Tuesday 30 September 2008


No, not the temperature, I have a cold. A whopping great one at that. One where you don't use a lot of hankies, but you do sniff a lot. And sneeze occasionally. And all my sinuses are blocked.

All this is not helped a great deal by the weather: wind, rain, cold. And when I choose not to bring my Tweety-suit into work, it serves me right if I get sicker and can't go to Berlin this weekend. Oh, and a Tweety-suit is a rainsuit, designed to keep me dry while cycling home (I don't own a car) and it's bright yellow, hence Tweety.

Another idea perhaps: take the Tweety-suit into work tomorrow, just in case it rains!

Monday 29 September 2008

Bad idea

Today I've learned that when I leave the heating on at night, I sleep very bad! A lot of weird dreams (climbing on roofs and stuff like that, it ended well though), a stinking cold coming up and then a full day of work.

So tonight: I WILL turn the heating off to allow me a good night's rest!
Good night...

Saturday 27 September 2008


While on the busstation in Lelystad:

Are you 135?
No, I'm 37, I don't know anyone that old!


Wednesday 24 September 2008

Work is a riot!

I am not the world's greatest fan of people between 12 and 18. However, when I see riot police knocking them about a bit (and then some in some cases) I have to admit I like it. By now, you're probably wondering what the ??? Let me explain.

Part of my job is (occasionally) driving military personel around. From the driving range to the base or from the base to some far off field in Farawayistan. However, we also have to pick up college kids who want to join the armed forces and are now in a 'orientation' year in school. They get taught how to march, how to obey (brilliant), how to be soldiers, before they have to make their final choice. Every once and a while they have to go into the field in either army, navy or airforce and learn the soldiers' ways. Today they learned that a stick from the riot police hurts. A great deal!

This morning I had to pick up a coach load of college kids and take them to the army training grounds close by. After we had finally found it, everyone got off the coach. After about half an hour they all scattered into the woods, tied themselves to trees and generally making a big nuisance of themselves and scaring the squirrels. Not long after that the riot police showed up in full gear and started driving them from the woods. After only five minutes the first kid was taken into custody and shown to the arrest vehicle (my coach). Within about half an hour all kids were out and (of course) the riot police had won. Half an hour later, the kids moved into the woods again and a new platoon arrived to chase them out.

In the afternoon it happened for a third time. But this time there was a little catch. Since the terrain they were using is army terrain (riot police was army riot police), there were actually soldiers using the terrain for training. And when suddenly the shots got quite close, it turned out they were using the same area the riot police were using! Good thing they were using blanks... Anyway, the some of the kids loved it and really got into the swing of things, others just thought it pointless and stupid.

I loved it!

The part I didn't love though, was the part where I got back home and realised I had to clear and clean up after the lot of them. Sand, heather, twigs, leaves and other assorted junk and debris covered the floor and even some seats! It took me over an hour to get the coach presentable for tomorrow! But my day was ok!

Tuesday 23 September 2008


I saw the first batch of sugarbeets today and that means it's autumn. Living in the country like I do, means the year is defined by nature as well as farmers. In the spring the tulips are in bloom, in the summer the wheat is golden and during the autumn all potatoes, sugarbeets, carrots and onions come out of the ground.

Everything coming out of the ground means another thing as well: the roads become more and more unpassable. Tractors taking the harvest to either the farm or the weighing station and lots of mud on the roads. The gazillion onions, carrots and potatoes by the side of the road, being squashed by passing cars, lorries and buses, turning the road into a bad foodfight. The smell of onions in the air (which, by the way, I love) and the general hum of activity.

And it's not only the farmers who are busy. Nature is trying to get ready for winter as well. Leaves are falling everywhere and covering the ground. So far it has been dry, but the minute it starts to rain, the leaves will get slippery, making it harder for me to cycle to work. The temperature has dropped a bit and at night I have to turn on the heating. I have already changed the duvet to the autumn duvet and, in preparation for real cold, I have put my gloves in my coat-pockets.

I love the autumn!

Tuesday 16 September 2008


A lot of people know I want to emigrate, since I never made any secret about it. But this morning an old colleague came up to me and asked me whether I had plans to move to the other side of the pond. This was a man I hadn't spoken to in over a year, I only saw him in passing occasionally. When I asked him where he got the (correct) information from he told me it was a singer in a local shanty choir. I had never heard of the shanty choir and never of the man in question. Which of course made it quite funny, since apparently there are people who know my stuff, when I don't even know them.

I've never really felt I had to stay in the Netherlands. When I was living in France I thought about making a life there. Same for England. But in the end I always came back home. This time however, I'm not planning on coming home. I'm planning on making my home somewhere else. And as soon as I started thinking about Canada (not as far as Australia or New Zealand and it's not the USA), I started telling people about it. I know quite a few people thought I would never make it, for several reasons. But there have also been people who've told me to go for it. Don't wait until..., just do it.

My dream (number 9 it is) is getting more real by the day. I know they need drivers in Canada, at least I've heard they do. My financial situation is out of death's grasp, in other words, my debt is nearly gone. And as soon as the debt has completely cleared, I can start saving to make my way over!
For now, dream number 9 is however still dream number 9 and not reality. But it's always nice to know that people wish me good luck. Even when I've never heard of them...

Friday 12 September 2008


Scotland is quite well known for its rain. Apparently it rains a lot over there. An awful lot according to some people. However, when I was there last week, I didn't see that much rain. We had some rain in Gretna Green, it drizzled in Glasgow. It poured down as we were going past Loch Ness and it drizzled again in Edinburgh. Other than that it was dry and occasionally even sunny.

I got back home and over here it was quite nice weather. Sunny, warm, lovely September weather. It didn't last... Because today was a day filled with rain. Anything from drizzling to pouring. It could have been Scotland! Apart from the Highlands, the Lochs, the Pipers, the men in kilts and the whisky that is.
When I first moved to where I live now, the first three weeks were filled with rain. But whenever I go to a so-called 'rainy' country (ie Ireland, Scotland), the days are nearly always filled with sunshine and dry-ness (is that a word?) and the country shows itself in its full glory. However, I've also had absolute downpours in Rome, a country not normally known for its rain.
Perhaps the rain today has infiltrated my brain. The whole entry today is a bit grshiltsh (and I know that definitely is NOT a word). I'm sorry!!!

Wednesday 10 September 2008


Do you know the saying: too many cooks spoil the broth? Well, I am the head chef of my broth and during the last week I had one passenger trying to add salt, pepper and a whole lot more and annoying me no end in the process.

As I mentioned in my last entry, I was off to Scotland for just over a week. On the coach was a nice group of people aged 60 and over and quite a few single women under 50. Even a few single men (whohay). We saw Glasgow with a guide in a lovely kilt (he wore socks and shoes underneath), we saw Loch Ness, but alas, the monster wasn't home or asleep or something. We went to see a lovely romantic little castle. Lots and lots of sheep. Men in kilts. We tasted whisky at Glenfiddich. Saw more sheep. I took a road definitely not designed to have a coach drive on it. We saw absolutely beautiful scenery, Edinburgh and more sheep.

And in the mean time the broth was being spoilt by a woman who got on my nerves. BIG TIME!! At first she seemed quite ok, but after only two days I had to adjust my opinion. She was just annoying and got more so as the week wore on. Fortunately some of the other guests were as annoyed by her as I was. I was so happy to finish a trip.

I've had bad trips before. Last year while on a trip to Italy I phoned my parents at two in the morning just to vent. This year nearly everything that could go wrong did go wrong on a trip to Ireland. But this trip? Grrrrrrr.....

I'm back home now though and the bottle of Glenfiddich (one shot in it) is empty and I hope I will never lay eyes on that woman again!


Tuesday 2 September 2008


I'm off to see the Highlands, the bagpipes, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Balmoral Castle for tea with the Queen and of course Nessie (although I've heard she relocated to the Bay of Dingle (Ireland), because she was fed up with all the people coming to look at her). In other words, I will be going to Scotland today. I will be away for a week and will not blog until I return. I never want the people coming on the trip with me to see what I write, in case I write nasty stuff about them.

Anyhow, I will see you all next week!