Wednesday, 16 September 2020


The last time I had any time off (not Corona-related) was back in December when I visited my sister. Because due to Corona, our holiday in May never happened. And I was really getting to feel that I needed some time away.

Then I saw in my roster that I had a day off, then two days work and then four days off. What if I could get those two days off as well, making a whole week. So I tried. Was told that the second day was most likely fine, but the first might prove problematic. 

Yesterday the first was shown as off. Today the second one as well. YES! A whole week off! What to do though?

Well, remember the voucher I won last year for a two-night stay for two in one of the hotels belonging to Center Parcs? It was still valid and I still had a Corona-voucher as well with some money left on it. 

It took a bit of puzzling on the side of the Belgian lady who answered the phone, but in the end we managed it. The park I wanted to go to for four nights. Two paid for by the won voucher and two by the Corona voucher. Breakfast included. 

I am so looking forward to it!

She's not coming. Brom will be though and I bet he will have plenty to see.
PS: I am going to the Hochsauerland resort close to Winterberg. 

Monday, 14 September 2020

National day of migraine

On Saturday it was the national day of migraine here in the Netherlands. Which was very fitting, as I came down with one on Friday. I did work and boy, it was tough. When I got home, I went straight to bed and stayed there for about three hours. 

Once I got down again, I did try some food, but gave it up as a bad job. My stomach seemed to agree, as only half an hour later, it was all in the bowl I had managed to get in time. I did feel a bit better after that though.

Saturday was a bit of up and down really, not the heavy pain of the day before, but still quite wary of food and still over sensitive to sound and light. Earplugs and night glasses (yellow glass that takes away the glare) helped with that. Another visit to my bed in the afternoon was good as well, and after that the pain was reduced to the occasional twinge or flash. 

Another early night however for me, and a nice long sleep. I only woke when Miss O started to dance along to the girls who had mysteriously appeared in my room and danced. 

One thing that did come out of this whole episode though is the fact that I finally broke the magical barrier of 100 kg. Yes, I know most of it is fluid and it will be easily replaced, but I am pleased regardless. Now to keep that up and going...

Sunday, 13 September 2020

Photo on Sunday 2020-21

Through the magic 100!

Wednesday, 9 September 2020


I had planned to keep my little red car for a few more years. After all, it worked fine, despite not having a radio that did what I wanted or any of the other mod cons that are associated with cars nowadays. And then some idiot ploughed straight into me with a fair amount of speed. Not only did it hurt my neck, it also seriously hurt my little red car.

The conclusion by the garage was that it would be a total loss: ie the cost of repairing was greater than the worth of the car. The conclusion by the insurance company was that the other party was wholly responsible, it then sent the paperwork off to the other insurance company and I am now waiting for a result of that. Which will most likely come in monetary form.

For me it all means that I am not feeling too safe in my little red car anymore. Yes, it is still perfectly drivable, but it has sustained some injuries that may not be visible, but may well be very detrimental. A new car then. 

This morning me and my parents headed out to our local car dealership (where I bought the red one as well) and had a look around. There was a white one I really liked, but that was way too dear. There was a blue one I liked, but if I were going for a newer one, I might as well go as new as possible and 10 years wasn't that new. 

In the end I settled on Karl. Provided the insurance company comes through shortly and I get the financial arrangement I want, I will soon be the proud new owner of a three year old car!

Monday, 7 September 2020

Flummoxing pension things

One thing that I was going on about last week was my pension and how I was trying to get them all in one place. The first response came back on Saturday: the Dutch company I wanted the funds transferred from has not enough money at the moment to do so! I will have to wait until they have some again...

The other company I wanted money transferred from is in the UK and was asking for a lot of information that I need to give them. All was well, apart from one number. So, I called my current Dutch pension fund for a QROPS number and they didn't know. They would ask and I would be called back. Which never happened. Nor did I get an email. 

Today I called back again. I got a nice gentleman on the phone and he helped me out tremendously. Well, up to the point where I asked for the QROPS number. Which completely flummoxed him. He would ask again and in the mean time I would phone the UK to see what they could provide me with. 

So, I phoned the UK. After a long story about how pensions worked and how I could take money bla bla bla bla... I finally got through to a person. Who then didn't have a clue what I was going on about. She asked somebody else and gave me an answer that was not right. At least I thought it wasn't right. Could she patch me through?

I got patched through, I spoke to a Katie (I think) and she said something completely different again. Because she got the story from me and realised I was somewhere else altogether. In the end she found the list with the QROPS numbers on, but could not find the fund. Ah well, not to worry, leave the number out, explain why and send the whole lot to them. Which I will do today. 

Now I just need to phone the Dutch fund again... 

Monday, 31 August 2020

It's a new week with plenty of new chances

Age baby, a long time before any pension!
There is the pension thing I spent a few hours on today. Trying to collect all my pensions into one, so I know sort of what I get once I turn 68 (nearly 19 years to go, yikes). 

There is the accident thing I spent some time on today. I received a message from the garage that it is definitely a total loss for the car. I received a message from my insurance company saying they have sent my details on to the other party's company and that I have to deal with them directly. Plus even later I received a message from the other party himself saying he can't find my insurer. 

There is also the thing of my neck and back and head still not being quite okay. Yes, on Friday it felt much better, but I did take a fair bit of medication then. I think I slackened too soon with the meds however and now it feels not sore, just blergh. Annoying. 

Then there is the weight thing. I didn't spend too much time on that this morning, but I was not surprised when I saw that I had gained a few grams again, what with said birthday and said accident. I am however, nearing the double figures (before the comma) and still pleased. 

Plus there's the thing about work. I was due to work today, but they gave me a day off due to the fact they are giving me longer shifts this week. I should only do about 6,5 hours a day, but if I get an 8,5 hour shift, I have 2 hours over which then should be compensated for, ie in extra days off. I am not complaining!!

That's the thing. 

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Photo on Sunday 2020-20

As spotted near our garden a week or so ago.

Thursday, 27 August 2020


Yesterday morning the weather was just absolutely foul and there was no way I was going to cycle to work. I took the car instead and how lovely it was, being nice and dry. I was nearing work and waiting for some lights to turn green, when all of a sudden: Bam! I had been hit by the car behind me. I slammed forward and just about managed to hit the brakes before hitting the car in front of me. 

Immediately my neck hurt and a headache came up and it took me a minute to get my full bearings again. The person from the car behind came forward with his European Damage Form, but I told him, we were in the middle of a very busy road and traffic was going fast: we needed to move. We then moved to a quieter road where we filled out the form (we don't just exchange names and numbers, we go official and it takes a lot of the sting out of it).

After we had filled out the entire thing (well, the front anyway), we realised we had filled out the wrong page so after I located another one, we started afresh. Finally, about three quarters of an hour later, we could both continue on our journey. 

I had already phoned work to say I was going to be late due to an accident, so when I arrived 45 minutes late, it was not a problem. Somebody else had taken over my shift and I just needed to release him. After a few hours driving however, I thought it might be prudent to phone my gp and make an appointment to check I was okay. 

Which meant that once I had finished work for the day, I headed to my gp to get checked. Well, no whiplash (they don't use that term anymore apparently), but listen to my body and rest for a week, after which I could start again. And for insurance reasons: get an x-ray.

This morning I phoned the hospital to get the x-ray sorted and I could come almost immediately. With a hurting back, neck and head I was driven by my Dad to get x-rayed. However, once there, I was told a scan would be a better option. Off we went to the first aid department. 

Once there I was prodded by the doctor and in the end they told me that due to the symptoms I presented they weren't sure that a CT scan would be adding any new information, so they adviced me to take pain medication. I also should do things so my muscles wouldn't start to stiffen up and cause more trouble. So far the pain killers are doing their job, although hoovering, cleaning toilets or work are not going to happen just now.

There was however one other party involved in this accident: my lovely red car. After visiting the gp yesterday afternoon, I drove to the garage to have it checked out. It looked okay-ish, but I know from experience that looks can be great deceivers. I made it just before closing time for the mechanics, but they did have a look.

Basically, the rear bumper may look okay, but it has been pushed forward causing trouble for the boot, the bumper itself, the light and who knows what else. Apparently the cost of repairing all of that goes way over the value of the car which means it will declared a total loss. Which in turn will most likely mean I will have to go on the look out for a new vehicle. I will find out soon, as it is now an insurance case.

But, everything else is fine. Just so you know.

Friday, 21 August 2020


The Dutch mind seems to be a sort of diseased mind. It is the one language in the world where most of the curse words have a diseased background. Literally! Anything from the Smallpox and the Plague to Cancer and Tuberculosis can be used to curse, usually in combination with (genital) body parts. 

Especially the Cancer one is seen as very oppressive and awful, and I do yet I don't quite get that. Why that more than the others? Because the others are not as prevalent (and in the case of Smallpox: eradicated)? I try to stay away from any of them, yet even I have at times used 'Tering' (Consumption or TB) as an exclamation of surprise/shock/anger. And the verb 'kankeren' (to cancer) is definitely used a lot. It means to complain, to moan, to grumble, to gripe.

Over the past few decades, new major diseases have come in. Aids being one of them and the most recent of course Corona. For some reason Aids never made it into our cursing vocabulary. I wonder what Corona will do. Perhaps in a hundred years, the exclamation will have gone from TB to Corona. 

Just wondering...

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Just stuff

Sometimes my life isn't that interesting at all. Just the mundane stuff of day to day living. Like doing the laundry. Ironing sheets and tea towels and gazillions of handkerchiefs and the occasional shirt as well. Folding up clothes and towels. 

I do a fair bit of cooking. Last Sunday I made a complete dinner: starter, main and dessert. The starter was so easy and really good: tomato and basil soup. Done within half an hour with barely any fuss. Plus, as soups go, really tasty as well, even my Dad said so (he is not fond of tomato soup). 

The main was crispy duck with Chinese pancakes, which were all done from scratch. A bit more work, but my golly, it was really good. Definitely a keeper for the books! And for dessert we had a dessert I had already made once, but was so good, I did it again. 

After four days off, it was also back to work. Not that I am really overtaxing myself here: my shifts this week are between 5 and 8 hours. Yesterday I had a shift just short of 5 hours with a one hour paid break! Of course there will be weeks where I will work more (not next week though), but as I am only on 32 hours a week, it's fine. 

I have gone back to reading as well. Which is obvious, as I have gone back to working. And for me those two go together. During my four and a half months at home, I barely touched a book and if I did, it didn't hold my attention for long. But, now I am back and I have to really work to get caught up, according to Goodreads, I am 28 books behind schedule!

I did start reading Harry Potter again (start number 5 soon), but I am also going back to the book club I joined a while ago: the next book to read is The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving. I read this when I was in my late teens, so it will be interesting to know what I remember (nothing most likely) and how I feel about it now, as I loved it then.

The head is keeping up as well. I keep a record now of when I do get a headache. The longest without was about a month, which was really good going. Recently it was about 10 days, which is still okay. My back was also starting to give me trouble, but I had to adjust my seat differently and problem gone! My knee is still a bit of a grrr, in that walking for longer distances will give me bother. Cycling is okay, but I only cycle to work on early/day shifts and only if the weather is good. During last week's heatwave, there was no way I was going to cycle to work. 

Other than that, everything is going fine. The finances are looking up. We are still Corona free. Miss O is still scared stiff of Hitler, the black and white cat prowling around the neighbourhood (we don't know its real name, but she scares Miss O, hence Hitler). 

And life continues...