Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Being a bad influence.

Well,  not “bad” like in a smokin’, drinkin’ or shootin’ drugs kind of way,  but perhaps just an “influence”.

See,  for any of you who might have ever gone across the pond to Europe,  you may have encountered a somewhat different way of putting sheets and blankets on a bed.    And even then, it would depend on where you slept,  and I’ll briefly mention the hotel situation later.

Here’s the thing. For many years, I have been known to immediately take hold of the blanket and sheet on my side of the bed at the slightest indication that my sleeping partner was about to make any kind of move.  This was a “learned skill” (that eventually can be done on a subconscious level) that was necessary to avoid waking up a little later on,  shivering in the cold with nary a blanket in sight.  It happens, believe me.

For my part,  I can ease under the covers,  lie there virtually motionless for the entire night,  wake up in the morning,  make one or two minor adjustments to the bedding,  and the bed is made.   This may very well be, because as a child our blankets were so flippin’ heavy,  I could barely move anyway?  It’s a theory.

I’m all alone when it comes to this notion of being able to lie virtually motionless throughout the night,  with the added skill set needed to quickly defend every inch of blanket whenever the need arises.  

Well actually no, I do hear that my son-in-law has a similar ability,  as he too has been known to suddenly clutch at the bed covers when faced with the impending threat of having them ripped off so fast he might end up with burn marks.   There’s some sort of genetic predisposition going on there between Travelling Companion and Daughter Number Two methinks?  Yet another theory.

So,  you can imagine my delight when we first arrived in Europe and was introduced to the idea of each of us having our very own set of coverings, (hazzah!) which then meant that I no longer needed to defend myself against the cold.   It was truly a bedding miracle! 

If you haven’t experienced this European way of making the bed,  you are indeed missing out on something remarkable.  I just want to say that.

There are a couple things going on here.   First of all,  there’s the “duvet”,  which is slipped into its own envelope-like sheet arrangement.  That’s the part that gets washed.   It’s a sheet.  It just happens to be a big envelope.

Each person gets their own,  so it can be lighter or heavier,  depending on ones own preference.  Additionally,  they can be switched to heavier ones for the winter months.  This was particularly useful when we lived in the Netherlands,  where the house we rented had damned little heat upstairs,  and we needed some serious covering up to keep warm at night. 

The second thing that’s going on,  involves these honkin’ big pillows.   Oh doggies!   They be nice.



Here’s what I’m talking about:

Click on that sucker.


That is only a double bed,  and the duvets and their covers are 180 cm,  so they’re meant for anything up to the size of a king.   That’s why there’s some overlap.   Note the big pillows.

The pillows and duvets can be had in either foam or feathers,  and they’re all equally comfortable. 

So for example,  when Daughter Number One was over here a couple years ago,  she was smitten with the big pillow program,  so when T.C. and I went home for Christmas two years ago,  I managed to scrunch up two pillows,  fit them into a suitcase, (there was some plastic bags and packaging tape involved) and we took them home for her.    They do take up a lot of room.  Even when scrunched up.  She’s a happy sleeper.


Well,  of the two of our most recent visitors,  only Rudy had ever been over here before,  and he probably never really gave his pillows or bedding a second thought,  so I’d imagine that whatever he had in his hotel room to crash on at the end of the day was perfectly fine.  

But just hold on there.  For Margaret,  this was her first time coming to Europe,  and I would dare say that,  even if you were to stay in a hotel,  instead of at “Chez Caretaker”,  you might not get the full “honkin’ big pillow” treatment.   Most hotels we’ve stayed in have pitifully small pillows,  and we usually have to go to the cupboard and get down the additional pillows that one hopes are stored there.  One hopes.


Of course,  you know that our visitors have already left the country, right? 



I’m not sure how else to say this,  but for Margaret I think there was some sort of “bedding overload”?   She was not only so smitten with the pillow program but the whole bedding arrangement was playing on her mind to the point where she just HAD to go shopping on Saturday.   I’d say it was “keeping her up at night”,  but it was actually the opposite.


So….. here we have,  sitting in our front hallway, the results.




I haven’t bothered to poke my head into either of these two huge bags,  but I understand there are duvet covers,  pillows,  the whole works.   She might get them next year some time?   They flew economy,  and already had one bag each,  both of which were full.  

We (meaning “I”) have to figure out where we’ll keep these bags until the day comes when our stuff gets shipped to North America.   She was willing to wait.   I think I understand.

Of course,  I’m not sure I could wait that long.


I suppose we’ll know at some point in the next couple months just when Margaret will get to use her new pillows.

That’s a bit of a hint,  but that’s all I’ll say.  Can’t divulge anything about “The Company…”


Keep those skates sharp.


Thanks for poppin’ ‘round.




  1. Hmm.. very interesting looks almost like sleeping bags, and would love those "honkin' big pillows too!"

  2. the bigger and the 'honkier' the better at our big fluffy pillows and quilts!
    great read as always Bob!!

  3. I too need some of those big honkin pillows!

  4. Mr caretaker needs to be a pillow importer???

  5. I see it the other way round. The way beds are made up in France, England and elsewhere! Just one big sheet, tiny pillows or a long sausage of a pillow and one thin blanket. I would freeze to death. Awful. No way! We have the comfort of having our own duvet each. No struggle, no cold. If you want to get duvet covers, and European size pillows (they support the whole upper body, not the head only): we fond them at the Swedish outlet I.K. Though the covers are slightly wider than our European duvets are. - By the way. Duvets are washed too, but not every week. It 's enough to change the "envelopes". To wash the duvets I have to go to a laundromat, normal size washer can't do it. And talking about "overload". Look at a typical "Martha S," bed. Pillows, sheets, blankets, quilts and frills! THAT I call "overload". What do you do with all that stuff if you want to sleep? Well, I guess best is what you are used to.

  6. Oh - and I forgot: the bed seems like a French size. That is narrower than a US Queen. Or it is a US double bed.
    It's kind of 1 1/2 bed in my opinion.
    A "double bed" as I know it from Germany, is like two single beds side by side. There is ample space for two duvets. So - now I can sleep in peace tonight! :))

    1. The size of that bed was actually a "mistake", as I had made it years ago for Daughter Number One, and slightly miscalculated the size. A "Queen" mattress actually hangs over, and a double is too small. I'm not sure how I managed it.
      When we first arrived in the Netherlands though, and I realised we had left behind a mattress, I ordered one from a place locally, and if fit perfectly. Who knew?
      So I suppose it's a "North American Double". It's a spare bed, and better than sleeping on the floor.

  7. Paul would never be able to sleep in that bed. In no matter what weather he is in, he does not use covers. Maybe, he might use a sheet is if it is really cold but that is it. Now I would grab that bed in a minute.

  8. It's a male/female thing I think. Easily solved by purchasing a king bed and bedding. Well it worked for us and the weiners.

  9. Laughed my head off...your write-up Bob, man-oh-man.
    Talk about having a culture shock. First thing I do when entering a North American hotel room is crank up the heater. Would freeze to death under those skimpy covers. Praise to German bedding!


Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.