I shake the dust from my feet

For years I have endured it and I won’t stand it any longer. You never seem to learn that spreading gossip is not the way. You don’t show love as you are supposed to do, remember what Jesus told you and live by it.

Attempts to justify your own lies, not just once but time and time again. I am sick of it! Trying to influence even my wife with your lies about me. Do you really think that would work???

Your hatred would be my downfall if I stay in your midst. I shake the dust from my feet and leave this place. I am fed up with your gossip and malicious talk. And you call yourself Christians? Shame on you!

Terra Cotta Temper Tantrum

Little LeonWhen 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 terra cotta 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

 

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

 

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Day 1 – Dimanche

The first day of our holiday to France: departure, six o’clock in the morning. We drove through Holland, 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 ». And when we found the little hotel eventually we were very dissapointed, 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 Lasagne and the kids had a charcoaled 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.

Unanswered questions

The Dutch are an inquisitive nation and they often demand a response to their questions even if the answer does not matter. Over the past few weeks I have been asked a number of questions that I do not wish to answer. Dutch people have a saying: “Het naadje van de kous willen weten.” It means “Wanting to know all the ins and outs of the matter.”

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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 don’t like Holland

I don’t like Holland. It’s a fact I cannot deny. I don’t like Holland. Ever since I lived in England for a while I have loved that country. People are nice, food is nice, there is virtually nothing that can be compared to cooked breakfast with the full works. I have some friends over there that I really love and this friendship can only be compared with the friendship I have with the two friends I have had since primary school. I don’t like Holland.

I do love my family, my wife, my four children and perhaps a few more people. But that’s it, this country sucks. People are nice, country sucks. Government sucks too, except that they pay for my medication which is nice. If only there wasn’t all that water in between England and me I’d live there with my family. Cooked breakfast, The Works. Drive on the left side and actually enjoy it. Try that over here, not that good.

I don’t like Holland and England is better. There, I said it. Thing is: I cannot leave this place. You see, I told you a little lie. Holland is not that bad either. People I love are here too.

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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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