Hello readers!

Wow time flies by! Seriously, just three weeks ago the Tour de France started and I had little spare time between a project and the last study exams of the year, and now it is suddenly past half of July! Wow! Today a recap of the month of May, tonight a recap of the month June. And what I will write from Thursday on for at least a week…. that is a surprise!  But of course I hope you enjoy it and that it will be an inspiration for you! Or that it will bring up nice memories if you recognise it.

So how is it all going and what did I experience or enjoyed the past couple of weeks….

Lets start with the month of May!

In May the little spring holiday had ended so weeks of study lay ahead. But that’s in short the boring part. The nice part is all the things I visited in may!

If you follow my personal account on Instagram: @sophie.vda than you can see those photo’s, or now and then when my account is public. My public blog account on Instagram is @sophie.vda.blog

In May I have been to the following public events:

  • The Final of the Philips Innovation Awards
  • The Keukenhof – Tulips Garden in Lisse (Instagram photo)
  • The Feyenoord Championship festival in the city Rotterdam (Instagram photo)
  • The Rotterdam Starter Award 1st edition
  • Azië aan de Maas – Asian food and culture festival in Rotterdam
  • Library college human skeletons

And of course it was Mothers Day as well! 🙂 And I have been to a dear friend her birthday party and a double family birthday party.  Catching up stories about life with some dear friends was also part of the month of May. As soon as the exams and projectperiod of the previous trimester have ended it is catching up time with dear friends haha.

The IT related stuff: I have been working with PHP, JavaScript, SASS (and CSS & HTML recap), Python. I also worked with Statistics with R which I really like to analyse statistics in another way than with the common known SPSS analysis. All as part of a project and/or for selfstudy and the upcoming internship.

How has been your month of May?

Greetings by Sophie

The School Investigation – Maarten Brand

Book Cover | Copyright Den Hertog Uitgeverij

My book review of “The School Investigation” [EN] / “Het Schoolonderzoek” [NL] written by Maarten Brand

In my view…

This book is written in a classic setting. A senior police officer and a young policeman are working together on a recent case. The difference with this book and other detectives I have read is though, that this story takes place in a setting of a high school with special attention for children who are in need of that. More or less it is quite the classic version but it touches because it has a lot to do with children. Halfway the book I discovered that I could guess who was guilty of the crime that was committed. Towards the end I thought I had to change my suspected criminal. But the plot twist…well I still do not know what to think of that. It did and it did not surprise me.

Writing style / spelling

In the book I have found a few minor spelling mistakes but overall it was oke written. The book is in the category of fiction for adults but in my opinion it also really suits for young adults. The sentences are short and therefore the book reads quick and the events follow each other up quickly. Overall it is oke.

Main characters

There are many characters in the book. The main character is police officer Job Kramer and his colleague Pascal van Deursen. Other names that occur in the book are Kars van Ewijk, Marnix Chavez, Ivo Chavez, Pieter Hansen, Bas Hansen, Lize Hansen, Floris van Trigt, Reimer, Andrei Stoppelbergen, Stef de Langeboom, Tineke van Sprangen, Natasja van de Weert, Boaz Golstyn, Fred Breur, Arie, Xander, Mathijs, Güniz, Lizzy, Kim and Mariët.

I hope you like the book too. It is oke to read it! I am not telling about the story too much– never do in my book reviews – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

Continue reading “The School Investigation – Maarten Brand”

Citylights – Margreet Maljers

Image from Boek.nl

My book review of “Citylights” [EN] / “Licht over de stad” [NL] written by Margreet Maljers

In my view…

Where the first book in the series ‘The Guide – Margreet Maljers‘ left, this sequel starts. It is 1943 and The Netherlands are at war with Germany. In the middle of WWII the story starts. Elja van Lier is now really a young adult and is running a fabrics store in the city of Alkmaar. Her aunts are running a photo shop next to the fabrics store. Her best friend Helmy helps her in the daily routine of being a shop owner. The inhabitants of Alkmaar are having a tough time. In the middle of this WWII lots of people have to buy their food, drinks and basic needs with vouchers. But the vouchers are scarce and as soon as a voucher is valid, it becomes really busy in the fabrics store of Elja. Together with some friends and family she helps refugees and crashed pilots who are wanted by the enemy. Family, love and friendship but also conspiracy. The good versus bad and the incredible kindness of good people that always survives war.

Who would you really trust when a war breaks out? What would you trust? Where do you trust to live then? Those questions I asked myself while I was reading this sequel.

Writing style / spelling

In the book I found only one error, a double printed word. The pace of the writing was at first quick and slowed down towards the middle of the story. A little bit too long slowly for my taste but towards the end it was al quickened up and it made me even wonder how the story would evolve if every year was so descriptive written.

Main characters

The main character in the story is Elja van Lier. And the other very important characters are her friend Everardus (Evert) Koomen, her aunts Flora & Aline van Henegouwen, the parents and aunts and uncles from Elja and Evert and best friend Helmy and her family are important as well. Together roughly three families and a many other persons. But you discover that in the book otherwise a complete story would already be told.

I hope you like the book too. It is worth to read it! I am not telling about the story too much– never do in my book reviews – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

Continue reading “Citylights – Margreet Maljers”

Sunny Sunday in May

It’s just a sunny Sunday in May and the upcoming day the weather will be good too in The Netherlands according to the weather forecasts.

The last couple of days I have been busy with study, travelling as a little tourist in my own country and family and friends. As well as going to some IT related events and speaking to some startup businesses. These days have been very inspiring and I am planning something to do during summer as a blog tour. Ideas ideas and ideas. And it is all noted in my new notebook – in the other little one was no space left for all my ideas while being travelling now and then. Are you curious for where I have been to the past couple of days? Take a look at my Instagram or LinkedIn for parts of the answer. The rest will be blogged about.

Have a nice sunny Sunday!

Greetings by Sophie

Between Title and Position – Marja Visscher

'Tussen rang en stand' [NL] - written by Marja Visscher.
‘Tussen rang en stand’ [NL] – written by Marja Visscher. Cover copyright by publisher Zomer & Keuning, official website link in the image.
My book review of “Between Title and Position [EN] | Tussen rang en stand [NL]” written by Marja Visscher

In my view…

This partly true-life story combines history and fiction. The author has done a lot of research to this person who really existed and to the historical background of the environment. I love reading those kind of books to retrieve a kind of imagination of how people have lived back then. The story starts in the midst of the 18th century (~1753) and tells about the life of Sara Louisa du Faget van Assendelft. She lives together with her parents in The Hague, The Netherlands, in a very famous street where the nobility lived. The ‘jours’, high tea’s, card, gambling and dinner parties are an every days subject. Your title is very important and your position can be of influence. Sara decides to explore more of life than the daily routines she experiences in The Hague. Together with her best friend and neighbour Hille Staal, she travels to the southern part of South Holland. She travels to Heinenoord where her family has an estate that needs some renovation due to storms of the past couple of years. What happens there during the first few months, changes her life forever. She could lose her position, she could lose her title. And the people do treat her like a person with status, not being just one of them who comes for a mindful peace and a renovation.

Writing style / spelling

In this book I have found no writing or spelling errors. It reads very lightly and the pace is normal to quick. Now and then it lets you think and now and then it speeds up. But this also happens because of the storytelling and the gaps in time that now and then occur. Especially more towards the end of the book so the pace of reading speeds up.

Main characters

Besides Sara Louisa du Faget, there are also many other persons mentioned now and then in the story. Her parents, her best friend Hille Staal and her dad Claudius Staal. In Heinenoord lived also many people who helped with and during the renovation. These persons were: Maaike Sevenbergen, Pieter Sevenbergen, Leeuwenburgh, Dirk van der Pligt and his kids, Teun Gorissen, Louter, Barendregt, and Dreesman. All these names are typical Dutch and some names appear really often in this part of Holland, even nowadays.

I hope you like the book too. It is worth to read it! I have described the beginning of the story but I am not quoting facts of how the story exactly develops – you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion. 

Greetings by Sophie

Book Facts:

Continue reading “Between Title and Position – Marja Visscher”

April 2017 | Life of an IT student

Time flies when you are…

… busy

… having fun

… living life

… studying hard

… working on your career

… improving and expanding knowledge

… being active and sporting

… and take some rest now and then of course

— ‘April 4th, 2017, written by Sophie van den Akker’

Life of an IT student

Hello readers!

Time really flies between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The last couple of weeks have been busy and inspiring, motivating by living life and having fun as well, and studying hard to improve my skills and expand my knowledge. Tomorrow is a big day – maybe I achieve my second Propedeuse at a University of Applied Sciences. This time in Software Engineering and I have already a Propedeuse degree in Media & Entertainment Management.

Today started a new project about making a Proof of Concept of an idea in ‘The Internet of Things’ sector. 
Have you ever heard of, or been in touch with, ‘The Internet of Things’ ?
. It seems like not even 50% of people worldwide have really heard about what it is – except for the terminology – and not even 25% has seen or experienced something – knowingly – about it. I will write about this project later on but I will not spoil the idea we have as a project group because we are also making this Proof of Concept for a real company. Tomorrow a final check of workshops before Girlsday. The day we promote coding among young girls a give a little workshop. I do this in the name of the organisation Dresscode Rotterdam, shortly Dresscode. Dresscode is a network of students that promote coding among young women and girls in high or primary or secondary school. We learn to give workshops as well and we design them. It is always a different experience and thursday on April 13th 2017 Girlsday is coming up throughout The Netherlands. Together with some fellow students we give some workshops from different parts of technical studies.

Let’s have a recap about the past two months:

February

In February the previous project was still part of that month. I did not like the project without frameworks, I have written about it in: January 2017 update | Life of an IT student .

The second week of February started with a new semester. This third trimester of the year that is still going on, started with Development Statistics with R and Analysis with Cyber Security. Both subjects are very interesting and different in learning and implementing.
I have also been a lot to the zoo these months because I had more free time and love to visit the zoo now and then when it is not too busy. I have also followed a tour ‘Behind the scenes of the Oceanium‘ in Diergaarde Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam. Another blog post will be written about this special tour. Meanwhile I was getting busier with study again but have also visited finally the musical ‘The Lion King’. Yes the Dutch version in the AFAS Circustheatre Scheveningen. But it was lovely and a really really good show! Another blog post especially about this musical visit will come up soon.

The video I made about a Polar Bear in the zoo. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

The photo of the entrance of the circus theatre in Scheveningen. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

The Ferris Wheel on the famous pier at the boulevard in Scheveningen. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

March

In march I have been to a concert in the famous ‘Concertgebouw’ , classic music hall, in Amsterdam. A special concert about not many times performed pieces composed by the composer Mahler and other pieces composed by the composer Elgar. The conductor was Sir Elliot Gardiner and the mezzo soprano was Ann Hallenberg. What a beautiful concert! Classical music is not reviewed before on my blog though I play the piano and the soprano and alto saxophone. I will write a blog post about this as well. The experience of the concert, some investigation about the composers, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the conductor and last but not least the mezzo soprano.

The concert in ‘Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam’. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

Further on in March I have had some big deadlines for study and another exam week, but that is something that is – until I am doing an internship – always the matter. As a new experience I have given a workshop for teacher training students and I have had several meetings with students and teachers about Dresscode. And last but not least, during the last week of March the Dutch Book Week started! I have been to two talks, one with writer Marcel Möring interviewing writer Connie Palmen. And the talk following up was the talk again hosted by bookshop Donner, writer Marcel Möring interviewing Sonja Barend – a Dutch famous former television personality. It was both lovely and inspiring and a blog post will be coming up.

The two book talks in bookshop Donner, Rotterdam. Copyright by Sophie van den Akker

And as you see I have posted several photos on Instagram and share them now on my blog to have some visuals with my little updates.

How have been your February and March?

Greetings by Sophie

Rotterdam shows solidarity with the Union Jack

The terrible attack yesterday at Westminster, London. It has taken lives and many people are injured, some still critical. But it did not tear apart the strength of the love of people for each other. To help anywhere they can.

Rotterdam shows its solidarity for the victims and the braves and the helping, with the Union Jack for one day half-mast at the town hall.

And the sun was shining today. A new day, because life goes on, everybody united and not ripped apart by terror.

 

Thoughts from Sophie

YouTube | Lindsey Stirling – Beauty and The Beast

Today I discovered this beautiful music video on YouTube from Lindsey Stirling.

The new film of Beauty and The Beast with Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as The Beast, had its première the 23rd of February in London.

It will be further released in cinemas on March 16, 2017 (Eastern Europe), March 17, 2017 (other parts of the world and USA), and in The Netherlands on March 29, 2017.

Why is it released so late in The Netherlands, or is it because of the translation…I don’t know…does not happen that often such a day difference. In Belgium it will be released on March 22, 2017.

Lindsey Stirling is a multi skilled artist: violinist, dancer, performance artist. She combines choreography with playing the violin.

And she is the upcoming weeks in Europe! (one mentioned per country, sometimes more events in a country; check it here)

European Tour

  • March 14, 2017: Jahrhunderthalle – Frankfurt, Germany
  • March 15, 2017: Hallenstadion – Zürich, Switzerland
  • March 17, 2017: O13 – Tilburg, The Netherlands
  • March 18, 2017: Rockhal – Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • March 21, 2017: Ancienne Belgique – Brussels, Belgium
  • March 23, 2017: Zenith – Lille, France
  • April 3, 2017 – Eventim Apollo – London, United Kingdom
  • April 5, 2017 – Vicar Street – Dublin, Ireland

Lindsey Stirling – Beauty and The Beast

YouTube description:

Beauty and the Beast – Lindsey Stirling
Lindsey Stirling | Published on 13 Mar 2017 | SUBSCRIBED 9M
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Happy Sophie’s Blog Anniversary!

Happy Sophie’s Blog Anniversary!

Two years ago, in the early days of March, I started with this blog. I love reading and writing since I can read and write. Being creative with poems about animals, people or just things that happen during a normal day. Writing little stories with those poems and writing little stories in diaries. Now and then I thought about writing a book. I specified all the characters to start with, wrote the first half chapter and then…probably…my inspiration was gone or I was distracted in so many other things that can inspire you when you are a teenager. I was back then.

Before this blog I had as a young little girl my own “magazine” written in Word, I think this was during my Elementary School years. During my junior High School years, I had some designed ‘pet pages’ on Neopets and my own ‘Kindertent’ website with a fan page of ‘Harry Potter’ – somewhere until around 2006. And after a few years I started with my own Blogger.com website. This was somewhere during the summer holiday after graduating in 2011. Sadly I have deleted this blog, well I have transferred it to another version I made on Blogger and so on. Two blogs on Blogger and even a Google Sites blog – to have more creative possibilities – later and a little break….and it was March 2015.

During 2014 I was experiencing a bit with WordPress because this was the biggest ‘other blogging option’ left after my previous – not satisfying enough – tries. It took a couple of days before I was satisfied with the layout and thought I had all opportunities maximized in use. And back then when I just entered my early twenties…I started this blog! Two years later I am still in my early twenties though haha.

And maybe you have noticed for this anniversary: an own domain name and a new layout! 🙂 Read on for the whole story about my blogging experience.

The Headers

Twenty Fourteen theme, first header 2014 experiencing

I started back then with the ‘Twenty Fourteen’ theme and this header above.

Twenty Fourteen Theme, header 2 2015 Later on Hemingway Rewritten theme as well – switched back shortly

Later on I changed the header into a more photographic one with a butterfly. I love the blue colour of the butterfly and the green differences in the background, not just one color but a bit lively.

Theme Hemingway Rewritten primary Switched to Twenty Fourteen theme shortly – 2015

During the summer of 2015 when I started with my Facebook Page: Sophie’s Blog , I  thought about making my own featured images in a header style to show the category of a blog post. This way every post from then on has a featured image with information that shows to which category the blog post belongs. This is still my method only the header – and therefore also all those featured images by category – has changed.

2016 – Hemingway Rewritten theme for a long time

Simple and minimal became the new thing. Not to bright, to colourful or a bit sloppy. I started experiencing with a black and white header and attached through Photoshop symmetric two flowers bound by a line that marked my blog title and subtitle. Yes, I called my blog ‘Sophie’s Web’ because it was me writing on the web and experiencing what to do with it. Will it become a blog with one single subject? Will it become a personal website?

New layout and an own domain

Here we are! Anno 2017 at the blog anniversary. A new layout and a new own domain! Welcome to the .blog world!

2016 – Hemingway Rewritten theme shortly | 2016 + 2017 Button theme for a long time | 2017 – March: Dara Theme and own domain name

It became a mixture: A blog with all my personal interests. Not a completely single subject – or three what you see often too – blog. Not a specific book blog, film blog, series blog, IT blog, Lifestyle blog, cooking blog, recipes, gadgets and so on….

This became my combination of everything I am interested in and the subtitle of my previous header was already present in my subconscious – only doubting how it all would result.

The way it is nowadays, designed by myself in simply black and white and a touch of a curly blue sign, I feel most content with. I did some research on signs and if some were religious or had other meanings. This one does not have a particular meaning as far as I discovered. But every time when I see it, I see a bit of a music key in it. For example a twisted simplified G-clef. And I love the font too. It has also its little semi curly effects by thick and thin and straight and italic combined. Took a while before I found a font I was satisfied with.

Maybe I seem a bit picky in every aspect that has to do with my blog – such as menus, social buttons, widgets, fonts, headers, colors, sizes and so on… .
Even after two years, I won’t switch to something else than WordPress. I won’t change my whole personal website and blog.

This is who I am as a blogger, and blogging and reading and broaden my knowledge is what I like to do. Together with writing and telling – ya, people who know me personally know I can talk now and then a lot – stories about everything exciting and positive I experience. In such a broad interest because I love many sorts of things in life and I appreciate every big and every small little thing. Do things that let you smile or just enjoy.

I hope I’ll be for someone an inspiration to do joyful things in life.
Enjoy the little things as well such as watching a film, reading a book or just watching an episode of a series.
Or appreciating a nice photograph or quote or a nice supporting comment.
Appreciate it when someone gives you advice, you can probably learn from it.
Stay always true to yourself.
My blog let’s me smile for already just being there, the space where I can write stuff, gather all my interests an where I can be creative now and then.

I just keep on enjoying the joyful things in life and writing about it.
Thank you for reading this long – personal blogging – story!
Thank you for being one of my true blog fans!
Thank you for your advises!
Just thank you!

Cheers to this Happy Sophie’s Blog Anniversary!

Happily greetings by Sophie

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