This is probably going to sound like the start of a very bad joke (which I suppose it actually is in a way) but - what do you get when you cross someone who is half-Dutch with a sight problem and an independence streak a mile wide??? The short answer isn't actually all that short at 5ft 10" tall but it is commonly known by a label which only has five letters. Yes - its me.
If you have met me you may think I am a bit of an oddball whose brain doesn't exactly function in the same way as everybody else's. And you would be correct - just not in the way you might mean.
The original "strapline" to this blog was "A Sideways View Of Life" - referring to the fact I don't "see" things in the same way as everyone else (both literally and metaphorically).
So - how on Earth does my brain work??? This is a question I find myself asking daily. It just seems to come up with some seriously strange thoughts and ideas at times. It also seems to have a very strange way of processing information (as anyone who has ever had the misfortune of attempting to explain something to me will not hesitate to tell you).
Not for me the Computer logic of "if so-and-so then xyz". It is more likely to be a case of "if so-and-so then oranges, a staircase, and bananas".
You could say I am a Master at Independent Thinking. Funnily enough I prefer trying to solve things on my own in my own way.
I suppose it is only natural when your natural state involves life literally being a blur that you have to figure out yourself using a process of trial and error but without any help from anyone else (especially if you are on your own when your glasses fall off your bedside cabinet).
There is another "excuse" I can give you which might not make very much sense until I explain it. The excuse is my Mum - well, not her specifically, more something she used to do when I was growing up. She was Dutch - with Dutch as her first language (obviously). I think English was actually her third language (with Swiss German sandwiched in the middle).
One of my favourite things she used to do was start a sentence off in either Dutch or English and finish it in the other language - without translating anything she said to me in Dutch. This left me having to work out what on Earth she was saying half of the time and put both bits of the sentence together before coming up with a reply (no wonder I found French lessons torturously difficult with their use of textbooks and audio tapes). The other favourite thing she did was automatically use the Dutch version of a proverb (even when she could speak English like a native).
This must have meant that my brain was conditioned to realise that the conclusion will not necessarily be obvious - you have to wait for all the information before you can be sure what is going to happen. Also - context is key. For example - my Mum would use the Dutch word "Haring" in two separate events. Her location would be a key to what she was actually talking about. If she was standing holding a frying pan or plate when that word passed her lips I could be 99% positive that she was referring to the fish English-speakers know as "herring". If she was standing on a campsite looking at a tent which needed to be put up when she mentioned "Haring" I could be 99% positive that she was talking about a "tent peg". (Luckily for me I came to realise that there were certain words she would not use the English version of when she was talking to me. Let's just say she had enough Dutch words for the word "Mess" that she never actually needed the English one - unless she was talking to a non-Dutchspeaker. She reserved "Mes" - with a single "s" - for when she wanted me to hand her a knife.)
So, next time you think I am not making much sense or I am coming out with some very strange ideas - stick around - you might be surprised at the results. I might not have what appears to you to be the most logical way of doing things but - just sometimes - there might be a method in my apparent madness.
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