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Latest News Letter

Note: I know, I am late with this News Letter but here it is......... finally!! And for the readers who do not  mind viewing some pictures of the hip operation, is here a Power Point File to download.............

My Hip Operation, January 12th, 2005....

click here to download file


Newsletter                                 No. 1 – 2006, volume 3


A year passsed by since you received my previous Newsletter. A year is a long time……. And still it is not. It passed by too quickly, which implicates it wasn’t a boring year. Indeed, it wasn’t. Read…….


January 2005 was the month of the second hip replacement. All went well and during the 6 weeks after the operation, I took my rest and more or less lived like a Hermit.

I needed this to gain strength and energy for what was coming my way in the following year (not knowing what was going to happen to me!!)


Back to work full time, I got introduced to a new receptionist who definitely had her own style! Within days she annoyed clients we had never seen angry before. After many complaints and fruitless, endless discussions, she decided to leave to work for another company.

Head Office decided not to employ another receptionist but to schedule other colleagues during the time I was off. Because Ike could not work 7 days per week………… she couldn’t???? Well, she had to!

During the busy months before the grand National Sloop- and Occasion Show, we all worked overtime.

“Weeks” of 14 days and 13 hours per day were considered normal.

We were all very tired when finally the Exhibition took place.

Then another few days of hard work before I could take some days off to relax.

One of those days, my boss paid me a visit with an unhappy face and in his hand an envelope.

The message wasn’t nice at all: the redundancy of all employees. The company had too many expenses and we were the most expensive ones so we had to go.

We had the choice to stay until the redundancy was permitted by the CWI (Centre for Work and Income – owned by our Government) or staying home. What ever the decision would be, they were not going to pay our travel expenses. But our income was going to be paid until the end of August.

Though the permit came through immediately and they payment stopped the first of August…..

All colleagues decide to go back to the office and finish work before leaving for ever.

Though one colleague and I, decided to stay until the first of August. There was still so much work to do.

Our most important tenant took care of our travel expenses, a gesture I’ll never forget.

This way I was still able to meet the people who could maybe, offer me a job in the future.


At the first of August the same tenant employed me and my colleague for one day per week. We both returned as well for the Sunday with only our travel expensed paid for as we loved our jobs.

Half way August I started another part time job (also one day per week) with a Sunscreen and Awning Company, back to the “old” job.

Although many applications, I never succeeded in finding a new full time job and not long before Christmas, fed up with the way I got treated after applications, no contact although promised, never at the office when calling back, my age and Cancer “discrimination”, I decided to start my own business.

Returning to Social service the 1st of February? No way!!! Been there, done that and never again!

More information about my business, elsewhere in this letter.

The past year and particularly the past 6 months, did bring sad moments.

During my Cancer treatment, I met very special people who became special friends. Ellie, my friend in the village and Dave, my friend in England.  There never failing support and positivism, meant an awful lot to me.

Unfortunately Ellie got diagnosed with stomach and oesophagus Cancer en lost the battle. Se passed away on her 46th birthday in August 2005. Standing at her grave to say goodbye caused unknown and unexpected emotions. Still I find it very difficult. Ellie, young, strong and so brave.

Only 4 weeks later Dave passed away, a brain tumour only discovered some month earlier. Also Dave lost this uneven battle. He lost his speech and got paralyzed at the left side of his body.

His brother Dave kept in touch en used the time he and Dave still had, to make Dave’s life the best possible.  Dave reached the age of 50, again a goodbye to a wonderful person.


October my father’s sister  Fré got ill, gall-bladder cancer.  A tube between the liver and gall-bladder, improved her health though a massive brain infarct caused a huge fall back and after some very difficult and harsh weeks, aunt Fré passed a way a few days before Christmas.

Here as well a goodbye to a very special lady.




During the past 6 months of my WW allowance, I did not sit still of course. As an active Skype User (Skype is the well known by now Internet Telephony Program) I signed up in July as a Skype users Forum member to learn as much as possible about the program.

This forum had 60.000 users at the time, with all sorts of discussions, questions, problems and solutions. Soon I posted my “two cents”.

The Forum is looked after by Administrators and Moderators. They handle the instruments to keep the Forum clean, edit, move or delete messages, talk with members, etc.

But there are also SuperUsers, members who voluntarily, like the Moderators, answer to questions.

To my great pleasure and surprise, in August Skype Staff made me SuperUser including the nice blue badge.

I am still very proud, the one and only female SuperUser too!


Even more fun it was to be made a Moderator in December!  A “job” I proudly and with great joy, do

Together with an Administrator and 4 colleague Community Moderators, we look after a Forum with now 70.000 members. And this is still growing….


The huge knowledge I gained and still gain from the Forum together with my enthusiasm for the program Skype (very cheap calls, easy to use, many useful features like call forwarding) made me decide to do where I am good at: being an International Operator starting an Internet Secretary Service and Internet Telephone Answering Service. Weeks of hard work, long days, long hours followed but with a beautiful goal: the launch of Varras Consultancy.

I deliberately have chosen the name Varras, a Finnish name for a long iron bar with which you can move quite big stones / rocks, on your own. And I am going to move rocks!!! A business with a future……. The website says it all…..


From the moment on I shouted starting my own business, I already had a client. Instead of working for the tenant, I now work the weekends for the tenant committee as a receptionist – telephonist plus being one of the two organizers of the Grand National Sloop- and Occasion Show for June. Soon I am going to meet my second client for whom I am going to do computer work for a software program for Hospitals.

Furthermore there are some negotiations with two smaller companies. An excellent Start!


For you too I hope 2006 started well. A good health, plans for your future, lots of love and new friendships.


A big hug for all of you and speak to you soon.


Ike, xxx


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