Thursday 30 December 2021


I have been absent a bit lately, enjoying my sister's company and the Christmas period. I will be back in the New Year, but I just want to wish everybody a great 2022. Filled with good health, love and all other good things you might want. 

See you next year!

Friday 24 December 2021


I want to wish all of you a very happy Christmas and a very healthy and joyful 2022. 

These are the cards I sent out this year, both of which are photos taken by yours truly. 

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Tuesday's Travels 36

A toughie last week. Some of you knew sort of, one got as close as saying Canada, several said it looked like a mall, but nobody said it was the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Canada. The biggest mall in the world containing ice rink, swimming pool, pirate ship and of course plenty of shops. As mall and Canada were the closest guesses, I am going to make an executive decision and award the point to... Myself! Yes, as nobody got the answer right, I am awarding myself the point.
My story? I had seen this mall pop up in a Christmas film with Patrick Swayze. In fact it was the last film he ever made. However, it was the mall that was the star in the film (Christmas in Wonderland if you're interested) and when I made my way over to Canada for the interviews, I wanted to visit that mall. I knew it was big though, so I made extra sure I knew where my car was parked. Unfortunately when I was there, it was in Halloween mode, so nothing Christmassy could be found.

On to this week's challenge. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week (if my sister Gera reminds me in time again...).

Tuesday 14 December 2021

Tuesday's Travels 35

This beautiful building is the Cathedral in Wells, England. Two of you knew what and where it was and Yamini and Hilary get a point each.
My story? When I first lived in England back in the early '90's, we came through this city one day. We only stopped shortly and I never even got to see inside the church, but I would love to return there one day. So not much of a story really.

On to this week's challenge. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week!

Sunday 12 December 2021

Photo on Sunday 33

All photos taken during my recent trip to visit my sister, who is coming home TODAY!

Friday 10 December 2021

Betty and Mariah

Despite my reasonably good knowledge of the English language, I do get caught out on occasion. I remember when I first lived in England back in 1992, I had a conversation with a guest to the hotel I worked at. He asked whether there would be any Christmas crackers at the Christmas table. I had only ever heard of regular and cheese crackers and obviously didn't have a clue what he was talking about. It got explained.

My own pink wellies
On the occasion of somebody asking me whether there were any wellies to use, I was by then quick enough to say that 'if you explain, I will tell'. Apparently wellies were Wellington boots (ie rubber boots) and no, we did not have those. And you can picture for yourself the chest/breast story.

Throughout the years I learned more of the typical combinations of words used within the English language, but of course I do still get caught out. When I read a book recently, the author wrote about a hobbled horse. Now, in the Netherlands, a hobbelpaard (paard = horse) means a rocking horse, but this was set in the outdoors. I looked it up. Turns out, a hobbled horse means a horse that has two feet tethered together by rope, leather or chain, preventing it from taking off. 

In another book (The Gulag Archipelago, not your average beach read), I encountered a Black Mariah. I found out it is actually a (black) police car, mainly used to haul away prisoners from the 19th century onwards. 

And then yesterday Anvilcloud used the term Brown Betty. Now, I had heard of that term before, but never really knew exactly what it was. Google proved to be very helpful and immediately came up with several photographs. I couldn't find out why it was called that though, Wikipedia being very short on the subject.


Thursday 9 December 2021

The teapot

Today's socks
The main way to keep my headaches at bay is drinking enough. Two large glasses of water in the morning, tea or water during the day and perhaps a hot chocolate in the afternoon or evening. Peppermint or orange flavouring optional.

And since July that all worked quite well and I had fewer headaches. Then I got to be home and for some reason I did not drink enough. Which meant that last week an attack started that lasted six days. Although not as bad as they used to be, it was bad enough and I realised that just getting a mug of tea was not enough.

On the day the stitches were removed, I had to do some shopping and actually saw a really nice teapot. Only 20 euros as well, which wasn't that bad. But how to keep the tea hot in the teapot? I used to own a tea stand and light, but left them behind in Northern Ireland. I don't like tea purses like my Mum has and I cannot make a tea cosy right now.

This is the only voucher I have!
My Mum had a possible solution. Why not check out the savings program of Douwe Egberts. They are the coffee makers here in the Netherlands and for nearly 100 years they have had a savings program where they have vouchers on each pack of coffee or coffee related product they sell. Pickwick tea is also included in this program. The vouchers have values of between 2 and 100 points and can be exchanged for coffee or tea related items.

I checked out the site and found a lovely teapot. It was nearly 70 euros (!), which I thought was quite steep (no pun intended), but I could pay with points as well. For every euro you needed 2 points. A total of 13,798 points were needed. I had 4! My Mum went upstairs to get her stash (donations from friends and family) and came down with three bags containing a total of 13,000. I was still short. Mind you, I could pay the balance in money, but my Mum had another trick up her sleeve: the kitchen drawer.

She dug and dug and my Dad and I tallied. In the end all the vouchers from the drawer added up to about 2,300! I took out the 798 I needed and the rest was put in bags to be kept for a future buy. Then I went to the shop where I could get the teapot.

The new teapot with one of my Moomin Christmas mugs
I arrived, saw the teapot, handed over the points and now I am in the proud possession of a gorgeous double walled teapot that will keep my tea hot. I have been using it for several days now and I am very pleased with it: it is sleek and modern and it doesn't drip! It shall definitely help me keep my fluids up.

Wednesday 8 December 2021


I am currently wearing this one
On Monday morning I had a phone appointment with the plastic surgeon's office to talk about how the operation went and if I had any trouble now. I told the assistant that even though the wound was doing fine and the CTS pain had disappeared, another pain had not. I thought the pain in my wrist was due to the CTS, but we are now questioning that.

Yesterday's offering
The main reason for that is that the pain was the same prior to the operation and after the anastaseia (still can't write that) had worn off, it returned the same as before. It is a pain that seems to sit on the inside knuckle of the wrist and it basically prevents me from doing a fair few things. If I don't do anything at all, it will feel fine, but after a while I can feel my wrist start to become stiffer. Not good.

A little dress, but I will only wear it with jeans
If I do something, I try to minimise certain movements as they do cause a lot of pain. Carrying a full cup of tea is out, so that is done left-handedly. Carrying something heavy is out so that is done double handedly or left hand/right arm or not at all, as the left arm is now feeling the strain on muscles as well. 

A real snuggle hoody
The two main things right now that are wrong with my right hand are the wrist (and the burning/grating sensation after a wrong move or prolonged usage) and the thumb which can only be partially used. Which of course hinders dexterity a great deal. 

A men's jumper, but it fits, so I don't care
The plan of action right now is to first get the right hand in order, so early January (first opportunity due to the holiday season), I will have a sight appointment with the plastic surgeon and possibly an x-ray as well to see what is in fact wrong. Only after the right hand is okay will we continue with the left hand. Otherwise I might be completely unhanded for several weeks.

The inspiration to this year's Christmas card
Of course this does not mean I cannot do anything. Typing and writing are easier now, albeit painful. I am glad I have written and sent all my Christmas cards! I do the dishes and have found other ways of holding stuff down to get it clean. I cut with my right hand as I am not a natural lefty and realise a bit of pain is better than cutting fingers off. Well, I think so anyway.

Preferably not in bandages though!
Other than that: the wound looks good, especially now the spider legs are gone. Still a bit sensitive to the touch, but feeling better every day. The headache (the first attack since July people, which should deserve a post all of its own) has finally subsided and yesterday morning the world was white after a light dusting of snow. 

Another recent addition
In a couple of days I will be picking my sister up from the airport and in less than three weeks it is Christmas! All in all: Yeah!!

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Tuesday's Travels 34

Well, I knew I could count on you and plenty of you knew where this photo was taken. It was of course in Copenhagen, Denmark, although just saying the little mermaid was enough as well. I was not that fussy this week (for a change). Yamini, Harm, Cecilia (My Mind's Eye), Millie & Walter, Gattina, Hilary and Fun60 get a full point, Janice gets half a point.
My story? I only ever visited Copenhagen once and I wanted to see the little mermaid. So, me and two colleagues found her (with ease: well sign-posted) on her perch in the water. Everybody had said how small she was, but I was pleasantly surprised as she was life size. I took several photos of her and I actually have her hanging in my home somewhere as well. 

Oh, you don't care too much about my story do you? You want to know who won? Well, first of all there is of course an overall winner: Yamini. Up until now she had the most points (Gera came second, Fun60 came third.). So, out of all the other correct answers: Cecilia of My Mind's Eye is the winner! Picked by Miss O herself. Congratulations. The calendar will be heading your way asap.

On to this week's challenge (oh yes, we keep going). Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week!

Monday 6 December 2021

Spider legs on Brom's birthday

No no! Don't worry, he did not receive spider legs on his birthday. He would not have liked that at all and neither would I. The spider legs are mine. Well, not real spider legs, but the stitches in my hand. They look and feel like spider legs. However, today they will be coming out. This afternoon to be precise. 

Apart from some swelling still, the wound looks really good and well healed up. A bit sensitive to the touch, but not painful. That can not be said for my wrist. I had this pain prior to the surgery and it has continued until now, although it does not spread to the arm anymore.

Last week I tried to do some knitting and although I could do it, the pain was very much not good. So I decided that that would need to wait a while longer. I am doing the dishes every day now, even though that is quite painful too. And then on Friday I developed my first headache attack since July (!!!), which left me out of the game for a day or two.

But who cares about my hand and (lack of) use of said appendage when today it's BROM'S BIRTHDAY! Yes, he turned 48 today and is enjoying it very much. I had promised him a new pair of Christmas socks, but unfortunately I haven't been able to make them yet. He says that it's fine and it's not Christmas yet anyway. 

Miss O wanted to say Happy Birthday Brom too
I did make him some other socks prior to OotH-day though and he has been wearing them Every Single Day he likes them so much. So, hopefully he will get his proper present soon. We are all crossing our fingers.

Sunday 5 December 2021

Photo on Sunday 32

He is here! Well, he was anyway. Saint Nicholas arrived last Friday and I had a ringside seat to see him arrive at the school just across from my house. Not on his horse Ozosnel (Osoquick in English, his horse Amerigo retired a few years ago), but on a tractor he drove himself.

There were plenty of children waiting for him and his aide Pete to arrive and load them up with presents, sweets and ginger nuts. Perhaps a word of warning here and there, but on the whole a good thing. About an hour later I heard the tractor start up and they left again, on their way to the next school.

Wednesday 1 December 2021

Third attempt

To be honest, there is probably plenty to write about, but I just can't seem to get inspired. The hand is doing a bit better each day, although wearing jeans is still quite difficult as I still cannot operate the button part properly. Which is not such a problem of course, unless you really need the use of a certain part of the house quickly. Just saying.

On the subject of the bra. I have had plenty of people commenting on it and I agree totally: I could have gone without as I wasn't going anywhere anyway. However, but, and such. I like wearing one. I feel cleaner with one on. And after all: I am not sick, which would be my main reason to not be wearing one. Just saying.

The weather right now is quite bad, with rain and wind. We finally got the remnants of Storm Arwen which hit the UK recently. I had plans to go out today and get myself a nice Christmas dress. But, as the weather is like this and the knee is complaining a tad, I think I will hit my home trainer instead and find all my Christmas clothes next week. 

In other news: I managed a proper shower this morning (bliss), the laundry is done (bar the ironing) and I will have a hot chocolate with my lunch. All in all, not bad for a third attempt.