Posts Tagged ‘downtown’

Worn down.

I am worn down to the bone as if I have been on a great expedition with backpack on my back, but I did no such thing. Although I must say that such an adventure does appeal to me somewhat if it were well organized and I got to wear the proper hiking boots. These little ballet slippers I am wearing now don’t give me much support when I do a lot of walking.

I first went to the grocery store, being solvent again, and replenished the food supply in the house. I had two bike bags full on the back and a big bag full of food on my handlebars, making navigation rather tricky and I took the curves kind of wide. I reached home safely however and the Überhund was beside himself with joy at all the good things he thought I had bought.

Well, I don’t quite disappoint him and I usually do have a special treat for him, because he is so darn cute when he gets it. He walks around for half an hour trying to decide what to do with it and where to eat it and it is quite funny to see him so confused and frustrated. He finally settles down some place and has a good chew, after he sees where I have decided to drink my coffee. He wants to be kind of close to me with his bounty.

Then I took the bus into town and because it was market day, about one hundred people got on at the trainstation and we all got squashed for space and we all tried to be jolly about it. Of course, when the bus stopped at the market, everybody got off at once and added itself to the throng of people that were already there. I decided to give the market a wide berth, because I saw how busy it was and if there is one thing I dislike, it is an unorganized crowd that is looking for a bargain, but doesn’t know where to find it.

I stuck to the alleyways and pathways where the stores were that I wanted to visit and the first one I went to was the store where I bought sewing machine thread.

Oh, I didn’t tell you this. My older sister sent me a sewing machine this week, wasn’t that sweet of her? She knew I needed one very badly and one morning the bell rang and there was a deliveryman with the sewing machine. I have lots of clothes that I have to make smaller, so I had to buy some thread, so I bought black and white and apple green and sunlight yellow. This weekend, I will sew.

Then I went to the Hema and bought mascara and wet towelettes and dish towels. I almost bought a new duvet cover on sale, but the pillow case that came with it was the wrong size. Then I wanted to buy a new shower curtain, but I couldn’t figure out where they were and I gave up and went to the cash register.

It was busy everywhere I went. In the stores and in the streets. Many dialects and languages were being spoken. I was looking for the store where I might be able to buy a new two pad holder for the Senseo machine, but I can never remember in which side street it is and there were so many people that I gave up and went to my favorite clothing store instead. They had all their summer wear on sale and you could tell it had not been a good summer, because all of the summer dresses were way marked down. i wasn’t about to buy one of those.

I bought a black knitted top with three quarter sleeves and a scooped neck and, of course….a necklace to go with it.

I was going to buy some frames for my movie posters, but when I got out of the clothing store and faced the crowd, I just lacked the energy and the courage and made my way back to the bus stop where a hundred people were waiting. I thought, my god, I hope they all don’t need to get on the same bus. Luckily they didn’t and when my bus came, the crowd had thinned out quite a bit.

I was so worn out when I got home. I dropped the shopping and my hand bag and made myself a cup of coffee and took off my shoes. It felt so good to sit down and take the weight off. Some days are like that, when downtown is just too crowded and you feel like you are swimming in a very busy school of sardines. I should have gone to a café terrace and ordered a glass of wine, but I wasn’t quick on my feet enough to think of it.

Well, I’m happy with my knitted top and my necklace and I turned on the computer and found an on line store where I could order the two pad holder for the Senseo machine. I really prefer shopping on line and I must remember that this is my preferred way of shopping and not go walking around downtown so much when it is busy, but stay behind the computer and make my choices there.

Now, I will go and wash the two living room windows and the kitchen window, if it is the last thing I do.

Have a great day,



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Tuesday afternoon, 3 PM. We are sitting here waiting for the rain to stop, because we have the urge to go into town and spend some money, but on the radar it shows nothing but rainclouds for a while, so the predictions are dire.

That’s the bad part about having to ride your bike everywhere. You will get wet clothes and a ruined hairdo and mascara running down your face and then you look like a wet clown and not at all like the sexy middle aged well preserved woman you want to look like.

Unfortunately, the shower radar only gives us the predictions for the next two hours, so we don’t know what is coming after that, but we think there is nothing more and Eduard has invited me to go to the film house with him this evening, where I will drink many cappuchino’s and not one single glass of wine.

The increased dose of the oxazepam has worked very well. I have not had one anxiety attack and I feel quite calm, nor have I felt the urge to drink, not even when Eduard offered me a glass of wine when he came home in the afternoon to be cozy. I find this mellow state that I am in now quite comfortable and feel no need to alter it in any way.

Well I suppose it is Wednesday now
, because it is midnight and it is the ghostly hour. Eduard and I have been home for a while and Eduard has gone to bed, but I am not nearly ready to. I feel full of life and I’ve put my sleeping pills on my nightstand for when I am really ready to take them. I have taken all my other medication, being the smart girl I am and already I am feeling a little bit calmer.

This afternoon we pretended that we had no idea what the weather was going to be like and as soon as it got dry, we rode our bikes downtown and had an expedition that was all about me! Because I deserve it! First we went to the Hema department store and bought Face Cleaning Gel, which is really great for getting your eye make up off and we also bought some moist cleansing towelettes for washing off the rest of my face. Then I bought a facial moisturizer that also works as a foundation and gives me just a bit of a tanned look. The things they think of!

Then we went to my favorite fashion store and we bought two stretch T-shirts with a V-neck and 3/4 length sleeves in pink and olive green and a Levi’s sleeveless fitted vest to go over them and I wear tank tops with lace on top underneath all of that. It looks pretty darn spiffy, if I say so myself. We also bought this extraordinary belt that is quite unusual and which I am quite proud of and wish I could show off more, but that would show my belly and I am not ready for that yet.

We got everything on sale, but while we were in the store it started raining and when we were done, we made a run for Snackson’s, because Eduard suddenly felt the urge to eat french fries. I held the bag of clothes over my head and we jumped puddles and made it over there quickly. I pulled a croquette out of the wall and it has been at least a year and a half since I have eaten a croquette and it was so good, but I couldn’t finish the whole thing and gave the last little bit to Eduard. That was the culinary highlight of our outing.

Then the rain stopped and we walked over to the new shopping area, part of which is being flaunted as the new culinary market place of Maastricht, but we were extremely underwhelmed and so are a lot of other people really, because there was hardly anybody there. It seems to be a big flop. A big expensive flop. We did see an awfully good ramp for skateboarding, though.

In the evening we went to the film house, me in my new clothes, ready to turn heads. I do so want a good looking man to look at me at least twice and I do seem to get some response, especially when I am sitting by the bar by myself. I figure, if a man starts chatting me up, I’m just going to chat right back to him.

I started off drinking cappuchinos and then, at some point, I thought the mood was right for a glass of wine, so I ordered one. Well, let me tell you. I did not even finish a third of it because of the way it made me feel, which was very unpleasant and I gave the rest to Eduard. I just did not enjoy that glass of wine. It made me feel drunk and I did not like the feeling. I switched to decaf cappuchino’s after that.

So, when Eduard and I got home tonight and he asked me if I wanted a glass of wine for a nightcap, I said, “No, I am not touching the stuff again,” and he said, “Wow, you must really have had a bad experience with it.” Believe me, people, I did and I will not have it again. I’ll stick to coffee and decaf and milk and that will be as wild as I’ll get. I would really have to be perished before I would drink alcohol again. I never did drink in the first place, so drinking it at all was sort of an aberration for me.

Well, now I am tired, and I am off to bed, so I’ll see you in a few hours…

Well and truly Wednesday morning. Oh yippee, I am up again, I survived another night of sleep, well, half a night of it anyway. I don’t know what it is about going to sleep at night that I dislike so much, but I am always so happy when I am awake again
and I can get up without it being a totally ridiculous hour. Actually, I don’t mind going to sleep if I just keep the thought in mind that I only have to do it for a little while and that it won’t take much time at all. (As if I am going to notice that!) Maybe one day I’ll be like a normal person and sleep until 8 AM.

I think Jesker waits for me to wake up, because very often he is beside the bed being very excited when I swing my legs over the edge and that is not where he normally sleeps. The cats come into the kitchen and make sure I give them fresh water and milk and fresh kibbles. We all have our little routines here early in the morning. Jesker very often gets a treat so he won’t be noisy and wake up the neighbors. He has that all figured out.

You should have seen poor Eduard as we made our way through the clothing shop yesterday. He thinks we will get done real quick, and I really am a quick shopper, but I do need to go through the whole shop and see what is there and what is on sale, but I can do that rather quickly. Still Eduard is long suffering and follows me with a slightly pained look on his face and tries to help me find the right item as quickly as he can. He is good about rejecting and approving the right items, however. He is very outspoken about what he doesn’t like and I am glad for that.

Eduard cares so little about clothes for himself, we may as well come from different planets, but I am under the impression that he likes it when I look good. When I was younger, I didn’t care that much either, but as I have grown older, I care a lot and I am fashion conscious, although not a total slave to it. I do like pretty things and necklaces. I love necklaces! And I like perfumes. I love to smell good. I think it is time for some Chanel no. 5, eau de toilette in a spray bottle. You see how explicit I am about that. I am a spoiled woman.

I think that if I weren’t taking the extra risperdal and the high dose of oxazepam, I would be hypo manic now, I feel the tickling of it in my underbelly and some of the giddiness in my brain. I am okay, though, I don’t think we need to call out any enforcement troops. Eduard may want to keep a close eye on his wallet, because I have been buying a lot of clothes lately, that doesn’t include the two pairs of ankle boots Eduard got on sale for me that were an absolute steal and just couldn’t be passed up.

I just feel this irresistible urge to keep going into town and buying stuff that I absolutely can’t live without. I have to have things, stuff, items, objects, goodies! More things than we can afford to buy, so I would have to shoplift and end up in jail and pay a fine on top of that, which we really can’t afford and oh, the social disgrace of it! Our standing in the community would be ruined forever! Bipolar woman turns out to be an habitual thief!

Well, enough fooling around now, although this is meant to be a fun post to take some of the heaviness off all the previous posts. I will have a good day today, because today I will see my SPN in the morning and Eduard will see the psychiatrist in the afternoon, but God only knows what sword of Damocles is going to be hanging above our heads later today. Oh God, I mustn’t think of it.

Let me be an ostrich and have my head in the sand for a few hours more.

Right people, have yourself a truly wondrous Wednesday, waylay the dragons and win over the hearts of the knights and the damsel. Don’t forget to water your trusty steed and give him some oats.

Ciao, i miei amici e soldati brave.

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For those of you who wondered if I was still somewhat hypo manic, yes, you were right, I was, even though I claimed I wasn’t, but then again, what do I know, right? I think maybe I am not the right person always to yell you if I am or if I am not. I think that decision should also lie with Eduard a bit, so from now on I will ask him every day what he thinks. I think if in doubt, he can be the one to be the tiebreaker and I’ll let you guys know what he thinks. That should solve that problem.

I had to call my psychiatrist yesterday afternoon. Eduard pointed out to me, as diplomatically as he could, that he had just about had it with my over assertiveness and my anger and irritation and aggressive attitude and that I had to cease and desist. He said I had been behaving that way all week to him and when he said it, I realized he was right and that I had been that way to him.

We discussed it and being the smart and well informed people that we are, we realized this was a case of dysphoric mania as opposed to euphoric mania. I was active and wanted to do a hundred things, but every time I thought that Eduard was not going along with the program, I nearly bit his head off. In other words, I was a bit of a bitch, quite a lot actually.

Well, it is all good and well to identify a behavior, but I had no idea how to stop it and even as we spoke I felt the irritation grow inside of me and I wanted to argue my point, even though I knew he was right. I felt very unkind and I didn’t know how to stop being unkind and impatient.

So, I called my psychiatrist who, of course, was no stranger to this phenomenon and had the solution right away. I was to increase my anti psychotic medication with 2 mgs and take the oxazepam when I felt especially disagreeable and to keep doing that until feel the aggression and the irritation abide. It may take a couple of days or a week or longer, who knows? But it is the best solution for now and will give both Eduard and me some respite.

A dysphoric mania is when you think you can move mountains, but get irritated and angry at the people who stand in the way of you moving those mountains. You have a goal and are convinced of its possibilities and you become quite ruthless to the people who you think stand in the way of it. You can become convinced of quite unattainable goals and become very angry at people who try to stop you. Or who you think are trying to stop you.

Well, anyway, you see how sometimes you don’t recognize your own behavior and that is pretty sad.

This morning I weigh 87.7 kilos, so I have 2.7 kilos left to lose before December the 15th.

Yesterday morning, after I wrote my post, I cleaned up the kitchen and then took a shower and got dressed and made up and walked the dog early. So, when 8 am came along, I was ready to go to the grocery store and do my shopping. That was great, as there was hardly anyone there and I rode my bike on nearly empty streets. I bought some delicious aged cheese for Eduard and some great treats for the dog, who couldn’t believe his luck and very happily took one to his pillow and chewed on it merrily.

Later in the morning, Eduard and I went into town, where I had to buy a birthday present for my sister and Eduard went to the film house to do some work there. I went to three different stores to find a proper necklace for my sister, who also likes to wear them, but I finally succeeded. I found a great ethnic looking one that I think she will like. Then Eduard and I had espressos at the film house and went home again.

In the afternoon, I took a nap on the sofa, due to having taken the oxazepam and it was necessary, because I had slept so little during the night the past couple of days. Eduard went to an open house of the railways where his friend Etienne works. It was good that he and I had a little time out from each other and my psychiatrist had suggested as much.

I took another oxazepam later in the afternoon and that knocked me out some more, so I am not going to take them today unless I absolutely have to. Only if I feel major irritation and anger. I am hoping the extra anti psychotic will actually do most of the work.

I hope that I don’t completely stop feeling hypo manic, as there are some aspects of it that I really enjoy, such as being very active. Getting lots of things done is very satisfying.

Forgive me for not commenting on your comments, but I do read them and I do appreciate every one of them.

Have a great day, people. Ciao….

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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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Yesterday morning I got my wish fulfilled and didn’t wake up until 6:30 am, which meant that I slept more than eight hours! It also meant that I didn’t have time to write this blog, so I skipped yesterday all together instead of trying to squeeze in a post. I am such a creature of habit that I have to write this blog early in the morning or not at all, because that is when I seem to be inspired to write.

Anyway, I am back to my normal schedule now and I have lots of time to contemplate what to write about.

On Wednesday morning I got a haircut. Yes, my hair had grown enough to need to do that, but I only had a little haircut, just enough to look nice again. My own little hairdresser was there again and I had her take just centimeters off my hair and it looks very nice. It doesn’t look like I got a haircut, which is how it should be. I can actually comb my hair into place now and use hairspray to keep it in place, which was not the case when I had it cut so short this summer. I’ll have Eduard take a picture of it so you can see it.

On Wednesday my sister and I also took the dogs for a walk to the pond and the weather was very good, so we got very lucky as it had rained the day before. The trees have completely changed colors now and many of them have lost a lot of their leaves. When the weather is nice and the sun is shining, it makes for a pretty sight. The colorful leaves on the trees and on the ground. It’s fun to walk through the dead leaves and Jesker always brings home bits of dead leaves that get stuck to his ears and the rest of his fur.

Yesterday morning I rode my bike into town to Eduard’s work and after having had a cup of espresso there, we went into town together to buy me a pair of boots. I was going to buy a pair of cowboy boots, but didn’t see any that I liked and ended up buying a pair of nice ankle boots with low heels that are very comfortable to wear and are very definitely not shit kicking boots. These boots are very feminine and will even look good to wear with a dress. I suppose they are a reflection of my true nature.

Yesterday afternoon a bunch of literature I ordered from the association for manic depressive people arrived in the mail and I spent the afternoon reading that. I now have quite a collection of books and pamphlets on manic depression and I am becoming quite an expert. That is the one thing they recommend anyway, know your disorder!

I have a list of things that trigger a change of mood in me. They can be actions, situations or events. They are things I avoid. One of them is listening to music. I very rarely do that, because I have a tendency to react very emotionally to music and easily get swept away by it. Especially if they are my own CD’s and I have associations with them. The easiest music for me to listen to is some Baroque and Jazz. It is the most rational music to me. I can’t listen to passionate music such as romantically classical music by Tschaikovsky or Mahler or Rachmaninoff. I get swept away by it. To me silence is the best, or music that I don’t react emotionally to.

If I am already in a mood, such as a hypo manic one, I will listen to music and want to be swept away by it. I will play Beethoven’s 9th symphony very loudly. Or if I am feeling very melancholy I will listen to Adagio for strings by Barber and have my heart broken, but I think it is very unhealthy and best to be avoided. It’s like adding fuel to the fire.

Darn, now I am stuck for words and I don’t know what else to write about. I have writer’s block!

Well, that means I’ll stop for now and say ciao and wish you all a good day…

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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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This morning I weigh 93.5 kilos. That’s more like it! I can say I have lost 32 kilos now, more or less. Yesterday I ate one cookie, one chocolate and the rest of the day I snacked on Melba toast and cheese. Finding out I can eat more certainly has made me want to eat more. I eat the extra bit of cheese now, because I know I can. I really have to watch it.

This morning I didn’t wake up until 6:30. I enjoy sleeping late. When I wake up, I really feel like I have had enough sleep, like I did yesterday. But I still managed to fall asleep on the sofa anyway.

In the morning I walked the dog and fed the cats and cleaned up the kitchen. I always clean up the kitchen in the morning, because I am too lazy to do it the evening before. I only wash the dishes once a day. But it is a nice routine in the morning, a good way to start the day and I clean the cat and dog dishes at the same time.

After I had gotten properly dressed and made up, Eduard asked me if I wanted to go to the library with him and I said yes, because I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to also go to the chapel and to go have a coffee. Eduard misunderstood me at first and thought I wanted to have coffee at the café in the library, but that would have been too boring to me. I meant Café Monopole downtown, of course. So, after we got that straightened out, off we went to the library. There is a little sitting area on the floor where the novels are and you can sit and listen to a spoken novel with headphones, so I sat and did that while Eduard searched for books. Soon enough, he was done and we checked out his books, which you can also do yourself at the ‘do it yourself counter’, so that makes everything very easy. Then we rode our bikes across Square ’92 to the elevator of the pedestrian/bike bridge. The square is named after the year of the Maastricht treaty.

When we got to the Our Dear Lady Basilica, it was very busy there. There were a lot of tourists there as usual and let me tell you here, the most dangerous people in traffic are pedestrians, especially tourists. Without any regard, they walk into the road, regardless of traffic. It is like they have suicidal tendencies. They don’t look left or right or up or down, they just walk straight ahead with no worries or cares about any other traffic at all. I always end up shouting at them: Sure, go ahead, lay down under my bicycle, no problem!

In the chapel I prayed the Our Father, and after that I said, Hi God, it is me, Irene, are you taking good care of my daughter and my grandson? Just checking, really, if he is paying attention. I haven’t addressed my Higher Being directly for a while now and I thought I would give it a try. I guess I feel secure enough to be able to do that now. You can feel it in your bones if the timing is right.

After that, Eduard and I rode our bikes to Café Monopole, all the while avoiding those dangerous pedestrians. We managed to find an empty table on the terrace and ordered coffee and a piece of strawberry pie. The coffee came with a cookie and a chocolate this time and that is one reason why I like to go there, because they aren’t skimpy with their sweets. I had four bites of the pie and it was delicious. The strawberries were freshly glazed, so they tasted very good.

Eduard was very sweet and went to M&S Fashions with me and we looked at the sales rack. M&S Fashions constantly has items on sale. As soon as they have a new collection in, they put the old stuff on sale. This time I found a wrap around tunic at 70% off, so that was a real steal. It has long sleeves, so I will be able to wear it for a while yet, and I bought a little tank top to go with it with little beads along the top of it. Very cute! You must all realize by now that I am clothes crazy, especially when I can get stuff marked down so much. I cleaned out my closet to make room for all of my new clothes and all of the old clothes, that are to big on me now, can go to the recycle store. I’ve got all of my stuff on hangers, so they are easy to find.

I walked Jesker in my new clothes and, because the weather was so beautiful, we hung out on the field for a while. The grass was dry, so I could sit down, and Jesker especially likes this, because, after a while, he lies down beside me and together we watch the people and other dogs go by. The clouds were beautiful, huge, white, cottony looking heaps of whipped cream in the sky. That’s the best about the end of the rainy time, the clouds are great. Whenever Jesker sees a dog, he waits for that dog to be gone and then goes to sniff all the places that dog has been. I guess he finds out a lot about that dog that way.

In the afternoon I sort of watched a movie. The Interpreter with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. I fell asleep halfway through and didn’t wake up until the end of it. Still, I saw enough of it to get what it was all about. Then I was supposed to watch The March of the Penguins, but I realized too late that I was on the wrong film channel and that I had missed most of it, so I’ll have to watch that the next time it is on. It’s supposed to be a very good documentary about penguins and Eduard showed it at the film house with a lot of success.

I realize that I write this blog with an audience in mind and that makes it hard sometimes, as my audience is so diverse and I keep picturing different people when I write it. So now I have decided to write this as a diary for myself, keeping the audience out of mind mostly and maybe that will make it a bit easier to write. If I just write it for myself, as a reminder of my days, maybe that will loosen up my thoughts a bit and make it less artificial. I will just write as I think of stuff, as it comes to me.

Yesterday I did two loads of laundry and dried them both outside on the new washing lines. The laundry dries in no time at all and it smells so good! I love hanging the laundry up to dry and taking it in again. It makes it much more fun to do laundry. I have another load to do today and I look forward to doing it. Silly me for having such fun doing that. It is a good sign however. When I enjoy doing laundry, things are going well with me.

Last night was a perfectly lazy night. I went to bed at 9:30 after spending some time watching silly programs on TV. There wasn’t that much on worth watching. Saturday night never is a good night for watching TV, they figure most people are out that night doing more interesting things. They don’t think about us old fogeys, staying at home, being boring. I suppose I would be more fun if Eduard and I were real drinkers and we enjoyed going to a pub regularly. There are people who have their special pub to go to, but we have never gotten into that habit. Let’s face it, it is better if I stay off alcohol completely, the stuff doesn’t do me much good. I am a lousy drinker and get sentimental too soon and too down. The last screwdriver I had made me realize that. That’s when out neighbors were here and I felt compelled to tell the story of my parents. Bad move!

I think about my parents every day. Not constantly, but they pop into my thoughts regularly. I am always reminding myself how I feel about them and how that affects the way I think about a lot of things now. I know that there is behavior in me that comes straight from my mother and some of the least likable things I have to keep an eye on and make sure they don’t pop up too much. I also know that I recognize some of my father’s most likable trades in Eduard. That, for instance,
is the very caring and kind side of him. Also the very comical part of him. So you do subconsciously choose the parts of your parent in your partner. I have my mother’s intelligence, but that can be a drawback too, in thinking that I know everything, when in fact I don’t. My mother always thought she had great psychological insight, when in fact she didn’t. So I have to make sure that I don’t make the same mistake. I think I have my kindness from my father. I can be a bit of a pushover, though. But I definitely see things of my father in Eduard and I am happy about that, because they are lovable things and I am glad to be reminded of these things of my father. There are many grey areas when it comes to my parents, it isn’t very simple all in black and white. There are no good guys and bad guys. There is responsibility and lack thereof. There is weakness of character and lack of understanding and lack of guidance. Everybody s a victim.

Now the cats are starting to become very noisy. They want to be fed, but Jesker is still asleep in the bedroom. He was out here once, but has gone back to sleep some more. He saw that I wasn’t ready yet. It is so late already! That is one drawback of sleeping late, you get started later with everything too. Well, it doesn’t really matter. I am a master of my own time, after all.

I want to say, well, dear diary, that was it for today, but I’ll say, well, dear audience, have a terrific day. Ciao…

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