Monday, 28 February 2011

A Great King's Speech

Last Saturday, after spending a nice afternoon with my friend Raquel, who lunched here with us, we went to the cinema to see The King's Speech.
I have no words to express how much I liked this movie.

The Historical accuracy ...

George VI childhood [the references to Prince John epilepsy and George V stamps collection hobby...]

NB:To understand George V and his role in the European History, I suggest the acclaimed British television drama serial, The Lost Prince.

King George V concerns with Europe political situation [Hitler on one way and Staline on the other...]

George VI sense of duty and responsability towards the country and the Empire...

the supporting role of his wife, Queen Elisabeth...

And finally, of course, George VI suffering with his stammering and the Professor Logue's help...

This is a documentary with Logue's grandson, Mark Logue, whose book, The King's Speech: How One Man Saved the British Monarchy, inspired the film's name and history.

the brillant cast...

Such good memories I have from most of them...

Anthony Andrews [Prime Minister Mr. Baldwin] and Claire Bloom [Queen Mary] from Brideshead Revisited...

Colin Firth [King George VI] and Jennifer Ehle [Myrtle Gruenert] from the best of ever, in my opinion, Pride and Prejudice TV serial...

Geoffrey Rush

Remember Mr Javert from Les Miserables?

If Colin Firth was already my favourite Mr Darcy, now is my George VI par excellence!

I'm very happy with the Oscars the film has got yesterday: Actor in Leading Role, Colin Firth, Directing, Tom Hooper, Best Picture and Original Screenplay.


Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Learning Dutch (2)

I had my first “shock” with the Dutch language when I started to look for a house at Interimmo's site [now it's in English too].
I couldn't understand the descriptions of the houses and their surroundings...

Almere, Tussen de Vaarten, Renoirstraat

From Almere (III)

I started to learn some words by clicking on the ads photos:
woonkamer [sala de estar/ living room], keuken [cozinha/ kitchen], slaapkamer [quarto de dormir/ bedroom] and badkamer [quarto de banho/bathroom].

Others I understood because of the Portuguese, English and French similarity:
deur [porta/door], lift [elevador/lift], garage [garagem/garage], balkon [varanda/ balcony], douchecabine [duche/shower], hal [hall], appartement [apartamento/flat], mozaiek [mosaico/mosaic], keramische [cerâmica/ceramic], luxe [luxo/luxury], vloer [chão/floor], kookplaat [placa vitrocerâmica/ cooking plate], radiator [radiador/radiator], locatie [localização/ location], prijs [preço/ price], station [estação/station], etage [andar/floor], plafond [tecto/ceiling], parkeerplaats [lugar de estacionamento/parking place].

Almere, Tussen de Vaarten, Klimtstraat

From Almere (III)

I learned the rest with the help of the dictionary and a lot of translation work... See the differences:

afzuigkap [exaustor/ extractor hood]
koelkast [frigorífico/fridge]
vaatwasser [máquina de lavar loiça/ dishwasher]
wastafelmeubel [móvel de casa de banho com lavatório]
ligbad [banheira/ bathtub]
ramen [janelas/windows]
wanden [paredes/ walls]
plavuizenvloer [laje/tile floor]
schouw [chaminé/chimney]
haard [lareira/fireplace]
berging [arrecadação/storage]
voorraadkast [despensa/ pantry]
kelder [cave/cellar]
dakterras [terraço/ roof terrace]
zolder [sotão/attic]
tuin [jardim/garden]
verdieping [andar/floor]
toegang [entrada/entry]
trapopgang [escadas/staircase]
uitgang [saída/exit]
bouwjaar [ano de construção/ construction year]
rustige [sossegado/quiet]
licht [luz/light]
groene [verde/green]

Almere, Tussen de Vaarten

From Almere (III)

uitzicht [vista/view]
kindvriendelijke [children's friendly]
leuk pleintje [uma pracinha gira/nice small square]
speelpleintjes [parques infantis/children's playground]
kinderopvang [creche/kindergarden]
scholen [escolas/schools]
gezondheiscentrum [centro de saúde/health center]
openbaar vervoer [transporte público/public transport]
bushalte [paragem de autocarro/bus stop]
winkels [lojas/stores]
winkelcentrum [centro comercial/shopping center]
snelweg [autoestrada/highway]

There are still words whose meaning I don't know, like afzuigschouw or schuifpui. Any help?

I hope this list can help somebody in the same situation as I was. No Dutch husband, relatives or friends to ask. No previous Dutch studies. Nothing. Only willpower and determination.

Beatles, Help

It's snowing!!

Believe it or not...It's snowing outside ;-)) Almost Spring and it's snowing!! :-)

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Learning Dutch (1)

From Coisas Minhas

A couple of days ago, I got this pretty postcard from my Dutch friend, Hanny: a long letter I was able to understand quite well. :-) I'm making progress with my Dutch ;-)
Yesterday, we met in a very cold, but beautiful Amersfoort. We spoke in Dutch most of the time: simple sentences, current affairs, of course, not the King's Speech ;-)

There are still words that I find very difficult to pronounce like "Onafhankelijkheid" [Independence or “Independência” in Portuguese].
Yesterday, I couldn't say it. Today, I tried again, and it came easily. Let's see tomorrow...

Before coming to the Netherlands, learning Dutch never crossed my mind. I remember once a colleague said she was learning Dutch and that was all my relation with this Germanic language. I've never studied German either. Only French and English.

The first time I heard a Dutch word was already in the KLM flight when the pilot said “Dames en Heren,...” which means “Ladies and Gentlemen,...” or “Senhoras e Senhores,...” in Portuguese.
The first written Dutch word I remember to see was “Aankomst” [“arrivals” or “chegadas” in Portuguese] in the corridor of the airport, when I was arriving.

On the bus to Haarlem, where we'd stay in a Hotel for three days, I noticed the word “reis” written on the ticket. “Reis” in Portuguese means “kings” and in Dutch, with a different pronunciation, means “travel”. I didn't know that by the time.

Quickly, I learned that “volgende halte” is “próxima paragem” (next stop), “trein” is “combóio” (train), and “tram” is “eléctrico” in Portuguese.

On our way back to Portugal, in the airport, I learned three more words: “vertrek” ("departures" or “partidas”), “luchthaven” (“airport” or “aeroporto”), “vliegtuig” ('flight” or “vôo”).

Until that moment, “reis” was my favourite word.

A couple of days later, knowing that we would be living here in November, I began to look for a house in Almere. Visiting Interimmo's site, I learned more four words:
“huur” (arrendar/to rent)
“koop” (comprar/to buy)
“huis” (casa/house)
“makelaar” (agência imobiliária/real estate agent)
I remember I wasn't able to understand the descriptions of the houses. Thank God for the photos!
Nowadays, the site is in English too. ;-)

A month later, in the evening of November, 4, we arrived in the Netherlands to take care of the paperwork and rent a house.
Next morning, at 9 o'clock, we had an appointment with the “Belastingdienst” or “Repartição de Finanças” (Tax Office).
I remember to see the word in the building when we were arriving by metro. “ different...” I thought...

(to be continued)

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Here Comes The Sun

Today in Tussen de Vaarten...

Many children on the streets playing football, cycling, running, fishing...

Many adults jogging and walking the dog,...

From Almere (III)

I hope the sun stays for a while. It would be so nice....:-)

A little surprise for my friend, Margarida Elias, who likes Durer paintings very much...
Albrecht Durerweg, in Tussen de Vaarten, you know the streets of my neighbourhood have painters names... :-)

From Almere (III)

From Almere (III)

Beatles, Here Comes The Sun

Monday, 14 February 2011


I wish you all a HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! :-) with...

... the hearts of my typical Dutch plates...;-)

From Coisas Minhas

From Coisas Minhas

From Coisas Minhas

From Coisas

...the lovely card I got from Anita :-) Thank you, my dear friend! :-)

From Coisas Minhas

...and this inspirational love story...;-)

Yesterday, this partnership love story between Queen Elisabeth and George VI of the United Kingdom has been awarded with the Bafta Awards of Best Film, Best Actor, Best Outstanding British Film, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay and Original Music! :-)
Very well, indeed!!! :-)

Specially to all the couples that support each other...:-), I wish you all a great day!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Tussen de Pannen

From Almere (III)

Tussen de Pannen: Koken bij 15 culturen in Almere Bouwmeesterbuurt [Between the Pans: Cuisine from 15 cultures in Almere Architects neighbourhood] is a very special cooking book I got last Christmas from my Romanian friend, Mihaela.

This colourful cooking book is a multicultural project of Booming Bouwmeester and Woningcorporatie Ymere.
This project involved 15 participants coming from different nationalities and living actually in Almere Buiten, neighbourhood of Bouwmeesterbuurt.
This book aim is to get people closer, knowing better each others cooking traditions.

My friend Mihaela has participated in this book representing her home country, Romania (page 45).
She tells us how to cook a typical Romanian main course, Ciorba de perisoare and a typical Romanian dessert, Papanas. Lekker! Delicious!

From Coisas Minhas

Let's know which are the main courses and desserts from the other 14 countries and see some photos of the book...

Morocco: Couscous and Qrichlat (photo below), sweet buns with sesame and anise. I will like it for sure!

From Coisas Minhas

Pakistan: Pulao and Zarda (photo below), a sweet rice dessert.

From Coisas Minhas

Spain: Tortilla and Bizcocho.Oh, I like tortilla very much!

From Coisas Minhas

Egypt: Golash (known in the Netherlands as Baklava) and Golash bellahma.

From Coisas Minhas

Afghanistan: Mantoe (Mantu) and Fornie (Fernea).
In the photo below, Mantu, a dish of lamb, cumins, tomato and garlic...veryyy tasty!

From Coisas Minhas

India: Mix Pakora and Gobi Pakora.
In the photo below, Mix Pakora, a dish of potatoes, cauliflower, spinach leaves, coriander... sounds delicious!

From Coisas Minhas

Finland: Porkkanalaatikko and Karjalanpiirakka.
In the photo below, Porkkanalaatikko, a mix of carrots, nutmeg and bread crumbs...yummy!!

From Coisas Minhas

Brazil: Feijoada and Canjica. Oh, delicious!
In the photo below, Canjica.

From Coisas Minhas

Somali: Injera and Barlise (photo below).

From Coisas Minhas

Thailand: Pad Thai and Kloewaj boewat chie.

From Coisas Minhas

Turkey: Karniyarik (photo below) and Kadayif.

From Coisas Minhas

Kurdistan: Iprax and Kada.
In the photo below, Iprax, a dish of garlic, onions, eegplants, courgette, tomato, rice, lamb meat,...lekker (delicious)!!!

From Coisas Minhas

And in this one, Kada, a dadels sweet... I like dadels so much!!!

From Coisas Minhas

Netherlands: Zuurkool and Erwtensoep.

From Coisas Minhas

Jamaica: Dumplings and Snapper (photo below).

From Coisas Minhas

I've already eaten couscous, tortilla, feijoada, zuurkool, erwtensoep and baklava...and I liked very much!
And you? What have you already tasted? What do you like the most? And what would you like to try?

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

John Barry

John Barry (3 November 1933 – 30 January 2011)

John Barry died of a heart attack on 30 January 2011 at his Oyster Bay home aged 77 years.

Sad news. No words. Just silence. And his music.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The Light of Delft

A wonderful blue sky, last Saturday was the perfect Winter day to go out, to have a stroll enjoy a day full of light. :-)

From Delft

We went to Delft to celebrate this beautiful day with the great Dutch Golden Age (17th century) light "photographer", Vermeer, the painter of light, who was born and lived in Delft all his life.

Before arriving to Vermeer Centre, we stopped by the main city's square and took these shots of the Nieuwe Kerk, where since William, the Silent, the princes of Orange are buried.

Opposite to this church is the Stadhuis or City Hall, a Renaissance style building, the former seat of the city's government, and still the place where residents hold their civic wedding ceremonies.

From Delft

From the main square (Markt), we can reach the church where Vermeer is buried, the Oude Kerk...

From Delft

and the Roman-Catholic Gothic church of the city, Maria van Jessekerk.

From Delft

After visiting the Vermeer Centre, we went to the Stadscafe De Waag (City Cafe The Weigh House)

From Delft

where a 1647 scale can yet be seen.

From Delft

We asked for typical Dutch hapjes (in Portuguese "petiscos"): bitterballen and kaas (cheese).

From Delft

Finally, a last walk to enjoy Delft by night...:-)

De Stadhuis (The City Hall)

From Delft

Royal Makkum & Delftware store

From Delft

A store of the 18th century

From Delft

De Oude Kerk (The Old Church)

From Delft

Entre Aspas, Criatura da Noite