22 Mar 2024


We started the weekend with the birthdays of all residents born in March. For this event they had hired  an amateur group who performed as best as they possibly could. I kept my mouth shut, because it was a bit funny, nobody understood English or only a little and so the titles the leader announced I couldn't understand as the French accent was so strong that it was difficult to understand. But everybody had fun and that was the most important !

Jeannie the 99 year old "danced" in her wheelchair and enjoyed it very much ! She always says, she doesn't care that she has difficulties to walk, the most important is to remain young in her brain and that she is. 

The day had come when I had to go to the Justice of peace. I had put the "novel" which my landlord had written, into my tablet, and also all the photos I had taken when we moved in and discovered something wrong. I knew that he was a complete zero concerning informatics, once he had showed his sophisticated and certainly very expensive mobile, but when I asked him to send me a photo, he didn't know how to do it and pay with the mobile he ignored completely, he had still cash in his pocket !

I had tried to transform myself into a beauty, despite my vintage age, and gathered all my charm, so that the landlord looked like a little gray mouse. He carried an enormous file with him, which the judge looked at cross eyed, I am sure he rolled his eyes. Then he asked us what the reason was of our presence I told him that Mr. X tries to renovate the whole apartment at my expense, although since 3 years I lived there alone, and had to visit my husband who was in a retirement home. To do all this damages the owner had listed, I must have lived there together with an elephant, which made the judge smile. And when Mr. X pulled out of his enormous file an unpaid water invoice, which I had got two days before, he impatiently told him that this doesn't concern a conciliation, and I took my phone and told Mr. X I pay you right away, his eyes nearly popped out and he became red like a tomato. I thought he would explode and we had to clean the walls, when the judge said to me, you pay nothing now, you pay when he gets the location warranty back, there is no hurry. I thanked him and smiled as "lovely" as I could. So now you both sign and it's settled. 

I think my owner will remember this day his whole life, he had lost and on top had mad a very poor impression. 

I said good bye to the judge and he had a little twinkle in his eyes, and then I left. I was very satisfied I had shown this macho, that not all vintage women are stupid and helpless without a man ! 

When I returned immediately all my resident friends came and asked how it was and the assistant Manager told me "Good girl" these men, they always think they are so clever !

In the afternoon one trainee had an exam and she came up with something very nice! "Inside bowling". For that she had filled little plastic bottles with sand, each with one color. Everyone was given 3 tennis balls that had been painted the same color. All we had to do was knock over the bottles. The balls flew through the restaurant, and sometimes knocked over a bottle. Otherwise it rolled at the other end into the toilets or hit our poor animator at a leg. Fortunately only the leg. After that we had our coffee chat and those who didn't know my story with the judge, now they knew !

The week ended with a memory game and a little shopping. Time goes by so quickly, When it's Monday it's already Friday !

For the first time I managed to walk to the end of our park, slipped through the half-open door and saw the small lake with ducks and all kinds of birds. I used to go for a walk there with my little Dario, but it had changed, now there were benches and also a wooden house where you could probably buy ice cream in the summer. Who would have thought back then that I would end up behind the lake! I was so happy that I managed to walk so far without being breathless!!

When I came back we were all weighed, sitting in a special chair !! I had lost 2 kgs which honestly I don't regret. In contrast to "normal" people, I get fat without eating normally, that's been the stress of the last few years. Hopefully now I'll be back to normal!

more participants at Susanne at Living to tell the Story.

21 Mar 2024


1. Spring is officially upon us, no matter what the weather may be in your neck of the woods. Is there any 'spring cleaning' on your to-do list? What's your most dreaded task? 

Youpee ! No spring cleaning anymore ! A gentle lady cleans my room every day makes my bed and even takes care of my laundry ! 

The only cleaning I have to do is for little Rosie. But I have to say I have 3 enormous "spring" cleanings behind me in the last 3 years, from house to apartment, from apartment a part for Ricks retirement home, another to take the things out when he passed away. Then emptying the apartment and move here into my "Castle". I think that's spring cleaning enough until the end of my life !

2. What's something many people seem to love, but to you feels like 'watching the grass grow'? 

That's being forced to listen to a piano concert of classical music ! It happened to me that I took earplugs with me, and watched the people who had a bored or excited expression on their faces. I think that it's due to my childhood when I had to go with my parents in these concerts !

3. Mint grows in abundance during the spring season. Are you a fan? What's your favorite food with a 'minty' flavor? 

Nothing ! I hate mint, fresh or dried, the smell makes me sick ! Once I had to drink mint tea in Morocco where it is the use to offer a glass of mint tea to the guests. I was surprised that it tasted quite good and not as our mint tea and I asked how this is possible and the grandma told me she puts a spice in the tea, I forgot what it was ! I think my hate for mint tea also came from my childhood, each time I was sick, my grandma gave me mint tea !! So I am traumatized by mint !

4. It's been said, 'Absence makes the heart grow fonder.' Agree or disagree? Explain. 

It's true. When Rick died I didn't really realize that he was gone forever. It seemed to me to hear him shouting "Sacramento" with his deep Opera voice, he didn't need a microphone. 

Sometimes I surprised myself talking to him and then realizing that I talked to the wall. All my grief and pain came out when I lived alone in our apartment, the only thing left was Rosie the cat. She listened to me and also let me cry into her fur.


I had never felt so alone in my whole life. I also became very sick. My son lived far away and handled his grief alone. Since I discovered my "castle" I feel much better, I feel home, there are the friendly nurses who pay attention that I don't fall, that everything is OK. Now I feel part of a family and much better. But still when I look at his face in a frame on my bedside table, it hurts like someone is stabbing me in the heart with a knife. I try to find my new life, the beginning starts slowly.

5. Are there any festive spring events in your city or town? If so, will you take advantage of them?

Yes there are many but I don't feel like going. We decorated our restaurant for Easter yesterday and I will celebrate Easter here in our beautiful park together with the families of the residents, the children, and the dogs, I think it will be fun when the kids are searching for the Easter Eggs, and certainly the dogs will help !

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

I think now, that my anger with the landlord is gone I am rid of the last worry I had. I went yesterday to the judge of peace, and when I saw him I thought he is on my side ! The troublemaker and his wife who was there as decoration or holding his hand, didn't say a word. I will write about this in another post, all I can say is that I won, he lost ! I got what I wanted ! Now he has learned that ol'women without a man at her side are not necessarily stupid. I have to admit I was a bit mean, because I had all documents in my tablet and the photos too ! I knew that he can't handle his smartphone and even worse a tablet. So he appeared with a thick file with enough papers in hit for at least 10 cases and I saw the judge look at the file and told him that he doesn't need all this, he wants to talk with us and try to find a solution without taking us to court !


From this Side of the Pond


20 Mar 2024


  Köln (Cologne) Central Station,  Germany



more participants here, and Image-in-ing



18 Mar 2024



This is our most adventurous cat Arthur. He was born in April 2002 and arrived at the same time in a shelter near our house when we arrived too. Rick wanted so much a white cat again, as the first Arthur passed away after one year, he had a heart attack. We were standing there when a young man came carrying a carton. Rick looked inside and picked up a white little furball ! And then he declared "we take it" and left me there ! The receptionist called him back and told him that he couldn't do that, the cat had to be checked by a vet, papers to be filled in and then only he could leave. Rick saw only the little white kitten and replied, that we will go immediately to the vet, and wife will fill in the papers, good bye and he left with his treasure.

I filled in the papers, payed 50 € and promised that we will go to the vet as soon as we will get an appointment. Arthur was healthy, 6 weeks old and we got the visit of a person from the shelter to check if he had a good home. And that he had ! He was Rick's personal cat or rather Rick was Arthur's personal human,  and could do with him whatever he wanted.One day Arthur slept peacefully in the kitchen on the table,  and never woke up again. It was the 6th March 2020, the year which also changed our whole life. It was also the first time I saw Rick crying.


as big a our remote control !





This weekend was "wonderful", rain, wind, grey sky ! We didn't do anything together, some people had visitors but a lot lay on their beds and watched TV. 

I prepared my papers for the judge tomorrow, but I put everything on my tablet so the judge can see when I have taken the photos. My landlord probably doesn't know that. He had already found somebody who wanted to rent the apartment, and they were ready to sign the contract, when somebody told them that the owner is not allowed to rent the apartment until the affair is settled by the judge ! I am purring like my cat ! It's a pity that I didn't know that before, then I would be sick for a couple of weeks or months ! My  doctor fully agrees to give me a certificate. But I go there tomorrow and we will see.