Friday, 16 March 2018

Appointment made

First of all I'd like to thank people for the support, either via comments, mail or other mediums. It's means the world to me to have such support.

It's been a major feature I'd my week, and I'm not sorry that I have a weekend of nothing much planned coming up.

I've had a chat with my close team, and one other colleague who has helped me in the past.


I've made the appointment with the doctors.

Actually, i tried yesterday, but the first time the assistant was busy for 7 minutes with someone and I gave up waiting, and then they were closed for the afternoon. So I had to work up the courage the next day as well...

The call was fine, the assistant giving me a double appointment without asking why I wanted one. Now I'm stressing about what I'm going to say, how to word my feelings and where to go next. It feels good making this step. I know it's a step in the right direction, but it's not helped me yet.

Once I got off of the phone I updated our "out" board to say I wouldn't be in that morning. Then I told the team, they are really supportive and congratulated me on taking the step. Then I had to leave before I burst into tears...

Saturday, 10 March 2018


Happy weekend folks! The first week back on the office after three weeks at home is behind me now, and I am more than happy about that!

By Thursday I could barely keep my eyes open, my fuse was about .25 seconds long and I needed it done. 3 hours of commute due to bad traffic did not help that day!

Friday I was interviewing for a new Scrum Master. Not a day that I am normally in the office, but as it was during the little mans school day I could get there and back in time to pick him up. I hoped.

In the end I was really pleased I made the trip, it was very relaxed being in the office for 30 minutes without major deadlines to meet. It was also one of the most pleasant interviews I have ever had. But not something I can talk about...

The only fly in the ointment? I had to be home for 12, in good traffic it's 50 minutes to get home. I left the office with 52 minutes to spare! I may have got a ticket trying to make up some time. Which I didn't need to do. I got home with time to park, get the car, and cycle to his school to get him (trying to use the bike to get him to school as much as possible!).

Today? Well, here the reversal takes place. Not from the mood, I'm tired but happy, but the weather.

Last week I was skating in natural ice as a local pond. As most of Holland is low (that is North Holland where we used to live, and South Holland where we live now - not the normal replacing Nederland for Holland incorrectly ;p ) there are lots of ponds around the houses, with canals and brooks connecting them to allow for good drainage. This pond is 1/2 mile away from us and would be a park surrounded by houses if the drainage wasn't needed, leading to a second one. There is public access (good for canoeing next year as well), but is mainly just behind houses. As we had feels like temperatures of -18 during the week (that bad that running was cancelled by the instructor as the temperature meant the chance of injury was just too high) there was the upside that after just a couple of days there was enough ice to stand on, and by the weekend there were lots of people skating together on the canals and ponds. Even lakes and rivers in more inland parts of the country!

I'd had my skates sharpened a couple of weeks earlier, and had practiced in a skating hall, so it was time to try difficult natural ice! I still have the bruises! Coming in to stop after one session I must have hit a crack that had refrozen and went full flat on my face. Knees and arms hitting to the ice hard. I didn't realise how hard until I saw my knees later in the week and they were the colour of aubergines!

Today, well the ice has gone (from inches of ice to water in 4 days), the temperature was 15 degrees and I was skating with colleagues at an artificial ice rink. An inside rink where they skated (both are new to skating). I stayed with them for 30 minutes or so, trying to help, and when they wanted a rest I went to the 400m outside long-track rink and tried to clock up some mileage. I think that in all I managed 5 or 6 miles between the two rinks and loved it! But 15 degrees and an outdoor rink means that it was almost a swimming pool in places. When the Zamboni came around the clean the ice it didn't refreeze behind it! I can see why they close the rink at the end of March, which is a shame because I have really got into skating in the last week or so!

Aching now, but happy. I think that when the new season starts I am going to try and go more often. Sometimes in the figure skates that I inherited from Mrs Stace because I want to learn some tricks, and I am going to rent / buy some Noren skates to try and get my times down for the long distances.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I need to get back

So, life has actually been going quite well for me recently.

I've had a hectic year, we bought a new house, sold our old one.

I'm still recovering from my op last year, which has not been helped by moving home. Painting every wall in a house, and starting to clear the garden has not been kind. I have lost a lot of movement in my thumb, and I'm worried that I may have done permanent damage. I have an appointment coming up so they can check then. I'm actually really pleased that I do - if I hadn't then I would have had to request one...

Of course there are always the bits that you wish would go better.

My anxiety has been through the roof for a couple of years now, and shows no sign of abetting. I'm trying to push myself to do more thing to help it, but it seems that isn't having a good effect. I would, or rather should, be going to the doctors to try and get a referral to a psychologist - but the thought of doing that just skyrockets my anxiety even further. Catch 22...

Also, and the reason why I am writing this post, I need to quit Facebook. I'm getting sick and tired of the transphobic posts that I see coming through, from people I thought were friends. It's not even that they don't realise that they are posting transphobic things. They just think that transphobia doesn't exist and that we are just playing the victim.

What is harder is that some of these posts are from supposed life coaches, people who have their own issues due to their sexuality - who in the same post complain about being belittled due to their orientation, complaining that people don't even think that they exist, and in the next sentence call trans women entitled people who just feel that the world owes them sex.

I was so close to answering that, but have decided that getting into a Facebook argument with someone like that isn't worth my time or effort. But I needed to write something. So this post. Sorry.

My only issue is that there are people that I know from blogs in the past who I now only have contact with via Facebook. I don't want to lose that contact, and yet just want rid of Facebook...

I'm doing a short test. Facebook has been hidden on my phone so that I don't see it (I can't uninstall it unfortunately), it's been removed from my startup pages in Chrome so that I don't see it when I open a browser.

I'm not using it for the rest of this week. I'm going to see how I feel at the end and then I'll make a decision about what to do.

But what I am going to (try) to do is get back to posting here. Once a week, or once a fortnight. I am going to try and make some time for myself to spend 30 minutes locked away from the family and get some typing done. Hopefully it will be as cathartic as it used to be.

I hope not to mope, life is pretty good - I am in a pretty great place - physically and mentally, and I want my posts to reflect that.

I also want to split my previous FB time between two things:

  1. Catch up on blogs that I have missed recently due to no time.
  2. Catch up on tech blogs to see what I have missed in the tech world whilst watching FB for inanities.
Let's see how well it goes :)

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Father's day

My first without one. I knew it was going to be tough, but wasn't prepared for how tough.

I've been in, or close and fighting back the, tears a lot today. Family weekend away, which was amazing. But watching the presents was just too tough.

My heart goes outto all who have lost theirs, either taken away or not in contact.

For those who still have one - geneite ervan, elke dag!

(Enjoy your time with them, every day!)

Friday, 16 June 2017

Back on the road

Two weeks ago I posted a picture of the bike stranded at the side of this road. Whilst waiting for the truck I took a couple of other pictures to pass the time. If you look carefully you can just see the mirror in this picture.

Today I went to pick it up! A new battery and a new mass air flow sensor (well a second hand one) and a new battery (seriously, how much!) and I’m back on the road! It took their mechanics half a day to find the fault and fix so I’m glad I didn’t do it :)

I picked it up and took it for a quick blast. Slow twisty roads, fast motorways and  very slow neighbourhood roads to get home. I loved almost every second of it. Almost.

At the worst possible time, 4th lane of a 130 kmph / 85mph motorway I noticed some fluff in my helmet. I was about bro open my visor to try and get rid of it when I saw that the fluff was black and yellow. You can imagine the language that went through my head (though not out of my mouth, I wasn’t going to risk that!)

Hazards on, head down so it doesn’t fall on me and get to the hard shoulder ASAP!

Thankfully it was dazed and so when I opened the helmet it just dropped into the grass verge and didn’t fly into my face!

Writing short stories

Whilst in the car yesterday, listening to one of my favorite albums I started to write a story in my head based on the titles of the songs as they came up. Some of them were more difficult than others, but as a quick creative exercise I was quite happy with the results.

See if you can spot the album and band :)

"During my commute this morning I had traffic in a couple of places, but thankfully had music to keep me sane. It was a great album, made me feel new born to hear the songs again, absolute bliss! Not talking space dementia here, but hyper music! I just thought “oh, plug in, baby, and whack the volume up!” I felt sorry for anyone who I disturbed with the music, but for those songs I was a citizen erased! The problem with a loud stereo though is that after a couple of songs your ears feel like they have micro cuts in them! But I didn’t care I was glued to the music like a screenager is glued to a phone, I could feel the dark shines in my soul! It truly left me feeling good! Like we should embrace futurism, building the future together and ensuring that megalomania never takes hold!"

Monday, 12 June 2017

What is quintessentially English?

I got a request from my sister in law from a school on Sunday about whether I have anything that is quintessentially English​. She let slip that she had an English sister in law when they were talking about a current project for the children and she let slip that she had an English sister in law, and of course I was asked if I could help.

The only thing is what do I have that is quintessentially English? I wear 50s pinup fashion that is more American than English, drive a Swedish car and live in The Netherlands.

I do eat some English food, but is that really going to be seen as quintessential? Would a young child know that a particular brand of tea is English? Or a brand of pickle? Probably not…

I have a library full of books. But, again, that is not much use to a young child.

What I did have at my office is a flag bought for a world food fair that IT out on a few years ago. And a red phone box cookie tin that I got to treat the office with when I lastwent back to the UK.

Put them together and you do get something very English :) I’ll see what the audience think when they see it next week :)