Thursday, 4 September 2014


Draw, doodle, sketch
What a joy it is to have joined the 30 day sketchbook challenge organized by Earmark Social Goods on Instagram! It started September 1st and it came just at the right moment at the right tight time. I've been thinking about drawing in books for a while now. This challenge was just the push I needed to start doing it. Visualizing the storyline or words of one page turns out to be so much fun.

The book I am working in at the moment is a Dutch book by a famous name in Dutch literature Louis Couperus. The title: Van oude menschen, de dingen, die voorbijgaan... is translated into English as Old People and the Things that Pass in 1918. I have not read it before and I have to admit it's a difficult read for me. So reading one page a day makes it an easier read.

The drawing itself turns out to very rewarding. Just as much as looking at other people's sketches :)

Join the fun yourself or have a look at get inspired on Instagram!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

A Holiday in Normandy

Holiday, what holiday?
Time flies. Where to I do not know, but it passes by so fast. The holiday I have been wanting to blog about for quite some time seems so far away now. With the rain and cold it feels like autumn here in Amsterdam. So I guess now is a good time to take a trip back to memory lane and envision myself back in Normandy, France this summer.

Doesn't it rain in Normandy as well?
The weather in Normandy is just as unpredictable as it is here in The Netherlands. We were lucky though, the sunshine we had really was an extra plus during this summer holiday.

Normandy, cultural, historical, beautiful Normandy. So much to do and so much to see! My boyfriend really wanted to see the D Day beaches. My main goal was to see the mystically intriguing Mont Saint-Michel.

Holiday fun lies also in it's preparations
My holidays always begin a couple of weeks before I am even on location. I read what I can about the place I am going to. I search for and listen to locally created music. I create a playlist for our drive to France with music which is now popular in France and other music I love while driving. Sur ma route turned out to be one of my favorites with it's appropriate lyrics.

Driving to France Summer 2014

Where to stay?
Airbnb turned out to be a great way to book a fun and joyful holiday. In this case Airbnb allowed us to have a simple and budget holiday too. We booked a lovely little studio in the region called Calvados, known for it's apple liquor called: Calvados. From there we were able to visit the places we put on our must see list.

Caen Memorial
Before we headed to the D Day beaches we visited the Memorial in Caen. I truly recommend this because it is a good introduction and to the horrors and the actions of courage which took place from the end of the WWI till the end of WWII.
Counter clockwise: Memorial Entrance/ The Daily mirror reporting the end end of WWI/ The horror of the T4 Euthanisia programme/ Laval au poteau: Pierre Laval was a French politician who collaborated with the nazi's during the Vichy Regime. Resistors wanted his head on a stake which was not far from his fate: a firing squad./ Calling people to tribute the war/ Ve-day joy, the end of WWII is near.

D Day beaches
The longest day, Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers. D Day has been and still is, an inspiration for a lot of books, movies and TV series. The recapturing of the Western Europe was a huge venture prepared by the English, The Americans and the Canadians. While the Germans had their hands full on the Russians in the East, June 6th 1944 marks the date the liberation in the west began. When we visited Omaha beach and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial it was we were able to imagine the hardship and grotesqueness which all the soldiers endured. Standing on the beach, looking up the dunes, imagining myself with a 100 liter backpack, completely soaked by the water, armed with a rifle, comrades falling down everywhere. It truly was a suicide mission. Which the many crosses visualize in Colleville-sur-Mer.

Mont Saint-Michel
A church turned into an Abby, built on a rocky island to honor Archangel Michael around 800. Together with it's bay it's listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It's mystery lured me, past pilgrims and many other tourists to visit the island. It is beautiful yet commercialized. It is old yet new. It was impressive yet small. Altogether it was a great day filled with some lovely views.

Another holiday in Normandy?
Normandy turns out to be addictive. Some additions to my bucket list were made. I still have to visit Chartres, Rouen, Honfleur, Monet's gardens...and I want more cider and good cheese on the menu :)

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Hello Joy in Normandy, France

Nina Joy were you on a Holiday or something?
Yes, I was. I am sorry i didn't write to you sooner but I was in a place far away.
Well it wasn't that far away actually. But it was in a place in the middle of nowhere in Normandy and there was no internet access.

Aha, Okay. No internet access sounds boring to me. Did you have any fun?
Yes, I had a great time! We visited William The Conqueror's castle, D-Day memorial sites and Mont St. Michel.

Oh wow, Mont St. Michel is still on my bucket list. How was it?
Impressing, beautiful, you would have to see it for yourself really. I truly recommend it. Just be sure to visit the place in low or mid season when there are not that many tourists tripping over your feet ;)

Yes, lots, but I will show you them later this week okay? I have some unpacking to do...

Sure, no probz! Wait, before you leave I have one last question. Did you find JOY?
Yes, I found many joys :) And coincidentally enough I saw and bought joy in a materialized form the first day I was there. I felt like it was a conformation that Joy found Joy ;) Now that I think about it, it might just be a sign that my next holiday destination should be Hollywood...

Lol, talk to you later girl, enjoy your unpacking...
Thanks! Enjoy your day and write to you later...