Flashbacks, Human Nature, Simplify

Postponed Walk

I got up this morning planning to do my almost-ritualistic walk to the ATM and the grocery store. It would be good to have some extra cash, take advantage of this week’s store promotions, get some light exercise, and to clear my head a bit.

A week ago, one of my uncles from my mother’s side passed away. He was the uncle I knew quite well during my childhood. I have lots of memories of him and his family, before they moved away from Lahad Datu in the late 70s. That move took away my favourite cousin Angela, and I was a devastated little girl for a long time.

Then there is the death of Kris. An ex-colleague that I admittedly do not know that well. The sysadmin. The person who always reminded me of my half-filipino cousins. He was not afraid to say what was on his mind. A friend to many. The most memorable moment I have of Kris is that he placed an electric collar on his somewhat naughty dog, with no intention whatsoever of using it.

These two deaths sadden me deeply. Kris’ death is especially difficult to accept. It messes me up when younger people died!

Lunch time came about, I took a portion of frozen bread out of the freezer, and decided not to do the walk after all. I have enough cash. I have enough food. In the end, I figure that a little less consumption will be more beneficial for all. As for that light exercise, I have enough garden work for that. Maybe Thursday Market tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone.

Rest in peace Uncle MC and Kris…

Health, Human Nature

Story Or Game?

The following is an excerpt from the article entitled Is Life a Story or a Game?:

The status-mad world that Storr describes is so loveless — a world I recognize but not one I want to live in. Ultimately, games are fun, but gaming as a way of life is immature. Maturity means rising above the shallow desire — for status — that doesn’t really nourish us. It’s about cultivating the higher desires: The love of truth and learning and not settling for cheap conspiracy theories. The intrinsic pleasure the craftsman gets in his work, which is not about popularity. The desire for a good and meaningful life that inspires people to commit daily acts of generosity.

How do people gradually learn to cultivate these higher motivations? To answer that I’d have to tell you a story. 

I agree with the opinion columnist who wrote the above article. I personally chose to live a story of my own making, and will do my very best in not succumbing to the games of status. I have only one short life.

Human Nature, Jibber Jabber, Simplify


D went for bread this morning and came back with freebies from the bakery. This Sunday marks the last week of business for our baker and his wife. An end of a chapter…

Before lunch, I made a berry sauce using the smaller not-so-pretty frozen raspberries and strawberries. I am in the process of clearing some freezer space for the loaves of bread I will order and freeze next week.

In the afternoon, I buried five baby birds next to my sunflower patch along the fence. As far as I know, two flew out and the parent birds have not visited the bird house for more than a day. I then carried on and cleaned out the bird house with soap and water, have it dried in the sun, and hung it back. It is empty now, but one day it will be filled with occupants again.

Our lives are filled with beginning, in-between, and ending chapters.

Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

The Human Race

War is despicable! Seeing war refugees fleeing their homes and leaving behind some of their love ones is truly heart wrenching.

While Europe deserves the loudest applause and praise for helping the Ukrainians, I cannot help but feel a bit upset over the whole thing. I did not see that level of sympathy, effort nor awareness when it was war refugees from Syria, Afghanistan or Sudan. And this is because of one face-slapping fact, the Ukrainians are similar to most Europeans, they are white and Christians! It is not crime, helping your own people. But, it upsets a person like me, a person who has a specific racial identity on my freaking face! A person whom now realise that I can be welcomed or turned away based on what I look like. How freaking depressing…

But heck, after a few days of simmering over this confusing unfairness, I came to a realization and conclusion about us coloured people, we have not evolved to the level of helping our own kind. Think about it, have you ever seen large scale help efforts amongst the Asians, the Africans, the Arabs? Hell no, those elites are quite content in keeping the majority of their people stupid and/or poor, so that they shall have full control and remain in power for as long as possible. Yep, now I am upset about that.

Yet, history has proven that the one race method does not work. It never will…

In my wildest dreams, humankind will one day be traversing amongst the stars. But until that day, let us not forget that the ENTIRE human race are on the one and only Space Ship Earth.

Food & Drinks, Human Nature

Pancakes, Beef Stew & White Bread

On Saturday, I made pancakes. D and I had that for lunch. Later in the evening, we had beef stew and fries for dinner.

Sunday, D went to buy a loaf of white bread. White bread sandwiches for the next few days. Yum!

Yep, we were eating nice things this weekend. One should never stop enjoying the good and simple things.

Human Nature, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Simplify

Saturday Errand Walk

This Saturday morning, I stopped at the library to return and borrow a couple of books. Then, I strolled to the bank to get some cash because it is good to have a healthy getaway stash… 😉

Lastly, I went to the grocery store to purchase some discounted items I wanted. Normally, I avoid the weekend crowds at grocery stores. But today, I made an exception.

Special times call for special measures.

Belgium, Human Nature

Wat Helpt

Als vloeken helpt, dan vloek je maar.
Maak herrie, stennis en misbaar.
Scheld schel en luid je goudvis uit
en schreeuw je scherven bij elkaar.

Als bidden helpt, bid dan gerust.
Als het je troost of sterkt of sust.
Of vraag om raad. Als Hij bestaat
dan is het goed, maar ‘t is geen must.

Als huilen helpt, ga dan je gang.
Het is niet niks en het duurt lang.
Het kan geen kwaad als het niet gaat.
Het mag gezien zijn, wees niet bang.

Als praten helpt, bel me dan op
en steek van wal, hals over kop
en van de hak weer op de tak
of zachtjes sluipend uit je slop.

Als lopen helpt, vertrek meteen.
Zeer doelgericht of nergens heen.
Het hoeft niet snel, al mag dat wel.
Met verre vrienden of alleen.

Als zwijgen helpt, wees dan maar stil
en duik – als dat is wat je wil –
een tijdje weg van pijn en pech
– als je weer opduikt, geef een gil.

Als lachen helpt, ken ik een grap
of val dolkomisch van de trap.
Denk aan je kat die keer in bad
of aan het Belgisch staatsmanschap.

Als dansen helpt, is er muziek.
Als breien helpt, dan hou je steek.
Als boos zijn helpt, geef ik kritiek.
Als bakken helpt, let there be cake.
Als yoga helpt, wees fluks en zen.
Als slapen helpt, stop ik je in.
Als schrijven helpt, scherp dan je pen.
Als poetsen helpt, welaan: begin!

Je voelt je murw en overstelpt
en snakt naar stranden, wit geschelpt…
Hou vol. Vat moed. Want het komt goed.
Doe ondertussen maar
wat helpt.

~Stijn De Paepe (18/08/1979 – 22/02/2022)

Health, Human Nature

Civilized Conversations

Maintaining ongoing conversations and relationships requires time and energy – from both ends. Not everyone has the ability to keep up with a civilized conversation all the time. If you have years of practice and experience in sustaining decent long term relationships, you may count your blessings.

Belgium, Human Nature, Travels

Garden Centre Outing

This afternoon, D and I went to a garden centre with his parents. I only had potting soil and maybe some outdoor pots on my shopping list, but ended up with four pots in total. In addition to that, we also got two indoor plants, candies and a bag of Japanese rice cracker mix. 😛

Maybe it is just me… but visiting garden centres seem to be legitimate fun outings this part of the world.

Human Nature, Quotes, Simplify

Comparing Lives

Grandma always said that we should not compare ourselves to others. 人比人比死人, literally means that you can compare yourself to death!

Online, the quote goes 人比人气死人, 比上不足, 比下有余. This loosely translates to “Comparison creates frustrations, not enough to compare up, too much to compare down.”.

Nevertheless, it is only human nature that we constantly compare ourselves with those around us. We compare age, fitness, looks, intelligence, careers, health, wealth and the list goes on endlessly…

Even so, I have yet to find myself wanting to live someone else’s life. Often, I come across people who are wealthy but sickly, intelligent but bitter, beautiful but depressed, young but lonely.

In my case, I am the sole owner of my life. It is all up to myself on how I want it be.