Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour is today!!


In December 2009 world leaders meet in Copenhagen to agree on a post-Kyoto policy for tackling climate change. One billion people voting with their light switch during Earth Hour will create a powerful mandate for our leaders to take strong and decisive action on climate change. Switching off your lights is a vote for Earth, or leaving them on is a vote for global warming. WWF are urging the world to VOTE EARTH and reach the target of 1 billion votes, which will be presented to world leaders at the Global Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009.

I'm switching off the lights tonight. What's your vote??

update 20.51u: The lights are off, the house is lit by candles. It gives a special atmosphere, warm and intimate. Not everyone understands (or wants to understand) why we are doing this. Ah well, we know why... We are the only ones in our street, pity! The neighbours must think our fuses have blown... ;-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Last Saturday Ron and I went to Phantasium, a new fair in Eindhoven "where Fantasy, Gothic and the Middle Ages meet", and witches! We arrived around 1pm. The hall was filled with stalls selling all kinds of stuff. It was a bit dark, just enough light to see the stalls and the people. Ron had brought his new camera to try it out. The strange light didn't make it easier, but I think he did great. I've put the pictures in an online album, so judge for yourself!
Our favourite folkband Rapalje performed several times on the podium, yay! Another highlight was the LARP wedding / handfasting of Cernunnos and Mutti Goblin (of Greenthingz). I saw a lot of people I know and met good friends. The fair lasted until 8 pm, but at the end of the afternoon I was pooped! We left around 6pm.

Friday, March 20, 2009

J.W. Waterhouse exhibition

Waterhouse exhibition catalogue Yesterday Wonder and I went to the J.W. Waterhouse Exhibition in the Groninger Museum, the largest retrospective of the art of John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) ever mounted. Although Waterhouse’s compelling scenes are admired by millions of people worldwide, the general public knows relatively little about the man himself and his artistic production. This exhibition features 92 paintings, drawings, and sketchbooks. It is the first to consider his entire career, demonstrating his engagement with contemporary trends ranging from antiquarianism to mystical spirituality.

I have always admired Waterhouse's art. It was amazing to see the paintings for real. The colours, the texture, looking up close, the sketchbooks and studies... fabulous!! I enjoyed myself so much. I have bought the hardcover catalogue guide and will look back very often. Our pictures can be found here.

After Groningen (until May 3rd) the exhibition will travel to the Royal Academy of Arts in London (June 23 – Sept. 13, 2009) and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada (Oct. 1, 2009 – Feb. 7, 2010). If you like Waterhouse and you get the chance: GO! :-)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

COT #26: pictures and an artist

Cats On Tuesday
CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who share pictures and/or stories about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

Ron's birthday present was a new digital camera (Canon EOS 450D), so that had to be tested. What better models than the cats? In the end they tried to hide! "No daddy, please stop now!" ;-)
Maia hiding

This edition of CoT I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful artist who makes fabulous cat drawings. Do you know this one?
Bastet by Carrie HawksI've had it in my files for quite some time. I love it, but I never knew who made it. Through a mutual friend on Facebook I discovered the artist. Her name is Carrie Hawks. Take a look at her website and her Zazzle Gift Gallery. Great gifts for yourself and other cat lovers!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Busy busy

I haven't updated as much as I wanted. I've been busy for my doing (is that how you say it in English?), and I need a lot of rest in between. I'll bring you up-to-date now. :)

Rons first talk with the outplacement bureau wasn't what he hoped for. He wants another job a.s.a.p. (preferably yesterday), but there are procedures. We hope the next talk will be more constructive.

Friday evening we had dinner with friends and then went to a theatre concert by Rapalje, a Celtic folkband from the Netherlands. Ron and I are big fans. We've often seen them at fairs and other events. We also visited their first theatre tour. The concert was great!

Yesterday Wonder and I went to the Onkruidbeurs (Onkruid is an inspiring alternative/esoteric magazine, beurs=fair). There was a lot to see. We had a nice chair massage halfway. Wonder is looking for a study/course to complement the ones he already did.

In between all this I've been busy with the Ara-girls about the postponed initiations, doing some voluntary jobs for the empirical experts pool and a lot of other stuff. Sometimes exhausting, but I choose to do all this so I have to take the consequences too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Exertion test

Today I had the exertion test in the CFS centre in Amsterdam. We had to be there at 9.15 am, so we had to drive through the morning rush-hour. It took almost thrice the normal time.
First they made an ECG. I also had to do a longfunction test; that went okay, I scored 98%. Then I put on my sportswear and climbed on the exercise bike. I had a mask on to breathe through, a zillion stickers on my body with wires, a clip on one finger and something around another finger; I must have looked like an alien! ;-) The test itself was quite tough. I could say when to stop, but of course I didn't want to quit too soon. I cycled for 20 minutes or so. Afterwards I was dizzy and exhausted.
Although all the results have to be reviewed in the team, the doctor told me his first impression. It looks like the oxygen and carbon levels in my blood are off when I strain myself, which makes me dizzy and tired, and give me a dry throat. If that's the case I should do the same bike test again in the VU hospital, where they can observe the levels in my blood directly when I'm cycling. I can call in 3 weeks for the overall results. At that time we make another appointment to talk things over and see what we can do next.
At the end I got a portable device strapped on for 24 hours. It will measure and record my blood pressure every 30 minutes. It started 11am this morning and stops 11am tomorrow morning. The band around my arm and the small hose are inconvenient and irritating, but it's okay. When I took a nap this afternoon I was so tired it didn't wake me up, so I hope I'll sleep somehow tonight. I can see the measurements too. My blood pressure varies from 150-165 over 110-125 up until now.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


A few weeks ago I got a letter from the UWV, the organisation that pays my monthly disability allowance. I had to come for a re-examination and re-assessment of my condition. That was a big surprise. After the tests and the result in 2006 they told me they wouldn’t invite me again. The appointment was last Monday. When I got there, the doctor had read my file and was wondering out loud why I was invited at all. He thought it was because of a note his colleague made in 2006, that was misinterpreted by the administration department. He asked some things, made some notes and I was outside again in no time.

Next Tuesday I have an appointment in the CFS Centre for an exertion test. Afterwards I will get a portable monitor for 24 hours to observe my heart. It is part of the examinations the cardiologist wanted to do. I hope I’ll hear more about what they think is possible in treating my fatigue problem.

The Temple of Ara initiation has been cancelled for Beltane this year. There weren’t enough candidates in Italy after all, so the costs would rise substantially. We just can’t afford that. Because Ara Lowlands has 6 candidates we looked into the possibility of doing the initiations in The Netherlands or Belgium. We even considered going to New York, where Phyllis lives. Alas, at the moment none of those options are feasible. We’ll have to wait and discuss future plans. Maybe for later this year or early 2010, we’ll see.

Next Wednesday Ron has his first interview with the outplacement bureau. They called him last week; it was a very good talk. Ron told them how he feels and what he hopes they can do for and with him. Every day he leaves for work with leaden step. He doesn’t feel comfortable there anymore and the work they gave him is not exactly challenging. He has lost his drive and motivation, simply does what he has to do. That’s nothing like the “normal” Ron, who wants to show effort and devotion in his job. It hurts me to see him like this. He has so much to give, but they don’t want it anymore. Well, their loss!!!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

COT #25: cat on top

Cats On Tuesday
CATS ON TUESDAY is a group of cat lovers
who share pictures and/or stories about their cats once a week,
hosted by Gattina.

Freyja & Maia love to sleep together: close, intertwined, sometimes not knowing where one cat starts and the other one ends. But last week beat everything! When I was sleeping, they were lying on top of me (nothing unusual there...). Ron made these two pics of them:

Freyja & Maia
Freyja on top of Maia
Don't they look cute? Freyja isn't a heavy cat, but still... I can't believe Maia just slept through this!