“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes….”


Retrospective: Family, Friends, a little Piening History and Work!

Water Mill at Kollen Near NuenenWow, time really does fly when you are having fun!

Looking at the history of our blog, it has been nearly 5 months since my last post! Whoops!

Where have I been you ask? Well, for the most part I have been sitting on my bum watching telly. We have had a few small trips thrown in here and there (which Philippa has updated you all on), and the past two-three months have seen me in my Vietnamese suits (well, sort of) working with Fujifilm in their support department (well, when I say support – I mean call logging – easy mistake to make). Tomorrow will be my last day, and I have really been lucky to not only score a decent temp job for the past few months, learn heaps about mini-lab equipment (and print off all our trip pics), but also more importantly to meet some really great locals,… of course locals being a few Brits, an Irish and an American gal!

OK… Just to wind back a little bit. After a brief visit from my brother Simon sometime in mid-August, we packed our wonderful little Rover up with food, clothing, camping gear and what seemed like the kitchen sink and headed down south to Dover where we caught a ferry to France. Following a brief stopover overnight in Antwerp, Belgium – we found ourselves in Eindhoven, Holland about 11 hours later. It was quite an experience stopping for petrol early in the afternoon and ordering in English, filling up again a few hours later and ordering in French and than the following morning ordering Petrol in Flemish and than Dutch! Well, if the truth be know – these smarty-pants Europeans can all speak English better than us Aussies, but that is besides the point – we did try!

Upon arrival at our swish Holiday Inn hotel (Mum and Dad’s shout) in Eindhoven, it crossed my mind that I should have listened to Philippa when she suggested (nay, insisted) we purchase the international AA (like RACV/Q) membership. Steam was pouring out of the poor little Rover and the needle on the temperature gage had nearly done a 360.

Thankfully the whole family was there to meet us at the hotel, and Dad, tired from all his own travel, was strait back into his fatherly routine by looking at the car and assuring me that no damage had been done as the car had simply overheated! The wonderful hotel staff managed to track down a local Rover mechanic for us and finally managed to book the sick girl in to the shop. Thankfully the only problem was a fan sensor, which caused the fan to stop when it shouldn’t have (at least I think that’s what the invoice says).

The real reason we all (that’s me, Philippa, Simon, Mum and Dad) met up in Eindhoven was to see the town Neunen (about 30 KMs out of Eindhoven) where Dad was born and spent the first 6 years of his life. It was a sweet, definitely off the tourist trail, little town. We saw the house where Dad lived and the surrounding area. He was even lucky enough to get invited inside for a few minutes – soon learning that he knew more Dutch then he originally thought! It was truly a magical and special day!

After a few more days pottering about Eindhoven (and dipping down to Belgium for the day) we all parted ways, picking up in Germany and Philippa’s blog from a while ago 🙂 I had better run as I’m at work, and writing this between calls!

Off to Venice this weekend for our Aniversary, Miss you all!

In brief…

I think that we have lost the routine of blogging…so a bit of a catch up is in order….

Please excuse any typos, I am currently doing battle with a German keyboard.

Elk FarmA quick recap of the last month…there was a fantastic weekend (4 days) in Sweden with our friends Pete, Kate and Olivia. We shopped in Malmo, went to a Swedish surprise party and visited an Alk park. Enjoyed a BBQ and learnt a new board game…it was a fantastic relaxing time and great to be hanging out with old friends.

We have also had some visiters staying with us in Bedford which has also broken up the manotonoy of life a bit. Matt´s brother Simon stayed with us for a week, we managed to cram a road trip into that also – to South Hampton (the Launching place of the Titanic), visiting Oxford briefly to have dinner at the Eagle and Child (Tolkien and CS Lewis´ old watering hole), saw an Abby and a couple of castles and visited Stone Henge all in one weekend!

Castle ruin (started out as a Roman fort)We then had some other visitors from Oz, Richard Carron (Tommy´s little brother) and his friend Julie. They made good use of the Thames Link and travelled to London everyday to take in the sites. Which reminds us we should venture to London some day 🙂

Last weekend Matt and I packed the car and made our way down to dover to catch the Ferry to France. We travelled for about 11 hours reaching Antwerp and our beautiful four star hotel. My husband is such a bargin shopper! It took us a while to wind our way to the “tourist” sites in Antwerp but when we got there we were glad we stayed the distance…it is a pretty little city. We then headed off to Eindhoven, where we caught up with the Piening clan and spent a few day visiting the sites of significance to the Piening family. Phillips pretty much own that town. It was hard to find a building without Phillips written on it. We also crammed a road trip to Western Belgium into to our four days. Belgium waffles are great!!!

As we set off again our car was a little fuller, with Liz and Simon crammed in the back with all our gear – Metro Rover what a car. The German auto barns are fast and furious. We had a brief stop in Colone – visiting the Dom (and walking the 500 steps to the spire), and Liz initiated me into the H&M stores.

Our next stop Frankfurt swept us off our feet as we landed there in the middle of a huge festival. All the museums were discounted for the festival and the river bank was a sea of people, market stalls, live music, out door bars and plenty of German food (which is apparently more than sausages). The boys caught a plane the next day to London and Liz and I continue on with our German roadtrip.

That is a whirlwind catch-up and here is my obligatory promise to update the site more often…which I actually think might happen as I am back on the road again. Send Matty emails because he is probably lonley home alone…hey why not even give him a call!

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes….”

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