the content of my work might not be so interesting over the last two years or so - I do get to do fun stuff.

My 'department' (all three of us) decided we needed to have some fun so we spent the afternoon at the Kröller-Müller Museum. One of my favourite museums in the Netherlands in a stunning part of the country. Then, nice food and wine while loving the sun. Bliss.

The below are pictures from the museum's huge sculpture garden

July 17, 2007


How to know you bought a cool new cd:

* when the cool guy behind the counter actually shows the other cool guys what you're buying and they're all nodding in approval.

The kind of stuff that makes a normal day just that much nicer!

(an old draft I forgot to post)

July 16, 2007

Japan in the Netherlands

Japan and the Netherlands have a shared history that goes back over 400 years. It is quite interesting to see how the Netherlands has influenced Japan in unexpected areas - medicine, language etc. This long history of 400 years was celebrated in 2000. Lots of events, the royal families visited, lots of attention.

And now, 2009 is going to be another celebratory year: 400 years of Japan-Netherlands trade relations. The first time I heard about it, and when I told friends, the reaction was: "But haven't we done that already?".

As you can probably tell, I'm a tad sceptical about the whole thing. I don't see the point in another stream of standard activities if it isn't done well, with good thinking behind it: tea ceremony, kendo demonstration, kabuki play, etc. - it just doesn't appeal enough. Japan has so much more to offer but I always get the feeling that not much is done with the rest. Luckily, it seems I might have an opportunity to have some influence on this. I'm considering getting involved in some of the organisation behind all this.... Could be potentially fun. Not to mention good for my networking skills.

Make-over (part 1?)

I have spent the last couple of weeks (months?) talking to a lot of different people about how to tackle this jobhunt which hasn't been giving any results.

Although in general these meetings concerned similar issues, looking back I find that I've taken a very clear single idea away from all of them. This has actually been very good.

One meeting that impressed a lot brought home again, and quite urgently, that much of getting jobs, meeting new people, creating new opportunities is about presentation and first impressions. Something I've actually written about much more often on here already.

In any case, it's time to start doing something about it - because the more I see the way people around me act, the more I have come to realize that there is a huge gap between who I am and how people see me. And it is now actually interfering with how I want my life to be. After discussing this with a couple of friends, the standard reaction was that I definitely shouldn't change me. But that's absolutely not what I want either. I just want people to see who I am much much quicker.

So, the make-over has started. And surprisingly, it seems to be working. Just little things for now (it's amazing how different you can feel with new hair) but I'm completely confident that I can pull this off. Even if it will take a bit of time.

P.S. Over the last few months it seems this blog is turning more and more personal - almost a personal diary. Scary, especially because it's all not so anonymous anymore.... :-/ Anyway, bear with me, there've been some posts lately that worried people I think but it is usually a spur of the moment thing, not to be taken too seriously (I think).

July 15, 2007


It feels as if this weekend was a proper one after a long time:

* dinner with best friends, drinking wine and chatting the night away on a summery night
* good beer and company in my favourite cafe where I hadn't been for ages
* of course something cultural: Japanese calligraphy
* a picknick in the park, unfortunately with a sun that disappeared much too often
* music, dancing and beer and much unexpectedness at a party organized for charity (although am not sure what charity exactly)
* a Sunday-afternoon with wine, sunshine, fun company

What more could I want?

Good stuff. And no thinking about jobhunting crap. Even better! I'll start worrying about that again tomorrow.

July 08, 2007


In preparation of the upcoming interview I've been looking through the first couple of months of this blog. That might sound strange but the interview is actually for an organisation that I did some work for while I was in Tokyo (which is really when I started writing here).

And as I started this blog off thinking of making it fairly intelligent, without the random touristy and weekend stories, I was looking to find more details on what I had done for them - my memory already seems to be worsening!

That lead to two observations:
* the attempt of
making it fairly intelligent, without the random touristy and weekend stories,
hasn't worked. So, I didn't find anything useful.

* I think I actually write much better now than I did back then. Some of the posts are just painful to read. Ouch.

July 06, 2007

Nemo! (x3)

For my friends' sake, I hope I'm better with fish than I am with plants.

As of today I'm in charge of three Nemo's while my friends are of holidaying in St. Petersburg. So fun!

I think I get overexcited about silly stuff - a while ago I could just barely restrain myself from posting a picture of my plants which were blossoming (which is quite a major happening in my world)!

July 05, 2007

A long five days

So, I have a new job interview scheduled. Finally! It's been months. And it actually sounds as if I have all the qualifications which probably is a first....

But... the consequence of all these meetings over the past few months is that I'm already freaking out about it. And mostly about: What To Wear.

I seem to have lost all objectiveness on my own wardrobe (if that were possible to have) and am completely confused about what looks good on me, what an appropriate outfit is to interview in, what colours I should wear to give off the impression that I want etc etc.

Gah!! This is gonna be a loooong five days until the interview. I'm calling in some people to help out I think.

July 02, 2007

Whine, whinge, sulk


Feeling ultimately sorry for myself after this morning's appointment with the dental surgeon.

At least this was the last time, and I have another full day to sulk around the house.

Of course, I had planned to do much usefulness, but so far: nada. I think I'll just get on my couch with a book and/or dvd.