Tragedy

Heavy rainfall and flash floods are wreaking havoc in Germany, Belgium and also here in The Netherlands right now. So far no deaths here and no floods where I live (very close to the lowest part in The Netherlands) but there are many fatalities in Belgium and especially in Germany. It’s heartbreaking and scary.

We had flooding disasters here in the mid 1990s and since then billions of Euros have been invested in measures to prevent future disasters but even the flood plains that were invested in aren’t enough to stave off all danger. The flood plains are filled with water now but as more rain falls in Western Europe and more water comes down the rivers from Switzerland and Germany, the situation here in The Netherlands will remain precarious. We had virtually no rain where I live and most of the rain seems to be easing now in other parts, but the situation still remains dangerous due to the very high water levels (still rising here), mudslides and structures becoming unsafe.

The Netherlands is quite famous for its water management and flood control and we have all sorts of safeguards in place but even that does not seem to be enough. How even more dangerous will it all get if the climate continues to worsen?

Besides the flooding there has been more tragic news here: the Dutch crime reporter Peter R. de Vries who was gunned down last week has died yesterday. It’s front page news in all the papers here…

Source

As I said before, I’ve never been a big fan of the man but he was very prominent here in The Netherlands, I think he was pretty much known to everyone, and he really did fight courageous battles for justice. This shooting has truly shocked me as an attack on our rule of law and free speech in this democracy and it’s tragic that the sustained injuries were so bad that he couldn’t pull through in the end. I almost had these visions of De Vries crime reporting on his own attackers and the organized crime that is probably behind it all, but alas that is never to be…

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.