Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29

The 29th of february is a special day.

The date remembers me of a friend of my childhood.
It was her birthday.

The past weeks I've been thinking about her often.
I even asked someone of he knew where she lives and I tried to look her up in the phonebook.

Se was a nice girl. A sweet character. She seemed to have a lot of confidence and we, kids, thought that was because of her beautiful hair.
It was just as nice as that of one of my daughters, but more blonde.

I can't remember much of her.
We used to be together quite frequently, but I think I must leave the memories I still have to do the job.

So in silence I wish her a happy birthday, and I hope she's well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

First signs of spring

Nature has made some firm decisions.
I could hear and see it today, but the smell is not there, so winter hasn't been overthrown yet.

The geeze were flying.
Me oh my!
A large v was in the air, with the leader and it's assistants yelling to the others to hurry up and keep a nice and straight V.
It was impressive to see them flying south.

Some people along the river are bothered by the immense quantity of geeze resting there at night.
But soon it will be over.

The crocusses are decorating the front garden and some areas between roads again.
I even saw some snowdrops.

The birds in the garden are promissing more.
Soon they will sing their mroning songs.
That's the best time of the year.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reading sunglasses for me?

The other day someone said to me that he didn't want reading glasses because they looked terrible.
Can you imagine that?
I told him he should update his knowledge and opinion about reading glasses because we've come out of the dark ages when there were still half moons visible in ridiculous small glasses.

The reading glasses people can buy now just look like ordinary glasses. They have very nice frames and there's no moon visible anymore.
One can even buy reading sunglasses.

In fact I would like to have those.
My eyes are quite sensitive to light, this includes the sun, but also sharp artificial light. Reading sunglasses would solve a huge problem. I don't like sunbathing, but I like sitting in the sun and read a good book. I never do, because I have to use my ordinary sunglasses and can't read or use my reading glasses and get a headache within an hour.

Wish I would be able to order a pair of those nice glasses and have a good summer.

Santorum is nuts, because he tells lots of lies.

Yep, that's a firm title for a blogpost, but it's a needed one.
If a president's candidate is using lies to get Amerika's first seat he should be exposed. As simple as that.

It's not the first time my country, The Netherlands, is said to be inhumane.
Dr. Phil did so a few years ago, on the same subject, and when we wanted to give him the information he needed he shut his forum for the Dutch.
At least I and a few people I knew couldn't login anymore.

This time Rick Santorum said that old people here wear bracelets to tell their doctors not to euthanise them.
And on top of that he stated that old people are afraid to go to the hospitals.
He also says there's voluntary euthanasia.
And half of the people who are euthanised die against their will.
He states that old people go to other countries when they want to go to hosital, because they're euthanised for budgetary reasons.

I don't know where he gets his information from, but this is absolutely not true.

You're reading well: Santorum is completely wrong.
Rachel Maddow did some independent research and she, ofcourse, reached the same conclusion.

Let's explain first that euthanasia is just a word and the Americans and Dutch attach a different meaning to it.

Euthanasia for Americans is ending life, assist suicide, killing out of mercy.

For the Dutch euthanasia is something that is strictly described by the law and when this law is not kept it's plain murder and handled accordingly. No matter how good the intentions and no matter how carefully done.

In a way the Dutch law is stricter than in many other countries when euthanasia is concerned.
Strict rules need to be followed.
  1. A written request by the patient when he or she is sound of mind and able to make an independent decision.
  2. No euthanasia upon each request. Unbearable and hopeless suffering needs to be established. This means in most cases the last and final stage of terminal illness and no option to ease the pain.
  3. No alternatives available
  4. Consultation of another physician who is in no way connected to the family and who makes an independent decision about the physical state of the patient, his psychological state and all other circumstances, including the choice of medication to finalise the request.
  5. The patient should be well informed about his or her condition and the implications of the request.
  6. Each case of euthanasia needs to be reported to a review committee, and when not all requirements are met the police will be involved.
Ric Santorium is telling plain lies and he uses them to tell the americans they should be afraid of the american health care system because it will end up like here.
So he tries to manipulate the voters.
Why he uses my country? I don't know. Who invented those lies? I don't know.

What worries me more is that all those people who listened to him when he told these lies just listened.
No one questioned the truth of his statements. No one asked him anything.
So the people who follow him can't think for themselves and to behonest: I think they shouldn't be allowed to vote at all, and he should withdraw his candicacy.

He's a danger to his own country.
When a president candidate thinks he can tell these lies without any consequences he's absolutely nuts.

New cufflinks

When I was member of the bagpipeband I had to wear cufflinks.
I had some very beautiful ones with the scottish thistle.

After leaving the band I kept my blouses and a few days ago I was tidying my wardrobe and came accross them.
Blouses with cufflinks are in fashion again, so I plan to wear them again. But with different cufflinks.

Ofcourse I can wear nice ones with an abstract image on them or a nice stone. To find some I went online to for cuff links and got a far better idea when I saw that one can also order custom made ones.
Why not have cufflinks with the logo of the paper?

My girls looked with me and suddenly started to whisper between them.
Maybe they were talking about gifting me a pair with my initials on them?

Monday, February 20, 2012

The new edition of the paper

Finally, finally we managed to launch an new edition of the paper.
It feels it took ages. And in a way it did.

The earn enough money through advertising was a huge, huge problem.
Due to the recession not many shopowners wanted to use the printed paper to present their products to the public.
We had only one person to get enough ads in and he was fed up with the job. he tried to motivate others, but none felt experienced enough to go to shopowners and talk with them about the subject. Once a no is a no forever, so it's a risk no one else was going to take.

Then there was the issue of final checks of the articles.
The person who wanted to do it all by himself couldn't do it.
He started working too late and when he did he was messing around with my articles so much, that I refused my name under them.
To me it was not a real problem, as long as the reader gets what he wants or needs. But the guy himself felt awkward about it.
Well, he had me mad when he first diminished an article a lot and later turned it into his own idea by putting all sorts of irrelevant details in it.
He did so far after midnight.
And by putting so much of his own ideas in the articles of others he also took a lot more time than scheduled, so the layout man was all over the place because he couldn't start his job in time. He had to send the paper to the printer without proofreading the last bit, resulting in some language mistakes that shouldn't have been there.

Well... when the paper came from the printer it took so much time to get it to the mail, that I said I would do it all alone next time.

On top of this all the man who coordinated the distribution jot a new job out of town and left it to someone who didn't even signal it was a problem.
That took time too so the new edition coincided with carnaval, meaning I had to whistle back part of the distribution (to cafe's and restaurants) and postpone the hand outs to the wednesday after carnaval.

I was not happy with this super inefficient way of dealing with it all, so the next edition will be made far more efficiently.

It all took a lot of energy I could have used elewhere.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Switch covers

Finally the temperature is above zero.
Even the light has changed.

It means the livingroom is in a better light than the weeks before and it's time again to finish those walls.

Last weeks the new lamp arrived after waiting for it for over two months.
Now I can see what still needs to be done.

For some unknown reason the switches are not behind or near the door, like in my former homes, but right opposite the door at the center of the wall. Someone must have been sleeping.

Ofcourse we tried to hide the non-functional thing (no lamp attached), but I think it's better to make a nice feature of it by using one of those fancy switchplate covers I found at the site of the Switchplate Superstore.
I really love them and when I would have been younger I'd probably used them even without a switch underneath.

I've also decided I want another table.
Maybe one with a glass top and a display underneath.
The children are old enough to be careful.
But first we have to change a few other things in the house, like moving some furniture around.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The car died

The car died last week.
Maybe due to the terrible cold it stopped right in front of a trafficlight.
Luckily the first trafficlight near my son's house.

The past week a few people had a look.
Three car-mechanics, a friend who knows a lot about cars, etc etc.
They all said something different. And the consequences of those "finds" would range from 60 euro to pushing the car to the shredder.

In the evening our son called.
Yet another, very trustworthy and knowledgable father of a friend had a look and he found the problems we wanted to handle before the car stopped to be the cause.

So keep your fingers crossed.

We need the car, we really need the car.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Indian Reservation

1. Do you enjoy going to a casino now and again?

No. I'm not going to spend our money on gambling. No way!

2. What makes you happy most of the time?

That my children feel happy.

3. Are you jealous of someone right now?

No. I'm not a jealous person. Why want something someone else already has?

4. You're stranded on a desert island with one fictional character. Who is it? Why?

The man of my dreams. :)

5. Have you ever been in the emergency room? If yes, for what (most recently)?

Yep. A while ago. One of the kids had a bad fall that needed medical attention.

6. Where is the last place you drove to just for fun?

Germany. We live near the border and we mix fun, enjoying nature, with getting groceries. The items we use are less expensive there, so that's a nice feeling too.

Sadly our car died, so these trips are over.

7. If you were to make your living as a photographer, what would love to shoot?

Scotland, nature, sea, mountains.

8. Tell us about a band you like that we might not have heard.

Even when I tell about it you won't ever hear it play. So why spend the energy?

9. Where was the last place you went shopping? Why?

The shopping centre here.
We needed the weekly groceries and I wanted to look for a brooch for a friend. Found no brooch.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

It won't happen.

No Elfstedentocht.

I had a meeting this evening, but someone would fetch me with his car, so I was dependent upon his call saying he was on his way.

When it was announced that the committee that decides about the Elfstedentocht was to give a press conference at 8 I knew the meeting would start late.

Just before eight all children came from the different places they were to the livingroom.
It was one of those special moments in history. Would it happen?

We feared not, because the ice was not at the approriate thickness, but maybe...maybe...

When the pressconference started the chairman said he had bad news.

Even though we knew inside that it wouldn't happen, it was a disappointment.

For a short while we hope the weatherforecast was wrong and we would get some terrible nights of cold. But no. They were right.

Something that always binds people together was not going to happen.

In a way it's a good feeling that it was not a real human decision.
Nature plays the main role in this event.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


The weather is amazing.
Temperatures are very low and there's ice on most of the part of the Elfstedentocht.

The Elfstedentocht is something typically Dutch.
During one day people iceskate past or through 11 cities in Friesland, the north of the country. They use the frozen canals, rivers and lakes.

Ofcourse a sportive event like this is not an annual happening.
But that contributes even more to the wishes that it might happen this year.

15 cm of ice is needed. Everywhere along the route.

That's almost impossible under normal circumstances.
So the Dutch have switched off all equipment that control the waterlevel in that part of the country. No more water is pumped in or out.
Ships are not allowed anymore in the area and all sorts of people help to get the snow off the ice, so nature can cool it down better.

They have even invented "icetransplantations."
Large or small pieces of ice are dropped in the water at places where the ice is far too thin or even absent. This makes the ice grow faster.

The elfstedentocht is a magical word at the moment.
People are speculating if the event will take place and when.
Hotels are already booked in advance for prizes which are 5 times as high as usual.

And the army has been called in to sweep the ice clean.

....Will it happen this year?
A question that bugs the mind of millions.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wire loom

A few days ago one of the lamps in the livingroom started to act weird.
I though it was time to turn in a new bulb and so I did, but it didn't change anything.
The light was going on and out, repeatedly.

Then I found out iot was the switch that caused the problem.
So that was changed too.

While doing so I was a bit irritated by the fact that the electricity wires were just hidden under the couch unprotected.
That was rather strange, because at the other side of the room I had a device to protect the switches and cables.

I realised I had a stretch of wire loom on one of the shelves, so I looked for it and found it.
Within a few minutes all wires were neatly hidden and safely put behind the couch.

Even though we don't have small children anymore I want things around the house to be safe.
I should remember to buy some more wire-loom next week.

Bomber Boys

Today I watched Bomber Boys at BBC one.
It's about Bomber Command in WW2, and about a young man of this time wanting to fly the last Lancaster.

My dad helped to built Lancasters and later flew on them.

His army chaplain and later good family friend was closely involved with the bombing of Dresden.

People have declaired that bombing an act of warcrime. And those who used lesser big words said the bombing was unnecessary.
They've conveniently forgotten the bombing of Coventry and other cities throughout Europe, the concentrationcamps, the killing of the Jews, the forced employment of young people in the army industry. Young people who had to work to create arms that would kill their own family.

My family was part of the resistance and my father decided not to stay until the Germans would come and force him to work in the German war industry.
He escaped to the UK and joined the RAF.

Some people think that WW2 was a time of heroism, but according to my dad it was time of war and the tremendous innner motivation to end it and make the world a better place for family friends and all other people.
He didn't want to fight, he wanted others to survive in freedom.

The bomber boys all paid a prize.
Some never returned from missions, others struggled the rest of their lives with their memories.

I feel privileged to have spoken with a few army men who shared their deepest feelings with me.
The fear, the enormous shock of friends not returning and the empty places on the airfield digging even deeper empty spaces in their hearts.
The ambiguity of killing people to enable others to stay alive. Not knowing if their familymembers would be still alive.

I wish my dad was still alive.
Not knowing what he did sometimes gets at me.
I know for sure he was in the RAF, because I went with him when he returned to England to visit some of the families he stayed with. I heard the stories.
It's so strange not to be able to find information about him and about his friend the army chaplain of the Dresden group.

When I watch programs like the Bomber Boys, I feel a strong protest inside me. Why didn't they get any acknowledgement?
My dad didn't get a medal, not even a simple pin. Maybe the English thought the Dutch would do and vise versa.
Just a few years ago the foreign participants in WW2RAF were mentioned at the remembrance service at the epitaph. I don't know if my email about the subject earlier that year was a contribution to this change.

As foreign children of former RAF men we're not acknowledged at all. To my feeling I should be there or I should be represented far more often, just in honor of those men who enabled us to live in peace now.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Our House

1. I read that Bud Weiser & Kathy moved into their new house! When was the last time you moved? Where to?

25 years this house.

2. If they were making a Hall of Fame for the blogosphere, name a blogger or two who you think should make the list. Why?

Maitri, because she is honest, positive and a heart warming person.

3. What are couple of funny things you remember your parents saying? (Like, “They're starving there in China, so finish what you've got.” - John Lennon) Do you say them to your kids?

I can't remember.

4. What is something that has happened to you that you would consider a miracle?

When I was young I went against routine and was away from my room when a heavy lamp came down. I would have been killed if I had done what I always did before.

5. What is it too late for?

It's never too late. When you can't do it in real life you can always dream about it.

6. What do you try to stay away from?

Negative people.

7. When you get into a disagreement or fight, how often are you the first to apologize?

As often as I'm wrong.

8. Tell us about a current issue that you’re unhappy with.

Political situation in our country and some other areas in the world where people are supressed.

9. How often do you update your blog/site and why?

Under normal circumstances each day, but last week less because we were ill.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Topdroppers january 2012

For me all droppers of the past month were topdroppers.

So thank you all for dropping!!

I've tried to drop back as much as possible. I'm sure you'll understand that with a few ill kids and a feverish head I haven't been very succesful in dropping.

I'll make it up to you the next weeks.