Sunday, November 23, 2014

First sheep

We like going out for dinner and are in luck that around our homes we can choose from many restaurants. Within a 5 to 10 mile radius there are about 450 restaurants (150 around my place - 300+ around Nath's place).

What I don't like is going out for dinner and be disturbed by other customers, especially groups of people. Whenever I have to book for a group of more than 5 persons I make sure to pick a restaurant that allows for groups to be separated from the 'normal' crowd. Don't do to others what you don't want to be done to you.

But I've learned that many restaurants don't allow for this. In fact more often then not my request is greeted by skepticism. What most restaurant fail to understand is that when I want an intimate dinner and am disturbed by a loud group at another table my 'experience' gets ruined. And judging by the looks my loud groups have gotten when we weren't separated I'm not the only one. You can not prevent it. A group of 5+ will at some point get loud. Voices have to carry a longer distance. There is always one who will raise his/her voice to make a point and be heard making it.

I've discussed this with a friend who runs two restaurants and he argued that it wouldn't be cost effective. I argued that he couldn't know that when such a scheme wasn't rolled out over numerous restaurants and people would be aware of the possibility. In my perspective it takes one sheep to cross a bridge before the rest will follow.

Last night we went out with a group of seven to celebrate my moms 70th birthday and I had asked beforehand to be seated somewhere we wouldn't be of much influence to the other guests. Surprise me. When we arrived we were led to a small room that is part of the restaurant and yet separated from the main area. Not once did I feel I was not in a restaurant and not once did I feel  we were invading on other guests.
After dinner I asked the owner about it and he told me that when he didn't have reservations for a larger group on a particular night he would use screens to divide the room into small cubicles, dim the light to a lower level, play some jazzy music and it would become the favourite spot for lovers to sit. Needless to say I asked him if he would mind talking to my friend. He handed me his number.

Have I found my first sheep?

Saturday, November 8, 2014


As part of the program for my back I have to take walks for 30-45 minutes. During the week I feel I hardly have time to sleep so I will try to incorporate the walks into my daily routine. Usually I take a bus from the train station to my office which in all takes about 15 minutes but I figured I could walk the distance as well. Turns out (I did this yesterday) it takes only 30 minutes to walk. I was a little surprised. I guess waiting for the bus (5 mins) and the short walk to the office (3 mins) had my time calculations messed up.

During the weekend however I can walk the neighbourhood. Either mine or Nath's. Today I did mine and I thought I'd share some sights with you.

First up are the old NCRV studios. The NCRV is a Dutch broadcaster that left these studios in the year 2000. Everyone however still refers to the building as the NCRV studios.

This building is practically in my backyard so not much of a challenge.

But I have to walk 30-45 minutes so approximately 2-3 miles and on I went.

Next up was the old Gymnasium building that is now part of another school. The picture is the best I managed and doesn't do justice to it.
It is quite impressive.

After passing several luxuries villa's, I didn't take pictures of them because I do not want to invade anyone's privacy, I came past the new NCRV studios.

The building is ugly and I do not want ugly pictures in my blog so you won't miss out on

After passing the old court building, out of use since 2013 and also of the modern (=ugly) variety, I apparently ended up in some sort of spiritual quarter. I passed buildings of a

a Healing and Meditation center, a Lutheran Church and the Grail Movement of Abd-ru-shin.

But in between these is a small park with a grand stature.

Some may frown on a certain part of the stature but it is grand. :P

Anyhows. I was a little surprised to find all this and more in my back yard. I only walked the equivalent of 2 miles so who knows what I dig up when I decide to take other routes.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


She left yesterday and me a note:

H. do me a favor. Keep that appointment this Wednesday. Do not find an excuse late in the day because of your work. Make sure you keep it. You've changed the last four/five years and in my opinion that is largely due to the pain you've been battling. You are still you, but I can see how you sometimes drift out of a conversation because you need to fight the pain. I sort of admire the fact you are still able to be funny and a joy to hang out with despite this but you're changing. And we don't like the way this is going. I didn't want to end up in a discussion about this with you but I want you to know and think about it. We probably love you even when you're a grumpy old man but we would like to have that day as far in our future as we can.

Love, H.

And because I know you are wondering: Your eyes give you away.

So for the best part of the day this little loving note has been occupying my mind. On and off. And she is right. I'm blessed with my ' back-up wife'.