The Tree of Many Souls
Out to the country, that’s where we were going. I wasn't fond of “the country”. There were nasty insects and outhouses instead of washrooms. Mams must have sensed I was displeased. I’d rather have spent this afternoon, at home, warm, playing with Lego. So she spiced it up a little for me. We would be going by car.
Only the wealthy had cars. My parents had their educations cut short by a war. Upgrading was done in their adult life. My father held down a jog at Shell Oil full-time and attended university on weekends and in the evening. In the midst of it all he also twice served in the military as a medic (as a pacifist/Buddhist this was agreeable). My mother had been a nurse and studied opera after I was born. At this point my father was at the end of his studies and my mother just starting her performing career. I can only imagine how tired they must have been. Most of our travelling was done on foot or bicycle or public transit.
Neither of my parents could drive, nor did they see a particular need to have a car. To want one would have gone against their deeply socialist sensibilities. Just occasionally we were offered a ride by someone more fortunate in their circumstances. To be so fortunate quite often meant that during the previous world war you had retained your considerable wealth by selling out your own countrymen. This is another reason that wealth was a source of embarrassment to many, and probably should have been.
My parents were devoted Buddhists with considerable interest in the paranormal. Their interests involved hypnotism, seances, bio-feedback, meditation and all other manner of psychic phenomena. My father's friend Wim was a respected psychic and hypnotist from Utrecht he and my father attended the University at Delft together.
He was a tall lanky dutchmen (as if there is any other kind), he had pale blue eyes and no eyelashes, his skin was very pink and he had waves of reddish blond hair.... www.aletta.org/sparrowweb1.shtml