Category Archives: Family

There and Back Again

We went away at Easter. The impetus for the weekend away was the fact that a good friend of ours was celebrating his 80th birthday in Brighton, and we thought, why not celebrate with him? We put the dogs into … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Travel | 2 Comments

Half and Half

Someone asked me last night how long I had been living here in the Netherlands, and I replied: “35 years”. “So, for half your life?” he asked. And up until that moment I had not thought about it, but he’s … Continue reading

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A New Arrival

It’s been almost a year since we had to have our Labrador, Kai, put to sleep. We miss him a lot, although our other Labrador, Watson, seems much more sanguine about it. In the beginning we didn’t actively think about … Continue reading

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RIP Kai

We had the older of our two Labradors put to sleep this morning. He was 14 years and two months old, which for a Labrador, is a long life. I think we can say that he had a good life … Continue reading

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The UN Goes Bollywood

The UN Human Rights Office has made the first ever Bollywood music video for gay rights as part of their Free & Equal initiative:   With my Indian ancestry, I thought it rather charming and sweet…

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Mellow Fruitfulness

At the moment, we’re seeing Keats’s poem “To Autumn” come to life all around us. We’re harvesting our fruit trees and shrubs. This year we have a bumper crop of plums, pears, elderberries and blackberries, backed up by a reasonable … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food and drink, Hobbies, Nature | 2 Comments

Remembrance Day

I travelled to Scotland last week for a funeral. It was not an unexpected trip, but one that came too soon, nonetheless. David, my niece’s husband, was diagnosed with a brain tumour a year ago, and he died peacefully, with … Continue reading

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Parenthood Is No Place For Perfectionists

While still shaking my head over the idiocy of David Jones, who claims that two same-sex partners cannot provide a warm and safe environment for their children, I came across a new book written by Andrew Solomon: Far From the … Continue reading

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A New Arrival

Our nearest neighbours, Herman and José are currently celebrating (and having sleepless nights) because José gave birth to their second child last Tuesday. Her name is Linde. Yesterday, as is traditional around these parts, we, the neighbours, assembled to erect … Continue reading

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A Letter to a Mother

Abdellah Taïa wrote a letter to his mother. A letter in which he explained his homosexuality to her. I regret that I cannot fully understand the French of the original letter, but this translation retains, I think, much of the … Continue reading

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Onward Christian Soldiers…

I see that the Church of England has now formally submitted its response to the UK Government’s consultation on same-sex marriage. They’re against it. If I were a Christian, like Giles Fraser, then, like him, I would be both ashamed … Continue reading

Posted in Family, LGBT Politics, Society | 3 Comments

Tracing The Family Tree

I’ve mentioned my family tree on the blog before. That post got responses from distant relatives whom I never knew I had. So here’s another post, prompted by my brother and one of my cousins, in the hope that we … Continue reading

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Beside the Seaside…

We paid a short visit to friends in The Hague last weekend. The city lies on the North Sea coast, and many of its inhabitants go for weekend walks in the dunes or along the beach – usually whatever the … Continue reading

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The Sins of the Fathers

Richard Dawkins writes about the phone calls he received recently from journalist Adam Lusher, who began the first call somewhat as follows: “We’ve been researching the history of the Dawkins family, and have discovered that your ancestors owned slaves in … Continue reading

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“The Consequences Are Real”

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: I’m very lucky to be able to live in a country that has Civil Marriage for both same-sex and different sex couples. Some countries have only Civil Partnerships for same-sex couples, … Continue reading

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The Buurt’s New Baby

It’s become something of a tradition here in this part of the Netherlands that when a baby is born, the neighbours (the buurt) will celebrate the fact by erecting a wooden stork, festooned with clotheslines of baby clothes. This week, … Continue reading

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The Lace Anniversary

Last Sunday, the 12th June, we celebrated our 13th (Lace) Wedding Anniversary. Our combined ages are now 120 years, we’ve been together for (almost) 30 years, and this is our fifth year of living in our farmhouse, De Witte Wand. … Continue reading

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Over The First Hurdle

Watson and I have been doing the first set of Dog Agility lessons. Yesterday evening came the moment I was rather dreading – the exam. However, I needn’t have worried Watson came through and did us proud – he passed … Continue reading

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How Times Change

I see that the Isle of Man will make civil partnerships available to gay couples living there as from next month. This is only five years after civil partnerships were introduced into UK law. I find that surprisingly speedy for … Continue reading

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The Wedding Party–A Mystery Solved

I’ve got a pile of postcards and old photos that I inherited from my father. Many of the postcards he collected from places that he visited around the world, when he was a merchant seaman in the 1920s and 1930s. … Continue reading

Posted in Events, Family, History | 22 Comments