Week 25-2017. Amersfoort.

Summertime Summertime.

The first half of the week showed very pleasant weather with temperatures up to 30 degrees centigrade. The second half was a lot less pleasant with rain, thunderstorm and much loweswir temperatures.

I have been very lazy and only went to join a birthday party in Amsterdam. One of the guests at the party conveyed his plan to go to horse riding in Argentina. Logically I joined in the conversation and now this guy is using me as his source for further development of his plan.

Swimming in IJburg Swimming at IJburg

Apart from this, not much interesting happened this week. An organization dealing with drop-outs is now housing 8 young adults in the apartment building. We, the regular tenants, try to teach them to behave like responsible members of this small community. We are making some progress, slowly.

Food Nourishment. Continue reading

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Week 24-2017. Amersfoort.

Moth Moth.

The week begins with a lot of sport: on TV, yes. There is tennis at Roland Garros and Formula 1 at Montreal. Watching that takes a lot of time, but I like it.

Cleaning and organizing my digital files, on a variety of hardware, takes a lot of energy and time too, but it is necessary to do it. I was looking for the scans I made from diaries of my parents. It took a while, but luckily I found them, resulting in further scanning of the remaining 21 notebooks: drudgery.

Around lunchtime on Tuesday, the R.S.C.P.A. rang: I volunteer for the transport of small animals. This time they asked me to take a young hare with a damaged leg to Amsterdam and a tortoise to Alphen a/d Rijn: It took three and a half hours and 174 kms driving.

Dutch landscape  Dutch landscape.

On Wednesday I was busy with a variety of activities. First I went through the diaries written about my trip through Argentina, on horseback in 1999. A copy of the registration of one particular day was sent to a friend, to highlight the story I told him about that day. I had lunch with my brother in law. We had not seen each other for nearly half a year, so we agreed that that is too long. He promised to invite me for dinner at his place shortly. In the evening I attended an information event organized by the landlord. We, tenants, neighbors, hospital staff and others were told about plans concerning the future of the hospital especially with respect to the grounds and the real estate. They plan to sell approximately 20% of the grounds including the real estate on it. The apartment building where I am living will then be demolished. So I may have to move home in something like 4 years from now. This was very bad news but not entirely unexpected. Personally I don’t think they will manage to execute these plans in four years time. The idea alone is appalling. We, the present tenants, will be very busy keeping track of further developments and search for possibilities to fight implementation of these ideas.

Lunch location Lunch location.

















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Week 23-2017. Hummene-Amersfoort.

Towncentre Humenne Towncentre Humenné.

Sunday in Humenné, Pentecost. The church is, as is usual, loaded with people standing in the hall and also outside where you can follow the proceedings through loudspeakers. I do like the voice of the female leader of the singing: beautiful, strong and clear.

After the service I prepare to leave for Medzilaborce, where I am supposed to prepare a meal with salmon. I take Ivan, my friend’s father, with me again. My friend is arriving much later, because she was to Presov, to consult a colleague veterinarian. Tobias, the cocker spaniel from my friend, suffers from a tumor in its mouth. After the fish dinner, we return to Hummené.

Whit Monday. My friend operates two dogs and a cat, so she is very busy. Halfway the day, people arrive with a box. In the box is a beautiful black swallow. After a short survey of the bird, my friend walks out, lift her hand with the bird and it flies away. When I comment that this is a € 5 consult, all present look in amazement at me. It is true however, but a veterinarian in Hummené is not like them in the Netherlands: they do a lot of work unpaid for.

Stray dog Stray dog.

On Tuesday my friend had to be up very early, to take her 4y old daughter to hospital for a survey on her heart condition. I brought the little child and her aunt back to Medzilaborce, driving my friend’s car. This car, Mitsubishi Outlander, with an automatic gearbox is very comfortable. I saw the concerns: is this fellow capable of driving an automatic? I told them the facts: in many countries you need an extra driving license to drive a non automatic car! An automatic car does have only two peddles, where non automatic cars have three: that is much more complicated to handle!

Humenne rail international Humenné rail international.

Wednesday will be my last day in Hummené. It was also the quietest day, allowing us to have a nice and quiet dinner at a local restaurant.

Thursday morning. I pack, hover the apartment, and see Ivan, Helena (the parents) and the old and ill Cocker Tobias. After that I go see my friend at work to say good bye. As usual she asks me when I am coming back again. I don’t know.

It is around eleven in the morning when I hit the road. The journey goes without any difficulties: fast and secure. Around 04:30 on Friday I am back home, covered 1500kms.

Home bound 1st stop in Poland Home bound 1st stop in Poland.

I made my bed and went asleep. Early the same morning I get a phone call: a new born baby girl is announced by my sister. She became a grandmother, again, for the 3rd time.

I am picking up my usual easy life, watching soccer, writing diaries and chatting with the locals.

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Week 22-2017. Amersfoort-Hummene.

Facing colors Facing colors.

The Sunday was interesting. Verstappen finished 5th in Monaco,  Dumoulin won the Giro. I was in Hollandse Rading where I exchanged information with Hanke and in Eemnes I accompanied my grandson, home alone. At the railway station I spotted two women in their gowns from the Lord of the night.

Viewing Soestdijk Viewing Soestdijk.

On Monday I visited my family doctor, who checked and confirmed the proper working of my heart. She sends me to a specialist to sort out a situation with my way of swallowing. Small items sometimes get into my trachea causing some problematic breathe. I rang my friend in Humenné to tell hear I planned to come: she shocked from arousal.

Tuesday, around six in the evening, I left Amersfoort on my way to Slowakia. Wednesday mid afternoon I arrived in Humenné after a journey without any difficulty. My friend appears to be very busy, which is, as a matter of fact, quite normal. I install myself in the usual apartment. After that I meet my friend tells me more about her daily activities. She does have some troubles: her own dog is pretty ill with a cancer in its beak. Apart from that she gets all sorts of stray animals, dogs and cats, with litter. She houses them and treats them.

Mother cat with four kittens Mother with litter.

Stray cat Stray cat.

I don’t have specific activities here to perform and plenty of time. I brought materials with me, to treat some rusty spots on my car. So that’s what I mainly did: treat rust, sanding and spraying. It looks good when it is done.

Humenne wine bar Wine bar, next door.

This entry of my blog is very late, as noted. The reason is that my laptop refused to start on Saturday morning. Blast: that’s a setback.

Mother and daughter Mother and child.

On Saturday my friend’s father and I travelled to Medzilaborce, where we had a BBQ and ate too much. Problem with a BBQ in Medzilaborce is, that I have to drive back to Humenné so: no alcohol, not even one!!

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Week 21-2017. Amersfoort.


Tree trunk Tree trunk.

Cleaning was what I did this week. Yes, the whole week. Cleaning my apartment, cleaning my car, cleaning cloth, cleaning everything: I am ready for the summer.

Cleaning my car Cleaning my old car.

Toots was more then welcome back home with her mistress in Hollandse Rading.

Toots back at home Toots back at home in Hollandse Rading.

I threw away things I never touched for the last couple of years and fitted a mosquito net over my bed.

Woodpecker Woodpecker.

That’s about it, for this week.

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Week 20-2017. Amersfoort.

Going home My Canadian friend.

My Canadian friend arrived Sunday, early in the afternoon. He was determined to watch a soccer match from Feyenoord. This match could make Feyenoord this years’ champion. Since I don’t have the paid TV package where you can watch this, we went to my son in Eemnes. My son however wanted to watch the formula 1 race in Barcelona. Bad luck for all of us: the remote control appeared to be lost and nothing could be watched at all. We went to a local pub where we watched the soccer game. The results: our favourite formula 1 driver Max Verstappen left the race after an incident in the first round but Feyenoord won and is this years’ champion: party time for Rotterdam.

Eemland Eemland pub.

My friend stayed with me until Thursday morning. We did have a couple of interesting days together. On Monday, we bought some materials to fence off my balcony and fix a shelf in my room. The fence has two major functions: prevent the Springer Spaniel from wriggling through the bars and to prevent other lodgers to walk across my balcony. We did like the result of our work very much.

On Tuesday, my car had to go to the service station for the installation of a new sensor in the cooling system. With the hired car of my friend we drove around in the neighbourhood.

My friends My two friends.

On Wednesday, we went to Oegstgeest where we had arranged to meet two more friends from our youth some 65 years ago. It was a beautiful warm summer day. My friend had arranged to meet in a pub we visited three years earlier. This pub, ‘De Gouwe’, appeared to be closed so we walked a bit further down the road to another one, formerly known as ‘Het Witte Huis’. We exchanged old stories and discussed the present. It was a nice meeting. On the way back home, we visited one of our ‘old’ contacts in Weesp. She had had a new knee fitted.

Long time friends in Oegstgeest Gert, Gerard and Pieter in Oegstgeest.

After the early departure of my friend, he went back to Rotterdam, I went to Eemnes. There I have been busy with a BBQ thrown to celebrate the birthday of one of the four sons of my sons’ wife.

Birthday friends BBQ in Eemnes.

Friday was used to take it easy, cleaning and shopping for the weekend.

Railway carriages workshop Railway carriages workshop.

Saturday afternoon I visited a party in the honour of a befriended couple. They are married 60 years! The party took place in Amersfoort, not far from where I live but in an area totally unknown to me until now. It was a surprise to me and I am sure to get back there.

DLC café Amersfoort DLC café Amersfoort.

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Week 19-2017. Amersfoort.

Rhododendrons Spring at home.

It was a wonderful day: Sunday. After the WWT (world wide trip) this was the first Sunday in my home town. A few people approached me to ask me about my health. They have no idea why I had not attended the service for such a long time. In the afternoon, I went to Ridderkerk to meet my oldest sister. I had been the only absentee, when she celebrated her 80th birthday in March.

Opportunism Terrain with trees growing from natural seeding.

On Monday, I have been busy with my car. The car was serviced just before my return. There appeared something wrong in the cooling. At the service station, they concluded, that mice must have had a pleasant home under the bonnet during my absence in winter. Everywhere you could find empty shells from acorns, abundant at the parking at my home. Those empty shells rattled through my cooling/ventilation tubes and they obstructed some valves. On top of that the car indicated a malfunctioning in the cooling system. The indication urged me to stop the car, which I did. After due consideration, I ignored the signals. I carried on driving, being sure that a sensor failed but not the system as such.

Hollandse Rading Hollandse Rading

On Tuesday I assisted my former neighbour, now living in Hollandse Rading. She had to go to hospital. For the time being, I am taking care of her dog Toots, the Springer Spaniel.

Toots Huntingdon Toots Huntingdon.

During the rest of the days of this week, I have been busy helping out at the yearly fair at church. Every year there is a fair on a Saturday around May. People from around the church bring in redundant goods from lofts and garages. We check their working order, sort them and establish a sales price. This year, the yield from the sales goes to the restoration of the church organ. I am always responsible for the sale of technical items, like audio and video sets, lamps, hoovers and any other electrical appliances. It is no doubt the most complicated stand, because the others are books, cd’s, records, household items and haberdashery. After the fair, there is always a lot left over. These left overs go partly to a shop in recycled goods and the rest goes to the regional destruction site. The funds raised this year, where reasonably satisfactory.

Fair Fair.

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