Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

easter-weekend-016Things have been very busy lately, all our clients arrive for Easter or at the end of april, so houses to be opened, to be cleaned, pools clean and warm, gardens tidy, cars working, etc…

Three new clients in a few days, that was boosting us to go on because crisis is hanging over our heads like for everybody else. Lucky our clients still have to « maintain » their second homes so we won’t be out of business but paying gets a little « slower », our invoices are somewhat kept on hold… but we can’t complain !

Today, as I am writing, rain comes down again, awfull, because we have many leaks in our roof at home, several rooms, living and kitchen are filled with buckets to catch the fload !

Our friend, gardener, went up the roof the other day to check on « real bad tiles », well, he confirms that just 10% on the roof is ok, the rest is all broken, all just pieces of tiles left so no wonder it rains in the house when Mrs Nature pees all over !

We decided to get legal help for our house problems, our Landlord doesn’t want to hear or do something, so we will. We offered him to buy his house a few years ago, he declined our offer (which was much more than the exact value) so now he probably will have to make decisions once our lawyer will go after him.

Last weekend we had a great time, Easter ofcourse, but Philippe turned 40 ! We had a lovely Easterlunch, Foie Gras (Ph favorite, and homemade by Romain), a huge leg of Lamb, wonderful cheeses and a  chocolate cake with a Philadelphia icing on top (not rich at all….) made by Michaela and Dorine ! We managed to put 40 candles on it, it worked out perfect, he blew all of them in one time !!easter-weekend-054


Since a few weeks we are keeping a little doggy ( a friend who needed to go into hospital asked us to keep her sometime) and she, this lovely little Beagle puppy (10 months) decided to destroy half of our belongings… just to mention one ; the Charles Eames… she actually ate the leather on both sides…. the list would be too long of what she destroyed but she is such a lovely dog that we forget (not about that Eames tho’… our living room now is completely awfull !!!) 1304009-003

Philippe is training her, we don’t know when she will go back to her owner (if ever she will, because he might decide to leave her with us… like he did with Pablo, our Golden Retriever…)

I must admit she is fun, but it confirms I would never choose a little dog, I miss our Paquerette (Berner Sennen) very much, together with Pablo they are the two dogs I prefer and that I  grew up with, we’ve had so many of these breeds, now having this little dog in the house, it confirms that it makes me a little nervous. I keep on looking for her, she barks and runs around the house, I am not quite used to it, but I probably will have too (I’m just getting old hahaha).

I have many other things to say but need to do a little work, this was a quick update, I’ll try to get back soon ! xoxo


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48cI definitely want to say by this message that I will never, ever, take care of anyone’s problems again, talk to them about their troubles, give them advice or take care of them or their worries, try to open up their eyes, try to love them even more by being caring and understanding.
I am fed up that actually, which I was afraid of, it makes it even worse, it comes back in your face as if you’ve been hit.

So I AM GONE, I AM NOT HERE ANYMORE, I am going to be, what d’you call it? Oh yes, “BEING SELFISH”!!! 

I am going to enjoy even more my husband, my kids; they love me, we cherish each other more than anything else in this world and I am going to go wherever I want, I am going to do whatever I want, and I can clean up my own s***, as I have always done. (Even if they think I should do some more…)

I am angry and very disappointed, but not for long…

 For many years already I have understood what life means, what love means. What I am going to do in 2009 and all the years after that is having fun and enjoy !
As long as I live, there will be peace around me for the people that share my love and understanding and the serenity I am looking for!

I’ve learned my lesson again, “take care of your own business”, if that is what they are trying to tell me, well, I will!
Thanks for helping me out here! But don’t be surprised if I don’t listen anymore, I have enough to take care of in my own life, as I have been told…

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Our weather has been awfull all autumn, in those almost 30 years that I have been living here never I have seen such rain (and snow.)

This is a panoramic view from our familyhouse, view on Chateauneuf and the mountains behind covered in snow. (This is just 15 minutes away from us.)

Many avalanches have been coming down, destroying several houses and chalets, the ski-resorts are very happy though, their season will be great !


This was my daily picture, in front of my officewindow, rain, rain, rain, the road filled with water (10 cms) a real pool…

Finaly today the sun is out, only 9° though, but we are going north for Christmas. We will be in Paris and Normandy, and in Breda for new Years Eve…

Hereby I am wishing you all a very happy Christmas, love and peace within all families and I’ll be back in January for a new start, hoping for a year 2009 with goodies and fun, not another year with bad memories and sad things !
Thank you for being a faithfull reader of my blog, I haven’t been there much lately, same thing; work and fun don’t always go together, wish it could, but also, I don’t have a computer at home anymore which makes me enjoying my family much more and that is something I wouldn’t want to change !

Thanks for being here ! Love to all !

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Things have been a bit strange since the beginning of September. Good and bad things, happy and sad things, things of life!

First of all, our house, family house, ‘was’ sold, it was a real relief, knowing we all could go on, my mother to a flat, we probably could have bought a fine home for ourselves, but then after all it didn’t work out! Big deception for all, and now with the crisis going on we still hope someone will have a crush on it very soon…


We had spent our august holidays in Brittany. As always we were invited to stay at the lovely home of ‘Bonnemaman’ and ‘Bonpapa’, they are my sister-in-law’s parents. They have a lovely holiday house right on the beach of Loctudy, near Pont l’Abbé (south from Quimper). For many times we have been there and it is always a joy for the kids and for us to spent two full weeks of rest on that extraordinary Brittany beach.

This was the pleasure of the holidays, but the sad thing was the awful and complete sudden departure of ‘Bonpapa’ who died of a heart attack a month ago. It was an awful loss for his wife, his children and grandchildren (our niece and nephew) and of course our own kids were touched by this event since for them ‘Bonpapa’ was like a grandfather to them!

We will miss him terribly.


My sister-in-law has to go through the unpleasant time of grief, losing a parent is very hard, I know, but she also suddenly had to spend days in hospital last week, has been operated and is waiting for results, hopefully they are good, but until that, time is very long.


As I read all this, actually it looks like a long letter of bad things that happened, since I wrote earlier last week about our own loss, our beautiful dog ‘Paquerette’. We miss her very much, she was so there when she was alive, always ‘hanging’ on to us and she would share the couch with me in wintertime, while I watched a movie… it sure will be cold around that couch this winter. Pablo (our Golden Retriever) is doing fine, he sometimes looks at us with a questioning eye “Is she coming back?” I take him for long walks, every weekend we go for hours walk, and through the week, as soon as I have a minute I go.

Trying to think of the good things in life over the last few months, well, I had a lovely b’day party in July with all the people I love.


But most important, WE’VE GOT AN OFFICE! Riviera Expat is now officially working from a real office! We have spent 8 years at home, computer, fax, phone… but we couldn’t go on with it anymore.

My daughter (almost 12) needed her own room; kids have been sharing the same room since they were born. We couldn’t afford a ‘multinationalofficespace’ but… we found the right spot, at the right time!

It is actually just in our village, two minutes from home, opposite the parking for school so we drop off Bart at 8.15 am. and we’re in the office, he comes out of school (6.00 pm after homework classes) and we’re off home again! Great days, hard work, but very efficient and some clients just loooove to come and visit us, cup of coffee and a little chat… And…our friends; they all come over at 8.15 am for coffee so now Philippe decides not to open the office until 9.00… we’re better of like that, even though it’s fun, I feel like having my Bar/Restaurant back, I do miss that conviviality!

Pictures for this office will come soon when it’s all finished, same thing, we are no multimillionaires who can spent loads on furnishing their office, we do it step by step, and it starts to be really cute! We are very proud!

At the house it is all getting worse, I couldn’t sum up all the big problems we’ve had lately, the heavy autumn rain has ‘flooded’ the complete cellar window out of the wall, so now when it rains, not just a ‘little’ water comes in as usual, no, the whole f****** street floads in the house…

We had cleaned out the cellar lately, put everything on bricks and wood to have precious stuff dry, but it is a disaster. Then also, every time it rains we have to move our dining table, put a bucket under it, like a tap water drops from the ceiling into the living room.

Our shower has all tiles falling apart, the wall is getting so soaked and moist and disgusting that roots are starting to grow… This weekend I am going to take it all off and do something about it… all the things our landlord wouldn’t do or hasn’t done in 30 years… He should be ashamed of himself and you would be very surprised to see the state of our house.

The wooden doors to the terrace are falling apart, rains, air whatever just goes through it, like Philippe says; – “when the heating is, it’s for the birds…!” I won’t refer to all the shutters (what am I saying, shutters? Are they shutters or something that used to look like shutters???)


We try to take all this with optimism and as I told you before, we are so happy with the office, Dorine finally having her own room and the ‘zenitude’ on having the privacy at home, no more phone calls from clients on Saturday, no more faxes coming in on Sunday… real ‘home sweet home’!


Autumn has been very rainy, today the sun is out, we are looking forward to a nice weekend, Bart has another rugby competition, he has been selected for the ‘A’ team, we are very proud, looking forward to have him on the national team in a few years…

He also integrated HIP HOP dancing classes with all his buddies, that’s going to be a great show in June next year in Grasse’s Theatre ! We always go there for Dorine’s Gala dancing show, but then Bart will be in it too!


I think I went through it all, I told you I would update things a little, well, that’s done! Thanks for being here, thanks for reading and keep visiting my café, I will try to make my posts a little more ‘fun’ next time !

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Film: « Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull » , de nieuwste Indiana Jones uit 2008 met Harisson Ford!
Nodig vrienden, familie of relaties uit voor een unieke belevenis met een Amerikaanse filmavond vanuit de auto!!

Vrijdagavond 12 september en zaterdagavond 13 september organiseert Rotary Club Mark en Aa alweer de 3e American Drive-In Cinema op het bedrijfsterrein van Tigchelaar Breda.
Vanuit je eigen auto, van familycar, cabrio tot oldtimer, kun je genieten van Indiana Jones op een megascherm. Via de autoradio is het geluid van de film perfect te ontvangen.
Een leuke avond uit voor maar € 25,- per auto. De opbrengst gaat naar de « Stichting Dol Fijne Therapie »! 
De film is bijzonder, de popcorn is er in zoet én zout, er is Budweiser Bier én Breda Bier, dus niets staat wederom een fantastisch filmweekend in de weg!

Ook is er de mogelijkheid om voordat de film begint ter plekke een aperitief te drinken en van een gezellige barbecue te genieten (catering door Maison Moes)
De kosten van dit alles?
Toegangsbewijs per auto (maximaal 4 inzittenden)                                        € 25,= per auto
Barbecue: 4 soorten vlees, salades, sauzen, fruit en broodsoorten   € 37,50 per persoon
(hapjes tijdens aperitief inbegrepen) inclusief drank . Kinderen t/m 16 jaar betalen € 20,-
Het programma is in grote lijnen als volgt:
18.00 uur  ontvangst
18.30 uur  barbecue
20.30 uur  aanvang film
23.00 uur  einde
De organisatie is in handen van Rotaryclub Breda Mark en AA.        Je kunt kaarten bestellen voor de film en BBQ via de website:


www.drive-in-cinema.nl of kopen bij « Van Kemenade en Hollaers ».

PS -dit alles georganiseert door mijn broer, vandaar, even wat reklame !!!

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After a hard day of work on saturday,cleaning out the garage (!) we have a well deserved roast chicken on the BBQ today ! Mmmmmm, great sunday brunch, Bart went out to buy fresh (hot !) bread with croissants and we had a sundaybrunch at 11.00.. now we are going to have our BBQ chicken, it is just around 16.00…. GREAT SUNDAY, as I like them !

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