Wednesday, 1 April 2015


He is bound to be there somewhere!
When I grew up, I wasn't invited to many birthday parties. Most of the people inviting me were girls who lived on the same street. There was however one exception and that was George. A boy in my class. He was not one of the popular, although I think that everybody remembers him, since he could throw massive temper tantrums. He once even tried to reconfigurate a whole classroom holding on to desks and chairs, while a teacher was trying to get him out of said classroom! 

George was a nice boy though. And he always invited me over for his birthday parties. There would be several other boys and girls there and we would usually have a nice time. Even if his little brother would also be there, which was not to his or our liking. 

We would have cake, we would have lemonade. We would play games and we would tell jokes. The worst kind. The 'your shoe lace is loose' kind of joke. Which isn't really a joke at all, but hey, we were about 10! The main reason for those type of jokes was the fact that George celebrated his birthday on April 1st. April Fool's. And silly jokes were part and parcel of every single birthday party he had. 

After primary school we both went to the same high school. We were in the same class and quite often we would cycle at least part of the way to school together (there were about five or six different locations). But then I left that school because we moved to another town. And I lost touch. When we had a reunion 15 years later he didn't come, although with great difficulties I did manage to get him on the phone at some point to ask questions about his time at school.

It's been 32 years since the last time I was invited to his birthday party. But his parties will always stand out to me. So, happy birthday George. Hope you have a great day!

This post is prompted by Spin Cycle. Thank you Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie.

PS: your blouse is buttoned the wrong way!

Monday, 30 March 2015

The daily grind

I had gotten quite used to waking up at about 8.30am every morning. Sometimes a bit earlier, sometimes a bit later. The amount of times I had to get up at around 5am in the last eight weeks, I can count on the fingers on one hand! Most notably of course the day I was to go to the hospital (the day of the operation was actually 6am). 

But, going back to work means alarm clocks again. Waking up early again. Putting on my uniform again. Making a packed lunch again. It was tiring and I hadn't even gotten out of the door yet. 

Because I had been a bit apprehensive about going back to work and driving again, I had asked for a support driver. Just in case. For some reason this got misunderstood. Instead of someone supporting me in case of, I was supposed to be supporting somebody else! Well, after eight weeks of not driving (not counting the one day between holiday and sick leave), I was not letting somebody else do the driving!! So, the person on training, could just sit beside/behind me and tell me what way to go. Everything else I would do myself thank you very much. 

The shift I had wasn't too long. Fortunately, because by the end I was completely pooped. I am glad to say though, I was immediately at ease behind the wheel again. I knew my routes (even the one I hadn't done before, since it changed during my leave) and was even able to (more or less) keep to the time table. Tomorrow I will have an easy day. Yes, it's longer, but the routes are not hard and there aren't that many people around since it's Easter holiday this week. 

In other news: I deposited the money order and was told the money was going in immediately. Which means I can pay the rent on time! All of my colleagues I told about it, were quite surprised about the whole thing. They all thought it would arrive naturally in my bank account. It must have been something I did wrong (like not filling out the account number), but it's finally done now and I don't plan on going on sick leave any time soon again!

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-11

It's spring. Or at least it ought to be. And the weather here in Norway over the last week has shown that it can be quite springy. Blue skies, flowers everywhere, well, trying to anyway. And then one day I woke up and found this! 

It was gone in about an hour again, but still. It's spring, it should be warming up. No more white stuff and double digits would be nice again. Hopefully soon...

Saturday, 28 March 2015


For days I have been checking my bank account now. Every day I checked to see whether any more money had arrived. And every day I was seriously disappointed. I knew how much money was due to come in, I had after all gotten the letter from the Social Security people, yet no money appeared.

Today I got another letter, stating how much money I had been paid, how much taxes and such. At the bottom it stated where (website) I could find when the money would arrive. But for some reason I didn't go there. Instead I got back to the first letter. And looked it over. Properly this time.

Oh my Grrrrrrrr. Really? Could I have been that blonde? Could I have been that stupid? Well, apparently I could have. Since I got the letter four days ago and could have had the money around the same time. If only...

If only I had read it properly. Which I obviously hadn't. Because I thought that since Norway is such a civilised country with such good internet banking and such, the money would be paid into my account. Alas. That was not how it works. At least not for me this time. 

I got a letter with a little bit attached. Normally it would be the to-pay bit, this time it was the to-be-paid bit. Which I have to fill out and take to my bank! And obviously haven't done yet and today the banks are closed. Monday will be my first option. I had better get in touch with my landlady!


Friday, 27 March 2015


Now, I don't know if you remember, but just before I went into hospital, I found out my iPod wasn't working. The music device I had bought especially to keep me company while in hospital. I took it along, hoping that some Bergen juice would help, but in the end I had to settle for my good old mp3 player. With around 1700 numbers. Which go round and round and round.

I couldn't load the iPod. I would connect it to my laptop and the only thing that would come up on screen was: device not recognised. Extremely annoying to say the least. So, not only was there no juice, there was also no transferring of great songs. 

This week, I decided to try again. Perhaps my laptop had gotten over its temporary lapse of judgement and would recognise the thing and take it into its arms. Well, I am glad to say it did. Not only that, music was transferred, as were photos of artists and national flags and of course it loaded up without a problem. 

I wanted a pink one, but they only had yellow left!
You know what type of music I have on my iPod: Eurovision and with the newest installment coming up in May, including an act from Australia, more music is on its way. But it's not only that. I also have a large collection of musical numbers, from Singin' in the Rain and The Sound of Music to lesser known musicals like A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and A Little Night Music. I love how I am able to bellow along with Oklahoma! or sing along with Somewhere Over The Rainbow. My least favourite is Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music. It gets on my nerves, but I will not take it off my iPod either.

Other than that: a large collection of Dutch songs from several decades. Songs about creepy crawlies while sobering up, the atomic bomb, hookers, how to grow your own weed, moths and plenty of love songs. I love Glen Miller, the Andrews Sisters, Carmen Miranda, Frank Sinatra. I have recently started to listen to country music with Dolly and Reba leading the pack. Sixties, seventies and eighties (although the latter not nearly enough) are well represented and thanks to my sister a good dose of classical music as well. Don't think I recognise them, but every once I even surprise myself!

And how do I listen to them? Well, I just lump the lot together, hit shuffle and off I go. I will sing along to the Dutch and the English or hum along if I don't know the lyrics. I will dance along to the numbers if they require dancing along to, which is not much (requiring that is) and I will direct. And occasionally, when out listening to music while walking, I will do several of those at once, apparently making quite a spectacle of myself! 

Let's just hope the iPod will keep going now. And for plenty of good music to be put on, after all, I only use about one quarter of the thing!!

This post is prompted by Spin Cycle. Thank you Ginny Marie at Lemon Drop Pie.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Money money money

Being on sick leave is getting old now and I must admit that even though I have gotten used to daytime television, I would like to be getting back to work as well. If only to make some money again!

In Norway (as in the Netherlands and most other European countries) when I have to go to hospital: it's free. I don't pay a penny towards care, towards medication, towards anything. Only when I come out of hospital do I start paying for my own medication. As well as not having to pay for my hospital stay, I get money for being sick. No, that is putting it wrong. I don't get money for being sick, however I do get sick pay. Because I do pay my taxes and the rent does need to be paid!

The only problem with my sick pay is that it is not the company I work for that pays it. Only the first month of my being sick is paid by the company, after that the social office takes over. The one that pays out pensions, disability pay, unemployment pay and more. The company I work for pays me around the third week of the month. The social office does not. My pay from the company (I still had some owed) was less than one tenth of my normal pay. It wouldn't even pay a third of the rent!

Fortunately I still had some money left over from last month and I had some savings left. I can't wait to get the rest of the money though, which is due this week. It's a good thing I have just stocked up on catfood!

So, it will be good to get back to work. Earn money. Fill up my accounts. Before my holiday money will be coming in in two months' time!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Mystery solved

There were a lot of questions about my photos on Sunday. Not least from me! The main question was of course on what it was. Not only on my blog but on my Facebook page as well (where I had posted some photos as well). Today I found out.

I went for another walk today and decided that I would take my camera along again as well. You never know, something might have changed. And when I got to the area where I took the photos, I saw very quickly that it had changed and didn't look anything like it did on Saturday. 

The pond is underneath some deciduous trees which of course shed their leaves in autumn. In the water. Where they will rot. Enough leaves do that and they might not all rot completely which leaves a certain residue. Normally this would show as some green goo or algae in the water. However, when the waterlevel drops, the goo/algae sticks to sticks also in the water and form these beautiful sails.

On Sunday it rained and so it did last night, hence rising waterlevels in the ponds. Not much, but enough to cover all the sticks again and show the goo/algae as it normally shows. Under water!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Photo on Sunday 2015-10

During my walk yesterday, I came upon this pond/ditch/watery bit. That was not what drew me to it though. It was the slimy bits in the whatever it was. And since I had my camera at the ready, here are some of the photos!

It looks a bit like sail boats, but with green sails, don't they? Especially the one at the bottom. Not sure how seaworthy it would be, what with all those holes!

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Getting fit

Not a bad day for a walk!
After relaxing yesterday (what's new?), I decided today would be my first day of starting to get fit and the best way to do that was to do the same tour I did during the summer last year. I know how long it used to take (about 45 minutes), so if I were able to do that again, I would be happy. I set off today in good spirits carrying my camera and a bottle of water.

It took me a little over an hour, including the three short stops on the way. Oh, and including the photo stops I included. Which means, that I am happy. Of course right now I am pretty tired. Again. But if I keep this up, I should be fine once I get back to work.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Oh wow!

I was due to go on a course on Wednesday and Thursday. All the way in Bergen. And do you remember where I had my operation? So, putting two and two together and reaching three four, I thought it might also be a good idea to have my check-up in Bergen. I would be a little late for my course, but I had given notice of that. 

The colleague who dropped me off at the hospital dropped me off at the main entrance. From there I had to make my way to the women's clinic. Quite a way away, so I walked. I then waited at the women's clinic until it was my turn (had to wait a bit extra), but was then told I was completely fine, the scar looked great and yes, if I wanted I could go to the sauna or the swimming pool, as long as the scar wouldn't be in the sun. 

Then I walked back up to the main hospital and took a taxi to the hotel. Where I spent the rest of my day listening and participating in a course. When the course had finished for the day we needed to find a place to stay. The hotel we ended up in was in walking distance of the hotel we had our course in, so off we trotted. We needed dinner of course. So, we had decided to have dinner in the hotel. Which turned out to be so expensive and such a one sided affair (fish and wine), that we decided another restaurant was in order.

Another restaurant was to be found in the center of town. I felt fine, so we decided to walk. And of course after dinner we walked back. Now, I will admit I am not in the best of shapes. After all, I have been convalescing and getting rid of pain and such. But once I was back at the hotel I was absolutely pooped. And the next day wasn't much better. My leg muscles were screaming and because I hadn't had a great night, I wasn't very rested either. So, getting through the day was a bit of a challenge, but I managed in the end. 

I was very glad to be home again though. One more week of convalescing and of getting back in some semblance of shape, so I won't be too tired after a day of work. Fortunately because it's the Easter holiday, I have an easy week to start me off: two days of work, then two days off, one day of work and then two days off again. But I had better start walking again!!