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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Pancakes with...

Here in Flanders, it's a tradition that women (plus their spouses) go and have a waffle or pancake when shopping. I don't know where else this custom is kept, but you should just see the tearooms here between 2 and 5 p.m.





My absolute favorite are pancakes with what we call 'advocaat' - a drink made with eggs and liquor. But I also like pancakes with caramelised apple, whipped cream, icecream and Grand Marnier.... Or a waffle with hot cherries and whipped cream....

We just returned from the tearoom and we had... pancakes with advocaat!

Yes, Flanders is definitely the place to be for those who like sweet desserts!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Reunion

You know how it goes... You've been living in a neighborhood for ages, and you were friends with the kids next door.

The same goes for my sister and I. When we were kids, next door to us lived Christel and next to her Marian. Both were of the same agegroup as my sister, so they often played together (I did less, as I was older and this caused more problems when we were young).

But then, growing up, Christel met Edwin and Marian fell in love with Donald. They both married and went to live elsewhere.

At first, we often met and called. But as time went by the contact got restricted to a card for Christmas and one for the birthdays.

Sometimes Christel dropped by when she came to see her parents (who also moved when her dad inherited a big house from his father). The last time we saw her she said we should get together, along with Marian.

And it finally happened yesterday. The four girls of the neighborhood met at last over dinner. And it was fun! The food was good and also the company. Now we intend to do this regularly - and I'm certain it will happen.

Do you often meet with your old friends?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Silk

Hello folks!

I'd like to introduce you to author Chris Karlsen, who has written Silk. This is a historical novel, full of mystery and suspense from Books to Go Now.

Chris is doing a virtual blurb blitz tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, which runs from January 26th until February 13th. I'm also hosting this tour. To make it interesting for you guys, Chris is giving away a $20 Amazon/BN gift certificate when you take time to place a comment. The winner will be drawn randomly via Rafflecopter. So please use this code to place your comment:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f776/


Blurb

What would you do to stay young: Lie, Manipulate, Kill?

London-Fall, 1888

The city is in a panic as Jack the Ripper continues his murderous spree. While the Whitechapel police struggle to find him, Detective Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are working feverishly to find their own serial killer. The British Museum's beautiful gardens have become a killing ground for young women strangled as they stroll through.

Their investigation has them brushing up against Viscount Everhard, a powerful member of the House of Lords, and a friend to Queen Victoria. When the circumstantial evidence  points to him as a suspect, Rudyard must deal with the political blowback, and knows if they are going to go after the viscount, they'd better be right and have proof.

As the body count grows and the public clamor for the detectives to do more, inter-department rivalries complicate the already difficult case.


Silk on the skin—luxurious, luscious..lethal.

Excerpt

He wrapped an end in each hand and pulled. His fingers crept up the silk and he tugged a bit harder still. The material pressed deeper into the flesh of her neck. Bright pink dotted her cheeks and radiated down to her jaw. The veins in her temples popped out and pulsed in time to her heartbeat. She moaned, pushed her hips upward and writhed against him. Her soft pubic hair tickled his testicles. Isabeau’s unsubtle way of letting him know she wanted him inside her. He obliged.

Her hands encircled his wrists. She tugged hard outward, harder than usual. A choked sigh escaped her. He paid no attention. This was standard. Isabeau always insisted he maintain pressure until she signaled for him to release his hold. In the past, when she reached the edge of consciousness, she’d beat along his upper arms. This time she thrashed her head back and forth, something he hadn’t seen before. Her eyes bulged in an unattractive way and she clawed at him. Her nails gouged the skin on his hands, drawing blood.

She hurt him and he wanted to slap her. He almost let go of one end of the scarf to do that. Instead, he pulled tighter. Isabeau tried to insert her fingers into the spot where the material crossed over. Her mouth opened and shut, soundless and fishlike. She swatted at the mattress wildly. Red-faced to the point of being near purple, she bucked beneath him.

She fired his blood with her lack of inhibition. Never had she responded with such intensity. Raw power surged through him, primitive, animalistic. He pumped hard. Ready to climax, William clenched his fists, twisting the scarf one last turn. Odd, feathery touches tapped his biceps, feminine and subtle grazes, and then she went limp. Spent, he released his hold and collapsed on top of her, his heart pounding while he caught his breath.

Isabeau didn’t move and her head stayed turned to the side. She hadn’t cried out the way she normally did when sated. Perhaps she was disappointed with his effort. He gave the thought a mental shrug. At the end of the day, it really didn’t matter. He’d arrange for her departure first thing in the morning.

William rolled over and slung a sweaty arm over his eyes. He tried to decide which was worse, telling her tonight the affair was over or waiting until morning. The idea of doing it after such a rambunctious sexual endeavor seemed bad form, but he wanted to get it over with. He turned onto his side, prepared for histrionics, caterwauling, great tears and verbal abuse.

“Isabeau, look at me. I’ve come to a decision and it will likely distress you.” Nothing. She didn’t stir. “Isabeau?”

He shook her by the arm. Still no response. William let go and her arm dropped listless to the mattress. He raised her arm again and let go. Again, it fell listless. He straddled her and patted her cheeks. Nothing. Her head twisted without resistance first right then left depending on the direction of his pat. He slapped her harder. Nothing. Vacant eyes stared fixed on the ceiling. He bent an ear to her chest. Nothing. William leapt from the bed, snatched a silver mirror from the dressing table, and held it under her nose. Nothing.

“Bitch.” William hurled the mirror against the wall. “Bitch, whore,” he raged and paced along the side of the bed. “I will not allow you to make my life a nightmare. This was your doing. I told you to leave me alone.”


Author bio and links

Chris was born and raised in Chicago. Her father was a history professor and her mother was, and is, a voracious reader. She grew up with a love of history and books.

Her parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. She wanted to see the places she read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated her. She’s had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

She is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. Her desire to write came in her early teens. After she retired, she decided to pursue that dream. She writes two different series. Her paranormal romance series is called Knights in Time. Her romantic thriller series is Dangerous Waters.

She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse. 



Links:





Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Chris-Karlsen/e/B005HYTQQI

Book Video: <iframe width="400" height="300" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pZ6oRpQK0c0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>




Monday, January 26, 2015

Drone or spy?

Lately, the newspaper and other media have been full of reports about drones. Drones flying around and filming our every day life.


A couple from Ghent complains they saw a drone outside their bedroom window and it filmed their activities inside. (Now I do ask: didn't they have curtains? I always close my curtains before going to bed.)

As always, there are pro's and contra's for the use of drones. They can come in quite handy for certain purposes, but they can also be used to spy upon people.

What concerns myself, I don't mind being spied upon as I have nothing to hide. As I live near a busy railroad already, I'm used to trains passing by and passengers looking into my garden. I guess if they try they can also see me sitting behind my computer! So what more can a drone do?

But others think differently. Most people don't appreciate being watched by others. And my experience tells me that those who complain the most about being spied on, are those who'd LOVE to have a look into their neighbor's home...

What do you think of it?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Disturbance in the night

When you live near a very busy road, and also close to a railroad crossing, it's inevitable you'll see accidents happen.

Up to now, we've been lucky no car has ever hit our front wall. But two houses removed, they are not so lucky.

Last year already, a car 'flew' over the crossing and landed in the garden of our neighbors. The past night, it was the same once more. The road was not yet slippery (the forecast had predicted sleet in the early hours of the morning) so we assume the accident happened by driving too fast (or under influence). A car drove with great speed over the railroad crossing, missed the slight turn and landed upside down. It crashed the stone garden fence of our neighbors, which had just been repaired from the previous crash. I hope they have a good insurance!

The driver came to no harm. Luck is with the fools, they say, and it must be true. But the car was a total loss.

The police came to check the accident spot and afterwards the fire brigade had to remove the spoilt oil from the street surface. It took more than 2 hours before everything was cleared and we could go to bed once more. It happened around 4 a.m. and we were in bed again by 6 a.m.

Will catch our beds somewhat earlier tonight!

Friday, January 23, 2015

The newest rage in Paris...

Where's the world going to?

Just heard in the news that the latest in men's fashion is... visible dicks!

(You'll excuse me if I don't add a picture.)

The past week, a lot of strange designs passed the catwalks in Paris. But what designer Rick Owens brought, turned many heads! According to Owens visible male genitals are the latest rage in men's fashion...

He creates a collection of draperies, which are thrown over a man's body, and cut in strategic places. I wouldn't have liked to be sitting on the first row of this fashion show!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The novels of Catherine Cookson

Being more than half a century old, I grew up reading voraciously - in a time when libraries were still 'hot'.

After having read all the novel fit for youngsters (Dickens, Stevenson, e.a.) I went through Agatha Christie and afterwards discovered Konsalik (a German author) and Catherine Cookson.

The latter author writes novels situated in the north of England (Shields, Newcastle) around the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth.

All of her novels are tales of young women who have to struggle through life (I bet this is where Barabara Taylor Bradford got her inspiration as well) - and make it. Strong women, with a mind of their own and thus after my own liking.

But now, so many years later, I still read those novels. I find they are a kind of testimony of times past. They give a very good impression of how life was in those days. My own mother and grandmother never talked a lot about the past, and of course they haven't had such hard times as the heroines in Cookson's stories, but nevertheless....

So many things have changed since I was a little kid myself. When I am now standing in a class, I can give a history lesson about all the changes I've seen coming by. In my younger days, people did not have a bathroom inside the house - or even a toilet. They did not have a telephone. As a teenager, I thought we were very modern because our outhouse had linoleum and light (which my dad installed)! We washed in the kitchen, in a big iron tub - and we were ever so lucky to get hot water for each person individually! (Lots of kids in my class had to bathe in one tub for all kids). But then we were somewhat better off than most. My grandparents had more than enough money and we always ate very well.

But in England the situation was more dire than here in Flanders. Lots of people working in the coal mines got unemployed and this caused a lot of misery.

Some time ago I've finished reading The Dwelling Place.  A novel about a group of children who are bereaved of their parents and don't want to be seperated. So they move into the mountains, where they find an empty cave and turn it into a dwellling.

And now I'm reading Pure as the Lily, which deals with the Depression.

Any others who have read Cookson?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Home baking

The last couple of months, we've been baking more and more. Is it because we're both into our fifties (and I nearly in my sixties)?

I mostly remember my grandmother while being busy in the kitchen - baking for all the kids. Pancakes, cake, waffles, bread, you name it.



And right now w're doing just the same! We make muffins and oatpancakes (which we freeze and keep in the freezer until needed). We make raisin bread and apple or yoghurt cake. We bake cornbread (which we learned to appreciate in the States).

Do you also like to bake?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tessa

Interested in a May-December romance? Here's one from Lost Goddess Publishing: Tessa by author Ali Baran.



What is the novel about?


Years of wisdom have taught Randal that it’s not the destination but the journey that makes everything  worthwhile. When the tentative friendship between silver fox Randal and young Tessa bursts into lust, it ignites a passionate affair that leaves them both trembling. There’s nothing more fulfilling than a  beautiful woman in the arms of a man who can appreciate everything she has to offer.


As Randal embarks on a second career and Tessa is preparing for her chosen field, Randal’s daughter flounders in a sea of depression. When Randal’s love for his daughter is pitted against his love for Tessa, can there be a winner?

An excerpt:

In the water, Randal didn’t act like an invalid. Those piercing blue eyes sparkled and his body was ripped, better any guy Tessa had dated. The man was damn sexy, and in the week she’d known him, she’d grown to like him—maybe too much. Way too
much. Aside from a few thin, pink scar lines over his knees, no one would have believed he was living in a wheel chair.

He trapped her against the side of the pool and held her prisoner between his arms.

She turned and faced him. Now she stared into those beautiful blue orbs and caught the grin that crinkled the skin at the outer edges of his eyes. “You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”

“And you have a beautiful body.”

She inhaled as he drew himself nearer. His breath flowed over her face. She closed her eyes and she prayed he’d kiss her.

A finger touched her jaw, and she opened her eyes. He was inches from her with a warm smile on his face. Heaving in a deep breath, she hoped to cool the sensation building in her, but she couldn’t stop it. She tried to imagine his lips on hers. His finger traced her entire face, including her lips. She parted her mouth and touched her tongue to his roaming finger.

“Damn woman. You’re giving me an erection.”

She cast her gaze toward his trunks but she couldn’t stop the grin that was pulling on the edges of her lips.

His finger went down her neck and followed the edge of her bikini top. Her chest rose with his touch. Heat flowed through her, settling between her legs. She had never been one to have casual sex, but she was not a virgin. Right now, she wanted fulfillment. She tried to tell herself that older men weren’t usually capable of sexual intercourse, but somehow she figured this man was quite capable. His fingers splayed over her breast. And a moan escaped from someplace deep in her throat. She wanted to wrap her legs around his waist and pull him closer to her.

She pushed past him and headed for the stairs. She had to get a grip on her feelings because inside she felt as though she was about to shatter into a million pieces.

He followed her. “Tessa, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. I meant no harm.”

She turned and touched her fingers to his lips. “We’re adults.”

“Don’t leave. I won’t do it again. But seeing you has awakened something inside of me.”

“Yeah. I know that feeling.” She walked up the stairs and found a towel before turning back to him. “Do you need help getting out?”

“No, not yet. I need to swim some more. I try to swim every morning that I don’t have therapy. You just aren’t here. So to answer your question, yes, I can get in and out by myself.”

She settled onto a chase lounge and watched him in the water. He was as graceful as a dolphin as he swam lap after lap. She couldn’t help but admire his body. Even his legs had beautiful muscle definition. Inside, she still quaked. There was something about him—something dangerously sexy, and she felt it to her toes.

After another twenty minutes or so, he pulled himself out of the water and onto his wheelchair. Silver hair was plastered to his chest, legs, and arms. The navy blue trunks left little to the imagination.

“You can stand?”

“Of course. But I’m not supposed to be on my feet. Actually, it hurts like hell, which is why my daughter hired you. I tried to do too much too soon, then wound up falling and doing more damage. That set me back a few months, as I had to have another round of surgery. His hands gripped the outer wheels of his chair, and he headed toward the house.

“Need help?”

He shot her a wicked grin. “Not unless you want to help me get naked.”

She cocked her head as what he said sank in. “Oh. I’m a broke student, but I’m not a whore.”

He rolled to where she was sitting and grabbed her foot. “I didn’t think you were.”

His fingers caressed the bottom of her feet, and she attempted to stifle another moan. “I’m not a toy.”

“As I said, I didn’t think you were.”

His hands made their way further up her legs, massaging each little inch of flesh. Slow and gentle, it felt wonderful. He inched higher, and she put her hand down to stop him. He captured her hand in his and began to tenderly knead each finger, then her palm.

“You’re tense. You need to relax.”

She swallowed and closed her eyes. Her very fiber was being torn apart. Part of her told her to stop him, and the other part greedily wallowed in his sexual attention. The self-indulgent part was winning. Heat swirled through her system and caused her nipples to bead. Then she felt his lips on her palm. She squirmed when her labia twitched. His lips made their way up her arm to her neck. Tiny kisses, little nips, and an occasional swirl of his tongue graced her skin.

Never before had she had a man touch her in such a way. She moaned as he nibbled on her earlobe. She knew she was horny, and he was pushing all the right buttons to ramp her desire.


More about the author

Ali Baran is a vacation addict and a collector of bathing suits. She’s an end-user software programmer by day and on the prowl for Mr. Wonderful after hours. Since she hasn’t found him, she decided to create him.


Buy Links:






CONTEST

Ali is doing a virtual book blast tour right now, to promote her novel. This tour only takes place on 20th January. You have a chance to win a $10 Amazon/BN gift certificate, if you leave a comment. Please use this link:

Friday, January 16, 2015

Terror alarm in Belgium

Yesterday, an unseen police action did away with two terrorists, and arrested others. According to the police statement, these terrorists threatened to murder someone high up in the police force and would also bomb buildings.

Right now, people are afraid. At least some of them. In my own town, the police station is not freely open to the public any more. You need to ring the bell and identify yourself. No problem for me, but probably for some living here...

How would you cope with terror? Would you be afraid, not daring to leave your home?  Or would you just continue like any other day?

I don't care. You have to die once. And being afraid never gets you anywhere. I can't honestly say I've ever been afraid. I lived through a car crash when I was just twenty - and during those long seconds of awaiting a loud 'bang' - I did not feel anything. My sister and I also were on a plane that could explode any second. Also not afraid. Just read on in my novel instead of praying to a god I don't believe in. If I had to go, I was at least with my sister. That was enough for me.

Any responses are welcome!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

What makes teachers proud

I've been teaching for a very long time - since 1978. So you can guess many students have passed my way. Good ones and a few bad apples.

One of my former students now is in jail for murdering an old lady - a robbery gone bad. And that only for not even 20 Euro! Another one is a known drug dealer.

For most of my ex-students are man and women to be proud of. And curiously, it are the ones who used to get the most remarks that are now among the best!!!

About fifteen year ago, I was head teacher of 3 MT (Modern Languages). A class of 14-year-olds full of misschief. I had to have eyes on my back. I recall I went to that classroom before the lessons began, to check what they had done that day. Once they had put a push pin on my chair. Of course I knew who was responsible, so I just switched the pin from my chair to his... That was a laugh!

But that guy is now a well-respected biologist who has studied in England! And another one of that class writes for a national newspaper, while his cousin (who was also in one of my classes) is a playright and author.

Most of these ex-students are among my friends on Facebook. The requests all came from them, mind. So I can follow their exploits - watch all the marriages, births of children, ...

That is so satisfying. I don't have kids myself but I take pride in what my students do. Well, Amidou (a young guy from Senegal, whom I taught Dutch) once told me very sincerely that he considered me as 'The Mother of Okan' (Okan being the form of education especially specialised in teaching foreigners the language of the country.) In his culture mothers and grandmothers get a lot of respect because they are wise. That was a great compliment!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Latest hit on You Tube: Brussels cop Jean-Marie

Until a couple of days ago, Brussels cop Jean-Marie was just an ordinary guy. Somewhere in his forties, on his daily beat in the streets of Brussels town.

That is, until someone filmed his conversation with a passer-by and put it on You Tube. Because... Jean-Marie speaks not only Flemish and French (which is expected when you work in Brussels), but also English, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, Lingala, ...


In the video, Jean-Marie addresses a man of African origine. First he says in Lingala (African language, from Congo) it's a bit cold and he doesn't like the rain. Then he asks for the guy's name and introduces himself. In Arabic he continues he's been up the entire night and has been walking with his dog.

The man who put this video online also mentions that Jean-Marie's accent is very good and he talks fluently.

Jean-Marie himself says he learnt different languages from his colleagues with the Brussels police and he doesn't think it's anything special. 'Everyone appreciates being addressed in his or her own language,' he says. 'It's just being polite.'

Wish there were more Jean-Maries!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Researching the family tree

When my sister and I were little girls, we used to hear our grandma and her cousin Fran├žoise claim their family descended from German nobility... The Von Bachhofens.

As I grew up, my interest in this family tree grew and in the course of time I began my research. This was way before internet, which meant I had to go apply for permission to consult the files in the city halls. And which also meant driving around the country to look into these files. My search brought me well around in Flanders.

I don't know how much aware you are of genealogy, but you can only search through official files until 1792 or so. That was because Napoleon made it obligatory to write down births, marriages and deaths.

Before that time you can consult parish registers, if they still exist. And the mentions there are not very explicite, until the person was of noble birth.

Well, for most of my research I got until the 1500's. But my grandma's claims proved to be a fable. No Von Bachhofens to be found - only a German soldier who fought in the Battle of Waterloo and remained in Antwerp after marrying a Flemish girl.

The surprise lay in my father's family tree. From father to father, we find the first one with our name was a foundling. A baby was left on the steps of a parish church in Brussels. The decan of this church found the baby and it was given his surname. According to the papers (which were translated for me by a friendly priest) the baby was well-fed and dressed in expensive clothes. This leaves to think it was either the child of higher middle-class or nobility.

When I went to investigate my grandmother's (on father's side) line, I came across fellow researchers who told me this line went directly to Count Robrecht of Bethune, the then Count of Flanders (13th century). Yes, a real count! Being the Count of Flanders meant as much as being the King of England, or the King of France. The Counts were very powerful and rich. Robrechts' grandmother was Margaret of Constantinopel.

So we're probably related to most of the European nobility, even when it's only with a drop of blue blood - and illegitimate, of course!

Added

Did some more research - and came across some famous figures from history. Several of the French kings (the early Louis) are ancestors of Robrecht of Bethune and I also found one King of Jerusalem (Fulco) and even Eleonor of Aquitaine (through her first marriage with the French king Louis), plus the youngest daughter of William the Conqueror!

Will now certainly read historical novels with more interest...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

1 million are Charlie

This time, a grand demonstration against extremist behavior and violence is held in Paris. President Hollande and 50 world leaders are taking part in in. It's a quart of a century past that a French president took part in a demonstration, and it's unseen that so many offcials of various countries (also from muslim countries) are participating.



This demonstration, in which 1 million people are expected to take part, is a reaction against the violence done to the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Several people lost their lives in this and a couple of other attempts.

It shows how people detest extremist behavior. Believe in what you want, but don't bother others with that belief, is my religion. It would be a blessing if everyone would think that way!


Friday, January 9, 2015

The ability to improvise

Yesterday was a day better to forget. Already when we woke up, the rain came down relentlessly. It kept on pouring througout the day. I had to run some errands in the morning and got soaking wet.

So I really had no more desire to go out another time - as we should. Normally we should do our shopping in Colruyt (a chain of supermarkets in Belgium). But also my sister did not feel like getting wet another time (she had to walk home from school).

What do you do then? Well, look into the contents of your fridge and freezer. Luckily we still had cheese, mushrooms, white fish, peas and broccoli. We also have pasta in abundance. So we just threw everything together and put the dish into the oven.

Well, it tasted quite nicely! This morning we could have breakfast on cereals and milk. We need to go shopping tomorrow, but they predict better weather then.

Do you also improve often?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Killed for their freedom of opinion

We live in dangerous times. Yesterday afternoon, three men entered the offices of the French weekly Charlie Hebdo and opened fire with their kalashnikovs. Apparently all in the name of Allah.


The cartoonists of the weekly dared to draw pictures about religious figures, among which Allah. Apparently extremists have no appreciation for humor. Also not for freedom of speech, of opinion.
Better keep the simple folk ignorant and stupid.

I very much fear that things are derailing. All over Europe there are demonstrations against islam. If something is not done today to stop this extremist behavior, all the good ones will suffer with those few bad apples - and we'll head towards another Kristalnacht.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My Turn

Author Jonathan Williams is doing a virtual book blast tour, organised by Goddess Fish Promotions. This to promote his latest novel, My Turn - Achieving the American Dream. It's a work of literary fiction.

The author is giving away a $20 Amazon/BN gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter, via Rafflecopter. So please use the code below to place your comment and stand a chance to win:
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f723/



Book blurb

Silicon Valley is home to several large Technology and Pharmaceutical \ Biotech corporations. Chris moved to this area in early 2000. He has been handling data for prestigious companies for well over ten years. His work ethic and morals have kept him employed. During his tenure at a Fortune 100 company, he is offered a position at a small Biotech. It is not too long after taking this new position that he is promoted to Management. The IT Directory who Chris reports to gives him the choice of playing the corporate game or getting fired. Chris must either choose being ethical and getting fired or keeping his job by being unethical. After much thought, he realizes that honesty and integrity have kept him from achieving the American dream. Tired of living paycheck to paycheck he decides to play the corporate game. This decision will not only affect his professional life but his personal life as well.

Excerpt

From an early age, Chris understood that data was the key to everything. He didn’t need a 9/11 incident to tell him that certain systems needed to talk to each other. He also didn’t need a Wikileaks incident or an NSA leak to tell him that access to  any kind of data must be reviewed with scrutiny.

Author bio and links

Jonathan Williams has worked in Information Technology for over twenty years. He has spent most of his career working in the Financial and Pharmaceutical \ Biotech sectors. He specializes in Database Management Systems.




Sunday, January 4, 2015

Coming up with the flu

Sorry friends, but this will only be short. I don't feel well at all - guess I have either a bad cold coming or some flu. Will go to bed early and have a good measure of whisky first!

Next time another blog!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

And so the holidays are over

It's Saturday evening, and the Christmas holidays are nearly over.

Done with all the feasting (bad for the diet, anyway!) and doing nothing important. Next Monday it's back to work for most of us. The batteries are charged however, thanks to our trip to Switzerland and the week at the coast.

We can endure six more weeks of (strenuous) work until another week's holiday announces itself. Then it's time to celebrate Carnival. Not that we like it a lot, but schools close for a week and we can enjoy some free time at the coast again.

No trips coming up until May. You can't make 9 trips every year.... The finances need a new injection and we want to do something different. Like going to France instead of Great-Britain. We plan on visiting La Rochelle and also Saint Raphael this year. And we have booked a trip to Rome, Italy. For the rest, it will depend - you never know what may come.

For good intentions, I'll try to keep off the sugar a bit more. I'm trying already, but I can do better (I hope). My sister also wants to lose some pounds.

So, how has the year begun for you guys?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Pictures from our trip to Switzerland

First of all, I want to wish everyone a happy 2015.

Also, I'd like to post some pictures from our trip to Scuol. Scuol (Schulz in German) is a Swiss village in the region of Unter-Engadin. The language spoken there is reto-romansch (a form of Latin language). Some examples:

* bun di = good day
* allegra = hello
* arrivai = see you later

I don't know everything of this language, but generally I can understand the gist of what someone is saying. This because of the fact we've been visiting Scuol for over 20 years!

The landscape is very breathtaking and beautiful out there. Here are some examples:




As you can see, there was enough snow above 2,500 meter, but beneath only a little bit.

I'd also like to show you a picture from the Christmas Eve celebration in Sur En. The farmers out there create an open space in the middle of the forest and entertain visitors with mulled wine and chocolate mile, along with Christmas song played by local musicians. You need good eyesight, though....