Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Autumn & The Deaf Kid

My oldest son Nicky had speech therapy today so afterwards we wandered home through the park. We are both deaf and so this is a nice little shared time, just he and I moaning about the hearing people and their world. Once home we sat at the big table and finished some crafts we had been working on, a big pass time in our household. He showed me his book and I read;

“De bomen roesten in het zieke licht
langs somber in zichzelf gekeerde grachten.
In wilde, stormdoorvlaagde regennachten
vertoont de maan een bleek, behuild gezicht”

(The trees rusting in the decaying light
along gloomy introverted canals.
In the wild, rainy nights storm rainy nights
shows the moon a pale, tear-stained face)

Herfst (Autumn)

Herfst (Autumn), a picture by Nicky van der Roos.

Then I cried. Worried he had upset me he came and hugged me. I was not crying because he had made me unhappy, just the opposite. I had watched him write the verse from memory, no spelling or gramatical errors. It is hard for hearing people to understand perhaps but access to language, to communication can be so hard when you are profoundly deaf, but here was Nicky, ten years old and comfortable writing a poetry verse so casually – I was simply happy.

Enjoy your Herfst (autumn).

Verse by Hanny Michaelis.

People Carrier, Dutch Style !

We like our bikes here in Holland, we have five in our family alone. my favourite is my Bakfiets. Bakfiets make a range of bikes but my favourite is my long wheel base cargo bike. With this I can carry four children and a guide dog or two to school and play group. I can carry a weeks grocery shopping or a weeks firewood from our local farm shop 8 kms away, so many things. The engine is me, energy efficient and with low noxious gas emissions !

Family transport, Dutch style

Family transport, Dutch style

A Hug From A Horse

Boerderij Dronkers - Belgisch trekpaard

Boerderij Dronkers – Belgisch trekpaard

It was stunningly cold, the frost was going to be a hard one that night and it was coming on top of the fog that had descended over the fields like a white duvet just before dusk. I had been inside all day with my mother, we were cooking foods for the weekend’s events in her big farmhouse kitchen. The large cooking range was as hot as I had ever felt it in my life and the whole house had the distinct odour of warm yeast and baked foods. After some ten hours I was all but half-baked myself and had to get some air. My guide dog and my oldest daughter’s assistance dog were also itching to stretch their legs outside having patiently hung about indoors for much of the day – though the procurement of scraps of fresh baked cakes and pastries did at least provide some other reward for them.


This time of the evening my wife was busy bathing our youngest two little ones so my sister offered to be my escort for a walk. With the dogs harnessed up and all of us wrapped up well in country outer coats, hats and scarves we ventured out. As my sister was going to be my eyes so she held my left forearm. Sissi was in her usual guard position on my right with my right hand having a firm grip on her handle of her harness. In the city at night I can see blurred lights, I can tell when I pass shop windows as the light pattern that my brain registers changes, but on the farm, away from the house or barns, it is simply black and so I would be blind. As I stepped into the blackness I was aware of my heart rate leaping towards panic and anxiety, these days I find it very hard to step into the dark. When this happens I have taught myself to think of all those who are truly blind and have to find courage for each step they take, thinking of them helps me to keep control of my own mind and stopping it from turning to mush. The sharpness of the biting cold air was permeating every centimetre of my lungs now, blasting out the day’s oven heat and re-energising my body. The skin on my face started reacting to the coldness and I felt my skin tightening as if the capillaries under my skin were freezing. While I could not see my breath as I exhaled I was aware of the warmer cloud of it as it condensed and drifted away, I was also aware of my sisters breath next to me floral and sweet. Not so sweet was the breath of the dogs wafting up to my nostrils. Happy to be out in the air they were snorting down great gulps of the country air and doubtless revelling in all the farm’s smells which to them must have been a bright colourful smorgasbord of sensations – wouldn’t it be wonderful if those who lost their sight gained a dogs sense of smell in return, imagine the pictures that must be painted in their minds by scents !

Boerderij Dronkers - Belgisch trekpaard

Boerderij Dronkers – Belgisch trekpaard

The further we walked the deeper the cold night air seeped into us, it was wonderful! Little tendrils of cold were working their way around my neck between scarf and flesh, and up under my hair where it was not covered by my fur hat. My moleskin pants, while fairly heavy, were slowly succumbing to the cold as my knees and thighs started to taste the cold breath of the freezing fog oozing through the tight weave of the fabric. From where my body came into contact with my sister’s I could feel she was talking to Hilke. In the dark we would not be straying off the farm paths both for my sake and Hilke’s so I guessed we were heading out towards the woods that screened the eastern flank of the farm and provided shelter for the house and farm buildings from the worst of the cold winds that swept off the North German plains and continental Russia. A tap on my left hand indicated that Carol wanted to talk to me so we paused as I removed my glove so she could sign onto my palm. The cold air gripped my hand like an icy handshake and only slightly warmed again as Carol held my hand and signed onto it. She told me that Hilke wanted to stop at the horse fields which lay between farm and woods and give the horses something. It would mean stepping off the path for a while, but the horses were well worth the risk. My parents have always helped with preserving rare and old breeds of animals and these included providing stabling and space for some Belgian Trekpaards (Belgian Plough Horses), the gentle giants of horses.


It is not easy walking over uneven ground when you cannot see, if you doubt this just try it for yourself with a blindfold. It is however very much easier when you have a sister and a guide dog who you would trust with your life. After a few minutes of slowly stepping over now frozen mud ruts we came to rest at the fence. Carols hand was replaced with Hilke’s much smaller, but much hotter, hand. With a speed I struggled to follow she told me that Opa had given her a big sack-bag of apples for the horses. She must have pulled the draw string open on the bag because a wave of sweetness hit my senses. There is no doubt that toffee made from Molasses has a very distinct smell. These were horse toffee apples and I knew from experience that on a cold night like this they were cap nip to any horse. Sure enough I felt the ground begin to thump under us, so did Sissi, she became nervous and I had to talk to her to calm her. In my mind I could picture the scene now unfolding – several very large animals, bred especially for their size and strength, would now be belting across the fog bound field shrouded in darkness. At a tonne a piece they would need every square centimetre of those very big feet of theirs to come to a stop before the fence and our little group and the slightly disturbing thought was that this was happening on a grassy field now covered in frost.


Boerderij Dronkers - Belgisch trekpaard

Boerderij Dronkers – Belgisch trekpaard

One moment I was standing there at the wooden fence surrounded by still blackness, enveloped by fog, smothered by cold, wrapped in the warmth of good clothing, an island of myself thoroughly internalised despite being out in the big external world. Then as the ground was pounding enough to feel like it was lift the soil underneath my boots the air suddenly exploded about us.


A wall of hot air was blasted over us, saturated with the dense, heavy odour of horses. The combined snorting, puffing and blowing of five pairs of huge horse lungs was being pumped out over us, radiant heat from five 16 hand horse bodies was suddenly right up against us. Excited horse heads were insistently nudging us now and it felt like they were amongst our little group despite the intervening fence. For a few moments I realised I would be on my own as carol would be busy making sure Hike’s fingers were not mistaken for food as molasses apples were snatched up by enthusiastic equine mouths. Once the horses realised that there would be enough apples to go around they started to calm down and took time to snuzzle us and playfully search through coat pockets. Despite their considerable size they are the most gentle, placid and considerate of breeds and are very affectionate. One of the mares, Dotty, draped her head over my shoulder and for all the world I felt like I was being hugged. She was pushing her nose into my part open coat over my chest and taking deep breaths in clearly enjoying something in my scent and her breaths out practically blew my coat off ! I thought it only fair to do the same so I pushed my face into her neck and breathed her in, as I did so I felt a ripple in that massive neck that seemed to be almost like a giggle rippling through her. For a while my entire universe consisted of enormous horse. I held myself close to her body running my hands over and over her head, neck and chest and her life pulsed and throbbed against my face. I drank her in and she filled my denuded senses, I was being hugged by a horse and my senses seemed complete – if I had ever been asked to guess under what circumstances this might have occurred – hugging a giant plough horse with a mother’s instinct during a black night of freezing fog would not have been it.


Dotty and I must have been locked together for some time. I was eventually aware of my daughters hand tugging at my coat gently, and slowly I came up from my immersion in this lovely horse. Sharp night air started to replace the warm muskiness of Dotty. My sister was holding my arm again and I felt Sissi stirring about my legs. A hand wrote on my palm, asking if I was ready to return but I was not sure. I was already aware of the sensory hole that was left as I broke contact. As we made to leave there was a blast of hot horsey breath on the back of my neck, Dotty was saying goodnight. I gave her one last rub on her face before the black walk back.


That night I did not sleep much but instead I ran my recollection of the experience around and around my mind enjoying it more each time. I had started a walk into total darkness fighting down my anxiety, working hard to stamp it down, yet finished it with my senses filled to overflowing and anxieties washed away, all thanks to a horses hug.


Judith vd R.


Catholic Church Has Stolen Newborns From Birth Mothers For Decades

This man has been identified as the leader of a vast criminal gang

An estimated 300,000 babies  were stolen from mothers at hospitals, sold for adoption by catholic clergy in Spain.

I was baby sitting at my sister’s house the other day and watched a BBC documentary on British Forces TV. We do not have a TV in house it was kind of pure chance I saw this as I did (and the BBC close caption everything, bless them!). The programme detailed a financially lucrative baby trafficking crime run by the Catholic Church in Spain for fifty years over which up to 300,000 Spanish babies were stolen from their parents and sold for adoption over a period of some five decades. The children were trafficked by a secret network of doctors, nurses (who were mostly nuns), priests and nuns in a widespread criminal practice that began during General Franco’s dictatorship and continued until the early Nineties.

As a mother myself I cannot imagine the pain of having just given birth to be told my baby had died and that no I was not permitted to see them, to be then left having a suspicion that it was in fact alive but denied to me by a body as powerful as the evil Catholic Church.

This particular evil of religion  began as a system for taking children away from families deemed politically dangerous to the regime of General Franco, which began in 1939. The system continued after the dictator’s death in 1975 as the Catholic church continued to retain a powerful influence on public life, particularly in the area of social services.


Just to be absolutely clear on this;

  • Catholic priests and nuns assisted a tyrannical dictator by stealing the infant children of his political enemies, no doubt the church was compensated in some way by the government.

  • Catholic priests and nuns lied to the families that their children were dead

  • Catholic priests and nuns sold the babies to those more wealthy and politically connected for financial gain in order to further boost the catholic churches vast wealth.

  • Catholic priests and nuns having found a good money spinner just kept right on stealing babies from mothers and selling them, but now it was just for money, a great deal of money.


All this came to light when two men, Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno, discovered they had been stolen as babies. Mr Moreno’s ‘father’ confessed on his deathbed to having bought him as a baby from a priest in Zaragoza in northern Spain. He told his son he had been accompanied on the trip by Mr Barroso’s parents, who bought Antonio at the same time for 200,000 pesetas. This was a fortune in those days, enough to by a very good apartment outright.


DNA tests have since proved that the couple who brought up Mr Barroso were not his biological parents and the nun who sold him has admitted to stealing him from his birth mother, lying to her that her baby had died and then selling him.


The church was deciding who were “appropriate” parents, a church riddled with pedophilia, theft, fraud and lies were deciding which women were fit mothers. The church forged official documents so the adoptive parents’ names were on the infants’ birth certificates.


It gets worse……..


Those birth mothers who maintained for years that their babies did not die – and were labelled hysterical or insane, some were even locked up in mental hospitals for many years with the connivance of the catholic church. Now finally they are believed as babies’ graves have been exhumed, revealing bones that belong to adults or animals. Some of the graves contained stones or even nothing at all. One hospital even kept a baby in their freezer to be wheeled out and shown to mothers that “their” baby had died

To summarise; the catholic church believes deeply that Abortion is an abomination yet kidnapping newborn infants from their mothers, making fraudulent instruments (birth certificates), baby trafficking for profit, lying to mothers and parents, profiting from crime, perverting the course of justice, threats & intimidation are all perfectly right and justified.

As the programme unfolded my belly actually hurt, and as the birth mothers told their heartbreaking stories I cried. It seems that only women who can produce a virgin birth are worthy of any compassion, the rest can just have their own flesh and blood ripped from them at one of the most pivotal emotional moments of their lives just so the evil edifice that in the catholic church can become even richer.

Now I am learning that this practice was not restricted to Spain. How can this depraved organisan be allowed to continue.



Richard Dawkins

Dutch  Site

Parenting Site

Vatican Crimes

Author: Judith vd R

Aan mijn lieve vrouw Tyjardia…….

Aan mijn lieve vrouw Tyjardia…….
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with the golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams beneath your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams…
William Butler Yeats