June 2018 – Dividend

Another month gone by quickly. And thus a new dividend update. It’s up about 3,2% compared to June 2017. Which is exactly what is supposed too happen. No big differences with the positions and just a steady growth.

It’s funny, this strategy is very easy too follow and doesn’t require a lot. Just one thing perseverance , that’s it.

In combination with debt reduction and other savings the power of compounding over time becomes very apparent. It’s a no brainer really.

The numbers :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
26-06-2018Deutsche PfandfabriekEUR107,00
21-06-2018Icahn EnterprisesEUR1,51
19-06-2018HAL TrustEUR31,00
17-06-2018DowDupont EUR3,28
14-06-2018Microsoft EUR7,24
12-06-2018Emerson Electric CompanyEUR4,18
07-06-2018ASM InternationalEUR8,00
06-06-2018UnileverEUR3,87
TotalEUR166,08

The ups and downs

Mostly I try and write about all the positive stuff that’s been happening in my recovery and life. Sometimes however the tides go against me. In those periods I don’t have the energy too write about it nor do I want too look like I am complaining in any way shape or form.

But as with everything on the good ol’ interwebz painting a positive picture and not talk about the downsides is misleading and for others in the same situation and not much of a realistic picture. So I am going to try and write more about everything I my life related too my brain damage and the consequences.

In the past weeks I have done many fun things , all nicely planned and most of them went well. I let the planning slip and took less and less rest. And I didn’t listen too my girlfriend’s advice on taking it easy and going slow.

That in itself should have been enough of a warning. Just ignored it basically. Well that didn’t last long. Talking for example slowly went from bad to worse and concentration went downhill fast. So at the end last week I was stopped and my brain had had enough.

Which means everything gets hard. The basics of day to day life is suddenly more complex than complex algebra. It basically means getting out of bed is hard and getting off the couch is even harder. You simply need too take a lot of rest.

So a lot of rest later and some running again got me back up. Still it’s a bit fuzzy but all in all I am back, and I really need to get back to planning.

Dusseldorf citytrip

Another experiment in my never-ending quest in how far can I take it without failing miserably. A citytrip to lovely Dusseldorf. And as with a lot of citytrips over the years , another marathon. My third Dusseldorf marathon. Preparations were not ideal. I could not escape the flu and I hurt my left leg during a random walking down the stairs, resulting in a bruised left calf. Hopefully I recovered just enough.

Combined with the anticipation of a long travel and hustle and bustle of a big city I was pretty nervous. But we were prepared, planned a full day for both the journeys , Saturdays an empty day , so staying sharp en fit for the marathon should be doable.

the outward journey didn’t go with the fast ICE due to maintenance , so we went with the regular train services. First off to Venlo, then a simple stop at every stop you can find train towards Dusseldorf. The trip went well and we arrived at noon. Luckily the room was ready and we just took it easy the rest of the afternoon.

We went for a walk and a lunch in the city , got my racing number and just walked around a bit. We ended up passing a truly giant supermarket just around the corner from our hotel. Got some breakfast stuff once we found it and took a break at the hotel. Late in the afternoon we went to our favorite Burger restaurant in Medienhafen.

Saturday morning after breakfast we went to Niederkassel for some relaxing and to visit the Japanese garden. Unfortunately it openend hours later so we went on a walk around the neighborhood. With a bit of coffee and cake on the way. A very beautiful place too live indeed. Lot’s of green , parks and cool houses. And very close to the city centre. Happy few only I’m afraid. After the nice walk we went back towards the city, grabbing lunch at our favorite breakfast lunch spot. It’s still there !

Back to the hotel after getting some supplies from the mega Edeka. Taking the afternoon to catch some sleep and make sure I get enough rest. Even dinner at the hotel with fresh salads bread and deserts and getting a nice early rest. Tomorrow is marathon day !

Sunday morning, marathon d-day, nerves are definitely at their post. Early breakfast and preparation time. Main question of the day is , do I have enough endurance to get to the finish line without breaking down at some point. Only one way to find out.

We walk towards the start , which is at 9:00 in the morning, via Altstadt where the last remaining people are kindly swept out of the bars. There was a bit of a celebration in the city due to the promotion of Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday.

This being a relatively small marathon, about 4000 runners, there is plenty of space to do a nice warm up at the start and my girlfriend is able to be at the starting grid. I did a few test sprints to see how well my left leg felt. It felt good which added to the confidence a bit

About 10 minutes before the start I get in my starting position and it starts to rain a bit. Because of the course spectators can actually see the runners a lot , the course returns in a small part of town a couple of times so they can easily walk and be on time at different points in the race. Fun and good for moral.

Een 10 minuten voor de start zoek ik mijn startvak op en begint het wat te regenen. Mijn vriendin kan gezellig naast het vak staan en gaat even later naar het eerste punt, door de opzet waarbij je steeds weer terugkomt in een klein deel van de stad is het ideaal voor toeschouwers en kunnen ze de lopers vaak voorbij zien komen. Leuk en goed voor de moraal.

It’s there start , and the running can begin, all nerves went away immediately , which always happens when I start running. I am in a group with pacers who have 3:14 as a goal. I know that is a bit of a stretch for me but for now the pace is good and being in a group provides some heat. Which is great because of the increasing rain. My liquid intake isn’t great apparently because I have to take 4 restroom breaks along the way. First 2 times I got back with the group but I gave up on that because it took too much of my energy.

I am in a good pace and feel good, I take a drink at every stop and some gels and bananas. While running thru Niederkassel and Oberkassel the rain really starts pouring and I am soaked and a bit cold. Mainly on the return trip over the bridge. I still maintain a nice pace, After 30 K my legs het heavy and I can’t keep the pace. Which is fine by me and I decide not too force anything and stay in one piece. Just maintaining pace as much as possible which works great. In my mind I reached the giant 40 K sticker on the road pretty fast and the sun has started drying me and warming me up. Which is nice. The final stretch downhill towards the finish line and I am there. As usual my muscles immediately stop working after crossing the finish line, which is always a bit of a strange feeling. As is the time my watch tells me 3:21:11, en new course record. For me that is. I am extremely pleased , not one moment of pain or troubles along the way. Race seemed over before I knew it. Another milestone , in experience and running.

After the finish we find each other again and go for a curryworst lunch. Getting some food in is always great. Afterwards we walk back to the hotel and the sun is still shining. At the end of the afternoon we go to Medienhafen and get a drink and some sunshine. It’s hot by now. We walk back to the hotel via an unknown part of the city which has nice shops and restaurants. A new discovery for future visits.

Dinner is at a Thai restaurant near the hotel and an early bed , travel time tomorrow. Weather the next day is bad , well luckily travel time which went well as well and we are back home in the afternoon.

This citytrip went well and has given me a lot of insight in how to plan a trip. Running a great marathon was a very nice bonus. This learning experience has given me a lot of hope in getting on with our main hobby. Traveling.

March 2018 – Dividend

And another month quickly went by, so another update on the dividend stream, less dividend in Euro’s because of the dollar/euro rates. So -16% comparing to March 2017. Turmoil on the currency markets will always be there and since I only have a very small portfolio hedging against currency fluctuations is a bit expensive. Simply take it as it is.

March numbers :

DateStockCurrencyAmount
29-03-2018Unibail-RodamcoEUR5,40
26-03-2018Royal Dutch ShellEUR38,18
21-03-2018Unilever EUR3,59
16-03-2018
DowDupont incEUR3,09
10-03-2018Emerson Electric CompanyEUR3,94
09-03-2018MicrosoftEUR6,83
TotalEUR61,03

2 years on

2 years on, seems like an eternity since my encephalitis, but today marks the two year anniversary of my hospital discharge. Could be a day sooner or later but that can’t dampen the spirit.

On this blog I have written about my recovery and the strange road I have been traveling ever since. A very short recap, 1 year of revalidation, a move too calmer surroundings, a new work experience place at Utrecht University , lot’s of learning and luckily lots of running. With the Amsterdam marathon as the cherry on the cake.

Has it all been happy days then ? Not quite , my short term memory regularly abandons me , and my operational speed isn’t very speedy anymore. Speech wise word juggling happens, as in random words in sentences, Yoda like sentences and just plain gibberish also occur. I can manage around this pretty well and every time I meet someone new I try and find an opening quickly explaining the reason behind possible errors in conversation.

That’s the practical side of things , it’s still very strange not to have a ‘real job’ , as in some sort of control over your career , future and possibilities. It makes me feel very dependent of other people and policies. Maybe control has always been an illusion in a way but at the moment I feel powerless sometimes. It’s also not a position I have chosen to be in, like when you take a year of for a trip around the world.

I have enough time behind recovering behind me that I understand that this is as good as it gets. I will have recovery periodes for every daily or not so daily activity in my life.

I sometimes compare it with pro sports, you have to keep training and take into account very parameter in order too stay sharp and fit. Slacking for a few days and forgetting about the balance between activity and recovery and it takes its toll.

Ik ben nu ver genoeg in mijn herstel om te beseffen dat het niet heel veel beter gaat worden dan dat het nu is.
Ik zal altijd rekening moeten houden met herstelperiodes voor allerlei dagelijkse en niet alledaagse zaken.

It kind of takes the spontaneity out of life a little. Just take a short unplanned weekend trip is out of the question. Getting something you forgot during shopping, not that smart. It forces you planning everything you don’t want to plan.

I am fully aware of the fact I’m very lucky and privileged in simply being alive and in the shape I am in.
I just need too accept the fact the old ways of doing things is no longer available.

It’s also taught me time is only there in an unknown quantity enjoy it while you can.

January 2018 – dividend

Another month has gone by, so yet again it’s time for the dividend of the month post. Always a fine moment. Compared to January last year there’s an increase in dividend by 12%. Factoring in the expensive Euro this is a nice result. It’s still all very modest and by no means were anywhere near the goals but for a hobby its very nice indeed.

This is the result:

DateStockCurrencyAmount
24-01-2018
Cisco SystemsEUR6,55
16-01-2018
W.P. Carey IncEUR8,14
11-01-2018
Walt Disney CompanyEUR0,68
08-01-2018
Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETFEUR11,28
TotalEUR26,65

November and December 2017 – Dividend

The end of last year was a bit busier then expected with all sorts of stuff. All but maintaining my blog. November and December dividend in one post this time round. November is always a bit slow in my dividend income.

It’s maybe something I need to adress in the future. In order to get my cash flow in a better position.

Anyway these are the numbers:

November :

16-11-17 Apple Inc EUR 5,35
14-11-17 ONEOK EUR 6,32

Total EUR 11,67

December :

27-12-17 Vanguard dividend appreciation ETF EUR 1,17
20-12-17 Royal Dutch Shell A EUR 39,85
15-12-17 Coca-Cola Company (The) EUR 4,68
15-12-17 DowDuPont Inc EUR 3,20
14-12-17 Microsoft Corporation EUR 7,08
13-12-17 Unilever Certificate EUR 3,59
11-12-17 Emerson Electric Company EUR 4,08

Total EUR 60,65

October 2017 – Dividend

Goodbye October, another month has passes, as usual the dividend update. Compared to October last year the dividend payments are up 32%. Which is due to the build up in the portfolio and the fact that some positions are paying dividend for the first time.

Next year the increase will be slightly less big. De exchange rates keep doing what they do and I am working on getting more balance and more payments in Euro instead of dollars. As I pay all my bills in Euro. Sounds smart right ? Times are strange with the continious low interest rates and according to all the experts they will continue to be low.

Apparently the banks can handle these low rates , well see. Anyway the numbers, see you next month.

25/10/2017 General Electric EUR 4,46
25/10/2017 Cisco Systems EUR 6,86
16/10/2017 W.P. Carey (REIT) EUR 8,50
04/10/2017 Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF EUR 7,69
02/10/2017 Coca-Cola EUR 4,69
02/10/2017 DowDuPont Inc EUR 3,89

Total EUR 36,09

Running, recovery and the Amsterdam marathon

Running , recovery and life’s goals. During my revalidation period it quickly became apparent that exercise is good for your brain and helps a lot in recovering it. Well , no need to tell me twice. Dug out my running shoes and I thought I was starting out slowly.

As I’ve mentioned before this was way too much , way too soon. So after a while I done myself in and had to resort back too walking. Luckily after a while I was able too get back to running and it became the cornerstone in my recovery, rest and relaxation. Running clears my mind quite literally form the endless thinking, impulses and mental fatigue.

It’s simply putting one foot before the other. All went well until I picked up the pace. I fell pretty bad twice in one week. Shaving my knees and arms pretty bad. My shoes were worn a bit, new ones were in order. In the store the video pointed out a few problems , one my movement was not going forward enough.

I was holding myself back as if I wanted to go backwards, second problem was my left leg and feet lagged behind. I needed a better stride and better running techniques.

While very solid advice this was not as easy as it sounds , being a right handed guy and always avoiding using my left side I at first had not noticed there was a problem. Maybe another left-over from my encephalitis or just old habits dying hard. Whatever it was I needed better skills. My falling down skills very even worse.

Training in new running movement and getting my left side in check was a bit difficult. Step by step I improved and I didn’t fall flat on my face any more. Which was very important.
An added bonus was that my running required less energy then before , making training easier and more pleasurable. So I decided digging up a training plan for the marathon. I decided going for a simple and effective plan focused on making the necessary miles and exploring if I could manage the training load without overdoing myself.

My running improved vastly and I decided registering for a marathon if I could get trough the series of 30+ K sessions. And not just physically but also mentally. A glimpse on the calender showed the Amsterdam marathon was the best option. After the longer distances my confidence was big enough to take the plunge, I registered.

The week leading up to the marathon my nerves got going, mostly if I could cope mentally. Will I be able to handle all the noise and hustle and bustle surrounding the event ? What if I don’t know what to do any more and need to get out? Checked the route and picked a few points where I could give up and fairly easy return towards the start/finish. And all of sudden it Sunday came knocking.

Waking up I was very nervous , but after a nice breakfast and the walk towards the Olympic stadium my nerves settled a bit. Once I got inside I did a warm-up and headed for my starting position.
Fortunately it wasn’t too busy and there was plenty of room. From the start on the tempo was pretty spot on, first highlight the Vondelpark and the running under the Rijksmuseum. Until the 28 K it went very supple , at 30 K the temperature had risen and I became hot. At that point I didn’t pay any attention to what my watch was saying and the focus went towards simply keeping the tempo as best as I could.

At 35/36 cramps in my calves, after a few hundred metres it went away, again at 41 and I had to slow down a bit but I managed too keep running. The finish in the Olympic stadium is very cool. I just didn’t believe the race-timer. After the finish line I was just thrilled that I completed the distance.

My final time was an absolute surprise, 3:17:15, a personal best. Very special and just now , 2 days after it’s slowly sinking in, I have come a long way, sometimes not very aware of my situation but slowly learning and getting more aware.

You run into personal barriers and nobody really knows an definite solution to your problems and if and when it will get better. They give you structure and a framework , the rest is up to you , perseverance and patience is all you can do really.

Running is the one thing I feel I am in total control. And besides helping me get trough the week it’s also the one thing I can visibly improve in.

I never imagined running another marathon , yet I did it. I am a very happy person.

August 2017 – Dividend

August has past again, and so it’s time for the monthly dividend update. Yet again the echange rate between the euro and dollar is causing a bit of a downturn in the number of Euro’s paid out.
I have been doing some digging into ways to compensate for the currency fluctuations and haven’t come up with a decent solution for what in effect is still a tiny portfolio. The focus however will shift towards company’s paying out dividends in the Euro country’s. Which will tackle it as well.

For now the numbers :

21/08/2017 NSI EUR 12,48
17/08/2017 Apple Inc EUR 5,38
14/08/2017 ONEOK Inc EUR 6,37
04/08/2017 Amsterdam Commodities EUR 12,00

Total EUR 36,23