Monday, 5 June 2017

Steampunk festival in Oamaru and a beautiful drive through paradise

Listening to Eros Ramazzotti in the car while driving through paradise brought a tear to my eye.
Coming home and seeing  the news of the terror attack in London were 7 people died Among the injured is a young man from Christchurch. The love of this morning turned into pain and my heart goes out to all involved.  It is important however to keep loving and send out the light to fight the dark.

We drove  to Oamaru last Sunday to go to the steam punk festival. We just went to the market as we are not steampunkers we didn't go at night to the ball or the fashion show. Oamaru with its Victorian buildings is  the heart of steampunk in NZ. It has it's own steampunk museum and festival. So what is steampunk. It is hard to explain.
It is about mixing old and new
It is about high tech in Victorian time
It is about science fiction merged with steam power engines
It is about lace and top hats and clocks and uniforms
It is about Jules Verne and Dr Who

After we visited the market we had a drink with friends at the local brewery.
We took a detour home the next day. We have done that route before but  each time, in different season it looks different but equally stunning. This time we had a beautiful winter day.  Hope you enjoy the slideshow.

Thursday, 1 June 2017


.Having fun in Antwerpen


30 years ago, tobacco, 
an extension of my arm
running from routine
clouded by smoke
evenings filled with 
dance and disco lights
Smoke on the dance floor
Filling the emptiness
Not knowing how to feel
how to deal with life
not knowing where to go
knowing why and how
living in the now,
not a child
Graving for that one beau
to drown in brown eyes
Or deep blue would do
To dance, laugh, levitate
on the release of blissful butterflies
velvet red wings spilling into the air
till the prince disappeared into the dark
 love spell broken
leaving me with booze in one 
Tobacco in the other hand
living in la la land

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Stopovers on our trip last year

It is about a year ago that we went for a visit to family and friends in the Netherlands. On the way back we planned a few stops as we thought that breaking up the trip a bit would make us less tired.
That really didn't work but we saw a lot of new beautiful places. Our first stopover was in Zurich.
An old wealthy city were we stayed a day. We than traveled to Zug by train were we stayed the nigh in someones flat we booked through Air BNB and returned to the airport the next day. We also had one night in Singapore were we wanted to avoid the shops so we went to a nice island not far from the airport. Underneath some impressions of our trip.

Blowing bubbles in Zurich

Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Next Level: a Transformational event in Christchurch May 2017

I have been busy  and will soon tell you more about it but here is one of the things I have been enjoying:

Recently I received an email that Michael Johnson, aka The Mojo Master was coming to Christchurch and if I wanted to interview him. Michael is a transformational expert who not only transforms thousands of lives but also transformed himself.

Michael, I read your biography on your website and it is quite impressive how despite your struggle with depression, chronic fatigue and ADHD you turned your life around and became very successful. How did you do it?

The biggest turning point was when my best friend was involved in a car crash and his 3-year-old niece passed away. It taught me that you must live your life before it is too late. I started to learn step by step who I was and what I wanted from life. I learned that you must be realistic and that life is about pleasure and pain. When people have a baby, you experience the wonder and excitement but also the sleepless nights and crying.
I always felt I had to fit other people’s expectations but went on a road of self-discovery and started to become who I was on the inside. The key part is that you should love everyone, including yourself. Everyone has what it takes to be extraordinary.

Michael, how did you overcome depression?

Sometimes we lose ourselves. It is important that we continually grow and learn about ourselves instead of getting stuck in an idea about where we are and what we should be. The most empowering thing that ever happened for me was when I discovered my true values in life along with my life mission and life purpose of teaching people how to live an extraordinary life (No matter where you have come from).

Fear is also something that holds people back. Was that an issue in your life, like did you have stage fright? 

Of course, especially becoming a public speaker. There are two kinds of fear, realistic fear and imagined fear. With imagined fear, people often imagine things, which will never happen. Real fear is something that could lead to death and is a very important part of human consciousness. If we didn’t have real fear we would take silly risks that could kill us. Imagined fear on the other hand has a tendency to slowly kill people without them knowing it due to never living the life they truly want and stopping most from never living up to their own expectations.

What do you love most about your work?

I do what I love to do, I love to express myself and feel in control of my destiny and I love helping people by giving them the tools to live an extraordinary life. I truly believe everyone is capable of something great in their lives. In fact I believe in most people more than they believe in themselves.

You have helped many people, can you tell me a story of positive change of one of your clients?

There are many amazing stories. One client “Paul” from Cairns in Australia used to come home from work and drink every night to supress his feelings of anger, frustration and stress due to the life that he had created.
He used to have fits of anger and rage until one day he had enough and tried to end his own life. He realised he had a drinking problem and went to AA but left as he felt it didn’t work for him. His life fell apart. He decided to come to one of our events event. For the first time in his life, he realised who he was and why he was here. He got a new job and changed careers. In a short period of time his new company valued the changes he’d made  and the inspiration he bought to the team and they paid for him to continue his studies with us and attend every course we could offer.

You help motivate people but some say that motivation is an internal process. What do you think about that?

Motivation can go up and down. If we want to live an extraordinary life we should go deeper and see what really drives us. This will create an intrinsic drive (from within). When a person is inspired they do not need to be motivated. They are excited and have energy to burn.

My last question. You have learned a lot along the way. What is your favourite piece of wisdom?

I have many favourites. Each time you learn something you go to a new level and want to learn another piece of wisdom. Life is a constant learning process. If I had to give one piece of advice it would be to know thyself, so that you be thyself and love thyself. It’s the only true way to live an extraordinary life. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Foxton NZ

There are many Dutch people in NZ. Most of them arrived after World War 2 as there was no work in the Netherlands and the country was in a bad state. People received free tickets from the government to travel to America, Canada or NZ if they wanted to emigrate and my husbands dad got one of those tickets and traveled to NZ when he was only 18. In that time they had to come by boat, a six month trip.

In Foxton, a town on the West coast of the North Island you can enjoy the Dutch culture. We passed through this town last month and had a great time.
On the left a Dutch Windmill which you can visit and you can find some information about it  here

In the mill is also a small shop and of course
we had to buy some Dutch drop (liquorice)
from Petronella, an authentic Dutch lady.

Opposite is a Dutch bakery and cafe. On the back of the windmill they are building a  Dutch museum which should be ready by June this year.

There are some beautiful Art Deco buildings in the street

When we walked through Foxton we had a chat with a New Zealander who invited us to his house where he showed us this beautiful Dutch organ and played for us "Tulips in Amsterdam"
This organ was made in France and owned by Perlee, an organ rental company in the Jordaan in Amsterdam. The NZ-lander had bought the organ in a bad state in America and fixed all the mechanics himself. We really enjoyed this visit.

btw we were shown another few beauties like this one.  It is a Chicago coins band box jukebox orchestra from the 1950's When it plays a record the curtains open and the band starts to play.  So cool.