Farewell, My Dear Dad

With teardrops running down my face, I bid you farewell. It is with great sadness and deep regret that I inform you of the passing of my Dad. My Dad passed away on Sunday, December 27. 

My father passed away peacefully in his sleep but I am so grateful I spoke to his deepest soul that evening while he was holding and squeezing my hand. 

Burying my father this Saturday was one of the hardest things I ever did. But I am happy he’s back home, in the village where he lived for almost 95 years. And I believe he’s reunited with my mother, sister and brother, up there.

I know you are listening out there, somewhere. There are no goodbyes. May you rest in peace, my dear Dad. Your memories will never be forgotten. 

º 11-03-1925/† 27-12-2020

Real Happiness

Happiness is only real when we share (food). I love shrimp croquettes a lot, they are simultaneously crispy and soft. I prefer to eat them with French fries. Jimi is wild about shrimps too, it’s his favourite human food. So while I was having lunch, he was patiently waiting for his portion… And afterwards we had a delicious dessert…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Ice Ice Jimi

Looking for ice cream. A cat making eye contact can mean anything from “You don’t exist to me” to “I want food, human!”. What is the most intelligent way of responding to a cat who won’t stop giving you the mean Clint ‘Dirty Harry’ Eastwood stare? What is the best way to look confident and relaxed? Saying “no” is one thing, but getting the cat to listen is another. Just give your cat what he wants… and join him for ice cream. Even if it’s a dark and winter day.

I feel the ice cream move under my paws
I feel the sky tumbling down
I feel my heart start to trembling
Whenever ice cream’s around

“I Feel the Earth Move” – Carole King

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

About My Dad (and Jimi)

Update about my dad. My dad is living in a retirement home for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. It was a very hard decision we had to make, especially in these Covid-19 times… He stayed one week in isolation and was tested twice for Covid-19. Thank goodness the results were negative. Since last week he can move around free in this home and have contact with other inhabitants. I moved some furniture, pictures and photographs from his apartment to his new room. It looks like he’s still living in his apartment. Right now it seems he’s happy in his new environment. The staff are wonderful and devoted people. I really believe and hope he’s going to have some good years ahead…

The evenings are very difficult for my dad, he doesn’t like darkness. I’m keeping a lot of lights on and keeps him company until it’s bedtime. We’re watching football (soccer) on tv and he really enjoys this time with me.

I know it’s a hard time for me, but I still feel like there’s a lot of good in this world. Professional people told me I need at least 3 weeks to get used to this new situation. For the first time in my life I’m having lunch and dinner alone by myself. Due to the Covid-19 measurers, I can’t invite family or friends to my home. But Jimi seems to be very happy now we’re sharing more time together. Yesterday, he was faced with a difficult choice to pick the right box.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments made me feel better and helped me get through these hard times. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

About My Dad

Update. As you probably noticed, it’s very quiet on the HoB blog. I won’t be posting a lot in the near future due to the health situation of my dad. Last weeks/months, his health has been deteriorating and his isolated way of living (due to the Covid-19 situation) aggravates dementia. Dad needs supervision 24 hours a day. We are doing everything to find good help and support but it’s very difficult because of the pandemic. I will keep you informed.  

Jimi is doing well but he misses me a lot because I’m spending a lot of time with my dad. A few days ago Jimi went AWOL because I didn’t close the front door. Thank goodness he returned back home after 5 hours.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 situation is even worse than during the first wave early this year. Our country is going in lockdown mode for at least six weeks. Thank you so much, you selfish idiots ignoring all the rules and instructions. Shame on you! 

One more thing… For my American friends and followers, please be wise and do the right thing.

Be safe, careful and take care, my friends.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

A Big, Big Box

Another odyssey. I went to Antwerp to pick up a big, very big box that contained an ARP 2600 synthesizer. Finally, after waiting for 8 months the synth arrived.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jimi’s Odyssey, the ARP 2600 was the last synth on my bucket list I really wanted to have in my studio set-up. The ARP 2600 is a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, designed by Dennis Colin for Alan R Pearlman, and manufactured by his company, ARP Instruments, Inc. in 1972. Unfortunately, the company was declared bankruptcy in May 1981. In 2015, some ARP instruments were revived by Korg. On January 10, 2020, Korg Inc. of Japan reissued a one-time-only limited production run of the ARP 2600 as the ARP 2600 FS, a faithful reproduction of the original 1972 gray version. With a little luck and a lot of patience I was able to buy one.

Jimi (and especially his shadow) seemed to be interested in the big flight case that came with the synth. Maybe he can use it to build a fortified castle. It looks like we both will have a lot of fun the next days…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

PS: I hate hate hate the new WP Block editor!

Sunshine Boy

Remembering Mr. Bowie. Given the traumatic nature of 9/11, it’s not surprising that this event, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, affects a lot people every year, all over the world. For me there’s also an additional heavy feeling. Today, a year ago, Mr. Bowie passed away peacefully after fighting an aggressive blood cancer and kidney problems.

I am honoured and privileged to have spent 10 years of my life knowing and having Bowie as my beloved friend. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him.

I know you’re listening out there, somewhere. Forever in my heart, my sweet sunshine boy.

This Is Not My Beautiful House!

Jimi’s check-up visit. Medical care is as essential for your cat as it is for you. It’s a good idea to get a checkup for your cat once a year. Jimi was due for his first annual checkup today. All went well. Jimi is in top condition – though the vet told me I got to keep an eye on his weight.

For many cats, a veterinary visit is a stressful experience. Mr. Bowie was always relaxed and enjoyed the car rides. But Jimi was so stressed, the poor boy. He was so happy to be back home.

And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

“Once In A Lifetime” – Talking Heads

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Not On Speaking Terms

Oops… Jimi is not on speaking terms with me. Why? Well, I completely forgot it was his birthday yesterday. He’s two years old now. I’m so sorry, my furry friend… Happy birthday!

Actually, we don’t know the exact date of birth. The local vet in the shelter estimated Jimi was born early September 2018 and wrote down ‘2018, September 1’ in the Date of Birth box on the registration papers.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Older Bodies

Older bodies need longer to mend. I’m feeling a bit down lately. My right foot is healing well but very slowly. Unfortunately, my left foot is showing the same injury since a few days ago. It’s already 3 weeks I’m stuck in my house. It seems healing gets harder as we age. I’m trying to compensate it with daily fresh fruits and vegetables. I also added food supplements to my diet with extra vitamins and minerals. But I got to be patient and take it easy the next month. I’m happy to be still able to check out how my Dad is doing in these weird Covid-19 times. 

Thank goodness I can spend some time in the studio, although it’s very hot (no airco and having a heatwave). Jimi keeps asking me to play with him but that’s very difficult for me right now. I can only throw away some bouncing balls. 

I’m also very lucky to have Jimi by my side. He’s keeping an eye on me and counts the chocolates each day to see if I’m not taking an overdose. I have to pay him with extra yoghurt and vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Fracture

Bummer. Right now I’m the kid with the crutches. I spent some time in the hospital today due to some problems with my right foot. After a botscan they saw a stress fracture, tiny cracks in the bone. Most stress fractures are caused by overuse and repetitive activity. I need to take it easy the next 4 weeks so no more walks in the nature. That’s not a big problem; we’re still living in a lockdown (light) system and having another heatwave. So bring on the ice cream…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Lose Your Head

Lose (one’s) head. To lose one’s composure and act emotionally or irrationally.

Lose your head. COMMON If you lose your head, you panic and do not remain calm in a difficult situation.

Nah, I don’t think Jimi lost his head…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

 

CIA

CIA. Cat Intelligence-agency (C.I.A.) field offices have to find a delicate balance between blending in and providing adequate security for the humans. Jimi is very good in blending in while I’m reading the newspaper and having my morning espresso.

Meanwhile, this part of the world is going in the wrong direction due to the rising Covid-19 infections. The National Security Council closely monitor the situation and we’re looking at new reinforced measures. 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Lifeline

A way of getting help. Jimi throws me a lifeline to save me from these troubled times. He wants my company for a nap in the afternoon. So live and let live in love.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

SETI Part 2

Jimi’s preliminary conclusion. Only about 0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe contains any matter. The universe is a pretty empty place! Empty like the little pot of yoghurt from the human…

Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do.

“Space Oddity” – David Bowie

 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

SETI

Sweet investigator. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is a collective term for scientific searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life, for example, monitoring electromagnetic waves for signs of transmissions from civilisations on other planets. Many radio frequencies penetrate Earth’s atmosphere quite well, and this led to cats investigate the cosmos using large radio antennas. But often, the investigators fall asleep. This post is based on a Wikipedia article.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Jimi’s Odyssey

New toys! I had a secret “bucket list” for buying synthesizers I really wanted. Recently I could finish off the list with placing orders for the ARP 2600 and the ARP Odyssey. ARP Instruments, Inc. was an American manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, founded by Alan Robert Pearlman in 1969. Unfortunately, the company was declared bankruptcy in May 1981. In 2015, some ARP instruments were revived by Korg. 

The ARP Odyssey, an analog synthesizer introduced in 1972, arrived today at my home. There were several versions of the Odyssey over the years, and it was reissued by Korg in early 2015, in cooperation with the original designer and ARP co-founder, David Friend. As always, Jimi was very interested to see what was in the box. But he preferred to go for a walk outside in the garden and to the bedroom for a nap afterwards.

And introducing in the photograph, the new guardian of my electronic devices, a retro tin robot from a Berlin shop. I call him Metal Pete, in analogy to the classic John Foxx song ‘Metal Beat’ from his legendary 1980 album ‘Metamatic’. Metal Pete is very terrifying, he doesn’t feel anything, especially not mercy. It looks like nothing can stop Pete, except rust, perhaps.

Meanwhile, Jimi was grounded for a long time. He found several ways to break out of the garden (via espaliers, the roof of my pavilion, and various trees). The cat-friendly fence doesn’t seems to be working for him. Jimi managed to get back in my garden after wandering around in the gardens of my neighbours. Unfortunately, one day I got a call from one of my neighbours. Jimi was stuck in their garden and I had to catch him quick because they have 2 dogs; one is a mean big dog, from the breed that likes to hunt terrorists. This is such a shame. Mr. Bowie never tried to get out of the garden in 10 years time and was happy with the area he had to wander around. It shows that all cats are different. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to explain this new situation to Jimi (the adventurer & acrobat) and he doesn’t seems to be happy after going outside for 5 weeks. It was so great spending time outside with Mr. Bowie all those years. I’m afraid it’s going to be very difficult and unpleasant to do this without Jimi.

Oh, stop whining, you human! There are worse things in life; like queues for food in democratic and civilised countries, recurring police brutality and crazy lying politicians all over the world. Snap out of it, get yourself another espresso and watch some clips of the amazing Sarah Cooper! It’s a mad world out there…

Update: I’m letting Jimi out again with a new strategy. He can go for a walk in the morning (around 7 AM) before he gets his breakfast. After a while he comes back inside because he’s hungry. The rest of the day he has to stay inside. He seems to accept the new situation. Thank goodness.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments in the Teared Up A Little Bit post made me feel better and helped me get through this empty and sad day. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Peeping Tom Cat

Peeping Tom Cat. /ˌpiːpɪŋ ˈtɒm/kat, noun
A cat who derives pleasure from secretly watching humans in activity.

All that peeping is making me sleepy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Teared Up A Little Bit

I have to admit I’d get a little misty. Mr. Bowie would have turned 11 today. I still miss him every day. But knowing a lot of people from all over the world share beautiful memories of my sweet boy comforts me. Happy Birthday, my dear Bowie.

Mr. Bowie enjoying the spring sun in 2019.

 

Food Taster

What’s in the bag? Human food, Sir Jimi. Culinary shrimp salad and outstanding traditional French cheese. No can do, my little sneaky furry friend. I’m not hiring an official food taster.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

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