Country music – sunshine for your heart

Here is a confession: I like – no – I love country music. It is my guilty pleasure.


I will tell you why I love country music so much and why you should not be afraid to enjoy your guilty pleasures!


According to Wikipedia:

“A guilty pleasure is something, such as a movie, a television program or a piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that it is not generally held in high regard.”


Why is country music generally not held high?

  • Because the music is from the – lagging – country side?
  • Because the lyrics are so simple?
  • Because all the songs sound the same?


It is the boring mainstream anyways who decides what is ‘generally not held high’.


Country side

I am a farm raised girl and country songs have often the country side as their scenery, it’s what I know. It gives the feeling of ‘good old times’. Of course I do not agree that country side would be lagging, that’s a discussion I am not even going to start!


Simple songs

I must agree that the lyrics often contain the words; truck, gravel, bar, beer, whiskey, jeans and/or t-shirts. The jeans preferably blue and the t-shirts white.

But country music lyrics are often surprisingly poetic. Like the metaphor for how fast his ex was over him:

“She was over me before the grass grew back where she used to park her car”

(Song: Break up in a small town – Sam Hunt).


Songs with a story

I would classify country songs as songs with a story, simple message and ‘family friendly’. Even though the songs are almost never about political or cultural ideas, there is a strong conservative vibe from the songs. References to church, religion and/or good behaviour are common. Like this one:

“When the work you put in is realized

Let yourself feel the pride but

Always stay humble and kind”

(Song: Always stay humble and kind – Tim McGraw)


Sweet memories

“Did you know that… your life time preference for music is developed before or while you’re a teenager?”


For me country music is also bringing back sweet memories:

  • When I was a little girl my father used to play country music on Sundays while he was reading the paper.
  • When I was teenager we played this with friends while talking and drinking a beer.
  • When I was in Canada, it was kind of the music to listen to.


Let me hear about sunshine, tan lines and bare feet. Listening to country makes me extremely happy!


Don’t let mainstream decide what you like, no one is born to be part of the boring mainstream anyway.


Let me introduce you to some songs, so you can hear for yourself that there is quite some variety in this awesome genre:

Different for girls – Dierks Bentley (Listen how whiskey is used in the lyrics)

I wanna be that song – Brett Eldredge

Sun song – Common Linnets (Also the song of the week. 🌞)

That don’t sound like you – Lee Brice

Make you mine – High valley (You’re hallelujah, Sunday morning…)

I listen to many other genres of music, but maybe that’s a topic for later.



Run, because you can!

If you would ask me one year ago if I wanted to join for a small run; I would’ve laughed and told you ‘I’m not that crazy’!

If you would ask me now, I would start jumping like a dog that sees a leash to go for a walk!

So something changed, and I will tell you how I went from zero to 5K.


It starts with the shoes

It all started with the shoes. I needed new sport shoes, because the ones I was using, I had them now for 8 years. So you can imagine that there was not much of use in the last 8 years. Now, I found a sportive boyfriend and he encouraged me to join him to the gym.

The trick to find good sport shoes is that they have to fit immediately like ‘aaaaah yes!’ and they should give a smile on your face. My boyfriend and I went for at least 4 attempts to find sport shoes and finally I found them! They were perfect, because they were like ‘aaaah yes!’ and pink. In the insoles it said ‘RUN strong’. – This made me think…


Out in the sun

Have I told you that I love the sun? I like to combine exercising with being in the sun, recharging my battery with solar energy. I would go for a bike ride or go for long distance skating. The disadvantages of these activities are that you can’t do them in the following cases:

  • with poor quality road surface,
  • in busy traffic,
  • while it is raining or too windy,
  • take the exercise to a different location.

In The Netherlands there is excellent road quality in my area, but here in the UK the traffic for me is too busy for cycling and the road surface not suitable for skating. And skates and bikes don’t fit easily in your bag while travelling to another country… But running shoes, shorts and a shirt are easily packed.

Since I already started to think about running, I decided to give it a try.


If I can do it..,

My first attempt started that I just would go out my house and start running. It was very exhausting and started to be quite painful. I didn’t do a proper warming up and I also did not think about building up my stamina for running. I stopped again, because my knees kept hurting. Then the winter fell in and the weather scared me, so I stayed inside.

So this was NOT a good idea…

New try, introducing the podcast.

In February a friend suggested that I should run with a podcast that guides you to gradually build up your stamina and endurance. I am sure there are plenty of podcasts available online, but I decided to go with ‘Fit mei Femke’. The podcast is in Frisian (my first language) and has a good mix of old, new, rock, pop and dance hits.

“Femke” is telling me when to start to run and when I can walk again. Especially in the beginning she kept insisting that I should not run too fast! This really helped, because when I ran without the podcast I went too fast and strained my knees. Now I was running like a snail, but at least I was building up. After a few weeks I was running like a pro.

I really started from zero and I can now say with confidence that I can run 5K, even though I’m not quite through the whole podcast training scheme.

The big benefits I’m reaping:

  • Running makes me happy,
  • I’m leaving my thoughts behind,
  • I have more energy during the day,
  • It makes me feel I achieved something that day, especially useful after a slow day at work.


You don’t need much

The cool thing about running is that you don’t need much.

Here is what I am using, from bottom to top:

  • Running shoes,
  • Socks,
  • Shorts,
  • Supportive sports bra, very important! Go for the strongest level of support.
  • Vest,
  • T-shirt,
  • MP3-player, with sport earplugs.

And go!


You can do it!

So, even if you don’t like the idea of running, just try it.

In the first training you start to run 1 minute and then walk for 2 minutes, seven times. You can do that!?

If this is still too much, then I would suggest going out for a walk in the sun! 🌞


I’m curious to hear what your experiences are, please comment below!

Here are some pictures of the most elemental parts for my running. The MP3-player is very small and I can clip it on my straps.

Starting a new blog

This is my very first post. I feel my fingers running over my keyboard finding their way to the right keys. Still, my mind is not sure yet where to begin.

There are already so many blogs out there that it is hard to be original and ‘new’. And since it is hard, I will still try, but also accept if I don’t achieve originality.

This first blog is about my mind flow for starting this blog.

First of all there is this drive to write. I like to write and tell stories. Two things about story-teling that are typical me.

  1. I tell too much context, especially in written stories.
  2. I tell too little context and hop into the clou of the story.

So whether the one or the other is an overcompensating system, I don’t know (yet). Anyways, this drive explains why I started this blog.

Then, during my studies I was in Canada for my internship for 5 months and during that time I also blogged about my experiences, it was to update my family and now I sometimes read it to relive that time. Now I’m working as a PhD candidate in the UK and in The Netherlands. Three elements here are very interesting.

  1. PhD life itself, since I’m in between student and employee. It’s confusing, entertaining and always interesting.
  2. My personal life is now more complicated, but also more adventurous now I live in two places.
  3. The differences between the cultures in the UK and NL, especially now that after voting for the Brexit the UK is not so united anymore.

Now I knew that I wanted to write a blog and what it should be about, I needed a name for my site. And that’s difficult! In the end it became ‘Try the sunny side’, it’s inspiring, uplifting and positive. My first name is Tryntsje (pronounced as Trynche) and I love the sun!

I hope I will be inspiring to you! 🌞