21 Jan 2019

SCARING ECHO

When I was a little girl, wherever my friends and I could detect an echo of our voices, we  shouted as loud as we could one after the other and laughed when our voice came back. Of course we used the ugliest words and giggled when we heard ourselves. In fact we made a kind of voice selfie.

Later when I was older and went on holidays into the mountains in some places you had a wonderful echo ! You said a sentence and it came back, you sang a little song and you could hear your voice it was as if the mountain was talking to you.


Lake of Garda (our apartment)

During one part of my life I was really scared about echos. That was when we went each year on holidays to Italy at the lake of Garda where Mr. G is coming from combining family visits and holidays at the lake. . The north of the lake is surrounded by high mountains, which look really very beautiful, but ... in some years we had a lot of thunderstorms, which probably weren't that noisy, but the echo from the mountains doubled the effect and it was terrifying ! Normally I am not afraid of  thunder but with several echos as amplifiers, it was really awful ! The noise could have woke up a dead ! Sometimes I thought the walls were shaking.

But as for everything from year to year I got nearly used to it and it didn't scare me that much anymore. There was nothing to do against it anyway.


an Echo can be dangerous

No comment .....


20 Jan 2019

WHAT MEANS SERENDIPITY ?

For today's "Just Jot it" Jil has given us the word "Serendipity", to knit a story around this word.

I was never good in knitting wool but knitting around a word I have never heard, seemed quite difficult to me. What did I do as I always do when I don't know something : I google !

Google brought me to Wikipedia who stated that Serendipity means an unplanned fortunate discovery, like for example the penicillin in 1928 or the microwave oven in 1945 !!
 
Unfortunately I haven't discovered nothing besides some unexpected dust under my bed. But I don't think that this is a fortunate discovery. The word was invented by a certain Horace Walpole in 1754 in the English language. I think he was a rather complicated man, why invent such a strange word coming from Arab traders or the Three Princes of Serendip, instead of just saying "luck" or "fortunate". That's much shorter.

When you dig a little deeper into the meaning of this word, you could get a bit confused, at least I did,

- The Serendipity of Science
- The BBC serendipity webside

and the Synonyms for serendipity

fluke.
happenstance.
blessing.
break.
luck.
dumb luck.
good luck.
happy chance.

Now you have the choice.

After having put together some synonyms for serendipity I made the following discovery !



It was a blessing that during my lunch break I had the good luck to find my cat in the dishwasher, which was really a happy chance.

For Arthur it was serendipity or was it for me ??



18 Jan 2019

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

I started the week by looking out of the window to make my program for the day,





and when I saw this, I only wanted to make one program : hide and sleep until spring comes ! Just as my cats !



I pulled myself together and thought that is a day to sort out the photos on my computer. And that's what I did ! At least in the evening I had the feeling that I had worked hard the whole day !

The weather didn't get any better, but this time I didn't bother because we had our scrabble day. Instead of 4 we were 5 and it went more quick. I didn't loose I was just before the last one !
Unfortunately I forgot to ask one of my companionship to take a picture of me and the huge black dog Tosca, who, when I made a Yoga demonstration on the floor thought it was a new game and wanted to do the same. He jumped around me and pushed me with his wet nose, the girls laughed their heads off, and that's why there is no picture. I have to say that the dog has about the same size as me !

For aqua gym I badly needed a bathing costume, my old one had become like a bag around me. Nothing is better then going to the shopping center because the shop I had found on internet was also there. With a friend who also needed a bathing costume, we went there, had a nice lunch and both found the right costume, so we were very happy. Sales was still going on until the end of the month and now as the end is near, there is sales on sales ! I didn't need anything and didn't see anything which would have attracted me, but she found a very nice pullover.

Then we returned home in the rain of course.



Here we are in full action in our painting class, it seems that we have an epidemic outbreak of cats, I had always been the only one painting cats and now half of my companionship is painting cats !!

As usual we had a nice time and after class 4 of us went to the Carrefour Lunchgarden and had lunch there. A rather extended lunch because we arrived around 12 and left at 3 pm !









more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.



Just jot "Companionship

17 Jan 2019

WHY INCHES ??

For the Americans inches are used  every day just as pounds, feet and miles. For the rest of the world we use cm, meter and kilometer. Except the UK who does a mingle mangle of both. On the streets the speed signs are in miles but you have to calculate in km which is written on the car's dashboard. Mostly they have both, otherwise the time you calculate miles in km or the other way around your car may have kissed a tree.

The grandparents are in steady conflict with their grandchildren, because the grandchildren mesure in cm, meters and kilometers while the grandparents are still with their inches, feet and miles ! That's the same with the temperatures.



As 1 inch is 2.54 cm, it is far better to use inches when you measure your waist, it makes you slim !
If your waist measures 60 cm, the number sounds a lot, but if it measures only 24 inches, it is a small number ! That sounds much better and would look better on a paper when you want to be a model. The numbers are not so high and that counts for everything. That's maybe because the Americans keep with their inches, because if they had a waist of 60 that would be 153 cm !

Anyway I have learned at school that inches exist, for the rest I must have slept, because I didn't like Math classes. When I stayed with my aunt in Madison Wisconsin, we never talked about the system of measurements, and I didn't care about how many km or miles we made per day when we travelled or how many inches her cat's tail measured.







16 Jan 2019

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY




Arthur is looking for warm places .... Or he wants to be a chimney sweeper ?







more participants here
and Image-in-ing


One liner Wednesday

15 Jan 2019

LIVING IN PARIS

In 1989 I started Art school in Brussels at the young age of 46. We often went to Paris when there was a special exhibition. I have seen Toulouse Lautrec, Picasso, and a lot of others and after the exhibition we explored Paris. After having seen the Tourist stuff, which almost everybody knows, one thing I visited is graved in my memories because it was so shocking.

We visited the cemetary Père Lachaise where lots of celebrities are burried. 25 years ago already at the entrance were graffiti and indications for Jim Morisson's grave, as if he was the only celebrity buried here.

On the way leading to his grave were arrows painted and written "Morisson ici" (here)



When we arrived at the grave, impossible to miss it, there were a bunch of young people sitting on the other grave stones around Morisson's grave, the grave itself was full of syringes, spoons and little bags. Also Whisky and Wodka bottles. I had never seen such a grave in my whole life. Girls were crying, some boys wrote poems in a book, some smoked (not cigarettes), songs from their idol were played from a  record player. It seemed to me that I was in another world and I was surprised that there was no police or security guards. The other grave stones around where also full of tags and graffiti. The families owning these graves were certainly very upset.  Unfortunately I didn't take any photos at that time, so I picked out pictures  from the internet of what I remember. For once my memory was quite good. No wonder I have never seen a grave like that afterwards until today !



At least 25 years later I returned to the Père Lachaise cemetary, together with a friend who had invited me for 10 days to help her to settle in her new apartment in Paris. Jim Morisson's grave was now protected like the grave of a king ! There were barriers all around, no way to paint or sit on other gravestones and 3 guards were there permanently to keep an eye on the public. What a difference ! Couldn't believe it. The grave was full of flowers, and no syringes anymore. The public too had changed, there were still some fans but they didn't bother anybody.

Ever since I spent these 10 days in Paris helping my friend to buy furniture, curtains, household appliances etc, I decided that never ever I would go to Paris again ! Unless there is something so special that I can't avoid it. I learned how you live in Paris when you are not a tourist !!

Her father a former politician with long arms had found her a beautiful apartment in the 16th "arrondissement" one of the most posh districts of the 20 districts in Paris.  She got it very quickly ! Which is not easy at all in Paris or other major cities.  I don't know the rental price it didn't matter anyway Daddy payed.



The houses in this area were old and real beautiful inside. There were metro stations to get you wherever you wanted. Unfortunately the metros were quite dirty and it looked as it would never been cleaned.



The most funniest thing in the building was the old elevator. I loved it ! It was like standing in a cage and you could look through the barriers or grids down on the wire which pulled you up and also on the staircase where people preferred to go upstairs because they were afraid of taking the elevator.



Although the apartment was very modern inside and had all comfort you needed, there was another thing which intrigued me very much ... the basement ! I also had never seen basements like that in a private apartment building. I had seen catacombs but never a basement which looked like a catacomb.

When she took the key and led me down the old used stone stairs. I was pushed centuries back. Each apartment had a cellar with a lattice gate and an old lock. Before we arrived at her cellar we had to walk through narrow corridors with low ceilings and it was really a bit creepy. She told me that all these basements are like a cobweb under Paris and in some locked up cellars there are skulls and bones stocked.

I wished I could have seen that, but of course she didn't have the keys. This was really an interesting and special place to visit and I enjoyed it very much.

What I didn't enjoy at all were the people. They were so arrogant and rude, the pedestrians and the car drivers. The shouted and insulted each other for nothing. The traffic was crazy and there I could learn a lot of not so elegant words in French. And this is a posh area, I wonder how they speak in the less fortunate districts.

Shopping too was a disaster, the sales people behaved as if you the client did them a favor to buy something in their shops. That was for the washing machine, the dishwasher etc but also for the living furniture. The last one got it all, I had enough. I asked why he is so aggressive and so unfriendly when we only want to buy a sofa. He looked at me as if I was just arriving from the moon and didn't understand what I meant. My friend the polite, adorable, friendly girl who never raised her voice in Brussels, changed completely in Paris. She also started to shout, pushed people around and became also aggressive. I thought if I stay here a bit longer I have to behave the same, otherwise nobody moves and I obtain nothing !!

I was always happy when we returned to her apartment where we sat on mattresses, the sofa hadn't arrived yet and watched TV and  had our supper on trays on the parquet !

Now it's such a long time ago, but I can never forget this stay in Paris.



more participants here

14 Jan 2019

CATS AND MIRRORS

Some years ago, when I was still working a fellow worker asked me if I could keep his cat for a week as he had to go on a business trip. I knew his cat, a very quiet and cuddly cat, also very social. I told him to bring Otto along just to see if he wouldn't fight with my female cat Piccola. That's what he did and there was no problem at all, they liked each other immediately.

Therefore Otto spent a week holidays in our apartment where we lived at that time. In the middle of the apartment was a rather big hall from where all doors were leading to the different rooms. One door was a mirror ! Otto loved the mirror or rather the reflection of himself. As soon as he had discovered his "twin" he walked along the mirror tail up and in parade position and admired himself. He tried to sniff at this cat, but only found the rather cold mirror. Then he discovered that the reflection did the same moves as he did. He lifted a paw, the other cat lifted a paw too. He turned left and then right and the cat in the mirror did the same. And we watched him and laughed our heads off. No TV needed !



Otto also was happy, he admired himself each day and spent long hours in front of the mirror and watched  the strange cat who did exactly what he did too. I think he spent very nice holidays !

Not all cats can see their reflection in a mirror. They stare at it but don't see nothing. That's the case of my 3 cats. I can put them in front of a mirror or a wall the result is the same.



Others see another cat and start to fight



Or they watch their reflection for hours with a very mistrustful look



sometimes it also happens that they are scared and run away



or they watch their reflection for hours to see if it moves or not



Some become affectionate



Or are very surprised to see something in this strange frame.


Reflection

11 Jan 2019

FRIDAY's FAVE FIVE

The week started again with grey and cold weather,  and  I thought I would need another warm polar suit so that I could change, but going out and walking from shop to shop and maybe get a flu, made me hesitate but then I found the solution, I went to the shopping center where I had all shops and it was warm and I also could have a coffee.

Of course I didn't find what I was looking for, there were polar suits but only in animal shape, as cat, bear or as unicorn ! Although I am not a shy person I thought it wouldn't be so appropriate for a vintage lady to open the door as cat, bear or unicorn with ears and one horn and tails !



When I came back I googled for such a suit found a very nice one without an animal face cap and tail.

A friend had invited me to see her Christmas decoration, as she does it real artistically and each year in another colour. This year it was in pink. It certainly had been a lot of work and looked beautiful.



We had our weekly scrabble this time at Nicole's and had a lot of fun with her little cat Isis.



Isis thinks she should help in the household and each night pulls out Nicole's pullovers and carries them from the bedroom into the living room ! Poor Nicole each morning has to laugh and puts them back ! Now Isis has also started to nearly open the drawers of the bedside table, but so far only manages to pull out some pieces. I think in a short time she will learn to open drawers !



After having checked my camera, she settled down on my purse ! I am sure it was because it smelled so good my cats ! Isis has the most beautiful crosseyed eyes !!




Mireille had really funny letters for her game that's why I took a photo. To make a word with 5 O's and one L is rather difficult. Nevertheless she won again and I was lost ! The fruit cake was delicious and despite the awful weather we had a very nice afternoon.

During my painting lesson I tried again a "pouring" painting,  I don't know what I have done but it went completely wrong. My table was full of different colors and looked like a modern painting itself. It took me half an hour to clean up everything ! And with that I forgot to take a picture of this disaster !!

And another week flew by !




more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.




flu, flew

10 Jan 2019

SUNRISE ALARM CLOCKS

With our three cats sunrise is a kind of alarm clock. In winter it's OK because it is dark until 9 am and by that time I am up to feed the three room tigers, meowing for breakfast,  before my eardrum has burst.

In summer it becomes more complicated. We have shutters on the windows in the whole house except of course at the entrance door. Unfortunately for me, there are little windows at the door which lets the sun shine through. The cats, even if they are in a dark bedroom feel that the sun rises at 6 am so they think they should get up too, and when they get up there stomachs claim, which causes a concert in my room. I tried to pretend not to hear but after half an hour I gave up. My principle that I am the boss turned out not to be true. They are. Nobody can stand three cats singing with all their heart, not all together but one by one, or two together or one alone. The noise is the same.

After having given up to be the boss, as soon as one says "meow" I jump out of my bed, find half asleep the way to the kitchen, take the cat food, fill in three bowls and return as quick as possible into my bed until the shutters open for my personal sunrise, which of course I can't see anymore because by the time I get up the sun is shining !

Sometimes mostly during holidays I manage to watch the sun going up over the sea or a lake or a mountain, but at home almost never. I have to admit sometimes I cheat, because on a photo you can't really tell if it is a sunrise or a sunset !!



My sunrise alarm clocks




9 Jan 2019

8 Jan 2019

MALA INDIA SHOP



Just Jot it prompt - "Self" by Ritu

Most of my blogfriends know that my mood depends very much on the weather and the light. If the sun is shining both selves in me are happy, if it rains or it is grey and cold and humid, both selves are very unhappy. I don't remember who had said that humans are the only creatures who can hold a conversation with themselves. There are two in us, one is the brain and the other the heart. The brain is more easy to manage then the heart ! If you fall in love with an impossible guy and your brain directed inner self says, stop it, the other doesn't agree, or it is very hard.

Yesterday was a day where my both selves were not very happy, it was cold, grey, very humid and just disgusting. I was looking for something to cheer me up ! And suddenly I thought, India is just around the corner a couple of streets further ! I'll go there !

And that's what I did, I went to the shop Mala India, which is not really a shop. It is presented like an Indian house.

There is a corner when you come in with a fountain and little chairs where you can have Indian tea. There is Indian music which is good to calm you down if you are agitated. Friendly ladies are chatting, people are reading it is very peaceful and all this beautiful furniture and Indian decorations around makes the place special and cosy. 



You can walk from one room to the other and buy the exposed things, the furniture too



the windows and the carved wooden pannels





There is a "kitchen" with shelves where you find all possible Indian spices and rice and other food.



A room for fabric and lamps



Beautiful doors



Even a slide



Ribbons and buttons



clothes



and myself in a mirror



A long way leading to the bedroom



interrupted by a dining room







Entrance to the bed room



The bedroom




When you leave the bedroom



Plenty of Buddhas



and carved items



It's really very pleasant to sit down or make a little tour in this house. Sometimes I also buy something but this time I didn't.





more participants here