THANK YOU!

You know what makes a Monday morning when it’s raining very special? Well, it’s when I log into my website having had a really busy week and see literally thousands of comments from all of you out there. Who not only take the time to read my blogs but also the time to make a comment. You all write such lovely things. Thank you everyone!

Sometimes people ask if it is OK to share my work in their own social circles. Answer is: of course, but please acknowledge the source that is all I ask, mainly because of copyright.

Others say they have been searching for so long for information like this, then I am thrilled you found my website and glad it helped you in some or other way.

That is why I do this work.

To all of you who say, you like the colours and layout, I am also glad, because I try to change regularly, following the seasons, making the colours bright and cheerful especially on dark rainy days.

SO FOR ALL OF YOU OUT THERE, THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT, YOUR TIME AND ALL YOUR COMMENTS.

There are so many now, it’s almost impossible to reply to them all.

For those of you asking about contact details, you can write an email to me and send to wordpassion12@gmail.com. It is a good idea to mark PERSONAL as I get hundreds every day.

Have a good week my friends, hope to see you here again soon.

Jill 4th November 2019.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Well, it’s that time of year again, 31st October and Halloween. A day when we can all get spooky, go ‘trick and treating’ which is more of an British/American festival than European.

I remember as a child, well young teenager actually, that we used to have a Halloween party in my Dad’s garage. We would decorate it all up with woolen webs and hollow out pumpkins with scary faces. We would light candles and night lights to create a spooky atmosphere. Because Halloween is the ‘night of the dead’. And the general idea is to get ‘scary’. And be scared.

The actual name Halloween is derived from All Hallows Eve (the evening before 1st November) which is All Saints Day. This festival finds its origins in the Celtic calendar, when all the harvest had been gathered in, preparing for the winter months ahead, it was time for a free day and of course a festival.  A moment when the veils between life and death were lifted. This is known as Samhain. The Celts loved their festivals of course and believed that Halloween was the day when all the ghosts of those who had passed during the year, came back to the living once more. The ghosts would then knock on people’s doors, scare them silly and ask for food. The origin of getting yourself made up to look even more creepy dated back to Celtic masks which were worn, similar to those on Beltane (the spring festival in May).

When the Romans conquered the United Kingdom, the Celtic traditions were merged with their own traditions and it became a festival of celebrating the harvest and the honoring of the dead.

In the 9th Century, as Christian religion spread across to America and Canada, the festivities became more well known. Special cakes were baked for Halloween, with currants and raisons. By the baking of each bread a prayer was said for those who were no longer here and to help on their way to heaven. This we know today as ‘trick or treating’.

It is a festival that seemed to have taken on big proportions these days. Parades are held where people dress up and look scary. Dance events are held where you get yourself made up to look like skeletons and ghosts and shops are full of Halloween merchandising.

So, for all of you out there today, Happy Halloween.

Now in the UK Halloween is quickly followed by another celebration for Bonfire Night. This is the 5th November when we all remember the moment when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London with gunpowder. This is celebrated still today when dummies are made up to look like Guy Fawkes, bonfires and fireworks. This morning, I happened to read a funny article in the paper which I would like to share with you.

And mention the dreaded word BREXIT. And yes, I know we are thoroughly sick to death of the whole subject. We do not want to hear another single word, but there is a funny twist to this blog. This day, 31st October was supposed to be the final moment for the Brexit break with the EEC, deal or no deal. And the best spooky person ever in this story is of course the completely mad Boris Johnson, or BoJo as he is known to his chums.

It was in fact 23rd June 2016 when the British people voted on whether or not they wanted to break away from Europe. Yes, 2016 and in 2019 we are STILL talking about it!

The main problem was, and a lot of my friends confirmed this, that no one had any idea about the consequences. And look what trouble there has been ever since. Grown up people in the Houses of Parliament have spent months and months of debating and shouting about how this should actually happen. In other words, they had no idea whatsoever when the referendum reached the conclusion that the British people no longer wanted to be part of Europe. They preferred to stay on their own island and do their own thing. Ok that is OK, because I think there are a lot of people in Europe who would like to see the EEC dissolve.

So, after months or arguing the terms and conditions and people going to and fro from Brussels and Strasbourg for yet more talks with the EC council, where are we actually standing now?

Well I will tell you, the entire circus has been postponed yet again until next year. It cost Theresa May her premiership and now the British people were more or less forced into having to have someone to lead the country, and what did they get – BoJo. There have been so many things that have never happened before in the rich history of British democracy. Parliament was sent home on a long recess, which surprisingly enough the Queen herself approved. She is probably like many of us, totally fed up of the entire subject.

In other words, the mess continues, without any clear direction and now talk of an Election, so if BoJo no longer is the Prime Minister, who is in charge then? The wonderful Mr. Speaker John Bercow has retired and who can blame him after all those voting sessions and shouting order until his voice was hoarse!

So tonight, as the children have their ‘tricks or treats’ perhaps a thought to make you smile.

What if Guy Fawkes had been successful on the 5th November 1605 and actually blown up the Houses of Parliament, might things have been a bit different? Perhaps a lot of people in the UK will think on the 5th November that their ‘ultimate treat’ would actually be that a life without parliament would be the best festival celebration ever?

QUITE A DRAMATIC YEAR! (hip and knee replacement at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven, Netherlands)

It’s officially the begin of the Astrological Autumn and Equinox and I realized as I walked through the doors of the Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven today, 26th September 2019, that it is exactly one year and two days later than my first orthopaedic operation, a total hip replacement on the 24th September 2018. The planning had been that Remco van Wensen would do this operation but in the end it is Paul de Baat. Just a change around with the waiting lists. Paul and I had a quick phone call with one another beforehand, which I personally think is very important to at least establish a connection.

Remco van Wensen
Paul de Baat

Thinking back: I remember that early Monday morning (24.9.2018) well. Arriving, as it is just starting to get light, into the totally empty car park in front of the hospital. Not all the lights are on inside, the hospital is still resting from the night. The only person visible in an empty entrance area, behind the reception desk.

I am not feeling nervous just accepting the fact that the moment has arrived and in a few hours, a badly damaged hip will have been replaced by bright shiny new parts and eventually the pain I had, will go.

Checking in as normal and then another short wait before I am wheeled off into the Operating Area. One of the things I thought is amusing, is that this area is called: ‘The holding area!’ Just like at Schiphol airport the same name, where planes are waiting to take off. I seem to be the last to arrive. There are many patients already here and I am the first to be on my way to theatre. Last in, first out! But this is a big hospital with many specialities. This is the first time for me to actually be in this area, as before I was in the special designated heart centre.

Final checks, IV drip in place and now ready to go in Operating Theatre 16. You already know what is going to happen, and I find personally the best idea is just to let go and trust the people who are trained to do this work.

I have an epidural and sedation and know nothing more until I wake several hours later. The operation is a success. It’s been difficult, lost a lot of blood, but the new hip is in place and I am off to another area called Recovery.

The wonderful thing about the choice for an epidural and sedation is that you are awake and feel fine, no nausea. There is no pain at this stage, as the feeling has not completely returned to your lower body area. It’s not long before I am taken up to the ward on the 10th floor. Good, I have a wonderful view from the window across Eindhoven towards the airport where I can see planes taking off and landing.

When the feeling does eventually return, it is controlled by pretty strong opiate painkillers. By next morning I can sit on my bed and stand up. Its scary believe me, but in fact the hip is now perfect and can support my total body weight. Just the fact that there has been intensive surgery and there is a large wound, feels sore, bruised and painful.

Three days later, I am discharged and go home to continue my recovery. It is amazing to see how each day literally is another step and things become easier. Stitches, or I should say staples will be removed in 10 days time or so and in 6 weeks back for a control, an X-ray and see how I am getting along.

At this stage I did not realize that this operation would be the first of three.

Well if there is one thing you have to be pretty sure about, is that no matter what or how you feel, each and every day, you try and move a little bit better. I am supported by crutches and truly find a difference every day. Things I could not do at first have become easier. After all the initial problem has been solved, it’s just a question of time for muscles and tendons to be less painful and start getting strong again.

Even though you can control the pain by using strong opiate painkillers, I realize fully that the sooner you can cut back or even stop is better. My own determination is so much stronger and no side effects anymore.

It is all about personal mindset.

I begin a fairly rigorous and extensive training schedule with the local physiotherapist Michelle Roos from Fit and Fysio in Dirksland and although I almost feel like a slug the first time on the treadmill, I really notice as the days and weeks go by that I am getting not only fitter, but the muscles are gaining strength. My heart rate which we have been monitoring every time is just getter better and better. More effort does not mean that my heart rate suddenly goes up.

There is a slight problem with this therapeutic plan because I cannot do some of the exercises because of intense pain in my left knee. Opposite side to the new hip. During the next control at the hospital and some X-rays, there is some dramatic news. My knee needs replacing and pretty fast too. One big problem. During a fall with my dogs way back in 2003, I managed to break my leg in 4 places (now who do you know who could manage that?). A long titanium surgical pen is inserted into the tibia bone from knee to ankle and remained there for sixteen years. And now the only way forward is to have it removed before a new knee can be fitted.

Operation number 2 looms on the horizon and after all the pre-screening checks have been done, a date is set. 10th April 2019. Normally the removal of screws, plates and such like when bones have broken is not a major thing and I am planned into the afternoon session. Go through the whole procedure again and find myself back in Operating Theatre number 16 with Remco waiting for me this time around.

For some or other reason, after the epidural when I cannot feel anything anymore, the sedation is too light and I find myself in the middle of a sort of episode of DIY. Drills going, the sounds of hammers and such like and despite asking again and again if I can please go to sleep, give up and close my eyes and try and imagine myself on a beach somewhere in the Bahamas. It is a tough long operation, but the pin has been removed and I am having a temporary plaster cast fitted so that the bone can rest. Remco has had to do some pretty intense invasive surgery including that they make an opening into the tibia bone to get the pin out.

I can only say here that he is a miracle worker because to be honest I never thought they would get it out. And it’s given to me to take home in a plastic bag, all cleaned up. Back into recovery and to the ward and then pain, which is so intense and dreadful that I am back down in the theatre that evening at nearly midnight. Just as luck would have it, the same anaesthetist is still on duty, Barbara Versyck. After copious amounts of more morphine and ketamine, the decision is made to give me a complete nerve block in the entire leg. The wounds are bleeding profusely and the once white plaster cast is going a shade of pink. Once she has done the block and believe me I did not feel a thing, I am pain free and manage to try and have a restless night, filled with all sorts of weird dreams and thoughts. At one stage I thought I actually saw my son standing by my bed and the thought crossed my mind, I am still alive or dead?

The following morning and the block is still working perfectly I am taken back down again for a new temporary cast. It is shocking actually to see how much the wounds have bled. To my amazement, and I really would have preferred to have stayed another night, I can go home early in the evening.

A long recovery then starts as the temporary cast is replaced by a proper one with the colour of my choice and I have it for two whole months. Using crutches all the time to move about, and trying to shower with a plastic bin bag on my leg, I spend the majority of my time on my special hospital like bed, which I have on loan, either in the house or in the garden as actually moving about is cumbersome but also extremely tiring. With a wheelchair too I can get about here at home as best I can.

On the 6th June, next check up and more X-rays and yes, the cast can go. Thank goodness, as the weather is getting warmer. My leg looks ultra thin and pale, whilst the rest of me is really tanned from sitting in the sun. It is such a strange feeling. However I have to continue to walk only using 50% of my body weight and still using crutches. Remco sets a date for the operation and with one final check up and once more going through the pre-screening sessions, in which Barbara is playing a role to make sure that this next time around, the sedation is such, that I do not hear or see a thing during the entire operation.

8th August 2019. And a lovely combination of numbers and astrological energy. It’s the official opening of the Lion’s Gate Portal today and being a Leo with the sun in my sign, seems the perfect day to have the 4th and hopefully final operation.

Everything goes well, and I am not even awake until I arrive in Recovery at the end of the afternoon. Actually I have great difficulty concentrating on what the nurses are saying as I feel as if I am still under heavy sedation and just before the end of the afternoon, on my way back up to the 10th floor and the ward.

By the time the physiotherapist arrives, as it is the intention to get out of bed and stand up with full weight on the new knee joint, I am miles away in a deep sleep and she just leaves the folder with some simple early exercises by my bed. A lot of powerful painkillers as this has been yet another big intense, invasive operation. All in a day’s work as Remco would undoubtedly say himself, but for me as the patient, a bit different.

Next morning I am feeling much better and I have to get out of bed. It is such a strange feeling because although you know the new joint is far superior to the worn out one they have removed, it is still strange to stand up full weight on both legs and then find the courage to walk a few paces. You have to, to go to the bathroom for starters. In a bit of a crazy attempt to get back into bed I swing up my operated leg and nearly go through the ceiling with the pain. That really hurt and I need an extra dose of painkillers to get rid of the pain. The problem is that literally everything has been moved and tendons and muscles are so painful.

But it gets easier each and every day and once I have gone through the post operation routine physiotherapy here I can go home and do just that on Saturday 10th August.

43 staples on the wound, which is looking clean and dry and once removed by my local GP, it does not feel tight anymore. In the meantime two weeks have literally flown by and I have had physiotherapy twice a week here at home. We are making progress. Michelle and I, she has been with me right from the beginning, so our contact is strong and we talk a lot (too much sometimes).

7 Weeks later (26th September), back at Catharina Hospital again, check up post operation and loads of X-rays. Walking with two crutches is getting easier and easier and eventually I will go down to one, then none. At home I can manage easily sometimes without, but find when I have been sitting behind my laptop for too long, everything stiffens up and the first few paces are hard. However being so long in the small area of only my home and garden, suddenly being amongst a lot of people moving in all directions is strange.

Remco is pleased with my progress. His first comment was: ‘well we made it, the new knee is fitted’. Yes we did for sure, his expertise and his courage to attempt to remove the, what we now call the ‘offending’ pin, has made this possible. A huge compliment to him for that. He asks me to make sure that I try and straighten my leg as much as possible, otherwise my knee will lock in a slightly bend position and he shows me how to straighten. Oh that was painful that final last push down to complete straightness which he did with my leg resting on his, as he pushed down on the knee. Working on the home trainer will help this a lot.

I think one of the most important things when you undergo this type, or really any type of surgery is that the connection between the doctor and his patient really is part of the story too. It is, as I wrote in my blogs with Lukas Dekker (my cardiologist at Catharina) about my heart ablation in May 2018, which was my first operation of the 4 in one year. There has to be a ‘click’ or connection between the doctor and patient, as this plays such a huge role in how, I as the patient, step into each and every operation. The more relaxed and trusting I can be makes my body so much more responsive to the surgery that Remco has carried out and believe me this had not been standard new knee replacement. This has been a really long tough story, which needed a lot of special extra mind- set and recovery. It has not been easy for sure, but I never lost faith, because I always knew in the end, that there would be a certain moment in time where I completely forget that my body now has two extra brand new shiny joints and that I will be fully mobile again. I may not be taking part in the New York Marathon or such like, but I would not have done that before anyway! Remco says that there is a huge difference between replacing hips and knees. Yes I can imagine that, but all the same, mobility and pain free movement is the key to success. 

My goal was to get fitter and mobile once more. To be able to walk my dog along the dykes here in Zeeland, to be down on the beach with him again. To enjoy my granddaughter, who was born in February this year. To be able to walk comfortably wheeling her in her pram. 

On that score I can only say I am on my way now big time. Today 3rd October was my first session, driving in my car for the first time since April this year, taking myself to the next village and having physiotherapy in the gym. As part of this blog, we decided to take some photos and as I was getting onto the home trainer for the first time, I suddenly turned the wheel full circle. Ouch that was painful but we were so distracted by the photo session going on and in the end I managed five whole minutes and also pedalling backwards. I could feel the stretching going on with every revolution and then managed three other pieces of apparatus including the leg press. It felt like such an achievement and Michelle remarked about how different my mind-set was today, as compared to when I started last time there, after the hip replacement. I have so much more confidence.

First physiotherapy session at Fit & Fysio in Dirksland with Michelle on the apparatus (3rd October 2019)

So a fantastic job well done Remco and Paul too of course, could not have got this far without you both and all your team at Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven.

Special thanks too for all the nursing staff on the orthopaedic ward, you are all really lovely.

Also enormous thanks to Michelle my physiotherapist from Fit & Fysio in Dirksland.

Will keep you posted on my progress. Dancing by Christmas? We shall see.

It’s been quite a journey, but the end destination will be so worthwhile as I will have my mobility back again. 

                                                              Jill Kramer © 18th October 2019

For more information on Orthopedics in the Eindhoven area go to:

www.orthopedie-grooteindhoven.nl

www.fitenfysiodirksland.nl

www.catharinaziekenhuis.nl

Images: Private Collection Jill Kramer, Catharina Hospital, Fit and Fysio Dirksland (copyright). Use of all the images in this blog is not permitted.

And then just one more photo and for the very squeamish, don’t look, this is the pin Remco removed from my tibia bone!

8th November 2019

A little update: Yesterday went for a check up at the hospital and pleased to report that everything is going very well. Sometimes I need to remind myself not to go too hard and slow down every now and again, remembering that this knee has to settle into my system too. Taking Remco’s words to heart and will remind myself ‘that Rome was not built in a day’. Onwards and upwards as they say. Next appointment August 2020.

MANY THANKS

Suddenly a lot of my blogs seem to have gone ‘viral’ and I am getting anywhere up to 1000 emails with comments per day. I am sorry even though I try and read them all, it is almost impossible to answer each and every one personally.

But I really want to say how much I appreciate you and the fact that you take the time and effort to tell me how much you are enjoying reading them.

There are a number of new projects in the pipeline, so keep up with my RSS feed. I am going be adding a number of new blogs in the next few weeks.

Have a great Sunday everyone wherever you are.

Jill

Image: Google Images

CURVES AND IMPERFECTIONS

What is it about society today that people feel that they have to be perfect? How many young people do you know who spend time and undergo operations to ensure that they have the perfect figure, the exact size breasts and buttocks, perfect white teeth, pumped up lips? I think each and every one of us can think of someone like that in our circles. If you are not perfect, you don’t count anymore?

I often ask myself why? Why do people undergo such operations when it is purely pimping up  – you? Of course and I will not deny there are instances when plastic surgery and such like can make improvement in say, badly burned skin, sagging skin around the eyes, but why on earth undergo a major operation from choice purely from striving to be perfect.

Here in The Netherlands, there is someone called Marijke Helwegen. She is the epiphany of plastic surgery and famous for her saying: ‘lipjes getuit, borsten vooruit’ (translated: ‘pucker your lips and breasts forwards’). In the end she had so many operations to retain her youth that eventually, her entire face was so tight, she could hardly speak. Later on she admitted that when the dramas hit the headlines about the problems with breast implants and particularly silicone, she regretted what she had done.

Even though we know how important a first impression is, but going that far?

One of Hollywood’s most famous actors, Robert Redford once said he never had undergone any restoration surgery, because if you did, it took away the natural ageing and expression in your face. How true!

This weekend I was watching one of the best programmes I think at this moment on TV – Dancing with the Stars (DWTS). I mean 90% of the programmes are such rubbish it is refreshing when something actually entertaining is sent out.

One of the contestants is singer Samantha Steenwijk, who recently appeared in the ‘Voice of Holland’ and ‘Best Singers’. A really lovely looking woman but as she admitted freely at the beginning of the DWTS first editions, had a huge lack of self-confidence about her own figure. Her partner Marcus Van Teijlingen (oh my goodness you are so on the same wavelength as me on this subject) is just perfect for her because each and every time he is able to boost her confidence with such a wonderful routine.  They look really excellent together and people are not paying any attention whatsoever if her thighs or bottom are a bit bigger than average. I mean who cares; it is so totally irrelevant, when it is about a performance or a dance. I think anyone who has seen them would give their ‘right arm’ to look this good on the dance floor together, such passion, such timing and so genuine. I take my hat off to you Samantha as I told you yesterday in a private message on social media; this is exactly what people should pay more attention to. The curves and imperfections (and they are not really imperfections) are so much more important that having your body literally taken to pieces to create the perfect figure. Great if you have one naturally and can eat what you like without gaining a single ounce, but the majority of us, cannot.

So why is there such a big deal about curves or imperfections? I have no idea apart from the fact that society is projecting this image onto us. You don’t seem to count if you are not totally perfect. What a load of crap. 

Isn’t it all about the person themselves and how they interact with you, or the deep soul that resides within them?

Of course it is.

It is time to stop all this ridiculous pimping of our bodies just to be what society as a general finds as suitable, acceptable and therefore perfect.

I think so, do you? Any operation however small is a huge invasive thing on each and every cell of you body and why, tell me, would you choose to do that just to have a bigger bottom, or bigger breasts and such like. Or smaller as well.

To make myself clear I make no comment whatsoever here about reconstructive surgery after say a mastectomy caused by cancer. That is something entirely different.

A few curves or imperfections are all part of you. The genuine person and I think that is much more important. Have you noticed that these people who get themselves so pimped up, have a terrible time getting into serious relationships with people. Sylvie Meis is the one who springs to mind here.

Accept yourself for who you are. Go on a diet or adapt your eating routine if you think you might prefer to be a few kilos lighter. We are so judgemental about appearances in general. Get to know someone for who they are and not their watermelon chest size. 

If you would prefer your body to be a little trimmer, stop being a couch potato and get down to the gym. My cardiologist always says the best exercise is regular walking. Get a dog, walk to work; each and every day will make a difference. Half an hour every day is enough! Yes, to your physical appearance for sure, but it will also change the way you feel about yourself. If you feel good, then others will notice and you will proudly be able to say, you made the effort yourself. A real self-confidence boost.

A few wrinkles, or a blemish here and there, does not change who you are inside. It is just part of your story. That is the way I look at it, with quite a lot of surgical scars on my body: heart, hip and knee operations. Pretty big scars too, but they tell my story that I underwent the challenge and recovered from it, albeit with a lot of help from the doctors who made it possible. Doesn’t it make you feel stronger knowing that you recovered from something like that, as opposed to having scars from operations that were all about pimping yourself up to be perfect.

Enough said I think.

Just leave you with this thought: People these days will judge you for literally everything; the challenge is to rise above it all. Those who love and accept you for who you really are, they are the important ones. And they never even think about whether you are perfect or not. In their eyes you are!

Images: Google and Dancing with the Stars (Samantha and Marcus)

ANOTHER ‘RANT’ ABOUT INSTAGRAM

Sorry everyone, I know I have written a lot about the pro’s and con’s of Instagram, but I keep hearing stories and so sharing another one with you.

If you like me use Instagram merely as a place to share nice pictures, quotes and ‘shout-out’s’ about your work for instance. Fine! However, just watch every now and again who is actually following you. Suddenly someone you don’t know personally will follow you from one of your posts. If you don’t pay attention to this, eventually there will be loads. What are the tell tale signs?

Well these so called ‘followers’ usually have a private account. There are little posts and they have few followers, but follow many! You may find a ‘request’ from them in your private message section. They always begin with Hi, Hello, Hello dear, Hello beautiful. The usual crap, flattering for those who are open to this, but to the majority of us, just a pain in arse.

So what do you do? Answer block them. Then they cannot see your posts anymore and delete any private messages. If you respond you are actually opening the door and they will keep messaging.

Fake Accounts are a major issue on Instagram now and believe me I see hundreds a week. People posing as others, stealing their photos and pretending to be who they are not. From my previous blogs you will have read about Fernando Gomes Pinto in Brazil and Thomas Lindegaard Madsen from Denmark. These are they types they go for, handsome men with good jobs who post a lot. Probably too much, but that it not my business. Suspect accounts should be reported to Instagram as spam, if you think that it is someone using someone else’s photo. Same applies of course to pretty women as well.

And now we have a new type of account. These are accounts, which are called ‘business accounts’ where someone else is running an account for a person who receives payment! Yes, I can hear you all saying really that is happening. Yes is the answer. A really handsome or pretty person, super job, great body and all the trimmings that provide photos to the person running his or her so called business account. Believe me it is not the reality of their life at all. It is really more of a fictive story. Then you would not believe the so-called ‘likes’ and ‘comments’. It almost makes you ask yourself is the world full of brain dead bimbo’s or dumbo’s that have nothing better to do that literally drool. Same applies to woman and men doing the same, but in the main it is male profiles and then thousands of desperate women following and commenting, not because they know the person personally, just because they are sad hopeless cases with little or no intelligence. This is the new 2.0 of Instagram profiles. Then of course money comes into the equation once more. To be honest I really do not understand why people in this hectic pace of life we all live in, have the time for starters, but at the same time I feel sympathy that people are so desperate for love they seriously think they will find it on Instagram. Come On. Wake up!!!

The so-called Instagram stories are really all fiction being made up by someone running their account and they are merely being paid to supply photos. It’s people like body builders, with killer bodies that attract attention too. Seriously think for a moment a really handsome good-looking man is not looking for a woman on Instagram. He does not need to because they literally drop at his feet when he is out and about. He or she has the choice out of many real life people, not the fake shit on Instagram. A lot of these accounts concern military people too. Do not be fooled, they do not have the time to be nattering away to people on social media if they are on an official mission somewhere. They don’t need the money either, usually well paid people who are already in real life relationships. Another favourite in this category is the British TV chef Paul Hollywood (who by the way is happily married to Alexandra since 1998). PS Just had a comment from someone that he is now divorced, oh dear, makes him really vulnerable again then!

I really dislike this because there have been problems with Facebook who share our photos and data and now Instagram, which is all part of the same family, is getting worse and worse. The whole point of just wanting to share something with friends and acquaintances has gone out of control.

Even the Dutch Royal Family is posting on Instagram? What??

My only word of advice is, take care. As I have said repeatedly in my blogs, scammers and fake people are out there. They hide behind profiles of others so that they are recognised or they make the whole story up completely. You seriously want to be connected to someone like that?

One of the biggest problems about why we do this is because: we are afraid to miss out on anything. But is this crap worth wanting to read or see? I don’t think so.

I can see myself what is happening with my own social media things. I post on Facebook when I publish a new blog, and shout out on Instagram and then get completely inundated with comments, reactions and emails, particularly when it concerns a new blog coming onto my website. I write these blogs for that purpose, to keep people informed or to express an opinion about something. The books I write are so much more about creating fiction and weaving a story and telling a tale, even if I make up every word. I make a proper disclaimer about this at the beginning of a book, it’s obligatory and my work is copyrighted by the fact, that I actually publish a book and it’s available to the public in general.

Maybe some of you will remember one of the first social media accounts –Hyves – and have you heard the news recently that all the shared posts and data is still available even though you may have deleted your account years ago. Now that is the thing about data it gets saved somewhere. Remember that.

My advice is only post things that are general. If its something personal you want to say to someone, keep it in the private channels. Do not post about going on holiday otherwise you might just as well send out an invitation to burglars and tell then where you have left your key. Take care when publishing things about your children, the photos are just not safe and do you want your child’s face on some horrific pornographic paedophile dark web? I don’t think so.

Just be careful that is all that I am saying. It’s only advice but every time I hear stories about these accounts, I think the only sensible thing is to get off them or only use them for the things I have said about.

Rant over! Just take care!

Images: Google

THE PHENOMENA OF FALLING OR BEING IN LOVE

Isn’t the feeling of being in love something we all crave for? How many of you remember the first time? The feeling that butterflies were doing somersaults in your tummy, you didn’t feel hungry, your entire body was buzzing, just as if champagne was flowing through your veins? It felt as if you were walking around in a fluffy pink cloud all the time.

Love can of course be many things: love for our partner, family or children, pets, your home, your car, your job, art and music, reading and so on and so. I could write a huge list for this blog right here!

So I guess you all know what I am talking about! It is that intense ‘feel good feeling’ that strengthens your self worth and basically makes you feel alive.

So what happens if it all goes sour? And that can happen to all of us.

Suddenly without warning, the feeling begins to fade and then often to such an extent it ceases completely. What then? Well there are two options either you make a huge effort to try and reinstate the feeling or you start thinking maybe this is some sort of sign, that it’s time to make a change.

But what are the signs? Complacency, not making as much effort anymore, too busy with your work, your hobbies, or in general just drifting apart.

Complacency I think maybe the key word here and also familiarity! And we all know the saying: ‘familiarity breeds contempt’!

Your soul begins to crave for something more. You may not recognize the signs at first but believe me there is not a single person on this planet who does not want to be loved. A lot of people have a lot of issues on this point when there is lack of love.

For the people who do a lot of mindfulness, meditation or any form of spiritual work, are often much more open to change and signs than the rest of us. They have learnt over a period of time, that the universe is giving us signs all the time. In many shapes or forms. From something simple like double figures on a clock to tunes on the radio. Giving you moments of déjà-vu. Or even better flash forwards. Visions of things that are maybe still to come.

I believe that each and every one of us should attach a great deal of importance to love. Love will change this world. We are all far too busy with futile things sometimes, and why? Well, since the introduction of social media, the basic deal is that we don’t want to miss out on anything, so we tend to dive into our social media as opposed to having a conversation with our loved ones. I can only say, guilty as charged! I do it too. I see it in my children too, there are seldom without their phones in their hands.

You have to be very strict to ensure that phones are a ‘zero tolerance’ thing around the dinner table. Good luck on that score!

Often in the evenings, those of us who have busy working days will spend time catching up on emails, Facebook and all the rest. We no longer actually sit around the table as families and have proper conversations. Not because we don’t want to, just because society puts such huge demands on us. The pace of life in general is hectic to say the least.

So it is no surprise really is it that love can fade away? We just do not give it enough attention. Please remember that I am generalizing here, not everyone does what I say above, but a hell of lot do!

So that wonderful warm, fuzzy feeling of being in love has gone? What next? And what if had got to the stage that any form of reconciliation or repair is not possible? What do you do? Sit back and think that it is my lot in life or do you choose to many real changes. This is no small feat.

When the feeling of love has gone in a relationship and you both acknowledge it, maybe it’s time to be fair and say so. Make the choice to make change. It will not be easy for sure, especially when there is the splitting up of a family involved. There are so many memories in the past. But you just have to be a bit cooler, take out the emotion, because the past is gone and will not be coming back. It is going forwards that counts now.

Often its better to make a clean break and start again. But you have to be tough to do it. I actually have one or two friends who have done this and they will definitely confirm that you need a lot of people around you who care for you to survive the next period.

But when you are open to change and welcome it clearly, then you will find that the Law of Attraction, which we all talk about, actually begins to happen. When you clearly give signs to the universe that you want change, you are willing and able no matter what, then you can dare to dream again. You really can. Your dream, your passion and what you actually want in life, will never come to fruition if you don’t take time to think about it. And definitely not if you just sit back and wait for things to happen automatically. You have to make effort.

And then all of sudden at the least expected moment (because it always goes that way) someone crosses your path and like a bolt of lightening that wonderful feeling of being in love is back. Because when you feel good about yourself and others, then you will be actually sending out waves of energy, which others will feel, pick up and recognize. Moping around feeling sorry for yourself will get you nowhere. And when this happens, people will see the change in you too.

It is well known saying – Love makes the World go around! It is true because there is nothing more satisfying or fulfilling than feeling in love. It is the reason that you get up every morning, start singing in the shower because you feel happy and desired again, go to work (if you do) or actually spend your day doing nice things. Things that give you joy. Because you feel joyful yourself.

There is a bounce in your step once more. People will really start to notice a change in you. Don’t believe me? Try it.

If there is one thing I have learnt through the years and all the practice I have done, confirms if you ignore the signs, you will for sure be literally stopped in your tracks until you literally stop, sit up and take notice. If you are in a toxic relationship and know then its time to take action. So you know what to do now! I have written about this in earlier blogs.

I cannot say enough times how important love is in my, your, our lives. It is the feeling that makes everything come together. When you are in love, you are able to give love in return and this is something that benefits everyone, and flows out into the world, like ripples on a pond.

So don’t deny it anymore. If you are in a situation where love has literally flown out of the window, choose for change. Choose to do something to reinstate. Love goes in many forms. Love can be something so simple like treating yourself to nice things every now and again, because there is no doubt whatsoever that the person who is at the top of all our lists for love, is us ourselves. Love begins by you. Yes, it’s true. Self-love is nothing egoistic; it is just acknowledging who we are within. Our source. Feed your soul with love and all will be well.

Dare to love!

Dare to go for change!

Let’s all be part of bringing more and more love into this world!

Images: sectorstock.com : notes on bliss.com and Google Images

(acknowledging copyright)

SHARING MY POSTS

Every day I get a lot of messages from you all and thank you for each and every one, asking me if it is OK to share my work in your own social circles.

Yes, of course, and I am flattered that you want to. Please one request: always acknowledge the author, as my work is protected by copyright, especially my books, because they are officially published documents registered with ISBN numbers.

The number of emails I get per day can be anything from a few hundred to 1500 or even more. I read them all but it is impossible to reply to each and every one of them

I am grateful for all the praise you give me for my work and virtually everyone of you says you are enjoying my posts. By adding them all into the feed would make me feel as if I was on a sort of personal ego trip, but please know I read them all.

Have a great day! Jill

NO DEAL BREXIT – FIASCO OR FACT?

This morning having watched the Dutch breakfast news, I stupidly flipped channels to the BBC just to catch an interview happening live in front of the Houses of Parliament between two members of the Conservative Party. As there is yet another vote planned today in the Houses of Commons, concerning the ‘yes or no deal Brexit’ planned for 31stOctober this year, it was quite shameful to see two grown up men, who have been elected by their constituents to represent them in parliament, not even being civil to allow one another to finish the sentence before cutting in! I mean how can you have a normal discussion when you are not even allowed to finish what you are trying to say. Shameful! There seems to be no rules anymore on this subject. Gone are the days when a discussion was comparable to a tennis match – pit/pat like the ball going over the net, he says, she says.

It made me feel grateful that I am out of this whole sorry process. But at the same time, as my roots are in the United Kingdom, I often follow what is actually happening more often than not, flabbergasted about the next issue.

With the election of BoJo, as he is commonly known in the corridors, it is sad to see that he too, is only interested in leaving his ‘stamp’ on British politics. Well they all do the same. The fact that he has not only pressured the Monarch into agreeing with a longer parliamentary recess than normal and thus allowing little or no time to discuss the pro’s and con’s of the NO DEAL BREXIT – and believe me it will be 31stOctober sooner than you think, amazes me. The poor Queen at 93 probably just ‘gave in and agreed’ when confronted by such a ‘plonker’ as BoJo. I mean he is almost material for the worst comedy series possible on TV.

To my mind BoJo (and isn’t it strange that he almost looks like the twin brother of Trump) is just purely and simply a narcissist. He doesn’t give a damnation about the British public; it is all about making his mark for the history books in the political sector. Does he seriously think that cavorting to and fro to other European leaders is going to suddenly produce a new opening for discussions? I don’t think so. He may think he is becoming friends with Merkel, but everyone here in mainland Europe know all too well, that Merkel and Macron decide absolutely everything that is happening in the EU, the people chosen to lead are merely their puppets.

Let’s go back to the basics. When an election is held and constituents choose by voting a candidate to represent them in the British political scene, why is it that once elected, they just become like sheep in a herd immediately they enter the chambers of parliament? Any of you who ever follow a live debate will know exactly what I mean because they all literally sound like a herd of sheep. Politeness, respect, actually listening to what people say, opinions, choices, thoughts, fly straight out of the window and the poor John Bercow nearly goes hoarse having to shout ‘order, order’ time and time again.

I truly believe that a lot of people in the UK have absolutely no idea whatsoever what the effects of a NO DEAL BREXIT mean. I confess I don’t either. Apart from the fact that the UK will take back control of their own affairs and in this respect a lot of other European citizens will agree with that, because they too, are sick to death of dictatorship from Brussels.

But what does it mean on a day-to-day basis?

Yesterday I just happened to read a post on social media concerning the ‘back wall’, which is the new proposed boundary between Northern Ireland and Eire. That people will have to go through passport controls and customs just to visit members of their families who just happen to live on the other side of the fence. Ridiculous. There has been a lot of bloodshed mainly because of religious views in Northern Ireland, but its peaceful and quiet now and why would anyone want to awaken that again. The frustration and difficulties because a ‘back wall’ has to be created. It reminds me of Trump’s wall between the USA and Mexico and I remember in 1989 we were all thrilled when the Berlin wall finally fell. But 30 years on we are building new ones. Where is the respect for our fellow man?

And more to the point, what is the point? Wouldn’t it just be easier to call Ireland one single country? Maybe someone reading this will say words like ‘never’ or ‘no way’ but please enlighten me what is the reason for creating a divide on one island? 

So as we approach 31stOctober and the politicians are still discussing ‘yes or no’ to NO DEAL BREXIT I think there is not a single one of them who truly knows what the consequences will be. One simple example is the trade that passes across the English Channel from Europe to the UK. How long are the traffic jams going to be when the controls for freight etc are even stricter and even more frustrated lorry drivers waiting hours and hours to clear customs to bring their goods either to or from the UK to mainland Europe. What will be the effect for farmers and other small businesses that import and export to Europe and also not to mention enterprises that can only survive with EC subsidies? It is a real mess isn’t it? And in the meantime as I saw this morning on the news, political party members, and from the same party as well, cannot even agree with one another. A sad state of affairs. Even after today’s vote, yes or no, to the hard-deal-Brexit, what is the next step? There must be someone out there who has an answer.

It is true that other European leaders, are fed up with the whole subject, just as I suspect everyone is, but they are not going to contemplate going back to the negotiating table once again, no matter how many times Bojo crosses the English Channel for talks. The Dutch PM Mark Rutte made a statement some time ago along the lines: That the British voted to leave so they must just get on with it and leave! But no one really thought through the consequences did they?

I don’t have an answer either, but I do know and remember well, that the British people in general unite forcefully when lead by someone who knows what he is talking about. My immediate thought is Winston Churchill. This is not the case with BoJo, who cannot even get a decent haircut despite his Eton (I think) education. How sad is that? He is just a very big bag of wind.

I am a huge fan of Netflix series like ‘House of Cards’ or ‘Designated Survivor’ but politics is not for me. It is such a farce to be honest. Far too much ego and backstabbing. It is survival of the fittest. Maybe we should send them all away to some remote island and actually see if they can survive? I doubt it very much.

I saw a friend of mine posted a cynical thought this morning on Facebook and is it true that the British people will be stockpiling in the next few weeks, wondering if there actually will be any food shortages. The more worrying thought is medication or instrumentation for medial needs that will be caught up in the ‘over the border’ hassles. What will BoJo have to say about that then? Does he care? No of course not. His only goal is to go down in the history books as the PM who ensured that a No-Deal-Brexit happened and was totally blind to the consequences, basically because he could not care less. 

To make matters even worse there is now a calling for a General Election in the UK, so what happens if another party is elected like Labour and someone like Jeremy Corbyn takes over? Time is running out for sure, is there even going to be anyone who will step up to the table with some sensible solutions?

Don’t hold your breath, I don’t think anyone is.

IMAGES: Courtesy of Google Images.

BIRTHDAYS

You know, when I was a child, I used to love birthdays. I think it was mainly because my birthday was right in the middle of the school holidays and usually the weather was good.

My parents would usually organize a big party in the garden and all my friends, neighbours and of course family would come. My memories are all happy ones and I always recall that my maternal grandmother would say: ‘what is the good of a birthday if you can’t do what you like?’ How true is that?

My idea of a great birthday treat would be a visit to a funfair, like the one in Battersea in London. Now I suspect a lot of your reading this will not even remember that there was a permanent funfair at Battersea and a wonderful tree walk high up amongst the trees. We would go every year, that is all I asked for and go on every single ride, several times.

When you are young you always seems to be yearning for the phenomena – getting older! I wonder why? Is it that the number of years means that we are able to do more and more and become independent? Certainly yes, when reaching the age of 18, you can learn to drive a car! Then freedom to come and go, as you want.

One of the biggest parties we ever gave was for my 21stBirthday Party. Can you remember the famous little song : 21 Today? We hired a small hall in Send, near Woking in Surrey and also a DJ. Mike Reid, (who just happened to be in my circle of friends), then went on to become a really well known BBC Radio Disc Jockey. Literally everyone would be invited because there was more space and my mother and I would prepare the food, whilst my father took care of arranging the drinks. Everyone seemed also to chip in, help wise.

When you are younger you seem to have an incredibly long list of things you would like to have. So presents are plentiful and easy for people to buy. So when does the lustre and shine fade when it comes to yet another year has passed by and it’s your birthday again?

I think as far as I was concerned it was the sudden realization, at the time, that I was 30! The twenties had flown by and then I had a family of my own and all the attention was spent on birthdays for the children. Especially when you have two born within one day of each other. We in turn organized huge parties for them too, in the garden, as May can be very good weather wise for barbeques and literally everyone would be invited because we had the space. It was fun! Maybe some of you reading this will recall the parties well, 60-odd people all in our garden! Chairs borrowed from all the neighbours and all the Dad’s helping with the BBQ.

Yesterday was my birthday and I am 65. The official age when you become an ‘old aged person’. In the meantime my own children are coming up to or into their 30’s too. I had to laugh when one of my school friends sent me a message that ’65 is the new 45’. I wish!

But to be truthful I don’t feel as if I am 65. I don’t feel as if I am old now. Let’s be honest it is only numbers. Do we really care? It is more the stigma which society attaches to the idea that when you are 65 you are past it and you stop working (well that is certainly not the case here in The Netherlands where I live, as the ‘pension age’ has been lifted to 67.) The reason is that people are living much longer these days. Look back at your own family tree. 65 used to be old, now it is often seen as the stepping stone to more freedom and time to do all the things you wanted to do, but always put off because of other obligations, the biggest one of which was – Work!

Recently someone asked me if there was a mistake on my official hospital records concerning my age. The year could not be right, they said. You certainly don’t look that old. That is the crux of the matter; I don’t think that either, so why should I ever spend one single second worrying about numbers. Despite the fact that I pay a lot of attention to numbers sometimes when they have some significance. But age is something that is attached to feeling. How old do you actually feel? Probably a lot of people who work under extreme pressure, the 30-40 years old’s will probably answer that they feel about 80 at the end of a high-pressure working week. When tiredness and exhaustion become part of daily life, that burnout’s are very common too, in that age group. 

So I come back to what my gran used to say: birthdays are just all about celebrating your arrival on this planet and the years are all about experience and wisdom. How your life has panned out so far? Birthdays are all about doing what you want and like and no longer an obligation. So chin up everyone, age is now declared unimportant, it is how you yourself feel and if you don’t want to act the age of your numbers, then don’t.

I did not have a big party yesterday, it was a very quiet day, but the lovely thing was that I got so many messages on social media and all my old (sorry I should say former) school friends sent me messages. That is better than any present, the fact that all these years further on, they still think about me, even though we don’t see one another on a daily basis. That readers of my blogs sent me birthday wishes, as well as lots of contacts on social media. I appreciate that. I mean it.

If you would ask me well, what present would you like, well it’s easy: It’s knowing that family, friends, neighbours and loved ones care. Care enough to just stop what they are doing and say ‘hello! Happy Birthday!, Have a magical day’. That is what counts most of all. Agree?

Jill Kramer 21.8.2019 (copyright)

Images: From Google Images