Just as we started getting used to living in the Nederlands, a new phenomenon jumps up to reminds us that we are foreigners living in a strange land.
For the last few weeks we’ve been feeling mildly claustrophobic, I thought initially this was due to being stuck in the house when the temperature dropped, but it’s now relatively warm. I even walked the dog today without a hat and scarf, and wearing only four layers, that’s true British stoicism for you!
|This is not a normal sky|
Anyway I’m moving off the point, which is, that the sky appears to be missing. Back in the UK we’re used to grey skies, black clouds, and red skies at night for a sailors delight, forgiving rainbows, wonderful blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Over here all that’s been available above my head recently, has been a low, suffocating, white atmosphere, it looks like a low dense fog that’s masking the real sky. In fact the sky looks so low, I feel like Chicken Likken from the children’s fable, constantly looking up, expecting the sky to fall on my head.
I shouldn't really share this publicly, but lately I appear to have developed a sort of physical sickness that’s been growing in strength. For simplicity I’m going to call it ‘Tourette’s fingers’, not that I’m in anyway demeaning Tourette’s, which is a very difficult neurological condition often resulting in difficult or inappropriate behaviour or tics.
Like certain symptoms of Tourette’s my fingers seem to have developed their own behavioural traits/tics, and unless I concentrate very hard, they take over my actions. Let me give you an example:
Andy’s has another virus this week, and as he was feeling under the weather yesterday treated himself to a box of Frosties, he had one small bowl and because the Frosties flake's scratched his throat, he intended to save the rest for when he’s better. Well my Tourette’s fingers have other ideas, each time I find myself lost in the kitchen, they (my fingers) creep up to the cereal cupboard and rummage inside the Frosties packet and take out a small hand full of flakes. The repetition of these small hand fulls (I just did it again!) means the box is now almost empty. My fingers know this is inappropriate behaviour and yet they do it anyway. As Andy improves I’m going to be forced to either own up or replace the Frosties, and to be honest I’m not keen on either idea.
It might seem dramatic comparing these urges to Tourette’s, but when I checked on Wikipedia I read the following: ‘These tics characteristically wax and wane, can be suppressed temporarily, and are preceded by a premonitory urge.’ If that doesn’t describe what’s been happening to me lately I don’t know what does. The other night, feeling a bit bored and lonely (Andy ill in bed) I decided to treat myself to a nice bottle of Pinot from the local shop, which in itself should be enough of a treat for a Tuesday night. However once I placed the wine by the till, my fingers strained and pulled towards the sweetie section, twitching and stretching like a concert pianist warming up for the piano, dancing along the boxes of unfamiliar sweets, only resting when they found Rolos.
Did I love poor, sick Andy enough to give him my last Rolo? No, not then, because in the 100 yard walk back from the shop, my fingers extracted three quarters of the Rolos, the rest disappeared before I’d even opened the bottle of wine. Besides, it would mean owning up to eating the rest of the packet, plus I don’t believe giving chocolate covered toffee demonstrates affection, that just another one of those urban myths or children’s fables.
Okay, time to go and hide the Chunky KitKat packet...