A room with a view

Yesterday I had my infusion again. It was a rainy and stormy day, hail storms and dark grey skies all throughout the day. Since I had to stay on the couch till my infusion was done there wasn’t much to do but waiting. The world outside wasn’t hardly worth looking at. And in the midst of all that grey there was this rose in the middle of the room. So it was a room with a view after all.

Buying a walking cane – Update

Because I broke my back years ago my back has always been bad and a cause for persistent pain. Over the past 20 years my back has become worse and sometimes I cannot leave the house because of that. I am now starting to accept the fact that I need to use a walking stick for getting up and about and for walking. Especially in the weekends when I am tired I really need one.

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Does this scare you?

Last Friday it was delivery day for Nanogam. Every three weeks I get an infusion to supply the missing part of my blood, coming Friday I will have it again. This time instead of four badges there was only one and a letter in the box. It said:

“ Dear client, due to problems with the production of Nanogam we are unable to provide you with the expected four badges. Instead of this we have decided to provide only one so everyone will have the needed supply for this month. We do not know when normal delivery can be continued …”

Does this scare you? It does scare me. Give blood! We need it. I need it. You need it. And some of us need it more than others. You can help and make a difference.

Terra Cotta Temper Tantrum

I wasn’t what they called an easy child in the seventies. When I was a child I often blew my top in a fit when ever I got mad about something. And when that happened, my dad usually sent me off to the shed: “You go in there son to cool off! And you better not break any of those Terracotta flower pots in the back like you did last time!” And of course, speeding in there with a red mist in my eyes I went straight for the pots and smashed them at the wall, stamping my clogs on the pieces on the shed floor.

In most cases that did the trick, I calmed down almost instantly after that and was allowed to come back but only to hear my dad outside in a quasi-angry tone saying: “Thought I told you not to break any pots, didn’t I?” He could hardly contain himself and start laughing.

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A boring holiday in France

Vacances en France, a holiday journal

 

This is where I am going to tell you everything about our holiday. You can use a French accent to make it more fun to read out loud.

 

 

Day 1 – Dimanche

The first day of our holiday to France: departure, six o’clock in the morning. We drove through Swampyland, Belgium and France for 10 solid hours. The wind howled around the mounts of the roof case on the car, a Fiat Multipla. Besides that it is the most ugly car human kind has ever invented throughout history, it is also a very noisy car. We had a break for breakfast and then for a pee and then for lunch and then one for a pee again. And it rained. In the evening we got lost finding our hotel. We went to the police station to ask for directions. On the floor at the police station was a white stripe with the word ‘derrière’ on it. It means ‘arse’ in English. Anouk speaks very good French, almost like a native French woman really. It did help us humongously to communicate with the locals but the police man and police woman didn’t know either where the hotel was, that’s how obscure this little hotel really was. It wasn’t called Bonsaï Hotel for nowt you know, very difficult to find. When a police man in France says « Toutes directions » it means « Whatever road you take, we don’t care ». And when we found the little hotel eventually we were very disappointed, it was a real dump. The WiFi internet was for free however. We then decided to go look for a restaurant nearby and found ‘Del Arte’, an Italian restaurant. The only Italian thing about this restaurant was a picture of Al Capone on the wall. I had a large vase with Heineken Lager and Lasagna and the kids had a char coaled pizza. It is nine o’clock in the evening now and I’m going to sleep. Nothing happened. Utterly boring.

 

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Why do cab drivers call you guvnor?

For those who know me well enough, I have a soft spot for England. I have lived there for years and quite contently if I may say so.

One thing I always wondered is when you’re in the back of a cab, the driver always calls you ‘guvnor’ (governor). I never asked them why. My friends didn’t know the answer when I asked them and Google doesn’t provide an answer either.

So this morning I decided to write a spontaneous E-mail to Addison Lee. And they answered promptly.

Dear Leendert,

Thanks for your email.

I haven’t a scooby about the origin of the word but Guvnor is British slang for Boss. So for example if asked “Where to Guvnor?” or “Where to Guv’?” basically means where would you like to go Boss. A bit like the driver is confirming that you are in charge and he is at your disposal.

I hope this helps.

Kind regards,

JC

So now I know. One less mystery.

So I’m eccentric

Today someone said to me: “Doesn’t it worry you that people find you a little bit eccentric?” To which I replied “Am I?” And then I thought: “So what? Does it really matter?”

People come in all sorts and sizes. Some have a hump, some have a lisp, some stink. And some are quite normal, like you, or a little bit eccentric, like me. But we all enjoy the warmth of the sun in the same way. Personally I’m not bothered that people say I am eccentric, and I don’t even care that I really am. I quite enjoy my life as I live it, idiosyncrasies, odd hobbies and peculiarities included. There’s a name for that: HAPPINESS!

So if you happen to step into my life, accept me the way I am. And if you don’t: I still pour you a cup of coffee. Because that’s what I’m like.

Plumstead Hall

When I was 19 years old I went to England to live there for a few years. Ever since I returned the people I lived with there have a special place in my heart and I will never forget them.

Judi Arnold, now Judi Dale, Annette Francis, now Annette Thorpe, Liz May (where are you now Liz?), Anzio Cabrini, Simon Parsons, Nick Bowman, Elliot Stevens, Ruth Wilkinson, Anne-Louise James, Darrin Fox, Stuart Ingram, Rod and Sue Townend, Gordon and Nancy managing the Social Club, Sue May, Lawrence Swerlinck (now in Heaven, forever in our hearts, RIP), Sarah Blake (Blakey), Mark Blazeby, Joe Toehill, Tim Bryant, Norman Allen, Sue Harris, Margaret Jackson (Maggie, my ‘surrogate mother’), Stephen Eyers, Jean Ringwood, Susan May (Liz’ mother) and so many others were an important part of my life. And in case if I have forgotten your name, you too.


My rooms were in the Old Hall, an old but beautiful mansion, built in red stone with a large lawn in front of it. Here is a picture of it from around 1930 when Major Ashley lived there.

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I CAN’T SIT STILL!

In 1998, a colleague said to me: “You have ADHD, you just don’t know it yet. You can’t sit still!”

He had been working with me for a while, he knew perfectly well how to work together with me and we had a good time, but he had absolutely no idea what he just did to me. From then on it gnawed on me, if I weren’t restless yet, making me think back on my childhood years did. He gave a name to what I always knew, but never learned to give it a name myself, let alone to cope with it.

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English Breakfast

English Breakfast today with friends.

Honey, when I say “I bring home the bacon.” I do mean I bring home the bacon, 1.5 pounds to be precise, three tins of Baked Beans, half a pound of Mushrooms, 18 eggs, 30 sausages and three loafs of white bread for toast. But it was just a little investment in a great friendship that hopefully will last for years and years to come. And boy, did we laugh today.