Yesterday I suddenly felt my age as my eldest son turned 30. As he said to me : I can remember you when you turned 40, weird! And I was what the doctors at the time called “an older mum”.
His birth was quite something and an experience I never wanted to repeat again. All these rose-colored stories about childbirth are a ruse to keep women having babies, I think. Especially the Dutch who always thought having a child in hospital is for sissies. Any medical intervention is seen as unnatural. So, misinformed like that I even joined a group called The Natural Childbirth Trust. They advocated that it was not normal to have your baby in a hospital using drugs to make the whole experience less painful. Well as I could not have my children at home I went to the hospital full of courage to deny any assistance of the medical variety. After two days of the equivalent of being run over by a train or having all my root canals drilled I was ready for all the drugs they could throw at me. It all ended up in a Cesarean section and me feeling like I let everybody down. I don’t think if men could give birth there would be any talk about not being fully sedated when having babies. The most heard argument is that in Africa women just crouch down behind a bush, deliver and continue working the field. Well, in Africa women have to do a lot of things we would never ever even think of doing and after studying a lot of National Geographic movies, I think they would be the first to sign up for a hospital delivery. Even so it all has turned out well and he has been my pride and joy to this day. And through the Trust I met some of the nicest and sweetest women friends.

In this article Kirstie explains my point of view. And by the way Queen Elizabeth II had all her 4 by C-section, so I am in good company. I so admire her stamina and her dress sense. Like me she loves vibrant colors and matching shoes and handbags. Her son will be too old to take over when she finally dies, so he might abdicate in favor of his eldest son. We will see. In the large scheme of things not very important unless you are English.

Mr.Putin has been chosen by a vast majority to keep his grip on Russia for another four plus years.’The opposition was put in jail before the election and the fake opposition was a daughter of one of Putin’s best friends, a millionaire for the Communist party (contradiction if there ever was one) and a few other nonentities. So it looked like a real election instead of a show.
He is probably guilty of all sorts of crimes against humanity, but when I see how large Russia and how divers the population I think you can only rule such a big country with an iron hand or else it will be chaos. What is disappointing is how he deals with the Russian oligarchs that have been thriving with his support. Coming from such a humble background himself I had expected better of him. But if we compare him to Trump I find it hard to chose. We are living in very interesting times.

What I do worry about is that the horror stories of war,famine and extreme weather events that kill thousands of people hardly registers with me anymore, while I really sit up and pay attention when I hear from somebody doing something marvelous for their fellow beings, like that young doctor who has set up free clinics in Marocco where he and Dutch colleagues work tirelessly to help the poor. Or business men setting up an IT college in Africa to train the local people who then can use their skills remotely for the benefit of themselves and ther foreign employers, who cannot get that expertise at home. People can attend without any previous education, but have to sit exams to be taken on. And Bill Gates who very quietly is trying to eradicate disease in poor countries.
Alas more often we hear from people who already have more money than sense that they have been trying to defraud other people or the government.Here in Belgium there is this horrible woman who had been paying herself thousands of euro’s as the manager of an organisation who works for people who live on the street for doing exactly nothing. When she was fingered she first refused to resign and after they made her she sued the government for thousands for unfair dismissal!! The wording of her dismissal letter was apparently not correct. Another Victor Meldrew moment I can tell you. Instead of hiding and hanging her head in shame she pulls a trick like this. She should be forced to live as a homeless person herself for a year.
It is one of my hobbies to invent an appropriate punishment for human misbehavior.

Am reading the latest Inspector Lynley book by Elizabeth George. She is a marvelous detective writer in the vein of the queen of crime Agatha Christie, P.D.James and Ruth Rendell. When you take in to account she is an American, her stories are very British. They also contain a good sense of humor. Ian Rankin and Reginald Hill could be her male counterparts. All five of these always managed to surprise me at the end. Which after reading hundreds of these books it not easy. My husband always gets very upset when we are watching a thriller on tv and I say after 20 or so minutes I know who did it. I have now learned not to divulge who until the end.

Small remark on a political debate going on in Belgium about to spend 4.5 billion on some more fighter planes or have the current ones refurbished at the tune of 2.5 billion. To keep us safe…Where did I hear that again? In the time of the cold war. The government guy said they had to plan 40 years ahead whereupon a nice lady on the panel said it was all a gross waste of time because in 40 years the planet would have gone to hell anyway. Global warming and draining of resources, wars and lack of clean water will be our main problems. All not to be solved with fighter jets. At least in the Netherlands the Green Party was a big winner in the local election and we can all hope that that also will continue for the general election. 
I will not start on the NRA and over a million young people marching against that organisation because it makes me too sad.






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