So sad

This morning I was woken up brutally when outside chain saws were started and a tree shredder behind a tractor started rattling, chewing on tree branches. A few days before I received a letter from the city council announcing that maintenance works would be carried out on the wood bank opposite our house as it hadn’t been done properly in the last years.

The noise didn’t alarm me in the first place, I just got up and got dressed and went downstairs for breakfast. But when I looked outside the living room window on the first floor I was shocked to see they were cutting all the trees down. Seeing them fall even made me cry, how on earth could they do such a thing? How immensely cruel this is!

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Great is Thy faithfulness

The reverend was always there to greet you and the heating always on in winter, may the warmth of the Lord lure you in here he used to say with a big smile on his face at the entrance of a country church somewhere in Norfolk.

The Pastor had Dutch roots and he even knew a few Dutch words like “Hoe gaat het?”, -“How are you?” that he had learned from his great parents.

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The Great Spotted Woodpecker

In the good old days of analogue photography you were extra careful not to waste an exposure, especially when you were young and always short of money. My first camera was a Praktica MTL-5, a robust East German Single Lens Reflex camera of good quality.

I bought it second hand from a Navy Pastor who had just bought a brand new camera with much better and electronic options as he was a keen photographer. But just as happy as he was with his new camera, so was I with the still perfect old one he sold me for a more than fair price, it was a bargain for a seventeen year old boy.

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Look to the sky!

Jesus is coming!”

This is the first line of one of my favourite songs sung by the American Christian Blues singer Larry Howard a long time ago.

I lost the record years ago before I got married but the song remained in my memory and every now and then I missed that music reminiscing to the past, a bit sad. I’ve looked for it online, it’s not on Spotify and the CD can’t be bought in music stores anymore as it’s been sold out for many years.

But today is an especially happy event as I am listening to this music again, thanks to my friend Leon who delivered a CD as a present through the letterbox. Thank you Leon for this special gift, it means the world to me.

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When the final curtain calls

Spring Clean

Last week I made a drastic decision: make Spring Clean come early this year, here at my website that is. The decision did not come unexpected as I will explain to you.

Recently (over the course of the last 12 months) I have noticed a decrease in visitors from Swampyland at my website, whilst the numbers increased for visitors from English speaking countries and world wide. So I collected user statistics and data and realised there weren’t much regular Dutch visitors left during the course of a week and over a prolonged period of time. Why, I asked myself, could it be the Corona crisis?

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Plumstead Pie

Once upon a time

Once upon a time when I was young I lived in England for a couple of years and learned to cook lovely dishes from the cook in the kitchen of Little Plumstead Hospital.

One of the things he taught me was how to make a proper pie, usually his own inventions which he regularly changed over the course of time.

So what is Plumstead Pie exactly?

Plumstead Pie is an oven dish and not difficult to make but it will take you quite some time to prepare it so take your time in the kitchen.

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Winter in Vathorst

We live in a suburban area called Vathorst just on the outskirts of Amersfoort in Swampyland. Most streets in this area are for bicycles and cars are guests (the blue sign on one of the photos).

The area used to be all farmland and they’ve kept all the farms that are now used as restaurants, physiotherapy practice or nurseries. So what you see is a mixture of old and new. When it was all grass land decades ago I often been going through this exact area on my push bike to and from school.

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Winter fun in 1979

In January 1979 Swampyland was snowed in, the entire country was underneath in 10 to 50 inches of snow after freezing rain covered the country for days and days.

And then the temperature even dropped to -24 Celcius (-11 Fahrenheit in ‘old money’) and there was about 5 or 6 inches of ice which is why we learned ice skating on the streets and not on lakes and large ponds that year as in the years before.

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The Sols Hole

The Sols Hole, that would be the accurate translation of the Dutch name Het Solsche Gat.

It is near the place where my late grandmother lived, Garderen in the middle of the forests in Swampyland. Remember I told you about roasting Chestnuts at her place?

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