Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I don't care about clever, I don't care about funny

Sometimes, I am sure all of us do it, I wake up and just think that life can be great. 

Today Emme left, leaving our apartment somewhat a little emptier and quieter, but I know she is moving on to bigger and better things, and now she is only a 2 hour train ride away as opposed to a 24 hour flight away.! I will miss her dearly, however, since our friendships seems to have blossomed a great deal over the past 3 months.

Mum left on Sunday, taking with her a heap of experiences through Belgium, Scotland, Ireland and Prague. While I can't post anything on here of her trips with Em, I will show some of the highlights of Prague...

This first one was quite eery and kinda summed up our entire experience of Prague: macabre (as mum so eloquently put it). Currently, the czech republic has been in the news with a great deal of focus on their sculptor/artist David Czerny. While he wasn't permitted to present his work during the communistic regime, he certainally has flourished since. If you look carefully, this first one looks like a man hanging from a window, and apparently hundreds of tourists notify 'authorities' every year about this guy. Wierd, but made us laugh!

This one is the astronomical clock located on the old city hall, and the little figurines on the sides dance (including one skeleton) for around 10 seconds every hour. Not sure why it is so important, but was quite nice.
Had to enclose another Czerny. Also wierd (very strong fascination with death, ghosts, myths etc). This one was just hanging in a shopping mall. Nice.
A little more less death orientated was our visit to the Dvorak hall to see the string section of Czech philharmonic playing some chamber music from Mozart and other composers, along with a concerto for Marimba with the most fascinating young Austrian performer. We paid next to nothing for our tickets, and had the most first class performance. Would highly recommend to anyone visiting (with a slight interest in classical music however!)

Mum and I went on two free walking tours through the city, and learnt more than we could have from the lonely planet. Were very content with our guide, and whilst it was FREEZING cold (-11°C), I thoroughly enjoyed what the city had to offer.

Next (after Tom has finished his exams: 2 to go...) - onto London, maybe back to the Netherlands, then Vienna, then home. Let's just hope that the histogenex bonus is healthy enough to support our indulgent habit...!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

One step closer

It's official... Tom is actually attending our wedding! 

Today, we are once again a few euros lighter after booking his ticket (with confirmation from two more friends who also booked today - yay!). 

Next steps: Tom's suit, rings, paying off my dress (grrr!) and all the stuff mum wants to talk about!

It's been quiet around here since the other two Christiansen girls have taken off trecking around kilt-country, followed by Ireland, but am looking forward to seeing them again in a week in Dublin. At least Tom will have some much needed rest!

Have once again commenced my studies. This time have taken a totally different (and dare I say it - not yet as interesting) path but am keen to get into it again, even if it means less time with the beloved TV (ha!).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008 - gone forever

It is new years day, and both Tom and myself are at home, saving the pennies and instead have chosen to richen the neurons (pun intended considering Tom is doing psych, and I have opted for a brain subject this year.)

While 2008 brought less travel and new experiences than previous years, it has taught us a few things. Not all are appropriate for this blog, but we have been tested financially constantly this past year, and are so grateful that we actually manage (sorry for constantly screaming poor, however!).

Memerable events of 2008:
- Visiting dear friends in Holland and their two gorgeous boys, while dusting the cobwebs off my old violin to experience a bit of Bach once again.

- Tom passing his 2nd year with flying colours

- My return to uni: many long study days, weekends etc. only to feel completely invigorated by the entire process. Bring on 2nd year!

- The interesting state of affairs of the Belgian government (or lack thereof!) Yves Leterme didn't seem to last too long before he screwed up.

- Not all was good however. Tom and myself lost a few friends this year including two of my colleagues and one of Tom's korfbal team mates (from a few years ago).

- Visits from some great Australian friends and family: Nicky & Liz (visiting twice!!), Mum and Emme, and one night with Benj in Ghent. AND visits to London (2 or 3 times - can't quite remember. Always great to see Kym and Benj.)

- Our road trip in Italy. Highlights not the major cities, but included a personal chianti wine-tasting in the hills of Tuscany (Rufina) and our late night drink and left-wing anti-Berlusconi political chat with the receptionist from the hotel in Bologna.

- Zomer van Antwerpen. Free movies in the hangar by the river, the summerbar with Cava, Sangria, Tapas and world cuisine. The absolute beauty antwerp has to offer is indescribable - even if for only a month or two a year! Come home Anna and Sabien!

- Buying my wedding dress

- The surprise bachelor night for Tom in the Ardennes - especially for the few of the guys who survived the trecherous mountain biking journey.

- Tom going for a last minute trip to Munich for the Oktoberfest

- Tom breaking his arm (funny that all of Tom's highlights have something to do with booze. Should this be something of concern???!)

- And last but not least. The late discovery of House MD. Have become totally addicted to the American Hugh Laurie, and still can't quite get enough!

There are probably more, but these are those which came to mind most quickly!

Have just received my new course books for my year - with focus on the Brain and its behaviour. So now I'm off to read about addiction; perhaps I should just let Tom write my assignments this year, considering he has already been down this track. More time for House MD that way!

Happy new year to all of you, my dear friends. XXX