Jewels

Yesterday evening I went to JEWELS which was performed by the Dutch National Ballet. I received a free ticket from them in exchange for a personal interview for some research which will be done by the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

George Balanchine, the creator of JEWELS was one of the 20th century’s most prolific choreographers. He loved not only ballet and women, but also jewels. George loved their colours and their beauty.

More than wanting to express the character of the jewels, Balanchine (1904 – 1983) wanted to let his dancers shine and to spotlight their individual qualities. He did so by putting together a refined ‘menu’, based on the three dance styles that had been so influential on his career.

Emeralds
The first section of Jewels, Emeralds, was a tribute to the traditional French style of Ballet. In Balanchine’s own words; “Emeralds is an evocation of France- the France of elegance, comfort, dress and perfume”.

Rubies
For the middle section, Rubies, Balanchine was inspired by Stravinsky’s Capriccio for piano and orchestra. The choreographer always said himself that he had no other goal than to make the music visible. Yet the dazzling, flashy Rubies clearly shows the influence that jazz, musicals and the hectic American life had on him.

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Diamonds
In the final section, Diamonds, Balanchine returns to his roots; the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. Although the hard brilliance of a diamond might suggest otherwise, the choreography is an ode to romanticism and refinement. The heart is formed by a pas de deux that revolves around grandeur, technical perfection and passion.

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Well, I can honestly say it was magnificent! During the whole show I was mesmerized by the beautiful costumes. Each ballet dancer was to me an emerald, ruby or diamond. Everyone was so quite that you were able to hear the sound of the pointe shoes on the stage.

The way the male soloists lift up the ballerinas in the air was amazing; like each ballerina was just a light feather. Who doesn’t want to have a man like that!? A man that can lift you up like that and make you feel elegant and sophisticated. I bet that it’s secretly every woman’s dream…

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The parts Emeralds and Diamonds had reminded me of my childhood, when I had a little music box with a ballerina on it. It was the combination of the classical music, the precision and technique of the ballerinas. It was one of my dreams to become a prima ballerina but unfortunately due to my ankle ligaments it stayed a dream.

One of the best things of the night was seeing Michaela DePrince dance. She is such an inspiration to me. She stood out on the stage, not because she is coloured but because she dances amazing. You can almost feel her passion for ballet and you can see the joy it brings to her. She dares to be different and to live up to her dreams. She is no “Devil’s Child” she is an inspirational black prima ballerina!  

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21 Ways To Take Care Of A Highly Sensitive Person

Because I could recognise myself in this article

Thought Catalog

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A highly sensitive person is someone with a more ­developed­ than ­average nervous system. ­ Basically someone who over­feels everything. ­ They are extremely intuitive, and at times come of as being a little judgemental. Even if they had no intentions of judging anyone.

They are sensitive to loud people, irritated by smells and even rough fabrics. They are highly in tune with other peoples emotions, as well as their own, and are aware if one isn’t happy. Even if person is sitting far away from them at the dinner table. Because sensitive people are so in tune, life can be pretty exhausting for them. Thus causing them to withdraw at times, and for non-­sensitives to misunderstand.

The Highly Sensitive Person of (HSP) is not always shy or introverted. Shy people may be sensitive, but are more afraid of being rejected. Introverts get tired…

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Misfits at AH

Thanks to a post on Facebook by a friend of mine I got aware of the product “Buitenbeentjes” (Misfits in English) at the AH.20150210_155725

Misfits are fruits and veggies that are refused due to their ‘looks’ in the supermarkets; except for Albert Heijn!

Their looks don’t say anything about the quality or taste, cause that is just fine! These fruits and veggies deserve a spot on your fruit bowl!

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In the box are fruits and vegetables with a deviated shape or appearance characteristics through which customers will less likely grab them in the supermarket. This is pure about good looks! Well I can tell you, some carrots were shaped super funny! In addition, I paid less than two Euros for the whole box! You can make some delicious smoothies and soups from it 🙂

My box got: 20150210_160056
– 4 Apples
– 1 cucumber
– 2 paprika
– 4 kiwi fruits
– 3 oranges
– 1 kilo carrots

 

 

If you want to know more about “Buitenbeentjes” click here

One big misunderstanding…

In my last message I told you about the excitement of the trip we arranged for this weekend. The whole week we were looking forward to it.

Thursday night we had a Skype conversation with my mom- in- law; telling us that it was better to cancel all the reservations such as the Hotel in Scheveningen and the restaurant reservation in Delft.

She told us that she has breathing problems combined with fit of coughing. This is caused by the stand in her oesophagus, which probably means that the tumour is shrinking.

This was not yet the case but if so, she needs to go to the Radboud University Medical Centre to get operated to get the stand out. This is one of my countrys’ leading academic centres for patient care, education and research.

She is extremely tired (even going to the toilet is a big accomplishment), her skin is turning grubby and since Thursday she is losing her hair.

We were happy that she notified us on time about her current feelings. Maybe we were a bit too pushy or too excited? Now we realized that our planning might not have been realistic at all…

  1. Picking her up at her home and then over a two hour drive to Delft.
  2. Going by stairs to the second floor of our apartment building (no elevator).
  3. A 3- course dinner in a fancy restaurant in a monumental premises (again, no elevator).
  4. During that dinner we will be surrounded by other guests who might have a cold… she is extra susceptible and can’t get her second 3-day chemo treatment.
  5. Then we have to walk back to the car since the restaurant is in the old city centre.
  6. Driving to Scheveningen to our Hotel – maybe needed to walk again stairs.
  7. There are normal beds – no hospital beds and she needs to sleep in a sitting position.
  8. She wanted to walk on the beach, with the horrible weather we expect this weekend.
  9. Then a drive back to her home… again over two hours…To sum up… This is all way more than a toilet visit which takes already a whole bunch of her energy.
    We discussed to come over together with my parents and we will have dinner somewhere there.

On Tuesday she will get her second three-day chemo therapy. We hope that her body will respond well to it.

In my last message to you, I told you about our concerns regarding all the “things” we need to arrange after her death. I received some good advice in the comment of Caroline L Whittle; “Do you want to talk about the ‘what ifs’?” If they say no then I’d tell them I was there when they were ready”
I took her advise and asked her if she wants to talk about the ‘what ifs’ next time we will be there.

Well, my boyfriend and I didn’t expect the reaction she gave to us. I hit something particularly sensitive I guess… She was furious on me! Telling me that I had buried her already in my mind! She totally misunderstood me… Maybe it is a cultural thing… I don’t know…

After the Skype call my boyfriend received a text message that I am no longer welcome in her house and that he needs to come alone. This made me very sad and angry at the same time. I am doing the best I can to help where needed. I know this is a very sensitive maybe even prohibited subject but it is also very important to be discussed.

The day after we haven’t heard anything from her. Except for one answer on one of our text messages saying: I am not death yet … still alive. I think this misunderstanding takes a lot of energy of all of us and that we could better invest this energy in other things.

We still had a fun weekend because my parents came to Delft. We went to IKEA and bought a new office chair and closet for him (his remaining Christmas presents). Afterwards we went to KEK our favourite coffee lounge cafe and finally to our favourite restaurant De Waag. All in all a great day but unfortunately without his mom.

Next week he will go alone to his mom. I hope she won’t get very sick of her second treatment and that she sees that this all was a misunderstanding. I love her!

I will take advantage of my free weekend and will go together with my mom to the gym to have my regular Zumba class, sauna, tanning etc. – to recharge my own battery.

Hey Little Fighter

I lost my faith in God when I lost my father to cancer. I begged, I cried, I offered my life for his. Day by day I saw the pain getting to that strong man. I watched that beautiful, lovely angel slipping off. Shortly after, the same happened to my sister. The cancer won. It didn’t just win; it basically beat the shit out of her.
I was just a little girl when this happend… traumatized by this disease…

This all affected me on the highest emotional level… and now I am reliving it.

My mother in law was taken into the hospital in the beginning of this year. First it was inflammations of the lungs but after some doubt of the doctor they made a scan. From that point on things got worse. They found a tumour pushing against her oesophagus which made it hard for her to breath. The doctor told us that it also could be good cancer… but deep inside I know things were wrong…

After two weeks of travelling between my internship and mother-in-law, visiting several hospitals and living out of a suitcase… we finally got a call of the doctor who told us about her current health status. We had hope… but hope was not on our side. I was on my internship when I received the skype call from the doctor. She told us that my mom- in-law was not going to get better. The cancer is already spread over her whole body. She gave us a few months, maybe three or four, maybe six if we are lucky. The hardest part is knowing and realizing that she will be leaving us in the near future. Tears were falling on the laminate, I couldn’t stop crying. I was lying as a foetus on the ground; as vulnerable as a new born. Old memories came up, as I felt frightened for what will come.
Kris also lost his dad suddenly less then a year ago… and now his mom will go…

Two weeks ago they started with palliative care; this treatment will slow down the cancer and will prevent or reduce complaints, but more importantly it will give us a little bit more time.
In her case they started with three day chemotherapy. It makes you feel much worse than the cancer itself; it is really a horrible thing.
It is hard to say: “Everything will be fine – stay positive.” If you know things won’t get better. However, keep loving is the best weapon off all. Being there and going through this process together is important.

Time is ticking and shortening as I write but every day that she challenges that cancer and survives another day is a victory for her, her son, me and all of her loved ones.

Sometimes I have the feeling she isn’t accepting the fact that she is dying. For Kris and me it is very hard to start a conversation about things such as how she wants to die or how she sees her funeral. We are only 21 and 22 years old…How do you handle these things? All questions are hard to ask and confronting for each and every one…Cancer victims who don’t accept their fate, who don’t learn to live with it, will only destroy that little time they have left.

Therefore I want her to keep dreaming of a future, a future where she could proceed her normal life and enjoy the small things without having pain, being tired or being confronted that she is ill. I want her to fight and live longer! Prove doctors that they were wrong. I want her to be there when her son gets graduated, or when we get married or hold her future grandchildren…

I want so much but God will take away another loved one and there is nothing I can do about it. Asking myself why I have to go through this over and over again. Why is he taking almost all my loved ones…? What did I do wrong? How much pain can one person bear?

One positive thing I have learned from cancer is to stop saving things for a special occasion. Every day is special that needs to be lived. You will appreciate the small things in life: As I walked this morning with my dog in the woods, I enjoyed myself by seeing frost on the grass and the sunlight shining between the trees. You don’t have to get cancer to start living life the fullest but when it comes close to you, it will intensify.

We will be there for her… The next challenge is to have dinner with the whole family in Delft. A whole task since she is living on the other side of the country but we can do it!

“We don’t know how STRONG we are until being strong is the ONLY CHOICE we have…”

Harrods – Shopping Mecca!

Harrods is a wonderful store that offers anything when it comes to luxury items. It offers the finest foods, and delicacies but also toys, electronics, clothing, perfumes, watches and much, much, more. It is a great place for “window shopping” and creating ideas. If you want to shop like a king or queen; this is the place to go! Be prepared to walk away with an empty wallet.

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To me, everything was eye candy! Everything was sooo pristine that I didn’t dare to touch the merchandise (except for the shoes of course!) One thing I did not like about Harrods is that it’s one big maze! Harrods is like IKEA multiplied by 5 and then only with exclusive, high end stuff. I recommend them to make a big map on every floor.

My UK colleagues advised me to go and see the Christmas decorations and
BB1070661the Toy Kingdom. Well I have to admit it is a place of wonder and magic! Even my parents relived their childhood. It had different sections within the department to provide diverse toys to every type of child. There were reading rooms, princess dresses, science stuff, candy, Lego, stuffed animals and much more. It was amazing!

This high end luxury store even has a SHOE HEAVEN! And I really thought I walked into heaven. You BB1070591should know… I have a shoe addiction and own over 100 pairs of shoes and they were having sale which made it even harder not to buy any shoes! It was crowded and some girls were seriously fighting about some heels. It was amazing to see something like that! At one point I was a bit overwhelmed and my parents and boyfriend dragged me out of heaven…

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You should visit Harrods definitely during Christmas and once during the rest of the year. Pay some attention to the great Egyptian escalators and store displays.

If you have just a small amount of time in London and you want to go to Harrods, just visit the toy department, food hall and shoe heaven.
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Happy New Year!

I would like to wish my valued readers a very Happy New Year! I hope that 2015 proves to be healthy and prosperous for you all! Embrace the New Year with not just a new look but also with a new and positive approach to make things simple in the year ahead.

As in many homes on New Year’s Day preparations are made. This year I had no time to prepare anything because I had to work. My boyfriend and I were invited by another couple to celebrate New Year’s Eve at their place.

My day at work got better when I received a small delicious gift from my colleague Cassia. She is from Brazil and created some pastries which brought me back to my youth; Brazilian Brigadeiros hmmmm… delicious…

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Brigadeiro is a soft chocolate sweet made with condensed milk and cocoa. It is present on all Brazilian birthday party. Almost every South-American person knows Brigadeiro, and the ones who try it like it.

Check this website if you want to make some Brigadeiro yourself! 

After work we went to our friends and Anouk (the host of the night) prepared 20141231_201354
a lot of delicious snacks and bites. It was a nice, cozy house party. At 00.00 Jos opened the Champagne and the moment we all stood up to wish one another Happy New Year, most champagne glasses broke. Well, let’s think that those pieces of broken glass bring good luck for 2015.

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We lightened up some fireworks and two wishing balloons- sky lanterns. All in all, we had a fun night. I hope everyone had a lovely evening with friends and/or family around them.

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