donderdag 29 juli 2010

Shetland in 2 days

I had planned to write a post last week.. but nothing came of it. Bram wasn't very well so it ended up that we had to go to our doctor, the hospital and my mind was just not ready and open enough to write. And next to that I had to take care of him and all the rest.Last Sunday we almost had to decide to cancel the holiday. But thanks to our doctor he has a cure and we can go off to day.
There have been some changes as: A. We have a wheelchair: a black ,small and rather nice looking one. Very practical because you can take the big wheels of and the rest is fold-able. I really had to get used to it in the beginning.We made jokes about it (we have a Cabrio!!),but there was also sadness and the feeling of loosing something. It felt very uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing to ride with it. Sort of another step going down. Guess everyone has that in the beginning...but after thinking and talking about it I took the step to just go for it and give it a try.The first ride was not easy: lot's of voices in my head...
There is nothing to be embarrassed about and I don't need to be ashamed of it.I took Bram to the hairdresser on Tuesday and after than we had a tea in town and for the first time in weeks I saw him smiling. It was lovely to sit together at Mattie's were he hadn't been for months.And yesterday I felt for the first time OK with it. We now can go everywhere and his and my world can expand. Museums won't be a problem any-more and maybe it also helps me to get a better condition. I noticed that I walk to fast so I have to slow down more. B. Because we have found out that our last car (our great Red Citroen C2: the first car I drove after getting my driving licence!) was to small to carry a wheelchair and luggage we to sell it and buy a new one. We were lucky to have the possibility to buy a demo car (7 months old and 7000km) and are now the proud owners of a rather posh looking Citroen C3 with all the luxury in it. So the drive to Shetland will be very comfortable.
So Shetland: here we come!!!! We get 2 friends over to join us. Birgitta (who lives near Glencoe comes over for 5 days: we haven't seen each-other so long) and dear friend Tiny (who was with us last year) comes for 9 days) Will be fun and the 2 girls know each-other also and are also looking forward to meet up again. I am almost sure it will be rather emotional to pick them up at the airport..
And of-course I did knit over the last weeks.I finished a pair of simple socks in beautiful Araucania yarn which were a UFO for so long. I am going to give them to a friend who is not very well so these socks might give some comfort. And suddenly strangely enough I am very into Lace-knitting. Didn't like it at all in the beginning, but after continuing and seeing the result I got completely hooked on it. My first green lace shawl in beautiful Jamiesons and Smith lace yarn came of the needles and after blocking this is the result. Kieran Foley with me and one of the first things I will do when we arrive in Lerwick is to purchase some lace yarn..and start of. I am lucky that I can attend a lace-class in the last week we are there. Liz Lovick has organised a trip to Shetland after Knitcamp in Stirling and I can join them to the visit at the Museum on Tuesday and a lace-class on Tuesday and perhaps a Fair-Isle class on Friday.
And for the rest I will read, walk, visits friends, drink coffee in town, read the local news and go a few times to the museum. Perhaps there is a concert we can go to and the other nice thing is that for the first time in many years I can celebrate my birthday with 2 friends..!!!!
So now it is off to pack everything and go to the ferry in the afternoon. I am really up for it and have the feeling that we both need it.First the ferry from Ijmuiden to Newcastle tonight, than a 350 km drive to Aberdeen and than another night on the ferry which will bring us to Lerwick. We arrive there round 7 in the morning and after breakfast we have some ours to spend in Lerwick and round 14.00 hrs we can arrive in the cottage were we stay for 3 weeks. After that we are going to see a long time no see friend in Banff (north from Aberdeen) were we will stay for 3 days and than back to Newcastle. But that is not at the horizon yet!!
P.s. I am so proud of my home grown tomatoes... and they taste really good.It is just a small plant in a pot but we get loads of them.. A friend told me that once you are eaten something grown by yourself something changes in your mid and he is right!!!

maandag 12 juli 2010

It's too darn Hot..... but the perfect day to write a post

As Ella did sing in her wonderful song: It's too darn Hot.. and yes..the weather is steaming hot here in Holland. Already for weeks the temperatures are above 30C and even after some heavy rain it stays warm. This time it is not a problem for me. I am drinking buckets of water or juice and by doing that I can handle it quite well. It is not that it is my kind of temperature. I prefer more round 2O or 22C, but I can't do anything about the weather gods who decide this kind of weather. For Bram this kind of weather is kind of heavy to deal with. His energy is very low,so he stays mostly indoors during the day with a ventilator.There is not yet much response on his medication. I am slightly worried about everything and every now and than we are talking about a wheelchair which is kind of difficult for him (and for me also. I so wish he would feel better and sometimes I get emotional about it. He will be very happy when we have arrived in Shetland in about 2,5 weeks time.
Yes.. My holiday did start last Friday. 7 weeks, which is the real benefit of being a teacher. I have decided to do only the things I want to wind down completely before setting of to Shetland. I was very tired last week and during a big meeting on Tuesday I sort of completely lost the plot at the end. It was as al my energy was leaking away. That usually happens during the last week of school.There is always so much to do and finish and to tell you the truth: I didn't complete. I left some things to be done in the first week. After the evening of graduation I always feel that the end is near. We did a little fashion-show with a group of teachers which al students appreciate every year. There were goodbyes and I always feel a little sadness when the leave. But with one student the story continues. Ovan is now in the race to become National Most Excellent Student of the year Or as we say in Holland: MBO Uitblinker. To vote for him go to here. Than click on Stem op mij. You than get access to a page where you have to enter name and e-mail adress. Click on Send After you have done this you will get a mail in your mailbox. All you need to do is open this mail and click on Klik hier and your voting is done. Please send an e-mail to your friends. We need as much as possible votes and on the 8th of October the winner will be announced during a big show. When I saw Ovan at the graduation evening he reminded me slightly of the great singer Jim Groce. I used to listen to his songs when I was young and Time in Bottle is still one of my favourites songs.
And than we had Jim's 2nd birthday last Sunday. It is always great to see him. He is talking a walking and very funny. He is a big performer in a way and knows very well when we all have his attention. I had him almost the whole afternoon with me as we did the game of putting on and taking of my sunglasses for hours and hours. It all very moves me to see this young child looking out into the world with an open look. Of course he didn't realize the fact that he was having his birthday. but at least we did.
I am not so into knitting at the moment, but I finished off the socks for Bram and I am now knitting on a lace scarf for a friend and I want to finish the little cardigan for Jim. It is a bit to sweaty for me to knit right now.
This weekend we had the yearly Deventer op Stelten festival which was really nice this year. It is here for many years and I was a bit fed up with it the last years. Not very interesting to go to, only performances on stilts. But this year was different and 1 group was really something special (but later on that) On friday evening I went to see the opening of the festival on De Brink which is one of the squares we have in town. The opening was done by Close Act in combination with the Spanish group: La Fura Dels Baus. Close act was not really my thing (well: nice costumes..and the singer in the sky looked great) But the Human Net done by 50 youngsters from our region was breath taking. A selection of those 50 was done and the one's who remained had a training for 3 days. It was all about trust and cooperation to do this act. They went up 50 metres in the sky and it was really moving to see them doing this performance. Awesome is a good word for it. They were also the final act of the 3 festival weekend. Videos can be seen here and here.
On Friday night at 23hrs Les Studios de Cirque De Marseille would performe: "Place des Anges" on the beautiful Grote Kerkhof square (close from where I live).It was an amazing experience for me. Poetic and a real spectacle. An angel with a suitcase opened the performance. He opened the suitcase and white feathers did fall down. Angles were "flying" from the tower of the Lebuinus Church over the audience to the opposite. Angels were were having a "pillow-fight" in the sky loosing all the feathers from those cushions. A big angel balloon flew over the audience.There was beautiful music sung by children from all over the world. Feathers were thrown over the audience from a kind of cloud and just when you were thinking: this is so wonderful more feathers were blown in the sky and the whole square got a big carpet of feathers. Trees were covered in feathers(did took this photo the next morning) and it was kind of warm winter on a summer-evening. I was speechless. Could not believe that this was happening. 1 ton (1000 kg) of feathers went up. All over town there were feathers and they are still there as you can see at this picture from my house and one I found on the street yesterday.The one thing I loved after the performance was the amazement of the audience and everyone became child again.Throwing feathers over heads or just throwing them in the air. I took a big bag full of feathers with me home. There was a big thick carpet of white feathers on the square. I was at that moment totally blown away by it. It is still in my head and soul and I watched some videos this afternoon and tears came up. Absolutely the highlight of the festival. Unfortunately on Saturday evening just before it was about to start again a heavy T-storm came up so we all had to go home. A video about it can be seen here, here and here
Teatro Due Mondi with Ay l'Amor (about love...what else) with very nice Italian songs... and I got a special red heart from one of the singers.
Tchébé from Togo with a traditonal stilts- performance. And in the Bergkerk I did see "Sola? No" from Triade Nomade which was a ballet by 1 woman on stills about 12 different women. The church was a nice place for this performance. On and on it was a nice weekend top start a holiday with...Really enjoyed it... I even watched the football match last night..which was kind of new to me to enjoy it in a way.
And now it is time to do some shopping for dinner... couscous salat with the first home grown Tomatoes, Ruccola and Mint.. Light and simple.