NI Music

VOTE KAZ HAWKINS in British Blues Awards 2015.

via VOTE KAZ HAWKINS in British Blues Awards 2015.


It’s Saturday morning and I’m waking up with a cup of coffee… While drinking my coffee, I suddenly think about a lady I met a couple of weeks ago on the train… She has crossed my mind more often in the past few weeks, and I’m not sure why. I’ve met and talked to strangers more often in my life and easily forget about them… but, not this time.

I just returned from a short trip at the airport and was waiting for a train to bring me home. I hardly travel by train, and if I do there are always delays, trains being cancelled, or other things happening that always make me arrive much later than planned at my destination. This is not unusual in The Netherlands, because delays and such happen a lot out here.

But…so far so good! I bought a train ticket…one-way ticket to home and managed to find out which train to take and from which platform that train would leave…

My train arrived, double-checking the sign, which confirmed this was the train I had to take. I got in and while the doors were closing a friendly voice told all passengers through the intercom that the train was going to a destination which wasn’t mine…Amsterdam Central Station…

Amsterdam Central Station?? That is not where I had to go! I won’t share what I thought but I was annoyed enough to message a friend that I managed to get on the wrong train! While sending that message a conversation happening next to me, caught my attention. An English-speaking lady was also confused. She was on the wrong train too! I asked her where she had to go. She had to go to the east of the country and had to travel via the same city where I was supposed to be going to. I told her she could travel with me since we were going the same way. We started talking. She was telling me that she was from Philadelphia. There was a lot of snow around that time and it took her ages to get from her home to the airport. At this point she had already been travelling for 21 hours. I asked her if she was exhausted, but she said she wasn’t because she was a good sleeper and slept for hours on the plane.

At that point in our conversation we arrived at Amsterdam Central Station, got off the train and literally had to run to catch the right train. She was travelling with a backpack and a huge heavy suitcase. I offered to help, but she refused. She could take care of that herself, was what she said.

Once on the right train our conversation went on. I asked her where she was going to and she proudly started telling me about her son, daughter in law and three grandchildren who lived in The Netherlands, for quite some time. She was going to visit them, and would stay for three weeks. She also told me that her husband would come later. I asked her if she didn’t mind travelling alone. She said she didn’t mind that at all. She told me how much she loves travelling. Saying how much she was looking forward to a trip to Hawaii, which she and her husband were planning for their 50th wedding anniversary. It would be the first time that she’d go there and she couldn’t wait.

While talking, she suddenly said that her daughter in law would be worried right now, because due to the delay, she wouldn’t be at her destination at the expected time. Her cell phone was out of order though. Somehow she couldn’t use her phone in The Netherlands. I offered her my phone to call her daughter in law, which she did. Relieved that she could make that phone call, she gave back my phone and thanked me for my kindness.

After that phone call, she clearly was curious about me. She looked at my suitcase and asked where I was travelling from and where I lived. I told her a bit about my short trip and told her where I live. She knew the area where I live, because she had been there before. Meanwhile the train was nearing my destination and hers too, only she had to catch another train to get to her final destination.
We got off the train, shook hands, I wished her a wonderful stay with her son, daughter in law and grandchildren and said goodbye. I went up the escalator and turned around for a second to see if I could see the lady…she was gone… We both went our own way, knowing we would probably never meet again.

That lovely lady has been on my mind since that trip. By now her visit to her son, daughter in law and grandchildren will be nearing its end. I just hope she had a great time.
For only an hour she was part of my life. We will most likely never meet again, but I will remember her for a long time. She was part of the end of a really great short trip I made… a trip I will always remember. And because I will always remember that wonderful short trip, I will probably always remember her.

No blog without a song…
A song that has nothing to do with the story that I just wrote but has everything to do with that short trip I made…
A short trip to Belfast to be at the pre release gig of a new album called ‘Sleep Tonight’ written and produced by Robb Murphy.
His initial plan was to record a relatively quick second acoustic solo album, but along the way the album has grown into something so much more since it was written in Italy in 2012.
You can read all about it in a blog he wrote a while ago:

I’ve seen the process of recording this album, because I’ve been working with Robb Murphy for a quite some time now and I can’t say how proud I am of what he and everyone involved achieved with this album. I admire the perseverance, creativity and skills of all musicians involved. Together they made this album develop into what it is right now…an absolutely beautiful album.

The album features great musicians such as the Ulster String Quartet (Danny McCann-Williams, Sian Hetherington, Nicholas Rippon and Thomas Jackson), Amanda Agnew and Percy Robinson. It was produced by Robb Murphy and Alan Dickson and postproduced by Roger Seibel, SAE Mastering, the man behind Bon Iver, Death Cab For Cutie, Decemberists, and Volcano Choir.

The song I want to share is the title track from this album ‘Sleep Tonight’, featuring the Ulster String Quartet.

And…if you like what you hear…grab the chance to pre-order this amazing album through the following link…;)

The album will be released to the public on the 20th of March.
The album launch concert will take place during the annual Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival on Thursday the 5th of March at the Holiday Inn in Belfast.


Visit the following sites for more info on Robb Murphy and his music:

It’s 4 in the afternoon and I’m writing this blog… finally, I’m making time to write.  I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a couple of days now, but didn’t have time for it yet….

Time…how often do you look at your watch to see what time it is? I do this a lot…without even noticing.  Starting with the alarm clock going off in the morning telling me it’s time to get up and it goes on and on during the day… time for breakfast, time to get dressed, running late for work, time to work, time to have lunch, time to go home, time for dinner, time to relax, time to go to bed.
Making an appointment…what time should I be there? How much time will it take me to get from A to B?
How often do I say to one of the children: “Hang on a moment, let me finish this first. Give me a minute and I’ll be right with you”?  School, work, exercise, take a shower or a bath, clean the house, cook dinner, meetings, go out and see friends…everything takes time.

Time…our whole life is dictated by time.
Time is so precious and seems to becoming more and more precious as we get older.  Several events in the past year have caused me to step back and take ‘time’ to reflect more often, ask myself what moments I enjoyed that day, ask myself how I really feel…and try to limit or eliminate things I don’t like doing or which cost me too much energy. I try to be more aware of how much joy the little things in life bring me, because every day brings moments of joy, small or big… It makes me notice what’s important in life.

A second, a minute, an hour, a day, a month, a year….time…it’s bringing us countless options, possibilities, chances…decisions…but what do you do with your time?

A couple of days ago I ran into this video, which brought me the idea to write this blog. I hope you take time to watch it:

Time is precious, once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. This all made me write this poem.

Time, you can’t see it
can’t hear it
But it’s there
Feel it

Time comes and goes
Slowly or fast
Good times or tough times
Time never lasts

Time is a second
and forever
Time is a year
and now or never

Time heals, time teaches
brings hope, but also fear
Time brings confusion
but time also makes things clear

Time brings chances
and opportunities
Time makes us decide
decide about all possibilities

Time can be evil
can be your worst enemy
Times can be dark and
leave you with no energy

But time also brings love  
and brings laughter
Time brings lots of joyful moments
and brings people together

Time is right here and right now…
be aware of how you spend it
Do what you love, with the people you love
Don’t waste time…

Enjoy it!


No blog without a song…

The Mysteries Of The Heart by Robb Murphy

A song about life, love, hope and longing. A song that says it all…
“…Cause we’re only here a short time don’t you know…”

Robb Murphy will soon be releasing a new album, called ‘Sleep Tonight’.
The Mysteries Of The Heart is one of the songs you will find on the album. Here’s a preview of the song:



Visit Robb’s blog to read all about the new album:


Find more about Robb Murphy here:


The year is ending and I am thinking about all that has happened in the past year.
It’s been a year…

A lot has happened in the past year. Busy times, happy times, but also very dark times came by.
To use the words a dear friend often uses, it’s not all been sunshine and lollipops.
But hey…I’m here, walking towards the light again and hopeful for next year.
Thinking back makes me realise how blessed I am….
I have a wonderful husband, two amazing healthy children, a great family and also some truly amazing friends.
They all mean the world to me and they are all that really matters.
Those are the people who kept me going, they were there no matter what.
They brought love, joy, laughter. There was room for tears, room to share worries, room to share happy moments, but most of all they all cracked me up. By the things they said or did, they made me forget about everything. Often it were just small things…small things with a huge impact.

So often I wanted to say thanks, but words always seem to fall short and words can not express what they all mean to me.
There maybe is one expression that says it all…it’s what I felt so often and it’s what I feel when I think about them….this is unconditional love.
I am so grateful for having you all in my life, grateful for all the love you gave me. You all have a very special place in my heart and always will have.

In about an hour the new year starts. Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014! I wish you all a very happy new year, wish all your dreams come true, but most of all wish you love in abundance!

Music…there’s always a lot of music in this house. First of all I’m a music lover, so there’s always music playing. Besides that our daughter loves to dance and our son is a music lover too and plays guitar. I often watch our son while he is playing guitar… He’s ten years old now and passionate about music. It’s beautiful to see what music does and how much he enjoys listening to music and playing guitar. It made me write this poem.

There’s a place you go to
Every now and then
There you’re finding comfort
It’s where you find yourself again

A place no one but you will find
A place that is your own
It’s where you feel safe
and where you can be alone

It’s a beautiful place
Filled with melodies
A place for dreams
and fantasies

It’s where you’re finding peace
It calms you down and brings you joy
There you’re truly happy and
there your guitar is your only toy

Melodies and sounds
Are making you forget
Forget about everything
It’s a beautiful outlet

I’m seeing how happy you are
Everytime you go to that place
Cause when you return
There’s nothing but a big smile on your face

It’s great you have that place to go to
A place that’s so elusive
But bringing so much positivity
A place that’s called…music…

I love seeing our son enjoying music so much, playing guitar, forgetting about everything, being completely carried away by music.
There’s one song that he plays along with and listens to a lot… It’s a special song to him. He loved that song from the moment he first heard it and it’s the first song he learned to play along with without any help. He was fortunate enough to play it with the writer of the song himself. Special moments, captured in his heart. Moments he will never forget. This song will always be special in this family. It’s a song called ‘Never Letting You Go’ by Robb Murphy.

Listen and enjoy!

A free download of the song is available through this link:

You can find more about Robb Murphy through the following links:
• Website:
• YouTube:
• SoundCloud:
• Twitter:
• Facebook:

My blog…actually I have been so busy in the past few months that I totally forgot about it….
I should do more with my blog, but somehow there’s just always a huge lack of time to do everything I want to do. Someone reminded me of my blog this week and that reminder instantly brought back that feeling again….the feeling I’m having while writing….a happy feeling 🙂

So here I am, writing a blog again 🙂
Writing this blog makes me think back of the months I haven’t been writing… A lot has happened, it wasn’t always easy and still isn’t easy sometimes. Tough times, emotional times occured and not only to me but I’m seeing it happen around me as well. In case you’re wondering if you’re about to read a very depressing story…don’t worry, you’re not! 😉 Thankfully there have been happy times and special moments as well. 🙂

But despite being a very positive minded person, I always remember more bad times than good times and I think I won’t be the only one. It’s not a bad thing though.
I’ve experienced lots and lots of happy moments in my life so far, but the tough times I went through shaped me to who I am today. The tough times changed me, the tough times taught me, the tough times caused personal growth. Maybe that’s why I remember the tough times more clearly than all the happy times I went through in my life.

And although it’s not always easy, I am always trying to look at the positive side of things. That doesn’t mean I don’t have negative thoughts. I do, but negativity always makes me feel even more worse than I’m already feeling during tough times, while positivity makes it all a bit easier to bear.
For example….I rather think of the things I can do than think of the things I can’t do….
Besides that, while going through hard times I live life more intense than during happy times. During happy times I tend to take things for granted, but not when times are hard. During those hard times I’m more aware of the precious things in life and I do appreciate the little things in life more than when nothing’s going on and everything goes the way it should be going….
Those little things can be anything, it can be a song, a message from someone, a hug from one of our kids, a bird searching for worms in the garden, sunset….literally anything. Those little things can change my mood, even if it’s just for a moment. Those little things make me forget about the worries I’m having.
And another thing that always happens during hard times….you’re getting to know who your true friends actually are…. Which is not a bad thing either, it’s just part of a process I guess. Friends come and go during life and there will only be a handful of people that will stay with you no matter what. But it’s that handful of true friends that’s so important in life.

So…tough times in life are not a negative thing. It’s actually very positive in the end… And I believe that something positive will come out of every negative situation we’re facing during life.

Anyway…writing this blog was giving me a happy feeling again…:-) I should write more blogs, but that’s what I’ve told myself more often…. Too bad a day only has 24 hours….Sometimes I wish there would be more time to do all the things I would like to do!!

To finish this blog….here are some songs that have inspired me in the past couple of months 🙂
Watch, listen and enjoy!!! 🙂

Malojian – All I need

Foy Vance – The joy of nothing

Robb Murphy – Sleep Tonight

Robb Murphy – Stars