English? Why? Interesting indeed


The English Plural

According to….

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

Let’s face it – English is a crazy language.
There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger;
Neither apple nor pine in pineapple.
 muffins weren’t invented in England.

We take English  for granted, but if we explore its paradoxes,
We find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square,
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write, but fingers don’t fing,
Grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?

Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend?
If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them,
What do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught?
If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speakingEnglish

Should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.
In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship…
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same,
While a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language
In which your house can burn up as it burns down,
In which you fill in a form by filling it out,
And in which an alarm goes off by going on.

And in closing……….

If Father is Pop, how come Mother’s not Mop.????


Cover page? Which one looks best?

At last!

I am nearly ready to print my book. It is going to be about my time still in the Netherlands. We immigrated to South Africa in the beginning of 1952. My sixth birthday happened on the ship. I remember a few snippets from my early time in the Netherlands.

I went back in 1974 to revisit my birthplace. What an adventure to see everything through the eyes of a grown up.

I would appreciate it if you could give me advise and comment on the two cover pages.

Which one looks the best?

What about the font of the writing?

Clear enough?



Writing + Memoirs: My bedrooms

Our fold up beds had curtains at the front. When we were in bed we could close the curtains and played that we were in a tent.


Words: bedroom, holiday, teasing, excitement, post

I used the word bedroom for my Friday It’s Write Easy at our library.

A bedroom is an important room in a home. When I taught at a rural school near Potgietersrus, the children had to draw their homes. The children came from far off rural places. Their homes usually had only one big room. The whole family did everything there. There was no bedroom at all.

I am very privileged that I could share a bedroom with my sisters. First with my older sister and later with my younger sister. I had my bedroom when both my sisters were not living with my parents anymore. The room was a so called “rondawel” meaning a round room with a thatched roof. No ceiling, only wooden beams with the grass on top! This was a bad place to sleep because I had hay fever for Africa due to the dust and grass.

In the Netherlands

My big sister and I shared a bedroom. It was so small and narrow. There were two beds, which were folded up against the walls during the daytime. At night when both were down, you could hardly open the door. The last night, before our departure, we were so excited and could not sleep. My sister and I were playing in bed, in the dark room, when suddenly my bed’s two legs gave way. I crashed on the floor, bedding and all. My parents couldn’t enter the room because the bed was in the way. We were not robust enough to pick up the bed. Finally, my father pushed the bed up against the wall from the outside of the room.

We were told:“Now, stop your play and go to sleep! Tomorrow you have to get up early for our departure to Rotterdam harbour and then off to South Africa.”

On the ship

My parents and younger sister used one cabin while my big sister and I were next doors in a small cabin. It was as big as a cupboard, hardly any space to turn around. There were only two bunk beds. My older sister slept on the top while I used the bottom one. I had to first slide out on my back before I could stand up. We could look out of the porthole and see the sea. Lucky for us the weather was good during our trip. When we had to enter Cape Town harbour a storm broke loose. We could not enter the harbour and had to sail out to the deep sea again. The waves were so huge they came up to the porthole and covered it completely at times. Very scary. We had to stay in our cabin during the storm.

As grown-up:

When I left home, after teaching from home for four years, I slept in my own bedroom in the school hostel. We were four lady teachers, each in separate bedrooms and sharing a bathroom. We were on duty twenty four hours a day just like parents look after their children.

The next move was into my own flat. It had only one bedroom. The bedroom was on the walkway side of the building. My flat was the second last one on the top floor. Near the stairs going down to the garages and parked cars. Very noisy at times especially during weekends. I changed my bedroom to the sitting-room and the sitting-room into the bedroom. I loved to watch people’s faces when I invited them into my bedroom. One day the Reverend, deacon and elderly came to visit and see how I was. They could not believe that they had to go into my bedroom. We had a good laugh and years later we were still joking about me inviting them into my bedroom.


Writing + Memoir: House sitting an old dog called Meggie

I did house sitting for four weeks which ended Sunday, August 21. I cared for a sixteen- year-old Border Collie named Meggie. I wrote the following about Meggie for my writing group on Friday.


Doef, doef, doef, swoosh

Doef, doef, doef, swoosh

Doef, doef, doef swoosh

From kitchen to the bedroom.

Bump, bump, around.

Doef, doef, doef, swoosh; doef, doef, swoosh

Back to the kitchen!

Scratch, click, click nails on the linoleum floor.

Up and down, up and down through the passage from the kitchen to the bedroom and back again. For at least half an hour.

The poor Meggie can’t get herself to lie down.

“Just take it easy Meggie! Slow down now!” It doesn’t help to talk to her because she is deaf. If I want her to react, I attract her attention by standing in front of her so that she can see me.

It is tough for her to let her back and bottom fall to the floor. There is something wrong with her nerves, and she has arthritis. Poor dog.

She has got dementia too because she would take a walk and then just stop, and stare in front of her. I usually kept an eye on her and would attract her attention and show her to move on. She could stand just where she was for long times.

The first two evenings Meggie was crying before she let herself fall to the floor. I gave her lots of time during the four weeks of my stay, to lie down and rest. It helped because if she had been moving or walking up and down too much, I think her legs and body aches too much.

The following is how twenty-four hours of my days/nights happened.

Early morning:

“ Look out Ineke, don’t step on Meggie.”

She usually sleeps in the kitchen doorway.

Touching her:

“Come on old girl. Get up! Let’s go outside.”

She’ll go outside and would stay out till I tell her to come back inside.

It does not matter if it rains. She gets wet and never came inside without me showing her to enter!

“Meggie, come on, come inside. You are soaking wet.” I rubbed her dry.

I had to lock her up in her kennel for the time I had to work. If I did not lock her up, she’d just stand outside in the rain.

Coming home in the afternoons, I first had to open the gate, drive the car inside, close the gate again. Then let Meggie out of the kennel. There were only three dry days that I could let her be outside her kennel during the afternoon.

 Dinner time. After dinner, Meggie got a treat. A small cone with some ice-cream. I also enjoyed an ice-cream after dinner.

Then it was time to calm down and have a nap before turning in.

“Meggie, stop moving up and down. You’re making me nervous with your turning around and around. Just settle down now!” As soon as I sat down, she’ll also lie down.

Then just before bedtime:

‘Meggie, wake up! Let’s go for a wee!” She’ll wake up as soon as she smells me passing her. She’ll get up and out of the door. Then it’s time again to keep an eye out for her to come back inside.

“Where could she be? Oh, there you are.” I clap my hands, and she’ll come inside. Usually, I had to dry her with a towel. Then we are off to bed. Again an up and down session and boom, off to relax now.

Every early morning Meggie would get up.

“Oops, I did not hear you getting up Meggie! Just look what you have done! Now I have to clean up behind you! Sigh!” Lucky for me that I first put the light on before going down the passage to the kitchen.

Then back to bed for another two hours and time to start a new day.

This was only twenty-four hours I had for four weeks!



Like Jesus, every human being has enough memories in his past to occupy his time and thoughts continually. It is not the remembrance of these incidents but the reliving of them that creates havoc in our souls. Mother Angelica
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/remembrance.html


Main Entrance

Unbelievable! After 25 years, I am standing here, looking at the ruins of the rehabilitation centre.

The entrance is dilapidated. Seized with emotion, tears of affection roll down my cheeks. Deep within me, memories churn and tangle around. My thoughts are a vortex of anxiety, sadness, despair, and yet at the end victory.

January 2, 19 … Soft hands helped me up. The hands put me into the waiting vehicle. I felt tired, so tired and nauseous. I did not want to live. A soft voice kept on calming me down. The voice, soft and reassuring, kept on talking to me.

Up on the hill

It’s a long ride. Each turn made me feel as if  I were tumbling over the edge. Deep into the mountains and high on a hill the vehicle came to a sudden halt. The door opened. I fell out like a bag of potatoes from the vehicle. Again the soft hands and voice. People lead me into the building. It smelled of clean floors.  The smell of freshly cooked food sickened me. When did I last have a decent meal? I couldn’t remember. I had to get my bottle. What did I do with it? I got mad with anger. I trembled from head to toe. Strong hands took a firm hold on both my shaky arms. They took me through corridors and around corners. Suddenly I heard a door opening. In front of me a bed, a pillow and blanket. The hands pushed me down onto the bed. They left. I could not stop shaking. Everything faded away. I flopped, onto the bed.

Wall of single bedroom
Small room

Many days later I woke up. My head was still aching, but the shaking was gone. They transferred me to a dorm with eight other people. The room was airy and clean.  My roommates showed me systematically where everything was.

Down a pasage

I can remember that there were three wings each with passages and small single rooms and at the end of each a dorm with eight beds. The passages were divided into two wings, with a kitchenette and bathroom on both sides of the passage in the middle.The kitchenette had a kettle, some cups and a small fridge. We could make our coffee or tea which the hospital provided.

Small kitchen

There were small enclosures between the wings of the building. Inmates could sit outside and breathe fresh air. Everything was secured down. There was no opportunity for any escape.

Inside garden
Inside garden

As each person improved, they each gradually got more freedom.

A fully furnished recreation room provided hours of fun for the patients. Every person had some chores to do. Cooking, cleaning, gardening later. In the end, persons were led to live a better life again. After two years of rehabilitation, I could go back into the community, rehabilitated and well.  Clean of alcohol and drugs, and here I stand again, looking at the ruins of the hospital which I am going to enter in a moment from now. It hurts to look back at that time, but I am grateful for the soft voice and hands that brought me here that day twenty-five years ago.

Recreation room
Recreation room-lounge
Outside back door
Outside door
Outside back wing wall
Between two wings
Between two wings
Lounge outside door

I have taken all the photos. The hospital was locked and I had to take the photos through the windows.

Part two will be about entering the hospital and telling what could be seen, felt and remembered.

Motorbike experience: Memoirs

May 5, 2017. It’s write Easy.  Every Friday I join a writing group and write anecdotes from my past. We usually get six words for the week. We pick one word or more and write about it. My word was motorcycle.


Some people, when they are young, love to show off by having a better motorcycle than their best friends.

My son, while at school was and still is a big motorcycle fan.

While in school he bought himself a field motorbike with his money selling newspapers. It took him two years to put the money together. It was a second-hand motorcycle, and most of the time he was busy trying to fix it. As soon as it was roadworthy again, he would go off with lots of noise and speed up and down the dirt track near our house.

He studied at the Technikon in Pretoria. After a year of using a yellow Austin Mini which I gave him as his first vehicle, he bought himself a black streamlined motorcycle.  He enjoyed to ride it. He even would drive the hundred and fifty kilometres home on the weekend to visit me.

Some years later he told me that he nearly killed himself driving down a steep hill. He drove downhill and lost control, ventured on the pavement, and almost bumped full on into a signboard pole which stopped him. He showed me photos of the brake marks on the road and sidewalk. Lucky for him that he missed it by a few millimetres.


One of the first things my son did when he arrived in New Zealand he bought himself a motorcycle. He even bought a second which he tried to modernise his own way. He loved fiddling with the engines. Nowadays he is more into designing and making electronic boards which bring in some money to help pay the bills now that he has expanded his family.

Describing a person: Memoires

I described my mother and my father for my writing group in the local Library.

Both descriptions are of my parents in the hospital before they passed away.

My Father passed in 1994 and my mother in 2006.

Mum in hospital

Frail and bony hands were on top of the blanket. She taught us that you never sleep with your hands under the covers. Her handkerchief clenched in one hand. She regularly swept or just held it under her nose. Pale blue eyes looked at me in recognition. Eyes kept wandering up to the shelf where a toy husky looked down at her. “He winked at me. His tongue is hanging out, he smiled at me “came the shaky words. Her hair was sparse and bland. She looked so fragile. She never complained about pain and yet one could see it in her eyes. Her body was swollen twice as big as normal, from all the water caused by heart and also kidneys failure. The physiotherapist came, Mom wanted to show how strong she was. We had to support her; she could hardly sit up. She still asked:” Is it good enough?” She was brave until the end, not complaining about all the pain.

Dad in hospital

He sat in the chair next to the bed.Old and tired of the life. His hands clenched around the armrests of the chair. Those strong hands, which worked hard throughout his life, looked old and wrinkled. The oxygen pipe in his nose helped his shallow and irregular breathing. He was still fighting against the world and its many injustices. He could not make peace with circumstances. Surviving World War II in the Netherlands nearly totally had broken him. He even accused my mum of not loving him at the end! She was the one supporting him his whole life. He just did not trust or believe anyone. He kept on fighting against all will till the end.


Childhood: Memoirs

About my life and past

I  always wanting to please others. I can’t stand up for myself and say what I think because I don’t want to hurt others. This is how it still is today  I feel I am always coming last.

I can’t remember much of growing up, only small events come up and then go again.

The ” It’s write easy” sessions every Friday helps me to get closure in my life.

I always had someone in my life that dominated me.

First, it was my father keeping me away from enjoying my life as a scholar. The first years while we were living in Pretoria and then in Erasmia, a tiny “dorpie” (village or small town) at first was quite good. I had a few best friends at school. They even came to my home to play, and I could go on a Friday afternoon and play at their places. The school had only four teachers, and we all played and learned as if we were a big happy family. My school work was of high standard and I also enjoyed the after school activities like “korfball” * and athletics. In my last year in primary education, I was the best girl athlete in school.  

Then came the bad years. We moved to a “plot”**, away from anything. When I look back on those years, we lived a life of going nowhere.  I did not have any friends during my High school years. There was no opportunity to make friends. I could not take part in any after school events because my father did not want to pick me up afterwards. (I understand it was difficult for him, it was out of his way to pick me up) My school work did not go well. I can’t remember if there was time for homework at all.

We did not have electricity at home. We still used candles. I had to get up early, help my mother to milk the goats and then off to school in the school bus that took about an hour to get to school.  Coming back by bus in the afternoons, I had to look after the goats while they were grazing in the fields.

I got more and more lonely. Nobody to talk to, nothing. At the end I passed high school every year, I don’t know how but I did. Those years were very hard years.

I appreciate it that my parents looked after me that well. I could actually never expand my way or use my ideas.  I was always criticised no matter what I said or did.




a small piece or area of ground:

a garden plot; burial plot.

a measured piece or parcel of land:

a house on a two-acre plot.


Picture it and write: The key

Thank you goes to Ermilia, who hosts Picture it and write. Please click the link to read about the challenge.


angel in the mirror

The prisoner looked up when he heard a soft flutter in the dark room. He could hardly open his swollen eyes.

A bright light shone on the opposite wall. He heard the rustle of wings. Slowly a white figure appeared. It was a most beautiful girl with angel wings. White as snow. She held a key in her hand. “I am leaving the key with you,” she whispered. On the lightened wall appeared a mirror with skulls on the side. The angle woman disappeared through the mirror leaving the key behind. The prisoner crept to the key. As soon as he picked it up he was lifted up by soft hands and taken through the mirror to a peaceful, far away field.


Flash Fiction For the Purposeful Practitioner: Trustful eyes





The opening sentence for the February 12th, Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner: “……. For the thousandth time, I promise you, it wasn’t me!” (Permission for this NOT be the opening sentence, but only a sentence included somewhere in your story….granted.)


Looking into her pleading puppy eyes made me smile. Fanny looked up from the bottom of the stairs. Nothing gave anything away that mischief had taken place a minute ago. Suddenly Jack, only four, came rushing in. All covered in chocolate. He stopped dead in his steps when he saw me at the top of the stairs. I put up a face that showed no amusement. Fanny wagged her tail in excitement. Jack stuttered: “Not me….no no.” He stopped and saw my angry face. “Mummy, it was Fanny……for the thousandth time, I PROMISE, it wasn’t me!” I could not help myself; I had to laugh at the picture of innocence on both faces. How could I be angry!