maandag 26 januari 2009

B is for "boren"

"Boren" means drilling in Dutch. And I've just come back from the dentists. My new dentist - I changed from my Amsterdam based dentist in December, and registered with the Monnickendam practice that both John and Jolanda use.
I should have done this ages ago, as soon as I stopped working in Amsterdam, but I have a fear of dentists (we were butchered as children by a local dentist with enormous hands, and poor social skills) and changing dentist seemed worse than the journey into Amsterdam for my six monthly check ups.
However the Amsterdam guy became a bit too happy to pull my teeth out, rather than preserving them, so I finally took the plunge after the second extraction; and when one of my remaining teeth broke into pieces I decided to give a new dentist a chance.
Of course you go along and they find loads of things to do - not only mending the broken tooth, but also finding an infection within a root canal treatment I had done about three or four years ago(this will need specialist treatment at over EUR300 per session!), as well as discovering another tooth which had developed a hole to the side of an existing filling.
So today I have had the second filling done, and I'm sitting with a face numb with anesthetic, dreading it wearing off, because then the after-ache will begin.
Self Pity is an unattractive emotion, so on the positive side, after this work is all completed, around about the end of April, after the sessions for the infection have taken place, and I've had my appointment with the dental hygienist too, I'll be moving into summer with a pain free, lovely smile.

zondag 11 januari 2009

Ice Fever!

We've had days of freezing temperatures, and Holland is now in the grip of ice fever! Everyone is on the ice, not only slating, but walking, biking, ice sailing, or as here, kite sledging - they use the big kites to pull a small sledge very fast along the wide iced up gouwzee outside Monnickendam Harbour.
Yesterday was glorious weather, but very cold, and hundreds of people made the trip over the ice to Marken, there were middle aged couples with matching fleeces, skating sedately in tandem linked with a long pole, and young couples with their babies on old fashioned sledges making the trip.
The most impressive were the ice yachts, some modern, some lovingly restored wooden yachts from the 19th century, The Monnickendam club has 23 and yesterday all but 2 of them were on the ice

Here are a few at the entrance to the harbour. Some of them weigh up to 600 kilos so to manouver the yachts, before they catch the wind, you need to wear not skates, but ice clogs, like these!

maandag 5 januari 2009

A B C along - A is for Ancestry dot Com!

If you read my blog you will know of my interest in family history. I’ve been researching and recording the family tree using as my main reference source and data store, and am amazed to discover I have been a member since November 2004!
There is a part of me that loves the minutiae of fact finding. It used to surprise me when I completed personality tests for work or training, to find a suitable career path would have been the police force (especially as personality tests completely omit physical characteristics, and I would have been an exceedingly vertically challenged police officer!), but detective work is appealing, and probably why I made my career auditing and accounting for twenty odd years.
With family history, I get to bust family myths as I find facts relating to long dead relatives lives. My confession is I too am guilty of generating my own myths as I slip backwards in time with an ancestor and start to imagine what life would have been like as a ballast keel man on the river Tyne in the middle of the nineteenth century, or as a barwoman in a pub down on North Shields quayside during the first World War.
My family tree has over fourteen hundred people in it, and I wonder whether it is time to stop now, and move on to another hobby, but ordered a copy of a marriage certificate before christmas, and have a list of other documents I need to find which I feel would help raise the veil on part of my great, great, grandfathers life, and once that veil is raised? Who knows where I will be off to next!

donderdag 1 januari 2009

Sub Zero!

We've had four days of freezing weather and the ice is pretty thick. in our densely populated little country that means we can skate, but as can be seen from this photo, its more a procession than a sport! Still its an active procession, in the fresh air, and its great to see Jolanda is happy to get out with friends even in sub zero temperatures.

She is wearing
2 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of socks
2 tee shirts
1 pullover
1 winter coat
her dads winter gloves
my skates

and her bike has a sheepskin seat cover!

I don't know how she still manages to look so slender!

Happy New Year, everyone!