Friends…. salt of the earth

My BVA girlfriendsAs it is Christmas today, you probably have other things to do than look at my blogpost. Nevertheless, there is a post if you have a few minutes to spare. It is a post about friendship. Honestly, I wouldn’t know how to survive without friends, especially girlfriends. They are the salt of the earth. Of course I love my husband, his daughter, my mother, brother, etc etc. But friends are so special. I marvel at the fact there is no limit to the number of friends you can love. No matter how many new friends I gain, not a single bit of love is taken away from the others. Apparently our hearts are built that way.

The little group I am showing you today is a bunch you have seen several times times before, here and here. I had only my iPhone with me and despite the fact it is really new, the photos are still crap. Sigh. Not enought light? Then no camera will produce sharp photos.

We were colleagues once (more than 20 years ago). And we meet every 2 or 3 months for a whole day (coffee, lunch, shopping, drinks, dinner). Last weekend we met at Jilske’s place. Let me start with our host of the day.

Below: Jilske is trying on new boots which she got from our friend Marianna. Many times we bring clothes we no longer want for the others to see whether they might like them. These boots look very nice with the black dress Jilske is wearing.

Friends... Jilske

Below: she also wears this outfit with a big cosy cardigan.

Friends... Jilske

Below: and with a fluffy black cardigan/jacket. This time with ankle boots.

Friends... Jilske

Below: close-up of the ankle boots.

Friends... Jilske

As you will have gathered, my girlfriends are much into clothes and outfits, just like me. Although I will say I am the worst. They are used to posing for me haha.

Below: Marianna (not to be mistaken with Marianne; only one letter difference). She is the shyest of us all in terms of being photographed. Why? We really don’t know, she is a classic beauty. Wearing a pinstriped jacket, grey jeans, black ankle boots and a navy with tan bag.

Friends... Marianna

Below: nearly the same photo. (I had limited choice..)

Friends... Marianna

Below: close-up of Marianna’s jacket. And a look from Jilske’s garden into her house.

Pinstriped jacket Marianna

Below: suede ankle boots of Marianna with a patent leather stroke around the zipper. Striped socks.

Close-up ankle boots Marianna

Below: we continue with Marijke. Gosh, she is such a hassle to photograph. Her face is always in motion. As soon as she knows the camera is on her, she starts pulling faces. Like in this photo (although I picked a “mild” one). Marijke is wearing a lovely blue jacket. Unfortunately she is much smaller than me….

Friends ... Marijke

Below: the iPhone photo doesn’t do her justice. Jeans and fun boots with fur.

Friends ... Marijke

Below: close-up of the boots.

Friends ... Marijke

Below: this photo is blurry, but it shows more accurately what she is like when her face isn’t in a grimace.

Friends ... Marijke

Below: Marianne. Never a problem to photograph Marianne. Talk about natural beauty. And she is very good at styling. Her daughter does that for a living. It is in the genes.

Friends ... Marianne

Below: Marianne was wearing different shades of brown with two modern necklaces.

Friends ... Marianne

Below: close-up of the necklaces.

Friends ... Marianne

Below: close-up of the booties and tights. Aren’t they cute?

Friends ... Marianne

Below: and this was what I wore. You have seen it before here. It is actually not a very good buy. On these jeans the jacket looks great. Especially with that scarf. But I cannot wear it open, because it goes rather peculiar at the back, very unflattering. And often this length is too long for a skirt. Well on my body it is. Which means the use of the jacket is very limited. Bummer.

Friends... Greetje

Below: this looks like a simple shot…..

Friends... Greetje

Below: …this is how it went….”Oh rats there is a bag in the picture, that shouldn’t be there; let me take that away…” We were moving stuff around the whole time in order to get some “clean” pictures. By now, my friends know the drill haha.

Friends... goofing

Below: the table which Jilske made. She is really a funiture maker by profession and also a damned good interior decorator. She made her couch herself as well. And the painting behind the table. And she built the kitchen. Very accomplished woman.

Friends... table made by Jilske

Below: finishing with a collage of summer photos of Claudia. Poor thing had to do massive overtime in the physiotherapist centre where she and her boyfriend work. So she couldn’t join us this day. She was sorely missed. And a post about our friendship cannot be made without her.

Friends... Claudia

Right fooks…. these are only 5 of my girlfriends. I have masses of girlfriends and I love and cherish every one of them. I would wither without them.

I wish you all many friends and love in any kind of way. Whether it is your dog or cat, or the neighbours, a best friend or a relative… give love and you will get it back, multiplied.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year.


No Fear of Fashion




  1. Anne White
    25 December 2016 / 19:26

    Love that chunky necklace! Can you share the name of the maker, please?

    • Greetje
      25 December 2016 / 21:40

      I will ask my friend Marianne and come back to you.

      • Anne White
        26 December 2016 / 06:34


        • Greetje
          26 December 2016 / 13:18

          I am sorry Anne, but Marianne bought it in a “shop in shop” in a big department store in The Netherlands (Bijenkorf) and she cannot remember what the name was. Something like Cosmo. Now that is not going to help you a single bit. Have a look on 40+Style and search that site on “contemporary jewellery”. You will find great shops with similar pieces.

          • Anne White
            26 December 2016 / 17:13

            Thank you for checking on this for me; I appreciate the effort!
            I am new to your posts and enjoying them completely! Happy new year!

            • Greetje
              26 December 2016 / 20:10

              I am glad you like my little blog. And I will do my utmost to keep you amused.

  2. Marilee Gramith
    25 December 2016 / 19:37

    What a wonderful, sentimental holiday posting Greetje!!
    I love seeing you cozy and happy among your delightful girlfriends. You’re so right about girlfriends providing a kind of life blood for us as women. Clearly your group of friends reflects the joy of being together and sharing the gift of love you give to each other.
    By the way “girlfriend” ; you look fabulous in your red leather jacket and colorful scarf!!! Your legs look no less than 6 feet long and you’re positively statuesque!! I’m a little envious of your figure!!! Don’t you ladies eat Chris cookies in the Netherlands? ??!!!!
    I have loved getting to know you Greetje. I’m looking forward to more of your sharing spirit and fun fashions in the new year.
    Happiest holiday wishes to you and Ron!

    • Greetje
      25 December 2016 / 21:46

      Thank you Marilee and all the best wishes to you too. I will keep you entertained I promise.
      Yes, we have Christmas cookies in the Netherlands. But… as I am trying to avoid gluten as much as possible and sugar and chocolate (to prevent me from having headaches), my figure is benefitting from that. Actually it is much easier to stay of such delicious food when you know what the punishment is. Much easier than dieting (oh well… one piece won’t hurt… I will start tomorrow… Sounds familiair?)
      And because I am soooo into clothes, I don’t want to change size because then I cannot wear my lovely clothes anymore. That would be destruction of capital haha.

      • Melissa
        27 December 2016 / 10:07

        Hi Greetje,

        I like this Christmas post it brings back what is most important during the holiday season, those that you love.

        I have a lot to be grateful for, and I learned that especially this holiday season. Trying to figure out all this time why I was having such a bad year with pre-menopausal I pushed my doctor and said what was going on wasn’t right. I had testing but wound up going across the border because I was unhappy with the care I was receiving. It was good I did, last Monday I was told I needed surgery and that not only do I have a polyps which was creating my 2-3 times a month menstruating but that they found cysts on both ovaries, something that they missed on my ultrasound in NL. I was told that the cysts I have will become cancer if they aren’t already, and will have to be removed and tested.
        I was naturally scared 3 days of crying feeling sorry for myself angry, and then I decided I will treat it as though I already have it, meaning not wait for a final diagnosis, meaning I will take charge of my health. I already dropped to extra projects I took on at work and have the full support of my boss, she knows I will do my job as good as always but she said my health is the most important and she was the one that told me to stay home and get my head together and take time to let it all sink in and just rest.
        I was already eating pretty healthy, yoga meditation a bit. Well after much research and my father beating prostate cancer and diabetes only through his diet, I am going the same route.
        mostly Vegan but I will still include fish but no other animal products, bio/organic, and gluten free.

        Yes it is difficult, and crazy me I decided to start immediately. Christmas dinner was already reserved and fish menu chosen so I went anyway, but the rest of the time I stuck with it. It was hard and at times I was a bit grumpy, snappy, but I feel at least better than I did last week, not only health wise, but mentally, I just feel I have some control over my life now and it isn’t dependent upon others.
        I am hoping that this month when I menstruate, that the migraine doesn’t come.
        If at my next appointment the cysts have shrunk I will only elect for surgery. Meaning if there is a diagnosis of cancer I will not do any chemo or radiation, I will control it only with diet and lifestyle changes.
        Your comments of diet and the connection to your headaches spurred me to post this and this post in general about what is important to you.
        I also want to say there is always a positive in the worst of things, I learned just how much my husband loves me and that I do have some true friends that care.
        This thing, no matter what it will be, is a blessing, it just reaffirms me to be happy in the moment not think too far ahead and to be thankful for each moment I have.

        I hope you and all the ladies that are following your blog enjoy the holiday season and each moment to the fullest, I know I sure will:)

        • Greetje
          27 December 2016 / 11:04

          Wow Melissa, this is very tough stuff. I admire your attitude, the way you take charge. And I think you are very wise in doing so. Only… if it is cancer may I urge you to have chemo too and not rely on diet alone? I am thinking of a famous TV star (Sylvia Millecam) in The Netherlands decades ago, who got advice from a “goeroe” in a blue gown. She took the advice and decided against normal treatment. Ended up dead.
          Of course you still have to be diagnosed and even if you do have cancer I bet it is still in an early stage, easy to treat. Because if it would be further advanced then even those stupid Dutch doctors would have found it. So smart of you to get a second opinion.
          I wish you lots of strength and wisdom my dear. Let’s hope that 2017 will be a year of good health for you.

          • Melissa
            27 December 2016 / 12:03

            thanks Greetje, and I appreciate the urging, and yes some die anyway, whether they do chemo or not, whether they go health nut or not, whether they pray or not. I will keep an eye on things and do what is best for my body. I am in early stages of research and what works for me may not work for others. Just like what works for them might not work for me. The main point is positive attitude and not to get down in the dumps about it all. Trust me I didn’t feel this way last week but it also made it all so much worse.
            I feel better emotionally now and it really is half the battle.

            2017 will be better I am sure of it, because health is a huge part how your health is mentally, and I am there! I am in a good place.
            I did have a great 2016 lots of travel and love and happiness, and made great strides emotionally as a person and I think it was all to prepare me for what is to come. A couple years ago this would have really brought me in a bad place, but now I can handle it no matter what comes.

            I already had a collegue with a negative attitude, oh Melissa but you love eating why deprive yourself…. I don’t believe all that vegan and bio stuff. I just said that is fine but, while I love eating nice food I love being with my loved ones more. She kept going but what quality of life is it. I said actually great, I am already feeling a difference in my emotions and my physical body. I don’t say this is for everyone, I say this is right for me.

            About the chemo I understand and I am taking it all on board, this is my decision at the moment, but it may change. I am taking it one day at a time. I am researching it all and not going to go in blindly trusting. My instinct thus far has helped me realize I needed better help and I will keep listening to that instinct:)

            And New Year’s I have a lovely friend and her husband coming over, I live on the “mountain” so I can see fireworks for kilometers and kilometers:) It will be a great start to a great year!

            Sorry to post so much, it is just nice to have encouragement, it helps, thank you!

            Love your blog and can’t wait for posts on all your trips in 2017!

            • Greetje
              27 December 2016 / 12:11

              You are right in making up your own mind. And you are also right in that mental health is a huge part of overall health.

  3. Wendy
    25 December 2016 / 20:45

    Thank you for sharing your friends …. love seeing friendship pictures, you all look like you are having so much fun together! I agree that you look stunning in the red leather and scarf!
    Enjoy your holidays…..

    • Greetje
      25 December 2016 / 21:48

      Thanks Wendy. I have a whole week vacation.. YAY. And I am meeting a friend every day of my holiday. My most favourite pastime. And thank you for the compliment.

      • Greetje
        25 December 2016 / 21:49

        Oh and happy holidays to you to. (Sorry, forgot)

  4. Mary
    25 December 2016 / 20:50

    I loved this post! Girl friends are the best. You are so lucky to have them. I lost two good friends recently but your post caused me to recall the good times we all had together.

    I really enjoy reading your blog. Have a happy new year.

    • Greetje
      25 December 2016 / 21:53

      I am sorry to hear that Mary. Losing one friend is bad, but two… It is very good of you being able to turn to positive thoughts, recalling the good times.
      I hope you have lots of friends left and will make new ones too. Although.. having said that…, just as no new friend takes away your love for another friend, it is also the other way around… no new (or old) friend will take away the pain of losing them.
      I hope I can keep you amused with my blog and that 2017 will be a better year for you.

  5. Linda Henderson
    25 December 2016 / 23:33

    Thank you for sharing the photos of you and your friends. How nice! I enjoyed.

    • Greetje
      26 December 2016 / 10:01

      Oh good. Thank you for your comment. Always great to hear what readers think of my posts. I hope you have a merry Christmas.

  6. Ann
    26 December 2016 / 10:13

    Sweet, sweet post. Happy new year. 🙂

    • Greetje
      26 December 2016 / 11:14

      Thank you very much Ann and a happy new year to you too. With lots of friends.

  7. 26 December 2016 / 11:15

    Merry Christmas Greetje and thank you so much for being my friend. You are the best!

    • Greetje
      26 December 2016 / 13:15

      Dear Sylvia, the feelings are mutual. You are a very genuine person with the right values and it is fun to hang out with you. I admire you greatly for your drive to constantly improve yourself. And thank you for kicking my lazy butt from time to time.

  8. 26 December 2016 / 15:49

    I really enjoyed reading about your friends Greetje! Merry Christmas to you an your family! xx Abby

    • Greetje
      26 December 2016 / 16:09

      Thanks Abby. Lovely to see your comment on my blog. I went to yours and had a good old laugh (again), but couldn’t find a comment box. Merry Christmas to you too.

  9. 26 December 2016 / 16:42

    There is nothing like the fun and understanding that we get with friends. I have always thought of them as the family you choose, rather than the ones you get born/stuck with!

    Happy happy holidays to you, Greetje. I hope 2017 is an amazing year for you. xx

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 09:36

      Thank you Lisa. And I totally agree with you. May 2017 be a sparkling year.

  10. 26 December 2016 / 17:13

    I agree with you about friends and you express it so well. Nice to meet some of yours here. Happy holidays!

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 09:38

      I would love to show all of my friends as I am so fortunate to have many. But they don’t all want to appear on the blog haha. I hope 2017 will be a magnificent year for you.

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 09:39

      And this is only on group. I have many more friends. I count myself very lucky.
      Happy 2017 to you Jodie.

  11. 26 December 2016 / 18:36

    Our girlfriends make our lives so rich and sweet. I just got together with my college roommate (where we first met more than 40 years ago) and we immediately started laughing and sharing and enjoying a special day together. Loved seeing your friends and how happy they are to enjoy a day with you.

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 09:41

      Yep, as I said, friends are the salt of the earth. It is such a strange thing that no matter how many years/time has passed since you last met, as soon as you see each other again, you pick up where you left off. Happy 2017 to you.

  12. 27 December 2016 / 01:03

    Thank you Greetje, for sharing your rich life. My that, I mean having so much of what is valued, friendship! Things are secondary, but you also have lovely things. Love this sisterly type event, everyone trying on each other’s things. What fun!
    I love you in the impractical jacket, The color is glorious. So what if you wearing it only twice a year, you will do that for many decades, it will liven up your photos, and will be worth it.
    I love the handmade table and ALL OF THE PHOTOS, especillally THE CANDIDS.

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 09:44

      Ahh that is such a sweet comment Elle. Thank you so much. Sylvia is definitely thinking of coming to New York in 2017 and I am working towards being there at the same time. No idea what time that is though. Happy 2017 Elle.

  13. 27 December 2016 / 11:25

    Great post Greetje, as usual it made me smile. (the bit about moving the handbag out of the shot..I so know where you’re coming from!) Lovely to see your friends and the warmth between you. Funnily enough, before I got to your mention of Jilske’s profession I had admired the table and the art on the wall, she has very good taste. Which brings me to you…LOVE the red jacket and vibrant scarf, on grey winter days more colour is needed don’t you think? I hope you and your family had a good xmas.

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 16:58

      We had a lovely Christmas, Fiona, thank you for asking. Hope you can say the same. Family affairs. Although the red leather jacket isn’t as versatile as I hoped it would be, it is a pretty picture when I wear it like this. Glad I made you smile as well. I try to get something funny into every post, in which I do not always succeed of course.

  14. 27 December 2016 / 11:55

    Oh wow Marijke is stunning, such a natural beauty. All your friends look lovely Greetje. You’re so right about girlfriends, I’d be lost without mine – They’ve all helped me through various troubles in my life at one point or other. Through good times & bad, they’re always there.
    It’s lovely to acknowledge that.
    Happy New Year to you beautiful, stylish, funny & clever woman!

    • Greetje
      27 December 2016 / 17:52

      My word, so many great adjectives… you make me blush. You know I am far from being as perfect as you describe but I will accept the compliments haha.
      And I agree, all my friends in this group are really lovely to see. Actually I don’t have any ugly girlfriends. Oh dear, do you think I select them on that merit? I hope not. No, I think I select them on lovely character and that always shines through any features and makes you beautiful.

  15. 30 December 2016 / 05:00

    This is such a beautiful post about friendship. You have a very vibrant group of women and it looks like you have fun together. I agree. What would we do without our friends.

    Happy Holidays Greetje! Looking forward to following you in 2017!

    • Greetje
      30 December 2016 / 18:22

      Yes, we are building years together now. I think you started blogging seven years ago? And I started 4 years ago. Still going strong. Having lots of fun with RL friends and online friends. HNYE.

  16. 1 January 2017 / 22:07

    Our friends enrich our lives in so many ways, and when you are a blogger, it is fortunate to have friends who put up with being photographed 😉 I hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

    • Greetje
      2 January 2017 / 09:16

      I did have a very Merry Christmas Shelley, thank you. Let’s hope 2017 is THE year of friendship.

  17. 3 January 2017 / 07:25

    What a fantastic bunch of women! The fact that you have maintained so many solid friendships through the years is testament to your warmth of spirit. I have moved quite a bit and while I don’t have friendships from long ago, I have made many incredible new friends, including you! I feel very lucky in that respect. Life would be very grey indeed without our friends. Too late for a Merry Christmas but Happy New Year!! xo

    • Greetje
      3 January 2017 / 10:37

      My darling, you have such an endearing personality, everybody wants to be your friend. Even preferably your best friend. So wherever you go, you sprinkle stardust and will have friends.

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