Category Archives: Misc

Turn of the Year – 15/16

As of about April last year, Lena and I had a physical 2015 calendar. We had been living together for a while by then, and we thought it would be a useful addition to our home. As is to be expected, we bought a kitten calendar.

As the year drew to its end, we agreed on the usefulness of the calendar and we decided to buy a new one. However, it took a while before we finally found the perfect calendar, which is why as of yesterday we have an awesome Simon’s Cat calendar.

One of the things we did was filling it with all important birthdays this year, which involved me going through our old calendar. Although we only started it in April, there are a lot of good memories I associated with the various appointments.

Which brings us to this post. About this time last year, I  took a look at the year that had just passed and what I expected for the upcoming year in my first Turn of the Year.

Oh, how much I planned. And how much plans change during a year.

Let’s take a look at what happened, and what didn’t happen, this past year.

Early February: Lena moved in. Officially, it wasn’t until April that she was registered as living here, but as I got the entirety of February off, we thought it would be cool if she stayed over for a while. Turned out a while became a lot longer than we thought. It’s strange to imagine that at the start of 2015, we were still living apart. I’m very happy like this.

February 8: Onesie-cinema meet. We went to watch Spongebob The Movie in onesies. That was brilliant. Onesies are insanely comfortable and most people react very nicely (though some are just plain rotten). The movie was incredibly funny. All in all, a good meet.

February 20-21: Hearth’s Warming Con. Something that started all the way back in 2013 finally came to its conclusion. I’m glad to say that we were successful enough to have another go. Check for everything about Hearth’s Warming Con 2016.

April 27: Lena officially moved in!

May 23: Eurovision Song festival. The first time I watched the entirety of the finals. I gotta admit, I’ve listened to a lot of those songs at work since then.

June 6: First visit of our new home. I remember this day. We were going to visit a friend for her birthday, but we decided to check a house first. The weather was beautiful. It was our first visit to a house, and we fell in love with it. But we didn’t dare imagine it would become our home.

July 30: Galacon. Another time visiting Galacon. It was good meeting old friends again, and I enjoyed my time as a volunteer. The Gala was amazing, with Lena and I “dancing” for the first time.

September 2: keys to our new house! Lena and I became home owners! It’s a big responsibility, but it comes with even bigger rewards: a place to completely call our own, as well as a solid investment in our future.

September 5: start of my week off of work. We originally planned to go hitch-hiking this week, but plans change and we put all our efforts into moving to our new home. We hoped to go hitch-hiking another time, but that may also change…

September 20: my birthday! There were many guests who visited us in our new house on my birthday. Both my family and a part of Lena’s family came over, meeting one another for the first time. They hit it off quite well, while we enjoyed the last barbecue of the season.

September 21: the strangest birthday gift I have ever received. On this day, we found out Lena is pregnant. We’re at week 19 right now, expecting to become parents either late May or early June. It’s very exciting, but also stressful. We thought owning a house was a big responsibility, but it pales in comparison to what’s ahead of us. But as long as all three of us are happy, everything will be fine.

September 30: the final day of Groenewold 222. Even though it was my first time living completely on my  own, I don’t miss it. I got a house of my own in return. A house that I am happy to share with my amazing girlfriend.

October 5: my first week of 5 days. Well, actually… My first week of 5 days was the week of October 26. October 5th was the first week of getting paid for a 5-day week.

November 30: my first week as scrum master at work!

December 14: our first real vacation together. I really enjoyed Hamburg!

December 20: Christmas dinner. We invited friends over for a Raclette dinner (gourmet for the Dutchies), which was extremely fun. Definitely something we’ll host again next year.

December 31: first New Year’s in our new house. Again, with friends over. We have a small patch of grass behind our house, where we were able to see over all the houses and enjoy the fireworks everywhere we could see. We had a great time, even though I didn’t have much time off from work.

Looking back, I did do most of the things I planned to do, but the big things this year were merely the groundwork for what’s yet to come. Our new house, a baby underway… Our lives are rapidly changing and won’t stop changing in the upcoming years.

There will definitely be difficult times, but it will be worth it. I’m ready for the next year.

Turn of the Year – 14/15

Every year I am surprised by how much can change in that time span. Most days are not really exciting, but when looking at a lot of days at once and think back if all the things took place, there are so many things that stand out. Let’s see what 2014 brought me.

January 2 – First day of work. This year marked some very big changes, starting with my official introduction to being what Dutch students refer to as “burger” (lit. citizen). Of course, this wasn’t completely new, as I worked there for two months in 2013. Still, going from doing nothing all day to working four days a week is a pretty big change. It’s a bit much to combine with my Hearth’s Warming Con obligations, but I love the company and will continue my time at least for 2015.

January 25 – London Brony Winter Party. My first time in Great Britain was a two-day trip with Lena, Moontune and John Smith, when we decided we wanted to attend a brony party. The party was great and it was really cool to visit London, even though I haven’t seen any of the tourist attractions. Worth going back for it.

February 8 – Zwolle beer week. As someone spending most of his free time alone, I gladly accepted the invitation to the Zwolle beer week, where I met Dorus for the first time. I did not expect to see him that much more though. I’m glad we do.

February 14 – One year after losing Timo. It wasn’t just fun this year. This year I had the strange realization that I was older than him; something that felt very odd because it used to not be the case.

February 28 – The LEGO Movie. I don’t nearly go to the movies as often as I would like. This movie was worth it.

March 22 – Housewarming Lena. It’s funny to think back to this; back when we were not yet so clingy. It was a good party.

April 1 – Hearth’s Warming Con Indiegogo starts. This was a very big moment, as this marked the sale of the first of our tickets.

April 8 – Keys to my house. The second step towards adult life this year. It’s still an awesome house (even though it’s still a mess from our New Year’s pre-pre-party). Also the day that this very blog got launched.

April 11 – First night in my house. The first of very many. Also, this was my first entry for I Never, a project I hope to continue for many more months.

April 26 – King’s Day. The first King’s Day in a long time. Spent it with my favorite little sister in Amsterdam, where we tried our best to trade ourselves rich.

May 19 – Internet in my new house! Finally I was able to actually live in my house. I was so enthusiastic about it I messed up the wiring. Ah well, I still have Internet now.

June 7 – Housewarming round 1. What good is a house of your own if you don’t have parties? This first housewarming featured a bunch of bronies and a barbecue. Shout-out to A-Z Barbecue for being the best barbecue catering there is!

June 15 – Final day of the Indiegogo. We made it, and with much more than we thought we would get. From this moment on, Hearth’s Warming Con 2015 was definitive.

June 27 – Housewarming round 2. This time with friends from Almelo and Enschede. It was not very busy, but still a nice party.

July 7 – Crystal Fair. Read the related entry. It was awesome. Want to do it again.

August 1 – Galacon. That was rough. But fun. But rough.

August 17 – First time D&D. It’s a very fun game, but my god is it difficult to get everyone together. Busy schedules all over the place. Fun fact: at the time of this writing, we have had 2 sessions, with a third planned near the end of this of Month.

August 21 – Middelburg. Went on a four-hour train ride with Ryah just to buy chocolate. Good times.

August 27 – Salsa lesson. My first and only salsa lesson. I suck at it and my timing was really bad (I had to skip the first three/four lessons because of scheduling issues).

September 13 – Color Run Utrecht. Extremely awesome, will do again and I can recommend it to everyone.

September 19 – KIIIRAAAA.

October 4 – Housewarming round 3. Not really a party-party, but it was the first time my family saw my new house. Now that I think about it, that’s a pretty big gap between the moment I got it and this day.

October 11 – Birthday party, co-hosted with Roy. Not in my house this time, because we invited more people than would fit. There were a few people staying over, so more fun!

October 17 – Noodle dinner. It’s been over two years since we visited Korea and China. How the time flies. We had a dinner in a Korean restaurant in Amsterdam. It was so delicious. I ate so much. It was awesome.

October 31 – Walibi Fright Night. Fun, fun, fun!

November 6 – Waving goodbye to the people of USB 2014, the follow-up to Noodle. Since I’m no longer studying in Enschede, I didn’t follow much of the preparations. It looked pretty good, and I was just a teeny bit jealous of what they were planning to do. Then again, the things that would happen during the next few months totally make up for that.

November 8 – My very own car.

November 26 – Most important day of my life. This day, after the Hearth’s Warming Con meeting, I told Lena I had a crush on her. And luckily, she felt the same about me. After this point, my life has been a pretty big roller coaster of having fun, stressing out because I have so much stuff to do and missing Lena whenever we’re apart. Luckily, it’s mostly fun.

November 28 – Committee day. It’s good to do something fun with the people you work with, even if it’s not a regular paid job. We got a tour through a bit of Amsterdam, played a bit of pool and enjoyed a great sushi dinner.

December 13 – Utrecht meet. One of the best meets of the year. Will attend again for sure.

December 29 – New Year’s Party. Or at least, the start of it. A four-day party to celebrate the turn of the year with some of the best people I know.

A weird year indeed, especially the last few months. But it’s those months that have been the best I’ve ever had. And I’m very happy to see more of that coming in the next year. A brief look at what’s planned.

In February, the biggest event I’ve been working towards this past time: Hearth’s Warming Con 2015. I’m nervous, but also very excited. It will be the culmination of our efforts to bring a big party to the brony community.

I’m also planning a hitchhiking holiday with Lena. Just the two of us, with endless possibilities of where we will go. Our plan is to go to London, but that may change at any time.

Furthermore, I am planning on doing the Alphabetical Eating challenge and the No challenge, but I will explain more about those when I do them, because I’m pretty sure they will become I Never entries.

And that’s just the start of it. Next year will have a new Sail event, we will visit Emmen Zoo while it’s still in the inner city and I’m hoping to attend a Piano Guys concert.

So, there’s more than enough fun to be had. This year will be a good year.

Halloween recap

As promised, a second post for October’s I never entry. And it even has pictures. So you’re in for a treat. Or a trick.

That was terrible.


Halloween Fright Night at Walibi. As I was told, last Friday being the last day of the Fright Night event, it was going to be the scariest of the year. As I explained in my previous post, I was not looking forward to Halloween all that much. Of course, not spending it alone at home was a welcome opportunity, but it did play into my fear of fear.

So naturally, Friday morning I was pretty nervous about the whole ordeal. During the train ride, I got some distraction from a newspaper and after being picked from the station, another distraction from the back of the car sure was keeping my mind from thinking too far ahead.

Now, I’ll be honest. I was scared of some things. There were three things I avoided, and all three of them were roller coasters. But when the day passed and the evening started, there was really nothing I feared. I don’t know how or why, but literally none of the monsters scared me. In fact, I was quite giddy to go to the zombie-themed zone, because, well, I’m a huge zombie nerd. And I must say, they really made a cool environment.

The zombie maze was a bit of a let-down though. Mostly because it was not much of a maze, and because the zombie actors were almost all behind fences. I was kind of looking forward to sneaking around, trying to find the exit while also trying not to get spotted. Too bad.

The other scare zones were well-made too. The video game zone was awesome and I really liked the gateway to hell.

But the most important thing is that I had a lot of fun. For someone who is scared a lot, it’s actually very relaxing to not be scared at all while people around you run from fake demons.

Then finally, some pictures of the event.

The first is actually pretty scary. I mean, look at it. Comic Sans.


Oh yeah. I died.


But that’s ok. I came back and joined some other zombies.


And I got some superpowers to boot.


“Dude, that’s a kebab.”
“Meh. Close enough.”



Ok, that wraps up October 2014. It was a strange month. But it was also a good month. I liked it.

See you in November!

Yes, I know it’s November already.

Kingsday 2014

Have you ever heard of the trading game? It’s a game where you start with some small item and you try to trade it with other people for increasingly better items. There are a few success stories, such as the person who manage to get a house after starting with a paperclip.

“We can do that too,” my sister and I thought. At least, we’ll have fun trying and we’ll see where we end up. And what better place to start than the Flea Markets that are so numerous during King’s Day? People are already selling various items. They would probably not mind selling our item instead of one of their own.

So, last Saturday, the two of us headed out to Amsterdam, bringing along a set of IKEA floor protection pads.


It may seem like a strange starting item, but there’s more reason behind it than you’d think (and the people who know us very well will probably have seen these pads before once or twice). We were a little bit afraid it might be slightly tricky to trade away, because, well, they’re not something you pick up that often.

But, luckily, we came across a woman who was kind enough to trade us for a wall tile reading “Love is in the air… Jammer genoeg kan ik niet vliegen” (Too bad I can’t fly).


Easy enough to trade away, don’t you think? Turns out it was, as not much later, we managed to get a tea light holder for it.


Contrary to what we expected, most of the stalls we encountered were just shops that continued to sell their wares outside, with very few private people just selling their useless stuff. Maybe it’s because we didn’t really know where to look, or maybe we just had wrong expectations, but in the end, we didn’t get that far. We were able to trade the tea light holder for a domino set in the end, but that’s where our trading adventure ended on this day.


But it was a good day nevertheless. The weather was nice, there was a lot to be seen and we had fun, which is what matters in the end.

And I guess there’s some things we learned from this. Like how we should look into where exactly we should be to trade, or that most people will pack up and leave around four. And that neither of us really knows how to play domino.

All in all,  a good first King’s Day. Onto the next!

Hello Deventer!

Where do blogs come from? Some people just grow bored with what they’re doing and decide to kill some time with a new toy. Others may be looking for an outlet for their creative works or to say what’s boggling their mind. And a lot of people are simply looking to keep their friends and family updated on what’s going on.

I suppose Summer All The Time is a bit of all of those. But the main reason for founding this was the big step that I took today. As of today, I am officially renting my own apartment in Deventer. And I figured I’d show people some pictures of what it’s like.

Living room

Here’s the living room. This picture does a somewhat poor job of conveying the size of this room. Seriously, it’s pretty big. Also, it’s blue. I’ll get back to that later. Oh, and note the x2 room size multiplier from the mirrors. I should maybe have taken more pictures of the living room. It is pretty good room after all.


Kitchen. Not the biggest kitchen, really, but big enough to prepare my daily meals.


Bedroom, above the living room. Pretty roomy too, and lots of closet space. Also, I can sleep underneath a roof window and hear the rain while in bed. How much more comfy do you want to get?

Behind the closets

There’s also this area behind the closets where I can keep all kinds of random objects or annoying guests.

“But Lex,” you ask. “Your bedroom is above your living room. How, pray tell, are you going to get there?” With this of course!

Sexy staircase

Booyah! Awesome staircase inside my living room! Yeah, that’s right! I get to go upstairs using this bad boy! Not only does it provide a second story to my already pretty sweet house, it looks pretty sweet itself too. And it sounds exactly like it should: creaky, reminding you how awesome it is.

And if that’s not enough for you:

Emergency Ladder

Escape ladder! Takes you directly from a small room next to my bedroom to the hall and outside if the house is on fire or to the bathroom or living room if you feel like a badass and want to use a ladder.

All done admiring the pictures? Then let me get back to the blueness of the living room and what that means what it will look like in the future.

Suppose you want to have a bar in your living room, because you live there on your own and you have the space and you want to be able to invite guests over while having an awesome bar. Now suppose also you realize that you can put a beach bar  in there because it’s your own home and nobody else has any real authority to tell you not to. And suppose the color of the walls is screaming “you’re on a beach”. Would you design your living room to look like a beach club?

I would. And I will. This room is going to have beach chairs and beach tables. I’m going to put in a beach bar to serve cocktails from. And that’s just the start of it. It’s future talk, yes. The first few months may not even be close to it. But it’s a goal. It’s something to work towards to.

Because in my living room, I want it to be Summer All The Time.