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.
The Sols Hole. That would be the accurate translation of the Dutch name Het Solsche Gat.
It is near the place where my late grandmother lived, Garderen in the middle of the forests in The Netherlands. Remember I told you about roasting Chestnuts at her place?
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 in Zagreb.
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.
Ok, this is by far my best childhood memory: the steam operated merry-go-round in The Efteling theme park in The Netherlands.
I was five or six I think and in those days the Carousel was still outside, it’s now an indoor feature but in those days it was outside and a steam powered event. I can still remember the smell of soot and steam and it was beautiful to be in.