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 The Netherlands, 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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Steam

SteamOk, this is by far my best childhood memory: the steam operated merry-go-round in The Efteling theme park in The Netherlands.

I was five or six I think and in those days the Carousel was still outside, it’s now an indoor feature but in those days it was outside and a steam powered event. I can still remember the smell of soot and steam and it was beautiful to be in.

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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

Little LeonI remember I once -out of sheer stubbornness- sat on the roof. I was eight or nine years old and I climbed out of the attic window because I didn’t want to eat Chicory. I loathed Chicory.

My mum stood in the back garden, wearing her apron and waving a ladle at me as if to cast a 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.

She didn’t keep her promise.

Related: Terra Cotta Temper Tantrum

Along the dirt road

ReminiscingYears ago in the early 1990’s I lived in a little two bedroom house along a dirt road in the country side of The Netherlands. 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.

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

Gut feelingThis 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 cryptical but my real friends know what I mean.

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Snapshot Old Hall

Snapshot of Old Hall, Little Plumstead, Norfolk England – August 1989. Praktica MTL5 with a Pentacon 1.8/50mm lens. Scan from Kodak Gold paper at 300dpi.

I was rummaging through my night stand and found this old photograph. I thought it was gone but I must have hidden it too well a long time ago. It’s probably the best picture I ever took in England. This is a moment of utter happiness visualised, after that I never experienced anything like it.