|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.
|I didn't realise Valentine's Day was coming up when I wrote this at Scribbles. We were given the first sentence to write about - so I followed instructions. The other Scribbles Musketeers told me that they thought it was good. Even I think it is a departure from my usual "Scribblings".|
The funny thing is I hate Valentine's Day with a passion you can only dream of - for one simple reason. Do we really need one single day in the year where we are practically forced to buy our partners, etc, gifts and spoil them??? What is wrong with showing your love to someone at other times of the year??? Why can't we show our love by doing something kind for them - make the chocolates yourself instead of buying them for example???
Most of my favourite songs about "Love" are on the flip side to it - "Not In Love" by 10CC, "Sorrow" by Kristyna Myles, "Betrayal" by Kristyna Myles, "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi, "The Morning After" by City To City", etc.
This was the entire greeting between them after such a long absence.
She had been surprised - to put it mildly - when he had materialised in front of her seemingly from nowhere.
His voice still had the same powerful effect on her that it had always had - making her wonder whether to kill him or (if she dared) kiss him.
The quietly spoken - somewhat absentminded "Hi" as he walked past her brought back too many memories for her to count. Or even want to remember.
He was with a lady who seemed to look straight through her - almost as though she was a piece of glass.
They walked past her without a backward glance - leaving her ruing missed opportunities yet feeling grateful that he had shared at least a miniscule portion of his life with her.
Even the memories of their bitterest arguments had sweetened with the passage of time.
She had always known he was out of her league. Let's face it - on paper they shouldn't even have been friends they had so little in common.
As she saw the couple disappear into the distance she silently thanked him for his friendship, patience, and attempts to warn her about himself.
The final thought she had was how lucky she had been to win the major argument which had very nearly killed their friendship before it really began.
Yes - I know it isn't your usual Valentine's Day soppy love story but please remember "Love" has many sides.
|Ah- that's better! I actually feel healthy enough to type blog posts. Trust me - there have been times when I haven't really felt healthy enough to do anything at all. A couple of times I have seriously considered calling an ambulance (and you know how I feel about hospitals).|
It is funny how quickly someone can go from "I would rather die than bother a Dr" to actually desiring to get themself to a hospital at the first sign of something being seriously wrong. It is also quite ironic when you realise that the aforementioned individual has been told they are not going to be cured from the condition which is behind the reason they wanted to call an ambulance in the first place. Let's just say that a suspected chest infection/cold (which usually wiped me out even before I got the Heart Failure diagnosis) and Heart Failure are not exactly a match made in Heaven - the match is more likely to send me to Heaven.
Anyway - where was I???
Oh yes - I was going to give you my "State Of The Health Of The Ineke" Address.
There have been some annoyances, some really funny things (there again - that might just be my rather twisted sense of humour), and some educational things, which have entered my orbit recently. And the "educational" things really were educational - just maybe not in the way they were intended to be.
First I feel it might be useful to explain my personal philosophy regarding my health and how I try to look after myself.
People tell me I am an inspiration in the way I am coping with this escapade. I have said many times before that I only know how to fight and keep going when things get tough - giving up is an alien concept to me. I suppose it is one thing I have to thank my Oma for - she was one of the most determined people I have ever met (I only found out by accident that she had actually had cancer three separate times before she died) - she (and my Mum) was also one of the most caring people I have ever met. The three of us share one characteristic - if we like you we will do anything in our power to help you. On the flip side - however - getting on the wrong side of us is "not recommended for Medicinal purposes" (as my Glaswegian friend would say.
The funny thing is that I now consider myself to have access to four types of "medicine" - the first being the stuff everyone recognises as medicine (as in tablets, injections, etc). The second is my friends (even though some of them are potentially deleterious to my health - but more about that later). The third is humour - if you can't see the funny side of something serious you are just going to get stressed out. The fourth is chocolate.
The whole thing kicked off a couple of weeks ago. I started feeling a bit odd. I knew I had a cold but I had had them before and I knew what to do about it (let nature take its course). However, when I expected to start to feel better I ended up feeling a lot worse - to the point where I thought my next residence would either be somewhere where I can be attached to a wall by my nose, or a nice comfy wooden box 6 foot underground.
To say that was scary is something of an understatement - one minute you are unconcious and the next you are awake wondering if you are ever going to breathe again. I somehow managed to calm myself down enough to be able to breathe and go back to sleep.
I was advised by a friend of mine, who is an ex-Heart Failure Nurse, to contact my own Heart Failure Nurse and see what she said. I am glad I followed that advice.
The horrible thing was - I knew I had a couple of Medical Appointments as well as events I didn't want to miss that week. One of the Medical Appointments was actually the source of what I think caused the (currently suspected) chest infection - Stress with a capital "S". Not the appointment itself - more like trying to get people organised to enable me to get one lot of tablets which the Oncologist had prescribed at my last appointment. (I am now working on the assumption that I can get my Surgery to ring the Oncologist directly if the letter explicitly stating I need one lot of tablets hasn't turned up by next Monday.)
The events I wanted to go to all included various friends (I only had to miss one of them because I just didn't feel at all well).
If there is one way of taking my mind off my poorlyness it is to surround myself with humans who enjoy writing and talking about writing. Scribbles allows me to do that - and I found something else (which is - unfortunately - ending next week). Take one pack of students who are studying Media at university, and one absolute wizard of a tutor called John Coster, and add the Three "Social Media Cafe" Musketeers (of which I am one) - water liberally with coffee - and you have a recipe for a nice few hours. (It also helps if you are almost stunned into speechlessness by the aforementioned John Coster telling one of the students in your earshot that you are "one of the best bloggers I know" - that made me go from literally feeling like the "Walking Dead" to feeling like a useful corpse who could actually impart wisdom to someone.)
Hey - I am not a teacher (nor do I wish to ever become one) but if I can help people learn about blogging I am very happy. Even better if someone is interested enough in me to read my blog as a result of talking to me (and compliment me - but that isn't a mandatory requirement) to see what I have been trying to tell them about.
I have also rediscovered my love of something - Hot Chocolate (second thoughts any chocolate will do - even a box of chocolates. My favourite are Quality Street, or - if you want to be my friend for life - supply me with several bars of Verkade milk chocolate, or a large box of "Hagelslag" in milk chocolate). There is nothing better than being curled up in my chair (incidentally where I am typing now), wrapped in my large throw, drinking a mug of Hot Chocolate to make me feel as though all is right with the world.
I nearly forgot - I told you I was going to explain why I said that some of my friends are actually deleterious to my health. There are a few friends who - if I think there is a good chance of me ending up in their presence for whatever reason and having fun as a result - could invite me to the opening of an envelope and I would turn up. (One such friend was the springboard to the start of this escapade when I couldn't get to an event she was at and I wasn't too bothered. If I had been healthy at that point I would have done everything in my power to turn up to it and been very disappointed if I couldn't make it.) I think most of them would know who they are (with a couple of exceptions).
This is all very well if I am actually in a fit state for public consumption. It is when my loyalty to my friends clashes with the fact that I don't feel at all well that the problems start. I end up feeling both extremely angry with myself and guilty for letting my friends down if I am too poorly to attend (apart from the time I referred to above). I know my friends would probably understand but I suppose it is another aspect of the "be as much like everybody else as possible" side of my character which refuses to make a fuss unless absolutely necessary. (I am smiling as I type this because I know that there are some of you reading this who will probably have a friendly go at me about it next time you see me. You know who you are - mainly because you have already done so.)
Well, now you know I am alive I will finish by sending you a BIG HUG each and saying "thank you for your support".