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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Time traveling

Many years ago I lived in England for a few years, I am sure I have told you all about it on many occasions. Even though I love my life in Swampyland, the love of my life my wife, and my four children and all the friends I have here, I do long to be there at times.

I think it has to do with all these great memories I have of those good time I had as a young man, being in England, having friends around me there (just as I have them around me here nowadays) and not in the least the British food. Yes, there are times I wish I could just pop over for a pint or a proper English meal.

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Sign this petition!

Yes I know, I am not a keen sharer of petitions because I have the feeling it never helps and I must admit, even this one will probably be of little interest to you but today I must act. I urge you to sign a petition. I just did, wholeheartedly. You see, I am what they call an anglophile, I love England.

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I would walk 500 miles

And I would walk 500 more. Ok, maybe I won’t do exactly that though but only because I am physically incapable of walking that far.

I am now back home and I’m playing this The Proclaimers CD I once bought in England when I was young. It reminds me of good times and it makes me happy.

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Memories

My first gold watch, I bought it in 1989 at Ratner’s in Norwich. So many good memories come back now when I pick it up to look at it.

Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish I could go back in time and hop on my pushbike and speed down Kett’s Hill and turn left into the city center to go there again.

It’s safely tucked away with all the other good memories now.

Chicory

I remember I that I once as a child -out of sheer stubbornness- sat on the roof. I was eight or nine years old I think and I climbed out of the attic window because I didn’t want to eat Chicory. I loathed Chicory (I still do by the way).

My mum stood in the back garden, wearing her apron and waving a large ladle at me as if to cast a bad spell on me and she shouted frantically to me come down immediately but I didn’t, not before I made her promise not to smack me anyway.

She didn’t keep her promise.

The house where I grew up

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Along the dirt road

Years ago in the early 1990’s I lived in a little two bedroom bungalow along a dirt road in the country side of Swampyland. I was struggling to find a job and regarded as poor but I could always pay the gas bill so I was ok I reckoned, albeit only just.

The Dutch were still paying each other in Guilders then, there was no Euro yet, people didn’t even know the word. There was a union of European countries, but normal people didn’t know about it or didn’t care. We just lived our peaceful lives in those days.

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Gut feeling

This is how I remember it, Brundall railway station. In 1989 I got off the train here, with a knot tied in my stomach. A month before I left the army, not knowing what to do with my life and my uncle, The Brains they called him in the family, advised me “to go far away for a while to grow up and find out who I am”.

It meant a turn in my life that shaped me into what I am still now, I know that sounds a bit cryptic but my real friends know what I mean.

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And then there were these voices

When I was young my parents once took us for a Summer Holiday in France in 1976, I think the place was called Avalon. We were staying at a campsite along a whispering river right next to our tent, a lovely noise when you woke up and listened to it in a tent lit up orange with the morning sun.

My dad drove us there in his old orange Volkswagen bus and my mum and dad took turns in driving so we drove all night long until we arrived there deep in the night. All the way down there I laid in the back on top of the engine, the noise made me fall asleep (it still is like that, I can fall asleep instantly with loud music).

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Memories in Technicolor

I love watching these old films. As a child we had this enormous Philips Colour Television made in Sweden.

We watched films like Doctor Zhivago, The Sound of Music, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, To Sir, With Love and all kinds of other lovely films that are now Classics.

That wonderful colour television is now long gone but I can still remember sitting there and watching it and if I close my eyes I can still smell the hot, orange glowing, dusty vacuum tubes in the back.

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