Saturday, 31 January 2009


Because of this whole crashing thing, I have decided to bring about some changes. I had been thinking about pink as a background colour, but decided against it in the end: it would just be too... pink! And the only thing I want to be pink would be my car (which I don't have at the moment). But the colour scheme I have at the moment looks alright to me.
I wish I could do several backgrounds and interchange them, but I haven't figured out yet how to do that. I wish I could do a patterned background, but I wouldn't even know where to start. I am very digitally challenged in most respects!
For now, however, I am happy!


I finally managed to get back online properly. It wasn't easy, but in the end (and after a whole hour on the phone to the help desk) I got through. It's quite a relief to be online again.

To celebrate my return to the www, I've decided to post some photos of my cats. I've taken them during the last few weeks, so they're new in my collection!

This is Linette, who has taken an incredible interest recently in both my laptop and my television. As soon as I turn on the computer, she will sit next to it and watch it. Occasionally she will also try and capture images, which is quite funny. Sometimes she will just sit behind the computer or television and probably wonder where everything has gone!
This is Wuppie. He must be one of the dumbest cats ever! But apart from being extremely dumb, he is also my big cuddly cat. He loves to sleep on my bed, preferably next to my knees and he doesn't mind very much when I move him out of the way so I can turn. He will be back in two seconds!
Sophie has lived in this house and with me for nearly ten years now. She was only six weeks when she arrived and was probably a bit young. She has grown up to be a very angry-looking cat, but she is lovely nonetheless. She will (after nearly ten years) sometimes come and sit on my lap. She's a neurotic and will probably cause me the most anxiety when I move to Canada: she doesn't take well to strangers or new places!
Mathilda is the one that is hardest to photograph, so I was extremely lucky to get this beautiful one. She loves to be close to me, driving me absolutely round the bend, since she will try and kiss everything about me: my face, books and hot cups of tea (and I can tell you: that hurts). Right now she is sleeping beside me and very contented with it...

Thursday, 29 January 2009


My dad phoned me the day before yesterday. Nothing out of the ordinary there, but then, right at the end, he asked me in a very serious tone whether I would like to go out to dinner with him and my mum. Now, it wasn't the fact that he asked me out to dinner, but the fact that he was so serious, that alarmed me. Big time!
He assured me however that there was no reason to be alarmed, my parents just wanted to celebrate the fact that within three years I had managed to get rid of a huge debt. They were very proud of me!
Next Friday? Dinner with my parents and I am allowed to choose the restaurant...


Due to my anger last Friday I am still working on an old computer which tends to crash. Three times so far and I don't hold out much hope for it not to happen again.
The computerstore wasn't able to restore anything from the old hard drive, so I have to start from scratch. I have no photos left, bar the ones that are online and still on cd's and usb-sticks and all my files have been lost. I finally found my internet connection cd-rom, but for some reason I can't install it properly and therefore I still can't use my good laptop. I have been able to start a few new files, which for safety I am keeping on a usb-stick; I don't want to be caught out again.

Sunday, 25 January 2009


I like baking. Apple pie, nutcake, pie made with Guinness (yup, the beer), chocolate cake. I used to make them for my annual tea party. And what tea party would be complete without biscuits, sandwiches and scones? So, every year I would try to make scones! And every year I failed miserably. My sister and friends loved my failure, naming my scones scookies, because they would be as flat as cookies, but have the taste of scones.
But, apart from loving my failure at making scones, my sister is a fairly nice sister and a while ago she gave me a 'scones' mixture. It couldn't be easier. Add water and raisins and hey presto! So, today I added water and raisins, rolled it out, cut out the shapes, popped them on an oventray and stuck them in the oven.
Twenty minutes later half baked scookies came out!
It's official: I can't bake scones...
ps: if you're wondering about how come I can post: I am using my old computer, which tends to crash easily (once so far, only today).

Saturday, 24 January 2009


Last night as I was playing a game, I felt the computer was rather slow. It annoyed me so much that at one point I got angry with the computer and actually hit it. I HIT MY COMPUTER!! (It's a laptop). The computer started beeping on the inside and everything froze. I unplugged it from the electricity and took the battery out. I plugged it back in, put the battery back in and started the computer again.
Absolutely nothing!
Zilch, nada, niks, nichts, rien du tout!
So, this morning I took my laptop to my local computer store and they diagnosed: Death! I killed the hard drive. Nothing left.
It will take them over four hours to put a new hard drive in and try to recover as much as they can from the old hard drive. It will cost me 150 euro!
You might call it justice...
I call it stupidity!

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

On the blink

They're on the blink! Every morning the streetlights come on. Then they get turned off again, on again, off again, throughout the day. And once dusk has come and gone, the lights stay turned off!

Look, it's quite simple: during the day there is someone up there who turnes the big light in the sky on. Hence no need for street lighting. During the night, he leaves on a little nightlight (also called the moon), but it needs to be a clear night to actually profit from its light. So, it might be a good idea to turn the street lights on.

Just a suggestion!
Update: they heard my suggestion!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I was living in England in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was voted president of South Africa. The thing I most remember about that day were the endless queues of people waiting to vote. Miles of black people given the vote for the first time in their lives. It was a day for freedom and it brought me to tears.

Today is another one of those days. For the first time in the history of the United States a black man will lead the country. I believe more people than ever had showed up to vote in November last year. And today he was sworn in.

I don't know whether he will bring the goods he was talking about in his campaign and in his inauguration speech (that I'm listening to right now). He might be as great as he promises to be, he might fall hard.

But it's a day full of freedom, a day full of promise and I wish him well!

Friday, 16 January 2009

What came next!

I got home today and was greeted by an envelope on the doormat. In it was the dentist's bill! More than double the amount I normally paid, due to the x-rays that were done.

Thursday, 15 January 2009


Just as I thought the credit crunch would pass by my house, along come dentists and faulty glasses. I have just started saving after having paid off a considerable debt in three years. I figure I can save up enough to be able to move in about a year and a half (531 days to be exact), but then of course I don't really need dental surgeons (thanks Anvilcloud) and faulty glasses to throw a huge spanner in the works. The surgeon falls under my basic medical insurance, but the first €150 I have to pay myself. Fortunately only once, so if I need more treatment this year, it will be free, but still: €150 I could have used in so many more ways.
And then, those glasses. I've got three pairs: an ordinary pair, a pair of sunglasses and a pair of night glasses. Now, that last pair has been annoying me for a while now. Firstly, the little screw holding the glass in, fell out. Have you ever tried to put a screw back in that you can literally hardly see? Well, I have and granted I managed it, but still... Of course, the glass didn't fall out on a nice soft surface, no it fell out while I was sitting behind the steering wheel. And then I couldn't find the glass anymore, which really bothered me. When I got back to the garage I did find it: I felt it under my foot! I didn't really put my weight on it (good thing), so there were only a few scratches on it. Those scratches were bothering me a lot though and actually gave me a headache! So, this morning I went to see the local optician. Where I had to wait for nearly half an hour before he could help me. He put the screw in properly, but couldn't do anything about the scratches, so in the end I just ordered new glasses to be put in. Another €10 gone...

What's next?

Sunday, 11 January 2009


Whenever I think of winter in the Netherlands, I never think of snow. Because this country is so close to the sea and we have to depend on the east for our cold, the chances are quite slim. The cold will come, but the snow usually stays a bit more to the east. The last winter where we had enough snow during the whole summer, must have been in 1979. We've had snow since, but never as much as during that winter. Not counting of course the two foot of snow we had about five years ago and which stayed for a total of six days.

No, when I think of winter in the Netherlands I think of ice. Frozen ditches, lakes and canals. Of course the same rule applies as for the snow, but somehow we've always had more ice than snow. When I was younger I even used to skate on the ice whenever possible, but I'm not really a sportsperson and have given up since then. The last time I skated I lived in England and I skated on a rink. The last time I skated in the free must have been over 20 years ago. Of course the chances of skating are pretty slim. However, this year was the first time in 12 years there is enough ice for companies and schools to give pupils and staff "ice-free". There have been masses of people out on the lakes and canals and the sales of skates have soared! I'm still not one to go out skating (I don't even have any skates anymore), but it's a lovely Dutch sight.

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Whenever I go to the dentist (once a year), I sit in the waiting room a lot longer than in the dentist's chair. He checks and then cleans my teeth and lets me go again. Ten minutes. Top!
This year he decided he wanted x-rays done. So, we got x-rays done. And now I have to go and see the jaw-surgeon (as we call it, I wouldn't know the English version of it).

I hate hospitals. Not that I have ever been in one apart from the odd visit or to have my wisdom teeth removed, but I hate them nonetheless. The reason for that is needles. I don't mind blood, I don't mind needles, it's just that I hate needles. And yes, I just told you that I don't mind them!

I used to give blood. Every three months I would go down to the local blood-letting point and give a pint or so of my blood. I don't mind that at all. I don't mind having a needle sticking out of my arm for the best part of 30 minutes. What I do hate however, is when they stick the needle in. And especially when they test your blood first using the finger! A small prick, granted, but I would tense up anyway. And it got gradually worse. In the end I gave up giving blood, purely because I would already be tense at home!

So, what does that have to do with the dentist you ask. Well, quite simple: whenever I go to the hospital to have my teeth checked, they feel it's necessary to sedate my mouth. Which in itself is good, because that way I won't feel the pain they will undoubtedly cause me. However, the way to sedate is through a needle. A very thin needle, but still, it's a needle. And that needle needs to go somewhere in my mouth and that area is not known for fleshy parts, like your arms. So, unless their aim is perfect, it's bound to hurt. And in the past their aim has only once been perfect and all the other times has been rubbish.

Of course I have to get my teeth checked out properly and they mightn't even use the needle this time. But I'm taking my mum with me anyway.
For support!

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Men in uniform

I've organised our staff party for several years now. We used to go somewhere, but the cost of that has risen so far, we decided to stay in this year. Meaning using our garage/cleaning area/canteen. And the thing that would be easiest would be a barbecue. We had done it before, both in our former workplace (across the road) and our current workplace, so we knew it was feasible.

I got the food and drink sorted, some colleagues helped me get the space ready and a bit more homely, after all, it is a huge garage: it could hold two buses, one atop the other. From five o'clock the people started arriving and we had a fantastic time. The soup tasted great and then we started the barbecue.

And then, at six o'clock, the fire alarm started blaring away. The racket it made, just incredible! I phoned the fire brigade to tell them it was false alarm, we were just having a barbecue and then I managed to turn off the noise. I couldn't reset the thing until the smoke had cleared and that wouldn't be until after we had finished. The suggestion by the lady of the fire brigade to move the barbecues outside was a suggestion we obviously ignored: it was around freezing!

A few hours later I got a phonecall from the company's support team. They knew we were having a barbecue and couldn't really care less, but if I could reset the alarm? Of course, I was about to do that anyway, since we were on our desserts by then. I had just rejoined the party, when someone wanted to see the person in charge. Which would be me (for one night only).

It was a fireman! Not in uniform (he wore the same coat as we do, just with a different emblem on his sleeve) and unfortunately a bit advanced in years (I can dream...).

He told me that we hadn't been allowed to have a barbecue, since the space we held it in was designated a garage(!), but then again, the alarm had gone off at 6 and it was now nearing 8.30pm, I don't think he cared that much, he just had to come by to enforce the rules. Ah well, the party was winding down anyway, so we weren't that bothered. I also doubt we will not go ahead with a future barbecue because of this, I think we will just be a bit more cautious!

By 9pm most people were leaving, so the remainder of the people starting clearing and cleaning and by 9.30pm everything was in order again.

The evening had been a succes!!!

Friday, 2 January 2009


I've been wanting to move to Canada now for the last five years I guess. I've been to emigration fairs, I've read everything I could find about moving to Canada and moving abroad in general, I've paid off my debt (Yes, I've done it!!!) and will now start saving to actually go. For the past few weeks I've been telling everyone that, yes, in a year and a half I hope to be in Canada.
Yesterday my parents were here to wish me a happy new year. I showed them my plans, how to save enough etc. And then my father came out with: but has the situation about you having to leave the country after two years changed? Ehm, no, but I will not worry about something that is at the very least three and a half years away from now. In the mean time so many things can change. His last words were: I don't think you'll ever make it. But in a very low voice!

From the moment I've told my parents about my plans to emigrate, my dad never believed I actually would. I've paid off a large debt, I'm making plans and still he doesn't believe. I think part of his not believing comes from the not wanting "his little girl" to move away. My younger sister moved to Northern Ireland three years ago and they weren't happy about that (understandibly). I've lived abroad in the past and my parents didn't like that. And when I moved out of my parents home to a small place in the same town my parents hated it! Oh, and when I write parents, read father!

Mind you, when my father says he doesn't believe I will ever make it across the pond, I get an extra impulse to go. Just to prove him wrong!

Thursday, 1 January 2009


Happy 2009

I am no great fan of fireworks. Even when it is used to see out the old and see in the new (yeah right, as if...) I am not great fan. Now, it wouldn't be so bad if all they (mostly boys and men) had was nice coloured sparkly stuff, but noooooo, they have to have big, bigger and biggest bangs. And of course the ultimate bang as well using old milk churn and a lot of carbide and gunpowder (probably). They are only allowed to do this outside the towns, but I guess for a fifteen-year old a bit of grass in the middle of a built-up area is like outside the town, so BANG it goes!

Now, I'm not the only one hating the fireworks, my monsters also hate it. Apparently the hearing of cats is better than ours and every small sound is magnified incredibly. So, they hate fireworks as well. And when it goes quiet outside at half past eleven on New Year's Eve, they feel safe and come and sit down with me. Until midnight that is, because then everyone lights their fireworks at the same time, sending my cats to their hiding places.

All that is done now though: the fireworks are more or less over (an occasional small bang, that's it) and the new year has started.