The rider of the Black Horse Inn

Never believe what you see or hear

1. Arrival at the Black Horse Inn
It was 1826 and the wind was howling through the bare trees. I always liked October, I loved the smell of wet land and rotting leaves and all the changing colours but this time was different. It was nearly dark and bitter cold already and the rain and hail slammed my face so hard it hurt. It shouldn’t be long before Autumn was over and Winter would come now. I entered the inn and the door slammed shut behind me as the wind grabbed it and blew leaves inside. There were only a few guests in the room lit with a few oil lamps and candles and two candles were blown out instantly by the gust of wind.

Meer lezen

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.

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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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.