Monthly Archive: July 2017

To market, I go!

IMG_2241

We finally went to De Haagse Markt. Despite visiting The Hague every month for the past six months, I had yet to go!

I love food shopping in interesting shops or markets! Even foreign supermarkets are exciting to me, because of all the different brands and produce. So far, in The Hague, we’ve found a hippy supermarket called Ekoplaza, which is all organic. Lovely, but not cheap. And an Asian supermarket that makes me feel so at home! As if I’m back in Indonesia. Even better, they stock both South East Asian ingredients AND Asian/Indian. Double happiness!

Back to De Haags Markt. We went on a Saturday, in the afternoon. If you don’t like crowds, I do not recommend this day or time! I struggled, and was exhausted afterwards.

IMG_2247

I can’t tell you how many times my feet were run over by those bloody granny shopping trolley bags, or buggies (I’m more forgiving of buggies).

But, it was totally worth it! We had fun looking around. We went for groceries, but half the market is clothing and electronics. It’s pretty crazy.

IMG_2248

The cherries were incredible. Huge, and extremely delicious.

IMG_2252

That’s our sweet friend Christina. The fishmongers looked amazing. Unfortunately, we hit a learning curve with the fish buying. Only realised when we got home, of course. Things you don’t think about if you usually buy your fish in the supermarket: asking for 750g of sea bass, but you mean fillets and he weighs the whole fish, guts it, then gives you the head, spine etc! And how to spot less than fresh fish 🙁 We bought tuna, and again, on getting home, realised he’d sold us less than fresh fillets. I could tell they weren’t that fresh (we have a reliable fishmonger in Brighton), but did some research to confirm.

As I said, a learning curve, and I’ll be more prepared next time! The genetically instilled Britishness in me doesn’t help; it’s just so hard to tell people what you want without being apologetic or feeling like you’re overstepping!

 

 

IMG_2245

Plantain! Pisang goreng plans ahoy!

It was a great experience though. The baker was excellent, as was the lovely lady we bought cherry tomatoes and a huge pineapple from. I’m sure we’ll be heading back for occasional bits and pieces. And I’ll know which sellers to watch out for next time!

It’s your party! Surprise!

IMG_2048

I spent six months planning Arijus’s surprise 30th party. (Oh, hi over there, I can hear your little comment “he’s 30 but it’s all about her”. Yes. It’s my blog. Deal with it.)

I loved it. The planning that is. I see how it could have been more stressful if I’d not left myself so much time but in this case, the most stressful time was the 48 hours before the party, when I had to pretend face to face. It was supposed to be 24 hours of pretending but SOMEONE came home a day early without telling me! SURPRISE! Oh, the irony.

19260246_10156258618645278_3612948063749339943_n

I loved planning and organising a successful surprise party, full of our wonderful friends and family, and making the love of my life so happy. It was great to be able to share the plans with Arijus’s sister, Ieva, and delegate the cakes to her!

19601512_10214282494122612_1089308904503508741_n

And I sang. Of which there are videos for posterity, however, I currently can’t listen to more than 30 odd seconds of them! That’s the sensational Corcovado Duo, backing me up and making me sound good!

Side note: I’ve know Dan (left) since secondary school, so about 20 years of my life!

19264775_10155603295874575_5391344353971778169_o

And our lovely Em was there.

19598440_10156258618915278_5329142656883936538_n

All in all it was fab. I think I’d be a pretty good event organiser (hashtag humble brag). I won’t bore you with all the little details, but feel free to ask! I’ll be on the lookout for the next party to organise …

I don’t believe in luck

Luck (n)

success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions

It’s the “rather than through one’s own actions” bit I disagree with. Richard Wiseman, a psychology professor in the UK, (I met him once, when I was studying psychology for my undergraduate degree) has spent years researching luck, only to find that you can change your “luck” by changing your outlook on life. Doesn’t that then mean that you are no longer leaving things to chance?

I’ll run through a few scenarios that bug me.

1.  I’m ill. A friend says: Oh, you’re so unlucky, you get ill so easily. WRONG. That’s my immune system, not bad luck. SCIENCE. When I started my teaching career, I was stressed and overtired. That led to several bouts of tonsillitis. I didn’t take the time to recover properly after each bout and this led to my immune system suffering. The less teaching I do, and the more I take care of my body, the more my immune system improves. Funny that.

2. My life situation is improving. An old colleague whom I hadn’t seen for years (we weren’t friends) says: You’re lucky you don’t have to work as much. WRONG. That’s teamwork with my amazing, supportive partner, who is willing to take his turn as the main earner because not only does he enjoy his chosen profession, but wants me to find something I can enjoy more. Plus we both work fucking hard to achieve our life goals, and like everyone, we have our ups and downs. Saying I’m “lucky” devalues all of that!

3. I’m having a bad day and everything seems to be going wrong. My mood is horrid, the day continues to get worse and I’m grumpy. Some might say I’m having bad luck. WRONG. My outlook and negative energy is causing the cycle to continue. I KNOW THIS and yet, I still find it hard to break out of the cycle. But through years of yoga and meditation practise, reading, listening to intelligent people, and my aforementioned amazing and optimistic partner, I am slowly learning that only I can make these negative days better. I can choose to ask a friend for help, or take myself outside, or read a book, or do some exercise.

I’m a bit introspective today! I’ll do a something more lighthearted next time. In the meantime, here’s a picture of a cat who doesn’t know he’s born. He’s living a charmed life! ;P

IMG_2088