Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where is he?

Remember I wrote about a dear friend who is fighting cancer?
Yesterday my son, who works for his paper, told me he will be absent from the paper for seven to nine months.

Well, his wife won't be pregnant, and we can't think of anything else, than that the cancer is back and he'll be ondergoing chemotherapy again.
He's the kind of person who doesn't want to bother other people and wants to ignore his feelings completely. So when there's a problem he dives away and can't be found by his best friends.

I've learned to respect his way of coping, even though I don't agree.

This time we saw it coming and two weeks ago we had a nice evening together.
I'm very grateful for these memeories.

I'm also happy I was able to keep my mouth shut and I didn't ask him about his health.
Maybe, maybe he realises that and he'll follow up on his promiss to attend the friends- and family BBQ.

When I was preparing dinner my thoughts were with him, and when using my large knife to cut vegetables, I was not paying enough attention and I badly hit my thumb. Ofcourse I reacted immediately and well. The wound bled out well and then I was able to press the wound together under pressure, so the bleeding stopped after a while.
I hope it keeps OK during the night. Otherwise I need to go to the doc and have it stitched.

I didn't need this as there's far too much to do at home at the moment.
With the kids at school there's finally time to make huge changes in the house. And that also involves cleaning. Sigh. I have to stay away from the water for at least a couple of days. Grrrr.


Monday, August 29, 2011

First schoolday

They only needed to go to school to fetch the schedules and meet their group and groupteacher, but that didn't mean they needed less time to prepare.
Girls and fashion, was the main theme this morning.
Were they lucky to be expected at school at 13.00 hours instead of 8.30 hours.

Those extra hours of preparation paid off though.
Their hairs were done to the latest fashion, their denim jeans looks fine, especially with the yellow box sandals to complete the legs.

Last year all their friends were wearing the same top, this year they had the same shoes.
Don't think no one saw them. Everyone saw them at the end of the endless legs.

Ofcourse we had to deal with administrative errors. One of the girls got two different schedules, the other was suddenly a subject richer. She didn't make the choice for music, but someone else did.

Tomorrow they'll start with a relaxing day with their group and group teacher. But it'll be a long day.
I bet I will miss them.

Meeting a piece of Mali

He stood up and walked to the front of the house when he saw us coming across the field. That was when he knew we were visiting him.

Ça va?
Bien, merci.

I realised I forgot to imagine how his voice would sound, and that I never had been nervous. All the time I knew he would be in the country I knew I had to meet him, and so we stood before him.

We looked each other in the eyes and there was absolutely nothing strange. two different cultures, different colours, different languages.
we must have made a different impression that the other guests, as the translator didn't step forward.

We agreed on speaking french, as far as we could, and maybe add a few words of english. he thanked me in my own language and we all smiled.

He invited us in the house.
Standing away from the other people we explained why we wanted to meet him and he understood and was delighted. It was like meeting someone I had known for all my life and he felt the same towards us.

He wanted to take a photo and for the first time in ages I looked nice on a photo.
We exchanged adresses, telephone numbers and he didn't stop telling us we were welcome to visit him in Mali and we should do so.
His smile was warm, and his hands were cold.
What can you expect from an african in europe, he joked.

When we left we knew we had made a friend and we felt inspired and rich and somewhat strange because he had been so familiar to our feelings.
Such a famous man, who has travelled all over the world who took the time to meet us with his heart and to whom we will be forever connected.


Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sharing a car is not always fun, but sometimes all is well in the end.

Our son needed the car for the weekend, and we were not happy with it. We had plans.

One of the girls needed to go somewhere and we couldn't go there by bus, as the busstop was to far away from the place she needed to be.
The oldest jumped in and said he would bring her by bicycle.

The weather was so terrible that they decided not to go when they were already on their way. The rain was too much.
They went to town, had a look at a historical event which was disappointing due to the weather and then went to have dinner together at the home of the oldest. What a nice way to spend the afternoon and early evening.

We, here, got the groceries in, and had our dinner too.
Then suddenly we got a call. The car was available.

So we can bring our daughter to the two day event after all. Dry, and from door to door.
And as tomorrow will be extra special, our daughter won't have missed anything. On the conteary, if she would have gone today, she would have missed the final events.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday 9

1. Have you ever been on the wrong side of the law?


2. What was the last thing you described as either “surprisingly good” or “surprisingly bad?”

Just this evening I saw a kid of 11 years at a talent show and she truly was a reincarnation of a great singer. She threw everyone of the chair. She was so good!

3. When was the last time you unintentionally surprised someone else?

I always surprise people. LOL!

4. When was the last time you deliberately surprised someone else?

I brought my girls a pendant today. They liked it.

5. What was the last really funny movie you watched?

Don't know. It sure has been last christmas, but which movie it was?

6. What is something that you've never done that you secretly are dying to do?

It's no secret I would love to jump parachute.
It's a secret I would love to go on a flight with a ww2 Lancaster, because my dad flew on it.

7. What do you hope is different in your life by August 2012?

Everything. I love changes, and I would love to go to the UK and live there.

8. Who is the last person you greeted at your door?

My second son.

9. If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

Don't know, because all have their pros and cons.

Have a nice weekend!

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

Friday, August 26, 2011

He's looking for a job in his profession, she's not.

One of our sons finished his studies as security guard.
It's a pity that at the hospital where he worked no empty workplaces were available. So he started to look around and went to the organisation that is supposed to help people find work.

He went with his father and they had a talk with a nice woman who offered to pay for his driver's license when he could hand her the guarantee of an employer that he would have work for at least a year.

So he wrote applications. But it's summervacationtime and not many have fully working personell services.
And things are not settled within a week.

She we less nice at the second appointment. Took her words back that she would pay for his driver's license. She now said she would put it forward in a meeting.
And she told him that he should consider other work, like wharfbuilding and such.

Both his father and he were flabbergasted and didn't know what to say.

My son studied another subject before security, but due to the recession he couldn't find a place for practical training and he had to stop there.
I guess that woman forgot that, otherwise she would never have tiold him to look for another profession. Here in The Netherlands people are only allowed a limited amount of time to study and my son has used almost all that time.
That would mean that he has to spend the rest of his life doing a job where he is not certified for, so that means a life of underpayment and threat of lossing his job as the first one. Not a very secure basis, isn't it?

Instead of helping my son to find work after his studies she acts like he came there to ask for another profession.

Because I've heard the same story from other people too, I've mailed her and asked her to explain her actions.

I guess the vacation is over now.
The girls will get their schoolbooks tomorrow.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The toothbrush

The girls left for a party at a friend, where they also stay the night with their friends.
When they'd left one of the boy s suddenly realised he didn't see his toothbrush and he told me to phone the girls and tell them to come back.

Haha! No way!

He was sure one of them took his toothbrush.
He was not worried about her getting some terrible disease when she would use his toothbrush, but he was angry it was his toothbrush she took.

I told him he would get a new one as I had a package in my drawer, and when he started to ask me what kind of toothbrush I walked away.

An hour later I looked in the new bathroom cabinet, and guess what I found?
An old toothbrush which was identified by his majesty himself as being his one.
When I tell you I asked if he's brushed his shoes with it, you know how it looked like. The hairs bended to all sides but the good one.

Without any words I gave him a new one too.

Now I wonder which one he'll use tonight. LOL!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

He needed pills.

It was good I went offline last evening, because the weather was really bad.
It thundered and lightened all night and I hardly slept.

So I was in time up and around to go with one of the girls to the dentist.
I was not quite happy our usual one didn't discuss sending them to a new one in his practice. He should have, as one of the girls has some inborn dental errors. The new guy nearly had a fit when he saw them and he went to our usual dentist with all his emotions on top, as one of the assistants told us. She nearly asked him if he wanted some tranquilizers or weight loss pills to alleviate the burden on his heart.

The new guy still has a lot to learn.
He almost fell on top of us asking if we knew that and if we'd gone to the orthodontist, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, ofcourse!!!

He could have a bit more tactical. I'm so glad he wasn't the one who discovered it all.

He agreed completely with our decision to opt for implants when she's 18, and have a cap on one of the teeth.
After that he finally came to rest enough to be able to work on the hole in her tooth. LOL!

When we left it was rather dark outside, like it was about to rain.
But it was quite warm and we took our time.
We even managed to take the first chestnuts of the year with us and took our time to study the sky. Lightning already started, and it came from everywhere when we entered the garden and the first drops of rain fell on us.

Nothing special these days.
But then it got very dark, as dark as late in the evening and we needed to switch the lights on to see where we were going in the house.

The weather was awful!

Later we heard that lightning struck a house near where my oldest lives. We've heard the thunder.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The warning came in time

The friendly summerweather we used to have is a memory of the past.
No, I haven't forgotten those grey days with the eternal lasting soft drizzle that soaked everything, including the good temper of all who dared to enter the outer space.
But it was a mild disaster during a long vacation, and we didn't care to spend a day with colouringbooks and puzzles.

The past years the weather has changed, or should I say the climate?
In spring we had two or three weeks of old fashioned summerweather and then the monsoonseason we shouldn't have as we live in the wrong part of the world started.
Enormous amounts of water falling down with force, destroying the roses, young apples and closing the ground before it could even get soaked leaving us afterwards with such a high humidity that we could almost touch it.

Gradually we're encountering the same conditions as in the hurricane alley.
Rising high temperatures, meeting a thick conversionlayer, giving rise to forceful dropping winds and lots of thunder and lightning.
It's not only the hot summer evening that leads to bad weather, but also the moderate grey day and it's as if we're not living in our old fashioned sea climate anymore.

Just a few minutes ago a friend warned me that bad weather was coming our way.
His night seemed to be almost day, he said, and he meant that lightning was repeating and long lasting.

It's here now.
Long bars of yellow light crossing the sky in a hurry.

I have to go now, so I can switch of the washing machine and prevent unwanted situations.



Monday, August 22, 2011

Wrong news!

The TV news came with the message that Khadaffi was caught and in prison.
I was amazed as none of the other newsagencies came with the same message.
I could only find that two sons of Khadaffi were caught.

Maybe I'm too old fashioned, but when a fact like that is launched I want to see it acknowledged.
So I called a fellow friend journalist and he was as amazed as I am. Even though it was rather late and he usually was asleep at that time, he got on the phone and checked and checked and came back to me telling that I was right... he wasn't caught yet.

How trustworthy is a newsagency when it doesn't check it's news?

A while ago I saw it took other news, and prestented it, sometimes 3 days later, as actual news.
I'm glad that it's not allowed anymore and they will be fined if they do it again.
Now they lack news, it seems.

But no nows is better than wrong news, don't you agree?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'

1. In a relationship, have you ever hung in even when you knew for sure it was over?

Yep, because a relationship comes in different kinds and I think that when you can change a friendship into a relationship you can change it back too. or in other words: learn and move on in respect for what was and in respect for what is.

2. If you had the ability to perpetually alleviate any pain on your body, what would it be?

My left hip always hurts. Most of the time I can deal with it well, but it's not convenient.

3. What place would you visit if money were no object?

Nepal, Tibet, Mali, the north/ or southpole...Oh I can go on for hours!

4. What is one thing you would love to change about yourself?

Just one thing?

5. Do you think your parents were too strict growing up?

Uh? Huh? Is that english?
Do you mean if they were too strict in raising me?
My mom was far too fixated in keeping the house clean that she forgot to live in it.

6. In general, how many old friends do you have that you talk to at least once a year?

When I count them I will wait for them.
Enough, that's the best answer for me, enough.

7. What was the last compliment you received?

Just a few minutes ago one of the kids said that she was happy with me as a mom, as I'm always available to have a good talk.

8. Have you ever told someone you loved them but didn't really mean it?


9. In your opinion, would it be harder to lose someone close to you more as a child or harder as an adult?

What a disrespectful question.
Every grief is painful and it's not a contest.

I've miscarried, lost a child during birth and one after two days.
I also lost my dad, my favorite gram, dear friends and a lot of others.
Each person was important in his or her own way.

Have a nice weekend!

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

The cabinet

For quite a while now we wanted a new closet/cabinet in the bathroom. You know, one that fits under the tap.

Last time we saw an affordable one one of our sons needed it far more than we, so he bought it.
They had only one available.

Yesterday we found out that one of the shops was going to sell ones today, and we asked our son to fetch one, as it was his turn to use the car.
Ofcourse that wasn't a problem.

All day I waited for him to deliver the package, but nothing happened.
After dinner he called he would come after the bad weather would have gone.

It was bad weather indeed.
Lots of lightning and especially lots of vertical lightning.
In Belgium people were killed because of it.
Here internet stopped for a short while.

When the worst was over our son delivered the package.
It was very heavy and we sure will have a far more luxurious piece of furniture tomorrow after I've assembled it.

I saw at his face that there was a story to tell.
Turned out he went to a shop and asked one of the people there to have a look at the storeroom. That was done, but no closet was found.
They took the leaflet and it turned out he was at the wrong shop.

When he was at the right shop there were only three ones left.
They only had 15 ones for today, so we are very lucky.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to the past

After seeing people for many years focussing on the future, it's intriguing to see the change that is taking place.
Maybe it's a consequence of the recession that people are more willing to see what they've got instead of listing what they want.
Maybe it's not even looking to what their wealth is, but it's a cheer wish to innovate and a complete lack of creativity.

Fact is that old ideas are embraced again or even presented as completely new.

Take for instance education.

Last week suddenly the idea popped up to make special classes for girls and boys, because boys have an intellectuial backlag on girls.

I've had my basic education in mixed classes, but after that went to a girls' school.
Me oh my. I felt like being imprissoned, because there were so many rules and regulations that were made to fit girls and education was far less interesting. I missed the discussions on scientific subjects, for instance.
I praised myself lucky that soon after I attended that school there was a merger with the boys school and I was part of a mixed class again. Boys were not really behind, they had a different way of acquiring knowledge and they and different interests, but in the end we did the same exams and the results were comparable.

I don't understand the wish to create different classes again, because the last years the trend has been to more individualised education. So any differences might be tackled without problems.

But I guess that the very same minister who inititated these changes when she was secretary of state, now works towards saving money and throwing the pupils on piles with one teacher education the large numbers is cheaper.

Interesting is that some people think that making seperate classes will also have large political consequences, because certain religions like to have seperate casses, to influnece women to stay at home again.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Movement of being

When our little baby died I was afraid she would be forgotten.

In a way she is.

The people who came to visit on the anniversary of her death have disappeared in life or have died themselves.
Those who have held her when she was alive remember her.

But for all others she was a name on a calendar, and as the calendars are renewed her name has disappeared.

It doesn't matter, I know now.

It's the never ending movement of being. And like all living creatures she's part of it.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Need I say more?

There once was a time that drilling straight through a wall was a major, unforgivable disaster. Doing it twice was complete failure of manhood. LOL! (Until we heard more men in this neighbourhood drilled straight through a wall...)

Since then life has taught us some interesting lessons.
One of them was that a kid can make a mistake and be forgiven by her parents, but that people with power can and will act upon their own views, feel no need to distinguish between fact and fiction and act like their own ideas are more important than real life itself.
I still feel amazed that in a western country power is in the hands of people who are not able to use thorough self-reflection, not at the individual level and not as a professional group.
We entered a way of living we didn't expect to experience and its sad to say that I discovered a world of suffering so deep, that I have no words for it. The stories people have told me won't be kept untold, but it will take many years for changes to take place, as some people rather protect their livinghood than stare their own mistakes in the face.
Worse: other people act on their writings like they are the ultimate truth.

Well, even though they have influneced our lives in a very bad way I can say it's their karma.

I feel hurrt they could even assume we would hurt our children, but they don't know our deepest feelings and I didn't feel any need to share them with those people.
No need to be confronted again with their lack of empathy and compassion.

Today it was 24 years ago that a lovely baby girl was born.
The colour of her eyes was that of the water of the lake nearby.
During the night she looked around like she was imprinting her surroundings in her memory. She studied my face with utter care.
Don't tell me babies can't see. That would only make her more special.

She died the next day.

We were devastated.

After such an experience children become even more precious.

Need I say more?


Monday, August 15, 2011

Maternity clothing not just for pregnant women

Shall I tell you a secret?
Whenever I go shopping I always have a good look at the maternity clothing. Especially the blouses.


They're not made in such large quantities as normal fit, and because of that they're more in fashion and you won't encounter a woman with the same item as often as when you buy something from a regular size.

I often encounter women who compliment me with my blouse and ask where I've bought it.
Almost without exception they're dealing with a normal figure with wide hips. With regular sizes there's a choice between too wide at the top or too small at the hips. Most of them wear a t-shirt with an open blouse over it and they're dying to wear something nice that fits.

Sometimes I have to make a slight adjustment. because there's plenty of space for the baby in the front of the blouse, it hangs a little lower in the front when I wear it compared to the back. You have to adjust it between the two side-seams. Usually folding it in a straight line and seaming it along that line will do. But you have to make sure before cutting first.

When you know your sizes you can buy online without any problem. There are so many beautiful maternity clothes in comfortable fabric that I'm sure you'll be able to find something.



This morning one of the neighbouring kids rang the front door bell and asked for the girls to come out to play.
I'm used to that.
For 25 years now kids call at the door for my kids.
When we came to live here it was our choice to live in a young neighbourhood, and going to the door many times a day was part of it all.

But I thought it was have stopped by now.

Turns out some of the children in the neighbourhood feel bored often.

They all have large rooms with lots of toys and books, the latest computergames. Some even have their own TV. They've got plenty of family around, memories of a vacation in a far country, etc etc.

Yet, they prefer to ask my kids to drop everything and spend time with them.
Suddenly they're interested in traditional games, and other things to spend their time.

My girls have to make a choice between them and a thousand other things to do.
They're never bored.
The time I've spend with them to teach them how to play, how to think to find something to do, has paid off.
I've been reading at least an hour a day with them, and now they love reading. Last week I was told that one of them took the time to read for her small child to keep it quiet when her mom had a headache. Isn't that nice?

Problem of never being bored is that at the end of the vacation there's still a lot to do.
The list of "what-to-do" is always too long, because my kids can keep themselves busy.

So I'm going to call them and tell them one of the kids of the neighbourhood asked for them.
For the first time in a week a bleak sun is appearing.
I'm sure my friend has the lemonade ready in the back garden.


Smoking a cigar is special.

Last week the media reported that cigarette smoking has declined below the 25%. A lowest percentage of the population since WW2.
I was a bit amazed, as there are so many people standing outside public buildings smoking a cigarette, that I would have believed that the highest percentage smokers ever was reached.

Maybe one of the reasons is that more people, including women, have discovered fuente cigars.
One of my uncles smoked them and he said they were the best.
He preferred one large cigar above a few packages of cigarettes, he always said.

So did we, women, around him.
The whole ritual of taking a cigar out of the box, taking the tip off, receiving the band (yes, I collected them) and lightning it, was calming and a bit of magic.
The fragrance, not the smell, the fragrance of the cigar would fill his office gradually, his face relaxed, and often he would open his drawer and take something out for those present.

He travelled a lot and never forget the people he loved.
I remember one afternoon in summer. We had sold a few bicycles and one motorbike. I was five, and had the feeling I was as much a part of everyday business, when I was there, as everyone else.
He opened his drawer and called the others who were in the shop and repairstation.
The men were inviated for a drink after work, and then send off.
The women all got a lace handkerchief. They were awesome.
I've kept mine and it's still in the box. A silent memory of times gome by.

He also gave me a set of handkerchiefs for every day use with the names of the day on them.

I remember sitting there with a glas of lemonade, between the tea drinking women. The delightful fragrance of his cigar surrounded us and mixed with the chatter of us all.
It could have been just a teabreak, but it was pure relaxation.

An art many people have forgotten.

Should mom volunteer?

Should mom volunteer at the building camp of her kids?

It's one of the questions I've been asked this week.

We don't have as much summer events, camps and summerschool here as in many other countries. Children have to play together or when they're lucky they can go with their parents on vacation.

During the last week of the vacation day activities are organised at many places, mainly building events.
Children between 6 and 12 are provided with wood, fabric and other things they need and the larger ones are allowed to nail the whole lot together, under supervision, so they won't endanger themselves nor others.

Volunteers are always welcome.
So it's easy to say for a mom, when she's got the time, that she wants to volunteer.

Ofcourse she should do so when she likes it. Why not?
But should she do it at the group of her child?

She can watch her kid, comfort it when it gets hurt, and keep an eye if it drinks and eats enough.

But there's a big "but".

Events like these are great opportunities for your child to compare their behaviour with kids their own age, to level with them and to learn age appropriate behaviour.
The best way is dealing with kids their own age, without mom influencing spontaneity at all.

Children also need to learn independency.
Going to school is one step. Going to a building event is another.
Children not only deal with familiar children, but also with new ones.
They learn to know each other, depend on each other and care for each other.

There is enough supervision for mom not to be around and give her child some space.

If she still wants to volunteer she can do so at another building event or at the other side of the area.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Best Friend's Girl

1. Have you and a friend ever have an argument because you were attracted to the same person?

But I had the new fiancee of a very good friend tell me off. I told her that she needn't worry... I was just back from my honeymoon. LOL!

2. Who never returns your phone calls?

I hate the phone, so I don't often call and I never expect people to call me back.

3. What was your favorite childhood toy?

A fabric doll and an iron.

4. Who is the last person you greeted at your door?

One of my best friends.

5. Would you change anything about your life right now?

I want to start a meditation centre or an autism family coaching centre in either scotland or mid-wales with like minded people.

6. Who is the easiest person for you to talk to?

A friend who knows me for over 40 years now. Pity I don't see him as often as I would like.

7. If you could live in any ancient city during the height of the quality of its society and culture, which one would you choose?

I've learned not to care anymore for socalled quality of society and culture. Some societies think they're so high standing, whereas in fact the individual people struggle and the poor are neglected, kids bully at school and grown ups gossip and judge other people.

I would like to live in Tibet before the invasion.

8. What is the most exciting event you’ve ever witnessed?

It was not as much exciting, as it was sad and happy: when a baby was born silent and the midwife and I rubbed it to revive it. It worked!

9. What do you consider the ideal age to have a first child?

There's no ideal age.
I've seen an 18 year old couple raising their children in a very responsible way and theyre now a happy bunch, and I've seen older people messing up.
The best age is when you're able to carry the responsibility for a new life and a new future and when you're able to see it's not about you.

Have a nice weekend!

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

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Talent shows

We're surrounded by talent shows.
Singing, ballroom dancing, ballet and even cooking are all subject for display on the screen.

The whole country is gazing at people who either firmly believe they're better than others or who want to try to get attention.

Their rockingchair opinions and comments are underlined by seemingly professional judgments of people who are either real or wannabee professionals and should be subjected to judgment themselves.

Here in one of the shows a woman who has been a singer and a pin-up, and who has never ever left her artistical comfort zone of sing-a-longs and middle rate songs, judges people with real talent as being boring and comments on the Peer Gynt Suite in a way that brings every music lover either to tears or an outburst of sarcastic laughter. She judges singers, dancers and other artists like she knows it all. And she clearly doesn't.

I'll save my comments on the other judges for later. If necessary, because they're of the same background.

I don't understand why people watch these shows.

Friday, August 12, 2011

How it's made

Confronted with the most terrible vacationweather one could imagine we're doing things we almost never do.
I'm not talking about boardgames or something like that, but about watching TV.

One of the most favorite programs is an Australian one: How it's made.

It's about the way products are made in factories. In details the whole productionprocess is shown and explained.
Not only extraordinary products are shown, like champaign or carrying bags for golf equipment, but also every day products like pencils, baking pans and bicycles.

I grew up in a time that we saw the planter plant, and the farmer milking the cows himself. I was able to stay beside the shoemaker and see how he was sowing the soles on the rest of the shoe. I always forgot the time when I was able to see good handcrafter work. And it came in handy later in life. No need to spend a lot of money to have my schoolbags made. I could do it myself. I've even made shoes myself.

But where can you go nowadays to see something made step by step?

It's nice to see the same fascination that caught me so many years ago is still alive in the children.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


It's supposed to be vacation, but the weather has forgotten it needs to be nice.
It's grey and gloomy almost all the time. Today the wind was forceful, but humid, so the laundry didn't dry after all.

The girls were to friends to spend a day camping.
They had a swim at the pool in the early morning sun, but the thunderclouds became so bad they had to get out of the water.

Some of us are tired and feeling like we're having a cold.
I'm not sure if it's really a cold or the result of hayfever or some other allergy.
This weather is not healthy, as it's far too humid.

I want the children to eat lots of fruit and I'm very careful with food. because we're with a lot bread and other products disappear soon. Some of my friends are complaining about lots of mold in the food and that they have to throw away a lot. So we're lucky.

But it's not really a vacation.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Stop generalising!

It makes me feel so sad that youngsters are riotting in England and destroying the possessions of others.
It's so meaningless.

But what makes me even feel worse is the fact that people of my generation are starting to talk like those old fashioned grans of us many, many years ago. You know, the ones who said that telephones were of no use and who didn't know that smoking was bad, and they brought up healthy kids nevertheless.

They saw young people in the sixties and seventies using emtpy houses, wearing strange clothes and throwing smoke bombs on the streets. Those were not the same people per se, but for the use of bad talk it was easy to throw them all together.
Those young people would become nothing much, it was said. They were crap, bad news, etc etc.

Now most of them wear suits, are proper fathers and mothers and do well.

I remember I hated it when those old-aunts bowed their heads above their teacups with bitter black tea and started to talk about young people like we were all the same and like we were all smashing the windows of freedom and democracy ourselves.
No wonder they were surprised by my good schoolresults. (And I always assumed it was because they thought that a girl with my looks would never be able to use her brains.)

I have never ever thrown a stone to a human being. Honest.
I never took part in riots. Too afraid to do so.
And I was just part of the huge majority of young people who behaved well and who respect other people and were nice, very nice. Maybe too nice.

My gram stood up for me and my majority and told the people of her age to grow up and use their brains and not to generalise.

It's my turn now.

Stop generalising!
Yes, it's awful what's happening at some places in the UK.
Yes, I do think they've completely lost it.

But don't you dare to speak of a lost generation!

I've got a nice bunch of kids who would never ever do something like that.
Nor would their friends and their friend's friends.

The majority of the kids of today are good kids.
Wonderful young people who deserve our trust and respect.

Stop generalising!

Don't let a small, very small numer define a whole generation.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No camping

The girls were invited to camp out with a couple of their friends at the place of one of their grandparents.
They had everything packed and ready and the phone went.
Plans were changed. They were invited for the day, but not for the nights.

So they had to unpack most of their campinggear and could take their small rugsack with them with their stuff.

They would be fetched between 9.30 and 10.30. (Nono, no need to bring them.)
Nothing happened and in my mind I was already making plans to give them a nice day and erase the disappointment, when finally at 12 they were fetched.

I'm glad there's no need for me to catch a train with these people.
Ofcourse I think they have the right excuse for dealing with their invitation this way, but kids that age make plans and have a lot of fun beforehand and it was all for nothing.

When they came home they were tired, but told us they had a good day, even though they had a thunderstorm twice (like we did) and a lot of rain.

I'm happy for them.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Cheap glasses

This summer is the most surprising and strange summer we've ever had.
Well, OK, we haven't seen snow...yet...but that's about all we haven't had.

We've had the highest and lowest temparature records and the driest and wettest months.

Now we've got a car we try to escape the bad weather by going to either an indoor shopping centre or something like that, or we're confronted with very hot and humid weather which asks for special clothing and accessories.

Because the sunglasses for the drivers stay in the car we wanted cheap sunglasses of high quality.
Ofcourse we put them in the glovecompartment when we leave the car, but there are so many burglaries the past months that I think it't wise to take into account that someone mighht get into the car and take the replica Ran Ban Sunglasses for the real ones.
Already when my daughter came from Turkey she said that those classes can't be distinguished from the real ones, and she's right. Just two weeks ago a friend's care was broken into in the middle of the night and all she missed were her sunglasses and a booklet with discounts for the carwash.

Well, now those glasses can be bought both in the USA and overseas for 9 dollars, and very low shipping fees (third one for free) it's well worth to order an extra pair matching your summerclothes. In our case we each ordered a pair matching our raincoat, as rain is expected for the complete next week.

Happy vacation!

So nice

Back from putting papers away, getting letters from the mailbox and giving the plants some well deserved water at a friend's house, a neighbour asked me about my mala.

I often wear my mala, my buddhist prayer beads, either at my left wrist or just around my neck. Most often around my neck as a neckace, so they won't get dirty during my work.
It's not to show off, or make other people aware I'm a buddhist. It's just because I like to have them with me. That's all.

The neighbour of my friends asked me if I was wearing those beads just for fun or with an intention. So I told her and told her that I collect them too.
She smiled. And told me she was also collecting malas.
Isn't that a coincidence?

We had a good talk about the way we see life and live it, and then she said she liked my children very much. She doesn't know the boys well, but she can always see the children play and visit the children of my friend.
"They're such a nice and kind children. They're so caring and are always willing to help others. They're so nice."

I was so glad to hear that.
Especially as it came from here.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight

1. Have you ever lost a lover and spent way too much time wondering what they were doing?

Yep. And it didn't help any of my feelings.

2. What was your favorite vacation ever?

With my dad to England, visiting the family he was with during WW2, travelling wityh a few old mates of him and that family through all of the UK, and then spending a long time in London.
So now you know why I want to go back and feel my roots are there.

3. Do you like surprises? If yes, what kinds? Or are you one of those people who absolutely has to know what's going on before it happens?

I love small, but beautiful, presents. I'm happy with a set of 1 euro earplugs, or with an old fountainpen for my collection. Ofcourse I will appreciate that enormous diamond too, if it ever arrives. LOL!
My wish is a surprise party, so no, I don't need to now things beforehand. I'm not much of a routine person, but I love to live each day as it comes.

4. Have you ever written a poem? Feel free to share one. Or even a dirty limerick is OK.

Plenty, even published. I don't think poetry should be translated, not to english from my language...

5. Did anything interesting show up in your mail lately besides the bills?

Leaflets, advertisements. That's it.

6. How many of your friendships have lasted more than ten years? Which of your current friends do you feel will still be important to you ten years from now? Family members don't count.

I don't count friends, I feel their friendship.
My oldest friend has been my friend for far over 40 years and when he lives long enough he'll be my friend on this earth over 10, 20, 30 40 and 50 years too.
He's terminally ill though.

7. Do you own a pet? If so, do you buy them presents for holidays? Do you consider your pet(s) spoiled? If you don't own one, do you think you will one day?

No pets, only kids. I buy them presents for holidays, or more...during holidays.
I will own a pet when I live in Scotland.

8. It's Friday afternoon and you're planning your weekend. What's on your agenda on a hot August night?

Depends on if people are BBQ-ing outside or not. I like to sit in the garden, but when the BBQ's are on my asthma gets in the way, so I have to sit inside.

9. What's your worst nervous habit?

Maybe observing others to distract myself.

I'm not sure.

Have a nice weekend!

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

A dress and girls

Today we went with one of the girls shopping.
Her sister enjoyed some additions to her wardrobe last week and ofcourse we want them both to have about the same.

Today was her turn.
She wanted to go to a small town, because they have a lovely candyshop there.

She was very happy to find it back and ofcourse made her choice.
I didn't take anything as the sweets were moist, due to the high humidity and the bagged ones were far too expensive.

We also visited a very nice shop with a marine theme. I especially liked the lighhouses and a very nice waxseal.

In a small shop she bought denim trousers, and a nice dress.
She had a smaller size, but just in time I discovered an ugly spot. The owner tried to remove it, which didn't work out, and didn't offer a discount. So we decided to buy it one size larger and if necessary I would adjust it at home.

I planned to work in the garden today, but it didn't happen. Well, there are more days to do so.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Being a foreigner

One of the main things we feel is important in raising children is giving them the experience that they can take care of themselves in a foreign country.
We haven't been able to take long vacations elswehere and ofcourse school privided a couple of opportunities, but it's different when you're abroad as yourself, instead of as a member of a group.

Feeling free to move around and do your things, surpassing the feeling of being a tourist or a foreigner, requires more.

Now we've got a car we're able to cross the border at a regular basis. We buy most of our bread and vegetables in Germany at the moment. It sounds ridiculous, but it's cheaper there than here.
Whenever one or more of the kids want to go with us, they can.

They're starting to know the supermarkets, the way things are ordered there, the way people deal with each other and speaking a different language isn't exciting anymore, but just a way of communicating.

It's good to see they can relate with people there too. It gives them confidence they can handle things wherever they are and that's good.

We're no longer inhabitants of a country, but world civilians.
One of the kids of their group at school lives in the area we visit, and several of our friends do. Building a house is cheaper than here.
Quite some students cross the border to study here and vise versa.

One of the girls considers either a balletcarreer (but the recession doesn't help as there are enormous cutbacks on art) or a carreer as a sports teacher. We do have schools here to study the subject, but there are also good ones across the border.

We´re broadened their world and that world shouldn´t stop at the nearby border.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Not just a bit of rain

One of the girls needed a new balletsuit and as we had the car today it was an easy decision to go today.
The weather was not interesting at all. It was very hot and very humid. But in the car, with the windows open, it was bearable.

It was relatively easy to find a parking place and soon we walked through the narrow streets of a town nearby. A nice wind was blowing and people were cheerful.
Someone was selling wonderful crochet baby clothes, in our favorite buddha shop the woman had something nice against a stuffed nose, some indian medicine, and in our favorite english shop I found a roomspray which was better treated as pure perfume and ofcourse a little bag with delightful fudge.

My daughter found the balletsuit she needed and she was even surprised with a lovely plastic bag around it and to finish the afternoon we went to her favorite shop.

We were aware of the dark clouds gathering above us.
We knew the weatherforecast, so we knew we could get some rain.

And then suddenly it became silent in the streets.
A strange feeling of expectancy filled the air, like when the animals get silent before a solar eclipse.

Then it started to rain. Within minutes the street was filled with water and looked like a river. The sound of the rain was overpowering.
We bought a few umbrellas and decided to walk to the car, because the parkingtime was almost over and we didn't want a ticket.

The rain got worse and worse. People came out of their houses to see it. It was almost a moviescene.

The umbrella couldn't deal with the enormous power of the downpouring rain. I was soaked completely, but the temperature was still high, so it didn't really matter.
We had to wade through the water to reach the car, so my shoes are gone.

It took more than 5 minutes waiting before we got see a bit more than a rainwall.

At home I found out that the medicinal stuff smelled the same as the perfumy roomspray. Quite interesting....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


We can be grateful that the weather organisation has informed us that we can expect a true musquito plaque at the end of the week.
The past month has been rather cold and humid, in fact both temperature and humidity broke all records, so the month has been grey, sad and wonderful for young musquitos.
Now that weather has been followd by very high temperatures and lots of humidity, those young ones have grown very fast and well. And they're ready to invade our houses and break our skin open to get to the wonderful warm red liquid, so they can feed their new young ones.

So today, as soon as I heard the warning, I inspected the garden and found a few places where the last rainwater was collected. I'm sorry for the birds, but I emptied them all, and made a birth bath that will be cleaned each day.

Then I inspected the windows and the special wave curtains. They're all closed well.

Problem are the doors...and the lake nearby.

Can't empty that.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Privacy for criminals and ordinairy people

Privacy on internet is a hot item in the news again.
The organisation that guards the privacy of people in The Netherlands wants to fine people who put photos or videos on internet of criminals, like burglars. The fine can be up to 25.000 euro.

It's interesting they're standing up for the privacy of criminals this way.

They're even writing that the sole publishers should be the police and the law.

That's very interesting as I didn't hear them when a girl of 14 was put on internet with photo and other data, like length, colour of her eyes and even casenumber.
She had disappeared and immediately the papers jumped on the case and published her photo everywhere.

That's good, we might think. That way we could find her as soon as possible, maybe preventing serious problems.

But when the news came that she was found the photos didn't disappear at all.
Every small new non-fact about the case was published with a large photo of this minor.
She can't go anywhere without people recognising her and I don't think that's good for a 14 year old.

Privacy is something some people don't mind at all. You can see it yourself when you're bloghopping. What grown ups do with their own privacy is up to them, but some are not aware what the results can be of placing the photos of their children on internet.
Internet is a medium that keeps everything available, and the good searcher can find anything. There are plenty of problems one can be confronted with.

I've had a good friend taking things out of context and making something sound in a way it wasn't intended.
Interpreting things can be done in many ways and the consequences of mistakes are plenty.
And what to think of the photo's of a child in the hands of a wrongdoer, or children being confronted with photos of their childhood when they are older?
Who wants those pottyphotos exposed to all the world at an age of 16? For instance.

I think it's strange the organisation who guards privacy hasn't put out good guidelines for the media, at least for the media, about the use of photos of under age people.

When the kid is found, the photos should be erased.

When we protect the privacy a criminal, we sure should protect the privacy of others at least as well.
That goes for a suspect too. As a suspect is not always convicted and it's not fair to hunt a person all his life for having been a suspect.
But it certainly goes for minors, who should get far better protection from the media... and their parents.
That's my idea.

First birthday card

Today I received one of the most beautiful 1st birthday invitations I've ever seen.

I wish this had been a tradition when my own children had their first birthday, because it adds to the festive feeling of the occassion.

Here we don't have parties during the pregnancy, the so-called baby showers, and the first birthday is a rather quiet event in most families, celebrated with the grandparents and a few friends.
But we do send cards when a baby is born and they're far more a form of art than in America.
One of my american friends was very impressed by our birthcards and she saved them all.
Today she called, not long after we received the card. (Did she track it?)
She sounded so happy that I got tears in my eyes.
Many people take babies for granted. A couple marries, gets children and that's it. But she knows better and so do I.
So we shared our gratefulness for the little life of her grandchild.
We didn't expect it to grow a year old after so many miscarriages, so I wasn't surprised that the card said that a miracle had happened and should be celebrated.

She doesn't know a small present is on it's way to the birthdaychild.
She'll see. ;)

Topdroppers july 2011

I want to thank all my visitors with good intentions who came here and especially those who left a comment or contacted me.

I wish you all a happy summer, or winter for those at the other side of the world, and a good vacation. Let me know when I can do something for you, but take into consideration that I won't be reading the mail every day, so a response might take a while, unless you point me to the mail in a comment.http://www.bl

So thanks again and here are the topdroppers: