Looking back on 2023

Looking back on 2023

I can’t believe that in just a few days we will already be in 2024! Time to look back on 2023.

The year started quite turbulently with a busy period after a move at the company where Bine had been working for two years. Due to disagreements with the boss, Bine looked for another job and soon found one that was much closer. After working there for less than two months, he got a call from his old boss, where he worked before switching jobs two years ago. They really wanted him back and offered him a nice salary, so he decided to accept the offer. So in a few months, he changed jobs twice. Now he hopes to stay where he is until he retires because he has had enough of having to start over again. With a bit of luck, he will only have to work for another four and a half years, as they retire here at the age of 60 (and at least 40 working years).

April was of course all about Lexi’s college gala ball, or as it is called here, her »Maturanski ples«. It wasn’t easy choosing an outfit because generally, the norm for the girls here is a proper, shiny prom dress. And that’s not for our Lexi at all. We did try a dress, just to see how it would look, but it just didn’t suit her. Lexi is a beautiful girl, but she is small at 1.60m and (unfortunately) has her mother’s genes and therefore some real curves ;). While searching and talking, we came up with a trouser suit. And that turned out to suit her very well. With some beautiful accessories, a little bit of make-up (she doesn’t like that either) and the help of a curling iron for a nice hairstyle, she looked absolutely beautiful. The fact that Larsen flew in from the Netherlands, especially for the occasion, made it even more special. I look back on a wonderful evening with great pleasure and have a beautiful photo of the four of us and one of Lexi and Larsen hanging on the wall.

At the end of the summer, Bine and I enjoyed a wonderful (deserved) holiday through Bosnia and Croatia and, amongst other places, visited the island of Vis, where Bine’s father served in the army for two years as an 18-year-old. We even found the barracks, which are now empty. Of course, we also visited various locations where scenes from the movie Mama Mia 2 were filmed. Nice to see!

Furthermore, we now really have an empty nest because Lexi has been living in Ljubljana since October, where she found a decent room. After a somewhat difficult first week, she is now fully enjoying her time there with her good friends, who also live in Ljubljana. She feels comfortable now and is also doing well at school. She is studying economics for a year, but would like to go study in the Netherlands next year and then it will really be very quiet. It will take some getting used but we will manage. And then it will be all the more fun when we see each other again.

Another very nice development is that Bine has finally started making the facade on our house. This is the finishing coat of the exterior of the house that we had never gotten around to. Therefore, our house still looked like it was in the construction phase. But because making the facade costs a lot of money and is actually mainly “cosmetic”, we have been postponing it for all these years. There were always more important things to do. But now the time has come and Bine has started on it. The work is currently on hold due to the weather, but he will resume it as soon as possible. We hope it will be finished before the summer and that we will finally have a »real« house :).

There were also less pleasant events, of course, because in October I had to say goodbye to dear tomcat Maks. Without us ever knowing it or noticing anything about him, he apparently had a congenital heart condition that killed him overnight. As if it was meant to be, a week later we unexpectedly received back a cat that we had fostered as a kitten for a few months last year. In her new home, the two other cats that were there before were no longer getting along with her and they were fighting all the time. So Šuri came back to us and she eased the sadness for Maks a little.

All in all, it was a very good year for us and we hope that 2024 will continue like this. We are enjoying this new phase in our lives, in which the children have now both left home. Although Lexi still comes home on weekends, the rest of the time it’s just the two of us again, just like we once started :).

I wish everyone a very happy New Year and especially a very happy and healthy New Year!!

arlette

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