31 August 2004


I promise. A new post will appear soon. Full of interesting tidbits
about my trip to London, my job application with the BBC and loads of
other things you don't really care about. Maybe I will even post a
picture of my new house.
I am moving on in the world. And I am a happy bunny at the moment. Don't
worry about me. I am fine.

20 August 2004

Sexual abuse is an industrial accident.....

It is a way of looking at it:

The Catholic Church in Rotterdam has sued its insurance company because
they refused to pay a claim.
In 2000, a priest of the Rotterdam diocese was found guilty of abusing a
12-year old girl. The church had to pay 53 thousand Euros in damages.
The church wanted the insurance company to pay that money. On what

They claimed the abuse was covered by their corporate liability
insurance. They say it is a work-related accident, just like if someone
had accidentally burnt a church down. Or if a priest had accidentally
made someone ill by giving him stale bread.
Absurd? Not in the least according to the church. They say that being a
priest makes you prone to this kind of 'accidents'. After all, you are
frequently placed in a position of trust with young people who are
easily influenced. This enlarges the risk of the church-staff making a
mistake. And since industrial accidents are covered by liability
insurance, the abuse settlement should be covered by the "company's"
liability insurance.

What the fuck?????

The Catholic Church could do with a good Marketing Director who will
explain them the PR damage here far exceeds the 53 thousand Euros they
had to pay out in a settlement to the victim.

18 August 2004

Olympics are upon us

The first few days of the Olpympics are always great for The Netherlands. We have the swimming, cycling and Judo. We are good at that. The second half of the Games with the track and field...not so good.

But at the moment, we are ranked 13th in the overall medal table and Great Britain is only 26!! yay!! We have 4 Bronze (2 for swimming, 2 for Judo), 3 Silver (1 for Judo, 2 for Swimming) and 1 Gold (Women's time trial Cycling).
Especially the cycling one made me sad not to be at home. Leontien van Moorsel is The Netherlands' best cyclist ever. She won 3 Gold and 1 Silver last time in Sydney. She is 34 and decided to put off having kids until after the Athens Games, to be able to go full on one more time. She has battled with Anorexia when she tried to be as light as possible to help her get over the mountains during the Tour de France.

And on Sunday, when she was in prime position to win her first Gold of these games for Road Race, she fell 2 laps before the end. From my sofa in England, I could almost hear the collective gasps of breath in Dutch living rooms. Tinus bounced on the concrete and hit her head......

She did not try to get back on her bike. She just sat there. I had tears in my eyes and I cursed so loud in Dutch, the neighbours must have heard me. Get up Tinus, GET UP!!!
And then I just wanted her to be OK. But she didn't get up. She was obviously dazed and confused. I later called my dad to get an update on how Tinus was: Not so good. COncussion, bruises, scratches, probably not defending her title in the Time Trials on Wednesday, probably the end of her carreer......

Poor woman. But on Tuesday, she said she was going to do time trial.
And she won it.

I am crying. But mainly because I can not see it on TV. Or hear it on the radio. Or listen to it online...because the dutch broadcaster does not have the rights to broadcast the Olympics on-line. Humbug!!

Go Tinus Go!!!

11 August 2004

Ikea (Or: A survival guide for those without children)

J and I did the ultimate lesbian thing: go to Ikea to decorate your new place. Actually, everyone does it so if it is an ultimate thing, it is the sign of ultimate straight-acting really. There are very few houses around the world where there is not at least 1 Ikea item in the room. So J and I are settling nicely in the straight community.

We made a few fundamental mistakes. I have drawn up a short survival guide. Some of the lessons I have learned first hand. Others were learned by observing people in the store, especially at the Loading Bay.

Don't say I did not warn you!


No matter how many ball-paradises an Ikea store has, it is never enough to harbour all the children parents seem to want to bring to Ikea. So there will always be little monsters running around the store because they were too old, too tall, too loud, too obnoxious or too whatever to be accepted into the Children's Paradise. (Who came up with that name anyway? Paradise? 30 screaming children pelting plastic balls at each other is paradise?? And if it is paradise, then why do we always hear the lady on the store intercom: "Johnny Bloggs would like his parents to collect him from the Children's Paradise Immediately. Please.....Pretty please...actually, he would like to stay but the little girls in the ball-park would really like him to leave them alone but he won't so..........JUST COME AND GET THE LITTLE BASTARD!!!!")


In fact, weekends are to be avoided altogether; No matter what time you go. In these modern times of consumerism, parents seem to think the best Saturday activity for their children is to learn how to get your Billy, Benno, Leksvik and Bjorken before anyone else gets it. Especially when the New Catalogue Sale is one: furniture you would never buy at full price suddenly becomes attractive. So teach your children: it does not matter that you actually don't like something, as long as you get it before someone else does. Even if you will never use it, you will have the (short) satisfaction of knowing you beat someone to a piece of furniture that is so ugly, they have put the entire range up for sale in the Bargain Tent outside the main store. (For those who are interested, Ikea are selling the entire Malm-range at a low price because it is too ugly to keep in the new catalogue.)


The restaurant is to be avoided for 2 reasons:
Children. Yes, it is them again. Little boys running around, pulling little girls' hairs. Little girls running around, pulling other little girls' hairs. Not only will there be the kids who were too bad to be allowed in the Children's paradise but parent swill pick up all their offspring and take them for food.
Worst are the drinks. You buy a paper cup and get free re-fills that you have to get yourself. Sensible people would not send a 4- year old to do that. But at Ikea there are no sensible people it seemed. So children run around, spilling drinks, getting refills, drinking way too much soda but hey: it is free so the parents think it is all kind of funny. Look at the little tykes, aren't they just adorable covered in Pepsi!! No they are NOT.

The other lesbian couple waiting for their food looked as horrified as J and I did. I think at least 4 couples decided not to have kinds that day in the Ikea Restaurant.

Secondly, if the furniture is not enough to chase you straight out of the store, the quality of the food is. Swedish Meatballs, available in small, medium, large or super seize, with or without gravy and with loads of ;'fresh' chips. Not your thing? No problem. Try the other healthy alternatives: Fish and chips. Plain pasta with some strange, red-like sauce? Oh, you want something healthy? Well, you can have hot dogs with ketchup. According to Ronald Reagan, ketchup is a vegetable. Or else you can have peas with your food. They are healthy aren't they?


Kids take the little pencils and poke whoever they feel like with the sharp point. Since they are little and you are big, you are not allowed to poke them back, no matter how much would you like to. And grassing on them by telling their parents will only get you a sad look: 'I know he is a bastard. We just had to pick him up from the Children's Paradise after he kept touching up the little girls in there. It is beyond our control.'

The paper measuring tape will break, resulting in your partner holding the broken ends together and taking a completely wrong measurement. You will only notice this when you have put your Billy/Bjorn/Ivar together at home and find it is in fact 3 cm wider than you space in your kitchen.

So what IS the best way to 'do Ikea'? Go at about 9:30pm. Go through the catalogue at home and pick the things you want. DO NOT STROLL leisurely around the store; do NOT stop at every display kitchen/bedroom.bathroom discussing its merits and faults. Just get what you want and get out. And get a babysitter to look after the kids instead of taking them with you!!!
And finally: bring your own sandwiches because if you get hungry, getting to your Swedish meatballs might be a bit of a wait. Especially on Saturdays and Sundays.


Sorry guys. I have been very very busy with moving house. I am now
officially a grown-up: I have moved in with my girlfriend whom I will
now have to find another name for. Girlfriend sounds so semi-permanent.
Wife sounds too possessive. Partner sounds like I am trying to be
gender-neutral so as not to give away the sex of my partner. (Closet gay
guys use this a lot. If you ever hear a guy talk about his 'partner', I
would be careful when trying to chat him up girls. Chances are he is

Anyway, it has been an eventful past few days. I had my birthday
yesterday. Kind of special to wake up in a new home for the first time
on your birthday. Of course most of the day consisted of decorating the
house, clearing out more boxes and playing with the ultimate Lesbian
Vibrating Tool: The Power Drill.

Ha!! I bet you were thinking that I was going to say something
completely different. Go wash your mouth because that is a disgusting
thought! I am a delicate woman and I would never use words like the ones
you just thought of.

The trips we made to Ikea warrant a complete post of their own but I can
describe it quickly in one word: HELL!!! But our house now is a
wonderful showcase of the variety Ikea can offer a budding adult who is
just branching out into a new life in her own flat. The only difference
really is that Ikea (and everything else) is about 50% more expensive in
the UK than it is in The Netherlands and mainland Europe.

Anyway, Here's my post to keep you all quiet again for a while. There is
more to come but I will need to get internet first.

02 August 2004


I am a happy bunny.
I had a great weekend away with Jane. We jumped in the car on Saturday morning to go to Newcastle. We went away to watch Feyenoord play a pre-season mini tournament with Glasgow Rangers, Sporting Lisbon and Newcastle United.

Newcastle is about 4 hours driving from where I live but since Feyenoord were playing 2 matches, 1 Saturday and 1 Sunday, we decided it would be good fun to go. We went there and found out there was no place to sleep anywhere in Newcastle that we could afford. Right. Great planning, Not. A lesson learned: In English football, there is no such thing as a friendly that does not matter much. Every match matters. All hostels in Newcastle were full because Glasgow Rangers had brought 15 thousand fans!!! So even during the first match on Saturday, J. and I did not yet know where we were going to be sleeping that night.

Feyenoord lost the match and I was a little disappointed with the small number of Feyenoord supporters. Only about 200. Eventually we found a place to stay, 90 minutes outside Newcastle. We ended up sleeping ina very basic hostel, closer to Scotland than to Newcastle. And while the entire country was baking in the heat, we were shivering and it was raining. Remind me never to move to anywhere above Newcastle. But what a beautiful scenery!! Wonderful landscape, well worth the long drive to get there and back.

On Sunday the 200 Feyenoord fans tried to out-scream the 15,000 Glasgow Rangers fans. Needless to say we failed. Never mind. The football was a little boring but I was glad that we went. I miss going to Feyenoord really badly. Eventhough I no longer live in The Netherlands, I still have a season ticket to Feyenoord. That way I can visit them when I come over for a weekend!!

I should pick a Premier League team to support but tickets here are so expensive, it is no fun to go really.

In the mean time, for the first time in a few seasons, there is a real buzz around Feyenoord: They have a Top 2 single in the charts, 3 of their players have been selected for the national team but the new coach Marco van Basten...and I am not there. Humbug.