Last day of ice

We wanted to take in the ice today before it all starts melting away again. Thawing temperatures have already started, so pretty soon the ice won’t be any good to stand on anymore. Mr. Esther, mini-me and I decided to drop off my younger brother who had spent the night at our house and then drive on to Delft, which is close to where my brother is now staying. Delft always is a little special to us, as we got married there. Anyway, once there, we saw that the ice was not very good anymore in many places, the thawing had already begun. Some people did still go out on the ice, but it wasn’t busy on the canals in the center by any means…

We stopped in the central square between the old city hall (where we got married) and the old church where several of our kings and queens are buried and picked up a hot drink and poffertjes (these mini pancakes with some butter and powdered sugar). Due to Covid 19 restrictions we couldn’t sit anywhere, so we had to drink and eat standing up. It was quite funny to see groups of people standing separate from each other in the square, wanting to be out but also keeping a distance from each other in small, restricted groups.

Businesses are trying to stay afloat during the Corona restrictions where only food and essential shops are allowed to be open. I saw a souvenir shop with a sign in the window saying you could order online and they would deliver orders (free of charge) in a 5 km radius. Another shop said to take a picture of the window display and then e-mail or phone your order in if you wanted to buy anything from that display. Our parking garage ticket also warned us to keep a 1.5 meter distance to others, using a famous Delftware kissing statue as their image, keeping the kissers apart…

We walked around Delft for about an hour, then drove home. We needed a few groceries which I said I’d do, in defiance of the worsening vertigo. Reclining on a couch so much is taking it’s toll and I just wanted to be moving a bit more. I took a very small detour to the shop (saw a heron on my path as well) so that I could take a peek at the frozen pond near our house before getting those groceries. Now, with the vertigo more prominent after all that activity, I’m back to reclining on the couch again.

It’s been a lovely Sunday and I’m off to chocolate eyed Yannick Bisson land again after I post this (I’ve been avoiding disappointing impeachment politics in the US with Yannick). Seriously, those big brown eyes with the thick lashes surrounding them do something to me, they are so full of expression and warmth…

I even made a fan video of his old Sue Thomas F.B.Eye show a few days ago…

… and am working on another one, so this Sunday also looks to be ending very nicely.

Frozen canals

The Netherlands is caught in winter weather and ice fever right now. The canals freeze and everyone takes to the ice. I don’t skate, have never really been able to and won’t learn now with my vertigo, but I do love the seeing all the skaters on the ice. My husband can skate, as can my kids, and on Friday Mr Esther and mini-me braved the ice together…

Today Mr Esther went skating on his own and sent me this…

Tomorrow we’ll have one more day of ice, after that it will start thawing and all this will be over again. It’s been beautiful while it lasted.

Swaying vs merriment

About a week and a half ago, I was clearing out old, never used sweaters and put them in a large plastic bag for clothes donations. Of course I should have remembered that I have a light dust mite allergy and handling sweaters that haven’t been used or washed in ages can trigger that. Sure enough, soon after the task was done my nose started clogging, my palate started itching and my eyes got red. I rinsed my nose out and washed my face and hands and figured that would be that but alas, no. My sinuses started clogging, I had bad headaches the next day and soon enough my dizziness returned! I’ve been battling it all with nose spray and anti-vertigo pills for the past week, to little avail. The last time I had this a little over a year ago, it took months to go away. I so hope that won’t be the case again now! Trying to keep spirits up despite it all and as I was just looking at some pictures on my phone I came across some nice ones from last weekend.

Last Sunday, Mr Esther, mini me and I went for a lovely drive (it’s as if, when I lie my head back against the headrest, the gentle motion of the car evens out the vertigo a bit). We stopped somewhere to get a takeaway meal for in the car (restaurants are only open for takeaway) and, as I waited for what I had ordered, it occurred to me that it looked like I was going to rob that place! The scenery during the drive was beautiful and very Dutch with windmills and boats along the way…

While there are lots of bridges over the very many streams and rivers we have here in The Netherlands, there are also still ferries in use and we took one (the ride lasted about a minute and a half) about 20 minutes away from where we live…

It’s good to appreciate the nice things in life and try to not get overwhelmed by such a stupid little thing like the swaying going on in my head right now. It’s a bit like being very tipsy but without the merriment, so I try to derive my merriment from other things such as last weekend’s little drive and also catching up on the many many seasons of Murdoch Mysteries as I lay back against pillows.

Just worked a half day and I’m off for a little lie-down now. I really hope this vertigo goes away again soon…

Covidiots on the rampage…

… here in The Netherlands the past few evenings and probably this evening as well and that makes me furious. Read this if you want to know more: “Curfew stays despite ‘scum’ riots in Dutch cities“.

This past weekend an evening curfew started from 9 pm till 4.30 am to combat the further spread of Covid. The curve has been going down for the regular Covid 19 variant but is on the rise for the British variant, which is far more contagious. We’re basically battling two pandemic diseases at once now. There has even been a riot outside a hospital, for crying out loud! Seriously, what do these rioters think is the alternative: just all go out and party and kill each other instead through transmitting this disease? A few weeks ago, on January 6th, everyone was aghast at riots in the Capitol in Washington DC and now we have riots here. Not instigated by political leaders, thank goodness, but riots nonetheless. If they were peaceful protests I could understand but rioting like this over a night time curfew to protect each other? Where is the sense?

Sign in The Hague that says: “I understand that you’re angry but violence doesn’t help. – An ordinary girl

I despair at the idiocy of the human race.

Political scandal

We have our own political scandal here in The Netherlands now. This afternoon our Dutch government resigned over mismanagement of childcare subsidies. From the Reuters news agency:

THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the resignation of his government on Friday, accepting responsibility for years of mismanagement of childcare subsidies, which wrongfully drove thousands of families to financial ruin.
Rutte said he had handed his resignation to King Willem-Alexander. The cabinet would remain in place in a caretaker capacity to manage the coronavirus crisis for now, with an election already due on March 17.
The resignation follows a parliamentary inquiry last month that found bureaucrats at the tax service had wrongly accused families of fraud. (Rest of the article here in case you’re interested or another one here).

The man in the middle is our king Willem-Alexander, the guy on the left next to him with the dark blue tie is our Prime Minister Mark Rutte

This whole scandal has been going on for a quite a while now and two months before our next planned elections this resignation of the cabinet has now happened. Mr Esther, due to his work, knows a lot about this issue and says it’s all indeed a mess of miscommunication between parliament, government, ministries and an administrative mess at the tax service. What irks him about this whole scandal is not that the government has resigned but the sensationalist tone the media takes that implies that everyone in government is corrupt and not to be trusted, as if people intended this to happen! No one intended this, and yes, it’s all been a mess but no one made this happen because of any personal gain. People in government are very well-intentioned, social, and all really care that this mess has happened and want to do everything to make things better. They are working on new strategies right now because no one wants something like this to happen again. But learning from mistakes and well-intentioned people trying to make things better are not news.

Now, with the elections coming, especially far right creepy politicans like Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet will milk this as if government is not to be trusted and only wants bad things for people.

They won’t look at the grey areas and won’t help make things better, they’ll just bully and divide and come up with short-sighted slogans and ‘solutions’ and a lot of people will follow them for that. I hope the far right won’t gain too much over this scandal. Geert Wilders recently published a reprehensible racist anti-Islam agenda for the upcoming election and I don’t want him gaining any more supporters than he already has (his party is the second largest in parliament right now, but luckily he is reduced to being in the opposition and not in governement).

As for other politicians in the upcoming election: I wonder whether our prime minister will suffer losses over this. I’ve never been a huge fan of Mark Rutte and his VVD centre-right party but he’s been an OK prime minister and people (me too) have been generally approving of his handling of the Corona crisis, so that may help him. I’ll never vote for him (even before this crisis) but he will be far preferred to any of the two wankers here above. I like some of our central/left politicians alright but not enough to vote for them, so I’m eagerly awaiting who the new Labour Party candidate will be, maybe that will help. Of course, party policy strategies will weigh strongly in my decision but it helps if the party I like also has a good leader that I like. Elections on March 17th here will be another emotional rollercoaster for me, I just know it.