Week 34-2017. Hummené.

Kiosk in Eastern Europe Eastern Europe kiosk. We will have to do similar against robbery and stealing. Europe united, hoerah!

What is the difference. I am on holiday. When one is on holiday one stays at a hotel where everything is included. The beach is nearby. One enjoys the usual rather excessive breakfast and goes to the beach. Take possession of one of the many beach beds and stays there for the rest of the day. If one is very active, one takes to the sea to get some refreshing dive. Other refreshments are brought to you by one of the underpaid servants on the flip of a finger.

Flat entrance with my bike Entrance to my holiday resort, with my bike.

That is holiday. After a day at the beach, consuming the whole list of free drinks, all inclusive, one backs to the room for shower and dress for dinner. In the evening, the band plays its usual noise or one goes to the casino to spend some money. If one is very lucky, one wins some money. After this one goes to bed: sleep well in airco supplied rooms and get up the next morning.

Here, I am in some sort of a similar situation. The big difference is, that I have to do everything myself, fortunately.

New animal quarantene bench New quarantene shed for cats and dogs.

Cocker with skin infection New in shed: cocker with skin infection.

Most of the days I spent some time at the veterinary practice and some time at Tesco’s because there I do have internet to read my mail and post my blog.

It’s all done by bicycle in shorts, because the weather is fine.

Home coocking My produce for Hanna and Lenka. And for me of course.

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Week 33-2017. Amersfoort-Hummené.

Morning haze at home Morning haze at home.

It happens more often: I park my car with the lights still on. The next morning the battery is flat, logically. So I had to take a bike to go to church. But bad luck, the tires are flat. I have to work to go to church this time. A pump is in the back of my car. After pumping up the tires of my bike, I can go. My friend Hanke is already there, glad to see me arrive. Obviously I cannot take her home after the service, as I usually do. I take my bike to go home and try to find someone to help me start my car. At half past four one of my fellow tenants is available and ready to help. At first we try my jump leads. When starting with them fitted properly, they start to produce smoke due to overheating. We abort this trial and apply the towing rope. That helps: after pulling 20 meters the car starts and I drive straight away to Hollandse Rading, to have coffee with Hanke. I had a nice piece of meat with bone for Toots, the Springer. After some talking I returned home, happy to see the cars started properly again.

On Monday I went to Eemnes to arrange for a switch in the car insurance of my in-law daughter. The insurance has to be in her name, after the passing away of my son Hessel. His family is getting ready to go on holiday, with a female friend of my in-law daughter replacing my son.

I spent a lot of time trying to update internet on my Smartphone, unsuccessfully.

Whatsapp does not work now, but I leave it for the time being, because my internet connection is not working either. It is a drag, the internet here at home.

Since Hessels’ family is going on holiday, I decided to go as well and informed my friend in Slovakia.

Poland, A4, breakfast with coffee Poland, A4, breakfast with coffee.

I bought maps for my TomTom to get me there through the shortest way. That appeared to be a way different from what I am used to. I did arrive in Slovakia through firstly the motorway A4, but soon after Krakow I was directed into the country, using only B roads. It was quite fascinating, up to Hummené. I saw different parts of Poland and Slovakia, very quiet roads, no traffic jams. I did like it and arrived at my destination at the predicted hour, Friday afternoon at 14:00 o’clock.

Ancient wooden church in Slovakia Ancient wooden church in Slovakia.

From there the usual activities took place: meeting family there and taking possession of the apartment, installing and shopping.

The weather here in Hummené is nice, hot and only little wind. A change in the weather is however imminent. Rain is supposedly arriving.


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Week 32-2017. Amersfoort-Katwijk.

This week my family from Norway is staying in Katwijk for part of their annual holiday. On Sunday we have a family gathering on the beach. We organize this event already more than 15 years. The composition is changing from year to year through birth or passing away, work or non comparing holidays. This year we are missing greatly my own son. On the other hand a cousin we had not seen for many years, attended with his wife. It was in retrospect a very much appreciated gathering.

Northsea beach fun Northsea beach fun.

I stayed with my older sister in midweek. At her place I repaired a garden bench and did a number of other odd jobs requiring some technical knowledge and abilities. We did enjoy a lovely evening meal at her sons place.

Twice in the week I travelled to Katwijk to meet my brother and his wife there. The weather this week appeared to be typically Dutch: some nice beach weather, alternating with colder windy and rainy days. It does not bother us, we are used to it and the beach with the sea is always a pleasure to experience.

On Friday I went to Katwijk to have a farewell meeting and subsequent meal at the beach pavilion: we enjoyed a nice bottle of Prosecco and a meal of sole.

Good food at Key West Good food at Key West.


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Week 31-2017. Amersfoort.

1992 Hessel op het strand van Kreta Hessel on the beach of Crete.

Some flowers from Hessels' funeral Some flowers from his funeral.

I cannot give a true description of my feelings. The cremation of Hessel, last week, hit me like a hammer. Picking up the usual activities is helping me to deal with the deep sorrow from time to time. Inside me there is something boiling, outside is the world carrying on as if nothing happened. Tuesday is my birthday and also the birthday of a woman I got to know when I was on holiday with Hessel, 25 years ago at Crete. We became friends and I visited this woman and her husband in Amersfoort on Monday. Of course we did talk about those days and the happy days afterwards.

On Tuesday, the 1st of August, my birthday, I stayed at home, no visitors, no celebrations but a soothing stroll through the woods picking blackberries. I was definitely not ready for a busy birthday party.

Autumn in my mind Autumn in my soul.

Life goes on. On Wednesday Conner, one of Hassel’s boys, came to my place. He had not been here before and did like it. I travelled up and down to Eemnes to pick Conner up and take him back home. Just back from Eemnes, I was asked to pick up a goose from the sanctuary nearby, to take it to the bird-hospital in Naarden. My grandson Marnix did like the suggestion to help me, which was very useful because a goose is pretty heavy.

Goose transported to hospital Goose in bench.

On Thursday my friend Hanke visited me, with her companion dog Toots. I watch soccer games from the European championships games for women and enjoy the performance of the Dutch team. The Dutch team will play the final on Sunday, against the Danish team. The Dutch team did beat the Danish previously during this tournament, so I am hopeful to see the Dutch team become the European champions.

On Friday I walk through town, drink one glass of beer, watch people and try to get some inspiration to buy a birthday present for my brother. He and his wife will arrive Saturday and stay in Katwijk for a week: their yearly short holiday to meet the family on Sunday. I did get the necessary inspiration, bought what I wanted and went home.

Amersfoort square lined with catering Square in Amersfoort, lined with catering.

Katwijk beach still quiet Beach of Katwijk on a working day.

On Saturday I travelled to Katwijk to meet my brother and his wife there. They had had a good trip from Norway and where installing themselves in their rented apartment. We walked on the beach, I bought new swimming trousers. After that I left for Eemnes, where there was again a birthday to celebrate, for Kenneth this time. The usual guests where present to commemorate his birthday. I did not stay late, tired.

Birthday party guests Birthday party guests.





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Week 30-2017. Amersfoort.


The week, with the exception of Saturday, is governed by mourning for the decease of my only son and the organization of his cremation.

In loving memory of Hessel In memory of my son.

I wrote a prayer and asked the minister in my church to read it out during the Sunday service in my church.

On Monday the coffin with my son was placed in the living room in Eemnes, for all to have their personal thoughts and memorial.

Hessel's favorite cat with flowers for the coffin His favorite cat next to the flowers for my sons’ coffin.

Loads of flowers arrived with enormous amounts of supportive cards.

According to his will, the service held in his memory on Thursday, took place in a large tent in the woods. The service was attended by a large crowd from family, friends, and former colleagues. The readings to commemorate my sons’ life were full of true emotion, with in between the music he himself had selected and a selection of pictures shown on screen.

After this formal service we took to the crematorium with only the nearest family. After this we returned to the tent in the woods, to receive the many personal condolences.

Modern birthday party Modern birthday party.

The birthday of one of his boys, on Friday, was celebrated on Saturday. Normality will eventually return to our existence, but my son will be remembered for what he was: loving, listening, helping out and always with loads of patience.

I pray for him: rest in peace.

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Week 29-2017. Amersfoort.

Stichtse roundabout Stichte Roundabout, Amersfoort.

This week will always remain a memorable but sad week. It is very difficult if not impossible to express my feelings. My only son Hessel died, Friday evening, from an epileptic insult. We all, his family, his friends are devastated. Hessel will be remembered a friendly giant, quiet, understanding and loving husband and father.

On Sunday we watched as usual the Formula 1 race, this time held at Silverstone (GB). After the race I left to my appointment with my nephew Daan, his wife and baby daughter. I was invited to their place for a meal and asked to tell about my latest travels around the world.

Cooking The host is cooking: salmon.

On Monday I picked up the Springer Spaniel, called Toots. Toots will stay with me for one night, since her owner had to undergo a medical check in hospital. Toots knows the place and is lovely to have.

Chasing cat Ktten in the tree opposite my balcony, miauwing me awake, chasing Flamish Jay.

On Tuesday I went to town with Toots. I was early, drank coffee at a tiny terrace and bought presents for my daughter in law. It is her birthday today. After returning Toots to her owner, I went to Eemnes to join in the festivities for the birthday. Hessel gave his wife a lovely present; an olive tree, ready planted in their garden. This tree will always be linked to the sad events later to emerge.

Korte Gracht Amersfoort Korte Gracht, Amersfoort.

On Friday I got a message from a long time friend. I reacted with the proposal to have lunch together, which she accepted. She suggested me to come to Utrecht to see the place where she is living now, together with a new friend. After arrival there we did talk about our late experiences and I met her friend who did arrived just when I left.

Garden at Mr. Sickezlaan Utrecht Garden in Utrecht.

I did go home and spent a quiet evening, until my daughter in law rang me with a voice full of sorrow and tears. I dressed again and left immediately for Eemnes. There I joined into the extremely sad family. From that moment onwards the events are blurred by tears and disbelieve. We started organizing a funeral: it is still unreal but unavoidable.

Eemnes livingroom Empty living.

God bless my son’s soul, his wife, and her four boys. Difficult times lay ahead of us.

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Week 28-2017. Amersfoort.

Characteristic village view Characteristic Dutch Village.

It was a quiet week, at least here in Amersfoort. When you only relate the world to what you hear in the media, the rest of the world is in turmoil. In a couple of years, there will not be one day in the year without a disaster to commemorate.

At home there are new arrivals, young adults with ‘a history’. I am told that I might get a female neighbor known to be a rather bitchy. This gossip makes me curious.

Salvages baby rabbit Salvaged rabbit.

Much of my time was spent on scanning diaries from my parents.

On Thursday and Friday I am approached by the R.A.C.P.A. The first animal is a very young rabbit taken from a nest where the other young are dead, probably attacked by a dog. I take this poor thing to Amsterdam. The other animal is a hedgehog with a sore leg, probably hit by a bicycle.

Parking in Huizen Typical parking lot.

This voluntary work gets me off my chair and out into the world. It is funny to do this kind of work and I like it.

Fitness art Fitness Art.

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