Monday, July 06, 2009












The weather is still very warm but not as hot and sticky as last week, for one thing there is a constant wind which is pleasant.

Been interesting to experience similar weather to in the tropics, the last couple of times it has rained within an hour the blue skies and blazing sun were back.

That is not how it usually goes here, as once it rains that is the heat wave over, must be global warming that is creating these tropical conditions here.

We already have the mosquito’s too as we live surrounded by water and Amsterdam has a big heron population, most canals will have a resident heron.

Quite a few people can be seen feeding them herrings which they buy special for them, it is a grand sight a heron or a group will gather and wait by a house and eventually someone will come outside with herrings chopped up for the herons who wait in turn for their share.

Funny to find herons all around town when I first arrived in Amsterdam, in England only ever saw them in streams running through fields between Reading and Oxford,

Would see them from the train to Oxford, catch a glimpse and be very happy indeed even more when it was springtime and I also saw a kingfisher and hares.

Amsterdam despite being very built up still has a lot of nature and with the new colonies of parakeets has shown that there is enough to sustain a variety of birds and small mammals.

Woke up this morning to the delightful sounds of our neighbour Willes, she is moving from the 4th floor to the ground floor.

Her front door is under our bedroom window and she has a very distinctive Amsterdam voice, it is lovely to hear her yodelling to someone at the top of the road.

She is a lovely woman, very dynamic and always doing something for someone, people like her are good for the neighbourhood and we are very lucky to have her as our neighbour.

Woke to find my arms all cramped up and locked into one position really took ages to get my arms to unclamp finally the THC helped me to relax enough to ease the tension in my arms.

My right hand has gone a wee bit strange today with my fingers pointing in different directions at once which makes typing a different experience altogether.

Fingers keep including letters that totally change my text and sometimes find I have even drifted off and written something I did not mean to write.

Strange especially when the fragment of texts bears no relationship to the rest really none whatsoever.

Strange when that happens but am often aware that thinking can happen at many levels, so while I am writing this somewhere else my brain is also working on various ideas that I previously was working on.

Just like the times when a word or name will suddenly bubble up and sometimes I can’t remember why I have remembered.

Usually can recall why eventually but it takes a while to retrace my thoughts until I remember.

Life happens like that too it suddenly bubbles up like yesterday when Jean (fellow student at Middlesex) phoned me which was great as have not managed to speak to her for 1 1/2 years was good to hear her voice.

She is 72 now and planning to do another study, we both did the BA and MA in Criminology, Jean wants to do the PhD now which is excellent.

Having Jean in the class made life a lot more interesting as she is very questioning and argumentative which suited me fine as that is me too.

Delighted to hear that Jean wants to visit in September with Kieran, one of her sons, should be fun to see her again, she is a brilliant woman.

Really made the Criminology course so much better meeting Jean, we had some very good times together on the course, great intense discussions and lots of support for each other..

Shall look forward to seeing her again in September.

Once I had reassured her that I very interested in hearing how she was and did not agree with her that she should not talk about what has been happening to her as it was only piffling compared to what’s happening to me.

Turns out she had a problem with her hands and they were operated on but instead of helping they are now worse and painful.

She did not phone for ages as the pain and discomfort were getting to her but she did not want to burden me with moaning about her trifling problems.

Said the Kieran, who met me said phone Herrad sure she will want to know, sure she does not only want to focus on her MS.

He was right, I told her that Kieran was correct and boy was she relieved, ah the sweet woman.

No wonder she has not been in touch she did not want to upset me well glad she phoned yesterday and I could tell her to please keep bothering me that is why I am here for.

Happy days!

Hope they are for us all.

8 comments:

Kris said...

Those birds are too much! So pretty! Long Island has bad mosquitoes too. We've had so much rain in NY they are saying that the mosquito population is up 50%! Itchy Itchy!

Celeste Maia said...

What a great post, Herrad. The photos of the heron (herons) at your door, and all over the place were so good. I wish I had a resident heron, what fun!
I am glad it got cooler finally, and that you have such a pleasant neighbor.
I had no idea you had studied Criminology, how interesting. Nice of your friend Jan to phone you to cheer you up. Everybody has problemas, some have bigger problems, but no one is immune, unfortunately.
The full moon is absolutely gorgeous outside, shining on the sea. Let us live like Chinese philosophers, drunk on the moon!

Cranky said...

Herrad - interesting to think about someone not wanting to trouble you with her problems when they must be trifling in comparison to yours. You always prompt me to think about stuff I've never wondered about.

When you speak on the phone, do you use a speakerphone or headset? I'm assuming it would be difficult to hold the handset to your ear to speak for long. Skip uses a speakerphone so she doesn't need to hold up the phone.

Stephany said...

Hi Herrad, love the photos of the resident heron!

robert said...

Good morning,
what wonderful photography! Did forget to say that I'll try to make those cookies for the dog downstairs as he is barking throughout the whole night.
Have a nice start into the new week.

Taxingwoman said...

Hi! Herrad Love the Heron photos. Just wondering ? Do some people view them as pests ? Around here the Canada Geese, that were once rare,are now so numerous.They drive me crazy with their honking and pooping !
I really like it when a friend calls me to have a moan. I say let it rip .
I get so tired, it's nice to let somebody else do all the talking and it makes me feel like I am doing them some good.

Libby said...

herrad..i love the pictures of the herons! birds are so neat!! ...and, yes, people think we don't want to hear their problems, but truthfully, that helps keep us from thinking about ours 24/7!!

Herrad said...

Hi Kris,
The herons are incredible also the way they tolerate people.
It is funny the way they will wait patiently outside a house for their herring rations.
We have had an incredible hot and dry summer until now, seems to have stopped now as we are getting huge downpours be interested to see whether summer will come back after the last downpour this morning.

Hi Celeste Maia,
The herons are Amsterdams glory they are very elegant but can really make noise when nessesary.
Criminolgy was interesting to do though now I wish I had done English.

Hi Cranky,
I have had that a few times friends not phoning as they felt they could not burden me with their piffling poblems!!
I always say you don't burden me that is why we are friends surely it is give and take.
Always want to hear from friends and hear how they are.
Don't want to only concentrate on my MS.
I have a phone that I put on speaker when I pick up as I too can't hold the handset for long.

Hi Stephany,
The herons are like living artworks around town.

Hi Robert,
Hope you had a good start to your week yesterday.
Let me know how the biscuits turned out.

Hi Carole,
People via them as treasures and lik them around their houses mind you if they have a pond in their garden it will be protected by a net.
Its good when friends can ring and moan that s why you are friends.
Agree with you that it is nice for someone else to do the talking.

Hi Libby,
You are right hearing about someone elses problems stops me only focussing on my problems and we all need that otherwise we would go mad.

Well here it is Tuesday again hope it is a good one for you all.
Love,
Herrad