Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Royal Wedding in the UK

We're used to royal weddings here in The Netherlands.
We've got a load of princess who found the loves of their lives and the parade of lovely weddingdresses and weddings was a delight.

So we were curious how the UK would celebrate the wedding of William and Kate.

The British Royal House is known for it's abundance of protocol and we weren't disappointed.
But there were also many personal elements, like the allergy of Kate for horses leading to her going to the wedding by car.

The wedding was awesome.
The grandeur of Westminster Abbey was softened by the trees, something I imagined myself when I was there myself so many many years ago.

And the bride walking there with her father on the red carpet, dressed in the most wonderful weddingdress I've ever seen was breathtaking.

Quite some people forgot it was a family wedding and commented on the fact that the Obama's were not invited.
Ofcourse not!
People asked how it could be that other royal houses were present. Well, that's because they're interconnected by their ancestry.

Another complaint was that we saw no tears and no abundant emotions.
Well, it must have been my scottish genes that made me see the happiness and the other signs of emotions that were present all the time.

So I sat there, smiling from ear to ear, enjoying the wonderful sight of this lovely couple, thinking that maybe, maybe they'll be our king and queen, of we're ever able to live on our ancestral grounds.

Friday, April 29, 2011

An ugly find in a canal

Sometimes people disappear and not always a thorough investigation follows.

Now, 5 years after a man disappeared a sailor registered that his boat touched something under water. He didn't know what, but he thought it was odd at that place, so he informed the police.

In this case they took the report serious and had a look.
They found a car with a body.

The find led to the belief that the corpse would be of someone who went missing 5 years ago.
None took the missing serious because of rumours the man might have gone to a foreign country.

Instead he lost control of the wheel and landed in the canal.
If it was on purpose or an accident, we'll propbably never know.

It's the so-maniest example of the police not taking a case of a missing person not serious enough to have a good look.
A while ago a girl went missing and instead of having a look at the neighbour's house they looked elswhere. The neighbour rang the doorbell when the girl was on the phone with the mother. Turned out he killed her. A death which might have been prevented.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Presentation evening

Today we had to spend the evening at school to listen to the stories the kids had to tell about the exchange.

They were supposed to work in groups and they had to follow a couple of guidelines.

For some strange reason my daughter was told by the teacher to work alone, and she didn't understand why.
We discussed the matter at home and I told her it was either because of her dyslexia oe because of some other reason which would become apparent in time. He sure isn't the person to isolate a child, so he sure would have had his own idea about this.

The group consists of two groups from different classes of the year before. One was very loud, the other far more modest. (Normal that means.)
It was clear who were disturbing the evening. They were talking and making lots of noise even in the presence of teachers and parents. I was amazed that the teacher asked them to keep silent and they didn't and that none of their parents stepped in.

Thei presentations where clearly not cared for. Some photos and "then we went there, and then we went there...".

Precisely in the middle my daughter had to make her appearance.
Within a minute everyone was silent and listening with attention.
In the weekend all kids had done something different and my daughter had been to famous waterfalls and had been shopping and eating at restaurants.
The way she told about it all was interesting.

When I saw the teacher write down his comments I saw him nodding with content.
Maybe he had planned her presentation in the middle of everything, knowing she would do well and spend lots of time preparing something interesting.

When the evening was over we were glad to go home.

And the result?
My daughter got the most points for her presentation, 9.5 out of 10!!

She would have never got that high if she had to work with those kids.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Yesterday two children were dressed in thick clothes to look like easter rabbits.

They were standing at the entrance of the gardencentre with a basket with chocolate eggs, which they were presenting to the public.

It was very hot and they looked warm and sweaty.
I asked one of the kids if he felt allright and he told me it was so very hot.

ofcourse i brought it to the attention of someone who looked like he had something to say in the shop, but I can't get rid of the sight of them.

Those rabbitcostumes were not made for warm days like today and I wonder if it's allowed to have those small children stay there like they were working.
They were clearly not enjoying themselves.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Best weather at easter ever

We've had the best weather at easter I can remember.
Me oh my, it was tropical.

We went to a gardencentre just to go somewhere we've never been before and to keep our autistic son amused.
He wanted to take care fo a plant, so we bought him one, and also bought a box to grow carrots.

For ourselves we bought some herbs.
Nothing special, just a few very small plants that will grow out, hopefully, to a nice bunch we can get our own herbs from.

When we came home everyone was ready for a nice drink and eastereggs. Yummy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

This is the most tropical easter I've ever experienced.
It's unbelievable!!

I hung a laundry outside before we went to our son who invited us over for dinner and when we came back it was dry.

It was nearly 21.00 hours when we passed a thermometer in the wind and it said: 24 degrees celcius!!

Dinner was simple but very nice.
Perfect for the weather.
And very relaxed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Tropical temperatures and cuts on medical benefits

We're experiencing a heatwave. The temperatures are tropical.
One of the extremes was 27.8 degrees celcius. Can you believe it?
It's april!!!

We went across the border to get groceries for Easter.
Now we've got a car we can do that.

We've bought regular groceries that are not as expensive in Germany as they are here, and some extra's like some easterbread and an applepie. We also found cheap frozen mushrooms and pizzas.

Soon we won't be able to do something nice anymore.

There will be huge cuts on the benefits for young people who are not able to work properly.
As our autistic son is still living at home he will loose the small bit of income he has.

I think it's time we move to a more agricultural environment, so we can grow our own vegatables and fruit.

It will be impossible to live on one income with three grown ups and two kids.
My son might be autistic, but he has grown up needs, and costs more than a normal kid his age.

A few years ago we thought these years life would become a bit easier, but instead it will become more difficult.
I can do without anything special if needed, but I want the girls to have what they need to get a good future.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Soft pointe shoes

One of my daughters is going en pointe at ballet, so she needed soft pointe shoes.

With a small wallet (I'm still looking for that enormous hole in it, because it always seems to be empty), so, with little money available I turned to that large auctionsite and found affordable new soft pointe shoes. Pink, satin.

They arrived today.

Oh, not "they"... two shoes arrived today, with ribbons.

Canvas shoes and canvas ribbons.

Well, they were pink.

And the fit was perfect.

But they were not the satin, lovely ones my daughter expected.
She didn't say much. She's not the complaining type.
In fact she's happy they feel good at her feet.

But I wished for something beautiful to start pointe work with.

As a former balletdancer I see in those shoes the ones I've worn so much during all those hours of training.
They're all gone. Used to the last bit and thrown away.

My first ones are safely laid into a box, and the box has moved with each tidying up, a bit further away from direct grasp in the attic.
They're satin, with long, shiny satin ribbons.....

Wish a fae would come tonight and wave her magic dust over those canvas shoes...

Alien encounter

Last week the neighbours resized their trees in a horrible way so I was kind of used to the sound of an electric saw.

That was the reason I didn't notice the sound of another one this morning.
It came from far, but when I consciously noticed it it was about 4 or 5 houses away, on the street.

I walked to the door and when I opened it a guy with an orange safety vest just walked by on the middle of the street.

It was a surrealistic view.

Because I didn't trust the situation...what was that guy doing there?.. I observed him for a while.

He just walked like a robot, didn't look anywhere, just walked and walked.

It felt like an alien encounter.

Ofcourse i didn't inform the police. It takes them forever to arrive and they wouldn't have believed me that a man with an electric saw.. a running one, had been walking at the middle of the street.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Invisible plants

So we went to get the groceries in.

Last week I bought two roses and they're doing well, so I was happy to find two boxes with hyndrangeas of the same farm.

There's only one left in the front garden of what used to be a nice line of three.
Early winter and the terrible cold made 2 of them vanish in cold air.

When we came home we had to unpack loads of groceries and a few kids helped.
So I didn't keep track of what came in the house.

When I wanted to give the new plants a bit of water I couldn't find them.

I fear my companion left the plants at the side of the counter.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Scientific error

I['m glad I've moved away from a certain location where my kids used to come.
I don't know if it's lack of education or common sense, but the people there seem to be unable to make a difference between co-existing signals and cause and effect.

Take for instance the research of schizofrenia.
A socalled scientist found that a certain gene was found in schizofrenic patients and not in normal patients/people.

So he told the world he found the cause.


Take for instance that he found that none of the schizofrenic patients possessed a busticket.

So he might give them all a busticket so they would resemble the normal people.

But it wouldn't take away their schizofrenia.

At times scientists are so eager to find results... or to become famous... that they forget that interpreting reserach findings is a very delicate matter.

I went with the gene information to a biologist who gave me a big smile.
All we know, he said, is that this gene plays a part in the development of neurons.
We know nothing more than that.

We've already accepted that many psychiatric diseases are caused by some developmental error. So nothing new is said here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Amazing weather

We're facing a week of amazing weather.
Temperatures of as high as 25 degrees celcius are on the maps, which is really amazing.
We should have about 14 degrees or so, I think. Maybe a bit higher.

So it's time to collect the gloves, sjawls and all the other winteritems and clean them.
With weather like this everything will be dry by the end of the day and things can be wrapped and put at the attic.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A quiet sunday

One of the boys invited us over for applepie.
Most of these invitations are attended by only a few of us, which is OK.
But today everyone wanted to go, meaning the car had to go to and fro twice to get us all there and again twice to get us home.

So he was fetched.
And the applepie ofcourse.

With a bit of coffee and some lemonade we had a good time together.

Upon the request of one we all saw an episode of X-files. A very good one, I have to say.
Then we caught a program of one of the best cabaretperformers of the country.

We all were amazed when it was almost time for dinner.

Sometimes time flies.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out

1. What is the most “down and out” that you've ever been?

When one of my children died in my arms.
She was two days old.
I don't think I need to say more, do I.

2. Do you believe there is only one "right" religion?

I don't belief there's one right religion or more right religion.
Religion is belief, not knowledge.
I do think however that it helps a great lot when people don't look at what makes people different, but at how we resemble each other.
Accepting other people is a main issue in life, as is accepting oneself and creating growth of oneself.

I'm a buddhist and the main issue is being as good a person as one can be. So self-reflection is a main issue, as is care and compassion for other people, even those who are hurting a lot.

3. If you could get back in touch with one person you've lost touch with, who would it be and why?

It would be with H. v. L., because I want to know how my feelings are now.

4. Has anyone ever held the key to your heart, but did not know it?

Oh yes. And it stays that way.

5. If your lover cheated on you and profusely apologized, might you accept them back into your life?

I don't know.
I'm a forgiving person, but when people violate my trust I don't know if I'll ever be able to gain it back.

6. Have you ever gone to work/school drunk or stoned? If yes, do tell.

No. Never. Not stoned, not drunk and not with lungs full of smoke.

7. Who is your favorite relative?

I don't have a favorite. I love them all for the person they are.

8. What annoys you most?

People who think they know more about my life than I know.
And right now some of those people are in my life.
I feel there's no defense against them, so any advice is welcome.

9. Tell us of one thing you used to do that you are not proud of.

Uh... I'm not a proud person. I think pride is a waste of energy as we're all worth the same even though we're different.
I try to live my life as well as I can.
But I'm not proud of speaking ill... which is speaking the truth...oh yes it is!... about some people who are making our lives difficult because they assume things that never happened.

Have a nice weekend!

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Quiet friday

This morning I woke up far too early.
It's allergy season and the combination of pollen with someone using some bathinggel with an awful smell is just too much to stay asleep.
There's only one who is showering that early, and it's the only one who doesn't understand allergy well enough to take it into account when he buys his bathingstuff.

It's a pity I have to use my inhaler again, but it tackles the symptoms.

Downstairs the day begins even before the kids leave their beds.

It gives me the feeling it's almost summer, but opening the door to the garden is out of the question. It's freezing, literally.

When the morning turmoil is over I do the dishes, hang the laundry outside, clean the bathroom and do some other chores. I stop when my hands are dry beyond repair.
Time for coffee.

After that I plant a new plant, but when I have the roses in my hand I'm in doubt if they'll survive the cold nights.
The way they're wrapped though doesn't allow me a glance at the rose, so after some doubt I unwrap them.
One shows signs of life, the other not.
So the last one will be planted in the front garden, where it's a bit warmer during the nights and even the days. When it doesn't survive it's a pity. The other one will go to the back garden, maybe on sunday.

The beginning fo this friday is exceptional calm.

As always there's just too much to do for one day. But I want to keep in this mood a bit longer.
Maybe it's just because I finally found something yesterday evening that might tell me a bit more about my father in WW2.
We'll see.

To Germany

Today the two oldest boys invited me for a trip to Germany.
We live near the border, so it's not far to go.
And now we've got a car, and one of the boys is able to drive, an invitation like this is a realistic one.

Their main intention was to get groceries which we can't buy here, groceries which are cheaper in germany and show off how well they can find their way in what's called a foreign country.

I really enjoyed our time there.

They were able to get their stuff and they even took the patience to go shopping with me in the city centre there.
I saw some very nice things, but as we have to be careful with our money they stayed there.

Ofcourse I was surprised by a meal.
I had to smile when they took me to a German macdonalds.
With a kind of big mac I had lunch. LOL!

Well, who cares.
It was fun and on our way home we even got sun.
Half an hour before the girls came from school I was at home.
Couldn't have been better timed.

It was nice. But should have lasted about 3 months!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Something planned?

Some days are planned rather full and when the day arrives the day is completely different.

This morning I got a call from someone who wanted to talk with me.
Last week I tried to get an appointment with the social worker of one of my sons and she said she couldn't fit us in this week, and now I was happy, as I could visit the caller straightaway.

We had a good talk.

When I came home I expected that some groceries had been fetched, but instead nothing had happened because our son had forgotten to bring the car to us.
After a call, which should have been made two hours ago, the car and son arrived and we went to do the things that needed to be done.

First we headed towards the oldest.
Last time his living space was a terrible mess, now it was so clean I would have eaten a pizza from the floor. LOL!

The day went on that way and now I'm sitting here very tired and with the knowledge that one of my sons will fetch me tomorrow morning to pay short visit to a city acroos the border in germany.
It was not on the agenda, but I'll gladly add it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Restringing my mala

Today I had to restring one of my malas.
A mala is a nice string of prayerbeads.

Because I also wear it as a necklace most of the time and when talking or watching TV I'm pushing the buddha bead up and down the cotton thread started to break.
When I was tidying my DIY stuff I found a piece of string that was very firm and would be the best option.
Ofcourse I could have opted for the old fashion 7 threads to string it, but they would break soon again, so I opted for a mala that would last.

After stringing the beads I had to get the trhread through the buddha bead. That's a larger bead with three holes. From each side of the mala a thread goed in a seperate hole and they both come out through the same hole.
It took me a while and a trick to get the thread through.
Then I put the last closing bead on and knotted a tassel, when I had it fixed a bead roled aside.


I don't know how it could escape.
In total I found three escaped beads, so I had to start the most difficult part all over.

Well, it's finally done, with some interesting knotting above the tassel.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A summer day in spring

Today it was 24,7 degrees celcius here.
So the laundry got dry in one day.

The neighbours cut the trees at their side, so we have a lot more light in the garden. Maybe I should put the shadowplants elswehere.

the past years my garden was a shadowgarden and I loved it.
I'm not a person who bakes in a chair when there's sun.
Not at all.

I enjoy the birds and the amazing progress of spring.
Within three days my garden went from almost bare to full spring look.
There's blossom all around and it looks so delicate and awesome that I found myself holding my breath while looking up.
I'm a bit worried that the trees grow so tall, but friends assured me that there's no need to worry about lightning, because there are taller trees around.

Right now it's raining again and the temperature will drop tomorrow to about 11 degrees.
I would have loved to have another day of spring in that fashion.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Routine again

We're used again to the girls being at home.
It's not the same as before they went on exchange, because at times stories pop up that need to be told. And we all want to hear them.
And there are sweet things to be tasted.
I love the fluffy pistache squares which are a turkish specialty. Others rather have the spanish sweetgel.

Right now we still have one package of limonade which will be opened one of these days after dinner so we can all have a sip and taste it.

Other things are quite normal. Like homework.
Just two months and then it's summervacation again.

In between a lot needs to be done and it's more than other schools have to do, because of the lost days of the exchange.
Teachers here don't work with summaries and such, but they just hastily present the stuff, hardly explaining what needs to be explained. It makes them feel irritated.
At home I feel a teacher, answering so many questions.

The next weeks the girls are very busy preparing performances.
One at school about the exchange, and one of ballet.

This is probably the bussiest time of the year... or did I say that in september too. LOL!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sweet Soul Music

1. Do you listen to music at work, and if so, do you use a mp3 player, play it through your office computer, or do you listen to it collectively via a separate radio you keep nearby?

I don't work at an office.
At home I never use an mp3. Sometimes I use my computer for music. It depends where i am.

2. Tell us something about people that you absolutely hate.

What a useless emotion.
I'm a buddhist and I've learned to live my life with love and compassion. What I also learned was that all human beings are the results of a lot of influences and not everybody is able to keep his or her head up and be a good person all the time.
There are people who have done me wrong in my life and at the moment it feels there are quite some people who are doing wrong to my family and me.
I don't agree with their actions and their way of thinking. But a way... I can understand why they have become the person they are and why they act this way.
It's a pity, a real pity, that they can't see us the way we are, but have to throw all the dirt that's in their mind on us.
A bit of true self-reflection would have been and would be good for them.

3. What is something someone has done that you'd like the world to know about?

Hmmm...don't know.
But there's someone in our lives at the moment who seems to be a complete different person than he wants us to believe. It's his private life. But in a way I would love to know if I'm right in what I think.

4. Where is your favorite place to sit when at home?

It depends if I'm at home alone or with visitors.
We have a small room so I sit at the place as far away of the door to give people a feeling of space.

5. How did you come up with the title of your blog?

Quite clear, isn't it?

6. Tell us about the one who got away.

What do you mean?

7. Have you ever had a big birthday party?

No, not really and I would love to have a real surprise party.

8. What was the biggest bash you've ever attended?

Don't know.

9. With my kids and an always changing life, I find myself sometimes unable to focus! Do you have that problem, too?

Let's say I can't permit myself not to focus.
My son is autistic and he can't read faces. Expressions he doesn't understand he interprets as angry. So I have to translate a lot each day to prevent irritations.
When too many things are going on in my life I make choices. If that means my house is a bit more of a mess, so be it. Caring well for my kids always comes first.

Have a nice weekend!

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Conference calls

Sometimes it's impossible to get all members of an organising committee together.
I've been running organsiations for many years now, and my experience is that people are available when it's not necessary and people have loads of other appointments when they really need to be present at a meeting.

In the past that caused sometimes considerable problems as knowledge would be not at the place where it should be.

With the introduction of the first conference call things changed.
It became very easy to plan a meeting at lunch- or dinnertime, and meetings were more efficient as people didn't talk between each other.

Running a non-profit organisation became less of a burden as there was no need to dress myself up after dinner and doing the dishes and bicycle thorugh town to a meeting place.
I could stay at home take a cup of coffee, and either record the meeting and have someone else make a transcript or use the computer and send the transcript within minutes after the meeting, saving me even more time.

I can recommend confrence calls not only for meetings of organisations, but for some family meetings as well. It's a great way to enable all family members to have their say about, for instance, a birthday party.

Both home again

Both girls are at home again.
They've had a good time, were full of stories and were very, very tired.

One arrived yesterday evening when it was already dark.
And one arrived today, more than an hour later than expected.

It was nice to see them both very happy to see us, but it was really touching to see them greet each other. Twins are special and we could see that!

When we drove home it was fun to hear the comments, both yesterday and today.
Oh, what a clean air!
Oh, how flat our country is!
I would love to eat something normal.

At home the boys were waiting each day, and seeing each other again was a festive event.

And then the stories started.
Each samll paper out of the suitcase was part of a huge story.

And it was fun to hear them.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I'm kind of amazed that SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome, is a topic that has almost completely disappeared from the media.
It worries me, because it means that new parents might not be aware of the risks and the ways to prevent it.
There's enough about that on internet, so when you're interested you can easily find more information.

I realised this when I was reading a bout a new patient monitor.
Parents of children who died of SIDS are often confronted by having to use a vital signs monitor for their next child.
It doesn't prevent SIDS, but it does signal lack of breathing and a lowered or absent heart rate. Immediate reaction might return these functions to normal.

Brothers and sisters of babies that died from SIDS show a larger amount of these episodes that normal children.
It's still not known precisely why.

But it's good that parebnts are allowed a bit more rest, as these devices set off an alarm when things are not alright. So there's no need for parents to sit beside the baby when it's asleep.

Incoming games

Ordering online can be a stressful experience, especially when you're autistic.

My autistic son ordered two computergames online. One from a shop and one from someone he knows from an online game.

Since then he was almost glued to the doormat. :)

The game from the person arrived in two days.
He was so happy!

But within moments it changed.
The box was OK, but there was a different game in it than there should be.
He ran to his computer to mail the guy about his mistake. He was online and immediately offered to send the right game the same day.
Then the whole waitinggame started again.

In the meantime he got stressed by the way the online shop was treating the order.
First he didn't get any confirmation.
After a week he mailed them.
Oh yes, they did get his order, but they hadn't looked into it yet. They were busy.

After yet another week he mailed them again, asking them if he still would get the game for the discount he bought it with.
Oh yes, they loved customer's service.

After exactly another week, and not a second later, he mailed them again.
Oh yes, the order was still on, but they had to get some items from the international supplier.

One week more and he started to nibble at my brains with his constant complaints about that shop. As they also have a franchise here in the city I told him I would go there and ask his money back.
So he mailed them and asked his money back.
They told him he wouldn't get bare cash, but discount coupons worth that money.
My son was angry and told them he would inform the authorities because they took his online money and didn't refund it, but made him buy new items to get his money back. In his eyes it was fraud and he told them so.
Ther replied they would rethink it but that his order was still on.

A few days later he mailed them again.
Oh, sorry, the game was not available anymore.
He got angry because others who ordered later got the game already, and he mailed them so.
They were oh so sorry and would consider a complete refund.

But nothing arrived, no mail no refund.
So another mail was sent, in which my son stated that even though he's autistic he wants to be treated properly and with respect and that when matters wouldn't be resolved within a week he would inform one of those consumer's TV programs.

Then he got a mail stating that if he would wait please...they had ordered his game and they would receive it this week from their international supplier.

One way or another he had the feeling to look at their shipping page.
His game was already at the sorting centre...
That was yesterday.

This morning it arrived.


Half an hour later he'd won that very same game somewhere online.

Isn't that an unexpected plot to the story?

They're into cars

With boys around the house which are interested in cars - yes, they are at that age - a whole new world opens when they reach the legal age to drive.
One got the drivers license at the first exam, which is a huge accomplishment here.

The father of one of his friends works at a garage and the past days my son has been there to take photographs from people and equipment.
And now it's my turn. Not to be photographed, but to listen to his experiences.

The consequence is that I have to learn a lot of new words, brands and new understatements. He is patient with me and takes the time to explain. He should as I'm not the leats interested in cars.
But now I know the meaning of aem cold air intake, why the right front tyre might get a leak before the others tires will, what manifold exhausts are and a lot more.

It's nice to see the boys share their interests and I don't even mind expanding my knowledge to an area I don't even care for, but the best is that the group of friends that developed gradually from the moment they could walk is getting closer and closer. Cars, nor girlfriends break them up. In fact it all brings them closer together.

I hate disconnection!

I was enjoying my time at the largest autionsite of the world.
Yep, that 4 letter one.

I found a very nice knecklace and really really wanted to bid on it.
It was minutes away from closing, but I thought there was time enough to type in the amount of money I wanted to spend and confirm that.

And just when I wanted to press the confim button... the connection got lost.

I would have had just enough time to restart the whole computer and I tried, but it was not due to my computer that the connection was lost, but due to our provider.
They never warn us when they shut off the connection for maintenance or for other reasons, so...

Bye bye necklace.

Monday, April 4, 2011

2 missing girls are found

The two girls who didn't turn up when they had to leave from a two day trip to Paris have reported themselves to the French police.

The news just came in, so I have no further details.

All I know is that the parents will go to Paris to fetch them.

I wonder what they have done this weekend, and where they stayed.
They sure had not enough money to go back home themselves.

People were worried sick and I can only imagine what the parents and all others who knew them went through.

Kids at the age of 16, 17 sometimes make stupid decisions. Sometimes they're driven by something so much that they forget everything else.
I'm sure they have learned from this and otherwise they will.

Grown ups sometimes forget that kids are kids and are allowed to make mistakes.
It's part of growing up and getting life experience.
Sometimes however grown ups won't understand that and come to farreaching conclusions.

We're living in a country where mistakes are not easily forgiven and where childcare sometimes draws ridiculous conclusions with far reaching consequences, like outplacement.

I hope that in this case they won't hold the parents responsible for the stupidity of these girls.
They almost ripped out their parents' hearts, so no need for childcare to try to break up yet another family.

New development in Cityville

One of the most favorite games at Facebook is Cityville.
I guess it's played by so many people because it's highly interactive.
Each day people give gifts to others and receive them. Players can visit each other and earn points at the same time as delivering points to others, and to keep the game going one needs to visit the sites of others.

One of the older features is opening shops in the cities of others and opening shops of others in your own city. They're called franchises.

I'm playing the game for quite a while now and one of the sad things was that only 10 franchises could be opened in one's city.
Not knowing how the game develops people are giving away the places for franchise in the earliest stages of the game, and by that they miss the opportunities of more expensive shops later.

Recently however the amount of ten has been changes and now one can open 20 franchises in a city.
I'm very happy with that.

Now we only need a franchisegator to know where to go.

Schooltrips, and 2 kids lost in Paris

When we had a talk with school about responsibility it was like I used a dirty word.
I do think however that taking young people to a foreign country is a heavy responsibility and a school should take it serious.

As should the children.

People take so many things for granted nowadays that I think it's time parents and schools should be more conscious of their actions and their consequences.

To my utter amazement the school of the girls states the teachers were only responsible for the children during school hours.
The parents there would be responsible the rest of the time.

I wonder of these parents knew what they were in for.

It took quite some talking before the repsresentative of the school acknowledged the school is responsible for the pupils all the time during their trip abroad.

It was a statement.
Nothing more than that, because I don't think this school takes responsibility towards their pupils as something serious.
They don't care much for the feelings of the young people in their care. And they certainly have put the name of the school a lot higher on their agenda than the good name of my daughter, as we have learned in a bad way.
I wonder if they've thought about the trustworthyness of the parents our kids stay with.

"All went well the previous years", is not a guarantee.

Take for instance the short trips to cities in Europe. 1 or 2, or 3 to Paris or London for instance.
The school of the boys checked all the addresses a few weeks before the trip. One of the teachers paid a visit to all of them, discussed the special features of the pupils, of any, and during the trip he and his fellow teachers visited every evening at least three of the adresses, covering all pupils every day.
When I complimented him for doing this, I was in a position to be able to do so, he said he wanted to take his responsibilities serious. And he was not on a vacationtrip there.
The result of it all was that the kids behaved well, were able to discuss any problems and they were taken serious, whether it was homesickness, a decision to buy something expensive or medical issues.
Needless to say the teachers kept track of where the kids were, regardless of age.

It's also needless to say that not all kids on the schooltrips of the school of the girls are kept under close surveillance in a foreign country all the time.

Well, quite another school from the south of the country took their pupils to Paris.

Two girls never returned back to the waiting bus.

They're lost since friday afternoon.


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Utility Knife

A friend called today and asked if she was welcome for a few moments, because she had a question.

When she arrived I opened the front door and let her step into our small hall.
Before I could open the door to the livingroom she whispered: "What is a
utility knife?"
I looked at her full of surprise.
"What do you mean?"
"You've got boys, you know.. They use all sorts of things and I don't know what a utility knife is, and I feel so stupid."

So I told her it's a knife which is made for a special purpose, most of the time for more than one purpose. Like for opening boxes, or slicing perspex.

Then we went into the room and I showed the knife I've got in a drawer and which is used at our home to cut vinyl flooring and a lot of other things.

"Oh", she said. "That thing!
How on earth do you get that trapezium blade in?"
So I showed her, and told her that I didn't know how to do it a while ago, but that I found a video on a site that demonstrated how to do it."

She was quite relieved she could to it too.
Turned out her husband and sons had made fun of the fact that she didn't know anything about those safety knives

Well, she'll surprise them both, I'm sure of that!

Spain in spring

My daughter in Spain is doing well.
As expected she has some homesickness.
She's been away from home quite some times, with friends near home, but also with afriends further from home.
We've accepted it as being part of her and of the experience of being away.
The fact that some teachers sleep at her hosting family doesn't help the feelings.
Seeing so many familiar faces makes one look for those family faces too.

She's having a good time though, both with the spanish people and with her friends.
They've got a busy program and are seeing a lot.
They've learned to speak some spanish, which is always a good thing, and they've grown accustomed to the different mealtimes.

We can expect some souvernirs, she told us. So it's good she didn't take too much stuff with her. Now she can take more back.

Half a week to go and she'll be here again.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hey Nineteen

1. What was the best thing about being 19?

I started my studies and I was meeting a lot of interesting people.

2. Where would you go if you wanted to spark your creativity?

Right now to my computer, but other times to my musical instruments.
I would love to go to the mountains or to the sea.

3. Complete this sentence: I am embarrassed when... don't care so much about what others think than before, but I still don't like to cry in public.

4. Name 3 fads from your teenage years.

I don't quite understand what is meant by fads. If it means likes, than I liked dancing, hippy clothes and my friends.

5. What's the best birthday present you've ever had?

When all my best friends managed to be here at the same time.

6. What's your oldest possession?

I think the musicbooks of my family.
But I also have some nice items which were sold as old. Like a hipflask from 1678 or so.

7. Do you have any phobias?

I guess the usual ones of snakes and such.
I'm lucky not to have much self pity, so usually I face my fears and they won't get the chance to become a phobia.

8. This is pretty much the start of Spring (regardless of the snow in the east this week!); what's on your to-do list for the next few weeks to transition away from this long Winter we've been having?

OK, I'm painting the room, have to do the garden and ofcourse I have to change the clothes in the house.

9. Which of the 50 states in the U.S. would you rather die than live in?

I'm not American.

Have a nice weekend!

When you want to participate too or want to read what others wrote, just click the toplogo.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Autism Awereness Month 2011


It's autism awareness month again.

To my surprise there's not a lot of public interest in it this year. The media put the subject aside, and even though I understand the situation in Japan should get a lot of attention, I think we shouldn't forget the 5 to 10% of our population that deals with autism.

As an autism advocate and ambassador I spend a lot of time talking to parents of autistic children and giving them advice if possible.

What has become clear during the past years is that knowledge is slowly spreading, and that fasle knowledge is spreading faster.
I'm worried about the fact that people who work in the area of care and support think they know it all after a course of two weeks or even two days.

During the years I've become humble about my own knowledge as a psychologist, because autism presents itself in so many forms and severity, and parents deal with it in so very many different ways.

But one things still stands firm: parents know their children best and they respect a place as expert between all those who call themselves professionals.

School and office supplies

This morning a friend came to drink coffee and we had a good time together.

In the past we used to shop together and buy hotelpackages of soup, flour, detergent, etc etc.
At home we used to split the lot up and it worked very well. And it saved a lot of money.

But because zshe had such a different schedule from mine the trips together stopped and so did our shopping.

Today however she asked if it would be wise to start it again.
Now her children go to secondary school too she needs schoolsupplies and the costs are a bit too much.
She asked me if I knew a place to shop together for discount office supplies.
Oh yes... I do.

One of my friends owns a paper and once a year we have a special day out updating our knowledge about what's available that might improve the lives of his employees.
So we test chairs and tables, look for closets, magazinestands, coffeemakers and ofcourse office supplies.
I knew he was about to order this weekend, so it won't be a problem to add my friend's requests. In fact, I am making a list myself.

It's important that friend's help each other during these expensive times.
We do!

They tried to rob that shop again!

Last year some people robbed one of the grocerystores two times.
It's a small shop. The people who run it work very hard and many hours to keep it going.
But maybe because it's small it's a target for people who just don't care about the lifelyhood and the feelings of others.

Because one of the larger shops at the same shopping corner was targetted too, the group of shopowners bought surveillance cameras.


Last night three men tried to push through the front wall with a car.
The stupid guys used a small car, otherwise they couldn't get near the shop.

They drove the backside against the front of the shop, but couldn't get through the security fence.

Then they left.

The car was found today near the shop.

The shop itself was damaged.
Not only the front side of the shop was unstable. Even the ceiling threatened to come down.
Luckily a builder came immediately and supported the whole lot.

I feel so sorry for those poor people.
They must feel very insecure now and freightened.

The police has an easy job.

All was on suerveillance camera.

Mounts and discount

One of my sons lives at a house with 6 others.
Because it's a kind of supported living (they're coached for a few hours a week) they're not allowed to make any changes to the house, nor their rooms, without permission of the very large organisation that owns the house.

The lock of the door of the toilet broke and it took weeks before it was repaired.

Sometimes I can interfere with success because their administration and workplanner have money-signs in their eyes. All they can think about is how much money some things cost.

Like the time when a house-meeting resulted in complaints about not having enough floorspace.
My son suggested to put the TV's, radio's and speakers on mounts, and the idea was welcomed with applause.

The organisation however was completely against it, because of the costs.
So I asked around, researched a bit and found out that with a large number of orders a nice discount could be given by Peerless.
So we talked with people of the other houses of the organisation and they were happy with the idea too, so we proposed to buy and install peerless mounts to the organisation. Ofcourse we presented a pile with requests, and ofcourse people started to call right after we left the meeting.

It worked.
The investment was made and it sure has paid off.

April's fool?

It's april the first and time for joking.

I think I've got the one of our local paper. In an article people are warned they can't pay electronically today as the system is down all over the country.

I haven't seen a message of the national newsservice today. But maybe it's the article in which we're told we can't do as much with our income as last year. I sure hope it's an april 1 joke, as we have to struggle enough at the moment.

The Guardian announced they were calling back all reporters from abroad to enable them to write all the news about the new royal couple. They went even as far as to scetch a possitive image of the future king, which in the light of their antipathies towards him should be part of the joke too.

The northern part of our country uses a different language than dutch and today it was announced they would broadcast in dutch from today. They even used dutch for a complete hour, so some people went completely nuts, a friend from that area of The Netherlands told me.
I can't understand they didn't see through that joke as everyone knows they fought a hard battle to keep their language the main language there.

Our main beer firm, also known from the high quality export beer announced the introduction of a beerpad. The system would be the same as that used for coffeepads, but the result would be cold bear with the proper layer of foam.
I'm sure quite some people would love to have bought beerpads. LOL!

One of the local gardenshops announced a snakeshow with gardenhoses.
Many people came to see the snakes and were welcomed at a gardenhoze show with hoses presented as snakes.

With the girls abroad it´s no fun to have an april 1 joke here. Autists take jokes like those literally and it would take me ages to explain my joke.

Maybe I´d better let the teachers from school who are with my daughter know I´ll visit for the weekend. Haha. They won´t be trilled by that. LOL!

Nails and fashion

Gradually the attention of fashion in the magazines is shifting from propagating diets and dietpills, like adapexin-p, to nails and all sorts of ways to make them shine and decorate them.

About 40 years ago decorated nails were the main issue too.
I used to buy sets of small blue or purple flowers at one of the largest shops in town, and glue them on my nails and cover them with three layers of transparent nailpolish. One flower on each nail. That was it.

The ways nails are decorated nowadays is amazing.
First new artificial nails are glued on the natural nail, and sometimes these new ones are decorated already.
Otherwise the new nail is decorated with all sorts of interesting items. OK, the flowers are still available. But now women can use bling bling in all colours and sizes and the artificial nail can even be perforated and a ribbon can be woven through the holes.
Add to it all sorts of nailcolours and the resulting nails are pure art.

I love it!