I am going to share a bit of a personal experience in this blog, to emphasize how we should be more aware of our words when spoken and the possible effect it may or may not have on others.
We can all agree I am sure that we are living in difficult times. There is an air of despondency absolutely everywhere, caused mainly by the COVID-19 virus, which is rearing its head once again on a worldwide scale. So, as many know, fear is a very negative energy and often makes people a bit different in their daily approach to life itself. It’s like having an extra charge of uncertainty hanging in us, around us and between us all.
As my mother died of breast cancer, I have had biannual check-ups (mammograms) since her death. It’s a precautionary thing because of the slightly higher risk. I have done this for the past 20 odd years. Now all women will know only too well that having a mammogram is not the most pleasurable thing in the world. Even though I check myself regularly, it is good that we have this opportunity and screening is done regularly in certain age groups. This sort of amazes me actually, since when has a disease like cancer, taken any notice of age groups. I think personally such check-ups should be available to all women over the age of ??? who knows a good starting point?
I expect that many of us have breast cancer victims either ourselves, our family, our friends and neighbors, acquaintances, colleagues etc., and over the past years there has been more awareness about how important it is, if you think something is wrong, to go to the doctor immediately and get a check-up.
This week, having had my appointment cancelled several times due not only Corona restrictions, but also the installation of a new machine at my local hospital; finally, the moment had come. The rules and regulations are of course much stricter in the hospitals at the moment, because of this new Corona outbreak. You get a sort of ‘day ticket’ which allows you, having presented all your information at a kiosk, to be in the building for a one-hour period.
In the waiting room, (a small niche in the corridor) I was the only person waiting and at exactly the appointment time, called into the room. Wearing a facial mask, I was actually surprised that the radiological nurse was not wearing gloves, after all she is touching my body.
The actual x-rays take literally seconds, it’s not fun and can be quite painful, but it is literally only seconds and let’s be honest it is so worthwhile to have this done. Waiting in the corridor once more for confirmation that the films (which is all digital these days) were ok, I noticed another nurse come into the corridor and cough into her hand. For goodness sake, haven’t we all been drilled big time about hand sanitization?? And coughing, if necessary, into the inner elbow area.
I had a bit of a shock when my nurse appeared and said that one side needed to be repeated as the radiologist needed more detailed images. This is enough to be honest to almost have an ‘on the spot heart moment’. I noticed my pulse increase mainly because at this present time I have a family member with terminal lung cancer and the slight suggestion that there was something wrong … literally sent shivers down my spine.
So, the whole process was repeated, one side only and when I enquired: ‘there is nothing wrong is there?’ got a snappy answer that I would have to ask the doctor. Who, by the way, I would not be seeing during such a routine control!
My point here is that a nurse is not a doctor and as such not qualified really to make any comment. It might have, in my opinion, been better to say something like: ‘oh we need to re-do one of the photos as the image moved’. That merely implies that there may be a technical reason and definitely would not give you any idea that maybe something was wrong, or maybe they had seen something suspicious. I say this but at the same time, want to say how much respect I have for all people working in health care at the moment and I realize they are under a lot of pressure too, but all the same, it does not time to think before you speak does it?
The second set were completed and again another wait in the corridor, when she appeared for the third time to say the photos were ok and to ring my own GP in the morning.
My mind is now in overdrive, really ring tomorrow, normally I would wait for a few days and his assistant would ring me wouldn’t she if something was wrong? The result was a disturbed night’s sleep and the next morning the feeling of trepidation about making the phone call. This may sound pathetic, but I have read in many articles that virtually everyone has this feeling. Wanting to know, but at the same time, not wanting to either.
Eventually I did of course, because I know only too well that there is no point putting it off, you have to know. And I am very glad to say, everything was perfectly ok and next checkup in 2022. Phew !!!!
My point is, that I feel it is really important to think before we speak, especially in these tenser than normal times. Choose your words with more care. My story is just a simple example. But a lot of people are very on edge at the moment and sometimes a few simple words can have such an impact. So please everyone in all walks of life: ‘think before you speak’.
I also want to say, and this is really important for every woman (or men too), who reads this blog: never wait if you think anything might be wrong or unusual, to take steps immediately to see your doctor. Putting things off or ignoring can have very huge consequences. These days, the sooner you go, the sooner action can be taken if needed and with the huge variety of therapies, things that might have ‘killed’ you a few years ago, can now be healed. Isn’t it important then never to wait? Exactly.
The old saying: ‘better to be safe than sorry’ is so relevant isn’t it?
As I gazed out of the windows, the rain dropping like shards on the glass, it matched my mood perfectly. The winter had been mild actually, no snow and one- or two-night frosts but the garden looks dead, just dark branches against the grey skies. Yes, that described me perfectly, a drab winter branch, where you begin to wonder, is it alive or dead?
I often found myself crying for really no reason, it was just the feeling of complete and utter sadness, and most of all, not having any idea why something which had seemed so perfect had just stopped. No explanations, no reasons, just died, missing without a trace!
For months I had been feeling that it was like ‘peaches with cream’. You know those satin silky ripe peaches, with that, oh so perfect skin, which reveal that golden sweetness within, in a cut glass crystal bowl with fresh, thick dairy cream … and the taste as one slips into your mouth and releases all the succulent juices. It’s heaven!
Now, as I look out of my window, through the rain, which almost feels as if its literally piercing my heart, forming cold lumps of ice within, all the branches are bare, not a leaf in sight. The gnarled twisting branches of the roses, which look almost dead to me, will soon be filled with sprouting leaves and festoons of blooms in the summer. Dead twigs with lethal thorns, beauty and pain together. Huge beautiful flowers but when picked the thorns pierce your fingers painfully. ‘Roses with thorns.’
Most of the morning has already gone, before I actually get going. I have got into the habit of getting out of bed, pottering around, having breakfast and sometimes it’s lunch time before I have even got showered and dressed. But why make such haste, it is if the life force has been sucked out of me sometimes. I don’t want to go into a depression, but I feel melancholy all the time. A song on the radio can bring back memories, a film on the television, words in a book, words in my book, all remind me of times that were so incredibly happy and filled with such optimism.
I think I actually would feel so much better if I could understand why? But I don’t and to be honest do I really want to keep asking myself the same questions over and over again? I really just want to move on, but my limbs feel stiff as if to say, you cannot move until you deal with it.
I have to.
Do I want to? Yes, I do really but it is just so hard.
Now published on Bol.com and also in Kindle e-reader version on Amazon.com
This may be a rather strange way to begin my blog, after such an impact title, about my own book (Peaches and Cream – Roses with Thorns). It was published yesterday being the 10th day of the 10th month at exactly 10.00 am, 2020. So numerically everything was exactly right.
So those of you who have read a part of it, or bought it, you will by now have realized who I have ‘teamed up’ with several times now, to write these words.
One of the chapters in the book deals with Forgiveness. The main character, Olivia, has to process this. It is not easy and she has to go through the entire process before she can actually move on with her life.
Yesterday also coincided with a worldwide, TED talk with more than 20 big influencers around the world, talking and contributing their thoughts about how we need to tackle the Climate Change. And by this, not only the small countries and parts of the world who do their very best, but ALL OF US.
It was a 5-hour session and of course followed by many people all over the world in different time zones. When it ended just after 10pm my local time, my main thought was that if we want to achieve this, then we first of all have to think about Forgiveness for all the wrongs that have gone before us. Many generations and civilizations ago too.
In my humble opinion I truly believe that it is man’s greed that has caused this situation. Not to be necessarily blamed on advances in technology and such like over the centuries, but when you look back at problems in ancient times, you see that there is in fact a common theme. Greed. Everyone on their own little island, taking rather than giving, looking out for their own interests instead of the interests of the greater good.
Yes, it is true we have made huge leaps in our evolution and we needed to, but at what cost?
In my own lifetime I have seen enormous changes, thinking simply of one thing, as an example: the internet. Communication second level and so it goes on and I could devote the entire blog to this subject, but that is not really my intention.
What I want to say, is that maybe the starting point is actually forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves for the mistakes we made and generations before us. What seemed a good idea at the time, may not have been one further along the line.
I have some words on the subject of Forgiveness from my friend which I would like to share with you: –
Haters try to expose what is wrong with you, because they are jealous of everything that is right about you. There are two types of people. Those that hate their life and so something about it and those who hate their life and don’t do anything about it. Which type are you?
You cannot expect to stay on the right path, if you are walking with the wrong people.
Some people make themselves miserable and everybody else miserable when they can rather make everyone else happy. When the wrong people start to leave your life, the right things start.
Some people though come into your life and you just know you will never be able to replace them if they left. Sometimes people who act the happiest are the ones going through the most.
I admire people who choose to shine even after all the storms they have been through. Sometimes the people we fear the most should be the ones closest to us. Forget those people who forget you.
Don’t chase people. Be you. Do your own thing and work hard. The right people who belong in your life will come to you and stay.
Be with people who always show you your strength and hopes and not waste time with people who constantly remind you of your failures and mistakes.
To be around those who enhance your life is called success. To enhance the lives of those around you is called significance.
Successful people build each other. They motivate, inspire and push each other. Unsuccessful people just hate, blame and complain.
The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest smile the brightest. The most hurt people are the wisest and the people who do not expect from others are the happiest.
People who are truly worthy would never see any good in making others feel unworthy of themselves.
I respect people that tell me the truth, no matter how hard it is.
People who are inclined to take the greatest challenges just settle for something less.
We meet people for a specific reason. They are either a blessing or a lesson.
Weak people see flaws in others where strong people see potential. What they really see is part of themselves.
You spend your whole life trying to fit in and when you finally do, you realize that you are surrounded by the very people who held you down.
Don’t wait for people to be kind, show them how.
It is ironic that it took so much time for people to realize your real value. They come knocking right when you have finally closed your door.
Every person has a bad habit naturally. But it is up to the person to decide whether to keep it or get rid of it.
There are two types of people, those who make an effort to reach their dreams and those who sit back and dream about their dreams.
Be that kind of person whose presence people would like to celebrate and not that of someone who had to be tolerated.
People want to get everything all at once, usually end up getting nothing in life.
A person usually has two reasons for doing a thing: one that sounds good and a real one.
People might not get all they work for in this world, but they certainly work for all they get.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your dreams. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you too, can become great.
Be careful when you choose the people you can trust. Some of them are lions in a sheep’s skin.
You cannot move forward whilst carrying the burden of your previous life with you. Let go of the past and move on into the future.
Look around! People have faces with no smiles as they are carrying heavy baggage. Stop them! Give them a smile and see them light up.
Forgiveness sometimes comes a little too late, but just remember it is always ‘better late than never.’
Forgiveness is something we need to both give and ask for in return. Forgiveness is the economy of the heart, it saves the expense of anger, the cost of hatred, the waste of spirits.
Forgiveness is a gift you can give to someone else: it is an act of you own will.
Forgiveness is the key to letting go. Forgiveness isn’t about releasing him or her, it’s about releasing you.
You must forgive those who hurt you, if you don’t forgive, they have the power over you, forgiveness is for you and no one else. Forgiveness does not change the past, but it gives the future a chance.
Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness but because you deserve peace. If you agree.
There are few things in life that cannot be resolved with just kindness. Forgive the one that hurts you and you will find forgiveness back in some way or the other.
Forgiveness is nothing but recognizing the reality that what has happened has already happened and that there is no point allowing it to dominate the rest of your life.
Forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. Forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time’.
Yes, so forgiveness is quite something isn’t it? The key I feel to move forward. No one is going to tell you it’s an easy process because it is not. But it is acknowledging a fact and making the choice to move forward in the right direction and leaving all the baggage behind of those who did it all wrong before. It starts on a personal level and then becomes a national, international and then a world issue. The thing is, it starts with you and in every walk of life itself. Why would you choose to keep dragging the garbage from the past with you when you can make a conscious choice to forgive, forget (or in other words process) and then take that step to move forwards?
This applies even to a mega subject like Climate Change. There is no point in trying to move forward until each and every one of us realizes that we have to work together on this particular issue and I really mean all of us. Change only comes in a positive way when synergy is involved. Synergy between opposites. Synergy between color, race and creed. Please let’s all stop wasting our time going on and on about things we know we should be doing differently, let’s just do it! No exceptions, all of us.
If we do it this way, there may be a flicker of hope that we can not only save ourselves, but also others, the planet and create a much better place for generations to come.
The process starts with you !!
And what better way to start than giving everyone LOVE.
That is what we need, what the world needs and then by working as one, we have some sort of hope of putting things right.
Did You Give the World Some Love Today, Baby
Did you give the world some love today babe? Did you give the world some love today babe? Well you gave me lots of love that’s true You gave the world some loving too You gave the world some love today babe
When you saw a weary man Were you quick to realize The thing he needed most Was a kind look from your eyes When you saw an angry face And the faces that you scanned Did you soften up a bit With the flower from your hands
Oh your heart is always full of love babe And you gave me lots of love today babe Will you also keep the world in mind Tell me what you did for all mankind To give the world some love today babe
Everybody in this world has to do a whole lot more Then love the one they spend a lifetime looking for You just can’t keep your love in a cozy little shell Got to love the one you know and a whole darn world as well
Everybody in this world has to do a whole lot more Then love the one they spend a lifetime looking for You just can’t keep your love in a cozy little shell Got to love the one you know and a whole darn world as well
Got to make this one big loving world babe Help to make this one big loving world babe Well you gave me lots of love that’s true You gave the world some loving too You gave the world some love today babe And you give the world some love today And you give the world some love today Did you give the world some love today Did you give the world some love today Did you give the world some love today
REALLY EXCITED, MY TENTH BOOK IS PUBLISHING TOMORROW. I HAVE CHOSEN THE DATE BECAUSE THEN ALL THE NUMBERS ARE JUST RIGHT.
The book will be available through bol.com and also in e-reader Kindle version on Amazon.com.
A sudden encounter with Patrick turns Olivia’s world upside down. After having coffee together that same day, they lose touch. Months later Olivia receives a message via social media from him. It is the beginning of a stormy, passionate online romance. Not easy, words can easily be misinterpreted. But they both feel that there is something really special between them.
Months later Olivia gets a phone call from her journalist friend Ella, who tells her some terrible truths about Patrick. This is the beginning of a long process for Olivia when she realizes how she has been misused. She has to learn to forgive herself completely before she can even contemplate moving on with her life. And the loss of someone she thought was special.
In Amsterdam, one day, quite some time later and quite by chance she meets the true love of her life. She did not expect to at all and this means that she moves away from Europe to Australia. The true and new love between Olivia and Tyler is wonderful but gets very tested when a terrible accident occurs ….
And a very special introduction to the book by ???? (wait and see).
Special thanks to Janosh Stoffers for the cover design
Thewis Wierda for putting it all together online
Annette Barel for the edit and encouraging words..
As we go into the autumnal season, being out early in the morning is such a joy. The grass is full of dewdrops as the golden sun peaks above the horizon. Just as if an artist has painted brushstrokes across the sky, the blues and pinks suddenly changed to golden colors as the sun appears. It is so peaceful and quiet, most people are not awake, and the only sound to be heard are seagulls across the sea. What a magnificent way to start a new week, especially one where we are being treated to an ‘Indian Summer’. Gorgeous warm days, high temperatures and despite the turning leaves, feels so good.
Normally people dread Monday mornings, after the weekend, but I always see it as a ‘new beginning’. The so called ‘working week’ begins for many, including the children who start a new week at school. I heard someone talking about the autumn half term already, but I still feel physically as if I am still in the summertime.
This year has gone so fast, it’s hardly believable. But it has and it is believable. And what a year it has been so far. Who would have expected it? But my thoughts are always that there is very little point on daydreaming about the past, you cannot change it, only cherish the good memories, and deal with the sad ones. The thing is you are actually in the here and now, and you don’t even know what tomorrow is going to bring. So, live in this current moment and make the best of it.
This year has also had some incredible astrological events and even though a lot of people don’t follow – I do – and then things make such more sense. Of course, it affects the energy around our planet, when other planets go backwards (retrograde) or astrological phenomena (like squares, trines and conjuncts). People may be sceptic about it, but let’s face it ancient civilizations lived totally in harmony with the stars and ships navigated the seas as well, long before GPS tracking was even possible. We did not have millions of satellites up above the planet, giving us information 24/7.
Even if you don’t agree with me, many of you will be affected just by the lunar cycles of 28 days.
In that way it is a great shame that we have the so called ‘Gregorian calendar’ and not the 13- month calendar, which relates to the lunar circles, used by many civilizations. I personally think this would be so much better. Also messing around with Summer and Winter time, just keep to one time. It takes us all a week or so to adjust to either losing or gaining one hour. There are enough time zones around the world to cope with. We all have experienced ‘jet lag’ at some time in our lives, when crossing said zones.
But back to my Monday morning moment and the opportunity to start the week with a ‘clean slate’. Organized, ready to go, all the stress of the previous week, in the past and then getting the motivation. A lot of people who work in businesses have that immediate ‘Monday morning meeting’ moment, when plans are made for the forthcoming week. I just wonder if all the plans are actually achieved?
Of course, it is really important when working to communicate, but in the end do you have the feeling that you actually did something and even more so, working all together as a team. That is the whole point, working together!
My working life has mostly been from my own home, so I have forgotten that ‘Monday morning feeling’ as I never actually had to leave my house to work, unless going on business trips.
I had to discipline myself all the time about when to work, how to work and also how to cope with people positioned all over the world and all their different time zones. Our fax machine (remember those?) often used to go on at night as documents were sent through. Now we do that digitally with WeTransfer and such like.
But the point of this blog is to inspire you to just stop what you are doing right now and think for a moment: What is your new beginning this week? What do you want to achieve today?
How do you intend to do it? What is your goal?
It is all about inspiration and creating that ‘clean slate moment’ moving forwards and tomorrow will be another brand-new day again !!
This week I finally finished collating my latest book which will be published soon. It’s a romantic love story with a twist ! Hence the title; when things are going well in any relationship or love story, then it’s ‘Peaches with Cream’ but when things go wrong for no apparent reason then it’s ‘Roses with Thorns’. Pleasure and Pain.
At the moment being edited by a friend to filter out any typo’s and grammatical mistakes, which are inevitable and then publishing ready for an autumn read. Going not only to publish through Brave New Books onto Bol.com but also on to Amazon.com in Kindle version (worldwide)
So watch this space for more news, coming soon !!!!!
We do things differently in The Netherlands it seems: the biggest news item this week is all about our Minister of Justice and Safety, Ferdi Grapperhaus (well his name for starters is hilarious as it literally means: House of Jokers!). So, this man is the at the top of the ladder in the Dutch Government Cabinet and responsible for not only justice, law and order, the police, but also for the general care and safety of ALL Dutch citizens.
So, he was very much involved in all the rules and regulations because of the Corona virus (Covid-19), including the new Corona Law. For social distancing, for reservations in restaurants, bars and cafes, for the rules when visiting museums, theaters, cinemas etc. Also responsible for all law and order and the one who came up with the idea of the fines for people who did not conform to said rules. And these were big fines. For restaurants who did not keep the rules, around Euro 4000 and for people committing ‘the crime’ and not keeping to rules, Euro 400. That is a lot of money.
You would think, I guess, that he above anyone, knowing all the rules and regulations and as a ‘pinnacle in society’, in other words someone who took on a role of being important, would be the one to keep to them as well and even more so, be an example for others.
Well no, you are totally wrong!
He recently got married and even though other people were restricted about numbers attending weddings and even funerals, he could it would seem have as many guests as he wanted. Social distancing, what is that? The many press photographs showed him and his guests all far too close together, hugging and such like. Elderly people like his mother-in-law who falls under the category of being someone at high risk, hugged closely. All rules forgotten and literally flushed down the toilet. Our Prime Minister was in attendance too.
Political debates this week have been really hard for him (good) as the opposition leaders went full on and made a real fuss about it and rightly so. How can you tell people that they have to do something and then do exactly the opposite yourself? Many opposition leaders called for his resignation, but in some or other completely incomprehensible way, he just said ‘sorry’ and the matter was closed.
This is a very hard and bitter pill to swallow for people who have already had and paid fines, big ones too. For restaurant owners who are having a hard time anyway financially with this crisis, to keep their businesses afloat.
But hey, when you are the Minister, obviously other rules apply.
I personally think this makes the system complete hypocrisy, because it just is not fair, and justice is all about being fair for all isn’t it? Or maybe not?
There was one thing that made me laugh out aloud, and that was that someone suggested that we all downloaded a paper mask of his face. Then when confronted by a control, you put on the mask and then say sorry! No fine then? Well if this is the answer, then I can only say, do it and try it.
But this sort of thing really ‘takes the biscuit’ as we say in English (in other words ‘the bloody limit’) and makes a joke of everything. How can you expect people to either respect the system or actually even comply to the rules, which after all are for all of us, our health and safety, when others make a mockery of it? And the Minister for Justice, who is in charge or all of this.
For their own wedding party, for their own gain and even worse, completely disrespecting the rules, so why should others comply to them then?
It’s a big question isn’t it. Experts are telling us almost daily that because people are being so lax about the rules, and our Minister is top of the list, that the virus is rearing its head. Alarmingly too. People on holiday in Spain for example came home much earlier because if you travel back to The Netherlands, from a ‘code red’ country, you then have to spend 10 days in quarantine. I wonder if all Grapperhaus’s guests are now in quarantine. I doubt it very much.
Putting a lot of other people at unnecessary risk because the Minister thought he could apply his own set of rules. Or in other words, ignore what he is telling the rest because he thinks he is a cut above us all?
This is such a good example of when at the top, obviously you are not bound to comply! How fair is that? Totally not!
A scandal really that he got away with it by just a simple ‘sorry’. Not a public apology and how does he expect anyone to have one gram of respect anymore. Impossible.
I think everyone present should have had the same fine (yes, Euro 400 per person) and the restaurant (or venue) where this was held too (yes, Euro 4000 for that indiscretion).
It is scandalous that it has been swept under the carpet isn’t it? You as a citizen would never have got away with it, you would have been fined and charged. That is the way justice works apparently.
Today it’s my birthday and the date is very special. 20-8-2020. So to celebrate it I thought I would write a short summer story for all my readers to enjoy. Have a lovely day.
The heatwave continued relentlessly. In this small flat part of the country, under sea level with all the rivers, lakes and waterways, meant that it was literally like a steam bath. The humidity was high. The air so warm, it seemed warmer than the air you breathed out. Everyone was complaining, like they always do, when it concerns the weather! Rose began to wonder if people would ever stop complaining. If it was cold and wet, it wasn’t good and hot and sunny it wasn’t good either! There never seemed to be a happy medium. After all, complaining was something just everyone did and all the time as well.
It was the 9th day, when the heatwave officially came to an end. Rose was not the slightest interested by the facts and figures from the meteorological office, all she wanted was fresh air, cool air and preferably some rain to wash away the pollen and dust.
Her mind wandered back to a couple of weeks ago. She had agreed to go the local pub with a friend for a quiz. After months of lockdown, people were generally getting out and about a bit more, even though Rose had felt happier all those months in her own home and with her own company. It had been 20 years since her divorce. Reluctantly, because if she was honest, she did not want to go, she left the house and walked down to the local pub. It was a reserved number of people and Rose and her friend Julie, found themselves sitting at a table with two men, both of whom they did not know, but they were ‘a team’ for the evening.
Taking the obligatory social distancing into account, there was not a huge number of people present, so the normal loud noise of the pub was surprisingly quieter than usual. She found herself gazing across the table at the rather handsome face of a well-muscled young man. He had a sort of permanent frown between his eyebrows. But he was very good looking and Rose just got lost in her thoughts and did not pay attention until the bell was rung to start the quiz. Julie had been chattering away, but to be honest, Rose had not heard a single word of it. As the quiz began, she got an amazing smile from across the other side of the table.
Actually, it went quite well, and they seemed to know all the answers between them! The conversation in between got going and once names had been exchanged, the normal talk about: what do you do? Where do you live? Do you come here often? began. Julie collected some drinks, for them all, a second round, as the men had bought the first and Rose began to feel more at ease, and it was just much more relaxed. Dutch courage as they say!
They were not the winners but came in second and decided to have one more drink together and leave. Julie wandered off to take to another friend and Rose found herself alone with her table mate. He was a pilot, yes, she could imagine that, he gave a general impression of being well educated and having a responsible job. And the most amazing accent, which she could not quite place. In the meantime, she had found out that he lived in Madrid, flew regularly to the UK with one of the well-known airlines, and was now on a break. His friend was someone he had known from high school and he had had no idea at all that he would have been here tonight. But he added he was glad he had come otherwise they would not have met! Rose found herself blushing many times at his compliments. He was very suave, and told her how nice she looked, how interesting she was, and very pretty as well. Rose was not used to this at all, having been alone for 20 years and had not been near a single man since her divorce.
It was time to leave and he asked her if she would like to have dinner the next evening. Any suggestions where to go, he asked her? Rose did not know what to say at first. Of course, he was nice, attractive, well damned good looking actually and why not? It did not really seem like a date, after a quiz at the pub. They arranged to meet at the restaurant in the village, at 7 pm the next day. She and Julie left and Rose was conscious of a new spring in her step. She had actually enjoyed it, more than she had expected to and actually he was very nice and my goodness, she was going out again tomorrow.
The next morning, after a flying visit to Boots, the local chemist to buy some scrub salt, some hair removing cream and some lovely scented shower foam, the day passed by so fast. It was soon time to get ready to go out and after about 20 different dresses and such like, Rose decided to wear something she felt comfortable in. She showered, washed her hair, applied some make up and rode on her bike to the restaurant where he was waiting for her.
This time, even though officially it was not allowed because of the Covid rules, he took her hand and kissed it. Rose nearly fainted. How gallant! You could tell he was not English by birth; English men never did anything as romantic as that.
In a cozy corner of the restaurant they ordered drinks and looked at the menu. Rose did not have a single idea what to have, kept reading and re-reading, her mind was completely elsewhere. In the end opting for something simple an easy to eat. So that there was some chance of a conversation… They talked on and Rose felt herself relaxing more and more. He was a charming table companion and they talked about their respective lives. Rose decided to be open and honest, told him she had been divorced for a long time. She did not say 20 years to be exact, not wanting to come over as desperate and pathetic!
When the food arrived, there was a pause as they began to eat. Rose felt conspicuous. But in between mouthfuls, the conversation continued. He spoke about his work, his passion was being a pilot, he loved it, different destinations each and every day. Not that he ever got to see anywhere other than the airport, unless he was on more international flights and got a couple of rest days in between. Just like this exact moment he said, having arrived at Gatwick a day or so ago and taking the advantage of meeting up with an old school friend. And then he had met Rose who he found utterly fascinating. She was sharp, witty, had a wonderful way of talking. He loved her cute British accent, the way she paused between her words, as if she was thinking about them. In fact, he was totally under her spell. He wondered if she felt the same, it was hard to tell. Obviously, she was older than him, but he did not really care about that. He was definitely and totally not interested in all the babes his own age. All pimped and pumped and so full of their own importance and appearance. No, Rose was much more down to earth and actually fun to be with. He loved the way she kept putting her hair behind her ear, he gazed at her elegant neck, thinking what it would be like to kiss her. He liked her expressive hands which she waved about a lot as she was talking. Was this the woman he had been looking for, for such a long time? He hoped so.
By the end of the meal to be honest they both felt as if they had known each other for longer. Everything just flowed so well. The conversation had not been dulling for one moment, on the contrary they found themselves laughing at things the other said, smiling across the table. Now there was something, he found really attractive, her smile, and the way her eyes lit up and flickered like stars in the night skies. Orlando, because that was his name, was falling in love, as if Cupid had personally shot his arrow right into his heart.
After a final nightcap and coffee, it was time to go. He stood up, helped Rose out of her chair and paid the bill. Coming out into the dark evening, he suddenly took her into his arms and kissed her. He just had to and Rose responded equally to him. Their lips explored one another, he held her firmly in his strong arms. Rose felt as if her feet had left the ground and she was floating. She wasn’t, but in her mind, she was. He was a good kisser for sure and it had been such a long time ago. Such a long time. Stirring deep within she felt sensations in her body. She did not want him to stop and he didn’t either. She could have stood there feeling his tender kisses for hours, especially when he kissed her neck.
But she had to go and so did he. Was this just a fleeting moment, like two ships passing in the night, or would there be more. Rose thanked him profusely for the lovely meal and his charming company. Her compliments actually made him blush slightly. Even though she did not want to, Rose took her bike, thanked him again, gave him one last kiss and cycled off in the direction of her house. Her immediate thought amongst all the ‘rosy pink cloud’ like thoughts she had was: would she seem him again? They had exchanged phone numbers etc. But she knew he would soon be flying back home to Madrid and the travel regulations imposed to UK residents meant that she could not suddenly go there.
That evening in bed, she recalled the evening, what he had said, the way he looked at her, his passionate, gentle kisses and with that thought in her mind Rose drifted off into a deep slumber filled with dreams about him.
Orlando had the same experience. He had gone back to his friend’s house, had a quick beer and said what a nice evening it had been, and went to bed. His mind was filled with exactly the same thoughts she had and before switching off the light, he wrote her a quick text.
I just have to see you again, it said, you are just so wonderful. Such good company, so friendly, appealing and nice. Is that an option? I leave in a day’s time; can we arrange to meet tomorrow. And he signed off with a row of hearts and kisses. He called her darling. Told her how wonderful the evening had been. Like magic he said.
The following morning Rose answered and said she would love to be out with him for the day and see the local sights. She had Windsor Castle as an idea, a quaint town, the magnificence of the castle itself and the long walkway leading up to it.
She got up, showered and dressed quickly, having a coffee and croissant for breakfast and had just cleaned her teeth as the doorbell rang. He was early. Rose felt a moment of apprehension, she had not said one word to Julie about their dinner date or that he was coming here this morning. Should she have done so? Don’t be ridiculous she thought, we are going out, perfectly normal, and opened the door. He looked even more handsome in tight blue jeans, a crisp white shirt and in the hallway, took her into his arms at once, kissing her passionately. He told her how much he had missed her. Rose was puzzled, it was only a number of hours since they had been apart. She offered him coffee, but he thanked her politely. Let’s get going, he said, I want to have a perfect day with you. They set off in his flash hire car and drove to Windsor. Parked easily which was incredible as normally you could not find a space anywhere, wandered around the quaint shops and had morning cappuccino coffees at the local bakery, with a delicious flaky pastry. Sweet toothed Rose could never resist.
Then, they wandered to the long walkway leading up to the castle which looked even more magical today. Holding hands, or his arm protectively around her shoulders, stopping every now and again for a special kiss. Rose was in heaven. He looked as if he felt the same. They just blended well together, chatting away as if they had been life-long friends. Well a bit more than that. Rosie could not believe it if she was honest. Here she was, having a wonderful exciting time, after being cooped up at home for months, with the most handsome man imaginable. She knew he was, every woman who passed them, gave him that typical head to toe, sexy glance.
She told him about her marriage, her divorce, her son and her grandchild. He told her about the loss of his parents when he was young, a dreadful relationship he had had with some ‘crazy woman’ as he called her and had decided that he was never going to have a relationship with anyone again, until Rose came along and had stolen his heart. She blushed and gushed at his romantic words, feeling like a princess who lived in the castle.
They had a typical pub lunch in the gardens and then wandered along the River Thames at Laleham, somewhere Rose knew well from her childhood. She showed him the village where she had lived as a child, the school she had gone to. Apart from it being a trip down memory lane for her, she wanted to share it with him.
At around 7pm they arrived back at Rose’s quaint cottage style house. So beautifully English, he remarked. Rose was proud of her well-kept lawn and colorful borders. Honeysuckle trailed over the front door eluding its heady scent as she turned the key. Was he going to go, or should she invite him to stay? There was never an answer as he scooped her up into his arms and took her upstairs to the bedroom. And Rose let him. She wanted him now, every single inch of that well-trained body. He slipped the straps off her shoulders and slowly removed all of her clothes, muttering appreciative comments about how beautiful she was.
She removed his shirt, allowing her hands to linger on his chest, which was in one word, just perfect, the tight 8 pack across his stomach and undid his jeans. They laid back on the bed, completely naked. Rose thanked God in her mind that she had done a thorough de-fuzz job as his hands slid gently between her thighs, and kissing her breasts and lips again and again, he made his way slowly down. Rose moaned softly, she had missed this for such a long time and he was obviously a very skilled lover as he knew exactly how and what to touch to make her long for him even more.
Rose came back to reality, it had actually been 10 days now since he had gone back to Madrid and in that time and whenever possible they had texted, and video called with one another. He had sent her amazing photos, from the air, during landing and arrival and departures, from a view she had never had the privilege to see from the cockpit.
She closed the patio doors and locked them, as they were in for a storm. Thank goodness Rose thought, that hot weather had made her fatigued, she did not want to do anything apart from talk to Orlando when she could. They spoke of many things on the text, or recorded audio messages, but one thing was always central, their desire for one another.
A few moments ago, it had been yet another hot sultry evening, not even a slight breeze. The sun had set but the sky had a strange yellow glow. Like the flickering flames of a fire. The wind picked up and within seconds, jagged shards of lightening filled the skies. It lit it up with a flash of white electrical light. Rumbles of approaching thunder were in the distance. Then heavy raindrops began to fall and lashed the windows. It was just a typical summer storm after the tropical heat. It stopped as suddenly as it had begun. The flag in her garden hung limp and lifeless.
Suddenly she heard his voice like a whisper on the breeze. ‘Come to me’ he said. It took her literally seconds to join him. She slid into his bed, between the cool cotton sheets. His warm naked body felt soft and inviting. She took her hand in his. ‘You are here’ he murmured softly half asleep. ‘Of course,’ she replied.
He lay his head on her shoulder, feeling her arm around him, the closeness he so desired. Gently his hands caressed her breasts, kissing her neck gently. She turned to face him, as their lips met. A warm passionate kiss as his tongue found hers.
His soft voice whispered in her ear. I asked an angel to come and guard you, but the angel replied: there is no need for angels to guard angels. ‘You are my angel.’ Rose smiled asking herself if he truly understood what he has just said.
Have you like me, noticed that virtually everyone at the moment has a ‘short fuse’. It takes just a simple comment or observation and people literally explode about things before your eyes. Is it because everyone is feeling so frustrated about the events surrounding Covid-19? Is it because we cannot tolerate the idea that we are restricted in what we do?
This could be a possible excuse.
Yes, of course at first, we were all alarmed and even scared, as this virus raged across the world claiming so many victims and, in the beginning, we really took note of rules and regulations. But after a while people forget, become lax and eventually stop bothering at all. Always thinking the standard thought: I am ok, and it will not affect me. This is partly true but once you become oblivious to said rules, you become careless and do things without paying any attention whatsoever to things like social distancing. It has all become a bit of a bind now and people literally cannot be bothered. That is human nature. Unfortunately.
But what worries me that people seem to have become so intolerant. As I began this blog, often a simple word of comment sends people into a complete rage where they stand swearing and shouting. I can think of a couple of examples.
Last Sunday morning I was walking the dog. Previously I have had some problems with another dog in the village who bit mine when he was a puppy. The two dogs dislike one another a lot and we agreed (a long time ago) that the best thing was to avoid one another. So, there I was coming back from my early morning walk and in the distance, I could see the ‘dreaded dog and owner’ approaching towards me. I was just about to turn into my road and instead of them stopping and waiting for me to move away, they continued on. End result my dog pulled really hard on the lead, nearly breaking my wrist (which is sprained and painful) and the two dogs getting into a fight. Now is there is one thing you must never do is try and get between two fighting dogs. So, you are virtually helpless and it’s really hard to get them apart. I was so grateful to a neighbor who came to my rescue and separated them, but not before a German tourist had tried to intervene and was kicking my dog (stupid man as if that is going to help?). But I was subject to a barrage of swearing and shouting and some really nasty comments just before said person with the horrid dog was later sitting in the front pew at the local church for the morning service. Yes, right really Christian, I don’t think. Even some friend of theirs got involved and stopped in her car, wound down the window and gave me a right mouthful too. Great and all of this early Sunday morning. I explained to her that I have to be careful walking the dog something I have not done for two years, because of a hip and knee replacement and that we had agreed a long time ago to give one another the space to move away to avoid confrontations like this. I must say this person did apologize, but it illustrates my point perfectly, people have such a short fuse at the moment, they go completely over the top. Even if in fact it is none of their damned business! Or its something they know nothing about but still feel inclined to voice their opinion.
Another incident this week was at a major hospital in one of the bit cities here. The entrance is a big circulating door and there are about 20 signs saying that only two people are allowed into each section of the door at the same time because of …. Yes, The Corona Rules! When I remarked to two people that it might be better to wait, I was again subject to a barrage of swearing and shouting. What the hell is the matter with people? Are the few seconds that they have to wait going to make that much of a difference. I don’t think so. Do you?
Again, this incredible lack of any form of empathy or tolerance and I find myself asking the question over and over again: why?? The thing is that I take notice and allow others their space, so why is it so hard for them?? I don’t have the answers. Yes, we are all in the incredible fast-moving rat race constantly, but don’t you agree with me by now that we have had our wake-up call (with Covid-19) and isn’t it time to re-evaluate??
I think so and I have done that. I have like many sensible people too, realized that all the hurry and speed in the world is basically not going to make any difference whatsoever apart from the fact that I might be late for something. Weaving in and out of lanes in rush hour traffic and speeding is not going to get me there faster. If I wanted to be on time, I should have left earlier maybe? Pushing and shoving is not going to get me in or out of a building any quicker and I do have the time to stand and wait. I find this respectful to others who do make the effort don’t you? And standing there, swearing and shouting has zero effect! Apart from the fact if you are on the receiving end, you just come to the conclusion that they are very antisocial and not actually worth the time of day at all.
I just don’t get it because normally in times of a crisis people usually join together in some sort of unity and this virus seems to have left a lot of people (and perhaps I should be so bold as to write the majority) with an attitude of enormous ego and zero tolerance. And then I ask myself, do they seriously think that this is important in the current situation.
It’s like all the fuss people have made about the fact that they HAVE to go on holiday. So, once the rules were cleared and people were given more space to travel, they literally flocked like a herd to sheep to popular resorts across the world. In Europe this has led to complete overcrowding on beaches, boulevards, cafes, restaurants and parks. The result is of course, just like an idiot could have predicted, that major cities are now going into lockdown and certain countries (well here in Europe) have gone back into Code Orange or even Red because the ‘virus’ is rearing its head once more. Are you surprised? I am not? Nothing on this earth would have got me on a plane, where you are packed in like sardines in a tin, face mask or not, off to a holiday destination. I am much happier to stay at home and amuse myself in my own surroundings. Funny thing is, here in The Netherlands, a lot of people who normally would have gone off abroad have stayed in their own country and realized how lovely it actually is!!! And I am not going to get on my soapbox and talk about the football, festivals, events, demonstrations and such like.
But isn’t it time that people actually stopped and thought properly? I think so and stop all this totally unnecessary ‘short fuse behavior’? What is the point? Honestly? Absolutely none!
I hope those of you who read this blog, will have a serious think about what I have written. To be honest I am so fed up with it, which means that I prefer to be at home, in my own space and I choose not to be subject to anymore verbal abuse by anyone. Get real people!
Treat others in a way you would like to be treated too!
Criticism is not something anyone likes. It can be very hurtful and unjust and even untrue. But people are prone to criticize about virtually everything these days and often we all become a ‘victim’ to it. We either get the blame for something we did not do, when someone who is protecting their own back, uses us as a ‘scapegoat’ to cover up for their mistakes or they find something to criticize you to make you feel smaller.
The thing is first of all to remind yourself that criticism is often a mirror. A person mirrors their issues and shortcomings at you. And then the best way to deal with it is to allow the mirror to do its own work and send the negativity straight back.
Criticism is often a way or rejecting someone. A lot of people will resonate with this. It’s often easier to find fault with things people do wrong than to compliment them for the things they do right. It is a form of insecurity when you constantly feel the need to criticize others. ‘Passing the buck’ is the easy way out for a lot of people instead of them taking the time to have a think about what they themselves are not doing just right.
It is a tricky subject because many factors contribute to criticism. Think about jealousy for starters. When people are jealous of you, they seem to find being critical a way of projecting their own lack. It is not fair, but many things in life are not anyway.
Tolerance is also something that can lead to criticism. When people lack tolerance, they will almost always try to mask it by criticizing someone else. It does not matter what exactly but just think about this: it’s the easy way out. By masking your own insecurity, you criticize someone else. Easy!
Often criticism is something which we can see as an expression of disapproval either on someone or something, based on the faults or mistakes perceived by the person who criticizes.
So, what is the trick to avoid criticism. Well, there is not one really, but a lot can depend on you. If you make up your mind that you always follow your own heart and do the things you want to do, irrespective of what others say, positive or negative. Of course, positive comments give you a boost, but negative ones tend to ‘take the wind out of your sails’. But as I said above, often those who criticize you about things are usually just showing their own shortcomings. As I said that is the easy way. The best thing then it ‘to duck’ when they throw it in your direction knowing in all certainly that you have done nothing wrong, you actually can’t because any mistake is a learning curve anyway, but not being a receptive for unwarranted criticism by someone else. Then it’s a good idea to let the comments wash over you and pay no attention to it. Paying attention only gives energy to the words. Reacting too. If you don’t react then the conversation has come to an end and you have the choice to walk away. Or not?
Another way to deal with criticism is maybe to say to someone that their comments are unjust. If they are, say that exactly. But remember people (including you) are allowed to make mistakes so if you have done something wrong and they criticize you for it, just say: Yes, you are right, sorry. Then the energy is taken right out of their words. Then you don’t have to subject yourself to a torrent of comments if you don’t feel like it.
Criticism is a part of our daily lives, because let’s be honest, someone somewhere always has something to criticize another about. But looking behind the reason why they feel that need is the clue and that is often their own vulnerability. The fact that they are lacking something in their lives and cannot be bothered to make an effort to change things.
And now I will let my friend take over once more to finish off this blog …
‘Haters try to expose what’s wrong with you, because they are jealous of everything that’s right about you. There are two types of people. Those who hate their life and do something about it and those who hate their life and don’t do anything about it. Which type are you?
You cannot expect to stay on the right path if you are walking away with the wrong people. Some people make themselves miserable when they can rather make themselves happy and everyone else happy. Sometimes those who act the happiest are the ones going through the most.
I admire people who choose to shine even after all the storms they have been through. Some people come into your life and you just know that you will never be able to replace them if they left.
When the wrong people leave your life, the right things start. Sometimes the people we fear the most should be the ones closest to us. To be around those who enhance your life is called success. To enhance the lives around you is called significance. Be with people who always show you your strength and hopes and not waste time with people who constantly remind you of your failures and mistakes. Don’t chase people. Be you and do your own thing and work hard. The right people who belong in your life will come to you and stay.
Successful people build each other. They motivate, inspire and push each other. Unsuccessful people just hate, blame and complain.
The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most hurt people are the wisest and the people who don’t expect from others are the happiest. People who are truly worthy would never see any good in making others feel unworthy of themselves.
People are not inclined to take great challenges just settle for something else. You spend your whole life trying to fit in and when you finally do, you realize that you are surrounded by the very people who held you down.
There isn’t a person anywhere that isn’t capable of doing more than they think. It’s so ironic that it took so much time for people to realize your real value. They come knocking right when you have finally closed your door.’
Any one final piece of advice, if you are subject to unjust criticism, just rise above it.