donderdag 10 oktober 2013

Plans for the near future

I doubt a lot, especially of what I want to do with my life. Often I doubt if going to school is the best thing for me. Most of my friends are finishing school very soon or are already working/settling down. I want to earn money as well so I can do things I like to do for example travel around to see bands I like or not worry about how many books I buy and do fun things without having to worry about the money. But when I think about the jobs I can do without studying, I immediately remember why I am doing university: I don’t want to work in a store unless perhaps a bookstore. I have worked in a butcher’s store and it was so very boring. On calm moments there is just nothing to do, nothing to occupy your time with except cleaning everything all over again and again until a customer comes. It makes me unhappy. So I’m going to finish my school and hope to save enough money to do some gigs and perhaps travel abroad for gigs.

I love going to school and learning about literature and linguistics. This year, especially the first term, is tough because I am redoing a lot of courses and I have seen all the material last year. This makes going to class very tedious. But besides making me smarter, opening new doors to careers, University gives me another golden opportunity: going to live abroad for a limited time. 

I want to take that opportunity. I want to experience living abroad, especially in Finland. My university offers the chance to go study in Tampere. I have thought about this before, but I was never as determined as now to actually do it. If everything goes as planned, I shall go and study Finnish in evening classes next year and go to live for a term in Finland the year after. I hope knowing a bit of Finnish would enlarge my chances to get the spot in Tampere. Financially it should be possible if things stay the way they are now. If, for some, I do not managed to study a term in Finland, I will consider working for a year or so after my bachelor and do my master’s degree in Helsinki. This means moving abroad for a year. 

My boyfriend isn’t very thrilled about going to study a year abroad, so he hoped I’ll do the Erasmus term in Tampere. I know he will let me go if I really want to even though he doesn’t like it. He cannot stop me anyway. I am not going to throw such a golden opportunity away. Almost weekly BF and I talk about going back to Finland and often the subject of moving there arises. Living in Finland for term or a year is a great way to know if I can cope with the long, dark days and if I really want to live in the country, though that’s still in the far future and are for now, merely dreams and no real plans. One step at the time!

zondag 6 oktober 2013

Dare to be Different

Being different can be very hard, especially if it's visible on the outside. People are very judgemental and often have an opinion ready about people before they have even spoken to them. While I try to keep an open mind about people and not judge them on how they look, I sometimes find this very hard. But I will never ever bully someone because of it.

Bullying is horrible. I have been bullied, not very severe because it never went any further than words but it hurts nonetheless. I just do not understand why people do it. It's horrible what effects bullying can have on the victim. I've read various articles about bullying and heard a lot about it, but every time I feel sick.

I always do my very best not to exclude anyone. Sometimes I have the feeling that I am being excluded from things because I don't easily speak up or only talk when I have something to say that's worthwhile. I find chit-chat very very hard and am barely ever able to do it without thinking too much about what I can say. This often leads to silences and sometimes I have the feeling people think I'm not interested, while I am. I'm just a better listener than a talker.

It takes just a little effort no include someone, but it can make someone feel a lot better. Bullying is a waste of time and energy, you can better spend it doing useful things like spending tome with friends or getting to know more people.

This song is dedicated to a girl who was out with her boyfriend one night and they got attacked. The boy survived the assault but has brain damage and the girl died.  They were attacked because they looked/were different. The song is every beautiful and the video fits is perfectly. I highly advice you to listen to it and watch it once, even though you don't like the music.

woensdag 2 oktober 2013

What About Us?

Recently Within Temptation announced that they were collaborating with Tarja for their first single Paradise (What About Us?). When I heard the news I was thrilled! I love both Within Temptation and Tarja and I was very curious about the song! Two of my favourite music countries collaborating! (The Netherlands and Finland)

I listen and watched the it for the first time on a tiny phone screen in the bus. I immediately loved the song but I was not quite sure what the video was about until I saw it on a computer screen. The video gave the lyrics a second meaning for me and made the song even better! I love the touch of dystopia in it! I cannot wait until the album releases and to see them live again! Within Temptation is one of the best live bands, their performance is always fantastic! I hope that Tarja would your with them just for this song, but I think that's unlikely seeing Tarja just has a new album out and will be touring as well.

zondag 29 september 2013

September was great!

September was definitely the best month of the year! While I still had a couple of exams at the beginning of the month and I got my grades back (which weren't what I had hoped to be) the month still turned out to be really awesome!

The major reason why this month is unforgettable, is the fact that for the very first time I went on a real holiday with my boyfriend (read: nothing concerning music and longer than a weekend). After almost ten years of wanting to go there, I finally went to Finland. We rented a studio in Helsinki for seven days. I can safely say that this was, together with two other occasions, the best time of my life. I always had a thing for Scandinavia, especially Finland and I thought I would love it after reading about it a lot and seeing pictures.

Love is just a very mild word to express my feelings for Finland right now. Helsinki is an amazing city and I really feel at home there. Fins are shy, humble introverts which are three words that you could use to describe me as well, I suppose. My BF fell in love with the country/city as well and the topic of moving to Finland in the future has come up several times already. I know I probably should try to see more of the country, perhaps try to stay there for an extended period and go there in winter seeing that winter can be very tough and depressing before taking a 'rash' decision. We'll have to save up and learn at least some basic Finnish anyway. What I miss the most is the sea, nature, the clean air and the lack of traffic and hurried people.

 I'm not going to bore you with a long report about my holiday, instead I'm going to pick out a couple of highlights:
- Seurasaari: this a beautiful island with an open air museum featuring old buildings. The nature is amazing, the squirrels are everything but shy (they come to sniffle at your shoes if you stand still and are quiet) and you have amazing places to sit at the sea-side and look at Helsinki.
- Academic bookshop: Since I'm a bookworm, I'm always in search of bookshops. This bookshop, designed by Alvar Aalto, is very beautiful and has a great collection of English books, both Ficton and Non-fiction. I loved it.
- Evening walks: the evening walks around the city and seeing the sunset! Very simple but breathtaking.

Beside an amazing holiday, September has also expanded my book-collection with 29 books. A couple I bought in Finland and the others I bought yesterday in Hasselt at the Boekenfestijn. This is an event that travels through The Netherlands and Flanders were you can buy very cheap books. If you pay €5 for a fiction book, it's a lot. I think I have about 65-70 unread books on my shelves now. Time to start reading!

And finally, University has started again. This term I have about 13 and a half hour of classes that I will attend. I have to retake a couple of courses which means they are easily to skip so I do not have to go to class. Generally I will be in class for about 7 to 9 and a half hour a week, it depends a bit if I feel like going to the evening course. I have two 'full' days (read: classes are spread over the whole day) and one day of tow hours and a four day weekend, hooray! Downside: second term is probably going to be incredible busy.

Tomorrow my first 'full' week will start. I'm excited! I love going to school and learning things!

zondag 4 augustus 2013

I feel infinite

People who have read The Perks of Being a Wallflower  by Stephen Chbosky are very familiar with the phrase: "I feel infinite". Those who have not read the book, should do so. You have no idea what you are missing out on. Stop doing whatever you are doing and get your hands on that book. It's a quick read that taught me a lot about myself.

When I sitting on the bus earlier, I was thinking if I have ever felt infinite. What does feeling infinite exactly mean? Well I suppose it is open for discussion and it depends on how you view it, but someone on yahoo defined it as:

"Feeling infinite" means to be in tune with the infinite, to attain your own self-actualization. In other words, to feel divine in your own unique ways.

I have felt infinite and it is the most amazing feeling. It is one of those few things that aren't explainable with words, but I will try my best. When I felt infinite, I had the feeling I could take on the world. That nothing was ever going to stop me or bring me down. Everything around me just melts away and the world only exists of me and the people I am sharing that certain experience with. No personal worries, no world problems, nothing. It's a feeling of pure joy, pure happiness. Hell, no. It's beyond being happy. It feels as if you can touch the stars. Divine might be the proper word. I could spend hours trying to describe this, but not a word or sentence will be able to capture the feeling, so I'll end my attempt to describing it here. Maybe sharing my experiences with feeling infinite might be a lot more interesting than actually trying to describe it. Maybe some of you can related. 

Before I had my own horse, I rode one. I went to the forest a lot together with my boyfriend. He on hos bike and I on horse back. This one time, I was cantering on the broad hilly lane and my boyfriend was biking beside me at the very same speed. I gave the horse the reins and let her determine how fast she wanted to go. It was such an incredible feeling! It felt like flying! I have never ever felt like that while riding a horse. She listened to the softest touch and I trusted her completely. It was heaven on earth.
The other times I felt infinite was during gigs. Not random gigs but during the gigs of my favourite band The Rasmus. I have seen them five times and trice I stood on the front row. Those three front row gigs, made me feel infinite. One time the guitarist smiled at me and my boyfriend because we were jumping and screaming the lyrics as if we were possessed. I don't think there is anything I love more in the world than those four guys. They have been there for me for ten years now. They can make me laugh and cry. But most of all, they gave me the best times of my life. And I am so happy I could share those with my boyfriend and some friends.

zondag 2 juni 2013

My Favorite Drug

Normally I do not like these kinds of music, but this song has a really nice vibe and has been stuck in my head since the first time I heard it. I like video as well. It's a bit violent but I think it's beautifully filmed. So I'm starting the day with the song again and than it is time to study for the exams again since I barely have done anything yesterday.

zondag 26 mei 2013


Exams are starting tomorrow and honestly I am terrified of them. Last semester I fail all of them except two of a partial exam. I knew that it was because I haven't studied enough. Now, however, I have even less time to study. I had to rewrite two papers, make some other assignments and we don't even have one free week to study. I try not to be nervous... but actually I'm almost freaking out. I am so bad in handling stress.

The main problem is that I'm distracted easily. When I have to study the sky out side suddenly becomes very interesting or the posters on my wall. I'd love to study in the library, but unfortunately there is never space unless if you come when it opens and since I tend to work late and sleep a bit longer it's not really an option.

And suddenly I have a lot of doubts again... about everything. So much has happened lately. My aunt who has been in the hospital for over a month, though she's finally doing a little bit better, my uncle who doesn't show up at the hospital any more and is acting a bit strange. My computer has been crashing all the time (though BF managed to fix it... for now) and one of our cats died. I have never been really attached to that particular cat but I still miss him. He was always lying on the couch and prowling around and walking around in with his typical panther like strides. He was actually a miniature version of a panther...  It just sucks that everything was going better again and now the doubts have set in again.

 People think it wrong or odd that I don't work towards something in my life and just wait and see what tomorrow will bring. If someone would ask me where I would see my self in ten years... or perhaps even in five years, I would not be able to answer that since I have absolutely no clue. Most of my friend have these big plans and know exactly what they want to do and often they already know how they could get there, or at least try to get there. Well I'd love to able to hang around in a comfortable chair for a whole day and read as much as I want or saddle my horse whenever I want and go out for a trail ride. Unfortunately life doesn't work that way and I'll have to earn money one way or another. I don't want to be demented on my boyfriend for everything (if we stay together... so far I don't see a reason why we wouldn't but I cannot predict the future... it would be boring).
I have always been a daydreamer. If I could I would grab my horse, my BF, say goodbye to my friends and family and leave for Middle Earth or some other exciting fantasy world full of mystery! I'd love to be a magician! That however... is not a career option in this world... the closest I can get, I suppose, is use words to create magic.

So far for the rant... just need to get it out of me so I can go back studying those stupid words and stuff for Dutch Proficiency exam tomorrow. I'm so dreading the essay writing part... haven't followed the news for quite a while (we get topics that have been in the news) and I suck in spelling and writing something good under time pressure... 

dinsdag 7 mei 2013

Date a girl who reads

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

zondag 5 mei 2013

Music: H.I.M & 30 Seconds to Mars

Recently H.I.M  has released a new album, Tears on Tape. So far I only listen it once, but I really liked it. It sounds a lot like their old work but with some new energy. What makes their music so stand out against all the other bands, is the elegiac mode in it. While the lyrics can have a very dark tone, Ville's voice managed to keep the songs very warm and this element makes it very hard for me to feel actually sad. In my opinion you hear pretty clearly that H.I.M is a Scandinavian band. They have this typical northern melancholy in their music. Nightwish, Indica, The Rasmus, Sonata Arctcica etc have this as well. Unfortunately I have never since H.I.M live and I really want to see them! If they came to Belgium or very near on a day that my BF and I could go, I would be so happy. Especially since my BF has been whining to see them for as long as I know him. I heard both good and bad things about H.I.M's life performance, so I want to see and hear it and see it for myself so I can make my own opinion.

Since this blog would be very short if I just discuss H.I.M, I'm going to write my opinion down about 30 Seconds To Mars. I have been fan of this band for about 6 years. I loved their very powerful songs and strong lyrics, but  I was very disappointed when I heard a 'Conquistador' from their upcoming album. From the first couple of seconds the music reminded me of Muse and while I don't mind to hear influences of certain bands in the music of another band, but being able to name an influence after only 5 seconds of music is a bit much. I am trying to keep an open mind about the upcoming album, though I won't be rushing to the store to buy it. What 30 Seconds to Mars does have, is a great live performance. It would be better if Jared wasn't so annoying on stage. He loves to hear himself talk and he demands that every one stand up during the show and jumps along and if they don't do that, he just stops singing. What the hell does it matter? Not everyone likes to jump and scream along to the songs. And if people buy seats, let them sit if they want to. They might have a reason. I watched Within Temptation seated because my BF couldn't stand because he was recovering from a serious knee injury. Once I sat down during and Apocalyptica concert. It was really nice just to lean back and enjoy the music without being pushed etc. But Jared doesn't seem to understand you can also enjoy a concert without jumping and screaming.

vrijdag 3 mei 2013

Never give up!

Lately I wonder why I have done this to myself. I have never been so stressed in my entire life as the last couple of months and this stress sometimes manages to make me forget why I decided to go to University and study Literature and Linguistics. But when I grab a book and start reading, or when I have to analyse a story, I remember. I love literature so much and it is so interesting to know more the authors and their motives to write those books even though I do not like their work.
But now that the exams are getting closer and I don't see how I will be able to finish everything in time, I start to despair. I start to worry too much and I feel like I'm standing on the edge of giving up sometimes. But worrying is counter-productive. It doesn't solve anything and does no one any good. I know it can be very hard to stop worrying but the sky seems so much bluer when you are not worried and it's so much easier to enjoy things. I never had to fight so hard for anything like this before. University is actually the hardest thing I have ever done and it is far from finished.
Every time I feel like giving up, every time I am being swallowed by despair, i put on this song and remember why I want to do and succeeded in this so badly.

And so far for writing my thoughts down as fast as I could since I have to go back to studying now!

zondag 28 april 2013

Storm the Sorrow: negative criticism

Everyone has to deal with criticism in their life because it is a very important aspect of life. If we wouldn't criticise each other, how can we improve our work and ourself? Unfortunately not all criticism is constructive. Sometimes people criticise only to break down a person or his/hers work. Most of the time people who give negative criticism don't think about how they say it or they just don't care. I hate that. Because I'm not very self-confident  I am very sensitive to such criticism and I loath it that it can affect me. A couple of weeks ago a friend told me rather bluntly that my life was boring. Even though I was very sure she didn't meant to hurt me, she did. Perhaps it was so bluntly because we were chatting and you can't see the each others body langauge.
This negative criticism can go very far: you can emotionally abuse people through it. This is a very extreme example, but look at bullies! They often emotional abuse their target. I always try to be very careful with criticising. I think about how I best say it because I don't want to hurt anyone. if I cannot think of a 'nice' way to say it, I much rather don't say it at all. Though that might not always be the right option. This is a song about negative criticism and the video shows very nicely what can happen to you if you let it get to you:

 What I think can be as destructive, or even more, as people giving you negative criticism, is criticising yourself in a very negative light. Often it goes hand in hand with criticism given by others. I have to confess that I can criticise myself way too much in a negative way. I know it is wrong, but it is very hard not to do it. I know that no one is perfect but still everyone has the image of a perfect body, perfect friends, perfect life etc in their minds.
In my case I don't think people notice it when I am being very hard on myself. Sometimes I talk about it with my BF and he always manages to make me feel better but most of the time I bottle it up. Again something I shouldn't to, but I don't like to talk about how I feel and I don't have my heart on my tongue. I have a hard time opening up to people (even those I know very well) because it makes me vulnerable and I do not like that. Anyway, I try to stop myself to think negative about myself and sometimes it works, but sometimes I'm even doing it without fully realising it. I think I will not be the only one who has felt like this:

But negative criticism, no matter from where it comes, can break a person mentally. It's not a matter from growing a tick skin against it, but a matter of having respect fort each other and not try and hurt one another. Language is a  very powerful tool and words can have an enormous power, so use them wise!

maandag 22 april 2013


Dear followers I decided to keep this blog for personal things only and move everything that has to do with writing, books and literature over to another blog. If you are interested, feel free to follow me there as well!

Lost Between the Words

zondag 21 april 2013

Writing Tips

I am currently writing a book with a friend. Well, more like a series. It started out as a fun project, but we ended up with a very exciting plot and some interesting characters. Right now we are writing the something that can only bee described as a first draft, though it's probably not even that. We are writing in English with the intend to sell it as an e-book when we finish. It's not going to be a great novel since nor my friends or my English is actually good enough. I have come a very long way and have still a very long way to go before I'll be a good writer. You can always improve yourself and your skills. While I am not a professional, I like to give some writing tips:

Know the genre that you are writing.
 Before starting to write, it is important that you know the genre. Read books from the genre and see how those authors have build there story. Some genres are more difficult then others. For example you will have to put a lot of time and effort in research if you want to write a historical story. It is not only important that you know what happened around the time your story is situated, but also the details: of what fabric were clothes mostly made? What kind of food did they ate? etc.
Fantasy (or Science Fiction) can be very tricky as well, especially if you are creating a whole new world. It is the world building that will make your story believable and again the details matter as much as the big picture. If you have absolutely no clue how to start world building, you still have a lot of reading to do. One of the most renowned world builders is J. R.R Tolkien. It's amazing how he created Middle Earth. George R.R Martin did a great job as well, though he didn't go quite as far as Tolkien in my opinion.
So read what you want to write! 

Practise as much as you can
If you can, write every day! Practise can only make you better!

When I started to write a had a lot of trouble writing believable characters and that is why I start writing fanfiction. I just had to create a plot and I could start writing without having to create characters. I absolutely hate flat characters or characters who are extremely good or bad in something. Every character has flaws and holy good or holy bad characters are utterly boring in most cases. To get inspiration for a character try not to long too far; people in your immediate surrounding can be a great source of inspiration. J.K Rowling has based Snape on bad teacher she has had during her school time. A great way to get to know you character is to interview them and let them replied in their own voice. What makes a character human, are quirks. Do be careful that you don't give too many (strange) quirks to your characters.

As a discovery writer, I barely ever plot things out. I have an idea were I want to go and what is going to happen, but what comes in between I will find out while I am writing. This way of writing causes me to have to rewrite certain things, but I don't mind. I can't plan things out, it starts to bore me. A good plot does not have to be complex. Some stories get their strength out of their plot (plot driven stores) , other from their characters (character driven stories) and others use a combination.

 I get my inspiration from everywhere. Music and books are my greatest inspiration. Life itself can be a great source of inspiration as well. I have discovered that I tend to give (some of) my characters feeling I had or project a part of me on them without actually realising it at first. Most of the time I make it a little darker or lighter. Writing is for me a therapy.   

maandag 15 april 2013

School, writing and the Elf Fantasy Fair.

Today Easter break is over and it's time to go back to school. i actually have mixed feeling about it. I love school, but the summer exams are coming closer very quickly and I still have tons and tons of work to do. Due to some unforeseen circumstances I haven't managed to study a lot (well actually I barely have studied anything) and I had to make my papers in a record time. Luckily were are not being graded on them yet, since they are the first version of our exam paper, but it means that I probably still have to put a lot of work in them. But going back to school also means being social again without having to squeeze social time into my schedule and having something else to do than sitting at home worrying.I actually don't have time left beside studying,feeding the horses and going to the gym every now and then (I don't do it enough) to do anything else. I try to read a chapter a day of a book I don't have to read for school, but I fail at that most of the time.
While writing has been going very good since September, I now lost momentum and have written barely anything at all since the start of Easter break. I do have some idea I should work out, but I never really feel like working them out. Sometimes I have entire scenes in my head, but I can't write them down because I have trouble finding the right words. I'm also trying to get my writing to a new level by being not easily satisfied, but for some reason I can't make my writing any better right now. It might have to do with the stress or with the lack of time I have. If I put too much time in my writing, I start feeling guilty because I should put that time into studying.And this is the time I normally start to abandon the story I'm stuck with and start with something new. But hey, we'll see what happens.

Beside schools I have the very last day out coming up until the end of the exams: The Elf Fantasy Fair. The grounds of a castle in Haarzuilens (near Utrecht in The Netherlands) have been turned into a wonderful fantasy world. Loads of people are dressed up pretty and there are fantasy related workshops, music, presentation, fantasy related famous people (like authors, actors etc) and of course fantasy themed food and drinks!
Ever since the first time I went a couple of years ago,  I wanted to get/make a proper costume but I've never succeeded. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm everything but handy and crafty. This year I decided quite late that I wanted to go and I had no time to make anything. I still don't have a clue what I'm going to wear... you really stand out if your not dressed up or something.
Anyway this summer I'm going to start on a costume for next year. i want to do something with feathers. I have some ideas in my mind but I need to work them out a little more.
Anyway I am feverishly counting down the days until Saturday since I really am in need of some distraction and relaxation.

vrijdag 12 april 2013


Recently I realised that I've lost my way in life and that I have actually no clue what I am doing and where I am going. Right now I see the next three years for me, the time I need to get my master degree, and then nothing. I have absolutely no clue what I want to do in life. Well I want to become a writer but that is hardly a full time job and I need to become a lot better. I am trying not to plan everything out, to see what tomorrow brings. But right now I'm 22 and I still haven't got a clue what I want from life. The only thing that I know is that I want a nice job so I don't have to drag myself to work every single day but actually enjoy going.

The thing that made me realise that I am doing things wrong, is the fact that I find myself being jealous over small things that I normally do not get jealous about. I hate being jealous, it makes people bitter. Si really have to find my 'path', preferably through a beautiful forest and with bends and turns and the possibility to choose another path when I feel the need. The thing I need for this, I think, is a vacation. I can't even remember when the last time I was on vacation. I've been away for a night or two a couple of time but I need more. I want to go away for a week or something. Be a real tourist and see things and plan things to do. Normally I was supposed to go to Norway with my aunt, uncle and boyfriend but that it not happening this year and it might not happen at all. The next plan was going to London with a friend for a couple of days and see as much as possible in that timespan, but that is not happening either. My next plan is going to Helsinki. I want to go with my boyfriend, but the chances that he will be able to go with me, are slim. Maybe I should go alone, I thought. I could be quite and adventure. Downside: I have never flown before and I'm terrified to do so. So getting on a plane all on my own... not sure if I will be able to do that. And I think I will kind of feel bad going without my boyfriend. Since we've been together (5 and a half years) we wanted to go to Finland. So if he can't go, I probably won't go on a vacation. Well there still is the option of travelling abroad to see my favourite band if they come 'near' (read: Germany, UK, France, The Netherlands...)

Every relationship is like a plant; you need to water it, give it enough sunlight and if it grows, give it a bigger place to grow in. And with some people, I have the feeling only my side is green, lush and full of flowers.
 I'm going to try and do is stop saying yes to almost everyone and everything all the time. When someone has an idea and it's not crazy, and I might not like it 100%, I say okay. If they ask me to do something and I'm able to, I say I'll do it. It has to stop unless I get something in return. I'm done giving. And I'm tired of sitting around and waiting for people and of the one sided conversations. I'm going to stop trying to maintain friendships and always be there for people when they don't are there for me when I need them. Keeping in contact is so easy nowadays and still some people managed to neglect friendships. Fine. Let them die. I'm done caring. I'm done being patient and nice except to those who never ask anything of me and always take the time to listen to me whining about everything and nothing at all.

I have to stop ranting since I'm starting to feel pretty sick again and I still have loads to do before Monday. To concluded this, this song describes how I feel:

maandag 1 april 2013

Summer plans

It is perhaps a little early, but I have been making some plans for the summer! Normally I'll be done with school around the 20th of June, though I have to study throughout the whole summer since I have to take some exams again in August/September, but I won't let that ruin the fun!

- The first thing I will do is celebrate the end of the exams at Graspop! My boyfriend said he wanted to go three full days and with such an amazing line-up it is impossible to say no! I can't wait to see Within Temptation (they have such an incredible live performance), Epica, Iron Maiden and a lot of others! I just hope we have nice not too hot weather.

- The week after Graspop I will most likely go to Rock Werchter to see Thirty Seconds to Mars. Though I'm actually doubting a bit since it's 80 EUR for just one band. Okay, it will be great to see Depeche Mode, but I'm not really a fan.

- I want to get a lot of writing done in the summer. I hope to get all the background information done of the story my friend and I are writing and perhaps even start on the first chapters. The downside of writing something together is that you have to wait for one another and since I write rather fast and have a lot of inspiration, this can be a little frustrating sometimes. But if that goes too slow for me, I might start working out an old concept I have for a while and work on that.

- I'm going to try to teach myself some Finnish. I love the sound of Finnish and I hope to study in Finland for a while, so it will be very useful to know some Finnish. Finnish is, however, a very difficult language to learn. It is in not way related to Germanic languages like English, German and Dutch. It is, together with Hungarian part of a whole separate language group, namely the Fin-Ugric languages.

- I want to on vacation, preferably to another country. I planned to go to London with a friend in September, but since she has a job in September, I'm not sure what is going to happen with that.

- I'm sure if this is going to happen, since it's not entirely in my hands, but I hope to see The Rasmus/Lauri this summer/year. They are going to play in Switzerland in July (well it's not officially confirmed) and I was very tempted to go but it's so far away and it will be very expensive. But if they come a little closer, I might be able to combine them with the previous plan. It's just April so hopefully they will come to Germany, France, The Netherlands, Belgium (I doubt it) or England in the coming 8 months.

- Read Tolkien. Not much explanation needed. I'm planning to read as much Tolkien as possible this summer.

- Spend time with the horses. I haven't rode my horse for half a year; it's horrible. So I am going to pick this up again and hopefully Dancer isn't going to mind that he suddenly has to work again.

- Study. Hopefully I will pass all my exams in June and those I already have to take again in August/September. If not, well not going to stress (or try not to)

Loads of plans already and I might think of some more. I want to have a busy summer!

dinsdag 12 maart 2013

The commotion around "She's a Bomb"

Yesterday the new single and video of Lauri had been released on the internet. The first time I watched it I was surprised because I never expected something like that, but after the second time I found it hilarious and with the third time I was finally able to listen to the song.

 So here is the clip, but for the very sensitive souls, I advice you not to watch because apparently this has shocked a lot of people. 

I think it's quite obvious that it's a parody on a porn film and that it is not mend to be taken seriously. It's brilliant and cool that Lauri dares to do this. Some people say he has changed, though I do not know how they know this. Do they know him personally? He has grown up (though I sometimes highly doubt that), but that does not mean he has changed completely. I read a comment somewhere on Facebook of someone who said she was going to stop being a The Rasmus fan because of what Lauri is doing with his solo carrier. Well she is apparently not a The Rasmus fan but a Lauri fan.

It seems a lot of people are having trouble to see Lauri's solo career separate from The Rasmus while he is making a completely different style of music. With his solo project he is obviously trying to get rid of the 'the guy with feathers from that band' image. He will always be that for me, but I am able to see his solo career separated from the band. And while I think The Rasmus is better than Lauri's solo project, I liked New World a lot. It is safe to say that Lauri is taking The Rasmus a lot more serious than his solo project. But unfortunately a lot of people can't see the humour in it.

Lauri always says that you don't have to take things so seriously and some of his fans should really listen to his words. Keep it unreal, he said. What do those haters do? Tear this down. If read people calling the clip disgusting and another said he should retire. Shame you feel that way, but you don't have to say it like that. I don't like it (at all) is powerful enough, isn't it? And if you don't like it, don't watch and listen to it. I know he will probably not read the comments and most likely not care too much about it, but I hate it when people start tearing down others. It's not because he's famous that it gives you the right to do that.

Well I think the video is brilliant that 'shy' Lauri has been brave to do this. And we've learned he can pole dance. The best, however, is that he looks really hot as a man (well not in this video) and that he can pass a a pretty woman as well.

woensdag 6 maart 2013

The Charge of the Light Brigade

The Charge of the Light Brigade  - Alfred, Lord Tennyson 
I don't know exactly why but I fell in love with this poem. While I like poetry, there are but a few poems that I really like and this is one of them.  

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!
"Charge for the guns!" he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
"Forward, the Light Brigade!"
Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Someone had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the Valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.
Flash'd all their sabres bare,
Flash'd as they turn'd in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder'd:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro' the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel'd from the sabre stroke
Shatter'd and sunder'd.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.
Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley'd and thunder'd;
Storm'd at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro' the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.
When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honour the charge they made,
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

maandag 25 februari 2013

Writing, my passion.

I am, and have always been, a person with an incredible imagination. I always played a kind of roleplaying games with a friend when I was younger. We pretended to be some mythical creature or some kind of hero.We could do this for hours and hours without getting bored. That is probably why I am such a huge fan of roleplaying games on the computer. When I was around eleven years old, J.K Rowling (how cliché) introduced me to reading and I never stopped reading afterwards. My favourite genre is fantasy because it makes me able to escape this dull world and live in those very excited worlds filled with magic, knights and dragons. It wasn't very long after Harry Potter that I discovered fanfiction and tried writing. I didn't like writing. I loved it!

I read loads and loads of fanfiction and wrote a fair bit. Only a bare minimum I managed to finish though. Nevertheless I kept writing and I kept on starting new stories. Every now and then I started an original story but they were abandoned rather quickly. Now I am writing a fanfiction with a friend which turns out to have quite a good plot and we are planning to rewrite is as an original story; which will be quite a task but I'm looking forward to it! Beside that I also started very recently (as in yesterday) an original story. I have on scene and a small piece of the plot. Loads and loads of work on that one.

I have always toyed with the thought of being a writer but it was more a 'maybe' thing. If I had a good idea and managed to write a good story around it, I might consider to try and get it published. The thought of becoming a writer has turned into a dream. I want to write. I would love to earn money by creating stories. I would love to entertain people with my stories and perhaps teach them a thing or two, because books are full of life lessons.
I don't want to write to become famous or earn loads of money. To achieve this you have to be really good and perhaps lucky someone wants to make a film or tv series from your book(s). I know that the chances to be able to earn a decent living from writing are very slim, especially in Belgium. Unfortunately the market for Dutch fantasy is, unless I am mistaken, very small. Most fantasy readers I know read almost solely in English. So if I ever want to make a chance to live from that I would have to get a lot better in English and move to some English speaking country.
I actually already said the reason why I wanted to write: to entertain people. I would be so thrilled if someone would enjoy reading my work! Another reason I want to write is to create my own world; my own rules and laws and my own characters. Basically, I want to play God.  But the main reason I want to write is because I have to get ideas out of my mind. Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle (better known as Eragon and don't judge the books by the film, 'cause in comparison the film was horrible):

"Write because a story burns within you, and you find yourself thinking and dreaming of it every free moment."

I never felt this way before (for a long period of time) about a story until I started writing with my friend. It's an amazing feeling but sometimes very annoying as well.

woensdag 13 februari 2013

My love for words

I love words more than anything else in the world. It doesn't matter if they are spoken, written or sung. Words, or language, is the most powerful weapon we humans have. It can cause love, joy, happiness but also sadness, sorrow and pain. Words can inspire people or destroy them. Words can start a war or end one. People underestimate the power of words constantly. Don't we follow the one who can sell his ideas the best? Hitler manages to sell his terrible ideas by putting them in great words.

It has always amazed me that people can build whole words out of words. How heroes who have inspired so many people are formed just with words. Isn't it funny how easy we can in love with some pages filled with words? It's magic. It's enchanting.
Save for a couple, the people who inspire me did so by using words. When I feel like shit, words can make me feel better again, especially those words that are artfully crafted into an incredulous story or an amazing song.

My favourite author isn't the best one, but she managed to get me into reading (how cliché) and she opened a whole new world to me. She introduced me to the magic of words. Actually the person who's words left the deepest impression, inspired me and shape me to the person I am, is a singer. Well Actually it are four persons, but the singer writes most of the lyrics, but I've always seen them as a whole. No one's words can make me smile as brightly as theirs, no one's words can make me as heartbroken as theirs, no one's words have influenced me as much as theirs. Their words (and their instruments) have found a way into my heart, I think there is nothing on earth that I love more then their songs.

While I respect it, I have trouble understand people who don't like to read. You miss so much if you don't read. Reading can teach you so much about the world and about people. You can find yourself when you are lost in a good book. It will give you a break from this harsh reality. I suppose people who don't read have other ways to escape from this cruel world.

I think I will go insane if I will go deaf or if, for some obscure reason, I won't be able to read any more.

dinsdag 12 februari 2013

Concerts: paying for privileges

Lately it seems to me that more and more musicians offer special packages for their shows at, sometimes, insane high prices. These packages include a variation of things like meeting the artist/band, seeing the show from a special place on the stage, get signed stuff, be able to ask the band/artiest questions and I'm sure there a plenty more things.

It is a great commercial move to sell such packages. You give a chance to those who can pay it to meet their idol(s) while people who don't have the money have just to save up to get their hands on a ticket for the show. Everything costs money and a lot music is, unfortunately or perhaps luckily, due to the internet accessible for free while it costs a lot to make it and get it out in the world. My BF and I always buy the CD's we like if we can get out hands on them (some or not so easy to find unless you are willing to pay an insane amount of shipping costs)  and I will always but a piece of merchandise if I have the money and I like the artist.
I do understand why people buy such packages and I won't condemn them for it, but honestly it's just like visiting the zoo but except it's most likely not as educational as the zoo. And the artist(s) who offer such a packages are oblige to be friendly and in a good mood when they talk to their fans or whatever they have to do to full fill their end of the deal. I am pretty sure most fans would not be very pleased if the artist(s) are in a grumpy or bad mood. Isn't it more special that you meet the artist(s) after the show in the bar our outside the venue and that they listen/talk to you because they want to? I can imagine that it is not possible for every artist to do that so easily, but is the package formula than the right substitute? I think not. Give fans who don't have the money a chance to meet you as well or do not meet them at all. It's pretty pathetic if money should determine if you can meet your idol or not (excluding travelling expenses for it is logistically not possible for every artist to play a gig in your town). And I do understand that not after concert the artist(s) are in the mood to meet fans and don't come out at all and or go straight to the bus/car/whatever. That might be quite hard for a fan who's waiting for hours to see them, but artists are people as well and can have bad days. I would rather not talk to an artist at all than talk to one who is annoyed or in a bad mood.

Anyway, the aspect I hate the most about packages is the early access to the venue. I know it is handy, you don't have to wait all day in whatever weather it is, but you'll miss half the fun. Queueing all day long to get a good front row spot (preferably right in front the singer or whomever you prefer) is so much fun and sometimes a terrible torture. You get to meet knew people who share at least on interest with you, you might have to improvise a way be able to go to the toilet or try and stay dry and not freeze to death or melt away. If it is a torture, you will be glad you were a martyr when the the artist(s) steps on the stage and throw you a bright smile because they know you were insane and dedicated enough to wait form them all they. Most artists are not ignorant and know that the people in the first rows have waited for hours. 

I could go one on this for hours and hours and I am not going to do that. But remember that the fans have placed the artists on a pedestal. The fans are the ones who buy the CD's and come to the concerts and idolize the artists. It are also the fans who buy those packages and it is, unfortunately, due to those fans that they keep on doing it because it is successful. 

maandag 4 februari 2013

Time flies

The last couple of weeks, and especially yesterday, I have been reminded how fast times flies. It's very hard to grasp that the last ten years have passed in what seems to me a blink of an eye. It makes me realise that life is really short and we have to live every day the fullest and live for tomorrows.

Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of this song and I can still vividly remember that I was getting my hair dyes or a new hair cut when they started to play ITS on television. I looked at the clip in awe and fell immediately in love with it and with the band. Especially the singer drew my attention. I never stopped loving them since and I probably will always love them. 

I haven't changed much in ten years, I think. I grew up and became an "adult" (well I can still be a 16 year old teenager) but at the core I'm still the very same person. I still love the same things: I still listen to the same bands as 10 years ago (okay I've got to know some new ones, but with exception of a few my favourites are still the same), I still love horses, I still adore reading (and it are still the same kind of stores) and I still write. What has changed, however, is that I finally find something interesting to study and that I'm a lot more afraid of things that I used to be. I'm afraid to take risks. Ten years back I wasn't afraid to fall of a horse or ride a difficult horse but now I dread going for a walk with my horse because he is so tense than. When he starts being difficult I jumped as fast as I can from his back because I'm terrified something will happen. Honestly I hate that but there is nothing I can do about it I think. It might have something to do with an accident an acquaintance of mine had. She died because the horse she was riding got spooked and fell off it. I hate it that I have to think everything through. I want to be reckless again, I don't want to think about the possible consequences all the time but I do. It's annoying and it makes me feel like I miss out on a lot of fun. 

Perhaps those ten years have changed me more than I thought. Well live is to short to regret and worry about the past. I should look forward and embrace the future and try to fight my demons instead of wishing to be as I ones was. 

vrijdag 1 februari 2013


As long as I can remember I've wanted to visit the country. I've never been interested in 'warm' countries with exception of Egypt and that is solely for the pyramids and the culture. Nor have I ever had the ambition to travel the whole world and see as much as I possibly can. Most countries I want to visit attract me for their nature, not their climate or because there is much cultural things to do and see.

source: google

I've always been interested in the mysterious 'north' but unfortunately I've never been to it The most north I've ever been is Deventer in the Netherlands. Normally I would have gone to Norway in September but well that has been postponed until I don't know when. I think the northern lights must be one of the most amazing phenomena of nature. And I think the midnight sun must be incredible odd, in a way. There is barely such a thing as 'night' in the summer, while in winter days are very short. Finland attracts me, of the Scandinavian countries the most because of the music and the thousand lakes.
source: google

Most of my favourite artists hail from this country of a thousand lakes. The Finns have so many really good bands (some of them known around the whole globe). I know that their school system (the best in the world) supports making music, but that can't be the only thing that causes to many bands to create such fantastic music? Surely there must be something inspiring about the country?
I'd love to go on vacation to Finland and it doesn't matter in which season. I know it can be incredible cold in the winter, but as long as I don't freeze to dead when I'm inside, I don't mind it. In the summer it can be as warm as here! Maybe if I will be able to go on Eramus (studying abroad for a term) I should go to Finland or another Scandinavian country, though the U.K also lures me for it's interesting to improve my English.

source: google

I love Belgium, it's a nice country (not perfect, but which country is perfect?) but what I miss the most her is nature. If I go for a walk in the nearby park/forest I can always hear the sound of 'civilisation' and encounter other people regularly. Yes I could go to the Ardenne (whatever it's called in English) but I'm afraid of heights and I'm not a fan of climbing hills all day long. So that's one of the reason I don't go for a walk very often, although I love it. Maybe I'll be able to go to Finland on vacation in 2014... though i need to save up money for a lot of things already... hmm. I'll see what life throws at me, I am not much of a planner. I'll just wait and see what tomorrow brings!

vrijdag 25 januari 2013

Exams are overn vacation!

Finally after a whole month of studying, the exams are over. I'll have to do a few again in August and for some I'm not sure.
Today I had the hardest one, an oral exam: Phonetics. I definitely failed.

I don't have much planned for the vacation (except that I'll probably go trice to the cinema) besides being not bored. I want to read and write and study. Yes, study. The course Literature in English is continuing in the second term and in June I will have an exam about the first and the second term, so I have to keep up with it. I'll probably try to re-read all the general introductions to the periods and the author introduction and make a brief summary of it and I hope to re-read every single text before the exam. It will require careful planning. Anyhow, I'm going to enjoy my well deserved vacation!

Life of Pi - Yann Martel

This books had been on my to-read list for quite some time. My boyfriend saw the film a couple of weeks ago and insisted that I had to see it on the big screen but I refused until I read the book. A little while later he bought me the book. This small review is spoiler free.

I finished it in ten days. I would have read it faster if it wasn't for the exams. I must say I was very impressed. It is in a way a very light book that touches serious subjects. It's a book that forces that invites you to think, to try and understand. The book is full of 'lightly' philosophising about different aspects of life. I really enjoyed to read those parts. I have the feeling the book has broadened my mind and I love Pi's vision on religion.

Yann Martel is a great write and storyteller. I love how he describes the world and he is very good with emotions. His work is very inspirational and I was surprised how interesting he managed to keep the story while there was as good as no change of scenery for 200 pages. Almost nothing happens during those pages but on the other hand so much happens. It's really hard to describe accurate, you'll have to read it for that. It's a very tragic story that makes you wonder about certain thinks. I enjoyed it a lot and I would recommend it to everyone who can appreciate a good story.

So far for my small review. I will probably talk more about Life of Pi after I've seen the film.

donderdag 17 januari 2013

Fight Like A Girl

Today I finally found the new CD of Emilie Autumn, Fight Like A Girl, or in short, FLAG. I wasn't quite sure what I had to expect, for Emilie Autumn is very unpredictable. I both love Enchant and Opheliac and I can say I like FLAG a lot as well, but in my opinion, Opheliac is still the her best work. FLAG sound a bit like joke, because it's so full of sarcasm and the different styles of songs, which do not seem to match together, are spread all over the album, but it works.

Emilie Autumn will never be my favourite vocalist, but I adore her lyrics. What annoys me about FLAG is that it puts ever male human in a bad light, while there are plenty of lovely men on earth and there are some monsters of women on it as well. I do understand that 'hatred' of men is a part of her story, but she exaggerates. What is absolutely brilliant is the different voices she has done on the CD. I really enjoyed that!  If she is to return to Belgium I will probably go and see her again, since it has been a while and I love her show. I'm not going to go in detail about the CD since I just listened it once. Just a quick opinion should suffice.

This is my favourite song from the CD: 

For those we don't know: she has recorded a video for the the title song of the album (Fight Like A Girl) and I'm really curious how it will turn out!

zaterdag 12 januari 2013

Where has my heart gone?

Field of Innocence by Evanescence is one of my all time favourite songs. While the music on it isn't that great, I love the lyrics and the bittersweet feeling it gives me. I can listen this over and over again. 

zaterdag 5 januari 2013

Relics, why do people buy them?

I should be studying narratology instead of writing this, but else it would be stuck in my head and I wouldn't be able to concentrate: so here is another blog!

Someone posted on facebook that a grey corset of Emilia Autmn, that she wore and stage, has been sold voor about 2.000 dollar. It's so insane! I don't understand that people want to pay so much money for a second hand piece, because that's what it is. And what the hell are they going to do with it? Wear it? It's a 2 000 dollar corset! Hang it on the wall?

I wonder why people are actually paying so much for things that have been made/worn/whatever by an artist. Beside being to boast about it or to show it of to your family/friends/other fans, what use has it? If the money goes to charity I can understand why you would buy it, but I think most people want to give money to have the object and not to support a charity. You don't have to buy stuff from a celebrity in order to support a charity!

I do understand you like to collect relics as memories or something, but why buy them? I have several relics from gigs, meeting inspiring person but I haven't bought any of them, they were giving freely to me (with expectation of an entrance ticket to a gig or something like that). You have people that would pay to get an autograph or a picture with famous persons but I will never do that. I pay money to see their films, read their books, to hear their music. I'll buy tickets for their show and when I have money and I like it, I'll buy merchandise. Above all that they still want me to pay for an autograph or a picture? Fuck you.

People that love their fans would never do that, unless they have a crappy manager or are really desperate for money. I will not think less of someone who sell relics/pictures/autographs, but I think the people who buy it are pathetic. I could go on about this for quite a while, but I still have lots of studying to to, especially since I'm going to the cinema this afternoon. 

vrijdag 4 januari 2013

The zoo is cool, or not?

Yesterday I watched Mysteria/Live 2012 DVd from The Rasmus. In the backstage footage we see some clips of the band visiting a zoo. At a certain moment one of the band member looks at a gorilla and says: "This is so wrong, we keep them here as prisoners."

I have always loved the zoo. As a child, my mother used to take my sister, me and some friends to the zoo a lot. Of course when you are little, you do not realise that the animals are indeed prisoners. The zoo is a great place and nothing is more amazing to an animal loving child than to watch all these magnificent animals. Now, I am older and wiser. I really feel sorry for the animals trapped in the zoo and, for some reason, especially birds. They are the image of freedom to me. They can fly go everywhere they want, no obstacle like water, mountains or cities can stop them. It strange to see them in such small cages but most of those animals have never known freedom.  Sometimes I'm ashamed to be human.

I do believe that, if the animals are properly housed, the zoo is a great place. I can understand that we can't give animals unlimited space to roam and that it is already a lot better than 50 years back, but it can still be improved. If you compare the city zoo of Antwerp to Blijdorp, the zoo in Rotterdam, you'll see how much better the latter is. The animals have more space and the park is much more beautiful and less crowded (because it's domain is larger) than Antwerp. It is impossible for the Antwerp zoo to give the animals more space because they don't have the domain for it. They could compensate by housing less animals. The zoo is a great place for everyone to see exotic and rare animals without having to travel a lot. I know you can use picture to teach kids how certain animals look, but it's not the same as seeing the real, living animals with your own eyes! Animals living in captivity is also a great way to do research and to breed.

Besides zoo's, we keep animals ion cages at home as well: rabbits, hamsters, fish, birds, rats etc.  They are most of the time, especially birds and larger mammals, house in cages which are ridiculously small compared to the animal size and very often group animals are kept alone as well. My parents own a canary which lives in a very small cage and a rabbit. The rabbit shouldn't be kept on it's own, but we rescued it and have no place for another. It's kind of sad that in the small, lonely cage all the time, but better than being left somewhere outside in the middle of the winter.

As you may know, I have a horse. I try to keep it as natural as possible, but obviously I cannot leave him roaming around. He used to be locked up in a stable for at least 12 to 14 hours a day and when the weather was bad, sometimes for 24 hours or more. I hated it so I moved him to a new place and now he can stay outside all day. At night he is locked up with his friend on a smaller space right in front of the stable (which that can freely go into if they want). I know it's no ideal, but it's the best that I could do with the budget I have. If I could, I would house him in a large herd that have a very large meadow and stays outside all the time except in extreme weather conditions, but unfortunately I cannot afford  to spend 300 euro a month for housing alone. If, for some reason, I have no other choice than to house my horses where he cannot get out of the stable for more than an hour or four a day, I will sell him. I do not want to keep animals in such conditions.

Zoo are great, keeping pets is great if you give them proper care and housing. I will never ever house an animal in a tiny cage or lock it up in a stable for a whole day. That 's animal cruelty.