Adult & Freaky · Randomness

Crazy Dreams

A white horse stands in a stable stall, tethered by a rope around it’s neck, and a thinner rope tied around it’s left knee. The other end of the thinner rope is attached to a man of eastern European descent, sat sleeping on the hay covered stall floor, next to the horse. I untie the rope around the horse’s knee and then undo the rope tether, and stroking the horse, whispering quietly to him, gently guide him backwards out of the stall and away from the stable. I take him up a wooden ramp to a wide open space where there are lots of horses, and take him to a corner of the huge room, where he can sit and lie down, and eat and drink water, and socialise if he wants to, but I keep tight hold of the tether around his neck, as I don’t want him to escape. He seems to know this, and tries to nip my fingers, trying to make me drop the rope, but even though he bites me, I don’t let it go.

Later, walking in a city I don’t know the name of, I see the horse, which has turned into a white faced clown with bright red hair, dressed in a rainbow coloured outfit balanced on one hand on the handrail of a very, very tall bridge. I try to rush over to him, but my legs won’t move quick enough. He falls, with a big smile on his face. I climb over the rail and watch as he falls like a bullet, and then swoops along the water, and flies back up into the air. He does loops and swallow dives, and swoops like a crazy bird, and is having a great time. While I am now trapped on a tiny little rock buttress, surrounded by metal bars, that is the top of a column under which is a 4 lane motorway. I’m sat on the edge, with my arms clamped around the chest high bars. I’m frozen in terror, unable to move as I hate heights. My mouth is dry, my fingers are cramped and weak, and my arms ache.

Then a young woman with curly dark hair, and dark glasses, climbs up the metal steps on the side of the huge bridge, she has a black umbrella and is wearing an outfit usually worn in the 1880’s, complete with jaunty hat. She smiles at me, and continues climbing up the ladder, undoing a black gate at the top and moves safely onto the pavement of the bridge. She tells me that I need to get down off the edge of the buttress, and step across to the gate and safety, but I don’t want to move, as I’m petrified of falling. I don’t know if I managed to move, don’t know if I was able to step across the gap to the gate, and to safety, as I woke up shaking, my heart beating crazily, dry mouthed with a feeling of terror. 

This is not the first crazy dream I’ve ever had, but it’s the first I’ve had in a long time. I had one years and years ago, while under the influence of Temazepam, that involved me swimming in a public swimming pool, filled with naked dead men. I blame the drug for that one. I’ve had dreams where I’m being chased by someone I know, but I also know they’re going to hurt me if I stop, so I keep running, and others where I’m driving along a road or motorway, and just steer the car into on-coming traffic, or into a concrete column that’s supporting a bridge. My mind is a freaky little fount of very disturbing thoughts. 

What kind of dreams do you have.?

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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.

Adult & Freaky · Life

No sex thank you, we’re bloggers.!

I’ve been interested in human nature, and human behaviours for years. One of the best places to observe this is in the comments left on blogs. Blogs about travelling, cooking, children and family life are met with hundreds of ‘likes,’ and positive comments, offering advice, support, similar stories of places and events and the cute things kids and animals do.

Blogs about life are devoured, as we love to read about the events in other people’s lives. The up’s, the down’s, the arguments, and parental issues. Even those displaying the details of an horrific childhood, and traumatic youth, are frequented by hundreds of people who click ‘like’ and offer sympathy and support and inspirational quotes.

Write about sex, and you’re an island alone in a very large ocean. If anyone reads, they avoid the ‘like’ button as if it’s contagious. As if clicking ‘like’ will announce to the world that they’re a pervert, because they read a blog about sex, and cause all their own blog followers to abandon them, en masse, in disgust. Are we really that uptight about sex.?

Have we all stopped having sex, because blogging about what we did at work, and what we had for dinner is more exciting.? Is describing the amazingly romantic night you spent with your partner on a moonlight beach in some tropical country, (omitting the part where you made slow, sensual love together) while on honeymoon going to get you more ‘like’s’ than actually telling it like it was.?

Please don’t tell me sex is private, while there’s photos splashed all over Facebook and Instagram of scantily clad women, wearing as little as it’s possible to be wearing, without being bare-ass naked. I’ve seen bare-ass naked on Instagram. I’ve seen full frontal’s on Instagram, and erections on Facebook (hastily removed, I might add, but still….). Sex is a part of our everyday lives. It’s not private, it’s how advertisers get us to buy their products, it’s how TV series, and Hollywood movies are advertised to us.

Sex is life. So why do we hide it when we’re writing about our lives. Obviously we’re not going to post details and photo’s, it’s a blog site, not a porn site, and obviously people know we have sex, otherwise how would those gorgeous babies we keep posting photos of, have come to look so much like us.? I won’t pretend I don’t have sex. I won’t hide it, I won’t lie about it. I will blog about it, in detail (as grotesquely detailed as your secretly perverted little hearts can take), and as often as I want to.

If you don’t want to read about it, don’t.! I don’t care. But if you do read it, have the balls to click the ‘like’ button, and stand up and be counted as someone with the intelligence to be able to make their own decisions, and not follow the herd. And if you’re feeling really brave, while you’re blogging about the weekend you spent with your girlfriend’s parents, or that afternoon at your best friend’s barbecue, you might think about inserting that sentence that says “and then [insert name] and I had a quickie in the downstairs loo.!” and become a real person. ❤

 

Adult & Freaky · Happiness · Life

A Life of Music – This Is Where It Gets Freaky

WARNING: Please be aware there is Adult content and bad language in this post. 

At the age of 37, I found myself going through an amicable divorce, and in a different country, childless and devastated. My new partner, who wooed me with Elbow ‘Starlings’ was my only support, and having a shared love of music, introduced me to some Dutch artists, and bands that he liked. Gotye ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ was so relevant at that time, as was Elbow ‘Grounds For Divorce’, an English band I had never heard of before. He took me to see them live in Amsterdam. He also took me to see Roger Waters ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, and although I knew of Pink Floyd, and The Wall, I never really ‘got it’. Seeing it live, I finally understood what it was all about.

When he surprised me with tickets to a concert by a Dutch band called Blaudzun ‘Elephants’, I fell in love with their music, folk rock really appealed to me and I have become a lifelong fan. We have seen them live in concert four times. Blaudzun ‘Promises Of No Man’s Land’. In the past seven years, I have been to more live concerts and music festivals than I dreamed I ever would.

While at a summer music festival, I heard Racoon ‘Love You More’ and Racoon ‘No Mercy’, a Dutch band, who sing in English, as a lot of them do. The singer sounds Irish which is quite confusing. We saw them in concert in our home town a few months later.

I saw Stromae ‘Papaoutai’ on the TV, and although I couldn’t understand the lyrics, being in French, I liked the tune. I have since learnt the lyrics and what they mean, and become a fan. Stromae ‘Alors On Danse’.

I heard De Staat ‘Down Town’ at the Booch! festival in 2012, and have followed them through De Staat ‘Sweatshop’ and De Staat ‘Witch Doctor’. Another firm favourite. And at every concert you go to… no matter where, when this song comes on, De Staat ‘Witch Doctor’ Live everybody moves.

Triggerfinger ‘I Follow Rivers’ a Belgian band, were playing at Pinkpop in 2013. I was watching it on TV that year, as my partner had to work. I was hooked immediately, and raved about them when he got home, and made him watch a repeat of their act when it came on. Triggerfinger ‘My Baby’s Got a Gun’ and Listen: Triggerfinger ‘All This Dancing Around Again’. I loved the singer’s voice, their look and their music, Triggerfinger ‘It Hasn’t Gone Away’ have become an all time favourite for me, and the release of their recent Triggerfinger ft. Method Man ‘The One’ just confirms how brilliant they are.

Knowing of my liking for all things unique and unusual, my partner put Die Antwoord ‘I Fink U Freeky (And I Like You A Lot)’ on the TV, streaming it from his laptop. They’re a South African group, who sing in English, Afrikaans and South African dialect. O. M. G.! I had never seen anything so freaky, and I loved it.! 😀 Die Antwoord ‘Baby’s On Fire’Die Antwoord ‘Ugly Boy’ were played a lot after that, and I’ve introduced them to friends of mine, who love them too. Left to my own devices, I discovered Cuir Bleu ‘Pleasure & Pain’Recoil ‘Breath Control’, and Whip Culture ‘Turn Me On’.

My partner likes Monster Magnet ‘Monolithic’, and plays it all the time, Monster Magnet ‘Powertrip’ has kind of grown on me, I wasn’t sure at first, but Monster Magnet ‘Negasonic Teenage Warhead’ helped me get into it. Then came all the best rock bands Rage Against the Machine ‘Killing In The Name Of’, Pearl Jam ‘Alive’ and Pearl Jam ‘Porch’ Live (a legendary performance, my partner was there.) System of a Down ‘Chop Suey’, if you don’t finger drum, air guitar or at least sing along to such an epic tune, there’s something wrong with you. System of a Down ‘B.Y.O.B.’ and System of a Down ‘Toxicity’ are among Serj Tankian’s best works.

Then came Hozier ‘Take Me To Church’, a seriously catchy tune, that I listen to all the time, my partner has it as his ring tone.! 🙂 My partner is a huge fan of ska and hip hop, and while I like some, I wouldn’t say I was much of a fan, until he took me to see The Slackers ‘Old Dog’ live in Germany, at an underground bunker.  And then to a Mexican-style Cantina called Ernesto’s in Sittard. The Slackers ‘Married Girl’ play there annually, and the first couple of times I saw them there, I loved it. Then I had a bad experience with a drunken lad, and refused to go back there. I saw The Slackers ‘Sarah’ again at Tivoli in Utrecht, last year.

We both progressed to Progressive Rock, him far quicker than me when he decided to get tickets to a local venue where Birth Of Joy ‘Make Things Happen’ were playing. A Dutch band who incorporate an organ into their rock music. It was like psychedelic rock on steroids, such a unique sound that I loved it straight away. We saw Orgel Vreten ‘Jenny’ in our home town. A Dutch Hammond organ-playing band, with a unique sound, it also helped that the sousaphone player climbed up into the eaves, dangerously, with his instrument, and played it from the lighting rig. Such a memorable night.! 😀

My partner took me to see Stickmen ‘Soup/Super Collider’ in our home town, a group he liked, but wasn’t sure I’d enjoy. He was pleased when I told him I really liked them, and we play them a lot at home. He also likes Fleddy Melculy ‘T-Shirt van Metallica’, who sing in Dutch, but this song, about music fans who go to rock and metal concerts wearing Metallica t-shirts, is so funny, you can’t help but like it, even if you don’t understand it.

Delinquent Habits ‘Here Come The Horns’ are a hip hop group from the USA, which I surprisingly found so good, that by the time the gig we went to recently ended, I was a firm fan. They did a cover of House of Pain’s Jump Around that had the whole place jumping, including me.! 😀

This recent hit Rag ‘n’ Bone Man ‘Human’ has become a favourite too.