Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Snippets of thoughts- for a better world

I don't know whether you have ever experienced this - but some days I have 'snippets' of thoughts that don't necessarily belong together. At least not at first glance.

For instance I just had this mini silent conversation with myself about how peaceful everything looks outside, and how surreal that is because in so many countries war or other insecurities are order of the day. This to be followed by; I wonder what she will be wearing to the party next Friday? Only to drift off into a space in which I recollected my youngest son's 5th birthday 28 years ago. As closing thought I realised that the afternoon is fastly fading into early evening and my 'day tasks' are not yet fulfilled.

Call me muddled - call me mixed up - I just wonder how it is that the thoughts can be so diverse, so 'not connected' and still be so meaningful to me at the same time?

Now I am not a ditherer, or unsure of myself. I just have the odd days where my mind goes wondering on a track all of it's own. It does take me to places I enjoy to visit- like my son's 5th birthday. And I guess this isn't even very interesting to most people- but as the other 'wondering thoughts' proceeded to pass me by- I guess I just had a moment to stop and reflect- that our minds wonder at will - and go their own way and will continue to do so unless we 'bridle them in' or send them where we would prefer them to go.

Is it not the outer stimuli we get from all those interesting things around us that make our minds wander? I have tracked my thoughts and found that;

  • the view from my window is so tranquil - I would like that everyone had this privilege that I have to enjoy such beauty, safety and peacefulness.
  • the invitation to the party was open on my desk
  • and one party thought led to another- with my grandson's birthday around the corner.
  • - the clock that quietly minds my business - is on my screen and the list of to-do's left of me.

So really, I am not wandering off at all. I am being led by my environment.

Which leads me to conclude- that in the case of our young people- who appear to the outside world to not have their thoughts channeled where they ought to be - schoolwork, homework, tasks at hand or other 'important stuff' have the same distractions and mind jogging possibilities too. We just need to look at with what they surround themselves with - to know what's on their minds.

And this, my dear reader, also shows that if we surround our youth with positive examples and inspirational people to look at ( not up to but AT), then we may yet lead those youngsters to the better world we all aspire to live in.

These are my ramblings for today. Guess I will be back with more later.

Have a great week.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

North meets South: The sights

Nederland may be a small country - but heck we pack a lot in small places.

I had to make some sort of plan so that we didn't waste any of our precious time - Friday to Friday. And to think- those Fridays were the arrival and departure days. So a level head, logical thinking and good planning was essential for Annette, my husband and I to get the most out of our time together- including 'down time' because there is nothing more frustrating that to just be on the go all the time and not have time to let 'stuff' land.

The first couple of days were close to home- and truly special. The weather behaved and we had a GREAT week in that respect. Kinderdijk, Hollands Biesbosch, Dordrecht and our balcony. Monday morning we left for Belt Schutsloot- in the middle of Nederland - in a National Park and close to Giethoorn, also known as the Dutch Venice.

We had booked a cabin and spent time with friends who were stationed at the camping ground there. Our trip took us partly along a mayor highway - a coffee stop at the Lepelaar on the A6. Then on through the polder - Flevoland. In preparation hubby had explained to Annette about the development of this the 12the province created so as to provide more land in this small country. We made a slight detour to a place called SHOKLAND - which illustrated the changes made here due to 'man's' intervention.

When we arrived at the camping ground- the weather was so beautiful we were 'forced' to take advantage of a boating moment. Bottle of wine, some beer, snacks and yes also water on board. A bit of slip slap slop ( = sunblock for the uninitiated) and we were on our watery way!

As if we had had anything to do with the weather, water, space and time - all went so smoothly and well planned that it was shaping up to be a memorable day.

A BBQ dinner and a few drinkies to close the day - we toddled off to bed as happy little sand boys and girls. The next day - was Giethoorn day. A slow start- we breakfasted at a leisurely pace, coffeed and then packed up the cabin. Our hosts accompanied us - or rather we accompanied them - to Giethoorn.

We parted company and drove as tourists back home- calling in to Elburg and Buren ( where we had dinner- thank you Annette) and arrived home with a load of memories for safe keeping.
Time for a break- we had seen so much and didn't want to over do the 'tourist' trips. Home and there we stayed with the odd moment we went into town, on the bus and lots of time on the balcony- just chinwagging at breakfast and beyond.

Before we knew it- time was up. A full on week, wonderful moments and lots and lots and lots of laughs. My early morning breakfasts on the balcony- alone- won't be the same again. But I relish in the memories and am grateful for what was an unforgettable time when SOUTH came NORTH and we met on MY home turf. 

Thank you Annette for this life time memory. Travel safe and till we meet again!

Monday, 13 June 2016

North meets South: The Arrival

We diverted from the dark blue route
 - to through the GREEN AREA!
As I mentioned, my friend Annette was coming to visit from Down Under in New Zealand. I was so thrilled to be able to show her around on 'my' turf! Give her an insight into my life here.

Yes well, what can I say. Time flew and I really didn't grab the chance to write as that meant moments to catch forty winks or that special 'together moment' would have slipped through my fingers.

What a week it has been. I also have to admit that I needed a couple of days to catch my breath and regain some energy. Thing is both Annette and I aren't 35 anymore- but 63! And that is a fact.

Friday the 3rd June Annette flew into Schiphol Airport- a few minutes past the allocated time due to air traffic - and it was a wonderful moment of reunion. Although tired, Annette was keen to catch a glimpse of the dutch countryside - which she had once visited way back in '83.

Yep, that's close enough.
Looking good.
I selected a route that would also help reduce some of the speed in which she flew here- a slow, quiet route through the middle of what we call ' Het Groene Hart'. We stopped at a 'looks nothing like a dutch joint' hotel along the A2 called Hotel van de Valk, Breukelen for a coffee - hot chocolate for Annette and some down time. Here Annette started to feel 'grounded' and that she had actually arrived dawned gently. Her first Windmill photo moment happened right here and there were more to come.

Our destination was Dordrecht- and we lazily made our way - assisted by the Tomtom which was set to 'avoid highways'. ( Breukelen- Woerden- IJsselstein, along the Lek River, to Schoonhoven and ferry across then down at Groot-Ammers, along the numerous windmills and farms... to Dordrecht via te N3) Beautiful and green. Annette had come from the wintery chills of Auckland and this new fresh look came as a surprise- she hadn't thought that far ahead ( season wise).

One vivid memory Annette had from her previous visit was - patat met. So yes, we divulged... and it tasted WONDERFUL.

As I have some experience ( to put it mildy) with finding one's feet after such a long trip, is that you shouldn't go to bed too early. Around 9:30 pm I 'allowed' Annette to retire. Knowing she would have a reasonable chance of a good sleep.

Having a wee afternoon catnap to
make it to dinner and beyond!
My hubby hadn't travelled far- but took his moment anyway!