Sunday, July 1, 2012

Never While the Grass Grows--Reprise

Never While the Grass Grows has some great little highlights for me:
  • Fink-y cruise nurse Joan Wise is one of those love-to-hate-'em villainess plot drivers.
  • A step-daughter named Berendina?  Heck yes, she is.  (But I will keep thinking of female Olympic weight-lifters!)
  • And standard-issue Red Herring playboy Cousin Marcus.
  • Also, 'timpana'--a macaroni and mince pie.  (Betty Debbie!  I want some!)
Have fun finding your own fave details.
Love and lardy cakes,
Betty Keira

Last week I got to review The Vicar's Daughter, which I love, love, love. I mentioned that it would be a Top Ten favorite of mine...I'm not as fond of Never While the Grass Grows, but I would put it somewhere in my Top 40 - which means it's better than average, but not absolutely great.

Octavia Lock is a tall girl with a splendid figure. She is described as having "a happy temper"...which description in Neeldom is often followed by outbursts of peevishness and ill nature, but in this case, we get to see quite a bit of evidence that she actually is happy-tempered. She's also beautiful, which, along with her happy nature, leads her to be popular with the housemen at St. Maud's, but even at the ripe old age of 27, she's still heartwhole.

Act I
Wherein Things are Tough in London for the Elderly and Unemployed.

An elderly unemployed handyman is brought into Casualty - dirty, half-starved and suffering from pneumonia and some ennui. "What's the use of me getting better? I've nowhere to go and who'd want the likes of me?" Octavia gets him admitted and promises to visit him.
A tall man with with broad shoulders and a giant's stride comes into Cas carrying an old woman who was mugged. Tall Man is rather overbearing in his demands...which does rub Octavia the wrong way, but only until she sees his bloody knuckles and cut hand. "Oh, you're hurt! I hope you knocked them down and jumped on them!" (After Tall Man knocks a person down, jumping on them Is Not Necessary). The old lady is tended to and warded, after expressing an eerily similar ennui as the unemployed handyman, and Octavia goes about her business - only to find that Tall Man has been forgotten and neglected in a cubicle - and still needs his ATS shot.
They discuss the two old people who deserve happiness - she's concerned about their fate.
Goes home to visit her father...who is an absentminded Professor of Physics. He loves his daughter in a vague sort of way.
Back at the hospital she visits the elderly patients, Charlie and Mrs. Stubbs, who both seem to have acquired a mysterious benefactor. They both have somewhere to go when they're released from hospital. Hmmm.
A nurse who was going to quit to become a cruise ship comes down with a dicky appendix..necessitating a replacement. Octavia is nominated and accepts (she is after all, 27 years old and in imminent danger of falling into a rut). This leads to my favorite section of the book.
Act II
A Mediterranean Cruise on the S.S. Socrates.

Senior Ship's Nurse Joan Wise - a snotty bleached blonde who is all of 35. Plans duty hours using an 'airy-fairy' rotation schedule.
Junior Ship's Nurse Mary Silver - helpful 22 year-old - dresses rather sloppily in her off hours, spends every spare moment she can with JSD Colin White.
Temporary Ship's Nurse Octavia Lock - comes between SSN Joan Wise and JSN Mary Silver as far as seniority.
Junior Ship's Doctor Colin White - young doctor who has a thing for Junior Ship's Nurse Mary Silver.
Senior Ship's Doctor (filling in for Doctor Blamey) Professor Lucas van der Weijnen - who we've already met...that's right he's 'The Tall Man'.
Nurses Quarters - all three nurses share a cabin.
Ship's Hospital - includes a small operating theatre complete with anaesthetic room and scrub room, a four-bed ward and a larger ward, a nice duty room...not to mention an elegantly fitted doctor's surgery.
After getting the grand tour, JSN Mary White whispers "Here's the boss." Octavia turns around and sees that it's The Tall Man - and he's looking a bit annoyed about something - and frowns fiercely at Octavia...who ignores the frown and gives him a cheerful 'hello, fancy meeting you here.' Enter SSN Joan Wise - let the games begin! Joan tries to dazzle with brilliant smiles and fluttering eyelashes and airy-fairy off duty schedules...which involves having Octavia fill in for her whenever she thinks she can get away with it.
Mr. Love comes into the surgery for his sunburn. I don't think he could have been feeling much pain - he's so tipsy, it's a wonder he was able to find the surgery. Mr. Love makes some moves on's the 'arm around the waist' grope. The second time he tries it, Doctor van der Weijnen gives him a cease and desist order. Then Mr. Love is instructed to remove his shirt, the doctor tut-tuts gently, gives him a warning about unwisely exposing his flesh to harmful UV rays..and then has Octavia apply 'a soothing ointment'. Mr. Love isn't done yet - he makes some remarks that imply Octavia and the doctor are 'a pair'. He digs himself into a hole with: "...we all fancy a pretty girl...I'll bet she knows which side her bread is must have plenty of opportunity, the pair of you." Yikes! It's a good thing he's a patient - he gets off with a stern reprimand and a demand that he apologize to the pretty nurse.
Being on call is no joking matter. Sometime in the wee hours of the morning Octavia gets called in for an emergency. There's an ectopic down in cabin 336! Surgery is performed ably and efficiently by the Professor with the assistance of Dr. White, Nurse Octavia and two orderlies. **SPOILER ALERT** (I know, I know, we totally give away plots all the time - but I'm giving away the read on at your own peril!!) This scene (ectopic surgery) is the one that Lucas later says is where he fell in love with Octavia - let it colour your perception of their future relations or not - it's up to you.
SSN Joan Wise shows her true colours - and her airy-fairy scheduling. Port day in Palermo, Sicily and Joan says Octavia has to work, despite getting up in the wee hours for the ectopic. "Foul!" cries JSN Mary Silver. "No biggie," says Octavia, who then goes to bed for the few hours she has before her shift. Mary wakes her up at 1pm time for a nice surprise.
Five hours of shore leave are wangled out of SSN Joan Wise by SSD Professor Lucas van der Weijnen (who knows what devious tactics he used?)...five hours to sample to delights of Sicily. Lucas is waiting on the gangplank and he has plans. Not only does he have plans, he also has a small Fiat that is reputed to "go like a bomb." Sight-seeing is engaged in, but more importantly, so is conversation. Confidences are shared:
*SSD Professor "Call me Lucas" van der Weijnen: he's nearing 40, a widower and has a nine year-old daughter named Berendina.
*Octavia got her name partly from being born in the month of August and partly because her parents had been married long enough to have had seven kids before her. Editor's Note: I'm so relieved that Betty had a reason to give her such a clunky name, because frankly, Octavia Lock sounds like a character from Spiderman II (Doc Ock).
The next shore leave is even shorter. Two hours to visit the wonders of Greece. Call Me Lucas has managed to procure a battered Citröen. Two hours is barely enough time to get through Athens to the Acropolis and climb up to the Parthenon and back...but they manage, thanks to Octavia's flat shoes and Call Me Lucas' helping hands.
Octavia doesn't get shore leave at Rhodes or Alexandria, but she does go dancing with Lucas for an hour or so one evening where they manage to waltz, foxtrot, tango AND do the bossa-nova. A brief stroll on deck, then a kiss goodnight and a promise of shore leave in Malta.
Octavia gets the whole day to visit Malta...but she hasn't heard any more about it from Lucas for a day or two, so off she goes, alone. She should have known better. Lucas is waiting on shore with a rented Austin this time.
Back to Southampton and it's time to pack up and go home. Lucas offers Octavia a ride home and a proposal of marriage. You heard me. Lucas pops the question. Which surprises our girl. As well it should. Lucas has really thought this through and tells her that he thinks they should suit each other, in a marriage of convenience kind of way. She fulfils all his requirements...which sounds like she would be answering a want ad - "If you like pina coladas...and gettin' caught in the rain..." Lucas wants her to think about it before answering, but girlfriend has got an answer right now, and that answer is no. N. O. Uh-uh. Nope. No sirree Bob. It's not that she's seeing anyone, it's that she needs to consider her aged parent. She can't just go away and leave him. That's okay, he still wants to drive her home. In his great socking Rolls.

Wherein Octavia Loses Someone Near and Dear

What is it with Neels and parents? Within seconds after Octavia gets home her father up and dies in her arms. Nice of him to wait for her, I'm sure. Lucas takes over, deals with all the arrangements, both for the funeral AND for a wedding. What? Girlfriend already said no!
Her: What time do you go tomorrow?
Him: I'm staying until after the funeral and then we can get married the following day.
Her: I never said yes!
Him: It's the sensible thing to do, besides, I think your father would have liked us to get married and my daughter was just saying she would like a mum - all the other kids have one.
Yes, Lucas is steamrolling her into the marriage, taking advantage of her grief, being it what you will, he's determined not to lose the woman he loves!
They get married and take the ferry to Holland.
Act IV
Mevrouw van der Weijnen in Holland
Octavia is a wee bit dismayed to find out that Lucas has such a fancy house. Lucky for her, she already knows two of the servants. Turns out Lucas was the mysterious benefactor of both Charlie and Mrs. Stubbs (see Act I). Berendina is a typical Neels nine-year old. She loves that she has a young, pretty mother (they will, like, totally bond over shopping). Berendina would like Octavia to have some babies. Oh, and why doesn't Octavia share a bedroom with daddy?
The remainder of the sojourn in Holland is mostly by-the-book Neels. Playboy Cousin Marcus chats up Octavia and muddies the waters. Mrs. Stubbs has an attack of appendicitis followed immediately by Octavia's Dawning Realization that she loves Lucas. Marcus takes himself off - he can see that Lucas is in love, he's really not such a bad guy.

Octavia drives Berendina to a birthday party. Lucas is concerned with driving conditions, and requests that Octavia leave early. Unfortunately, Marcus shows up at the party and distracts Octavia for about 45 minutes. He's in love with a young lady who won't consider him unless he settles down and gets a job. Because of the lateness of the hour, the roads are not completely safe - freezing rain and fog. Octavia avoids rear-ending the car in front of her, but is catapulted into by the car behind. Lucas shows up to save the day...but he's furious. Things seem to be going from bad to worse with Octavia and Lucas...

Octavia's finally had it. She corners Lucas as they are waiting for the Burgermeester and his wife to come over for dinner.
Her: "Blow the Burgermeester, and his lady! I've got something I must tell you!!!"(thank you Betty!)
Him (his face very white): Whatever is so important - whom does it concern?
Her: Marcus - and me, of course. Now that I've screwed up my courage, you're going to darn well listen!
Him: I'm not surprised about you and Marcus - he's your age and fun...
Her: He wants to marry Iona Hendriks...
Him: ummm....
Her: Shut up and listen! It's about me now. I'm leaving - I love you too much to stay.
Him: I've always loved you, I've known since the night of the ectopic. The whole thing with Marcus messed me up...
Kisses galore, then more kissing - the kissing doesn't stop until the Burgermeester and his lady show up.
The end.
Rating: I absolutely adore Act II. If the rest of the book lived up to it, I'd give it a lashings of whipped cream. Unfortunately the story bogs down to mediocrity for most of Act IV...right up until the delightful end - which is way too short. I think I'll have to average it out to somewhere between treacle tart and boeuf en croute.
Fashion: Pale Liberty print shirtwaister (no particular colour is mentioned), beautifully knitted blue cardigan for dad's housekeeper, coffee coloured outfit, grey flannel suit with her best brown calf shoes and a pretty little hat in stitched silk (wedding outfit), pink organza gown.

Food: timpana (a pie of macaroni and minced meat - I might give this one a whirl), saltimbocca, eclairs, and a meal made by our girl consisting of oversalted vegetables, horribly underdone meat and burnt custard, which the doctor manfully gets through.


  1. I stumbled on your site a few weeks ago. I'm currently tripping through a collection of Neels and deriving much enjoyment from the reviews and reprises I'm finding here. I haven't commented before this as I was bewildered by some of the posts (what is going on with the brackets and voting, etc.?) but I thought it was high time I came out of skulking.

    I was wondering, what would be the statistics on parents killed by car crash, and why are children always "small" and usually daughters? How come I never find a stray kitten willing to come home with me? And what actually is jersey?

    1. For a broad overview of family life in Neels-land, Mrs. Fife, you may refer to a summation published earlier this year. It notes that 11, or 8%, of our 135 heroines lose their family mainstay(s) in the course of their story.

      More specifically, I think we have just two sets of parents -- only 1% of the novels -- who die in car crashes: the Collinses of Once for All Time (1984), who meet an untimely end on the vicious asphalt of France; and the Pearsons of The Vicar's Daughter, who don't feel a thing when that articulated lorry crosses the line on the A303 as they head back to Thinbottom after a pleasant day's shopping. One of the ways I know Betty was a better writer than I like to credit her with being is the insane level of rage I feel at the injustice of these entirely fictional deaths. There's also the foul Mrs. Dawson of Emma's Wedding (2001), who dies in a well-deserved car crash after exiling Emma to Holland so Mum can make better use of what little money Emma was able to save from the wreckage of Dad's financial mismanagement and death immediately before our story opens. See? Again with the fictional misfortune and the entirely genuine anger. Weird.

      The nine other family mainstays who die in the course of their daughter/niece/granddaughter's story include two grandfathers, two dads, two aunts, two grandmothers and a single mum. There are 61 books, or 45%, where both parents are dead before the story opens, but I haven't kept track of how many of those were car crashes, how many were plane crashes, how many were 'flu epidemics, and how many died fighting the Nazis. Oh, right -- 0% for heroines' parents, I believe. Then there are 17, or 13%, dads disposed of in the prequel, and 12, or 9%, mums. Again, haven't tracked causes. Betty Anonymous will now reply with quotes from each of these 90 books to bring us up to speed...

      Welcome to The Uncrushable!

    2. Welcome BettyMevrouwFife! We should have Piping Up Party whenever an undercover Betty comes out of skulkhood.

      So is the Meneer Baron von Barney Fife? Just asking...

    3. Only two sets? It feels like so many more! 8% is a piddling amount...

      There isn't a Mijnheer Fife. Leastways, there is, but he doesn't have the attitude befitting a Mijnheer Baron van der Fife, if you see what I mean. There *is* a "small daughter", though!

      Thank you for the warm welcome. I am enjoying the paper-thin bread and butter and toasted teacakes.

    4. I suspect a lot of the no-longer-with-us-when-our-story-opens parents were killed in car crashes. I just haven't tracked the means of their demises, and their daughters are generally past the deep mourning stage by the time we meet.

    5. Betty Anonymous suspects a lot of the no-longer-with-us-when-our-story-opens parents were not killed in car crashes. A lot of them may have died because they were ill. One cannot always track the means of their demises as the Great Betty did not always see fit to state them.

      Magic in Vienna
      She stood over them while they washed their hands and tidied themselves, saw them safely down the short drive and across the village green and then walked briskly back to the house, a red brick Edwardian residence, over embellished with fancy brick work and balconies. Cordelia had never liked it; they had moved there just before her father had died because her stepmother had complained that the little Regency house in a nearby village was too small. Her father had been ill then, too ill to stand firm against his wife’s insistence and he’d given in without argument.

      'Well, my father married again, a widow with a little girl and boy, and they didn't like me overmuch, I suppose because I was grown up and they weren't, and then my stepmother had twins, and I looked after them.

      A Matter of Chance
      Not too far back; she still couldn't think of her father's death and then her mother's so soon after without a deep grief which threatened to engulf her. Her father had been ill for only a few days; visiting a parishioner with 'flu, he had fallen a victim to it himself, and while the parishioner recovered, her father had died, and then, within a week, her mother, leaving her alone and desolate but with little time for grief, for the rectory had to be vacated, ...

      The Promise of Happiness
      'I'm twenty-three,' began Becky, 'my mother died when I was eighteen and I looked after Father at first and when I went to Leeds to train we got a housekeeper. Everything was lovely...' she swallowed a grief which had never quite faded. 'My father married again. He died two years ago and my stepmother forced me to go home because she said she was ill and needed me...' 'People don't force anyone in these days,' remarked her companion. 'Oh, yes, they do. ...
      She hadn’t meant to say much; only that she had trained at Hull because she had always wanted to be a nurse, and besides, her father was a country GP, and that her mother had died five years earlier and her father three years after her.
      But then Father died and my stepmother told me that I had nothing and that she wasn't going to give me anything and that I wasn't welcome at home any more, but I went all the same because Bertie and Pooch had belonged to my father and I ...

      An Innocent Bride
      Mother and Father died in an air crash on their way back from the Middle East. Father built bridges and sometimes Mother went with him.'

      The Final Touch
      She's a model and lives in London. She's very pretty...' 'Your parents?' The question was so softly put that she hardly noticed it. 'My mother died when I was still a small girl, and my father married again—my stepmother was a widow and had a little girl too. He died just after I started my training and my stepmother has gone to live in the South of France.

      Stormy Springtime
      Are you worried?' She said coldly, 'Don't imagine, Professor, that because I nursed my mother for several months I'm an expert on such matters. My mother died of congestive heart failure; as far as I can remember, she never had 'flu.

      Do we have any data on the heroes state of "orphan-ness"?
      Betty van den Quote Anonymous

    6. My gosh! Did any of you click on Mrs. Fife's link to her blog? She knits and crochets, and has photos of ridiculously gorgeous shawls and sweaters and a parasol(!) that she made. Come back, Mrs. Fife! You're wonderful!

    7. I haven't been blogging in over seven months now *blush*.

      After all this praise I just might be encouraged to show off a little more :)

    8. Yes, please! Do show off a little more! I am sure your nimble little fingers have not been idle in all this time. Or, you have pictures or can take pictures of some other older projects.

  2. Welcome Betty Mrs. (or is that Mevrouw?)Fife! I love that you were skulking. And love it that you're now not-skulking.

    The brackets and the voting are head spinning. Who knew it would be so difficult to vote for our very best Betty of all time? By the next round I'll probably be able to show a complete bracket in one post which should clear things up considerably. (And then I can kick the contest off a cliff. Can you tell how consuming and difficult the organization has been? Not unlike emergency surgery of faceless VIPs in the Middle East...;0) Anyway, when it makes sense to you, feel free to jump in and vote.

    One of the Bettys is a genius at details like statistics. I'll refer her to you. But on the more existential question about kittens, they never follow me home either. But I carry a handy pair of scissors (to cut tangled leads or strips of bandage) around just in case.

    Also, jersey is defined here:

    The Great Betty so often redeemed a plain heroine's wardrobe by tossing in a universal and attractive garment made of jersey.

    Again, welcome! Don't be shy!

    1. Hosiery material! That's what it is. Jersey sounds better. I hope it's the non-showing-bulges-when-stressed type, unlike my trackpants.

      Currently my Neels is Dearest Mary Jane. I read about one a day.

  3. The whole voting system is obfuscating. It appears to be for "insiders" only.

    1. Aw, come on BFW. There are no outsiders here. If you are here, you are in. At least that's how I've been treated and everyone else that pipes up.

      I didn't vote for quite a long time because I was confused and busy. So, of course, by the time I started voting many books had been knocked out. Choices are now limited, but that was my doing, not the groups or the founders.

      As far as obfuscating (the hiding of intended meaning in communication, making communication confusing, willfully ambiguous, and harder to interpret.)- I must say in Betty Keira's defense that although the ballot may have been confusing, ambiguous, and up for interpretation, there is no (insert Dutch oath) way it was intentional or willfully planned that way. She would have to be freaking Einstein to orchestrate all of us to somehow vote her way, not to mention that some of the founding Bettys favorites have been voted down.

      The bracket system is a little unwieldy, but if we just did a straight out vote there would probably be 81+ winners. This is just for fun, so wipe that curmudgeonly scowl off your gob, take a deep breath and do some choosing. Now please chuckle a little so we can all feel better.

    2. I can see that the voting is confusing if you weren't here from the discussions on, but it's not meant to be exclusive, it's meant for FUN! And I'm in awe of the Bettys who figured it all out in the first place.

      It's also just a small part of all the awesomeness here, so if it isn't "your thing," please just enjoy the rest and comment on what pleases you!

  4. Welcome, Betty Mrs.fife, Betty Francine, Betty Unknown, and Betty TRA-wife (I refuse to call you Betty RAT-wife or, worse, Betty RTA-wife).

    About the March Madness brackets, I'm sure they weren't meant to be obfuscating. I refer to the Bracket of Glory whenever I need the big picture. But more often than not, I just go with the flow and vote whenever it's announced.

  5. Timpana
    Found a nice recipe from Malta. It came with the information, that in the original recipe chicken liver is added to the minced meat (ground beef & pork). (Not being overly fond of chicken liver Betty A. would forgo the pleasure of preparing authentic Maltese food and leave out the liver.)
    Found several more recipes. Some called for aubergines (eggplant) as well. Some said chicken liver, optional. (No option in my kitchen.)

  6. Never While the Grass Grows

    Octavia’s home is in Alresford which – after a second – I remembered to read AWLZ-fuhd. And then I asked myself, what is the correct pronunciation of Octavia’s name? So I looked it up in my favourite dictionary (Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary).
    Octavia oc-TAY-vee-yuh or oc-TAH-vee-yuh
    (Betty A. prefers the second, less frequent pronunciation.)

    Speak-Along with Betty Anonymous

    Did you ever wonder how the name Lucas was pronounced in Dutch?

    Lucas LÜ-cuss (Ü as the letter u in French, cuss as in utter beastly English oath, he he)

    Hear the name Lucas pronounced by native speakers:
    (0:07 "...Arthur en Lucas Jussen..." )
    (1:31 "...Lucas en Arthur Jussen...")
    Clearest pronunciation:
    5:07 blond little Arthur speaking,"...eigenlijk was het alleen voor Lucas..."

    (Arthur was twelve, Lucas sixteen at the time, by the way.)

    Alresford made a brief appearance in another Neels book published the same year as NWtGG.

    Philomena’s Miracle (1978)
    'I thought coffee at the Bell in Alresford, we can go on from there to Alton and then run up to the M3.' There was plenty of time; she agreed happily. ...

    Pictures of The Bell Hotel in Alresford sporting beautiful paintwork.
    Even newer colour scheme, picture from 2011.

    Sporting a different (slightly more boring?) colour scheme in an older picture, one of the many pictures of Alresford on the town’s official web site.
    Betty Anonymous

    1. As always, thanks for the language lesson, Betty Anonymous. I had imagined the Dutch pronunciation for Lucas. The British pervert everything, don't they? "Lewcas"! "OctAYvia." "TomAHtoes." I am joking, British Bettys! (a bit). Please feel free to poke fun at my midwestern American English.

    2. Midwestern American: "You wahnt a pahp?"
      Everyone else in the world: "Excuse me??!!?"
      Midwestern American: "A Coke?"

    3. Good one, Betty v.d. Betsy. Even among Midwesterners, there are further subdivisions. People in the Dakotas and Minnesota sound different than Kansans, Ohioans than Nebraskans, etc. My neice was a linguistics major in Montreal, and one of her professors could tell right away that she grew up in northern New Jersey.

    4. My very distinct native West Texan drawl comes under attack occasionally as we travel. A man in California made me say "red" three times. He was (almost) rolling on the floor laughing. My East Texas aunt always said "sody pop," which I thought was pretty cute.

      Betty AnoninTX

    5. Betty Lulu, as far as I know it's "LOO-cas" in British English. British Bettys to the fore: How do you pronounce the name Lucas? Betty Magdalen could ask Betty Ross and Betty Henry, but she is probably too busy at the moment. I'm afraid "Oc-TAY-via" is also heard from American speakers. And, just for a little more variety, I knew a Canadian native speaker who said "tuh-MAD-o". "MAD" like mad.

    6. Betty A, I don't dispute that Americans say OcTAYvia. In fact, Americans have the worst American accents when trying to speak Spanish, German, and Thai--languages which I know something about. I don't doubt Betty Neels when she described the heroines butchering Dutch. But from what I heard of the Dutch Lucas with the umlaut in one of your YouTube links, it does't sound different from the British LOOcas. It definitely did not sound like either of the German long or short u with umlaut. I don't know what the French umlauted u sounds like, however.

    7. Betty Lulu, listen again. The u in Lucas does sound like the "German long u with umlaut" (ü as in über) preceded by an American l. But I know just how you must have felt listening to the video on YouTube. I can still see myself standing in front of my cd-player listening to short passages of certain songs in foreign languages over and over and over again, trying to understand the words or sometimes - perhaps even more often - trying to define the exact sounds I heard. Maddening!!! You think you hear something, but you don't - you think you should hear something, but you can't. Frustrating!!!

    8. Betty A, I listened again to 5.07 minute over and over and did hear the umlaut u. But now, the second syllable sounded like -kaas and not -cuss, but it might have been hesitancy due to context and not how Arthur would normally pronounce it.

      Whew! This small world is still a large world in many ways. I wish I have some Dutch friends so I ask them Betty things in person. I only have one Dutch aquaintance, but he left the Netherlands over 60 years ago and doesn't remember much Nederlands. He does, however, speak English with a strong Dutch accent, go figure.

    9. Betty Lulu, you are right the a is a tad longer.

  7. Texan #1 : You wanna Coke?
    Texan #2 : Yep
    Texan #1 : Whut kine?
    Texan #2 : Dr. Pepper

    B von S (in Tay-ux-ess)

    1. Wish I could hear you saying that.
      Colin Firth - Texan Accent.
      Beddy Anahnymus

    2. Betty von Susie, that was also the scenario I heard about Texas when I lived there, but I didn't notice it firsthand. (Nose to the grindstone in graduate school). Funny you should mention Dr. Pepper. I found that it's a favorite soft drink in Texas because its headquarters are there. It's also my favorite. :)

    3. You know that wonderful Dublin Dr Pepper (made with real sugar) isn't made anymore... Sad.

      Betty AnoninTx

  8. Never While the Grass Grows, 1978
    'How about taking you both to Scheveningen for tea? Berendina, shall we not show Octavia our Kurhaus and perhaps a walk along the boulevard to get an appetite first?'

    It had been fun driving to Scheveningen, walking by the sea with Berendina between them holding their hands and talking non-stop and then, later, the tea, with everything a small girl could wish for in the Kurhaus. ...

    'I hope you will let Octavia come with me to the Kurhaus next week, Lucas—there's a splendid concert and I've two tickets for it.' 'Oh, I don't think...' began Octavia, to be interrupted by Lucas, ...

    Grasp a Nettle, 1977
    'I shall get up now and we will go for a drive. I feel very well, although I shall be glad to know the results of all those tests. Supposing we go to Scheveningen? We could have lunch there and Oliver can do his shopping.' She pushed the bedtable away from her. 'Now go along, my dear, and keep him amused until I'm ready.' Jenny had been gone quite a few minutes before Miss Creed lifted the telephone receiver beside her bed and asked for an English number.
    Scheveningen was fun, even though Jenny saw Eduard van Draak's face wherever she looked. If this was being in love, she thought morosely, then the quicker she found a cure for it, the better. They had lunch at the Corvette in the Kurhaus, a lively, noisy place which delighted Oliver and made conversation of a serious nature ...

    Not Once But Twice, 1981
    'I'm only off until five o'clock — Nanda has days off and Zuster Bunsma thought I'd better be on this evening — as many as possible of us because there's some sort of competition on at the Kursaal for teenagers and she thinks they may start a fight.' Adam shrugged his shoulders. 'Trust that old crow to expect the worst!' 'She's not!' cried Christina. 'She's severe, but she's marvellous when we're busy — and I daresay she's right.' He gave her a charming smile. 'Don't let's quarrel about it. We'll go down to Scheveningen and have tea, I promise I'll bring you back in time.' ...

    'I am right -- the Directeur warns me that there is a fight at the Kursaal and already the ambulances are collecting those who are hurt.' ...

    Dearest Love, 1995
    Afterwards they went to Scheveningen, to the Steigenberger Kurhaus, to dance and visit the casino. Titus had bought her some chips and she had tried her luck and won, and so had Cressida. She would have liked to put her winnings back on ...

    From: Wikipedia
    Until the 1960s the Kurhaus remained an attraction to the public by the many performances of top artists. The last performance in the Kurhauszaal was by the Rolling Stones 8-8-1964, who fled the building.
    Fallen into disrepair and closed in 1969, the Kurhaus was saved from demolition in 1975 by being listed as a historical building. It is now completely renovated into the high-class Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel (the only hotel in the Netherlands of the German hotel chain Steigenberger Hotel Group) and casino. It was reopened in 1979 by Princess Beatrix.

    Kurzaal (see: ABOUT THE KURZAAL)

    The Ricochets
    A beat group from The Hague whose main claim to fame was that they opened the show for The Rolling Stones on 8 August 1964 at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen - only to find the concert hall smashed to smithereens about one hour after their performance (the Stones played for about 20 minutes before the police ended the concert).