English Texts

Here you’ll find all English texts together.

BG 129 – Why healthy?

I used to live in a time when you still
had to answer yourself for healthy living,
instead of unhealthy.
A time when you ate (sweets) without limits,
because diabetes was only for old people,
and you were naturally slim.
A time when you had to come up with
strong arguments not to smoke
and to refuse to drink alcohol,
(and to read many books and
to enjoy doing your homework.)
Healthy living was still for wimps back then.

BG 128 – Special Compliment

Special compliment from a visitor:
‘I have looked at your blog and find it beautiful and interesting!
But it seems like something goes wrong when I look at it: all I see is black and white and gray, the colors seem to have disappeared.
You better fix that.’

BG 126 – Love for language

Many people don’t like to read anymore.
Books, long texts, never mind!
Give us passive entertainment
and short summaries.
TLDNR (too long, did not read).

We prefer to be on social media,
we prefer gaming, we watch movies,
we stream series.
There’s nothing wrong with that. But…
we don’t (like to) read anymore.
As a result, we lose language skills
and our pleasure in reading.

We are falling behind in a society where
everything revolves around language.
Our chance of finding a good job,
being able to stand up for ourselves,
being able to understand forms,
being able to use websites,
getting good health care,
being able to recognize fake news,
being well informed and therefore
making good decisions.

Of course, there are many other
fun things to do besides reading
books and texts.
But without reading skills and
without language skills,
we miss a lot of beautiful things and
we might fall hopelessly behind.

Don’t lose your love for language!


(According to a number of articles I read recently, people would find it easier to read texts if the beginnings of the words are in bold. Does that work for you?)

BG 125 – 100 Words Fiction

New route

This time everything was different. The route, the feeling, the arrival time, the destination. She walked along the deserted track and felt the cold rain, but in the distance there was always the mountaintop, sometimes shrouded in mist or watered by rain, more often silvery gray in the distant sunshine, while she walked in the shadows. Last time, on the previous route, she was he. He walked elsewhere, in another time, towards another fate. Initially, today was more promising, more challenging, but in the end still normal, as always. She walked close to where he used to walk.

BG 123 – Birthday

Today I turned 58 years old.
You can’t call that middle age with the best will in the world, unless you believe I’m going to live to be 116 years old.
I am already well over halfway and already quite worn out, but I have learned many wise lessons.
That we ourselves determine the meaning of our lives, for example.
That we should not let other people determine who we are and what we should do with our lives.
That life consists of time, that it is finite, that it seems to go faster and faster.
That we ourselves also consist of time and are therefore finite. That this finiteness makes life worth living, makes it precious.
And that we can give meaning to that fleeting time by grabbing pieces of it and slowing them down.
By filling them meaningfully, like by spending time with our loved ones, going on trips, gaining new experiences, reading, writing, looking at art, making art, listening to music, making music, helping people, caring for animals, gardening, admiring nature and help protect it.
Every now and then grab hold of the life that flies by at a fast pace and make good memories. And learn positive lessons from the negative experiences, which are just as much part of our life.
And sometimes just sit in an easy chair and enjoy the passing of time.
Happiness consists of scarce and therefore precious fine moments and good memories. Not of chasing ever more, ever better, ever higher, ever more exciting –  because then we never have enough –, but of enjoying the here and now, of what is there.
Of the beautiful nature, which is at the same time fleeting and timeless.
And not worrying about what isn’t there now, what isn’t there anymore and what isn’t there yet and probably never will be.
Happiness consists of living fully in the moment and not worrying about our limitations.
Happiness consists of enjoying all forms of love, of imagination, of creation, of nature and of all the beautiful things we have already experienced.
Until our time is up and we return the atoms from which we are built to the universe.
I am grateful that I have been alive for 58 years already, I cherish many fond memories and hope that there are some more to come.
Hip hip, hooray!

BG 122 – A thriller in 33 words

His heart beat fast and sweat stung his eyes.
He pressed his back against the rock face and heard the stones fall.
His shoes barely found grip on the remaining patch of ledge.

BG 121 – The power of the (old) white men

The fact that straight white men – including those who should have retired long ago – are mostly in charge of our society is not (as they themselves and also many women believe) due to their superior brains and their superior strength and ingenuity. On the contrary.
The fact that white men think they are automatically entitled to all top positions in politics, in companies, in clubs, and at home, is because they are, well, pretty stupid.
And they are thick-skinned.

There are many things that (old) white men don’t realize.
For example, that women are generally better at leadership and at dividing their attention over several important matters at the same time.
That women are better at detecting and analyzing problems, at finding creative solutions, at choosing the most effective and efficient solution, and at planning its implementation.
That women are less inclined to aggression, violence and to pushing through their own opinion, and that they listen better. That they not only listen to what is being said, but also to what is not spoken aloud.
That women attach less importance to…

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BG 119 – Lightning

(Dialogue between two middle-aged women on a bench in the countryside.)

– About last night.
– Yes?
– Late last night.
– What about late last night?
– I thought I heard something then.
– Oh?
– Yes.
– And what did you think you heard then?
– Stumbling.
– Stumbling…
– Yes. Stumbling in the distance.
– Hm.
– It came from your place.
– Oh?
– It sounded near to your house.
– Oh. It sounded near to me, that stumbling?
– Yes.
– That’s possible of course.
– Did you hear it too?
– What time was it exactly?
– I don’t know. By midnight, I think.
– So, you were still awake at midnight?
– Yes, I couldn’t sleep.
– I was wondering. You normally go to sleep early, don’t you?
– Yes, that is true. But yesterday it didn’t work.
– That’s a pity.
– Yes.
– So….

(silence)

– But did you hear it too?

Read More »BG 119 – Lightning

BG 118 – Random Questions

May I ask you something? Do you have tattoos? If so, where? Do you regret anything? Do you prefer a beautiful expensive car or a cheaper one that is more economical? Can you draw a circle freehand? Do you often travel by public transport? Do you remember how toothache feels? May a cat sit on your lap? Do you prefer to eat white bread, brown bread or whole wheat bread?

BG 116 – Tolerance

We humans tell each other stories.
In fact: our civilization is made up of storytelling.
Unfortunately, the stories about everything that is wrong with the world are constantly and enthusiastically told and shared, while the stories about everything that is pretty and going well with the world receive much less attention.
Because apparently, we get less excited about them.
We pay more attention to what makes us angry.

The result of that unrestrained anger is a culture in which people no longer understand the other, have no feeling for the past or context.
A culture in which groups of people quickly feel victimized.
Our collected stories, …

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BG 115 – Haiku (EN)

between the rubbish
of the fierce last winter storm
timid small crocus

BG 111 – Special Compliment

Special compliment from a personal trainer, many years and extra kilo’s ago:
‘You have very strong abs!
Too bad they are invisible behind that thick layer of fat.’

BG 110 – Thoughts on the internet and social media

There is nothing inherently wrong with the internet and social media.
They are very useful and popular.

But because politics, education, healthcare and legislation always lag behind technological developments, especially since the exponential growth that is inherent to digitization, a number of things have been messed up.
– A handful of computer geeks have become absurdly rich with the introduction of the internet, online commerce and social media. It’s time we pump those extreme riches back into society. We could even use that money to solve climate problems and restore nature.
– That same handful of computer geeks have become far too powerful for lack of appropriate legislation. It is high time we gave that power back to our elected representatives.
– A large group of users of the internet and social media have inadvertently become addicted to dopamine kicks, addicted to shopping, victims of psychological problems and/or convinced of extreme and incorrect ways of thinking.

But now back to the technology.
The internet is a wonderful system that gives the majority of people access to almost all existing knowledge. We all benefit from that.
Social media were created to facilitate and revolutionize our social interaction. That also worked out well.
But not in the way we envisioned.

Guess what? …

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BG 108 – Word Puzzle

Put a letter in front of each word to form another word (in your mind or on a piece of paper).
If you did it right, those first letters form a new word vertically.

_  angle
_  pen
_  men
_  night
_  able
_  gain
_  core
_  lapse

Solution:

Read More »BG 108 – Word Puzzle

BG 107 – Haiku (EN)

winter at the hearth
thick book gentle in both hands
glowing adventure

BG 105 – Kitty from Hamburg

Just last week he had called her. She had sounded cheerful.
“No, no, no, don’t!” she’d yelled, laughing.
“What’s that, aunt?”
“I was talking to Kitty from Hamburg.”
“To who?”
“My kitty!” she laughed, “I was talking to my kitty!”
“Ah okay.” That spoiled rotten cat of hers…
“She ran off with my bead again, hahaa!”
She had always been a little strange, his great-aunt.

And now she was lost.
This morning she hadn’t come to drink a cup of coffee with her neighbors, the Nose couple, at her usual time. She didn’t answer the phone, the newspaper was still in the mailbox, the back door still locked, and she didn’t even respond to the doorbell.
Oh my, oh my.
Couldn’t he come by with the spare key? …

Read More »BG 105 – Kitty from Hamburg

BG 104 – For the New Year I wish you:

– a good health
– nice contact with other people
– pleasant experiences
– good luck working on your goals
– enjoy your activities
– a lot of relaxation
– solutions to the climate problem
– recovery of nature
– more positive than negative moments

And above all I wish you:
– the insight that you yourself can contribute to these things.

BG 102 – Sentence

Because when you get up, longer and longer, but shorter too, sat on the chair, that you look at things from a higher perspective, but from a smaller angle, from up there, to down down, yes, twice down, look, but just not see, because when you get up and get taller and taller, stay, stay in the same place; you can imagine that you down, that you go down, or maybe even back on the chair, but certainly not too long, and then she said, because you still have to, you, today, still do so much and think of so much, and then she said, but for that you have, that you don’t have time to get up, no dówn, to sit up dówn, but you must now actually go, or to descend, but that you today, that you now, would rather descend up than ascend down.

BG 100 – I lived a hundred lives

Although I don’t get out much, I already lived more than a hundred lives this year.

How is that possible?
I read over a hundred books and in each of those stories I empathized with the main characters.

I visited almost the whole world together with tireless travelers, I relived early love together with teenagers, I endured setbacks together with people of all ages and backgrounds, I fought off attackers together with people who wouldn’t let it happen anymore, I fought against injustice together with people who refused to be suppressed any longer, my personality developed together with that of people who struggled through obstacles in their lives, my compassion grew together with that of people who went through a lot but learned to forgive, I felt a vibrant new energy together with people who pursued their passions, but also the ultimate emptiness together with people who reluctantly started every new day, I prepared for death together with people at the end of their lives, I mourned together with those left behind, I found solutions for complicated problems together with real go-getters and their friends, I programmed and hacked my way out of tricky situations together with computer nerds, I won matches together with champions, and lost them together with people who didn’t make it to the top, I barely survived together with people who were struggling, I committed murders together with hardened criminals, tracked down criminals together with disillusioned detectives, I solved the climate problems together with clever minds, I traveled through the last stretches of untouched nature together with nature lovers, and I experienced how much effort it takes to create something original – that pleasantly surprises, or provokes thought – together with other artists and writers.

By the time I die I will have lived not one but a thousand lives!

BG 97 – Random Questions

May I ask you something? Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you prefer to drink tea or coffee? How long can you stand on one leg? Do you know a good joke? Do you paint? Walls or paintings? Do you have pets? Are you strict? With yourself or with others?

BG 96 – What we are looking for

We all find what we are looking for.

If we look for negativity, for destruction, decay, degradation, quarrels, for doomsday scenarios and for differences between us and the other, we will find those.

But if we look for love, for construction, positivity, cooperation, for solutions to difficult problems and for similarities between us and the other, we will find THOSE.

Our happiness in life largely depends on what we look for, what we focus our attention on, and what we put our energy into.

BG 94 – We are all writers

As a matter of fact, we are all writers. We all use language to tell others about things we have experienced in the most interesting way possible. Even if what we experienced – especially if what we experienced – didn’t seem that interesting in itself. We turn it into an interesting story with our self-chosen words and sentences, to impress our listeners.
A word artist is hiding in each of us.

BG 92 – Coincidence

Our 22 years old daughter was born on a day in April.
Our 3 years old girl next door on the left was born on the exact same date.
And our new baby boy next door on the right too!

BG 91 – Sentence

She had noticed that the younger woman in the corner of the cramped living room every now and then wriggled a little on the strict hard chair assigned to her, and that during the long dull conversations of the older ladies around her, who fanned themselves in between talking, or wished they had brought something to fan themselves with, she alternately rearranged the straps of her bra inconspicuously and searched hopefully for incoming messages on the screen of the telephone hidden in her palm, all the while keeping the pretense of listening exceptionally well and, nodding and smiling politely, agreeing with whatever it was that the elderly woman who was speaking to her confidentially at the time – sigh – was firmly asserting.

BG 88 – Washing your car for your Instagram

Just outside Quiet Belgian Village, on the Big Road (yes really, that’s what it’s called), is a car wash. Now don’t imagine a fully automatic car wash, but simply a long roof with a row of semi-open sheds beneath it, separated by fences, in which you wash your own car. The Maakster had just hosed down her car and drove it outside to clean the interior with a vacuum cleaner.

A dark blue BMW, model expensive, arrived in the shed next to her. The vehicle looked as if it could have been cleaned at home in less than two minutes with a dust cloth. A couple of twenty-somethings (f/m) got out, who didn’t exactly look like people who were about to wash a car. The Maakster, in an old pair of jeans and with water-resistant old shoes on her feet, looked rather shabby in comparison.

The slender, muscular man wore baggy khaki floor-length trousers, and beneath them large trainers in gleaming white and silver. An almost glowing white shirt stretched around his chest, and his neatly gel-styled hair was held in place by silver-lens sunglasses. The man was clean-shaven and it wouldn’t have surprised The Maakster if…

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BG 85 – Coincidence

Every year in the period from the beginning of September to the beginning of December, the ages of me, my brothers and my love form a neat row.
This year:
58 – my dear brother P
57 – me, B
56 – brother A
55 – my wonderful husband M

PBAM!

BG 84 – 100 Words Fiction

In the tent

Camping in the woods has never been your favorite activity, but you had to come, otherwise they would be short of a man. So to speak. After all, you are not a man. In a tent you cannot pretend that there are walls, and a zipper is never a door. Of course you can’t actually prick up your ears, but you can try really hard to hear the carefully restrained steps of the man who doesn’t sneak through the trees towards your tent. You brace yourself. And then just hope he doesn’t have a preference for men.

BG 82 – It’s raining cards, hallelujah

During her daily walk through Quiet Belgian Village this morning, The Maakster stopped abruptly when she saw something glistening in the sun in the driveway to a house. Bending down, she saw that it was a bank card. The address on the card matched that of the house she was standing in front of, so she decided to ring the bell. The door didn’t open, but out of the corner of her eye she saw a movement behind the window. She rang the bell a second time and this time looked directly at the window. There she saw someone just ducking behind a curtain. When the front door still didn’t open after ringing a third time, she walked across the neatly mowed lawn and knocked on the window. An elderly woman appeared, hesitantly, cheeks flushed with excitement. The Maakster smiled kindly, held up the bank card with one hand and pointed at it with her other hand. The old woman put her hands over her mouth, got even redder, and finally decided to open the front door just a little bit. She cleared her throat and tried to sound stern:

Read More »BG 82 – It’s raining cards, hallelujah

BG 81 – Random Questions

May I ask you something? Can you ride a horse? Did you enjoy going to school as a child? Can you program? Can you knit? How many jeans lay in your wardrobe? Do you think toilet paper should hang loose side forward or backward? Does that really matter? Who is your favorite television host? Do you like to eat bananas?