Monday 30 March 2015

The daily grind

I had gotten quite used to waking up at about 8.30am every morning. Sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later. The amount of times I had to get up at around 5am in the last eight weeks, I can count on the fingers on one hand! Most notably of course the day I was to go to the hospital (the day of the operation was actually 6am). 

But, going back to work means alarm clocks again. Waking up early again. Putting on my uniform again. Making a packed lunch again. It was tiring and I hadn't even gotten out of the door yet. 

Because I had been a bit apprehensive about going back to work and driving again, I had asked for a support driver. Just in case. For some reason this got misunderstood. Instead of someone supporting me in case of, I was supposed to be supporting somebody else! Well, after eight weeks of not driving (not counting the one day between holiday and sick leave), I was not letting somebody else do the driving!! So, the person on training, could just sit beside/behind me and tell me what way to go. Everything else I would do myself thank you very much. 

The shift I had wasn't too long. Fortunately, because by the end I was completely pooped. I am glad to say though, I was immediately at ease behind the wheel again. I knew my routes (even the one I hadn't done before, since it changed during my leave) and was even able to (more or less) keep to the time table. Tomorrow I will have an easy day. Yes, it's longer, but the routes are not hard and there aren't that many people around since it's Easter holiday this week. 

In other news: I deposited the money order and was told the money was going in immediately. Which means I can pay the rent on time! All of my colleagues I told about it, were quite surprised about the whole thing. They all thought it would arrive naturally in my bank account. It must have been something I did wrong (like not filling out the account number), but it's finally done now and I don't plan on going on sick leave any time soon again!

Sunday 29 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-11

It's spring. Or at least it ought to be. And the weather here in Norway over the last week has shown that it can be quite springy. Blue skies, flowers everywhere, well, trying to anyway. And then one day I woke up and found this! 

It was gone in about an hour again, but still. It's spring, it should be warming up. No more white stuff and double digits would be nice again. Hopefully soon...

Saturday 28 March 2015


For days I have been checking my bank account now. Every day I checked to see whether any more money had arrived. And every day I was seriously disappointed. I knew how much money was due to come in, I had after all gotten the letter from the Social Security people, yet no money appeared.

Today I got another letter, stating how much money I had been paid, how much taxes and such. At the bottom it stated where (website) I could find when the money would arrive. But for some reason I didn't go there. Instead I got back to the first letter. And looked it over. Properly this time.

Oh my Grrrrrrrr. Really? Could I have been that blonde? Could I have been that stupid? Well, apparently I could have. Since I got the letter four days ago and could have had the money around the same time. If only...

If only I had read it properly. Which I obviously hadn't. Because I thought that since Norway is such a civilised country with such good internet banking and such, the money would be paid into my account. Alas. That was not how it works. At least not for me this time. 

I got a letter with a little bit attached. Normally it would be the to-pay bit, this time it was the to-be-paid bit. Which I have to fill out and take to my bank! And obviously haven't done yet and today the banks are closed. Monday will be my first option. I had better get in touch with my landlady!


Friday 27 March 2015


Now, I don't know if you remember, but just before I went into hospital, I found out my iPod wasn't working. The music device I had bought especially to keep me company while in hospital. I took it along, hoping that some Bergen juice would help, but in the end I had to settle for my good old mp3 player. With around 1700 numbers. Which go round and round and round.

I couldn't load the iPod. I would connect it to my laptop and the only thing that would come up on screen was: device not recognised. Extremely annoying to say the least. So, not only was there no juice, there was also no transferring of great songs. 

This week, I decided to try again. Perhaps my laptop had gotten over its temporary lapse of judgement and would recognise the thing and take it into its arms. Well, I am glad to say it did. Not only that, music was transferred, as were photos of artists and national flags and of course it loaded up without a problem. 

I wanted a pink one, but they only had yellow left!
You know what type of music I have on my iPod: Eurovision and with the newest installment coming up in May, including an act from Australia, more music is on its way. But it's not only that. I also have a large collection of musical numbers, from Singin' in the Rain and The Sound of Music to lesser known musicals like A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and A Little Night Music. I love how I am able to bellow along with Oklahoma! or sing along with Somewhere Over The Rainbow. My least favourite is Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music. It gets on my nerves, but I will not take it off my iPod either.

Other than that: a large collection of Dutch songs from several decades. Songs about creepy crawlies while sobering up, the atomic bomb, hookers, how to grow your own weed, moths and plenty of love songs. I love Glen Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Carmen Miranda, Frank Sinatra. I have recently started to listen to country music with Dolly and Reba leading the pack. Sixties, seventies and eighties (although the latter not nearly enough) are well represented and thanks to my sister a good dose of classical music as well. Don't think I recognise them, but every once I even surprise myself!

And how do I listen to them? Well, I just lump the lot together, hit shuffle and off I go. I will sing along to the Dutch and the English or hum along if I don't know the lyrics. I will dance along to the numbers if they require dancing along to, which is not much (requiring that is) and I will direct. And occasionally, when out listening to music while walking, I will do several of those at once, apparently making quite a spectacle of myself! 

Let's just hope the iPod will keep going now. And for plenty of good music to be put on, after all, I only use about one quarter of the thing!!

This post is prompted by Spin Cycle. Thank you Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie.

Wednesday 25 March 2015

Money money money

Being on sick leave is getting old now and I must admit that even though I have gotten used to daytime television, I would like to be getting back to work as well. If only to make some money again!

In Norway (as in the Netherlands and most other European countries) when I have to go to hospital: it's free. I don't pay a penny towards care, towards medication, towards anything. Only when I come out of hospital do I start paying for my own medication. As well as not having to pay for my hospital stay, I get money for being sick. No, that is putting it wrong. I don't get money for being sick, however I do get sick pay. Because I do pay my taxes and the rent does need to be paid!

The only problem with my sick pay is that it is not the company I work for that pays it. Only the first month of my being sick is paid by the company, after that the social office takes over. The one that pays out pensions, disability pay, unemployment pay and more. The company I work for pays me around the third week of the month. The social office does not. My pay from the company (I still had some owed) was less than one tenth of my normal pay. It wouldn't even pay a third of the rent!

Fortunately I still had some money left over from last month and I had some savings left. I can't wait to get the rest of the money though, which is due this week. It's a good thing I have just stocked up on catfood!

So, it will be good to get back to work. Earn money. Fill up my accounts. Before my holiday money will be coming in in two months' time!

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Mystery solved

There were a lot of questions about my photos on Sunday. Not least from me! The main question was of course on what it was. Not only on my blog but on my Facebook page as well (where I had posted some photos as well). Today I found out.

I went for another walk today and decided that I would take my camera along again as well. You never know, something might have changed. And when I got to the area where I took the photos, I saw very quickly that it had changed and didn't look anything like it did on Saturday. 

The pond is underneath some deciduous trees which of course shed their leaves in autumn. In the water. Where they will rot. Enough leaves do that and they might not all rot completely which leaves a certain residue. Normally this would show as some green goo or algae in the water. However, when the waterlevel drops, the goo/algae sticks to sticks also in the water and form these beautiful sails.

On Sunday it rained and so it did last night, hence rising waterlevels in the ponds. Not much, but enough to cover all the sticks again and show the goo/algae as it normally shows. Under water!

Sunday 22 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-10

During my walk yesterday, I came upon this pond/ditch/watery bit. That was not what drew me to it though. It was the slimy bits in the whatever it was. And since I had my camera at the ready, here are some of the photos!

It looks a bit like sail boats, but with green sails, don't they? Especially the one at the bottom. Not sure how seaworthy it would be, what with all those holes!

Saturday 21 March 2015

Getting fit

Not a bad day for a walk!
After relaxing yesterday (what's new?), I decided today would be my first day of starting to get fit and the best way to do that was to do the same tour I did during the summer last year. I know how long it used to take (about 45 minutes), so if I were able to do that again, I would be happy. I set off today in good spirits carrying my camera and a bottle of water.

It took me a little over an hour, including the three short stops on the way. Oh, and including the photo stops I included. Which means, that I am happy. Of course right now I am pretty tired. Again. But if I keep this up, I should be fine once I get back to work.

Friday 20 March 2015

Oh wow!

I was due to go on a course on Wednesday and Thursday. All the way in Bergen. And do you remember where I had my operation? So, putting two and two together and reaching three four, I thought it might also be a good idea to have my check-up in Bergen. I would be a little late for my course, but I had given notice of that. 

The colleague who dropped me off at the hospital dropped me off at the main entrance. From there I had to make my way to the women's clinic. Quite a way away, so I walked. I then waited at the women's clinic until it was my turn (had to wait a bit extra), but was then told I was completely fine, the scar looked great and yes, if I wanted I could go to the sauna or the swimming pool, as long as the scar wouldn't be in the sun. 

Then I walked back up to the main hospital and took a taxi to the hotel. Where I spent the rest of my day listening and participating in a course. When the course had finished for the day we needed to find a place to stay. The hotel we ended up in was in walking distance of the hotel we had our course in, so off we trotted. We needed dinner of course. So, we had decided to have dinner in the hotel. Which turned out to be so expensive and such a one sided affair (fish and wine), that we decided another restaurant was in order.

Another restaurant was to be found in the center of town. I felt fine, so we decided to walk. And of course after dinner we walked back. Now, I will admit I am not in the best of shapes. After all, I have been convalescing and getting rid of pain and such. But once I was back at the hotel I was absolutely pooped. And the next day wasn't much better. My leg muscles were screaming and because I hadn't had a great night, I wasn't very rested either. So, getting through the day was a bit of a challenge, but I managed in the end. 

I was very glad to be home again though. One more week of convalescing and of getting back in some semblance of shape, so I won't be too tired after a day of work. Fortunately because it's the Easter holiday, I have an easy week to start me off: two days of work, then two days off, one day of work and then two days off again. But I had better start walking again!!

Monday 16 March 2015


Always a trial to go to the hairdresser's
I have always considered myself a bit of a cry-baby, because of a very low pain threshold. When others wouldn't feel a thing, I have a raging headache. When others sit in the hairdresser's chair and without any problem have their hair combed and pulled and such, I flinch and try to get away. Needless to say perms are out of the question. When somebody tries to stick a needle in me, I tense up and want to jerk my hand/arm/whatever else away.

However, when I do get a headache, I don't go running to my gp, I don't call in sick, I take a paracetamol and go to work. The same happened when I started having pain in my leg. I didn't know what it was and even though I did go to my gp in the end, I didn't skip a day of work over it. When the pain in my stomach started, I took more pills, but still kept working. 

The pain got worse, I finally got myself to my gp, who finally got on my side, sent me to have tests and then to the gynaecologist. After nearly a year since I first got the pains and aches I got the operation to remove the cancer (which I didn't have) and then the endometriosis (which I did have). Apart from the operation lasting longer than originally thought, it all went well. 

The pain was there, but managed beautifully by epidural and pills. Getting up was painful, lying down was painful, walking was painful, heck even doing nothing was painful. I was glad I had the medication I got, everything from morphine based to paracetamol. The pain wasn't about to go away that fast either: I got an infection in one of the worst places, swelling the area, stretching the skin with the staples still in. More pills, this time antibiotics.

The epidural was taken out after only a few days, the morphine pills were stopped after two weeks, the antibiotics lasted until early last week and on Friday I decided that enough was enough: no more paracetamol. No more pain killers. And since then I haven't needed them. Yes, I know it's early days, but I think the pain is gone. It is of course still sensitive to the touch, but it doesn't hurt anymore. 

Fly away pain! And STAY away!!
Goal 4 of this year has been met! I got rid of the pain.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-09

While on my first proper walk on Friday, I came across the rectory garden. Which was absolutely awash with purple crocuses. So, what is a girl to do but to take photos!?

Friday 13 March 2015

It's definite!

Ever since last Thursday (the day that went missing), some person tried to get in touch with me. It took a bit of detective work from me to find out that it was coming from the women's clinic where I had had my operation, but that still didn't mean I knew who had called. Was it the gynaecologist, the surgeon or somebody else? 

I tried phoning the number back, but had no luck in reaching anybody. I tried phoning another number in the same clinic, but still didn't get through to somebody I needed. Today I tried again. Today I got hold of somebody. And after listening to her for about a minute, I realised it was the Dutch surgeon. 

Well, she recognised me after that as well and told me the letter was underway (sent on Monday, still not here today), but she was able to tell me what it said in the letter: no signs of cancer had been found and all the trouble and pain I have had were most likely due to complications related to the endometriosis (mainly the trapped urinary tract). Not that I had ever been afraid of having cancer, especially after they found the endometriosis.

Since I will be in Bergen next week anyway, I decided to have a little check-up at the clinic. Mainly because the scar is not healing as well as it should down south. But the best news of the day: NO CANCER!

Wednesday 11 March 2015


Today was the first day I got myself out of the house and made my way to work. Driving! I am only on paracetamols now and it was about time I got out. Plus I needed milk. Which is not something I get at work, but I figured that since I would be at work, I might as well visit the supermarket as well. 

While at work I talked to several colleagues I hadn't seen in several weeks and one of them asked me where I had had my operation (and no, he didn't mean which hospital). I showed him where on my body the zip could be located and he thought I was joking. He didn't believe that where I pointed (from the navel down) was where I had been operated. He figured it would be either the shoulder or the knee, since I am after all a busdriver and that's where busdrivers have their problems.

After visiting my colleagues and the office, I made my way to the supermarket. Not my small local one, but the big huge one that is always way too busy. Although they do have more choice in flowers so I got the carnations I like which is good. I had made sure I had plenty of plastic bags with me, so I wouldn't overload any bags with my shopping. I am after all not allowed to carry more than 5 kg (about 10 pounds). In turn that meant five trips to the car to get everything home. 

In other news: the toilet is sorted. The water has stopped and it sounds a lot better. Now it's just hoping the rest will be sorted soon as well. 

Monday 9 March 2015

The watersaga

Remember the watersaga? About the waterpump, the septic tank and even about the broken pipe in the kitchen while my mother was here. 

They came to measure the kitchen so they could fit a new one soon. The pipe was fixed and then last week they came to get water to get it tested. The results would be back in about 7 working days. So, I was quite surprised when I talked to the landlady on Friday and she told me (quite urgently) not to drink any unboilt water! Since the lab had gotten back to them (only a few days!) and told them they already saw way too many bacteria that shouldn't be there! 

The landlady even told me it might be wise not even showering! Because of the wound and all! Great. I don't know what the lab had said about that, but she was most adament. 

In other news (well, same subject really), the toilet is playing up. The water keeps coming and coming and coming. The only way to stop it is to turn off the pump, which in turn means no water at all. Mind you, I'm not allowed to drink the stuff anyway, but having to go down to switch the pump off and on everytime I need the loo....

Ah well, soon I will be connected to the communal water supply, the septic tank will be sorted and I will have a new kitchen. 

Life is great in the country!

Sunday 8 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-08

Spotted on Wednesday morning (around 10am) in the field across the road from where I live.

I opened the window to take the photos which didn't seem to disturb it. Clicking my tongue finally got it to look up.

A few more clicks though and it scarpered. I love living in the country!

Friday 6 March 2015


As I was reading through my bloglist today, I saw the word Friday pop up. Well, that couldn't be true! I knew for a fact that it was only Thursday. Until I realised it was actually Friday! Where did Thursday go? Because I distinctly recall yesterday being Wednesday.

Thursday is an important day of the week I think. I mean Thursday is the day that I was exactly one day old! I think that is very important. Perhaps not that interesting, but for me at least it is important. 

Since it's apparently Friday today, it must be Saturday tomorrow. Weekend. I wonder how many days next week will have...

Thursday 5 March 2015


I could have waited for Sunday of course and posted it for my Photo on Sunday. But I already have another set of photos scheduled for Sunday and I didn't really know what to post about today. Hence...

When I got home from the hospital, my mother had already bought some flowers (my favourite): carnations, albeit yellow. Only a few days later I got some more flowers, this time from work. They were tulips. But after a while those flowers both started dying and wilting and smelling a little. 

So, I needed (well, wanted really) some new flowers. I got narcissuses in a pot and (again) some tulips. But only because I didn't find any carnations I liked. Anyway, the flowers at least bring some spring into the house, since it's drizzly and yucky outside. 

Wednesday 4 March 2015


The original plan for me was to have both the uterus and both ovaries and other assorted equipment removed. Once they saw that one ovary was actually still fine, they decided to leave that one in. Especially since there was no cancer. It also changed the treatment I would have afterwards. Originally I would need hormone treatment to keep me from being menopausal at once and keep me from developing more problems like cancer, cysts or whatever. Now however...

Because one ovary was left in, I would not get menopausal. Which in turn would mean no hormones. But. There was a severe case of endometriosis. And in order for that not to come back any time soon (hopefully never), I would have to take the anti conception pill for the time between now and the natural menopause. With a little twist though. The first month would be different. Because only two days after coming out of hospital I had an injection that would effectively stop the workings of the ovary and throw me into early menopause! Albeit for a month only.

Well, it has hit! Last night as I was watching television I was throwing off my blanket, pulling it back on, throwing it off again etc etc. Two more weeks and then I will start on the pill. And hopefully my body will go back to 'normal'!

PS: thank you to Yamini for the inspiration of the title. And the cartoon which I loved and used here. Mainly because I have been drinking so much apple juice lately!

Monday 2 March 2015

On my feet

After two weeks of sitting at home, occasionally getting out to go to the shops/pharmacy/doctor's, I was getting quite bored. I even wrote about it last week! Since then I have gotten a bit more used to it. Today I needed milk and bread and stuff and I got in touch with one of my colleagues who came and picked me up. And she uttered the words: shop or do you want to go to work? Well... why not work?

So, I ended up at work. Where I was able to talk to colleagues, have a little laugh and basically see something else than just the beautiful view from my living room window! After that she took me to the wool shop (we both needed knitting needles), the supermarket, the pharmacy and the flower shop. We had a little lunch and then she drove me home. I must admit that I was tired by then. A lot more tired than I had thought! 

Not even half an hour later, I found myself with a new coffeetable. Last night a colleague came by with pizza and he offered me a new table. Or basically a table, since I was still using moving crates! It's a nice coffeetable, a bit higher than the crates I used before and a bit bigger as well. But it looks nice and it certainly holds a lot more stuff! As long as it's not too small: it will fall through the gaps in that case!

I am on the move again!!

Sunday 1 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-07

Julius, Sophie, Mathilda, Wuppie and Linette in the order that they left my home. And once Miss Oswin leaves (hopefully after a long long life with me), she will be joining them up there!