Monday 27 June 2016


Now, Mr Crikey's Mum already has the picture in her head. The one where I got absolutely, totally and completely covered by water. And I wasn't swimming either (I'm not allowed, remember). No, I was cycling. In full rain gear, except for my shoes, which turned into private swimming pools for my feet.

You may be wondering what I am talking about. Well, as part of my training for this triathlon, I need to cycle a bit on occasion. And after I met a colleague on Saturday, we felt it might be a good idea if we were to go cycling on Sunday. After all, the weather was supposed to be okay(ish). 

On waking up, I realised it wasn't okay. Not even ish! It was awful. It was bucketing it down. And for a short minute I thought about cancelling. And then thought: no, I am not going to do that. I will cycle! So, after M had arrived, we both got on our bikes and started cycling. 

The road we were cycling along, is a road where, whenever it rains, big puddles form. And I have actually doused someone who was walking on the pavement once. Didn't see him/her in time and just drove. 

I think we were visible. I also think the car that drove through that absomungohuge puddle, didn't see us in time. And as I was cycling closest to him, I got absolutely covered! Since I was wearing rain gear, I thought it was quite funny and didn't mind that much. 

After I got home and got everything off, I realised I had gotten a bit wet, but then again, I had just cycled for 13 kilometers in the pouring rain. Whether the puddle splasher was to blame? Not sure.

Sunday 26 June 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-22

This photo of me was taken by my friend while we were out on Olalia last week. And since I don't want to disappoint her again by not posting a Photo on Sunday(!), I posted the photo she took. Since I still don't have one of a spider...

Friday 24 June 2016

A bump

In my quest to be the first person in my home to do a triathlon, I have to overcome another little hurdle. As you know the triathlon is swimming, cycling and running. I know how to cycle and think that with a bit more training I should be fine with that. I know how to walk and even how to walk a bit faster, but running is still not quite there. A lot of training needed for that. 

And then there is the swimming. Which I can do, once I relearned how to not breathe in under water, but my maximum distance is still far off the required 750 meters (I can do about 200-250 easy-ish, 400 at a push). I had been planning to up the maximum easy-ish by about 50 meters each week and by the time the triathlon came along, I would be absolutely fine!

That was, until this morning. When the doctor told me I should not be swimming for at least two weeks, due to an ear canal infection! The pain had started last night and this morning at work, I was told to contact a doctor as soon as possible, before it got out of hand. 

So, for the next 10-14 days I have ear drops to use. And after that I will have to be careful, so I got myself some ear plugs on a string for under my swimming hat. Before you know it, I will be a pro at this triathlon thing. Well, apart from the missed training of course!

Tuesday 21 June 2016

Monday afternoon

I was attacked here mostly. 
After a really lovely weekend, my Monday wasn't as lovely. Far from it in fact. You want the list of blerghs? Well, want them or not: here they come anyway!

First of all, on Saturday during that lovely (long) walk, I had gotten quite severely sunburnt on both shoulders. They were both visible in the dark so to say. Which meant that sleeping was hindered somewhat by those sore shoulders. But since I was free on Sunday that didn't bother me too much. 

Then on Sunday I realised that far from not being targeted by flying creepies, I had been a feast for them. The ones on my arms aren't bothering me that much, but the ones on my legs were likely caused by (what they call here) bird fleas and they cause a lot of grief. Prolonged itching, large marks, you know what I mean.

On Monday (ie yesterday), I had to work. At 5am. Which meant that I had to get up very early. In turn, I had to go to bed very early on Sunday. And even tired after a long hike and a nice swim, I couldn't sleep and lay awake for over 2 hours before finally falling into a somewhat fitful sleep.

Because some of my colleagues have gone on holiday already and some called in sick, whilst all the shifts are still going strong, there was a lack of drivers, which meant that I worked overtime yesterday as well. All the way up to 4pm! By which time I was nearly on my knees.

I got home (after finally having bought some sunscreen, aftersun and stuff for the bites) and decided that the swimming training was out of the question. It wasn't that I didn't want to, my body decided against it quite vehemently. So, in the end it was pizza and telly before heading to bed at 8.30. 

Oh, and it rained all day as well!!!

Monday 20 June 2016

Sunday afternoon

When I first started the swimming for the triathlon, my main problem was my breathing. Trying to breathe in under water is apparently not good for a human being. So, I needed a bit of training. Which I had plenty of last week.

But on Sunday afternoon I made my way over to a colleague's place for some more training. One that would hopefully help me even more. And it didn't disappoint at all. She told me to try and keep my head as low as possible and I tried to do that. It actually worked. We then swam all the way to the rocks on the other side of the lake, which must be close to 200 meters away. 

I didn't do it in one go. I had to stop twice because I was swallowing mouthfuls of water, but I made it to the other side. And then we had to swim back of course. She was willing to get a boat and row over to get me, but I felt fit enough to swim. So, I swam. 

Once out of the water, we changed in proper clothes, I covered my very sunburnt arms with a towel and we had strawberries and cream and chatted and chatted. All in this lovely place, not disturbed by a single siren, car or people. 

There are many ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. This was one of the better ones!!

Sunday 19 June 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-21

As we got to Olalia yesterday, there were so many benches to sit on. Most of them in nice sunshine. So, where did I choose to sit?? Exactly, right in the shadow of the flagpole!

Saturday 18 June 2016


Early this morning I picked up my friend. We were going to go up to Olalia. A gravel road all the way. Only about 5k. It should be easy!

Well... it wasn't! Mind you, it wasn't hard either. Even though there were some tough goings-up, I never had to stop half way to get my breath back, I managed to not wheeze and whistle and by the time we got to Olalia, I was still on the fit side! I was so happy and proud of myself. I may have only been training for a few short weeks, but it is already paying off!

Once we got to Olalia, I wanted to see the waterfall that was close by. We got the directions and the next thing we know, we are going downhill. And downhill some more. Stones and rocks and very marshy ground. But we made it to the river and to the waterfall. 

Getting back up that hill was a crime though. I may be fitter, but not that fit yet. In the end I did make it though. Together with all the flies and other assorted flying crawlies. But I did manage to take a photo of a frog!!

Oh yes, I did drink it as well!
The way back was the same as the way we came. No stopping at all, not even at the hard bits. And not counting the few photo stops we had. In the end we walked close to 14k (about 9 miles) in total. Up and down and up and down. 

We celebrated our achievement by a nice ice-cream on the way back. Well deserved I think!!

Friday 17 June 2016

The shorts

During a different trip. Not the most attractive of outfits!
I have been thinking about this story for a while now. It happened to me (and somebody else) quite a while ago and I still find it quite funny, so I thought I would share it with you.

As you know I used to be a coach driver. Or a tour bus driver if you rather. And one of my trips back in the day was to Italy. Not just Italy, but Rome and Naples and Sorrento and Capri. In the middle of summer. July. When it was hot. Very very very hot!

The coach was nearly full and I had plenty of nice people on board. One of them was a lovely man. Not my type I hasten to add, but he was nice enough I guess. His lady friend thought so too, until about day four when she got thoroughly fed up with him. This is not a story about them though. Only about him. 

On Capri. It was hot! Pretty, but hot!
The temperature south of Rome during July usually is above 40 degrees. Celsius. Close to fever temperature. And this nice, but as it turned out rather dim, man was hot. He was not enjoying the heat one little bit. Which had a lot to do with what he wore. Thick winter jeans! Basically he was boiling!! I asked him whether he had any shorts with him and he answered that he did. He just didn't like wearing them. I told him to wear them. 

He was a nice man. And a bit dim. But, he was quite obedient as well and the next day he trotted into the breakfast room in shorts. Feeling very uncomfortable, but not as hot. Over the course of that holiday in the South of Italy, he would ask me on a daily basis whether he could wear his jeans. And when we finally moved to the North again and I gave him permission to wear his jeans the next day, the sigh of relief could be heard in Amsterdam!

Mind you, there was nothing wrong with the shorts. Or with the legs. Or with the nice, dim and obedient man. He just didn't like them...

Wednesday 15 June 2016

This training malarkey

During the past few weeks I haven't been training as much as I should have. Or could have. But I have been busy at home as well and headaches are not good when working out, so I have a bit of an excuse (yes, I know it's flimsy). 

One thing I have done though is the swimming. The first training was pretty disastrous. Breathing in under water and things like that. The trainer said I wasn't a fish, but I realised the breathing was definitely a thing to work on. Fortunately the second training (last Monday) was a lot better. I managed to get my head under water while swimming! I was so pleased. Especially since there was a pack of piranhas swimming in that lake. Well, 38 other people, but it looked like piranhas. 

Tonight we should have had a cycle training. Instead we had a swimming training and this time my friend came along to take pictures. The ones where I try and hoist myself into my wet suit needed a bit of editing (my two personal life buoys showed pretty prominently on some of them) and most of the ones where I was swimming aren't that interesting. 

What was interesting though was the fact that I am getting more and more comfortable in the water. T1 and I was trying to drown myself. T2 and I was able to get my whole head under water and T3 and I was able to come up for air and immediately go under again. Not all the time, but I am working on it. 

The most fantastic thing though: I am starting to look forward to this triathlon thing. I 'knew' I could do it, but now I know it for real. 

Tuesday 14 June 2016

You can pass...

Every single stamp in my old passport was in the top right hand corner.
The hole went right through them all!!!
Living in Norway meant that I had to order my passport at the Dutch Embassy in Oslo. Which is about 2 hours away. By car, plane and train that is! But, since I had to order it in person, two weeks ago I made my way over together with Brom. It took about 5 minutes to order it and I knew it would take about 5 minutes to pick it up again as well. Until they asked me whether I wanted it sent home...

That meant however, that for the past two weeks I have been without a passport. I had thought about issuing my parents and other loved ones with the warning not to do anything silly with themselves (like getting seriously ill and such), but in the end I decided against it. You never know what people will get up to when you tell them not to do something!

However, in case of an emergency, the only thing I had to do was ring the Embassy and they would help out. As of today though, that is no longer necessary. Because today I picked up my new passport at the local supermarket (which also doubles as a post office). The photo is even worse than I thought, but there is plenty of space to put new stamps in. 

Now, where shall I go first??

Wednesday 8 June 2016


Yes, okay, it's a teatowel
I have this relationship with red food. I quite love it. I mean, what's not to love: strawberries, tomatoes, raspberries. And no, I don't like radishes (they are white inside anyway) nor do I like red apples (again rather white inside).

Now, red food has a relationship with me too! Mostly on my white shirts as well. So today I decided to go the safe route: put on a bib. Make sure there was to be no relationship at all between the bolognese sauce and my white work shirt. 

Not a drop! Not a single tiny red blob made it to the bib. And I bet you, if I had not been wearing it, I would have had to change my shirt!

Monday 6 June 2016


I grew up in the Netherlands and one of the tv shows that was on a fair bit during my childhood was a Swedish show called Pippi Longstocking. About a little girl (about 8 or 9 I think) who lives alone in a big big house, together with her pet monkey Mr Nelson and her white horse with black spots Whitey. 

She is very strong, very rich and doesn't think that school is for her. Her mother is dead and her father is a pirate and lives a long way away. She meets up with the neighbour children and has many adventures with them. Be it just going for a walk, meeting the town's criminals or even visiting her father a long way away. 

She sleeps the wrong way round in her bed, there are bottles of lemonade coming out of a tree in her garden and she keeps her gold coins in a big chest in the house. 

So, imagine my confusion when Mr Crikey (Or Charlie from Downunder) said on his blog that two of his companions were collecting pippies on the beach! I knew of course that Pippi has never really hit it that big in English speaking countries, so I didn't think there would be a boatload of them on that beach close to where Mr Crikey lives!

Turns out that pippies are (and I quote): little clams that are found everywhere along our coastline. Fishermen use them for bait but you can eat them. They taste good if cooked well.

I certainly learned something new today. I will never look at Pippi the same way though...

Sunday 5 June 2016

Photo on Sunday 2016-20

Tomayto or tomato? Whatever way you pronounce it, right now, they are just green shoots...

Wednesday 1 June 2016


Originally the plan had been: if I were back from Oslo in time (ie I didn't miss my flight), I would go to the gym for a nice work-out session. However, when I got back from Oslo, I sported the beginning of a nice headache and I had walked for nearly 10k. Besides, I was tired, my knee hurt and I just didn't want to go. So, out the window it went.

This morning I had to get back to work again. I had gone to bed reasonably early last night, but when I woke up this morning, it felt as if I could have done with at least five hours more. Besides that, the headache had persevered. I went to work anyway, but after the first half, I reported sick and went home. Where I took some painkillers and went straight to bed. 

Three hours later I woke up refreshed and headach... oh wait, not so refreshed and definitely not headache free. Plus my stomach was still doing overtime on goodness knows what. 

Basically I got myself a bit of a sunstroke yesterday. Walking around in 27 degrees (Celsius people) while sporting a pair of winter jeans, no sunglasses and no hat will do that to me. So, the cycle training for tonight is a no-go for me and I will just have to take it easy. 

Ah well, that's life I guess!