Tuesday 29 November 2022

Mary and Joseph

Today in church we were introduced to Mary & Joseph at the start of their Advent(ure) as they set out on the long journey to Bethlehem.

We pray that they will find safe passage on their journey.

A few years ago I knitted some Nativity sets. They were quite small, but I liked them a lot. My sister in Northern Ireland bought one set, another went to Scotland and one remained with me.

Imagine my surprise and delight when I found they were on a journey. 

What on earth does this do?”

Looking for transport for their journey, they come across something unusual.

Photos all courtesy of St Mark’s Church in Portadown, Northern Ireland. 

Monday 25 July 2022

Weekly Travels 22-26

The computer is downstairs and when I first tried it last week, it worked a treat. Not however, today. So, back to the phone it is. Last week’s challenge proved to be difficult, but I do have a point to give to Yamini for knowing it was Leni Riefenstahl, a film maker from Germany.
It was Claus who sent me the card and he made sure this was a woman with a decidedly contoversial life as she filmed the Berlin Olympics of 1936 and was a fervent supporter of that moustachioed idiot they had ruling Germany from 1933 until he committed suicide in 1945. Leni did however have a great talent at film making. 

On to this week’s challenge now. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week.
PS, this is a cropped postcard, so I might or might not have been here 😁.

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Weekly Travels 22-25

David from Australia sent me last week’s challenge slash postcard. And the person depicted on the card was Barry Humphries in the guise of Dame Edna Everage. Points go to Hilary and Yamini. Well done Possums!

This week’s challenge is again a person, because even if I have my computer up and running again, I quite like this bit of the challenge. So, who is this, where does this person hail from and have you ever been to the country this person comes from? Give us your story. Answer next week.

Thursday 14 July 2022

Weekly Travels 22-24

Well, last week’s challenge wasn’t necessarily the worst. Mustafa had sent me the card all the way from Jordan and it was of course Petra. That was all it said on the card, so if there is more to it than that, I wouldn’t know as I have never been to Jordan. 
Points go to Yamini, Gerrit and Gera.

This week it’s another postcard, but this time once again of a person. So, who is this and where does she come from? Details gets points people! Answer next week. 

Monday 4 July 2022

Weekly Travels 22-23

Wow, you certainly know your stuff folks! And even though several names got bandied about (even Laura Ingalls of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ got mentioned by my Mum), the correct answer was of course: Anne of Green Gables. A fictional character living on Prince Edward Island, Canada. Yamini and Debby get half a point each (no Canada mentioned). Hilary gets 3/4 point, Gera gets a whole point. But I think we can all agree that Millie & Walter deserve a point and a half for their answer!
My story? I saw the series years and years ago in my teens, but only read the book quite recently. I know a series is out there, but I don’t know if anybody can surpass Colleen Dewhurst as Marilla Cuthbert.

On to this week’s challenge and thanks to the world of postcrossing it is a location one again. I may or may not have visited this place. So where is it? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week.

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Weekly Travels 22-22

Last week’s challenge was definitely easy and difficult in one. I think everybody realised this was a church, but that is not enough folks! I wanted to hear ‘stave’ church and only one person said that and knew where it was. Gerrit gets s whole point. And 1/4 point to those who had Norway somewhere in their answer: Harm, Gera and Yamini. 
My story? On my very first visit to Norway in April 2012, I saw this stave church in Heddal, about 120 km West of Oslo. It think it was open, but too dark for photos. 

On to this week’s challenge. Which is a bit different as I have run out of good scenic postcards. Although I do still want as much info for the points of course. So, who is this and from what country is she? Have you ever met this person or been to that country? Tell us your story. Answer next week. 

Friday 24 June 2022

Heads up

As my computer still isn’t sorted, I am now working off my phone. Which lets me blog okay, but will not let me comment on blogs that require google log-in. Something to do with browser settings. So, some of you may get comments under the anonymous tab, others may not because I cannot comment anonymously. And yes, I do sign with my name. 

Just to let you know.

Thursday 23 June 2022


It’s been a while since I last reported on what’s happened with me. So long in fact I never even mentioned my sister being here back in May and the two of us going to Cologne for a few days. 

As always hampered by a headache attack and a knee playing up, we still managed to have a good time. We visited the cathedral, did a bus tour and on our last day we went to the zoo. Plus we did some shopping. 

The rest of the week saw us visit the Sand sculpture park with our parents (plenty of photos, only accessible via computer) and some more shopping. But we kept it fairly easy and laid-back. 

I have been doing some work in the garden. Clearing weeds, cutting back trees, planting berry bushes, finding berry bushes. I have had a few guests: a small toad, a blackbird, kitties, a small white dog. 

As for work, a few days after my sister left, I got my license and was allowed back behind the steering wheel again. It was tiring at first, but it’s been over a month now and I am happy to say all is well. The hands are doing fine and not giving me too much bother. 

So, that’s me in a nut shell. 

Monday 20 June 2022

Weekly Travels 22-21

This computer of mine is really not cooperating for whatever reason. Probably because I am not using it often enough. I am working on getting it downstairs now, so I will (be tempted to) use it more. In the mean time I don’t have access to my travel photos or my blog, which in turn means I have to depend on the postcards. But another problem has cropped up: no viable cards. I do think I finally found a solution though. First however…

Last week’s challenge was (according to the postcard) Alexanderplatz in Berlin. Yeah, I didn’t get that either. The most prominent feature though is the ‘Fernsehturm’ or TV Tower. Points to Yamini, Gera and Gerrit. 

This week’s challenge is a photo of a photo. What and where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer ‘at some point’!

Wednesday 8 June 2022

Weekly Travels 22-20

Perhaps a better way of calling it. Still trying for Tuesday though and failing spectacularly immediately. On to the challenge at hand. This was the bobsleigh track in Winterberg, Germany. Only Gerrit got the complete answer and gets a whole point. Millie &Walter realised it was somewhere in Germany and get 3/4 point. Yamini, Fun60, Gera and Hilary each get 1/2 point. 
My story? I visited Winterberg less than two years ago and saw this track from quite close by. I still want to go down in a bobsleigh some day. I will pass at the tea trays…

On to this week’s challenge, which is another Postcrossing card, so keep in mind there is a chance I have not visited. What/where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week. 

Thursday 2 June 2022

Normalcy and frustrations in one

I finally started working again about two weeks ago. It has not been easy, especially the first few days were quite hard. I was used to sitting at home doing sod all and all of a sudden I had to pay attention to traffic and such again. It was tiring to say the least, but I am glad to be back at work regardless. 

It also means that things are slowly returning to normal. From next month my wages will be back to what they should be instead of sick pay, which was about 90% of my base salary, no extras. One thing that was very much unwanted was the uniform though. When I started sick leave I was a bit heavier than I should and I managed to keep it off for the first month or two. After that, I just put on. Which now has to come off again. Back to normal!

There are also frustrations. Well, one frustration. Yes, I am back at work because I got my driver's license back. Which then turned out to be wrong and I have been on the phone so often to get it sorted. Every time the answer is the same: our fault and send it back. Which means I am not allowed to work. One ^%#& even said that it 'wasn't her problem' in an incredibly snotty voice. There was a raspberry involved. 

Yesterday I went back to get it sorted again (third time is a charm they say) and I hope that by this time today I have a correct license in hand. I won't bore you with the details, but needless to say it got my stress levels up big time. 

Other than that the garden is looking better all the time, as I keep pruning, cutting, removing, mowing and all the other things. A fence is due to go in in the autumn as the conifers that are between my garden and the public space are nearly all dead. I am still nowhere near done, but it is starting to look good. 

The hands are doing fine as well. The right is no problem at all, the left is still a bit sensitive, but I can do everything that is needed. 

Wednesday 1 June 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-19

I am back at the computer again! And here to tell you about last week's challenge. Which you all knew as the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, USA. Points to Gera, Hilary, Yamini, Millie & Walter, Fun60, Debby and Gerrit. 
My story? I obviously have never visited, but it was one of the cards I received through Postcrossing. When I run out of photos of places I have been, I can use those. As long as I crop a bit better than I did this time around...

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

PS: Update: I got my days muddled up: I thought today was Tuesday. So sorry.

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-18

I am having some issues with my desk top computer folks. It contains all the photos I use for TT and basically won’t let me do zip. I am now writing this on my phone. 

However, I can tell you who got points for last week. I thought nobody would get (point for me), but no, Yamini knew where and what it was: Mucross House near Killarney in Ireland. Congratulations. 

This week’s challenge is a bit different as in having to find something on my phone that does not contain text. So, where and what is this? Have you ever been? Answer next week!

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-17

I wouldn't blame you if you have already given up on me. If not: thank you so much. I completely forgot the first week and then last week (even with a concerned email from Yamini), I just never got around to it. However, I am back now and here to tell you that the last time the light did come on, it was of course on the White Cliffs of Dover, England. Points go to Gera, Bettina, Fun60, Yamini, Hilary, Millie & Walter and Gerrit. 
My story? I have seen these Cliffs quite often. Each time I traveled between England and France, they are there. Now, you might also have heard the song about those very cliffs. Just saying: there are no bluebirds in England, but apparently it sounded good in the song.

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

Monday 2 May 2022

You've got mail

Manchester, UK
Did you see the photos used in last Friday's post? Not my usual standard to be sure, but they were taken with my phone of postcards I have recently sent. I promised you a while ago I would tell you all about a new old hobby of mine, so here I finally go.

Empress Sissi from Austria
Back in 2006 I joined Postcrossing. A site that promised contact with the world and the only thing you needed to do was send postcards. Easy. And for a couple of years that was what I did: I sent out postcards to strangers all over the world. Australia, Canada, Egypt, Romania, Germany, Norway, even the Netherlands. In return I would get postcards back from strangers from all over the world. 

I preferred to get cards that showed me famous people (living/dead/fictional) of the country or region they were in, but was just as pleased with flowers, animals or city scapes. It was an expensive hobby (the stamps alone cost a small fortune), but it was great fun.

But then I stopped. Not sure when or why exactly, but I stopped sending cards. And when you don't send cards, you don't get cards. The hobby ended.

United States
Fast forward to earlier this year and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. My sister had left again and I was on my own. The only mail that was arriving was junk mail and uninteresting official stuff. Then I remembered Postcrossing. I didn't know what my old login details were, but it was easy to create a new profile. Late January I sent out my first five cards to Germany, Japan, USA, Russia and Singapore. 

The Frysian language one from the Netherlands
As soon as one of my cards had arrived (Germany was fastest), I started to receive cards as well. So far I have sent 47 cards (of which 36 have arrived) and received 39. I received a Japanese figure skater, a Russian kosmonaut, a French church, a Taiwanese temple and bees from Manchester. People have written to me in English, German, Dutch and even Frysian (which I don't speak, but can read). They have written about their jobs, their hobbies, their towns. 

Maltese buses
Of course the stamps still cost a fortune and the postcards themselves aren't cheap either. If you can find them to start with! Back in the day it was fairly easy to find postcards, but people don't send them that much anymore, so they have started disappearing. And they have become more expensive as well. Paying over a euro for a single postcard is more norm than exception. 

Canadian Mountie
One day however, I found myself in a second hand shop and their was a whole basket with postcards. Costing only 10 cents each as well, so I went through them and came out with 17 new cards. Since then I have been hitting second hand stores to try and find cards. The biggest haul so far was just last week when I paid one and a half euro for a stack of postcards. After counting them once I got home it turned out I had 65 postcards. 

All cards so far
I use my doors to display the cards received and I am nearly one door (one side) down. Eight more to go before running out of space. Let's see whether I can fill them all. As long as I send, I will receive!

Friday 29 April 2022

Tears of frustration

Okay, perhaps not quite the tears, but I can tell you, I am not far off! And this time it doesn't even have to do with my hands, which is even more frustrating. It has to do with a simple pink card.

As you know I lived in Norway for a few years. And while in Norway, I had to have my driver's license renewed. I got all the necessary paperwork in order, went to the department that issued the licenses and then waited until the Dutch authorities gave a positive answer and got my Norwegian license. Then I moved to the UK.

In the UK I had to exchange my license within a year and I was on my way of getting the paperwork done when I moved back to the Netherlands. Where it wasn't necessary to exchange until the license was out of date. Which is December of this year. However...

When in Norway, it took some time to validate my license and to beat that, I made sure I had plenty of time before I had to renew in order to avoid problems. Two weeks ago I got my final course work done, three days ago I had my physical. Everything was in order, everything was fine. Yesterday I went to my local council to renew my Norwegian license to a Dutch one. 

As in Norway, I had to leave my license behind. They have to physically check whether it's valid or not with the Norwegian authorities. In Norway I was issued a piece of paper saying that I was allowed to drive the vehicle categories stated on the paper during the duration. Only in Norway (and Sweden and Denmark), but as that was where I was living anyway, that wasn't a problem. I could still drive and since I do that for a living...

Not so in the Netherlands. No document is issued saying I can drive for the duration of the checks right up to the point of my new Dutch license. If I were to drive, I were to do so uninsured. Which is one thing when you only drive to and from work (and I wouldn't do it then), it's another completely when it is your actual job. Anything goes wrong and both me and the company would be in big doodah!

Which means: I cannot drive. I cannot do my job. So, I checked. Was it correct? Was there a way around this? Short answer: NO. Long answer: DEFINITELY NO. The department won't even tell me how far they are in processing my stuff and there is no way of chasing anybody up, as they won't tell where and how.

Instead of going back to normalcy next week, of getting back into the flow of things, I am grounded yet again. Not sick, but on holiday this time.

PS: Just so you know: I waited 9 months for a Norwegian license. 

Tuesday 26 April 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-16

Pre-posted folks, so I won't miss out again... Anyway, last week's challenge resulted in three completely right answers, and since some of you gave a completely wrong answer, albeit in the right country, I have decided only the right answers get points. Yamini, Gerrit and Fun60 knew/guessed this was the Arena in Verona. Not Rome, nor Arles (which was also a good guess by the way, just not good enough). 
My story? I visited Verona years ago. In fact, my first ever enjoyment of a pizza was on the piazza facing this arena. I have never been inside. Perhaps in the future some time.

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

Monday 25 April 2022


Is that even a word? Normalcy? Because I am slowly getting back to it. The right hand is pretty good again and the left is slowly following suit. I am still not up to 100%, but about 80% right now is pretty ok I think.

Lately I have been working in the garden a bit. Half an hour maximum on any given day really. Pulling weeds, mowing the grass. I don't dare do too much, just in case, but so far so good. Other than that I have been reading a lot. I got going with Jack Reacher and am now on book 11. Yesterday I started one and finished it at 1 in the morning, because I just wanted to know whodunnit! 

I have been watching a lot of television as well of course, plus I went to the cinema several times. I saw The Duke which was really good, Fantastic Beasts 3 (made my sister jealous), The 355, The Lost City, Uncharted (twice), Moonfall and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. I was supposed to go to Morbius, but canceled in the end as it is not really a genre I like. 

From next week however that will change a bit. Yes, the reading will most likely continue as will tv and cinema, but I will have to ration it more as I will be going back to work! Oh yes, after five months at home I will get back in uniform (providing I can find one that fits, I have gained a bit) and start driving again. The first week I will be at 50% of my normal hours, just to see how everything holds up. And then I will have a week off, as that was the plan way before the operations. Hopefully after that I will be back to 100%.

So, I think I will have to really enjoy my last week of 'freedom'. I know Miss O will need to as she has gotten used to me being home for so long.