Saturday, April 21, 2007

See me and Rembrandt?

This is Rembrandt's kitchen from Amsterdam. It's part of museum that is a recreation of his house, exactly as it stood in ye olden days. See how good I am at history dates? Nice Man and I toured round the house - listening to the museum commentary on cordless phone sets. I was wearing my new £5 ring in the shape of a flower, and after we left I realised one of the petal jewels had fallen out. Oh, I said, I left a bit of my ring at Rembrandt's house. It sounded dry without meaning to. Those wild parties at our mate, Rembrandt's house...

Our apartment came with a complimentary grass joint - legal in the 'Dam of course. It was like something from Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City. My attempts to inhale were risible. They should have given me a leaflet at passport control.
What a great bicycle town though. I have never seen so many bikes, so much confident pedaling, free of carbon footprints.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I am challenged

Ah yes, the blog has gone quiet again. You know what that can mean: I feel challenged. (Not perhaps the same thing as I am challenged, but anyway...). The Mickel Therapy is challenging and I am struggling with aspects of it, especially the part that focuses on processing emotions like fear, with its foot servant, worry.
I wasn't always a worrier. I was one of these children who was confident because I wasn't aware of needing to be confident. I went on school trips and camping trips with zero angst, full of excitement. That changed suddenly when I was a teenager. I got ill at a friend's house once and afterwards developed panic attacks. I felt silly and stupid, so I never told anyone until a few years later. By that time I was a highly-skilled secret worrier.
The irony with worry is that it's designed to protect you. I find it generally has the opposite effect. It's also great for alienating other people and helping the atmosphere at parties too. What a product! Why do I keep falling for it? I must learn how to cast it out, then throw away its oars.
Thank you for listening.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Digital dilemmas

I am thinking of buying a digital camera. One cannot just leap into these purchases without research - at least I cannot. I found a good website with digital film clips, where an anonymous pair of male hands shows you the camera and talk you through the buttons like this.
I went into a local camera shop and noticed that their 'special offer' prices were still about £20 or £30 more than internet prices. A shop assistant man with a strange ('lazy'?) eye tried to sell me one of the special offers. I said I didn't mean to be cheeky but I had noticed that all the cameras are much cheaper on the internet.

He seemed exasperated. Digital cameras get a lot of faults, he said, people come in here all the time with broken cameras from the internet and we won't fix them and you have to insure it to send it in the post for repair....etc. I found it difficult to know which eye to look at. He must have known my eyes were flitting with indecision, he must get that all the time plus people who tell him the internet is cheaper. Meanwhile he was trying to sell me a product that breaks all the time for £159.99.
Later that evening I watched a documentary about how supermarkets are putting three UK dairy farmers out of business each week. I was nearly crying for the farmers and the cows and the supermarket capitalism gone mad. Eventually our milk may be imported from thousands of miles away in Europe because it's cheaper to produce there. (I use mostly soya milk, but that's not the point, Mr Tesco.) I thought maybe I should buy the 'dige-y' camera from the smaller shop for £30 more.
(Which reminds me, when we were at school digital watches were the new status symbol and we used to look at the boys with new silver or black Casio watches strapped to their teenage wrists and whisper to each other, 'nice dige-y'. I make no apology.)