Well last week was, I think, one of the most innovating in my life. As the title says, never a dull moment.
Monday I was having coffee and cake with the Mayor for my Dutch naturalization, Tuesday doing filming for the local TV news and Wednesday having an operation in Catharina Hospital in Eindhoven.
Don’t think you can have much more variation all in the space of one week do you?
Monday was a special day and a lovely moment. Quite moving I thought and it was extra nice being there with my daughter and granddaughter, so we have some lovely photos for her book for later. Of course she was oblivious to everything going on at only 7 weeks old. But stealing the show of course as she is too cute!
Had such fun on Tuesday too, doing the filming for the News and also a radio interview. With all the talk about Brexit, it is a trending topic of course. I don’t know if any of you reading this have ever done this sort of work before, but the humour is in the repetition. Often because they are filming and you are all wired up with a microphone, you sometimes for no apparent reason, mispronounce words and then have to do a Take 2, Take 3, Take 4 and so on. The problems happen when you have to remember were your legs crossed, how were you holding you cup of tea? Not to mention the moments when you get the giggles, all about nothing. A just a simple glance to one another, sets you off again.
For those of you who have seen the film on my Facebook page, the most hilarious bit was with the flag. That was my gift from the Council, a Dutch flag, which I personally thought was a really good idea. Raising the flag, in quite windy conditions, without it blowing into your face or sliding down the pole again, is a recipe for laughter. But the end was the funny bit, trying to look serious whilst tears or laughter are in your eyes, look sensible and thinking about this being a special moment. Several takes later, we finally made it. When I look back at it, it still makes me smile.
And a huge response from everyone who suddenly saw me on the News or heard me talking on the radio.
Wednesday was a bit of a drama day. Another operation. Not only was this a very tricky operation as neither I, nor the orthopaedic surgeon knew beforehand, if it would be successful. But the idea was to try to remove a surgical pen, which had been placed way back in 2003 when I broke my lower leg in 4 places. It has been there for 16 years! Enough said and sorry for those of you who are squeamish.
Having had several operations now, I can keep myself really calm and cool and the epidural is fine. You know there are just some people who are absolutely brilliant at this. However, there was a small miscommunication with the Pre-Operative Screening and they had not written down that I wanted to have complete sedation. In other words ‘knock out’, I don’t want to know or hear anything once they start. Happy to chat on until the last moment, but I did not want to hear any drilling, sawing or hammering. You would not believe the table of instruments, before they begin , you start to wonder if you are taking part in one of those DIY programmes on TV.
Also you feel movement, half of your body feels like a senseless breached whale, but you feel it if they move you about. It all took two hours, double the time they thought but when I heard that they were finishing off and clearing up, my orthopaedic surgeon, suddenly produced the ‘offending pin’ above the screen and said ‘surprise’! To be honest, I did not know whether to laugh or cry. This piece of surgical steel has been imbedded in my leg for 16 years and now its out. My God! And you would not believe how heavy it is either!
Huge compliment to Remco van Wensen and his team, because it was truly ‘mission accomplished’ and when all this has healed, he can place a new knee joint. Can’t think about all that just yet.
Back in my room, the pain was really intense and no matter how many painkillers they gave me, the three wounds bled profusely, completely soaking the plaster and in the end, back down to theatre again when I had more morphine and ketamine through my IV drip, and eventually the best thing ever: a what they call – block sedation into the major nerve in my leg and hallelujah I didn’t either feel the prick of a very large needle, but the pain disappeared like snow before the sun. Bliss.
I slept restlessly that night, awake every 15 minutes or so, having the weirdest of dreams and about people standing by my bed. Probably on some sort of ‘high’ from everything they had given me during the afternoon and early evening. The other patients in the room said I was chatting on all night! Sorry.
The next morning, they replaced the plaster cast, which is a temporary one for the next two weeks, then another one for another 4. 6 weeks in plaster in total. I am incredibly restricted in my movement, have a special bed in my lounge, a wheelchair, a walking frame, crutches, a stool for in the shower, a bed pan and enough tablets to start my own pharmacy. The theory behind the phenomena pain when it concerns bones and nerves, is that you have to keep the level up and not wait until you are in pain. Sounds logical and I have to keep a record of the times and what I have taken every day. Believe me the list is really long!
In some or other way, every day is different. I was home on Thursday evening fairly late, Friday washed out, but Saturday noticed that I could suddenly lift the plastered leg back on to the bed. Today (Sunday) is not a good day, so giving my attention to writing this blog, and the simple rule of thumb for the next 6 weeks is REST.
My hospital like bed is strategically placed, so that when the weather gets better and they are promising lovely spring weather and temperatures up around 20oC that I can move in one straight line, bed and all, into the garden. Or what I really mean is that someone can wheel me outside!
You know life is sometimes a bit like the weather, some days are darker, cloudy and a threat of rain, but literally behind each and every cloud, there is sunshine and a ray of light and hope.
That is what I am focussing on, the hope that in a few days time, I will be getting stronger and better. Like Frank Spencer used to say in the TV series: ‘Some Mothers do have Them’ – every day and in every way I get better and better.
Well everyone, next Monday (8thApril) I have been invited to attend my own naturalization ceremony with the local Mayor. Coffee and cakes and then the big moment when I become a citizen of the kingdom of The Netherlands.
The literal meaning of the word is: the admittance of a foreigner (me then the British citizen) to the citizenship of a country.
Also, which is rather nice, there are two of us next Monday, both ‘Brexit’ people as the invitation states. So someone else going through the exact same procedure as me.
After the ceremony we will then be eligible to apply for a Dutch passport and still retain our British ones. Good.
My favourite dictionary goes on to say: the naturalization process can be intimidating? What? Why? I actually have met the local mayor who is a very nice person and I cannot imagine for one moment that a thought of ‘intimidation’ will come up in my mind.
We will see how it all goes, taking my daughter with me, only available family member to accompany me and my granddaughter as well.
And all because of a complete no effect referendum two years ago. I have seen that several other more ‘prominent’ Brits like me here, have taken the same decision, because I no longer believe that there is a single person alive on this planet who has a solution to the ‘stale mate’ about Brexit. So much has been written on this subject and yes I understand completely all about British pride and their longing to once more be an independent island. Probably if we were all totally honest people in other EC countries would prefer to leave the fiasco known as the EEC.
The thing that struck me on the endless reports in the newspapers, on the radio, on television is the lack of tolerance political leaders have for one another. Doesn’t really matter which country you are referring to or how high they are in the EEC ranks, but I seem to remember years ago, that the sole purpose of forming an EEC was to create a common community bond on many facets. Listening to other EC politicians and in particular to the totally useless PM for The Netherlands, Mark Rutte, it amazed me how outspoken he was about the Brits and ‘that they must just get on with it’. Excuse me; I seem to remember that the Dutch King and Queen whilst in Buckingham Palace were both talking to QE II about the close relationship between the two countries. Is it me? Or do you agree? This is just what I mean.
Tolerance, help, advice, suggestions, compassion, and empathy you name it but forget it. Just let them all get on with it!
Yes, there is frustration that grown up people cannot under any circumstances seem to agree about anything. Thankfully the Speaker at the House of Commons, John Bercow is the only person who puts a smile on your face when he says one more time ‘the no’s have it, the no’s have it!’
Each and every single vote on whatever compromise ends in yet another dead lock. I truly believe that they will not sort this out next century, let alone this one. We shall see.
Another word, which is in my mind today, is: Justice. I think I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs about being taken to court about my house. Not the one I live in now, but one I sold way back in 2013. Yes, 6 years ago.
This is far too long a story to tell in one simple blog, because to be honest I could write a book about it. Before the actual sale and all the legal ‘kerfuffle’ went through, the new buyers had a building survey done. The result of said survey was that the house, including 3 extensions was perfectly in order and based on this, they went ahead and bought it.
End of story you may think! Sadly no!
A year later there seemed to be a problem involving cracks and we were immediately threatened with a very offensive legal letter that it was basically our fault and large sums of money were mentioned because it had to be repaired and was spoiling their enjoyment in the house. What a lot of nonsense.
Let’s just step back: Justice is about the quality of being fair and reasonable. The administration of the law or authority to maintain same. You are all very familiar I am sure with the so-called statue of Justice, I am sure. A woman blindfolded holding a upright sword in one hand and scales in the other. In other words, a person, who does not take sides and bring the justice into balance for both parties.
So to continue: years have passed by and so many people have done surveys, that I now have two completely full Lever Arch files of the correspondence. In fact, it is absolutely impossible even if you wade through the masses of reports to find a conclusion. As a writer I actually consider myself (and please correct me if I am wrong) that I possess the ability to create a fairly short concise summary about something! Well I try to at least.
The whole thing boiled down to the fact that in 2000 the third and final extension to the house had, as is normal here in The Netherlands, been underpinned with special supporting poles. It is completely normal practice here (because let’s face it more than half the country is under sea level) and yes of course, I did not do the work myself, it was all done and carried out under very strict control by the local council too, by a well-known builder and several sub-contractors.
In some or other way, and for a multitude of reasons, rain, storm, extreme dry summers, harsh winters, a tree close by, the vibration of traffic in the road and so on and so, something has happened in the ground that has caused some form of subsidence meaning that the whole extension is gradually pulling forwards away from the original house and subsiding.
Let’s be honest, this entire planet is constantly moving and under the effects of all the elements.
In the final technical report someone said that the underpinning poles were not long enough? And that could be the reason for the subsidence.
But please someone tell me how do you compare a situation in 2000 to one 18 years later when the report was written. Or even better, how could the man who put in the original supporting poles know, 18 years ago that the ground would have moved for whatever reason. He is not a bloody psychic!
The upshot is, that is has to be repaired and that is going to cost money. A lot of money!
Yesterday was the day; the ‘official’ hearing in court. Well for those of you who might know the building in The Hague, this has to be the most depressing building on this planet. Situated on the edge of a busy motorway leading into the city (parking impossible) and after the usual heavy security checks you come into a place with long dark corridors, low almost claustrophobic, ceilings and rooms going off in all direction. It is a mass of lawyers, wearing their black frocks and white bibs and people waiting and looking very harassed. The energy is incredibly negative and probably for a good reason, as this is stressful even for the toughest.
There was so much paperwork, so after several sessions of stopping the ‘hearing’ we were almost pushed into making some form of settlement.
The thought sprung to my mind that perhaps way back in 2014 if the buyers had contacted us directly this would have been solved years ago, because we would have of course contacted the man who originally put in the poles and he would undoubtedly have been insured to put it right if necessary.
So all this Justice and hours and hours spent by lawyers and believe me the buyer’s lawyer was awful and really someone who put shame to the profession (and yes I hope you read this blog Mr. Meeusen) Constantly interrupting, almost shouting from one side of the room to the other and so on and glaring aggressively all the time.
Then back into the dismal corridor again so that a sort of ‘bartering’ session begins, almost makes you feel that you are at the market and bidding on the price of food. We make a suggestion; they come back with their offer, to and fro and then stalemate. No deal.
The judge stepped in and said: ‘split the difference’ and within minutes the clerk is typing up some sheet to be signed and that’s it. All done and shut up and pay up.
I am left with the idea this morning that this is all so totally unfair. I mean how can the judicial system work when (as an example) someone who is drunk knocks down and kills a family (two grandparents and a small child) out on their bikes cycling and gets a sort of punishment helping in the community of a number of hours and then we get penalized heavily financially to pay for the repairs for something we have not done or in any way been responsible for. You tell me! We knew nothing about. Just acted in good faith at the time, that the extension had been done properly and under supervision and everything was perfect until 2014, one year after the fact we were no longer owners.
Sorry Mrs Justice, you may have been blindfolded but your scales yesterday were certainly not in balance at all. My faith in the system has gone. Take off the blindfold and pay more attention and make sure that judges are fairer. That the final adjudication is right. I will only say that I am grateful and as I always say, there is always something positive in even the darkest depths, as from tomorrow we will no longer have anything to do with the buyers (thank God) and the chapter is closed. Even if the entire house falls into a pile of rubble when they start the repair work, it is no longer anything to do with us (big sigh of relief).
Obviously for now, this is the end of me having my ‘little carp on’ about it and it will be continued. We will HAVE to pay the money and then try in some or other way try to get it compensated from the people who built it in the first place. Don’t hold your breath! I am not either. Just feeling nauseous, that the so-called fair judicial system is such crap.
I want to end with a smile so here goes: The no-no’s have it; the no-no’s have it!
Another new week begins and suddenly this word has come up in my mind. I have a really long list of things to actually do today, but cannot resist writing a few words. Because, be honest, how many of you reading this can say: Stress? I don’t have any stress!
We all do!
I believe each and every one of us, at this moment, has some form of stress, so how do you cope, or even better how do you get rid of it?
Stress is, unfortunately, a sign of our times. The pace of life is so incredibly fast and we are all expected not only to keep up with it, not fall behind, but more important take on more and more pressure! And not complain about it either. Just get on with it!
So what is stress? Stress actually has a number of meanings and interpretations.
The noun STRESS actually means pressure or tension exerted on a material object. And get this; the degree of stress is measured in units of force per unit area. What are they talking about?
This is a much better explanation: Stress is a mental or emotional state of strain and/or tension, resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.
Now a lot of us can relate to that I am sure. The thing is to my mind is why do we allow ourselves to be so pressurized? In the main, a lot of people are afraid of just missing out. We feel obliged to keep up with literally everything. The idea of going off social media for 24 hours almost horrific to lots of people.
A big fact of life is that we are subject to stress, yes all of us, whether we like it or not. But it is up to you, whether you literally succumb or take the time to deal with it. In other words, make choices for change.
Stress can take many forms, worry about money for example. When you think that money is only really a form of energy exchange, then perhaps you may be able to look at it differently. Lack of money, or not having enough is a sign of the world we live in today. But what then happens to the lucky few who either have loads (so no worries on that score) or the people who say, win the lottery? Even lottery winners have stress! Money is a stigma really. In our world ‘money’ is just a digital substance now. Many of us rarely have ‘old fashioned cash’ we tend to pay with our smart phones or cards. Banks as we knew them, maybe 10-20 years ago, no longer exist. Well here in the Netherlands, a lot are being shut, as everything is now done online. Long gone are the days when wages were paid weekly in little brown envelopes and people put money aside for different things. As I type I can still see a metal tin box my grandfather had when he put coins in the slots for gas, electric, rent etc. Now that everything is digital do you think we have all lost the conception of money in its cash form? Now it is just an online figure?
Stress can also be health related. When fear of health comes into the equation and health is something you cannot buy, then stress is the obvious result. But even then, depending on what your illness is, or a word I really think says it better is: dis-ease. Even then you can take action too. Literally your body is telling you in the form of dis-ease, that something is not right. I am not going to generalize here on life threatening illnesses. But did you know that people around the ages of 25-35 have more burnouts than ever before. This is the age when you should really be in the prime of your life. Young, energetic, full of life, starting out in life and yet this is the age group most affected by stress. Because a burnout is just a trendy term for stress.
So how can you cope with stress? Well one way, if it concerns something work related. Either you are expected to work all hours, or because of lack of funding or cut-backs, forced to work more than the normal average day; what can you do? well one thing is to speak out about it. If you don’t say anything, no one will ever know that you are feeling either overwhelmed or under such pressure that you are reaching the stage that you cannot cope. A lot of people don’t say anything and keep soldiering on regardless, until the pressure becomes so intense, they break. Not literally of course.
I was thinking about the factor stress in my own life. Because I have it too. At the moment, I am feeling under stress on a number of matters. First of all I have a court case coming up at the beginning of April. Being taken to court by people concerning the sale of my house nearly 6 years ago, this coming September. I won’t go into all the (boring) details, but these people have been constantly going on and on about things that are not true. They have a very aggressive lawyer, who come what may and to whatever expense, thinks he has grounds to take action. My own lawyer disagrees. But you can well imagine after all the correspondence, which is a big full lever arch file now, it is stressful!! Often I find that when I wade through the paperwork yet again, that the best thing for me is to try and make a conclusion in writing. One short paragraph that sums it all up. And I can’t. I cannot find anything in this mass of paperwork that I can conclude about anything. So take a deep breath and then write down how I ‘feel’ about it. Well, hardly dare to write in this blog what that is, but I try and stay calm and keep to facts. In some or other way, just writing down a few lines, brings it all back into perspective. And the pressure of stress about it is relieved.
Also I have a medical issue coming up and a two-phase operation. I have written about this in another blog, but it is still hanging in the air and has been for the entire month of March and I am waiting for the date. I could worry about this literally each and every day, but I don’t. I just let it go and trust that at exactly the right moment, the date will come and I will just go. Of course I can give myself sleepless nights of worry, but I don’t. I just accept it as a fact, I can’t do anything about it, just think, experts will take care of me and when their work is done, and I will take over and recover. Simple as that really. Although I know that a lot of people have terrible fear of not only hospitals but also operations.
Stress is something you can give into or not. That is the way I look at it. Of course I have days when it all ‘gets a bit too much’ and then I make the point of doing something to distract me. In other words something that takes my mind off things and gives me something else to do.
It may all sound ‘easier said than done’, but I come back to something I often say to other people and that is ‘mind set’. If you can get your mind organized, then the stress diminishes. Concentrate on something completely different, it does not matter what, and then you suddenly find that you have not thought about it for a couple of hours, or the whole day, or a whole week. You have perhaps even made the ‘stress’ go away. Why? Because you have not allowed yourself to be ‘overwhelmed’ by it.
You can drive yourself literally crazy if you allow stress to get the upper hand. That is the way I feel about it. I have a lot of friends undergoing stress at this moment and I give them all the same advice and this is a small but important statement:
You can do anything, but you don’t have to do everything. In Dutch we say ‘alles mag, niets moet’ which literally translated ‘everything can, nothing must’.
Often, when stress is part of your life, the best way to deal with things is to not put any more pressure on yourself. Set yourself small tasks and don’t try and do everything all in one day. I do that during a recovery process. I am good at that, I know, but when I am building myself up again, I don’t go out training for the marathon all on the first day. Start slowly, taking small paces and then build up. That is a way to attack stress too.
First of all acknowledge it, talk about it with people close to you, talk to employers and colleagues. If you do the latter, often good ideas come up where the pressure is lifted off everyone. Working as a team and not as an individual often gives solutions too. But again this all starts with small steps leading to bigger strides.
You can allow stress to take over, or you can make up your mind to do something about it. Even driving to and from work every day in an endless traffic jam, is stressful. You could talk about changing hours or working from home to avoid the rush hour. Obviously in some jobs this is not a possibility. But if you don’t say, no one will know.
Stopping stress becoming a part of your life, to such an extent that you feel no longer at ease with yourself (hence the splitting of the word dis-ease), begins with you. Acknowledging it and then doing something about it. If you don’t a ‘burn out’ is the next stage.
It is a fact of life at the moment that more and more people are stressed out. Time for a change don’t you think? Make a choice; do something, anything to start the ball rolling to get rid of it!
Images: Google Images (acknowledging any copyright).
Yesterday I was hunting around in my files trying to find some translation work I had done in 2017 and I came across this article which I wrote for a very special friend of mine. I don’t think I have ever published this before on my feed (sorry if I have).
How do you deal with karma? And what is the difference between karma and dharma. In other words: Fate and Destiny. You may all be thinking this is the same, but believe me it is not. Fate is Karma and Destiny is Dharma.
Please read on ….
In these fast moving times in which we live one of the things that I have been thinking to write about recently is: How to cope with Karma?
First of all: what is karma exactly? This is a word from the ancient Sanskrit language (Hinduism or Buddhism) that literally translated means ‘action’ or ‘deed’ or ‘how you deal with something’. This is an interesting thought and people believed that this is related to physical as well as mental action. In the ancient beliefs people thought that karma was something you would come up against in a future lifetime by means of a reincarnation.
So, on that score, what is karma? Is it something physical or mental that is literally passed down through generations of our DNA? Medically this sounds the right idea when you think that every human being (and all species too) is formed, by half of the mother (egg) and half of the father (sperm). The fusion of the two literally mean that the genes are mixed and passed on down into another generation. And so the equation splits down and down, time and time again.
If you look back over the past 150 years and think how many generations are there then in your personal family tree? Literally how much has passed down in the form of character traits, or even literal errors in the double helix of the DNA (by this I mean hereditary disease or how this word is sometimes split into dis-ease). Food for though isn’t it?
To my mind karma is passed down and all about actions taken, either in the past, present or ones to be taken in the future. But on the other hand, dharma is about choices we make during our lifetime. It is confusing isn’t it?
When I look back on my own personal life, I see many traits (good and bad) from my own parents, both of whom are no longer alive. But to this day, there are sometimes still traces of said traits in the actions I take, but how can I rid myself of any karma that does not fit into the way I literally think about life at my present age? Obviously this is a complete different point of view than say when I was a child. Not to mention the huge changes that take place daily on all walks of life itself.
I know from experience that dealing with karma is something that takes a huge amount of effort and over the years of my adulthood I have been busy with this. To such an extent that I often wondered – have I done enough to clear the dents and bruises in my DNA which obviously I have passed on to my own children too. It’s strange when you look at your children when they are grown up, in my case my daughter has a lot of my physical appearance but my son has my character. Sometimes I even recognise things in them going back to say the generation of my grandparents. So to my mind there can be no doubt whatsoever that experiences, actions and dealing with things (i.e. Karma) is literally passed down from one generation to the next.
People over the last hundred years or so have been through a lot. 2 World Wars (and not to mention the unrest which is still going on today in some countries). Emancipation between men and women. A hundred years ago, women were not even allowed to vote! In some countries women are still considered to be the lesser race and man still dictates their life totally (in the Middle Eastern countries for example) where for the first time ever women are being allowed to drive a car!
One of the obvious ways to work on clearing any unwanted karma finds itself in many forms of spiritual work, like meditation, workshops, learning alternative methods, but I ask myself is it really possible to wipe the slate entirely clean on the one hand and is it right to do that? We still need the good traits don’t we? What would happen if the cleanse became total and thus blank? We would lose some part of our true identity?
One of the biggest issues I have had to deal with in my own personal life was that of my father and my relationship with him. Thinking back to his own life, I realised that a lot of the problems I had with him were to do with his own karma and the way he had been brought up. He was controlling and very strict indeed and often we would clash on a lot of matters. One thing that I personally found very hard to deal with was the fact that he never thought I (or anyone else for that matter) was good enough. Also I felt during my childhood years that all the love and care I received only came from my mother and her family, despite the fact that I really got on well with my parental grandparents. One trait that I know I received from him and this was a good one, (obviously there are good ones too) was that like him, I am a giver. I prefer to give rather than receive.
It came to such a climax that I decided to literally move to Holland in 1977. It was to put a big distance between my father and me because the way he treated me just created more and more issues in me not to mention the havoc and they began to take a hold of me basically because I wanted to do it all differently. I just needed to actually make my own mistakes and learn from them without any criticism or comment and to become my own person and lead my own life without any form of control. I became unsure of myself, had so many doubts about the way I dealt with things and it was seriously time for changes and most important, making my own choices! It was the right decision to take distance and the North Sea in between us felt safe!
In the end and quite a number of years later, I did some really serious work on releasing myself from all these issues and working on literally cleansing and flushing away all this unwanted karma that had been passed on to me. I did not ask for it after all. It felt so much lighter once I had got rid of it, but at the same time, I came to terms with the philosophy that of course there were good things too and I only needed to just acknowledge that in my father, once I realized that his karma was after all passed down to him from his parents. Again taking into account the idea that children were brought up very differently then, than they are today. Perhaps he was just a very lonely child? I think he was basically. With all his unwanted issues and karma too? Of course. Once the blame had been removed it all felt so much better.
The way that I did this work was with Sacred Geometry. A friend of mine (Janosh) makes beautiful holograms and it was using this, as a visual aid, and meditation on a daily basis (I find this easy in the mornings to either set the alarm a bit earlier so that I can wake up and spend a small amount of time on a meditation, or when I go to bed at night). You don’t need to spend hours and hours meditating, merely focus on the centre of the image below. Making this into a literal physical ritual and even having a photo of the hologram on my laptop (screen) and phone (wallpaper) meant that I literally could focus on it a lot during the day. I also have the same piece of artwork hanging on the wall where I work. Doing a meditation with the aid of the hologram literally speeds up the process. I used Authenticity. That was the whole point I wanted to be the ‘authentic me’ and not a vessel of passed down karma.
It is a shamanic belief that actually performing a ritual (i.e. a physical deed) strengthens the energy immensely. Believe me it does. Working in this way and again using compassion and love, I released literally everything hanging around in my karma as unwanted spam!
The hologram Authenticity above is just one of the more than 120 available, so why don’t you have a look at his website and have a go? What have you got to lose? If you find meditating difficult pre-recorded meditations are also available, so you only have to listen to someone else talking and use your imagination.
I wonder how many people have similar issues with their past/passed generations? Virtually everyone I expect.
How many of you are reading this and thinking like I did: when I become a parent I will definitely ‘do things differently’. I know I thought this.
But at the same time I also wonder, will my children think the same one-day? Will they want to get rid of some of my own karma?
In the present times everything that we say, do, or think (‘present and future karma’) become something that will come back to us. It is almost comparing karma to God. Good deeds, thoughts or speech will be rewarded and bad deeds, thoughts or speech will be punished? Why?
Should we all literally cleanse and perhaps get rid of some of the karma that has been passed on down to us by previous generations? It is not our fault. It’s hard enough dealing with your own present issues let alone those of our entire family as well!
Really I think that karma is something where no judgment at all can take place. How can we judge the actions that others took in their own lifetime and blame each and every mistake on karma and the fact that people literally believe that karma comes back to you, in this life, or the next life?
Is this just action and reaction then? Things we do now, come back to us at a later stage? Whether you want them to or not? Or is there really a possibility to spiritually wash and cleanse away unwanted karma. I believe there is a way, whether or not I have been totally successful personally I don’t know, but I know that I have cleansed my own system from all the ‘junk’ I did not want.
Also what is important is the outcome of something you do? Something you do, in maybe all innocence, can have a huge impact on another person. Whether you meant it to or not. Could it be that you have the opportunity during your life time to work on and clear away the unwanted karma (if you like compare this to a computer, download and upgrade your DNA!). Bring your DNA in line with present times and the energy in this fast changing world. In other words a fresh start with the latest software? No one can deny that change is so fast and the energy itself moves as such a speed, we just have to do this! Actually becoming a 2.0 version of yourself?
Medically and scientifically such huge progress is now being made that is genetically possible to literally modify the DNA. This is something completely different and quite mind-blowing. Obviously to ensure that severe diseases and/or disabilities do not occur in future generations is a good thing, even going so far with genetic manipulated therapy to ensure that a future generation does not for example have cancer. This is meaningful change in my opinion.
But what if changing the DNA is almost going to point where you are either creating a clone, or that we have a choice, do we want a child with blue eyes or brown eyes, tall or short, fat or thin. This is quite weird because the whole process of creation itself is being manipulated then. The magic of creation has all come down to a laboratory and medical science?
Although I am a firm believer that it is possible to change your karma, does this go so far as to change your DNA? Probably this is going to be the case for the future. But what about all the good things in someone’s karma, are they automatically destroyed as well?
Good and bad are two sides of the same coin in fact. We all have our good traits and bad traits, and in some people it can be seriously out of balance, meaning that they undertake actions and deeds that are so awful (like murder, rape, theft etc) that they are beyond hope altogether? But we still have to think about the ‘life contract’ a person decided to take before birth. What is the effect on our karma then?
Based on the theory of what we transmit, we receive; suddenly takes on a new meaning when karma is included in the equation. What if we are sending out thoughts, which really do not belong to us, we have just ‘inherited’ them through karma? What do you then do if something comes back to you that you really don’t want to receive? Answer might be just to duck down and let it pass over you. Physically possible, but spiritually, emotionally, or with empathy? You get it back whether you like it or not? So you just have to accept what is, is? That well known phrase: ‘what goes around comes around’?
Eventually I ask myself, as the world we now know today, also becomes the past, will karma improve generally because the unity consciousness of all mankind is changing? Jung once said something along the lines of: every action is a choice, do choices literally contribute then to our consciousness and also the consciousness of mankind? I believe they do. It is up to each and every one of us to make choices and preferably the right choices, made entirely from the heart.
So what do you do if you have stuff stuck in your karma that you really don’t want? Well, the only way to make a choice to take action. If you think it will help then by all means attend sessions, workshops, lectures whatever; anything that helps you to cleanse unwanted karma. But I think there is also another way and that is to get rid of all thoughts of judgment. That is the way I did it, I stopped making judgement on my father and let it go, as simple as that. I imagined in my mind that all the things passed down onto me, were just what they were and it was really up to me to either accept some things and release others. Just ask what the things are that are no longer of any use to you as a person right here and now and release them with feelings of love. Try not to make it too complicated. Just release with feelings of love, no matter what. You will actually begin to physically feel lighter if you do. From then on, when a ‘cleansing’ has taken place, then ensure that you always make choices that are right for you. On that score it is a free world after all. The only person that controls your thoughts is you!
After all we all want to be authentic, our true self and does this start by looking at ourselves in the mirror every morning and making a pledge? Probably. Seeing ourselves for who we really are and not just an imaginary image we want to either see or just to be successful. Authenticity is an important word here.
Personally I think this is the way to cleanse karma and to take different choices and not allow yourself to just be lead and ‘follow the herd’, so to speak. Dare to say what you think and be different. By this I don’t mean that you have to tread all over others, but be firm and direct and speak your truth (gently at first is probably a good idea). In fact everyone has their own version of truth and the whole idea at the moment is going forward with love and respect for our fellow men. Ego is now totally unimportant anymore, (a lot of people might disagree with this), you need a little of it to improve and it forms the basis for your quest for more information, more facts and more opportunities. But too much ego can be dangerous and lead you to a life when you are merely performing to keep up with, or be better than the rest. Remember each and every life is a journey where you are always searching for answers and when you find them making improvement. The destination is not that important. This counts in all walks of life. That is pure growth.
If there is pain or bad karma in your personal family line, just look at it with a feeling of love and some compassion as well. Realize that it is merely something that has been passed down, is not a torch that you still have to carry blazing brightly until the end of time. You can acknowledge it and then release it with love. Love is a very important factor here as well as a form of forgiveness. Remember people a hundred years ago, lived in a totally different world than we live in 2019.
One thing that it is important to remember about karma is that it is a sort of circle.
Formed in death, re-birth, and so on and so. This is known as samsara. You have to make choices yourself to either keep some values of karma going but at the same time, release the parts you do not need. In that way, eventually the karma becomes cleansed as it is passed down to the next generation.
But all the time you are working on releasing old karma, new karma is replacing it, your personal struggles, triumphs, feelings, choices, thus the endless circle of life itself.
According to ancient Buddhist beliefs, a person on death rises above personal suffering to what is known as ‘extinguishing’. In other words: The ultimate nirvana.
The taking or making choices or actions just because, without thought for the value of same, means that the choices or actions become worthless, and just store as spam in your system. Therefore, it is really important in these times to pay attention to what you actually transmit in many ways. If there is no follow up to such thoughts then even more spam is created. Eventually the entire DNA system, which in actual fact is the backbone of your existence, becomes totally clogged up with useless information. Dis-ease is then the result. Not only disease but dis-ease too. Dis-ease means that you are basically uncomfortable being who you are.
Isn’t it worth taking some time now, before you think it is too late, to clear away any issues you have with family. We all have them. I believe that big happy families are a fairy story. It was something I always dreamt I wanted, a big happy family who really get on with one another. Yes, dream on, I think it’s virtually impossible because of the demands of society on us. However, there must be some of them somewhere.
Learn to know and understand what your personal karma is and if necessary take action but remember all the time with compassion and love. Sometimes things happen, which are not our fault and we cannot be held responsible for everything, not now or even in future generations. A mistake is in fact a learning curve.
But the thing we all can do is pay attention to this and consciously do something about it. You can start with small steps and then take bigger ones. Ensure that everything you do, is because you make a loving choice, a choice for you first and foremost and then your loved ones and family, friends, colleagues etc. It is not egoistic to think this way; it may sound so, but believe me it is not. Change really begins with you. Just the fact that you make a choice for change, then others do too and a wave of energy occurs which ripples across the globe and through many generations in time for the benefit of mankind as a whole.
Your dharma is in your own hands! Destiny is all about the choices you make!
You know that old cliché, about time going faster the older you get. Well, it’s true! I can hardly believe that it is just over nine months since my heart ablation in May 2018 and here we are 28thFebruary 2019, check up time today.
Well, to say it’s been quite an interesting time would be the understatement. Had a hip replacement too. Not that I am trying to break records by being a patient in every single department in Catharina Hospital ! Just one of those things and slowly but surely being replaced internally, so am I creating an endless life span then? Becoming the Bionic Woman!
Something else really nice has been happening too over the past 9 months culminating in the birth on the 19thFebruary of my granddaughter Reign Aurora. Nine months … we have both been busy but in different ways.
But seriously, my heart has been absolutely fine ever since the ablation. I had no side effects whatsoever. I know other people write stories about pain, heartburn symptom and such like, but it was just plain sailing as far as I was concerned. Of course it was different to have a heart finally in a normal rhythm after such a long time, but it was a special day, on all scores (which I have written about in previous blogs) and I feel that it was almost pre-destined that I would be so well. Right place, right time, right person and also an incredible trust too. That to me is always half the job done before Lukas even starts working with his expertise. The mental approach is just as important and finally being able to completely relax and allow him to take over. My favourite phrase is: ‘let go and trust’ and I did.
Still taking my medication, even though some has been halved in strength and maybe we will be talking about a change today? Now that is a funny thing, I don’t want to make any changes and I will definitely say so. Why spoil something that is apparently working well. Never change a winning team as they say. (And that is what we decided together during our discussions just to leave things as they are for the time being).
So what have I been up to these last few months, apart from two recovery processes. Well a lot to be honest. A new book recently published, The Art of Confessions and also becoming a grandparent when you suddenly realize that you are at the top of the generation ladder.
I truly believe though that recovery processes are something you yourself can influence in many ways. You can sit back and moan incessantly about the pain, the stiffness, the soreness of the wound itself, feel sorry for yourself or you can rise above it all and think well, what was damaged is now repaired, so it is an uphill curve from now on and that I can only pay attention to what my physical body tells me. No need to rush. Every day is better and better. Well that is the way I think and I do this by immersing myself into not only the physical effort of getting joints and muscles working again and keeping on the move, but also as a complete distraction, into a world of fantasy in my books, where literally everything is possible. I am not the type of person to keep pumping in the painkillers either; I know that strong opiate derivatives are great for getting rid of pain but that opium is a drug that can be addictive. So the less the better.
One thing I noticed during the physiotherapy that I have had every week for my hip is that my heart is improving all the time. Where my heart rate would rise with any effort at first, it is getting stronger like muscles do and keeping in a good steady rhythm even with more and more movement like walking the treadmill, cycling etc. It is controlled all the time because I am not there for any cardio training of course. The other people training must think it’s pathetic, the perspiration running down them and I am just walking along at my own pace on the treadmill.
But I am there for a different reason and now they know why, it’s quite a nice social moment every week with the same group.
So here I am again, 28.02.2019, with a full day of appointments starting with an ECG and then a talk to Lukas, who will now take over the blog and give you the latest final update:
I really appreciate Jill is spending her energy and her writers talent to share her positive experiences. It is my firm impression that there is a vast over-representation of bad experiences on the Internet. The majority of people being treated successfully probably do not feel the need to share this. This might negatively affect the view on healthcare, which is unfortunate, as trust between patient and physician is essential for optimal care. It requires efforts from both sides to find the best treatment and healing (in most cases). Taking active roles, by both patient and physician, by being open and honest can only take place on a basis of trust.
And the ECG was fine, blood pressure fine, heart rhythm fine. Mission accomplished.
And so our ways will part now for a year, until 2020 when I will have an Echo and another check-up. Believe me 2020 is going to be a very interesting year too! More about that another time in another blog.
It has been amazing for both of us, all the hundreds of comments you have written about this series of blogs and thank you all very much indeed for all the support and praise. The reason for us writing it was to show that everything can be so positive if you set your mind to it. Mind set is half the work!
Just a final word: incredibly proud of my cardiologist, Lukas, who is now also a Professor at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Time to be a pioneer … just as I wrote in the dedication of my book back in 2017. Lukas will now have time to think more and work less as a doctor.
Any questions you would like to ask directly to the cardiologists at Catharina, go to: www.hartvolgers.org. You need to make your own account with login password and then you can pose your personal question and you will get an answer or recommendations. Always remember if you are not happy with your own situation, you can have a second opinion and then why not got to the largest and most modern heart centre in the country?
Just before I publish this onto my website one final thing I want to say and Lukas and I talk about this each and every time. What a wonder it really is that my mitral valve is still working absolutely perfectly all these years later. (45 years to be exact in October this year). I know that I have been so incredibly lucky to have three such amazing cardiologists looking after me during my life. This image shows how incredibly intricate the human heart is!
Lukas Dekker, Cardiologist at Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and Professor Technical University Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Yesterday was check up day at the hospital where I had two operations last year, one on my heart (and there will be a separate blog about this as a follow up and final part to a series) and a new hip replacement.
In order to save travelling to and fro to the hospital, I had several appointment for this and that, so quite a busy schedule. I also had to talk with my orthopedic surgeon about my knee which has been getting worse and worse and in actual fact, almost hindering my physiotherapy which I still have weekly for my hip.
Now there is a bit of a story about this leg, the left one which I broke in four places way back in 2003. How does anyone manage that you may be asking yourself? Well I wish I had an answer for you. It was a Monday lunch time and over the weekend we had had a fall of snow which had all melted and it was very wet and soggy everywhere. I was walking with my two dogs (Golden Retrievers, Tom & Jerry) on the way back home, when Jerry suddenly pulled me onto the grass. The only thing I can remember was ‘flying’ into the air and landing with a painful bump on the wet muddy grass and I could not move. Just by chance I had someone walking with me. They took my dogs home and called my husband who came with the car. I was freezing cold, wet and in such pain I could not move one single inch. He called an ambulance and I was taken to our local hospital and after X-rays they confirmed that I had broken both my tibia and fibula bones in four places in total and a very complicated break too. I had to have surgery and because the local hospital was full and busy, they were phoning around to find out where to send me. In the meantime and several doses of morphine, my leg had been put into a temporary splint and was swollen a lot. Much later that afternoon I was taken to a hospital in the Hague and went through the entire procedure again, more X-rays and then the news that my leg needed an operation; but was so swollen by now (about the size of an elephant’s leg) they would have to wait.
I spent until the Friday of that week just waiting, bed bound and in pain. The operation was just awful. I had an epidural (which is fine by me, have had them before and much prefer it to a full anaesthetic) but it was like being in a DIY episode. I could hear drilling, sawing, hammering and in the end I had to give in and ask for sedation, it was so traumatic. I could not stand it anymore and they ‘knocked me out’. Thank goodness.
Then a really long recovery process and several more operations to replace, remove and such like, of the screws which I broke when I was finally allowed to put pressure on my leg. Hours and hours of physiotherapy daily at first and then several times a week and it was the end of 2003 before I was at the stage where I could walk, drive and take out my dogs again.
Several years later they tried with no avail to remove the pin in my lower leg, from knee to ankle but could not. So we all decided just to leave it as it was. And just forget about it.
However, now after the hip operation (right) my knee (left) has reached the stage that it needs replacing. I knew this for a while and kept putting off, like every one would, and the moment, there is no choice I need to pay more attention to this and go for advice.
Yesterday I had full X-rays of my leg and the knee and then off to the orthopedic surgeon to find out what they can do. Goodness me that was a shock I can tell you.
Well first of all the knee needs replacing there is no doubt about that but they cannot perform the operation until the ‘offending’ pin is removed. I felt sick sitting there, the idea of them even contemplating trying. Of course told the doctor that they have tried before, but he said – well things have changed since then and there may be a way to remove it. Complicated, because the screws are all broken and they will be very difficult to remove. God what a prospect!
So I spend the entire afternoon yesterday going from one place to the next doing all the pre-operation checks and such like. I will say that I am so grateful to the staff at the hospital who do their very best to try and fit it all in, in a short space of time, as I am in the hospital. So on the waiting list (which apparently is not long) and the prospect hanging over my head this morning of a two phase session. More epidurals, more sedation, more painkillers and I find it hard to describe how I am feeling. Shell shocked and to be honest really nervous. I have to get myself organized and get my ‘mind set’ in the right place. But hanging over my head like the sword of Damocles, is the idea that my poor leg will have to be pulled and pushed about once more, trying to remove the ‘offending pin’ and then recover from that and then go for phase 2 – the new knee.
My neighbours have just popped in for coffee to ask how things went and after I have finished my story filled with doom and gloom, we are all sitting there laughing! Why? Well it all started when I mentioned one of my favorite programms on a Sunday morning Car SOS. Tim Shaw and Fuzz Townsend pick up someone’s treasured and usually un-roadworthy car. The owners emotional pride possession, but in some or other way, they just don’t seem to get around to doing it up for whatever reason. So Tim and Fuzz take it away, usually with some excuse and without the owner’s knowledge (the family are all in the plot) and over a couple of weeks the car is completely renovated and refurbished and restored to its former glory. Stripped down to the basics and built up once more part by part. My neighbour suddenly burst out laughing when I said, just like me, they are removing all the parts no longer working and replacing with shiny new bits and pieces. In my case it is not Car SOS but Body SOS. Now that is something all of you can smile about I am sure.
I was so glad they came, because it brought me back into the here and now, away from the fear and basically not having the nerve to go through it all again, even though I know I have to. But when body parts are like cars (use your imagination here), which can be removed and replaced, why not? Why not indeed. Suddenly it feels as if a cloud of basically ‘fear’ has been lifted from my head, and maybe my doctors are not called Tim or Fuzz but the principle is the same. My family are in on the plot too and I will be (thank goodness) under excellent care, in the hospital of my choice, with the doctor I feel at ease with, with an epidural and a sedation and not knowing anything about it all, waking up to hopefully hear the ‘offending part’ has been removed and when the healing has taken place, they are going to fit the new piece. No more pain, no more ‘completely shot’ old knee but a new shiny part which probably functions better than its original piece! Yes, I fully realize that I have a long path to walk (not literally) but recovery and if there is one thing I am good at – it’s that!
My motivation surely has to be my new granddaughter Reign Aurora because of course I want to be able to be out and about with her when she is a bit older, taking her to the zoo, to the beach, playing in the garden and having an ice cream somewhere and not like an old rusty neglected vintage car, shoved away in a shed or garage under a piece of tarpaulin, because I am not ‘road worthy’ anymore. Writing this is actually making me smile, for the first time since yesterday and a completely sleepless night waking up from wild dreams about the operation, bathed in perspiration!
So here I go again, on the waiting list for phase 1, then phase 2, but hey the weather is getting better, I can be out in the garden recovering, reading or writing, so what is there to worry about really. Nothing, all will be well.
IMAGES: from Google Images and CAR SOS (copyright acknowledged)
We are enjoying the most amazing spring weather here at the moment, buds are ready to burst on the trees, birds are singing, wonderful sunrises and sunsets but all the time the same underlying theme – what the hell is wrong with the world?
Nature is so beautiful and yet, every day the news is overshadowed by one drama after the other. Spring is all about a re-birth season after a cold winter. The cycle of nature is becoming alive again, after a winter sleep. It is a time for renewal, regeneration, and new life, beginning again. So what is going wrong?
Well for starters there are still discussions (or excuses for want of a better word) going on about Brexit, yes or no, is it what the people want? Should we have another referendum and then poor Theresa May and her constant talks with two very stubborn men (Juncker and Tusk). What point has now been reached? Egoism and an overdosis of testosterone or the point of just saving face! I don’t have a solution or good advice do you? With hardliners pushing for a Brexit, is it really about what the people want or them making a statement to be remembered by?
And Venezuela. Well that takes the biscuit! I cannot imagine for one single moment how any human being can literally sit back and watch his own people suffer so much. No food, no medication, no money (but there is always money to fund the army isn’t there?) and literally block the roads with containers to stop any aid coming into the country. I just don’t understand it and where is the empathy? Or is it right just to be pig-headed and literally kill your own citizens. I find this quite disgusting to be honest and I also don’t understand why some or other highly trained unit just don’t go into the country and arrest him for crimes against humanity.
Come on get real, we are way beyond the times when ‘Dictators’ had their say. Or at least I hope the majority of you agree me with that we are?
Unrest in the Middle East too. I suppose the only positive note could be that there are talks again between Rocket Man Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump. I cannot imagine any pair less suited to have talks, but maybe I am looking at in the wrong way. I did hear Trump talking about the economy in the Far East and actually saying something positive for a change, instead on incessantly carping on about his wall. But let’s be honest he was recently depriving his own people too with the shut down. What is it about politicians that they all feel that they have to leave their mark on the world, humanity in general. The most stupid ideas instead of working together for something positive. It would be a real move forward if North Korea agrees to stop testing and building of nuclear weapons and build up the economy, not only for the ‘leaders’ but also the people and maybe unite the entire country? Am I being too optimistic?
Here in the Netherlands problems too. The Rutte III Government have made yet another blunder which is affecting literally everyone. Yes, they got it all wrong again and the PM offering very pathetic comments did not help at all.
So I ask myself, what is wrong with our world? I recently saw a quote on social media about the billions that are spent searching space for other planets and living beings, whilst at the same time we are spending nothing to save our planet, merely destroying it. Not only the people who live on it, but nature itself. And for what?
During the recent Oscar prizes this week, one of the film directors who won an Oscar said something that I think we should all think about so much more: More love for mankind, more love for everyone with no restrictions. I agree. “Love makes the world go around” is a famous line in a song, but we are absolutely taking no notice whatsoever! It is time to wake up once and for all.
Do you agree with me that if we spent more time being kind and loving to one another instead of spending endless amounts of time and money on egoistic deeds, wouldn’t this spread like a wave across the entire planet. No more dictators, no more literally killing off your own people just because of some stupid principal, but uniting at one. Accepting the aid gracefully and opening discussions in a more positive way. Stop spending billions on war, ammunition and the costs of having armies permanently stationed across the globe. Spend money on building up countries and helping the people. Just stop with all this complete nonsense.
It may sound like an impossible task, it certainly seems are really difficult one, but to my mind, it can all begin with you. Only one person needs to make a positive gesture to start a movement. Each and every one of us on this planet has that same divine spark of life within us all, so why don’t we pay more attention to this? Why don’t we all stop and think just for once.
More respect for one another, more respect no matter what colour or creed. More working together instead of creating our own little ego islands, but building bridges with one another. If we don’t and stop and take notice, we are going to literally destroy this planet.
I just wish ‘influencers’ would take up the call and speak out more.
If we keep wasting time on futilities, we are going to be too late. Isn’t it our fundamental right in the end to have a good life on this planet? That is what we all came here for in the first place wasn’t it?
One thing I think is that ‘money is the root of all evil’. This is an old saying, and of course we need economy to literally make the world work, but do we need so much? Wouldn’t we all feel better if literally there were no more starving people in the world, that all children have a good education, that greed and egoism are finally over. That we all work together as one group and that people have clean drinking water all over the world. That world leaders and politicians all start to do what we all elected them to do? They also instil fear into people and this is a real problem, because fear creates something in us all. Fear is just power after all.
You probably agree with me that this is probably the biggest task ever for mankind. I think so and I wonder if we are actually capable of undertaking it?
I was just having a drink in the sun in the garden and wondering why we treat the planet this way, why we treat one another the way we do. Planet Earth is such a beautiful place to be and remember is it merely one tiny blue dot in the universe. Why are we destroying it?
Isn’t it time to do things differently?
Image: Jill Kramer private collection. Every Spring this single crocus blooms in my garden, all on its own, making its statement. Alive again after the winter amidst all the dead twigs and grass. This is exactly what I mean! It only takes one to start a movement.
Well happy to announce the arrival or my granddaughter, Reign Aurora Chabot-Kramer on 19th February 2019 at 20.31 hrs (NL time).
It was a long birth, lots of contractions and little dilation and after an epidural early Tuesday morning, Reign was born naturally the same evening, under the rays of a wonderful snow Supermoon.
Now the date was interesting for starters and even though she did not keep up our family tradition of the 20th, somewhere in the world it was the 20th already! 19-02-2019 is a mirror image of numbers, now that is nice! Bringing the numbers down to single digits gives 1-2-2-1 (same mirror image and in total to 6 which is always associated with energy.
Mars (the planet of energy) just happened to be in her mother’s sign Taurus at her birth moment.
Names are interesting too: Reign coming from the Latin ‘regnum’ relating also to rex (king) and reine (queen). The basic meaning of the word Reign is to hold royal office, or to rule as a monarch. Spelling is different yes, but these days you are totally free to make your own choice and whether you go for the more traditional Rayne or Raine, Reign is a lovely modern variation.
Aurora is well known of course from the northern and southern lights (Aurora Borealis) which occur around the north and south magnetic poles at different times of the year. The name also derives from Latin meaning Dawn, or Goddess of the Dawn.
A lot was going on astrologically when she arrived on this planet and her names reflect it too.
I did promise one picture of her, not that we are going to flood social media with lots and lots of photos, but this one is rather sweet I think. Brilliant blue eyes, dark hair. Incredibly proud of my own daughter and happy to report Mum and Baby are doing really well. Dad too!
Literally hundreds of you are writing to me every day in the comments section about The Blue House, saying how much you enjoyed the first two chapters and that you want more! Well you can have more. The Blue House is just one of my books and if you want to find out what happens next? You can!
This book and three others (A Second Chance, Fireflies in the Summer and The Art of Confessions) are now on Amazon.com in Kindle version. (US$ 9.99) You can have a sneak preview of these books too, on Amazon and I have also shared this on my own feed as well in previous posts.
How can you find me? Easily. Just type my name and the title of the book into the search after you have logged on to Amazon.com. This will bring you to my own ‘author’s page.
Then you are literally one click away from purchasing the book and downloading to read on and find out what happens to Grace and Matthew in their Blue House.
I have literally replied to each and every comment about this on my feed, telling you that you can now carry on, so adding this one single post today so that it is in the feed. Happy Reading!
I was thinking this morning about the right to demonstrate: Why? Well, this morning is the feast of St. Piter in Friesland (Grou to be exact). This is a little village in the north east of Holland and it is only celebrated in this one village. Nowhere else!
Those of you who might have read my book ‘A Second Chance’ will know I referred to this in that book.
Well it is today and before it has even got started people have said that they are going to demonstrate against racism. Now the idea of demonstrating about something you oppose is one of our fundamental rights. Does it do much good? I wonder.
The feast of St. Piter is a children’s’ time. Young children still believe that St. Piter comes to give them all presents (which in a way is similar to Father Christmas during Christmas etc). So why I ask myself, do grown up people feel that they have to be standing there too, spoiling all the fun. With their banners and shouting remarks into the crowds, which after all are only children and their parents in one (actually very small) village in one small country. Do they believe they will actually make a difference?
Local government is having to take action before the fun has even started and today the local mayor allowed demonstrators to be on the other side of the harbor, where St. Piter’s boat arrives. Well one plus point the wind is so strong today and hopefully in the right direction, so maybe people will not hear a single word they are all shouting about. I hope so.
Although the meaning of DEMONSTRATE is the following: (and I quote from the Oxford English Dictionary!
to give a practical exhibition and explanation of how a skill, craft or machine works of performs
a demonstration how to cook something
to show the existence of the truth by giving proof of evidence
to show or qualify one’s actions
to take part in a public demonstration
So in the five descriptions, only one applies!
And to be honest sometimes I wonder what is the point? Do people honestly believe that anyone is really going to take any notice apart from irritation? Like in Grou today, that these demonstrators are spoiling kids fun and a happy family day! Really?
This week here in The Netherlands, secondary school children all ‘had a day off school’ to join in a protest about climate change. Now this is something I think could be seen as positive. It is good that younger people are sitting up and having their say about their future planet.
Although I will give some the benefit of the doubt that they really do care, I guess a huge amount just thought it was great to have an extra day of school and spend hours making banners and such like. Someone I know posted up a photo of a cinema after the young people had seen a film and left. You would not believe the amount of rubbish and plastic bottles they had just thrown to the floor. Er … climate change wasn’t it?
And if you are serious about making a statement about climate change, will you just then go off to MacDonald’s or Burger King? Doesn’t it really defeat the whole point behind the protest? Believe me politicians are not really going to listen at all. Here is The Netherlands there is already a fuss about the fact that the Dutch Government are not going to get anywhere near the target agreed for CO-2 reduction. Not anywhere near it all! And so the ‘green’ politicians are coming up with one more stupid idea after another, things that they know are unachievable. But I suppose they have to earn their salary some way; agree?
Another thing I have been following is the number of people who seem to be able to spend each and every day in front of the House of Parliament in London, demonstrating about the pro’s and con’s of Brexit. Don’t they have anything better to do like work for example? Take care of their children and families? Yes, a demonstration is perfectly OK if there is a valid point to be made. As far as Brexit is concerned, the government is miles away from making any agreement with the other EC countries. I had to laugh at a comment by Boris Johnson in the newspapers yesterday, about it being better to have a discussion with Juncker before lunch rather than after!! Enough said.
Also Tusk has now upset everyone with his comments! So negotiations are going nowhere, despite all the people parading up and down every day with banners and balloons. So what is the point? Is anyone listening at all?
We used to have referendums here in The Netherlands but the government has abolished them. If you want to know what people think, then have a referendum, yes or no, simple as that and then act on what people want. Not what politicians want, they only want to leave their stamp or mark on some piece of legislation.
Then the next question has to be why do we all bother to go and vote then? Not only in a referendum, but also in elections. We elect people to actually represent us, not to behave they way they often do. Those of you who have ever watched a live broadcast from parliament either here or in England can only agree with me, it sounds like a cattle market. Probably the cattle are better behaved to be honest.
A slanging match back and forth, words being said that are so over the top and the poor speaker only shouting ‘Order’ above the masses, but they really pay no attention whatsoever. Here in the Dutch parliament this week a very heated, strong worded discussion (well it was not even that, I think I would define it as a personal slanging match) between two people in parliament because let’s be honest the room is half empty most of the time anyway, and no speaker thumping her fist down on the desk saying Enough! Just the comment in an interview afterwards that ‘it was regrettable’. For goodness sake!
I vote for bringing inspiring positive people to the forefront who actually say something that will make a difference for a change. There are many examples in our society today. One that springs to mind was a post on social media this week saying: Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama for the White House in 2020. Why not? It could not be worse than it is at the moment. And yes I know there are those of you out that who support Trump and others not. But my point here is, if you are a so-called ‘influential person’ then use your influence for positive things instead of always negative.
Negativity is a killer. All discussions finish at that point. No demonstration whatsoever is going to change anything from that point.
As far as Brexit is concerned the question is simple. In or out? Then get on with it. Just leave things as they are in Ireland, is the whole deal breaker, one simple border on one island in the Irish Sea. Even though others are making barriers preventing help to come into the country for the good of their own people (Venezuela to name one). Mexico as another example.
Coming back to demonstrations: Yes, if you think it is going to have any effect whatsoever, then be my guest. But wake up to the fact that it is not! Just like all those people standing there in Grou making an issue about a children’s’ event, well do they really think they are going to make a difference? Of course not, just create negativity and the young children who probably have no idea whatsoever what they are demonstrating about.
Time for a turning point I think do you?
Just have a look at all these positive words when you want to say something about your values!
Images thanks to Google Images and Chantal Henderycx