Brenda’s stories – New York Marathon

Finally the day had come. I had been training for months to be able to run in the biggest running event in the world.
It was the 1st of November and even though it was well into autumn already, the sun was burning like it was midsummer at the start of the New York Marathon. 42.195 kilometers were ahead of me and the start less then 5 minutes off. I was getting nervous now, not sure if I would make the finish line. For the last time I went over all my preparations. Were my shoelaces tied properly, did I have enough to drink until the first checkpoint, was I well protected against the relentless burning sun? Well, if anything, I could rest assured on the latter. My sunscreen was by Paul Penders. Natural organic sunscreen with SPF 22. No worries there.

And then off we were. Together with 44,176 other runners, all of them completely unknown to me, but feeling like one huge family, I started my first (and very possibly last) New York Marathon. Later I found out that from that big family, only 4 were actually called Brenda, one of them being me. Funny how internet reveals all those stats.
While running that was however not on my mind at all. I so desperately wanted to make the finish line that that was all I could think of. At least, that was all I could think for the first 5 kilometers or so. After that my mind became numb and empty and running just a trance. My legs went automatically for the next 25 kilometers. That was about as much as I had done in training.
The last 12.195 kilometers became more and more hell on earth.
Everything hurt, from the tips of my toes (obviously) to the ends of my hair (which I actually don’t use for running). Again my mind was full of reaching the finish and I started to envy my husband who had chosen to spend his time, not running, but eating and drinking away at “The Finish Line Banquet.” I just hoped he would not be too occupied with that to miss my finish for I would kill him if he did just that.

Then finally, there it was. I could see the entrance of Central Park and knew I would make it. The Park was even more crowded with spectators then the rest of the course. Everybody was cheering and waving and encouraging the runners and all of a sudden all the pain and fatigue left my body. It almost felt as if I could do another marathon right after this one. I could now actually see the finish line and there, in between all the others, I saw that one person I most wanted to see. He was holding a glass of champagne. For me.

Brenda’s stories – Meet Hannah Montana

Did I ever tell you before how I got to know all these friends of mine in all kinds of countries? I don’t believe I did.
Before I settled down, got married and children I used to travel a lot. That already started when I was in college. I spent some time in Europe as an exchange student. After that I went back many times for my job as a wine merchant. As you will know, Europe is still the heart of wine production in the world. France obviously, but also Italy, Spain and Germany. I was always looking for fine wines for my company to buy and sell. That is how I got to know another of my friends that this story is about.
Aziza lives in Dortmund, being married to a German man called Manfred, but she actually comes from Malaysia. From Dortmund to the Southwest of Germany there are large wine estates, one of them being owned by Aziza and her husband. They produce a very fine white wine that I immediately decided to buy for my company.
As it turned out, Aziza and I got along really well so I went back as often as I possibly could. I was there when her daughter Sophie was born!
Sophie is now 5 years old and well aware of her background. One evening Aziza, keeping her Asian heritage alive, had died Sophie’s hands with henna. Something very common in Asian and Arabian culture, but not that much in Germany.

When Sophie went to school next day naturally her girlfriends asked about the painting on her hands, so Sophie explained to them it was henna. Her girlfriends, completely astonished all shouted out: What? Were they done by Hannah Montana? They all wanted to meet her and Sophie had to ask Aziza for help to explain she did NOT know Hannah Montana, but that she does know henna and how to dye hands with it.
After the girls had overcome their disappointment of not getting to meet Hannah Montana, they all went to school the next day with a beautiful henna painting on their hands.

Brenda’s stories – Beauty parlor play

The other day I was speaking to Maria on the phone. She is a Mexican friend of mine living in Cancún, so we don’t get to see each other too often. Maria has two kids, a boy and a girl and she told me a hilarious story about Luisa, her 5-year-old daughter.
One day Luisa was playing upstairs with a girlfriend and it was unusually quiet. No sound was to be heard from the two girls playing, where normally their laughter and shouting could be heard two blocks down the road.
After a while Maria decided to check in on them and what she found was absolutely funny: the girls had been playing beauty parlor. They had ransacked Maria’s beauty case and both were wearing make up in the brightest colors they had been able to find. Purple, yellow, red, you name it. They had used the lot. On top of that they had also found a pair of scissors and cut Luisa’s hair. They were really happy with the result of their work, Luisa’s hair looking like a 1980’s punk’s hairdo.

Being finished they had decided that they deserved something to drink and eat. Along with the lemonade and cookies, a good deal of the lipstick they had put on had disappeared in their stomachs as well. Just a good thing the cosmetics they had used were Paul Penders cosmetics, completely made out of natural organic ingredients, and because of that completely harmless to eat (although maybe not really tasty).

And Luisa’s hair? Maria took her to a proper hairdresser to get some restoration work done.

Brenda’s Friends – Stiletto

My friend Kelly finally got to get married with her boyfriend she knows already for 4 years. And as we are very good friends, we decided to give a party before she dives into the state of a married woman.

Kelly always looks amazing! And her skin is absolutely fantastic! It is smooth and it has a natural glance. She reveals her beauty secret with the following code: 1-ICT-2! Which implies a weekly use of ICT treatment of Paul Penders plus 2 litres of water per day!
Apart from her shining appearance, she wears the most fantastic (2nd hand!) designer clothes. But she also has a nose for new flashy jewellery from young new designers as well.
She never leaves the house without her makeup, her hair done and her stylish clothes and shoes with perfectly fitting jewellery.
It gives her a lot of pleasure looking great, not for others, but just because she loves to take care of herself and thus feel good.
If we go to a pub, a restaurant or disco, everyone turns his eyes on her, just because she is great to look at.
But our dear friend is going to get married, and we planned an evening of fun, just for women. So we took her with us to disco bowling! As we went to the counter to register, not only the cashier, but everyone in the room was very impressed by the looks of our Kelly. For this evening we dressed her up being a sexy cat! Black body suit, Cat ears, Cat tail, red nails and black stiletto’s! And our Kelly played her part well being a cat!

After registration, we needed to change shoes to green plastic sneaker-like footwear. And we started to play a game surrounded with disco music and video clips. The green and red cocktails in pineapple glasses were great and it took not long before our neighbour bowlers (all men!) invited us to play against them. We took up the contest, and started to play. Kelly was a bit tired of all the excitement of being a cat and all the attention she got, and sat at the desk pitying the green bowling shoes she needed to wear, instead of the great black stilettos.
The game was very exciting! The 2 teams matched each other and there was no winner yet! The men distracted Sheila who needed to score. And they succeeded! In their round they managed to get the maximum score and they already celebrated their success.
Then Kelly came up. She looked determined. She took a bowling ball, put her red nails into the holes of the ball, started to move as a cat slowly up the bowling lane ended up running on her stiletto shoes and threw the heavy ball to the pins! But in the running mood she slipped, and followed the ball a few meters up the lane! It was quiet, everyone looked at the woman dressed up as a black cat lying and not moving at the bowling lane. Maximum score!

It was still quiet, because we all thought Kelly was hurt. So we all speeded up to her to give help. When we came by, we saw her shaking. We tried to turn her around gently and then we saw her bursting into laughter! We were relieved, it all looked so funny. We laughed and could not stop laughing for the rest of the evening. And the men, they bought us another cocktail!
Brenda’s friends are short stories of experiences of modern women. As Brenda is entirely made up by the writer, notice that she and her friends do not really exist! Thus people and stories are fiction. We hope you get an insight in our thoughts and values in life. Sometimes serious, sometimes just funny. Enjoy and we hope you get good understanding about Brenda’s approach to life!

Brenda’s Friends – House of woods

Demi and Josh are married for 10 years.
But they never got the pleasure of getting children, and for this reason they are having a difficult time in their lives.
Through his work, Josh met Joji, a guy from India who invited them to visit his state in India. He suggested to visit the province of Kerala, and learn something of Ayurveda. Although this was not Demi’s and Joshes plan as they were in a difficult time in their relation, they decided to get a ticket and travel off to Kerala.
The environment was beautiful as they saw. And then they were invited to get an Ayurveda treatment.

They went to Vanamoolika, a project started by a priest who helped women and their families to organize a wellness treatment based on Ayurveda and in this way, get a better life themselves as well. The first impression they got was the open minds and strength of women who worked at the project.
So when we as friends sat together we asked Demi and Josh about their travelling to the Vanamoolika centre.
They were very enthusiastic telling about the different aspects of the Ayurveda treatment and told very lively about the people, their commitment and their talks to Joji and others in the centre. My husband and I were a bit surprised, but very happy to see they looked good again.

Thus we asked what their best experience was.
Both of them looked at each other and nodded, it was the house of woods.
We had a renewed experience of nature’s goodness to our wellbeing and our happiness. Of course we had the Ayurveda treatment, which was great. But the house of woods made it feel more intense. This was our place where we slept and retrieved to relax. The different scents from the different woods and herbs had an effect on our wellbeing we did not expect at all, and renewed our commitment as husband and wife together. We are happy regardless our deeps wish.
We all got silent.
Brenda’s friends are short stories of experiences of modern women. As Brenda is entirely made up by the writer, notice that she and her friends do not really exist! Thus people and stories are fiction. We hope you get an insight in our thoughts and values in life. Sometimes serious, sometimes just funny. Enjoy and we hope you get good understanding about Brenda’s approach to life!