Friday, 18 April 2014


1. On Monday I had more or less recuperated from our stressful weekend, and started my day with switching on my now French speaking computer, which took a long time to load. Meanwhile I had coffee, called the gardener to cut the bushes,

cleaned the hand prints which little hands had left on our French window and only then it finally was ready ! Loading pages for comments took hours and the whole thing was slower then a snail participating in a marathon. In short, my computer had decided to give up it's soul and was on his terminal breath.

2. I told Mr. G. that probably I would need a new computer. He immediately got out of his usual lethargy and started looking for a new one on Internet, a thing he never does when it comes to look up for anything else. That's my job. And he found one ! In our Carrefour supermarket on promotion. He showed me what he had selected and convinced me that Window 8.1 wouldn't bite me. I had heard around me that Window 8 was very difficult to use and 8.1 is the newest improved version. Now he pushed me to eat my lunch quickly so that we could go to the shop (as if it would run away). That's what we did and as he didn't know Window 8.1, I had to drop him off at the Computer center of Waterloo, where he works twice a week as a volonteer to help people learning how to work with a computer. There his collegue installed what I needed, my bookmarks and other stuff, when it was finished he called me to pick him up and half an hour later I had my new computer !

It is a HP, 17 inches screen. I took off my old snail, and Mr. G. connected the new computer. It worked perfectly ! It is so quick that I first had to get used to it, it was as switching from an oldtimer to a Ferrari ! Of course I still have to learn some things, but at least I can blog as usual and read my emails. I think we should buy a computer every day to make Mr. G. move ! Unfortunately I am not Mrs. Bill Gates.

3. I just took the time to go shopping for food, my fridge was as empty as our bank account, and then spend the rest of the day with my new toy, discovering more and more functions.

4. Nicole celebrated her 75th birthday and Ilona had invited us for this event. It was sunny and warm on her terrace and we had coffee and a birthday cake.

Nicole complained about back ache as she had moved arround her furniture and done far too much.

Ilona showed her some Yoga exercises which should help to get rid of the backache while dog Charlie wondered what his servant did on the floor. Of course we were laughing like 3 Kookaburras, I wonder what the neighbors thought, probably that we were a group of hysterical schoolgirls.

5. I had the good intention to work a little bit in the garden, but after having pulled out a few weeds, I thought I could do it tomorrow. My green thumb hurt. Therefore I spent the afternoon with my new toy work tool, discovering new things. I found a camera with all kind of possibilities,  and while Mr. G. watched what I was doing,

my computer took this picture, I swear we were not in this train !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


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Thursday, 17 April 2014


When I was 23 in the 60th, had a good job and even a car, I decided to rent an appartment and move out from my parents. I was never allowed to invite friends, the cat I had got from a friend for my birthday was just tolerated,  and as no charming prince was in view I wanted to live on my own. I found a very nice little one, with two rooms, a bathroom and a kitchen and as it was on the ground floor I even had a little garden for my cat to go out through the window. When I wanted to sign the contract I needed my father's signature as I was not 25 years old, which made me very angry. But that was the law, to get married or rent a flat as a female you needed Daddy's signature !! (What a progress has been made ever since !).

I loved my little appartment, I had bought second hand furniture and it looked real cozy and nice. Unfortunately I have no picture of this time.

One night I got up to go to the bathroom and when I switched on the light I saw a huge fat spider sitting in the sink ! My heart stopped beating, I was like paralyzed, then I got my spirits back ran to the kitchen picked up my vacuum cleaner and pointed the tube into the sink to suck up the spider. Apparently it had worked because when I opened my eyes again the spider was gone.

I left the vaccuum cleaner turning for an hour or so, because I was so afraid that it would come out of the tube again. Then I switched it off and carried it to the basement into my little cellar, closed the door and went to bed again.

The next morning when I left for work, I met my neighbor an old woman (she was probably younger then I today) who always spyed on me and watched each movement in my apartment. She looked at me murderously and asked me with an angry voice to please not use my vacuum cleaner in the middle of the night, I should clean my flat during the day as normal people do !

Then she left, leaving me standing there, with  my mouth open to explain why I had used the vaccuum cleaner in the night. I finally decided to go first to work and pick up my vaccuum cleaner from the basement later, in case the spider was still living in it.

Jenny Matlock
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Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Wordless Wednesday
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Monday, 14 April 2014



Our peaceful routine life as a retired couple was interrupted this weekend ! We had our son and grandson Toby over ! Carpets were rolled up and toys taken out and when they arrived 3 of our 4 cats disappeared and were not seen only when we were alone.

Except our cat Arthur who loves company and children. Fortunately the weather was nice !

Mr. G. has celebrated his birthday probably not like he had imagined, because he was taken to the zoo together with a friend of our son and his two children.

The zoo was very big and we walked a lot to see all the animals, which was impossible it was far too big and after 4 hours we were all tired. Mr. G. had walked more then in a whole year. He looked rather funny carrying Toby's little Elephant backpack. We had lunch in the zoo and while the daddies were busy with cleaning the kids, Mr. G. took this photo. We went to Asia, Africa and saw a little of America. The zoo was divided into countries with their specific animals. Toby after a while was so tired that he sat on daddy's shoulders from  where he had an excellent view. 

My feet were burning and after supper we watched a little bit TV, of course a cartoon for kids. Daddy took the opportunity to go out with his friends and we babysitted Toby. Everything went well except that at 1.30 am, I was woken up by a crying Toby who had fallen from the large mattress into a little space between the wall and the mattress and lay on the tiled floor. I asked him to climb on the mattress again, but or he was asleep or he didn't want to, in short, I had to pull and push him from the floor on the mattress like a stiff corpse, goodness me, was he heavy ! Finally I managed and lay a while besides him until I was sure that he was deeply asleep. It is a double bed and he shared it with his dad as mummy was not there. Then I returned into my bed and the rest of the night I didn't hear him anymore.

On Sunday, our son wanted to take an "official" photo of his parents. For that he had brought with him a professional photograph equipment.

It was hard work to set up the background !

Toby played golf on our lawn and then took the background as goal.

Mr. G. had put on his marriage/funeral costume and a white shirt, while our sun fixed the last things for a good reflection.

Meanwhile Toby tried out the chair where his nonno should sit.

Then everything was fixed and ready and I took a picture of the impressive camera, while Mr. G. sat down and followed the instructions how to pose. He looks like a member of "The Godfather's" Don Corleone's family.

Then began the official photo shooting. I don't know how many photos were taken, but I asked my son to take some pictures with my camera and this was the result. Now I am curious to see our official photo for the eternity !

When it was over, Mr. G. hurried to get rid of his costume and took his garbage look again, I mean compared to the former elegance. Then arrived the friend again with his two children, to take photos of them with the same background, while I chatted with his wife.

They had brought a cheese cake which disappeared quickly and then we packed and loaded the car and the two went back to Amsterdam. We unrolled the carpets, put the toys away and collapsed on the sofas and the cats showed up again. We had a lot of fun, but realized that we are not getting younger ! 

Friday, 11 April 2014


1. The week started rather bad ! I was in war with my new Window XP installation in French, the original was in English and the one who had translated these technical terms must have had some whiskies too much !

You really need a lot of phantasy to understand the translations ! Fortunately I know where the places are otherwise with a dictionary I would never have found out. "Settings" for example was translated by "parameter" ! On top of that Picasa went mad and exported my pictures to an unknown place called "Images of the administrator " (in French) instead to "My Pictures" and I had to call Mr. G. for help as he knows all these technical terms in French, which ended up in arguing again, because men and women have a different logic !

2. Our water softener had its yearly check up and the guy should come Tuesday afternoon, which meant that I was stuck home, because I didn't know when he would come ! And if you are not home you have to take another appointment which can be at a time in the blue moon ! Tuesday is also the only day in the week where Mr. G. doesn't stay home with his cats, but goes out to play "Whist" (a card game ) with a group of retirees. So I continued with my French Window XP and found other things which didn't work, I just could pull out all my hair, but the fact that my head is not made to be bald it's not round enough, I refrained. Finally the guy arrived at 4 pm, cleaned and worked on it for an hour, assisted by cat Arthur who loves mechanics. He sneaked around, put his nose in the utensil bag to check what was in there. Fortunately the guy loved cats and we had a long chat about cats !

Arthur sitting on my car and supervising the work !

3.Our son announced his visit with Toby, my grandson, for this weekend, and had suggested that I buy some Easter stuff, as we won't see them on Easter. As Easter is only at the end of the month I hadn't thought about that at all. I went shopping. I was in 3 shops and none had not even a Easter bunny or little baskets, there was nothing left anymore or not yet there ! I hope I still have some things in the basement as most of the Easter stuff I had brought to Amsterdam 2 years ago when we had celebrated Easter together. I found some little things to hide and I think that is the most important thing for a 3 year old kid. The poor thing is very allergic to nuts and all little chocolate eggs I found contained nuts or "may contain nuts"  ! My eyes burnt from reading all the labels ! Next time I take a magnifier glass with me.

4. I was invited by a friend whom I hadn't seen since at least 7 years, somehow we had lost contact. She had remembered me because she needed some support for her oldest cat who is now 19 years old.

Mother and son, the little one is the mother, the son is 18 !

When I arrived I saw a little cat very skinny and she weighs only 2 kgs ! She also has troubles to walk. I think it's only a question of days or maybe two weeks, with cats you never know, and it will be the end. She won't let her suffer and ask the vet to put her asleep when it is time. Then we had to catch up on what happened during all these years and how it was possible that we lost contact. We decided that this would never happen again and will see each other from now on regularly. She is Belgian and her husband is German and was delighted to speak German for once !


Rain was announced for the whole day, and as usual when it should rain, the sun was shining as if payed for ! It had been quite cool and we arrived at Nicole's with thick pullovers ! But on her terrace it was so warm that we had to striptease off one layer after the other and Nicole had to give us sunhats ! We enjoyed a cool drink and had this beautiful view. Her neighbor beneath is a 82 year old lady who mows her rather big lawn alone she was just busy ! I was already tired when I only saw her !

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.


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Thursday, 10 April 2014


From childhood on, I hated men in uniforms, especially soldiers. It probably stems from the time I lived with my grandparents just after the second WW. My grandma had also told me that all men wearing a uniform are bad and/or stupid.

When I was maybe just 3 or 4, I saw the first soldiers in my life and these were the Americans who sat on huge tanks crossing this little town in the middle of the country side, leaving deep holes and traces in the main street. I still can hear the noise it made when the asphalt broke under the curb chains. Although they were waving friendly to the watching population and threw sweets for the children, I was very much afraid.

Each men wearing a uniform, was either bad behaving like the Russians who raped all women in their way and took toilets for machines to wash potatoes, that's what my grandpa had told me. The others were coming back from prison camps looked sick and swollen up like balloons and were all wrecks !

All my little friends had fathers where something was missing. A leg, an arm, an eye, and all that because they had worn a uniform. I grew up seeing them wearing prostheses, and sometimes when I stayed at a friend's house overnight, I saw a leg standing around or an arm laying somewhere and once even a glass eye which stared at me in the bathroom. Therefore with the logic of a child I was convinced that uniforms are equal to war and war to destruction, and if nobody would wear an uniform there would be no war either.

When wars were still a question of men fighting against men, the uniforms were colorful and especially red colors were a nice target. One could see the other from far ! Children, women and the old people weren't damaged the battle fields outside towns.

Over the years the uniforms became more and more ugly and lost all colors. They were made not to be seen. Battle fields disappeared, countries became the battle field with no concern for the population. There were no longer fights with swords, and the first guns which were used often only had one bullet. Today in their camouflage uniforms they have machine guns, shells, bombs and landmines. Whole cities were or are destroyed and millions of innocent people killed.

Actual wars which are going on are later a nice subject for Hollywood films like about Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, etc. And now there are new films in view about Syria for example. At least the film industry has some profit with people wearing uniforms !

Jenny Matlock
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