Abide with me

This morning in church we sang a Dutch version of the hymn Abide with me. Whenever we sing that hymn in my thoughts I am back in that little church in Salhouse again. Or I travel back in time to that lovely congregation in Cambridge and we sing it together. In my heart I am singing it with my friends far away with whom I never had a chance to sing it long ago. And when I open my eyes and look around I sing it with my brothers and sisters in the Lord here and it sounds as heavenly as before.

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Abide with me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Infusion Friday

Today is Infusion Friday again. Every three weeks I get this infusion with Nanogam to add what is missing to my blood. You see, there’s no soldiers in it and no officers to tell them what to do. On top of that I am intolerant for most antibiotics. I am not complaining, I am just sitting here waiting until it’s over.

Actually I am quite enjoying myself on the couch reading messages on Facebook and Twitter and playing my vinyl records. My latest acquisition is Miracle by Third day, do you know them?

So what’s going on in that big wide world? Where do you live? What is the work you are doing? Do you have children? What does your house look like? Is God in your life too? Did He save you like He saved me? Tell me please. I would like to know. Where ever you live, God bless you.

Are you a donor?

Although I am not a donor I cannot feel guilty about it. My liver is shot from years of Prednisolon, I have an iffy heart caused by decades of illness and I’m pretty sure my kidneys are equally unusable. But I will promote it at every occasion I get because I know some are in dire need for an organ.

So without beating around the bush: are you a donor yet?

The image in this article has been replaced by a placeholder image in anticipation to EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 17 – Right to property becoming effective.

So I’m eccentric

eccentricToday 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.

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Writing a book

After three years I have decided to resume writing my book. So, with a bit of luck -and inspiration- and some borrowed time, I will finish it in a couple of years from now. You’ll be the first to know.

“But the birds always drew a much more interesting pattern in the sky than the teachers’ chalk on the blackboard, the aroma of ‘outside’ was much more appealing than the stale classroom smell. In my head, ten or more things were always fighting for my undivided attention and in my hunt for that one thing that jumped up but that I never reached I fell over my steps, my shoe laces, my words, my friends and the nice things I dreamed about. And my class mates jumped on me, parents fell over me and becoming increasingly restless I gradually created a void around me and eventually I became lonelier and lonelier. And I never sat still …”

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 deceased, bless his heart), 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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