Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Friday, 19 December 2014

Holidays Are Coming! So remember the lonely folk?!

No snow over here; typical Dutch Christmas period weather, meaning temperatures around 8 degrees C, rain forecast and a lot of wind. Mind, the sun's actually out right this minute! Quick, catch it before it goes!

When I was a kid, long long ago, my parents firmly believed in giving us a moralizing talk beneath the Christmas tree (with real candles! Those were the days), loosely based on what they had both been taught in church when they were kids themselves. I don't remember the actual words, but the meaning was clear: noblesse oblige.
The funny thing was that I also clearly remember there NOT being any smelly homeless around our dinner table, nor did we invite our lonely Grannie in, and my adolescent candour was certainly frowned upon. 
So, what do you do, the only thing to do possibly, and that is you are determined to do this Christmas thing different yourself, especially when you have kids of your own!

Thankfully they make it easy on us to spread some Christmas joy these days. 
A couple of large supermarket chains (Jumbo, Dirk) give one the opportunity to buy a festive dish for someone, and the supermarket then will add a second dish themselves. The meals go to the needy through various organizations like the Salvation Army. 
The Food Bank is working flat out to get as much food in as they possibly can, again to distribute it around the needy.
This is in rich, glamorous triple A Holland, folks.

And radio station 3FM has put up the 'Glass House' for Serious Request ( a fully working radio studio made entirely out of glass) again, this time in the fair city of Haarlem. Three djs are in there without food for 6 days. Seriously! The idea is you ask them to play your song (the request) and you pay as much money for this as you can spare or beg for through doing something of your own. This year's theme is stopping sexual harassment of young women (I seriously believe this should be 'of all women'!).

As you can see, the glass house draws some serious crowds.

So it is easy to get into the festive generous spirit, easy as pie.
At the same time, I read in my newspaper that there is an estimation that more people are alone and feeling down around Christmas than ever before. a conservatively easy guess...could it be more easy to get involved in raising money for Serious Request than asking smelly old auntie To around for drinks? Hmmmmmm?

Yes. Absolutely. I put my money where my mouth is, and I do ask people around who I suspect are alone. They can always decline the invitation. And I put off going off on a much coveted and deserved holiday because I happen to have this almost 87 year old Mum. 
It is a matter of principle.

So. With your equivalent of the moralizing talk beneath my Christmas tree, I'm asking you now. Remember the lonely folk?

Have a smashing holiday, enjoy your company, don't over-eat and will talk to you soon. XXX

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Viggo on Kate Bush.

It had to happen...Impossible to skip...Kate Bush being the essence of cattiness ever since she posed as a lioness on the cover of her album Lionheart. And my big butch black tomcat has an opinion on everything anyway, as you well know by now.

V: First of all, what is that ridiculous photo doing here? That's not me!

Q: Sorry. I thought it was quite amusing...

V: Amusing? It is degrading! It makes us felines look like utter idiots. As if we...mublmublzzmublb...

Q: Excuse me?

V: Okay. I do like a good box myself. From time to time.

V: Good GRIEF, woman!

Q: Concentrate on the Kate Bush angle, Viggo.

V: Right. Kate Bush, Kate know, my mind's a blank. 

Q: Viggo!

V: Pffffffft, keep your claws sheeted. Kate Bush. The uttermost catlike singer I have ever heard. The grace, the agility, the power, the glossiness, the balance, the control, the warbling, the range, the...

Q: That's just a summing up. Come on, you can do better than that!

V: I was just getting started.  

When I first heard her latest album, I was blown away. I remember it well. You had ordered it from and it arrived just before Christmas last year in an intriguing cardboard envelope which smelled divine, and you put it on really loud and I felt these vibrations through the tips of my whiskers. And then this...voice...It took all my self-control not to howl along..."!" 
And on Ariel she used those divine bird sounds, it makes me shiver all over, delicious!

Do you know, there is not a lot that I feel we have in common, you and I. You are my woman, and I appreciate you looking after me, but that's about it...Well, I like the occasional cuddle. But Kate Bush is our common ground, absolutely. 

As a black cat, I am in the know. Kate Bush is the quintessence of English wicca, but the good side. It's no surprise to me that she is referred to as such by folks on the Internet. That Kate even looks like a cat. Have you seen her eyes? And those pointy ears and teeth. I bet she smells good.

Q: She's supposed to be a vegetarian.

V: What? Impossible. No meat? No!

Q: Hmmm. That's what I read.

V: Oh! Oh! The disappointment! The heartbreak! 

Q: Now who is being ridiculous?

V: Shut up, you flexitarian you! It's bad enough that you hang your bird feeders out of my range. Us cats need blood! Fresh blood! With feathers on! Oh...go on, post another photo of 
some pampered neutered cat that never hunts, why don't you? I'm done!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Grey Days - Time for Kate Bush!

Women of Ireland

Hi there. A quick one today, as I am ill with flu and my energy level is at an all-time low.
Seriously, taking a trip to the loo is the equivalent of climbing Mount Doom at the moment. 

So what do I do, flat on my back or - alternatively - hanging crookedly into the pillows? I listen to Kate Bush, obviously. When I was little and ill my Gran used to cook me pudding; now that I am Gran material myself (don't mention this to my daughter though, I don't want her to get ideas) I have to provide my own comfort, so Kate it is. (Use the link at the top of this post)

Could be worse, eh?