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Tanak's scribbles and thoughts

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
30th of January 2020, or in Dutch notation 30-01-2020.

We're not going to get a nice notation this year, a date that people are going to pick for their marriage. Like the 20th of January 2001 was (and all subsequent years up until 2012, with months to match).

Strange first sentence, for a first entry in something that could be seen as a diary (which I've never done before), where I post some of my (past) writings and leave random thoughts and notes. The reason I'm starting to do this is because a member here asked me if they could see some of my writing. Since my return proper into roleplaying, I have amassed over a hundred stopped roleplays, but how to get them to someone else? Yes, I could drop some of them in our PM, but it made me think that starting this would be a much better idea.

As I've stated in my introduction post, I have been roleplaying for 27 years. It's longer than a lot (most?) people on this site have been walking (crawling in the beginning) our planet. Over the years I have perfected my writing, but I will never be an advanced literate writer. Some of you will read this and think, 'how can you say that?'. I'll explain. English is my third language, Dutch my first and French my second, and I miss the basics in English to think of myself as advanced literate. My writing was, is and will always be simple. It comes straight from my heart, but in lacking the basis, I have a limited vocabulary. I cannot and willnot use 'fancy' words. I could easily use a thesaurus, it has been suggested to me on more than one occasion, but I feel I will be losing a part of me and my writing when doing so.

In the same breath I also never call myself artistic or creative. I write stories with others (females), I don't have the ability to write a book on my own. I can deepen one character, my own in a roleplay, but to do so for multiple characters, males and even more females, sorry, I've tried and always horribly failed. Those other characters remain bland and superficial. In a past I have written a piece about my views on being artistic and creative, which I will post here, straight after I've posted this first entry.

That's probably how it's going to go, I write a, shorter or longer, entry, followed by an example of my writing. I reserve the right to use all my own writings, even if they have been used in (private) roleplays. If they come from an ongoing play, consider yourself being complimented, for in that instance, I am very excited about that play. But I will do my best to keep those to a minimum.

One last request. If anyone of you feels the need to say something about this thread. Please send me a PM and DO NOT post here. I like to keep this as clean as possible (even though I might look messy for an outsider).
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Being creative or artistic
(originally written 23rd of April 2018)


During this past weekend I have had a discussion or two about what it is to be creative. Those discussions were with people who play in bands. It came to those discussions after I had praised them for their creativeness and when subsequently asked if I was creative myself, I answered with a resolute no. Because I don’t find writing my thoughts and participating in roleplays in any way or shape creative.

The fact that I post those thoughts in a blog made them say that it is at least a form of creativeness. But I am still not convinced.

Starting on Friday evening and ending Sunday evening, I saw performances by various musicians. On Friday night an amazing performance by a German/Welsh duo. She a harpist and singer, he a percussionist/gong-player. Not just player, he created and made those instruments himself. On Saturday I went to a festival because of the first anniversary of a little bar in the centre of Eindhoven. Amongst the musicians I saw where a woman singing, accompanied by a guitarist and a guy on some form of percussion I had never seen before (it looked like a small suitcase, on which he sat), another one was a saxophone player and there was a jam session from various jazz players. And on Sunday I went to see B’wana Dik & de Zeurettes, the band of Geert Tiersma, who played in a bar just around the corner from where I live.


I love listening to music, even though at times, it isn’t exactly to my liking. I probably listen to other things as real fans of bands and/or performers, and I am quite aware that most likely I will miss out on errors made. Yet, even listening to other music than what I would class as favourite, gives me joy. It is the same with looking at paintings, sculptures, photographs, readings books or watching films. I have learned over the years to at least be open to other forms of art (than I was used to do before).

I am constantly awed by the great things people produce in their creativity, but on the other hand, quite a few of those people scare me (I am not afraid of them as the people they are, but I feel that they are able to do things I never will be able to). They are, more often than not, free spirits, who float around the planet. Notwithstanding the fact that they all will have the same worries as me concerning the bills to pay, what food to get etcetera, the pure fact that they are so creative, is something that I do not possess. I am certain it is not a matter of jealousy. I think it’s a good thing that each person of this planet has its own form of uniqueness. There will be a lot of people who do similar things, but no two people are the same. It certainly would make the world a much more boring place if everyone would be the same, feel the same, think the same and like the same things.

In all of the complexity that I am as a person, I hold very much to being direct. I think I need to explain that a little, as ‘being direct’ isn’t the correct phrase. If I want to meet up with someone (or if someone else asks me to meet up with them), I expect that said meeting is being agreed on that same day. And if a meeting is at a certain time, I will make sure I am there for that time, and I expect the other person also to be on time. Unless I have been told that it can be a few minutes later, because of whatever reason, I will be disappointed (or worse) if a person doesn’t show up at the time agreed.

I will say what I think, to anyone, but a lot of people do not know how to handle that. As I have mentioned before, I have lived in England for a number of years and the English are everything but straight (direct). If someone doesn’t like me, or doesn’t like things I do, I expect of them to tell me to my face and not beat around the bush.

The free spirits of this world are very much the opposite of the person I am. Their thought processes are not mine, getting them on one line could pose a problem, but I know it is not a major road block.

And I think that’s why I don’t see myself as being creative. Simply sitting down for half an hour and rattle down a page or two with words isn’t being creative, in my opinion. Other people tell to their friends or family what they have done during a weekend and that’s that. The fact that I put it down on paper and then post it on a blog is for me exactly the same. I share my thoughts with friends and family.

I explained it like this in the discussions about being creative or artistic. I am slowly starting to appreciate other lines of thought. I might not agree with them, maybe I can never agree with them, but at least I am listening to the opinions of others. Because as of late, I am meeting a lot of people who are so very creative/free spirited. The strange thing is, even though I look up to quite a few of them, I feel very much welcomed by them. For a great deal it feels like a form of home-coming, that I am finally meeting people who I very much get along with. But that has also got to do with other parts of their being as people, not just the creativeness.

There are two people I came across not so very long ago, via Twitter. They are both photographer, although I am not totally familiar with their work or portfolio. I know that one had a shoot the other day. I really wonder if they look upon what they do as being creative or artistic. Nothing to do with either one of them, but does a wedding photographer feel at the end of a long day that they have been artistic or is it just work for them?

Something similar, a person who writes non-fiction, do they feel creative? Artistic? Or do they think they want to tell a story to others. A real life story, whether it happened in the past day/week/year or a hundred or more years ago.

I think I will constantly struggle by calling myself artistic or creative. Certainly not the first, I might come to a conclusion one day that I am in a way creative. Mayhap because of the use of certain words, or that I take a long time to get to the point. Or maybe because I will be convinced by the free spirits that everything that in a way is created, is creative.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
31st of January 2020.

The last day of the first month of the third decade of the third millennium. If you write it out like that it all of a sudden becomes a little bit poetic. But, I am not here to talk numbers or poetry today. I want to talk about girls. Don't worry, no-one in particular, or rather, perhaps a few, but I will not mention anyone in a fashion that others might recognize who they are.
You see, I've been online for the same amount of time as I've been roleplaying. Since 1992, the very first days of Yahoo, when user-made rooms were still the norm and moderation was absent. Around those days was also the last time that I kissed a girl I met in real life and not online. I met my ex-wife online. I think you get the idea. And over the years I have communicated with hundreds of girls.

Wait! I see I must explain something first. When I use the word 'girl', I do so for every female on the planet, bar three. In my personal opinion there are only three females that are women. Queen Elizabeth II of England, Princess Beatrix (formerly Queen Beatrix) of the Netherlands and the late Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady.
I don't use the word 'girl' as demeaning or belittling, I call my own mother a girl and she's 75. But, if any female feels insulted when I call them girl I apologize (not that I will change, sorry).

Okay, where was I? Oh yes, I've talked to hundreds of girls online. And I'm sorry to say, but girls often bore me very quickly. Whenever I talk to people online (m and f), I am looking for a meaningful conversation, I love people who have a good and solid opinion about whatever and I loath people who just shout things. I don't care what faith you are, what politician is your favourite, if you can clearly explain to me why you are like that, we can easily be friends. Over the years girls have come and gone, and some managed to keep my attention for a bit longer. It's not you, girls, it's me. You know how that goes. But, every now and then a gem pops up, a girl that's different, one that you instantly feel a connection with. One where you feel that you can share things with, things that you wouldn't tell other people.

I've been talking to one such girls for over a year now, which is extremely rare for me. The last girl I talked to, online, for so long, I married (and subsequently divorced later on, but for totally other things). And I've found a couple more girls where I feel at ease with, something that's also important for me. I've only met them quite recently, but the initial feeling is good.

One of my all-time favourite songs is UR. And then the version by Tiësto ft. Matt Hales in the Junkie XL Air Guitar Mix. While the song flows well, it's more the text that speaks to me. I recognize a lot of my past in that text and it inspiried me a while ago to write some sort of short story based in the text alone. Song and my piece have no resemblance. Oh, you know. Just read it for yourself.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
A song comes to mind as I regain my senses:

I wish I was a better man

I wish I had a better plan for dealing with this

What am I, what am I to do now

Maybe I could run away

Maybe I could run away and never be found’


Oh, run away I did, but I can’t remember what it was I ran from, nor why exactly I felt the reason to run in the first place. I know my eyelids are open, yet I realise I cannot see. I lift my hands to my eyes and carefully touch around my eyes as if to check whether or not I am blindfolded or maybe wearing a bandage. It is only then that I notice I am on my knees and not standing up. I move my hands around me, but all I feel is cold soil.

What am I, what am I to do now’

Why do I remember that song, those lyrics, but nothing else. I open my mouth and scream and I can hear myself screaming, so I am not deaf, nor mute for that matter. I start talking to myself, repeating that same line again and again.

‘What am I, what am I to do now’

I blink my eyes, vague contours start appearing in the distance, so I am not blind after all. But how did I get here and more importantly, where is here? I have no sense of time yet; apart from the breeze and my own breathing I hear nothing.

I count to 1,000. Then I open my eyes, but they start watering immediately and I rub them with my fingers, very careful not to rub soil in them. I can see more now, although there isn’t much to see. I can’t make out any trees, no scrubs or bushes, certainly nothing that looks like civilisation.

I count to 1,000 again and repeat that process, clearing my eyes more and more, until I feel I have fully regained my sight. When all colours are back, I look around, but no matter what direction I am looking, I can only see bare earth. I decide to get up, without moving from the spot I am at. Then, suddenly, another piece of the lyrics forms in my head.


‘I had this dream the other night

I had this crazy dream the other night

How I, how I arrived here’


But how did I arrive here. I close my eyes again and try to remember things. My name comes to me and what I do for a living, but it brings me no closer to how I got here. I have a normal job, certainly nothing risky. I work, or worked, for a boss. No, not a boss, but a landowner, but I got paid good wages.

I think I hear a shout, just one shout, no shouting. A war-cry more like and once again I open my eyes, expecting to be where I came from, but there is nothing.

Despite all the uncertainty of where I am, how I got there, I feel good. I have a happy feeling running through me. It doesn’t feel to me as if I was in the middle of a warzone, the where I ran from. I can’t even describe it in my head. I just know I had a good feeling or time just before I ran.

I scream again, louder this time, but I know I am not making any sense. Running, not running, happy, not happy. If I can’t make any sense in my head now, what am I going to tell to people, should I meet them. Then I hear a different sound. A bird, or at least, it sounds like a bird. I scan the air all around me and for a split-second I think I am making it up, that it is something in my head, maybe something from where I came from.

Then I hear that same shriek again, louder this time, and far in the distance I can see a bird flying towards me. It must be huge as I can see it clearly, even though I think to realise it is still some distance away. Not that I have much of a sense of distance, I can see as far as the horizon, without anything giving me that sense of distance or perspective.

I hardly have time to react to what follows, barely do I realise it is not a bird, but a dragon, rapidly approaching me. And at that exact moment I see it is carrying someone, a warrior and he is firing something at me.

I turn to run, run away from here and never to be found.













A song comes to mind as I regain my senses:


‘I wish I was a better man……’


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgYXujykMVc
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
First of February, already. 2020. 01-02-2020.

Just a short piece today and for the first time not one followed by a piece of my writing. It's a busy weekend, sports-wise. I absolutely love watching sports. I have a seasonticket for my local football-team and have had it since 1974. That's football played with feet and not with hands. And I know that people from the US call it something different, but they're literally the only people in the world. For me it's always been football (Dutch: voetbal). I'm actually a very fanatic fan of two teams, one here, one in England. And a couple of years ago that team from England won the Permier League, to crown themselves champions in England. At the time I did write a piece about it, and perhaps I'll post it here some day.

But this weekend is jam-packed with all sorts of sports. In Switzerland it's the World Championships Cyclo-cross. German TV has, like most weekends in winter, two full days of all kinds of wintersports. And I believe that tomorrow-night the US comes to a standstill for the batte for the Vince Lombardi-trophy.
For me though, the main event is the start of the Rugby Six Nations. And not that I need an excuse to go to the pub, but in an hour or so I'm off to my local Irish Pub (If you ever make it to Eindhoven, O'Sheas Irish Pub is the place to be), meeting up with friends and spending 6, 7 hours there, drinking and watching Rugby.

Not that I understand the rules. I sort of do, but not entirely, there's all sorts of little things that people have tried telling me a fair few times and every time I forget. It's fun though, especially the match later on between Ireland and Scotland. I doubt I'll be able to write anything meaningful tonight, beer will flow richly. But if I manage, I'll give you lot the result.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Second of February, 2020. 02-02-2020.

A lots of two's and zeros. It's half an hour after midday and I'm feeling pretty alright, considering how much I drank yesterday. But it was fun, the company was more than pleasant, as with people you don't see that often, catching up is good. But today is going to be a very lazy day, write some, chat some, and that's about it. The weather outside is vile, it's dark and raining. A typical day to do nothing.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Third of February, 2020, 03-02-2020.

Rereading that short bit of yesterday, I can tell that I totally wasn't with it. I missed that yesterday's date was a perfect palindrome. No matter how you note your dates, wherever in the world, it was a palindrome. And the last time that had happened was in the year 1111. The next time will be in December 2121, when it's 12-12-2121. But after that it will be in 3030.

Of course, this is all under the assumption that we're using the Christian calendar. Muslims and Jews are in different years, for they use different counting.
Even our calendar isn't exactly the way it started out as. Somewhere along the line some days gone missing and we're also taking the wrong starting point. But that's a discussion I'm not going to have here. I have my opinion about it, and others will have another opinion.

Tomorrow another day. Because time never stops.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Fourth of February, 2020. 04-02-2020.

I've been roleplaying for a very long time, I've said that before. But in all those years I've never used premade characters. There's one character who I have tried used in a host of roleplays, but for some reason they never really materialize into something good and long. Perhaps it's the character, perhaps it's my writing. Maybe it's me. But I don't want to write about my failures in roleplaying at the moment.
I'm always intrigued by names. How people get to their username for instance, and even more, how they pick the names for their characters. It's rare that I ask them about either. I accept whatever name the females use for themselves or use for their characters.

For my username, I''ve used a character from a bookseries that in my opinion is the very best fantasy series ever written. The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson. The irony is that Tanakalian in the books is a coward, totally the opposite to what I am and the characters I portray. As a Dominant I am everything the title states. But I love to use names for characters that are contrary to what they were.

I have used the name of an Italian judge as character in a mafia-type role. The one I mentioned above. But I have recently changed his name to that of a former football-player (our way football). Coming from a completely different era as many others here (and on other RP websites, over the years) I have used a lot of real life men's names, actors, authors, writers, sports-people, but also the occasional play on characters from books. So if you ever write with me, and you're curious where I got my character's name from, do a google search. But, I must warn you, none of the characters I have are based on the people wearing the original name.
That's something else I have deep respect for. People having a host of pre-made characters, with a whole life behind it. I am by far not good enough a writer to be able to do that. For every play that I start, I decide on plotting, what MC is going to be like. Most features are similar, with some changes, but never drastically. I just wouldn't know how to write a dwarf, or a human person under 6 feet. But once again, it's a whole different story.

Anyone, it's Tuesday, cards-night. A traditional game from here, although I've been told it has variants around the world. But this game is only played in my region in the country.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Fifth of February 2020, 05-02-2020.

My mum started training this morning for the 104th Nijmegen Four Day Marches (Vierdaagse - Home), For her it will be her 15th time taking part. Because of her age, she's allowed to do the 30 (four days, Tuesday to Friday, 30kms a day). If I would walk I would have to do 40kms. Men under 50, but above 18, have to do 50kms a day. I've done the Four Day a couple of years ago, and although I love the walking, there's all sorts of side things I cannot stand.
Anyway, my mum will walk again and I am tagging along for the training. And we started off with a small round. For a first training, 12 kms is a good start (roughly 8 miles). And we walked the Ring Road of Eindhoven. The only ring-road in the Netherlands where you actually can keep driving without having to go onto another road. And then again, technically it's not a perfect ring, for it's more of an oval. An egg, so to speak. On the inside it's 12.3kms, on the outside it's 12.9kms.

Gradually, in the coming months, we'll be increasing the distance we train, to end up with a couple of 30kms walks. But that's for in a few months.

For me, walking comes as natural as anything. 95% of me going to places I do by foot. I live so close to the city-centre that the nearest bus stop is actually *in* the city centre. It's half an hour walk to my mum's place and my social life is within that distance. I have a few friends living in other cities and then I take the train, to walk from the train-stations to their places. And on a few rare occasions I borrow my mum's car to go somewhere. Not owning a car is probably something strange to most Americans, as it will be for most Brits. When I lived in England I had a car as well, for it was impossible to get around.
Over here, in the Netherlands, public transport is highly sophisticated and still we Dutch complain a lot about it. I think everyone would. Too expensive, too much delays, trains or buses too full. When there's a bit of snow, half the country starts panicking. I think anyone knows the signs.

But I don't have any of those problems, for I walk everywhere. I try to walk at least an hour per day, unless of course the weather is really shit (and that happens a lot here). One of the main advantages I have here, is that I live in one of the flattest countries in the world. I can't go hiking anywhere, because hiking for me implies mountains and we haven't got any of those. The highest point in the Netherlands is a little over 1,057 feet above sea-level. I'm sure there are people here who live higher than that. But it makes my country fantastic for long distance walking.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Sixth of February 2020, 06-02-2020.

In a conversation that I just started with someone, hopefully resulting in a roleplay, the matter of descriptive writing came up. I have always described my characters, rather than using face-claims. I wouldn't know how to insert pictures for one, but I never know until I start writing what my character will be like. Yeah, roughly they're of average height (for the Netherlands), so 6''5" and medium-built. Your average guy basically. Often I have a name first, before I have a character. But that wasn't what I was going to say.
I love to describe the places in a play as well. Unfortunately, they're never really of importance, so there's no need for it. I mean, a large mansion in a forest is just that (I love that location). But a roleplay which is set in an existing city, I will make sure that everything I write is accurate.

Take Paris for example, if at a certain point there is a scene in Montmartre and MC is leading the opposing character on a tour through the small streets, I have google maps open, to make sure that everything is as it is now. And that I won't locate a bookstore where there's a florists or a bakery. And if I then write that MC is taking the other character for lunch, it will be in an existing restaurant and the food I describe being served will actually be on their menu, the moment I write such a scene. I can't stand myself if things aren't accurate, because I would definitely check it myself. Especially in current day and age, with google maps, or comparable websites, please make sure it's accurate.

In my plays I write about places I've never visited and most likely never will visit. I'm not a traveller, I'm a tourist. And I know that a lot of people will disagree with my definition, for they will say that anyone holidaying in another place is a traveller. (I know that in English a gypsy is also called a traveller, but it is not that definition I am using). I call myself a tourist, for the simple fact I only stay in Europe for my holidays. A traveller, like for instance my brother is, goes other continents as well.
I have been outside Europe once, for my honeymoon (I am divorced now and have been for a number of years), to Cuba. A delightful country. And Cuba, amongst a few other places, I have mentioned in a piece I wrote a few years ago.

The places I describe only have meaning for me, most of you will never see them with their own eyes, but I hope that the piece gives you some joy in reading.
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Talking about the subject of travelling abroad, there are two types of people. Those who travel for work and those who travel for pleasure (i.e. holiday) Work and fun are sometimes combined, but the distinction remains. Within the group that travels for pleasure, you can make another two groups, which will be questioned by some. By far not everyone will agree to my split in that group and I doubt if my definition will be found in a dictionary or encyclopedia.

I separate the tourists from the travelers. Travelers, in my opinion go to place far and wide. Coming from a small country in North-Western Europe, a traveler for me visits places on other continents. One such people is my brother, who has been to Australia, Zimbabwe, Costa Rica and Vietnam, to name but a few, inside and outside of Europe. I myself, on the other hand, consider myself a tourist. I have been outside of Europe just the one time, to visit Cuba, but I really prefer to stay in Europe. There are so many cities, villages & towns, in so many different countries of Europe that I haven’t seen yet, but are high on my to-go-to- list.

But, having said that and within the limits of not having seen a lot of the world, there are some places that I want to mention. It is not a list of recommendations, of places one really should visit. It is merely a list of personal favourites, of places dear to me and of which I have a lot of fond memories, and thus the reason for sharing them with you, my dear reader.

Please expect not too much from this list, there’s only a few places on it, and many of you will never be able to visit them. The list will be in no particular order!

I’m starting off with the city I love the most, the city I was born and raised and where I have moved back to a couple of years ago, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. But it is not the Eindhoven that you will find on any current map, no, I am talking about the Eindhoven prior to 1921, when the city as it currently exists was formed by merging (my) Eindhoven, with the villages surrounding it, now areas within the city borders (Woensel, Strijp, Gestel and a few others). It is also not current Eindhoven city-centre, as parts of it are now classed to be part of the surrounding areas. The high-railroad (as it is called locally) changed the borders slightly. I could drop many streetnames that make me utterly happy, but I will suffice by mentioning two of my favourite bars, De Kram & The Wildeman, which both are perfect for taking a book with many pages to, sitting down, reading and delving into other worlds. Among the bustling business of the city centre, yet worlds apart. I’ll sit down and finish those books within a day.

But even, without a book, and just sitting down on Market square, closing my eyes and listening to the world around me, makes me very very happy.

The second place I want to mention, is Havana, capital city of Cuba and as I said before, it’s the only place I’ve been outside of Europe. More specifically, a park on the south-side of the city (Parque Metroipotano). Foreign visitors rarely go there, it’s a place for the locals, and as we were told the place to go for couples and lovers. Apart from the many touristic sites in Havana, that place is a real must for me.

Imagine yourself on an airplane, because we are travelling East. From Havana, we are going to Crete. Very close to its capital Heraklion, in the direction of the tourist-villages Stalis and Malia. To the South of those villages is a plateau which has remained in eras long past. In some of the villages, when driving through there, the only other means of transport are donkeys and there are more windmills than even the postcards will make you think. For a modern, Western visitor, it’s a shock to the system, but for the locals it’s life as they know it and it will be remain the same in 50 or 100 years from now.

The majority of the places I love are in France, which is not that crazy a thought as we (my parents, my brother and I) went on holiday there for the best part of my youth. And besides one year to visit the castles in the valley near the river Loire, we have always traveled to the South, the Provence.

But, the first place I am mentioning isn’t a village or a city, it isn’t touristy, you cannot camp there or even stay there to look around. It’s a stretch of motorway called The Highway to the Sun (Autoroute du Soleil). That motorway starts in North-Eastern Belgium and finishes in the South of France. But the stretch I’m referring to, is an old part of it straight through the city of Lyon. That stretch takes you from the left bank to the right bank along the river Rhone and through various tunnels. These days there is a new shiny, fancy ringroad around Lyon, but I never take it, I will still drive the old road, because from a young age, I always felt that the holiday was really starting, driving on that particular stretch.

The second area to mention is called Vaucluse, French department number 84, and I could mention all cities and villages in it, but I will limit myself now to the few square miles between Carpentras and Mont Ventoux. The Ventoux is world famous as (professional) cycling mountain, but the whole area that side is part of the little village of Bedoin. The name Mont (mountain) Ventoux, is derived from the Old Provencal word for ‘windy mountain’.

But Bedoin, a village I have been to on many an occasion, a village, even though touristic as can be, has not changed a lot. In like, ever. On a Monday-morning, when it’s market day, I start off with a strong noir, a little cup of strong black coffee, on the terrace of Le Relais du Ventoux, the big pub in the middle of the village. With next to it, the small square, where Pierre used to have his pizza truck. A food-truck 25 years before they became so fashionable. Pierre these days has a pizzeria, near the second square in the village, the one where all the petanque-tournaments are being held.

The one thing that stands out on the Monday-market in Bedoin, but of course that goes for all the markets in the Provence, are the vibrant colours of fruit, vegetables and herbs.

There can be years between two visits to Bedoin, but the people will still remember you from last time and the village will mostly remain the same. It’s been a fair few years I have been, and I wonder if they have finally done up the old cemetary near the Church. I doubt it, they have been talking to do the place up for 30 years now.

A little bit further South, we arrive at the triangle Marseille – Aix-en-Provence – Aubagne. Maresille with its old harbour and the fancy parks, Aix, oh Aix, with its magnificient Cours Mirabeau, by a country mile the most beautiful boulevard in France and Aubagne? Ah. I think Aubagne needs a little bit more clarification. Aubagne is the city of Marcel Pagnol, one of the most famous writers from the South of France.

Just read the few (autobiographical) books, ‘La gloire de mon père’ (The glory of my father) and ‘Le chateau de ma mère’ (The castle of my mother) and then go on a roundtrip by car, to stop from time to time in the small villages and places Pagnol mentions in those books.

One of those villages is probably the tiniest you will stop at, La Treille, where Pagnol is buried next to his best friend from his youth, Lili des Bellons (who died in the trenches of Northern France, far from his beloved South, during World War I), reunited as friends.

There are two more places I want to mention. The first being Ghent in Belgium and its bordering village Gentbrugge. I used to have a few good friends there and have been there on many occasions. They have shown me many, very non-touristic places, in the city that have become familiar to me and will always remain in my heart.

The last place I am going to mention is one where I am not going to tell where it is. It really isn’t that important. It’s a little fence, maybe 3 meters wide, if that, but it has one of the most idyllic views over the fields, especially on a sunny summer’s night. It was the favourite place of a man I am extremely proud of having known and I hope that one day it will be the favourite place of a young boy who has the world and the future at his feet.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Seventh of February 2020, 07-02-2020.

Today is the birthday of the oldest brother of my mom. He'll be 76, which is only two years younger than their father, my grandfather, was when he died. Since my own father died, in 2005, I have no contact with that side of the family, so I'm going to discard them all.
My grandfather, my mom's dad, reached the highest age of all my grandparents, but my uncle is well on his way to beat that. And my own mother even more. She was born in liberated Eindhoven, in 1944, 10 days after the end of the war for us.

When I was born, in 1967, my mom was 22, which in my current eyes is incredibly young. But in the Netherlands of those days, especially in the Catholic South where I hail from, marriage was the only (legal) way for lovers to be together. That changed during the 1970s onwards, nowadays it is very rare for Dutch girls to have kids at that age. Teenage moms are even rarer. But that's not what I wanted to write about today.

Age is a funny thing. I remember when I was a kid, nine, perhaps ten years old and the way I looked at people, older people in those days is totally different than I do now. It's all a matter of perspective. When you're ten, your parents are old, your grandparents are ancient and beyond that, there's nothing (of course, the occasioanl kid who has a living great-grandparent, but you know exceptions make the rule). By the time I hit 21, in my days that was a significant date, now it isn't anymore, now it's 18), my parents were still old, but not as much as, and my grandparents had all but 1 (my grandfather) died. So in the perspective of those days, by the time you hit 60, you die.

My own fatherr was cursed with a bad heart. He had his first heart-attack at the age of 34, and for me reaching that age without any problems was another big thing. My mom was in her fifties at that time, and still young in my mind, even though when i was ten and my grandparents were in their fifties, they were ancient. You get where this is going? When I reached 50, a couple of years ago, I could not believe how young I felt. And even more how young I looked and still look. I am very often mistaken for a man a decade younger than what's in my passport. On average, people that don't know me, guess my age early 40s. It very often surprises me how old others look who are the same age, or even younger than I am.

Last year I was at my local Irish pub and there was a group of women. They were too old for a hen night (although it happens more with adults these days) and upon my question what the party was for, I was pointed at one of them, who was celebrating her birthday. I had a look at her and was convinced that it was her 60th birthday. Turns out it was her 50th, so in my shocked reaction, all I could stumble was, 'Gosh, I hadn't expected that'. They saw that as a compliment, that I said she looked younger for her age. I didn't correct them, especially not after I was given a pint of lager.

It's all a matter of perspective. You know your own age, you know what you look like and then guess other people's ages from that starting point. I'm 52 now and I am convinced I will hit 100. What my life will be like, I have no idea. Not much different from now I think. Still no money, but I don't need it, I manage very well with the little funds that I have. I am healthy, I never have any diseases or illnesses. I know hospitals only from the outside. But I wonder how I will look at people who are 50 by that time, will they still feel to be young? Or old? Only time will tell.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Eighth of February 2020, 08-02-2020.

I was wrong about something in my post yesterday. It wasn't my uncles 76th birthday, but his 77th. So next year in August he'll have reached the exact age his father was when he died. But it was fun going there, I got to drive a bit again, taking my mum. Dutch birthdays are weird. Not for us of course, if I had never lived outside of the Netherlands, or been with foreign girls, I'd never have known how weird they are.

A typical Dutch birthday. Let's take mine as example, which is later in the year.
A couple of weeks before my birthday, I send all my family and friends an invite, to come to my place, from a certain time to a certain time on either my birthday itself, or in the weekend. It depends if my friends and family have to work or not. In the week before my birthdau I make a calculated guess of how many people will be coming. And so I go do shopping to make sure that everybody will have enough to drink and to eat (depending on the times I invite people for). If I'm lucky I will get a few presents, but that's not a given.

So basically, it's MY birthday and I am expected to spend a ton of money to keep everybody happy! I'm pretty sure that none of you celebrate your birthdays like that (unless of course you're aslo Dutch and you'll be grinning in recognition).
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Ninth of February 2020, 09-02-2020.

We're having a storm in northwest Europe today and possibly into tomorrow morning. Storm is a relative word. What we call storm, folk in tornado-alley will probably call a breeze. But for us, windspeeds and gusts of up to 100 mph is very severe and very rare. There was a major storm, mainly with wind in 1992, which caused severe damage, but the one of today so far is only causing disruption. Trees falling down on everything they shouldn't. Europe is much more built up than tornado alley is of course, so trees here fall on houses and cars. But everybody's been warned and so far (knock on wood) nobody's been injured (as far as I know).

For wind and windspeeds there's a scale we use that runs from zero to 12. Windforce 12 is the most extreme and heaviest, but also the rarest. But our windforce 12 wouldn't even make it on the Fujitsu scale. The Fujitsu scale is used to measure windspeeds at tornados and cyclones and was invented by a Japanese man. The ironic thing is that it's used world-wide, apart from in Japan. The Americans know of it by the F plus number notation for tornados and hurricanes. The heaviest so far an F5. I've heard that with global warming and more severe and more damaging weather there could well come an F6 in the upcoming years.

People in northwestern Europe have been warned not to go outside, unless absolutely necessary, and so I'm staying inside and watch sports on TV.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Tenth of February 2020, 10-02-2020

Storm Ciara has passed, or rather, shifted upwards to Norway, but we're having the remnants of it. Where I am it seems all fine, but a friend of mine landed at the national airport on their way back from a holiday in Costa Rica. Bumpy landing, he said, meaning it was crap, but they landed safely, which is the main thing.

Somewhere during the night, I had a good idea of what I was going to write today, but I have completely forgotten about it. It'll come back to me. It wasn't date related, so if I post it whenever it comes back it'll be fine as well. Instead I'm going to post something that a very dear friend of mine wrote. She is one of the most creative people I have ever met. Her head always full of ideas. She has the most magical plot-ideas for group roleplays (she wouldn't fit here, as she's totally not into erotic roleplaying), she knits for fun. For Christmas she made me an elephant, which I was superhappy with, since I collect elephants (I've got about 900, but that's for another piece). She knows how to do coding, she creates her own user-made Pokemon worlds We've written a story together that was her entry for another site. No idea what's come of that, but it's got a good outline for an eventual book.

Yesterday she sent me a little poem and I asked her permission to share it with you all, which she gave me. One of her usernames at another RP-site (where we met) is Bat, which suits her very well. I really hope you lot like it as much as I did, for I think it's fabulous.

It's called Names:

Names:
Funny little things,
Aren't they?

They are given to us
- they are forced upon us -
At birth,
But for what?

We don't use them:
We have no reason to use them.
They are
Simply
How others choose to identify us.

And they can change;
People change what they call us.

Nicknames:
Words that only certain people
Have the privilege to use for us.

But then again,
We can choose what we are called:
It may cost to change officially,
But we can still ask that
People call us certain things.

Reasons of changing our names
Can range from:
The meaning
To simply having something that
We feel fits us much better.

Or it can be much more significant.

Standing in the middle of a coffee shop,
A young person waits.
They just ordered a coffee.
"Your name, please?"
They take a breath:
The name they had been given at birth
Was Lewis.
"Nancy," they answer.
The first time she's uttered that name out loud.
It was terrifying, but it was needed.
Like many before her,
She chose this place for that milestone.

Names are so important,
So vital to our identity,
And they can change,
And change our identity.

Names:
Funny little things,
Aren't they?
 
OP
Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Eleventh of February 2020, 11-02-2020.

Very short message today, the weather is weird today. Rain, hail, sleet, sun and still a lot of wind. Apparently it was supposed to ease down this afternoon, but I'm not seeing anything of it. And where it's 7C today, by Sunday we're going to have 14C. No idea what that is in Fahrenheit. Google it, lol.

But it's warm inside and I have wonderful company online, what more can I wish for. Tomorrow probably a longer piece. I'll have more time to think and to write.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Twelfth of February 2020, 12-02-2020

There is a thread in the General Discussion part about games played as a kid. When I first saw that thread, it made me smile. Let me start by saying that I'm not a gamer and I've never been one. I've played games, a lot of them, throughout my youth, right up to now. But the games from my youth were boardgames. You know, the old-fashioned ones, Monopoly, Cluedo, Scrabble, stuff like that. Real boardgames. And we used to play cards a lot at home. The same local card-game that I now play on Tuesday-evenings. Or rather, local, it's played in the South of the Netherlands and the North of Belgium. According the Dutch wiki it's sort of related to whist, so undoubtedly other countries will have variants of it.

I have never in my life owned a console, so the few times I have played on such a device, I was terrible at it. But I love watching people who are skilled at consoles. Since I've got a smart-phone, I play quite a few games on there. For the past three years I've been playing a strategy game called Throne: Kingdom at War. I play a few easier, more simple games, of the match-three type, an object seeking game. All simple stuff, nothing really time and data-consuming. Every morning when I wake up and it's about time to get up, I go make myself a coffee, go back to bed and check on the games I play, while I have my coffee. I love starting my day like that.

I'll never be a top-player at whatever game I play online, for I am as it is called a non-coiner. I don't spend money on anything online, let alone games. I've mentioned it a couple of times before, I am a dinosaur in many things and proudly so. I play games for a bit of fun, to wake up for instance, and the card-night I have is just for fun and points, there's no money involved. I don't see the point in spending money on games. Sooner or later everyone gets bored, or a new game comes out, and then people have spent an x-amount of money for what? Nothing in my eyes.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Thirteenth of February 2020, 13-02-2020.

I live in the fifth largest city of the Netherlands and the largest in the south of the country. Large is a matter of perspective. Since there's not so many of us, Dutch, the city I live in is with a little over 230,000 classed as large, whereas in other countries that's seen as a smaller city. Up until 1890 it was a village, with five other villages around it. But in 1891 two brothers decided that Eindhoven was *the* place to set up their new factory, producing light-bulbs. The rest, as they say, is history. In 1920, this year exactly a century ago, because of the expanding light-bulb factory, the village of Eindhoven annexed the five other villages, to form the new city of Eindhoven. I say that Eindhoven was a village, but technically it wasn't. It gained city rights in 1232. From the five biggest cities nowadays, it was the second after Utrecht to get city-rights. Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, the other three in the list of five got theirs much later, The Hague only in the 19th century.

The two brothers who started the light-bulb company lept expanding it, and their offspring even more. It's name is very famous these days around the globe. I can safely bet that any person on this site has at least once in their lives held a product from said company. The name? Philips Electronics. Yes, *that* Philips. But there's something really worth noting about the two brothers. Or rather, about a full first cousin of them. Gerard & Anton Philips (the two brothers) are full cousins of Karl Marx. You know, the one who wrote Das Kapital. Marx wrote large parts of his book with the origins of communism, in the garden of his uncle, the father of Gerard & Anton, who founded one of the most capitalist companies in the world. I find that ironic.

But I'm deviating from what I wanted to write. Eindhoven has now grown into a large city, with a lot of foreign employees. Philips has long split itself into various other companies, their core business is medical systems, the ones you and I only will get in contact with inside a hospital. The region here is calling itself Brainport these days. It's a referrence to the Airport of Schiphol (near Haarlem) which is a hub for a lot of import and export of goods, as is Rotterdam Seaport. The Brainport region is responsible for over 70% of all R&D in the Netherlands, companies like ASML, but a lot of others too, need high tech people. And we haven't got enough of them.

So, on a normal Friday or Saturday-night, if you walk through the city center, Dutch is not the language you'll hear. I sometimes think I'm the *only* Dutch person walking around (which of course isn't true). Spanish, English, French, Indian, Chinese, German, you name it, it's all spoken. Apart from on the days that PSV, one of the two local football teams (our way football, with feet), plays. Whether at home or away, the city is then flocking with fans who either go to the ground or watch at the various pubs and bars in the city center. Those various bars and pubs is a story on itself. Eindhoven has the most per capita of the Netherlands, something that very little people know. Perhaps another time.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Fourteenth of February 2020, 14-02-2020

It was never a question what I was going to write about today. But, being the man I am, I wanted to do a bit of research on the subject, Saint Valentine. The places to go for me, in researching about a (supposedly) historical figure are wiki. The Dutch one and the English one. And they differ immensely on the person(s) of Valentine. Is that surprising? Yes and no. But today I am tending to believe the Dutch version.

It is clear that in 496AD Pope Gelasius I declared February 14th as the name day for someone named Valentine. A martyr, a saint. But that's where both versions go apart. The English version of wiki has that Valentine was a 'widely recognized 3rd century Roman saint. A clergyman, perhaps a priest or a bishop. That in itself is strange in my ears. What was he? A priest or a bishop? Those are two quite significantly different roles within the Catholic Church.
In the earliest list of Roman martyrs, the Chronography of 354 (AD), there is no mention of a Valentine, even if it is suggested by the English wiki that he was widely recognized. Sure.

No then the Dutch version. Valentine, the one who was made a saint by Pope Gelasius I in 496 could be one of three, or four, possible clergymen with that name. The first, and second, or the first and second together, it is not clear whether the two are actually the same person, are Valentine of Rome, a priest and Valentine of Terni, a bishop. Both were prosecuted and killed during the times of Emperor Glaudius II Gothicus (268-270). The third possible Valentine is of Rethia, but his name day is the 7th of February and often mistaken for and with the first two.
The fourth however, was probably bishop of a (now) Belgian place called Tongeren, and at his death, it is said that he put his staff on the altar, and an angel picked it up. 'His deeds will only be known to God'.

It's that last line that comes back in the English version, when Pope Gelasius declared Valentine a saint, virtually nothing was known about him, but 'his deeds shall only be known to God'.

There is nothing known about Valentine and his life and who he was exactly. So everything is sort of made up. The whole he was the patron saint of lovers, is probably also made up. But it's a long way from 496AD to a certain point in (probably) the US, when some advertiser thought, there's nothing much to do in February, let's get something commercial. And there were these rumours and scribbles about a potential patron saint of lovers. Tadaa!

I really think that if you need today to declare your love to someone, there's something wrong with your relationship. This year has 366 days, 366 days to declare to the person you are with, the one you call your partner, to say that you love them. To give them presents, small or big, to shower them with kisses and to give them their every need and desire. Don't stick to today.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Fifteenth of February 2020, 15-02-2020.

Typical Saturday for me. Getting up early, having a shower, making my shopping list. Sending an app to my mum at 8.30, so she comes to pick me up to do our weekly shopping. Ever since I'm back from England, we're doing our shopping together. Have a coffee before actually getting everything we need. A bit of a catch-up, even though we have a lot of contact. I tell my mum practically everything. She knows about BMR, and the kind of RP's I have. I also have never made a secret of my sexual preferences. She doesn't understand all of it, but she accepts it. As long as I'm happy and I can make a girl happy.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about today. Last night I was at my local, where a friend of mine runs the place. Typical Friday-night, having a coffee or two and then a beer or two, talk to a few people. I was there for a couple of hours. But at some point, my friend tells everyone in the bar that there's a problem. His pin machine isn't working. Or rather, a problem, he called this security company who would have to either repair it online or come out. But I never made it that late. And thus I didn't pay, because I didn't have cash with me. The thing is, there's was no problem me not paying last night. I know it will sound strange for a lot of you, quite a few Dutch bars and pubs still work with a tab. I've known my friend for around 25 years now, so I'll just pay him next time

Which will be tomorrow-night, lol.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Sixteenth of February 2020, 16-02-2020.

For the second Sunday in a row, we have a storm coming in from the west. In most countries here it's called Dennis. Last week's was called Ciara. So a female C and a male D. The next one will be a female E. In Germany however, they will be naming this storm differently. Because it's a low-pressure storm, it will be a female name, and it will be named after the female who sponsor the storm. Last week it was a woman called Sabrina, who paid 224 euro to have her name linked to the storm. If it's a high-pressure storm, they are named after men, and they also have to pay more for it. No idea what their reasoning behind it is.

But I'm inside, and watching ski flying on German TV. Sky flying is a variant on ski jumping, with the biggest difference the length of the hill. And of course the distance reached. With ski jumping the distances go somewhere up to 140 to 150 meters, but with ski flying the world record stands at 253,5 meter. Two hundred and fifty three meters. It's more than an eighth of a mile. Flying through the air, on two skis. But it's fabulous to watch.
Th ironic thing is that I don't like snow at all. But i love watching wintersports, which involve a lot of snow.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Seventeenth of February 2020, 17-02-2020.

In the Netherlands, and more particularly the souther half of the country, the date November 11th is a very important date. It is not to commemorate the end of WW1, for the Dutch were neutral during that war. No, for our parts of the world, but some other parts as well, November 11th marks the start of the Carnaval-season. Because, 11 is the mad number. Or, roughly otherwise said, The Jester's number. And two 11s, well, that's just topping it.

Carnaval is, these days, a period of three, four or five days, before Lent. With Lent being a forty day period of fasting, leading up to Good Friday and Easter. Don't take the fasting all too serious, over here, where I hail from, it's not even done much anymore, but my parents used to tell that during that forty day period, they had to put all their candy and sweets in a box. And having said that, it shall come as no surprise that Carnaval is, predominantly, celebrated by Roman Catholics. Everywhere in the world, where there was a large community of RC's, there's some form of Carnaval, with Ireland the biggest exception. That could be, possibly, because Ireland as a country doesn't exist for that long, just a mere century (ROI), before that they were part of the UK and they are Anglcan.

This year, Carnaval in our parts of the world, is celebrated from this coming Friday, the 21st of February, until Tuesday next week, the 25th of February. And for my postings this week, I will delve deeper into what Carnaval is, where it stems from and how it's celebrated in various countries of the world. Because I really love it. And every person should at least once in their lives be part of it.

For today, just one more addition, the oldest reference to Carnaval is some 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia, making it, just like a lot of other holidays, a heathen feast, adopted by the Church. Sounds familiar, doesn't it. Take for instance Christmas. Food for thought, it is.
 
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Tanakalian

Tanakalian

Dreamwalker
Joined
Dec 11, 2019
Location
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Eighteenth of February 2020, 18-02-2020.

As I said yesterday, a heathen feast which we can sort of derive to current day Carnaval was first mentioned in Mesopotamia. The next reference known is from the 11th, 12th century when in certain parts of Europe there was a festive day where Lords became Peasants and the other way around. Other explanations are to do with the end of winter, to push darkness away. In more protestant countries it is called Shrovetide (the English still have Pancake day).

In 1605 a poem (as found on the English wiki page) went as following:

What, are there masques? Hear you me, Jessica:
Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum
And the vile squealing of the wry-nck'd fife,
Clamber not you up o the casements then,
Nor thrust your head into the public street
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces


But, I want to leave history as it is, and go into the modern day Carnaval as I know it. Carnaval as it is celebrated in the South of the Netherlands, Belgium and Western Germany. That however, is for tomorrow.
For Carnaval should be known to most of you. Mardi Gras is a form of Carnaval, and the most exotic of them all is that in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro with its big parade is famous. The Venice Carnaval, typical with their masks is very famous as well, but strangely enough it has only been reinstated in 1979 (after it was forbidden by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1797). Less known, but still famous is the Parade of Nice.

One type of Carnaval that I want to put attention to here, is that of Cape Verdi's Sao Vicente. And not by talking about it, but by sharing a song. Enjoy!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmDLZORG6Cg
 
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