Things I did in June and July

I’m not sure how exactly this happened. One day it was the middle of June and now, somehow, it’s the end of July…
Which means I haven’t done my monthly round-up post and I haven’t been updating about the veggie garden…

Books I’ve read:

Fataal weekend(Post Mortem)
1974 (partially read this one)
Undercover in de ouderenzorg
Geluksvogel
Gently By the Shore
Gently Down the Stream

I’ve released 150 books and there’s more to follow, as July isn’t over yet. The high number is due to the annual BookCrossing meeting on the beach in Castricum on July 6. This has put my 52/52 challenge up to 42 places sofar. Another 10 and I’ve made it. For the 365 challenge I’m up to 336 books. I’ve reset my goal to 500 this year. It might make a small dent in my BC collection…

In the garden everything is growing like made. The lettuce is about 150 cm high, if not higher. I ate loads of raspberries, they never even made it indoors. The tayberries are blooming for the second time and the blackberries are waiting for their tan.
I’ll do a post on that later this week.

Cat Candy has got another bladder infection (again) and is on antibiotics for the umptieth time. She seems to be feeling fine, though she’s not going out as much nowadays. Not sure if that’s due to the weather (hot hot hot), the infection or old age.

The weather, ah yes, the weather. Well, what can I say? It’s really hot. It was 33C on saturday which is ridiculously high for our part of the world. Yesterday was a bit coller and today the temp is rising again. We’re up to 25C now.
The solar panels are doing a bit less well in the heat. But we’re still managing a good few kWh. With 30 days to go to make it a full year we’ve used 58% of our normal annual consumption off our own panels. Which is already 8% more than we hoped for.

Next month I’ll be having my holiday and hoping the weather is still good. Just one more month…

Oh, I almost forgot the biggest news! On my birthday we bought a new car. A brandnew car that is. Our Kaatje was almost 18 years old and the cost of the repairs were beginning to mount up. We had to get at least another 800 euro into it to get her through the (Dutch equivalent of the) MOT. So we decided enough was enough. Everyone, meet Kate:

Kate1

Kate is a 2014 Ka Style, in the new colour red, called flame red. We love her, though I do miss Kaatje…

The witch who lost her broom

Random things I saw lying at the side of the road yesterday.

  • A pair of washing up gloves
  • A dead duck
  • A red and white checkered tea towel
  • A blue women’s shoe
  • A witches’ broom

Is there a story in these items?

Broom

Maybe the witch had to leave the house in a hurry whilst doing the dishes. She hung the tea towel on the end of the broom to dry and whilst she tried to get the gloves off she hit the duck. Of course the duck and the witch are to blame for this unfortunate mid-flight collision. The duck shouldn’t have crossed the road while the witch was flying there. But the witch should’ve known better than to do things that had nothing to do with flying.

After hitting the duck the tea towel fell off, the witch lost one of her shoes. The broom crashed to the ground and the witch had no choice but to go further on foot. Bare foot, holding one blue shoe in her hand.

Did she get a lift? Will she get back to pick up her broom? And why was she in such a hurry?

Photo courtesy of Vilseskogen @ Flickr

 

Narrowly avoiding disaster

Todays prompt asks:

Share a time when you narrowly avoided disaster.

Have you ever been on the road? There nutfucks all over the place. Really, it’s dangerous out there.

First there’s moms. They are dangerous I tell you. They’re either looking at their kids or at their phone. I’ve seen them park strollers on the street without even looking around to see if there’s traffic coming. I’ve even cycled over a stroller, knocking the kid out cold. Why? Not because I wanted to, but because the bloody idiot mom turned the stroller onto the road within inches of my wheel. I had no time to stop. I’ve had moms yelling at their kids in the car whilst driving. swerving all over the road, almost knocking me over in the process. I’ve even rescued a kid from cycling right in the path of a lorry. Kid couldn’t help it. His mom cycled a few meters in front of him. She crossed the road right in front of the truck, kid just tried to follow his mom. I literally grabbed him off his bike. I yelled at the mom, she didn’t understand. I told her: “If you don’t want kids, you should’ve used protection, you bloody idiot.”

Than we have professional drivers. I’ve seen so many professional drivers more involved in their phone, GPS, newspaper or even making food than the traffic they’re driving in. They swerve from left to right without ever paying attention. The times that I’ve managed to escape an accident waiting to happen are countless.

Further onto youngsters driving cars. Seriously, they don’t see the dangers of their driving. Fast cars, no seatbelts, way too many friends piled up inside. And now we are letting 17 year olds onto the roads. Why? If an 18-year-old isn’t listening to all the advice he’s gotten in his driving lessons, why would a 17 year listen? They think they’re alone on the roads, making it dangerous for everyone. I’m known for having a heavy right foot, but the times I’ve been taken over by youngsters whilst it snowed or rained very heavily are, again, uncountable.

Than there’s male drivers. Yes, many of them are driving perfectly fine, but some of them have “small penis syndrome“. As I said, I’m known for having a heavy right foot. But when males are taken over by females, especially in a Ford Ka (and other small cars), they get aggressive. They are taking over the female driver again, even breaking right in front of their car. Just because they’re annoyed. Usually I take over again and immediately in front of them turn on and off my foglights. I would never break in front of anybody on a motorway and the foglights are often mistaken for breaklights. It throws them off their game more often than not.

What to think of female drivers? Seriously, “Oh God, the maximum speed is 130KM/H, so let’s not go over 90…” Most fun is to watch female drivers park their car. They can’t park, almost none of them can. I know someone who s hilariously bad at parking. When she thinks the gap is too small (usually her car could fit in their at least twice) she honks til her husband comes out the door. He takes over and parks the car for her. I can’t stop laughing every time I see it.

Lastly there’s older people driving. I drive by a hospital on my way to work almost every day. And some older people are driving really dangerous. I’ve seen people driving the wrong way on roundabouts. I’ve seen people driving up the bike lane, Not looking out for other cars or pedestrians. I’ve seen someone hit the side of a bus because he couldn’t find the breaks on the car. The times I’ve called the police with license plate numbers can’t be counted on two hands. Not even on 4. I just hope they get off the road before they’re involved in a serious accident…

And here’s a nice clip for you to illustrate what I’ve been saying:

In which category I fall, you ask? I think I’m more of a male driver. If I can take over an expensive car I’ll do it no matter what. Even if it means I have to drive quicker than I should. This doesn’t mean I’m driving too fast in hazardous conditions. I’d never do that.

My love

When I peek through the window and see you outside
My heart jumps.
When we are together
I feel so alive.
When I leave you behind for work or for fun
I miss you like crazy.

When I walk towards you
There’s a skip in my step.
I’m always talking to you, touch you
I love you so much.

Now that you’re slowly growing older
I dread the day we will be apart
Please let that day be far from my heart.
I love you so much dear…
You are my car!
Ford Ka

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Women and fixing cars

As you may know, both Jay and I are driving a Ford Ka. We are both mad about these cars and love them to bits.

Now, about two weeks ago, when my Ka was at the garage for a minor issue to the rear suspension bushes, i wanted to drive Jay’ s Ka to work. Jay went outside to clear the car of ice when he noticed the dashboard lights weren’t working. That, in itself is a bit of a problem, but i figured i could still get to work safely. When i left i was checking all kinds of things, but not my rearview mirror. Only when i came to a bend in the road i watched the mirror. I then saw someone running behind the car really fast, waving his hands. So i stopped, but only after i figured out it was Jay. He informed me that my tail lights also weren’t working. Now, you can’t go on the road without good lighting, so i drove home and called work that i was going to be a bit later. We tried to fix it, but we couldn’t find out what was wrong in such a short time.

I went to work by bus (i hate buses) and Jay went to work as usual. He googled the problem and found out it probably was the combination switch. This problem happens very often in Kas. It turned out this combination switch was fairly easy to replace yourself (one screw and two pins), so i went to the junkyard to get the part, after i phoned them to ask if they had it.

So i stepped into the building when a young guy (about my age) asked me what he could do for me. The following conversation happened.

He: Hi there, what can i do for you?

Me: I need a combination switch for a Ford Ka from 2000.

He: You phoned earlier about it, didn’t you?

Me: Yeah, did i speak to you?

He: No, that was a colleague of mine. I’ ll get you the part, just a moment.

Me: *waiting for a good 5 minutes*

He: Here’s the part. Now, who is going to put it in your car?

Me: Why do you think i need someone to put it in?

He: You mean you’re going to do it yourself?

Me: Yup.

He: I’ll get you your receipt

He went to the office where two more men were sitting (felt like they were checking me out). He spoke to them and they came with him to the counter.

Guy2: So you are going to fix your car yourself? *smirks*

Me: Yup. Not that hard.

Guy3: No? Are you sure?

Me: one screw and two pins to remove. Then place the new part in. Doesn’t sound hard to me. But maybe it’s hard to you…

Guy3: *blushes*

Guy2: So you are sure this is your problem?

I explained the problem and told him this was a fairly common problem. He agreed with me and asked if i fixed more problems myself.

Me: Yup, fixed a weird problem that even the Ford garage couldn’t find. Cost me a lot of money and i had to fix it myself.

They were a bit impressed. I don’t think there are many women coming to the junkyard, knowing what they need AND know how to fix it…