Monthly Archives: August 2016

The Burkini

It seems ridiculous that a piece of clothing has become a global thing now. Usually this is the way it goes with a fashion item (don’t we all love to talk about how ugly Crocs, Uggs and man buns are? ) but in this case, suddenly the law is involved. Because it is about a piece of clothing that hides most of the person.

The burkini.

Meant to display a woman in the only way that is allowed by their religion, or so it seems.

In reality, France has tried to get the burkini banned by law in means of trying to prevent their country for more disasters. Something you could relate to in a way, since so much has occurred in France in means of attacks since about a year ago. In that sense, you can understand how France wants to be able to protect itself and its citizens from further attacks. Not completely weird there.

Then the item itself. What does a burkini mean? It means that the person is islamic, as stated before, but also a woman. And probably one with a strict view on her religion, or at least her husband has, if the choice for beach- or swimmingpoolwear goes to the burkini. Is it obligatory wear? You know it isn’t, or else the burkini would have spiked discussions much earlier. It is, in other words, the free choice of women from any type of views to wear this. Because more religions have the ‘women need to be covered as much as possible’etiquette. Usually the more strict ones.
And stricter views are the views that are watched far more alarmed these days, as extremists appear to hide under these exact views. Seems, since we read so many times a week or month how in the USA someone has performed a mass shooting again, but that’s another side story. Apparently.
People shooting other people for being gay, black or in any other way a minority, aren’t nearly as important to focus on as people who decide to go to the beach with a massive bathing suit on.

So what is that all about then? Do we all care that much?
I know I don’t.

But I do get it. From a different point of view, however.

I come from a family of strong women. Women that meant something during the war, who made their own living, who had a family, who stood up for themselves if necessary and had the blessing of their spouses to do so. Spouses who didn’t hit their women, who went to church and didn’t think of telling their wives, my grandmothers, what to do. One was a nurse, the other one a dentist. They both had hobbies, they both had contact with mixed companies, meaning men and women. Their husbands had no problems with this whatsoever.
Given that I myself live in a neighbourhood where I’m called ‘whore’ by a bastard on a scooter of a certain culture, I do have my concern about these burkinis.
You see, our (Dutch) court, has ruled once that a young woman, who got raped after a night out, where the suspect had said that ‘she was asking for it, with that short skirt’, that the suspect was wrong about this. That no girl or woman is EVER ‘asking for it’, dressing the way she does. This is the country I live in. It’s the law I love. Because it means I can dress however I want, knowing I still have the complete right to my own body, without anybody else having a say about it, nor access to it. By law and by culture.

A burkini is telling me: ‘that suspect in the court was right. It was the girls’s  fault. She should not have worn a skirt that short. It exites men. That’s our <women’s> fault’. A burkini tells me there’s yet another place I should suddenly be careful for myself and be aware there’s such a thing as a religion. The burkini says that everything I believe in, including ‘men and women are equal’ is wrong.
And I do not wish to become a victim of that, because I myself do NOT choose to wear a burkini. I don’t wanna be called a ‘whore’ because some pesky bastards choose to teach their boys that girls and women, no matter what they do, are always wrong. And by wearing these burkinis I feel like they indulge men by not showing too much. I’v never heard of a burkini being obligatory anywhere, and if it were, I’d strongly want men to wear one aswell, because otherwise I don’t think it’s fair. Why should only women have to cover themselves up?

So do I think this law should be law? No, because it would only make things worse. It wouldn’t help a thing, except from estranging these women even more from outer life. I’d say make these women stronger. Let them know there’s life outside the shell they’re being kept in. Make ‘m feel heard instead of make ‘m a criminal.

But then again, that’s just me.


Posted by on August 25, 2016 in Opinion, Uncategorized


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Learning Online: Codeacademy

So, I had an idea for a game. Given that I’m not really into games, my idea was/is really quite simple. It’s based on an already existing game, though quite different. Otherwise it would be just a copy, no?
Anyway, with a background in Childcare, I did think: I will never be able to make it myself. Problem 1: I don’t have a lot of money to go to a big expensive school. The schools that I’ve been through for my previous education were all in care…note to self: don’t do that. If you’re going to get educated, make sure you, every now and then, step outside your comfortzone.
For now, that won’t help.
On a party, I met someone who told me: ‘you should go to! You can learn all kinds of skills, programmingwise, and it’s really quite easy!’.
So, I tried. I tried Python, Ruby and several others. No such luck though.
Not only is everything in English -which is usually not a problem for me, but it apparently is when it comes to learning a new technical skill- but the program regularly gets stuck or isn’t all that clear.

Most teachers like to make a joke, to smoothen the learning progress. The programs on codeacademy seem to be designed to even recreate that little feature. Which means questions that are being asked, can be very literally and serious, but also just a joke. I’ve noticed I had to rethink everything twice and I sometimes simply didn’t get what was being asked. Python especially has this problem, being based on the jolly funny fellas of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

So, my advice would be to ask someone in the business to guide you after all, since it’s very frustrating if you find yourself lost. Codeacademy does provide you with a large forum of possible answers, but I noticed there too that different entries give the same ‘good to go’ solution. And it’s different for everybody. Odd, eh?

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Posted by on August 7, 2016 in Opinion, Uncategorized


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Schilderen /Painting

Ik ben mijn tante aan het helpen om het huis van haar ex-vriend en ex-buurman te schilderen (om de verkoop te bevorderen) en dat levert af en toe wat ongebruikelijke momenten op. Zo is hij het grootste deel van de tijd aanwezig om nog door z’n eigen spulletjes heen te neuzen, die her en der verspreid over een tafel, zijn studeerkamer en slaapkamer liggen.
Zij is verpleegster en hij heeft Parkinson, het grootste deel van zijn spullen staat inmiddels in zijn nieuwe onderkomen: een verzorgingshuis.
Zodra hij opstaat, kan zij het al niet meer laten om niet voor hem klaar te staan.
Een reflex die ze niet doorheeft en derhalve ergert ze zich eerder aan zijn aanwezigheid dan aan die ‘reflex’.
‘Mar, ik geloof dat het elastiek van m’n broek is geknapt, kun jij even kijken?’
‘Ja hoor’. Ze is al van d’r ladder af gekomen, loopt op hem af en schudt wat aan z’n broek.
‘Heb je geen riem?’
‘Ehh nee’, hij twijfelt een beetje. De chaos die in z’n huis heerst, is niet veel beter in z’n hoofd, momenteel. Daarop duikt mijn tante dus gewoon zijn kast in. Je weet maar nooit.
‘Hmm een stropdas. Dat is niet zo handig. Oh hier, ook een riem’. Ze wurmt de riem door z’n broek. Toch een beetje alsof je een tandenstoker aankleed, zo.
Gaat een poosje goed. Dan, na een kwartier à half uur.
‘Mar? Het zit toch nog steeds vreemd, ik zal m’n zus eens bellen’
‘Goed hoor, moet ik het nummer even draaien?’
‘Ja graag’
*hij belt een half uur met z’n zus over van alles en nog wat, schuift de telefoon door naar m’n tante, die krijgt instructies hoe die broek weer gerepareerd moet worden, ze probeert het*
‘Het voelt toch nog steeds raar’ zegt hij alleen maar. Dan ineens:
‘Oh wacht, misschien is het m’n ONDERbroek’…..
Dat blijkt te kloppen.
Hij draagt het soort broeken waar een walvis in past -en heeft zelf het formaat van een garnaal-  en ergens bij z’n enkels hangt z’n onderbroek. Die tante er weer uit opdiept. En ja, waar laat je een onderbroek waar het elastiek van is geknapt? Tante draait er zolang maar een knoop in.
‘Misschien moet je aan je zus vragen of ze het elastiek weer vastzet’, suggereert ze.
‘Ja. Want zo zit het toch niet erg lekker’.
‘Heb je hier nog een reserve onderbroek liggen?’ vraagt tante. Maar daar blijkt geen sprake van te zijn. Handdoeken en stropdassen, daar is overvloed van. Oh, en lakens.
‘Kun je als een Romein rondlopen’, suggereer ik nog. Maar dresscode ‘Romein’ is not done in een chic grachtengordelbuurt.
Gelukkig schiet het schilderwerk op, en kan hij gauw naar z’n nieuwe onderkomen voor een schone onderbroek.
‘Het is ook elke keer wat’, zucht tante.
Ik grinnik.
Het huis was snel verkocht.


I’m helping my aunt to prepare the house of her ex-boyfriend and ex-neighbour by painting it (to make sure it will sell well) and this is going along with some unusual moments at times. If only because he is present most of the time, to go through some of his stuff in his livingroom, study or kitchen.
She is a nurse, he has Parkinsons. Most of his stuff is, by now, in his new home. A carehome.
As soon as he gets up, she can’t help herself for wanting to assist him.
A reflex I’m not sure she’s aware of, and so she is more agitated by his presence than her own reflex.
‘Mar? I think the elastic in my trousers just busted, can you have a look please?’
‘Yeah, sure’, she’d already descended the ladder, approached him.
‘You don’t have a belt?’
‘Errr no’, he hestitates a bit. The chaos in his house and in his mind are not that different at the moment. So my auntie goes and has a look herself. One never knows.
‘Hm, a tie. Not exactly handy. Oh here, a belt also’. She puts it in his trousers. Much like dressing a toothpick, to be fair.
Then it’s OK for a while. Until about fifteen minutes later.
‘Mar? It’s still not right. I shall ring my sister’.
‘Alright, shall I do it for you?’
‘Yes, please’
*he phones with his sister about half an hour about lots and lots of things, including handing my aunt the phone who gets instructions of possibilities for how to fix his trousers, which she tries*
‘It still feels funny’, he states. Then, suddenly:
‘Oh, wait. Maybe it’s my underpants!’
This turns out to be right.
He’s wearing the kind of underpants that could fit a whale -being size shrimp himself- and somewhere around his ankles is where his underpants is now situated. Which aunt takes out of there. But what do you do with a pair of underpants that has no elastic in it? Tie a knot in it? This happens to be how auntie solves it.
‘Maybe you can ask your sister if she can repair the elastic’, she suggests.
‘Yes, because this isn’t very comfortable’. he sighs.
‘Do you have any extra underpants here?’ she asks him. But no. Ties and towels, yes. And bedsheets.
‘Well, you could go Romanian style?’ I suggest. But that’s not done in a posh neighbourhood amongst the canals.
Thankfully, the painting is going smoothly and the ex-boyfriend returns quite quickly to his new home for a new pair of knickers.
‘Every single time there’s something?!’ auntie sighs.
I giggle.
The house got sold in no time. 

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Posted by on August 2, 2016 in Daily life, Humour


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Him: ‘blimey, I haven’t seen you in ages! How are you?’
Her: ‘yes, it has been a while. I’m fine thanks!’
Him: ‘so why haven’t we met for so long?’
Her: ‘probably because the last time we met, you kissed me’
Him: ‘did I?? I don’t recall?’
Her: ‘it still happened’
Him: ‘do you have any evidence of this statement?’ *smiles*
Her: ‘well, there’s witnesses…’
Him: ‘we weren’t alone?? This could be nasty…’
Her: ‘nope, my father was right behind you…and my mother was left in front of you. Looking very jealous, I might add..’
Him:’what?! Where was my wife? If your parents were present…’ *nervous giggle*
Her: ‘she was right next to you…’
Him: ‘any case this all happened when I was hammered?’
Her: ‘yup, that’s what my husband said. He was next to me, he saw the kiss coming and ducked. I was too late for that’.
Him: ‘right, so errrr…see you later when I manage to forget we ever had this conversation to clear up my memory?’
Her: ‘it’s a good plan!’

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Posted by on August 2, 2016 in Daily life, Humour


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Tallulah (netflix)

This film, with Ellen Page and Allison Janney reunites two stars I saw before in Juno.

In this film a homeless young woman, desperate for food, gets mistaken for a hotel housemaid. And suddenly ends up babysitting a very small child of a spoilt brat Beverly Hills woman.

I’ve watched Juno a couple of times. The relationship between Ellen Page and Allison Janney isn’t all that different in this film. The storyline is different, of course, but still: Ellen Page, who plays Tallulah, still doesn’t care what anyone thinks, while Allison Janney, who plays Margo, the mother of the boyfriend who left Tallulah, is the one that has to deal with a sudden intruder in her life.
Given that she’s going through a divorce -that’s she’s not willing to admit to- she is sort of welcoming this intrusion.

It’s endearing to see Ellen Page interact with Madison, the small child (played by twins Liliana & Evangeline Ellis), because you can also see: she wasn’t acting those parts. Children notice when you’re not sincere. Madison had to be a relaxed girl, soothed by her nanny. Ellen Page got her real self out for that. Well done, Page!
Tallulah is also the one that gets the child dressed. Having a background as a babysitter and being very keen on their safety in every angle possible, those scenes with Madison did concern me a bit, but I am quite sure that the ones making the film took proper care. At least I hope.

There’s things that don’t make that much sense in their conversations. Such as Tallulah trying to proof she’s really with Nico, Margo’s  son:
‘Then why do I have his name f****ng tattooed on my arm?!’ well, anyone could tattoo anything they want on their arm?? To me, that’s no proof at all. If I were his mother, I would ask what is his birthday, or what is the color of his eyes, or how does he like his coffee or eggs or whatever. From this one could gather Margo is a pretty lonely person and quite desperate, if you let someone you’ve never seen, enter your life like that.

Though news is coming up quickly about the baby -Madison- being kidnapped, it’s not that fast that Tallulah and Margo can’t go out or anything. They can walk about freely without trouble. How it goes, I suppose? Scary!

I did love to see back Uzo Aduba! Only a tiny part, but still. It’s weird not seeing her flip out like her Crazy Eyes character on Orange Is The New Black, but still: you know she has far more to offer. And let’s face it: you agree with her here.

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Posted by on August 2, 2016 in Uncategorized