Thursday, 24 December 2015

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (Christmas edition!)

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

1. Hello dear people! First of all, a wonderful Christmas to you and your loved ones and a happy New Year!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Book review: Emissary

All Hyam wants is to be a farmer and live a quiet life in his out-of-the-way village of the Realm. But his mother's dying wish is that he returns to the Long Hall, the residence of the mages, where he spend five years as an apprentice under their strict rule. Five years he'd rather forget as the mages bullied and mistrusted him for his extraordinary ability to learn the ancient Milantian language. Now, back at the Long Hall as an adult, Hyam will learn secrets about his origins that will change his life forever and send him on a journey to become a hero.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Webseries review: From Mansfield with Love

Travel to Mansfield Park... the 21st century version. Where Frankie Price is an overworked cleaner, Edmund training to become a history teacher and the Crawford's designers hired to redecorate the hotel Mansfield Park. When Frankie receives a camera as gift from her brother Will, she starts documenting her life and that of her friends at Mansfield Park. And that life might just be much more exciting than Frankie ever thought it would be!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas cards!

It's December, time to think about sending out Christmas Cards! At LiveJournal, where I also blog, we have the 'tradition' to send each other Christmas cards and I thought it would be nice to do this here on Blogger as well.

Would you like to receive a Christmas or holiday card? If you'd like one, you can leave your address in the comments. You can delete the comment right after you made it (for privacy reasons) as the comments are send to my email address.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Television review: Downton Abbey series six

It's 1925 and for our beloved characters at Downton Abbey, changes are afoot. With Tom having left for America, Mary decides to take his position as estate agent, a daring choice for an unmarried lady. Robert wants to cut costs and reduce the staff, which worries Thomas. Carson and Mrs Hughes are preparing for their wedding and both slightly nervous. And when the local hospital is threatened by a take-over from York, Violet, Cora and Isobel all get caught up in the argument, but they are not on the same side.
(This review is as spoiler-free as I could make it!)

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Of helicopters and long-haired singers

A few months ago, I rediscovered two 'loves' of my early teenage years. First, I was wandering aimlessly over YouTube, hopping from video to video, as you sometimes do when you're very tired ;-) Then, my eye caught a recommended vid in the sideline of a Dutch/Belgian series that I used to love: Windkracht 10 (freely translated: gale force 10)

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Book review: Like a flower in bloom

Charlotte Withersby has had a rather unusual upbringing for a Victorian young lady as both her parents were passionate botanists. For years now, she has been her father's assistant and more, writing his scientific articles for him. Charlotte longs to one day be a botanist herself, but the Victorian society frowns upon females in science. Then her uncle reminds Charlotte and her father that the proper future for a young lady is as a wife and mother and thus, Charlotte needs to go out in society to find a husband. She doesn't like this at all, but believes her father will soon miss her and put an end to this. But then her father takes on a new assistant, the infuriatingly efficient Mr Trimble, Charlotte feels unwanted and lost in a society filled with all these rules she has no clue about.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

8 (Bookish and) Not-So-Bookish thoughts (10)

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

1. Hello everyone, I hope you´re all doing well and enjoying autumn! My life is rather busy and stressfull at the moment (see 2), but here and there I've been finding time to enjoy the beauty of this season, if only during my commute to and from work! Here, have a picture of the view from my livingroom window, it's quite nice if I say so myself!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Television review(ish): Outlander

Outlander is a 16-episode period drama made by Starz based on the first book in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. It's 1945 and WWII has just ended. Claire Randall, a former military nurse and her husband Frank are visiting Scotland on a sort of second honeymoon after having spend years mostly apart during the War. When visiting the ancient standing stones of Craigh na Dun, Claire faints after touching one of them and awakes in 1743. Claire is taken in by the Clan MacKenzie and uses her medical knowledge to carve a life for herself. One of her patients is the nephew of the laird Jamie Fraser and despite herself, Claire feels drawn to him. But 18th century Scotland is not a safe place and soon Claire and Jamie are caught up in the struggles between the Redcoats and the rebelling Highlanders.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd watch-along: part 3

Here we are, at the third and final part of Far from the Madding Crowd and this watch-along. I sure enjoyed rewatching and thinking about this adaptation.

Last week, we left Bathseba and Troy very married and very much in love and Boldwood in misery. Bathseba and Troy throw a belated wedding party for the farm employees and here Troy shows a bit of his not-so-charming side. He speaks crudely and basically gets Bathseba's employees drunk. Meanwhile, outside a storm is raging and Gabriel single-handedly tries to rescue the hay-ricks. Single-handedly, that is, until Bathseba comes out to help him. And spills her guts about why she married Troy: because he told her he saw a woman more beautiful than her ('between jealousy and distraction', I do love Hardy's way with words)

The first cracks are showing

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Book review: If you find this letter

Hannah Brencher's mother always send her handwritten letters and they became her lifeline in growing up. So when she moved to New York and saw around her a city full of people searching for their place in the world Hannah decided to write to them. Seeing a culture where people only connected to each other on screens, Hannah poured her heart out on paper and send the letters to people who might need them. Her idea quickly grew when she started the blog More Love Letters and she involved other people in her quest: to make the world better, one letter at a time.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd watch-along: part 2

Dear readers, I'm so sorry I'm only now posting this second part of the Far from the Madding Crowd watch-along. I was so very tired this week that my evenings consisted of hanging on the couch and going to bed early in stead of blog writing....

Without further ado, let's get back to the adventures of Bathseba and Gabriel ;-) For this second part, I watched until 2.11, until the scene where Boldwood confronts Troy in front of Bathseba's house.

In the beginning of this 'episode', we learn two things: Gabriel is not afraid to be honest, not even now that Bathseba is his employer and Bathseba doesn't like being criticised. In fact, after a discussion with Gabriel about her treatment of Boldwood, she even fires him! Not long afterwards, her sheep overeat themselves (and yes, sheep are very unfortunate, I've heard that often enough from family members who keep sheep!) and Bathseba simply needs Gabriel. Isn't his response interesting? In the previous episode Bathseba said that Gabriel would never be able to tame her, but isn't that just what he's doing here, in demanding to be asked for help properly?

'Sheep are so unfortunate, there's always something wrong with them'

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Far from the Madding Crowd watch-along: part 1

Welcome everyone to the Far from the Madding Crowd watch-along! Hope you were able to find a copy of this period drama and you enjoyed watching the first part. I sure did!

First a practical comment: because there are not really episodes in this adaptation, I sort of randomly cut the movie in three parts to watch and discuss. For part 1, I watched until 1:10 (until the scene where Batheseba leaves on horseback after her conversation with Farmer Boldwood)

On to the adaptation and we travel to Wessex in the mid-19th century where we meet Gabriel Oak (Nathaniel Parker), a shepherd who has just been able to buy his own small sheep-farm. He comes across the beautiful Bathseba (Paloma Baeza) who works on her aunt's farm and is immediately smitten. Though Bathseba flirts with him a little, she is absolutely not planning to be wooed by Gabriel and proudly refuses his proposal of marriage (And he even brought her a lamb to rear, how could you refuse that!)

Bathseba hates to be thought men's property

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Trip to York(shire)!

As you might (or might not) recall from a previous post, I actually took a trip to England two weeks ago. And since I've been back I've been so busy I haven't even had time to do my 'customary' picture post here! Let's quickly remedy that!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (9) + Announcement watch-along!

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

1. Hello everyone! How are you all doing now that summer has ended and 'normal' life has resumed? I must say, I don't mind that it's September, August was so hot and humid in The Netherlands, blegh. I'm also quite pleased 'things' are starting up again, like my children's club in church and my sword fighting lessons. Though I had a severe case of muscle pain after my first sword fighting class in two months last week ;-)

Friday, 4 September 2015

Delicious games

I have something to confess. Sometimes, I can get a little bit addicted to games. Most often, this is phone games like Set or Alchemy or 4 Pics, 1 Word and I want to play them all the time. To finish more levels, solve more puzzles, get a better high score! Then, there´s a few weeks each year when I´m completely into the new chapter of Delicious!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Television review: Mr Selfridge series 3

Almost four years after the end of the last series, we are back at Selfridge's and much has changed. The War is over and the store profits from the renewed optimism of the British public. Mr Selfridge has lost his beloved wife Rose, but live goes on and his eldest daughter marries the Russian aristocrat Serge de Bolotoff who brings his mother Princess Marie into the Selfridge household. Agnes is looking forward to the return of Henri and the life they will start together, but this might not be as easy as she thought. Victor has left Selfridge and started a nightclub which draws Selfridge's wayward younger daughter Violette.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Three small movie reviews

Sometimes, it's not the big blockbuster movies which touch us most, but the small stories, the little known movies that you run into by accident. Here are three of those that I've recently seen and enjoyed. (Click on the titles and you will go to the trailers on YouTube)

A bird of the air (2011)
In this quirky little movie, sassy librarian Fiona is intrigued by the solitary roadworker Lyman, but she can't get through to him. This changes when a talking parrot flies into Lyman's trailer home and the two team up to find out where the animal came from.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Television review: Foyle's War series 8

World War II may be over, but the world is still not a safe place. Christopher Foyle, former police inspector in Hastings, now works for the British intelligence service in London. Here he investigates international crime operations together with his unofficial assistant Sam Wainwright, a bright young women who used to be Foyle's driver.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Liebster Award

I was nominated for this award by Carissa at Musings of an Introvert. Thank you so much, Carissa!

The rules of this award are as follows:
a) Answer the eleven questions of the tagger
b) Share eleven facts about yourself
c) Nominate up to eleven other bloggers
d) Ask those nominees eleven new questions

There we go! First up are Carissa's questions:
1. Where do you go to decompress from the world?
When my pony was alive, this was definitely the riding school where she lived. I could almost literally feel the stress falling from my shoulders when I spent time there with her and among the other horses. I believe animals are great stress-relievers! Nowadays it's just at home, with a good book or a nice series.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Book review: Our Mutual Friend

A body is found in the river Thames and believed to be John Harmon, the heir to a large fortune who just returned to England. His death and discovery will affect various corners of London society. There are Mr and Mrs Boffin, the Harmon's servants, who suddenly come into a large sum of money. There is Bella Wilfer, bethrothed to John Harmon, who now sees herself consigned to a life of poverty. And Lizzie Hexham, daughter of the man who fished John Harmon from the river will become very much involved in the aftermath of the murder and meet two men who pursue her.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Book review: The secret of Pembrooke Park

Abigail Foster and her family face financial ruin when a family investment goes wrong. Abigail, always the practical one, takes it upon herself to find a new, affordable home for the family and makes sure her younger sister can still have a Season. Then, a mysterious offer arrives: the family can live in Pembrooke Park, a manor from distant relatives which has been abandoned for 18 years. Abigail, not seeing a better alternative, takes the offer and moves to the village of Easton. She enjoys living in the large old house and makes friends with the local curate William Chapman and his sister Leah. But there are many rumours about the previous inhabitants of Pembrooke Park and a possible hidden treasure. Then,letters without sender reach Abigail and she becomes more involved than she bargained for.

Friday, 17 July 2015

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (8) + Poll

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.) 

1. High summer has started and it's quiet in a lot of places. Many housemates of mine have left for their holidays and at work many colleagues are also away. Only my workroom is still full, with 5 of us toiling away on our articles. Let me tell you, editing is not fun. It's staring at my screen for half an hour thinking: there is a better way to formulate this sentence, but how?? Luckily, next week I also have a week off (Hello, Belgium!) and another week in September to look forward to (Hello, England!)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Movie review: Testament of Youth (2015)

In 1914, Vera Brittain, daughter of a factory owner spends the summer with her beloved brother Edward and his friends Victor and Roland. She is preparing to go to Oxford after her father has finally allowed her to study there. Though she always professed to have no interest in marriage, she still falls for Roland. Then WWI breaks out and everything changes. The young men sign up and go to the Front and Vera is left to worry. She decides to give up her studies and work as a nurse.

Testament of Youth is based on the best-selling memoir by Vera Brittain, published in 1933. Her book was called 'the voice of a generation' and 'the best war memoir' and details not only the war as such, but also the impact it had on the women staying behind.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Giveaway winner

The winner of the Ana of California giveaway is:

Kara from Flowers of Quiet Happiness

Congrats, Kara, I hope you enjoy the novel!
For all the other people: thanks very much for entering and I hope to see you again next time!

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Sisterhood of the World blogger award

Hamlette tagged me for the Sisterhood of the World bloggers award. Thank you so much Hamlette!

Here are her questions:

1. Do you like westerns?
I... think I do. If you look at my answer to question 2. But I don't really watch many Western movies, maybe something I should remedy?

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Book review + GIVEAWAY: Ana of California

Fifteen year old Ana Cortez may be out of chances. Kicked out of a foster home again, her case worker gives her a choice: a group home or a farm internship in Northern California. Ana chooses the farm internship at the farm of brother and sister Abbie and Emmet Garber. But it's a big change for Ana from the streets of Los Angeles to the fruit trees of Garber Farm. Determined to make this work, Ana soon takes to life at the farm and build relationships with Abbie, field worker Manny and local alternative girl Rye Moon. Then, during the harvest festival, Ana inadvertedly gets into trouble. Will this be the end of her time at Garber Farm?

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Book review: The Way We Live Now

In 1870's London, Mr. Melmotte, a financier with a mysterious past is rising the ranks of society. The gentry, among them the Longestaffe family, abhor him and want nothing to do with him. But their own financial troubles will force them to seek Mr. Melmotte's help. Mr. Melmotte's daughter, Marie, is flaunted before all the bachelors in London, but loses her heart to the dissolute young baronet Felix Carbury. Carbury's sister Hetta is trapped between two men: her kind and dependable cousin Roger whom she does not love and the young businessman Paul Montague, who seems to be keeping secrets from her.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Television review: Secrets of the castle

After a series of 'adventures', the living-history team of the BBC: historian Ruth Goodman and archeologists Peter Ginn and Tom Pinfold have arrived in the Middle Ages. At Gu├ędelon in France they uncover the long-forgotten art of building a castle and of the everyday live of the Medieval people involved.

If you've read my blog for a while (that is, before I started on Blogger, sorry...) you know that I'm a huge fan of the living-history series from the BBC. It all started in 2005, with Tales from the Green Valley, in which a group of enthusiastic historians and archeologists actually recreated the life on a farm in the 17th century. I was enchanted; this was an amazing way to learn about history and most of all, about forgotten, everyday history! After that, a part of the team went on to produce the hugely succesful 'Farm' series: Victorian Farm, Edwardian Farm, Wartime Farm and Tudor Monastery Farm. I loved them all! So I was really pleased to hear that another series was being made, this time in the Middle Ages, a time period I'm really interested in, with my swordfighting hobby. 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

8 Bookish or Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (7)

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

Hello everyone *waves*, here are a few things which have been keeping me busy for the last few weeks. Apart from work ofcourse, ugh (last half-year of my PhD, let's-not-talk-about-it)

1. Don't you just love this part of the year? Well, it depends on where you live ofcourse, but here in The Netherlands, May and June are the best. So many trees and flowers are blossoming, baby birds can be seen everywhere. There are lot's of great events to be visited and you can sleep with your windows open (I love that!). But the thing I look forward to every year is the fresh food: spinach fresh from the land, the first new potatoes, strawberries and peaches, yummy! What's your favourite thing to eat this time of the year (apart from ice cream, that's self-evident ;-) )

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Book review: Thunder

In post-apocalyptic America, Selah Chavez lives in a small fishing community. Next to fishing, her father and brothers hunt for Landers, mysterious people from across the sea who wash up on the shostre sometimes and have strange abilities. In just a day, Selah will turn 18 and she knows she will be expected to marry a man her father chose for her. But she would much rather be taken serious by her father, as her brothers are, and be a part of the family's hunting endavours. Almost by accident, Selah manages to capture a Lander herself, but strange things start happening to her afterwards. Before she knows it, Selah is running for her life without a place to go and the only person who can actually help her is Bodhi, the Lander she captured.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Movie review: Far from the Madding Crowd (2015)

The independent Bathseba Everdeen (Carey Mulligan) inherits a farm from her uncle and is determined to run it herself, no easy task for a woman in the 1870s. Three men vie for her hand and her heart, her rich neighbour Farmer Boldwood (Martin Sheen), the handsome and charming Captain Troy (Tom Sturridge) and kind and dependable Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts).

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Trip to Tuscany

Last week I was in Italy, in Tuscany to be precise for a conference and a short holiday. Here are some pictures I wanted to share with you.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

The Bookshelf Tag

This really fun tag, hosted by Natalie at Raindrops on Roses and Whiskers on Kittens has been going around my blogging friends. I finally found time to take some pictures and type this up!

Describe your bookshelf (or wherever it is you keep your books-it doesn't actually have to be a shelf!) and where you got it from:
I've got two bookcases since I moved in January. I think they're both from IKEA, I bought the second one from the girl who lived in my appartment before me, but it looks IKEA to me. The main one (left) is in the living room and holds all of my fiction and the historical/general interest non-fiction. The other one is in my bedroom and holds my spiritual/theological books, my studybooks and some nature related references.


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Book review: A second bite at the apple

Sydney Strauss has always wanted a job in food journalism. So when she is let go from her ´second-best' job as a producer for television, it seems like the perfect opportunity to finally go for the job she really wants. But this proves harder than she thought and a few months later Sydney finds herself working for a grumpy baker at a Farmer's Market to earn her keep. Sydney starts writing for the Market's newsletter and finds romance with Jeremy and is actually quite content. But then she gets whiff of scandal in the food world and finds out some secrets about Jeremy's past and suddenly her live becomes very complicated.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (6)

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows
book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing
exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

1. More than a month has gone by (again) without me posting anything here. I really do want to, but there are only so many hours in a day and so many things to do... I did write two other things though: a guest post about The March Family Letters for Hamlette's 'Little Women read-along' and an article about two nativity 'adaptations' for the newest issue of Femnista.


Sunday, 22 February 2015

Television review: The Great Fire

The year 1666 is not a great one for London. In the overcrowded city tensions run high because of conflicts between rich and poor, the last remains of a Plague epidemic, the perilious position of the King and the persecution of Catholics. Thomas Farriner runs a bakery in Pudding Lane. As a widower, he has to take care of his two young daughters and also keeps an eye on his sister-in-law Sarah and her son. One hot September day Thomas' daughter leaves the door of the bakery oven open and so unwittingly starts a fire. Soon, the fire jumps from house to house in the crowded slums, people are trying to flee to safety and street rows are breaking out. Meanwhile, Lord Denton is tracking Sarah who he believes to be a Catholic spy and writer Samuel Pepys tries to convince King Charles II the take some serious measures against the spreading fire.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Dutch foods

My Livejournal friend touchofgr3y posted about local foods from her home area of upstate New York a few days back and invited everyone to post about food local and unique to where we live.

So here for you, a little list of some typical Dutch foods!

Cheese: Probably most famous outside of The Netherlands is Dutch cheese. The Netherlands is the largest cheese exporter in the world! I guess at least all of you in the US will know Gouda cheese. Dutch cheese is usually (semi)-hard and mild. Some variants I really like are the ones with herbs like cloves, cumin or nettles. We eat it with sandwiches ofcourse, but also as a snack in cubes. 

Saturday, 7 February 2015

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Things (5)

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows
book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing
exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)
1. Hello dear people, I´m back! Well, I already posted a book review earlier this week, but just wanted to let you all know that the hectic period in my life of moving and refurbishing is (mostly) over, so I'll have time to regularly post here again, yay!
I moved three weeks ago now and have unpacked and furnished almost everything by now. When I moved in, there was no kitchen yet, so they've been working on that for the last few weeks. The kitchen is now almost finished, it's all set-up, but I don't have gas or hot water yet, but hopefully next week. Here, have a few pictures of my new place, you can see the chairs I mentioned in my last 'Bookish and Not So Bookish Post', which I'm really fond of!

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Book review: With every breath

Kate Livingston was just let go from her respectable, though rather dull, position as a government statistician. Then she receives an interesting job offer from a doctor researching tuberculosis. Kate is intrigued, until she disovers the doctor is none other than her school rival Trevor McDonough. Why would he offer a job to her of all people?

Trevor's one big goal in life is to find a cure for tuberculosis. His work would become much easier if he had a competent assistant and he decides to find Kate Livingston, the clever and quick girl he always competed with at school. While working together, Kate and Trevor form a tentative friendship despite their very different characters. But mysterious things happen at the hospital: missing stock, data which have been tampered with. Trevor tries to ignore it, but then whoever is trying to ruin his name starts to target Kate and her family. Kate and Trevor must try to find the person behind this and for that, Trevor must open up and tell Kate his secrets.

Sunday, 4 January 2015

8 Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts (4)

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. sharing exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they've encountered during the week etc.)

1. First off, a very happy New Year to all of you! May 2015 bring all the best for you and your loved ones!