Monthly Archives: July 2011

Royal greetings, from Blenheim Palace.

Stayed tuned for more photos from my holiday (as they say here in Euro land).  I’m off to Munich tomorrow morning!  See you soon. xx Helen Anne


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National Geographic: Locked Up Abroad

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with a new television series.

Now I’ve never been one to watch daytime television, but while playing nanny this year, it’s been a particular vice of mine.  As I flip through the channels while folding laundry, I tend to find the most intriguing shows on the National Geographic channel.  The cream of the crop is the Locked Up Abroad series.  The show is narrated by ex-prisoners, and their stories are acted out in the foreign lands and jails (well, more likely a set) where they were held captive.

These gripping and tragic events (some of the accused were guilty, but many claimed innocence) are told with such emotion, that I literally stand with my palms sweating and my heart racing, trying to fold the clothes neatly.

I give credit to the National Geographic Channel, not only for sharing these stories that give credit to the human condition but also for giving interesting and valuable cultural information.  The episodes often feature locations that have recently been in the news.  I’d much rather learn about the war in Iraq or the drug trade in South America through Locked Up Abroad, than watch a boring hour of CNN.

I feel confronted with my own survival instincts while I watch these prisoners trying to escape in hot deserts, with little hope.  What would I do?  Would I try to find the way out, while death is possibly waiting outside the door?  I don’t know.  And that’s precisely what makes this show so successful.  It makes you question your own life, particularly your strengths and weaknesses.

New episodes are airing on the National Geographic Channel.

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On the road again..

So its been awhile.  I blame my absence on a sudden boom in my social life, planning an upcoming vacation, and keeping up with some important matters back home.  Anyways, I’m back- and I’m here to stay!  Here in The Netherlands, it is cold, windy, and rainy.  The weather the past few days (weeks, months..) confirms my suspicions that Amsterdam does not experience the season Summer, like the rest of the world.  Though grin and bear it I must, it’s a bit depressing.

However, there is something very pleasant in the near future to look forward to.  Next weekend my mother and her partner will arrive in Europe, to meet my boyfriend and I in London!  Traveling around Europe together is something most mothers and daughters only dream of, but luckily for us it will soon be a reality.  On the itinerary is: London, countryside England, Utrecht, Amsterdam, and Munich!   I couldn’t be more thrilled to have the people I love with me for such a fun experience.

I think I’ve spoken about it before, but England and I just seem to fit together quite well.  The manners, the tea, the clothing and the monarchy really hit a traditionalist chord in my being.  Though I also appreciate the more unique and nontraditional aspects of life, I have to say that on some days I would like nothing more than curl up with an Anne Boleyn novel and a cup of Earl Grey.  This country has a fascinating history of nobility, and has given us timeless literature and artists of all kinds.  What would we do without Shakespeare, Princess Diana, and The Beatles?  Hats off to you, England, I can’t wait to walk your sparkling streets again soon!

Here are some of my British favorites (they are quite feminine, I assure you):


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Nostalgic for Rome.

Here are five words describing a special city to me.






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