zaterdag 19 januari 2013

'Winter Is Coming'


'Winter is coming', it is one of the most quoted sentences of the first season/book of  'Games of Thrones'. I can tell you that one look outside can tell me that Winter did arrive.  For the people who are not into this fascinating book or television series it is Eddard Stark who says this outloud.  Me being a fan can't wait for the second season to come out on DVD and many of fans already have noted down 03.13.13 when the third season will launch.  I am already looking forward to that date because I hope that by that time many of got back on their Spring-mode.

This week I did for sure find out that Winter has entered the world around me.  I feel rather like the Michelin icon by trying to balance on icy surfaces. Plus half of the time do my shoes leave traces all over and there are even waterfalls to conquer when running up the staircase at work.  Plus that I tend to have more food cravings. I feel like a hamster when it comes down to cold and snow. A minute ago I even ended buying half of a apricot pie because the Winter-rage that is going on in my mind makes me feeling rather hungery.

I did celebrate my birthday at the beginning of the week and then things did still look fine at the Winter frontier.  Okay also wrinkles arrived but I do not mind.  That I had to celebrate it one gloomy Monday was even okay and I did spoil my co-workers with chocolates and sweets. I did not touch a single one of them. Not that I am on a diet.... Remember I just bought half of a apricot pie!

But please help me what I need to think of the following non fictional and news worthy items:

- Lance Armstrong hopped on the couch of Oprah to spill the beans.  Remorse? I have not seen it in his eyes.  But why did he not consider his health victory as a cancer survivor already proof enough that he is a fighter.  Greed?   I wished he would have settled for one or two victories less instead of going on trying to poison many relationships.  I do hope sincerly that he has taken the time to have a long talk with his children and even asked them for forgiveness.   Chances are likely that he might end up breaking out in cold sweat instead of under the warm and comfortable spot light of the media. Winter arrived also when your name is Lance Armstrong once the lights go down.

- The word 'Deweveriseren'  made me run to the coffee machine for an other cup of George Clooney coffee.  Today in the newspapers two French speaking Belgians & leading political journalists were quoted that Brussels will never be Flemish...... AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!   First of all I am not a huge fan of the new mayor of Antwerp. This is my personal opinion and please do not call me now a monarchist (I do think that our Royal family their bookkeeping should be more transparent and that they should get a revised check) because that is not what I am.   Politicians need to do a bit more work to gain my respect then going on a crash diet and quoting Romans. But also these two journalist did not score with their piece of writing. My personal opinion of Brussels is a very complex one. One I formed by living there and still dealing almost daily with. Very fascinating but also not always easy to get your head around.  How many of you out there do know Brussels and its complex structure?  In my mind it is nobody's land. Okay? So back of from Brussels when it is Winter.

- A column about reading behaviour amongst women realy got me into raged state. Okay at that moment I was still recovering of trying to deal with a crashed Kindle.  Needless to state that I was not myself. But still 'Women have got no taste' and basically only want to read about sex and nonfiction that makes them buy knitting needles just made me upset. Hey, I  HAVE NOT READ 'FIFTY SHADES OF GREY' AND I DO NOT HAVE THE INTENTION TO DO SO!!! Is this clear for once and for all? My book shelf and attic are packed with books but that title is not on my to read list. Now please, do not feel offended if you did so and loved it. I do not judge by a book.... But I wonder if this columnist did even take the time to question some women around him instead of just judging by the numbers of one bookchain. I was taught during journalism classes that you can not write a piece on just one source and in my honest opinion did the columnist exactly do this. Still he managed to get paid for it and got published in a newspaper that is not a tabloid.   But for your record during Winter I do read more then just a steamy love story.

- Cameron postponed his Europe speech. For days this was already on my mind radar. Stallie tries very hard to be a good European citizen.  2013 is after all also the year that the European community tries to put the spotlight on its most important stakeholders: the citizen. Okay, for the moment we are not that wild about many regulations that are spit out by this political institution. Can't blame you for that. The perception of what goes on in Brussels is not always straight forward. You might even more then once wonder who did come up with some of the insane sounding regulation in the first place.  But still, when I found out that the British Prime Minister was using the hours Junior doctors work as a stick to beat Brussels I went into a certain rage. In order to cool down I dived into my hot bath. Well, pardon my French, but time & medicine will never match up waterproof. In many professions time is so hard to grasp.  'Doctor time' is surrealistic and their hours are not set in stone. My social calendar is in such a chaotic state because of time and trying to keep up with a doctor. Him being the ambitious doctor (consultant status now but he was about the same (only got worse to be honest but do not tell him) when we met) he for sure forgets more then once about time when being close to patients, a hospital or private practice or phone. In Winter our inhouse doctor is even tempted to do more then ever overhours and this for any European or world citizen showing up at his icy doorstep.

 -  Trying to relocate my Winter wardrobe and finding out that due to the weight that I left behind in the previous year that I am not fit to face Winter.  Okay, for the moment it are sales out here and should I be able to get a good deal. The thing is that because I am wearing so many layers that getting undressed in a claustrophic fitting room while there is a very long line forming with not so patient persons makes break into a sweat. I then hardly take the time to take a real look at clothes.  It is one of the few places where I feel like I ended up in sauna and feel very insecure.  Yesterday I finaly managed to walk into store and buy myself a black dress for the James Bond party that I did intend to attend.  I got undressed in a personal record and slipped into that dress even faster then Lance ever managed to cross the line in Paris.  Walked out of the cubicle (and I hate it if others are near and then check me out) and ran past that mirror, ran back in, changed back into my Michelin outfit and then did head for to the cash register.   I was in that store for about 15 minutes... and happy to be back outside where the temperatures told me that it is Winter. 

 24 hours later I am having a total melt down because of Winter.  Had to cancel going to the James Bond party due to the overhours of the inhouse doctor, did not sleep well and woke up with a sore throat, did then get into a total rage and then ended up at the pharmacist to pick up lidocaine and paracetamol to top up my Winter lunch.  Guess that Winter is now a fact and it seriously kicking my ass for the moment.  Needless to say that I am after some cupcakes and hot cup of chocolate milk with tiny marshmellows. Winter in my mug that still rocks!  

Still I want to end with a positive note after all these non fictional news items. So let me share with you these amazing words by the 'Games of Trones' author about the difference between fantasy and reality.  I do think that I during Winter sometimes need to check into the hospital 'Fantasy' in order to survive Winter. Perhaps time to cancel my subscription to the newspaper till Spring comes along?

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real ... for a moment at least ... that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I'd sooner go to middle Earth.”
George R.R. Martin

 Today in Antwerp Klara is holding it's superb day for Classical music. I forgot to buy tickets, like I do every year but then with the cough I am dealing with I would be such a disturbance. Next year I am there because music is an excellent cold medicine. But this is already music that can create inside of my mind something that is very strong. The effect of strings and this score are so much better then cough medicine and a tablet of paracetamol. 

In case you want to join me next year at the Singel this is what wise music lovers are getting for musical treats.  I bet that the Singel is a hot spot for the moment!

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