Some time ago I decided to give up on some domains I have been using for years as I wanted to save money. So I transferred the content of the websites on these domains to my Dutch website and I was convinced that people using Google would be finding the content at the new website.
Many years ago I lived in England for a few years, I am sure I have told you all about it on many occasions. Even though I love my life in The Netherlands, the love of my life my wife, and my four children and all the friends I have here, I do long to be there at times.
I think it has to do with all these great memories I have of those good time I had as a young man, being in England, having friends around me there (just as I have them around me here nowadays) and not in the least the British food. Yes, there are times I wish I could just pop over for a pint or a proper English meal.
One of the jobs, in fact the first ever job I had -even though it was a long time ago- I remember so well.
In 1986 I got a job at the office of BGEA (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) in Amsterdam working as an Office Assistant and later as a Steward at the RAI conference building. It was a job with great colleagues. Introduced by a dear friend (who is sadly long longer with us) I got a job high up in a tower block with offices (first time in an elevator). My job was to water plants at the office, amongst numerous other duties such as running errands, making coffee and cutting cake for guests, preparing mailings and much more. You can say I was the general dogsbody at the office, being able to stick my head around every corner to say hello to every colleague in the building and we had loads of fun too.
Yes I know it’s only January and it is way too early for Spring Cleaning but as some of you may have noticed I have cleaned up the Poems category at my website. I did it for a good reason which I will explain to you.
Christmas in our house is and has always been a tradition of being together remembering the birth of Christ, going to church for Carols, reading about His birth in the Holy Bible, a Christmas Tree and and yes, an abundance of food too.
And after years without them another family tradition is back: playing Christmas records on the old record player which is fully restore now. We don’t question all these things, they are there and we all accept that it is like that and we like it that way.
I’ve known him since we were six years old, my friend Sweis. It’s an uncommon name even for the Dutch. This picture is from 1988 when we went on a holiday together on our pushbikes.
From the time when the heating went out in winter and we got snowed in and hills were hard to take with a pushbike.
When we had to choose between Home and Away and Coronation Street, and we were absolutely sure we had seen The Grey Lady and Castle Hill wasn’t hollowed out yet.
When we found time to go out together and drink a pint or two or more, when we lived high above the ground in a castle and had parties every weekend. And life was never dull.
We have something that others don’t have and it is friendship.
Getting the boot at a previous employer for nearly 9 years was a wise lesson for me five years ago. A terribly sad lesson but wise nonetheless.
I had my entire heart in this company, I was involved before it even started and I watched it grow, helped to build it up and expand and see it turn into a multi million Euro business with over 50 co-workers divided over two locations in The Netherlands.
But it didn’t last in spite of my devotion to The Company as I always proudly called it, I got the exit talk anyway and was laid off the same day. Later I learned the only reason for my misery was sheer jealousy from a colleague who feared I was after his job, it wasn’t even because of how I functioned as my KPI scores were good.
I showed him the picture and asked him for a 3XL and he just laughed and said there weren’t enough Christmas lights in the world to go with that. Cheeky! “Sir if that is on top of your Christmas List as you say, what is second?” he asked. I told him with overt sarcasm that would be Dungarees and he laughed even more.
Sometimes looking for old friends in Google does not give back the result you are expecting nor are you ready for the outcome when the name of your old friend appears on your screen. I wasn’t prepared for this when I looked up an old friend of years gone by and saw the line “In memoriam Hrvoje Plešnik” on a website for Croatian chess players.
Yes I know, I am not a keen sharer of petitions because I have the feeling it never helps and I must admit, even this one will probably be of little interest to you but today I must act. I urge you to sign a petition. I just did, wholeheartedly.
You see, I am what they call an anglophile, I love England. It isn’t for nowt that this website has the .co.uk TLD.