Posted in Personal

Approaching The Last Generation

Earlier this week my mother called to tell me that our neighbors’ neighbor had passed away. His name was Jan – John in English. We called him ‘uncle’, though he was not related. In fact we call all of our neighbors aunt – tante – and uncle – oom. Growing up in our village meant having a home in more than one house. Whenever my parents weren’t there or if something was the matter, we simply walked over to tante Thea (Jan’s late wife). Or we went to tante Fieny, who took us in, gave us soda and candy. And we played with their poodle Sonja. My parents still have close contact with her and I call her every year on her birthday. Whenever we visit my parents, I hop in at the neighbor’s to talk life over with her.

These days more and more people around me get sick or even die. A natural result of growing older, with friends and family growing older as well. My brother, sister and me are blessed because we still have our parents. They are in their seventies and have been married for over 51 years. Here is a picture from their 50th anniversary in 2009.

Apart from the physical effects, growing older has another consequence: we are approaching the last generation! At the age of 47, there is still a whole generation above me: parents, aunts and uncles. But the days are drawing closer when one by one, they will disappear from our visible life. And that saddens and frightens me. A friend of mine just lost her father and she now is part of the oldest generation herself. It feels strange, weird. She is now in fact an orphan, she said to me. Being an orphan normally is associated with children. You don’t think of a fifty year old as ‘an orphan’. But the feelings must be kind of the same. No more drinking tea, talking over the good old times. To feel safe in the knowledge that they have known you all of your life and accept you as you are. No more advice or finding a listening ear. No more security and protection, being someone’s child. But there will still be love from above. Always.

The roles in life will be turned and suddenly YOU are supposed to be the older and ‘wiser’ one to whom children and eventually grandchildren look up to. What they don’t know is that we are still a child inside ourselves! At least I am. Approaching the last generation… I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. So on this dreary day, I will be thankful for my Mom and Dad, for all my uncles and aunts – related or not. Thank you for being in my life all of this time. You mean the world to me.

~Mar

Posted in Quote

Miracle Of A Lifetime

 

Love at first sight is easy to understand.

It’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime
that it becomes a miracle.

Quote: Amy Bloom
Photo: Richer Resources Publications


Posted in Music, Nature, Photo

Auroras Over Norway

Today is a day of fatigue and sore throat. Today I’m in need of great beauty.

So please share this magnificent and truly beautiful combination of pictures and music with me:


© Terje Sørgjerd
Music: Gladiator Soundtrack – Now we are Free


Posted in Poems

DSThief In The Night

Bad, bad DST
Last night you stole an hour from me!
I went to bed and all was well
Now in the morning, time is hell

What used to be six, now is five
And I feel only half alive
My brain is fuzzy, eyes are closed
The rest of me still in a doze

You plucked me straight from comfort zone
And I am tired to the bone
Cell phone and PC part of theft
Dear sweet hour, why have you left

DSThief, keep my time safe
I promise I won’t misbehave
Entitled to refund we will wait
‘Till end of fall, and don’t be late

So Daylight Saving Time my dear
Is only temporary, you hear?
After that, the hour again is mine
And I will kick your ass back in line!

Rise and shine my friends!


Posted in Art, Biker Witch

Art: Harley-Davidson Auction, Because Bikers Care…

At the end of 2009 a small group of our Harley-Davidson H.O.G. Chapter members got together to make paintings that were to be auctioned on our Christmas meeting. The proceeds would be donated to the Jackies (children with muscular dystrophy) through our participation in the MDA, abbreviation for Muscular Dystrophy Association Europe. Because Bikers Care…

Under the expert guidance of Pien Heppener, wife of our Director and professional art painter, eight paintings came to life during a workshop that lasted throughout the afternoon.

In the picture is Vman’s creation. He made this with only a magazine picture as model. It was sold at the auction and decorated the house of friends of ours. Last year they gave it back to him, which came as a big and total surprise. Now it adorns Vman’s bedroom.

While the men were painting, the women were experimenting with several Christmas punch variations. And tasting them. Extensively 😉 In the picture, taken on the Christmas meeting, you can see the most popular punch – it tasted creamy and soft with a bite.

We managed to gather over € 1.000 for The Jackies with the auction.

~Mar

Posted in Nature

Half A Million Seals To Be Slaughtered In Canada This Year

This year the Canadian government has up leveled the quota for seal hunt to 468.200 seals, twenty percent more than last year. Using the clubbing method for killing seals is forbidden in the whole world, except in Canada.

Photo: TreeHugger

A deal with China should stimulate the demand for seal products. The government is hoping to make the controversial seal hunt profitable again. During the last years the market for seal fur has collapsed because of the European Seal Ban. One quarter of the 6000 Canadian seal hunters’ income came from the export to Europe.

On February 11th of this year Federal Fisheries Minister, Gail Shea, announced that Canada is launching a formal challenge at the World Trade Organization of the European Union’s ban on the trade of seal products.

‘The government of Canada is wasting the hard earned money of Canadians to fight a battle that the citizens of the European Union have said is already lost,’ says Sheryl Fink, Director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Seal Program, ‘the EU does not want products from commercial seal hunts, period. How much more action does the world have to take against Canada before the government will listen? Hundreds of restaurants in the United States are boycotting Canadian seafood because of its commercial seal hunt and Canada’s tourism industry is at risk.’

Most sealers stayed home last year, because they could not find any buyers. The seal hunters are also hampered by the decrease in ice floes, which can serve as hunt base. The decrease is is caused by higher temperatures, due to the climate change. Increasing the quota is irresponsible, animal protectors claim. They say less and less seals are born because of the climate change.

No, I’m not a vegetarian (anymore). Yes, I have non-leather shoes. Yes, I also wear leather boots, because no other product gives me the same comfort. But killing animals SOLELY FOR THEIR SKIN in such a brutal and inhumane – sorry, human – way, kindles my feeling of injustice. Inuits kill seals and even whales – or at least they used to – but the Inuit people use the whole animal, it is their way of surviving in bleak and cold surroundings. Not a way to make profit by killing many animals for the sake of their fur.

What is your opinion on the seal hunt and Canada’s statement? Am I missing ‘the other side’ in my comment?

Source: IFAW, Wikipedia
Posted in Personal

How To De-Crease In Five Easy Steps

It is early morning and a merry tune drags me away from my dreams. Dreams about whales! Cruel alarm dressed in a tune. The whales’ song was much kinder.

As I release myself of old tea, my mirror image stares back at me, looking as tired as I feel. How does she know? Hair is screwed up, eyes are visible through slits, bags under the eyes and an interesting pattern of wrinkles on my cheek. Dear pillow, please refrain yourself from these artistic actions, you are only meant to cradle my head at night!

What to do, what to DO?

First I am going to attack my internal wrinkles. Do not worry, I will not deepen this investigation. It suffices to say I start with a big glass of orange juice to set all invisible organs in motion. Water is also great. Do NOT forget your inner woman, she is very important! De-Crease action number one.

After that I step into my bath-shower and pull at the lever to start an enormous flood of hot water pouring down on my upturned face. Pay attention, this is the most important part of our strategy to De-Crease! While you are doing this, let your thoughts roam in any direction they want to. I meet my muse in my daily morning shower and we have lots of interesting but silent conversations.

As I climb out again, looking at the world with new and fully opened eyes, my mirror image comes into view again. Ah, she looks kind of refreshed, especially when I put in my contacts.

Now De-Crease action number three comes into the scene: Clinique ‘all about eyes serum’. And as much as I already loved this brand before – it is the only brand I can use because of my skin allergies – this product is the best of all. It promises to be a ‘de-puffing eye massage’. But listen: do NOT massage your eyeballs with it! That is a misleading text *grins*. No, just gently roll the metal ball over the bags under your eyes. It is cold, it is fresh, it is heaven. Like a smooth ice cube.

Mirror image looks at me and nods. Things are looking up. My eyes are content, but the rest of my face is yelling to hurry up, it is drying out. Next action to De-Crease is another product to nurture the skin: ‘Superdefence SPF25’. Hey, does that sound promising or what? Apparently this cream will protect your face from all attacks of the outer world! LOL who makes up all these ad slogans? After all it is facial cream. And what does SPF25 mean? As if we care, most important is that we have a bit of luxury in our lives this early.

So until now we have orange juice, shower, eyes and face. The rest of our body also needs a bit of attention, to prevent future creases. For that I use a bird. Yes a bird! She is very gentle and subtle and applies a feathery touch to my skin.

Perhaps you are thinking it is a peculiar Dutch custom? I’m sorry to disappoint you, this is my little birdie:

And there we are: five easy steps to De-Crease:

  1. orange juice or water
  2. fresh shower
  3. eye serum
  4. super defense cream
  5. body lotion

I don’t know if these five rules really decrease creases – hehehe funny language – but it does feel good to take care of yourself. To thank your body, your skin for protecting you daily.

And the tiny wrinkles that are engraved permanently in my skin? Leave them be. I have earned each and everyone of them!

How do you De-Crease in the morning?

Posted in Art, Photo

Art: We Belong

One day I was walking in Rotterdam with my university colleagues, when I stopped in mid-stride, frozen on the spot by this little bronze statue:

In close-up:

It radiated the feelings I have for my Vman. He was very surprised and happy with it on our anniversary.

We Belong…

Posted in Nature, News

Chimpanzee Mojo locked in dark cage for thirty years

AAP Foundation – a sanctuary for exotic animals in Holland – has adopted a badly neglected chimpanzee from Belgium. The animal had been living in a dark and filthy garage on a disgusting diet for thirty years!

The elderly mistress could not take care of herself, let alone of Mojo, a grownup chimpanzee of thirty seven years. She had abducted the ape in 1975 from a laboratory and raised Mojo as a human child. When he got older, it became necessary to lock him up in a cage. She gave the animal coffee, wine, beer and pasta. ‘Mojo ate food that is bad for a chimpanzee and had way too many calories,’ the foundation states. The chimpanzee is heavily overweighted. A male chimp should way half or one third of his weight. And because of the overdose of sugar poor Mojo received for ‘supper’, his teeth have rotted away. The Belgian lady had an appointment with her vet, that, should she pass over, Mojo would be euthanized, so they could be buried together.

The fight to save the chimp started three years ago when an animal lover found out about this. She contacted the AAP Foundation and the Belgian animal shelter GAIA. They tried to reason with the old lady, but she would not listen. And the Belgian authorities thought the animal lacked nothing. Until recently, when the animal lover wrote another furious letter to the authorities, in which she summed up the chimp’s living conditions. Finally things were set in motion. And when AAP heard about Mojo’s deportation this weekend, they drove south to rescue the animal.

Because of his solitary confinement, Mojo has never been in contact with conspecifics. He arrived at the foundation last Monday. AAP is going to do everything to teach Mojo to be ‘an ape’ and will find permanent suitable shelter for him afterwards.

In Holland and Belgium it is forbidden to have chimpanzees as pets. A chimp is no pet! It may look a bit human but it has other needs. Locked up in cage with coffee and beer? My heart bleeds for this poor ape. It should be able to walk about, to climb, to play and live together with other chimpanzees.

A big hurray for the AAP Foundation and respect for the animal lover who took action!