Posts Tagged ‘café’

Yellow Pepper

Wednesday afternoon 1 PM. Oh, I had such a lovely sleep this morning. I went back to bed a 7 AM, after having been up nearly all night, and I didn’t wake up until nearly noontime when the phone rang and it was my sister who wanted to take the dogs to the pond. Much as the day beckoned with beautiful sunshine outside, I didn’t go with her, but very leisurely drank a mug of coffee and very slowly took my time to wake up properly. That was lovely in itself.

Today is the first day, since the radical increase in my mood stabilizer, that I actually feel totally calm. It has been increased by a third on Saturday and I think I am reaping the benefits from it now. I am still sitting here in my red bathrobe and actually give a hoot about getting the show on the road. It is all okay with me, in a little while I will get dressed and look pretty for Eduard, who is home already, because he has to work tonight.

Frances has given me a very good name for the images I make that I have been calling incompletes, she said to call them metamorphics and so I shall, because it is a very good name. Another name she suggested was organics, which also would have been appropriate, but since I have metaphore in my blog name now, I go with metamorphics, although I agree that they look very organic and alive somehow. Maybe biotronically so.

Egyptian Shield

It’s been a real challenge making these and remembering what I did right and what doesn’t work. Sometimes I make the same mistake three times, before I remember what I am supposed to do. You can see, I am not big on taking notes, but leaving it all up to chance.

I wish I could share my feeling of serenity and tranquility with you. I am on a smooth sea between storms. On the Pacific when it really is passive and peaceable. When dolphins swim and tumble along side your boat. That is not a fantasy, I have really seen that happen when I was out deep sea fishing in Mexico. The sea was blue and so was the sky and I was not seasick one bit.

We never did catch that marlin, but the trip was fantastic and I won’t ever forget it. It was like being in a book about a woman set out to sea who would never come back.

I find that in the United States I was much closer living next to nature than I am here, especially when I lived in Northern California in Sonoma County. There was nature in all of its glory all over the place and I felt like I was one with it and that I was as organic as all the earthy objects around me. The sea, the sea, like Iris Murdoch wrote. It was everywhere and ominous and beautiful and also terrifying. And the hills that were like hands that held you and the cows that grazed at the bottom of them in the fields. The lonely light houses and the whales that passed by in the near distance, so alien from us and yet so familiar, as if they were our cousins. Did they know that, that we revered them?

And then all the rivers that ran through the landscape and one, the Russian River, that ended in the sea and where you could find beautiful smooth pebbles on the beach. My son and I collected those. We were typical pebble collectors, walking bent over, silently, lost in common thoughts, picking out similar pebbles, watching them dry to less lively colors and spitting on them to get the colors back.

Dish with Pebbles

Well, now I need to make myself pretty for my husband and do some work around here. See you later.

Wednesday evening, elevenish PM. I went to the film house with Eduard tonight. He invited me specially and I sat on my usual barstool at the end of the bar where I can overlook everything, right next to the nachos machine, and no, I am not tempted at all. I drank cappuccinos and cola lights and ate all the cookies that came with the cappuccinos, because I forgot to eat dinner. What do I mean, I forgot to eat dinner? Well, it simply slipped my mind. I was going to eat some yogurt, but then forgot all about it.

There was a good atmosphere in the café tonight. The bartender played good music and when the song “Brown Sugar” from the Rolling Stones came on, he turned up the sound and the whole place rocked with middle aged people who became nostalgic for their youth.

I talked to a woman who belongs to the local neighborhood committee and she was very committed and political and inebriated, but very smart, and we didn’t have so much of a dialog as well as a monologue. I listened to her talk to other people in the course of the evening and I think she should run for some local office, but stay off the wine. What really amuses me, is how serious the other people took their conversations with this obviously inebriated woman, so she must have been still making sense. It always amazes me when people take themselves and each other seriously when they have been drinking, because I think the bullshit ratio increases with each glass consumed. I refuse to have serious conversations with people who have been drinking. Having said hat, I realize that both my husbands like their glass of alcohol.

I am sorry, but you are all my captive audience to my experiments with my metamorphics, so here comes another one. I have to keep trying until I get really good at them. So there:

Yellow Stone

I am now going to bed with some lovely food and my lovely husband, to sleep no less, because that is all I am good for at this time of the night. I’ll see you in a few hours.

Thursday morning in the early hours. Isn’t it teriffic? You go to bed and close your eyes for several hours and then you get to get up again and have a nice mug of coffee and a cigarette and start the day all over again. I think it is mighty amazing how that works. Of course, I do have to remember to sleep some hours during the day, like I did yesterday and that worked out beautifully with my mood remaining steady all day long. Yes, I have to keep reinventing the same wheel over and over again.

I am having quite a correspondence by email with my psychiatrist about me switching to the specialist team. He is a stubborn man, but I am a stubborn woman and I can be very persistent and I am not afraid to not spare the man’s feelings, although I do try some diplomacy, but if it doesn’t work? I go s
traight for the jugular. Eduard has an appointment with him this afternoon at 5 and it was my intention to go along and sit and wait in the waiting room in case I am needed for some part of the conversation, but it is supposed to be about Eduard and not me. So, that has to be very clear. It is very important that Eduard has this conversation and it has to be all about him and his concerns.

I have some very good short cake biscuits and I am trying to decide if I am going to eat those now. There is much temptation and I want to say, “Oh hell, just eat the damn things!” So, I probably will. That will be good with a fresh mug of coffee. Let me leave you with a last metamorphic and then I am off to read everybody else’s blog. I must and I will do it! I have been neglecting you people and I have my excuses, but I am falling way behind on what is happening out there. I hope nobody got married or divorced or had babies while I was preoccupied!

What will we call today? Thoroughly Thrashed About Thursday. How is that? The day before liberating Friday.


Here we go, ciao…

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Fairly good Friday.

So, here I am again on this fairly good Friday morning after a good night’s sleep for a change. I must have a very clear conscience to have slept so well. Is it possible that all this time I didn’t? Nah, who am I fooling! I am as innocent as a newborn lamb, ahum!

Last night I went to the film house with Eduard decked out in my newest clothes, looking rather smashing, if I do say so myself. I sat at my usual corner of the bar, where I can observe all the action and all the people and had cappuchino’s and Coca Cola lights with a twist of lemon. It is a pleasant way to spend the evening and eavesdrop on the conversations around me if the music isn’t playing too loud.

I check out everybody who walks in or who stops by the bar to get a drink and see them as potential partners, well, at least the men I do, and I imagine what it would be like to wake up beside them in bed, and then you realize that there are very few you would like to with. I check out the women to see how attractive they are and what they wear and how they’ve fixed their hair and their make up. I always like the most unusual women, the kind that really stand out from the crowd and not because they are the most attractive.

I like unusually decorated women with beads and earrings and bracelets and interesting rings. No diamonds or gold! I don’t like men with short stubby fingers or hair in their ears or coming out of their noses. I don’t mind baldness one bid. And I like women who have slightly messy hair, as if they just woke up with it. I don’t like short men and I do like tall women. I would hate to have to look down on a little dude and I would love to look up to a taller woman. I am 5 foot 7 inches myself, at 171 cm, I’m the short one in the family. They used to call me little Irene. Oh yes, I do like it when women wear super red lipstick and it stays on really well and I am always amazed by that.

Every head bartender chooses his music and last night we had Jazz all night long and that was so nice and mellow. Some of it was real slow and sexy, with the saxophone or with Sarah Vaughn, whom I learned to love very early on in my life, because my father was a fan of hers.

You don’t need booze to have a nice night out, I am the living proof of that and Coca Cola lights with a twist of lemon make you feel just as nice. Oh, and there was one man who sat at the bar and kept checking me out, which was flattering, of course, but he was with a woman who was obviously his wife and then I thought he was a pathetic creep for doing that. His wife was a nice enough looking woman too, so really…

There was a big movie poster hanging on one of the walls with a woman’s face on it and the title of the film: “Il y a longtemps que je t’aime.” I fell in love with that poster and just had to have it and I asked Eduard what I had to do in order to get one and he said, all I had to do was ask, so he went off and in about 5 minutes he came back with a rolled up copy of one. He is going to buy a big frame for it today and then we are going to hang it up in the bedroom where I can look at it every night when I lay in bed. It is so super romantic and it is just what I always want to say to Eduard. No, romance doesn’t die after 50.

I feel good now, like I knew I would. That’s the title of a song, people! At least I think it is. I am probably a bit hypo manic, but for heaven’s sake, isn’t that ever so much better than being down and morose and out of sorts. I’ll go now and take all my medications and that should straighten me out in no time at all.

Have a Fumbly Fairly Good Friday and do not wear any Frumpy Clothes. The Frumpy Clothes Police is out full force on Fridays.

P.S. Image courtesy of Lisa Sarsfield and John Mora.

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It’s Saturday afternoon 5:15 pm. I thought I would get started on this post and finish it tomorrow when it will be posted.

It has been wonderful to have a whole day at home again and I sure do appreciate being in my own surroundings and having the animals and Eduard around me. You don’t realize how precious all the ordinary every day things are, until you have to do without them for awhile and I also realize you have to be in terrifically bad shape to appreciate the conditions in the psych ward, to the point that you feel that that is the best and safest place you can be. It certainly wasn’t for me, which re-enforces the idea for me that I wasn’t suffering from a psychiatric crisis, but an emotional overload that could have been dealt with differently if I had only figured out a way sooner. Calling in the help of my sisters would have been a better move, but alas…

We’ve had a perfectly lovely day, such as they can be lovely when a lot of things have not been discussed yet, but need to be discussed with the help of professional guidance. We’re steering away from the heavy subjects and are keeping the banter light and the discussions about ordinary stuff. Such as what a lovely and smart dog Jesker is and how Toby loves to tease Gandhi.

When I thought I still wanted to get a divorce, I ordered some new clothes on line, sort of as a parting gift to myself, but also because I needed them. I ordered a new jeans jacket with lots of pockets, two tunics that are kind of sexy looking and two tank tops in appealing colors and a two sets of new underwear.

They finally arrived today, after a one day delay for unknown reasons, and I ripped open the package and tried everything on and it all fit and looked beautiful. I am especially fond of one of the tunics and I can see that it is going to be one of my favorites. I am wearing it now and it feels so soft to the skin and it fits me perfectly and makes me look slim. It is a definite keeper. I always know that when I buy this brand of clothes, the quality will be good and the size will be right.

The jeans jacket is super. I haven’t had a really good one in a long time and I am very happy with this one. I have always been fond of jeans jackets since I owned my first one at the age of fifteen. A girl can’t do without one. I love the casualness of them, yet I feel dressed up enough in them also, and they get better and softer as you wear them.

Eduard and I had some form of body language in the afternoon and after that, we spontaneously took a nap. I slept longer than he did and when I woke up I was a little disoriented and was trying to figure out what time of the day or night it was. What I did experience was a great relief at finding myself at home and not in the psych ward.

I still experience a great deal of help from my medication and never let it be said that medicines don’t help in psychiatric illnesses. Man, they take the load off. I would be so burdened without them and I would not be able to think straight. I feel much more unburdened and my load is so much lighter to carry, although this does not mean that I underestimate the seriousness of it.

I still drink wine sometimes, but only at the appropriate romantic time and I stop when the moment is over and switch to regular Senseo and appreciate the sober feeling too. It is nice that I don’t have to have fear of alcohol and that I will not overindulge and become an alcoholic as I think that addiction is not in my nature, unlike being addicted to cigarettes like my older sister is too, who also has hypertension, which makes for a dangerous situation.

I have a plan for tonight, but I don’t know if I will carry it to fruition. I look good and a girl does want to get out and be seen and admired and have a good time, but I will let you know about that tomorrow. I have a bus card and twenty Euros. That ought to get me somewhere.

That’s is for now until tomorrow morning when I will add the rest of my adventurous life to this epistle. Untill then, my faithful readers…

It is now very early Sunday morning and Neda asked me in a comment, why not quote Neruda’s poetry and then I thought, well yes, why not indeed, am I such a snob that I can’t? So here we go:

The morning is full.
The morning is full of storm
in the heart of summer

The clouds travel like white handkerchiefs of goodbye,
the wind, traveling, waving them in its hands.

The numberless heart of the wind
beating above our loving silence.

Orchestral and divine, resounding among the trees
like a language full of wars and songs.

Wind that bears off the dead leaves with a quick raid
and deflects the pulsing arrows of the birds.

wind that topples her in a wave without spray
and substance without weight, and leaning fires.

Her mass of kisses breaks and sinks,
assailed in the door of the summer’s wind.

Pablo Neruda’s poetry always has more layers than I remember it having and I always forget how you have to stop and think after the initial reading and read each sentence over again to really get a clear picture of what he is saying. You have to make the pictures in your head of what he is painting for you in his words.

So, last night I got all dolled up and went to the film house without telling Eduard that I was going to be there and when I got there I sat at the bar in the café in a far corner and ordered a cappuchino and chatted with the barkeepers until Eduard noticed I was there. He was busy hanging out at the other end of the long bar with his colleague, chatting up a storm and every few minutes making a run upstairs to the different projection rooms.

In the meantime, I met a whole new crew of bartenders, by the name of Roelinda and Paul with whom I had a lot of fun and they were later enforced by Peter, whom I already knew. Whenever a film was about to start, but especially when it had ended, the café filled up with people needing drinks and sometimes it was very busy, but that only added to the general fun and I got to talk to some people in passing who go to the film regularly and many pleasantries were exchanged.

I had cappuchinos and wine, but I went very easy on the wine, not wanting to make a spectacle of myself. I even ate a chocolate brownie, to give the wine a bottom to sit on. One chocolate brownie is just about all I can handle and I was very full, rejecting offers of grilled cheese sandwiches. People can never understand why I eat such small amounts of food unless I go into an explanation, otherwise they think I am starving myself.

Anyway, the film house café is one place you can go as a woman by yourself, where you won’t be chatted up all the time by drunken customers because you are sitting by the bar by yourself. It’s a bit of an intellectual crowd and you can pick up people there, but other rules govern and you can be picked up by males and females e
qually, which doesn’t bother me in the least. I think it is kind of flattering.

You know, when a woman looks good, she doesn’t want to sit home on a Saturday evening. She wants to be out in the crowd and have people look at her and talk to her. It’s the nature of the beast. I’ll go again, it is so much more fun than staying home and watching boring TV or going to bed early, although I did start to yawn at 10 pm.

Today is my niece’s birthday and we’re giving her the book The Secret, as that is what she asked for in the English version. She is going to be fifteen years old. She is suffering from mono right now and it had made her quite sick. She’s missed a lot of school because of it. Luckily, she is s good student, but she will not get her spring break report card as she missed all the exams for that one.

Well, that’s all I wrote for today. I still am in somewhat of a waking up phase. The coffee isn’t quite doing its trick this morning. I just need more of it, or I have become immune to it.

Have a seriously sumptuous Sunday and don’t go out and slay any dragons today, because today is a day off. No need to rescue damsels in distress either.


P.S. Laurie was freely handing out awards and since I have coveted this award for some time, I took it without a moments hesitation, you can all feel free to take it from me also, but I would like for you to leave a comment that you did, because I still want to hand it out to some people who felt too bashful to take it today, but I say, take the darn thing and add it to your sidebar.

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Sensible Sunday

It seems that these last three weeks, I have nearly wiped myself out feeling a whole spectrum of emotions and trying to fulfill all the different expectations that came to me as a result of all those conflicting emotions.

Yesterday, it all sort of came to a climax and I realized that I had to slam on the brakes and admit that I could not draw any sort of conclusions about anything that I was feeling and thinking about my situation, even though I was trying very hard to do that every day, and that I would have to stop analyzing and acting on the results of my daily analysis and just leave the whole thing alone and give it time and some professional care and insight, and get feedback from someone who is a third non involved party who can be objective and help us through the ruins that we find ourselves in.

So, while I think I find myself in the ruins of my marriage, I will probably make all sorts of statements that may not be true and that may change from one day to the next, so I am going to try not to make too many of them anymore, until I really know what I am doing, because right now I feel that I am like a blind person groping around in a vast dimly lit mausoleum where nothing is in the right place and many dead bodies are left to stumble over.

I will tell you about yesterday, when I went to the film house where there was a film festival and where I didn’t see one single film, but where I hung out in the café and met people like José and Wilmien the bartenders, and an adorable three year old little boy named Raf, and where I briefly babysat a 6 month old little girl named Evelien who is the daughter of the artistic director. That certainly took care of all my latent maternal instincts.

It was fun hanging out in the café, as it was busy with visitors and volunteers and there were a lot of people to talk to and bolstered by several glasses of white wine, I did just that. It’s amazing how sociable I get after just a few sips of my first glass. It’s a habit I must cultivate as I can see that there are rose colored glasses on my face when I have had more than one glass of white wine. Suddenly life seems so very less complicated and the answers seem so much easier to come by and I come to understand the term “Dutch courage” very well.

After I was done with the café life, having had my fill of wine and music and people to talk to, I went into town and visited my sister at her work and she is always very pleasantly surprised when I suddenly show up in the visitor’s center and pretend that I need intricate directions to some tourist spot that doesn’t exist.

Than I went to my favorite fashion store and splurged on a black stretch T-shirt with three quarter length sleeves and to go over it a black and white floral print tunic with short sleeves and a matching necklace all in a size that pleasantly surprised me. Well, not the necklace, of course!

When I got home, I walked Jesker and when I had done that, I put on my new clothes and waited for Eduard to get home.

I hadn’t done any housework before I left and I was totally uninspired to do any when I came home, but I realized I would have to do something, so I did the things that absolutely had to get done, such as the dishes and the laundry and I made the bed. I don’t want anyone to think that a slob lives here. Then again, at one point I thought, “Who cares?” and left the rest for another day.

Eduard was very kind and brought home three bottles of different white wine and I tried the first one last night. It was a a slightly dry German one with no aftertaste, but it did go down easy. My limit is three glasses and I should really stick to two, but I had forgotten how much I like a chilled white wine and how relaxed it can make you feel, even if you think you feel relaxed already.

Wouldn’t you call that a well spent day? I am leaving out all sorts of emotionally exciting and melodramatic details, but who needs those? We’ll leave that to the drama department and they are out right now, I think they are on strike for better pay.

Yesterday, on the news, Tom Brokaw compared Barack Obama with Bobby Kennedy and my first thought was, “Oh my God, then there will be some idiot with a gun!” So, lets all hope and pray that there will not be.

Now I am going to end this epistle and post it with some nice pictures.

I hope you all have a splendid Sunday and that all your special wishes come true and that your prayers are answered.


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Well, I have decided to mostly eat cup of soups and Melba toast and that I want to lose 5 kilos by the time my daughter gets here in December. I think I should be able to manage this, as I know that I can lose one kilo a week. It means no more raisin bread and no more potato salad and no more Maasdammer cheese. But, I will manage just fine without those things and I started out not eating them anyway when I first had my gastric band and I was losing a kilo a week. As it is now, I am maintaining my weight and not losing any, so I need to do something.

So, that’s an executive decision I made. Don’t you love the way I make them? Now watch me stick to it!

Yesterday turned into an alright day. At noon, I suddenly felt like going into town and, luckily, it didn’t take much persuasion to talk Eduard into going. We hopped on our bikes and rode them downtown where it was very busy because of All Souls and there were a lot of tourists in town. We stopped by the tourist information place first to say hi to my sister and she was very busy explaining things to people in various languages, which I find very admirable.

Then we walked to M&S Fashions and discovered that they had their winter coats on sale. Now, I have a winter coat that is made of leather and has a furry liner and it is very thick and perfect for when it is freezing, but mostly it is too warm to wear. I needed a coat that I could wear when the weather wasn’t that cold. After trying on some coats, I found the perfect one. It is dark blue and has a zipper and buttons and a hood and it is knee length. It is actually kind of classy and I look skinny in it. So, the decision was quickly made and Eduard bought the coat for me. I wore it out of the store and the jeans jacket I was wearing is going straight into the recycle bag and will never be worn by me again. Aren’t I lucky?

After that we went to Café Monopole to sit on their terrace to have a cup of coffee. It was very busy there, but we managed to find a table. The weather was decent enough to still sit outside and they also had electric heaters going under the big parasols, so it was very comfortable. The parasols are enormous and together form a complete cover over all the tables and chairs, so you are completely protected from all the elements. We ordered coffee and they came, as usual, with cookies and chocolates, so that was nice and satisfying. People where eating their lunches there and I was amazed at the huge amounts of food on their plates and couldn’t believe they would eat it all. Entire African villages could have been fed.

After having our coffee, we walked to the film house, where Eduard had to look something up and it was strange to be inside without anyone else being there. No films are shown on Saturday afternoons and it was very quiet in the building. Then we walked to the Hema, where I picked out a moisturizer and then we went to V&D where we critiqued their handbags and decided that I already had the best ones and that none of them there were as good. Which is kind of a relief, because now I don’t have to think about a handbag I don’t have, but secretly want.

Then it was home again and I said to Eduard, “No matter what anyone does, let’s not get mad at them.” So, whatever tourist wandered onto our path, we didn’t yell at them. We just went around them. Although it is very difficult not to yell, especially when they are being so obviously dumb and dangerous.

At five o’clock, I walked the dog and stopped by my sister’s house to show my niece my new coat and boots and all met with her approval, which is nice, because she does have good taste for fashion.

Then my sister came home and started moaning and groaning and complaining and scolding before she even had her jacket off and it was just not very nice to see and hear. Apparently she believes that nobody does anything right while she is gone to work and she acts like sort of a martyr because of it and I think her attitude is terrible and it really bothers me and I don’t know if I should say anything to her about it. My niece bore the brunt of it, when she alone was not responsible. I think if my sister can’t handle her household and her job, she should quit her job or else stop scolding and complaining. It’s not as if she needs the money and apparently she doesn’t have the time to go out and work and run her household properly at the same time.

Well, I have to think about what I am going to do about it. If I can do anything about it. It upsets me. Any input from you guys will be appreciated.

Anyway, I just took a few minutes to gather my thoughts and take a deep sigh. My sister doesn’t take any sort of criticism well from me at all, no matter how carefully I put it, so it is a real problem.

But all in all, you could say that yesterday my rating was up to a seven if not an eight. The only thing I didn’t do, was go to the chapel and I had thought about it, but then decided against it, because it was so very busy in town and I thought it must be in the chapel also, so I will go there some other time when it is a bit more quiet. In the meantime, I light candles at home by the pictures of the children.

That’s all my news for now. I get to walk the dog in my new boots and my new coat all the time now, which makes that kind of fun.

Have a great day. Today is Sunday, the day of rest! Don’t do too many unpleasant things, such as chores around the house. Ciao…

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I have started reading Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, but last night I only got as far as the introduction, because I fell asleep with my raisin crackers uneaten and my milk half finished. I know that I read this book along time ago, when I was younger and much less wiser, so it will be interesting to read it again, being older and wiser and looking at life so much different now than I did back then.

One thing I did conclude then, is that people have a lot of personal mythology too. That you go around thinking a lot of things are true about yourself that aren’t, and that very often these are things that you learned about your self in your childhood and early adulthood, and don’t realize aren’t true about you anymore as you mature and grow into wisdom about yourself and the world around you.

Such as, you will grow up and be happily married and buy a washing machine and have a couple of babies and live happily ever after as a wife and a mother in the suburbs and you will have no other longings and you will be fulfilled. That’s a myth about myself that I grew up with and believed in for a long time. It was hard to let go off and I believed it well into my thirties, never imagining that maybe it was a myth and that it was high time to throw it overboard and get me a more realistic narration instead. A true story about myself to live by.

It takes a little time to find a new story and it can be painful to throw the old myth overboard, especially when there are other people involved who have also come to believe in your myth. It is painful extracting yourself from the old story and it is not wise to not have a new one to believe in and ready and waiting for you to try on for size. It has to be a hell of a story to replace the old myth. A success story that makes the old myth like a worn out fairy tale that has lost all its power and magic. One that you really can’t believe in any longer.

That’s the tricky part. You have to really stop believing in your old myth before you shed it. You can’t toss it overboard and secretly believe in it still, because that will mean that maybe you failed at it, when you would have succeeded had you been stronger, wiser or anything better than what you were. You can’t shed the old myth and at the same time keep believing it.

According to Joseph Campbell, we are surrounded by mythology all of our lives. In our daily lives and in our rituals. Mythology is what we used to make the world around us explainable too ourselves. The rituals are necessary to appease that which we could not explain and to bind us together in a single common action. I am a great believer in rituals and I can see how they will strengthen people’s resolve to accept their sometimes insecure hold on and understanding of life.

Ritual can be carried to an extreme and become an obsessive compulsive disorder, but that is taking a whole step to another thing altogether. For awhile, in the seventies, I was convinced that there was one window that was not properly locked at night, and I would close it 20 to 30 times before I was sure of it. That was more than a ritual, that was a disorder which I was cured off when we moved.

This is how it is described in Wikipedia:

A ritual is a set of actions, often thought to have symbolic value, the performance of which is usually prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community.

And this is what it says about mythology:

Stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and to explain the nature of the universe and humanity.

The sagas that our Germanic ancestors used to tell the stories of their Gods were mythology, just as the Greeks had their myths. We are just not fortunate enough to have been taught those stories in school, the Greek ones being thought of as more interesting and evolved. All the religions in the world are myths in the end, and I hope I don’t do anyone an injustice by claiming this, because I am not denying them their believe in their God.

There are all the wonderful rituals of prayer, such as reciting the Lord’s Prayer or the Hail Mary. It would be interesting to know what the ancients recited as they performed their rituals to appease their Gods. It’s a shame that those words weren’t written down anywhere.

There is ritual in our daily lives. I, for instance, have a ritual of doing things in a certain order, and if I don’t do this, the day doesn’t feel right and I invariably forget to do something. I like to do certain things in a certain order at certain times of the day. If something or someone comes along to disturb the order, I try to get back to it as quickly as I can. I think that is true for most people.

Nowadays, you find that people believe in mythology other than that of their own community. We are exposed to other cultures and we accept concepts and truths from other cultures. We are not afraid to touch and integrate the things that are foreign to us. With our Western minds we find ourselves evolved enough to embrace that which a hundred years ago would have been alien to us. What we decide to ‘believe’ about it is up to us. It can only be an exercise of the mind or a true acceptance of everything. Through knowing another culture’s mythology, we can understand that culture better and maybe in the process come to understand ourselves better also.

Personal mythology should be held up and examined closely, however. It is not good to blindly accept things about yourself that have not been picked apart for their truth value. There are always elements in the story that do not ring true and that most likely aren’t true. Luckily, with today’s psychology, we get to examine our minds and our deeds closely and we are no longer unread books to ourselves. As we mature, we get to read what is stated there and agree with it or not and change it as we see fit.

I read Greek mythology when I was in my early teens. Had Germanic sagas been available to me, I would have read them also. I was fascinated with the Greek ones and also read them during boring lessons in school. I was most fascinated with the story of how Icarus tried to fly with his wings of wax and feathers, but flew too close to the sun and fell to earth. I always wondered how much truth there was in this story. If someone really made wings and tried to fly. Mythology is fascinating to a growing teenager. It teaches you about the mortality of man and the fickleness of the Gods.


I have been playing with the Paint Shop Pro, but I see there is a lot that I have to learn yet. Other people are doing lots of interesting things, such as Bobbie here. Rima here also does some very interesting things. I will practice a little bit every day and see what sort of things I can come up with. It is all a matter of trying things out and not being afraid of screwing it up. Luckily, there is an undo button. My version of the Paint Shop Pro is in Dutch, so all those handy terms in English are worthless to me. I’ll have to translate them as well as I can. I think my very artistic friend Laura may be interested in doing this sort of art work.


Yesterday afternoon we went into town. My sister had told me that there was going to be music downtown and salsa dancing, but we must have looked in the wrong place, because we didn’t see or hear any. We walked around a bit and it was not that busy, because the shops were closed and only the cafés were doing good business. On the big square, there was a huge Jeu de Boules tournament going on and there must have been a hundred people playing all at once. The whole square had been covered with sand and was divided into different courts. They were playing in the hot sun, so we only stayed and watched them for a few minutes.

We had coffee and apple pie on the terrace of Café Monopole and people watched. On the terraces on the square, there are always many tourists and it makes for an interesting sport as we try to pick out the foreigners before we hear them talk. Some people are so Dutch looking though, that you can spot them from a mile away. We walked the long way back to our bikes and had a soft ice cream on the way. It wasn’t necessary that I eat this, but I was struck by the opportunity and figured it was my last chance before my gastric band gets filled on the 20th. I was disgustingly full afterwards. My eyes are always bigger than my little stomach pouch.

Eduard had to work again in the evening and I drank many cups of Senseo to make my evening as pleasant as I could make it. Actually, I was very tired and was struggling to stay awake. I had taken a nap around dinner time, but still I felt as if I should have been in bed already. When I was ready to go at nine o’clock, I realized that I still had to make cigarettes, so I did that and then stayed up watching National Geographic, which had a program about a terrorist airplane bomber. That’s real uplifting programming just before you’re off to bed! I took all the books that I had tried to read, but wasn’t enjoying, out off the bedroom and put them back on the book case and got The Power of Myth out instead and I have vowed to myself to read nothing else but that until I have completely finished it. I need a bit of intellectual stimulation after trying to read two really not so very good books.

I know there comes a moment when I go out cold and I fall into a very deep sleep, but I always think I can postpone that moment. I try to stay sitting up and keeping my eyes wide open, but it is all for nought. Nothing works once I have taken the sleeping tablets. I can be in the middle of eating a raisin cracker and I will fall asleep with it in my mouth. In the morning I still have the raisins in my mouth to attest to that.

Well, I really can’t complain about that. It is so much better than laying there for hours not falling asleep. I just hope I get to read that book a little before I conk out.

Well, I’ve got to feed the cats and walk the dog. My morning rituals await me. This morning I have to go and have my profile test done. I get the results right away and I am curious what they will tell me.

Have a great day, everyone, ciao…

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When I make a pot of coffee in the morning, I make a cup of Senseo while I wait for it to get done. The Senseo gets done very quickly and it tastes delicious. I would wish for all my cups of coffee to be Senseo, but that would be too expensive, so I limit them to three or four cups a day. Just as special treats. I now have the regular and decaf pads for the machine, but I know they have some other special coffees for it, like Kenyan coffee, so I will try those also. This way I am going to become a bit of a coffee connoisseur. It can be a whole new hobby! I can try all the different cafés in town and see where the best cup of coffee is to be had, although usually they all have very decent coffee. Still it may be a fun thing to do.

Yesterday morning it rained, but in the afternoon things cleared up. Eduard and I had already decided not to go to the Carrefour, because of the traffic, so when Eduard sat behind the computer and I was being a bit bored, I said: Lets go into town! Eduard agreed and two minutes later we were unlocking our bikes. The ride into town is so easy for me now. I do it without giving it a thought. I go through the bicycle tunnel and up the old bridge as if I have always done it without any problems. My knees don’t protest too much.

It was busy in town with all the usual tourist walking mindlessly into the traffic. I yell at them when they do really stupid things. I told Eduard that I am just going to be a very verbal lady when I am on my bike. It’s unbelievable how dumb people can be!

Anyway, we parked our bikes by the bridge and walked into the downtown area. We went to M&S Fashions first to check their sales. Luckily, some things were marked down very much and we bought a wrap around dress with long sleeves to be worn in cold weather for seven Euros. You can wear this over a pair of leggings, which they were sold out of, so we walked to the Hema to see if they had any, but they didn’t. The woman at M&S Fashions had said they would get more leggings at a later date, so I will wait for them to get those.

While at the Hema, I bought some very good shower gel and a new tube of face wash. The shower gel is supposed to be good for people with sensitive skin and I know the face wash leaves my face feeling very soft, because I am already using it. I don’t spend huge amounts of money on stuff like this. I don’t think it is necessary to spend 25 Euros on a jar of moisturizer, for instance. I just find the stuff that works for me and the Hema usually has good products that they develop themselves and sell under their own name and that is good enough for me. I had a shower gel with sea minerals, but they were sold out of that one, so now I am trying this one that has a rice emulsion in it, and we will see if it leaves my skin soft. I have a tendency to have dry skin, so that is my main concern.

Then we wanted to have coffee and pie at our regular café, but because of all the tourists, there was not an empty table to be found and we walked down the sidewalk until we found an empty table at an other café. This one was called La Différence, which is funny, because all the cafés look alike at that point. We ordered coffee and their last two pieces of pie and watched the people walk by on the sidewalk.

It’s really interesting to sit and watch the tourists. A lot of them come from the west of the country and come to Limburg because Limburg is like a foreign country to them. We listen to them talk in their Western accents with their Western attitudes which are all over the place. They’re kind of like New Yorkers, very present. They’re mostly older couples who want to have a foreign experience, but not be too far away from home. The women all have big hairdos and the men drink their beers stoically. I should be an anthropologist, I love observing people.

We had very good coffee and very good pie. There were separate little glasses with whipped cream and an almond extract in it to put in the coffee which was good. At one point the sky became very dark and ominous looking and the wind kicked up and threatened to blow away everything that wasn’t attached. It looked like it was going to rain, but this passed after some time and the sun came out again.

When we were done, we walked to the chapel where it was very busy and where I just found one place to place a candle after pulling out one candle stub. I prayed the Our Father, but I am not very inspired lately. I don’t feel very much in touch with my Higher Being. This may be a temporary situation. I don’t know, I want to keep going to the chapel and keep the communication channels open and see what happens. I don’t feel that the Higher Being is doing much in my life right now, but maybe I am overlooking the obvious and missing some things that are good. That’s going to require some thought on my part. I must pay attention to the things that are going right and concentrate on them and not worry too much on the things that turn out differently than I had hoped. I mean in the lives of my loved ones.

When we rode our bikes home, we nearly had an accident because two women decided to cross the road just in front of us. It was very strange. They looked right at us and then stepped right off the sidewalk. I was so surprised, that I could only yell at them in English. I couldn’t think of the Dutch word for pedestrian crossing. People must think that you are just going to hit the brakes and wait for them while they go their merry mindless way.

When we got home, the dog was being his usual cuddly self and I had to pet him for quite awhile. I don’t mind doing this bonding with him, as I think it is a good thing to do for him as well as for me. It is very relaxing and makes us both feel good. It is like coming home and having your child be happy that you are there again. It makes you feel loved.

It was too hot to try on my new purchase, so I just hung that in the closet for another day. I did change my clothes, as it had become hot and muggy again. Nowadays, it is hard to figure out what to put on in the morning. Usually, I have to change my clothes half way through the day.

This morning it is raining and it is supposed to rain all day. Well, it is good for the garden. I should say, it is good for the trees, because there isn’t much in the garden yet.

I’ve got an appointment to do the profile test on the 13th of August. I am curious about what kind of a test this really is. What kind of competencies it is going to measure. I suppose some of it will be like an I.Q. test. Maybe a bit of an aptitude test. I am not worried, as I think I will do fine. I do believe in my own competencies well enough. I just think that it is a shame that they don’t look at the tests that I have al
ready done and draw their conclusions from those. I guess that is bureaucracy for you. I have looked at the address where I have to go for the test and I think it is somewhere in the industrial park, so I have to make sure to look up the directions before I go, otherwise I will get hopelessly lost.

That’s how I got my first job ever. I was looking for the place that had placed an advertisement for an administrative assistant. It was in the industrial park and I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, instead, I went to Honeywell which was a big company even then in our town, and where my cousin had recently found a job. I just walked in and said that I was looking for a job and they sent me to the head of Personnel who interviewed me right away for a job that had just come up, but had not been advertised yet. I made such a good impression that I was hired almost immediately and I started working there a few days later. My mother was beside herself with pride and practically stopped people on the road to tell them about it.

It was nice to be earning my own money. I saved some of it, spent some of it and gave some of it to my parents for room and board. That was quite usual in those days. I don’t know how things are now, but then it was normal that you paid your own way. I was very frugal and really made my money last. I bought a new article of clothing once a month and saved up my money to buy stereo equipment. I did love listening to music, classical mostly. My father decorated my room very nicely and my mother had a hot meal on the table every night. I didn’t go out much, as I did most of my socializing at work and that was good enough for me. I had my friends and visited with them. They all had jobs and we were all saving our money. Once in a while I went out on a date, but there was never anything serious. Eduard had gone to university and I didn’t see much of him anymore. Our relationship sort of petered out.

I really enjoyed my job. It was a pleasant place to work and my colleagues were nice people. There was a lot of laughter there. We only really got uptight when the president of the company came to the department to have a talk with somebody. Luckily, that didn’t happen too often, but he did intimidate me quite a bit. He was that kind of man. Of course, I was awfully young and easily intimidated by a man of power. Everybody else in the company was my friend. I was naive enough not to realize when somebody developed a crush on me. I didn’t find out about that until much later. I thought everybody was just really friendly. I would love to find that kind of a job again.

I am waiting for it to stop raining so I can take the dog for his walk. He has been out here already to be petted, but has gone back to the bedroom to sleep some more. Eduard is sleeping late, because he worked the late shift last night. He won’t be up for another hour at least.

Last night, I talked to my daughter and even though she is having a heck of a time finding a job, she does keep her spirits up. Having a law degree doesn’t guarantee anything. She has been contacted by a head hunter, so maybe something will happen there. Her ex wants to move to Northern California and wants Nick to go with him to keep their son close by and she may go. It is where she comes from, after all, and if she can find a good job there, it may just work out. We’ll see. Personally, I would like it if she lived in California, but that is just selfishly thinking. It is my old stomping ground and I feel very much at home in Northern California. I would love to see San Francisco again and Sonoma County. So, I guess I am not the right person to ask if she should do this, because I would say yes right away.

Well, I think I will read the news until the weather clears. Feed the cats if they are around. They shouldn’t be too far away with this kind of rain.

Have a great day everyone. Ciao…

P.S. No, I didn’t go on the scales this morning and I won’t for a while because I expect the worst. First I need to go back to eating little amounts of food and then I will weigh myself again.

I had claimed that the tortilla chips hadn’t caused me to have an allergic reaction, but since the last time I ate them,which was yesterday and the day before, my left ear is in bad shape. Fluid is leaking from it and it is itching quite badly inside and out. Big patches of skin are peeling from my ear and it is getting all kind of raw looking, so I think I will not eat the tortilla chips anymore. It was an experiment that proved the point. My head is also itching quite a lot, so today it is back to the lotion and the ointment. That can’t be a coincidence, can it?

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