04 March, 2015

Update day to day life II, summer 2014 - March 2015




July 24th 2014 - March 2015



I try to give an insight in my own life and dealings with rosacea. I also try to gather information that might be useful for everyone with rosacea, especially subtype 1 with burning, flushing and skin redness. I happen to be a bit unfortunate in that I have this condition for a long time already, and unlike many others, I haven't been able to get it into remission. I know it is more uplifting to read about someone who has beaten rosacea, but I like to write about the struggles that come for those who haven't achieved this. If this depresses you or scares you, it is probably best to skip my day to day life update posts here (which are only a fraction of all posts), and maybe stick to the rest of the posts, which gather information.


I realize it might feel scary to read this, compared to a happy ever after story, but rosacea comes in so many different forms, severities and variations, and there are so many ways in which you can control your rosacea (including diet, skin care, herbs and supplements, medication, IPL/laser, red light and so on) that I hope people take this blog as a source of information mostly, and an account of what it can be like to live with rosacea secondly. I am an unlucky minority, but that doesn't mean that you cannot beat this condition.

Note; I only gather personal experience, info from the net and from forums and use it for this blog. I don't do advertisement or making any money in whatever shape or form off of this blog. 

August 2014
My skin has been really good the past month. I think it looks a bit less red and more pale for a good portion of the day, although I still use a small fan often. It's rather warm but I can handle the 23 or so degrees inside, as long as I have the fan on (on low). When my skin is not red, it doesn't hurt too much. A bit of tingling and slight burning now and then, but nothing like the feeling when it is really hot (lots of heat sensations, pounding burning feeling).  What have I been doing different the past month? A couple of things. I am not sure they are the culprit and always try to be vigilant with making assumptions or conclusions, but like to share the observations I made nevertheless.





1. stopped wearing my contact lenses. I have been been wearing them since my teens and I never thought anything of it. Am having some burning eyes from occular rosacea lately, and I stopped wearing the contacts for some months now. My eyes are -2,5 so I don't see very sharply without them, but when I drive or watch tele I can put my glasses on instead. So not only did my eyes get less painful now, I also am less red. Never made a connection, and still don't think it's fair to do so now conclusively -yet- as there are so many variables that could be at play, and maybe this calm skin period is just down to the summer weather. But I I already feel I get flushed from dental materials, or from wearing a necklace or puting nail polish on my nails. Maybe, just maybe, the silicons of the contacts somehow caused some auto immune response? Since I have been diagnosed with out of whack auto-immune levels, and test showed auto immune reactions going on already. So since those contacts are also costing me a fortune, I might just stick to the glasses/poor eye sight. 

2. spraying Avene thermal water spray. I had very little expectations of a can of, basically, spring water. But a rosacea friend in the States said she used it in summer to hydrate and freshen her face, so I reckoned I should try it too. Used it in the past to no avail but I have to say, much to my own surprise, my skin seems to like it. The lady selling it had a long winding story about its proven anti inflammatory and anti redness actions, how it was all tested, scientifically proven and consists of nothing but thermal spring water. I don't know for sure if it is helping or not, but it's certainly not making my skin any worse (and I think it maybe improves it actually). I tend to spray it on twice a day.

3. exercise. I've been walking every evening, about 15 kilometers, the past 4 months. My skin can handle it when the sun is almost setting and there is a bit of a breeze. I use flat roads so I don't get too stressed and red. Feeling really so much better since doing this. In the beginning it was literally a matter of dragging myself out of the house but the past months I really got in the hang of it, I chose the deserted areas to walk where you don't meet many people, just nature and wind and the odd wild animal, I bring my stick for that. Music on mp3 and I think that the exercise and the slight loss of weight has also been helping getting some of the flushing and redness down.

4. sun exposure. Have been sunbathing my body only in the past months, whenever possible. As I described in the Vitamin D blog post here, I do this for half an hour or so a day, around noon when the sun is most strong.I noticed I was more flushy and red in the weeks where I had 20 minute 'bakes' every day, but now that I already developed the tan and can do with maybe a once a week session, my skin is lots more calm throughout the day. I reckon the build up of vitamin D3 is showing some effect now, and the initial flush from the sunning was a small trade off. I built this little place in the garden where I have my face under covers, and place a fan as well on it lol, it has become like my little extra symbiotic body part almost by now :) Having a decent body tan by now and hopefully created and cracked up the natural vitamin D3 blood levels. My face is always covered up, let me stress that again. When you get a sunburn easily, I wouldn't recommend this. I only tan (except my face, which does get a sunburn). When you use sun cream, it will block the absorption of the sun rays and the conversion of them into Vitamin D by your body. Of course; when you are out all day in the sun, I would never write or suggest to not use sun cream. But when you only are out in the sun for a mere 20 minutes a day as I am for this Vit.D 'project', and you tan naturally, then it is best to do it this way according to my immunologist and derm. In my case, I have to stress, as I have a Vit.D3 level of 6 (where it should be 50), and because I get too flushed from Vit. D3 supplements, and -as I said- because I get a protective tan instead of a sunburn on my body. On top, I responded to this Rosacea Forum post and replied there regarding sunscreen:
 "I'm actually with Davekelly on this one...[he wrote: "That's madness . Never put anything on your Face . Just wear a hat" and got some slack for it] It's a very personal thing and rosacea comes in so many grades and variations. If your skin handles sunscreen well and won't burn or sting or turn red from it, then that's great. Sure it is needed to avoid sun exposure on our faces. But there are also patients here with totally intolerable skin sensitivities, very reactive redness and flushing and for them, I agree with Dave. I can't wear any sunscreen either, they will all make my skin tons worse and for me, wearing a hat and avoiding the midday sun or staying in the shade on those hours of the day has by far been the best solution. But everybody is different. Just don't assume that because sunscreen is protective of UV rays, that it comes in a mixture that is appropriate for all rosacea skin. Have a look at even the most 'organic' brands (I ordered and tried them all over the past decade), they still often come with parabens and perfumes and oils and other potential triggers for those unfortunate enough to react to them. And the ones with the least baddies in them still mde me bright red and on fire.
I think it's fair to say that when your skin tolerates sunscreen, it is great, but when it doesn't, you are likely to worsen your rosacea substantially on a daily basis with sunscreen, no matter how noble and good its general purpose. Everyone will know for themselves in what category they fall :) Best wishes" 


5. Diet. I stay away from dairy mostly. Realized at some point that the more frozen yogurt I made in my ice machine, the more flushed and red I became. Milk and dairy products like yogurt have a lot of natural hormones from the mother cow in them, and they tend to be of the estrogen type. I assume that those hormones might stir the flushing up somehow for me. Or perhaps it has to do with some inability to digest lactose properly for me, I don't know. Just know that sticking to almond and rice milk works better for me. I now eat this usually; breakfast, a pear or peach, lunch; I make a pancake from wholegrain rice flour, almond milk, an organic egg and I put applestroop on it, a Dutch thing, made of apples and sugar beet, its very nice, would compare it to a type of fruit marmalade. Dinner is usually a stir fry of vegetables like sweet potato, courgette, broccoli, carrot, and I add olives and some dried prunes plus some organic minced beef or chicken. Occasionally fish like tuna steak or salmon. Then I every now and then make my own chocolate, or choco milk, with pure cacao powder. The home made chocolate; melt some coconut oil, add some rice flour on the stove in ir, add almond milk, sugar and cacao, keep stirring. I add a bit of tapioca to it for cohesion. Then let is warm and stir it for a good 5 minutes, then I let it cool down and out it in the freezer and in an hour or so you have great chocolate with not too much sugar and no rubbish. Read that dark chocolate has anti inflammatory properties but eating too much makes me flush so I stick to a little bit at night and skin has been calm. Loving the taste of it too :) I try to avoid gluten but when I do eat bread ever so now and then, I have no skin reaction from it. I avoid hot drinks, sugary drinks, fruit juices, multivitamins, vitamin C, zinc (they all make me flushed), coffee, spices and pork. I tend to eat things from scratch, not prepacked and always try to avopid preservatives in food. You can read more on rosacea and food in this blog post of mine. 


6. Medication. I still use clonidine, 0,075 mg 3 times a day (every 8 hours). Propranolol 40 mg at night (used to take 40 mg, every 8 hours, but I am getting away these days with a reduced dose of once daily) and mirtazapine 22,5 mg at night. Plus Xyzal 10 mg a day for allergies. Seems to be going ok so far and I intend to keep using it, as I seem to digress every time I stop using one of the meds.






Oh, and in an update on the dental issues: I still think I made the right decision there... a very tough and outrageous one, but I sensed instantly after the dental work how my entire face and forehead were burning up and getting mighty red and inflamed and in rashes. For a month at least on and, getting worse and worse to the point where even the dentist was distressed seeing my sore face, as well as my parents. The sheer hell and misery of having a face on acid-like fire 24/7 again. It is very depressing and distressing too, that this is what seems to happen with me every time I have stuff like this happening; sutures of any kind, dental fillings. But within weeks after that and the antagonizing antibiotics, my skin just calmed down again instantly..  And its about ten shades calmed and less red since than it was in the months January-March 2014, when all this was at play. I almost developed this zero
tolerance thing; nothing can mess up the balance I have finally found with my rosacea. That balance consists of needing a small fan, needing to avoid my triggers, spending insane amounts of time indoors during the warmer months, accepting flares but having a relative calm, relative pain free and controlled rosacea face most of the time. I don't panic anymore when I flare as I by now understand the triggers and know how to cool it down (cold pack wrapped up in a perfume free cloth, careful now and then cooling of the cheeks with it, preventing frost bite at all costs, having the fan on and airco if needed). I no longer want to take risks by trying laser and IPL, I found some acceptance with the status quo, focusing on work and friends and options to get out and enjoy myself and accepting the time needed indoors and cooling down, in order to keep the balanced skin.
It's not the life I anticipated or wanted but its a lot better than it was in 2005, so I hold onto that mainly...


I wrote on the forum to a member about the impact of rosacea on your lifestyle:
"So sorry Ree for your distress. Yeh we have mostly all been there, unfortunately, and many are still there some days. It never stops to surprise and sadden me how many otherwise confident and positive people can be brought to their knees by rosacea. It has such an effect on all aspects of your life. I literally had this conversation this week with a forum member from here and we both admitted to often thinking how we would have instantly swapped the rosacea for a leg. You can't say that to anybody other than a rosacean, or they will think you are nuts. But it has to do I think with the total lack of control over our faces and how it prevents us from doing all the simple and good things in life. In a wheelchair, lets put it bluntly, I can at least go to the pub, have dinners with friends, socialize. That's what rosacea does to your mind I guess."  I seriously read so many heartbreaking stories nowadays from rosaceans, and so many are in distress, had to turn their lives around, stay indoors a lot. So many people who were very successful and thriving before rosacea hit. The huge impact of this disaese never stops to baffle me...

I also use my laptop most of the day, but I seem to have not much of a problem with the flat screen of it. I do have the brightness set to low or lowest, and feel that when I don't do this, the brighter light makes me flushed. But on low it seems to not cause me any problems.

Regarding skin topicals and skin care: I used Biotherm moisturizer for years, also during the first years of rosacea, but at some point my skin got too sensitive and hyper reactive to it. Then tried natural oils like almond oil, and the mildest moisturizers I could find, until a new derm said my skin looked way too irritated and clogged from creams, and that she felt I needed to stop experimenting with topicals and leave it alone. Thought she was joking, but she seriously wanted me to give it 6 months, let it go through the initial dryness stage and she said that even though I think my skin is dry, it should be able to restore its own fat making abilities and to give it time. Was rough in the first months (dry skin, tightness, felt very awful), but the past 8+ years I have not used topicals (apart from maybe once a month the use of jojoba oil, but even that sets it off often), and she was right, in my case; my skin did get less dry by itself with time. And a lot more calm.
So now I use nothing on it, I wash it with cotton pads and bottled water (low in chloride and other chemicals), I spray my Aveene mist thing whoch seems to calm the skin down, for some mysterious but delightful reasons. And that's about it. My shampoo is free of chemicals and even of Laureth sulphate by the
way.

I use a humidifier when the air is very dry or when my skin feels right, it blows cool mist and cranks the humidity level up. Also drink plenty of water and I understand that having dry skin is a trigger for redness and flushing and burning, but I also see that in some cases, with hypersensitive rosacea, topicals can do more harm than good. Again, like with the sunscreen; that seems something for each and every one of us here to figure ut for themselves. If you react well to moisturizer, I envy you! Congrats. But all I can say is that for me, with a dry skin subtype, going topical free has been a good thing and my skin is now calmer than it was in all the years I tried to find the right moisturizer..




Update, September 17th 2014
Mervyn Joseph Pius O'Gorman1871 - 1958
On the Beach, 1913
I had my last wisdom tooth removed yesterday, what an ordeal. Nice young Belgian doctor and I told him that the last time I needed more than 12 anesthetic injections and he thought it would be different now, but turned out the same way. Showed the X ray and it was a very tough wisdom tooth, completely breached and with difficult roots intertwined with an important nerve, so he said he would remove the top of the tooth first and then decide if it was safe enough to get the root out. Luckily that all went well and they had a whole team called in to see how you remove such a hooked tooth, but after 5 injections he started drilling the tooth off and it still hurt badly, so needed another 7. Tough to get the hooked thing out and they needed to drill quite a bit off my jawbone. Yesterday rosacea was fine, I think from the immense amount of adrenaline they put in the anesthetics, to keep it longer in the nerves and have the blood vessels constrict, but today, massive inferno and my jaw feels so painful. I can't sleep from it.. had four 600 mg ibuprofen but they burn my stomach so take nothing now. Feel so smashed up. Asked for antibiotics as I always get infections but this is Holland and that means extreme conservatism with medication, so I didnt get any. Hope it wont get infected as the others did in february but will keep an eye on them. Look like a red chipmunk.

Yesterday my rosacea was calm all day despite the procedure, but today rosacea is bad. It's always good on the day itself, maybe because they put so much adrenaline in those jabs and they are strong vasoconstrictors, to keep the anesthetic longer in the nerves. But today its pretty red and sore and my mouth feels like its butchered, reallly sore today. Thought it would be better instead of worse. Feel like shit.


Update, September 20th 2014

update on my own little issues; skin was ok'ish today, not too bad and the pain is finally getting a bit down. It was kind of brutal the past days. I took 600 mg ibuprofen (a type with no bright pink coating nor orange zest chemical flavors, just simple white pills) but the pain came through nevertheless and after 2 days my stomach hurt so bad from them that I tapered it off. Couldn't sleep Wednesday night from the pain, but now it's Friday night and I haven't taken the meds all day and it's fairly diminished by now. Am rinsing my mouth very often with sterile salt water to prevent infection, so far as far as I can see with the flashlight it doesn't look infected.  But now that the pain is diminishing I can feel that the right side of my chin is still pretty totally numb and the right lower part of my lip too
again.
when I rub it it starts to tingle really annoyingly and painfully and when I just lightly touch it, it still feels number up, like during the procedure. I can press my nails in the skin very hard and feel as good as nothing..I had the same happening in February with my upper lip btw. The same feeling. Doctors then said it should recover nerve sensory in 6 months.
Friend thinks it is because they used again soooo many anesthetic jabs again now.. The upper lip is almost back to normal, but it took indeed 6 months! I bloody well hope this goes away sooner
It is only localized there, so I don't assume the doctor hit that risky nerve after all.. Can't imagine a crucial nerve only limitedly serving the area of right side of the chin and right lower part of the lip.
What the bleeb is wrong with me, every time this happens. Rosacea is not too bad, not as good as it was either, but I still have sutures in, plus wound healing, so I guess that will all stir it up right now.





Sorry for lack of smiles, I get slack for that a lot from a few friends, but just don't smile usually in pics, not sure why not.. 

Oh and for comparison, this was during the dental stress, in February 2014, so less than 5 months ago:
And this is a rash from eating normal chocolate and not scrubbing my skin for some time. It usually subsides and normalizes in a day or 2. 





















Update, October 27th 2014

My skin used to be doing fairly ok the past months, harder to get flushed, less red, less pain. But it has been cold the past weeks here, massive drop in temperatures, and my skin really worsened almost instantly :( Could hardly belief it would respond so quickly. The past week I have been flushed almost all the time, and it's worst at night and when waking up. Takes me about 3 hours behind the fan and with cold packs to make it subside a bit. I managed to go out to dinner a few times, mostly because I had promised so on an earlier date, and that went ok. I was red and sore but it was not a full blown flush, so having iced water and bringing my cold pack and being wise with the menu choices made it all pleasurable experiences nevertheless.

Here are some pics of today. They were taken in the afternoon, so the redness had gone down a lot by then from cooling. The problem is; because my skin is red and flushed or semi flushed for all these days in a row now, it burns and feels hot and very painful constantly. Even when the redness is brought down a bit again like here. When I manage to not flush for a longer time, the pain is gone too, only some tightness and slight heat in my cheeks. So I still find that the best way to control not just the flushing but also the pain, is to stay unflushed for as long as possible.


I also found some old photo boot pictures back from my teens and twenties, when I scrolled through old diaries. I used to make some and then put them in diaries.






My nephew Tim wrote a long letter to Sinterklaas today with his wishlist for presents. Sinterklaas usually resides in Spain (it is part of a cultural celebration we have here, where kids ask presents and Sint will bring them early December, with the help of his Black Petes and coming with the boat from Spain), but today the letter went to Nijverdal haha (my mothers address). Glad he didn't notice, was very cute.

I drove past the nice canal boats here today and it reminded me of one of dozens of side jobs I used to have. It actually was one of the nicest side jobs I had as a student, working on the canal boats. Officially serving drinks and food, as the old man of the family running it used to do the same dreary audio tour every hour, but sometimes you ended up talking to tourists. I remember one American man and his wife, they were really interested in history and art so I chatted with them a lot about the city and its museums and history, and at the end before getting out he pushed me 100 euro's in my hand (the trip was only about ten euro's!) and said I should keep it for myself, as it was a thank you for my nice stories. "Don't share it with the rest" he said again. And me, silly girl, I was in inner conflict later on; did anyone see it perhaps, was it sneaky of me to go past the rules, which were to put tips in the general pot and divide. I did the honest thing and regretted it because the boat family running it were like gray scare crows, grumpy, a bit greedy, they shared it equal with everyone, even all of themselves who weren't even working on the boat at the time and I ended up with only ten euro's of tip money. Would have been so much more nice of them to at least give me a bit more than the rest given it was my own extra work. Dutchies never give tips and this was extraordinary. I am not pure goodness, as did let the evil thoughts run through my mind for a bit, but the good usually wins. I kind of knew the family would not split the money but in all fairness, I was a bit delirious from it all and wanted to not only share but also break the little news and as expected, most responses were either casual or complacent. The wifey really looked like Ebenezer Scrooges wife.. So sour, so bitter, they just about ripped it from my hands. My own little Dickens tale lol.




I want one of these houses and then have some sheep. Do you have a favorite?

http://www.boredpanda.com/isolated-lonely-houses/










Some Halloween ideas 
http://www.boredpanda.com/halloween-make-up/#post0






I read and exchanged some nice quotes:

-“If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.” Machiavelli
-"I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers".  Woody Allen
-"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." Pablo Picasso
-"Platonische Liebe ist, wenn man zu zweit mit einem Gewehr spielt und glaubt, es sei nicht geladen." (Anonym)
-"If you want to control a population .. give them a God to worship", Noam Chomsky-
-"A danger sign of the lapse from true skepticism in to dogmatism is an inability to respect those who disagree" - Dr. Leonard George
-"The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently". - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900) 
-"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they never use." - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard
-"In some of its more lunatic aspects, political correctness is merely ridiculous. But in the thinking behind it, there is something more sinister which is shown by the fact that already there are certain areas and topics where freedom of speech, in the sense of the right to open and frank discussion, is being gradually but significantly eroded." - Retiring Judge Neil Denison
-"Freedom of Press is limited to those who own one". - H.L. Menken
-"Those who call for censorship in the name of the oppressed ought to recognize it is never the oppressed who determine the bounds of censorship". - Aryeh Neier, Civil Libertarian
-"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers". - Thomas Pynchon 
And lets end with my favorite grump; 

All truth passes through three stages: First, it is ridiculed; Second, it is violently opposed; and Third, it is accepted as self-evident. -Arthur Schopenhauer


The fabulous Ross sisters. Try watching it from 1:26 onwards, they look cute initially but they are snakes, no bone ion their body, it is the only explanation.. :)


More silliness, I like the clips where they write down phonetically what the foreigners appear to be singing. Think i shared one before, we call it Mama Appelsap in Holland, it's a radio item, a favorite one. Many countries have it I guess. here is a Bollywood one, 
Haha someone wrote about the down (red arrow) voters: "67 people need a bun to bite like benny lava"


Speaking English as a German:





This free card was available in bars and public places the past month, it's a brand called Boomerang which offers free postcards here. This one says God is good. It caused some outrage, people found it too harsh on the eye but I think it was a fine card and just shows the evils religion can inspire in people. People might have evil urges by nature but nothing sets people more up to acting out on them as something as religion, dealing with the afterlife promise. I generally like religious art however. 
Monks were the ones who used to write over all the books back in the Medieval times, also the christian monks, before the book printing techniques were discovered. Painstaking work, a bit what I do online for work half the time now haha, but they had to hand copy entire books. Beautiful hand writings often, very fluently and many illustrations were added. Dedicating their life truly to books and isolation. How life and it's pace have changed for many. I often wonder; would the average person have been more satisfied in some ways perhaps back then, compared to now? (If you set aside the poor health and working conditions etc). If you would introduce a 17th or 18th century person to the current times, he or she might think we came so far, that there is such democracy in terms of health care, life expectancy, choices in life. But those choices seem to make some people also unhappy, especially in the west. They followed ten students in a Dutch tv documentary some years ago and half of them were restless, nervous, depressed even, unsure they made the right choices in terms of studies, friends, partners, where to live. Some said they felt paralyzed by all the options out there, and ultimately the sense of responsibility for their own happiness and well being. Then social media magnified those angsts, by confronting them daily with the 'successes' (wether real or idealized) from others. I realize it might be different in other countries, but here, for many, you can no longer blame your trade or background for the way your life pans out. And some in the docu said they felt depressed about feeling unsatisfied with their life, and felt a massive pressure to make the right choices; any unhappiness they felt, they took very hard and blamed entirely on themselves. 
Maybe the simple life of these old monks were in some ways very rewarding. Maybe they had more acceptance of their fate and could focus their energy on a few things in life and be more happy with that. Maybe not... I just wonder. In a way I feel that being cut out from some choices in life due to rosacea, has not been total evil so far. I rather didn't have rosacea of course, but I did find that having more limited choices of everything, leisure time, food choices, holiday choices and so on, brought also a lot of appreciation and enjoyment of the things I can do. And the same goes for the ups and downs of rosacea. Now that I am flaring again, and feel more housebound, I appreciate the good times I had and still have often a lot more. I did find peace I think in the way I live my life now, alternating social periods (well relatively social, I'm not a social butterfly by any means) with introspective periods.


I thought some more about 'the' Dutch mentality.. What does it mean to be Dutch and how do Dutchies manifest themselves? Dutch like their sportsmen and celebrities to act as normal and down to earth as possible. We had a Dutch swimmer, Pieter van den Hoogenband, who won a lot of olympic medals in 1999. Dutch news made a news item on him that night and did it typical Dutch fashion; they went to his old school and asked the concierge what he had been like as a kid. "A VERY normal down to earth kid". Ahhh, the Dutch viewers could lean back in relief again, that's how they like to see their heroes. Our national motto is a French one; je maintiendrai: I will preserve. It's from 1815 but according to many here a more fitting one would be something like; 'It has to be possible'. Holland has a culture of tolerance.

You even see that down to earthiness with the politicians people elect here. We had a PM called Balkenende for some time and he was really a nerdy guy, as they mostly are here. Very awkward and at the G20 in Pittsburg in 2009 Holland was finally invited. Michelle Obama had to greed the world leaders and Berlusconi opened his arms for her but she kept him really at cold distance. very faint handshake and then she went to Balkenende who stood there as a timid schoolboy, not expecting to be noticed at all, and he got a big hug and kiss to everyone's surprise, incl. his own :) Sweet pic. He later didn't speak a word at that whole convention haha, we don't count in the big picture, and he had to be explained it had to do with Uruzgan. But that made him very popular in Holland; big spreads of these pics in the Dutch papers. It touches some of the dutch culture; we love humble, down to earth leaders/celebs/sportsmen/etc. Just be normal, they have to appear as if what they do is nothing special and that they don't pretend to be more than they really are. There is a saying here; je hoofd niet boven het maaiveld uitsteken; don't stick your head above ground level. They really hail people who stay
under that imaginary line. For instance, Marco van Basten was one of our finest football players and then he tried to be a manager and he failed badly. Both with the Dutch national team as with Ajax. After 9 months with Ajax he held a big international press conference and just told everyone; "I stop because I just am not good at this. Something you have noticed already as well. Good night." And that was it and the next day the papers were again full of it, how beautiful that was, how humble. In contrast we have Johan Cruijff who really revels in his own excellence and he has a lot of credit
because he was such an outstanding player but 'we' don't like that attitude. He is often seen as rude and smug. (I do like that attitude btw, as it is a bit more political incorrect and it gives more interesting interviews etc). But we have more of such figures and they just make a 180 turn on the down to earth example and just do the total opposite. Others are a famous late writer called Harry Mulisch and Pim Fortuyn, the politician who got shot and killed was also like that. Portraying their knowledge and proclaiming their excellence. But most Dutchies can't appreciate that and get very annoyed or even aggressive from it. All in all its a bit of the silly brother of Europe perhaps, not very proud. Dutch society has been one of the more prosperous ones for the past 5 centuries, and Dutch people are ranked high in the OECD better life and ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index. http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/netherlands/

It mentions a lot of things but also this; In general, 82% of people in the Netherlands say they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.), more than the OECD average of 76%.

But nevertheless, people are grumping and complaining a lot here. Nothing happens ever here. I read that it has to do with that equality here, we don't have as strong a hierarchic structure. Not a top who tells the masses things are like this or that and who you can agree with or protest against. Instead everybody here feels equal in many ways and everybody is used to saying what they think and complaining and debating, so its this cacophony of voices of how things are and should be. Everybody knows always what should be done and how it has to be so everybody has opinions about basically everything. But it makes it seem as if Dutch are always complaining and never are satisfied with anything.
For instance, a national opinion poll company asks Dutchies every 2 years what they think of the country and what they expect of the future. On virtually every question they consistently receive criticism from the interviewed people; it's always a mess with the country, all politicians are up to no good, nothing goes well, everything has to change. Health care; all parasites. Lol and then the very last question is always; how would you describe your personal well being? And the past 3 decades between 82-87% answers that one with "very content" :D

Holland is very decentralized, we organize our lives on mini scales, with family and friends, and the living conditions are actually very good here, and we will call for the politicians only when we need them. Where does that mentality come from? From the Medieval times on Holland had a strong sense of equality, the feudal system, the hierarchy of it, never really got a hold here. Very early on Holland had independent wealthy farmers and merchants who were self supporting and totally obtained from hierarchies. Later we had businessmen and trades men and regents. always divided powers and not one single person who had all the power here. Since the uprising we had a regent (governor) serving the people and a grand pensioner. We also never had one single political party in power, always plenty of political parties. Maybe all that made dutch people hate hierarchy.  

You see that reflected in our political debate system; we call it the Poldermodel, it refers to the constant long term talking we do here, in businesses and politics, to come to an agreement and a compromise. This is done around round tables typically and you will see this even come back in news tv shows, or discussion shows; the Americans have one presenter behind a desk typically. And the interviewed sit on his side. Or ladies talk shows have them all seated on a couch.

With us there is not one boss but we all sit around the table as equals, also in talk shows.

More pictures and paintings of Holland




  



 






  


  


  









Update, November 3rd 2014

My skin is still quite easily flushed and burned up. I try to avoid the worst temperature changes and keep the indoor heat around 17 degrees, with a fan on if needed. Seb derm has returned, as it does every fall/winter, and I'm having a rash on my forehead again, which is starting also on my inner cheeks. I received my pharmacies home made ketaconazole cream now, thankfully, and I hope I can limit the rashes that way. I also eat strictly healthy these days; no bad foods are allowed in the house lol, because my will power to resist them, once they are in the kitchen cupboards is close to zero. I eat a lot of pumpkin soup, as I get pumpkins all the time from friends with their own gardens, and also stir fries of vegetables and some sweet potato and organic beef or chicken. Lots of apples and pears in between meals or as breakfast/lunch even. I make smoothies from frozen mango pieces and banana, they are delicious but I have to keep them small, or I get a lot more red. It might be the high vitamin C levels in the mango, or the flushing trigger that is the banana.

I've been in high irritation modus the past weeks :/ It might stem from my skin flaring and me having pain, or from feeling a bit down over the cold weather and feeling my restrictions from rosacea so heavily again. The more I go out and see people and do things and feel in charge of my life and have a cooperative skin, the better I feel and the more 'normal' too. Then when the control is
gone again and I flare no matter what, it reminds me of the reality and I sink back in a limbo state of getting used to the restrictions again, of pepping myself up that this is not the end of the world. Fighting the gloom basically. That it will all get better again in the spring, as it usually does. There is always a bit of worry with me, that at some point, that might not happen.. and I might digress and worsen. When I feel like this, and feel antisocial, I notice I have a pretty short fuse in some situations :( I hate it, but it takes over sometimes. Especially when there are misunderstandings or when I am in a discussion about something with people, friends, family, and they don't understand things, or make wrong assumptions in a school master like tone, or give the impression they judge me for things or talk a bit condescending. When I feel good, I can make a joke about it or shrug my shoulders or just give opposite arguments and it stays all nice and civil but when I feel bad, and insecure in some ways, I can just act so easily annoyed. I find it hard to be the same person than in real life as in writing. Luckily these are only episodes and not an issue most of the time. But the world doesn't stop or take you into consideration when you happen to have a flare or a rough time, that much is clear! :)



It was my birthday on Friday and I went out to  a chic buffet dinner. We had a good time with the 3 of us and I had thrown back an extra dose of Xyzal antihistamine and just feasted on lobster and shrimps and sushi and lamb cooked in milk and the best insane 20 meter set up of desserts. Anything you can think of, well anything European style, and it was there. No red velvet cake or whoopie pie as I think the US has, but let's say 20 types of chocolate cake, 20 types of other fruit cakes, sweets, fruits, dozens and dozens of types of small bakery sweets, tiramisu, custards, cheese cakes, chocolate fountain, all the ice cream flavors you can think of. I wished I could start with dessert and end with dessert haha but I'm an adult now :)  (I say that out loud in the same way as they do in Little Britain:



It looked something like this:


Soooo .. I ate quite a lot  :) Although it wasn't even that much actually, as I have been on this healthy diet for a good while now and eat small portions, so I guess the stomach has shrunken in the process of all that and I felt really full fairly soon, which was a shame as these sort of Willy Wonka displays trigger the inner piglet in me. Skin was a bit red but not burning that night and the next day it was also a bit more red and swollen but nothing too bad and nothing a cold pack and fan couldn't deal with.
I've also been out quite a few times the past weeks with my sister and some individual friends. We find that as everybody is so busy here and has such tight agenda's (things are planned well in advance in Holland! Busy busy busy), my girlfriends love it best when we meet at a restaurant in the evening and have all evening to chat and eat and they love leaving their sweet darling kids at home for an evening and not be disturbed. It is costly though, but I do love it. My sister commented actualy, how happy she is that we can do this now and how it seemed totally impossible back in 2005 that I would ever be able to go out to dinner with her. As the rosacea was so crippling bad back then. From how far we've come.. It is really nice that I can take my medication, drink iced water and get through the evening and my sister will update a lot automatically now, how calm my skin still looks when we are halfway the evening. Which is nice and I like that they all are so kind now about always asking me what restaurant to go to. My sister even said when we came in this tapas place; let's sit in the back so when you need your cold pack later on, you don't have to worry about people's stares. Was so nice to hear :)




Update, November 4th 2014


I read and saw this article, about people being photographed before and after their death:
http://www.featureshoot.com/2014/09/walter-schels/

One man in it said:

Heiner Schmitz saw the affected area on the MRI scan of his brain. He realized immediately that he didn’t have much time left. Schmitz is a fast talker, highly articulate, quick-witted, but not without depth. He works in advertising. Heiner’s friends don’t want him to be sad. They try to take his mind off things. At the hospice, they watch football with him just like they used to do. Beers, cigarettes, a bit of a party in the room. The girls from the agency bring him flowers. Many of them come in twos, because they don’t want to be alone with him. What do you talk about with someone who’s been sentenced to death? Some of them even say ‘get well soon’ as they’re leaving. ‘Hope you’re soon back on track, mate!’
“No one asks me how I feel”, says Heiner Schmitz. “Because they’re all shit scared. I find it really upsetting the way they desperately avoid the subject, talking about all sorts of other things. Don’t they get it? I’m going to die! That’s all I think about, every second when I’m on my own.”


It reminded me of my science teacher, Mr. Beerda. I can't recall anymore if I ever wrote you about this or not. In 2nd and 3rd class at Lyceum he taught us science and he was a bit of a strange man, very flamboyant and full of personality and he looked a bit like an odd version of Robert Redford. Very sharp witted on top. Then he got sick and after some months he was still not back and we learned he had cancer. I suggested we would write him a get better card with the whole class and I brought it to his place. He lived very close to where my house is now, but I didn't know that of course back then; lovely old light 30's house, very classy. I'd only known him as a stern teacher but he was really friendly and asked me in for some tea and we talked a bit, and I'm not sure anymore how it all happened but I did ask him things about his illness, prognosis, and his thoughts on death, and it was such an interesting afternoon. He said when I left, thanks for that, and if you feel like a chat, you can always come round. It was entirely 'correct', he just liked to be able to talk with a student on that level of things and I actually came over once in a while to ask how he was doing and an ex student of him lived in the house next door and when he had his last birthday party in the house, he asked me if I felt like helping out with that other ex student, it was nice. He talked about his thoughts on the universe and his ideas about other life forms or the soul  and it were like mini college tutorials almost, but in a conversation form, really special. Still fond of those moments because it gave me a warm feeling that age is not everything and that you can connect with someone despite rules of how things should be etc etc. Was very pure in a way and he had said the same thing as this man in the article; nobody ever sat down to ask him what he really felt and what his fears were and thoughts on what was coming very soon for him. He did die after a year or so, send me a thank you card for the special times.









Update, November 7th 2014


I've been a right grump to the people around me the past month and it was noticed, and addressed lol, so I have been consciously 'ungrumping' the past week and it's a strange feeling but I actually feel so mellowed down from it. I know that might sound very strange but it almost feels sometimes like I am in this maelstrom of negativity and I tend to blame it on the weather and my flushing of course or the cat or life in general or hormones, but I notice now that consciously trying to be mellow and sweet about whatever happens, does have a soothing, cumulative effect. It's almost like those Chinese people in parks who collectively and mechanically smile and laugh together for an hour as therapy form, and the body mistakes it for genuine laughing and makes the correct hormones. I am fooling my brain too now and it seems to adjust to it :) Gives a really good feeling because I don't want to be full of angst and grump. It's not my natural state and giving in to it isn't making me feel any better, but actually adds worries as I can go back and over and over situations with friends or family were I wasn't as patient and soft as I wanted to. We call it "Project Paloma", after one of Picasso's wives who dedicated all her years to serve her husband, create the right environment for him of peace and tranquility and cleanness so he could dedicate all his energy to making his last art works. It sounds really nice, Project Paloma I think, until I looked back the list of his wives and realized his last wife wasn't Paloma (she was his daughter in fact), but Jacqueline! Project Jacqueline doesn't sound quite as quirky so it will remain Paloma.

All this makes that I feel a bit better even though the weather is ghastly cold and wet'ish and it has stirred my seb derm and flushing/redness up a lot. I chatted with a nice girl who has rosacea/seb derm too, she is a medical student and we share my seb derm cream as no pharmacist is able or willing to make it for her in the UK. She went through the same thing; her skin was fine during summer and now it is all red and hot and itchy with seb derm again. Discussed how we both think every single summer; it goes well, we will make sure there will NOT  be a relapse this time round in fall. But that is not really a conscious decision, just the cold dry air is enough for me to really look awfully red.

I have a communal meal tomorrow, all sorts of chestnuts; roasted, pureed, boiled, in desert, and it is in some hall with bright fluorescent lighting. I think I will finally use the make up I bought. I'll make some before and after pictures to show the redness and then the effects of this make up and then see how long my skin will tolerate it and how long I can sit the meal out, and then make a picture of what my skin looks like after removal of the make up again. Bit nervous as the last time I used a mineral make up was about 2 years ago or something and it was like removing skin with sandpaper once I took it off (it burned my skin too when applied), and it took weeks for my skin to calm down again. However this one, from La Roche-Posay, is a creamy foundation and it covers the worst redness I think, very thick.

I saw some nice dresses on the website of Top Shop but don't know to buy them yes or no. I don't have much cash so I better leave them be, as I just booked an appointment with Dr Chu in February, so I will need a lot of money for flights, hotel, private patient fee and the rest. But to give an impression of the 3 dresses, here they are.



I already have tons of dresses, here are a few of mine, I have about 60 more though :) I usually like the old looking ones. If I could I would dress in Victorian dresses all day but that is not very practical or affordable. So most are a bit 20's or 50's/60's style, or just anything frilly and romantic:





The thing is: I used to dress nicely before I got rosacea.. Really, make an effort to do my hair (and dye it in red or blonde or brown colors all the time), make up on, high heels, it was like dressing up as a young adult in a giddy way, really nice. But then after rosacea hit I just couldn't be bothered anymore... Preferred to just stay in comfy clothes, fleece shirts, PJ bottoms, hair wrapped up in some messy uncared bun, no make up of course as I wanted my skin to be at it's most calmest. Then the high heels turned out to be the culprit of ongoing headache from the neck to shoulders region and my physiotherapist told me to no longer wear them, so there went the last feminine thing I had stuck to. Now I really only dress up for the odd night out, which isn't that often, and certainly not to just go to the houses of friends. It's a bit saddening when I see them all nicely dressed up and fresh faced even in their every day house environment, but c'est la vie.. The dresses are there though, so at least I feel I can, if I really want to, dress up at the drop of a hat. Doesn't happen that often though :)

This is a dress from Laura Ashley and most of her dresses are flowery and 80's style and baroque monstrosities haha, but I still like some of them. Bought a truckload of 'vintage' (aka: second hand, but that just doesn't sound quite as chic does it?) dresses from Ebay UK (thanks for the help H.) and this one I was really doubting about; I love the body part but the skirt.... aiii... a little bit too shiny and the color green is slightly off too. I didn't buy it but saw it returning on my screen the other night in a blog and now I regret it a little bit. Of course, where would I wear that dress to haha, I never go to any occassion where it would look not out of place. Maybe Halloween, but we don't celebrate that in Holland :) 




I bought this dress though, brand new and mine has a lovely sea blue/green color (not as bright blue as this one), a slightly different color and the neckline is a little bit lower, but for the rest it's the same, and I'll wear it at that dinner tonight.


I saw this short social experiment. What would you do?
 

I think I would confront the bartender as well. Was glad to see so many nice and mouthy people stuck up for him. My dad is a star but he is a fanatic sportsman and under stress a lot so he looks really lean and trim and well, haggard to be honest. I remember a time when we saw him in the main shopping street and my youngest sister was always pretty ashamed of him and she walked there with some class mates and dad would see her and go to her for a kiss and a "Hi!", and her friends asked; do you know this guy? Is he a homeless, is he bothering you? Sis was mighty ashamed but I would always tell her not to, forget what others think, dad is a class man so just explain to your friends he is an avid sportsman and that's it. Even when I'm in town with him I can sense people wondering if he uses drugs or something as he can dress a bit shabby, but I can't be bothered by that and will always back him up verbally. Maybe that's why this video gets on my nerves :)


Am also watching this Irish series about the underworld, it's quite good so far, Aidan Giillen (aka Lord Baelish) plays in it and is chillingly good; http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1625724/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
And watched a BBC series I loved, in 3 parts, about the life of Queen Victoria and Albert, they had 9 children and tried to portray the perfect tight nit family, to have the middle classes identify with them in a positive way and to try to halt revolution like it was roaring in Europe. But in fact she was a control freak and a pretty problematic mother and she and him were passionate but volatile and had the worst fights ever. Very nice to watch, but also slightly disturbing at times.. She was very bright and a great writer but also a control freak and if she wasn't happy, nobody could, if possible. There was something about her that I liked, despite her being portrayed and known as a ghastly mother at least half of the time. She was so honest in her letters and had such wit. There is something about miserable people and their gallows humor I like, or maybe just can relate to.. I understand how life can turn out the opposite of what you had in mind for it and how bitterness can creep up then. .http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2013/01/queen-victorias-children



Also, I want a Teddy bear like Aloysius, from Brideshead Revisited, if you never saw that show you should, its lovely



Update, November 9th 2014

I posted a make up update in a separate thread: http://scarletnat.blogspot.fr/2014/11/make-up-experiment.html
A few pics from that thread here, see the full threat in the attached link pls.
Before



                                    Halfway through applying


                        All on but it's a bit thick a layer.. 



After removing the worst and applying a thin new wet layer





Getting it off again 5 hours later, first one cheek then both 





Update November 14th 2014
See for more updates http://scarletnat.blogspot.fr/2014/07/update-summer-2014.html

Skin has been flaring and burning all week :( It is cold here now, so I have no certainty whether the flare comes from the cold or the make-up trial. Hmmm :/
Feeling a bit down, tired, worn out from it all. I'm really done with the daily rosacea struggles. 






I read this from my favorite writer Dostojevski. It really touched me:

The Day Dostoyevsky Discovered the Meaning of Life in a Dream

by Maria Popova
“And it is so simple… You will instantly find how to live.”
One November night in the 1870s, legendary Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky(November 11, 1821–February 9, 1881) discovered the meaning of life in a dream — or, at least, the protagonist in his final short story did. The piece, which first appeared in the altogether revelatory A Writer’s Diary(public library) under the title “The Dream of a Queer Fellow” and was later published separately as The Dream of a Ridiculous Man, explores themes similar to those in Dostoyevsky’s 1864 novel Notes from the Underground, considered the first true existential novel. True to Stephen King’s assertion that “good fiction is the truth inside the lie,” the story sheds light on Dostoyevsky’s personal spiritual and philosophical bents with extraordinary clarity — perhaps more so than any of his other published works. The contemplation at its heart falls somewhere between Tolstoy’s tussle with the meaning of life and Philip K. Dick’s hallucinatory exegesis.

The story begins with the narrator wandering the streets of St. Petersburg on “a gloomy night, the gloomiest night you can conceive,” dwelling on how others have ridiculed him all his life and slipping into nihilism with the “terrible anguish” of believing that nothing matters. He peers into the glum sky, gazes at a lone little star, and contemplates suicide; two months earlier, despite his destitution, he had bought an “excellent revolver” with the same intention, but the gun had remained in his drawer since. Suddenly, as he is staring at the star, a little girl of about eight, wearing ragged clothes and clearly in distress, grabs him by the arm and inarticulately begs his help. But the protagonist, disenchanted with life, shoos her away and returns to the squalid room he shares with a drunken old captain, furnished with “a sofa covered in American cloth, a table with some books, two chairs and an easy-chair, old, incredibly old, but still an easy-chair.”
As he sinks into the easy-chair to think about ending his life, he finds himself haunted by the image of the little girl, leading him to question his nihilistic disposition. Dostoyevsky writes:
I knew for certain that I would shoot myself that night, but how long I would sit by the table — that I did not know. I should certainly have shot myself, but for that little girl.
You see: though it was all the same to me, I felt pain, for instance. If any one were to strike me, I should feel pain. Exactly the same in the moral sense: if anything very pitiful happened, I would feel pity, just as I did before everything in life became all the same to me. I had felt pity just before: surely, I would have helped a child without fail. Why did I not help the little girl, then? It was because of an idea that came into my mind then. When she was pulling at me and calling to me, suddenly a question arose before me, which I could not answer. The question was an idle one; but it made me angry. I was angry because of my conclusion, that if I had already made up my mind that I would put an end to myself to-night, then now more than ever before everything in the world should be all the same to me. Why was it that I felt it was not all the same to me, and pitied the little girl? I remember I pitied her very much: so much that I felt a pain that was even strange and incredible in my situation…
It seemed clear that if I was a man and not a cipher yet, and until I was changed into a cipher, then I was alive and therefore could suffer, be angry and feel shame for my actions. Very well. But if I were to kill myself, for instance, in two hours from now, what is the girl to me, and what have I to do with shame or with anything on earth? I am going to be a cipher, an absolute zero. Could my consciousness that I would soon absolutely cease to exist, and that therefore nothing would exist, have not the least influence on my feeling of pity for the girl or on my sense of shame for the vileness I had committed?
From the moral, he veers into the existential:
It became clear to me that life and the world, as it were, depended upon me. I might even say that the world had existed for me alone. I should shoot myself, and then there would be no world at all, for me at least. Not to mention that perhaps there will really be nothing for any one after me, and the whole world, as soon as my consciousness is extinguished, will also be extinguished like a phantom, as part of my consciousness only, and be utterly abolished, since perhaps all this world and all these men are myself alone.
Beholding “these new, thronging questions,” he plunges into a contemplation ofwhat free will really means. In a passage that calls to mind John Cage’s famous aphorism on the meaning of life — “No why. Just here.” — and George Lucas’s assertion that “life is beyond reason,” Dostoyevsky suggests through his protagonist that what gives meaning to life is life itself:
One strange consideration suddenly presented itself to me. If I had previously lived on the moon or in Mars, and I had there been dishonored and disgraced so utterly that one can only imagine it sometimes in a dream or a nightmare, and if I afterwards found myself on earth and still preserved a consciousness of what I had done on the other planet, and if I knew besides that I would never by any chance return, then, if I were to look at the moon from the earth — would it be all the same to me or not? Would I feel any shame for my action or not? The questions were idle and useless, for the revolver was already lying before me, and I knew with all my being that this thing would happen for certain: but the questions excited me to rage. I could not die now, without having solved this first. In a word, that little girl saved me, for my questions made me postpone pulling the trigger.
Just as he ponders this, the protagonist slips into sleep in the easy-chair, but it’s a sleep that has the quality of wakeful dreaming. In one of many wonderful semi-asides, Dostoyevsky peers at the eternal question of why we have dreams:
Dreams are extraordinarily strange. One thing appears with terrifying clarity, with the details finely set like jewels, while you leap over another, as though you did not notice it at all — space and time, for instance. It seems that dreams are the work not of mind but of desire, not of the head but of the heart… In a dream things quite incomprehensible come to pass. For instance, my brother died five years ago. Sometimes I see him in a dream: he takes part in my affairs, and we are very excited, while I, all the time my dream goes on, know and remember perfectly that my brother is dead and buried. Why am I not surprised that he, though dead, is still near me and busied about me? Why does my mind allow all that?
In this strange state, the protagonist dreams that he takes his revolver and points it at his heart — not his head, where he had originally intended to shoot himself. After waiting a second or two, his dream-self pulls the trigger quickly. Then something remarkable happens:
I felt no pain, but it seemed to me that with the report, everything in me was convulsed, and everything suddenly extinguished. It was terribly black all about me. I became as though blind and numb, and I lay on my back on something hard. I could see nothing, neither could I make any sound. People were walking and making a noise about me: the captain’s bass voice, the landlady’s screams… Suddenly there was a break. I am being carried in a closed coffin. I feel the coffin swinging and I think about that, and suddenly for the first time the idea strikes me that I am dead, quite dead. I know it and do not doubt it; I cannot see nor move, yet at the same time I feel and think. But I am soon reconciled to that, and as usual in a dream I accept the reality without a question.
Now I am being buried in the earth. Every one leaves me and I am alone, quite alone. I do not stir… I lay there and — strange to say — I expected nothing, accepting without question that a dead man has nothing to expect. But it was damp. I do not know how long passed — an hour, a few days, or many days. Suddenly, on my left eye which was closed, a drop of water fell, which had leaked through the top of the grave. In a minute fell another, then a third, and so on, every minute. Suddenly, deep indignation kindled in my heart and suddenly in my heart I felt physical pain. ‘It’s my wound,’ I thought. ‘It’s where I shot myself. The bullet is there.’ And all the while the water dripped straight on to my closed eye. Suddenly, I cried out, not with a voice, for I was motionless, but with all my being, to the arbiter of all that was being done to me.
“Whosoever thou art, if thou art, and if there exists a purpose more intelligent than the things which are now taking place, let it be present here also. But if thou dost take vengeance upon me for my foolish suicide, then know, by the indecency and absurdity of further existence, that no torture whatever that may befall me, can ever be compared to the contempt which I will silently feel, even through millions of years of martyrdom.”
I cried out and was silent. Deep silence lasted a whole minute. One more drop even fell. But I knew and believed, infinitely and steadfastly, that in a moment everything would infallibly change. Suddenly, my grave opened. I do not know whether it had been uncovered and opened, but I was taken by some dark being unknown to me, and we found ourselves in space. Suddenly, I saw. It was deep night; never, never had such darkness been! We were borne through space and were already far from the earth. I asked nothing of him who led me. I was proud and waited. I assured myself that I was not afraid, and my heart melted with rapture at the thought that I was not afraid. I do not remember how long we rushed through space, and I cannot imagine it. It happened as always in a dream when you leap over space and time and the laws of life and mind, and you stop only there where your heart delights.




The 1845 depiction of a galaxy that inspired Van Gogh’s 'The Starry Night,' from Michael Benson's 'Cosmigraphics.' Click image for more.

Through the thick darkness, he sees a star — the same little star he had seen before shooing the girl away. As the dream continues, the protagonist describes a sort of transcendence akin to what is experienced during psychedelic drug trips or in deep meditation states:
Suddenly a familiar yet most overwhelming emotion shook me through. I saw our sun. I knew that it could not be our sun, which had begotten our earth, and that we were an infinite distance away, but somehow all through me I recognized that it was exactly the same sun as ours, its copy and double. A sweet and moving delight echoed rapturously through my soul. The dear power of light, of that same light which had given me birth, touched my heart and revived it, and I felt life, the old life, for the first time since my death.
He finds himself in another world, Earthlike in every respect, except “everything seemed to be bright with holiday, with a great and sacred triumph, finally achieved” — a world populated by “children of the sun,” happy people whose eyes “shone with a bright radiance” and whose faces “gleamed with wisdom, and with a certain consciousness, consummated in tranquility.” The protagonist exclaims:
Oh, instantly, at the first glimpse of their faces I understood everything, everything!
Conceding that “it was only a dream,” he nonetheless asserts that “the sensation of the love of those beautiful and innocent people” was very much real and something he carried into wakeful life on Earth. Awaking in his easy-chair at dawn, he exclaims anew with rekindled gratitude for life:
Oh, now — life, life! I lifted my hands and called upon the eternal truth, not called, but wept. Rapture, ineffable rapture exalted all my being. Yes, to live…
Dostoyevsky concludes with his protagonist’s reflection on the shared essence of life, our common conquest of happiness and kindness:
All are tending to one and the same goal, at least all aspire to the same goal, from the wise man to the lowest murderer, but only by different ways. It is an old truth, but there is this new in it: I cannot go far astray. I saw the truth. I saw and know that men could be beautiful and happy, without losing the capacity to live upon the earth. I will not, I cannot believe that evil is the normal condition of men… I saw the truth, I did not invent it with my mind. I saw, saw, and her living image filled my soul for ever. I saw her in such consummate perfection that I cannot possibly believe that she was not among men. How can I then go astray? … The living image of what I saw will be with me always, and will correct and guide me always. Oh, I am strong and fresh, I can go on, go on, even for a thousand years.
[...]
And it is so simple… The one thing is — love thy neighbor as thyself — that is the one thing. That is all, nothing else is needed. You will instantly find how to live.
A century later, Jack Kerouac would echo this in his own magnificent meditation on kindness and the “Golden Eternity.”

I read this article on one of the last stories of a Russian writer I love, Dostojevski. If you haven't read Crime and Punishment yet from him, and have time on your hand, I recommend it.






Update November 18th 2014

I received some nice tips from a rosacea friend of mine:

"Dear Nattie,
Yes, read and saw your makeup experiment. Was very proud of
Your courage to try something new. I'm looking for a new makeup
So I will give it a go.
Taking off makeup is one of my biggest challenges.
Three suggestions: bio derma micelee sp ( sp?) cleanser. Looks like
Water. No odor. Soft brush of cotton pad brings it all off. Avene gentle
Eye makeup remover. I use it on my skin as well. Wash it in with my hands
And spray off with Avene water.  Last, microfiber towels that are so delicate
Only need water to remove makeup. I just bought one yesterday. So I can't
Tell you how it does only that reviews are great.  It is the seb derm that
Gets most aggravated for me as it loves to eat oils so I'm hoping this
Microfiber towel, working with water works. Let you know. Don't get
Discouraged. Sounds like you have made some progress. You
Did not mention diet. Still on it?  Cuz your skin looks very nice."

I am really curious how she will do with those make up removal tips, might try them myself.
After a week of increased redness and flushing, my skin seems to normalize again on the one week brink. I can also see that there is more of a natural looking epidermis cell build up again by now, so my guess is that it was mainly the removal of the make up, stripping my little collection of protective dead skin cell build up on the top (and I don't mean the excessive type which I pictured some time ago and which looks gross and unnatural, but the type that still looks like a more normal colored upper skin layer) that caused the flare up. Still, a full week of misery over one night of pretty make up'ed skin is a heavy price to pay for me, so I don't think I will wear the make up structurally, but I still am happy with the results, and to know it is there for something really important or special where I have to go for some reason and will be facing people I don't want to feel vulnerable and red and ugly with.








My dear friend B linked me to this nice piece of art. I think they will call it deconstructivism; you take apart all sorts of elements and put them back together for some order, but in this case the artist made a very surreal construction of loose elements, forming together and majestic face :)






Funny, a new Barbie is on the market who can get acne, stretchmarks and even red cheeks:








“Normal Barbie” Has Realistic 19-Year-Old Body Shape With Acne, Bruises And Stretch MarksThe iconic Barbie doll has received a lot of criticism for teaching kids to aspire to unrealistic body types, so digital artist and design Nickolay Lamm decided to create “normal barbie” named Lammily. This doll has the realistic body proportions of a 19-year-old girl, and can have tattoos, warts, acne, stretchmarks, and other realistic skin flaws.


A sticker pack that comes with the doll allows kids to apply all the sorts of skin imperfections that real people have, teaching kids that they don’t have to aspire to or value the unrealistic body images promoted by Barbie or Ken dolls. And, judging by the reactions of the 2nd-graders Lamm showed his doll to, the message has been received with open arms!
Lamm told Huffpost that he “wanted to show that average is beautiful and that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to unrealistic beauty standards. And I feel Barbie kind of symbolizes that.
More info: lamily.com | nickolaylamm.com (h/t: huffpost)

“Normal Barbie” has the average body shape of a 19-year-old girl

Just like a real girl, she can get acne, bruises, and other body marks, all included in Lammily’s sticker pack

Lammily with some stretch mark stickers on her belly

“Normal Barbie” with a cellulite sticker on her leg

Lammily loves sports, but she can get bruised just like we do

This doll encourages young girls to love their bodies

Lammily Barbie with freckle stickers on her cheeks

She has flexible limbs, realistic fingers and toes, and free-standing feet, allowing kids to involve her in sports that they couldn’t involve the classic Barbie doll in

Here she is with tattoo stickers

“Normal Barbie” with her arm in a cast – yes, she can get hurt too!

Lammily blushes when she’s been caught eating all the cookies

A pack of Lammily Marks

Compare the traditional Barbie doll on the left to Lamm’s first realistically proportioned doll model on the right

Watch the beautiful reactions of 2nd-graders meeting Lammily for the first time:





I made a little video on winter and ice skating in Holland, on piano music from Bach:

Update November 24th 2014

Things are still not going well. I've been having burning pain, flushing and redness basically for the past 2 weeks. Although before the make up trial I had a bit of a rough time as well, but not at this scale. I don't know if this flare is the result of the cold weather, of my seb derm flaring, the make-up giving some sort of delayed skin reaction, no more sun bathing nor vitamin D production, all of the above or something else. But I've woken up flushed and burning almost every morning the past 2 weeks, and have not been able to cool matters down as normally is the case. I think my cheeks look really rough and inflamed, they have a rough texture and I have had that happening before actually. Two years ago round the same time of year, then triggered by splashing jojoba oil all over my face (my cheeks seem too sensitive to tolerate anything, I can use the jojoba fine around my jaws, on the chin and nose and forehead and right around my eyes). I went to my German dermatologist with it back then, thinking it was some sort of eczema rash but he said it was a rosacea flare and to let it run its course and keep taking my anti flushing meds. It died down after some weeks then. I hope the same will happen this time, but my mood has really made a huge tumble downwards. I feel so low, so incapable of doing anything apart from complaining about it to a couple online friends with rosacea and sitting my time out, trying to do some work while I'm at it. But all I can do is sit behind the fan with cold packs nearby, even the pocket mirror has come out again, I can't remember the last time I had the urge to use it... Oh that must have been 2 years ago actually, when I sat in the derms waiting room with the same bad skin. I try to go out for my walks but everything makes me blow up, rosacea wise, now. I've been listening an audiobook though while out there, Child 44, its great! Bit of a thriller but set in the former Soviet Union and its about an MGB agent who goes after a fugitive spy (I'm only at the 5th chapter so this summary might be very off) but you see in the minds of both him, the fugitive and others and it gives such a good impression of how everybody was guilty back then unless proven otherwise. It's really great and makes me forget things for a bit. But all in all I feel dark thoughts coming back :( I already struggle with keeping up some sort of a social life, apart from maybe a handful of months a year when my rosacea does ok and I go out to catch up again, full of life and energy again then. But when I'm so flushed and I look like a swollen gremlin like now, I cancel everything, avoid almost everyone. I feel a failure, feel unloved, like I am dragging the people around me down and that results often in me dragging up topics like "Do you still love me", 'Don't you also think that X or Y looks way nicer than me", "Why do you even want to be around me, when all I do is be occupied with my health all day", "Didn't we have a lot more fun and good times a few years ago" etc. He just wants us to have less arguments and for me, his high irritation level and general independent sailing through life make me feel less loved or needed or appreciated even. Just a big disappointment and failure and waste of energy for everyone around me. In emails I can keep the good pretense up and sound more confident still, but everything is getting me down so much right now that I even refrain from writing them to people at the moment. Just try to work a bit and lay on the couch with fan on and wrapped in a blanket all night watching Lena Dunhams serie Girls and another nice series, The Knick, about a New York fictitious hospital The Knickerbocker at the start of the 20th century. The top surgeon, played by Clive Owen (delicious and great actor here!), is based on a real historical figure.

These pics are from today and after cooling my face for hours, best moment of the day and it looked more red than the camera seems to show, and also burns a lot more than it normally does when my skin is only this shade of red. At night it's bright red again, like now :(





Then again, this was my skin a week ago, it seems to have calmed down a little bit at least, although it still feels as much on fire and painful (sorry for the poor quality pictures, not my own camera):



I read some articles on chronic pain, illness and depression and suicide. This blog post has good things to say, the intro was very recognizable for me:
"Everyone who lives with a long-term illness thinks about suicide at some time during that illness. My hunch is that these emotions usually come early in the disease, during the first struggles with the reality of chronic illness. The second most common occurrence of those sentiments comes, I think, at times of crisis in the disease, at times of reversals."


 This blog post from a blogger with chronic nerve pain really touched me and I recognized things in it. Her whole blog is amazing.

Then Everything Changed

Suicide is Not About You

Warning: This is a candid piece about a difficult subject.  Please understand I am not advocating suicide nor is this a cry for help.  I’m encouraging understanding and compassion.
The chronically ill suffer from severe depression, grief, loss, and a high suicide rate, but these symptoms are rarely openly discussed.  Today, however, I will brave speaking candidly about the topic that is so much easier to ignore.  We all know it is there, but neither the chronically ill, nor the healthy want to acknowledge the elephant in the room hogging the sofa and the remote.  Why?  Simple, the hard truths everyone would have to acknowledge are more terrifying than an IRS audit on infinite loop.  Even at this moment many would rather suffer through its poor taste in TV shows than read on and acknowledge this particular elephant.
Elephant-in-the-room
Well, I’ve never really been one to go with the flow.  We need to drag the subject out into the sun, take a good hard look and have an honest discussion.   The hiding and dodging may be more comfortable for some, but it is doing damage of its own.  By ignoring it you not only make it  bigger and scarier, but it also makes the one suffering feel even more isolated.  It is better to be direct and honest.  It is a brave soul that opens a door to a very private part of life and lets other people in.  So, take a good deep breath, steady your heart and quiet your mind.  I am not only going to venture into this taboo subject, I am going to share my personal experience.
I sympathize completely.
I sympathize completely.
The mental deterioration due to my illness is a part of me, my experience, and thought process that I rarely speak of because it makes the people around me terribly uncomfortable.  Right there, my usual silence is a demonstration of how society makes surviving this side of chronic illness one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.  In the medical community it is so well known that chronic pain and illness have such a high rate of depression and suicide that many doctors will make sure their patients have a counselor and was on antidepressants.  Doctors are well aware, but society doesn’t fully realize the impact chronic pain and illness has on the mental state of the sufferer.
Today the two paths become one.
Today the two paths become one.
When my body first began its rapid slide to the current disaster I approached it like everyone else; go to the doctor, find the problem, and fix it.  Obviously, right?  Well, as the months started to turn into years and the pain and misery weren’t abating, in fact, they were increasing, my thought process began to diverge from those who surrounded me.  I did go to the doctor, many doctors actually, many times, but that is where my original plan failed.  The pain was from nerve damage, but that was where the understanding of my situation stopped.  My body kept adding more and more disparate symptoms and the doctors seemed to get less and less understanding of my situation.  As the confusion regarding my illness increased so did my pain and with each failed attempt at managing the pain or finding a diagnosis, my hopelessness soared.
pain - real pain scale
At first I felt adrift, disconnected from everyone and everything.  The days blurred and what was once important no longer seemed real.  I knew I was a part of the world, but it felt more like I was watching it from afar.  The life I had seemed so long ago and so far away.  I would never live that life of adventure and accomplishment again and I grieved that loss terribly every second of every day. My days now consisted of lying in bed using ice, heat, medication, stretches, the fetal position, anything and everything I could think of to lessen the pain.  I would have turned cartwheels in a clown suit if I thought it would help.  Being pain free was unimaginable in my current state, I just wanted it to decrease enough so I could take a breath.  All I wanted was a little relief, just a tiny bit, just an hour, or even a minute, whatever life could find it in its heart to grant me.  The only real relief I knew was sleep and the first thing that goes with chronic pain is (drum roll) sleep.  Even when I was granted short stints of sweet sleep I was told by others that I moaned and even cried in my sleep.  My conscious mind got some relief, but my body’s pain continued.
There was no escaping the pain.
There was no escaping the pain.
After months of this, day in and day out with no possibilities of relief my heart and mind came together on one thing: what I was not living, I was just surviving.  If I was staring down day after day, year after year of so much agonizing pain that I had no room for any quality of life I knew that this fight was a losing one and there was another option.
Suicide is usually associated with anger.  Most of the time someone reaches a very dark place in their lives and kills themselves with some variation on the thought of, “they’ll be sorry,” or “I’ll show them.”  It is often a permanent solution to a temporary problem.  However, in some cases, there is no anger involved.  I believed that my situation was permanent and realistically there wasn’t any reason to believe otherwise.  I was in so much pain physically and mentally that I couldn’t survive a life time of this level of suffering.  As far as I was concerned death would be a relief, it would be an end to this awful pain.    I was only in my twenties and my body had forced me to face my own mortality, and you know what?  I was okay with it.  I was ready to go.  I wasn’t angry.  I wasn’t kicking and screaming and gnashing my teeth.  As far as I was concerned it was my path to peace.  The only problem was my loved ones.
holding on is harder
I spent several months having subtle and not so subtle conversations with those I loved. I was trying to help them realize what a kindness it would be to let me go.  That if they could find it in their hearts to understand the agony I suffered by living then they would want me to find relief.  By the time I reached this point the only reason I was still alive was for the people I loved.  I needed to know that they would be alright without me.  At the same time I resented them for forcing me to continue to suffer.  Some people understood and told me as much, to this day I am grateful for their selflessness.  I know what that cost them to say and what they were prepared to endure for me.  The people who refused to release me, on some level, though I understand their point, I resented it. They really had no clue how much pain I was suffering and in turn what they were asking of me.  In this instance, to me, encouraging me to live felt like cruel and unusual punishment. Being alive and living are two different things.
Physical pain is lonely, the depression was excruciating.
Chronic physical pain is lonely and painful in more ways than one.
Some states allow euthanasia for those with terminal illness.  I have seen pictures and read stories of people attending their own wakes and the next day dying peacefully and comfortably in a bed surrounded by loved ones.  I believe people should have the right to choose whether they live or die.  Even before my body turned on me I believed that people with terminal illnesses should have a choice.  Suicide for people like that is not anger; it is because their suffering is too great.  Regardless of how the pain presents, you just don’t know what someone else is experiencing.  What everyone needs is an honest discussion based in understanding and compassion.
There are worse things than death.
There are worse things than death.
Still from personal experience of grief I knew it was those left behind that really carried the burden.  No matter how I suffered I knew if I died there were some people I would take with me.  So I lived on in anger and resentment. That is, when I wasn’t too busy trying not to scream from the pain.  My mental state just continued to deteriorate, many of my relationships suffered, and still I kept on keeping on.  Living for others is no life at all.  I have never been so angry in my life.  Which didn’t help the situation at all. If you look at it honestly we were all being selfish.  I wanted my pain to end and they didn’t want theirs to begin.  I get it, I do, but I don’t think that understanding goes both ways.  I doubt many people understood my side. Many felt they knew what was best for me and living was it regardless of what that life looked like.  I, on the other hand, had a drastically different opinion on the matter.  I believed and still do, that it is not the quantity of life that matters, it’s the quality.
That experience will forever make me mindful of what I ask of others.  It has allowed me a lot kindness when it comes to understanding other people’s choices.  It gave me a depth and breadth of understanding and compassion for which I am grateful, but I still think the price of admission was too high.
Unintended consequences still have a cost.
Unintended consequences still have a cost.
I was lucky, not too many months later I found a new doctor that offered me the peripherally implanted spinal stimulator, a treatment that I have no doubt saved my life.  Even for those I loved I could not have survived long in that much pain.  While the stimulator didn’t take away all my pain it was that modicum of relief that I needed to begin to function again.  I am nowhere near my old life, but I have found small ways to pull enough pieces together so I can feel human again.  It isn’t perfect, far from it, but I’m still finding new ways each day that make it worthwhile to wake up the next.  That doesn’t mean I don’t still have bad days, or I don’t still struggle, I do, but right now I know how to hang on and find the next good thing that makes life worth living.
Hanging on, even if it's by a thread, still keeps you in the game.
Hanging on, even if it’s by a thread, still keeps you in the game.
Depression and suicide are as much a part of chronic illness as all the other symptoms.  The problem is that as a society we ignore and avoid it.  Unfortunately this leaves the chronically ill alone to cope with some pretty strong demons.  I believe if someone had sat me down for a non-judgmental discussion it would have lightened that load.  This may seem like a terrifying discussion, but talking about it doesn’t give them any ideas.  These thoughts have been bouncing around in their brains relentlessly for ages.  Instead you now have the opportunity to offer some different perspectives or get them help if they don’t already have it.  Just remember to lead with compassion and understanding; these thoughts aren’t because of you.  Chances are, like me, they are holding on for you and offering your ear and shoulder will have profound meaning to them.
family





Update December 5th 2014

Things have normalized again with my skin. It took exactly 3 weeks for everything to return to normal. I can see that a normal layer of skin has restored itself over the cheeks, I really think the make up experiment itself went ok but that the removing of the make up and the scrubbing effect made my skin so red and frail. All of the top layer of dead skin cells was removed at once, I had the same thing happening after thoroughly cleaning my skin of any build up in the past. So now things are all good again and had a very good week actually, with calm skin. Woke up with pale skin, went out in the cold, it has been -1 here most of week!! All wrapped up in scarfs and a hoody and my skin still did fine. A bit rosy when out in the cold but no bad flushing or pain. Only this morning I have one red cheek again, from sleeping on the other cheek consistently (makes the upwards pointed cheek go red eventually), and I also forgot to take my clonidine at night, so am cooling with cold pack and fan again now. We are heading off to a theme park for 4 days with my mamma and her partner and my sister and Tim, so it's kind of bad timing, as I need to sit in the car for 3 hours soon, but well.




 I will update a bit more soon and also am working on making selections of pictures I took over the years, adding some here to show per year how winter affected my rosacea.


My dad also brought an old family album over last night with pictures he took of my mum and himself before they had me and a few after, I loved them! Not sure if they mean anything to people who don't know them but I'll share a few anyway, a testimonial of the late 70's and I think my mum looked really stylish too in them :)


















We are with the family in a theme park at the moment, my mum rented it for a couple of days because of her 60th birthday. It's lovely but so hot inside. We switched the heating off as everybody but my sister, who is usually cold, felt too hot but it's 5 hours later now, with one kitchen window open, and it's still hot inside. I think at least 24 degrees. I have the fan on a chair nearby but this place has no freezer, so I had to walk to the reception to ask them to store my 2 cold packs please if possible. The did, but the place closes at night so the earliest I can pick them up again is tomorrow morning. I don't want to sit upstairs in the cold bedroom, instead join the rest downstairs, but my face is flaring and burning and red, despite the fan. 
Everybody also brought bags of nice food, I really tried to be disciplined and made myself some chicken and lentils and olives and carrot. Left the erwtensoep (typical Dutch lovely soup) for what it was, also the nice breads and chocolates, but it's hard. When I am already flushed I get this "what the heck" thought often, just stuff my face with something nice like chocolate, as I'm already red anyway. Trying not to do that tonight. Tomorrow we will visit the theme park, it's cold outside, around 5 degrees I think, so that is good, but this morning I needed at least an hour with fan and coldpack before I got my one sided flush down. 

I feel a bit restless, it's fun and lovely to be together but I always feel such a weirdo when out of my comfort zone, when I notice I still flush so quickly and often from ordinary things in ordinary life. Whereas in my own place, I have the temperature just right, all the stuff I need to stay comfortable, no bad foods in the house to be tempted by. It just feels more safe and relaxing. And I can even convince myself for some brief moments that I can just roll with the rest of humanity in normal life activities. The past week my skin was very calm so I could visit, stay for dinner, have a drink in the pub. Just now, it's back to square one. 

Oh and my mum brought her dog. I am allergic. That isn't helping either...














Update December 6th 2014

Having a real blast this weekend :) The weather was gorgeous today. I woke up with one cheeks flushed and then my nephew came in the bedroom with his (empty) steroid inhaler for his asthma and he was playing "Doctor Tim" with it, but please not with anything that contains steroids!!! My sister whisked him out quickly, phew. 
In the theme park we had a great time, we have a free pass to walk in and out during the weekend, as we rent a house on the estate. We did a lot of things for little Tim, fairy tale forest, carousels, dream flight, where you go in a little carriage through fairy tale scenes. But after lunch at home we went back with just a few adults and my mum baby sitting Tim and we could go loose on the roller coasters. We made a few video's,  I uploaded them here. Apologies for the ridiculous high pitched creaming but the thing reallly went extremely fast, we all had a massive adrenaline rush and went in a couple of times in a row. More of that tomorrow :)



















Here you can watch our trip in the roller coaster as well, it is a lot more clear and sharp than the version I just uploaded here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDDqOZVb6ck&feature=youtu.be

And two of a dream flight:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgcP-eM-OlA&feature=youtu.be

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpCqPZE7Bk0&feature=youtu.be


I think my sister and I sound like a mix of screaming chickens there, in the first video :)
I got such an adrenaline rush there; the thing went so bloody hard and fast, I couldn't believe it. Children above 1:20 meters were allowed in and they were actually enjoying it! We went in 3 times in a row, totally hyped up, running round to go back in line. I think they should put depressed people in there, make sure they are safely strapped, it makes you so happy! And going in at night like we do is even better than in day light.

I love to make a road trip through the USA and go on roller coaster hunt, like those tornado hunters do as well. Hunt the most spectacular roller coasters. I was watching this video just yet



My sister was down and tired from Tim being a slightly little (but üüüber cute) monster today, but I convinced her to go back to the park anyway later in the day, mum baby sitted, and she was beaming afterwards; we were ecstatic. It's such good therapy, I need one in my back garden :)

We also have a roller coaster called Python on the park which goes through 4 loopings, but.... it is short and I noticed that this one I videoed gives you much more adrenaline as it goes faster and has a lot of drop downs so you feel it much more in your stomach than just going through a looping. I mean they're both great but I'd be most interested in the ones with the most of that effect; very high drops and speed. We felt like we were lifted and flying half of the ride, so fast and such drops in height :) 


My skin currently (tonight versus last week - last picture)





Also had a bath, first time in many years, had to put a fan on a chair though :) Make sure it was well clear from water reach, and to prevent any unfortunate accidents. I still got flushed, am pretty red and on fire now, but already was from the food here (chocolate, cakes, mums dinners), and the dog being here in the room all the time.. Enjoying it here but am also longing for my own house again, with cool temperatures, healthy food etc,. Skin is getting more red by the day :/



Had my birthday last month and a friend made a beautiful little movie for me. A bit of a melancholic one, but I don't mind that.







December 11th 2014


In school we all had to do a presentation during English about some topic, I chose the golden ratio for mine, and such mathematical measurements versus timeless beauty. It's a theory. The more symmetrical, the more we deem it as beautiful and there is mask model (see pic) which you can put on any frontal face picture and it will tell you exactly how beautiful someone is in our human eyes (or should I say; in the eyes of the developer of the mask, Marquardt). Taken aside people with weird personal preferences and fetishes. It takes into account that some might have full lips and other small, it is all about the proportions and balance of the features.


I like natural beauty and the golden ratio is a nice idea but it isn't perfection persé and neither a proven theory. There's a certain je ne sais quoi or however that's spelt that comes into play too.
The golden ratio in itself isn't so much an idea, I mean it is a concept of course, but it is science; so many things in this world are constructed by the golden ratio measurements; even your own body goes by its dimensions. The length of the arms and legs compared to the torso for instance. The formula is:

A + B, divided by A = A divided by B.
In most cases this results in the ratio 1: 1,618, which is a proportion you see back in nature as well. If
the length of your hand has the value 1, then the combined length of your forearm and hand has the approximate value of 1,618. The same goes for the proportion of the upper arm plus hand + forearm.
If the foot is 1, then the shin is 1,618. The face is full of golden ratio divisions. In nature the same ratio goes for branches, leafs and so on. It is like one of the measurement building blocks of nature.

But it is not certain if that golden ratio also applies to facial features. This scientist thinks it is and that we psychologically, unconsciously notice it in our brains, which are programmed to look for symmetry and balance. Even very small babies were tested and measured how much longer they looked at a face which is within the good symmetry and balanced facial features and a less attractive face; they look considerably longer to the symmetrical ones, also the ones we here deem pretty. They laughed more and longer to pretty faces and looked away sooner from less 'pretty' faces if given the choice (and when they both have the same facial expression of course; no fair test if one gives a scary look and the other one looks warm and pleasant).


But there are little special things in some peoples faces that make them unique and different and which might not make the perfect 1: 1,618 proportion but still give a unique beauty. Also, the thing we consider beauty differs widely per region and culture, and is also based on the facial structures available and around somewhere.

The golden ratio thing is not a universal law however, it is just an idea. Euclid who allegedly came up with it didn't attach any mystical or universal meaning to it, it's been argued about ever since but a lot of the things supposedly it was used for weren't. Like the Parthenon for instance. It's pseudo-science.


I haven't done the research myself but I admit, but it is an intriguing theory to me. I've been reading this just yet:

1.Does the human face reflect golden ratios in its proportions?

"Not everyone will agree, but there is much evidence to demonstrate that the answer is “Yes.” First, let’s acknowledge that every human face has unique measurements and proportions. As a result no single measure can be said to apply to every face. The real question is whether the golden ratio represents an average or ideal in human facial dimensions. The even more interesting question is whether golden ratios in facial features impact our perceptions of attractiveness and beauty. Debunkers will point out the variations, and perhaps suggest that those who find golden ratios in a beautiful face did so because they were looking for them. Consider the following studies though, which demonstrate that the connection to beauty is based on much more than looking for data to fit the desired result:
Dr. Stephen Marquardt, a maxillofacial surgeon and recognized expert on beauty, studied hundreds of faces in research on attractiveness to develop his patented “beauty mask.” The mask identifies archetypes for the faces perceived as most beautiful. The mask is based on dodecagons, which are based on golden ratios. Below is an example of a face that has been morphed to fit the beauty mask. Make your own assessment and see the YouTube  video of the step-by-step transformation or click here for the article.:
In 2009, a university study identified ideal facial proportions, as selected by study participants who chose the most attractive face from a series of photos. The researchers were not looking for the golden ratio. To the contrary, they concluded that it didn’t exist and announced their own two “new golden ratios” of attractiveness. My subsequent analysis, however, shows that their ideal facial features reveal a dozen golden ratios, in both horizontal and vertical dimensions of key facial markers.
In 2012, a UK cosmetic company ran a competition to find Britain’s most perfect face. The winner was selected from 8,000 contestants. Her face shows almost two dozen golden ratios in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions of key facial markers, as shown in an accompanying YouTube video to the article."

He then goes on to 9 more points and debunks them or confirms them, it's a nice read actually. He concludes:

Is the golden ratio unique and special, or a myth to be debunked?

"It quite definitely a special number with unique properties and it is found in nature, in some quite unexpected places. Even those whose goal is to debunk golden ratio myth will agree that the golden ratio has properties that make it very unique in mathematics and geometry. This one number has intrigued and inspired countless people throughout mankind’s history, and earned a special place in their hearts and minds. It is probably for that very reason that some people have taken it beyond fact to fantasy and mysticism. That, in turn, has led others to summarily dismiss it with just as much zeal. Both extremes in position are flawed and keep us from knowing the truth and applying it.

Is the golden ratio a universal constant of design in nature? No. Must all features of a face be in perfect golden ratio proportion to be beautiful? No. Can it help us to better understand and appreciate beauty in nature, and apply it in our own lives? Yes.
Is the golden ratio required to create great art? No. Can it help to better appreciate some great art and to create with better composition and design? Yes. It’s used for that purpose in art, photo cropping and composition, logo design, product design and other areas of design.
Like many things in life, it provides us with insight into the nature of things, the opportunity to better appreciate them, and the ability to use them to advantage. With all the misinformation and misconceptions that exist, it is best to keep an open mind, and not accept claims made without investigating evidence on both sides, experimenting on your own and coming to your own conclusions."

I'm not convinced yet that there isn't something deep inside the human brain that has a preference to some type of facial or body proportion.. I would like to see that in a research, a documentary :) For instance, I remember from that school project that they investigated whether the hour glass body shape is culturally preferred all over the world and at the time they said it is. Not so much slim, voluptuous or fat, that can all differ per region and culture, but even the cultures who find fat women most attractive still preferred the fat bodies with an hour glass shape. Over, let's say, straight bodies with no curves. And the theory is that the right ratio or fat distribution and hip/waist/chest proportion equals higher fertility to our brains, and should therefore appear more attractive. They tested it and it was like that. But on average, not as a 100% fitting rule, there will always be people who like the opposite of the norm, for all sorts of reasons.
But maybe they came back on those study results by now, it all dates from what I read in the mid 1990's. But if that is true then perhaps we also have a general preference for a certain proportion in the face. Maybe not. How many tribes would prefer a female face with a mighty big nose and a very small mouth, over a relatively smaller nose and fuller mouth, IF they had both type of women in their surroundings? I'm not sure, but it would be interesting to go to all these different cultures and tribes and get an idea first what they find beautiful in a person's face and then find such examples but some within the golden ratio rules and another one outside of it and let them chose. Just to test it. I would be surprised if they preferred an out of proportion face with bad symmetry, if given the choice. It's no absolute law, I don't think that because there will always be people who think different and who have very individual tastes and who like a totally different sort of face. It's not one rule fits all, but I mean more; would it be a thing that applies to a majority of people, yes or no?
I would be surprised if we went to that little village in Congo and see the local women and girls and
ask them who they deem the most beautiful face wise, and they pointed at the one with the least symmetry in the face. It might be! It would be fascinating and surprising to me. And I wonder if it could be that there is a pattern in what different cultures deem pretty, apart from changing characteristics (one culture likes full lips the other small, big noses versus small, all that will differ but how do their prettiest women compare to those considered least pretty in terms of golden ratio?). It's definitely not uniform, but within the choice of female faces they have, could we as outsiders predict which ones are considered most desirable yes or no? Perhaps, perhaps not.


The mask also got a lot of criticism, for instance that it is mostly adapted for a western European face, and is kind of manly even in the outer outlines. But it does fit Marilyn Monroes face, one of the most feminine ones that were out there perhaps. But the mask wouldn't fit say beautiful African faces easily. So it is probably just a theory in the end. And not very important in the big scheme of things :) But because I work with art works always, it has my interest. Have seen beauty portrayed through the centuries and millenniums even, it is intriguing to me.


This poem went through my head today:

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old, and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast
That, whether there be shine or gloom o'ercast,
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimmed and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finished: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end!
And now at once, adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed

Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.






Update, December 14th 2014

My skin is quite flushed and burned up. I again try to avoid the worst temperature changes and keep the indoor heat around 17 degrees. Had such a nice few weeks lately but now all came to a stand still again and I'm stuck at home, cooling and trying to get my work done. Going out for walks when my skin isn't flushed too much, but had to stay in some days. I had a friend over last night and we had a laugh over youtube videos, crazy cat videos, but I was red and flushed all evening. Also had a little art expo opening but didn't know how fast I had to get out of there again. Ugh, life seems so hard to me, when your face is on fire. I found more lovely Victorian (-esque) photographs though and added them on the bottom of this blog post about beautiful Victorian faces.



December 19th 2014
My skin is still really flaring. Trying to get the seb derm to a minimum, not have indoor temperatures too cold or too dry, eating healthy, exercising. Am literally avoiding anything and anyone and it's getting me a bit down. Even when my skin is just red, not even fire engine red, it still feels massively burned up, hot and dry. I experimented with using jojoba oil on one cheek and it was more red for a day and then less red. So not a clear indication at all, whether or not to use it all over my face. My skin does generally best when left alone but I am getting really fed up with the burning. It's ridiculous how reactive my skin is to everything, it should protect me and make me able to face the world, instead it's the opposite and it limits my entire life. Arrghh rant over. 



Oh and my eye brows are really non existent for the half part. I feel it's getting worse with time. I looked it up again, wondering if it is the effect of seb derm, or rosacea, or something else. It can be a sign of thyroid isues but my level got tested over time and seem fine. I read that propranolol use can also cause eye brow loss. I take it daily, but low dose. Perhaps.. I think the real loss started since I have been taking my anti flushing medication, but even before that my brows seemed to thin each year. Now it's just bald almost for a good part, see picture. I fill it in with charcoal powder, loosely patted on my fingertip. Maybe that makes the issue worse, I don't know, but it looks more natural than without. 
Here is some info on hair loss of the eye brows (or eye lashes): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3358936/

Me today before charcoal applications to full the brows in. 


December 20th 2014

Hi B

Bit of outrage here today, the two ruling parties in Dutch Parliament have tried to pass a law twice lately, given in by the pressure of the 4 biggest health insurance companies to limit free doctor's choice for patients. They want to only allow their patients to get refund for the costs of going to the hospitals and specific doctors they have contracts and connections with (and they can make their little deals with, nibbling at health care costs trying to find the cheapest doc who wants to do it and contracting themselves and their patients to them). If you want to go to another one (and for ppl with very specialized illnesses that is a nightmare as it can take ages to find a useful knowledgeable doctor, sometimes far away at the other side of the country even, although that still isn't too far given the small scale), well in that case you will have to pay for it yourself, or you need to get the most expensive care package they offer. And even the basic insurance is already extremely expensive, more than low income can pay for. Bloody rip off from the chronically ill and the poor, once again. Now we can still all chose our own doctor.
Now the outrage part also comes from it being the Labour equivalent party (PvdA) who went along with this right wing party idea, despite their voters being against it. Second outrage is that they rule with this right wing party (VVD) and they tried to get the law past parliament (I'm not sure about the Australian system and how your Parliament works but compare it perhaps with the British house of commons), which worked but then the Eerste kamer (like the British House of Lords perhaps in a way, only ours are no lords and chosen by the regional representatives) rejected it. Twice. That means normally; end of story, law is rejected. But the 2 ruling parties are having none of that. Mind you, 90% of the Dutchies said in polls that they are against the law proposition. Now they have created a storm of threatening with a crisis and the fall of the Parliament and then came with a sneaky trick after 3 days of 'grueling' negotiations, expecting everybody to be happy they have a 'solution', some sleazy side alley to push the law through anyway if the ever so slightly adjusted law plan now gets booted again a 3rd time. Under the pretext of the bigger importance of the state. Big fuck you to the Eerste kamer and to democracy and all that is behind it is the lobbying of the health companies. Prime minister just says: this law will come there, either from the left road or the right (that's a saying here), because there have already been agreements made with hospitals, doctors and insurance companies and we have to stick to our promises. Nobody seems to be bothered by that; representatives making appointments before a new law has even passed parliament.
There is one small health insurance who's director is in all sorts of discussion programs and who spilled the beans, said he is the only one against the bill, and how the lobbying has been relentless etc.   More of the same here as is happening already in the states and England perhaps too. All in the name of crisis control, a good deal of the social welfare system we had has been taken away and replaced by privatizations and more and more costs, always the middle classes and poor who are hardest hit, a crisis not caused by them, but paid by them.

I understand that they need to cut costs, again. And I don't know how you feel about all this. But for
people like me it is a nightmare. We are bound to very specific doctors who have a special knowledge in complex illnesses and after this law gets into working, it mean I have to do with the first petty dermatologist the health insurance selects for me. Or all the costs are for me. Very sad.

Almost gives me the nasty impulse to get as many things checked out and seen by by specialists as I can think of the next year, I know I can push for every type or medical research if I want to, just to make sure they have to pay. But of course, if more people would think like that, that in the long run only make them crank up prices even more for others to cover those costs, no way they will have losses over health care, only the patients will. Call it insurance but be in fact money makers with profit intentions.

Arrgghhhh


December 24rd 2014


Skin is going a little bit better again, hallelujah. I've started using my UVB narrowband lamp again, exposing the skin on my legs for it (shielding my face from the radiation) and cranking my vitamin D levels op in a more natural way. The light has a very narrow light range, mimicking exactly those natural sun rays which set our bodies up for creating natural vitamin D3 from it. It's the only thing I have changed the past 5 days so I assume it has something to do with it, although you never know with rosacea, it goes up and down always it seems. 
I'll add some pictures tomorrow!

Ok it is tomorrow, the pics are taken the past days, both when more pale, mainly when right out of bed. And then within half an hour I tend to get red again, but it's more tolerable now than a week ago. Cranked up the social life as well again. 






December 29th 2014

I've been experimenting with jojoba oil on one cheek (see pictures here). Now that the cold is back, my face is fairly flushed again :(

 I can see that the treated skin is a little bit more smooth in skin texture and at times it perhaps shows a bit more paler areas than the other cheek. I will continue using the jojoba oil for a longer while, only on my right cheek. 







January 1st 2015 
Happy New Year :) Healthy new year too I hope for everyone. I've not been feeling great the past weeks and the last 4 days I have had some chest/lung irritation, and what feels to me like TBC or pneumonia but well.. I tend to dramatize things usually :) It is most likely a simple flu thing that hit the lungs. A good excuse to feel like a wet towel and lay in bed watching movies all day, yep :) Never had anything like this in my life so coughing and having a rasping breath and mucus etc is making me a little bit uncomfortable. Hypochondria has set in and I was forced to write a friend in a jestfull manner, when we tried out writing in Victorian style about this. A little example of how this went (and it was all nonsense writing, but I leave most of his writing out for privacy):

Hi 
 Well it just sounds like you're feeling a bit flat, which is a shame. I get that and you just have to let it pass but try and treat yourself to help it on its way out.

My wallowing response; 

You are reading my thoughts, flatness it is; vapidity. Am thrown back into the void, with its solemn solitude. It fills me with pressing ponderings which lay heavy on my chest and your advice, 'tis vastly appreciated. Especial while I'm simmering in this acrasial mood. I will have to just drift along with it, sehr getreowe that is, let it float me to wherever it may lead.
However your correspondence, much anticipated, was a breath of fresh flowery sweet air, as if spring had landed on my with sickness ridden bedroom doorsteps. A herald of Persephone almost, ready to lead me away from further crevasses in the deep and beyond. In my state of semi delirium I was ready to come along with whatever that shadow had proposed. Ahh you know about my aeipathy for language, thank you for that. 

Your writing filled me with deep rooted vivacity and laughter. I felt the blood return to my dulled skin and a touch of spiritedness well up. Oh how scrumptious that is when you mock the smug language (and me?) like that. I suffer from a severe case of melancholia and agitation at the moment, they are thinking of shipping me to a Swiss sanatorium for fresh air to lift the spirits as melancholia can be fatal in some cases as you know.

And later:

it seems i have been granted essomenic qualities; all the mockery with Swiss sanatoriums has avenged themselves onto me, I seem plagued by TBC, bronchitis at the least and feverish (for real).

I think I will make it through the night, if not, thanks for the support, and if so, I will scriven most forthwith in return. 

That over the top, old fashioned writing isn't serious, just a little word Spiel. I had to look up all of those hard words up myself as well, I used sites like these, looking for synonyms and then picking the ones I never had heard of myself, just for the fun of it; how posh and complex and over the top can we make one simple message sound. 
http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/indubitably
http://phrontistery.info/clw1.html
It's all done in jest, nobody would write like that anymore in a serious attempt of communication in the year 2014/15, but therefore it feels like a dressing up game but then with words, it's fun to me when done in a game like mood where you both try to sound as ridiculous as possible. 
I wouldn't say in a normal manner; 'hey I feel like dying, I might not make the next day, thanks for all'. It's positively ridiculous, but for the Victorian style it's not that far off actually. It's not just the words they used but also the theatrical dramatic way they used to write.



So well that distracted me a bit and gave some goofy fun for a little while. I spoke with a rosacea friend the other day who suffers from seb derm and red skin due to the winter weather. The convo went a bit like this (I felt like leaving some things of the friend out for privacy reasons, so I hope the convo makes sense this way):


Hello dear, how are you doing? We have snow now  my Seb derm hates it. May I ask you which antidepressant medication you take? 
hey dear, yeh my seb derm is flaring too. I take mirtazapine, also called remeron. But babes; it will make you gain weight most likely, I would really seriously consider that. There are others out there with less weight gain side effects, like prozac and a few others. I take mirtazapine because it is about the only one out there which seriously reduces the flushing and that is my worst symptom. I flush all day otherwise, but if you use it primarily for depression I would not use mirtazapine personally.
Hey, thanks  weirdly I haven't really been flushing. Just Seb derm, although my cheek looks horribly blotchy and red too, but not hot, just dry and red with paps. Makes me feel down. 
ahhh virtual hug to you from me 
Thank you!
i know how depressing it is, ive been down too the past week; actually I stayed in bed till 1;30 today, just too down to get out haha. The fact it is winter isnt helping either. I am more social with better temps and better skin
I feel the same. Guests here but not enjoying it
so we get the whole thing all at once; painful skin, red skin, not wanting out, no sun to lift the mood
Just want to hide. And I made it worse by crying
Yeh, I know. Awful isnt that? I hate crying, even about something beautiful cause it makes me so red and dry cheeked
Me too
Mine is so dry and tight even with moisturising cream. And so red , I'm so freaked out cos it's usually pale. But now I see so many enlarged capillaries.
It might just be the cold. I have been so so red often and still can go back to pale skin all through summer, the only ones that might stay are the couperose type of tiny bursted little spider veins all on top of the skin. I had a few so far, but you wouldn't notice them unless very up close so I dont worry about them
I have some of those, they usually aren't very obvious but now they are. I looked in the mirror in direct sunlight this morning and was upset. 
I think it will get better once the redness is down a bit again hun, have you been doing some nice things at home? What did your mum say when you were sad?
She gave me a hug. Said there was more to me than my skin
yeh, sweet, maybe she sees how serious it is for you now?
I've been trying to eat a healthy diet and been sleeping well
any impact? I do see a positive impact from it. Oh and I use a UVB lamp. I find my skin more pale from it! It emits radiation that mimics the rays that make your skin create uvb. I shine it on my legs a few minutes at night, and the body makes its own vitamin D
Not seen any change
Not? Oh buggers, that is poor motivation then
Just so dry. Seb derm everywhere, skin feels rough and tight. Sorry for being such a misery
Can you make the house more humid? the air? I use a humidifier, and try drinking a lot of luke warm water. I can order new cream again now. I'll send you one of the creams instantly then so you have  it a few days later. Should help I hope
Thank you so much. I think it really helped last winter. I didn't have bad skin last xmas
I don't usually feel this down. Just after days of avoiding carbs. No results
Yeh its double trouble then, no nice foods, still bad skin, no results. Be strong you know this will get tons better again when spring is there, it is not all year round thank god. I hold on to that too, had such good summers, it wont stay winter for ever but it sucks to be alive like this now, same for me
I know. I'm sorry you feel the same way
I know hun, i have all at once too now and just feel depressed. All I can do is sleep, work behind the pc, do my walk and back with a blanket on the couch, I feel an absolute leech lately haha.
I feel the same. Never want to do anything cos my skin looks awful. We are going out for a meal tonight, have to dress up and I don't want to, I want to hide
Ah just go out and try to have some fun perhaps, distract yourself a bit?
No, I want to hide haha!
Hahaha, hide and dont come out till they left for dinner then lol. I need to go out more for sure. 
Yeah. Feeling so edgy and horrible. Just want to go upstairs and wash my face
Better not, will dry it out even more? Its awful isn't it when your face is bad and your irritation level goes sky high. I normally love kids, but when in suffering skin wise, arghhhh
Yeah same. So short tempered today though. I want to wash off my makeup. I put some on to hide it a bit. 
Oh right, sorry, I forgot about the make up. When you need to go out tonight for dinner, perhaps its better to leave it on?
It's just making it drier but I don't feel like I have any choice. I feel like I need to moisturize
It's so dry it's starting to burn. And we are not going out for another 6hr
Ok maybe wash it off, put moisturizer on? I found that la roche posay I used pretty nice
Yes, I'll do that. Yeah. It's very good and mild. The whole skin texture has changed due to dryness
And soooo itchy. 
The itch must be awful. I'm used to pain; better than itch. Hun i have 2 hours left before I need to go to the dinner. I will do a little walk now but have a nice evening if possible and when I get back home later ill say happy ny.
Ok, I hope you enjoy your walk. I find its just too cold to be out at the moment here. Only around 2 degrees with snow so I'm trying to avoid it. Do you manage to keep up with your work? I seem to have lost motivation.

hey yeh I had a nice walk but its about 5 degrees here and my lungs are worse now; am a bit worried I have a lung infection perhaps, also have mucus coming from the lungs. Nah I hardly worked the past weeks; just felt sick; just wasting time reading online and watching docu's and chatting basically which makes me feel even worse, as I know I feel better when i just work and meet deadlines
Me too. I did a little bit, but nowhere near enough
I just need to switch off wifi. That's all it takes. Wifi on and im off on the www, it's childish almost
Maybe it's the cold weather. It's about 5 here. Me too.
No never had lung or chest problems, so am abit worried. Keep coughing and it rattles when I breath deep. Barking type of cough, constantly.
Have you had a flu this past week?
No but nose is a bit blocked now
As long as you don't have any chest pain or coughing blood it will probably be ok
Are you coughing anything up?
yeh? No need for antibiotics or anything you think, as there is thick mucus? Bit sore throat too so assume its viral?
I bet it will be
Ahh thanks
Keep an eye on it. If you really start to feel unwell maybe see Gp
i guess you need a fever too for it to be a proper issue
My x keeps suggesting hydrocortisone
Oh no, don't. I know she means well. No cortisones. Yeh i know but... noooo, don't take the risk
And it would temporarily help Seb derm. But I won't
Well only as an inflammation suppressor, but that is temporary
Steroids started this problem I feel
And the problem with seb derm is more the yeast I think, mine too.
Yes definitely
All was fine before i used hydrocortisone, that set the whole thing off.
It's hard to know what to do, the zinc soap will help kill the yeast, but it's drying and irritating so I just don't know whether to use it or not
Dr X even told me about a patient who was finally doing well again after years of rosacea and then she had one asthma inhaler puff and was back to square one. Steroids and rosacea are no good combo he says. Yeh well the cream I use works well. It's neutral and a wax like substance, not drying. Not very oily either and it kills the yeast.
Yeah, I still have some, but it's been like a year. So I daren't use it. It's great.

Noooo, absolutely not, chuck it in the bin pls. 
I used it all over last xmas
Mine is 3 months old and already sifting
I will
Yeh well at least there is something then and normally i get a new tube every month, its just been a nightmare with pharmacy who consistently make me one big tube instead of orders of two. I need to be on top of it now. Yeh I'm really grateful for it too and more; it took us 5 attempts with different creams to find one that I tolerate. T|he pharmacist was so patient and helpful, really great.
I feel guilty for feeling down at times. 
It's just tough to keep upbeat and confident with this skin shit, that's all it is. No man is bothered by red dry skin trust me, but our depressed deflated attitude, well that might bother some
Yes, I agree
So once you have it under control again soon, the cream will help no doubt you'll feel a bit better too, and that will reflect on the rest of your life and all will be fine again. Just accept perhaps that winter is a tough period for all rosaceans
Yeah, I guess I just don't know any. Well you of course 
Yeh and a great forum full of them 
I guess I'm just worried about the redness mostly
yeh understand the worry, but im sure it will be back to normal soon once the cold is over and seb derm is treated
I hear those are permanent. Even a month or so ago they weren't here. How is the jojoba working for you?
I see many more when my face is red and flared than when I'm pale; they are invisible then on my skin only when red do they get noticeable. It might be different with you but i doubt you'll be covered by lots of big visible veins soon. Yeh some days I think the jojoba cheeks is paler and others more red
so no idea yet. Having that meal now
Oh, good luck!
Thanks for the tips and have fun if possible tonight you
Thanks. I'll try. You too


The meal with friends was really nice actually. Even though it was warm there, even though the main dish wasn't lamb as was said before, but wild boar :) And even though it lasted till after midnight and I ate 5 courses of Forbidden (rosacea) Foods. I was red and hot after an hour in there but I notice it more often, when I just keep drinking cold water and relax, there seems to be a peak point and then the redness just goes down all by itself again. Not fully down, I was still pretty red cheeked when coming back, but a color which others don't seem to notice as unnatural. I am feeling so much better now. I know it deep down always; the more social I am and force myself to be basically, the better my spirits. The first hour or so I felt alien still, had been inside the house for too long I suppose, but once I got into the hang of things and conversations were nice and interesting and I could take part in it all in a natural way, my self confidence went back to normal too.

Here are some pictures of Xmas dinner, with another friend. It was cozy and nice, we watched Audrey Hephburn movies as well.that evening and she seemed fine with me having a blanket around me and a fan on during the movies. I still feel very awful about having to do that with guests over but most seem to have less issues with it than I myself have. Which is a relief to notice. 







January 5th 2015 
Since Christmas the lung symptoms have gotten worse. Still think it's flu or some ciral infection or bacterial infection from the airconditioning in public transport. I never had shortness of breath or other respiratory issues, but as days went by I got more trouble breathing freely, and was coughing constantly. It wasn't alarming enough to go to the doctor, I mean c'mon, a cough..  But after a week things still weren't clearing and my flushing and face burning went through the roof. I saw the local GP a few days ago and being a hypochondriac I already suspected pneumonia, TBC, a heroine death etc haha. Luckily it was just bronchitis and sinus and throat infection. Got a stash of mucus clearing and anti inflammatory meds, but I worried they would worsen my rosacea. So already relieved I wasn't suffering from incurable pneumonia, I just let it be and skipped some days of walking outside all afternoon. Seems things are slowly improving a little bit, but I can't recall having a flu for so many years and the few times I did have it, it would clear in a few days. Quite different this time. Also, I was surprised how tired and ill I felt. Just completely knackered actually.

I will add some more little chats I had with some rosacea friends. I'm not sure they are even remotely interesting to read, but they give perhaps a little insight in how rosacea dominates even our leisure time conversations. 

A lovely lady who has emailed me the past year is finally doing well again and wrote me this:

Skin-wise it's prob the best month I've had in a long time despite the sweltering summer heat. I've been throwing absolutely everything at this rosacea menace I can think of - still on mirtazapine and low-dose doxy (which I hope to come off soon). Also went to see a naturopath/nutritionist who put me on high doses of flaxseed oil (which I seem to tolerate ok so far) and a couple of different probiotics, including a product called glutagenics which contains glutamine. Interestingly she said she sees a lot of patients with digestive issues/ibs taking anti-depressants for these problems and seeing benefit - apparently they also reduce inflammation in the gut somehow, which I  didn't know. Still have flare-ups frequently especially when sleeping but the good days are increasing. How have you been? Have been thinking of you as I know the winter is tough!x

I have been instantly reading up on flaxseed and glutagenics, and bought the last one online instantly:
Glutagenics® features three key ingredients— glutamine, deglycyrrhizinized licorice (DGL), and aloe—that are designed to support the integrity and healthy function of the gastrointestinal lining . A healthy gastrointestinal lining is essential for proper digestion, immune function, and overall health. 
I haven't tried it yet and have no idea if it is of any use, either for my skin inflammation or bowel issues, but will report once I start trying it :)
I also read up on omega 3 sources and flax seed and found this article, which basically says that you need to consume such an immense amount of flax seed to have your body make sufficient amounts of ALA (and then ultimately DHA, which you are after), that you are better off taking fish oil. Now that is impossible for me as they are too high in histamine and make my rosacea far worse every time I tried them, that I now bought some algae supplements (chose the Solgar one), which should provide some more DHA (which should lower inflammation in the body and skin). Again, I think I tested it some time ago with no significant effects, so I will try it again and report on it, but I have no idea if it will be of any help for my rosacea. I get this rush though, of haste and hurry to read up on things and BUY BUY BUY once I read such messages from fellow rosaceans having success with something. I have honestly so many opened and half used bottles of supplements here, it hurts to imagine all the money wasted, but I still can't stop myself from looking for that holy grail of supplements. 

Here is a little convo I had with my best friend and fellow rosacean on computer screens versus face flushing. 


http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-mystery-of-marsha-mehran--the-bestselling-young-novelist-who-died-a-recluse-in-a-rubbishstrewn-cottage-on-irelands-windswept-west-coast-9953073.html
If you google her pics, Marsha Mehran, wow she was so beautiful. Such a sad story
Just reading the article, wow so sad. Id never heard of her, have you read any of her books?
No never but her story really hit me a bit. I'm such a recluse too haha
Yeah very poignant. It's interesting being awake early :) There are mums with kids everywhere!! I dont usually notice this haha because I do my errands later in the day/or where possible at night. Every second person I see has at least one child in tow! And there's young beuatiful women everywhere, it seems like the world is mostly populated by them in the morning. So funny, I never thought there would be such a different demographic of people out and about at different times of day. I guess I ought to take into consideration the fact its school holidays but most of these kids are toddler age.
Haha true, the few times I'm up and running in town around 8/9 i see all the young pretty ppl too, going to work. Around my time of getting out all I see is the jobless and the elderly haha, and the freelancers and from home workers like me I guess. It does give you another perspective on life and geographics :) Good point. 
I've had this horrible idea; what if the laptop makes my face so much worse? When on holiday and not using it much my skin is better than this. I already use a dimmer for the brightness though
Hmmmmmmm..What part of the light do you think is bad? You can tint and screen filters to remove the electromagnetic fields and uv. Holidays might just be the change of scene relaxation distraction etc that helps.
Well i read about that but this is a flat screen laptop and they don't emit UV is all I read. What filters?
I called for them no computer business has them; they all say they are not needed with new style laptops.
What do you think of this clip? Its Irish dance, I used to love this one back in my 20s 

I talked to a company who made them, I don't remember them now but a quick search came up with this http://www.lessemf.com/computer.html
Oh cool. I'll see if they have them and buy them
You can get tint
Amazing thanks. Haha I want them, also the face shielding although that one will look positively weird..
http://xps.org/uvnotes.htm Interesting reading on uv. They agreed that led doesn't emit uv but I've read conflicting reports that it does.
Hmm.. the dimmer I installed can be switched on and seriously reduces the brightness of your screen
more than you can do normally. That is a good one I feel and for free
Oh that's really cool
But I might want that shield too
You must be careful of your eyes when I had consistently bad Rosacea I used low lighting for everything and I started needing glasses 
Ok. I will do some more reading on those products, if laptop screens emit no UV radiation then they seem silly
I know there's a tint you can out on but I'll google to refind it
Oh pls do
They emit high Emf's which can make the skin burn
I just want some stick on thing to stick over your screen
Dad got me a shield
For your laptop?
For the screen. Yeah
Do you stick it on like a sticker?
It does change the clearness a bit though
Could you PLEASSSSEEE give me the link to what dad got you?
No the shield hooks on
I need it badly. Ok
But the tint sticks on like a screen protector
I had one for my old style laptop. It wont fit on my laptop though. How do you keep it stuck then?
http://www.biznetmall.com/antiradiation/computer.htm
There's a tint in there/ I actually found and spoke to a scientific company ho made these and specialized in it but I can't find it. I might be able to search my old email
Ok so you have the one where you have to measure the size of your screen? And then they make one that fits?
No my dad got mine from work but the one I would try is the made to measure bcoz it looks similar or get the tint that you stick on your screen
Ok your other link says that flat screens do not emit uv radiation. I have an old style UV shield at home for my old pc. I will try to find it and use it first, see if it makes a difference before buying a new one I think. It should be the same thing
But they emit Hugh level radiation from electro magnetic fields
Ok, also the screens? And do these shields protect from that?
The screens I linked will only shield from Emf's not from uv
Ok, that's what we want, but what about the casing? you got foil around your casing too?
If you've got a uv one at home try that first then you can rule out if it is a uv issue at least and if not try the emf shield
I need to measure my screen then
Yeah so they can fit it on. So you can Have you ever tested the electricity around you with a gauss meter?
It says new message from you but i don't see it. 
Huh? That's so strange  I was just saying how comprehensive that article was and have you ever bought or hired a gauss meter to test the electricity fields? I looked into it a few years back when I got tingles every time I used my mobile phone. I didn't get the gauss meter but you can hire them from ARPANSA which is aus's governement radiation protection place. It would be tough to find out you had a lot of emfs at home
I did at some point, my mum bought, no hired me an expensive crystal that was supposed to counteract bad energy and radiation. Very expensive, never helped me one bit. He had a meter device
to show me all the radiation points at home. At X's place we have NO wifi signals from anyone but our own. I have it switched off often. Also no radiation from mobile devices
Ooh cool. That's fantastic
I think i ill just try to work more from paper; less on the pc. 
oh i dont know anymore babes, what meter that guy used,  it was all very bad of course haha, since he wanted to sell his crystals. 
Yeah see how it goes before making drastic decisions
I would like that screen though, but will see if I can find one close to home. Otherwise order it from your site
You can hire them yourself but in the city I imagine the emfs are everywhere
Yep. But... I'm in front of the laptop a lot haha. I will try having it on less .. less laptop
see if it makes a difference. If so, then the screen filter thing
Possibly, there would be way more electricity from a laptop than a mobile tower. So that's good
And a trainline. And high voltage power lines
yeh well I never second guess it. I might try to just cut it down. I love my pc, does that sound pathetic haha? 
Yes  me too. See how you go. What makes you sure its that? (well pretty sure)
Well just, waking up decent skin, then laptop on, bright red soon after
Hmmmm
It's part of me getting up and getting the blood flowing, but I also wondered, all that radiation and light, maybe..
That does sound suspicious. Is it the same year round?
Well no.. there you go. In summer my skin is better, even with laptop on. I think now in winter its already bad and everything triggers it
See you could be okay in bed since your relaxed and not as cold then worse out of the bed cocoon in the cold air. Yeah when my skin is bad I then react to everything.When it's good the triggers decrease somewhat, the res slightly more resilience against them.
True. Getting up, getting blood flow going, then an hour later I can bring it all down again by relaxing. Yeh in summer I can handle even bad foods, threshold for flushing is just higher, now its all a mess.
Yeah I've found the past few days in the heat as soon as I stand up and do something, anything simple that gets your heart moving slightly higher than resting does, the flushing gets even worse!
I get hotter
I understand the seasonal aspect. Oh and I got a message from X, she has some tips, has some seemingly positive effects from flaxseed oil and a couple of different probiotics, including a product called glutagenics which contains glutamine. 
I have flaxseed oil here. I might try it again, think it made me flush worse in the past though... She also mentions probiotics
Interesting!! Yeah I used that product glutagenics for my stonach burning, it was wonderful!! Ive got it again to try for my bowel inflammation
I think the issue with flax seed was that it is high in omega 3 which is good but also some omega 6 perhaps which can be pro inflammatory. But might be wrong I think the flax seed is the good one
oh really? Glutagenics, what is it?
Evening primrose is high in omega 6 I know that much
I neeeeed it. Yeh not good, stay away from 6 I think they also say on the forum,  omega 3 is good
It's an anti inflammatory product with glutamine and other natural noninflammatory's for the gut
Its by metagenics they are the best in dietary supplements. Very high quality.
Ok found glutagenics, will order it straight away! It also has aloe vera and what we call sweet wood?
Licorice root extract, its got potent anti inflammatory properties
Yep, ok same one, from metagenics. We have it on sale in holland too I see. 
Yes that's it
That's fantastic! How much is it there?
Ok cool Im buying it now. 28 euro. That's ok
Yeah its about $60 here
Yeh well everything is more expensive in australia and USA, all at least 50% cheaper here
I know 




As mentioned in the convo above, I read this article, I was really very touched by it, beautiful girl.
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-mystery-of-marsha-mehran--the-bestselling-young-novelist-who-died-a-recluse-in-a-rubbishstrewn-cottage-on-irelands-windswept-west-coast-9953073.html

http://iran-times.com/novelist-vomiting-weeks-before-her-death/


Especially that isolated living and writing part.






Hi, oh still in the dumps here. I saw the doc yesterday, have some meds, western style ones and they give a truckload of stuff here, also homeopathic meds. Also have some inflamed sinuses and it gives me roaring head aches the past days.  Homeo- WTF :)  Jokes.. 
Here is a parody on homeopathic medication, had me laughing

This is a video someone made on female faces in western art the past X hundred years:

Lots of blue eyes. Lot of straight fair hair too. But also some gypsy beauties :)
The people wealthy enough to have their portrait painted tended to be white and healthy looking like these, so it is by no means a fair representation of the masses of course, more of the snubs who could afford such portraits. Although painters would also sometimes pick their models from the street.  
Found some music Henry the 8th wrote, the lyrics are also quite unmistakingly his haha
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8-hqdDJ6L0#t=67

 And you might like this, it's dance but very clever use of virtual illusion pixel projections.

No antibiotics were given, anti inflammatories and homeo. for now and if there's no improvement next week they will add antibiotics. But seems to go a bit better today, I had been out so far every day on afternoons on walks. Seemed to not help matters though, so just stayed in and warm today and have more air too now, no doubt it will be over in a few days.

In Holland the upper classes, the old rich (not the nouveau riche) have so much etiquette. Like in other countries I guess, you hear it instantly in their accents. Exaggerated round long r's. 'Auto' means car, we say auw - toh, posh people say 'ooh-toh'. They tend to open their mouths a lot wider to pronounce words than those with regional accents. (And the elite of Europe also spoke French in the old days to separate themselves from the plebs of course). They have a similar word thing going on; we would say 'gebakje' for a sweet pie, they say 'taartje' (sounds old fashioned to most normal people). We say toilet, they say WC. We say fridge, they say freezer (it shows that your family already had a freezer before the invention of the electrical fridge, something only the case with the aristocracy), we could say pantalon and they say broek (pants), they wouldn't say ceintuur but belt. It seemed weird to me initially, you'd expect them to fall for the French words, and for some words they do, but just as often it's the opposite. The old money people stuck to the normal Dutch words then, and it were in fact the plebs and mostly the nouveau riche who would try to look more sophisticated than they really were by going for the French words. Trying to be chic. But the aristocrats here wouldn't do that, nor wanted to be associated with the nouveau riche, so they went for the real Dutch versions. And they still use those words, but now in the 21st century those words sound old and stiff themselves, as they are very dated, so you can actually recognize them now by these word choices.
  
I think the elite used to try to distinguish themselves also by showing their education background, so they would chuck in academic terms, Latin, French, and try to make complex, embellished sentences in writing and speech. Just to set themselves apart from the rest and as some cultural subgroup thing. Showing off their knowledge and using it as a code among each other. So yeh, super elitist. Also, education used to be linked to having enough money back in the days here, and unfortunately that is still the case in England :/ But that meant that knowing academic terms and foreign languages was an automatic sign of status and wealth (= education).



Oh yeh, I never had a respiratory or lung related issue before so was indeed surprised how it knocks you out. Having not enough air, the inflammation I suppose too, was just a wet towel as we say here, very annoying as we usually just ignore flu's or other minor ailments in our family and get on with life and then it's over again soon enough, but when you struggle for breath, wow, that's a different cookie indeed. Made me think of sister too, we all had some allergies and eczema as kids but she had it really bad and then has asthma and bronchitis, chronic, on top. Those conditions tend to come in clusters, allergy, eczema, asthma and she hit the jackpot. 

Yeh true about the antibiotics, they used to hand them out like candy, especially in France and Spain, all of the south of Europe possibly. Even for flu. And they expect a prescription when they leave :) In Holland we are the opposite, that protestant Calvinistic thing. Women don't get any pain medication during childbirth either with us. Epidural? Hahaaa, in your dreams. So in Holland you usually leave empty handed when you visit the GP: oh wait it out a bit longer, it's nothing, it will solve itself. That didn't help my sister much at the time, I swear in France or most other countries this wouldn't have happened. They send you straight to hospital with the slightest shred of doubt.

So anyway, that hasn't helped no with antibiotic resistance issues,  although worst perpetrators are the poultry and livestock farmers. They en masse give these animals preventive antibiotics. Just makes me livid, it's so ridiculous. Firstly you eat all that crap, plus the growth hormones they give and the steroids they give to prevent inflammation, is all in your piece of meat, and second because you have full strains of antibiotics who are resistant now. Even though we only started using penicillin and ab's since the 1930's.  Overused it in less than a century, you have hospital bacteria's which are completely resistant now, and they adapt faster to new meds than doctors can make and invent them. All because of greed from farmers, and a slack government who put economic interests first and leave these issue for next generations to sort out. So now they finally started to realize that it is insanity to keep prescribing ab's for things like a virus, and all it does is make those bacteria's stronger and giving them plenty of opportunity to make themselves immune for them.

Oh yeh those are french words but became part of Dutch language over time, sorry, forgot. Ceintuur is a belt, but it a normal Dutch word now, same for trottoir (pavement), abattoir (slaughterhouse), ambiance (atmosphere). Here is a full list of all of the French words that made it into our dictionary http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lijst_van_Franse_woorden_en_uitdrukkingen_in_de_Nederlandse_taal
We tend to love Afrikaans :) They do exactly the same. Make simple words which are pretty descriptive and which seem hilarious often to us, in a good way. Sometimes even they themselves use it as jokes.
Safety helmet is veiligheidshelm in Dutch, the SA make it 'pletterpet'; when you fall to pieces we say; te pletter vallen. It's rough street talk. A pet is a cap. 
G-string, those flimsy knickers, is amperbroekie (hardly-pantsy). Another funny one is stront-in-die-broekie for diarrhea. (shit in your pantsy). Boom is tree in Dutch but they also use it in SA for grass/weed:  ‘jy lyk sleg, het jy die naweek dalk te veel boom gerook?’ (you look bad, have you die last week smoke too much tree?). Bromponie = scooter, in Dutch is it a brom (the sound of a motor) ponie (same for you, the small horse). Duikweg (dive away) is a tunnel :) Kameelperd; a giraffe (camel-horse).
It's mainly Kaapstad where they make these fun words by the way. 

 








Breakfast, the Dutch have a special liking for hagelslag, which are chocolate sprinkles. The Dutch eat bread with meat or cheese on it or hagelslag. Very well loved. People bring it with them when going abroad, that much loved actually. 
It's really tasty, chocolate on your bread. The best is warm toast with some butter and then the hagelslag with a cup of tea, it's delicious, but if you are more of a savory than a sweet eater it might not be your thing. Every person in Holland will know it, eat it most likely and ever kid will protest when there is none on the table with breakfast (well almost all).  There are these health guru's who sell books about eating high fat, no fat, high carb/no carb and so on, butter was once good, the it HAD to be margarine, now it turns out that stuff is bad for you after all and it's back to butter. Same for eggs indeed. Not sure if eating ten eggs a day is wise but just the one each morning should be fine. Most seem to like runny egg yolk, but that makes me cringe. Rather have them hard boiled or scrambled. 
Remember as a kid we stayed during school breaks with other kids at home as my parents wanted us on some artsy special school initially, which was 40 minutes away in the car. Don't ask me.. The type where you as a 5 year old could chose if you wanted to learn writing, maths or preferred the playing corner all day. So we stayed with these ultra hip people at lunch breaks and this woman was horrible, we had to eat sandwiches of whole grain bread with massive cold lumps of butter on it and mashed banana. That dewy soft texture, I literally had to puke and she would just force us to finish it or nobody could leave the table or go back to school. Horrendous. Or force us to eat such "sammies" with lumps of butter and cut cheese, still hate that, 'raw' cheese.. Only the melted one is bearable. 
My mum had that thing with rhubarb, she was too skinny as a kid in the 50's and was sent to the catholic nuns for long weeks to fatten up a bit. They had the same force feeding thing going on there and she would be puking and they had her eat the whole plate, still can't stand the smell of rhubarb even (I like it though).  
The best breakfast I ate personally was in Istanbul; nice bread and all sorts of feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, humus, savory but really nice. And also love pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup. 

Oh and last but not least; this Ted talk and the little docu's on an Australian bush fire survivor. Really touched me deeply, hearing her talk and seeing how she braved through 70% burns on her body. Remarkable speech I think and she makes some touching points about being more than your exterior. And making the most of your life. I'm often too quick to think that other health sufferers are better off than me and that their message 'therefore' isn't fully applying to me, but here that is impossible to maintain. A must watch really. 


And some longer documentaries on her story:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEXHSW5ePns

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_arxBCB4u4






January 12th 2015 


It's been quite a few days since the drama in France and the Charlie Hebdo murders. I followed it on tv and in the news and it made for some passionate debates with friends and online. Mainly about the question (apart from the disgust over these killings): what is more important here, the freedom of speech and to express oneself in the media, or the duty and decency to not offend others. Personally, I go for the first one, as I think freedom of speech, and also of practicing the religion you want and having the freedom to chose the type of education you want, is most important. We have those things here in the -relatively- free west. 
Not offending others is a sliding scale in my opinion. I don't agree with his refraining from offending people because 'offending' is a vague term and a sliding scale. Today its a cartoon, tomorrow it is criticizing religious practices openly.
Why is it ok to make cartoons of politicians, of the pope, of CEO's but not of Islam? I get that they don't want to put oil on the fire by posting offensive cartoons , but it seems to me most journalists and papers these days just won't post them at all due to fear and private safety issues. I don't agree with that. The catholic church also made issues for a long time with satire and ridiculing cartoons. In France they fought for that right, they have a tradition with it since the Marie Antoinette times. Why is it ok to ridicule the catholic church now, politicians (Le Pen also mostly!), Israel, CEO's, anything BUT islam? Especially when you see how big the multi culti problem is in France. I don't think it's about consciously trying to provoke anger and hatred there, but about the right to mock actuality and the every day life issues in the press. Why would Islam be excluded from that, only because they get upset over it (the Catholics don't like their holy people being mocked over sex scandal issues either) or because journalists are afraid, I think it mostly comes down to that.

We also saw the images of the march in Paris today on the news, quite touching and impressive, also Angela Merkel and other European leaders in the front, also Netanyahu from Israël, and just the whole scale of it. It was the largest gathering since 1944 in France, 1,5 million people on the streets. I hope it unites people. I also liked a lot that in England, they projected the French flag on the Tower Bridge and parliament. That must have taken them something haha, they used to want to drink the French' blood :)

Here in Europe there is a small but radical fundamentalist group of Islamists and there is an issue with hate preaching in some mosques. Gathering impressionable youth to fight for their religion and becoming radicals. It's hard to stop.  Also, any limitation of religion is just not in our constitution, we all love freedom of speech and religion so I do worry how to curtail these issues. 
It was powerful however to hear Muslim organizations speak out against the killings in Paris, and against fundamentalist Islamics. To see that they overcame that fear of speaking out. It seems quite a sign that Muslims were holding the "I am Charlie" sign, something which seemed unimaginable one week ago! I saw a reporter in Paris covering the terrible Kosher shop hostage taking, and there were arguments from residents behind him on the street. He let them talk in front of the camera and most said; we won't allow these terrorists to break our union, divide France. We are united as Muslims and Christians and atheist and we are brothers against terrorism. That was great to hear. 


A friend of mine who is German linked it to the Second World War: "That is what people say about WWII;  "you should not judge people of another period of history" and blabla. But then I read what the White Rose guys wrote and it’s like: ok, you were all lazy and cowardly bastards. I do not believe these are "western issues". Yes, those students who printed leaflets against the nazi regime, their words could have been written today. They do not sound like 1940 or something. So nobody can tell me people were generally blind or anything"

And considering religions, we had wars of religion among Christians which are now entirely forgotten. What we should do however is bar foreign powers from funding certain mosques and hate preachers. Those should be prosecuted with no concessions. Now is the moment, no-one will dare oppose strongly while the topic is still hot. We should not underestimate peer pressure among Muslims, so this is hopefully a turning point




So, this is a nice site which shows all the hot spots in terms of twitter activity about the Charlie Hebdo atrocities on that fateful day. 

Apart from politics, my skin has been doing a lot better since the flu/lung issues and sinus issues cleared by themselves. Seems I didn't need to antibiotics after all and neither took any of the other meds so glad my body is good for something at least :)   I'm a lot happier and been out and about a lot. I stick to a healthy diet of apples during the day, lots of lukewarm water, stir fry of vegetables and organic meat at night and as a treat some dark chocolate perhaps. 
Had a very nice day today, slept forever as I slept so little the day before, then my sister called me awake, said she would pick me up in half an hour to go to my mothers place. She dyed her hair brown after us photoshopping some brown hair on her picture the week before and it looked really good I thought. Much better than the washed out blonde. So she was buzzing in the car about it, we had a good day at mums with Tim and stayed there for dinner. My mum is such a character when she is in a good mood, very funny and she kept saying what a dirty snout Tim had. 


Just got back from sisters place, she just likes to hang on the couch with me most nights when I'm here, we enjoys some tv bashing and ridiculing, both under a fleece blanket and watching tv series, this time an appaaaaaalling show, America's Next Top Model. We just revel in disgust, which is quite delicious at times and secretly really like the show :) Sister has a fan in the house, some vertical column and she keeps the temperature a bit down when I'm there and I have been very comfortable this way, being able to stay all night flush free, which feels like a big victory.

Also had to really laugh about this:

Meet Esther the 48 stone 'micro-pig'! Ten times larger than predicted, the giant porker is now the size of a POLAR BEAR 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2905353/Meet-Esther-48-stone-micro-pig-Ten-times-larger-predicted-giant-porker-size-POLAR-BEAR-forced-owners-buy-bigger-house.html#ixzz3OYCxBRSu


















January 29th 2015 

My skin has been up and down, good and bad. When I stick to a very healthy diet, apples, vegetables, some organic meat, it looks a lot better than the times I give in to foods like chocolate. Gluten are the worst I noticed. 
I was in town today and in a supermarket, looking for a cleanser for the skin. The products of La Roche Posay seemed most suitable of what I saw there, 


I also bought this powder. I'm going to England in a few weeks, seeing Dr Chu in Hammersmith hospital again and I will also spend a couple of days in York. Found a cheap B&B and it seemed fun to add a few days of holiday and sight seeing. Might even put some make up on again there. It was a painstaking thing to remove the make up last time, with water and cotton pads, so I wondered if my skin reaction for some weeks after that trial might be linked to the scrub I unintentionally gave my skin in the cleansing process. These two skin cleaners are both aimed for hypersensitive skin. I asked the girl behind the counter which one would be more suitable for my needs but she had no clue and was also very worried about the redness of my skin. That was uncomfortable, I rather pretend to just look a bit red but nothing that would really stop others who see it in their tracks. But she seemed really worried about it and gave me free samples of anti redness creams (all with perfume in it I saw at home, thanks..). In the supermarket itself I looked for a powder from La Roche Posay, to give the near dead mask effect their foundation gave me last time I tried it, a spark of life. I hope this stuff works! The ingredients are not bad: http://www.laroche-posay.fr/produits-soins/toleriane-teint/toleriane-teint-poudre-fixatrice-matifiante-p8266.aspx

COMPOSITION - Code FIL : B44680/3

TAL
SYNTHETIC FLUORPHLOGOPITE
MAGNESIUM STEARATE
TRIISOSTEARIN
PHENYL TRIMETHICONE
SILICA
CAPRYLYL GLYCOL
ALUMINA
CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES
CI 77491
CI 77492
CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES

Ingredients of the cleansers: Toleriane ultra demaquillant:

*Water
*hexylene glycol
*honey
*allantoin
*potassium phosphate
*sodium hyaluronate
*poloxamer 184
*dipotassium phosphate
*disodium EDTA
*polysorbate 20
It says on the package that it is for the ultra sensitive and allergic skin and that natriumhyaluronaat (spelled in Dutch here) is used in eye surgery, that it easily dissolves make up and that it eases skin discomfort and is very mild. Sterile ampules and has a high tolerance. No preservatives, perfume, alcohol, parabens, lanoline or colorings.




The other one, the big bottle, is called Toleriane dermo-nettoyant. It is aimed for the ultra sensitive skin and has these ingredients:

*water
*ethylhexypalmitate
*glycerin
*dipropylene glycol
*carbomer
*sodium hydroxide
*capryl glycol
*ethylhexyglycerin

I know that glycerin leaves a little film on the skin, or teeth when it's used in toothpastes (most contain it). I haven't looked up all the ingredients yet, but these two seemed by far the best of all the skin cleaners I could find, even Avène had perfume in their range for sensitive skin (making an angry face now). I think I will try both on a different cheek once I used make up again and then see what the results are.

So I was in the supermarket, talking with the lady about these products, this was a second lady, and she also said in a very worried type of voice; well, I can see that you really have hyper sensitive skin. It is so red! She gave me also a bunch of freebie creams but all have shitty ingredients,  perfumes most remarkably, so they are pretty useless. I only got more red when she said that, it is also so hot in supermarkets here in winter..Oh well. Here are some pictures of the past week and an oldie I found in some box the other day. I will update on more day to day thoughts and (non)sense below the pictures. 



                                                    Found this old picture, me around age 24


I also took a friend to the beach, it was storming and my face got sand streamed.. Beach was nearly empty and the wind came from land, blowing the sand like in some desert storm, waves of them, then clashing with the real waves, which was lovely to see actually, but I had sand from socks to hair and back. Wrapped my poor skin up with 3 layers of different scarfs, it was a preposterous sight. But a lovely outing. Played in the snow with Tim. 

I've downloaded another audiobook, to listen during evening walks. It's from Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall and it's yet another take on Anne Boleyn and Henry 8th, although here they are mere background extras, to be honest, as it focuses on a character I always loved, also when watching The Tudors (tv series); Thomas Cromwell. Brilliant, sharp, witty, clever, scheming. The book itself is great! Fast paced and intelligently written and gives that whole known Tudor story a twist, by telling it from the perspective of Cromwell, usually seen as a dark force, but not this time. She writes like a man which is a good thing here, its witty and dynamic and historically accurate as far as I can tell and could read up on. Assumes a lot of knowledge on the period and key players already though, not sure I would have been able to follow it all a year or 2 ago. Cromwell was a blacksmiths son from Putney, rising high by his great intelligence and social skills and he was quite charismatic by the sound of this book, well he always was but now you see a more personal side to him. Lost his 2 young daughters to the sweating sickness in 1528 and his wife too. Especially his dialogues with King Henry and Anne Boleyn are really great, one big scheming snake pit of course but played at a high level it's interesting to read about, well for me.  
I want to read these books first (also the second book from mantel on this) before starting with the BBC series that has already been made on it. 




See how happy they all looked going to school in the late 60's :) The pictures are in this link. Made me smile these pictures. Despite some being from privileged Beverly Hills High school. Someone wrote as a comment with these pictures; "They all look so healthy... and happy...  and they're interacting with each other instead if staring at their phones. "How strange" lol!"

And see if you like this documentary, it's bout the universe and our perception, I liked it:
http://documentarystorm.com/the-holographic-universe/



I watched the movie Hot fuzz, it was funny. About the over diligent London based cop who makes his colleagues look bad and who is sent to a sleepy village in the middle of nowhere. "I know what you are going to say, but the fact is you've been making us all look bad. You can't be the sheriff of London, if we keep on carry you run around town, you'll continue to be exceptional and we can't have that." 

The concept reminded a bit of a French movie which was mighty popular; Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis. An employer is shifted from the Provence (top of the hierarchy, expensive and nice temperatures) to the worst area of France, the north east, near Lille where they speak a dialect that makes the Grunnings we speak here sound like a breeze; Ch'tis. Same type of village, same type of village'y people and initial shock horror and magnifying the differences between city and village communities, especially in some remote place with all their extraordinary characters. But that's as far as the comparison goes I guess, Hot fuzz had a bit of a farce type of slapstick humor.  Laughed at Peter Ian Stakers (P.I.Stakers) description of the missing swan, one of the mind numbing crime scene investigation the cop initially has to solve: About 2 foot tall, long slender neck. Liked the Andes two too, reminded of the obnoxious sneering Oasis brothers in some way. Got all a bit of an outrageous parody in the second half. Sergeant Angel came close to Superman in some weird, less heroic and manly way.

 The movie also reminded me a little bit of Forrest gump, the ultra talent and soft natured geekness of him, and Barton Fink. From the Coen Brothers. 

I also read something in one of those lady's mags. It's a dialogue between a male and a female columnist and she asks:

"This is a question that keeps thousands of women awake at night; how to end a relationship in a decent manner? You men are exceptionally bad at it. Often you just start to behave impossible, grumpy, rude, disinterested. Until we are desperate and decide to pull the plug ourselves then. Or you men let the proof of extramarital affairs lying around, hoping that we will kick you out. And I even know a story of a man who left at night, leaving the baby behind and a note saying "I can't do this anymore". 
Perhaps looking someone in the eye and saying that you no longer love him/her is harder than it initially was to declare your love to them. But nothing hurts more than seeing that coldness in his eyes and having to be happy with a few crumbs of his attention, just enough to clamp onto and to hope he just has a midlife crisis. So, could you as a grown up man tell your male friends how it's supposed to go, that breaking up thing? So that we no longer have to pull it out of you."

His reply:
"Ironically enough, when it comes to breaking up, men are women and women are men. When women break up, they do it honest and ruthless, manly almost. Without a shred of compassion we are cast aside by an ice rabbit and that is for many of us also the first moment that our (ex)lover shows us the tough side of her personality. During the entire relationship she was an emotionally incontinent good-for-nothing. Now she is suddenly rational, to the point, clear headed. If we had known that she was like that, we would have made more of an effort!
Anyway, men are like women when it comes to breaking up. As decisive as we are in every day life, so tuntig (german, dowdy in English?) are we when it comes to ending a relationship. A real man says: 'Honey, we tried everything we could, but it didn't work. I am no longer happy, and I can't imagine you are happy any longer either. I look fondly back at our beautiful years together, and I will leave tomorrow because I understand that I can no longer stay here anymore. I do like to have some wild break up sex now, because I hear good stories about it.'   The End. 
But we are cowards, afraid you will demolish the furniture, or attack us with a knife. We are afraid of voodoo dolls and revenge campaigns. As rational as you approach this situation when you are the ones doing the breaking up, as hysterical you can become when we do it. But the most important reason for us not liking to do the breaking up is, that we can't take your tears. We don't want to hurt you. That's why we leave it up to you. That is better for all the parties involved."



I guess this is the Dutch way of things, I wonder if it goes similarly for men in other parts of the world (and women of course!). Are men just unwilling to get into any unnecessary fuss ? Has it got to do with fear of hearing they are not good enough perhaps? Not living up to expectations? Are they cowards or just not bothered? Maybe they know women can become non rational when ditched? I know of a few men who just don't want to look the villain and let it all bleed dry, the relationship that is, in a cowardly way to force their soon to be ex to make the final blow. 







February 4th 2015 

I'm having cold urticaria again. It's snowing and bitterly cold, and I do my daily long walks still. A month ago already I had the raised hives on my cheeks again, 2 big ones and some smaller ones, then the temperature went up and the hives went away after a few weeks (!), but the past days they returned again. Buggers! I'm going to London next week and I surely hope they have diminished by then. Although now at least I can show Dr. Chu them and ask what to do. Reading on the matter already told me that all you can do is take antihistamines (I already do, Xyzal) and avoid the cold. I read a couple of quite hysterical posts from mothers of kids with cold induced urticaria, wailing as if their kids had a life changing severe chronic diseases. Which they are of course, if you look at them in that way. It is life changing if you need to stay indoors in the winter, especially for kids. But if you only get it now and then like me, and on top of the burning face, it's not as big an issue for me personally. 


I have a bit of a hard time deciding whether to stay indoors and prevent the hives from spreading or getting bigger, or going out anyway as I feel like a caged animal basically by the evening if I can't make my long walks. Decisions decisions.. I went out in a snow storm yesterday and had a (fake) fur hat on, Russian style, 3 big scarfs wrapped around my face, leaving only nose the eyes and forehead exposed, then my thick parka jacket over a bear fleece collared sweater, thick stockings which have a fleece inside (yes ladies, in the Netherlands we wear stockings and short skirts even in arctic weather, thick black stockings we like with boots, and this the manufacturers have come to our aide with ultra insulating stockings with fleece on the inside, yessss), but yesterday I put a sweat pants thingy over the stockings, so I was sweating and hot like an oven under all those clothes. Didn't stop the cold urticaria though, did it! So what to do now.. it will be a week of cold and ice so not much chance of improvement any time soon. I'm sitting working in bed most days, blankets, heating on around 16 degrees, fan on far distance (yes it looks positively ridiculous), I even have a humidifier on to keep the indoor air very moist, and my pc in bed to finish work. 



Received this interesting email from a rosacea friend who is extremely smart and into the fine tuning of finding out more about facial flushing and redness:

"Hello Ladies,

I saw a 'The Doctors' tv show today, where a doctor injected an anaesthetic into the neck/spinal column of a Ptsd patient. His significant stressed out state (due to war duties) resolved.
The idea is that severe stress induces a permanent change in the brain. In this case, it over activates the sympathetic nervous system. The anesthetic allows the brain to reset to it's pre-damaged state.
PERHAPS this type of  procedure MIGHT help severe flushers? The flushers who find anti anxiety medication helpful.

http://www.thedoctorstv.com/articles/2796-injection-to-cure-ptsd

I am not sure it would help everyone in the flushing world and in fact, it could make them a lot worse.
I know I react very badly to anesthetics as they induce vasodilation by activating the parasympathetic system.
Recently I tested lemon balm supplements for a few days, and now I have a return of awful flushing and it has activated areas of my face which had not been active for a few years. It is very distressing.
My test was foolish, as I use coffee/caffeine as a drug. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptors, so the result is less vasodilation, but at the same time (as a consequence), they increase the number of receptors.During my recent lemon balm test, I also reduced my caffeine intake, which  was stupid. The result was massive flushing, facial pressure and some swelling. I am truly an addict now.
I think any flusher who utilizes caffeine could react badly to  anesthetics, including the above procedure. Even too much broth makes me flush as the gelatin also activates the ParaS pathway. 
Anyway, I still think the procedure is interesting and MIGHT help some people.
I might write to the author/doctor with the hope he might offer an opinion. 
Also, of interest in my particular case, I have a lot of trouble with the back of my neck and  when this area becomes sore, my flushing increases. I usually have no sign of discomfort until I  lay back on my propped up pillows. On active days, I have little sleep due to discomfort and  the fact my limbs can also experience numbness.
Two MRI's have failed to show any abnormality barring slight disc degeneration which is deemed 'normal' for my age. Which really means, previous bad diet, lifestyle, infections, etc have caused it. Not 'normal' at all.
Still there doesn't seem to be  any pinching of the nerve.

Well, my face is pressurized now, so I will end here.

xx"

 I had quit a few anesthetic jabs the past year for dental issues, also removing a wisdom tooth and they had to give me 15 in total instead of 3 due to weird blood vessels, possibly my anti flushing meds interacting with the transmission of the anesthetic, but it made my face more calm. Less red and flushed. The anesthetic even contained adrenaline. So who knows.
I am weary on the other hand because botox seems to not be the holy grail I assumed it would be..  Isn't caffeine a blood vessel dilator by itself? It makes me flushed at least.  I have the neck pain too, it gives me headaches and indeed triggers flushing for me too. Massages make it a little better. An with the bitter cold here currently my knee caps are killing me, such pain, cant bend my knees, cant keep them straight, its a form of arthritis but its pretty awful currently. 


Another lovely lady responded:

"Thanks for sharing this.  Well, I have actually had this stellate ganglion block - many times!  It works in a very interesting way.  During the injection, I could actually feel the blood filling up in my face, or to be more accurate, in one side of my face, because the dr must inject both sides.  After the second injection is done, I have what I consider to be the absolute worst flare ever where I am engorged with blood from the bottom of my neck to the top of my head.  This horrific and painful episode lasts for about 8 to 12 hours.  Then, it starts to dissipate.  After the flare resolves, a small miracle occurs and I would be flush and pain free for 24 to 72 hours.  
I had many of these blocks done by two different pain management drs.  It lead me to try other longer term nerve blocks.  For me, several stellates only resulted in temporary relief and I needed to find a long term solution.  The longer term nerve blocks in part led me to ETS.  Logic says that if blocking the nerves helps, then cutting them should help, too.  Sadly, the ETS did not work for me.  I still tried some additional longer term nerve blocks and eventually implanted a pump that would keep the block working, but the dr and I were never able to find that exact spot where complete blockage occurred, so I decided to remove the pump.  
In recent years, I also tried a botox epidural.  I would love to try a botox stellate block, but it’s just too risky as it’s close to the vocal chords and also because I worry about getting stuck in the horrific flare for 3 months, instead of relief for 3 months.  When I did the botox epidural, I did not get any relief at all, nor was I any worse.  Feel free to ask me any questions about these block, if you have any. :-)
I am so sorry to hear about your lemon balm experiment making you worse.  Sometimes we do end up worse when trying to get better, and it feels like such a set back.  Hopefully you will feel better soon.  
If you do decide to try a stellate block, let me know how it goes.  I think it’s good to know up front about getting worse before better.  It helped me manage the pain knowing I would get some relief.  I even did one once so I could make it through an important event for my daughter.  I was desperate!  Now I am not so sure I would do that again, but I don’t regret it because it helped a lot in terms of understanding that blocking the sympathetics did seem to help me.

Feel better!"


The letter writer friend responded and told about her good experience with ZZ cream:


"The only things which help me, are ZZ cream and  diet and avoiding environmental triggers, such as heat, stress etc.
The MAIN thing which helps I think is the ZZ cream but  I can understand why other flushers might question this.
I am certain the explanation is as follows.
Sulphur dries out the skin, so it become less elastic, as do the blood vessels. The thin layer of dead skin provides a  barrier between my silly face and the environment and  again, acts like a brace, limiting vasodilation. Of course it has little impact on internally mediated flushing, but even so, because the superficial capillaries are unable to flush so easily and as much, this does seem to reduce more severe flushing. I still have to apply icepacks, covered. This is to  beat back the torrent of blood during severe flushes.
ALL FLUSHING INDUCES ANGIOGENESIS.
ALL FLUSHING UPREGULATES RECEPTORS. THE MORE RECEPTORS PRESENT, THE MORE FLUSHING THAT OCCURS.
IT IS A VICIOUS CYCLE.
I have had enough discussions about this with various scientists that I am certain it is right and it matches my own observations.

So, at my best, when I first used ZZ properly in around May 2013, I experienced initial inflammation, increased redness and soreness due to the initial burning by the sulphur. And then, my face calmed down. I also reduced sugar and caffeine intake, which produced their own set of rebound vasodilatory effects, but the dead skin induced by the sulphur (and perhaps other ingredients in ZZ cream) helped me get through that.
I found that the lack of constant flushing, no matter the degree actually reduced the vasculature on my face. I even went out!!!
Too much ZZ cream was irritating and  caused angiogenesis. There is a balance.

When the ZZ cream formula was changed, my life went down the toilet again, despite the fact I continued with my diet.
My worst areas are the upper cheeks affected by brimonidine and then oral metronizadole ( horrific reactions to both).

I do think that the Russian treatment works, as the aggressive approach to the face reduces the vasculature and receptors.
I don't think the treatment is necessarily targeting pathogenic infection.
He also treats the gut with fasting, diet and herbs and perhaps removes the cause of the disease?
Who knows. The facial treatment no doubt kills some bugs.
I note it doesn't seem to work as well for flushers, but I have also noted a trend. Based on thread posts,  those doing treatment from our forum,  take delight in being able to  gobble large amounts of  carbs, cakes, pasta etc. That would fuel their type of disease. I think the only reason it didn't show up in their faces during the treatment is due to the fact their facial tissue is frozen by the peeling agents, much like my experience with sulphur- zz cream.
I also noted that DG, the only type one (was he type one??) who managed to heal from the treatment, also followed the diet, including the fasting.
All very interesting and I'd love to know the exact ingredients in that treatment. 


I have tried mixing the new zz cream with egozite baby cream and a niacinamide gel I get compounded here, but it isn't the same:( I wish the old ZZ cream formula were available. "


Another friend replied:

"Thank you very much for sending on this info ladies. There is too little good research/posts on 
Forum and I personally have become very very weary of researching and trying to solve our skin disease. It took years of time and energy to research my thyroid disease and get diagnosed properly. A nightmare really, looking back on it. And then to get this diagnosis and more evidence of autoimmune disease and the damage it has caused my entire body. Even reputable DRs. In the past missed things that I believe could have been resolved then. Not now. 
After 2 cervical fusions I can assure you that what goes on in your neck will influence
Rosacea. Inflammation/ pain spreads like a bleeding heart. My surgeon has both rosacea/ seb
derm and has had cervical fusion. Not saying all Rosaceans have neck problems or will have. Just 
that it's not a coincidence. My surgeon told me this, I have not researched it. I have read that high percentage of cervical patients have GERD and skin issues. So, I guess with that
I'm not sure I would be brave  Enuf to try the block. But Kudos to you for your fortitude. 
A comment on paleo, X if you have info on bone broth stimulating, flushes, could you please send? 
I noticed this months ago and did reading on Chris Kresser's site about the role of amino acid
Glycine but too much of it can indeed not be a good thing. 
Your question about stress X is a good one. It is very hard to be well when chaos reigns. My answer to your question I think would be it has become hard now to separate stress from living everyday life apart from my skin. If I can learn to do this as I used to before flushing and relapses ruled, I would be quite peaceful I think. 
I have taken paleo diet as far as I can. I'm going to move on to something else. Not sure what. 
Still no sugar or carbs: very low. Sending good wishes"







On every day level I am watching this tv series called Peaky Blinders, it's quite ok, about a Birmingham group around 1919 who gamble and act as local protectors and criminals. They create some violence and make for street control and gambling and crime but the actor playing in it, his name is Cillian Murphy. I've seen many of his movies (The Wind that Shakes the Barley was a very good one I thought) but he has such a fantastic face and he plays it very well I think this role, he looks quite young but manages to portray this gang leader who is stern and cold and authoritarian and he doesn't overact, he portrays it quite subtle, see his pics, beautiful. The set is a bit amateurish looking at times unfrt, with laborers houses and there is one street that looks brand clean, and then around the corner they are 24/7 making fires for the iron melting etc. It all seems convincingly industrial however. I read that some of the Midland accents weren't spot on either but that is not something I would have noticed myself otherwise :) Sam Neil does a convincing Norther Irish accent as far as I can tell though. And am liking the darkness and grittiness of this series and the cinematography is gorgeous. And the main story, WWI also plays a bit of a role in the background. About the few men who came back from the killing fields there to find poverty and disrespect for their sacrifices, that whole anger and disappointment sentiment is very tangible in the series. Hehe people from Birmingham call themselves Brummy's by the way :)  Also, no Indians immigrants yet to be noticed in Birmingham around 1919 if I can believe this portrayal, but plenty of other immigrants, Italians, Chinese, gypsy's, Irish and of course Londoners.




I also viewed this video about female figures throughout history. Now, there are a lot of side notes to make, for instance, that the Egyptian woman looks more African than Egyptian, people weren't as dark there 2000+ years ago. Also, the Roman woman seems slightly too big, as does the Renaissance woman. As if they took the very voluptuous (close to obese) Rubens ideal woman, and made that the general Renaissance ideal, which it wasn't. There were so many variables within that long stretch between the Roman times and the Victorian times. 1200's had very different fashions and beauty ideals than 1500's and then baroque and rococo were different from 1800's. Also Victorian times had many more nuances to it than the woman figure they chose here. But well, apart from that, it was interesting to see I think. 
I used to have a 60's type of figure, lean on the verge of too skinny. We all have lean bodies in my family, but thanks to remeron and some other of my anti flushing medication, I have drifted off to a fuller figure, despite diet and exercise. I think I am now a post 2000 woman, the last one of the video, but with a bit too much flab here and there :) Working on that of courssssse.

Most interesting part for me, was asking male friends which bodies they preferred! Us women tend to go for the skinny to very slim figures I noticed. One male friend always says that is given in by gay fashion magazine moguls, who like to see women look like boys. And that it is not representative of what "real men" like in a female body; curves. So I asked 5 nice looking men in their 30s and early 40's about their top 3 of bodies, as portrayed in this video.

One response: Well about that little show. I thought they were wrong and the gestures were a bit theatrical and misleading too although it was an interesting diversion from the usual stuff.
What is my favorite? well some of them looked the same to me, the 'Egyptian' one and the Chinese one for example although with the Chinese one they mentioned small feet but didn't show the terribly crippled and deformed feet they actually had from deliberately stunted growth.
The supermodel one slips in as something kind of similar too. The Victorian one was way off - she looked more like a fat Italian bird. Victorians were into pale skin - the paler the better and super-long hair. It was all about getting the complexion right and of course this was for the society ladies who didn't have to work. Not the commoners who had shitty lives of squalor and filth.

I liked the so-called Egyptian girls physique. It looked healthy and attractive. Supermodel too and Chinese - those kind of ones. Not the painful skinny or the blimps. Didn't care for that.

I asked another friend: 
"Ok my top 3 is: Ancient Egypt, 20s and Post modern‏. Oh no, make that golden age of hollywood instead of 20s actually‏."
Me: but the hollywood one is so tubby‏. In reality they were way slimmer‏. I agree egyptian is my favorite too‏, then supermodel‏, then post modern‏.
Friend: "Supermodel is too thin‏."
Me: "think so?‏Thought she was quite full‏
Friend: "No curves‏; a woman needs to have curves‏
Me: "thats nice of you to say‏. It's funny‏, I asked about 6 men‏ and most said the same as
you‏; egyptian, post modern‏. And then some chose 80's supermodel and others holywood‏ 
Friend: "hate to be like most men‏."
Me: "well everyone said; NOT heroin skinny‏, and not 60s skinny‏. That was really nice to hear‏ because the women....‏ well you can guess‏
Friend: "why was it nice to hear?‏
Me: "they went for 1920s and 60s and heroine chic and perhaps supermodel 80s‏. Because women are always dieting‏, thinking men want skinny‏
Friend: "they think men want skinny because gay men are in charge of magazines that depict ridiculous skinny women because gay men like those figures not real men‏
Me: "but its hard‏, to figure out how much is too fat or too thin in the eyes of men‏. in the eyes of women, everything is too fat basically‏
Friend: "any man that wants a skeleton for a partner is really a closet gay‏
Me; "hahahahha‏
Friend: "I know‏
Me: "well how many women do you know who dont have some sort of body image issue‏
Friend: "None‏. All women have a body image issue‏
Me: "all because of how women drive each other mad with it and also advertisement and media‏
Friend: "all because of gay men being in charge of popular magazines. I don't find too many models attractive cos they're just too thin‏. No curves‏. Fourteen year old swedish boy figures don't appeal to me‏."
Me; its amazing‏. So many girls repress this‏ or simply dont know‏. The power of media. But then on the other hand.. men can be very brutal about chubbiness, it goes both ways‏. And men under 35 or so have different views than older men i think‏; the clubbing scene men‏. They like trim bodies‏

Friend: "some do yes."‏

Also among others the general consensus was Egyptian, 80's supermodel and Hollywood glamour. One Greek friend likes really full women and preferred the Roman body, the Renaissance one and the Victorian body. 


 



A friend of mine sent me this painting, it is from the Renaissance and said I look like her a bit; shape of face, mouth, eyes, just not the nose I suppose.
I sent some pictures of myself back where I resemble her a little bit perhaps, to which In was told I look so severe and grim in them. Well, so did she, the great marthyr Catharina of Alexandrië :) Was looking at pics with similar angles, facial expressions, no make up, bare nude face and similar mouth expression so well, she looked similarly solemn and serious (miserable lol?), which made sense once I googled who she was:

Liked her description:
According to the traditional narrative, Catherine was the beautiful daughter of the pagan King Costus and Queen Sabinella, who governed Alexandria. Her superior intelligence combined with diligent study left her exceedingly well-versed in all the arts and sciences, and in philosophy. Having decided to remain a virgin all her life, she announced that she would only marry someone who surpassed her in beauty, intelligence, wealth, and dignity. This has been interpreted as an early foreshadowing of her eventual discovery of Christ. Though raised a pagan, she became an ardent Christian in her teenage years, having received a vision in which the Blessed Virgin Mary gave her to Christ in mystical marriage.
Sounds just like me :)

Here's what I found more on her;

Donald Attwater dismisses the "legend" of St. Catherine, citing the lack of any "positive evidence that she ever existed outside the mind of some Greek writer who first composed what he intended to be simply an edifying romance."[9] Harold T. Davis confirms that "assiduous research has failed to identify Catherine with any historical personage" and has theorized that Catherine was an invention inspired to provide a counterpart to the story of the slightly later pagan philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria (c. AD 350–370–March 415

What Harold means is 'I foond nowt about it, it's likely a heap of shite.'
In fact that is seemingly what a lot of scholars suspect. Christian propaganda. Which a thousand or so years later finds it's way onto canvas at a time of nonsensical religious mania in Europe.



True or not, it's nothing new that art, like books, has also long been used as propaganda (and still is). Painters lived of the money from commissioners for a very long time. Those could be wealthy worldly figures or the church, or anyone with an agenda and some cash. Even Rembrandt painted a great deal in commission; those who paid decided what was painted and how, sometimes (often) falsifications of history like in our Amsterdam city hall, or in request of the church (always emphasizing their own patrons and the Bible and the good deeds of the church etc). Even wealthy merchants wanted their portraits to be appealing and powerful seeming, not necessarily nature like.  The selfies of those days haha. Nah a lot is fake and deception but that has more to do with the nature of human kind than with the art itself I think. Because often they also used a good thing of art, its ability to touch peoples feelings or sense of beauty. 

To me it's interesting as an historian to try to unravel all that, what was fact and what fiction in the depiction, what was the context in which they were made, the stories behind them, the tradition in which they belonged. And if you have an interest in history, it shouldn't be for you either I dare say :) With regards to some art perhaps, because surely there is a lot of junk out there too.  The nice thing about art history - i think- is that it links to a lot of different disciplines; history, psychology, theology, political science, anthropology, mythology and so on, you name it basically although some might seem a far stretch. It's also not all cold theory; it's also a lot of just viewing art and going out to see stuff. Trying to get into the minds and worlds of artists in case you write about it. Many fellow students were critical and not in some general daze of adoration for art. You all have your opinions about what is bad stuff and what you think is good and you learn to argument why you think that is. 


It's all about tales and idealization and myths and most are linked to reality in some ways that make them interesting. And it's no religion with it's own real life dogma's and blood thirst, although people are always able to create that themselves in mini version, if you hear Star Wars fans at times.... Has semi religious traits doesn't it? When you see such star wars fans flock together for something, a premiere of a fair or whatever they organize. The dress code, the intimates lingual codes, gatherings with like minded people, just no honor killings (yet haha). I'm sure people like to belong to some subgroups and create their own pseudo religions naturally. The big religions are just so deadly indeed and so all consuming and they killed so many for it but so do football hooligans on a small scale. When you belong to the wrong clan. 

I think, from a cynical historians point of view and not a religious point of view, more legendary figures from the catholic church are hogwash. They needed a fresh supply of saints, to keep the people attached to the church. I guess that all those patron days, name days, all were introduced as intermediaries between the common man/woman and the high up church gangs; people could relate more to those saints who mostly were from humble normal origin and then encountered something extraordinary or made a great sacrifice for the church. Like the superheroes of the day, but with this connotation that everybody else could potentially become such a superhero as well, as long as they were devout and served the church and defended it and so on. Haha, NEVER for saying truths which the Church didn't allow or back up at the time, that was single way ticket to the stake. But you know how the church keeps their sheep in order. I have no idea what percentage is actually attributed to real historical figures. But the roman mythology and Norwegian mythology might be vastly made up as well, I see those religious legends as just the same, made up tales, for their own different purposes made. Some to entertain, most to educate in some way or brainwash or to trigger devotion and fear for the church or others in power. Maybe they had more functions, not sure..

For an endless seeming time the church was the school for the common people and many could not
read nor understand Latin (masses and services were done in Latin), so paintings in the church or murals, also in city halls and worldly places, were like the billboards of those days. The idea used to be that these paintings had to teach the illiterate about the Bible and more so, sweep their emotions, appeal to their loyalty to the church and the use of visual beauty was an easy way to convey such a message. Also nothing new, when companies want to sell a car, 8 out of 10 times (ok I'm guessing there, not sure about the statistics) they use a hot girl in the add to promote the car. Never an ugly bird, and I don't always see the correlation between product and advertising girl either, apart from appealing to some basic need for men apparently to want to show off and get female attention with their boys toys. Sex/beauty sells etc. But back in those days it was a lot easier to 'educate' the people and educate them into whatever powerful people wanted to, because a big chunk couldn't read, had no way to distinguish fact from fiction and most were raised with the doctrines and truths of the church so it must be hard to break away from all that in -say- the 1400's, when still everybody believed that thunder was a punishment of god and that the world was flat. So well, art is often abused/used there to reinforce some hidden agenda or mythology or message, but at the same time it was the main interest for artists themselves to make their works as life like as possible, with the correct suggestion of depth etc. Artists wanted to showcase their best talents and make artistically challenging works of art, but also had to please their patrons and job suppliers at the same time. Pope St Gregory the Great said it as well; paintings were (in the Renaissance time we're speaking now) the Bible of the unlettered and they were not Biblical commentaries, only political propaganda. 

And they often falsified history with paintings, depicting wrong outcomes of historical battles or events (historical revisionism or negationism).




But symbolism and hidden meanings were also used in less religious sort of paintings. Not sure if you like that stuff, I do occasionally, although it can easily become gimmicky. They have great theories about the hidden meanings in paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, but a lot of it is of Dan Brown caliber. 
There is a Dutch painter called Jan Steen, he lived in the 17th century and made very jolly paintings about every day life; no outspoken catholic dogma's in it, just the morals from the street basically (although the church seeped through everywhere of course back then). He criticized the loose morale of those days. In his paintings he tried to warn and educate people about the evils out there but often it was misunderstood as him condoning and encouraging it with his works :) Although he also had fun in trying to go as far as possible with things, these paintings were considered the Playboy of their times. They sold really well and were popular, he also did many on pub scenes or disorderly households of the middle class and lower classes, or every day life. 

The people of that time could identify his hidden sayings and warnings and fun poking a lot easier as we today but I'll tell you a little bit about one famous painting by him, morning toilet (see 5th picture attached here). The symbolism in it is absolutely not all made up later by diligent art historians haha, it is truly put in there as a means of communicating about dirty things the morals of the day didn't allow to be put out openly. 
It depicts a woman sitting on a bed, who puts on or removes a sock. Her corset is half open and her skirt is lifted above the knee. She looks you candidly in the eye. Next to her a dog lies on the bed, on the bedside closet stands a candle and an open box. In front of the bed is a chamber pot and lie 2 shoes. In the foreground are a lute with a broken string, a music book and a scull.

All these elements had sexual symbolism back in the days. Stocking, 'kous', as a word was slang back then for female genitals, or referred to an immoral woman. 'Haer kousen doen lappen', patching her stockings, was a saying for having sex and women with red stockings were often prostitutes. In those days Dutchies also said: 'those who pull on a stocking too fast, can easily damage it by pulling holes in it'. The same goes for rash and reckless behavior, like giving in to sexual temptations. 
Shoes stood for domestic harmony, but here the pair has been cast aside quite disorderly, symbolizing the opposite. The candle was lit once and then extinguished, which together with the opened jewelry box refers to the Dutch saying "One doesn't buy pearls in the dark, nor seeks for love in the night". Meaning that you have to save yourself for a special person and not sleaze around. An extincted candle stood also for something momentary. 
The undoing of the sock or stocking and the chamber pot are thought to refer to the insult "piskous" (piss stocking), used for women who have a loose sexual morale. Also the dog and the chandelier were symbols for sexuality and lust. 

Also the half dressed woman in a bedroom, meant it was about love for sale. 
The lute that is thrown in some corner referred in those days to sex having taken place. The scull was used a lot back in those days as a vanitas symbol for the fleetingness of life and for impending death. Cease the day. A broken music instrument referred to the same and to the fragility of a human life. 
The arch entrance to the room was engraved with symbols for vanity. Sunflowers which stood for firm constancy and loyal spiritual love. And a cherub who looks sad; cupid's got punished for seducing mortals to have sensual love. This forms the moral framework here. No house had a stone frame like that leading to a bedroom so it must mean it is a symbolic entrance to a room of destruction. The vanitas symbols (scull, broken lute) mean also that it has a price to enter this room of seductions. 
Oh and this painting hangs in Buckingham Palace by the way haha, no joke! Make of that what you want. I think the Queen has a picture of a hooker on her wall haha. 
The problem is of course that there is a risk of over interpretation and seeing such paintings as a rebus puzzle where everything has some hidden meaning and that might not be the case and there is also controversy over it in the art world. 



I also received some emails from the editor of a big Flemish art magazine, serious one, if I can write an article for their paper in 2 weeks time about an exhibition in town. It's the collection of a director from the 80's, I wrote my thesis about him but they like to get a review of the exhibition plus a background article about his directory and what has been done since with the work he bought 3 decades ago and how his collection compares to the type of purchases the current museum director makes. Said I was in England around their deadline but he replied I could get an extra week so seems unable to back out of now. Bit nerve wrecking. I wrote some things in the past for the other serious art magazine out there here, but am usually more happy with behind the scene research work. Very dim to say no though... So am booked for that article now and I've been reading some other articles and reviews on their site and they are all so well written, flamboyant and opinionated. I feel a bit more comfortable with background articles, not so much opinion pieces, will have to wring it out somehow but am not feeling super confident at this stage.


I also received a rosacea skin tip from a fellow blogger:

I had an idea, that might be useful for you. 
I know you have really really really sensitive skin, that can be dry and red. 
I use green tea (very concentrated, just loose tea leaves and water) as a toner, and this seems to help hydrate and soften my skin. It also gave me a nice 'golden' glow which helps cover up the redness. and the caffeine may be vasoconstrictive. There is also evidence to suggest that it can hinder rosacea's development in the skin.  
You can see the evidence and my before and after pictures in my blog post here: 
https://ausefulobsession.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/journal-log-7-170115-the-little-things-that-matter-a-lot/

Another way to hide redness, is by taking carotenoid pills (plant pigments that are processed and deposited in 

your skin, as to give you a 'golden glow), it can be quite difficult eating enough raw produce to induce a golden 

glow if you have gut issues. To exemplify the possible effects of carotenoids on skin tone (I am not promoting this brand thing, it's an example only), look at this:
http://www.ascentaskin.com/

Look at the google images!  

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=carotenoid+skin&espv=2&biw=1242&bih=597&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=YM3LVOWvKoGjUNz5g5gB&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#imgdii=_"" 



Link to this article: 
ost of us know that eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will do us far more good than 20 minutes on a sun bed or two hours basted with factor 10 and sprawled on a Mediterranean beach in high summer. But new research suggests that it will also make us more attractive to the opposite sex. Consequently, it seems far more likely to affect the dietary habits of the young than any amount of hectoring from the Department of Health.
"Currently we tell them to 'eat well or in 50 years you will have a heart attack'," says Ian Stephen, 29, assistant professor of psychology at Nottingham University's Malaysian campus. "Now we can say: 'eat fruit and veg and you will look better in six to eight weeks'." But he is adamant that he never set out to find a novel way of reinforcing medical advice. "I don't really care what people do," he insists. "I'm an experimental psychologist, not a public health PR man. However, our results suggest that eating well and staying out of the sun would make you look healthier."
How come? Well, the key component is the carotenoid, an antioxidant responsible for the red colouring found in, for instance, tomatoes, peppers, plums and carrots. That redness eventually imbues the human skin with yellowness, or rather a healthy-looking golden glow. "Carotenoids are stored in fat under the skin," Stephen explains. "They are also secreted through the skin in serum, and are then reabsorbed into the top layer of the skin, bestowing that golden colour."
Alert Guardian readers may have deduced by now that he is talking about Caucasian skins. "Yes, it has been pointed out to me, usually by social scientists, that there is something culturally imperialist about the research," he says. "Ironically, there's almost something racist in that suggestion because the implication is that you can't see the same colour changes in black faces. Of course you can. In West Africa, for instance, skin pigmentation is affected by consumption of red palm oil with high levels of carotenoids. We're hoping to do further cross-cultural studies in the UK, Africa and Malaysia.

The original study was carried out in Scotland, where the sun's rays are not over-intrusive. It just happens that Stephen did the first part of his PhD at St Andrews University. There he worked at The Perception Laboratory, dedicated to investigating "the many facets of face perception" – what makes one person appear more trustworthy than another, for instance, or more attractive.
In that regard, there has been plenty of work on shape, but very little on skin colour, he says. "There are two main pigments that affect the yellowness of skin. One comes from carotenoids, the other from melanin, which is yellow and dark, giving the brown colour that we associate with a sun tan. Using a scientific instrument called a spectrophotometer, I measured the colour change associated with changes in carotenoid levels and melanin levels in the skin. Then, using a computer programme, I allowed participants to adjust the levels of carotenoid and melanin colour in photographs of faces to make them look as attractive as possible. Participants chose to increase melanin colour slightly, but increased carotenoid colour lots.
In another part of the experiment, he used a questionnaire to estimate the amount of fruit and vegetables in the daily diet of another group of participants and then analysed skin tones to confirm that what might be called the golden glow was explained by changes in carotenoid levels and not other pigments such as melanin.
Just over 80 people took part in the dietary study, and 30 in transforming 51 faces on the computer. They were aged from 18 to 26, but Stephen maintains: "There's no reason to suggest that we wouldn't get similar results from older participants." Any gender differences? "The preference for light skin is stronger in women's faces than in men's. Which might indicate that the tanned and leathery look is not quite so off-putting to women as it is to men.
Overwhelmingly, though, the results suggested that a healthy golden glow was equated with attractiveness. "They didn't all give the same answer to three decimal points," says Stephen. "But there was enough common ground to indicate that there wouldn't be much value in extending the experiment to another 300 participants."
The wider implications, he suggests, are that some things haven't changed since Darwin pointed to skin colour as an element in sexual attraction. "The whole purpose of attractiveness from an evolutionary point of view is that the person doing the viewing is looking for a viable, healthy, high-quality mate," he says.
Professor David Perrett, who heads The Perception Lab at St Andrews, points out: "This is something we share with other species. For example, the bright yellow beaks and feathers of many birds can be thought of as adverts showing how healthy a male bird is. What's more, females of those species prefer to mate with brighter, more colourful males. But this is the first study in which this has been demonstrated in humans."
The study was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Unilever Research. But the ultimate beneficiaries may yet include the Department of Health and, indeed, the many under-30s who might suddenly see the benefits of tucking away their "five a day".


I used to eat a lot of carrots and got orange yellow stains on my skin, but not evenly ! Only around my mouth area, which looked kind of sickly... So I am not sure this is the way to go to be honest. The dermatologist at the time said I should stop eating carrots and green peas all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When you zoom in on the left picture you might see the yellowy stains around my mouth and chin, they were from beta carotene. 

 





I really liked her advice and she makes sense, saying that girls with a bit of a blob face should not do eye brows (or no eye brows in my case). I think having the eye brows painted in does make the face look slightly thinner. I see my pictures showing up on all sorts of internet pages about rosacea, so I cut them up now in sections, hoping that stops others using them..



 Also this cat made me smile: http://www.boredpanda.com/hairy-cat-death-stare-atchoum/
"To look into Atchoum the hairy 9-month-old kitty’s dreadful gaze is to look death itself in the eye; it is a glance into the deep and eternal void. His piercing gaze will condemn your soul to death.
He is an ordinary cat, to be sure, albeit a bit hairy due to his hypertrichosis. His owner Nathalie even says that he’s a sweetie if you get to know him. But his eyes… good lord, his eyes…"

Here are some pictures from the article, 


and a friend sent me this other creepy cat online, a mix of Gandalf, gremlin and Dark Vader it seems haha. Oh I love cats. My  cat Bassie is not impressed on the other hand:)




This is just so adorable to me; a lamb who was raised with border collies and now behaves like a dog :)






I also had to laugh about these 20 nonsense inventions and the last video for today is just very surprising and sweet, make sure to watch it till at least half ways! It's a clip about baboons, it started with the the expected stuff; they are terribly hierarchic, aggressive, possessive etc. But then something happened in the research, it's very surprising and also kind of heart warming:







February 8th 2015


I've been reading a book about a Dutch actor, a gorgeous man named Antonie Kamerling, he committed suicide a few years ago and his wife, an actress, wrote a book about it. My mum bought it, then passed it on to my sister who then passed it on to me. Not a great book of fiction or anything, but gripping and insightful nevertheless because of its topic. She did not understand much from his depressions and it shows even now, years later, in this book and how she wrote it. 
What she did was basically not understand. He was highly educated, very emotional and smart guy and one of the very few good actors Holland had. She never really studied or was good at school and was more into intuition stuff and just a happy go lucky type of person. Optimistic and sweet she seemed. But while reading that book it seemed clear that she let him overrule him intellectually all the time. He had  highs and lows, was manic depressive they found out right at the end. But she would nag him when we was in bed all day, and then criticize him when he was hyper and out rushing around all day. Constantly the same discussions, her asking what is wrong with you? Why are you so down? Why not this or that. And after a while he just shut her out. She had no clue. So he would spend all days in bed, only coming out to do the bare minimum for theirchildren, or they would be on holiday and he would want to drop her off at night at the hotel and go out alone, stroll the place and she would cry and start a huge fight. 

Truth is I thought all along reading that book that I would have probably understood those dark waves he had better and not pester him about wanting to go out at night. Or spending whole nights up behind the computer, he did that at some point and she was upset about that as well then. Just; she wanted normality, but because they were both celebrities here they didn't want to show the outside world any of that. So they pretended nice weather all the time in public. He would throw massive rows and at some point was allergic to everything she said and did. Then he would be in bed again for long times and she did everything in the house and with the kids. All the way at the end, when he had tried to walk in the sea to drown and then stood near a train track and was too afraid to jump, and he told her, then she finally took him to a shrink. He got pills, he tried some very mild antidepressants before but they made him hyper. Now he got serious pills but, they would take 6 weeks to start working. In the mean time they were sent home. So what did she do? He had tried to end his life 2 weeks ago, and she just goes to work. Leaving him alone. Then he did kill himself at home.

This might sound crass and I understand that it is him in the end who is responsible for his actions, but how much control can you credit someone with a serious mental illness with in such a stage? So she comes across as the poor victim by this point in the book, having put up with such awful behavior from him, she is sucked empty, she could have done nothing more for him yadayada. My sister was full on her side and said she wouldn't have done it any better, probably a lot worse and that such people like him just suck you dry. I looked at it from an entirely different perspective, more form his side, mainly because I know depression I guess. She just didn't get it, period. Maybe she should have cancelled all work for 2 months and made sure she was with him all the time, I thought at the end of the book. Go lay next to him in bed and watch movies for 6 weeks, make sure he gets his drugs, if needed administer them yourself, but make sure he gets through those 6 weeks unharmed and see what the meds will do. I feel for him, it might have turned out differently in a different situation perhaps, although we always tend to think that, not always realistically. And although it is very heavy to live with a depressed partner, but I think all you need to do is be there for the other. Not push them constantly, just give them space to deal with things but be understanding and not judgmental and give them lots of hugs and physical contact and do the things with them which make them calm and content when they have a bad spell. But also be on the lookout for when things threaten to go really wrong, and make sure that person gets help, and can't harm himself in the meantime. 
I'm just like that during very bad health spells, I'm awful to be with then, I think. Just so restless and grumpy but the partners who made life much worse for me personally in the past, were the ones who had little understanding and who kept asking me what is wrong and why I am not more positive, and why I don't go do yoga or golf and all those empty stupid suggestions which all imply; get over yourself now already, ok? Giving you the feeling it is all a matter of laziness versus willpower. Driving you even further into the depression. 


I think when you have someone who understands you and knows what you are going through, that is already a huge comfort. Not feeling the need to pretend and be better than you really feel. I'm not sure how it goes for others but for me these periods come in waves and I also have good periods where I feel relatively happy and energetic and just am a lot nicer to be with. I guess with people like me, us rosaceans who suffer and can't push the darkness away all the time perhaps, you need to seize the day and just make the most of the good spells and get through the bad ones as best as possible. I felt with these people in the book that if he was too chirpy she was worried because he was unnaturally hyper, and when he was in the dump it was obviously a huge problem too. Constant criticism in other words, no matter how well meant, I think it was a lot of naivety from her part and she was more insecure personality wise than him, Maybe she let him talk his way out of it all and made her belief what he wanted her to belief. You need to be a strong headed person to deal with depression because you will not have the same person in front of you from day to day. I got that criticism often actually; that things can change from one day to the next. Not just my moods and outlook but also what I can and can't eat rosacea wise, or even opinions. That is hard to deal with as a partner unless you know where it stems from and how it works and that it is not something to become insecure about yourself. But to read it in the context of the moods the other person is in. 

My rosacea friend replied to this that he absolutely agreed (this convo was actually taking place in real life exchange and then I thought, it might be something for the blog..). He started an antidepressants and felt like hell the first 3 weeks at least he said. Absolutely horrible and they do say often that the first weeks of antidepressant use put patients at the highest risk window frame of suicide. Your body needs to adjust to all these new chemicals which are primarily attacking the brain structures and neurons and electrons, so you get a host of side effects once your body adjusts to them, but NO ANTIDEPRESSANT ACTIONS yet. Because they only start to manifest themselves once the medication has reached sufficient plasma levels, which can take those infamous 6 weeks. It's a risky thing to go through for a seriously depressed person. You need constant support, I remember taking remeron for the first time and I was at my wits end by then from a horrendous merciless year of 24/7 burning and flushing and sleeplessness and hopelessness and luckily for me remeron is the exception to the rule and starts working within 3 weeks typically, but there were side effects and a lot of doubts about whether or not to continue. The answer should always be yes I think, as long as the side effects are not dangerous, because most side effects will wear off!! Once your body is adjusted to the medication. And then, he relief, more calm, less anxiety, less flushing mostly in my case. It might take trial and error between different antidepressants though to find the right one. Tricky time again. But worth it I think before people really contemplate ending their lives.They need constant reassurance that there is basically nothing to lose and that they need to give the medication a fair time to start doing their work. 
The friend got that support thank god and was reassured and comforted in the adjustment time. 

This is another Victorian beauty, Cléo de Mérode. I'm in love, as far as that is possible for a woman-woman, jst her face is so delightful I find. She was a ballerina during the Belle Epoque, had no children in the end which makes me relate a little bit more to her. I have this love for Tudor times and Victorians and Gothic times and all those past periods where life was really shitty for the majority actually, but the well to do seemed to have it so well and I focus on that glam and glitter then for a while and feel like I should have lived back then (just not in the industrial city slums pleasssssse). It's probably just escapism because of my shitty rosacea life, because in those fantasies of another life for me I never have rosacea obviously :) And just a delightful fruity adventurous and thrilling social life.

Friend wrote me;

You really should find a re-enactment society. Which is an overblown term for a kind of history geek group. You'd have such fun with the costumes and the craic. Whenever I get a chance to dress up I do it! let the fantasy out! 

Me; Maybe I'd like to be with some theater company who do plays in Victorian style etc. I know a Dutch writer, Floortje Zwigtman, she actually publishes novels that are often set in Victorian times and she does the real dress up, costume wise, but the crowd she has that with... just a lot of woolen sock, feminist, 40+ type of ladies. Drinking tea and being vigilant about getting all the details of their frocks just right. Not really my thing I think, but I love going to those flea markets everywhere and buying old clothes or parasols or pictures if they aren't too costly. These pictures (real pics, no prints) I bought too, in authentic frames and dated, all late 1800's early 1900's (see pics). And some others I love from that time.

 Haha I can just see you among those miss Marple lookalikes, oh the Tory heartlanders ... that peculiar little stiff-lip thing "Oh Agnes, there's been another murder at the vicarage - how dreadful. How will I ever sell the stables now?" You don't fancy sitting there drinking tea and then gazing down at the world with pursed lips and a frown? haha. In a big frock? with tulips growing out of it? you sure? well, I think that's as good as it gets for that type of thing unless there's a bit of younger blood involved. Maybe a literary fan club that goes a bit further and you have costumed events too. Live it over a bit.  
But it's like I said - organize a youthful version, Jane Austen dress-up for all the bookworms. You're on to a winner. "Oh Mr Darcy!" haha

No way I would be totally out of place among the Miss Marples, oh oh oh.. I'm too anti social to organize such large gatherings...the fun for me wouldn't be to just dress up and sit and drink tea and be fetish freaks about it.  There is a book I love, called Casanova in Bolzano, it reads like a stage play almost, thrilling stuff and for a while some years back I rewrote it into a proper stage play setup. Never finished that, but was seriously thinking of playing it with a group of amateur stage players or just some friends if anyone felt like having some fun with it. I'd prefer something like that I think, something more practical to dress up for and something to work at with such a group... Anyway, who knows some day.  







I used my UVB lamp too long on my leg unfortunately, skin burn!
Should use it only a few minutes and not too close by, but I lost track of time..



Mail from rosacea friend:

Got on your blog and saw your jojoba oil experiment. 
Questions: what made you choose this oil?
Also, as we know oils feed seb derm do you
Think seb derm is spreading????? You do not
Mention any concern for it. Do you treat seb derm
Every day with k cream?

I'm very confused right now about the dryness on my
Cheeks that has appeared suddenly seems like. Is
It common for rosacea skin to be dry, peeling skin on
Top or is it all seb derm? I know it's in
My eyebrows and upper lip. That's all I can confirm. 

The rest? My skin has become super sensitized. It's 
A cycle I can't seem to break. I washed for the first
Time with manuka honey ( in many months) and gently
Gently rubbed in my skin for 5 minutes. It felt like
My skin was coming off. It simply sloughed off-- the
Upper layer. I know honey is great exfoliator. Would this
Be just dry, old skin from rosacea? My seb derm does
Not really itch. Has no bumps. 

My derm: saw her this week. I have other rashes on body so
She has biopsied them. With those results she then may
Biopsy my face. Tho it means a scar, I'm willing. She actually
Seems to care. She also informed me that if I have skin 
Yeasts, she will recommend diflucan pulse therapy. She told
Me many of her patients with skin fungal ( variety of them) do
This and it is safe given in pulse procedure. Idk. I get so tired
Of researching everything. Exhausting. 

After this last wash with manuka, my skin very sensitive. 
Because idk what it is, I wash every other day with
Regular raw honey. No makeup. Once a day I apply
Elidel. It helps the inflammation and sensitivity of
My skin right now and it helps peel away the dry skin. 
I'm not sure if elidel does this for seb derm? I know for
Some people it relieves the symptoms; but does it react
Like mine I wonder In that it will peel it all away?

Elidel is something I've barely had to use for many many
Months. In fact, using any topical at all I have not done. 
I'm hoping this calms me so I can get on with ........... God knows. 

Makeup-- I tried the products on your blog. Unfortunately they do
Have ingredients that grow seb derm. So I have stopped. My
Derm sells Jane iredale and I bought their powder. Finally!! A 
Mineral makeup that is only minerals. No silicone no nothing
Else that grows seb derm. To cover a spot, I use a clean finger
And dot, then spread it where I want. Coverage is very very
Light/ that's my method. 

Removal: still using microfiber cloth from Norwex. I posted
About it this week. I tried the Jane Iredale magic mitt 2 
Times now. Not as effective for me as Norwex. I do not
Rub in light circles anymore. I allow one gentle firm pass in
A down or horizontal motion for each section of face. I love
The way it removes lipstick. I no longer wear mascara. 

I left my derm with more respect for her. She never suggested
IPL or laser. She flat out said Botox for flushing doesn't work. 
She did tell me about the new ivermectin coming out ( like
I don't know!) and said that people without confirmed mite
Infestation have been helped. Hmmmm. ???????

Sorry to seem as if I lost my manners. I hope you
Are doing very well.  Btw,
Tried vit. C supplement a week ago and still recovering
From endless flushing and blotchy horrible burning
Skin. Miserable week inside. But, I did go out with my
friends anyway yesterday and shared for the
First time how bad this is, the pain, the burn, the red. They
Saw me flush several times. We all stayed at the coffee shop 
For 8 hours talking. :). They had no idea ( how could they?) 
What this is all about. I came away validated and thankful
And very very glad I had enuf courage to leave my safe
Environment. I mean, I can flush at home or flush
At the coffee shop for God's sake. 

Red light therapy. When my skin calms. I want to try. 

This got long. Sending pic in different mail of my new baby. 

XX



Hi,

All brilliant and fabulous here lol. Its very cold here with very strong gale winds and I feel too restless to stay indoor all day so am wrapped up like an Eskimo most afternoons braving that nasty weather.. not good for unmoisturized skin.. 

Yess. good one.. I didn't really update on the jojoba trial, I need to..
I felt after a while that the cheek I put jojoba oil on just got more red overall.. Also had p&p outbreaks. It took a good week or more, maybe two, before I saw that pattern because initially that cheeks seemed calmer and less red. But at some point it got pretty obvious that the one I didn't put anything on was calmer and had better skin structure too. Very sad about that as I still want to find a moisturizer which doesn't make me burn, more red, flushed or broken out and all of the above actually. That being said, the jojoba oil didn't make my cheek burn. That was a major thing in itself. 

I chose jojoba oil because it is more like a wax, less of an oily sticky oil, and because it is supposedly most related to actual skin sebum. So most natural and least likely to give a reaction. Also my derm suggested it. 

I didn't use the jojoba oil on the T-zone areas once I had seb derm flaring again. I have a special made ketoconazole cream from the pharmacist for that. So the jojoba oil might actually worsen seb derm, that makes good sense as seb derm mites feed off sebum. And oils. But I used it only on my cheeks, and my seb derm stays located in the creases around mouth, nose and forehead and chin for me. Now that it is so cold and winter I have the seb derm flaring again and am using ketoconazole cream every day yes, morning and evening. It is made in a neutral wax like substance called cetomacrogol and the pharmacist left the preservative out of it, so it only has an expiry date of a month. 

Yes rosacea can make your skin very dry and coarse looking and rough structured... If you have that on your cheeks, and not close to the T-zone, I doubt it is seb derm.. Although it could! If you scrape your skin a bit and yellowy flaky grease like skin flaks come off, i think that increases the chance of it being seb derm, but even then, that could also just be rosacea sklin. It's a nightmare to keep the two apart, but when you have both, I think you generally can see where one ends and the other starts. Like; rosacea can flare for me but also calm down again within a few hours, whereas seb derm doesn't and has a more marked outline. 

So sorry that your skin got so sensitive.. i hate it too, it's like I need to protect MY skin all day instead of it protecting me. Very tiring. 

I have the dry old skin build up too and after a while it just won't come off unless I scrub it and it looks awful and makes my skin look and feel stripped with some acid. So so sensitive. I'm seeing dr Chu this Thursday and will ask him about it, see what he says as my skin epidermis seems totally diseases and crazy. 

Ok.. you have other rashes on your body? Similar to your facial skin or very different? Ooopphh skin biopt from the face... that is no fun. I hope she can find something that will help you to stop this skin madness, it is so draining isn't it.. 
Did you already try the diflucan? And could it be she meant with skin yeast the seb derm? Or a secondary yeast infection on top of it all :(

Ivermectin, isn't that also for fungal infections? Even skin mites/demodex mites? Did she mention demodex mites? I will ask Dr Chu as well, does my subtype, so no p&p's usually but red flushed skin, also involve demodex mites? All I know now is that it doesn't, my regular derms say nope, only for the p&p subtype, but who knows... I want more reasuurance. Did you derm mention it by any chance? 

Great about the mineral make up! I have a mineral powder too, but i tried it as a base make up and it was like rubbing tiny glass splinters over my face when I tried to remove/clean it. The minerals, it must have been mica in it that caused this but all minerals have microscopic rough edges I think I read. Also my skin is so dry, it looks hideous with just the mineral powder on it, unfrt. Since I only use make up maybe a couple of times a year, I find the La Roche Posay foundation cream best personally because it masks the dryness a little bit and covers well, massive yellow mask haha but better than red.

I was in a perfume store this weekend looking for a similar mineral powder with a blush effect, bit darker than the Victorian Corpse White tints I usually wear (jokes) and as soon as I stepped in this wave and fume of perfume rolled over me and I got so badly flushed. I mean, I was already red to start with but this just kicked it up a few notches and a lady helped me who had the biggest mask of make up on and I could see her looking worried at my skin.. I needed out and they only had a very dark terracotta color anyway which makes me look like an Inca (no offense intended) so that wasn't worth the big flare in the end... Just makes you feel like shit.. I didn't even feel like staying in the city for outside strolls, just wanted to be in the car and go home. Aircon on in mid winter haha. What a pity party. 

Vitamin C! Yes I have the same experience. Massive flush and it makes me even more red. My immunologist says to stay away from multi vits and esp vitamin C, as in my case it is a confirmed underlying overactive immune system issue. And all vitamins boost the immune system, which will increase the finflammation he says. I stay clear of vitamin C supplements and even when I go crazy on a few mango's I see the effect the next day already with a lot more redness..... Shame.. although this isn't the case for every rosacean clearly and some might not have an overactive immune system either.Such a frivolous difficult condition this is.

So good that you told your friends! And went out!! yes pls do that, indeed, whether you flush at home or now and then out with friends, I know what I chose.. seeing friends will give some distraction and makes you feel just that bit less of a failure I find and more of a normal human being. Glad they were so understanding.

Sorry for late reply again, have been mainly working behind the pc and laying on the couch with blanket and watching movies all week, was a bit on a downer and in in indulgence mode but loved your emails as always.

xx 




February 10th 2015

I've been preparing for my England journey, starting tomorrow :) I'll go to see Dr Chu in London on the Thursday (flying tomorrow on Wednesday), then travel to York where I will stay a couple of days and meet a rosacea friendand just do some sight seeing. Will also go a day to Newcastle probably. Then back to London on Sunday evening and flying to Holland again on the Monday morning.

just bought a special seat in the plane, long problem thing as they gave me an aisle seat
which has no ventilation fans there, so I had to buy a special more expensive seat in the middle (has fans right above your head). Means as a bonus I might have no people sitting next to me, soooo I can use my laptop. I know, old fashioned old fashioned, I don't have a smartphone and sat in the train with the big laptop on my lap and a stranger came standing next to me, grinning and said; isn't it time for a smartphone for you lady?? No, not really.. So I drag this ultra heavy (but modern) laptop with me everywhere. And it needs some space to be used, so I guess that extra expensive chair might be a good buy after all, also because I'm not there yet when I landed. Need to take a train from London Luton to the city center and then the subway to Hammersmith. 
My friend said about the extra 16 quid: "Worth it for ur comfort"
16 euro well spent usually. I had to find a B&B for the Sunday night near Stansted airport, and just booked one for 45 pounds which is a fine price for there, so I am all sorted now with B&B's, train tickets, plane tickets. The 3 nights in York only costs me around 90 pounds, it's located in the city center, so I'm also happy with that. Let the journey begin :) I will try to make some nice pictures of the surroundings and share them here. Have a long long list of questions for Dr Chu as well and am hoping he won't run too late as I see him at 1:30 pm but have a train to catch at 5 pm at London center. 

It is a set train time, because those were the cheap tickets and I think I already bought them 3 weeks
ago or so. In Holland you pay the same price for the train, whether you buy it a day, a week or a minute in advance. In England however I was warned that train tickets are very pricey and that you want to book them well in advance to keep it affordable. In hindsight, I should have bought a flexible ticket.... would have been easier and saver, I have that set time from London to York and might have to rush to make it at 5 pm if the doctor runs out too late, as he has a tendency to, or I'm in trubbble, so inexperience it was because an open time one would have been a lot better for heart rate and blood pressure, in hindsight. Just looked at the fares basically. 

Spoke with 2 acquaintances from manchester actually last night for dinner and they told about a friend who traveled in a near empty train with one of those tickets I have (they also hate the train system and never go with it, no need to leave Greater Manchester anyway they said, and there were about 2 people on the train, late night one and the conductor comes round and says; you've got the wrong train mate. Had a ticket for a train earlier, gave him a 145 pound fine. So I better not risk that :/

I remember reading and following that poisoning saga of the Russian spy Litvinenko in 2008. Interesting stuff (well to me), they used a poison so intricate that doctors failed to spot it while he was in hospital, polonium. Radiates from the inside and kills all your cells slowly but surely, but isn't strong enough to penetrate the cells of your skin, so it's almost impossible to detect with normal radiation measuring. 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisoning_of_Alexander_Litvinenko
http://www.theawl.com/2015/02/how-do-i-fight-the-man

Also saw a program about marketing and capitalism and they said some interesting things i thought, on current times. How we come from times of industrial and political revolution, then went to a time of information and and technology and (theoretical) knowledge. But a lot of wisdom is still lacking, this business thinker said. Also because technology is moving forward very fast, and humans are more tribal in thinking and conservative when it comes to making changes. Those are scary and most humans don't like to do scary things on their own. An individual tends to be more likely to make a big change after something of great impact happened, like a car accident or a heart attack. Something much bigger than you, to force you into change (oh I've spent my whole life living and working in a box for someone else, isn't there a better way?). And for society it needs such radical changes too this man thinks, like revolutions or natural disasters; if it stops raining for ever tomorrow, that would be a trigger for major change in the way humans act. 
But despite that ongoing technology, on the really big matters it has no effect, like drought or the climate. And also in schools; you are pushed in a box very quickly, but the real big matters in life, school has no answers to: we know nothing about love, death, why we are here. There is no place in school for that. It's like, here is math, here is biology, the cell opens and divides in two etc, but that is the easy part. It's a bit of an assembly line thing; pushing as many kids as possible through the school system, you get biology 1 and 2, maths, trades, then you are shipped off to the work place where it is designed that you work 2 years here, 4 years there.

Businesses a hundred years ago had the predatory capitalists, the robber barons, Rockefeller,
Carnegie, Vanderbilt , who created new technologies and a train rails through the USA etc. As soon as they implemented the technology, they tried to monopolize it. Create cartels, eliminate competitors. But today's technology companies are just a modern version of the robber barons, Apple, Microsoft etc. Railroads versus web, electricity or google search. Very few people owe these things. 
So anyway, what this business man said was that despite all the technology, businesses still deal with tribal social laws. Google or apple build these monstrosities of office buildings, newest of the newest, they represent mobility but they do the opposite; gathering all these employers in a massive concrete building. He said that as a human being you have close interaction with 10 to 15 people at a maximum. That's our tribal size, the way it was back in the days and the way our mind still works. It's even the size of football teams or most sport teams, an army battalion. And the same in businesses. So that monster building from Apple is mostly a demonstration of power and money. If they buried Steve Jobs sarcophagus in the middle, it would have been and served as a pyramid. 
Sometimes, often, buildings outlive the companies, because not many companies make it in time. They need to constantly change and adapt and most can't. For instance the Chrystler building; still towers over New York but Chrystler is long gone as a powerful business. All ego issue. Cash is the current global king. 

And another error businesses make is according to him that they think they need the best people for the job; the best analysts, best investment bankers, chuck them all together and then you are supposed to have a dream team. But he compares companies with tribes and they will only flourish when there is a realistic representation in it from real society; so a company needs 2% of lazy people and 4% of cheating people for instance, and others with different capacities. To counterbalance each other and stimulate the company to come with the best end product and make the company more sustainable. Not sure he is right there but it's an interesting idea I think. The exceptionally bright did destroy the advertisement and investment banking business. All put together in one business they are like inbred in some way. Unbalanced. 

So anyway this man said that the first global corporation was the VOC, the Verenigde Oostindische compagnie, the Dutchies colonizing Indonesia, and like most far away colonies they gave the rights and autonomy to someone who went there locally, with church people and an army and they could control it for them, kill some rebels if need be, and in the end just settle with the VOC in cash, because that was a business agreement. They also had stocks and shares and the power to do that. It's the same as current oil companies who build oil platforms in Brazil or Africa. So much filthy stuff goes on there, they lean backwards and say; oh well, you are right, it was immoral and unethical what we did with nature there, so, how much? 250 million dollars? Ok here is your cheque. 
And who is responsible in the end? Every individual will pass on the blame and when you look at the real top figures, they are at the head of the thing but like the mafia, they are invisible often. Authorizing so many people to kill in his place that you first have to kill the killer, then the one who told the killed, then the one who talked to that ordering party and so on. And in organizations, the real owners can often not even hold any corporal or fiduciary responsibility. They find and hire people to take that responsibility for them. 

Privacy is completely gone in our society; there are camera's everywhere in all big cities, if you have a mobile phone and have it switched on, it will trace you everywhere always. Instead of tribes people we are now boxed people. We live in a box which is our apartment, we watch a box which is our tv, we get into a box which is our car, to move to another box which is the work place to spend the rest of our day there, only to return to our own box at night. At work we are boxed again, in an organisation chart and everything we do is boxed in by rules and regulations of how we supposed to be. We are the tribe of the box people who are completely under control. The irony is that people keep telling themselves that they should think outside the box. But how can people do that, when their whole life has been boxed. You can better start to live inside the box and find creativity and some sort of freedom there. 
But then you have companies who send their employees out to those motivational boot camps where they are urged to think outside the box again. Because it isn't motivating to be told exactly what to do, how to think and where you will be in 5 years time. Boxing them further in by telling how to dress and what to say at meetings etc. Work ants. 

And you see the most outrageous effects of that. Samsonite 'invented' the trolley, the suitcase with wheels, in the 1970;s and you wonder why it took them so long to figure that one out, giving the big company staff and given suitcases existed for ever and the wheel for a good few thousands years already as well. And Gilette, who had the normal razor, then they had one with 2 blades and then in the 1990's they felt they needed to improve and innovate again and spent a good 600 million dollars on innovative commissions of their best people, and all they eventually came up with was a gilette with not 2 but 3 razor blades. How many people and time should that take, just put another one between the two, but it costs hundred of millions of dollars to figure that out with ant thinkers. 




March 4th 2015

I had a lovely week in England, and had a pretty lousy week being back home. Just adjusting to boring life again, but I am settled in now and back to work and the daily grind etc. My skin hasn't been great. I have to admit that I have been eating rubbish food now and then, nothing too bad but not as strict as the past months either. And it shows. More red, more break outs, more easily flushed. I also haven't been using my UVB narrow band for vitamin D production at all the past weeks, so I will start that up again. 
My Australian friend has even more health issues than me  and she somehow manages to ward off depression, most of the times. I asked her the other day how she does that and she said she lives in her mind a lot of the times. And just enjoys watching the world go by and getting wrapped up in other peoples stories online or in movies etc. She demands little from life and found a comfort. We have both a calm life, maybe boring even at times, but we also have the head space and the time to think, read, write, watch this crazy world and life we both live in right now. That is also something (or so we try to tell ourselves at least haha). Make connections with other people. It might not be as glamorous or rich and full of things as we all expected. But there are people who have everything seemingly, careers, love, kids, money, and who still are depressed. It's what you make of it yourself I think.

I watched a movie the other night about the way the Americans caught Bin Laden. I expected a very Hollywood like, over the top, 80's action hero thing, but they showed it dignified and maybe even understated, which was nice. There was also a woman involved in it all, played by Jessica Chastain, she was the motor behind the whole search for him for a long time, at least 7 years, when superiors already shifted their attention. Had a bit of an Erin Brockovich feel to it somehow and well, as a woman.. it was nice to see. Zero dark Thirty was the name of the movie btw. But the pace was slow and there wasn't much of a build up apart from the very end when they went into that safe house where Bin laden was, but you knew the outcome already. I also read that despite the big budget, they made some pretty bad errors.
-Pakistanis speak Urdu, English and other regional languages and NOT Arabic; 
-Pakistani men do not go around wearing 17th and 18th century headgear in markets; 
-The only Urdu heard in the film is from a group of wild-eyed men protesting against an American diplomat, calling him 'chor.' Chor in Urdu means robber. And the protest rally was against US drone strikes. How did that make the diplomat a chor? 
-And how on earth was a green Mercedes packed with armed men parked only a few feet away from the US embassy in Islamabad? Haven't the producers ever heard of an area called the Diplomatic Enclave in Islamabad? Even a squirrel these days has to run around for a permit to enter and climb trees in that particular area.

Also watched another war movie called Lebanon, very claustrophobic and resembling Das Boot (movie from the 80's) in a way, as it was shot mostly from within a tank from the Israeli's, when embarking on their Lebanon war. It got a golden Lion at the Venice movie festival but I didn't really understand why because the story line was quite dull. Maybe it was the intend of the Israeli film maker, who participated himself at the time and felt regret and shame over it, to give these Israeli soldiers a human face or something, but they mainly came across as stumbling, inadequate, non comrades in a hot small tank.  And in a way that made it fascinating at the same time; it seemed so real and so undone of action drama purpose. Just a shit hole where these young soldiers had ended up in and they were paralyzed by it and it was all one long nightmare, also to watch it. 

I read a tragic story btw on a girl in australia, Jess Ainscough who had some form of cancer, she needed her left arm amputated but decided against it, instead doing some hocus pocus mexican natural cleanse course and coffee rinses and convinced her mum to do the same who treatable breast cancer. She had a blog and books and a whole community who followed her advice, first the mum died, but Jess still insisted on the treatment protocol and now she died age 30
makes me a bit irritated; how someone can be so 'deluded' but not just with detrimental effects for herself, but also for all those people who read her blog and videos etc. Maybe you remember Steve Jobs? same story. He had a severe cancer of the pancreas but wasted a lot of time with holistic treatments, and by the time he realized he wanted western standard treatment he was beyond help. Maybe it feels better to drink juices and eat clean and do detoxing (but even that is fantasy as your liver and kidneys do a fine job detoxing your body as long as you don't drink gallons of alcohol a day), but I don't understand how someone can you think fruit juices and coffee elixirs rectally (yes I don't make that up) will cure from cancer. There is no evidence whatsoever for it. It is a massive gamble. And to do that with your own body, ok, but to set others up through expensive masterclasses and readings, through books and blogs, is just dangerous I think...
The sad thing is that people still go into remission with cancer and get better and they credit their alternative medicine instead of realizing that it happens with some cancers
With this girl, the normal life expectancy when you don't do jack shit about it is 10 years, she made it to 8 and even when new tumors showed up she insisted it was "the cancer coming out of the body" (aka, recovery). 
And her mum died of this nonsense too. 

A friend wrote me back about this:
"Well I do think holistic medicine can be very successful yes and basic medicinal treatments are based on herbal essences, just mass manufactured and given the corporate seal of approval. Blasting cancers with radiation also works I suppose but kills the body's immune system in the process and sometimes the patient too. Also the pharmaceutical industry is more interested in milking cancers then curing them. The general sickness and rise you see in cancers and allergies and so on is part of the process of modern life. So you get sick from something they tell you is good then you get pushed along the chain where you are just at another phase of the consumption cycle and a number in a mass market for something. The underlying causes are never questioned and I think that's where holistic medicine is coming from ... not getting to the later stages but yeah sometimes it's just way too late to start thinking healthy when the health is gone.

There's a lot of cranks out there on all sides of everything. They haven't found a cure for you and they don't even know what's caused it so they're no better than the holistic advocates are they? really. You can get immune-suppressors from natural ingredients like nettles which do the same job as your expensive pills. In fact that's probably all that's in them but they've junked it up a bit. Some stuff requires clever advanced tech yes, the really serious illnesses, I know that, but there's a lot of corruption and quackery going in the official meds. They're not the law in my book."

Me: "I have to agree in a way, it annoys me a lot as well that the whole pharmaceutical world seems so corruption and money geil (that's Dutch btw) and I know that a lot of synthetic meds are derived from plants themselves; wasn't paracetamol just a plant from nature as well? I have plant derived herbs I take at times, Lysine, boswellia, viola tricolore, all anti inflammatories, vitamin C as an antihistamine, vitamin D for good immune function, fish oil as anti inflammatory, zinc and magnesium as well, there are many more. I've got shelves full with herbal pills worth a Pakistani year income here. I think they can work fine to help with a lot of things, smaller things, but not with a failing heart that needs surgery, not with advanced cancer no. Most people seem to have gotten that from years and years of shitty unhealthy food and pesticides, or all those estrogen mimicking substances in our plastics and fake wood we walk on and the simple things perhaps even, like 'them' replacing simple glass bottles for milk and fruit juices with plastic ones, which extract chemicals from the plastic inside your juice which your small children drink with their school lunch. And you might get it too from all the preservatives in food or the chemicals in deodorants and make up and the list goes on and on. The paint in our houses, the shitty stuff they spray on apples to keep them look waxy and also on furniture and which off gasses for years if you are unlucky. 
None of those causes will be eliminated in life so it comes down to damage control and I realize that they rather make medication which just suppresses the symptoms and won't touch the cause because that would mean they were out of business when they do that for all illnesses. It's corrupt and cynical and ugly and awful and about patents and ugly profits. Not all medicine out there is simply derived from plants though and given a fancy box however.. That's the problem perhaps, it would be a lot easier then to say no to chemicals and yes to mother nature, which always sounds the best and it makes me feel better too, if only on a psychosomatic level.
I just get annoyed by self proclaimed health gurur's telling what others should do (often mumbo jumbo without scientific base) and they tend to also exist in the natural health corner. Once you've got the cancer you are already too late perhaps for small corrections; juices and coffee are small corrections in my book. Chemo is terrible, they blast all your cells both good and bad and the procedure itself could kill you just as easy. They need to develop better treatments but I do think they are trying to... Maybe not the profit making pharmaceuticals, they might try to stop all that advancement even, but at hospitals and labs they are working on a better treatment. Something to only attack cells that went haywire as in cancer, I read some other advancements they are on its tail, it just takes for ever it seems. It's not an easy illness to tackle though when it are your own cells that attack you." 


I read this little quote from a German poet called Rilke the other day and somehow liked it:
"The tendency of people to be fearful of those experiences they call apparitions or assign to the “spirit world,” including death, has done infinite harm to life. All these things so naturally related to us have been driven away through our daily resistance to them, to the point where our capacity to sense them has atrophied… Fear of the explainable has not only impoverished our inner lives, but also diminished relations between people; these have been dragged, so to speak, from the river of infinite possibilities and stuck on the dry bank where nothing happens. For it is not only sluggishness that makes human relations so unspeakably monotonous, it is the aversion to any new, unforeseen experience we are not sure we can handle. The person who has not, in a moment of firm resolve, accepted — yes, even rejoiced in — what has struck him with terror — he has never taken possession of the full, ineffable power of our existence. He withdraws to the edge; when things play out, he will be neither alive nor dead.
To discover the unity of dread and bliss, these two faces of the same divinity (indeed, they reveal themselves as a single face that presents itself differently according to the way in which we see it): that is the essential meaning…"



My face is flushed so will soon get away from the pc now.. I'll add some links which made me laugh lately :)






http://www.boredpanda.com/surreal-forest-photograhy-ellie-davies/

http://www.boredpanda.com/quokka-selfie-trend-cute-rodent-australia/







Oh and also read this article: 












Why Oklahoma Lawmakers Voted to Ban AP U.S. History














WHEAT RIDGE, CO. - SEPTEMBER 25: Wheat Ridge High School students from left to right, Jana McVey, 15, Michaela Zavala, 14, and Chay Martin, 15, work on classwork in Stephanie Rossi's sophomore AP U.S. History class Thursday afternoon, September 25, 2014. Their teacher, Stephanie Rossi, is against the Jefferson County School board member's proposal to change the AP U.S. History curriculum which includes promoting patriotic material, respect for authority and the free-market system and avoiding material about civil disorder, social stripe and disregard for the law. (Photo By Andy Cross / The Denver Post)
Students in Stephanie Rossi's AP U.S. History class on September 25, 2014. Rossi opposes efforts to change the course in Jefferson County, Colorado. Photo: Andy Cross/Copyright - 2014 The Denver Post, MediaNews Group.

This week in things we wish were just a Colbert Report sketch, an Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly approved a bill that would cut funding for the teaching of Advanced Placement U.S. History. The 11 Republicans who approved the measure over the objections of four Democrats weren't trying to win over Oklahoma's lazy high-school juniors. Tulsa World reports that Representative Dan Fisher, who introduced the bill, lamented during Monday's hearing that the new AP U.S. History framework emphasizes "what is bad about America" and doesn't teach "American exceptionalism." It's a complaint that's been spreading among mostly conservative state legislatures in recent months and has some calling for a ban on all AP courses.
Earlier this month, the Georgia state Senate introduced a resolution that rejects a new version of the AP U.S. History course for presenting a "radically revisionist view of American history" and minimizing "discussion of America’s Founding Fathers, the principles of the Declaration of Independence, [and] the religious influences on our nation’s history." It says that if the College Board does not revise the test, Georgia will cut funding for the course. The exam has also sparked controversy in Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Colorado, where students in Jefferson County protested last fall when a school-board member said the course should be modified to promote "patriotism" and discourage "civil disorder, social strife, or disregard of the law."
The conservative lawmakers' issues with the course, which was taken by 344,938 students in 2013, can be traced back to retired high-school history teacher Larry S. Krieger. Two years ago, the College Board released arevised framework for the exam, which took effect this fall. Krieger was incensed by the changes. "As I read through the document, I saw a consistently negative view of American history that highlights oppressors and exploiters," he said during a conference call in August, according toNewsweek.
Krieger complained that the framework portrays the Founding Fathers as "bigots" and suggests that Manifest Destiny was "built on a belief in white racial superiority and a sense of American cultural superiority," rather than "the belief that America had a mission to spread democracy and new technology across the continent," as he put it. And instead of discussing the "the valor or heroism of American soldiers" during World War II, the course outline mentions U.S. internment camps and moral questions raised by the dropping of the atomic bomb.
It's emphasized throughout the 142-page document that the framework is "not a curriculum." It presents broad "key concepts" and "does not attempt to provide a list of groups, individuals, dates, or historical details, because it is each teacher’s responsibility to select relevant historical evidence of his or her own choosing to explore the key concepts of each period in depth." It also claims, "these thematic learning objectives are written in a way that does not promote any particular political position or interpretation of history."
Nevertheless, when Krieger began working with Jane Robbins, an opponent of Common Core, and promoting the issue via op-eds and an open letter to the College Board, conservative groups found plenty of historical interpretations they didn't like. These included everything from more focus on minorities to a reference to President Reagan's "bellicose rhetoric." Their effort got a huge boost when the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution last August that said the framework "reflects a radically revisionist view of American history." The RNC called on Congress to withhold funding from the College Board until it presented a revised version of the exam that "accurately reflects U.S. history without a political bias" and respects the standards of individual states.
Some conservatives were also suspicious of the College Board because its president, David Coleman, helped develop Common Core standards. In response to the RNC resolution, the College Board released a sample test, and Coleman noted in a letter that the new framework was developed before he joined the organization.
However, critics still weren't satisfied with the exam, and some lawmakers have conflated Common Core and the AP. While taking AP courses is voluntary and schools are not required to offer them, during Monday's debate in Oklahoma, lawmakers suggested that all AP exams are an attempt to impose a national curriculum and may violate legislation that repealed Common Core in the state.
Moin Nadeem, an Oklahoma junior currently taking five AP courses, pushed back on Tuesday, creating a Change.org petition that he hopes will convince state lawmakers to change their position, according to Oklahoma Watch. It already has nearly 5,000 signatures. "My heart sank," Nadeem said of the vote. "It’s our right to learn. The state can’t say what we can and what we can’t learn."
It stirred up a little discussion with some friends of mine. One friend, from the USA, wrote me: "So this is a complicated issue and here the info seems condensed; missing. Also, the confluence of AP Classes  and common core with the issue which is this:  who and why is rewriting American History? Is this happening and should all Americans be concerned? Yes. It's happening. Whether you are liberal or conservative or " super patriot" should have no bearing. The Extreme Political Correctness of our world, our America, land of the free, is akin to a pandemic. Instead of beheading people, it is burning our foundation, language, religion, history and defacing the memory of heroes who fought and died for Freedom for their country. ( which back in 1700's wasn't even yet a country to die for) but the hope and passion for freedom was their ultimate sacrifice. Sailing from all lands in the World to establish Free Life for All. 
Raised in the North, moved to the south.  The North  and South: Deep South where I am is soooo different and I'm very glad I have experienced both cultures in my life. The history books here left out Abe Lincoln. Their history books told a completely different story of the American Civil War! Why? Because according to the South: they really didn't lose. In fact there are characters here who still won't give up. I know a guy who has 13 " rebel flags" on his property. 
This is minor ( kind of) and comical compared to killing off our true history, heritage and transforming it into the language of mythical robots who do no wrong, who, when dying, don't call out for their mamas; instead they bleed PCB-- political correctness blood. Would you not care if Holland's heroes, history was stripped of its truth? If France was suddenly unknown for it's declarations of Freedom: from which America based so much of our own liberties? Amen. "

I replied: 
"It read like a fake news item like the Union is infamous for..
It's sad really isn't it? Every country has good and bad stuff happening in the past.. Holland was a bunch of colonial a**h** for centuries, shipping slaves from Africa to America... And trading in everything under the sun. We are taught about this though; both the good and the bad. It would be the equivalent of Germans no longer teaching about World War II and Hitler.. that would be a world wide outrage I think. Utter censure ship. Patriotism is not very Dutch.. I have a hard time understanding it. We are pretty down to earth and no nonsense, as a whole. So hearing the national anthem at schools, brrrrr, very very unusual here. Holland has a riot and protest culture too, which might make for a different attitude too somehow. And of course, Holland doesn't play a major role on the world stage and America does, whether we like it or not :) Perhaps that also makes us feel too self aware and insignificant for national anthems at school time and Blockbuster Movies about our pride and identity. 

A friend joked about that article and made me laugh, although it's a bit crass: I thought they already do plenty of that? the Pavlovian flag speech before each class and the complete intelligence black-out in the media. 

But I have to say that I am fascinated by the States.. For all sorts of reasons. That friend invited me over and I would come in a heartbeat if I had a bit more money to spend but what isn't yet might come! I am especially interested in the south yes, and even love the redneck dialect. I loved visiting New York in the past. I remember history classes here about the American civil war, mighty interesting, not just because of what they fought for both, but also because of the differences in mentality. That is bound to happen with a country as vast as the US. If you compare the Scandinavian attitude to the southern European... it's a world of difference, also because of the temperature differences i think and overall different lifestyle and outlook on life."


Another American friend said: "Conservatives are trying to brainwash our children. Not the most educated places to begin with, so why set yourself back even further? Wrap that damn flag 'round your body!We sort of expect this kind of behavior from Texas (LOL), but this really is shameful. I can't believe people are advocating propaganda brainwashing through PUBLIC SCHOOLS."                                                           Me: "History is a crucial element of society, whether positive or negative, this reads like a farce. Republicans or not, this is even shocking for their standards. "It says that if the College Board does not revise the test, Georgia will cut funding for the course." But history is always written by the 'winners', isn't it.."
Him: "Hmm. "Winners" or "the Delusional." State representatives can be wildly erratic in their views here. It's sad they have the kind of influence they do over deforming students' educational foundations."





Oh I'm just steaming on, will calm the flush down soon. I got some emails from rosaceans of which I will use a little bit of the bare facts and my responses.. perhaps they can help others. 
It feels a bit hypocritical now, after criticizing the poor Jess Ainscough for advising other cancer patients about her treatment regime. I advice others based on what works for me and it might not work for others, or it might cause terrible side effects for them and that would make me semi co-responsible. But I can't help but tell what helps me, to a degree. No experimental make believe, but medications and lifestyle adaptations which visibly and noticeably improved my rosacea. Unfortunately every rosacean is different though and as my dermatologist already said last month; rosacea seems to stem from a myriad of underlying causes. What a mess..

Hi there Scarlett

I have to congratulate you on a great Blog.
Im sure you really help a lot of people.
I have been reading your blog and I dont even suffer from Rosacea !!
[..]
Kind regards

And:

Hi there I appreciate your openness, honesty,  and advice for rosacea and facial flushing. I have recently developed debilitating facial flushing episodes that make going to even the grocery store difficult. I use to get a little flushed if I had to speak to large groups, but nothing to this extent.  The flushing doesn’t seem to leave it just stays now and is becoming more permanent. I have had laser treatments done on two occasions, but this has seemed to be a real waste of money with little to no improvements. I honestly feel I made a major mistake in having the vbeam laser treatment done some months ago.  Before the treatments I had a just a few telangisiticas (sp) and that was that.  I am not sure if the procedures could have caused the chronic facial flushing and increased telangisticias. It seems like the more I focus and obsess about my face the worse it gets. Do u still feel the same way about mirtazapine as u did in your original posts? Thank u so much for your help. I would be taking clonidine and mirtazapine simultaneously.

Part of my reply: "I'm sorry for the late reply, thanks for your nice words. Am sorry you are also dealing with the terrible facial flushing. I would try to up the clonidine to 3 times a day. I take also 50 mg but spread out every 8 hours. I find after 8 hours I get red again without it. I also take 40 mg of propranolol at night, but if you could try to use it and find it beneficial you could also take it more often. Yes I also take mirtazapine and find it very effective and good for my facial flushing and burning. But it comes with some side effects unfortunately. Mostly increased appetite and some weight gain but for me the pay off is huge as mirtazapine cuts down on my flushing and redness, and also on anxiety, depression and insomnia. I can control the weight with a healthy diet and walking every day.

With the remeron, I found that it takes a good few weeks to see the real anti flushing effects, but a good 6 weeks at least for side effects to wear off. They usually do wear off though.. It's similar to people taking them for depression, the first 6 weeks are terror as you don't see the beneficial effct yet but get a truck load of side effects as your body and brain adjust to this new chemical. For instance, I had nerve twitches in my legs and arms every single night and brain zaps while trying to sleep. Lightning flashes before your eyes, like your brain is getting electrical overload. They all went away. The tirendess and desire to sleep non stop is infamous for remeron but I found that they also wear off. I now sleep 8 or 9 hours straight but feel very energized during the day. That took some time, initially it was hard to get out of bed at all and indeed I felt drugged and so drowsy all day. It will get a lot better in that respect, but I can't judge how much a time and capacity you have to sit those out, especially with your profession.. There are other antidepressants who seem to help people with flushing, Zoloft, Effexor, a few other SSRI's I think. Celexa is mostly mentioned I think as a beneficial one, apart from remeron. 

But there are other meds which might help you and give way less side effects, I would try propranolol, as I said above, perhaps take 40 mg a day or if needed up to 3 times a day. It should help a little bit at least with the flushing. An antihistamine like Xyzal helps me a lot too and perhaps upping your clonidine dose will help too? 
It is hard yes to work with this illness. I taught for half a year at university and already had rosacea back then and brought my little fan into the college rooms, it was very difficult.. I said even no to a teaching opportunity later on because my flushing just was too much. I now work as an art historian for uni but as a researcher and writer, so I can do most of that from my rosacea fortress haha. But it's a bit of a missed chance, I'd have loved to teach. 
Perhaps red light therapy might be beneficial for you? there is a rosacea forum that is pretty good, they have a section on red light therapy, perhaps it is something that might help, although I am not raving about it myself.. http://www.rosaceagroup.org/The_Rosacea_Forum/index.php
I do not know about clonidine affecting serotonin. I know a male friend with rosacea and low serotonin levels but I am not sure that would affect your flushing in any way to be honest. Hope this helps?"


I saw the clip of this singer and I like her songs but also that she has a flushed ace. AND looks CUTE with it! Awwww




March 4th 2015

Ever since getting off the plane from England I have had a cold again and flu symptoms, and within a week or so I developed again sinus infection symptoms. Stuffed nose, pressure on sinuses, head ache, mucus discharge. It's been close to 5 weeks now and I called the GP but have been brushed off more or less. In Holland doctors are very hesitating with medication supply and especially with antibiotics. I have to steam my nose (yayy, rosacea loves that stuff - not..) and salt water rinse. 
Spent some time with a friend who came over for some time. He is an artist, a bit older, eccentric type. He had been through a break up 5 months ago and is still struggling with it all and looking for ways the escape his situation at home. He came over to lick his wounds basically, that sort of a stay. It's not the first time he came over and I already knew from the past that he and I have a very polar wish for temperatures. He is always cold. I'm always trying to keep my rosacea calm. On top of that, we can clash personality wise. He is very sharp verbally and funny at times, but also quite blunt and direct and mostly I can laugh about that, but sometimes not so much.. He likes to mock and ridicule me a bit and usually I can take that up the chin, but this week I was in the dumps morally and physically, also because my rosacea was really flaring quite badly. 

The first moment he came through the door he started already to complaint that he was cold. I had put the central heating on for him prior to it, but he had set his mind on the wood fire. Which makes me flush! We joked a bit about Yes I will/ No you won't. You go to your bedroom and make it 26 degrees then/No you go to your bedroom and open a window or something. All still reasonably funny but with a serious battle lurking underneath and a determination, which didn't promise a good week. 

I tried to be normal and agreed on the wood fire that evening, but said that if I got badly flushed from it, that would be it! Well, I was badly flushed from it. But the next day he said he would come up with a better way of making that wood fire, so that no fumes would get in the living room indoor air space and surely that would make it far less problematic for my rosacea... promising me it would prevent smoke coming in the room and could he please show me and proof my skin would not respond this time round. I grumped that it wouldn't make a difference but ok, last chance. Was even more red and flushed this time round and the next day I was adamant that it was over and done with that wood fire. Grumps from his part but he seemed to accept it. I showed my kindest side in the next 2 evenings, wrapping him in woolen blankets and making warm water bottles (mind you, the central heating was still on!! At 18 degrees or so, oeffff..). 

Then the Friday, my last day there and trying to get my flushing down still with a whole long Saturday of traveling with public transport ahead of me, I had kept the central heating on for him during the day, but it wasn't good enough apparently and he very provocatively barked at me at the beginning of the evening; that wood fire GOES ON! Just so you know. I said, 'No way! I've got a long travel day ahead and see how red my skin is! You have another week to go here, tomorrow you can make it as hot as you want.'
Resulted in very angry faces and him repeating the thing would go on and me saying "Oh sod it you" and going upstairs and spending the rest of the evening there.

Felt a teenager alll over again :) Including the sulking and all.

But without joking, it's something I hate most of rosacea; when it affects the comfort and lives of people around you. I know I did my best here and that it wasn't cold, and he was just unusually cold blooded (lol), but it is like being pushed in a corner. I can't handle those wood fires and to be so flushed all week already, despite trying everything to cool matters down, was extremely depressing.  


 I read this poem from Oscar Wilde and it's so simple and dignified and touching to me

Requiescat
by Oscar Wilde

Tread lightly, she is near
Under the snow,
Speak gently, she can hear
The daisies grow.

All her bright golden hair
Tarnished with rust,
She that was young and fair
Fallen to dust.

Lily-like, white as snow,
She hardly knew
She was a woman, so
Sweetly she grew.

Coffin-board, heavy stone,
Lie on her breast,
I vex my heart alone,
She is at rest.

Peace, Peace, she cannot hear
Lyre or sonnet,
All my life's buried here,
Heap earth upon it.


Some street 'art' 


Oh and some pictures:
- A fine day in London, 1896
-1901, Benton County, Arkansas
- The nerve! The decadence, Lionel Walter Rothschild's zebra carriage as it appeared on the streets of London in 1894
- Antique elegance troops, 1908
- London 1904
-1940
-Early selfie! (1920)

 



We had a program on Dutch tv, in the past and still, where during the summer, for 8 weeks and once a week, one guest was interviewed for 4 hours initially. Usually someone who had something to say, a scientist, cinematographer, actor, artist, a whole range of guests. They used to make it a theme night and were allowed to make up their own ideal tv evening, with lots of little clips from series or movies or anything they wanted and talk them together. It made for fantastic tv when the guests were good. You saw the most amazing tv clips and overarching stories. One had an evening about classical music and showed a famous pianist who studied one piece for a concert and then the orchestra started and you saw the bewilderment on her face when she realized they played a whole different piece!! She studied the wrong piece and had to play Mozarts concerto for piano instead. And miraculously, she got herself together and remembered this piece from years back, stacked somewhere in the back of her mind and without any sheet music she just played it :) Many more of such wonderful little gems of forgotten tv.

Now, that program still exists but the time has halved and the guests are shallow and the interviewers suck and nobody makes a favorite tv show about a theme anymore; to educate and create poetry that evening. No instead they all show snippets of tv moments they personally liked. For whatever reason, and the past 4 years these evenings are dreary boring narcissistic evenings about ME me me, what do I like and I'll tell you why I like it (I realize btw that this is a bit crass, coming from a personal blogger lol). How does this and that fit in with MY personality and my likes and dislikes.  Typical for this day and age isn't it. Why not make an overarching theme? Like they used to, and inform people, show them different links and connections surpassing their own persona, about higher topics, which we didn't see yet? All the magic of that program is gone and they changed interviewers so often, but to no avail. It still sucks. Here is a clip from that pianist, watch her facial expression, it's phenomenal that she pulled it off in the end:




I Heard a sweet story last week from my American walk ("let's go for a hike!") friend, she is a professional masseuse and has a friend in her 60's, she had been lonely for well over a decade and now she came over and there was a man of 96 years old with her. He lives in the same village as her and is quite active still, charming even. Appears they are dating! He takes her out for dinner a lot. She had to give him a massage and I was already half wrinkling my nose, asking if that wasn't, uhm.. well unpleasant, rubbing old skin but she said no not at all, besides, it's professional, but this man he still had charisma and stories; he had been prisoner in a war camp twice during wars, escaped successfully twice, was still full of charm and joy and she could tell he once was well built and all that. After the
massage his hair, which he still dyed, was a mess but she didn't want to mention it but 5 minutes later he came back dressed and had his hair in an impeccable style again.
Guess what touched me about the story was not just that he could find love at the age of 96 still but also that some people make it through wars, and make something of life. My grandfather was broken basically after his war experiences, didn't have that zest for life anymore but by the description of this man it seems people deal so differently with things. Although they didn't have the same experiences of course. Just, so many young people who perished, also had to think and mention the young men from England in WW1 here by the way. Same; what lives could they have had if.. 

We also talked a bit about how such hardships, such collective sacrifices like the young adults had to bring in the old days and whether or not they might shape a different type of human. She thinks so, she is even more negative about today's generation than me, thinks they should have at least gone through some city bombing to feel a sense of community and humbleness. 

It's interesting, how they had this research in some Scandinavian country, Sweden I think it was, and they dug up ancestors and because it was a small community there was hardly any fresh blood in the villages, just families. And they found out that when the grandparents went through a famine, this showed in the DNA of the kids ánd grand kids. These offspring also had a lot higher risk of obesity or being overweight and this was directly linked back to the famines their ancestors went through; nature can change DNA over one and 2 generations when it comes to survival of the species. Stunning. The famines had an effect on the grandparents and nature ensured that their kids and grandkids' bodies were more effective at storing food's energy, just in case.  


Some friends from teenage years have gotten back into contact and are organizing a sort of reunion. Am usually not fond of those, but it's small scale with the 5 of us who all set out on our first holidays alone back in '95/96. They want to go back to the same island we went to then, Ameland, and do it over again as adults, well for one weekend. Will probably go, we had fun in the days. Here are some pics of the clan and hopefully that bar still exists and we can soon make an updated one, 20 years later. (notice that white was the color of fashion that year lol).  

Those girls have been in contact on facebook as friends there for some years but it hasn't been intense contact or anything, some jokes and likes on the side lines. We haven't done anything together since age 17 or so for me, so it is a little bit uncomfortable for me to to have to spend a whole weekend with them all together again, so long after the fact. One suggested renting a caravan and staying there but noooo waaaay I want to stay with 4 adult women in bunk beds and on caravan couches haha. Although my main concern would be that I don't want to bother others with my fan and open window. So we settled on a hostel now with a private room for me :)  I can put make up on now and will try how it goes to keep it on overnight, I don't want to show them my bright red swollen mug the next day .. No alcohol for me either, but I hope I can make it a nice night out nevertheless. I hardly ever go out, I can't remember the last time I had a night in a bar or anything like that.
I do like that spontaneous stuff and I'm sure it will be fun as these ladies used to be a lot of fun and mischief. Found many more pics, I'll add a few, we did have fun in the days.










I read this column of a writer I like (Heather Havrileski, who makes an Ask Polly column for both The Awl and The New York Magazine) and who writes about struggling people who don't feel they belong, she answers letters from complaining people and the other day she wrote this. I'll condense it a bit but despite simplifications and stereotypes I still liked it;

"After digging out my journal from my first year out of college for a column a few weeks ago, I've been rereading it here and there, and boy, have I learned a lot about my depressing life back then. I lived with my college boyfriend and spent all of my time with his friends, and let me tell you what, those people were perfectly smart and interesting, but they were not my people. Every single page of that journal is a testament to how out of place I was. I was a radish tossed into a sack of potatoes, trying hard to imitate a potato. "Why do these potatoes act like my bitterness and zing are a pain in the ass?" I'd wonder. "Who doesn't love the almost-too-sharp taste of a Raphanus sativus? Am I going crazy? Why do they turn their eyes away from my bright-red color, and flinch like I'm not nearly potato-y enough? Why do they roll their eyes and look at each other whenever I get a little radishy?"
Now to be fair, in some ways, I saw potatoes as the rulers of the universe back then. They could just power-down their wild brains and focus on the concrete. They kept things simple. I thought maybe they were stupid or shallow at times, but really they were making a choice, the choice of reasonably happy people with reasonably happy, privileged childhoods who were destined to lead reasonably happy lives — lives that had very little in common with the life I wanted to live. They would simply amble optimistically forward with their careers and continue to do their low-key, easygoing, Grateful Dead–loving, Teva-wearing upper-middle-class professional dude and dudette thing.
And frankly, I myself was a little allergic to radishes! I was a radish with a radish allergy! Radishes were much harder to get along with than potatoes. Even though radishes said "Yes, yes!" when I talked instead of averting their eyes at my non-potato-y ways, they also had so many radishy words coming out of their mouths that they weren't very good listeners. And they were so oversensitive! It was so easy to piss them off, and they'd TELL you when they got pissed, unlike the potatoes! Radishes wore their hearts on their sleeves, like I did when I was feeling weak, so as a result, they seemed weak to me. I thought I was better than them! I thought it was cooler not to be myself!
But mark my words: A radish cannot pretend among the potatoes forever. As a wise man once said, a radish who chases potatoes around and moves in with potatoes is an unhappy radish.
 Because what the fuck are you doing with all of these spuds? Why don't you have a radish friend to tell you, "Dude, he's a potato. What did you expect?"
It's true that radishes can be inconvenient, with their complicated feelings and demands.They see complications everywhere. They will get weird or talk too long about their artistic pursuits or disappear suddenly. But when a radish meets another radish and they see each other clearly and support and love each other for their sharpness and their bitterness and their incomparable zing (yes, I am beating this metaphor into the ground. That's what we radishes do!), it's a beautiful thing. 
If [you meet someone and] he's a hardworkin', simple, brother-friend-loving spud, shove him back into the ground with his brother-friend spuddies, and take your bright-red zing somewhere else."


I quite enjoy the Ask Polly letters and replies. Even though they seem to mainly revolve around well to do,  late 20's - mid 30's women from big cities with a cultural interest who tend to write. The types who watch Lena Dunhams 'Girls' (I watch it too by the way, love it). I find Heathers answers extremely entertaining though. She seems different, she is interesting and very honest and unpolished, even when the topic isn't applying to myself I like to read them. Some of the titles of the letters are to die for, I haven't read most of them, yet I should say! But this makes me want to read right now, these questions are hovering between pathetic and hilarious to me and seriously asked.

Some leter topics
-"The Eventual Death of The Universe Is Making Me Anxious"
-"I Feel Violently Ambivalent About My Boyfriend… So Should We Get Married?"
-"My Husband Has Road Rage, An iPad Addiction, Terrible Breath, And Hasn't Worked In Years!"
-"Jesus, My Struggling Writer Friends Never Shut Up!"
-"How Do I Stop Hating Myself For Getting Black-Out Drunk?"
-"My Life Is A Beige Pointless Hellscape!"
-"Only Black Men Like Me, But I Don't Like Black Men"
-"Should I Live Alone So I Can Act Weird and Not Feel Ashamed?"


Love this photoshoot with Anne Hathaway, posing with a statue. Very dark, but sensual. Some mix of Wuthering Heights and Sicilian mourning for me and Anne Hathaway has a dramatic face for this sort of stuff, especially when shot in black and white. It was a fashion editorial thingelingy for Vogue but to me these pictures way ascend and surpass that, I couldn't care less really about what she is trying to sell here when viewing them. Hard to chose a favorite, probably the one where she seems to blend in with the statue. Although it is still clearly a Hollywood type of thing, a bit too stylized and dramatic at times.

Then for some contrast: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3000407/Portraits-asylum-Harrowing-19th-century-photos-patients-notorious-institution-kept-SHACKLES-visibly-distressed.html
Even melancholia was mentioned as a medical indication to go there, oh my.. I might have ended up there sooner than later back in the days. Pretty disturbing and saddening photo's, their faces showed so much torment. They seemed to have free reign with them, electrotherapy, lone isolation, chaining them to beds, who knows what else. Dr. Mengele. Or Dickens and it still happens. Read this astonishing news article, this is the USA of course but nevertheless. Shot for wielding a screw driver. Someone with a mental disability!
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2999731/Chilling-moment-cops-shot-dead-mentally-disabled-man-wielding-screwdriver-caught-body-camera.html
Makes you wonder, back in the days, for what sort of 'defects' people were locked up like that. Many never made it out alive.



A friend of mine replied to this link:
Was so shocking to see those asylum pictures. They threw them in there for all kinds of flimsy reasons and treat them badly. I saw that that one at Wakefield had some religious moral logic to it but the notions and understanding of the conditions at the time was laughable really. Being poor was outright dangerous.
(Also some comments on mankind being not the friendliest in general at times). 



I replied:  Yeh there are rotten people everywhere... When greed and money come in.. or as Nietzsche would say: "Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'." Or: "Success has always been a great liar." He was a massive grump and pessimist by the way. Like Schopenhauer. I've got a book of Nietzsche with only his quotes and comments on a ton of things, he really had this snidy opinion about absolutely anything. Love reading snippets here and there to cheer me up.
I do think everyone has a certain degree of evil inside themselves. Good and bad, and it depends on so many factors which one will come out more. Whether you can suppress the demons yes or no. Some have a more gentle and less erratic and restless character than others, which helps. But there are boundaries yes and when people cross them, that might be incomprehensible to us. 

Also, it seems sometimes that it is harder for people to show empathy for other peoples struggles when they never went through challenging personal situations themselves I something think (wonder). I know people who are very successful and then post online quotes like "Great things never come from comfort zones", "Success isn't always about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent, hard work gains success. Greatness will come." Or this one is particularly charming: "The only disability in life is a bad attitude". Wow, tell that some seriously ill people, so smug. I know this person has a hard time understanding the depression of a relative, who has dealt with chronic illness on top for a long time.  He is always scolded by them, that he chooses to be depressed, has a bad attitude, created his own misery etc. People like that.. that borders on psychopathic to me. Ok, that is a bit strong perhaps, but it seems so easy to me to react like that.... People who are unwilling to even step in someone else's shoes or do the basics of research yet blurt out generalisations and judgements. As if depression is a matter of being a wallower by choice. As if you can simply think yourself out of a depressed mind by thinking happy thoughts. Or showing some determination. 

Friends reply: Those quotes are not only superficial and hollow but they're meaningless and a form of mind-control. A kind of sad attempt to buttress feelings of worthlessness by justifying a crass rationale of materialism. As if that is what defines you because it is the only form of value amongst a certain social group. Other cultures would react in horror to that kind of psychology. Well it's not a recipe for happiness that's for sure.
The ancient Greeks spoke of Eudaimonia and Arete. Virtue of spirit. The stoics especially believed nothing external was necessary to achieve that most intrinsic of life goals, in fact by today's standards they would be homeless bums and here we are today screwing each other over so we can have the latest T.V in an attempt to feel good about ourselves. 


I think it is particularly depressing to live in a go go do do society full of career types, when you are stuck with a chronic, perhaps even debilitating disease yourself. 


I saw this yesterday, a kid does a James Bond type of song, bit crooner, Cry me a River, and gets outrageous commentary by a set of judges from England, flown to the New Zealand show, nobody knows them, neither there nor in England apparently nor in the US where they now flew to. But he was ripped to pieces by them, mainly her, with the lamest argumentation behind it. 
Norway
Last Friday we had an eclipse here in these regions. Here are some sun eclipse pics, first one was from a person in Coventry and quite a bit better than what was to be seen here (quite laughable really). And this is a stunning inventory in images of the state of it in the rest of the country hahaha, under the title: "Breathtaking images of eclipse in Holland" http://www.upcoming.nl/marleen/11506/breaking-news-adembenemende-beelden-van-de-zonsverduistering-in-nederland?internal_referrer=latest

Oh and the last one is eclipse in Norway, arrghhhhh!
            Coventry                                                                                  Meanwhile in Holland :)                    


I saw a short interview with a French philosopher passing by online by chance and he talked about happiness. He said he thinks that 50% of happiness lies in the genetic set up we might or might not have. 40% comes from what we encounter, our attitude, the things we are engaged in, if we have good or bad health. All within that 40%. And the last 10% is relying on the tax papers. Oh no, it's not, jokes :) No the last 10% depends on your financial-social situation; if you come from a rich or poor family and have financial means yes or no. That is a really small percentage according to this dude, his name is Frédéric Lenoir. 
But what stood out for him was that people feel happy when they achieve things that sets them above the mediocre. Both finding their specific talents and achieving to rise above things, also in love and life. And when we feel we didn't achieve that specialness we all have somewhere, we feel less happy. It is also linked to finding your own individuality and getting the education and stimulation you need for that personality to develop and come out. He links it to Spinoza; finding your profound identity (or nature he called it). And there are 2 fundamental emotional states with this; sadness and joy. 
When we encounter obstacles in life which prevent us from becoming our profound identity (and I can imagine all sorts of obstacles people can encounter, and for me it's all the confinement of physical conditions like rosacea, but an obstacle could also be to fear losing control or whatever you have at that moment and holding on to it), then we feel sadness and when we have the opportunities to grow then we feel happiness. Growing in all sorts of ways. 

I wonder at times how many people are actually looking for this. Most just seem to me to stand in a long line and have the same repetitive day to day, week to week, year to year spending of time. Until before you know it you are 20 years further down the line. Spent your years doing what everybody else did. It all depresses me. And I remember it already putting me off as a kid. Especially some aunts who were all about appearance and pristine houses and latest interior fashions, nothing sincere about them, nothing different, vibrant. Just, bland and even back then it just.. depressed me I guess.  
My mothers brother is a gay man and was a great uncle really, as he was open minded and fun. Exuberant, fantastical, warm, wore wildly outrageous clothes, had just a lot of fun in life and a cheeky sense of humour and treated us like adults basically, which is pretty nice at that age. (He burned himself up though and has Korsakoff's syndrome now and is in a care home). 

I do struggle with life at times and how to give meaning to it and not just live away the years. It helps that I have this freedom from working from home a lot, I'm not totally lived by an office culture and 9 to 5 mentality and I think i'd have really not survived that culture to be honest. Just felt like screaming there. But how do you give meaning to it and ensure you later look back at things and don't have regrets? I feel a hundred times more limited too in my options in that regard due to not being able to do this or that, and tons of other normal limitations. So it has become more a matter of lowering expectations and finding joy and contentment and some sort of challenge in smaller things but that sounds so new age and mushy. And it doesn't make for all that growing we are now told is soooo important. 

Might also explain why some people with the same health conditions become close friends so quickly, it's a huge relief for many. What is weird behaviour to others is normal to all of us. There has even been talk once of some meeting and wild jokes about having ice cube machines everywhere and fans and airco and hats for free and special low carb, no gluten, no spice food and non alcoholic delicious drinks and cold packs and fridges everywhere. It sort of stagnated on the location choice, the Yanks all wanted it to be in the States, of course, and the Europeans wanted it in Italy or something, which has a whole set of impracticalities by itself unless you want to go in winter :)  So that might happen somewhere in 2050 perhaps haha. Most don't even feel like getting out of their houses anyway. But at the end of the day, it is a lonely thing to go through when you have chronic health shit. I think all of us know that in the end you can only expect and rely on other people so much with it. People can disappoint you and they will! And when you don't have the freedom to go do exactly whatever you want when things are not going well, that gives a specific type of trapped feeling. 




Here is another little art clip:


And in the category of useless lame nonsense for tooodaayyyyy we've got; literal lyrics version of Bonny Tyler, explaining exactly what's going on in the video: (That made me laugh)



And this made me a bit creeped out. So traumatized, this is what emotional neglect or trauma can create then? Poor little girl, but also frightening that at such a young age she could say things like that. She somehow seems wise and smart too, don't you want to bundle it up in a blanket and take it to a beach house or something for a lot of love and caring, poor mite. (Well that is, until she stabs you in the throat at night perhaps..).



I've lived in some dodgy places, student houses, and have been lucky with my condo, very low rent but nice little place and location. They can't raise the rent by law more than 1% or something per year for residents who stay in it. But as soon as a new renter comes in, they can crack the rent price way up. The past 15 years people have come and gone of course in the street but I stayed and I now pay up to half the amount some neighbors have to pay, with exactly the same house. But the landlords are usually corporations here. Privatized, yes, so potential cowboys but mine is a Christian organization and they do have very strict morals. Which go both ways. They sneak around back gardens to make paparazzi style pictures, draw arrows on it with fluorescent markers, to send them to you with a letter, stating you need to cut a tree or remove a bag or something like that. But when something is wrong, they come round quickly to solve it. I asked once if they could replace my
lock after some relationship ended and although that is for your own costs normally, the chap was so helpful and said he would give up that the lock had broken down and sure he would replace it for free. They are nice with most things and the houses are old, 1920 or so, but in good state. Although last year they sent letters saying the indoor window-ledges are made of asbestos.. So to better not chip any of the material off or start sawing of hacking into them.  Not sure they intend to actually replace them, so that worries me ever so slightly.

My sister now has a rental place with them too and they done it all up for her before she moved in. There was a bit of luck and charm involved perhaps as my mother knows the guy who decides on such things there and Jody was smart enough to dress up and charm a bit with the responsible man who decided what had to be replaced and what could stay. So now they fitted her a brand new kitchen, even did painting for her, she is happy with it. Not the best neighborhood but it could be a lot worse as well.


I saw this movie again, after watching it many years ago already. Very nice one, beautiful cinematography. Very mysterious movie with a slow pace.




I watched this movie last week Perfect Sense. I loved it. 




I really enjoyed it, it was touching and had an original topic I felt. Made in Scotland, with Eva Green and Ewan McGregor. She is a epidemiologist and he a cook and there is a strange virus which makes people loose all their senses slowly but surely. Although nobody knows that initially of course, as it is a new and unknown disease. First it's only smell, started by a severe emotional spell of grieving over everybody and everything they've lost in life. By then they think the loss will stay limited to smell only. So first she is hurt and wants to be alone, and he is a womanizer who can't sleep with another person in the ebd and they both look unmatchable and miserable and being exactly of each others prettiness level and the 2 protagonists you know with great certainty they will hook up as it goes in the movies, and yes, soon these 2 are madly in love (and you want them to be! They play it so well and top notch) and enjoy all their senses but she is worried that this virus might not limit itself to just the smell. They soon all have it as nobody understands how the spreading of it works. 
What it made very tangible is how people panicked and missed what they lost first - after smell it was taste, and the cook had to come up with meals that were ultra strong in flavor already when it was just the smell people lacked, but by then they tasted nothing anymore, but came for the sensation of textures. So the restaurant got good reviews based on how the menu had a great balance of crispy and soft and foamy and velvety textures, which they could still sense-. But that eventually people get used to limitations, accepted it, and focus on the things they still have. So they developed stronger hearing and sight, or touch. I wondered how they would have all adapted to having severe rosacea.. 




Topic change 


Have been working the past days on a little article though for the homeless magazine, that is an understated word for it btw, it is a normal magazine for a big audience in the northern regions of Holland, and that is low key so I enjoy doing that, since 2006 already monthly, this time it's for the May edition, which stands for freedom etc, it's also our month of liberation in WW2, so I discussed with editor to do another one about the war and liberation. Found this grave of a resistance man, a touching grave with inscription and a statue of a tree, cut short. That man was 27 when he was executed together with 20 other resistance people from the north. So have been diving into the resistance parties and stories in Groningen, nothing was put comprehensive on wikipedia or anything, grrrr, so have been watching endless video's and trying to get a clear idea of the whole undertaking here from that. This video for instance, it is a bit long but shows really nice footage from my city, in the late 30's and early 40's and from minute 4:30 onward also a chilling image from how the newly installed Germans paraded and spoke to the Groningers on the big square for the first time.  The narrator also has a northern accent, although he doesn't talk in dialect here, but the nasal sound and slumping and swallowing at the end of consonants is typical.

Unfortunately I couldn't use any of the stories of my grandparents in this article as they lived in the east of holland, my whole mums family still does, so it isn't falling in the region of this magazine. Did see some video's from a few surviving heroes and they all strike me with a similar attitude; shrugging shoulders, 'oh well, it had to be done. Someone had to do it, stand up for justice', more shrugging of shoulders. They all say they don't want to talk about their private role in it all too much, just emphasize the group work and none want to be hailed as heroes; it was normal, it was the good thing. Quite a few of the most notorious and tough ones, unbreakable even during horrendous torture weeks, were catholics by the way... interesting. Unshakable believe in God and their own task here. 

 I will translate that resistance fighter article in English; the idea was to do some justice to some of those stories and people, a little kaleidoscope of flutters of memories. I should spend a week in the archives for a properly comprehensible article,but this is low key and I think I can get away with it this way. It's not reflective really, mostly historical and a bit more dry journalistics. Nothing too fancy or ambitious, the group they aim for is the average reader. 
I wanted to sit at the archives for a good while and really read all their personal files, but didn't have the time to do it thoroughly. Neither the canvas for it at the magazine. But I have been reading up on it online for 3 days and there is a lot put online, got 10 times the amount of info I could use. I added a picture of the personal document of the chap who it is about, executed age 27.. 


Also, I found that Holland had only around 45.000 resistance fighters during the war. I thought that number would have been higher, given we had well over 16 million inhabitants. Half of them never made it through the war. Makes me appreciate what my grandparents did even more. I think I already told you about it.. They housed large groups of Jews over the years in their cellar and grandpa dug a tunnel from the cellar to the nearby church and passed these people on to hiding places in the attack there, and then onwards to farms in the area. My nan biked secret documents around for the resistance. They had 5 small children by then.  Grandfather was eventually ordered to go to a German labour camp and went into hiding himself. He was very well hidden at this farm but was snitched upon. But the Germans couldn't find him and therefore ordered the farmer and his wife and kids into the kitchen and when he didn't want to talk thy nailed him with his tongue to the table and let the others watch him bleed to death. My grandfather wasn't found though and made it through but it really affected him later on.

Groninger resistance fighters

Those who visit the Noorderbegraafplaats (cemetery) in Selwerd, can find a touching grave monument. On a white, vertical stone the roots of a cut tree spread down. Engraved are the words Broken but not uprooted. One can also read the name of resistance fighter Harm Engbert Blaauw (1917-1945). A modest monument for a brave man, whose live was broken in the blossom (that's a Dutch saying, might make no sense translated like this though). 

The picture on his identity card displays a handsome, confident looking young man with his hair in a side parting. Blaauw lived in the Hamburgstraat in Groningen and worked as a superintendent, before he got entangled in the resistance. He became a member of Group Packard during the Second World War; a Dutch intelligence service that was connected with the Dutch government which had fled to London. They equipped themselves with information transmission and (meteorological) intelligence, but also helped to get and keep injured allied soldiers into hiding places. Blaauw sheltered a paratrooper who had escaped the infamous Scholtenshaus at the Grote Markt, but he was eventually betrayed and brought to the Scholtenshaus himself. 


At the end of the war, this statuesque villa was destroyed by bombardments, but at the time of the war the German Sicherheitsdienst instructed the (industrial) Scholten family to evacuate their home, and housed the SD head quarter of the north in it. It acquired a gruesome reputation, as many hundreds of people were interrogated, tortured and often killed here. Especially Robert Lehnhof ("The torturer of Groningen") and Ernst Knorr were renowned for being sadistic and fanatical. In Groningen only 20 percent of the Jews survived the war, against 30% nationally. The Dutch Schutzstaffel (SS; the paramilitary defense troops) committed 22 of the total of 50 Silbertanne-murders of 'anti German' Dutchmen in the north.  Atrocious murderings took place in 1945 in Anloo, where ten resistance fighters were first unspeakably tortured. Also at least 75 communist resistance fighters from Groningen were killed. In the province of Groningen a relative big number of resistance fighters were executed, but it also had an active resistance. 

Harm Engbert Blaauw survived his capturing in the Scholtenshaus, after which he was brought to the prison at the Hereweg. He might have sat out the war there, if it weren't for the killing of a German commander in the Frysian place of Valom on 19 januari 1945 by the resistance. In a merciless revenge attack, the Germans committed the biggest group execution the north has seen during the war, and on January the 22nd they shot twenty prisoners from Frysland and Groningen without any form of trial. Harm Engbert Blaauw was one of them.

The artist who made the grave monument for Harm Engbert Blaauw is Willem Valk. He also played an active role in the artist resistance. But this is not the only resistance fighters grave in the province. There are many more. Just at the Noorderbegraafplaats already alone there are 17 more.. Their professions ranged from accountant, grocer, silversmith and wine merchant to teacher. But also war criminals like Pieter Schaap and Abraham Kaper are buried here. In Bakkeveen lies the grave of famous artist Hendrik Werkman. During the war he was involved with forbidden publications and on April 10th 1945, after imprisonment at the Scholtenshaus, he was executed with nine others in a forest. And in Marum sixteen innocent man and boys were shot by a German patrol on May 3rd 1943, after they found some tree trunks obstructing the road. 
I would have liked to also write about the resistance work of my own grandparents, but they lived in Overrijsel and were no Stadjers (slang for people living in Groningen, our equivalent of Geordies for instance). There are countless stories about brave resistance people which haven't made it into the annals, but every story deserves to be remembered and passed on. 



A friend wrote me about this topic:


I saw this on Wikip. Sneaky krauts!

On 10 May 1940, German troops started their surprise attack on the Netherlands without a declaration of war. The day before, small groups of German troops wearing Dutch uniforms had entered the country. Many of them wore 'Dutch' helmets, some made of cardboard as there were not enough originals. The Germans employed about 750,000 men, three times the strength of the Dutch army; some 1,100 planes (Dutch army: 125) and six armoured trains; they managed to destroy 80% of the Dutch military aircraft on the ground in one morning, mostly by bombing. Although the Dutch army was inferior in nearly every way, consisting mostly of conscripts, poorly led, poorly outfitted and with poor communications, the Germans lost over 500 planes in the three days of the attack, a loss they would never replenish. Also the first large-scale paratroop attack in history failed, the Dutch managing to recapture the three German-occupied airfields near the Hague within the day. Remarkable was the existence of privately owned anti-aircraft guns.[1] No less surprising may be the fact that the Dutch army owned only one tank.[1]
Major areas of intensive military resistance were:
the Grebbelinie, a north–south line some 50 km east of the capital Amsterdam, from Amersfoort to the Waal, fortified, with field guns, with extensive inundations; the Dutch had to surrender after heavy losses.
Kornwerderzand, with a bunker-complex that defended the eastern end of the Afsluitdijk connecting Friesland to North Holland and was held until the capitulation.
Rotterdam, the bridges over the Waal, defended by Dutch Marines until the surrender.
After four days, it seemed as if the Dutch had stopped the German advance, although at that time, they had already invaded some 70% of the country, excluding the urban areas to the west. Adolf Hitler, who had expected the occupation to be completed in two days (in Denmark in April 1940 it had taken only one day), ordered Rotterdam to be annihilated, leading to the Rotterdam Blitz on 14 May that destroyed much of the city centre and killed about 800 people; it also left some 85,000 homeless. The air attack was to be followed by every other major city if the Dutch people refused to surrender. The Dutch, having lost the bulk of their air force, realized they could not stop the German bombers and surrendered.[8]
The 2,000 Dutch soldiers who died defending their country, together with at least 800 civilians who perished in the flames of Rotterdam, were the first victims of a Nazi occupation which was to last five years.

It's a bit funny on one hand and yet extremely heroic too. The army had only one tank! but they fought well and cost the krauts a lot of aircraft. There was another bunch it seems called England-farers and there is a rather interesting story there.

'England-farers'
A little more than 1,700 Dutch people managed to escape to England and offered themselves to their Queen Wilhelmina for service against the Germans. They were called the Engelandvaarders named after some 200 who had traveled by boat across the North Sea, most of the other 1,500 went across land.
Some figures are especially noteworthy: Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, whose life was described in his book and made into a film and a musical Soldaat van Oranje, Peter Tazelaar and Bob or Bram van der Stok, who became a squadron leader in No. 322 Squadron RAF. Van der Stok was one of only three successful survivors of 'the Great Escape' from Stalag Luft III.

Did you know about any of that stuff? And who were these dudes with anti-aircraft guns!!!!!!!

That was an interesting read, as some new things there I didn't know yet. 
Although the Dutch army was inferior in nearly every way, consisting mostly of conscripts, poorly led, poorly outfitted and with poor communications, the Germans lost over 500 planes in the three days of the attack, a loss they would never replenish.
I sure hope that means the Dutch demolished them! With their shitty little army. Nice to read. Haha only one tank :)
That's Holland, we love to just debate and talk some sense into dire situations; diplomacy always! Not wise though with WW1 still rather fresh in mind. Dutch are no great battleman anyway I guess...Not sure you know the details of the excruciatingly shameful Dutchbat performance in defending the Muslims in Srebrenica in '95? A chap I grew up with was in that army group and told about it later. They were supposed to defend those people and instead the general had some nervous weak talk with Ratko Mladic and they allowed at least 2000 men to be walked away and shot in mass graves. Just stood there and watched. Oh wait, they had waited for air support from the NATo which was promised but never came. So these professional army men just stood and watched and did exactly nothing. Shameful bunch. 

But good to read we stood a few days longer than Denmark. 

Yes the England-farers! They set up communication and espionage stuff to keep the royals informed who all fled to London. Erik Hazelhof Roelzema is one of the most famous Dutch war men as there was a pretty decent movie made after his war story: Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange), still the best watched movie ever in Dutch movie history. I never saw it yet though.. Most Dutch movies are absolutely atrocious as we can't act. All stifled and overacting and like watching a bad theater play.
There is also the movie Black Book, about another well known resistance woman: Esmée van Eeghen (haha, try to pronounce thát with a Dutch tongue).  


She was in the end betrayed, quite a dramatic mysterious case. The movie isn't too bad but not very good either, but for Dutch standards decent. And of course, lots of nudeness, they can't leave that out it seems, you'll find them in virtually every Dutch movie lol. Oh and the main actress in it is Carice van Houten; she plays Melisandre in Game of Thrones.  A much better movie (great movie actually I think), but about the Stasi and not the world war is Das Leben der Anderen.
Must see!



I didn't know the answer to the defense shooters question either so I looked it.. 
Some of the things that were done firstly by the Germans was to instruct Dutch collaborationists to stab the wheels of Dutch fighter jets at the Dutch airports before the attack started. They also poured water in the engines. Holland also had marine ships which were attacked by Germans from the conquered airports. They damaged one marine ship but the we shot 5 German planes down with another.  
Holland also had some bunkers which were not very effective for this big defense task. 
My dad is here and tells me now laughingly that the Dutch defense was so poorly at that time that the soldiers swung their riffles on their back and still took their bicycles to ride towards the enemy haha. Even though Holland knew years earlier already that the Germans were preparing for something.
Holland did build up some sort of defense in those years prior to 1940 though, they bought 77 mm antitank artillery and some antiaircraft fire and 39 armors. But there was hardly any modern artillery, not many machine guns. Only a couple of Spandau machine guns which were second handies from the Huns. Pretty useless in this big conflict. Weapon levels were of that of 1900. We had about 70 modern planes (Fokker). We didn't build our own defense machinery in Holland so relied on international suppliers and in those years the whole world wanted them. 
This one is quite astonishing; Holland placed in the years before the war numerous orders for weaponry with a German manufacturer, Krupp, paid them but never got anything back lol. The German government initially approved the orders, but never supplied and kept making excuses. Just when it was too late for us to make orders elsewhere, they cancelled the order (so polite to still bother about that by then). 

Right when the invasion started, our minister of defense was annoyed by the messages of hundreds of German planes passing the border, and said to stop making commotion, but he later realized it was serious. By then the Dutch demolished the bridges over the Big Rivers in Holland; de Maas, Waal, de Rhijn, de IJsel. So the Germans had big trouble passing the rivers. And at the other side of the rivers the Dutch stood ready to shoot. The Germans was expecting to have Holland surrender in one day so they were slightly irritated by then. Fall Gelb it was named, the taking over of Holland, Belgium and Luxembourg. They threatened to bomb Rotterdam and asked us to surrender but before that answer was given, the started to bomb that city. The Dutch did surrender when they threatened to next bomb Amsterdam. 

Here is more info:




PICTURES TAKEN DURING A PRETTY HOT SKIN FLARE







    Tim thinks 'lekker' in Dutch is just for plebs and prefers to express his culinary delight with a different word these days haha :) 




March 26th 2015

I developed a bit of an obsession over the terrible plane crash of flight MH370, in France two days ago. I fly often myself and have been procrastinating by reading a forum where pilots discuss it, just love the mystery whodunit aspect and changing perspectives, now that more facts are given free. It's all pretty futile but I just were always interested in reading up on air crash investigations and planes and technical aspects of it all, decompression issues yes or no, that sort of stuff. http://www.pprune.org/rumours-news/558654-airbus-a320-crashed-southern-france-46.html

These geese are greeting me often in the park behind my house. Swans and geese both appeal to me, geese because they are just bloody funny, the way they waddle (is that the right word for it? That staggering motion they make when walking), their defense techniques. I love feeding them left overs, they circle around you like some pack of hyena's, pushing those fatty chests up your legs and hissing for the food, haha, just great. Swans have a cooler demeanor, but their love for their partner is quite exceptional. There was one famous swan in that theme park we went to last winter, and he lost his partner and it's so sad, he now wails for her and found a spot with a metal thing that reflects his own image and he isn't moving away from it, constantly looking at himself and thinking it is his partner. Really sad. Here you see it doing exactly that:


A friend wants to go out for dinner tonight, we will go here;
http://depijpwinedine.nl/
Been there before with her, they are good, bit hovering between fancy restaurant and 'eating café' as we say in Dutch, surprising menu. I used to love desserts most of all, in student years we had a spell where we went to three different restaurants a night, asking to only eat a dessert, making it a 3 course menu that way haha. Can't do that anymore with a straight face at this age.


My skin is still pretty deep pink and glowing, I try to keep it calm during the day, and just hope it will improve again soon... 




April 4th 2015

My skin not great. I suspect it might be pollen season having started. I also lost my appetite which is EXTREMELY rare for me haha since being on remeron and antihistamines. But for a good time now. I try to stick to it and combined with my work outs. Long walks but trying to elongate and intensify them, I notice how much stronger I am by now and how much more endurance I have. I think I'm losing some more weight by now an it feels good. 
I started the carvedilol beta blocker medication which dr Chu prescribed me. But it made me flush like mad a few hours after taking it. I am waiting for the episode to subside, then try to get my skin stable again and try again. It's no use really to try anything new, may it be medication, or supplements, or anything of which you expect an improvement and want an objective evaluation on, unless your basic skin state is stable, I found at least. 
I also bought probiotics to try and algae omega 3 supplements as anti inflammatory. A rosacea friend is seeing improvement in his symptoms with red light use. I might try to find my devise back and give it another try soon!!! At the time I received it from another friend, in 2005, ny rosacea was at its very very worst and I felt the red light stirred matters further up, but it was so wildly unstable to begin with that I don't think I gave it a fair test. So there we go, that one goes on the to do list as well! And so we muddle on..

My sister moved places and I spent a good few nights with her, she likes company and then to sit on the couch with blankets (she has a small fan for me in the house, awww) and just watch crap tv and criticize it a bit. She has been hooked on Goede Tijden Slechte Tijden (bit like Days of our Lives I think) since the start in the 90s and still watches it faithfully every night at 8. As a student I tried Bold and the Beautiful and then Days of our Lives out of sheer curiosity for the whole phenomenon, maybe managed to watch it for a few months at the longest, and it was interesting for a little while. The outrageous overacting and twist plots, it got me invested for a little while. I mean, it was interesting to figure the concept out and test it on another soap and see they all follow the same script. Bold and the beautiful has some main characters who have married, divorced, remarried, got cheated on a good dozen of times, then got dumped, then married their brother/sister in law, then cheated him with the father/mother in law, who then had a severe helicopter crash and became a vegetable, all in the time span of a year or two haha. In a way.. isn't it the simple mans story telling and theater craving all in one? We need stories and some people like to live through the lives of people with ordinary life problems. Just, they are a bit more glamorous and slim and rich and have all our problems combined in abundance. Suckers for drama and emotion haha.
But after a little while it feels like a massive waste of time and it circles on and on around the same
patterns and becomes predictable and the curiosity is stilled and it gets boring, to me that is. But they still provide viewers with stories, so they can learn through other characters, experience lives outside their own little world, i don't see much wrong with that. It's no quantum physics you learn from it, but not everybody is interested in that I guess. Not totally realistic lives and often too materialistic and chuck full with product placement, but they are the dumb version of Greek tragedy characters in a way; slapped in the face consistently with all the hardships and challenges and (mis)fortunes of the world and viewers are delighted to see how they deal with that, securely from their own couch. And then perhaps be happier with their own lives. 
Shakespeare is all great but tiring, i couldn't keep my eyes open during Hamlet either. Sometimes a semi crappy movie is more relaxing than a high end one. Each to their own. 

Not sure I shared this already, a mexican soap, so outraggggeous haha. Have a laugh, this crap was seriously aired, it makes me laugh.




Also saw this cute Bored Panda article on super hero's. 












My dream Is To Make Superhero Posters, So I Started Taking Cosplay Pictures


These images are from my latest Comic Con, Cardiff Film & Comic Con. I decided to go with two flash setup so I could do even better pictures of them. I wanted to create these simple, well lit portraits, but then also I retouched some and will do more when I have time.
I cannot wait to go to the next event and see all these characters and also see what new I will bring to the table. And hopefully I can go to the “real deal”, San Diego Comic Con someday to make these images.
More info: anttikarppinen.com

Joker

Queen of Hearts

Jack Sparrow

I even contacted this local Jack Sparrow imitator (Cardiff Jack Sparrow) and made movie poster images of him. For me he was the real deal. It was almost the same thing as shooting the real Johnny Depp, he was that good!

Penguin

Ghostbusters

Belle

Assassins Creed

Skellington

Tomb Raider

Joker

Tankgirl

Steampunk

Captain America

Mary Poppins

Poison Ivy

Agent Carter

Maleficent

I know some people who love comic books too and even to dress up as heroes for parties or events. They think I am all into my classical novel things and not into 'geeks', but that is not true. Geek is a badge of honor by now isn't it. I used to think differently about geeks at school, mainly from being unknown to them, but later found out the geeks in school were much more interesting than the others, and now, well geeks are the best in some ways. My old neighbor kid was a huge geek and socially awkward but very smart, he got teased for being poor and having shitty clothes on but we got along fine after school, told me all about animals and turtles and biology and the universe. Still in touch, he is now an adult geek with geek wife of course. We call it a geuzennaam; others might use it as an offensive title but you use it as a title of honor. How do you call that in English? A moniker perhaps? 

Friend: "Geuzennaam sounds like nickname to me. All the kids at school get nicknames. Maybe at Oxford they call it a moniker. I could imagine that. When I was at school I remember such names as Davey, porky (fat kid) and so on. Nowadays all that would be classed as criminal offenses, racism and human rights violations."

Geuzennaam is not strictly a nickname though, a nickname can be affectionate too. Geuzennaam is in definition a derogatory thing, which received a more positive meaning over time by the people who it applies to wearing it with pride. Maybe like being a Paddy, not sure. Maybe there are Irish people who are proud to call themselves a Mick now. Then it would have been a geuzennaam. Honorary nickname the translation machine makes of it.. Or maybe it is the same actually as your example, well for some. Would Porky be proud of his nickname? Then it is a geuzennaam yes. As it is derogatory in nature. But Davey not. People got sooooo sensitive nowadays, you can't ridicule anyone anymore no. 

Had to laugh that riding bicycles for women was considered dangerous and ill making under the Victorians. Haha, read the risks and symptoms involved, Bicycle face :)
http://www.vox.com/2014/7/8/5880931/the-19th-century-health-scare-that-told-women-to-worry-about-bicycle

And saw this today too, she is still very pretty with the fur on her face, strange birthmark though. She refused to get the fur lasered away. I am tempted to compare it somehow with having rosacea; a visual abnormality thing in the face. Only rosacea hurts and burns and sends us to the crevasses of hell and back, and this girl seems to have no pain from it. Just, looking unusual. Being spotted in the crowd, something most rosaceans experience daily too unless they plaster their faces with make up. 















People Told Her To Remove Her Birthmark, But She Chose To Embrace It Instead 22-year-old professional dancer Cassandra Naud was born with a large birthmark under her left eye, and although she begged for an operation to remove it in her youth, she now refuses to get one – she even says that she appreciates her unique appearance and that it helps her stand out in her field.


The Alberta, Canada-based dancer was teased throughout her youth for the birthmark, which is also covered in hair (hypertrichotic), but her parents were afraid to operate on it for fear that it would leave large scars on her face. Read on for more of her story!

Cassandra Naud was born with a hairy birthmark under her left eye

Many have suggested that she remove it, but she refuses

In fact, she embraces her stand-out appearance

“My birthmark is a huge part of me. It makes me unique and memorable, which is especially important for the career I’ve chosen”

It hasn’t stopped her from finding love, either!

She refused plastic surgery when she learned that it may scar her face

“I don’t often face prejudice, but one agent told me to Photoshop my birthmark out of my head shots”

“Wanting to please, I agreed at first, despite feeling shocked they’d asked. But then I changed my mind”

It wasn’t always easy to be confident – Naud was teased at school

“Their cruel remarks were hard to deal with and I’d often fight back tears. I felt ugly – even if only for that moment”

“Times are changing, so don’t worry about looking normal. Don’t let bullies stop you and be proud of your uniqueness”

“Having a birthmark distinguishes me – and I don’t feel that it has ever held me back”



And check this out perhaps, a video from Stromae, a Belgian singer. Now you might already know some of his hits, as there was basically no escaping them for some time (here in Europe at least! And I bet he is famous in Canada too), but he is clever, this is a poignant cartoon-video I think, frightening in a way yet simple. Warning for the dangers of social media in a great cartoon, Must Watch. About the craziness of our very own time era.
It has english subs under it too.

I like how the bird shocks and blurts at the rhythm of the strings in that video and its expression. Also, how common all this is! You tend to watch it thinking, oh but this is not about me, this is about others! You see them doing exactly what is portrayed in this cartoon. But it still leaves a metallic after taste. 

And this is a short clip but guaranteed to make you relax :) 
Had to laugh, also some of the comments below it: "In case you can't sleep".
"I think I did it wrong. I'm bleeding through the nose." 


Watched a movie called Byzantium. Nice movie. I normally don't watch the vampire or zombie genre but this one seemed to hover between fantasy and a dash of history/period piece and some art house touch with the cinematography. I loved that last bit, the changes between weathered gray and blue in the current day, dowdy beach resort place, and the warm light and colors in the past scenes. I won't say too much about the story line and it wasn't a great movie, but a decent one I felt. The flash backs they used to tell 2 different story lines from different times were most interesting. The gothic bits in the movie were great I thought. And the scene in a cave with thedoppelganger was quite beautifully shot.  
One of the lead actresses, Gemma Arterton, was however bringing the whole thing down for me. Others might disagree, and she is a jewel to look at, absolutely gorgeous. But that was about it for me. Found it hard to watch her.. As I said, Gemma was stunning (although her upper lip from the side looks slightly like she had a bee sting and an allergic reaction, but she reminds me a bit at times of Laetitia Casta, a French model see pics below. She stood model for the Marianne, symbol of the French revolution and republic and of freedom. And Gemma has exactly her figure here) but a bit of a caricature to me. Bit of cold, one dimensional she was. Look of a superwoman but not the content somehow. More or less a pretty face. If she didn't had her looks, I doubt she would have been

cast as she acted a bit poorly and stiff here if I may be so mean. There is nothing in this movie that makes me understand why men would fall at her feet, apart from her looks, she has an annoying silly voice (bit Eliza Doolittle, which was annoying as well) and she says absolutely nothing of any interest. Flat acting, she basically walks around in sexy outfit, twirling men around her finger and playing them in such an obvious little girls way/ good cop-bad cop manner, that it begs belief any man would fall for it.  But so are men of course :) No real layers of personality to be found there. In the modern life scenes, that is. In the period dresses, wow, gorgeous. 
I vant awllll doze dresssesss now!  And be 16 for ever too. Who wouldn't want to become a vampire to love for ever being one age? 


Saoirses character I could relate more to, but she had too many shots initially where she was just silent, pondering, staring, being melancholy and too obviously torn and overly sensitive. Although she suffered from all sorts of burdens clearly. Bad things happen, as the bf said, but it was touching to see she found someone she could say the truth to, they were a nice couple I felt, by that point i got more in the movie as well. Although he betrayed her trust in a way. And Saoirse has a special face, nice to look at her. Her eyes and her mouth mostly and pale skin, reminded me a bit of my sister Jennifer. She was more intriguing to me.
The colors of the scenes from the past were nice, damn even Gemma played better in those parts of the movie (but still felt she was overacting or acting like a plank of wood even then..). Then the contrast with that weathered, run down coastal place, as I said before, really nice. And nice that the story unfolded slowly and through flash backs. 

There is a boyband called Keane, Sister and I used to blast their cd Hopes and Fears for years in the car and belt all the songs out, very therapeutic, very happy tunes. Not seeing the same quality in the album now that I grew up a bit, but this is a more recent song of them which I do like and the coastal scenes in Byzantium reminded me of the video clip for this song.
Same cool colors, seems to work for there. Also some old vintage cars/bikes and scenes brought into modern day life scenes. Haha I once fancied the singer, bit of a porky pie face and nose, but when he was chubbier he was kind of cute. My type of cute and geeky and kind. Married his school sweetheart, he even went into rehab for drug abuse, everybody joked he had a smartie/sweets addiction hehe, such a choir boy type (trying to be Oasis they said with the drug abuse. Jody and me like to sing along with it: 


I also liked the grimness and darkness in Byzantium. And its a nice twist to standard vampire movies, more Dracula like which I did like, mainly due to Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder. Also the running theme of stories and humans needing them to understand the world, and the Ella/Eleonore character needing her stories, even though she throws them away, that was nice.  Although writing your story down and then throwing the pages away is a nice poetry like gesture for a movie but about as bad to me as throwing diaries in a fire. Oh and had to laugh that every time these girls gulp on blood, it leaves a near perfect lipstick mark haha, never gory all over their chin and cheeks :) 

Comparing Gemma with French model/actress Laetitia Costa, they look alike to me!



On another positive note, I really liked the soundtrack/piano playing in Byzantium. Sounded like something from Beethoven with a twist. It reminded starkly however of the soundtrack from The Hours, from Philip Glass.

Here compare them! Glass:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vvyktncO9Q&list=RDQMrysMiOcfZJ0&index=4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dmj3nDqKyp0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB0sXWwH_eA

Byzantium:



Also found the original of that fantastic Byzantium soundtrack, indeed from Beethoven, this is just a section of the original and played by a beautiful Asian pianist. Beethoven was full of passion (listen how he alternates calm and sweet melodies with raw pain at minute 2:15). She even looks haunted herself when she plays it, love it (although it's probably staged as a video clip). That's the way to play Beethoven though, that can't be done stone faced and sitting silently. (she might look stoned to you haha, but I'd call it musical trance). Deutsche grammophon is considered one of the very best labels for classical music btw. 


Great life story he had, Beethoven. Turned deaf in the end, the horror. We used to have pretentious dillema questions at school as teens haha, surprising students with the question: "Do you prefer Mozart or Beethoven??" Most would look at you with a mix of disgust, disdain and smirk, but some would actually answer. I said Mozart back then, I see Beethoven right now. The passion and drama, oh, do I love it! Anyone who hasn't seen the movie Immortal Beloved should watch it I think.  Gary Oldman plays Beethoven, god I was in love with him as a teen. Fab actor, he does morph into his characters. Dark man, you can sense, he gives his roles such depth. 



Oh and a last thing on that Belgian singer Stromae. This is a great clip I think, very clever and quite deep, if you look for the metaphors he uses in it. He sings about a kid who is raised without his dad. Everybody can make a kid but not everybody can be a dad, he sings. Everybody needs someone to look up to, this one doesn't, the ending  the way the kid 'solves' it, is touching and a bit painful perhaps: 





Here he reminds a little bit of Jacques Brel, a famous Belgian singer who sang about hookers and bars and almost the Hemingway of French chansons. He sings here about fucking things up, she was fantastic, he was atrocious, he has regrets. The video was shot in Brussels I think t is, he is very well known there but plays a drunk, and it was shot with hidden camera's apparently, and you see some people recognizing him but others steering well away, suspecting he is dangerous perhaps. Dark bitter song, think everybody hearing it can relate somehow (also with subs);





And a last one :) This one might freak some people out as he is very feminine in it but he's not gay. He sings that all people are the same in the end, and he cleverly portrays both man and woman, with the two sides of his body/face. Fascinating face too! Too child like and feminine in general for my liking, too skinny too, but a beautiful face, refined.

I think it's a great clip, original:






Last one then haha, check out the lyrics too, here in English, it is about a harbor and rough life and hookers and drunks, it reads like a poem. Not everybody likes Brels voice but he gives it such a roughness, i do like it. He brings the scenes to life I think. Died young he did, Brel. 





Happy Easter!!




April 6th 2015

I had a dinner tonight and despite grumping about my boring life all weekend, du moment that I have to go out and face people, I wished wholeheartedly that I could stay home and just make some lonesome walk with an audio book from Tom Hardy on (reading "The maddening crowd" now). But of course I went and it was warm in there and I had already an utterly red sore skin day. But, there were nice friends, it was a nice group, we had fun, they are warm and smart and funny to me nevertheless. Within no time I was at ease and chatting away and actually contributed in my own ways to a very nice evening. 
I guess what 15 years of this rosacea shit has learned me, is to just switch off from that burning hot pain. Not focus on it, not think about it, pretend it's not there, behave as if it's not there and the night is a success then and often by the time I get back, the flush has died down a considerable amount already anyway. We ate wild boar, cooked for 24 hours (yep) and a lot of other delicious things. 
I felt good and chirpie for the evening.

Hope everybody had a nice Easter. Oh, I was naughty and here in the village they hide little chocolate eggs for the kiddies. Some are hidden very well, too well for the kiddo's to find so went on a quest and hunt for these forgotten eggs, before the sun would melt them in a messy waste of a good chocolate treat. Fetched over ten of them and yessss.. I ate them all! In one go. It's impossible to feel depressed they say with a mouth full of chocolate. It's true! :)  








April 9th 2015
So red and sore these days :( I don't know what is the reason, either because the pollen season has started, or maybe hormones. 









I have continued writing my updates in this blogpost








7 comments:

  1. Thank you for all your hard work at trying to figure this vascular rosacea out. I have only just started reading your blog and I have gotten a lot of valuable information. So much so that I have got my doctors to prescribe propranolol and clonidine. I used your dosage as my request, I know some people criticized for posting dosage but I believe it is very helpful. In my case if I had not mentioned the dosage I was looking for then they would have prescribed miniscule amounts. Next I will look at not doing dairy, that will be difficult as I love yogurt!
    Once again thank you and all the very best

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  2. Thank you Limeyts! That was great to read for me. I'm happy that the info helped you somewhat, I hope the medication is taking the edge off your flushing and burning? I know, I had some discussions with people, and received some negative comments about 'promoting' medication use. I have zero commercial interests in anything and just share what has helped me most over the years. Opinions vary on the treatment of rosacea, and most rosacea cases differ slightly from each other, so I think it's a matter of trial and error for every patient to figure out what works best. Given the risks of IPL and laser (despite many patients having good results, there are also plenty who are -sometimes far- worse off after them), I find medication a safer bet to try first. These meds, clonidine and propranolol, are at their dose for facial flushing, relatively safe. Every medication has potential risks, but when you have severe ongoing flushing and redness, you risk having an increasing rosacea problem over time, plus a hellish life when your symptoms get bad enough. There is a massive range of severity of symptoms in patients, and everyone who is speaking out against this or that treatment option should, in my opinion, always consider how severe the other is suffering from all this. Some people I know, me included at times, are housebound and suffer hours and hours on end of intense burning and throbbing. That is a different situation, which asks for different measurements and risk takings in terms of potential drug side effects, from someone who has only a slight flush when they drink alcohol or work out in the gym. Never judge, we all suffer and if medications can help you stop rosacea in its tracks, or make life more bearable, then I am personally all for it, but always under your doctors guidance. Natural treatment options just don't cut it for some patients, unfortunately. Thanks for sharing your experiences here :)

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  3. You are so right about medications, the propranolol and clonidine have been a life saver so far(fingers crossed!) I have run the gamut of all the topicals, antibiotics and laser treatments. I have been fortunate not to have horrible experiences with those items but in the end, nothing would stop the flushing and burning. For the past year I have spent most of it with a gel pack or fan or both, with little sleep due to the constant burning. Finally I found this blog and I will admit I ordered medications form a pharmacy online with no prescription, I am not endorsing that but I was desperate. Since then I have seen my derm and got her to do the prescribing.
    If I have any triggers they are not obvious, I am a vegetarian and so my diet is pretty healthy, I don't drink alcohol or smoke. I think I will look into no gluten or dairy next.
    I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and trouble to write this blog, you are doing a great service.
    All the very best to you

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  4. PS. I had an awful reaction to gabapentin, the worst flushing and burning ever!

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  5. Makes my day to read that, it really does. So happy that you find the medication effective. I know what a landmine field vascular rosacea can be and how little there seems out there to tackle the flushing and burning. Glad that me sharing my own experiences can help someone else, who is going through this nightmare. It is so hard to explain to non rosaceans what it does to you, both in body and mind, to be dealing with these unpredictable and very painful flushings, the way it affects every aspect of your life and your confidence and even your will to live when it all gets really bad and out of control. Yeh I would never tell people to get this medication over the net, you'll understand that. I would find the risks too scary personally, but then again, had I not found a cooperative derm and GP in the end to prescribe me these meds, I might have bought them online too in a last desperate attempt. The positive is, I assume, that you knew by then that it had a positive effect and you could put this on the table with your derm/GP. I always suggest people to bring the articles with the, regarding the scientific effects of these meds on flushing/hot flashes (I provided links to all these articles in an earlier blogpost here, My Current Medication), and to explain to your doctor that this is not a cosmetic issue for you, but one about not being able to get through the day anymore, from the ongoing and debiitating flushing and burning and heat in your face. That you are at your wits end and please, can he/she support you in trying out these medications for a month, under their care, and to see if you both can determine if they make a difference yes or no. That way my own GP agreed and she did see the pretty clear change after a month in redness and flushing, so for the past 8,5 years she allowed me to stay on them. Thanks you for your kind words, I appreciate it as I often don't have a clue who is reading this and who has benefits from it, yes or no. So thanks for that, very kind of you. Yep gabapentin made me brightly flushed after a few days. It has vasodilatation listed as a potential side effect, so I blame the increased flushing on that one, but I am not 100% certain about that conclusion obviously. But the few times I tried gabapentin, it never failed to stir my rosacea up. A shame as we need relief from the nerve pain aspect and the burning. For me the best way to achieve that, has been to curb the flushing, redness and that has been through my anti-flushing medication. I realize that these meds might not be the answer for everyone though.
    All my best wishes

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  6. I found your blog while searching for Mirvaso. I kept reading, thanks for sharing all this.

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  7. Welcome anonymous, how nice to hear that you kept reading.
    Best wishes Nat

    ReplyDelete

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