maandag 10 oktober 2016


Ik had vanmorgen een afspraak met de dermatoloog in het Deventer Ziekenhuis.
Een mooi, helder en open gebouw met een duidelijke routing.
In de vijver er voor bloeide nog een laatste waterlelie.
Was er jaren niet geweest.
Terwijl ik er jaren geleden er samen met Bram heel veel geweest ben. 

Bij de entree rechtsaf voor bezoeken aan de cardioloog en neuroloog.
Linksaf voor bloedafname en röntgenfoto's.
Middenin de apotheek en daarvoor de kapper en het café waar we regelmatig koffie dronken.
Ik kende het nog goed bleek toen ik er naar binnen stapte.

Direct waren er flashbacks toen ik langs de afdeling cardiologie liep.
De cardioloog waar het totaal niet mee klikte.
Een andere cardioloog die aardig was maar niks kon vinden.
En de cardioloog die ons adviseerde om naar een ander ziekenhuis te gaan waar ze het misschien wel konden vinden.

Moeilijke momenten hebben we daar beleefd.
De acute opname na de laatste hartaanval.
Gesprekken  over de bypass operatie.
Onzekerheid en angst.
Opluchting ook. 
Mooie gesprekken met verpleegkundigen en patienten.
De wilsverklaring die we moesten halen om het traject van euthanasie in te gaan.
De arts, die met tranen in haar ogen zei dat hij volkomen wilsbekwaam was, maar dat ze het vreselijk voor ons vond.
Zijn opluchting daarna en mijn huilbui omdat ik wist dat het zou gaan gebeuren.

En daar moest ik aan denken toen ik daar liep. 
Aan al die jaren en momenten die we samen hebben meegemaakt. 
Dat we zo hebben gevochten samen. 
Dat ik zo voor hem heb moeten vechten.
En dat dat ook moest omdat je dat nu eenmaal doet als je van iemand houd.

Bij de dermatoloog bleek bij mij niks ernstigs aan de hand te zijn. Over een paar weken wordt er met stikstof een soort wrat in mijn gezicht weggehaald.

Na het bezoek aan het ziekenhuis even naar het graf van Bram.
Onverwachte tranen. 
Om die man waar ik dertig jaar zo verbonden mee was en nog steeds ben.

maandag 29 juni 2015

Fashion designer Eline Bouman

Four years ago a very talented student finished her study at the fashion department of my school.
I did wrote about her collection on my blog.
Check this and scroll to the end.

Her name: Eline Bouman.
Her website is HERE.

A few weeks ago I got an invitation from her if I would like to come to the graduation show from the fashion department of the HKU (art school in Utrecht).
I always love to go to a fashion show from a Higher education fashion deparment.
Guess that is because I know the feeling what is is to graduate with a collection. 
All the tension, the hard work before, the result and the three minutes my collection walked over the catwalk. 

You can meet all graduates here.

Title of the show: Nowhere now here.

But I came for her ofcourse, but was also very curiuos to see all other collection.

Title of her collection: Emission of radiance.

It is about emit radiation. A fictive image of the future in which we are -due to an over populated earth-iliving n a multi-planetary society. In the centre is a strong powerful woman who can deal with extreme climate changes.

Here it is:
Photo's by © PETER STIGTER HKU 2015

Former student Laura Jetten as Top Model!

And here she is: Fashion Designer Eline Bouman.
I think she has developed in a good and positive way. 
A strong and hard worker she is.
We has a little talk after the show and we were both very pleased to see eachother.
It is always nice to meet up with former students who develop in a good way in the workd of fashion.

Her plan now is to start her own collection on a small scale together with another student who also graduated.
I wish her all the best!

zondag 17 mei 2015

A blue world

A few weeks ago I decided to buy a workshop Dyeing with natural indigo at Blueprint Studio here in Amsterdam. It is not that I am totally recovered, but I felt the need to treat myself to this. 
And despite my hernia and other physical problems I wanted to do something with my 'textile-addiction'.

It was a saturday afternoon.
The 9th of May.
Windy and rather fresh outside.
Three women and one man got together in the little studio from Celia and her assistant Iris.

Indigo dyeing and Shiboru was on the menu.
A table full of beautiful examples.

On the wall was an old male kimono hanging. 

Patched with different fabrics in the Sashiko technique.
In the same technique was this beautiful old piece of cloth used by the working class. 

Mended over and over again because throwing away wasn't done.
They are hard to find nowadays. They have a special name, but I can't remember it.

On the table: little pieces of cloth dyed in different ways in beautiful patterns.

All very inspirational.
Around us: blue dyed rubber gloves, blue dyed wooden sticks and a suitcase full of textiles.

I could feel all my senses going around in my head.
The muddy smell of indigo.
That dark blue of the indigo powder.
All those different shades. 
A real feast for the eye.
I had arrived in a real blue world, and I loved it.

Indigo. The magical plant which can give that beautiful strong blue color.
After some information about how the dye was made we got to see the inside of that big indigo vat.
In the middle was the 'indigo flower'. The water on which it was floating was a kind of muddy yellow.

There is hardly any oxygene in the water which is the most important issue of the proces.
It is hard to believe that that water would make my t-shirt and scarf blue. 

My plan was to dip dye a white t-shirt from light to dark. 
Not very difficult to do.
First thing to do is wet it thoroughly.
Put it on a hanger and dip it for one minute under in the vat.
Take it out and hang it outside.
It will turn blue when it gets in touch with oxygene.
The more you dip, the darker the blue gets.

Pure magic,and everytime you see it happening it gives that Wow factor.
I ended up with a beautiful variegated t-shirt which I hope to wear the upcoming summers.

And there was also natural scarf to be dyed with the shibori technique.
Shibori is a technique to make patterns by binding, stitching, folding, twisting or compressing cloth. 

In Japan it is a real art done by Masters in the Shibori technique.
On the table was a lovely example which was my starting point.

By folding cloth into diagonals and stitching it, this pattern could be the result.

After everything was stitched the proces of dipping could start.
It was exiting to take out the stitches to see the result. 
It wasn't disappointing.

My new summer scarf appeared.

And, no, I will not wear it this way.
Wrapped around my neck is much better ot maybe as a pareo this summer.

It was all very exiting and inspirational for me.
Celia and Iris are excellent teachers and show great experience with the technique.

In june I will follow a one day workshop Natural dying with the 'Grand Teints' organized by Textielfabrique.

maandag 27 april 2015

Bargain of the Day

Today is 'KoningsDag', or in English: 'King'sDay'.
There are free flea markets all over the Netherlands.
Amsterdam has several.
Everybody is selling the stuff they don't want to have anymore.
Items bought will travel from North to South and from East to West.
A few markets are round the house were we live.

This morning I decided to try to walk instead of cycling.
My hernia isn't gone, but it goes better.
Next to physiotherapy twice a week, I get acupuncture at a Chinese Medical Centre here in Amsterdam.
I felt the need to do something extra for my body and mind.
There is a difference appearing.
This Saturday I will get Chinese Massage, because too much acupuncture isn't good for my body.
Next to my hernia I have a chronical problems in my arm, shoulder and neck.
The Chinese doctor told me that it will be fine at the end, but it needs time and treatments.
I trust him, which is very important.

But back to this morning.
I took half of my painkillers and off we went.
It is not that I didn't feel anything while walking, but it was so much better than last weeks.
Such a relief.

In a good mood I was, but it even got better after my 'Bargain of the Day'.
We passed a house at the Weesperzijde. 
A brown labrador was lying in the sun.
Chairs were taken outside.
The owner of the house was drinking wine.
On the ground was a box.

We started talking about it with the woman who owned it.
More subjects came up.
About romance.
And than:
How long are you together, she asked.
Make a guess, I said.
Twenty years, was her answer.
We smiled and told her our story.
She tried to persuade us to buy that box.
I knew that the price of it is quite expensive.
But where to leave it in our house?
And next to that: our oven isn't working at the moment.
We said goodbye, and Jos told the husband that his wife is lovely.

The box wasn't out of sight and mind.
Lovely for dinners with friends.
Individual cocotte's.
Just beautiful.

Than Jos told me to go back, because he felt sorry for her that we hadn't bought them.
Also, because I kept talking how nice it would be to use them at dinner parties with friends.
And so I did.
In my wallet was € 5,-.
It was all I had.

She smiled when I came back.
Five euro's is all I have.
I was hoping for Ten, she answered.
Sorry I said.
Well, allright than she said.
And after all we have had a lovely chat.
Off I went with a big smile on my face.

This is in it.

At home I checked for the price.
€ 65,- it is, when buying it on line.
The 'Bargain of the Day' it is.

One day we are going to invite the former owners for a dinner at our home and use those little pots.
I am already looking forward to it.

woensdag 25 februari 2015

Little progress


Yes, there is little progress. 
It is not that I feel a big difference in my body, but some of my movements at the physiotherapist go better.
Walking and standing for a few minutes is still hard to do.
My right arm often hurts when I do too much, so this writing is done with my left hand.
My neck and shoulders are also 'not very moveable', so they get a treatment too. Crack!
I still take those heavy painkillers.
But I am pleased with the progress.

It feels that a big part of my body is 'letting me down' right now.
STOP it says.
Stop and listen, and do what I direct you.
For me that is not an easy thing to do.
But if I want to get better I need to listen.
So I try to be a 'listener'.

The last week that I worked I took the bicycle to get to the railwaystation.
Cycling -strangly enough- didn't cause pain.
But the walk from the bicycle parking to the railwaystation caused a lot of pain.
And as said before: walking is a big problem at the moment.

My physiotherapist gave me the advice to cycle.
Good for my body and mind, and cheaper than taking a taxi.
Amsterdam is packed with bicycles, and till now there wasn't a reason to buy one.
Either we walk or take the cable car or metro if we need to go somewhere.

Yesterday I bought a second-hand bicycle.
With gear and a sturdy extra big lock (much needed here!)
A golden 'Gazelle'.
I parked it in front of our house.
The first thing I did this morning was to see if it was still there.
That it wasn't stolen.
And it was there 'glittering' in the sun.

Today I took the bike to go to the chemist to get my pills.
It is not far from where I live right now.
I really enjoyed it.
Fresh air.

Little steps forward it is.
But no matter how little: forward it is!

maandag 9 februari 2015

Back to reading it is

I type this post with my left hand.
Last week my excellent physiotherapist discovered that my right elbow is suffering with the name: 'tennis-elbow'.
His advice was to keep my arm calm.
No knitting!
(Bye bye scarf, yarns and needles)

Beware of using your mobile and tablet too much.
(my contact to the world)

Write as little as possible with pen or pencil.
(that very little movement gives a big reaction in your elbow).

My hernia is situated between L4 and L5 and below that there is something probably not well either.
My whole left leg is very painful when I walk. 
It will be alright said my physiotherapist, who, by the way is a very handsome man and that makes a difference when he is doing very painful movement with my body (breathe in, breathe out is my mantra at such moments!).
But it needs time and treatment.
And many taxi's to get to the hernia centre at Westerdok (€20,- one way!)

And painkillers.
I don't have a problem using them. 
They are chemical ofcourse, but isn't my whole body not a chemical factory?
They have names as: Lyrica and Oxycodon.
They sound like exotic cocktails, but aren't served in funny coacktailglasses with a straw, a little paper umbrella and a cherry on top.
Twice a day they make the pain a little weaker.
And they make me sleepy too (a nap a day keeps the doctor away as they say, or was it an apple a day?).
No driving is allowed and take care with alcohol.
I don't drive.
Very logical because my car isn't in Amsterdam.
But I do take a glass of wine in the evening.

So my day is now situated round reading the newspapers and books.
Nothing more, nothing less.
I love to read ever since I was that young boy who discovered the library.
Over the last years reading more or less stopped.
Knitting was what I did since Bram became ill.
I couldn't concentrate on books anymore.
Knitting has helped me to stay in the moment and to make beautiful things.

Back to reading it is now, because that is the only thing I can do next to daydreaming and letting go by the day in a pleasant way. (Coffee? Yes please.)
Reading will keep me busy I hope,and will bring me to new worlds and give other insights.
Luckily this house is filled with books and I can read for years without having to read a book twice.

At the moment I am reading: 'Kom hier dat ik U kus' by the Flemish writer Griet op de Beeck.
And after that 'Alice in Wonderland' in a new Dutch translation is waiting for me.

donderdag 5 februari 2015

At home

Months did go by and nothing was written here.
My other blog got all the attendance.
But tonight I felt that it was the moment to write here.
Because there is a reason.

I am suffering a hernia.
It started some weeks ago with pain in my back.
Two visits to my manual therapist didn't gave a result.
I thought that was strange because it has always worked.
My doctor immediately thought that is was a hernia.
Heavy painkillers, physiotherapy and rest must do the trick.
It is very painful and I can't work.
Walking is difficult and hundred metres ( and inbetween a few times rest) is the maximum.
It is all very tiresome.

Jos took me with him to his home in Amsterdam ,so he can take care of me.
I am glad he is there for me.
So here I am.
Days go by.
Sitting by the window with a view on a canal with houseboats.
Two hours up and one hour rest.
By taxi to the physiotherapist who is specialized in treating hernia patients.
I feel very dependent and can understand how Bram must have feeled.

What to do on a day when sometimes reading takes energy?
Believe it or not, I got back to knitting.
Evelien brought me some yarn, needles and the Barbara Walker knitting book.

I did cast on my 'Hernia scarf' in a simple slip stitch pattern.
A mindless knit it is.
Natural dyed yarn by Shilasdair.
Purple wool and blue silk.
When it is finished I will line it with a Liberty fabric.

Hopefully when it will be finished my hernia is over.
Cross your fingers.