Nila on stage

There is truly nothing that excites Nila more than performing on a stage. Don’t ask me, who she has got this from, but for her, the nerves that come with it are definitely part of the thrill. She’s done jazz dance lessons with Regina for two years now and loves them. I have posted films on our gallery before, being pretty impressed by the hard work (coordination and fitness) that these require and this bi-annual big performance they put on was an amazing display of all that hard work.

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Nila had just returned from the Ardennes on Friday, when I had to drive her directly from school to Zoetermeer for the general rehearsal. This was then followed by 4 shows in 2 days, each of them being 3 hours long! A real marathon for Nila and even Maya and me were in a sort of theater trance, driving back and forth from Zoetermeer and watching the show twice. But it was worth it!

Take a look for yourself here!

Nila on stage

Life before and after COBIS

Although Nila’s COBIS trials and training seemed to dominate our lives for a few weeks before and after the actual Games in Athens, our normal lives continued and there were lots of little special events that I don’t want to forget in my blog for my girls.

We spent a lovely Easter Sunday with Niriti, Rajeev and Vrishin in Den Haag – link to gallery.

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Maya was awarded an price for “outstanding achievement”

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Nila had WWII day at school, this year’s replacement for Victorian day – I think they have to reconsider the title… but it was fun:


Next was a lucky day for all, as it was the King’s birthday, meaning no school or work and lots of orange celebrations on the street. Nila refuses to wear orange, by they way, as she is strongly anti-monarchy :-) – more pics here.


We also had some super relaxing afternoons and weekends, full of sunshine, good food, nature and each other. And every time, we decide we must do that kind of “activity” much more often… only to be carried away into the madness yet again – link here and here.

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And so we were back to the swimming pool quite shortly after Nila’s return from COBIS, for Maya and Nila to each swim 8 races over 3 days in the north of Holland. We stayed overnight at Niriti’s, which was great fun too and even included the kids witnessing the arrest of some criminals by police – what can yo ask more from a weekend? Well, there were also medals and new PRs… – see more here.

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In the half-term holidays, Maya and Nila went with Raj to work at THNK for a day – link.

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We also visited the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam – first time for me, ever – cool pics here.

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… and to Drievliet with friends for a good adrenaline rush – proof here.


Nila then left Maya and me home alone – Raj was travelling the world in the meantime – to go on her Year 6 Ardennes adventure, which she loved as much as Maya did hers previously:


And this is it for my summary post. The other highlights, for which I am behind, will get their own post :-)

Life before and after COBIS


With Greece in the news so much lately, I am constantly reminded of my recent trip to Athens together with Nila.

After months and months of trialling at school, Nila qualified for a team of seven boys and seven girls from all junior schools to represent the BSN at the COBIS (Council of British International Schools) Games in Athens. That in itself was a huge achievement and we were thrilled for Nila that she was given that kind of opportunity.


Maya unfortunately had to stay behind in The Hague because of a GCSE exam, but was well looked after by my parents and Raj. So, with Nila travelling and staying mainly with her team and me only tagging along as supporting mum, it was a great opportunity to see Kostas and Maria. We had just met again in Easter after years and years of no visits, so it felt so good to also spend time with them in Athens. And they were the perfect hosts as always – I felt like home. I stayed at their office right at the foot of the Acropolis, which was a brilliant starting point for my daily trips to the Olympic stadium and other sports venues.

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And what an intense time it was. There was a huge group of BSN parents and they had spirit. Nothing compared to the Nigerian or Abu Dhabi teams, but we tried. My voice failed after day one, so I left the cheering to the others, but it was so exciting following Nila and the team.

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And it started off well on day 1 with swimming. Nila and many of her team reached the finals, which meant a lot of points collected despite no medals. On day 2, it was athletics at the Olympic stadium. Nila did javelin and came 7th and also ran the 800m, a distance which had terrified her immensely and was not her choice to run. But she came 22nd and loved the experience. And with all points collected by the team, they won 3rd place overall of the day. What do you want more :-)

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Day 3 was all about football. The kids did super well and when time came around for the final results, they were thrilled to find out that they were 3rd for the day, which earned them each a medal – you cannot imagine the happiness on their faces. And overall, not forgetting how much the swimming points mattered after all, the BSN Juniors came 3rd – wow!

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It took me weeks to recover my voice, but hey, these experiences don’t present themselves often and I am super proud that both Maya and Nila got that chance once.

Now I can only hope that all will be well with Kostas and Maria in Greece!



Rome, eternally beautiful

It was a first for me, Maya and Nila. But even for Raj, these four days we just spent in Rome revealed new sides of this beautiful city. Everyone told us before that we’d love it and sometimes, I get a bit worried that my high expectations would lead to disappointment. Not this time around. It really was unique, just so special and it’s hard to say why.


Of course, there is the obvious beauty of ancient monuments, the wonderful simplicity of the food and the Romans themselves, but it’s hard to pinpoint why walking around this city just feels so familiar, so welcoming. And walking we did – a lot! But we were happy to have that exercise, to excuse the 3rd gelato in a day or the 2nd pizza.



We’ll be back, no doubt! Soon!


In the meantime, browse our huge Rome gallery online, mostly credit to our family photographer Nila.

Rome, eternally beautiful