Wednesday, 1 April 2020

April Fool

Did you have that same suspicion as I did: that this whole Corona thing was just a very elaborate joke played on us by politicians? But today is April Fool and I don't think it is. Yesterday the measures taken originally until April 6th have been prolonged to April 28th. But our prime minister said that 'he wouldn't advise anybody to make any plans for the May holiday' (which is around that time). 

Which means that for the foreseeable future, we will be in the house trying to pass our days. Yesterday I spruced up my Mice for Mama site and added a few more things, including some made by my mum. Today I plan on continuing with a little cardigan I am making. It looks really lovely right now, but I can't wait for it to be finished. Probably another week or so.

I have taken out all my DVD's as well. I still haven't found 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks', which I thought I had, but it might be my sister who owns it. We have watched a couple of other films though as there is no sport to be had and at a certain point you do get a bit fed up with all that Corona news. 

I watch one episode a day of Doctor Who and have plenty of other series to help me through (Last of the Summer Wine, Dinnerladies, Sherlock, M*A*S*H, Eureka). So for the time being I am doing okay. 

My mum has a question though. She wants to see a film about a couple and their two daughters. Those girls are quite free and fancy. There is a housekeeper and also a crocodile that eats a broom (that last bit is important apparently). It's not animated, it's not horror or thriller, it's just a fun film. She thinks Dick van Dyke might be in it, but she is not so good on names (she does know Dick van Dyke though). Anybody any ideas?

Sunday, 29 March 2020

What to do? Part 7

Well, one more day and the list is done. Only ten more ideas and tips for you to do, although when I first counted the list, there should by now have been 11 to go. Wonder what happened to that one? Anyway...

62. Delete all the apps you don't use and discover some new ones.
I don't have any apps I don't use. There is one I have to start using again, but as long as we're supposed to stay inside, that is not possible. I only have two games on it as well, and even though I am tempted, I think two are enough. They take up too much time already.

63. Hold a family or street singalong.
This sounds great. In theory. Starting with family: my dad is a chorister and has a great voice. Loud as well. My mum can sing, but for the life of her, can't hold a tune. And I am somewhere in between. Not great for a family event. As for the street event? I don't know anybody in the street. I can place about six people to their respective houses, but don't ask me names or something. And yes, I do realise that it would get us 'closer', but it wouldn't. I think. 

64. Try some science experiments.
Yeeeesss. Science. Did I ever tell you about the day I was allowed home early from school. Something to do with me measuring bleach in chemistry class and it not going quite right. We had to suck it up in those pipet type things and then put a thumb on it when it was at the level needed. I forgot the thumb bit and the bleach went into my mouth/throat. I have never seen both the teacher and the science aide move so fast! So, I think I will steer clear of science experiments.

65. Deliver supplies to those in need.
This is a tricky one. Really tricky. I don't know anybody in need, as most have already got other avenues of getting their supplies in place. Tricky.

66. Rediscover a dusty appliance, instrument or board game.
I was just saying to my mum this morning about the ice cream maker she has. Might get that one out and try some different flavours. We have no instruments in the house at all and as for board games: unless they are question-based like Trivial Pursuit, I am not into those. Oh, and our TP set is still asking questions about the Soviet Union!

I could retrain as a snake handler...
67. Research training opportunities for when the world reopens.
The minute the world reopens, I am hoping to start the new job as well. I cannot wait. 

68. Build something amazing with Lego (you know you want to).
Ehm. No. I leave that to my sister who just loves it. I tried to build a small thing once when I stayed at her place and it's okay. Nothing more really.

69. Brainstorm marketing ideas for your business, club or charity.
I am not planning on starting a business, club or charity and as I am not a member of a club or have a set charity I support, this might be a bit much to do.

70. Write to your MP about an issue.
Not sure what I would write to my MP about, even if I had one. The Netherlands has a slightly different way of voting for its government. 

Cotton candy is what makes me happy.
71. Create a list of 'Things to be Happy about' and add to it each day.
This sounds suspiciously like the gratitude journal. Which I have in a different form. 

72. (found it, I seemed to have skipped it last time around): Organise a virtual support group.
For what though? For those affected by this Corona virus? Or something completely unrelated? Like 'I knit too much and keep having holes in my fingers'. It might catch on...

Saturday, 28 March 2020

What to do? Part 6

It's my mum's turn to make dinner today, which gives me the time to write the next installment of my What to do series. Here goes...

52. Reach out to someone who lives alone or is feeling anxious.
This is quite difficult for me as I don't know that many people and the ones that I do know are all in a family group. We did invite a neighbour for our spare rib feast yesterday, but she declined because of Corona. Which we totally understand. She has recently been fairly ill and doesn't want to take any chance of getting ill again.

53. Host a skype/zoom dinner party.
I have seen this in several places, but I am not convinced. Probably because we don't host dinner parties anyway.

54. Get some positivity in your social media feed.
Easy: no social media or very much censored. But we do try and get more positivity on our television screen. The news? Yes. All the talk shows? No. They just keep harping on and on and on about the same thing, rehashing, looking at it from a gazillion different angles and with a whole host of experts. Instead we watched Frozen the other day. And Wall-E. The next one up is Paddington. It makes us smile.

55. Try positive psychology activities.
Well, not watching every single thing on television/social media concerning Corona counts for an extremely positive psychology activity. Turn it off and just read a book. Bake a cake. Or just sit and stare at the geraniums. Just a thought here.

NOT cooked by me, but it was yummy
56. Cook an amazing breakfast.
For breakfast? Not going to happen. But I have been known to have breakfast in the evening. Or at least the foods usually associated with a full English. So, next time it's my turn to cook...

57. Create an amazing treasure hunt or clue trail for a family member.
I could do something like that. It would need some severe thought though, but it sounds great.

58. Get familiar with online grocery shopping: create favourites lists.
For now we are good with the in-person shopping and we will do so until we can't. I think I can manage to familiarise myself at that time.

Dance class in my teens
59. Organise a virtual dance party: you dress up and groove to the same music.
It sounds great, but just not for me. Probably because not many people want to groove to Eurovision music!

60. Organise your music playlist.
Oh, that's been done and dusted. Every artist has its photo and the songs are all categorised. Not much to do there.

61. Reorganise your wardrobe.
As a quarter to a half is still in storage, this is not really an option at the moment. Plus, I don't have that much anyway as I normally wear a uniform.

Friday, 27 March 2020

What to do? Part 5

A bit late today, but it was my turn to make dinner (spare ribs, yum). But never fear, here are more of the tips and hints of what to do with your days while you cannot enjoy the outdoors.

42. Try adult colouring in.
Yes, I did. About two years ago. Not my biggest enjoyment I have to say. Although my sister still has the finished coloured in owl on her notice board by the fridge.

43. Join a virtual book club.
I have. About two years ago. I even hosted a book: A man called Ove. Brilliant book by a Swedish author. Definitely worth the read. But alas, lately I have not been doing much with the book club, mainly because at the moment I don't work and I mainly read at work!

44. Find great podcasts.
I have never really been into that for some reason. Either I watch/listen or not. Repeats: great, otherwise: too bad. Besides, my telephone is empty within a second and my computer doesn't have sound for some reason.

45. Update your goals.
This makes me think of putting flowers around the goals on the football field. Not entirely sure that is what this means...

46. Upcycle something.
Ooh, sounds like a great idea. We watch that show on the BBC as well: Money for Nothing. Tatty old things being transformed in really fun and funky expensive things. Might give it a go. Not sure with what though...

47. Build a free website.
What for? What would I do with it? Advertise myself? Use it to sell my stuff? Hm, might look into that.

My room when I was a teenager.
I am back in the same room now, but with only a bed in it.
48. Re-arrange furniture.
I have actually been thinking about that. At the moment my bed is missing part of its head end as it doesn't fit under the roof. If I move the bed a bit and put it against another wall, I might get the head end complete. I will give it a go, but it wouldn't surprise me if I had to move it all back because it's unworkable.

49. Start a dream journal. 
It would read like a bus time table meets fantasy novel I think. I dream about buses a fair bit and keep meeting all my old colleagues as well. Apart from the ones in Northern Ireland though, they have never popped up. Didn't make too much of an impression I guess. Other than that: no!

In Austria
50. Binge TED Talks.
Brom would be upset I think. Besides: not a clue what a TED Talk is anyway.

51. Join an online community of likeminded people.
Like cat and dog lovers? Or people researching their genealogy? Oh yes, got that sorted!

Thursday, 26 March 2020

What to do? Part 4

Ah, this list with suggestions to pass the time in this time of apparently great boredom. If you work from home: great! I am a bus driver currently out of work, so that is not really an option, even if I did have work. Back to the list then...

32. Try an e-learning course.
Yes. Ah. So. Here's the thing: I don't mind learning things, but if there is one thing I cannot do is learning at a distance. For some reason the Norwegian language course worked fine, but all other courses have just fallen away. But, I might learn another language. Would there be a Frysian course out there?

Mmmmmm apple pie
33. Make a cook book.
I am. But at the moment the cook book is in storage. It is a ready made book and you just have to enter your favourite dishes in it. Like the Dronning Maud Pudding we love. And my apple pie. And lately we found a great recipe courtesy of the Hairy Bikers (my favourite televsion chefs by the way) of a great fish pie. I will keep hold of the recipe and enter it in my cook book the minute I find it again.

34. Create homemade gifts. 
Mice, scarfs, hats, baby dresses. Yeah, I think I have that covered. Although I do then try and sell them.

35. Phone (old) friends.
I did. I phoned a friend in Scotland and spoke to her for about 45 minutes. I phone my sister regularly. Last night I spoke to another friend. It is good. We can moan about how life is treating us all at the moment and just vent a bit. Great idea!

36. Play parlour games.
There is one game that might come out, although it hasn't yet, as my dad hasn't reached that level of boredom. But then: sjoelen!!  

37. Fix broken stuff.
I wouldn't dare! I wouldn't want to deprive my dad you know...

38. Design a dream home.
The one with the book room, the craft room, the film room, the lego room (for my sister), the bedrooms, the large kitchen. That one? 

39. Practice forgiveness.
I think the time has come to forgive my German teacher in high school for not giving me the points I feel I deserved. Perhaps his 'reading' the text did mean 'learning' after all...

I am going places and next year I will turn half a century!
40. Plan your next party.
Well, next year. Seeing Sarah (ie turning 50). Time enough to find some ideas.

41. Kick a bad habit. 
I am not telling you my bad habits. Go find your own to kick!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

What to do? Part 3

It's day three of the ideas and tips I found. Some of you have already picked some of them, others haven't really found any of them to be useful. So, here's the next batch of eleven this time.

21. Create a detailed spreadsheet of how you would spend € 10 million. Or dollars or pounds or whatever your currency is. 
This deserves a post of its own, so the first of next week's posts is sorted!

22. Write a poem or a story.
I am not a poet and I know it. But I do like to write. Even if I never seem to end the story. Might give it a go though, you never know where it might lead.

23. Start a journal or a blog.
I do have a journal. A headache one! And over the last few weeks the entries have started with: no headache. I have started to write more in it as well, about things that happen during the day. And the blog? Well, HELLO!!!

24. Read the books you never have time for.
I don't read at home. I always read at work. And yes, I know I am a bus driver by trade, but that does not mean I read while driving. I read in the small five minute breaks, in the hours of waiting for a group to finally come back. Since I have been at home, I have not opened a single book, but I will start again soon.

25. Yoga or exercise class.
This is a really good one. We are still not banned from going outside and the weather has been glorious, but for some reason I can't find the impetus to get me off my backside and out into that glorious weather to do something. Oh, and forget about the yoga.

26. Spruce up your CV.
I keep it up to date anyway, but I might have an old-fashioned one. Perhaps I could do one like Elle in 'Legally Blonde' and have it on pink scented paper?

27. Start your novel.
Let's stick with the story here. Walk before running.

28. Try an art project.
This sounds like a great idea. There are still some watercolour pencils I gave my mother a few years ago and she didn't really use that much. Although my drawing skills are not that good...

29. Binge on iview.
Yeah, I don't know what that is, but if it has anything to do with watching British programs online: no can do. Unfortunately.

Italian Garden on Ilnacullen (Ireland)
30. Revamp your garden.
And upset my mum? Are you mad? I might pull some weeds at some point, but gardening in general is not my thing. Soooooo not my thing.

31. Practice mindfulness.
Yes, not something I really have gotten into. Although I do know it would be very good for me. Perhaps now might be the time. As soon as I figure out exactly how and what.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

What to do? Part 2

It was so funny to read the comments to yesterday's post. Everybody seemed to pick something else from the list. But perhaps you didn't find something you are particularly enamoured with, so here are the next ten!

11. Write letters of love or thanks to your people. Post them.
This is a nice idea. One to keep in mind.

12. Research something you have always wondered about.
Why is the sky blue? That is something I have wondered about ever since I was a little girl. And one that has popped up lately: What happened to acid rain?

13. Have a scented bubble bath with candles and music.
Problem: the only bath we have in this house is the one meant to bathe your little baby. Not sure I fit in that, let alone the bubbles.

14. Write an advice letter to the teenager you were. Write another to yourself in 20 years.
I think it would involve 'not staying in my room so much, get out there more'.

Sankt Hans bonfire in 2013
15. Learn a heritage skill like: baking, woodwork, preserving, mosaic, ceramics, cheese making, fermenting, foraging, quilting, slow cooking, soap + candle making, crochet, permaculture, knots, fire building, home remedies.
Okay... Baking is not a heritage skill! It is a necessity of life if you want nice home made brownies and cake. What on earth is permaculture? And I am not so sure my parents would be too happy if I tried to learn fire building in the living room or any other room of the house for that matter!

16. Draw an apple using a different style each day for a week.
Apples are for eating. One a day keeps the doctor away. So I eat bananas!

17. Attend a virtual symphony. 
This doesn't really appeal to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind classical music, but this might be a bit too much.

18. Catch up on great movies.
Can be sorted: yesterday my dad and I got five crates of films out of storage. Television mainly consists of Corona, Corona and more Corona. Mind you, one crate is filled with Doctor Who, M*A*S*H and Last of the Summer Wine and a second one with Christmas films. It will keep me/us going for a while at least. Frozen is the first one up!

19. Learn to say a favourite phrase or quote in 7 different languages.
Nou ja zeg, zeven verschillende talen? Das muss doch machbar sein. Jeg snakker allerede fem forskjellige språk. Peut-être une ou deux en plus n'est pas si difficile? What do you think?

20. Try creatively visualising goals.
Not a clue what this might mean, but if it means imagining having a great place to work, a lovely place to live and a good life: I am with that!

Monday, 23 March 2020

What to do? Part 1

Today I saw a list come by on Facebook. Which I printed out and now have sitting next to me. So, one thing I will be doing over the next period is giving you some 'tips' and 'ideas' on what to do. Not courtesy of me mind, I only copied it. I will talk about a few each day and continue over the next week.

1. Sort and tag your digital photos. 
Ah, I always sort them anyway, so no real help to pass time there. Although I am also scanning real photos which does pass some time. Waiting for an album of my sister's which takes some time getting here!

2. Make them into a collage or poster.
That actually doesn't sound too bad. Not too bad at all. Hm. Lightbulb moment here!

3. Research your next holiday.
That is sorted already. Eurovision 2021! Although a trip to my old stomping grounds in Norway would be very welcome now as well...

4. Do a photography project.
Did I not do that with numbers one and two? The only other thing I could think of in this case is actually learning how to use my camera a lot better.

5. Attend a Twitter conference.
I do. Every single ^&%*# morning! All them rotten birds in the guttering squawking and whathaveyou. But if they are talking about the digital Twitter stuff: never been into Twitter, not starting now.

6. Declutter. Baby steps.
Does shredding count? Because I am shredding a lot. Not sure where it keeps coming from, but we are running out of boxes and I am nowhere near the end.

7. Research a charity to support.
My charity this year is 'Foundation Disabled Sport' in the Netherlands. Every year I pick a different one. This year's choice is because of the Paralympics and knowing that not every disabled person has those opportunities. Some don't have any at all.

8. Prep and freeze some meals for when you're sick or back at work. 
Our freezer is full. But prepping a meal is something we now take in turns. Today it's my Dad's turn to make dinner.

9. Create a digital scrapbook.
Not for me thank you.

10. Start a gratitude journal.
Last year I had a gratitude jar and I continued this year.

That's it for today. Even though some may not be for me, how about for you? Oh, and there are more to discuss tomorrow of course, this is part one of 7!!

Saturday, 21 March 2020


Well, another week has passed with terrible little to do. I don't even have to try and look for work anymore! Not a single company is hiring at the moment, as most of their people are home and taking it in turns to work.

I haven't been too bored yet. There was shredding to do, which will continue next week and if we can get some more boxes, that will go on for a while. I don't know where my dad gets all the paperwork to shred from, but it is a lot! 

I am knitting. From dresses and bears to a scarf. And even though the scarf was the simplest to make, it was the most horrid to make as well. I used the beautiful skeins of silk I had gotten a couple of weeks ago and was really looking forward to using it. Until the yarn twisted and twisted and kept twisting. It was maddening! Never again. 

Then I thought to update my Mice for Mama site. So, if you go there now, you will see hardly anything else but stripes. I will update the posts/items for sale as I go, but that will take a couple of days. I have nothing else planned!

We are now taking it in turns to make dinner. Today was my turn, but it was an easy one: left-overs! But there is some other stuff I want to make as well. I can cook and hardly do it anymore. I wonder if it is like riding a bike...

I have also gone back to my genealogy and this photo is one of the treasures found. The gentleman is related to me (brother of my great-grandfather) and there was precious little to find on him. But now I have and this is what I found. A photo in the newspaper announcing their 25th wedding anniversary (or 30th according to another paper). They had had some bad times, but were now on the up again. He really looks like my great-grandfather!

In the mean time Miss O is fine, my sister has been abducted by aliens (washing windows on the outside????) and Brom wants to go on a trip. I am totally with him...

Thursday, 19 March 2020

The haggler

Meet Bruno, with his own real lace collar!
Remember when I told you about my haggling? That I was going to try to get paid according to my skills? Well, the results are back and they are...

Not good!

That is to say, I didn't get out of it what I wanted or even expected. But, they did offer more than I originally was offered. One step up that is. And instead of a year's contract, I now have an indefinite contract, which is also good. Other than that: nothing.

I had to accept. They will not offer more and according to the branch's general contract, they don't have to. And I am not the only one dealing with this. A colleague who wants to work for a different company and has 30 years of experience is also offered step 2. 

Neither of us was really able to put it into words, but the main feeling we have is one of insult. People who have never held the steering wheel of a bus in their hands get the same pay as someone who has over 20 years of experience. Anyway...

My start date will be May 31st, because I can't make May 1st. My parents are having a 50 year anniversary party that weekend, my sister is coming, we are going to stay in a holiday park somewhere and we are going to Eurovision. 

It's going to be 2021, but our tickets will remain valid!
Ah. Wait. There is this tiny thing going in the world right now. Corona or something. Which is already disrupting life tremendously. The chances at this moment of the party getting the go-ahead, are getting slimmer every day. The chances of my sister flying in? Not a clue. The holiday park at this moment is closed and we don't know if they open on time. And Eurovision? Not this year!

Which means I could start on May 1st perhaps. But you know, this Corona thing. Which means that at this time half of the regular drivers are home already, all temps are sent home and whether or not the first new drivers can start in May is at this moment questionable.

On the plus side: my car is good to go for another year (after paying nearly half my savings, which are depleting rapidly), next week I should get my first unemployment money and, if things go well, I should also get paid for February. Filling the coffers somewhat.

My mum has gone mad: page markers by the dozen and she is not finished making them yet
My favourite is the red, white and blue one on the right.
But, we are all good. Nobody is ill here at number 49 and I have just finished a new addition to my hug of bears: Bruno.

Stay healthy everybody!!