Model Railway Layout 2022


My friends since childhood know I have had a life long addiction to model trains and in the past I made several model railway layouts, albeit with mixed results.

Twice I had a nice landscape finished but on other occasions it didn’t turn out as I imagined it or it ended up unfinished due to lack of money, time and materials and I was too busy working, raising my children and loving my wife.

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Apple Pie

My own recipe

I have decided not to take my Recipe for Apple Pie to the grave but to share it with you all. The secret is in the quantities, I used a lot more of this and that. And I put Rum in it.

My apple pie was chosen The Best Apple Pie Of The Netherlands and featured in a Bake Show with famous Dutch comedian André van Duin and the famous illusionist Hans Klok. If you want to see the episode of Doorbakken (Bake On) in which André van Duin and Hans Klok have a taste of my apple pie, click the link below.

Doorbakken 24 April 2022 at Omroep Max on the NPO1 channel

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This means war!

I often listen to Petra, an American christian rock group from the last century and I like most of their songs. I even have a double album on vinyl that I play occasionally.

One of the songs on that record is This means war! and it’s basically a song about the fight between good and bad. And especially now when there’s a real war this song has more meaning to me than before. Vladimir Putin is attacking its neighbour country and killing civilians. He calls it a special military operation but the whole world knows better: Это означает войну!

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Yesterday it was the birthday of the love of my life, Christa. Strange to realise that I have known her half my life which is more than half of hers.

We celebrated the event together on Friday with diner in the city and we had our picture taken near the city gates, the Koppelpoort in Amersfoort in Swampyland. The name Koppelpoort consists of two parts, ‘Koppel’ which means ‘Couple’ in (colloquial) Dutch, Gate being the second part. Gate for Couples in English.

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And yet again a DC-9

A memory triggered by the words of a song on the radio this morning, “.. and yet again a DC-9.” in a song called Zondagmiddag Buitenveldert (Sunday Afternoon Buitenveldert) by Dutch singer Frans Halsema.

They used these old planes with numerous airlines apparently, Wikipedia states an impressive list of companies, well, not the actual DC-9 but it’s successor the MD-80.

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Who’s turn is it for the next round?

Ladies and Gentlemen and other Creatures, who’s turn is it for the next round? Remember I told you a little while ago about the Pub Clock that I own and it succumbed to wear and tear? Well, it turns out that this particular story isn’t finished yet.

When I told one of my best friends about it and he read the story on my website he decided that this should in no way be the end of that old Pub Clock. So he started searching in his network and found a proper Clock Maker. This person, retired now, has ample knowledge of old clockworks as he was in that trade his whole life until he reached the age of 65 and started to enjoy his pension.

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Well then, here I am again. Haven’t had much time recently to give you an update of my life but now I have plenty of time to write this blog as I have caught Covid.

Bugger! What an awful disease this is! First it makes your head explode, then your throat hurts like heck as if someone tries to take out your tonsils with a hack saw, no anaesthetics.

On day three, high fever gets you and since I have this problem with my immune system I also suffocate as my lungs start to fill up. Only just now, day four, I am feeling slightly better, just slightly. And I started to think, where the heck did I get this? I am so careful these days wearing face masks and disinfecting my hands everywhere I go so how on earth was this possible? But the lateral flow test showed a clearly positive outcome and I don’t mean positive as a good thing.

I started to interrogate the family members present in the house and I soon found the culprit, the youngest one, Joris. Apparently, when he invited some of his friends for his so-called “Corona proof” Birthday Party the other week, he also demanded they should do a lateral flow test the same day in order to attend. But some of these jokers decided it wasn’t worth the hassle and picked an old (negative) test they saved just for this occasion from a drawer in their desk. And, he confessed to me, two of his mates later told him they had Covid already before they came to our house. Joris attracted it from them. And then he passed it on to me, he’s only just recovered.

So there, sorted out where it came from, now I still have to get rid of it which is the hardest part and basically I just have to sit this one out. Of course, being a responsible citizen, I reported my case in the government issued app on my iPhone. As you can see some joker at their software programming dept. made the text on the button reverse as soon as you’ve entered your details which I find not funny at all as you do not joke about a pandemic.

Having a chronic disease with a defected immune system I made very clear to my son that it is of the utmost importance not to take any risk with visitors and he should take every precaution to prevent pathogens entering our household. It could be the end of me if we don’t cooperate. As it seems I will make a lucky escape this time. Good, I have too much do do anyway.

Take care of each other, we’re in this together.

Saté Ajam (Marinaded Chicken with Peanut Sauce)

In Malaisia Saté Ajam is called Satai (transl. Stick, Saté phonetically) because they put the chunks of chicken on a thin Bamboo stick. It is then baked in oil in a frying pan or grilled on charcoal and served with Peanut Sauce.

We sometimes we make this at home without using sticks, during Summer when we can use the outside BBQ in the roof garden we use sticks as it’s easier to grill the meat. Sometimes served with Rice and Green Beans or oven baked french bread.

Saté Ajam


6 Tablespoons Ketjap Manis
4 Tablespoons Honey
4 Cloves of Garlic chopped up
2 Teaspoons Sambal Oelek (big teaspoons)
2 Teaspoons Sambal Badjak (big teaspoons)
1 Inch of Ginger, pealed and grated
1 Lemon (juice of 1 Lemon)
Some Ground Black Pepper

Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl and make sure they are all dissolved into a nice dark syruppy mixture.

Add chopped chicken legs or breasts to the mixture and stir thouroughly. Leave for two to three hours and stir a few times more during that time.

Saté sauce


12.5 ounces of Peanut Butter
4 Cloves of Garlic chopped up
1 Chopped up Onion (very finely chopped or use the blender)
3 Tablespoons Ketjap Manis
3 Teaspoons Sambal Badjak (big teaspoons)
0.5 Teaspoon Ketoembar (Coriander)
0.5 Teaspoon Djintan (Cumin)
0.5 Teaspoon Laos (or use Ginger if you want it spicy)
10.5 Fluid Ounces of Coconut Milk
0.25 Teaspoon Cinnamon
Add Milk to the pan if the mixture is too thick

Download this recipe in PDF: sate_ajam.pdf

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year. May this new year bring you nothing but good things.

For me 2022 started with a visit by an ambulance just after midnight. I had this pressure on my chest and my heart had started to race and was about to win which is never good as it should just go at a steady pace.

After the proper care and reassuring words the ambulance nurses left me because it was not necessary to take me to the hospital and with the strict advice not to get myself into trouble and just rest a lot.

Things went back to normal as you can see in this screenshot of the FitBit app on my iPhone and I will keep to the advice to rest a lot. I’m just going to sit quietly in my chair in the corner of the living room and sleep it off. I can honestly say this year will get better for me.

Happy New Year!

On the road to success

In December 2012 I said this on Facebook: “I want to do something significant, a thing that will be noticed by a lot of people and it has to be something really positive.” Literally.

A wish come true

A few days ago this sentence popped up in the Facebook Memories on my iPhone and as I woke up in the middle of the night and was still drowsy it took a while before I realised the full impact of that sentence I wrote 10 years ago that early morning.

And then it hit me: You did it, you really have done what you wrote 10 years ago!

So now I can safely say that I have accomplished exactly that, doing something significant for a lot of people with my website for users of moped cars. In the past years it has grown from a personal blog to a news website for thousands of users of moped cars! A wish come true.

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