Year 2020 is over. A year with many losses. A year with threats from the covid-19 virus, which meant that hardly any contacts were possible.
Is there despair? Yes, especially in the families with the loss of loved ones, with loss of job, with loss of future, families with the seriously ill. In the end, there were many moments with empty seats at our tables, through closed borders, due to the death of loved ones or otherwise.
But there were also unbelievably beautiful moments of caring by treats delivered back and forth, with a single visit to family at a safe distance, with the usual maintenance of graves of those who were part of this life, with many beautiful handwritten cards on the occasion of highlights, with an unexpected bunch of beautiful flowers. There were also incredibly beautiful and unexpected visits to our tables! That gives courage! “ Keep courage !”. The Light will return in 2021 !
Motto for 2021: "Rather too fat in the box than missing a place at the table"
Have you taken a moment to look back to 2020 ? Have you weighed the profits and losses against each other ? What has made you most happy in the past year ? What hit you the most ? What do you definitely do not want to experience again ? Have you gotten any smarter in your reviews ? What disappointed you the most ? Who especially has made a positive contribution to your life ? Have you been physically affected by COVID-19 ? What concerns do you take with you to 2021 ? What are you looking forward to for 2021 ? I can answer all questions. You too ?
The fact is, we can hardly move as humans, as lovers, as parents and as children. We are expected to stay in our own "bubble". And we now are in the darkest days in the Northern Hemisphere. Have you already thought of a solution for yourself ? Or are you relying on the fact that physical social contacts remain limited for a long time now that it is expected that it may take another year before everyone has received an anti-COVID vaccination ?
Can the intangible heritage TOP 2000 help you a bit ?
What do you know about Russia beyond items like wodka / stray dogs in metros / matryoshka dolls / the longest railway / the subtropics there / the permafrost / a somavar ?
One of the hallmarks of a COVID-19 contamination is loss of taste and smell. Although I almost got infected, I was still in quarantine for 10 days, just in case.
Fortunately, I have not lost the ability to smell and taste.
Can you recall the flavors and smells from before in your memory? Do you remember the taste of stewed pears? Do you remember the smell of the bread in a real bakery in the last century? Do you remember the taste of the Monday tomato soup in the parental home = Sunday soup with some extra tomatoes? Do you remember the smell of Belgian stew with a stew of endive from your grandmother's pans? Do you remember the taste of the first Italian ice cream? Do you remember the taste of "buttermilk sauce" with kidney beans and fried bacon bits?
Buttermilk sauce. I do remember it. Boiled potatoes, lettuce made with pickles / onions and salad dressing from a bottle, fried bacon, brown beans as a base vegetable, and then that strange sauce. A sauce that could not be defined, a sauce that did not look attractive, but also a sauce that completed the meal. Do you remember this?
Who else can make this sauce? Who can still make this dish according to the original Achterhoek recipe?
Your contribution> email@example.com
At the age of 8 I was allowed to go on holiday for the first time. A dear uncle and aunt from a great distance had recognized that my life needed more challenges, hence the invitation.
And off I went. By train from Aalten to the big city of Arnhem. With my mother's white purse in my pocket. How many guilders were in it? I have no idea. I was used to traveling by bus through the farmland (from / to grandpa and grandma in the village) but with a machine on steel rails, that was something different. I was happy to be picked up by uncle Pieter. We rode the trolley bus for a while, it was a wonder of the world on wheels, and coupled with incomprehensible cables in the air.
Noorderweg in Oosterbeek. I was allowed to stay there for two weeks. Such a luxury ! Yes, we visited the post-glacial / alluvial plains along the Rhine, near the Westerbouwing. We skimmed pebbles over the surface of the water. Never before have I seen large ‘Rijnaken’ pass by in person. How new that was, how nice that was!
The best part of these two weeks: every day an ice cream from an Italian ice cream maker in Noorderstraat. Gelato Italiano. I can still fully picture the taste. And after that I never tasted such original and delicious ice cream again.
The journey back home was with one of the first passenger cars produced by the DAF company (the same type of car that was later destroyed by my grandfather - not in possession of a driver's license).
It was a first look at the wide world. They were the first experiences in exploring the world. Thanks for all this!
Words are important in our communication. Sometimes the tones and melody of music are enough for us to express. In 1968 I had a record player for the first time, the first single was by the Bee Gees / Words. I didn't understand much of the text yet.
But even without words you can understand what is "said". Eddie Vedder showed his respect to the 9 victims of the Roskilde festival (30 06 2000) by singing "Arc" only 9 times afterwards. I think it is impressive.
You can also understand some movies without subtitles. The storyline in "Russian Field" (1968) is a wonderful rendition of the life of Russian agricultural workers at the time of the USSR. If you feel connected with working in the fields, with tractors, with history… then it is a gem.
"We will take the time to live
To be free, my love
Without plans and without habits
We can dream our life
Come on, I'm here, I'm just waiting for you
Everything is possible, everything is allowed
Come listen to these words that vibrate
On the walls of May
They tell us the certainty
That everything can change one day
Come on, I'm here, I'm just waiting for you
Everything is possible, everything is allowed
We will take the time to live
To be free, my love
Without plans and without habits
We can dream our life ".
Will we have had our vaccinations by May 2021 ?
Yes, it is necessary to largely lock the country. There were and still are too many contacts in between people, and too many travel movements.
It didn't matter that as of March 2020 I kept my contacts to an absolute minimum, it doesn't seem to have mattered that I avoided physical contact with blood relatives, it seems to have been a futile attempt to always stay at home (apart from limited visits to a supermarket / bakery / post office), as many 'others' held their parties anyway, many 'others' did not keep 1.5 meters away, and many 'others' celebrated their 'Black Friday' and shopping-oriented moments anyway well. And today there are long lines at the check-in desks for flights to a.o. Curacao, that next to the "rebellious Mongols in Urk” (their own words!), with fireworks in the night. I do not understand this behavior. The seriousness of COVID-19 probably has not caught a lot of the people around. No relatives or acquaintances who have succumbed to the corona virus?
Then now there is a complete lockdown in the country. And then I still see a liquor store opening as a store for essential purchases when I can't even buy one last extra Christmas card ? Only HEMA understood: completely closed from tomorrow.
A Canadian nature lover and protector of animals beautifully describes his relationship with nature and specifically with animals in the Alaskan wilderness. The concept of protection often plays an important role in this.
A moose named Lovey protects her offspring from bears and other dangers, and often seeks the protection of the only inhabited house in an area as large as half the Netherlands. The moose regularly comes in for contact, and then has to choose between protecting the offspring or defending the resident (and his cat).
In uncertainty or in exciting situations, the moose has been able to make the right choices for at least nearly a decade. Which is a kind of survival not only from strength, but also from cleverness.
Advice from Dan: "When making difficult decisions, always ask yourself what Lovey would have done".
There is a time of life. There also is a time of leaving the world. But how much time do you get? In the past 12 months I saw many people in my area having to say goodbye to life. Were they at their natural end of a life? Or was it an end far too early by human standards?
My mother very clearly longed for another meeting with her partner who passed away earlier and her child who died so early. The father of my beloved one was afraid of leaving his former wife and his one and only child, but at the same time he could also long for his belated mother and fallen father when he passed away. And right now I am aware of the fears and despair of family members ...
“ Dearest Marianne, I'm just a little behind you, close enough to take your hand. This old body has given up, just as yours has too, and the eviction notice is on its way any day now. I've never forgotten your love and your beauty. But you know that. I don't have to say any more. Safe travels old friend. See you down the road. Love and gratitude. Leonard. ”
It wasn’t originally written as a break-up song, of course. Apparently it was originally written as ‘Come on, Marianne’. I think it’s beautiful. Do you recognize the gratitude in your situation?
“Peace was so beautiful when it was still war” (Gerrit Kouwenaar)
What peace we experienced as we had to work hard
How good life was were when we had nothing
How much light there was when it was dark still
How much love there was when there was still hate
How much heat there was where it was still cold
How much we could see when our view was limited
How much we did where we were not allowed to do anything
(inspired by A.Hoek)
I was pleasantly surprised with a question by a former teacher colleague on a concept that had escaped the attention for a while. "Megalopolis" is the answer, with BosWash as an example. No, it is not a Bosch washing machine (see link).
But then it is inevitable and at the same time pleasant that you are thrown back to what you were apparently good at: teaching, and in particular the creativity that Geography demands and gives. In no time at all, hundreds of files passed through the computer. Apparently I had deliberately not removed them very well from my view.
And the texts and images are still fun. And then you see again that my father made a good move (see blog: driver).
I have a great admiration for the colleagues in Geography who have to update their files every day, after all, the world changes every day. Every day there are new insights into the relationship between time and space, new migration flows, new developments regarding the climate crisis, new relationships in geopolitics. Admiration for them, especially since much of the education is now forced to be provided at a distance by covid-19.
The backpack with memories is still there.
From the old days:
Today is Non-Shop Day, a day when we don't buy anything at all, a day once started as a protest against Western consumer culture. But do we do buy nothing today ?
Our way of shopping has changed a lot over the past 25 years. Twenty years ago you went to the stores because you needed something. So you went shopping very specifically: you only bought that one specific thing and then went back to your house. But now shopping has become an outing, a time where you buy a lot of things that you don't necessarily need. In any case, we buy items with a substantial discount that we do not have to think long about, and that we do not want to miss.
Yet there are many people who go out with a shopping note, a physical note but also on a smartphone. Those physical notes are often lost in a shopping cart, and these notes are input to psychologists: who buys so much milk ? who does the shopping for the neighbors and why? why 86 packs of cat food? why a shopping notice on the back of sandpaper? why are the upcoming purchases on an envelope from the tax authorities? why skipping sauerkraut / kale / smoked sausage, and insisting on endive / bacon ?
Are you satisfied with what you already have ?
"Making old friends."
That sounds uncomfortable, unknown, strange. But it is nothing more than discovering that you have actually known your friend / partner for a long time? Doesn't it mean anything more than that you are going to fit together the puzzle pieces from past lives and now? Isn’t it ?
Surely you recognize that there have been many previous unconscious experiences together? Do you also unconsciously recognize the smells / atmospheres / emotions / landscapes of a past time together, of a previous meeting?
Isn't it different from discovering new paths in life from there right now? With eyes wide open looking at where our lives will go? Does the ‘trek’ continue ?
Life compared to a bag of gumballs: at first you eat greedily, hardly tasting well. After all, there are plenty. A little later: most gumballs get the right color, they are pleasant, they enrich your experiences.
There also comes an age when you see the bottom of the gumball bag. A few more pieces of candy to go. Shall I get the blue candy? Or maybe the red one? How long does it give you the desired flavor?
Can I still replenish the stock of gumballs? No! You have to do with what is available, with what is still available.
For us, at least for me, that means that you have to experience it intensely, that you have to enjoy what is left. That also means treating the people you love carefully, dealing carefully with the people who matter to you. This also means that you may make choices that you would not have made with an abundance of gumballs.
"Heast as nit, wia die zeit vergeht?"
Does it make sense to you ?
It is getting dark early in the northern hemisphere. In Moscow the sun went down at 4:13 PM and in the Netherlands at 4.44 PM, local times. But there was no sun: there is snow in Moscow, it is cloudy in the village. There is not a single leaf left on the birch trees. The tulips wait patiently under a layer of soil.
It's the rhythm of nature. It is the rhythm that we always adapt to. But always with a certain melancholy, after all, we leave the sun and the pleasant temperatures behind us. And we don't know what next summer will bring. Can we move freely again next summer? Are the announced anti-covid-19 vaccines sufficient? Are they available to all of us?
In the Netherlands it is customary to place a Christmas tree at home after December 5, with lots of lights. However, we want to place all the light in our houses now, we already want warmth and cosiness. I see that many are already putting lights in the middle of November, I see that Christmas trees are already being placed. We are looking for liberation, for returning to the past real lives, for LIGHT.
My three neighbor children are now looking forward to the many lights in the mutual gardens. At 5:00 PM it will happen again!
This is a stunning short movie ! How is it possible that these images bring rest ? This movie was present already yr 2011, by a fine colleague from Thessaloniki.
It remains confronting, it remains real, it remains beautiful !
2020 11 19
I try to start the day around 6:00 am every day. Usually it works this way.
I live in a village near a city, and in this village there is a fervent lover of chickens and roosters. Especially those roosters always welcome the new day. This is part of a village, this is part of a rural area where we used to be told by the bell of the local church at around 9 o'clock in the evening to go to bed properly. Were we to actually comply with the porridge clock, we would miss the content of many programs served by the TV. The question is whether that is a real loss.
Do church bells and roosters match 2020? Not really. We have so many analog and digital clocks to remind us of bedtime. But there often is still so much to do in the evening, besides preparing a meal and doing the dishes. We then are in contact with many, near or further away.
A fresh and freshly washed duvet retains the warmth of your body and offers comfort. Then the time doesn't really matter anymore. Reading a few pages of a new book, and then you fall asleep. Until a few roosters announce the new day from a great distance.
" No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other's worth. " ( Southley )
In Russian, there is only one variant to express "I have good vision", to say "I have good vision by birth": У меня хорошее зрение. So the verb is "зрение" [zrenie] without any additions.
To see well. I can see well. Using glasses and / or lenses. That may seem obvious, but it is not.
At the age of 9, aunt BD discovered that I could hardly read letters on passing trucks and buses. And in no time I was sitting opposite ophthalmologist Zandbergen who had consultation hours in my native village. Afterwards I could even read numbers of passing trains, fitted with years 50’s glasses. And reading books became a pleasure again. Pietje Bell, and Biggles. (Biggles is a fictional character in the eponymous series of boys' books written by British writer W.E. Johns).
I took it for granted that I could see clearly from that moment on. But over the years the eyes deteriorated, due to intensive use, due to age, due to seeing too many beautiful things. It is still a miracle every day that I can experience all movements and colors.
In this context, it is unfair to know that people you love are not able to perceive stars in the sky at a relatively young age, that a serious form of cataract has developed (proven partly by COVID-19) and that they will have two eyes had to be operated, with no undivided success: messages on WhatsApp are not yet legible, the interior of the house appears 'blurred' to them, the computer screens at work are still foggy, they can only recognize people by their voice.
As far as it is concerned: I wish you a prosperous “У меня хорошее зрение”.
“The evening still seems a long one. The polders with their duckweed-covered ditches lure. The black Gazelles with their loads toiled on. The twins fall asleep, tired of experiencing so much nature and warmth. Moments to keep. “
The lines above are a fraction of what I left behind to the twins only, in an infinitely large document. A story about "children like air". But … you cannot possess air, it is not a commodity. You cannot own them and to resell them as colored beads. You cannot kidnap your children and only leave a handwritten marker message.
“Yes, I have exercised due care from your carefully planned departure, including children. Yes, I have remained true to myself, to my obligations. I have taken all the bitter pills you provided.”
It is long gone. Now safe within the walls of my own world. “Stadtluft macht frei”. I became a free person knowing that I had endured all the humiliations on my own. I can now buy new shoes. With "new feet" I can explore the world in freedom, even if it then took longer than 1 year and 1 day.
August 1970. I had to be the exemplary son. That was oppressive. The moped was a protest. The white Tomos was an example of a thorn in the side of the parents.
My development would stop, or had already stopped, at a nearby further education intended by parents. My father understood this wonderfully and acted actively when I left the parental home. I could study in a distant city, longing for a life of my own but without knowing how to live, 18 years young. Displaced - afraid - lonely - not proficient in social contacts because not learned.
In the first week in an overwhelming and strange composition of houses, I did everything that parents and God had forbidden: 3 x movie Woodstock film, 3 x movie Easy Rider, fries / cola / mayonnaise every day ... and to bed late every day .
But also many advantages:
1.canned nasi goreng from Suzi Wan (from parents' pantry)
2. sharing food with a student friend
3. endless bike rides outside the city to maintain the link with the countryside
4. good lectures with strict teachers
5.my own bookshelf of 40 wall bricks and some purple painted shelves (all transportable by bicycle)
6. Beethoven's 5th Symphony / Spivakov / Part 2
7. an Arizona bike ... more about that later ...
8. and then finally the first meeting with Leonard Cohen, 1974 ...
9. it took a while, several decades, eventually being sufficiently qualified with the help of a strong core of fellow students
Main asset: gratitude for these opportunities in life! Was I an "easy rider" after all?
The village crier announced the news, later we heard news by pamphlets and newspapers. And you may remember that the news was only broadcasted on the radio. I especially remember the radio broadcasts from 1:00 pm, followed by the weather talk for the farmers.
Thereafter the radio provided us with radio plays and music, especially a lot of music. "Vitamins for Work" ... everyone was glued to the radio. And the teenagers had discovered "Radio North Sea" and "Radio Veronica", illegal channels, but they could experience the mass distribution of music, including the Woodstock festival.
The very last time I watched TV with Grandpa P: the funeral of HMS Queen Wilhelmina. I remember that prior to the broadcast I had to buy extra "fuses" at Rhebergen, in case there would occur a short circuit.
You have been living happily in your village or town for decades. You know much people, and your place of residence is equipped with everything you need. Then the peace is disturbed. Your place must make way for the extraction of energy such as brown coal and hydroelectricity, an extension of a port, or your village sinks into the melting permafrost. Sometimes young people leave the place looking for work elsewhere, which means that facilities also disappear. It is a disaster for the residents, all supposed certainties are gone. Especially after a devastating earthquake.
The clock goes on, the clock of life cant be stopped. The nights are noticeably longer, the evenings start early, and the years fade away.
The youngest children reached the age of 27 today. They once appeared early in the morning, and they disappeared in an afternoon fog.
I have left the questions. The fog in the early morning of today's October 30 turned into rain and wind, and early in the afternoon it got dark.
Autumn unmistakably set in. The nights are significantly longer, and the evenings start earlier, partly due to the setting of summer time. In a "normal" autumn we would stay indoors a bit more by ourselves and we would prepare for parties such as ‘Sinterklaas’ and Christmas. But are we going to celebrate these parties? The huge increase in online sales suggests it is, or is it just a buyout of the miserable feelings about COVID-19?
We are expected to stay in our own bubble to avoid further contamination. We can still go outside to buy food, to take a walk. We can receive three people at home. I did not have this in mind at the beginning of the year. And Fauci expects that it will not become clear until the beginning of December whether any of the corona vaccines currently being tested are safe and effective, and that widespread use of the vaccine will not be possible until mid-2021. And then it is not at all clear whether the transport companies get the vaccine in the right places because of the special requirements that are placed on transport.
In short: we will still have to be patient, have some courage, and stay away from each other for a while. Would you like to make a new online purchase to make the coming days a bit more festive?
We do read about the incredibly large numbers of people who have fallen victim to COVID-19 ... we today do see the first helicopters with patients flying to a nearby country where they are kind enough to take care of them ... we do hear the sad stories of people who cannot accompany their beloved ones in hospitals far away ... we do feel limited now by not being able to move freely or visit the people who matter uninhibitedly ...
How will we look at this in a year? Will we have a vaccine available for everyone in a year? Is there still a happy future? Can we ever embrace each other again as before? What would a first kiss feel like after more than a year?
How are we going to do this? Are we careful enough now when shopping? How do we stay healthy? Am I doing enough to avoid COVID-19? Are we all doing enough to defeat COVID-19? Are digital and telephone contacts sufficient to survive these dire times?
YES, we will persist! My partner at a very great distance, the people who matter to me, the people close to… Yes, we keep going on! You too ?
You have read all the newspapers, your house is in order, you have already walked all the rounds in your area, you saw the umpteenth interpretation of corona experts on the TV. And now ? Making your own food - even more often -, safely in your own kitchen? For me it is always a pleasure to place a tasty, full meal on the table in front of the TV with the 6:00 PM news based on a limited amount of fresh products.
Never cooked for yourself before ? Have you gotten into it now? Do you have time now? Did you too experience the warmth and pleasure of - now that it is already getting dark around 5 o'clock - lights on in the kitchen, of a lot of things to cut and prepare, of the scents of fresh vegetables, the hissing sounds of baking meat or meat substitutes, and some herbs from a jar ? No "haute cuisine" is needed, just feasible dishes. Recognizable ?
And then I saw that my kitchen is not so cleverly furnished and that some sustainable tools are still missing. The sequel is easy to guess. Enjoy your meal !
Thousands of Frenchmen all over the country on Sunday, October 18, honored the memory of history teacher Samuel Patit, who was killed by a terrorist. The actions were held in such cities as Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lyon and others.
Prime Minister Jean Castex: "You will not be able to split and intimidate us. France is indivisible,”
Will we all be silent for a moment at 16:30 today ? Will teachers be free to discuss what has to be discussed?
The news: Russia Offers U.S. One-Year Freeze on Nuclear Warhead Numbers • Covid-19 Live Updates: Volunteers to Be Infected With Coronavirus in Vaccine Study • East and West Meet Over Borshch Deliciously • U.S. to Accuse Google of Protecting Illegal Monopoly • Russia Dismisses Links to Chechen Accused of Beheading French Teacher • Microphones to be muted in final US debate • Danish submarine killer Madsen caught in prison escape • Colorado battles a record-breaking wildfire • US election 2020: How would Biden change foreign policy ? • Why Victorians defy COVID-19 lockdown rules • Trump signals Sudan removal from terror list • This text has NOT been written by a robot
Do you have a lover? Do you have a silent love? Did you already approach your intended love with a sweet text? Do you have a partner that you love so much? Yes, in these impossibly difficult times of COVID-19, it would be nice to feel being supported by your partner, by your lover. Today… now… it is a great support when you are assured of unconditional loyalty from a partner, near or far… And when you are alone:
“May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot , may the blessings find you in your solitude ” (Cohen)
ps I do know the unconditional loyalty of a partner, 2500 kms away….
I do support the meaning of a-social = unadapted when it comes to a small part of the population that refuses to adapt to what is expected of us (socius = ally) in times of a pandemic. Too late intervention by the government, insufficient international scientific orientation of RIVM / OMT, but certainly also the inappropriate behavior of a small group of people caused an unnecessarily large group of COVID-19 victims. Everyone knows a number of these victims: deceased persons / or a permanently impaired lung function / or are left with a bankrupt case / or with no prospect of meeting partners elsewhere in the world / or placed on a waiting list for necessary operations / or young people who are unable to meet a desired partner / or cannot leave their 3x1 balconies.
For the well-intentioned: we will keep it up, also in phase 4. HMQ Elisabeth: “We'll meet again!”. We must continue to appeal to the few unadapted about their non-allies behavior.
Today you would have turned 94 years old… would you have wanted to experience it? It is always another day that starts with fog and always ends in fog.
The current restrictions in travel behavior due to COVID-19 prevented me from visiting your grave today, but the image of you is alive, and so are the memories of you. Tonight I toast to you with your beloved beer, Palm!
Spring 2002. An ultimate attempt to find back a child back in the world. 19 years young. Sixteen springs completely out of the picture. There was also a search by her. An old first computer was used, as well as a first chat program, ICQ. Looking for what was unreachable. Hundreds of people with an unusual name. A gamble. I “Hi!”. She: "Is that you?". Me: “Yes!”. She: “I can no longer see the text, all colors are mixed up”. Then it went fast into a first meeting where we gave each other an identical CD. Enya. The @ became the symbolic knot in the handkerchief. For over a long time. But again a long period of distance. By a dumb coincidence the @ now is a strong symbol again. WhatsApp's red and green apple are too. Does coincidence exist ?
During the night of the 9th May, 1941 a British bomber was shot down above the IJsselmeer by the Germans. It was a Vickers Wellington with six crew members, of which two are still missing. Because the aircraft had bombs on board, it had to recovered. Drainage a part of the IJsselmeer has been used in order to recover the plane. It was the first time it happened this way in the Netherlands. The recovery will took about a month.
Finally going home, with a touching salute.
then ... I had a wonderful chat with a student who has been unable to attend my classes for an extended period of time ... I admired the strength of this 17 year old student who has to use powerful drugs to stay afloat.
after that ... you can hardly comprehend the needs of some students, their desire to be 'someone', especially when there are no more supportive parents ... I have committed to making room for him every day
today ... I no longer work there ... there is a terrible virus ... I lost sight of him.
Voilà, je suis là ... avec les émotions d'une soirée qui ne veut tout simplement pas devenir une nuit …
Here I am ... there ... with the emotions of a night that just won't turn into night ... I could control a lot of things, but not the choices of the former husbands, and certainly not the young ones after me. ... the choices that have to be made now in the time that remains are not light-hearted ... waiting for great happiness is tiring and does not give me peace ... I make my choices ... time flies ...
Special ... very special ...
Almost 15 years ago - on a Friday afternoon - I had an unforgettable experience with contractor Adri at Wilhelminadorp: a large number of back and forth rides in a JD 8850 (?) With an 8-scissors plow.
Why was it so special?
Click the file below.
You don't know how far the inches of your life are going to reach. You know which centimeters you already made. In times of COVID-19, you don't make that many real inches out the door. Then now you probably have time to look for what you find in your home and / or in your memories of past product names. Does CASTROL mean anything to you? Or maybe COLGATE ?
February 1956. Ice cold. At least half a meter of snow on the way to the 'Brunsveld' shop. With "the" booklet and a bag. Snowplows have cleared a narrow path, with walls of snow higher than my height. The sound of a low-flying plane frightened me: I'm going to be buried by the snowplow, that's what was in my mind. The plane was invisible. With a bag full of things and a candy from the "tray" back to home again. The coal stove is burning. Coal size 4. For the fright I a few days later "helped" with baking bread and making speculaas, in the bakery of Brunsveld. Cutting dots on the white bread was my specialty!
Especially in times of organized or self-imposed isolation (as a result of the COVID-19 virus), happy news is welcome alwyas. On Instagram I got in touch with Valentina Irlando, a now 14-year-old who plays fantastic music through this medium, initially by means of the piano. And there are already real concerts! Meanwhile, progress has also been made in playing the cello. Is it special? Yes, this seems to be impossible due to her muscle disease. But it is possible! Admiration!
In times of COVID-19, people often are thrown back to themselves. Friendships and relationships are sometimes impossible to maintain physically through mandatory or voluntary quarantine which demands quite a lot of what "human beings are by nature". People need peers to support them, to encourage them ... while they nowadays are only there by Whatsapp, Facebook or telephone, a single letter, or short visits with 1.5 meters apart.
McCandless once chose the wilderness and stayed on the "Magic Bus", but eventually returned home to friends and family. “There is only real happiness when shared with others”. Bus 142 also went home many years later, with the help of a helicopter.
Winter 1959. At the occasion of 'Sinterklaas', I got new toys - at Grandpa P's house. An addition to the LEGO stock. A miniature VW bus. What a joy! There was even an almost automatic garage door, to be able to park the VW safely. What a pleasure ! How nice we were able to play with that, also during visits to the Breukelaar family, among others. Parents in the "nice room", children in the kitchen.
Winter 2005. Lack of food forced me to sell the VW. The car is now in an Austrian display case. The memories are sweet. The purchased food was shared.
Brought out the gloves, dusted the winter coat, ran the many scarves through the washing machine, topped up the antifreeze in the car, mounted winter tires, replenished stocks of bacon-bean paste, stacked 5 cubic meters of wood, prepared the snow plow, mounted new lights in the Christmas lights, let the central heating run a test, a bucket of road salt is ready, some extra insulation installed in the kitchen, and the fat removed from the skates ... waiting for winter ... 'ït giet oan’ … tomorrow it will be at least 30 degrees Celsius!
I recently too often received reports about people dealing with a brain tumor, both in the neighborhood and among friends of family members. Too often it has turned out to be an unequal battle. The patients saw their lives ruined, or sought a "different future" themselves. For them today there is a rose that reflects the ultimate beauty of life. And a song of recognition for those left behind.
W'll taste the Italian food together again. There will be lots of stories, lots of perspectives, lots of attention to animals around us, lots of plans. Strong ones of the ‘D’ crowd take steps over what separates each other, they know how to make the connection with the next part of life. We will have food on our table, we will have shoes to go on our feet.
Regardless of the day, regardless of the time, but certainly always with the evening meal there is an extra dinner plate on the table here. And an empty seat. Originally a chair for the prophet Elijah, but now for people who can just pass by. A chair that you leave open for the stranger, a plate for the refugee. It appeals to our hospitality. It is an open seat, an untouched plate, for whom you expect, sometimes without knowing it. Now in times of COVID-19 no one can just come by.
Too many people have slipped away from us in the last 9 months. Too often, closed borders made it impossible for us to be present at mourning processes and funerals on both sides of the east-west border. We had to relocate too much stuff in a very short time, with only manpower that presented itself immediately without being asked and was available from stock. Without. We no longer have things that can glimpse the past, we just have the rich thoughts. Without. A special song, performed by a special group… we heard it during the moments of farewell. Without you ...
A rush. 2004. A desperate attempt to find a safe place. When a relationship ends, places to live must be determined. Mother and children stay at home. Father finds a place at a campsite. It is a reasonable solution, but not in a terribly cold winter.. Only the brave of the brave brought warm food, thank you! Initially no running water, no toilet, solitude on a 3 ha site. To work every working day. I flew kites on extremely long lines, hoping the twins would see. A ticket from one of the twins arrived with the address only: “MyName / campsite Rockanje“.
The environment in which I live is characterized by beaches / heavy storms from the southwest / fresh fish in Stellendam / space / land below sea level / bio-eggs in Ouddorp / salty air currents / views / traditions ... one of the traditions is Straô ... that is a time when from way back the horses from the farms go to the sea, in the spring, to wash their feet, to remove the straw, to have any wounds treated with salt water ... Many riders are dressed in traditional clothing ... it always is an impressive moment.
My grandparents' home and also my grandfather's office (border traffic / duties). My memories: at 7 in the morning putting wood into the stove in grandfather's office - then breakfast with a white roll from baker Frederiks across the street - topped with a slice of luncheon meat, bought from the grocer Te Hennepe on the same street - all this accompanied by a 'mug' of hot chocolate - the beautiful vegetable garden behind the building - strolling around the site of clog maker Klompenhouwer, two doors away - steam trains and later DE3 and Plan X trains on the track '. Grandparents lived at Dijkstraat nr 33.
An ice cream on the terrace. Mid 2019. My question to my mother: where did you first meet my father? Yes, that was when she was 18 or 19 years old, in a fire on an Obbink farm. “What a nice boy was there”. On the Internet I found a wonderful story by Annie Obbink in which the fire on the farm is mentioned. The fire was in 1942, during the war, my mother was 14 years old then 😉… (if the fire was after May).
Our dinner afterwards consisted of a vegetable soup, fried baby potatoes with fish / peas / carrots and macaroon custard. My mother seems resigned.
The base of my music. Blues. French chansons. Flemish texts. The ballads. But then I eventually come back to Leonard Cohen. For decades I have attended his concerts. What attracts me to him? His songs from his depressions, his endless tendency to self-analysis, his incomparable lyrics, his powerful dark voice, his sensitivity to worldly temptations, his Jewish origin. I gave his first edition of "Beautiful Losers" to a graduate student, like I before my first sample of 'Songs of Love and Hate'.
A second storm year 2020. Francis. Beaufort 9. A great deal of the night I was awake questioning myself “ Will the roof move into farmers’ land ? Will neighbor’s trampoline stand the force ? Can my cat really fly ? Will the birches lose many leaves ? Into neighbors swimming pool maybe too ? Will my neighbor be angry ? “ The answers: NO – YES – NO – YES – YES – probably NO. I will send them more fresh strawberries. I absolutely prefer this kind of weather over those Mediterranean temperatures as we had some ten days ago.
“ You will come back because you want to suffer “ (Oscar Carranza-Castañeda). Oh yes, how much I longed for that, 2001. I had the opportunity to assist Mr Oscar on the paleontological research in the San Miguel area. The teams discovered very important remnants of a.o. the oldest known Canis, the largest collection of Tertiary carnivores in Mexico, the oldest known remains in North America of South American immigrants, a record of Glypthotherium. 2008 I worked there second time. Lucky me !
I was born in a house linked to a school in IJzerlo. The first impressions of a "school-with-house" have not been erased: a white building, a white house, a long corridor, coal stoves, a conservatory with roses. IJzerlo 13. There was no telephone connection. Running to farmer Derk who took my little brother with a hole in his head to the doctor in the village. VW Beetle. Around the age of five to the next house, again next to a school. This school building became, among other things, a horse stable. Now it is a private house.
For six months now, we have been thrown back on ourselves by Covid-19. In those six months I had 12 live conversations only. It also brought peace, a desired pause. WhatsApp and Telegram made my world bigger. YouTube released new music on the advice of a friend and former colleague. Joe Bonamassa, a guitar virtuoso.
Summer 1955. As a very young child I already managed to escape from the parents. To the farmland opposite our house, the land of "Uncle Etwiek". This man harvested the winter carrots manually on his knees. He used his paring knife to clean a carrot for me. I still know what a real organic carrot tastes like. Those were happy moments, thank you. Eppink / IJzerlo.
How many cats fit in a beer mug ? At least one. An unexpected gift from my brother yr 2015. A very welcome intruder in my life while living temporarily at a campsite. For over 15 years a companion which often avoids attention and only listens to Russian words. Living a life somewhere out for days, but always returning to home. Precious gift. Bibi ...
It was a sad sight: a farm desperately trying to brave the storm in February 2016, on the island of Voorne. The artifacts of many human lives were scattered everywhere. The storm put an end to the proud attitude of the finial. This piece of wood still exists to this day.
“Do not talk dialect … do not visit the swimming pool on Sunday … don’t go to the pub … it's too early to marry … do not drink beer … be at home before eleven … hands on top of the blankets ... at Ascension Day to Montferland by bike with bread and Joy on the parcel carrier… yes yes! “. Until we had a moped. Then we could "sneak mopeds", "even on Sunday".
Help arrived in a barbershop in the village of Aalten. It was in the early 1970's. This hairdresser was extremely handy in creating hairstyles that my parents would not allow. I was invariably sent back to be shortened. The hairdresser claimed to the music from the radio that he was singing that song, and that he would rather be on stage than work with a comb and scissors. But ‘bacon had to be brought home’. My hairdresser was Arne Jansen.
Instagram. Initially a purely photo-sharing service, launched on iOS in October 2010. Kevin Systrom's photograph of a stray dog sitting near a taco stand in Mexico is the first image ever shared on Instagram.Instagram incorporated 15-second video sharing in June 2013. One of the first videos on Instagram is about a seagull Jonathan ( referring to Jonathan Livingstone ) passing by the Hellevoetsluis lighthouse.
It looks like a disaster has happened. The houses have not been inhabited for a long time. They are boarded up to combat vandalism. Entering the houses is punishable and nuisance and / or vandalism is fined. This village turned ghost village in a very short time. Until 1977, Doel was an independent municipality with 1,300 inhabitants.
It is nonsense
It is what it is
It is impossible
It is what it is
Jens, that is what my brother was called and recognized in his last years by his many friends ... yet often reviled and unloved ... not understood also, but understood by his children ... by me ... nevertheless he fought his battle together with his Beloved Ones against the Impossible Injustice… today 8 years ago … a picture of our hunt for old tractors… his favorite song as well …
Breathe quietly. No rush. Temperatures in Europe are above comfort zones. No place to hide. Mass local migration to the beachis too dangerous for vulnerable people. Locally gridlocked roads by traffic rise tensions. Keep calm. Read a book. Breathe quietly.
Soon there are elections. Millions of residents are tired of the incumbent president and his government: abuse of power, repression, recession, fraud, no fight against unemployment, denial of the covid-19 virus, imprisonment of members of the opposition. With music you can wage opposition without violence. Certainly with "Change" by Tsoi. Plugged out ? Then just keep singing.
Where did Time go ? Are you still Healthy ? Has Love remained ? All three are precious. Time is irreversible, Health is a favor, Love is reciprocal.
“Where there is Love there is Life” (Mahatma Gandhi). Do not hesitate to love now, to live now !
" May you be surrounded by friends and family, and if this is not your lot, may the blessings find you in your solitude. "
How well this fits with the present day, with the actual or relative loneliness of people in times of Covid-19.
Life 2019-2020 at a sudden presents the ‘NEW’ … A 40- lady showed her progress in life, all of sudden … She bought smoked garlic, in the south of France, while on her way by bike … while on her way for clearing her mind and setting any future ...
Was I born in the wrong decade? Was my childhood a phase between the pre-war period (WW2) and the freedoms of the 1970s? Why did I have to hide my acquired freedoms from the parents? Why were my intended freedoms not recognized? Why couldn't I dance with my parents? Where's my parents' move?
Today is a day with very high temperatures in the Netherlands … meeting the beach … Alan Kurdi met the beach 2015 too, a three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnic background whose image made global headlines after he drowned on 2 September 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea. He and his family were refugees from Syria trying to reach Europe. Photographs of his body were taken by Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting international responses. What did we learn from this ? Indeed, it’s our freedom to meet the beach these days despite the huge traffic jams !
Those moments when you are hit, from an unexpected angle, or from an angle that you hope will happen.
The departure of a child from a family, the departure of a complete family, or the separation of your last surviving parent, but also an unexpected acceptance for who you are.
As often, the emotions are evoked or amplified by music. See for yourself what fits which emotion.
The dance ... seven months without a 'dance of life' ... covid-19 rules the world of everyday life, and of love ... giving up is not an option because a yes-is-a-yes ... too many yes'es already went into the distance… there is a lot of silence, but it is for a purpose, it is to give space for our next dance, here or there ...
If your adult child does not know the "sea spark" and you have never seen it yourself before. Then you go to the beach at 01:00 in the morning and you both discover a beautiful natural phenomenon.
Our father, our friend, our doctor, has passed the rainbow. Such a great loss. Such a nice person, such a great father, such a fabulous doctor who was there until the last day for his patients. Rest in peace dear father, dear friend, dear doctor. Moscow.
Today's birthday has just ended. Hit by Covid-19. You can't go out on the street. Not even to visit your sick father.
And what will year 2020 bring ? Can we neatly close losses without blaming ? Are lovers going to stay together, do lovers each go their own way, do lovers see each other again soon ?