Friday, 19 May 2017

Vacation themed birthday

People who know me (even a little) know that birthdays are sacred in my eyes.
It's a time of reflection (second only to New Year's Eve) - a time to see how've far you've come this year.. How much older you look in pictures, how much longer your hair is.. Mainly, for me, it's a time to sit with friends and family and combine good food with good company.

As usual, I gave my birthday this year a theme. I believe it's a tradition that "only" goes back 7 years now - because I'm a dress-up kinda gal, only the Dutch are only starting to celebrate Halloween now that I'm too old to go trick-or-treating, and I've been born on the wrong side of the river, it's only in the south of the Netherlands that they celebrate Carnival big time.

I always tell guests that it's awesome if they dress up (because I love to) , but that it can't be the reason they decide not to come (because not everyone loves to).

I chose a theme this year that is both easy, yet cool to work with.
Something I'm personally very unacquainted with, and maybe even uncomfortable.
Vacation/Holiday time.
Whether you like to travel, explore new things, visit beaches, sunbathe all day, read books, or actually stay at home in your PJ's and bunny slippers and watch TV, it's all allowed.

This was the result (of the decoration):


We played games and chatted and ate ((Harira soup, vegetarian quiche and pasta salad, all very holiday-y)) -- the weekend before my birthday..  On the day itself I went out to dinner with my parents, and the weekend afterwards I had family over. --- .. and I got spoiled rotten on all three occasions.

A big thank you to everyone who came over, whenever that was.

The Gypsy

Monday, 13 March 2017

Gandalf the White

The cat is out of the bag!
One of the deadlines I was charged with, was the co-organization of a 60th birthday.
And I'm proud to say it was a huge succes.

I've worked on it since December, brainstorming out loud, gathering together those I thought would make my great ideas an even greater reality.

The main theme came to me in their living room (which was a mess, seeing as they were in the middle of moving house) - by looking at their book collection. The Lord of the Rings was there, and it hit me.

When you turn 60, and you give the organization of the party to others, and you want to be surprised, it has to be pretty big. I knew and guessed enough as to how far Mark would play along.

He had to be Gandalf (The Grey).
With three assignments, throughout the evening, he could "win" three items:
1. A ring. 2. A horse. 3. A volcano.
(By singing a song he got the ring, bellydancing earned him the horse, and a puzzle gave him access to the volcano.)
After succeeding in destroying the ring, and thereby vanquishing the evil power, he could transcend from his old life, turning to Gandalf the White.

In case you have absolutely no idea why these three items (and generally have no idea what the Lord of the Rings is about, like roughly half the audience) - check out this link for a short summary.
They also needed to be guided through the evening, and Karin thought I'd be the perfect storyteller.

I apparently rock as a Master of Ceremonies. (It's my job, I guess.)
Throw in a Royal Distinction pinned on the Gandalf robe (made by me) by the Mayor of Zoetermeer, elven ears and dresses in theme, delicious food made by Karin and Jenny, the decoration of the whole place by Peter and Linda.. We had our own Gollem! Bas and Vincent's support and overall assistance and Mark's own ease of playing along and letting the day wash over him.. It was awesome.

Enjoy the pictures, to give you the atmosphere,

The Gypsy

Monday, 23 January 2017

Happy 2017

It's been a rough 6 weeks since I've been virus-free.
Even now, I'm sniffling in the hopes of postponing that necessary hunt for more tissues.
Strepsils are my new best friend.
And I've never been more busy in low-season.

Some projects are still secret, but I'll gush about them in detail after the deadlines.

December has been a flurry of non-stop activity (that's putting it mildly.)
Mostly, it was for scouting. We're trying to collect as much money as we can, to give our explorers the chance to have an entirely new experience as far as summercamp goes (ie. in Croatia).
I'm particularly fond of the country, but I must say, it's a lot harder to find a scouting group there to host us than I thought it would be.
We packed people's things in supermarkets, sold oliebollen (oil balls.. ) and apple beignets (they both don't sound good but it's Dutch and delicious), and fed an army of parents as a Christmas/New Year's dinner which everyone loved.

Christmas day I spend with the boyfriend's family - a warm and welcoming lot.
Lots of food, some presents, plenty of laughter. I don't think I've had a more traditional first Christmas day in..ever.

Second day I filled with another tradition, apparently: I visited one of the biggest swimming pools of our country (The Tikibad) with friends. I'd never been there before (which apparently is a downright shame in itself), and it was really cool.
We fixed our own three-course dinner afterwards (which included supermarket pizza, but was still pretty marvelous, after-swimming-low-energy considered).

Fourth day (yes, there is such a thing) I had yet another Christmas dinner (I'd lost enough weight by being ill just weeks before for it to be a huge disaster, really), this time at a friend's house.. She's been hosting fourth-day-Xmas-dinners for 9 years now - next one is a big anniversary.

New Year's Eve was much fun as well, it's the first time I've ever set light to fireworks myself.
Too bad I came down with a horrible flu that sort of drowned out all the good vibes (and any other vibes) - I think I slept through the first three days of 2017.

Since December I've reread all the Harry Potter books (one to seven) - and started on the eighth, the script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (and pretty much gobbled it up in two days).
It reads differently from the books, and I miss Rowling's mind-blowing storytelling.
Other than that it's really not that bad.

My new year resolutions?
Live more consciously.
If you're wondering what that means, this and that might give you an idea.
Other than that: Read more, and enjoy the little things.

To a conscious, happy and healthy 2017

The Gypsy