Friday, 30 September 2016

One thing I say I think, but really don't

There is one thing that comes to mind, without even thinking about it.

I say I don't talk to your breasts, but all too often I find myself talking to them both.
I like breasts in all shapes and sizes. Big breasts I like the most, but I do not discriminate. I look at small ones as well. Today a workmate bends over the table and present to me a clear view of her bra and the small breasts it detained. Of course they notice, that you are not looking where you should. They always do. They have a radar for it.

It's not nice to look at the breasts, really. Ah, well I'm a tit-man. What can I say?

Betty Grable (1916-1973)

Thursday, 29 September 2016

My best quality

Again a chance for false modesty...
My best quality. I think my best quality is that I look upon people as equals to me. I treat the cleaning lady at my work the same as my boss (the boss is a she by the way). People on traineeship I treat the same as people that work there for 30 years. So they are all the same to me. People are people and I don't like the ones that kick the people downwards and be nice to the boss only. I really dislike that.

At our job I greet everybody, even though it's not customary at our place. It's common decency to say hello, or good morning, or... Some people defrost after a while and start saying hallo back to me.

Some don't.
Smile.




Wednesday, 28 September 2016

One thing I wish I could do

Ah, dreams... I'm a dreamer. And one of my dreams is travelling the Trans Siberia Express, or to be more precise the Trans Siberian Railway. From Moscow to Vladivostok. With a length of 9,289 km (5,772 mi), it is the longest railway line in the world. You can imagine it's heaven on earth for this big train lover.


The famous history of the train, the landscape it will travel trough, the length of the trip. It's a route 66, but this time in style. By train! What better way to travel? How many famous people already made this trip? How many infamous people made this trip? How wonderful to dream about this trip in detail...

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The best restaurant in my town

My daughter and my wife are high tea experts. You become an expert at this trade by visiting lots of locations and have a high tea in the afternoon. So I wouldn't know the best restaurant in Delft, but I do know the best place to have a high tea.

De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles (Royal Delft) is founded in 1653 in Delft and still makes handpainted blue china. Delft Blue, the original Delft Blue, not the made in China stuff, is made in Royal Delft. Nowadays it's a small museum and yes in this old building they serve the best high tea in Delft. According to the experts.


Monday, 26 September 2016

What have I learned today?

I have learned today there is a limit to what you can do to help others. I am a man and if there is a problem I have several solutions for it. You try solution one, and if that fails escalate to solution two and maybe three. I think in solutions like most men.

Women are wired differently and are open to empathy and not so practical as the male  race is supposed to behave. Well today was one of these days that my solutions did not work at all. I have tried everything and in the end I just listened and that seemed enough. I bite my tongue, and keep all this sane advice inside.

I wished I could do more....


Sunday, 25 September 2016

A simple pleasure

A simple pleasure.

I will do my Mother in Law next week a simple pleasure. We take her out at about 10:30. She has time to sleep late and dress and whatever she needs to do. After that we put her in the car and drive around the Dutch countryside. We don't have a goal, except avoiding highways, and look from the car at the skies, the trees, the houses of rich people, the farmlands, long bridges over big rivers, tiny bridges over creeks.

And when it's time we will drink a cup of coffee somewhere. And then we drive slowly back. Not slowly in speed, but slowly as in not-in-a-straight-line, the shortest route.

The tradition of aimlessly driving around started when my father and mother in law took their parents out for a drive. And we are the next generation sightseeing.

It's a simple pleasure, but a huge pleasure for her.

My Car...



Saturday, 24 September 2016

The best part of a rainy day

I have already told you what I think of the advice to save for a rainy day. That doesn't mean I'm not in favour of having some savings for things that need replacement, or a car that needs to be replaced in a few years time. The rainy days I'm talking about are 15 years away from me.

Rainy days is something we have plenty of, in the Netherlands. In the literal sense of the word. I don't mind the rain so much. I guess I'm just happy to live in a country that has plenty of water. I never understood why "the blue planet" with all it's oceans cannot filter the salt out of sea water and make pipelines to deserts and dry area's. They can build thousands of kilometres of pipelines for oil, why not for water? They can make from crude oil gasoline, why cannot we filter salt water into clean sweet water? The climate would change, The crops in the field would bring life to hungry people.

Back from riding my cockhorse. What is the best part of a rainy day? The moment it stops and the air is humid and full of smells of the earth. That't it.


Friday, 23 September 2016

Three good thoughts

Three good thoughts, mmm. Not sure what "good thoughts"are. Good intentions? Motivational thoughts? Positive thoughts? Let's think about each of them. Ok, here we go:

First: Say more "NO" to people at work. It will decrease my workload, or at least my perceived workload stress. I have a job that is not taken over by other colleagues, so it kind of piles up and the worst thing to do is take it back home with you. No more after this holiday!


Second: Karma. Do good, everything comes back to you.


Third: This year is going to be wonderful (my 57th year). In my work there are new bosses with a positive attitude, in my life there are people that love me, because of, or in spite of what I am, and I am going to post in several challenges this year.




Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A way to relax

My way to relax is to read. And when it comes to reading I am omnivorous, gluttonous and as a result an obese reader. I read anything and everything. It's because I'm curious, I think. There are so many things I want to know. There are a few exceptions to the rule. I don't like biographies (except I have four of Barbra Streisand but that's beside the point, Barbra is Barbra) at all. I am not interested how other people famous for some reason look back in semi-modesty at their lives. I don't like books about the history of America or Africa. Or about the ethnic cultures we know little about. I'm just fine knowing little about it.

Other than that, I like to read a romance novel as much as I like to read about nature, or about sexual related topics, or spiritual topics. Like the blog, it's a bizarre mix of subjects all living in peace together in my head, without neighbour complaints. My mind is a tolerant place. No place for racism or discrimination of a subject of a book. So I read about a book a week, sometimes more, not often less.

A book is not a way to relax but more a place to relax. It absorbs me completely. 



Monday, 19 September 2016

What really matters

This Ted-talk is called  "What really matters at the end of life". And it answers the question above.
It is one of those talks that you really should take twenty minutes from your time and watch.


At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? For many, it’s simply comfort, respect, love. Mr. Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks deeply about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients. Take the time to savour this moving talk, which asks big questions about how we think on death and honour life.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

What am I waiting for?

I am waiting for the dishes to clean themselves, I am waiting for money that people owe me to be paid back, I am waiting for a book I have ordered some time ago, and still did not get.

This is what a wrote years ago, and I found it back recently. Another Hallmark line:



Have faith that everything will work out for the best. Still seems good advice to me.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

One thing to do today

Do something naughty. We are without child, we are on vacation, we both like our Dominant/submissive relationship. So one thing today is reading my newspaper this way!!!!!!!



I know, TMI.
But it's honestly what I wrote in my agenda (yes I keep agenda at holidays and plan my trips... Smile) for today, 17th of September.


Friday, 16 September 2016

A minor roadblock in my life

It seems so easy to follow the road to personal growth:

1. Define a goal in your life
2. Assess exactly where you are right now
3. Keep your focus on what you want

I can tell you from my own experience it's not easy. To define what you want is something I can do, to make an honest self evaluation is manageable, but the problem is keeping the focus.Sometimes you do things and reflect with the knowledge of hindsight, and say: why do I allow myself to distract on my path?

Very abstract all this... Maybe an example. I try not to gossip about colleagues at work. Because I don't like people that gossip, and it's a character trait that leads to nothing other than people getting hurt of what people said behind their backs. And I work in an environment where gossip is a form of art. That in itself is no excuse to join them. And still with all good intentions, I find myself gossip about a colleague now and then.

It's not easy to keep your focus all time. Sometimes there are minor roadblocks in my personal growth.


Thursday, 15 September 2016

The last library I visited

The last library I visited was the summer library. In the Netherlands we have a summer library. You register and don't have to be a member of the library, anyone can register for free. And when the school vacation for the children begins the summer library opens and have a choice of 50 or so free e-books. And in July the books for adults are put there, for free. I read Swedish boots as a part of the reading in the summer library.

After the summer is over in September all books in the vacation library vanish into thin air. Each year you can read the books in the vacation season, and after that the vacation Library closes at 31st of August. It's a very nice concept. I'm curious if this concept is lent from other countries.


Wednesday, 14 September 2016

The thing that gives me hope

A corny answer, maybe, but the resilience of nature is one of the things that gives me hope. We made the rain acid and nature survived. We made big holes in the ozon layer, and now it's closing slowly again. And how each autumn the trees know that their only chance of surviving storms and cold is shedding their leaves and how each spring the bulbs in my garden know when it's time to grow.

It think it's awesome.

And thing that gives me hope in the morning, afternoon, evening and night is looking at the sky. There is so much to see if you just know what you want to see. This picture below is an evening in August this year from our garden. My wife captures the pictures and saves them, and I just look at it. That is enough, that moment.


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

An important truth

What you actually love is most truly reflected in your actions, not in what you feel, think or say.
(Adyashanti)

 It actually changed my life. 

It's not what you say. You may talk a lot about love, and not put your love where your mouth is. 

It's not about what you don't say. You may think about love and think you do all you can for love, but thoughts can remain in your brain only.

It's not about what you feel, you can feel intense love for someone and yet it's not enough to feel and sit around and wait for something to happen.

You cannot believe how many couples I know that have their love reflected in what they say to each other, think about each other or feel... Yet they do not act on it for some reason or another. 
To love is wholeheartedly and should be reflected in what I do. From what I do should be self explicatory how much I love. It can be a field bouquet of flowers, on impulse near the bike path, or tying her to a chair, or giving her my money to have her hair done or... nothing is wrong.

To some people it may sound just like a text on a Hallmark card, and I can understand why you might feel that way. But to me it was a revelation. A moment that takes your breath away. What you actually love is most truly reflected in your actions, not in what you feel, think or say. I try to live like that.




Monday, 12 September 2016

Memories

Today is the first day of a series I plan to re-publish each year on September 12th, 14:00 hours. In order to commemorate the good friends we find here in virtual reality of blog land and have become friends as in real life.

Today is about Ab, or Appie as he called himself. A man with a wonderful sense of humour, and a very kind man. I wanted to tell you about how I felt about him when he was still alive, and think it has not much added value if you tell someone how wonderful he is after he has gone. We should tell it to each other when we are alive.

Nobody could say it more honest and fragile than Barbra Streisand:
"So it's the laughter we will remember. Whenever we remember the way we were. The way we were."

I will remember him, the way he was.





My favourite meal

One thing that reminds me of my grandmother is baked liver. We used to come as a family, my six aunts and uncles, and their kids to my grandmother on Saturday. As we, my mom, my dad, my sister and I were the only ones that did not live in Delft, we had lunch at my grandmothers. And many, many, many times baked liver was on the menu.

It's still my favourite meal. It's more a memory dish, I think.
But I don't care. I like it.



Recipe:


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds sliced beef liver
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, or as needed
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided
  • 2 large onions, sliced into rings
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Gently rinse liver slices under cold water, and place in a medium bowl. Pour in enough milk to cover. Let stand while preparing onions. (It takes the bitter taste out of the liver, so let it soak for at least two hours, or a bit longer if possible).
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Separate onion rings, and saute them in butter until soft. Remove onions, and melt remaining butter in the skillet. Season the flour with salt and pepper, and put it in a shallow dish or on a plate. Drain milk from liver, and coat slices in the flour mixture.
  3. When the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium-high, and place the coated liver slices in the pan. Cook until nice and brown on the bottom. Turn, and cook on the other side until browned. Add onions, and reduce heat to medium. Cook a bit longer to taste. Cut to check if it's nice and pink inside, I like it that way.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

A time I made a good choice

It's odd human nature that all bad choices come to mind. But of course I made quite a few good choices in my life as well. At 40 years old I decided go go back to school one day a week and completed my education in four years time. It was a difficult time, but also a time of inspiration and brand new idea's. Things that I've never thought about, and now I had to think about it. I had to work together on projects and had my share of difficulties with people that refused to walk that extra mile, or sometimes refused to walk a short distance.

After I got my degree I went two years to University of Rotterdam. I was by now 48 and I was a proud as a peacock to walk between the youngsters. Always grew up with bad grades in school, and now I was getting lessons from professors, the best of the best. One of the best choices in life was to back to school again.



Saturday, 10 September 2016

Something to share

This is something I want to share and it has been a fantasy fetish to me for a long time. I remember like it was yesterday a Carlifornia Star movie called Pony Girl at the ranch. A movie that started the Pony Girl genre. It was released in 1986 and it awoke things in me that I never known. Since I discovered the video in 1986 I have always dreamed about Pet play.

My Wanita is no big fan of Pet Play so I will be dreaming about a Pet that is not beaten for no reason, you don't beat your own Pet for no reason do you? A Pet that will be walked outside on a collar and a leash, and... Well it's a well worked out fetish fantasy.

And now you know one more TMI that I shared today with you.

Scene from Pony Girl


Friday, 9 September 2016

Sad news, 2016.09.06

With sadness I have to tell you that my friend Appy is no longer with us. He died on Wednesday 6 september. Ab became ill some weeks ago and since than it was a steep hill downwards. His strength left him and he felt powerless. Just two weeks ago on a Monday I visited him to say goodbye. It was a very emotional goodbye, looking each other in the eye and know that this is the last time we meet. He still wrote daily short mails to his friend  Mona Lisa and to me, and Friday he told us he was helpless and his children were coming to him.

And now he has gone on his last trip. Let us hope it will be a safe one. I asked him if he was afraid to die, but he said he wasn't. He was at peace with his life to end.
Ab will be cremated on Monday September 12th in the company of his wife, kids and sister.

 
He is the first friend in this blog world that I am loosing, the third close one in one and half years. 
After he is cremated there will be nothing left of him. He cleaned out his Google account, wiped out his blog so it is just like he was never there.
It is the reason why I will post yearly on September 12th a post to keep the memory of Ab alive, and with him all the wonderful people that we meet in this virtual world, and has left us too soon.

So Ab, and all our friends, will be still with us for a moment and not be forgotten.

How do I encourage others?

Difficult question and for an honest answer you should probably ask someone else.
I try to strengthen other people by giving them some of mine. Lean on me, I often say to people close to me. Lean on me, for I have strength enough. Take some of mine.

I only notice it when my strength weakens like in hospital will the gall bladder problem earlier this year. I'm a very fortunate man I get as much strength back as I give at the times I need it the most.




Thursday, 8 September 2016

What encourages me?

What encourages me? Good question. Not sure I get the right translation. Courage is bravery. What makes me brave? What does strengthen me? Is that the right translation?

Where do I get my strength from? From the top of my mind: my daughter. I have told you sometimes that she has a little more restrictions in life than most people have. She has a rare disease that makes bad connective tissue and that means that her ankles bend easily so she falls quite unexpectedly and often, she has almost no strength in her hands and she is tired from walking 300 metres (900 feet). 

But she is almost always cheerful and optimistic, she has learned to drive a car and accelerate with her knee, without using your right foot. She drives now trough busy streets of Amsterdam, went on holiday with her service dog and her car, alone just to experience how it would be like, taking care of your own household.

My daughter shows me day in,day out that you should look at the things you can do, not the things you can't.


Her friend and service dog

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Advice to ignore

"Save all your money so if you are 67 and you are retired you can do all the things you never did."

Advice to ignore. Not to spend all of your money like there was no yesterday. Don't do it. It's not good advice to spend it all, but it;s not good advice to save it all either. There are so many people I have known that did not reach the age of 40. Some 50. Some 60. My mother was 63 when she died.

Live today. Enjoy this day. It sounds like a Hallmark postcard, but I do. I make the most out of today. Live life to the full.

Later is too late?

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

My first memory of one friend

We have a site here that is called in the Netherlands: School bench. And you can find your old school mates. I do not recall to have had any school mates, but there was a girl in 5th grade with red hair, I still remember today.
And when I signed up on school bench, just out of curiosity, who mailed me as the only one of all the people I went to school with? Right. The one girl that made me love redheads for a lifetime.

Is it a coincidence? Nah. I don't believe in coincidence. Fate. I believe in fate. She is married now and is a grandmother and lives in the east of the Netherlands. But in my memory she hasn't aged a day.

My old school in 1964, copyright Beeldbank Den Haag



Monday, 5 September 2016

This week successes

Well I organized at work a small seminar about the ethics of work and that was quite well received. It took me quite some preparation time to organize it smoothly. People of all layers of our organization discuss a loaded subject. Well that was a small success.

At home making all the blog posts during my holiday in advance, I wasn't sure I could do, time wise, was a small success.

I like to celebrate small successes. My wife works with mentally restricted people, some very restricted. And even a small smile on a clients face can make her day. I get inspired by her view of looking at things. Life is not about the grand. Life is about small things that work out. A "good morning" from a colleague that never says a thing.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Something I want to try

There are lots of things I want to do. Walking the Camino de Santiago would be wonderful. But it's too far away, too hot, too busy, too commercial. But walking a route of introspection for a few weeks that idea is in my head and doesn't go away somehow. So no specific plans yet, but it will come one day.

Well as I get older I like to know more about the path of life, what route to follow to your inner self. So I want to read more about the true meaning of life as we live it and how it will affect my life?

Some things are more practical. I want to make a wishing well in my garden this winter of bricks, and want to write a story this winter, to see if I can. The bucket in my wishing well is filled to the brim.


"365 Note Jar. Inside this you will find three hundred sixty five notes. Each morning you pick one out and read it to start your day off with a smile. One a day, Ben. No cheating I love you.
Key:
Pink: Reasons why I love you
Blue: We are doing this
Green: Quote and Lyrics
Yellow: Memories."

What an awesome idea. I will make one for my Wanita that has her birthday in January. This I want to try.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

How does content look like


Content looks like reading a book on vacation. (Reading a book period...) We have a small cottage that has no internet (wifi) and I've collected some books on my Ipad that are for a long time on my TBR list. My wife likes to read from paper, so we take a bag full of books with us for her.

And now we will wait for the rain to come...

Friday, 2 September 2016

Where I want to be

Well, as my vacation starts on September the 10th, and I've seen everybody going away on holidays and came back, I figure it's my turn now for a few weeks of rest. I have rented a little cottage in the Netherlands near the German Border (3 kilometres or 1.8 miles).

We will be there for two weeks. A very small house with just a few chairs and a good bed (I hope). We have already a rough plan what we want to see there. I'm looking forward to it!



Thursday, 1 September 2016

The best parts of fall

Some people don't like the fall, others gush about it. It's the time of year that I like. I like it that the worlds gets darker, the days shorter.

It's the time of cosiness. Of warmth at home and cold outside. Of lights inside and dark outside. Of people inside and emptiness outside.




What better way of saying goodbye to your leaves than to transform them all into such a feast of colours?




Darkness. To bike to work in the dark and bike an hour and a half back from work in the dark. Darkness is intimate. Peaceful. Quiet. I worked a lot of night shifts and only hated to sleep during all the sounds of the day that kept you awake.









stewed pears



Pears

My parents ate stewed pears all through the fall. The pears we use are pears that are especially sold to make stewed pears: Giesser Wildeman pears. They are quite small, hard, and ugly looking. When cooked, they become soft and delicious.
Stewed Pears: What you need

Ingredients

  • 1 kilogram (2 pounds or lbs) of hard pears, such as Giesser Wildeman
  • 1 stick of cinnamon or a tablespoon of cinnamon powder
  • water
  • 2 sachets of vanilla sugar, 8 grams (0.3 oz) each (this is just sugar with vanilla flavor, really)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey (optional)
  • 3-4 cloves

Stewed Pears: How to prepare
  1. Peel the pears. You cut them in fours, take out the core 
  2. Put in a pan. 
  3.  Add water so the pears are just covered. Add cinnamon and cloves. Bring to the boil.
  4.  Add sugar and honey.
  5. Put on a low heat for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, until the liquid becomes syrup-y. Stir every now and then. After 2 hours, the pears will be even more red-brown in colour.
  6. Take the cloves and cinnamon stick out of the pan and let the pears cool down. Keep them in the refrigerator until use.
Stewed pears means autumn.






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