The Dueling Dutch Woman

The Adventures of a Middle Aged Dutch Woman

Archive for politics

Poppies and such…

I’ve decided not to read in bed anymore. It was disturbing my night’s sleep and upsetting my schedule because I got too caught up in the book and didn’t go to sleep when I was supposed to. So now I only read during the day in my armchair whenever I have a spare moment and I do have enough of them. I don’t read non stop because I don’t completely want to lose myself in the book to the exclusion of everything else. It is so easy to lose track of everything and time and forget the world around me. So I do put a limit on how much time I spend reading at one stretch. Every once in a while I have to put down the book and do something completely different.

It’s not like it was in the olden days when I could let myself go and spend a whole afternoon doing nothing but read and completely shut out the world around me. I don’t feel comfortable doing that anymore. I would feel too disconnected. I do feel that I regularly have to stay in touch with reality and be reminded of it and even take part in it. I also have to do the ordinary things like the dishes and walk the dog and watch the news on TV. The last is especially important because it makes me feel connected to the here and now and that’s very important to me.

I suppose that’s why I like listening to the radio so much when I lie in bed at night. The programs deal with current events and I always feel up to date and I hear a lot of the news on the radio. I hear more of the details that I don’t hear on the news on TV.  There are a lot of background stories and interesting guests on the talk shows. The same goes for when I take my nap in the afternoon because I go to sleep listening to political discussions about some current issue. I’m better informed now that I listen to the radio than I was before and all sorts of points of view are represented, though they all are sensible ones and well thought out. There’s no idiotic shouting just to make noise and intimidate. Everything is very civilized.

The fields have been mowed and the wildflowers have been cut down. Except for in the flowerbeds, there are no poppies left. All the chamomile has been cut down too. Now I’ll have to wait a while and see what comes up next. It’s still raining regularly, so hopefully that will help with whatever is going to decide to grow. It’s a shame to see everything gone, but it can’t be helped. Beside the street, on the stretches of grass that have not been mowed, there is wild yarrow growing and I hope to see more of it. There’s always hope for new plants.

Today is going to be a peaceful day. The Exfactor will be here to do the groceries, thank goodness, because I’m almost out of milk. I don’t have any appointments. I didn’t think it was necessary to make one with my psychiatrist and my SPN is on holiday until the 27th.  I will see her next week but I don’t have any pressing problems. I don’t consider the issue of the ‘Black Dog’ serious enough. He is slowly slinking away. I do have to have some amount of self sufficiency and to be able to get myself through these spells. It’s good for my ego if I do. I do have to show some amount of inner strength.

It’s going to rain again today and it will be for the rest of the week. I don’t mind it too much as long as I get the chance to take out the dog regularly. It’s quite cozy inside when it’s raining. I still have the bedroom windows open and it’s not cold inside, though outside it isn’t all that warm. I just have to make sure that I wear enough clothes. My black leather jacket is coming in real handy, although it’s getting a little big on me.

I haven’t been on the bathroom scale, but I think I’m losing weight because my latest skirt is getting a bit big on me, even after I washed it. I’ll have to try and remember to get on the scale when I get up again this morning and I’m in my underwear. That’s always when I weigh the least and that’s the weight I go by. I do want to weigh myself at the most opportune moment.

I’m going back to bed. It will be nice and warm in there under the duvet.

Have a good morning when you get up.

Ciao,

Nora

An honest effort…

I woke up in a sweat with my hair all wet. I don’t know why, it’s not that warm in here and the bedroom window was open. They say it’s good to sleep with a cool head, that you sleep better then. That certainly didn’t apply to me tonight. I had a hot and sweaty head and woke up from it. I felt like laying a bag of frozen peas on it, but it’s cooling off as I sit here now with my cup of coffee and my hair is drying up. I think I will not wear socks when I go back to bed next. Maybe I should go to bed naked.

I took refuge in my bed early tonight because staying up was too much of an effort. The ‘black dog’ was breathing down my neck and making me think unpleasant thoughts that i was not in the mood for thinking. They were totally useless and unnecessary thoughts and served no purpose whatsoever. The only thing they did was get me down. I could think of only one escape and that was safely lying in bed listening to the radio. Luckily, that was almost enough of a diversion until I went to sleep.

Sleep is the only true diversion from my thoughts and when I wake up, I feel better for at least a while afterwards. Such are its restorative powers.

The Exfactor was here yesterday and he bought me a loaf of sliced white bread and a box of dark chocolate sprinkles. Now, when I have a craving, I have a slice of bread with that on it and I feel so good. It’s like manna from heaven. It satisfies my deepest longings. That’s the craving I always get when the ‘black dog’ is visiting. At least the gastric band limits how many of these slices of bread I can eat. I’m not a lost cause altogether.

There’s a part of me that wants to be upbeat and happy and that wants to fight against the downbeat and dark side of me. That must be because it’s the middle of the night and there’s room for both of them. It would be the only time that there were. I don’t feel this way during the day.

I just let the dog out back and stood outside by the back door. It was so nice and cool out there. It was very refreshing. I feel properly chilled now and am going to have to put on my bathrobe. There was moonshine with just a few clouds and no wind, just cold night air. It would have been nice to have gone for a walk in it, but I’m too chicken to do it.

In spite of everything, yesterday went by quickly. There was some respite in the form of television, but I was put off by what I saw on the news and the weekly chat with the prime minister who’s as slippery as an eel. My toes curl when I listen to him talk. He’s so very much not my favorite person. I wouldn’t shake his hand if I met him.

There’s a lot of nonsense on television in the summer season which has already started. It’s when you have to push the off button and refuse to watch it. It’s the negative aspect of summertime.

I’m going to have to go back to bed.  I’m not really ready to, but I don’t know what else to do. There’s no other sort of trouble I can get into. I’m going to have to be well behaved.

Ciao,

Nora

 

 

 

 

 

>Kindheartedness…

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I suppose that’s best to describe the benign feelings I have right now about the world  in general, though not about all things in specific, but I’ll not let myself be bothered about them right now. I want to have nothing but benign feelings, pushing away the effects of the less happy news items I watched on television last night. If they are all true, they make me feel very jaded indeed and I want none of that right now. 
I do want to enjoy my few hours of peace and quiet in the darkness and silence of the night and believe in the general goodness of mankind, though it is hard to pull the wool over my own eyes. It requires a state of oblivion that even I don’t know I’m capable of. I’m going to give it my best try, though. 
The face of one man is etched in my mind right now and that is the face of Dominic Strauss-Kahn and I wonder how he is doing in his single prison cell on Wicker Island. I want the allegations to not be true, but I’m afraid they are and I’m ever so sorry about that. It bothers me to no end that a man in his position would steep so low.  I suppose I feel an enormous amount of disappointment. This isn’t about having extra-marital affairs anymore. This is about rape and it’s very serious. 
Enough said about that. I have to find something equally true and honest in its place. Something to offset it. Something of beauty and elegance. That’s hard to come by in this world. I suppose I’m looking for a hero and I can’t find one at this moment. I need a Nelson Mandela.
I suppose that I don’t feel as benign as I thought I did, though I wish to. I worry about men in power abusing their privilege. It’s been shown that the brain activity of people in power changes and that they take bigger chances and do things ordinary people would not. They are risk takers. This goes for women in power as well as men. Women are more subtle, though. They don’t have a penis in their pants with which they have to assert themselves. 
I’ll gently return to the night and it’s peacefulness. If I sit here so silently, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a big complicated world out there. I can make my own world as small as I like. I can make it as small as the light of my desk lamp reaches. I can forget about yesterday and the day that is to come. All I have to do in a while is go back to bed and sleep. I don’t even have to dream about unpleasant things, at least, I hope not. 
On another subject, the book I’m reading, ‘Loot and other stories,’ is not fascinating me at all, but then again, not many books are lately and I never seem to be able to finish one. I will have to go in search of another book that will hopefully grab my attention well enough. I do still have enough to choose from on the bookcase. It’s a shame to leave all these books unread, but maybe some day in the future I will go back and finish them.
Today actually brings nothing complicated with it. It is a day of no consequence at all. I can make it as simple as I want and I am grateful for that. I will do some simple chores and generally take care of my mental health, which has for the most part been good. I’m not going from one extreme mood to the other, but am mostly positioned somewhere in the middle range. You have no idea what a relief that is. I’m not in the bouncy castle.
I hope you’re all having a good night and that you’ll have a good morning when you get up. We’re actually going to have good weather. 
Ciao,
Nora

>Alertness at the wrong time…

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I’m not at all supposed to be awake now, but the dog climbed on top of me while I was sound asleep and started being grumpy at me as if he wanted me to wake up in a hurry and I did. I tried to push him off, but he was insistent that I get up. He pulled the duvet right off me and pushed his nose against my body in effort to get me to move.
I finally had to get up out of bed before he was satisfied and he settled down as soon as I had gotten a cup of coffee and sat down behind the computer. Isn’t he quite the character? He’s sound asleep now in the armchair as if he had nothing to do with me being up. He’s as innocent as a newborn baby. 
He didn’t want anything else. He didn’t want to go out for a piddle or want a treat or a fresh drink of water. He just seemed to want me to be up. Apparently he appreciates my watchful company. It probably makes him feel more secure. Maybe he doesn’t like to feel alone in the dark. Or he has gotten so used to me being up in the middle of the night that he thinks it’s normal.
That leaves me sitting here in the middle of the night, slightly sleepy headed and with some empty time to fill. I usually know how to take care of that. A post is quickly written. Or as slowly as I want. I can take all the time in the world to do it. All I have to do is make sure that I’m up at 9 o’clock in the morning when my psychiatrist is going to call me. 
I mustn’t miss that call. I’ll have to set the alarm clock for it so I will be coherent when he does call. I have to make sure that I’ve had a few cups of coffee before I talk to him. The worst thing in the world is talking to someone on the phone right when you’ve woken up. You are so vulnerable when you do and you can’t think straight yet. They’ve really got you at a disadvantage. 
At least I went to bed at a decent time last night. I got my pajamas on early and watched a consumer program on TV, but it was only mildly interesting. I guess I’m supposed to get outraged every week, but I’ve ceased to be because nothing surprises me anymore. They do have to find new items every week to air on their program. 
It does go to show you how much there’s screwed up in this country, but I can’t get excited about everything. We live in a banana republic. Things that don’t work well here have been resolved perfectly well in surrounding countries and we’re just muddling along, especially with the government of major cutbacks that we have now. All we have to do is look how they’re done across the border. And successfully so. 
Don’t get me started. All things lead to politics. Badly done politics.
I mustn’t get bogged down in that and focus my vision on a totally different subject. I’ll talk about the weather instead which was decidedly cold yesterday, although the sun was shining all day. There was a cold wind blowing from the north east and it was only 15C. I needed both my cardigan and my jacket when I went outside to walk the dog. 
The weather is going to slowly improve by the end of the week and it will be a little warmer by the weekend. I don’t mind if it’s cold as long as I’m dressed for it. The fact that the sun shines makes it easier. It stays light late now and the days last long. This pleases me very much and I’m happy for all the hours of daylight. I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain, especially because there are wildfires here and there. These are started by opportunistic arsonists who are hard to catch. 
The fires get started on the moors and they smolder underground in the peat for a long time, even when it looks like they have been put out. They need infra red cameras to see where the fire is still alive and tackle it there. They use firetrucks and helicopters with big water bags to fight the fires.
That’s about as interesting as I can get right now. This post has gotten long enough anyway. I mustn’t bore you. I will go and find some other way to amuse myself right now because I’m not nearly ready to go back to bed. Hopefully, something joyful will pass my path. 
I hope you’re all having a good night or are about to. I hope your weather is treating you right and that your government is also. 
Ciao,
Nora

>A caffeinated post…

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Without giving you the impression that I’m hypo-manic, I do have to say that I’m sitting here quite contentedly and that must be because I’ve already had four hours of sleep and one delicious cup of coffee. As happens once in a while, I got the amount of ground coffee just right and turned out a delicious pot of it that’s not too bitter or too strong. It does not make my mouth pucker with the awful taste of it. It was a gentle and nicely brewed cup of coffee that I drank and I’m getting ready for my second one. 
I feel good, but I’m not on a high. My eyeballs aren’t popping out of my head from excitement, nor am I thinking that I’m omnipotent and all knowing and have the answer to every question. I’m reasonable and sane, but doesn’t every lunatic think that he is? The proof will be in the pudding and the pudding will be this post. You’ll be able to judge me on the contents and the reasonableness of it. I hope to make complete sense while still being amusing.
Yesterday afternoon I took the dog for a long walk and I saw my first buttercups. I saw them under two trees on a stretch of grass beside the sidewalk. I thought that was very fortunate because I had just mentioned them on my other blog. It’s the only place I saw them. I also saw my first dandelions, but I was not as thrilled about them. I’m waiting to see buttercups in the fields now, besides the many daisies that are there, and I suppose the clover will be next, both purple and white. I’m going to keep careful track of which wildflowers pop up where and when. 
Hopefully I’ll know their names. It will be a good reason to take the dog on longer walks. I know of one place that’s good for many kinds of wildflowers and if there are going to be any, that’s the place to look for them. It’s a ways out of town on the edge of it, but maybe I can walk there this afternoon after the domestic help has been here. It’s supposed to be nice weather today with sunshine and pleasant temperatures, so it would be a good time to go. The exercise would do us both good and I’d have a goal. 
Speaking of goals, I was watching the highlights of some rugby games yesterday and that’s a rough sport. Those guys get thrown around and pounced upon like nothing else. I’m sure their poor bodies are scraped and bruised like no others when they’re done with their game. Footballers are ninnies compared to them. And I wonder who washes their clothes because they were covered in grass and dirt stains. I’m sure the wives don’t have to do the washing at home. I think this was the Six Nation League Championship and I think England won. It was very exciting to watch.  
I also always watch the highlights of the football games and I’m glad they are the highlights only because I could not sit through a whole game unless they were the championships for something. At least with the highlights you get to see the most exciting bits. They show them from all the games that have been played during the week, so there’s a lot. I’m not for any team in specific yet, although I think I’m starting to root for FC Twenthe. They’re in second place now. It would be nice to see them at the top again. They were the champions last year. 
The sports news was regularly interrupted with news about the situation in Libya. The latest I heard was that Qaddafi wanted a cease fire and I hope he is serious this time because he’s wanted one several times before and didn’t keep his word. I hope for the people in Misrata that this time it’s true, but I think we must not take him at his word. One thing Qaddafi must not be and that is trusted. He’s too irrational for it. 
I’m amazingly calm. I don’t have that haunted and over excited feeling that I have been having at all. It’s a good thing that I’ve started using my old sleeping pills again. I sure do appreciate them after trying the other ones unsuccessfully. I guess you don’t appreciate what you have until you have to do without it. I know that shortly I will go back to bed and sleep well for another long time and that I will be well rested when I get up. My personal helper is going to be here this morning, so I do have to get up at a somewhat reasonable hour. I want to get ready and dressed before she gets here. 
The only problem is that I’m not in the least tired and I haven’t yawned once. I’m actually wide awake. I will have to stay up a while longer and wait for sleep to come and overtake me. It is too early to start the day, although I feel like doing it. I will have to see what I’m going to do with that bit of reality. How do I apply that? There’s no need to panic, of course. There’s no golden rule about when the day starts and when I’m supposed to sleep. I’ll just wait and see where the road takes me. 
Have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora
 

>Sense and sensibility…

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I’m up after five hours of sleep, but at least I had those five hours, which is more than can be said for the hours of sleep that I had for the last several nights when I had basically none. Last night I switched back to my old sleeping pills because obviously the new pills weren’t working at all. 
At least with my old sleeping pills I do get a couple of hours of sleep, whereas with my new sleeping pills I was getting none. This led me to become hypo-manic at night when I turned out slightly hysterical posts and during the day I didn’t feel so great either. I had to take tranquilizers and extra anti-psychotics. 
The seriousness of the situation dawned on me yesterday and I realized that I had to do something quick or I would go around the bend. I already felt mad as a mad hatter and I knew that I had to get some sleep during the night. 
The reason I didn’t get more sleep tonight, is that Tyke started to bark and I had to settle him down. I always have to think about the neighbors and I can’t have him bark at all. It does wake me up completely. I probably would have slept a bit longer if it hadn’t been for that.
So, that’s to make a long story short. 
Now I’m sitting here with a glass of cold milk and a cigarette. I’ve had one cup of coffee and decided to not artificially stimulate myself into a high with more caffeine, but the milk is making me feel cold and I’ve just turned up the thermostat. Very shortly it will be warm in here because the place heats up quickly. 
Because of the way I started out this post, I find it a little difficult to get onto a different subject. Also, because I’m not on a high now, my mind is not as alert and as astute and I can’t come up with anything good to write about. 
I do like the way the events are developing in Libya. It’s about time we all interfered and came to the help of the rebels there, although the word rebels is probably not the right one. I use it for lack of better. The fighters for democracy. The freedom fighters. I admire France and Great Britain for taking the lead in this and I hope we show enough muscle to deal with Qaddafi once and for all. The news is filled with the latest updates all day long.  No, I don’t watch CNN. I watch the plain old sober minded Dutch news cast. 
I think I’m okay with it being Sunday today. I’m not too much bothered by it. It will be a very low key day in which I don’t have a lot to do. I started off the weekend by not liking Saturday, but that’s not so strange when you consider the circumstances. 
Have a good day.
Ciao,
Nora

>Optimism…

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If I didn’t get up in the middle of the night, I would never write a blog post. At least not in the frame of mind I am in now in the beginning of the springtime when the first buds are starting to show on the hedges and the trees and it’s the season in which I start to rapid cycle. The nighttime is when I feel my most sane as opposed to during the day when things are much more tricky and I’m not capable of writing down a sensible word. I tried that yesterday and got absolutely nowhere. 
It’s a good thing that I wake up in the middle of the night and sit here with a cup of coffee and feel so sane. At least I can gather my thoughts together and put down something that’s worth reading when I’m not capable of that during the day. I haven’t figured out yet why that is, but for me is not to know the reason why, I just accept it. It’s probably some chemical process that I don’t understand and that is the result of the combination of the medicines I take and the sleep I’ve had so far. Doubtlessly the silence of the night and the relative safeness of it help too. 
I knew this period of rapid cycling was coming up and I wasn’t far off the mark when I told my psychiatrist that it would happen in March/April. It’s maybe happening a little bit sooner because of the early onset of springtime, but it’s mostly due to the increased hours of daylight and the amount of sunlight. As a result, I’m not that fond of very sunny days when the sun shines in a completely blue sky. I prefer gray and cloudy days with some rain. That’s when I feel most happy. They seem to fit my disposition better. 
It’s going to be sunny for the next couple of days, so I’m not too thrilled about that, although with my increased dose of medication I may do a lot better. It may not bother me as much. I may be less hyper alert and less sensitive. 
All this talk about my moods doesn’t prevent me from writing about other things. I have been keeping track of the national and international news, although I have to say that I’m very sensitive to it now and that it bothers me very much to hear all the negative messages. I worry about what’s happening politically in my own country and I worry about what’s happening in Libya. On top of that Qaddafi’s forces have taken hostage three Dutch soldiers that were trying to rescue a Dutch national and are pretending they were there for evil reasons. I worry about those three soldiers. 
I had to turn off the 8 o’clock newscast last night because I couldn’t take anymore after having watched the news a lot during the day. I saw enough politicians’ faces to last me a lifetime. Somehow they are going to twist and turn to get everything to go their way and it is not to the good of the people. I’m ready for the opposition to do a coup d’etat. As someone at the bottom of the economic ladder, I feel very insecure. This government is very unkind to the little people. It’s a ruthless government and they are capable of anything. I hope it falls apart soon. 
I must think of something happier to write about. I can only think of the animals that bring such joy to my life. Tyke’s fur is growing and he is getting some curls in it again. He is starting to look more like his old self. I think he is generally less cold too. When he is asleep, I whisper very quietly, “He is such a good dog,” and he perks up his head and starts wagging his tail. He is never so sound asleep that he doesn’t hear that.
I’ve switched Gandhi’s food from the store brand kibbles to Gourmet and she likes it very much and seems to barf less often. She’s also less interested in eating Tyke’s food, so something must have been missing in the old kibbles. 
Today is Friday, but I have no idea what sort of a day it is going to be. It all depends on how well my medicines will work. The domestic help is not coming. I have to do some chores and with a little bit of luck I’ll get around to them. 
Have a good day everyone. 
Ciao,
Nora