Tuesday 31 October 2017

Mouse meets an old friend


Auntie Yam had told us that she had sent Brom back a long time ago, but he never showed up! We were very worried that perhaps he had been taken by the border patrol people, but today, finally a box arrived in our mailbox. 

It was a heavy box and there was so much tape on it, we had a real job of opening it! And don't worry: I had an adult (well, Mara, nearly the same) help me with the scissors. 

We opened the box and... CHOCOLATE! And it looked like the good stuff as well.

But when we opened that box, it was something much much better: it was Brom himself! I think he may have eaten all the chocolate though, because the only other thing left in there was gold straw (Mara says that will come in handy come Christmas) and there were Brom's belongings. 

Miss Oswin came over to say hello as well and agreed with me: it's good to have Brom home again. 

PS: Mara says that she will try and not open the presents until Christmas. Or the day before. Or the day before that. Or perhaps a bit earlier. But, don't worry Auntie Yam, I will keep an eye on her...

Sunday 29 October 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-36

Even though the weather lately has been wet, windy and generally blergh, there is one rose in the garden who doesn't seem to care. It just keeps on flowering!

Here's a close-up of the one on the left, isn't it pretty?

Talking of wind and rain, last night was a fantastic night to sit inside with a hot cocoa and enjoy Strictly! It was howling out there and on occasion it was hard to hear what was said on television because of the fierceness of the rain/hail on the window.

So much so that the plastic cushion holder got blown from its rightful place. I replaced it this morning, since I am alone at home. 

All the photos on show today are photos I took this morning, including this one of a ghostly apparition that streaked past. Or it could be Miss O...

Friday 27 October 2017


When I got my first cat (Wuppie), I didn't want him to be alone and I got his sister as well, who I called Mathilda. She was mostly black but with some ginger stripes deep down as well. 

According to some survey done in Great Britain, people perceive black cats as not as friendly, not as playful, not as nice. Well, Mathilda was all of the above. She loved people and if they didn't give her the attention immediately, she would jump up in their arms. Giving them the fright of their lives of course. 

As for being playful: she loved to play with anything and everything and out of the four cats I had at that time, she was the only one who ever showed any acrobatic tendencies like tight rope walking. 

While I was on holiday to Canada back in 2011 my neighbour looked after my gang and one day she couldn't find Mathilda. Which was unusual and she immediately started looking for her. She was hiding under the dresser, already quite ill. When I got home a week later, she had been in hospital, but only a few days later I had to take the decision to let her go. 

According to Simon's Cat, today it's Black Cat Day to promote the darker of the felines. 

Wednesday 25 October 2017


Those of you who come and read my blog regularly might wonder about certain things, so I will give some updates about recent happenings/unhappenings/events. 

First of all: Andrew's mice. I am very happy to say that on the second attempt, the mice made it! They arrived in good health, with lots of tales to tell. A stone from my heart that!!

Secondly: The duck. Well, the doctor really (quack, duck? Anyone??). Turns out I wasn't going to see a man, I was going to see my own gp who is a very nice young lady. It was she I saw the last time. She pestered me somewhat with taking my blood pressure. Twice! Which hurt!! But other than that, it was a great meeting. I have been prescribed more migraine pills (to get when I need it, which I don't very often fortunately) and yes, even more of those other pills that don't seem to work. 

But, I have also been given a referral to a physiotherapist. Now I just have to find one. Which means asking my colleagues whether they know a good one, preferably one who does do massages. They might hurt, but they certainly do help as well. Because we figured out that the majority of my headaches actually are tension headaches. I need to 'untense'. Which is not a word according to the red squigglies under the word, but you know what I mean. During the summer my sister said I stooped a bit as well (my Mum didn't see it) and I think she might be right. 

Originally she was going to give me medication to prevent me from getting migraines, but I felt that was a bit much. I only get two to three a year and the medication to combat it works a treat, so no need for more meds in my opinion. 

Thirdly: Brom. He is on his way home and I am expecting him every day! He has had a blast in Scotland, visiting castles and the sea and even going to the cinema. He met lots of people, did some cooking and I just want to thank Yamini for being such a great host and organising all those fantastic treats. 

Fourthly: Knit and purl. I am working on two projects at once right now. I need to finish some mice for Mice for Mama and I want to keep going on my poncho/cardy as well. So, I bought a new pair of scissors, another row counter, more of this and more of that. That way I can take one to work (the cardy) and keep the mice at home. 

And that's it. I don't think there is anything else that needs to updated. Of course if I am mistaken in that matter, I would like to hear from you in the kindest words possible. No screaming, no hollering, no shouting. And definitely no cursing, in whatever language!!

Photos taken at Burger's Zoo and Oudehands Dierenpark (both Netherlands) and Le Parc des Félins (France) in 2009 and 2010

Monday 23 October 2017

Mouse goes to school


Mara said it wasn't school, it was only a course. Well, there was sitting behind a desk, there was answering difficult questions and guess what: they even got homework at the end!! Tell me that is not school!

First things first however. Our trip there. We took the bus and it was jampacked. I didn't see any jam, but Mara says that's what people say. We sat all the way in the front, so Mara had a good view. Me? Not so much, since she put her coat on my head!!! 

The hotel was close to the harbour of Leirvik
Photo taken on Friday evening
When we got to our destination, Mara asked the way to our hotel and it was only 100 meters from the bus station. It wasn't a new hotel, but our room was okay. There was only a single bed, but it was a nice big one.  

The 'Class room'
Photo by Roger Moum, the teacher
At 7 pm it was time for dinner and after dinner school the course started. First they had to interview somebody from the group and then tell the group what they had learned. And then there was a game. I thought it was really easy, but Mara and others had some trouble remembering the names. The teacher started by saying his name and then he asked the person next to him what his name was. He then had to repeat the first person's name and his own and then ask the next person. And so on. Which meant that the last person had to remember everybody's name! Mara was somewhere in the middle and she had really tried hard and got them all right. 

When we were finished for the day, Mara was really tired. What with work in the morning and school in the evening... Oh, and guess who didn't get the bed!

Can you see me???
The next day they started early again. There were more difficult questions to answer, things to look up and more sitting behind desks. They had their group photo taken (I photobombed, heehee) and got lunch. After lunch there were more things to find, more questions to answer. In the end though they were finished. Well apart from the little 'easy' quiz they got. Which took a lot of searching to find all the right answers. There was one question about Adam's Ark, one about the colour of Napoleon's white horse and a lot about union things. Those were difficult!

After dinner there was another quiz, but more like an ordinary pub quiz. Guess what: Mara's team won! So, they all got a free drink from the bar. Mara was happy when she came up to the room I can tell you!! 

I might have been hidden, but I was listening!!
The next morning however it was back to business. They got their assignments. They were split into couples and every couple has to prepare a short (10-15 minutes, that's like 87 hours that!) presentation on something to do with the union. Mara didn't have any clue about any subject, so she let her partner choose. Who chose something neither of them had ever heard of. The rest of the morning was used to find out as much as they could about the given subject and then they have to do a lot at home. Because Mara and her partner don't live very close, they will have to communicate by email a lot, but they know what and how they want to do it already, which is good! 

A funny door mat Mara saw in the shop next door to the hotel.
Then, after the final lunch, school was out and it was time to go home. In four weeks time they will have to go back and learn some more...

Sunday 22 October 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-35

Time to change the bed. And since the temperatures have dropped lately... 

I had to get out the thin summer duvet (it was so cold here this summer, I only used my thicker spring/autumn duvet) and connect it to the thicker one again. Making a lovely warm winter duvet.

Then it was time for severe struggles with the duvet cover. And now the bed is ready for me! 

Saturday 21 October 2017


I recently bought some items designed by my friend Yamini (she who is living it up in Scotland with a certain teddy). A lovely clock and a scarf. 

I am not a scarf person. Never was. So, why I bought it, I don't know. But now I have it, it actually looks quite good. I love the colours (which led me to buy it in the first place) and it feels quite cool around my neck amazingly. 

There was one thing nagging me though: the label is quite big and sticky-out. And I wanted to cut it off. Until I read the German text: Handwäsche, nicht bleichen, nicht chemisch reinigen, nicht im Trockner trocknen, nicht bügeln, keine Hüte essen.

Hold on, what was that last bit??? Where's the English version?

Hand wash only; do not bleach; do not dry clean; do not tumble dry; do not iron; do not eat hats. 

Yes, I had read it right! Do not eat hats. And it doesn't only say so in German and English, but also in French and Spanish (where it's called sombreros which I find even funnier). 

Anyway, I bought a scarf. I like the scarf. I like the label now as well. And I promise: I won't eat hats!

Friday 20 October 2017


No, I am not going back to school. The thought alone is bad enough! But I will be going to a course. A union course. Not sure what to expect. I know one thing for certain: I won't know anybody there! 

This course will take place over the weekend and not in town. Which means: traveling! And because a certain Bear has not made his way home yet (I wonder if he likes it too much in Scotland and doesn't want to come home), a certain Mouse will take over travel duties. Very important!

Other than that: not much news. So, I leave you with some more flower photos from my trips to Ireland.

Thursday 19 October 2017


It has been well over three months since I saw my gp and got a load of medication to try and a diary to keep. Some of the medication worked great (especially the one for migraine), some didn't work at all. The stuff I had to take daily only had one effect: it made me extremely tired. I stopped taking it at the end of last month. 

The stuff I had to take when I got a headache, didn't work either. The only thing that seemed to be able to give me some relief was either cold packs on my forehead or heat packs on my shoulders/back. But once the headache had taken hold, even those didn't work anymore. 

I kept the diary quite faithfully, although sometimes a week after the fact. From what I can gather from the diary is that the main 'event' happens about every two to three weeks. And with that I mean a massive attack that will take me out of the game for a few days. 

Today I thought I would go see my gp, but alas, no room today, unless medical urgency. So, I got an appointment for next week and then we will talk about options. My goal is to get rid of the headaches and only have the migraines left. They happen about two to three times a year, sometimes less, sometimes more. With the new medication I should be able to deal with those quite comfortably. 

Of course I don't know what the doctor will tell me. Will it be neurologist, fysiotherapist/chiropractor or something altogether different again. I will find out next Wednesday.

All photos taken in July 2005 on Illnacullen, Ireland

Monday 16 October 2017

A break

The pearl stitch: knit one, purl one. Repeat until the end.
It looks beautiful, but it is hard on the hands.
I have taken a little break from the mice, although I will shortly be returning to them. I decided to start another project. 

As you may recall, I recently went on a shopping spree where I bought yarn and wool and more yarn and more wool. As the saying goes: 'you can never have enough yarn'. But I didn't just want to own this yarn, I also wanted to do something with it. So, last week I started.

With a round-knit-needle and the first ball of yarn, I got going. According to the pattern I would need 251 stitches (that is NOT a typo), but that was for large. I am a bit bigger, so I needed even more stitches and in the end it was 275 (again, NOT a typo). The first couple of rows were torture. I am used to knitting with a needle under my arm and with round-knit-needles, that is not possible. 

What I have done so far.
Anyway, forward a couple of days and I have all but completed a quarter of what I am making. Since it will be a garment without any seams, it will probably become a bit heavy, but so far, it works fine. And if you're wondering about the colours: dark green, light green and burnt orange. Not grey.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Photo on Sunday 2017-34

Having never cooked for 6 people before (apart from lasagne, but that is easy-ish) and never having cooked certain dishes before, I decided I would need a trial first. Yesterday was the starter's turn. The result did have some faults. So, definitely some more work needed. Or a rethink for that matter!

Friday 13 October 2017


Right before I went on holiday (like a life time ago), I got an order for two of my mice from a guy called Andrew. Brilliant! So, I got the ones he wanted, put them in a box, wrote his address on it, stuck a sticker with my address on it, got a stamp and sent it off. 

Then, earlier this week, I got a message from a friend of his: whether I knew what happened to those mice, since he never got them! I must admit, I did feel bad about that, because I don't use track and trace, which would make sending mice even more expensive.

Forward to yesterday and a box was waiting for me. Addressed to Andrew. With a sticker from Royal Mail on top. Saying it hadn't been collected. And therefore being sent back to me. 

From what I could gather from the stickers and such: the box had arrived within a week of me sending it, but it was never collected. I know Andrew has been extremely busy lately, so a Royal Mail notice might have slipped his notice. But, three weeks after sitting on a shelf, the mice were sent back. It then took a further three weeks to get to me for some reason. 

Those are adventurous mice I can tell you!