14 Dec 2019


When our son was little we always went to the Lake of Garda in Italy to visit my mother in law who lived in the next town. We didn't have to carry our huge tent each time, we just left it in her basement and often when we arrived it was already put up by friends. The reason was that we were directly at the lake when we got up.

One night I woke up because I heard a loud, heavy breathing outside the tent and a rustling noise. It was as if somebody turned around our tent. I got a little scared waked up Mr. G. and told him that somebody is around our tent. Now he heard a loud noise too. As a brave man who has to defend his family he took a torch and went outside ..... and found himself nose to nose with a big dog who friendly waggled with his tail. He petted the dogs head and returned to bed and then we had to laugh. What a dangerous intruder !

The next day he saw the dog again, apparently it was the dog of the camping owner who made its rounds during night !

Linking to Linda G. Hills SOCS-Loud

13 Dec 2019


The last three weeks it has always rained on Mondays so we were happy to get together for our Scrabble and coffee chat.

Two were missing, due to a cold and were replaced by Tosca at least for the coffee chat and hoped that he would also get a piece of cake. Which of course he got.

Mireille whose turn it was this time lives on the 4th floor of a building which overlooks shopping malls, restaurants and even a bowling. Now as it becomes dark so early her husband showed us that in the evening when watching TV they don't even need to switch on the lights. The room was clear enough without electricity. The view in the darkness with all these lights was far better then during the day when you see the buildings in daylight.

I still hadn't done anything for Christmas and finally forced myself to start by asking Mr. G. to carry the Christmas tree up from the basement into the living room and then it stood there naked.

After a while I pulled all my energy together and started the decoration, but first we had to put the light garlands around the tree ! What a work as it was all mingled together. Finally the garland was around the tree and I could start with the balls.

Underneath the tree I placed Joseph with Mary and baby Jesus and a few angels. Our Christmas tree was above all child friendly because of grandson Toby. So it wasn't a sophisticated, elegant Christmas tree, but a cheerful every day tree. After that I collapsed on the sofa and answered emails !

In our painting class a few were absent too, so many people are sick which is no wonder with this strange weather, and they also said that there is a virus wandering around. Which one was not precised  and those who had a flu shot got the flu even worse. Therefore I never have a flu vaccination.

My three small paintings had dried during the week and it was amazing that with the three colors I had used and had mixed in one pot and poured over the three canvas  came out all different !

After painting we went for lunch this time a quick one, because I had to check if my TV furniture had arrived in the shop, because I have hired one to pick it up and put it together so that he won't come for nothing.

Grandpa Arthur instead of becoming bald with the age, got long hairs ! I didn't even know that a short hair cat can become a broom. The poor boy was full of knots and I had to take him to the groomer. In the beginning he was cooperative but then he started to growl and hiss he had enough. But all in all it went far better then  I had thought. Now he looks like a sheared sheep ! I wonder if he agrees to wear a coat. But that is not necessary as he doesn't go out anymore.

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

12 Dec 2019


As English is not my mother tongue I had to look up the meaning of "Nerd" ! When I found out what it meant, I was not surprised that I never had heard this word because probably I am everything else but a nerd !

The best explanation I found was this one :

most nerds are shy ordinary-looking types with no interest in physical activity. But, what they lack in physical prowess they make up in brains. Tell me, who writes all the best selling books? Nerds. Who makes all the top grossing movies? Nerds. Who designs computer programs so complex that only they can use them? Nerds. And who is running for high public office? No one but nerds. ... Without nerds to lead the way, the governments of the world will stumble, they'll be forced to seek guidance from good-looking, but vapid airheads.

Linking to Linda G. Hill's One linder Wednessday-Nerd

11 Dec 2019


Christmas Pyramid, the heat of four candles make the wheel turn. Most of German households have this as Christmas decoration.

Christmas market Düsseldorf

more participants here,
and Image-in-ing

10 Dec 2019


We have a bus company who organizes one day excursions, which is nice, because it just interrupts your daily routine and you get the impression to be on holidays. On the program was a visit to the Düsseldorf Christmas market. It is not so far away around 200 km. Anyway we always have a lot of fun during the trip in the bus, so that the 3 hours, due to the heavy traffic went by very quickly. 

It was the winter markets that eventually became known as Christmas Markets—the earliest of which are claimed to be in Germany in Munich around 1310.

In many towns in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, Advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the Christmas market or "Weihnachtsmarkt". In southern Germany, Switzerland and Austria, it is called a "Christkindelsmarkt" (literally meaning "Christ child market"). Traditionally held in the town square, the market has food, drink and seasonal items from open-air stalls accompanied by traditional singing and dancing.

Besides its huge Christmas market, Düsseldorf is one of the most exclusive fashion and shopping destinations worldwide. The elegant boulevard Königsallee with its famous fashion labels and special flair of luxury serves with everything a shopping heart desires if you have a good filled wallet.

We were lucky it had rained the whole days before, but when we went to Düsseldorf it was cold but sunny.

We drove along the Rhine and our Bus was parked there on a parking. We had 5 hours to explore the market and had to be back at 5.30 pm.

We were four from our painting course. Well wrapped in several layers of clothes.

First thing we saw from far was the Big Wheel. I like to see them but I would never try to make a round, I get dizzy !

There were lots of specialities to eat, drink or buy. Unfortunately what I was looking for was not yet there, like the Stollen (the German Christmas cake) the cookies, Ginger breads etc. But the famous Glühwein was at every corner, it is hot wine with cinamon, cloves and sugar. The one Myriam  and Marie Joëlle had, was also with a bit of Amaretto.

At noon we were hungry and had our potato pancakes with apple puree, and also a plate of roasted mushrooms. We could eat outside on wooden benches there were heating lamps which warmed us up.

We walked from stall to stall, and looked what was on offer. Myriam and Khadija bought German bread and also poppy seed cake which is also a speciality.

We were thirsty from the pancakes and ended up in a typical old Bar, where we had a cool beer and sat on church benches ! This was really funny.

We met a man who collected money for sick parrots and continued our way.

This was one of the Christmas trees, which I found beautiful in its simplicity, just some big red balls.


One stall after the other. It must be beautiful to see when it is dark and the lights on. Unfortunately there was no Christmas music either, because it was too early.

This is a Christmas mill, which usually stands in the room and the wings are moved by the heat of candles underneath. Here they didn't turn around yet.

Of course there was also a carousel for the little once

I don't know if this is a special Christmas ghost, and what he did there just in front of a bakery.

and more stalls.  Finally we had enough, our feet burnt and we went into a cafe from which I forgot to take a picture and had a wonderful strawberry cake and a coffee.

Then we returned slowly to the Rhine and our bus.

This was a wall on which they had painted stalls to hide ongoing works behind.

And when we arrived at the Rhine it looked just gorgeous like silver and then we could see the sunset.

The return to Waterloo went smooth and we arrived quite early and time flew by because we had so much to chat !

more participants here

9 Dec 2019


My grandson has got a jump suit from St. Nick ! I was scared .....



If I wasn't retired and had the whole year weekend I probably would have appreciate a weekend where nothing, but nothing happened, except the rain but that is nothing special either.

There was no one murdered in the street, no house burnt down, or a neighbor killed his wife, no, there weren't not even people in the street walking their dogs because of the rain and the wind. I sulked when I looked outside.

Unfortunately cat Arthur must have troubles with his bladder because he has to use his litterbox more then often and I had to buy litter. I shouldn't complain because at least he doesn't pee in the house but in his litterbox. He is an old male, so it could happen.  I bought 5 kgs of litter and the vendor was so kind and carried the bag and put in in the car. That was another sign for ageing, now they help me because I must look old and frail, before they helped me in the hope to get a rendez vous. Times change.

As I was already outside I thought that I could look for a TV furniture, which I wanted to buy since a long time, but never found one which I really liked and then I had to find somebody who would carry the old thing outside on the street. I went into the shop just opposite the pet shop and found exactly what I was looking for ! The right color, right size and right price !

I called the men who help me for garden and other things and they will come next Friday carry the old furniture on the street, pick up the new one, and put it together. The only thing I have to do is to pay. I have tried to sell it nobody wanted to buy it then I put it for free and still nobody wanted it. I can understand that a huge screen won't fit but one could use it for another purpose.

On Sunday Mr. G. put our Christmas decoration outside and carried the Christmas tree from the basement into the living room. He put it together and now it stands on the dining table. I have to decorate it, but honestly I am not at all in Christmassy mood.

For years I loved Christmas, decorated the whole house, and we always celebrated on Christmas Eve as it is the use in Germany.

But this won't happen anymore and to my surprise I don't care at all. With my DIL's patchwork family and we 250 km away it is not so easy for my son to please everybody.

There is his father in law with wife, the mother in law with partner, the brother in law with wife and kids and we two, fortunately not divorced otherwise he would have two more couples ! It's complicated.

Tomorrow or another day I will decorate the tree,  and then they will come  on the weekend before Christmas. That will be the first time in my life that I don't celebrate Christmas on the 24th eve, and I am really happy that I don't get a nervous breakdown for that, a couple of years ago I would have taken this very badly.

I have tried to transmit the German Christmas traditions to my son, but it hasn't worked. And times change too.

St. Nicolas arrives per boat

Toby my grandson grows up in Amsterdam, where Christmas is not very much celebrated, the big thing is St. Nicolas day, where the Saint arrives by boat on the canals of Amsterdam and brings gifts to the kids. When we spent Christmas for the first time 10 or 11 years ago in Amsterdam, there was not even a Christmas tree in the city. Today it has changed .... for the tourists. The Netherlands are the only country in Europe where Christmas is not so much celebrated.

And now a bit for Christmas