I’m a candy muncher.

So i have this goal for the spring, as i want to do the 7km strong viking.
Over the summer, due to some stress and such my weight went up from 77 to 82kg. Nothing too shocking but i’m not happy with it. I want to get it down a bit more over the winter but i notice i’m struggling.
Not the normal food, i eat healthy and balanced. It’s the sweets. And i know what the problem is. If it’s in the house i’ll eat it. Where in the past i could buy 1 serving packed things and keep to 1 serving it seems i just can’t do it right now. So the moment to battle this is in the supermarket. Obviously i have to not buy it for quite some time until i know i’m strong enough to not eat it. Now there’s a challenge.

I also notice that with my very physical work now and the days that i don’t work but walk a lot, my calories are going all over the place. So i have decided to go for a static 2000 calories a day and not log any activities and see how that goes. Than i’ll have a better understanding how much calories my body needs.

Needless to day i find it hard. I’m struggling but the only way i can get past this is to be honest about it and battle it, because i don’t ever want to be big like i used to again… ever.


Two years ago on my 40th birthday i was at the doctor’s office. I wanted to check if it was alright to start doing some sports with that weak knee that i have. It seemed all okay and he just wanted to take my bloodpressure in the end.
It was high.. not extremely but given my age if it would progress like that it would become a very serious problem. So to see what i was at healthwise i had to get some tests done. Bloodwork, sugarlevels, kidney function, potassium levels, cholesterol, the whole shebang.
I was very nervous when i got the results. They were surprising.

They were all allright, some even bordering normal healthy regions, which was actually very good for someone who weight 112.6 kg (248lbs). So my bloodpressure (which was 146/95) was the only problem. He spoke the magical words “sure i can give you a pill, but i believe that if you lose some weight you’ll be just fine”.
So i told him “than that’s what i’ll do”.

Two years later, my weight on my birthday was 80.6kg (177lbs) and my bloodpressure 116/85.
The majority of the weight i lost in the first year. In the spring i was at my lightest, 77kg (170lbs). The weightloss was such a journey. Learning about nutrition, which was so valuable, as i can admit that i’m a comfort eater. When i get stressed i turn to food or more specifically to candy.
Especially in the last year the true transformation began. There were things i wanted to do, goals i wanted to achieve.
I walked 1900km in one year mainly due to Ingress, the game i started in september 2014.
I did my first 5k. Sure i walked but that doesn’t matter. It was the color run here in Bergen op Zoom and it was awesome. I did the Eifel tower by stairs, together with Nadia when we were in Paris. 704 steps up.. and down.
I did the 4 days of evening walks (avond 4 daagse) 10km together with Alice. Blisters.. mainly due to not having the right kind of shoes.
It was time for a new goal, so I registered for a Strong Viking Obstacle color run. My mom gave me a membership for the gym, because this was something i knew i needed to actually train for. I started going to the gym and surprised myself with how fit i had become.
Than, two weeks before the run i decided it was time to push through my fear of running. My fear that my knee would buckle or that i just wasn’t in the right shape to run.
So i ran. I did it. When i stopped i cried.
The viking run i ran the biggest part where it was possible to run. It was awesome. Turns out my weakness isn’t my legs, it’s not even my knee (while it did take me 3 days to recover from the race). It was my upper torso and arm strength compared to my current weight.
So i have my work cut out for me in the gym to prepare for the strong viking i want to do in the spring.

That’s the physical stuff. What i tell friends is that it feels like i have been given this new body and that i’m finding out what the boundries are and to which extremes i can push it. I’m still surprised just how far i can push it and that feels very amazing.

But the biggest change didn’t happen physically. Sure that’s the part that’s visable at the outside, but i wouldn’t have been able to do this if i hadn’t changed on the inside.
I’m terrified to fail. It’s such a crippling fear that i sabotage myself to even start to do some things. I needed a complete new mindset and learn to love myself with my imperfections. Going from “I can’t do this, so i won’t even try” to “not sure if i can do this but i’ll try and see how far i get”. It got me very.. very far. completing goals and surprising myself. Sometimes i fell flat on my face.
Like last sunday. It was T-sessie and i had set myself the challenge to sing “rolling in the deep” by adele. A complex song, which i know i would be able to sing voice wise but honestly i didn’t really know the song well enough.
So i did it anyway and it was a humbling experience. It taught me that the base is there and yeah i can do it but to actually sing that song on stage i need practice both with the song and my voice. So that’s how i filed that experience away, people still told me they thought it was great. I sang “nobody’s wife” and “proud mary” that afternoon too and just killed it, blowing people away. That was awesome, but what i take away from that t-session is knowing what i can still work on and i don’t feel bad at all that “rolling in the deep” didn’t go that well, because i still tried.
What would happen in the past is that i would use this to torment myself for a long time to come. That i sucked and probably just should never get back on the stage again because i would want to spare the people seeing me fail.

Another big change this year has been that i do have paid work now. It started with me entering a re-integration project which due to some stuff not being clear and me not knowing what to expect that i had a lot of stress over the summer. How i tried to cope with that was another educational experience. I fell back in old patterns and turned to candy. That’s why i gained 5kg over the summer. I have been trying to navigate my coping mechanisms to find one which would work for me and not result into weightgain. I’m still working on that. It’s probably the hardest challenge of them all.
My food is good, healthy and of good variety. My excersize is too. Now this last thing, if i manage to overcome this i know i will never go back to that old weight.
Having work that’s very physical helps. Walking and lifting many things and not as much as a single muscle ache. I work 20-25 hours a week, which is not enough to be out of welfare yet, but it’s a start. Moneywise i’m doing fine, i have learned to get by of this amount and i have a very good contact person at the welfare office who’s very proud of me that i came this far. She knows that I need time to get used to working these hours before i try and work enough to completely be out of welfare. Small steps.
And while this work is alright, i know it’s not what i want to do in the future. I actually found out what i want to become when i grow up.

So that’s up next for this upcoming year. I need to finish my course for nutrition specialist and see if i can manage to completely get out of welfare. Keep track of that balance between work and things at home and my food so none of them slip away.
I am so proud of myself.

Talk about…

I haven’t posted much but this is something I wanted to share.
It’s a talk ( really can’t call it a discussion because i’m not really going against anything) about religion, morals and the netherlands, which came from a post of a friend (which is the Shelly mentioned in the end) on facebook about the marriage equality decision.
The name of the other has been taken out.

(name deleted) The main issue, Pasc, is that “the law side of it” is being used as a bludgeon against Christians. Christian churches are being punished by the government for not hosting homosexual ceremonies on their land, Christian caterers are being punished for not catering them, Christian photographers are being punished for not photographing them, Christian bakers are being punished for not baking cakes for them–and if you think that’s not going to extend to forcing preachers to commit them, then you’re a far more optimistic person than I am. Under the law (back when the Constitution had authority, anyway), the government simply doesn’t have the right to do that. In short, don’t tell us “It’s about love” in the midst of the deathwishes and attempts to ban churches and cheers at the success of a modern-day fumi-e.

Meanwhile, your argument trying to connect the issue to interracial marriage is false for several reasons:

One reason is that real civil rights are a far cry from the homosexual “civil rights” movement. The real civil rights movement took bricks to the face to get their kids into decent schools; the homosexual movement is fighting for the right to have oiled-up men grind in front of your kids (think I’m exaggerating? Plug “pride parade” into an image search). This isn’t a civil rights movement; it’s a witch hunt.

Another reason is that there is no inherent moral quality in skin color. If I was black, or Asian, or somehow painted myself purple, it would make no difference in my moral standing. However, my actions–including and particularly who I have a relationship with or who I have sex with–are intrinsically moral or immoral acts. That’s why I’m on the internet right now instead of with a prostitute; and if I wasn’t, you would find it ridiculous to say that my decision to hire one is no more or less moral than your decision not to.

Yet another is that despite the efforts of the late and unlamented Michael Jackson, skin color is immutable. Despite the constant search for a “gay gene,” sexual behavior ~is~ changeable. Even many homosexual activists have admitted that (One famous one, Sally Kohn, intends to raise her daughter to be a lesbian), and there are organizations like PFOX where tens of thousands of ex-gays can help each other against hate and persecution—from homosexuals.

But the most important one is that it’s a blatant race-card–none of us are racist, and the days when implying we might be is enough to send us desperately backpedalling are over and done, so you might as well give up.
Like · Reply · 20 hrs
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Pascalle Van de Watering Giving people equal rights is not persecuting the ones that already have those rights. Churches can always say no to a gay wedding. But you are right, public companies are not allowed to discriminate on base of sexuality anymore.
I think an important difference, which also explains a difference in view probably is that in the netherlands a church weding is not lawfully binding. Whatever your faith is, you always need to go to a comunial hall to get legally married, the fact that you then go to a church, synagoge, temple or any other faith based building to have it done before your God(s) doesn’t have anything to do with it being legal in The Netherlands.
I think we can go on and on about the discussion if someone is born gay. My opinion is. Yes they are, yours is No they’re not. Let’s agree to dissagree here.
Like · 19 hrs

(name deleted) -Churches can always say no to a gay wedding. But you are right, public companies are not allowed to discriminate on base of sexuality anymore. –
No, and no.

A church has been punished already for refusing to host a homosexual wedding.

And amusingly enough, states where it’s permissible to discriminate on the basis of “sexuality” still allow it–this decision didn’t change that.

What it did change, however, is that businesses are forced to take part in ceremonies celebrating homosexuality–whether or not they discriminate against homosexuals. Many of the businesses in question, for example, served homosexuals before their lives were ruined, and were their business open would continue to serve homosexuals afterwards.

In other words, this isn’t about discrimination against homosexuals. This isn’t about someone saying “Gays are icky (or the same sentiment, in more colorful language) so you can’t have a cake.” It’s about people saying “You live your life how you want, but I’m not going to celebrate this act.” It’s telling that homosexual groups are willing to let the former slide, in order to punish the latter.

In Canada, this is moving on to its natural conclusion–now it’s illegal to criticize homosexuality or homosexual marriage in any way. Even preachers who read the “wrong” Bible verses during church services could find themselves hauled before a tribunal for “hate speech.” I’d love to say that would never happen in America–but it’s starting to. While Canada is the most “progressive” on the issue, the Netherlands isn’t far behind

-I think we can go on and on about the discussion if someone is born gay. My opinion is. Yes they are, yours is No they’re not.-
The tends of thousands of ex-gays might have an opinion on that too.
Like · 1 · 19 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering Even with all of this said, i stand by my first point. It’s about equality and i think it’s a good thing that people all over the board get the same rights. Of course there will be friction at first but honestly i think this will sort itself out when time passes, because with equality issues before, it always has.
I am however happy that I live in a country where it seems that church and state are more seperate then in some other countries, so this really is less of an issue here. I can’t remember there being any major uproar in The Netherlands when marriage equality was introduced, except for a lot of people being really happy about it. as they could finally legally marry the love of their life.
Like · 18 hrs

(name deleted) -Even with all of this said, i stand by my first point. It’s about equality and i think it’s a good thing that people all over the board get the same rights.-
I don’t remember getting the right to shut down any business that doesn’t disagree with me. I could demand that right, and if I get it we’ll have equality, but I think ~nobody~ should have it.

It’s not about equality. It’s about freedom, and particularly about shutting down basic religious liberty. That’s what it was used for in the Netherlands, in Canada, in England–and it’s definitely what will be attempted here.

-Of course there will be friction at first but honestly i think this will sort itself out when time passes, because with equality issues before, it always has. –
When anyone who disagrees has finally been punished into submission.

-I can’t remember there being any major uproar in The Netherlands when marriage equality was introduced, except for a lot of people being really happy about it. as they could finally legally marry the love of their life.-
And the fact that basic free speech and religious freedom in the Netherlands is pretty much leashed–people have the freedom to say exactly what the government tells them to say.

This isn’t at all about someone being with “the love of their life.” It’s about forcing other people to endorse their lifestyle choices.
Like · 16 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering Where do you get that religious freedom is leashed in the netherlands? Everybody is free to practice their religion, whichever religion that is. Please provide sources.
Like · 16 hrs

(name deleted) -Where do you get that religious freedom is leashed in the netherlands? Everybody is free to practice their religion, whichever religion that is.-
As long as they don’t say anything the government disapproves of.

– Please provide sources.-
Are you really going to call me a liar on this?


Might’s well start with the basics: In the Netherlands you’re not allowed to “give public expression” to any view that homosexuals may find offensive–I daresay “homosexuality is a sin” falls in that category.
“The Dutch Criminal Code § 137(c) criminalizes:[79] … deliberately giv[ing] public expression to views insulting to a group of persons on account of their race, religion, or conviction or sexual preference.”

“Complaints against religious or political spokesmen who publicly condemn homosexuality are repeatedly filed.””

Churches in the Netherlands have adapted under the pressure by becoming atheist (that’s not a joke; 1 out of 6 Dutch “Christian” church leaders doesn’t believe in God), but it’s clear that you definitely have the right to freedom of religion in the Netherlands… as long as you believe what the government tells you.

I’d brag that in America we’re still free–but I can’t, not anymore.

Freedom of speech by country – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Freedom of speech is the concept of the…
Like · 15 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering There are indeed the anti discrimination laws which count for everybody, religious or not religious. It also protects the religious from others insulting -their- religion, including hatespeach. This also means that if i were an employer, i’m not allowed to tell you “i won’t hire you because you’re a Christian” (or muslim or jew or jehova’s witness). In the netherlands this is all the same law which covers all of those bases.
Most of the dutchies will just shrug and say “whatever” if you tell them that you think homosexuality is a sin. It’s not until you actively start to preach it and say truely insulting things about gay people that anybody will even concider taking legal action.
With each generation, less people in the netherlands are religious, which also explains why even church leaders actually care less. Here in my hometown, in the last 10 years 4 churches closed down and 1 got turned into a magnificent theatre (the outside completely preserved, including the stained glass windows). This is not due to pressure of people, it’s just because people care less about going to church and believing in a God. The ones that still do still have churches to go to as my hometown still has at least 2 catholic, 1 protestant and 1 jehova’s witness church (and 2 mosks, one turkish and one maroccan and one synagoge)
Like · 14 hrs

(name deleted) -There are indeed the anti discrimination laws which count for everybody, religious or not religious.-
I’d say it’s good that other people don’t have basic freedoms either…. But it ain’t.

And the fact remains that reading the Bible out loud is a crime in the Netherlands.

-With each generation, less people in the netherlands are religious,-
Using the government to stifle a group can do that.
Like · 5 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering No, reading the bible out loud in the netherlands is not a crime, neither is reading the koran or torah or any hindu texts, or reading any other book out loud a crime.
Hatespeach is a crime. While you might view this as not having basic freedoms, i view this as “don’t be an ass and insult people because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”
Like · 5 hrs

(name deleted) -No, reading the bible out loud in the netherlands is not a crime,-
According to the law, if it makes any “insulting statement,” it’s illegal. Certainly it extends to any sermon extolling sexual chastity–or anything else that someone can label “hate speech.”

And now that churches in the Netherlands can’t actually follow the Bible… they don’t. Do you really think that’s a coincidence? Certainly there’s some social pressure–as the Brothel of Europe, too much agitation about sexual immorality can really cut into the bottom line–but do you really think “You’re not allowed to say this,” followed by “we don’t want to say this” is just a pair of random events?
Like · 4 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering Reading the bible is not a crime. period. Any pastor can just read any passage of the bible out loud in any church. The preaching afterwards where he or she will tell the people how they think this verse or part of the bible should be interpreted, that’s a different story. Not that they will be charged with anything, there isn’t such a thing as a church police. The only thing some dutch priests have been persecuted for was sexual child abuse.
There have been some muslim imams who have been investigated for hatespeech during their sermons but the only thing that happened really is that when one of the imams who was famous for his preaching of violence and such was not allowed into the country.
So.. in short.. christians are not persecuted in the netherlands. Churches can just follow and preach their religious books. There is no social pressure on churches, people simply do not care enough to do so.
We are of the mindset that we say “you’re religious? oh that’s fine. You’re not religious? that’s fine too.”
Like · 4 hrs

(name deleted) -Reading the bible is not a crime. period. Any pastor can just read any passage of the bible out loud in any church. –
According to the law, it is.

-The preaching afterwards where he or she will tell the people how they think this verse or part of the bible should be interpreted, that’s a different story.-
So the government controls what they preach….but this isn’t persecution?

You can’t acknowledge that the government controls what they can say, but then pretend that it’s free.

And when you tell us that they CAN follow the Bible all they want, it’s just that none of them WANT to–seriously?
Like · 3 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering you’re nitpicking and then twisting my words. There’s no use trying to explain to you how it does work in the netherlands as you already have made up your mind about how you think it works.
Like · 3 hrs

(name deleted) -you’re nitpicking and then twisting my words.-
I’m sorry, Pasc, but those are false accusations.

The simple fact is that practicing your religion in the Netherlands is illegal if that religion includes any commentary on sexual immorality that its practitioners may find “insulting.” That’s the law. It’s not nit-picking; it’s exactly what the law says–it’s not some peripheral detail that I’m seizing on to the exclusion of the main point; it IS the main point.

And I did not twist your words in the slightest. You have stated that the government prevents them from saying certain things–and that this isn’t persecution. You have acknowledged that the government controls what they can say, and you have claimed that they are free. And you have indeed told us that they can practice their religion all they want, but that Dutch churches simply don’t want to preach or follow aspects of the Bible regarding sexual morality.

This is understandable–without “sexual tourism,” the Netherlands would be bankrupt, and preaching about sexual morality might cause more Dutch to think about whether their cash crop is a bit unethical. It’s not right, but if you’re not terribly concerned with moral issues then I suppose that isn’t an argument–however, it’s also not freedom.
Like · 3 hrs

Pascalle Van de Watering Hatespeech and discrimination against the Law. The government is not doing anything, it’s the law. We have trias politica, seperation of state (government), church and law here. You’re stating that it’s illegal in the netherlands to practice your religion, it’s not. You say it’s the government who prevents people from saying certain things, which is not true. Hatespeech and discrimination is against the Law.
Nowhere did i say that dutch chruches don’t want to preach about sexual morality, that’s what you say state. I know that a lot of them actually do and no priest or pastor has been persecuted or charged.
You just stated that my country will go bankrupt without sexual tourism and that we need preaching of sexual morality so we realise that our cash crop is a bit unethical. Do you have any idea how rediculous that sounds?
I looked it up and wordwide it seems we’re on Number 8 when it comes to sex tourism, which is completely centered around the red light district in Amsterdam. Being a prostitute in the netherlands is legal, regulated and they pay taxes. I’m quite certain that without it our country would not go bankrupt.
Than in the end you just quickly accuse me of being “not terribly concerned with moral issues”. Thank you. You don’t know me at all.
Ps. I’m sorry shelly. I was trying to explain how things in holland go and it turned into this.
Like · 32 mins


I was walking yesterday, hacking some portals here and there with the crappy back up phone that I’m using at the moment. I walked over a parking lot and a car pulled up into a spot near where I was standing. Inside there was a woman and her daughter. Nothing special really it seemed.
Until I noticed she was smoking. Not just that, she was talking to her girl, not even taking the cigarette out of her mouth. It was dangling between her lips.
I couldn’t help but stare. I was appalled by what I saw and the woman must have thought I was looking at her funny.
The thought that went through my mind was “you got to be kidding me. Not only does it look very anti social (the dutch word Tokkie came to mind) but she clearly doesn’t give a shit about her girls health”.
So I stared.

I couldn’t help myself and… just stared.


I messed around a bit with the blog. There used to be a way to automatically update to facebook, but it seems like facebook has deleted that feature. Now you need to do it the other way around. Make an app and connect the two of them. I had no idea how that worked so yesterday I sat down and read up on it and I -think- I made it work. Well this entry will tell I guess.

I did my jumping again. My feet didn’t fall off after yesterday’s 6 minutes and my knee didn’t spasm either. So I guess I’ll be fine. I did another 6 minutes today. It may not seem like a lot but you need to start small you know. I need to keep in mind, I can do this. I can do this.

Today I’ll use a walk as an excuse to drop by a friend for some coffee and see how she’s doing. For which I need to get ready soon.


It’s no secret that it’s fear that’s holding us back from accomplishing a lot of things. Personally I’m suffering from an unhealthy fear of failure, to such an extend that it will make me shut down and even sabotage myself so at least it’s certain that I won’t make it (and try again) instead of there actually being a chance of making it.

I have been battling this for quite some time and knowing about it helps, there was a long time that I was going through the mecanics of it but didn’t know what I was doing, or more importantly, why.
So when embarking on something new, something I know I haven’t been able to pull off very often, well.. almost never at all, not because I wouldn’t be able to do it, but because I would sabotage myself every single time and then give up. It’s scary.
Part of me is screaming, “why are you even trying, you know you’ll suck and give up, so give up already, better now then having wasted all that energy and -than- giving up.”
But I can’t do that this time. I made sure I picked something so interesting that my curiosity about it is bigger then that voice screaming in my head that I will give up. Even if I fail, I’m going to try again, because this is something I -really really- want to do.

Something I’m also afraid of is pushing myself physically. When I was younger I did athletics and got hurt pretty badly. On top of that I fell a few times and hurt my knee. So now I’m afraid that if I truely start with physical training, I’ll be in a lot of pain again.
Walking has been very good. It’s come to a point that I feel my day is not complete if I haven’t done my after dinner walk. Even on bad days (and I do have those) I actually look forward to going on my walk, to clear my mind and just.. walk.
So to push myself, instead of going to a gym (which I do want to do in the future), I started on jumping rope. First time, only 5 minutes and my feet were hurting excruciatingly for three days afterwards. So badly that walking hurt. It made me scared of doing it again.
But today I thought.. fuck this. I got through those three days just fine, did my walks even then. So today I jumped rope again. 6 minutes.
Rock on!

Going for a walk

There have often been times that I thought about writing in this blog again. I haven’t for years. I wouldn’t be able to tell you why or even why I am writing now. It’s just so handy to make little 1 or 2 line updates in facebook I guess instead of really writing down what’s going on in my head.

Almost every day I go for a walk after dinner. No matter what weather, rain, snow, chill. I put on my thick leather coat and under it a big fluffy hoody, my warm wooly goat hat (it’s a goat, not a rabbit!), put on one leather glove, take my phone and out I go.
Just walking and playing Ingress in the mean time while I’m alone with my thoughts. It sounds more scary than it is. It’s nice to have your mind wander places while you walk. I think about my travels, about singing, about creative ideas, about cleaning.
Sometimes I hum, sometimes I even sing softly to myself and I always hear music in my head, while I never bring my mp3 player or have music on my phone.
That might be unusual for some people but not for me. Or maybe it’s not so unusual but people just don’t talk about it because they think others will find them crazy.

At another walk yesterday, when I was getting groceries, I ran into my contact person of social services. We talked a moment (but not too long, as this is an out of office thing and I don’t want to take up that time from her. I thanked her for the support she had shown for me so far and she told me that I was one of her top clients. I had no idea she viewed and felt it like that. While I know I have come a long way, it’s been quite the struggle and I feel like I still have such a long way to go.
It made me smile though and thinking back about it makes me smile again.

I don’t know if writing this is a one off fluke or if there will be more entries. Time will tell.

For the Greater Good

“Gilles, the papers hold the wrong numbers.. “ Mattias looked thoughtful at the contracts in front of him. He was helping his domitor prepare for the upcoming meeting with the head of the foundation that held “The Old Court” building. The Frenchman shook his head with a small sigh and looked back at his financial assistant. “they do not. That is the amount we are going to buy that building for.”
He did not look too happy about it, but knew that this was the way they needed to proceed if he still wanted to put his other plans into work. Jim had come through for him wonderfully. Not that the man had any choice anymore. This realization pained the Ventrue. He pulled his hand through his graying hair while looking at all the paperwork in front of him on the table, than at his blond assistant.

He had to get used to the name of the company, though he agreed with Matt that it was a good one. It had taken some calls and paperwork, but the shell company Lilja inc. was born, established in Sweden and now with a branch in the US. He was proud of his assistant for making this all happen. That business degree he got last year was certainly not going to waste. He put his hand on the young man’s for a moment, showing his gratitude for what he had managed to pull off. It made Mattias smile shyly. He would do anything for his “boss”.

They packed up the papers, putting them in neat folders, making sure they had copies. Gilles took the building report Jim had written for him and put it in his briefcase as well. He took a deep breath. He would be glad when this was all over and done with. After the young man quite lovingly straightened Gilles’ tie the two nodded at eachother and left the apartment to go to their meeting.

They did not meet at the courthouse itself. Gilles had asked Ivory if she could arrange a meetingroom at the Palisade Hotel. She had done so gladly.
Derreck drove them there and hung around a little in the lobby after he had parked the car. The duo had been early and had time enough to set up for the meeting with the head of the Foundation. Gilles went over the building report again. When he had told Mister Altrick about it, the man had been shocked. They hadn’t expected to become a victim of a shady building company. The Frenchman was still a little in thought when the old man entered the room. He was nicely dressed, but it was clear he was quite distressed about the whole situation. He was facing one hell of a scandal and probably the fall of his foundation.
The duo got up to greet him, than all of them sat themselves to get down to business. Matt just kept to himself and sat there in silence, being the good assistant that he was. Gilles looked concerned at the old man, than gave him an encouraging smile before he started to speak.

“Mister Altrick, I am sorry you find yourself in this position. I have to admit that I am glad that I let Suarrez and Sons check your building before we signed that lease. “ He watched how the old man almost shrunk in his chair. He was certain that now everything would go to shit. The building, the foundation, everything he had worked for to accomplish in the last few years. The expression on the man’s face made Gilles sigh involuntarily. He tried to keep in mind that this was for the greater good, that not everything would be lost for the old man and that he could still try to help him out in other ways too after this. He forced a caring smile and his voice sounded compassionate when he spoke. “I think it would be a pity to see all that work go to waste, so I have a proposition for you.” He watched the man peek up and with a calm smile on his face he went on. “I will take this building of your hands and take care of the “mistakes” that were made by the last contractor. “
The old man blinked at Gilles, uncertain what to think of this. He realized that he probably wouldn’t have much choice, but he was not yet fully convinced. The Frenchman went on. “Cleaning up the asbestos will of course come at a price, so you understand I cannot pay full price for this piece of heritage. “ He sat back and looked at the man while his words were sinking in. He leafed through some papers before speaking again. “As a side effect, we will not speak of this little problem, so you and your foundation will not lose any face over it and can continue doing it’s good work for.. other buildings.” He pushed the contracts towards Mister Altrick. The man looked defeated and even older than he was. He glanced over the papers and let out a soft sigh.

“Keep in mind Mister Altrick, that I will be supporting your foundation with a generous donation every year, as I understand that such a … debacle can wear on a man.” He smiled compassionately while the old man in front of him just kept staring at the papers. Mattias strategically put a pen near the man but other than that just kept silent. Gilles sits back, giving the man a moment, than speaks again. “I realize it is a lot to take in. Please take your time, take the contracts home. It is allright if I receive them Monday… “ He left in a strategic pause, than goes on. “Or you can get it over with right now, know it is all arranged and the building is in good hands and will be taken care of and finally have a good night of sleep again.”
He had noticed how heavy this weighted on the mans mind. It probably hadn’t been obvious to everybody, but the Frenchman just had a keen eye for it. With another sigh, the old man picked up the pen and turned the page on the contract. He glanced over the page, than signed at the bottom. He pushed the contract towards Gilles, who checked it, than handed it to Matt. Mister Altrick signed the second contract as well after making sure the representative of Lilja inc. had also put his signature down.

When they walked out of the hotel, Gilles looked thoughtful and sighed. This time it was Matt who put his hand on the Ventrue’s back and spoke softly to him. “the greater good Gilles.. “
He took a deep breath and nodded at his assistant. He tried to keep that in mind, but it was quite clear he wasn’t happy about it.

(written for PL vampire the masquerade roleplay)

Flexing the Muscle

So the frenchman found himself in the little office besides his contractor’s house. He had made himself comfortable in the chair at one side of the desk and declined the offer of coffee. He was there to talk business after all. The chubby man on the other side of the desk looked quite pleased. He sure did not mind more business from that nice but eccentric Frenchman.
“Mister Laroche, I’m happy to receive you in my office again. Our latest project is coming to an end and we’re quite eager to hear what you have for us this time.”
Gilles smiles calmly back at the man. Dressed in his full suit and tie he looked quite impressive. When he spoke his voice was nice but businesslike. “I understand you have your sons finishing up at the bar. Were the specifications of the cellar clear enough?”

The man at the other side of the desk nods at him. He found the Frenchman a bit too paranoid, but if he forked over the money, he would build a nuclear bunker down there if that was what he wanted. It must have been some very special wine he would be keeping down there to be so secured. He takes a sip of his coffee before answering the question. “of course mister Laroche, it only took a few modifications to be honest. My boys are now putting in the last copper ornaments in the bar and than it should be finished”
“excellent.” Still that calm smile on his face he started to work the powers of the blood. He needed this man even more secure in his grasp than by money alone for the next projects that needed to be done. He knew the man liked him already and it wouldn’t be that hard to work his charms on him.

“So Jim… You also do building inspections and write advisory reports, do you not?” He smiles rather nicely at the man, working his charm and watching how it was starting to affect the man in front of him.
“Of course Mister Laroche. The company has all the needed certificates to do so. Do you need a property to be inspected before we work on it?” He was all attention now. A new job of this man would be delightfull. All the work they got from him would already easily allow him to retire and was securing the company for his sons, but more business was good, especially if it was for this awefully nice man.

The Frenchman nodded slowly while sitting back. He could see how his power had taken hold on the man. “not just an inspection, I need you to put in the report that you found asbestos. Make it look important and official. “
Jim blinked and looked a little doubtfull. He would love to oblige the man, but this really did go against his work ethic. Gilles could see the difficulty the man had with this and tried to hide the fact that he himself wasn’t very happy to have to go this path. He just smiles and ponders for a moment before speaking. “On second thought, I would like that cup of coffee please.. “ He watches Jim get up and how the man at least happily obliges that request. When he is out of the office Gilles quickly takes out a cufflink, pulls his sleeve up and bites down. No time for being delicate. He drips some of his blood in the man’s coffee, than quickly closes the wound again. He’s still fidgeting a little with the cufflink when the man walks back into the small office with a cup of coffee. Jim puts the coffee in front of the Frenchman with a smile, than sits down. He picks up his own cup and takes a sip. He blinks and smiles quite contently. His wife sure knew how to make a good cup of coffee.

Gilles idly stirs in his cup with the spoon and looks back at the man in front of him. “So.. this report. I take this will not be a very big problem? I will need it as soon as possible, as I am making a bid on the property.”
Jim again contemplates a little, than shakes his head and takes a quick sip from the coffee again before putting the cup down. “I understand mister Laroche. I will make sure the papers are as you want them. Which property are we talking about?”
“the old Courthouse.” The Frenchman puts his coffee down again with a smile. Jim looks a little confused for a moment, than nods. “isn’t that recently renovated? Wouldn’t that have gotten rid of all the asbestos?” He looked like he still wasn’t entirely convinced.

Gilles just smiles pleasantly when he answers the man. “well.. you know how some contractors can just.. bend the rules a little.. I guess their last one did.. Just write the report, you would greatly please me if you do.” The Frenchman made a mental note to come back to check up on the man in the two upcoming nights, to secure his loyalty once and for all.

The fact that he could really please the Frenchman seem to pull Jim over the hesitation he had about the deal. He nods, maybe a little too eagerly even. He looks at the coffee and gulps it down, than looks quite disappointed it’s already empty. When Gilles gets up, so does he and shows him to the door again. The ventrue gives him a last pleasant look. “I am glad we are on the same page Jim. I smell a very succesfull cooperation here.” With that he walked back to his car. Derreck opened the door for him and he got in. He sat back and let out a sigh. He didn’t like flexing his powers like that, but sometimes he just had to.

(Written for PL vampire the masquerade roleplay)


She had settled right in. But than again, the little room she had in the chantry was not that different from any other dorm room she had lived in. She had checked in on her room at the university with the remote webcam program and still found it a complete mess. Not that there was anything to find anymore, she had made sure of that when she packed her stuff. She was glad they had accepted her story that she had suddenly fallen ill and wasn’t able to attend classes or tutor her students. She had send a mail to her professor at the university of Berlin as well, informing him. The big question would be, would this be a lost year or not. On the grander scheme of things it would never be lost of course, but she had planned on furthering on her degree and it would just suck if it couldn’t be done here, while they had such an excellent department here.
When the email came with the good news she was thrilled and relieved. It had even overshadowed what Parveen had told her which had shaken her up pretty badly. Now she had work to do, the paper they would be expecting could be nothing but perfect.
She sat behind her laptop and started typing out the subjects that needed to be addressed. She had already known what she would write this about, her favourite subject having to do with computers, wireless and network security. Soon she had a whole list and contently she looked at her work on the screen. She was quite happy with the access she had here in the chantry, connecting to it had been a breeze. She pondered for a moment and before she knew it, was pulling up a console window and typing out some commands. She just couldn’t keep a hold of her own curiousity and had to check out the rest of the network. Of course just clicking the network options wouldn’t do. That was for those silly windows users. She typed more commands and read what she got back.
She blink and typed another command, trying to reroute something to see what’s behind it. It took two tries but didn’t seem that hard. She reads her screen and nods to herself, than types some more and hits enter. That should be the wireless router, she was curious as to how well secured it was. She typed in the numbers and hit enter, than waited.
She blinks as she look at what appears on her screen. There was a lot that could have appeared there but this.. was just impossible. It showed that she was connected to.. nothing. But she had internet and the whole shabam. If that wasn’t through a wifi router, than what the hell was her computer connected to???

(Written for PL vampire the masquerade roleplay)