N E W S L E T T E R
T H E B O OT S
Christmas in Spain & summer in Holland & Scotland We spent a delightful Christmas in Spain staying in Masun’s parents’ beach apartment in beautiful, serene and quiet Arenales, just south of Alicante, and only 15 minutes away from Alicante Airport. We spent the Christmas days with Masun’s family in their country home, enjoying a huge dinner with about 20 family members. A most special person was her grandmother, who is in her 8o’s, but got up at the crack of dawn to make these special Christmas meatballs for us all to enjoy as one of the many delicious courses that came to the table.You can see me wearing a beautiful outfit, purchased
LA ABUELA’S SPECIAL MEATBALLS FOR 20! FRANS WAS IN HEAVEN, OF COURSE!
for me as a Christmas present from our friend Soledad, with whom we spent some time right before Christmas. I also went on a little shopping spree in Spain, and was pleased to get great stocks of Nenuco baby cologne and shower gel. I can’t get enough of it!! By this stage, I had already learnt enough Spanish for us to take Masun’s parents out for a meal alone, and to be able to talk to each other for a whole evening - well, hand gestures did come into it! Since then, I have done an intensive course at Erasmus University last summer, where I got to A2.1 level. Now I am
THE NIGHT VIEW FROM THE APARTMENT AT ARENALES. SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!
busy with A2.2 level and hope to get into the B1 level very soon. The shot on the right was taken in July on the new Maasvlakte II, a vast area of reclaimed land, with beautiful beaches. In addition to my courses, Frans has achieved an A Diploma on the euphonium, practises every day, and is now in the beginning band!
A MAASVLAKTE SUNSET IN HOLLAND IN JULY. WE HAD BUBBLY AND STRAWBERRIES!
PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR
Happy Highlights from 2013 - an eventful year! 2013 HIGHLIGHTS 1. FEB. - SCOTLAND WITH JAMES - RAILWAY TRIPS 2. LYNDA’S LAST TEACHING YEAR ENDS IN JUNE 3. JUNE - TRIP TO FRANCE HAD TO BE CANCELLED 4. JULY - MASUN COMES TO NL 5. JULY/AUGUST - ABERDEEN, FINDING NEW PLACE FOR VINCENT 6. SEPT - FAREWELL PARTY FOR LYNDA 7. SEPT - LYNDA STARTS NEW JOB AS ALUMNI COORDINATOR
Photos from left to right: Top Left, Dini, VIncent, Nikki and Lynda at my farewell party from school in the Old Post Office in Rotterdam. A wonderful location, and in the midst of the Da Vinci exhibition. There was tapas and drinks flowed freely! It made me feel very special to think that the school had recognized all my years of service in that way! There is a little slideshow of it on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=CW9KOzdxcM8 Top right: The bandstand in Duthie Park, Aberdeen. From here, the former Royal Deeside railway ran to Banchory, and then to Ballater, where Queen Victoria would alight to go by coach and horses to Balmoral. It was closed in 1966, but now it is a walking
track, which we plan to walk when next in Aberdeen! Bottom left: Frans and James engaging in their favourite pastimes! Frans reading the paper and James doing social networking! (Only because he could not get a signal on his IPad!) Bottom middle: Masun’s trip to Holland. We had a lot of fun, which included having several BBQ’s You can see a slideshow of the highlights in You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=oxjNXCJHr2o After this, we had to go to Scotland once more, and thankfully, found Vincent a nice place allin for £400 a month, right away from the loud university residences! Bottom right: Lynda, director, Neal & colleague David, our webmaster, cutting the “1,000” likes cake in December. Bubbly to follow, and all that in school!!!!
We all have so much for which to be thankful.... Frans has a new found passion in music. He is utilizing every spare moment to practise and is very demanding of himself. He was so proud to get his “A” Diploma from TOGIDO, and plans to go on. He has just joined the “Leerling orkest” (beginner’s orchestra) of my band. They are giving a concert at the “Oliebollen repetitie” on December 30. He may also play a solo at this evening. During the concert, a team of dedicated band members and their partners cook fresh “oliebollen”, a sort of doughnut with raisins. After the concert, we all have these with bubbly to herald the New Year. They sell them on the street all over the Netherlands, and the newspaper, “Algemeen Dagblad” holds a survey to find the best one. If you win first prize, people put in orders in advance, and queue up for hours to get them. English relatives have found them rather heavy, and there have been a few cases of massive indigestion reported! Eating them fresh is the trick!
IT’S BEEN A YEAR FULL OF POSITIVE CHANGES AND STEPS FORWARD, AND WE ARE ALL HAPPY AND WELL. FOR THIS WE ARE ALL VERY GRATEFUL, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, REALIZING THE FRAGILITY OF THE MOMENT, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF “CARPE DIEM”. Congratulations to Masun on gaining her MA in Translation Studies from the University of Mercia! Masun has done really well, and gained her MA with good grades. She is now a Published Translator for Editorial Tres Fronteras, with two short stories: The Monkey’s Paw by W.W. Jacobs and Rattle of Bones by Robert E. Howard. She is presently looking for employment.You can find her on LinkedIn, and on numerous translation sites under the name María Asunción Ñíguez Pascual
FR A N S FRANS IS STILL HAVING FUN LEARNING THE EUPHONIUM. SINCE WE HAVE BOUGHT A SPECIAL PRACTISE MUTE, HE CAN PLAY WHENEVER HE WANTS TO WITHOUT DISTURBING ANYONE, SO HE HAS BEEN PLAYING EVERY SINGLE DAY, FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR. WE HAVE SEVERAL PROJECTS TO DO IN THE HOUSE, BUT NOT ALL AT ONCE!
LY N DA LYNDA IS NOW SEMI-RETIRED, AND IS OUT OF THE CLASSROOM. HER NEW JOB IS AS PERMANENT SUBSTITUTE TEACHER, AND AS ALUMNI AND SPECIAL PROJECTS COORDINATOR. IT HAS BEEN A WHOLE LOT OF FUN TO GET ON FACEBOOK AND TO CONNECT UP WITH ABOUT 650 ALUMNI, AND COUNTING! IT’S AMAZING THE WONDERFUL MEMORIES KIDS HAVE ABOUT SCHOOL!
VINCENT & MASUN VINCENT IS NOW MUCH HAPPIER LIVING IN A REGULAR AREA, AWAY FROM THE STUDENT MADNESS AND FILTHY KITCHENS! HE IS ENJOYING HIS COURSES AS THEY GET MORE DETAILED AND COMPLEX. NEXT YEAR WILL BE HIS LAST YEAR OF THE B SC AND THEN HE HOPES TO DO HIS MASTERS. MORE ABOUT MASUN ON THE LEFT.
SOME HIGHLIGHTS OF THE YEAR
TOP LEFT: RETIREMENT PARTY FLOWERS FROM CORRIE AND GERARD MIDDLE RIGHT: VINCENT AT MY PENSION PARTY! IT WAS IN THE DA VINCI EXHIBITION IN THE ROTTERDAM OLD POST OFFICE - A FANTASTIC VENUE! MIDDLE LEFT: LYNDA AND COLLEAGUE NIKKI CHAPERONING THE STUDENT COUNCIL VALENTINE DANCE BOTTOM LEFT: MASUN’S TRIP TO HOLLAND, JULY 2013 BOTTOM RIGHT: AT COLLEAGUE NIKKI’S PARENTS’ HOUSE IN FOCHABERS, SCOTLAND. L2R VINCENT, FRANS, ANDRE, NIKKI, NIKKI’S MUM. FEATURING NIKKI’S DAD’S AWESOME GARDEN!