It's dark here

1/31/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

It's dark here 

It's dark here, 
like it's evening.
3 in the afternoon
and gloom over the fields
like all space is mourning
over the injustice in this world

People look away
put on their lights
and close their curtains
complain about the weather
and move on

leaving all those
on the streets
walking in the dark
the cold
in the injustice
they can all lift
by looking outside
and take action
to make a better world.

 ©Syl 2018



A lot and a wishlist...

1/26/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

Today I went on changing the livingroom.
During about 15 years a lot has been collected under the table. Magazines, little things.
So I moved at all aside, put the old table away and exchanged it for two cheap black tables I bought a few years ago.
It looks great!
...when you don't look at the mess I have to sort and put away. LOL!

In the meantime I thought about my birthday (it's saturday).
I don't feel like receiving visitors.
One of my friends already gave me beautiful tulips and a vase, and someone else doesn't really care . I'm her friend when she needs me. It's sad to say, but oh so true.

And the only person who genuinely cares lives in another town and just has lost her sister.

So I'd better go to the place where I want to be: the sea.
A good thought, until I saw the prize for a ticket.
Now with the tree-problem...

It's all about money, isn't it?
Rotten computer, flat mattress, no bicycle, worn out flooring.
There's so much what needs to be done.
The drawer in the kitchen needs to be fixed... tiling in the bathroom needs someone who wants to invest time and sweat.

I'm soo tired....

All I want is a car stopping in front of the house, I hop in with some sandwiches and my bag and there is no need to think about problems and money for one day.
Just some fish at a special place near the beach, some shopping, even though my favorite shop is not open, and a coffee before going on the beach again.

Oh yes, I had a 'small' list of wishes, most of which are far too expensive.

- WW2 British uniform, air force, or ATS with trousers. (for re-enactment)
- Honeysuckle/ kamperfoelie
- small tattoo on wrist... a lotus flower
- a complete make-over
- eyelift
- a job
- somewhere else to live
- a dog
- a good photo camera
- a trip to the northpole
- a parachute jump
- flight in a Lancaster
- flight in s Spitfire
- and someone to grow old with in a kind and caring way.

A girl needs to have some wishes, doesn't she?



The letter and the tree.

1/25/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

Had to start working again.
It's all for the good of others, volunteer work.
Sometimes it puts people together on jobs they shouldn't be.
We have one person working on the magazine who craves for the honor, to see his name, and boast it's his paper, while others do all the work, and I am one of them.

We, two people, work our butts off, and the guy doesn't do anything but trying to force us into bad written texts that are of no use.
Last edition none of his stuff was published, simply it didn't fit in the special subject, and he was so mad that he wrote a horrible email that set me off to write a mail too, stating I didn't want to work with such a person in this way.

Before I walked away during an editorial board session after I guided the paper through a time of bad weather as the head editor and was confronted with bullying by the person I steppe in for.
Just closed my notes, took my stuff and walked off after a very nice speech, stating I would never ever deal with bullying, not of me, not of others.

And with this guy I had the same.
When I work my butt off, don't tell me afterwards you don't agree with the subject when you had all the time and opportunity to state your case. And certainly don't use words that make me into a person I am not.

Today we had a meeting to solve the issue, as the show must go on.
All I could do was settle for explaining our work, who makes the decisions and why I cancelled one of his stolen texts.
And this in the presence of the regional chairman. I'd asked him to be present.

Well, I don't think much is changed, but I can't leave my other colleague alone. During the meeting she nearly bit his head off, but I understand, she works longer with him than I do.

Well, we'll see.

When I came home a letter was waiting. Ordering to cut the large tree in the garden. (Otherwise they'll throw us out).
We have three trees.
Two can be cut by the boys, no problem.
The other needs a professional attack, costing at least 800 euro, maybe even a 1000.

It's like I expected this to come.
We lived the past year as poor people, eating rather minimal. Not buying anything luxurious.
My daughter often eats at the job, so she doesn't lack anything. In that case I skip dinner.
I know it's not wise, but there is none who cares.
Tomorrow I'll have to see if I have enough money to get that tree down.
So there goes what I've saved to give my children so they can have a proper holiday.

It's just before my birthday. I wanted to go away for the day, give myself a day off from all the stress here. Can't anymore.

It feels like bit by bit all what made this house my home is taken.
The old willow tree, gone.
The nice neighbours, on both sides gone,
Privacy, gone.
I feel lonely here, not at ease anymore.
I miss the link with nature.
It's never silent anymore. When it's a nice day airplaines practie in the sky, when it' a summer day people yell in the gardens and don't care how others feel.
I want to leave here.
So I tried to save some money to do so.

And I can put it in felling a tree.
And be poor again.

It's like I deserve no normal live....



Mixed day

1/17/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

Had to be in the hospital early to teach medical students.
It was a very nice group, all young women.
Like the groups before they had many questions and they went below the surface very fast.
When they are as content as I was I'm very happy.

After that I went home fast, so I could dress for the funeral.

When we entered the building one of the dancers embraced me like he was my best friend. I was very surprised. He didn't even know my name.
Then we sat down. As we were among the first, we saw all others arrive.
Friends, family, old colleagues.
One of my daughters was asked to read her own text during the service and she's well known among all these people, so there were lot of hugs and talks. Their former teacher was there, which left me with a strange feeling. She was so small, and not happy at all as she's at home with a husband who is deteriorating from dementia.
Do I look the same?

When they opened the large doors we had a last look at our dear friend/sister/ballet-mom.
She looked very nice, with pearly beads in her hair, and her ballet shoes. But her spirit was gone.
It touched us very deep. I've never seen the absence of life so sharp, not even in my own dad or children.

The service was a celebration of her life and a goodbye forever.
As this was the third funeral there in a short time I felt kind of bothered by the same ways of dealing with this all. 'She loved candles'. Well, then put more candles there than those standard three. Have everyone bring a candle, burn it, and take it home after the service.

After the service we had coffee and cake.
My daughter got lots of compliments as she did it very well. People were surprised she spoke in english, but she wrote the text in english and we wanted something which grandmother who comes from New York, could understand. And she did, not only did I see her give full attention, she also thanked afterwards.

As there was no other funeral due, we could sit there, talk with people, and share our memories. t was nice we had time enough to talk with the family. I've the children seen grow up, and when we left one of the boys looked t me like he said: 'hug me'. So I went to him and he hugged me and I hope he found something of the warmth I tried to give to him.
With the promise we'll visit soon, we left.



Fire in the apartment building

1/13/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

I was just about to go to the pile of laundry, when the phone rang. My oldest had a short message:
''There's a fire in the apartment below me. Don't worry. I'm outside and I'm safe. Will call you later.''
We could follow the fire in the media. The fireworkers managed to extinguish the fire. The apartment below that of my son was declared uninhabitable. It took another two hours before we got the call that matters were settled. So here's the story.
When the fire started the women warned the fire department and everybody in the building, so everyone got out, then opened windows and door to air the place (!!!). So when she told that when they were standing outside waiting for the fireworkers, my son and another man looked at each other and went to close all windows and doors in the building. (Fireworkers later thanked them for that). The police arrived to check if everybody was out. In the meantime my son was already calling some of the other inhabitants and they said they were not in the building at all. So that helped the police. The fire was very fast and fierce. When the fireworkers arrived they wanted access to the apartment of my son, as it was directly above the fire. Coincidence was that he just had done the laundry and had a nice pile of wet tea towels in his bathroom waiting for the line. The fireworker saw this and took them to stuff the ventilation channel. This prevented most smoke entering his apartment through the channel and contained the fire to the apartment below. So he's very lucky. There is waterdamage, as they put the waterhose in the channel, so the walls in his bathroom and kitchen are wet. And there is just minor soot damage. The woman was insured the best way. So the insurance company was very fast to check the immediate damage and all will be covered, including the tea towels. LOL! Next monday a first aid by fires organisation will come and they will clean away the soot , assess the damage again, and start painting. They take 4 days to clean up all the mess. My son can sleep at a friend's house nearby when he can't sleep during the night. But he thinks he can stay at home as the smell is minimal and confined to the rooms where the ventilation channel stretches too. The woman of the burned out apartment is pregnant and she has lost everything. Because of the very good insurance that shouldn't be a huge problem, but still. I've said we can try and get things for her through the give-away groups in this area if necessary. Her parents live nearby, so she can stay there. So I'm very happy all came out without injury. And my laundry is still waiting... :)



You can dance again

1/13/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

You can dance again

you can dance again,
you can spread your arms as wings
and you can fly again.

you can raise your voice again
and be the inspiration
for all of us
to reach our limits
and go far beyond

you're our structure again,
our frame of dance
our precision
and our grace again

you are our rhythm
and our flow
an now matter what
I'll never throw
you out of my heart
because after all this time
this life
this death
you are near me again.

I will dance again
to honor you
our friendship
and our lives again

in me
you can dance again....



Sad news

1/12/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

Today we received the news that my ballet-sister and the ballet-mom of my children has died. It was a huge shock, especially as we planned to visit her this weekend. 

It's a long time ago we met.
She was teaching ballet at the local art-expertise center, together with her sister.
She taught classical ballet, her sister more modern dancing techniques.
Both from an american dance family.
Two very ballet-experienced ladies.

I attended her classical lessons and choreography group.

Like true sisters we had our things.
Like when we were on tour and she got stuck in traffic. The performance group arrived at the location and found a floor which was shined until it reflected heaven. It was more of an area ready for iceskating than for dancing. Even on bare feet we were sliding away.
So we decided to change the worst part into something we could manage.
Yes, we changed her choreography,  bit, but there was no other option not to fall.
One of the other leaders present agreed.
She arrived when we started performing, so we were happy she made it just in time.
It was a time without mobile phones, so she didn't know anything about the change.

We managed to bring the piece without any sliding or falling and looked to her with pride and relief.
She didn't applaud, she didn't smile.
She walked down the stairs of the theatre without any facial movement, and when she was at our level she burst out in an angry monologue, not giving us any chance to say something.
And it all was directed at me.
Only a year later she told me she was proud about what we did and that she understood why we made those changes.

We've had a lot of fun too.
She was able to give her students self confidence, so they managed to do what they thought they'd never be able to do.

Her sense of perfectionism in combination with her knowledge and experience made her into one of the best teachers of the world.
So when my daughter told me she wanted to go to the dance academy when she'd finished school, I gave her the option to be taught by my ballet-sister and told her she would get a lot of criticism, corrections and some bad moods, but that she would also be in the best hands ever.
So we went to her and asked her if she would give my daughter the honor.... 
She did, through the best times, through the worst times, even when we had no money to pay her.
My daughter is at the dance academy now. Well instructed in classical ballet, or should I say: best instructed?

I remember so many of her corrections myself. Even some of her choreographies.  And the silent laughs in the dressing room when we overheard one of the other teachers, we liked very much, who spoke with a huge accent, while at the same time we had word finding problems ourselves, as we both were english-thinking women.
When she entered the ballet studio, she turned on the heating so high, that some people nearly passed out, and I tried to keep a window open and secretly turned the radiators off, until she found out and had the conclusion ready that those knobs had springs in them to save money.

I was raised in ballet without the habit of drinking during lessons.
She liked that very much, but adjusted to the trend to drink a lot.
She taught me to drink during the lessons, like she was my mom, thought loud about movements directing me to give an example. And we had long talks, about all sorts of subjects, because we shared some things in our past. Ballet, performing, being a sensitive and sensible person in the harsh world of dancers, the loneliness, the pains, the strong inner feeling of movement and grace, always, always.

Then she didn't agree with something I said on a friday afternoon, drinking coffee and eating soup.
She didn't agree. Not just like that, but with all her passion an with so much anger, that the schoolleader came out of her office to ask what was happening.
She walked away, terribly angry, so I worried about her and the schoolleader said: 'It's like she's not herself. The people who witnessed it said to me that it was not my mistake, but the whole experience has stayed with me.

What a pity we didn't know more about dementia at that time.

A hip replacement operation made matters worse.
When we visited her she was very happy and kept on hugging us. It was such a happy event.
It was two days after surgery, but she could walk again, even though she was not allowed to do so.
She hoped to be able to dance again.
We had a long talk about how we were feeling with our physical problems, and the strong need to express ourselves in dance.

Then my heart gave up, and we saw each other far less than we wanted. I had so many set backs. so many plans that didn't work out.
She was diagnosed with dementia and suddenly everything we experienced fell in place.
Her angry moods had always been a way to keep a grasp on her reality. She got angry when we changed her security.
We didn't see it.
Would it have made a difference if we had seen it?

Her mind and her body drifted away, far from the stage of ballet, and later the stage of life.
Life was not about performing anymore, but about being.
It was not about teaching anymore, but about being guided.
Slowly she drifted away from the person she was...
and now she is completely gone.

But since the day she died I feel her arm around my shoulder again,
when she said: 'you're my ballet-sister, we're ballet-sisters.'
How I wish to hug her once again,
hold her,
smile to her,
and see her smile.



He studied my face...

1/11/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

My favorite job is to teach medical students.
Used to do it in the past as part of the staff, and now I do it as volunteer. (With the hope of getting a paying job.)

This morning was special as the accompanying cardiologist was the one who will be my cardiologist after switching hospitals. I still doubt it a little bit, because I's rather want him to be a member of my friend's list.

He caught me kind of off guard when he asked me how I was and stood there waiting for an answer. I wanted to be honest and tell him I'm not feeling OK and I started messing with my medication, but it was neither the place nor the time to discuss matters so I said 'good'. He studied my face and I made a joke.
Oh boy, someone really interested in how I was doing!

The students were great!! Had good questions, humor and were able to ask questions beside those they'd prepared.
They decided to stretch the lesson a bit longer.
A colleague came at the glass door, gesturing time was up, but we all had a laugh and we went on.

On my way back one of the students walked with me, and I felt so at home I could have stayed all day.

But my son was already waiting in the car. We went to a second hand shop where he found two great items he needed, and I found two lovely mugs, one for my daughter and one for me. Also found the small basket which was the reason to visit the shop. I have a huge hook near the front door and had a small basket there for years, all birds knew. It was completely worn out. So now I have one again.
I also found a wonderful scarf, I'm going to wear tomorrow and two other funny items. All together for jut a few euros.

The rest of the day I was far too tired to do anything, which was not good, as tomorrow the room needs to be at least a bit tidy.
But cleared part of the attic, as space is needed for the heating repair man tomorrow.
And cleaned half the fridge.

After dinner alone I suddenly fell asleep.

Wish I would have my energy back!!



First meeting of the year

1/10/2018 Syl's bucketlist 0 Comments

First meeting of the year, so lots of best wishes so it feels like this year can't go wrong.
But some people were not present due to serious family circumstances.
Also some new volunteers decided not to continue. Which evoked a discussion about the way the organisation deals with new volunteers. I was glad to be able to have my say in the discussion so it wasn't necessary to bring it up myself.

A nice presence was the support dog of one of the members. When she doesn't have to work she loves to sit at my feet, like the dog I loved so much: Boris. A long haired huge dog of friends. He used to sit on my feet.

The meeting didn't last long, so I had a good talk with my friend of the magazine.
She used to live in the neighbourhood where my gram lived, and I remember seeing her going for groceries when I played with my nephew, the son of the baker.
Now she is a dear friend, and we both share the same way of humor, and share interests. She told about her support dog being almost hit by fireworks at the change of years.
I told her about my second son, being hit by fireworks when he was on his scooter, and after that he was harassed by about 20 youngsters. One of the boys threatened to knife him down.
My son called the police, the boy was pulled out of school and arrested and he will be brought to court.

We both walked to the shops, where our ways parted.

At home I had a lot to do, but was very tired.



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