Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Trying to keep up


Another month has passed. The year 2021 seems to have grown wings. How did that happen, MAY? Already!

In my last post I mentioned we had made appointments for our vaccination. The first shot has been had. Absolutely painless and without after effects. Maybe just a wee bruisey feeling where the needle entered the arm. Like someone gave a friendly shoulder thump. It was gone by morning. Now we bide our time till the 4th of June. For the total protection, so to speak.

I'm still taking care, still wear my mask where it is required. Still keep distance yet feel more relaxed. So much so that I even ventured into town by bus yesterday. That was a one way trip. I walked home. Found it still a bit uncomfortable as the bus filled up more than I thought it would. The 54 minute walk home would not only be a healthier option, also a more relaxed one.

I've become quite a hermit. It wasn't hard. My interest in life doesn't lie in shopping sprees, endless lunch dates or wine afternoons. I am a home body by nature, occasionally flying the coop to do what's necessary and yes, also enjoying the company of others, walks, a catch up chat over a coffee and a visit to share time with a friend. Since corona my 'stay at home avoid people' habit has only grown stronger. For my sake and my mental well being I decided I needed to 'get out' a bit more freely. Like taking the bus into town. I needed a new cover for my phone. I had purchased one online. Silly me. Not my thing. I need to have and hold and touch and see. Subsequently I ordered a wrong type and now have two. The company I purchased from have reimbursed me AND told me I need not return the product. Bit odd, but it fits in with my thoughts on online shopping: ODD!

The 'shopping by booking a time slot' was also something I enjoyed. I realise it's not financially viable, but it sure has a charm I enjoyed. So now we, hubby and I, have entered a new phase. We have had the first vaccination injection and already enjoy some form of protection. We feel more relaxed. Although I'd appreciate if the world didn't spin faster than it already does, the 4th of June will be welcome in due course. Onward and upward to an even more relaxed feeling.

Link to a video: Enjoy this video of a shopping moment in Dordrecht. 

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Appointments made.


What a relief. I received a message from a friend. Her birthday is 4 days after mine. It said, " All people born in the years 1953 and 1954 may ring and make an appointment for their vaccination agains Covid-19."

Despite lots of things that 'can't' happen, we were able to have a few days away in all safety and complying to all restrictions laid upon us.We had the privilege of staying in a lovely 2 bed unit friends had built on their rather long and lovely property in the province Zeeland. An absolutely stunning piece of the Netherlands waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

Anyway, being away didn't mean we couldn't ring the National number to make an appointment to have our vaccination shot. Phone in hand and personal details all prepared I rang the number. " All the receptionists are busy at the moment, we will get to you as soon as possible." I wasn't surprised. The phone was set on speaker and I patiently waited my turn. After about 10 minutes this very friendly male voice spoke to me. I gave all the information required and mentioned that my husband was standing next to me. Was it possible he could make use of the same phone call. So helpful..of course he could. In fact the appointments would be made adjacent so we could go together on the same day, same booked time slot.

I am no lover of needles. My husband even less. Last Autumn I had my very first flu' shot. Never felt a thing and had no flu' type symptoms as a result. I am counting on the same experience. On the other hand. Hubby has a fear of needles. He is slightly concerned he may faint or at least feel rather weak kneed and passed up the opportunity for the flu' shot for that reason. So it will be interesting to see how we get on.

The relief and euphoria we felt was weird. I was very keen to have the shot but had no idea how thrilled I would be once we had a date. It gives perspective and the outlook for some more freedom to move around more safely. I won't be racing off to the shops or seek out crowded places. Not my style to start with. But at least when I am somewhere where there are a number of people I will feel safer and more relaxed. Maybe I will share the grocery task with my husband so he doesn't have to do it all the time.

The second shot is early June. That will be the icing on the cake. Maybe, just maybe I can go and visit my children still this year. Oh I so long for that moment.

Friday, 9 April 2021

Keeping the positivity going.

I am a positive person by nature. That doesn't mean my state of mind doesn't get challenged.

In a time of the uncertainty facing the world today in the form of Covid19 I, like many people I suspect, long for a bit of recognisability, stability and continuity in this strange world we live in. There are so many changes going on. New rules. In the short term too. Waking up and seeing or reading or hearing that everything has suddenly changed does nothing to create confidence or peace of mind.

But we (hubby and I) have little to complain about. Although like many, we too have our frustration moments. We are dry, warm, have enough (too much πŸ˜‰) food, clothing, regular income, a beautiful house, a beautiful view and our families are also healthy and well. If all those things are ok one has a tendency to look further, right? Call it human nature. We can move within our country: BUT we have nowhere to go. Attractions, cafes, restaurants, theaters - nothing available. Not here in the Netherlands anyway. The comforting part is, we're all in the same boat. So..

... I prefer to look at what is possible.  My husband has been shopping for groceries since March 2020. The reason being that I was sick the first week of March. Out of commission for quite a while. Because the world around us changed so drastically at the time, he kept doing the shopping. He, because sitting inside became too much for him, she, "because I didn't dare to go 'out' there."

We went to a Landal house holiday park twice this winter. Oh how wonderful. Houses far apart, you don't meet anyone in the supermarket on site and you walk a different route in a different area. (See video links at the below.)

Hubby has polished and updated his cooking skills again. How cool is that? Sometimes I just have to book my cooking moments. We enjoy the sharing and because he does the shopping anyway, hubby often determines the menu. Fine. I love to cook, but I don't need any pre-planning except for 'real planned' dinners. I mainly cook "whatever the cupboard and fridge have to offer".

Shoes: Since recently we can make shopping by appointment moments: by booking a time slot. With my forst outing I thought it was very exciting.  I was nervous. Yes, I went shopping for shoes. My shoes, after all that forced walking, really needed replacing. I was done in 20 minutes. Two pairs. With memory soles. At least then I know where I've been or where I want to go to. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚!

Garden center: This year we will be picking lettuce, tomatoes and strawberries. I really missed out last season when the garden centers opened and everyone went crazy and wanted to convert their gardens, planting vegetable gardens, etc. realising home was the place to be, holiday money had to be spent, it went to upgrading things around home. Because of my reserved attitude at the time, we were too late to purchase the seasonal plants I wanted on my balcony. Everything was sold out. Very unfortunate. Now, in a 30-minute time block, I purchased what I desired. It was so neatly arranged. You could fire a cannon at the garden centre and not hit a soul. My neighbour mentioned it so I had looked at the site that morning and 18 slots were still available at a time that suited me. Bingo!

Rug: Off to the Volero showroom. A fun, well thrilling ride, in hail and snow. You don't buy something like that online. Well I don't anyway. What a fun outing. We also got served coffee. Just like "in the old days". And we made it an outing. Round trip. Not the same route home. That's how we got through the day. It was fun.

Shopping is NOT my favorite activity. Still, it's inevitable. No, I didn't book them close together. Not sensible I thought. The past 3 weeks I booked one a week. That also gives peace of mind. If I would have been infected with the virus, I would have noticed it after 5-7 days. I'm careful about that. If I felt at all uncertain I would have cancelled the time slot. I didn't need to.

So yes, there are possibilities. It is not the freedom that I am used to, but also not the oppression that forces me to house arrest and prosecution. I am free and safe. That everything is not as I would classify as normal is another story. I/we need to focus on the positive aspects of this period and breath in, breath out, breath in breath out and hang in there. It, the pandemic, won't last forever. Changes will happen. Life does go on. Just differently and maybe we might become more reflective, less impatient and more compassionate. 

Who knows!

Saturday, 27 March 2021

Positivity, apple crumble and a movie

I am going to start on a serious note and end up frivolous. Just because I can. Can't be serious all the time, it's boring and depressing. I'm all for a well balanced diet.

The serious part:

Even though there are still precious moments to celebrate, the fact of the matter is, we don't celebrate enough. Especially since Covid19 struck. During this pandemic, our eyes seem to be more focussed on what can't then on what can be realised. We seem to not only work hard at not getting infected with this virus, we also seem to have lost the zest for fun, laughter, for gratitude and daily life itself. And I get that. I do. Believe me I have my moments. Recently I've reached a point where I realise I need to get a grip. Be in charge of myself and my state of mind. Rationally, I believe we are all in charge of how we feel or experience a set back or a triumph. So, it's time for me anyway, to regroup and refocus.

The media is an essential and not unimportant aspect of life today. We want to know what's going on in the world. Thing is, depressing news travels faster than the speed of light and we appear to be attracted to it like moths to a flame when it comes to articles that get our dander up. Our blood pressure rises and our judgement calls roll out like the outgoing tide after a tsunami. Dragging everyone and everything in its wake.

The fun bit

So I'm turning over a new leaf. Well, working on it and accepting that I may occasionally have a minor set back after which I regroup and start again. I may have avoided the actual Covid19 virus but I'm done with that sad and somber variety. And how best to be happy?

Well for me, that's in the kitchen ( amongst other frivolous things) and creating something yummy to share, put a smile on faces and give me that sense of satisfaction.

Recently we invited the son of friends over for dinner. On his own, no mum and dad, well that wasn't allowed anyway. One visitor per 24 hours. Actually, this is one way to totally focus on one person. To not have to share the limelight with others. To have time for a personal and if desired, in depth conversation. So, we extended a dinner invite, a birthday dinner. It was intended as a 'replacement' for his annual concert ticket as there are no concerts.

We didn't want the evening to be boring- just three old fuddy duddies around the table, his 26 years up against our three 65+ years, so unbeknown to our guest we decided that after dinner, my hubby, brother in law and the birthday boy, would go upstairs to the other apartment and watch a 3D movie. Planning a tight schedule was paramount, as we have a 9pm curfew in place.

To be all organised I prepared the meal early and was for 85% all set by lunchtime. The meal couldn't be too extensive or we'd run out of time. A good cook plans to the minute and others consider me a good cook so I felt super confident all would be well.

I started with the dessert. Apple Crumble. I know that all 3 love this dish. There would only be a main and dessert so that was simple.

On the dot of 5:30pm our guest rang the lobby bell. Couldn't be better. I got my act together while a catch up chit chat was had on the sun warmed balcony. Before I served the main meal I looked at the apple crumble in the oven and saw the crust was cooked but pale. I upped the temperature and switched to grill. The idea was, serve the meal, put plates on the table and return to the kitchen to turn off the grill. I love it when a plan comes together.

Dinner was served. The timing went perfect. The meal was delicious, even if I do say so myself. As I picked up my glass for the last sip of the wine I glanced over to the kitchen and had this weird sensation come over me. The air looked a light shade of greying blue. For a split second I thought I needed to clean my glasses...just for a split second. Then without warning I almost flew across the table straight into the kitchen and turned off the grill. My feet never touched the ground. A cloud of sticky buttery blue-ish smoke swarmed around my head and into my nose. The apple crumble topping was as black as soot. Pitch black. And STINK. Oh my, the smell was HORRIBLE. The air now filled with smoke in the dining area, the hallway and lounge.

Throwing the front and back door open to air the place, my mind racing so fast I could barely keep up! What to do about dessert AND get those men upstairs in time for  the movie. You see, the guest didn't know about the movie surprise yet. Oh dear!

I did manage to create a rather speedy and surprisingly tasty replacement dessert to round off the meal. We all but needed gas masks to cope, so I left the doors open while we almost blew off our chairs as the breeze flowed through the building. Once the plates were empty and the meal done, the surprise 'after' was revealed. I have a strong suspicion the males were thrilled to leave me in my murky air to clean up. Some nights are just more memorable than others. This will be good fodder for a laugh at some point later, after corona. When we look back and say, " oh remember that Apple Crumble...!"

I'm looking forward to the next birthday guest.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Time to vote

It is time to vote. Due to corona we have had an adjustment in the normal routine. Three days. The first two days, limited booths were open for those with frail health, elderly and those most at risk from the virus.

There was also a posting vote option, which, after I read the instructions, deemed a good way for elderly or infirm to still participate in this important aspect of democratic life. Apparently not everyone thought it was 'simple' and many votes are thereby lost- bummer! Not the desired outcome of this extra opportunity offered. C'est la vie!

So today, the official day, my husband and I are off to the voting booth. To 'do our thing' in this country of my birth. It's been a bumpy ride these past 15 months. Everyone is affected in some way or another. Some more than others. It seems though, that only one man is responsible. Only one man has set our country on the road to disaster doom and gloom. Now we all, well the well thinking people I'd say, we all know that's NOT the case. There was a whole cabinet at the helm. And yes, things aren't all peaches and cream. Mistakes, oversights and call the blunders, have been made. Funny that, human failings. So who do you put at the helm? The people who blundered and give them a chance to repair any form of damage made? Or a multitude of tiny parties with little or no experience in this complicated world of politics? For many a torturous lead up to today.

I know on who I'm going to bet. It wasn't hard at all. Is it the right choice? I'll know in 4 years time.

Off I trot- the voting booth is calling.

Sunday, 14 March 2021

Finding my way in an unrecognizable world


When you wake up in the morning, how do you approach your day?

I'm curious whether it is only me. Am I the only person who has 'lost' their daily perspective? Waking up while the list of things one wants to achieve that day, slowly passes the review. The mindful planning, that precedes the actions of the day, so nothing is overlooked and plan B is put into place. How long is your list?

Since Covid19 my zest for the day has not disappeared, only the process how I approach the day has totally changed. There is no need for a plan B, in fact a plan A would be nice.

Now this sounds pretty sad, ungrateful, depressing or maybe a futile statement. It isn't meant to be. This feeling of having lost the essence of my purposeful days is a result of 12 nearly 13 months of lockdown procedures and new rules. The longer it takes the more flat and empty my morning routines become.

I stay in my dressing gown longer. Not if I chose to get the paper from the mailbox. It is situated in the lobby of our apartment building. Dressing therefor is a must πŸ˜‚. It was a routine I purposely took upon myself for the first 8-10 months. I've slowly let it go now only spasmodically taking the initiative. Instead I let my husband be the 'paper boy' most days.

The neighbourhood where we live is lovely. Enormously green and interesting. There is a small marina, a river, a wee woodland and gorgeous park to walk in. Yes well, I can almost tell you how many blades of grass that grow here and the amount of liters water that stream past as I walk the walk. Oh yes, I am grateful I don't live in a built up area with a view of endless brick walls. True. I do count my blessings. Just the real glossy look has been tarnished.

Do I sit and pick my nose all day? Heaven forbid. Do I neglect contacts with family and friends? Not on your nelly! Have I watched every Netflix series known to (wo)man? Don't have Netflix. Do I have Covid19 kilos? No! I walk or bike to keep fit. 

It just feels so, so endless. There is perspective, of course there is. This too will pass. I have come to a point where I'm finding it harder to be happy with what I can do, have got and hopefully, will return.

I am more judgemental. My reaction to the statement, ' the youth has been robbed of a year of their lives' gets my dander up! They aren't alone. I get irate when I see groups of people ignoring the distance request/rule. I don't really care if you don't believe Covid is a serious threat to your health. Just remember it may be to mine or your parents or grandparents.

My main goal every day is, to identify the good bits in my day. That I've had a good laugh, shared a thought or two with a friend. Received a txt from any or all of my children and/or grandchildren. Provide hubby with a delicious meal or enjoy his cooking skills and appreciate his efforts. Be grateful I'm healthy because I'm careful. My problem is, it's just getting more and more challenging to tick more happy moment boxes.

Despite all this, always good to have a moan, is that I know I'm one of the lucky ones. Blessed and rich with all those who are in the same boat as I am. Holding our breath while this threat passes us by. Creating a new day, a new start, a new routine and new opportunities. Can't keep a strong woman down for long.


Thursday, 14 January 2021

It's 'just' another day at the office


"Hi there, me here!" When I lived in New Zealand many moons ago, this was what I would say when I'd ring special friends of mine. My nickname for me from them became, yes indeed, Me here! Funny how memory moments pop into one's head. Although living far from New Zealand I do still have daily contacts and keep up with the happenings in my second homeland.

Hence the thoughts that are drifting in and out of my memory storage. Me here! But not there! There where life looks to be 'normal'. Slightly concerned, but normal. Just an ordinary day at the office.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled it is what it is. My family, friends and acquaintances live there. Somehow Down Under is far away enough to keep the pandemic at more than an arms length. Grateful, yes I am grateful.

From where I sit, looking in the distance onto a rather busy road, traffic bustles to and fro and I am wondering- what happened to the 'stay home, work from home and reduce movement decree' therefor minimizing spreading the dreaded lurgy we call Covid19? In March and April the traffic was far less. Are people becoming tired of the restrictions? Do they not care it is taking so long to combat this pandemic? Do they not realize THEY, and not the government, are the reason we haven't beaten this thing? If anyone is to blame for closures, curfews and loss of income, it is those denying the need for caution, for respect for others and just simply being self centered. To all those thinking this is just a scam. Go work in hospitals and medical centers where the nursing staff are barely managing to cope. Go comfort those who lost family members to Covid19 and other illnesses due to the pandemic. For those whose surgeries were postponed.

Anyway, I just had to get that off my chest. To those shouldering the burden en respecting life, chapeau! It isn't easy and not the most fun way to spend months on end. But you are hanging in there for the greater good. Not only are the youth 'losing' a year, so are the elderly, the sick en infirm. No matter what age, putting life on hold isn't a picnic. You know, it's good we honor those who fought for our freedom on the two world wars- but let's just not forget that they did this for the greater good. We can win this battle as long as we stand 'Shoulder to shoulder' like real soldiers.

Stay safe, keep healthy and be supportive of those needing help. Kia kaha! Be strong!

Friday, 1 January 2021

Just spilling my thoughts

It's been a trying time. It's been a revealing time.

Welcome back. These are my thoughts for this morning, the 1st of January 2021! Welcome back after almost a year in which I have spent struggling to grasp the essence of the mentality of people around me. I have decided to call 2020 the year of disappointment. Not in my private world at home, or even with a great number of my friends, but a general observation of the community as a whole.

I feel disillusioned and disappointed. I am a realist, a positive realist yet my faith in people has been sorely tried and damaged in the year just past. Since the virus invaded people's bodies it didn't just make those victims ill, the rest of the people became infected too. But not with a virus that can be vaccinated against by injecting some form of medication.

In that disappointment shelters a sadness, like discovering that what you held dear wasn't as special or worthy of your admiration, commitment or even worthy of the time you gave it.  I have had insights into people's thinking and acting so alien to how I saw them as a person.  I've been mesmerized by the screaming hordes, the verfent disbelievers, the almost anarchist movement who were/are more bent on creating division than unity. What really bugged me about that was, the arrogance of assumptions that this group held/hold was, that  they knew it all better. No-one was going to tell this group of people what they needed to do. NO! Disfunction and disarray was their modes operandi. Creating division, anxiety, and disruption. My humble opinion of course.

And as contradiction: What has held my spirits up and belief in the people around me was, that I have been awed by the dedication and selflessness of so many trying to help those desperate and devastated by the results of the virus on their lives. Not in it for themselves but utilizing their talents, energy and love for people, strangers, before their own comforts and needs. The silent majority, who are so often overlooked, unrecognized and undervalued. They are the mainstay of our society. U~sing their energy to help improve situations giving those they care for stability, hope and a chance at life. They, and they are great in numbers I am glad to report, give me HOPE. My humble opinion of course.

I am not proud of last year for many reasons. Yet is has laid bare something that needs addressing. How do we, as a human race, want to evolve? Last night my husband said, " I am glad I have the longest part of my life behind me. I can look back with pleasure to the type of world I lived in. I am glad I don't have the greatest part in front of me seeing how our society is crumbling and lacking unity and compassion". How sad a statement is that?

Sunday, 15 March 2020

I'm done with negativity.

Faith Hope and Love

The greatest of these is love

Am I really the only person absolutely DONE with all the negativity around this virus which is not only causing physical illness but mass hysteria as well?

There isn’t a tv channel, news or current affairs programme that isn’t promoting, yes promoting DOOM AND GLOOM and the ‘end is neigh’ visions. It is helping making people sick.

Yes, I understand there is a huge ugly virus out there. I also know that people have died, as people do. I know we need to be vigilant and more secure with our cleanliness and personal hygiene. Should have always been. This a wake-up call to those who need a lesson in personal hygiene.

Common sense seems to have left the building. Did you, in the past, really visit sick in hospital or the elderly if you had a cold or are unwell? REALLY? Well silly you. Isn’t that a thoughtless act on your part? Virus or not. That is just NOT DONE! EVER!

OK, let’s get back to my heading.

Faith: call it what suits you best. I believe in my God and you probably have a belief in whom or whatever is your Mainstay in this world. This belief gives me a sense of wellbeing and positive energy. It gives me confidence that whatever unsettling thing is happening that there will be a solution. Call me naΓ―ve if you must. I receive a large amount of peace from this belief. Rather than the panic which seems to have so many in it’s vice like grip. Of-course I am being sensible, cautious and protective- to a point where it doesn’t overrule my common sense.

I have FAITH and HOPE in and LOVE for the scientists and researchers who are working round the clock to find a tool to fight this viral yuk invader of our system. Each day more information about treatment, prevention, precautions are made known. I firmly believe they will beat this virus and it’s deadly sting. As they will the next virus that may appear in the future.

I have FAITH and HOPE in the medical world to assist in healing, nursing, protecting and caring for our sick. What a LOVE they must have in their hearts for those who suffer. And this includes also the very professional, protective and knowledgeable people in government, whose task I do not envy, in making decisions to protect their country and its inhabitants. Every step they take has been well thought out, tested and weighed up against the information to hand AT THAT POINT IN TIME. I am HOPEFUL that their decisions will benefit us in this current situation.

I have FAITH, HOPE and LOVE in and for the people who adhere to the warnings, walk the required walk of sensibility and common sense. Those who support others in whatever way possible to also be a tool in helping to restore our world to some form of normality. Especially those who spread the good cheer, positiveness and calm we all need so much at the moment.


Where there is life there is HOPE. And let’s not forget that. Hope for a future, hope for a return to health, hope to have learnt and be more knowledgeable in future moments of uncertainty.

Hope that people will retain their sense of caring for one and other. Hope for compassion and understanding.

Hope that those bringing information to the wider community realise they have power to bring people together. To bring that HOPE to the world by not only reporting on negative aspects but highlighting the victories, every step to finding a solution, a return to health buy those affected.

LOVE, the greatest of these is LOVE. Like the song says: “What the word needs now, is LOVE SWEET LOVE”. It will make us better people.

Love for each other, love to conquer, to unite, to bind, to assist, to bring joy. Love to share.

I want to read about those who are healed, who have survived and won the battle. Those who have helped in whatever way necessary. I want to celebrate LIFE, even when things get tough.

Monday, 11 February 2019

The light of the candle burns ever so brightly.

Candles, I like them for a number of reasons. What's not to like?

I have a fresh odor candle in the WC, I have 3 candles on the table in beautiful crystal holders. I have candles outside on the deck on a wee shelf for a cosy feeling while sitting outside. I have special candles for different seasons. Most important though, I have blessed candles I use in times of need and joy!

During my childhood I can't even begin to count the number of candles that were spent after being lit due to a stressful event. When we heard about someone in need, whether ill, in dire straights or hoping for a job, out would come the matches and the flame would light up the wall behind it. Didn't matter what time of day it was. Seeing the flame, one would immediately have the person in mind for who the candle had been lit. Positive thoughts and prayers therefor were constantly zapped to the needy.

My mum was a fervent believer that that flame would somehow be part of the solution. That the prayerful messages to the Heavens would be loud and clear. Not so much her 'wish' be granted, but that the person needing strength, courage, hope or energy would get whatever they needed. A job, good health, a child, a house. For the thankful moments the candle was also lit. The good results of an exam, the desired wish, car, home, child, job etc.

And I've always done the same. It brings comfort - also to me! Makes me feel that I am contributing in some way to the need that has arisen or reminding me that thankfulness is an important facet of and in our existence.

For the past few weeks my special candle has been doing overtime. For a number of people who are listed in my 'special people in my life book'. All of them ill. Some of them terminal, others hopeful for recovery in the not too distant a future. I'm praying their prayers will be answered. The lighting of the candle is a tangible and practical way I can be involved. Funny thing is, that the person of family thereof is comforted by just that gesture of mine! So maybe lighting a candle isn't such an empty action after all.

I looked at my candle today, felt humbled and concerned, and wondered, 'How any people to one candle?'

Friday, 1 February 2019

Change is happening.

Heading: Oxygen is more important than Education

Good morning, it's February the 1st 2019.

I'm not a pessimist. I like think myself as an optimistic realist. I believe the best of everyone and everything till the opposite reveals itself. Right now, I am Optimistic that somehow we will 'handle' and survive the changes - and Realistic in understanding WE NEED TO CHANGE TOO!

After writing 'my piece' on the changing world - I stopped to have breakfast and read the paper. Lo and behold. An article over exactly that subject, AND the participation of the younger generation. Chapeau to them.

For our youth, the new generation and the ones to follow. I am glad they are raising their voices. We 'oldies' should join them.
My optimism is not misplaced at all!

The newspapers and on internet the message is clear. Our weather pattern is being re-written. Our world is entering a stage of renewal.

Here in the Netherlands, my country of birth, we are having an 'On again- off again' winter to date.

Prior to Christmas a wee sprinkling of powder which you could even catch the flakes as the melted down before hitting the ground. Then as the New Year took shape a lovely, pristine white landscape to behold for a few days. Finally my body received that much desired signal. WINTER has arrived. I need that to allow my body that 'cool down' period. To be fair, I don't have to don my coat, hat, gloves, boots and shawl and get to my work in the early morning - but when that still was the case I reveled in it all the same.

After 3 mornings of happiness opening the curtains- the white had turned green and the lawn was visible once again.

A few days ago, while my husband and I were on our return journey home after a few days away- we had a light snowfall. It lasted till we got home. No sign of it in the morning- the temperature was just too warm.

Lo and behold, my winter smile returned this morning. It was white once again. But how confusing. Birds are already gathering their nesting material, buds are appearing on tree branches with the promise of new life in the shape of leaves. The spring bulbs have already shown their hiding places as their green sheaths point towards the heavens. Our winter is extreme in it's absence!

Then, elsewhere, heatwaves so hot they are scorching the earth, annihilating wild- and plant life in it's wake. Roads of asphalt are turning into watery, oily slides and pets are at a loss as to where to hide from the burning sun. Framers of all branches are struggling to do what farmers do best- provide food and nourishment for hungry mouths. Sparks cause damage to forests, homes and parks, of untold and drastic proportions.

The weather patterns are changing at a rather rapid rate. We are aware but not ready for this change. Mother Nature has never stood still, only we haven't travelled at her pace. Our world is changing. Not only in the attitudes in people,  'the Me=Me so let ME be' society where 'only the strong and fittest will survive', but also Nature and all that entails is up for renewal. The balance in the world I grew up in has disappeared.

I am optimistic. We, as a race, will survive. It is the 'shape' of this new society that keeps me guessing as to 'how' this will manifest itself. I am glad I do not have a crystal ball to look into. I may not like what I see. For now, let's stop denying, crying and saying "What can I do? My contribution would be so small it won't make a difference"! Every drop of water helps fill the bucket. Help fill the bucket.

Friday, 25 January 2019

Growing old-staying young

Link to my first blog
In 2012 I started blogging. It was just prior to my 60th birthday. My idea was, to write a wee something each day in my 60th year. Logging 356 days to look back on.  The opportunity to look back on 'a year well done.' A milestone reached.

It was a too big a task. I managed 81 'stories' in that first year. It would be my highest contributions ever on this blog. I was keen to learn. What works for me may not work for others. Do I care whether 80 or 801 people read my blog? My highest reader count is 1469, I was honoured, my least read is 22. The topic wasn't interesting enough I gather. But for me, something I can look back on and recall those moments I found important enough to write about. I'm happy if someone has gained anything at all by reading about my thoughts. I write to empty my head, to discover more about myself and to have this as a record of 'who I was' at the time of writing. In all honesty I can say that I've learnt as I went along. My 'opinions' or beliefs have continued to develop, adjusted themselves due to new insights and some have been confirmed over the years.

I maintain- that one is never to old to learn. And not just new things but also new thinking.

I started sorting my subjects into categories. I am bilingual, my children wouldn't be able to read my dutch blog which I started on the 17th July 2012. Writing, or blogging to be exact, kept me sharp in both languages. Being bi-lingual does mean one has to use both languages to practice the grammer. It is important to me that I keep up my English to be able to communicate with ease with my children, grandchildren and other family and friends. My native tongue, Dutch, is part of who I am, so being more than just capable of expressing myself is also imperative. It keep the cogs spinning.

As I said, one is never too old to learn.

My status as 'oma' provided another soapbox. Since 2015 I also write bi-lingually, about my life as oma. It keeps me on my toes, separates the topics I write about and also explains the reason why my annual contributions to each blog is limited. If I was to add them up, I'd be quite surprised. I don't write for the numbers, but to jot down events, thoughts and opinions that roam in my head. Some manage to end up being processed on my keyboard.

Juggling writing session in my daily and weekly schedule is a challenge- one is never too old to learn.

So I felt ready for another challenge. I've always loved photography on a amateur level. My computer groans under the weight of shots- many which are 'delete-able' and it's a job I've started tackling because I need to make space for my next learning curve.

In February last year ( 2018) I posted my first video on YouTube. Oooooh, was a nerve racking thing that was too. But I perservered and have learnt heaps since that day. Another challenge, another growth spurt and at 65+ glad I am able to challenge my grey matter into a new way of thinking. Not only am I able to express myself in word- I can now leave behind something more adventurous for my children and grandchildren. I'm still discovering new things, scared to try some others, apprehensive about tackling big projects- and enjoying the comments, images and adventures I've now committed visually to 'film' and embarked on this new adventure.

It is 2019 - I recall the moment our calendar changed from 1999 to 2000. It seems like only months ago. Life is 'Like an Hour Glass' with the sands of time spilling away so quickly. I want to make sure I fill the time I have with discovering new challenges and precious experiences.

One is never too old to learn. My opa used to say, "when my time is up I'll be able to sleep for as long as I like, for now, I'll keep busy doing whatever I can".

Great outlook, it obviously made an impression on me, as I was only very young when he died. I too will 'soldier on' and hopefully be inspired to keep challenging myself and continue to believe- one is never too old to learn.