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Thanksgiving photos from Leiden, Netherlands

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Pilgrims lived in Leiden from 1609-1620.Their marriages, births and deaths are recorded in the Pieterskerk and their minister, John Robinson, was buried here. The Pilgrims remained in Leiden because life was free and tolerant. The so-called Separatists who fled the England of James I could practice their more simple faith.

These same Pilgrims eventually joined the Mayflower at Plymouth, England on September 16th, 1620. Their arduous voyage ended at New Plymouth in what is now the state of Massachusetts.

Wishing you all a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 11/28/2012 1:05AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 11/24/2012 4:11PM

    I enjoyed your pictures and the history lesson, thank you!

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ANDY_54 11/23/2012 4:36PM

    I love the old cathedral pictures! And interesting history lesson, too. Really hope you're feeling better. emoticon

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LIS193 11/23/2012 12:26PM

    Great pictures! Brings back memories :)
Glad you had a fun day and it looks like the weather was nice too!

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PARKERCM 11/23/2012 11:11AM

  Thanks for the fun history and beautiful pictures! I love to learn new information!! emoticon

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CANDOK1260 11/23/2012 11:05AM

    thanks you for sharing

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PUDLECRAZY 11/23/2012 7:22AM

    Lovely photos, thank you so much for sharing them!

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LULUBELLE65 11/23/2012 4:26AM

    I was JUST at the Pilgrim museum in Leiden this weekend!!!!!!!

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WILSONWR 11/22/2012 6:46PM

    Nice pictoral. Thanks!

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DR1939 11/22/2012 5:19PM

    Happy Thanksgiving!

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UNSWEETMAMA 11/22/2012 2:50PM

    I didn't know that! Thank you for the lesson, I like to learn new things. emoticon

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/22/2012 2:15PM

    I did not know that about the Pilgrims. Thank you for sharing!

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STRONG_SARAH 11/22/2012 1:54PM

    Nice pictures, and I didn't know that about the Pilgrims. Learn something new every day!

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SQUIRRELLYONE 11/22/2012 1:06PM

    Beautiful photos! Thank you!

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JILLITA55 11/22/2012 12:00PM

    Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. Fabulous! I didn't know they had Thanksgiving in Leiden, Netherlands emoticon (That poor turkey)

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SPARKLINGHOPE 11/22/2012 11:57AM

    Happy Thanksgiving!!

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PATTOMMC3 11/22/2012 11:53AM

    Beautiful! Thanks for shareing!

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After the rain comes sun!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The predicted dry weather eventually arrived around 1pm, just as I was about to give up on getting outside today due to the heavy rain that we witnessed this morning.

As there was still a fair amount of dark cloud around we decided to drive to our local park to walk, where we would be within running distance of shelter should the heavens open again! Luckily, as we pulled into the carpark, the sun came out.

We spent a pleasant hour strolling along tree lined pathways, avoiding the more muddy trails. Most of the leaves are down now although I did manage to capture shots of a couple of colourful trees, the last remnants of this year's Autumn.

My daughter calls this the Spooky Eye-Spy tree.....

A quick cup of tea at the Badhuis (Bath house) cafe on the lake......

......before heading home, just as the clouds started to thicken and the sky grew dark again.

I'm pleased we made it out for a bit of exercise, although a little on the light side today! I'll have to make up for it tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNSWEETMAMA 11/19/2012 12:48PM

    So glad you kept an eye out and took the opportunity to enjoy the break in the weather. Lovely as ever.

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BESSHAILE 11/19/2012 7:41AM

    Nothing like a Sunday stroll - we take a lot of them in the fall. Thanks for taking me on yours.

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PLANTAGO 11/18/2012 8:04PM

    VERY pretty!

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WILSONWR 11/18/2012 6:16PM

    Looks like a great walk! (And a nice place to have tea!)

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ANDY_54 11/18/2012 6:12PM

    Sounds lovely to be out and enjoying nature. Great pics! The Spooky Eye Tree name is right on target, LOL.

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1BEACHWALKER 11/18/2012 3:45PM

    Any exercise is good in my book! Good to get out and move and enjoy nature anyday!! Gorgeous woods! Love that tree-someone made it look spooky! Too cool!
We always like to look for unusual trees too! Like you saw in my blog with the dragon log! Check out my gallery and you will see the face in the cypress tree my husband found! He has a good eye for finding those things!
Love that you put pics in your blog!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIS193 11/18/2012 2:05PM

    Great pictures! Reminds of the area around Apeldoorn.

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JENNIK2 11/18/2012 12:01PM

    Beautiful area!

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/18/2012 10:58AM

    I thought the trees we saw in Naarden had spooky "eyes" on them, but nothing like yours!

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IAMFRANSGIRL 11/18/2012 10:28AM

    Looks like a very pretty spot! That tree really is spooky emoticon. It poured this morning and we went to Ikea ( I love when they're open on Sunday) instead of going for our normal Sunday walk. Now it's just gloomy and cold and I was happy to have an excuse to use my elliptical.

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POOKASLUAGH 11/18/2012 10:10AM

    Wow I can see why that's called the spooky eye tree! :)

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De Sint arrives in Antwerp!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Christmas arrives earlier in Belgium than it does in the UK (or USA) and I don't mean in the shops. Sinterklaas, the Belgian equivalent of Santa Claus, arrived in town today on his steamboat from Spain, where he spends the rest of the year.

Hundreds of excited children lined the streets of the city, many dressed in Sinterklaas or Zwarte Pieten (Black Petes, the Sint's helpers) costumes, waving flags and carrying balloons, singing Sinterklaas songs. Eventually, the much anticipated Sint Parade appeared at the end of the street and a huge cheer went up. The Sint was surrounded by his helpers who threw candy to the excited children. Marching bands played, cheerleaders danced and there were even clowns on stilts! A great way to bring a little cheer to a very damp, cold, grey autumn day.

The Sint will spend the next 3 weeks visiting schools and generally "keeping an eye" on the kids. Then, if they've been good, they will get a treat on his birthday (6th December).

In other news, thanks largely to the encouragement of my new Spark buddies, I'm still eating healthily and exercising well. I can't remember the last time I lasted this long! Still feeling motivated and chasing my next mini goal of 7lbs off by Christmas Eve........

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNSWEETMAMA 11/17/2012 11:52PM

emoticon for sharing your photos emoticon

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DR1939 11/17/2012 6:26PM

    Lovely tradition.

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LIS193 11/17/2012 1:13PM

    Thank you for posting this - takes me back to my childhood in Holland :)

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IAMFRANSGIRL 11/17/2012 12:00PM

    That looks like loads of fun!!

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ALIHIKES 11/17/2012 11:26AM

    What a great tradition! Thanks for sharing a different culture and the wonderful photo! I LOVE thinking of Santa Claus spending the rest of the year in Spain.

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WILLOWBROOK5 11/17/2012 9:58AM

    Now I know who the Sint is! What a great tradition. Thanks for sharing this!

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FANGFACEKITTY 11/17/2012 9:39AM

    Keep this news away from the US! If the US stores find out we'll start having Christmas pushed on us in July, instead of early October the way it is now.

That is one part of life in the US I do not miss at all, the relentless 3 month long Christmas season

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ELRIDDICK 11/17/2012 9:24AM

  Thanks for sharing

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PICKIE98 11/17/2012 9:14AM

    Maybe you will get a nice gift from Sint soon!! Be a good girl!

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First mini goal reached!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I'm absolutely delighted that after 4 weeks of serious effort to reduce my weight, I have managed to lose 10lbs! emoticon My next mini goal is to lose another 7lbs by Christmas Eve.

It's been another glorious autumn day here in Antwerp, quite cold but sunny with clear blue skies. The woods were calling so after my Dutch lesson I headed out to near where we walked at the weekend. We'd spotted another track and wanted to know where it lead - unfortunately, today I spotted the almost obscured sign at the entrance - "Privaat Eigendom" ie private property emoticon . So I had to turn around and wander back the way I came. I managed to find an alternative route and covered 4 miles of pretty scenery.

Somebody left a comment on my last blog entry asking if it helped to run in such beauty - absolutely it does! The woods are beautiful in all weathers and at all times of the year - there is always something of interest to catch my eye (although I'll admit, it's a drag sometimes to go out in the rain!). I'm very lucky to have all this right outside my door.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIOPPE 11/17/2012 2:09PM

    Wow, what an inspirational backdrop. Stunning. Also, congratulations on reaching your mini-goal. Ten pounds is a great loss. I hope you don't mind that I'll be tagging along on your next goal, as I too want to lose seven pounds by Xmas Eve. I think we can do it! emoticon

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SQUIRRELLYONE 11/16/2012 12:37PM

    Congrats! I would think it would be much more fun to run somewhere like that! Wow!

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WILSONWR 11/15/2012 1:55PM

    Great job losing that weight. I'm confident you can reach your next goal also.

It sure is beautiful over there. Our leaves aren't hardly changing yet.

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ANDY_54 11/15/2012 6:23AM

    Great job on the 10 pound weight loss! emoticon If I had that picture outside my door, I think I'd want to go out all the time! Take care and keep up the great work!

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WILLOWBROOK5 11/14/2012 8:08PM

    Congratulations on the weight loss! emoticon

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NAYKNITS 11/14/2012 7:33PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THINAGIN2 11/14/2012 3:45PM

    Congratulations on reaching a goal! Keep on keeping on!

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CK-DUBYA 11/14/2012 3:23PM

    I agree that the scenery makes a big difference when running and it looks beautiful there!

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SADWHITEWOLF 11/14/2012 2:45PM

    Thank you for sharing the lovely picture.
WTG on the weight loss! emoticon

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SIMPLY-4-ME 11/14/2012 2:39PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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UNSWEETMAMA 11/14/2012 12:52PM

Good on you!

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Counting my Blessings

Sunday, November 11, 2012

So my lovely son has gone back to London, leaving a son shaped hole here in Antwerp. It takes a day or two for me to cheer up again - I do miss him. But I know he is very happy doing what he is doing and loves living in London, and I'd far rather that than him being miserable and missing us too.

Last week I didn't exercise as much as usual. It was son's birthday so we ate out (far bigger portion sizes than I needed) and I also put away 2 large pieces of birthday cake. Not surprisingly, the scales haven't moved this week. Back on the wagon today.

It's been an absolutely gorgeous Autumn day - crisp, sunny and clear azure blue skies. I got up and went for a 5K run along the trails of our local wood. I was delighted to knock almost 2 minutes off last Sunday's time! It took me just over 34 minutes - maybe that sub 30 5K is still possible after all.

Later, hubby and I decided to go back to the woods to photograph the trees whilst they are looking so beautiful. We walked just over 7 miles and captured some fantastic colours. I feel truly blessed to live in an area with such beauty on my doorstep.

The street where we live....

Yes, life is good!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKJCHAPMAN 11/15/2012 11:05PM


Beautiful Pictures.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/14/2012 6:09AM

    Ah, gorgeous photos! Nice to capture the beauty of autumn while you can. It always feels so fleeting.

Great to have visits from our 'kids'. I had my son visiting from San Francisco last week. So nice!

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ANDY_54 11/14/2012 5:58AM

    Lovely pictures! Makes me want to get out for a hike. And yay! for your 5K time...does it help to run in such beauty? emoticon

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WILLOWBROOK5 11/11/2012 1:34PM

    Gorgeous photos! Sounds like you had a lovely visit with your son and while you didn't lose, you didn't gain. With all y0ur activity, you are sure to be back on track with losing.

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SIMPLY-4-ME 11/11/2012 11:35AM

    Absolutely beautiful photos.
I know what you mean about missing your son when he's gone. Mine lives over 400 miles away and can rarely visit due to job demands. Thank goodness for emails, the phone, and facebook. emoticon

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KALIOPPE 11/11/2012 11:34AM

    Fantastical autumnal photos. Love them. Glad you worked in a 5k run along the trails and shaved off some of your time too! emoticon

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DETERMINED_ME 11/11/2012 11:25AM

    Great job on getting back on track! Sorry your son had to leave but it's good that he is happy!

Thanks for sharing the pictures they are beautiful!

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WILSONWR 11/11/2012 11:17AM

    What a great blog! Sounds like you had a really great fitness day and I love the pictures. I wish we had more of a fall season here in Texas - it is supposed to get 80 degrees today!

If you get a chance, take a look at my blog "Grand Canyon Hike Remembered." It tells of an unforgettable 15.6 mile hike with my son (unforgettable for many reasons). My son also commented on the blog!! How special is that?!

Sons (and daughters) are definitely a joy in life!

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