Rijsenhout says NO.

IMG-20171005-WA0001 We were driving merrily along, heading for our local recycling centre, when we saw it – Rijsenhout zegt NEE (Rijsenhout says NO). Why are the residents of Rijsenhout saying NO? It seems the local authority is proposing to site high voltage cables in the village and people feel strongly opposed to it. That took us back a few years ─ more than thirty, actually ─ to when there were Ulster Says NO signs on townhalls, council offices, gable walls and billboards in Northern Ireland to protest at the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement. Around the same time Nancy Reagan (wife of the US president) used the slogan Just Say NO to encourage American young people to stand up against recreational illegal drug use. More recently, on UN World Day of Human Trafficking this year, faith leaders in Malaysia signed a joint declaration to Say NO to human trafficking and urged other countries and groups to join the campaign. Psychologists note that we often find it difficult to say NO – we spend a lot of our lives trying to fit in and not to be different from the crowd. But it strikes me as important that we do learn to say NO when the issue is important and goes against our convictions of what is morally right. As I watched BBC News coverage of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China this past week, it was clear that nobody was going to stand up in that gathering with a Say NO to Communism banner. Thank God we live in a society where everyone is free to protest and let’s defend their right, whether we agree with them or not.


Breaded Chicken

SONY DSC Being an organised sort of person, I took two chicken breasts out of the freezer before breakfast and set them on a plate beside the sink. They would have plenty of time to defrost and we could have a lovely risotto for that evening’s dinner. Throughout the morning, every time I passed them I turned them over and prodded them to make sure they were thawing out nicely. After lunch time I was making a cup of coffee when I glanced at the chicken plate – Shock! Horror! There was only one chicken breast! Where had the other one gone? Ok, Miss Marple, time to get thinking… I knew I had left the back door open for a minute or two to take some rubbish out to the bin. untitledHad a cat come in and stolen my chicken breast? Not being fond of these feline creatures, I nervously searched the whole house in case one was having a silent feast under a bed or behind a chair. No luck. Then I revised my theory: the cheeky jackdaws that were trying to build a nest above our bedroom window might have swooped in and stolen the tasty meat. But do Dutch jackdaws eat meat? And why would they be satisfied with one piece when a second lay available beside it? Anyway, in the absence of a better idea, I settled for this as the solution to the Mystery of the Missing Chicken Breast. I related my theory to David when he returned from work and he was rather sceptical but had no better ideas to contribute to the think tank. So there it was – strange but (apparently) true!
Next day, I felt likiStock_000010753409Largee some toast for lunch and went to the cupboard to get the bread box. Inside the bread box, looking strangely smug, was a chicken breast! Now, how could that possibly have got there? Do cats or jackdaws know how to open and replace plastic sealed lids? They must do! I certainly would never do something that silly…