Life · Randomness

Sport Physiotherapy

It looks like I’m going to be seeing the muscle-bound, uber fit dictator again. *sigh* The last time he got his hands on me, I was in agony and subjected to all kinds of weird and wonderful ‘treatments’. I’ve been suffering with my hips and back again for over a month, and finally decided to see the doctor about it, as I’m in pain before I even get up in the morning… she prodded and poked and pulled me into all sorts of strange positions and told me a physiotherapist would be my best bet. Oh gawd.! Really.? Hence the muscle-bound, uber fit dictator visits.

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I guess he’s not that bad… as far as Sports Physiotherapists go, he doesn’t look like Arnie, although all his muscles are defined and he’s pretty intimidating, and very strict. Last year he took the bursitis in my right shoulder to task, and had me swinging my arm, and pushing my shoulder into door frames and using resistance tape to strengthen the muscles. Which worked for all of five months, until my whole arm seized up for a week, and hasn’t been the same since. I’m not sure I want him messing with my hips. Although the thought of strengthening my core muscles sounds like it could be good, depending on whether I actually have any 😉 and how agonisingly painful it’s going to be to drag them out of bed amidst promises of coffee and cake, and strengthened and back in use again.

It will be nice to walk more than 300 metres without being in pain, and be able to walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop and wait out the back pain. Maybe I’ll dance again… hahahaha.! 😀 Maybe not.

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Life · Randomness

Disrespectful.?

My 25 year old nephew dumped his girlfriend of three years, two weeks ago, with whom he has a 21 month old daughter. Today his Facebook status says he’s in a relationship with someone new. Wow.! I find that not only offensive, but disrespectful. She’s been with him for three years, they’ve lived together for two, and he jumps into a new relationship barely two weeks after dumping her.?

When my husband and I split, after 18 years of marriage and two children, it took him six weeks to bed another woman. I didn’t care at the time, as for me the marriage had been over for years, and I was grateful just to be away from him. But when I think back, six weeks is nothing after 18 years of marriage. It made me realise just how little I must have meant to him for him to be sleeping with someone new so soon. Had I realised just how little he cared, I’d have left the bugger far sooner than I did, and not gone through all the hell I did.

When my eldest son and his girlfriend of 14 months split, he was devastated, while she started a new relationship 10 days later.

Do people not mourn lost relationships anymore.? I mourned for over six months before finally starting to feel more like myself again. I’ve mourned other broken relationships for ages, and yet find that others just swap one partner for another like they’re on a production line, with no thought of trying to re-ignite their previous relationship or get over the loss of their previous partner.

 

Adult & Freaky · Happiness · Randomness

International Beer Day

One of my favourite things in life is beer. In the past seven years I have come to learn about European beers, and the process that results in them. The different hops, herbs, spices and fruits that go into giving each a distinctive flavour, and I’ve also learnt to recognise a beer from it’s flavour. Of course there are thousands of different beers brewed in Europe, pilsners as well as craft beers, and some of you may know a lot more about them than me. I think craft beers are a thing of beauty and I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.

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Bosteels Brewery

Named after an 18th-century brewer, Pauwel Kwak is made by the Bosteels Brewery in Buggenhout, Belgium. It’s made with barley malts, mineral water, wheat, hops and white candy sugar. It’s 8.4% ABV, and is a deep amber colour. It tastes of warm caramel and liquorice, with a herby, bitter aftertaste. You might taste red fruits and yeast as well, and maybe a little sour banana. It very much depends on your taste perceptions, and flavour recognition abilities. I like this one for it’s warmth and depth of flavour. The colour is lovely, a deep transparent toffee apple amber that leaves very little residue on the bulb.

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The Half Moon Brewery

Brugse Zot translated means Brugge’s Fool, or Bruges’ Fool (depending on whether you’re English or not). Bruges Zot is made by the family owned The Half Moon brewery in Bruges, Belgium, and is one of only two beers brewed in Bruges, the other being Straffe Hendrik (below). My partner and I went to visit the brewery a few years ago when we spent a cultural weekend in Bruges. It was fascinating, and so interesting to see how and where the beer is made. Brugse Zot is made with four different varieties of malt, and two aromatic kinds of hop. It’s 6% ABV and tastes of citrus and herbs, it’s very refreshing on a hot day.

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Straffe Hendrik comes as a Tripel, which is light in colour and the much darker quadrupel. The Quadrupel is 11%ABV and has a full bodied taste of rich, ripe dark and red fruits. This is definitely a great Christmassy beer.

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Also brewed by Bosteels Brewery in Belgium, this tripel beer is made with barley, wheat and oats and a little Styrian hop, which is what gives it the creamy white head. It is brewed from a recipe that dates back to 1679. It’s an 8.4% ABV and tastes of spiced lemons and vanilla.

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Anders Brewery (in Dutch)

Brother Jacob comes in a number of varieties. My favourite is the Double Espresso, a strong coffee flavoured ale made by the Anders Brewery in Wezemaal, Belgium. It’s 7.7% ABV and made with Guatemalan coffee beans and cacao. It’s the only beer to be brewed with real coffee.

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Brasserie Caulier

This beer was brewed at the Abbey of Paix Dieu, and only brewed on a full moon. It is still only brewed when the moon is full, but now by Brasserie Caulier in Tournai, Belgium. Because it is only brewed once a month, each bottle has it’s own vintage. This beer is brewed using traditional artisan methods, thus is free from filtration and pasteurisation, giving it a spiced fruit and hops aroma and taste.

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Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck

This has to be the very best cherry beer in the world. It’s made from Kasteel’s darker beer and cherry liquer. It’s rich and luxurious and a real treat. I used to drink Lindeman’s cherry kriek, which is basically alcoholic cherry juice, until I found this, and I’m never going back. It’s quite strong at 8% ABV, and the darker beer it’s based on comes through with slight peppery and chocolatey tones within the sweet fruity flavour. This is bliss in a glass.

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St. Remy Abbey, Rochefort (French)

This beer is to die for, but don’t because it’s made by monks. No really, it is. The Abbey at St. Remy, near Rochefort, France makes a 6 and an 8 beer, but the 10 is my favourite, and is considered the best beer in the world. It’s made from Pilsner and caramel malts, sugar syrups, styrian hops and coriander, giving it an intensely complex fruit, spice, caramel malty flavour that disguises the 11.3% ABV. This is a slowly drunk, comtemplative beer to be enjoyed and warmed slowly in the hands. It’s smooth and warming and like being wrapped in a fluffy comforter in front of a roaring log fire in mid winter. Perfection.

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Chimay Brewery

The very first beer I ever had in the Netherlands, and my all-time favourite dubbel beer. It too is made in a monastery, and is one of a series of Chimay beers. It is a Grande Reserve 9% ABV strong dark ale, and has a strong caramel flavour, enhanced with spices, and a malty finish. Considered one of the best dark ales, and a perfect accompaniment to beef, and cheese.

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Yes, I’m saving the best until last. The Barista chocolate quadrupel by Kasteel. OMG.! If you like chocolate and beer, it’s perfection in a bottle. The only chocolate beer worth considering. I love this 11% ABV beer. As with all Kasteel beers it’s made by Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck, in Emelgem, West Flanders, Belgium. The Barista is made with three different roasted malts, four different hops, water, yeast, candy sugar, coffee and chocolate. It’s smooth, velvety soft, luxurious, but not too sweet. My all-time favourite chocolate beer.

Randomness

A True Gemini.?

This post has been inspired by a very funny lady, whose blog I’ve been following for some time. When I read this post Is My Star Sign A True Reflection Of Me of hers, I started to wonder if I was anything like the description given for my zodiac sign. Not that I take these things seriously, but I was curious to know how close it came, so I followed her link to The Psychic Guild.

Your element: Air
Your ruling planets: Mercury
Symbol: The Twins
Your stone: Aquamarine
Life Pursuit: To explore a little bit of everything.
Vibration: Intense mental energy
Gemini’s Secret Desire: To be ahead of the crowd
A good start. Air apparently means I’m an abstract thinker. Mercury means I am good at expression and communication. I do have a lot of mental energy, I am very curious and like to know about things that aren’t of general interest, making me a fount of completely useless knowledge. 
In ancient Greek mythology, Gemini’s ruler – Mercury, was the light-footed messenger of the gods who darted back and forth across the heavens delivering news – which might explain why those born under the sign of the ‘Twins’ are always on the move; thirsty for knowledge and new experiences. Terminally curious and sometimes even mischievous, Geminis are multi-faceted souls who enjoy knowing a little bit of everything but generally not too much about one particular subject. It’s just that variety is the spice of their lives! And no one is better at multi-tasking than the quixotic Gemini.
This speaks volumes. ‘Always on the move’, I’ve moved 20 times in my lifetime. ‘Thirsty for knowledge and new experiences’, ‘terminally curious’, ‘mischievous’, ‘variety is the spice of life’. I see a lot of myself in those words. Oh dear… this means I’m not unique. 
Geminis have also gained the reputation of being the incessant talkers of the zodiac. Those Twins that don’t have the ‘gift of the gab’ are usually talented writers or have a special interest in foreign languages. In love, they look for a partner who can keep up with them mentally and physically! And, to quote Oscar Wilde, “there’s one thing worse than people talking about you, that’s people not talking about you.” Whether Geminis like it or not, people are usually “talking about them”. Together with Scorpio and Virgos, they are a sign that is often discussed, dissected and sometimes even put down by the other signs of the zodiac. Sometimes this is a subtle form of jealousy by others, because Geminis do lead very unique and unusual lives. The Gemini personality can appear mysterious or detached to others and therefore they are often misunderstood and unappreciated for the talents they offer to the world at large. 
I wouldn’t call myself an incessant talker, but I do have a gift for entertaining and making people laugh, and helping them feel better about themselves. I do love to write, and I do have a love of foreign languages. Weird huh.? My partner keeps up with me mentally… one out of two isn’t bad. 😉 I do like to keep people guessing. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching people who think they know me realise they don’t have the first clue, the more I shock them, the more my name will be on their lips, and I do love to shock.! 
Another reason Geminis evoke so much interest is many born under this sign are multi-dimensionally talented. In money matters, some Geminis are very adept and quick at making it… and spending it too. Many Geminis are involved in international financial wheeling and dealing. They love the adventure and game playing involved in out-thinking other people. Gemini’s can be very haphazard about their financial affairs too, with many of them ending up in divorce courts mainly because their partners have become tired of living on the edge of a financial precipice.
Hmm.! I’m actually pretty good with money, and I spend it only on what is necessary. I don’t spend it as soon as I have it, and I can stick to a budget, and save money. ‘They love the adventure and game playing involved in out-thinking other people’… Oh yes.! 😀 Definitely. It helps having all that mental energy. 
So that’s me. Weirdly accurate in some aspects, a little off in others. Now I wonder if other Gemini’s can relate to this description, and how accurate it is for them. I’m very interested in knowing how other people relate to the descriptions of their zodiac signs.
What sign are you.?
Happiness · Life

Life’s Light

Seven years ago today, I met a man on Facebook who I thought had a great sense of humour. Little did I know he was about to change my life.

I was in a very dark place at the time, and he became my light. My faith in humanity was almost gone, and he gave me something to believe in, and when I couldn’t face the nightmare I felt my life had become, he gave me strength and offered me everything he had. Despite having no job, no home and no car of his own, he drove nearly 600km to save me, and bring me home.

In the past seven years he has come to mean everything to me. He gives far more than he takes, and has ensured that I never feel the desolation and despair that I did before meeting him. He truly is the most amazing person I’ve ever known.

Life · Randomness

Ancient Half-Wit

Why do kids always think we adults need to have jokes explained to us, or feel a need to check Google before believing a thing we tell them.? We’ve been around since before dinosaurs roamed the earth, as far as they’re concerned, but apparently in all that time… we’ve learned NOTHING.! Adults are ancient half-wits with no sense of humour. We’re their dumb relatives.

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My 11-year-old unofficial step-son (his Dad and I are not married) tells me the current thunderstorm raging outside is like McDonald’s, because he’s ‘lovin’ it’, then he sings the jingle, and says to me ‘get it.?’ *sarcastically* No, I don’t get it. I’m 44 years old, I’ve been in more McDonald’s’ than he’s had hot dinners, I have to listen to that increasingly more infuriating jingle every damn time there’s an advert on TV, and to the stupid catch phrase. So why, having suffered through all of that, would I not get a lame joke.?

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Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’m female, English or he really thinks I’m as dumb as a post. He tells me about the latest new song he likes, Jonas Blue’s pop version of ‘Fast Car’, and looks at me like I’ve lost my mind when I tell him it’s an old song, and Tracy Chapman did it first (and better). So then he checks it on Google, to make sure I’m telling him the truth. As if I’d bother winding him up about a song, when there’s so much more I can wind him up about. He likes to explain games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong to me, despite knowing I have two sons who used to play (and explain to me) the exact same games when they were younger. I once explained to him that I was playing both games when I was 18, on a Sega Mega Drive. He had to look up what a Sega Mega Drive was, then turned to me and said “Wow.! You’re really old.!”

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Life · Randomness

Anxiety

Two days ago, I walked into town on my own to go to the hair salon. It’s taken me these past two days to get over it.

My partner’s children are staying with us for two weeks, over the summer holidays and for the first time in seven years are not up at the crack of dawn playing on their handheld game consoles. So when I asked my partner if he minded me getting my hair done, he said of course he didn’t, and I could go there by myself, couldn’t I, as it was an early appointment, and the kids would likely not be up yet.?

Of course I could, couldn’t I.? I spent the rest of the day before the appointment worrying about it. It’s not like I haven’t walked into town before on my own, I have, but always to meet him, knowing he’ll either be waiting for me, or will be there within 5 minutes of me getting to our arranged meeting place. This time I was going somewhere alone, and he wouldn’t be waiting for me, or be arriving there soon afterwards. I would be on my own. I got very anxious about it. I don’t like being around a lot of people, I feel suffocated, and struggle to breathe, I get claustrophobic and jittery, and feel trapped. I don’t like the feeling of being alone around people I don’t know, and while I know the stylist at the salon, she is still an unpredictable presence, and that worries me.

I barely slept the night before, worrying about having to be alone, and was up just after 6.30 a.m. three hours before I had to be there. I know the route, I know the neighbourhood, but it didn’t stop me feeling anxious. Leaving home to go into town was difficult, because I was alone, and walking down towards the town centre, I made sure I knew where the people around me were, and made sure to keep distance between them and me. Not that I think they’ll do anything, I just didn’t like their proximity.

I got to the salon, and waited a few minutes for her to finish with a previous client, and then sat and had my hair washed, and styled. Everything was fine. She was chatty, and funny, and as friendly as she always was, she made coffee, and I felt safe and happy there. I walked back home, perfectly fine, and feeling a little better about having gone out alone, but was mentally exhausted. I couldn’t function properly because I could think of nothing but being alone in town, and I got very upset about it. It’s taken me two days of being around the house, of doing normal everyday things with my partner, and the children, and trying not to think about it, to get past it.

Life · Randomness

The Storm

Last night, I was roused from the first decent sleep I’ve had in a few days by a crack of lightning that sounded like the roof was being ripped off, and a banging, booming overture of thunder and increasingly heavier rain that kept up it’s cacophony for an hour or so, sounding something like I imagine the last apocalyptic nuclear strike will sound, but being too exhausted to clamber out of bed to watch it, I missed the best thunderstorm we’ve had in these parts in years.! And I’m gutted. 😦

 

Life · What If's

Facing your regrets

snoopy-writing

In February this year I started writing about my life, from the age of 6 years old, in a blog. I began with the people in my life at the time, the decisions they made that affected me, and the paths my life took because of their decisions. It’s not a pretty story, and there is no happy ending. I made some big mistakes, and have some regrets, and in putting it all in print, and reading the results of my labours, am facing some of those regrets, and they break my heart all over again, leaving me feeling depressed.

Memories of people I once loved, but had to leave behind, bring back those long buried feelings of heartache and loss, and in some cases, absolute devastation. Therapists tell us it’s good for the soul to write everything down, and exorcise some demons. It’s not the demons I’m having problems with, it’s the soul-destroying sense of loss and memories of people I know are still out there, somewhere, that are making me wish I could turn back the clock, and change the consequences of my decisions that affected them.

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Do any of you have regrets over leaving a loved one behind, in having to move on with your life.?

Life · Randomness

Roll on Winter

It’s already

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here today, and it’s only 11.45 a.m. I hate it.. Seriously.!! I’m a 15°C and under kind of girl, who loves rain, snow and thunderstorms. It’s supposed to get hotter this afternoon, while I’m sat in my partner’s Mom’s back garden, having a barbecue and being broiled alive myself in the humidity, and moist heat. Yeuch.!!! I just know I’m going to be like this…

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within half an hour. Melted into a steaming pool on the patio. And I’m not that person who moans when it gets too cold, and then moans when it gets too hot. I love the cold, I always have. I’m that person walking around in t-shirt and shorts in mid-November, when it’s bitterly cold and everyone else is buttoned up warm in coats, hats, gloves and scarves.

I’m an ice princess.

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