Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunday 6 January

Started off by going to church for the Epiphany service (twelfth night). It was followed by poetry and music, a great occasion. In the afternoon, my dad and I headed out to the woods and heathlands for a walk of just over 6 miles; we reached as far as the Koningsweg track, 2½ miles north of town. As we came back close to home, the cloud cover broke to reveal some golden sunset sunshine - it was 3.30pm, 75 minutes before sunset here.

Tomorrow, I shall return to Stornoway by plane, and the Shell Gallery will go back under wraps. On Tuesday 8 January, I will resume blogging on Atlantic Lines until I return to Holland once again later in the year. Thank you for reading this time.

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Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saturday 5 January

No change in the weather: cloudy, grey, dark, dank and mild. Went to the cemetery and thence for a walk through the forest, which is becoming very muddy in places. Although there is only a fine drizzle about, it does nothing to resolve the muddiness. The local cemetery also has eight wargraves in it, for airmen shot down in the vicinity in 1942 and 1944. The brown sign says Dutch Wargrave, meaning a member of the Dutch armed forces, who lost his life in action during WW2, lies buried there.

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Friday 4 January

Another overcast, grey and slightly drizzly day. This time, we set out for a slightly longer walk, aiming for the Emma Pyramid. This is a belvedere on a man-made hillock. It affords views for miles around, on clear days well into Germany. The little church at Elten, a hop across the border (15 miles away) can be seen, and even the Rhine bridge at Emmerich (20 miles) can be made out with binoculars. Not today. You'd be lucky to even make out the next set of trees. So I did not bother to climb up the tower; I haven't got a head for heights at any rate. Near the pyramid sits a small memorial for about a dozen young men, who were summarily executed nearby in December 1944, as reprisal for acts of resistance against the Nazi occupation. The Dutch word for reprisal, represaille (which is rooted in French) now has a specific wartime connotation. There were a fair few joggers and cyclists about (it's still holiday time) as we went back. Total distance 4 miles.

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Thursday, 3 January 2013

Thursday 3 January

An overcast day, grey and quite dark. Had to put on the lights by 4pm, 45 minutes before sunset. I did some more scanning, unearthing a dozen pics of our cats from years gone by, as well as from a holiday in the Alps in 1979. However, it was dry after midday so went for a brief stroll (just over half a mile) round the village pond.

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Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Wednesday 2 January

Today was fairly bright, but 7C is not very warm at all. Went to the Open Air Museum in Arnhem in the afternoon, for the first time in about 40 years. It had changed beyond recognition, with a multitude of new additions. The museum displays buildings from all parts of the Netherlands - mostly not replicas. They were taken down, then rebuilt stone by beam. The museum is celebrating its centenary at the moment, just like its neighbour, the famous Burgers Zoo. I took a large number of pics, and would like to refer to the set on for the whole collection.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Year's Day 2013



The day started quite wet, but after lunchtime the clouds broke and as I type this (5pm), there is not a cloud left in the sky.

New Year's celebrations in Holland tend to be raucous affairs, with fireworks causing injuries (in some years deaths), alcohol causing the usual problems, including a lot of wanton vandalism. Not very nice, really. However, the fireworks themselves were pretty to watch. An accident in a village near the Frisian town of Dokkum caused injuries to 17 people. A car drove straight into a crowd celebrating the new year around a bonfire; it is thought the driver was blinding by the glare from the fire, exacerbated by the steady rainfall.

In the afternoon, I went for a brief stroll around an estate nearby, which includes the village school I went to in the early 1970s. The cloudscapes were quite pretty.
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Monday 31 December

New Year's Eve, Hogmanay - the year 2012 is coming to a close. Starting in Samoa, the year 2013 swept round the globe from about 11 am. Went to my sister's for the birthday of her eldest. What took up all the attention was her pets: two cats and her rather large dog. We were well treated to food and drink, and after about 4 hours, we went back (by car) home. I couldn't get over the amount of fireworks that were going off through the day around the country - every town we passed along the motorway had rockets flying over it.

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