Soup and hiking

Strange stuff on telly last night – I had never heard of an – apparently french – recipe of peas, lettuce & butter & baby onions, but on Tuesday afternoon, one of the cooks on Ready, Steady, Cook prepared it. Last night, on Two Fat Ladies, we got the same recipe. Odd. I’m going to have to try that now.

The girls also prepared a Spanish ‘bean’ soup. If someone saw it, please tell me when they put the beans in, because I didn’t catch it – all I saw them put in was sausages (fresh chorizo and blackpudding, yum!), a leg of ham and some cut pork, water and potatoes. It looked good though and reminded me of my favourite soup: portuguese kale soup.

Caroline’s Portuguese Kale Soup:
ingredients: 5 large potatoes, a large handful of shredded kale (for the dutch: this is boerenkool), 2 table spoons of olive oil and a whole chorizo (I dunno, about 200 grams of it, I suppose).

Cook the potatoes in a liter of water with the olive oil, until they’re ready to mash. Mash the potatoes in the pot. Add the kale… now, when I say shredded… I *mean* shredded. Really thinly sliced, all right? Like strings. (Roll up the leaf, and then slice it… that’s the easiest way & for god’s sake buy a decent knife) Add the sliced chorizo. Season to taste. Eat! Delish! (I always forget which herb to put in, so use your imagination and choose something mediterranean.)

I don’t know whether these are the proper amounts of ingredients – I don’t really measure stuff, I just add whatever seems right on the spot. Con amore. I can’t wait to move out, have my own kitchen and practice my cooking again… because I know I like good food better than I’m able to cook it these days!

Update on the house: it’s still there… I’m still #1 on the list… just have to wait.

Got some surprise e-mail today… from the singer of a once rather well known Irish band. (hmm… if anyone wants to guess this one… feel free. He actually looks like Gavin Friday a bit, when he’s got his hair short) Apparently the band’s still together & he needed some advice on web sites. Chuffed to find he remembered me. Guess ‘that Dutch chick who wrote the book on Gav’ isn’t too hard to forget.

Hmm, I’m getting hooked on Eastenders a bit… that Grant fella is a bit of a bad boy & yours truly has a soft spot, I guess.

Dad called and said it might be a good idea for me to come down for the weekend so they can take care of me & the leg. Ok then. A bit of pampering will do me good. :) And at least this time they won’t make me go hiking with them! I wonder how many children suffer their parents’ love of hiking. I *hate* hiking… unless it’s actually somewhere *interesting*, and there’s a mountain to conquer… hiking in Holland is a joke… yet the entire country seems to be addicted to it. Y’all must come have a look – the Dutch dress up for it in weird khaki clothing (as if we’re in the desert) with pants you can zip the legs off… and fleece sweatshirts & Gore-tex jackets. It’s hilarious. Every weekend, they dress up like this and go hiking.

Mebbe I wouldn’t be such a stressed out maniac if I was a bit more like all those weird hiking Dutch…


After 2 years of miscommunication and stupidity, the carpenters are finally here to fix my doors and windows.

When they arrived, they’d forgotten the wood they were going to use, so carpenter 1 took off for 2 hours to get other wood.

Carpenter 2 – the slightly older, smarter one, was on his first day after 4 years of unemployment. He cheerfully told me about the trip to Graceland he’d made the year before – and what a moneygrabbing scam it all is. He’s 55, and an adventurous chap in his own way. Not too enamoured with the bland hotel food, he would coax his friend outside to the diner accross the road, for some real food. Good on him, I’d do the same.

I’m not comfortable with this invasion of privacy. I try to be cheerful and friendly towards the guys – they’re only doing their job, but as it’s not something I arranged but something forced on me by the house owners, I tend to get quite grumpy. Though carpenter 1 is too cheerful to be grumpy with.

Carpenter 2 is back, he looks like an overgrown toddler in his dungarees. I don’t like him much – he stumbles over his own words and thoughts, and he’s twice missed the appointment we had settled.

They don’t speak with each other much. Their first day together, they’re sussing each other out. Carpenter 1 must do as (younger) carpenter 2 tells him to do. That would bother me, but he seems to be an easy going bloke, taking it as it comes.

He asked me what I do – and I said I worked for VARA. ‘Oh… we’re with TROS’. Funny how older Dutch people define themselves by the broadcasting organisation they’re a member of. ‘Are you a typist?’ he asked. ‘I do internet stuff,’ I answered. ‘Don’t be downloading any dirty pictures!,’ he jokes. I guess that stigma’s going to last a while.

They’re drilling now and discussing the holiest of holiest: their morning break. Carpenter 1 keeps making jokes carpenter 2 doesn’t understand. I’d make them coffee if I could walk. Honest.

The leg seems to have found some peace after last night’s mad spasms. I’m working on getting the foot to make the proper steps, heel first and then roll over to the toes. It doesn’t come anywhere near the proper way, but at least it’s not kicking up murder when I try. Tomorrow I’ll try travelling to work again.

The carpenters found bits of newspaper from WWII underneath the threshold of my back doors, talking about a German submarine.


Same old: leg still hurts, saw MD, have to see physio… more taxis, etc. Don’t know about the physio… don’t like them much and will cost lotsa money… and all taxi drivers are boring over here.

Doing some work at home – hard to concentrate with burning leg. Watched ‘Hotel’ (christ, that was bad!) and a delightful docu on the actor, playwright and composer Noel Coward. I think I’d have adored the man.

I’ve got blisters on mah fingeeeeers!

Hmm. What band wrote that ‘lyric’? I don’t know the answer, so someone tell me please.

The leg seems worse: stiffer, more painful. I’ve got a burning sensation in it. Travelling was HELL today. It’s raining (Holland is partly flooded by the way… very unusual) and it’s dangerous out there. The crutches slip on the floors at Central Station. I’m not going through that tomorrow. Waiting outside in the rain way too long for that damn train-taxi – trying to balance on my one leg. I’ll catch a death o’ cold. My good leg is hurting from the strain too.

I called the MD… and was told I was half an hour too late. Please call between 11 and 11.30. Fuck that. MD’s are useless. They don’t want to see you, they make you pay hot rice for a consultation by phone, they never take you seriously…

My hands are sore & full of blisters from the damn crutches, eventhough I’m wearing my cycling gloves. People were amazingly rude today – bumping in to me, not waiting for me to get on or off the train, not helping me get on or off the train, not waiting for to get on the escalator. It is totally amazing and it deserves a new column in ‘Flat’.

The boys in Arcanum are happy with the site… it just needs a few changes here and there. So that’s a load off my back. Now I can work on some stuff for .


Sunday B… you get the drift. Not much you can do with a bad leg, is there? Amazing how you can take walking for granted.

The fever went up to around 38,7 and then subsided during the night. Woke up feeling better and I could even stand on the leg… a bit. But I was soon back to the crutches. My hands are getting sore from them.

I watched boring television all day and read some more of Bridget Jones’s Diary. After ordering spaghetti and garlic bread & tiramisu from the take away (it sounds better than it tastes) I finally finished work on the Arcanum site. It isn’t ready to go live yet – the boys in the band are checking it out for bugs and updates. It’s a simple but effective site, I think. I originally wanted to invest some more time and effort into it, but I then stuck to the k.i.s.s. rule. (Cause I’m lazy). I hope the fans are happy with it.


Hmm. I’m not sure that was a good idea. Going to work on crutches? I guess if you stick to it long enough, your arms get strong enough to get you anywhere. But I was struggling. And the escalators at Utrecht central station were kaput.

‘s Funny how some people are *so* helpful. And others make a point of bumping in to you, or *not* helping you out when you could obviously use some.

The muscle seems to be relaxing a bit now. I might be back on both feet by the end of the weekend, if I take it slow. I hope so, because I’m a bit too impatient for all this and I’m tired of living on bread.

Just watching a bit of the MTV awards. This years winners are a joke. Natalie Imbruglia my arse. Aerosmith… pullease – yes, they’re dedicated pros… but they’re not exactly the avant garde of popular music. Will Smith – he’s just so… so… so fucking Cosby! Backstreet Boys… godalmighty. Hmm… ok, I admit it, that Backstreet’s Back song was kind of catchy. Best performance of the night must be Ghetto Superstar… Wyclef Jean and Pras and whatever their names are.

Madonna can’t sing, but at least she makes great records :). I hated her very first hit over here, “Like a Virgin”, but have come to appreciate her since then. I think she’s very very cool and smart. My favourite Madonna singles are ‘Deeper and Deeper’ and ‘Justify My Love’.

Anyone out there a ‘lists’ person? I’m not so bad now, but I used to scribble down lists all the bloody time. Best books, best singles, best albums, etc. It’s a trainspotter kind of affliction.

Well, I was scribbling down my favourite performers the other day:

Gavin Friday, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, George Michael, Frank Sinatra, Marc Almond, Tom Jones, Mario Lanza, Robbie Williams, David Bowie and Sinead O’Connor. I stopped there and wondered what the significance of that list was.

Well, I don’t know. Perhaps that I like men more than women’s voices… unless they’re bald?

I installed a new script on the site, which makes it possible for people to add their own links. Check it out.



Well, I don’t know what the hell that valium was for. I really didn’t need it. Us women… we’re used to pain. ;-)

But I still can’t walk properly (and should give the leg a good rest) so I’ve got to go get crutches. They’re on the other side of town basically – and I’ll have to rent them at 6 guilders a day, or something. Not too bad. It’s getting there that is the problem. Taxi… but then there’s a market going on right now, so it’s going to be a bit crowded.


It was a bit of a trek, but I managed to get the crutches. They’re actually 6 guilders a week – they’re going to make a HUGE profit on that! I’d forgotten how difficult walking with crutches is and I’m pretty tired from the excursion. But I’m back in work tomorrow, my company will take care of transportation from the station

So, I didn’t get to do much today – a little work on the Fatima Mansions site, that’s all.

A lot of people have said I should get a second opinion and perhaps go see a physiotherapist. That would mean I’d have to see my GP first… a lot of hassle and bills.

Excuse me while I stumble down to the shops to get a bottle of pop.