Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Monday, 27 October 2008
I have written about them before probably and will most likely write about them again some time in the future: teenagers! Today was another day filled with them. My mood has dropped like a ton of bricks because of it. Combining teenagers with crossing the dyke four times makes my mood even worse. Having those teenagers then misbehave and being an absolute pain in the behind, just made sure my mood plummeted to below zero. So, not a good day. And the week doesn't seem to be improving either: the rest of the week is more of the same (although those kids better behave).
So, my mood is bad, the weather is getting worse and the clock has gone back last weekend, making the evening start an hour earlier.
It's a great start to the week!
Saturday, 25 October 2008
When I first got my mobile phone a couple of years ago, I immediately told my friends and family, they were not allowed to phone me, unless it was a matter of life and death. If they wanted to talk to me, they could send me a text and I would phone back at the earliest opportunity or when I felt like it (in some cases).
One of my friends forgot. She tried to phone me on my home phone, she tried sending me messages via hyves, but she never sent me a text. When she finally got through, she wondered whether I was angry with her? Stupid cow! Anyway, we have smoothed it over again and she's coming over tonight and staying until tomorrow.
This morning I had a text of her, saying she is coming over, but she's not staying. She always does this and it does annoy me. I do understand she has a boyfriend and two (small) children, but if you want to come over, come over and if you want to stay, stay. I go through a lot of trouble and then she isn't staying.
Ah well, never mind, at least she's still coming...
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
For some reason (which completely passes me by), every couple of years they change the watermeter. And because they never really worry about people having jobs as well, I had to ask for time off. Usually I can avoid it by telling my boss I need time off between such and such hour, but in this case I asked for a whole day.
Just past one the doorbell rang and there he was: the watermeterchanger! The minute he opened the door to the space that holds the watermeter he smelled gas. I had been telling myself for over a year now that it wasn't gas, it was just the air from below the house and the space between my house and the wall next door, but according to him it was gas. Meaning I had to get a man in to have a look at it! Fortunately it was my day off, because for gas leakages they tend to come out real quick...
About half an hour after the waterman left, the gasman arrived. But he couldn't smell anything and his little thingamajig couldn't detect anything either. The meter wasn't running, so he was at a bit of a loss. Until he opened the gas again (I had been told to close it). His thingamajig started bleeping and all colours were showing. He had found the leak!
Ten minutes later he was about to leave: the leak had been closed and no more gas was escaping. Two minutes after that he was back again: whether my heating was working? Well, the thermostat in my living room told me it was basically okay without the heating, but then it clicked: was the heater still on properly? So, I dashed upstairs, and checked. And behold: it wasn't! So I reset the thing, told the gasman and off he went again.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Cats are great! They really are. Even when they throw up in their bowl, after just having wolfed (or should that be catted) down a special meal. Even when they wake me up, because they have fallen out of the window. Again! Even when they leave cat hairs all over the house, my uniform and everything else. Even then cats are great!
It's just that they need such large amounts of food! Four cats equals a lot of money and I know that without those four monsters of mine, I would have gotten rid of my debt a whole lot sooner. But then I wouldn't have had the lovely companionship of a bunch of idiots, neurotics and downright lovely creatures. So, I won't complain too much. Although it is time to part with a large chunk of my money yet again, just so the monsters don't die of starvation!
Thursday, 16 October 2008
I have been wanting to emigrate to Canada for a few years now, but there were a few obstacles in my path. The main obstacle was of course my debt, but I'm nearly done with that. Only three more months and I will be debt free for the first time in 10 years. So the first hurdle has been (almost) taken.
Of course, once I'm debt free, I'm not out of the woods yet. I need quite a bit of cash to be able to pay for the whole thing. The days of going abroad with only a button in your pocket are long gone. But, again, there I have taken a step that will bring me a bit closer to my goal. In November I will be going to an information meeting, where an agency will introduce itself, tell me (and others) what to expect job wise, home wise and cost wise. This agency would be able to help me find a job and a home, albeit for money. This would however save me from trying to do everything myself and finding I did it wrong.
I will keep you posted!
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
In most languages I know there is a distinctive difference between 'you' (when speaking to children and peers) and 'You' (when speaking to someone of higher rank, age or a stranger). In French it would be tu and vous, in German du and Sie, in Dutch jij and u. In English there is no such distinction, unless you count the (very) old fashioned thou. Anyway, this is about the Dutch versions.
When I was a little girl, I was taught by my parents to say 'You' (keeping it a bit simpler here) to anyone older or unknown. This meant saying it to my parents, grandparents, teachers and strangers. During my teens I was the last of the three of us (me, brother, sister) to start saying 'you' to my parents. It just didn't feel respectful. And even now I occasionally have problems saying 'you' to people that are older, even when told to do so.
The thing that really bugs me though, is children nowadays. Everyone and their aunt is treated to 'you' in a way that makes me feel really grumpy. What is the problem with teaching children a little respect for other people. Get them to say 'You' first and it can always change to 'you' later.
People who say that everyone is equal and should be treated that way are lying. Not everyone is equal. You don't call the Pope 'Benny', you don't call the President of the US 'George' or the Queen of England 'Betty'. So let's get back to basics: teach your children how to be polite and respectful and I promise you: the world will become a better place!
Sunday, 12 October 2008
Saturday, 11 October 2008
Receiving a letter or a postcard in this day and age that is not sent via the computer is something of a dying artform I think. When I used to live abroad I loved getting letters. In fact I still have all the letters I ever received since 1983 and no, this doesn't include those awful things you get from the IRS. But ever since the internet came up and up and up and up, the letter has all but disappeared. I can't remember the last time I had a handwritten letter in my mailbox. Mind you, I can't remember the last time I sent one!
Postcards are another matter. When people go on holiday they still tend to send one home and I love getting cards from my parents and friends to tell me they are having a lovely time, with lovely weather and lovely people. Especially since I will invariably be grumpy due to bad weather, awful young people and congested roads.
I send postcards as well. Every time I go somewhere a bit special in my own country or abroad, I will send 6 cards (soon to be 7). Always to the same people as well: my goddaughter A., my goddaughter V. and godson L., my nephew T. and my niece M. and to a German friend of mine, just so she knows I am still kicking about on this planet. Oh and the soon to be: my brother and his wife are expecting another one!
Since over two years now I have also been sending cards to strangers. The idea is simple: sign up, get an address of a stranger, send card. They receive card, register card and then you wait for someone else entirely to send you a card! See? Easy... So far I've received a fair few cards and I especially like the ones with famous people on it. Just to see who is famous in a certain country. And to show that of I've created another little blog. Just to post the cards I've received!! The picture at the top of this post shows the Royal family of Sweden.
Thursday, 9 October 2008
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Last Friday was a good day. Not too much traffic going into Potsdam due to the Day of German Unification which was good. After arriving we had a few drinks at the bar. I started off with a small beer, which turned out to be half a liter! As I was trying to finish it, I saw the bartender mix a drink that became a nice pink colour. So, after I had finally finished that beer, I asked for one of those pink thingummies. He (fortunately) knew what I was talking about and after a few minutes I was staring into my pink 'Sex on the Beach'.
It was nice. It was tasty. It was quite sweet. After finishing it, I had another one. It was bought for me by one of my colleagues, I would have gone for mineral water. By the time I had finished number two, a small headache started to form, so I definitely switched to mineral water, despite protestations of my colleagues.
Monday, 6 October 2008
Potsdam is situated in the former East German part of the country and during East German times it was (apparently) mainly grey and brown. I think they used to cover anything that wasn't moving. Since 1990, towns and cities all over East Germany have started using colour again and most buildings have a bit of colour on them now, be it cream or light yellow. At least it all looks a bit cleaner than before. Not everything has been done though. This was the view from the tram we took into the town of Potsdam. Grey/brown buildings covered with graffiti!
This is one of the streets in the "Holländisches Viertel" or Dutch Quarter in Potsdam. Some long ago king thought the world of Holland and decided to build a Dutch Quarter for all the Dutch workmen living in the area. This scene especially could have been taken everywhere in the Netherlands, even today. The only difference being the streetnames (all German) and the numberplates on the cars (German as well).One of the houses in the Dutch Quarter. It looks Dutch alright, right up to the roof. In the Netherlands we use different rooftiles, so that's different. But a lovely house nonetheless. Even the shutters are there!
This is one of the streets in the "Holländisches Viertel" or Dutch Quarter in Potsdam. Some long ago king thought the world of Holland and decided to build a Dutch Quarter for all the Dutch workmen living in the area. This scene especially could have been taken everywhere in the Netherlands, even today. The only difference being the streetnames (all German) and the numberplates on the cars (German as well).
The picture on the top is of one of those dolly-like things keeping the shutters open. The picture on the bottom is of one of the lions on a huge gated tower (which looked new to me).
The first photo was taken in the High Street. I just loved it. The other two photos are of doors (as if you didn't guess). The first one needs some work done and the second one shows what a little bit of work can do!
Well, these were a few of the photos I took while in Germany. I did take some others, but they will have to keep!
Friday, 3 October 2008
No, we're going to Berlin on my own coach and without people. We pick them up while we're there (there's about 6 more coaches going) and take them about 40 km further! The leaving time today was set at around 4pm, but at 10am I got a phone call: we leave at noon! Blast!
Half an hour ago I was ready to roll when I got another phone call: there are no coaches yet, we leave between 1 and 1.30pm. I wish they would make their minds up...
Anyway, at 1pm this afternoon, I will be picked up by a colleague. Then we hope our coaches have arrived reasonably clean and we leave for Berlin! So, I won't be seeing you until Sunday at the earliest.
Have a great weekend everyone!
Thursday, 2 October 2008
The debate about whether God is male or female is basically a moot debate. There can only be one conclusion: God must be a man.
The reason? Quite simple: no woman, no matter how much she hates other women (and according to so many people God loves all man, disregarding sex, colour or creed) would wish the aches and pains of the monthly returning horror on another woman. If God were female, she would have made very sure men were dealt an even more terrible recurring horror. And men thinking they will die of a brain tumour every time they have to sniff is not terrible, it's not horrible, it's just men trying to grab attention.
So, God is male. Just so you know!