So much to do

I planned to blog more often, but failed miserably already…It’s been almost a month since my last post.

We had a week off at the beginning of January. Which we used to install LED lighting in the kitchen. I had been complaining of the lack of light on the workspaces for ages and we finally got around to install a LED strip. Which gives a huge amount of light. Works great!
This meant we haven’t gotten around to sort out the hallway yet. This will have to wait just a little bit longer.

I’ve been very busy with BookCrossing. As I blogged earlier, I’ve committed myself to a 365/365 challenge. I’ve also managed to commit myself to the 52/52 challenge. Which basically means I have to release 52 books in 52 different towns. Not sure how that happened. I think it had something to do with night shifts and the inability to cope with the severe lack of sleep…
So far I’ve released 52 books and 4 more to come on a set time. I’ve also managed to rope in my coworkers to help with the 52/52 challenge. This means I’m now up to 9 different towns all over the Netherlands.

So much to do

So, still to do is the hallway, which won’t happen quickly. My parents in law agreed to help, but my father in law has a suspected hernia, which prevents him from even moving around. His backpains are currently controlled a bit by Morphine.
Jay and I have agreed on asking a painter to do the window and door frames inside. This would take us forever and since we have a few broken doors this is quite vital. My dad has agreed to help us place new doors once the door frames are painted.

We also had a minor problem with our washing machine. The morning after my night shifts I sat watching Homes Under The Hammer when I suddenly thought I heard a tank coming through the street. This would have been unusual, so I walked up to the kitchen window to look out. I then realised the incredible amount of noise was actually coming from somewhere above me. Turned out the washing machine had decided it was time to find a better spot. It was literally jumping up and down. I tried holding it down (silly, i know) when I noticed a burning smell and some smoke coming from the machine. I figured it was time to pull the plug. Thankfully in time to save the laundry, which contained my favourite sweater and jeans. My neighbours across the street were kind enough to lend me their washing machine for a bit so I could at least get the washing done.
So now we have a brand spanking new washing machine! Which, somehow, takes way longer to wash than the old one did…

This post has been inspired by the Daily Prompt.

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.

Memories of Holidays Past

When I was a child, Boxing day, or the second Christmas day, as it is known in The Netherlands, was spend at my grandparents house. My grandfather celebrated his birthday on December 26 and the whole family gathered around coffeetime to celebrate.

I remember clearly everyone bringing food and drinks, to put less strain on my grandparents. We started with coffee and cake, quicly turning into a lager for my dad and my uncle. Which my grnadfather loathed. He was teetotal. I don’t really know if he simply disliked alcohol (like me) or if he disliked the things alcohol does to you.

My uncle always cooked dinner, every year the exact same thing. I think my brother and I were to blame for this. We absolutely loved endives with ham and cheese.

Endives

recipe for two

Ingredients:

  • 750 gr of endives
  • 10 slices of ham
  • 150 gr of grated cheese
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Chop the endives in quarters and remove the heart. Cook the endives for 10 minutes. Drain it off. Roll the endives into the slices of ham and place them in an oven dish. Remove excess liquid with a clean towel or kitchen paper. Put the grated cheese on top and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a hot oven (225 °C) for 20 minutes.

 

Enjoy!

This post is written for the Daily Post.

Thanks to Sunday Driver for the photo.

 

What has been heard cannot be unheard…

Last week I was at the gym when I overheard a conversation between 3 women. Woman 1 told her friends how her (other) friends’ husband had died in a nursing home. He fell down the stairs and broke both of his hips, an arm and both of his ankles.
He was brought to hospital where he was discharged after 3 weeks. He was brought to a nursing home where he stayed 2 weeks. He then got transferred to the second nursing home where he stayed 3 weeks. The last nursing home didn’t seem to care much for him. He had bed sores, was in a lot of pain and laid in his own feces for hours before somebody came in to help him.

Already this story shocked me. I work in a nursing home and can’t believe there are nursing homes that can do this to people. Thankfully this was on the other side of the country, so not close to us.

But the next bit of the story shocked me even more.

She told her friends how the friends’ husband died suddenly. Yes, he was sick, he was in pain and had been in traction for weeks. But he wasn’t dying. At least, that’s what they thought.
When he died, the friend called in the police to investigate, as she wasn’t convinced of a natural death. I’m unsure of what she told the police, but the mans death is under investigation. They did an autopsy and found 20 thumbtacks and 3 needles in his stomach and intestines…

thumbtack

How did he got hold of those? Did he take them deliberately? Did someone give the thumbtacks to him? I have no idea. Will we hear more of this story? We might, in the news. Or we might not. I don’t know.
But the story has grabbed me. And I find it horrible to think of that poor man. He must have been in so much pain…

photo by Theilr.
this post has been written for the DailyPrompt.

Can we please go home?

I’ve never really liked travelling. The mere thought of airplanes scare me. The different wildlife (spiders, snakes) scares me. Thus I’ve never been far away from home.

When I was 14 we went on a schooltrip to Luxembourg. It scared me. I had to be away from my parents for 5 days, sleeping in the same room, it turned out to be the same bed, with a classmate I didn’t like. No teachers around me that I trusted.
The thought of not having enough medication on me scared me. The thought of not being able to travel home when I wanted scared me.
It turned out not to be so bad.

We had to be at school on monday, at 6 AM. This was hard for most of my classmates and at least one of them missed the bus. The first part of our trip was to a vulcanic lake. I can’t remember where exactly it was and Google brings me no further. We were allowed to swim in the lake, but one of our teachers scared us by saying it was incredibly deep.

The next stop was at a chairlift. It almost went straight up and I think it might have been in Cochem, Germany.

After this my memories are a bit foggy. This because of the damp surroundings and altitude. It made me have multiple asthma attacks for the rest of the trip.

The things I can remember are a trip to Bastogne, where we went to the Bastogne War Museum. I loved it there (pretty weird thing to say about a war museum) and I was so annoyed by my classmates not listening to the stories and not paying attention and fooling around.
We also had a walk through the Müllerthal, which I liked, as my last name is Muller. I remember this day clearly as I thought I had a good day, without Asthma attacks. But halfway in the walk the hills began to climb very steeply and I almost couldn’t manage. I remember classmates helping me up and teachers carrying me. But the views… The views were amazing!

The rest I really can’t remember. This trip was the furthest I’ve ever been from home. I’d like to do it again with Jay, but I’m scared of being away from home, to places I don’t know. Most of the holidays we took together we went home early because I didn’t want to stay another minute…

So Many Books

Many of you will know books are a great love of mine. I can’t get enough of them. I love books, the more the better.

One of my hobbies is reading, another is BookCrossing. BookCrossing is a site where I have registered more than 700 books to this date. The idea is to read (if I like them) and release those books. So people can find them and read them. And later hopefully release them again for the next reader.

I’ve been a BC member for 4 and a half years and I love it. I had heard of it before, but never gotten around to try to find the site.
But one day, when I was at work I found a book. I remember clearly I saw it, but couldn’t stop at that particular time. I hoped it’d still be on that bench by the time I got back. And it was.
From that day I was hooked. The idea of releasing books and reading people’s notes is so rewarding. People are mostly very happy when they find a book.

Ballycumber
If you like a book, let it go!

The first few books I released were from my own bookshelves. Books I had read, books I didn’t particularly like and books I bought from a charity shop. The first box was from CreativeChaos. After that I’ve been getting boxes from anywhere and everywhere. I’ve got friends, family, colleagues, even complete strangers giving me (boxes of) books. Just because they like the idea of BookCrossing.

In the 4 and a half years on the site I’ve been fairly active. I released hundreds of books, I’ve registered hundreds more. I’ve read more books than I ever could’ve dreamed. And I’ve met some wonderful and generous people. Many of them I call my friends. I hope to be part of this community for a long time!

This post has been made for the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Sunset

Sunset

My father in law made this photo yesterday. I think it’s a lucky shot!

For more entries on this weeks photo challenge, click here.

Are you being served?

This morning I read a story in the Daily Mail about B&B owners who refused to let a gay couple stay in their guesthouse.

They say they’re being victimized. They say their website has been hacked and ‘corrupted’ with pornography. They say they’ve received death threads.

Now I think their ‘married only’ policy is a bit odd. What people want to do when they’re on holiday is up to them. Business owners shouldn’t interfere with other people’s life. And the law agrees on that. The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations are secondary legislation in the United Kingdom, outlawing discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities, services, education and public functions on the grounds of sexual orientation. In other words; no-one is allowed to force gay couples to pay for and sleep in separate rooms just because they think homosexuality is wrong!

What you believe is, of course, your own opinion. But if you run a business your beliefs should be left at the front door. You shouldn’t force people into your way of thinking. And that’s what these owners did. They forced their beliefs upon their guests.
They believe they have more rights than gay couples. They think it’s their business to decide who stays with who in a room. Is that fair? No, it’s not. Guests are perfectly fine to decide themselves who they are willing to sleep with. In the broadest sence of the term. No-one decides for them, not even Christian B&B owners.

The Daily Mail stated that Mrs Bull said:

‘In 2013, two people who worked all their lives at this have ended up cold and hungry. It’s not right.’

Of course this isn’t right. But they did it themselves. They had a nice little business. But they decided that some people were less than others.
The Daily Mail then goes on to quote some reviews on the TripAdvisor site. Now from this I get the idea that it’s not the gay thing that’s brought this business down. I think there’s much more that hasn’t helped this hotel to survive.

hotel

Now there’s the death threads. They claim they have had the bolts removed from the wheels of their car. That is very serious. You may disagree with what they did. You may disagree with their opinions. But never, under no surcumstances, is it okay to try to kill someone. NEVER! Not even threaten to kill.

They went to court for this. The judge rules against them. That should be enough. For everyone. They’ll lose their business, they’ll lose everything they’ve worked for. All because they didn’t think twice about refusing a gay couple. That should be more than enough!

This post is written for the Daily Prompt.
Photo courtesy of Jorge Miente.

The smell of my childhood holidays

What I remember most from my childhood holidays is the smell of petrol when we were in the back of the camping site owner’s GMC. On our way to the beach. Or on a dropping. In the middle of the night, in the back of a GMC is something special. Not knowing where we were going. Not knowing what lay ahead of us. It was exciting!

gmc_1944

When we got to our destination we were greeted by the smell of the camping site owner’s pipe tobacco. He had a special brand and it smelled so sweet, so good. It’s a smell that you don’t find a lot. Whenever I smell it I’m back on the camping site. The owner is somewhere close. He must be, because I can smell his tobacco.

Campingsite

We’ve been on that same camping site for years and years. It has been my get away for all those years. I loved going there. But I haven’t been there for 12 years. Ever since the new owner took over.

This year is the first year we are going back to the area. Not the camping site, I’ve chosen a different camping site. But we are going back in 17 days. I can’t wait.
And I will be on the smell-out for that particular smell of his pipe tobacco. I should be able to find him if he still is smoking his pipe. I know I can find him through his smell.

This post has been written for today’s Daily Post. For more entries click here.

“we are calling from Windows”…

Lately, there’s been lots of people reporting these malicious phone calls all around the world.

I have had quite a few of those phone calls too. At first I had no idea what to say. I always ended up thinking I could have had so much fun with them after I hung up on them. In the beginning I just hung up. After a while I told them “me no speak english” and hung up.

Only recently I started having fun. A few days ago I got a call and this guy told me (in good english, I have to say. You wouldn’t think he’s probably located in India) that my computer was “sending out error messages”. I asked him which computer it was, he told me he couldn’t see which one, only that it was a Windows computer. I asked him why he couldn’t give me a more specific idea of which pc it would be and asked him which IP address the pc had. He hung up on me. Which was a shame because I just started to have fun…
The next day I got 3 more phone calls, but they hung up on me all three times 🙁

Also, we have seen an increase of cold callers coming to the door. The last one was a guy who said he was from Securitas. I’m not sure this was actually true as he looked a bit shoddy. Anyway, he wanted to talk about the recent increase in burglaries in our area. This has been going on for several years now, so I don’t know why he came to the door just now, but there you go.

As I said, he looked a bit shoddy, so when he asked if I was the homeowner I answered with the sentence I have been using for a while now. And it has been very effective in scaring away cold callers. I told him “No, I’m not the owner. I’m the local burglar. And I wish to get on with my job.” He looked shocked. And scared. Not knowing if I was completely serious (I had been searching for a key) or if I was joking. I closed the door and left.

This has been a very effective method to get rid of cold callers. And I love it. They have no idea if I’m serious or not. I suspect they think I’m joking as I have never gotten the police around. But it scares them away without a doubt.

Burglar

This post has been created after reading Daily Prompt.

Photos courtesy of ittybittiesforyou