Thursday, 3 May 2018

Skating - 3 March 2018

P3031318 P3031317 P3031316 P3031311 P3031307 P3031305 P3031301 P3031300

March 4th - 31st, 2018

P3311513 Woeste Hoeve - memorial for 117 executed
P3311509 Cerviduct, Terlet
P3301505
P3251481 Bridge, Westervoort
P3221450 Inspecting the nestbox
P3211446 Robin
P3121386 Airforce museum, Deelen
P3101371 Stork
P3101363 Crocus
P3061344 Zypenberg

April 1st - 14th, 2018

P4151702 River Rhine, Westervoort
P4141686 Migrating toads
P4131681 Fire watch tower
P4131674 Lower a man cannot sink (Teerose II)
P4121667 View from the Elsberg
P4111650 River Rhine between Driel and Praets
P4111639 River ferry, Driel / Oosterbeek
P4081606 Havikerwaard, Ellecom
P4081596 Friendly puss
P4071582 IJsselkop, Westervoort
P4051557 Flying tree
P4021535 Bridge, Doesburg

April 15 - May 2, 2018

P5021890 Railwaystation, Velp
P5021891 Bicycle factory, Dieren
P4271866 Flags out for King's Day, 27 April
P4211815 Giesbeek
P4211810 Doesburg
P4211804 Olburgen
P4201789 River ferry, Rheden
P4201768 Canal, Dieren
P4191749 Eerbeek
P4181736 Deelerwoud
P4151709 Duiven

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Ten years

Ten years ago today, my mother passed away. This blog is dedicated to her memory, as stated in the sidebar. I miss her every day, but would not have wanted her to have suffered any longer than she had to. This week, we shall visit her grave, leave some white roses there and reflect on the passing of the years. She shall remain there, in the sun-splashed corner of the village cemetery in the woods. We shall go on, because that's what she would have wanted us to do.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

31 January

This day is one for celebration - but at the same also one for commemoration in the Netherlands. The celebrations are for the 80th birthday of (former) Queen Beatrix, who abdicated the throne in 2013 to give way to her eldest son, Willem Alexander. A very private person, Beatrix still mourns the passing of her husband Prince Claus, who died in 2002; as well as the loss of her son Friso, who died in 2013, a year after being severely injured in a skiing accident in Austria. I experienced Beatrix as a slightly distant monarch; her son is by contrast very open, without forgetting about the deference due to him.

Sixty-five years ago today, a violent storm struck the Netherlands. The northwesterly winds combined with a storm surge, which elevated water levels in the southern North Sea. This caused flooding in the Thames Estuary in England, as a result of which 300 people drowned. The flooding in the southwestern Netherlands was catastrophic. Warnings had been issued by the Netherlands Met Office (KNMI), which were broadcast too late in the day (radio broadcasts ceased at 11pm each night, and TV was in its infancy) to reach the authorities in the southwest. Only local people were aware of the dangers, when waterlevels at low tide were at those normally experienced at high tide. The dykes breached, flooding large areas of the provinces of Zeeland, southern South Holland and western North Brabant. More than 1800 people drowned, as well as thousands of heads of lifestock. A major flood prevention scheme, the Delta Works, were initiated, only completed in 1986.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

30 January 2018

Two and a half months have now passed since I returned to Holland. My uncle was buried a week after I came back, and his affairs have been put in order. The house he rented for more than sixty years was cleared in the space of a few weeks, and returned to the landlord. A major refurb will be in order before anyone can move in. The house is close to my father's, and I frequently pass it on my way through the village. Just this week, I noticed the snowdrops and crocuses near my uncle's house are budding, the distant beginnings of a new spring. Before his death, my uncle gave me his old bicycle to use, which I have done: quite a few miles on various runs around the heathlands and woods that adorn this part of the world. The highest point is about 350 feet / 105 metres above sealevel, and against expectation perhaps, this part of the Netherlands is anything but flat.


Two weeks ago, the Netherlands was visited by a violent storm. It claimed two lives, created transport chaos with no trains running, trucks overturned on the motorways and people bowled over in 70 mph gusts. Highest gust was 90 mph at the Hook of Holland. Thousands of trees were blown down, blocking roads and hurting if not killing people.

Last week, I visited the town of 's-Heerenberg, 25 miles east of here, on official business. It is a quaint wee town, right on the German border near Emmerich, with an old castle and church.