0756/City ranking

Amsterdam (world: 17)

High scores on culture and environment shouldn’t come as a surprise with Amsterdam. The city of canals, barges, flowers and free-thinking is a perennial favorite when it comes to living and visiting. There are enough museums, from Anne Frank to Van Gough, from the Rijksmuseum to Rembrandt’s house, the Science Centre to the Museum of Bags and Purses for you to never see the light of day, but that would be a shame. Mix it up and enjoy a trip on the canals in a brunch boat, shop at the Albert Cuyp Market and the flower market. But most importantly, hire a bike and do as the locals do: go and explore the parks, along the canals, and outside of Amsterdam in this, probably the flattest country in the world.


Walk of the World edition #103

Training #2

Subscription for the 103rd edition of the Walk of the World started 4th of February. Not without problems. Because there are 47,000 start permits to get. The server was open for on-line subscription from midnight, but hundreds of participants were eager to be the first to log in. So, within 30 minutes the server was out of order. Also because the organising committee had introduced a new phenomenon: your subscrip-tion is complete when we have received your payment (€84 / £74 / CA$126). But at night the servers of the financial institutions are busy anyway, and now there came on-line payments troubling the systems. So, when you were lucky your payment (and so your subscription) came through, but e.g. Pierre’s payment was a problem. But after a while, in the evening of that Monday, we both had our subscriptions. And, because we finished both the last edition of the Walk of the World, we are sure to get the start permit.

Today was the first training day in 2019. With a fresh 4 Celsius, but a blue sky and a lot of sun, we took an easy itinerary: home – via the center to Nijmegen East, then all South bound to Berg en Dal – via the Seven Hills way to Groesbeek – North bound to Nijmegen South – home.

The app on my smartphone reports as follows:

  • 290 minutes non-stop walking
  • 24.2 Km  (16.1M)
  • 31,152 steps
  • 1,968 kCal.
  • 6h 33m all-in: dep. 09h 45m arr. 16h 18m (2 stops, in Berg en Dal and a pub near the soccer club at Groesbeek).


0748/Apology from the Author

An apology to all my followers cq. viewers of this site. January was a busy month. But the blog is now updated with:

1d. STEWART-WILSON 2019 (new), as Lady Mary is on cruise again, but in the meantime we made nice plans for the future;
2. ANWAR’S COLUMN with a full month of his experiences in Dutch society 🙂 🙂 🙂 ;
4d. ROYALTY 2019 (new);
5. SOLAR ENERGY (new), where you can follow the where-abouts of the installation and see the monthly reports about: input Kwearnings in €, prevented CO2 emission in Kg and the number of trees planted with this “green” energy.

Presently the weather is far below acceptable. February starts with days of either fog or snow er even both miserable items. My poor solar panels had a fairly good month January 2019, compared to December 2018:

+ 17Kw input, + € 3 earnings, + 6Kg prevented CO2 emission, + 0,02 trees planted.

0745/bedtime story

CBeebies to have Will Young read children ‘bedtime story’ about gay adoption as he says ‘inclusivity must start at youngest age possible’

Will Young is due to read a story about same-sex parents on CBeebies, the BBC’s children’s channel, explaining that “inclusivity must start at youngest age possible”. The singer is due to appear on the channel’s popular Bedtime Stories show, broadcast at 6.50pm every night, in order to mark LGBT history month. Famous faces who have appeared on the show include Tom Hardy, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Tim Peake. He has chosen the book Two Dads for his bedtime story, which is the tale of a boy who has been adopted and finds himself happily raised by two fathers. He said: “Children’s books are one of the first ways we learn about the world around us so I’m overjoyed to be reading a story to mark LGBT History Month. More so than ever, families in all forms should be recognised and celebrated – whether that’s two dads, two mums, families with a mum and a dad, those with a single parent, adoptive families and so on.” “I’ve never been more sure that inclusivity starts from the youngest possible age. I hope these stories will be used for years to come.” Will Young recently made headlines by threatening to report Jeremy Clarkson’s Amazon car show, The Grand Tour, to Ofcom after accusing the presenters of homophobic remarks. He said at the time: “How dare they stereotype gay men. I DON’T drive a Wrangler Jeep. I DON’T wear pink shirts . I DON’T wear a—less chaps.” “You can be honest and funny without this ridiculous ‘lad’ ooh being gay and let’s laugh about it mentality. It’s repulsive and how DARE you do it and put it out.” He is continuing his LGBT activism on his podcast, Homo Sapiens, the third series of which is out now. Two Dads is written by Carolyn Robertson, and illustrated by Sophie Humphreys. Young can be watched reading from the book on February 9. The BBC has started to feature more LGBT stories on the show in order to promote inclusivity, with JB Gill reading Families, Families, Families last year, which is a book about diverse families.  Sharon D Clarke is scheduled to read another same-sex parent book, All Kinds of Families!, later this year.

0740/ Sydney New Year’s Eve

Thousands of people waiting to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks around Sydney harbour were battered by torrential rain as a thunderstorm swept the city hours before midnight. On Monday morning the Bureau of Meteorology had predicted the “chance of a light shower/thunderstorm” in the evening, most likely in the west of the city. Otherwise, it said, “a warm, partly cloudy night” was expected. But by mid-afternoon thunderstorm warnings for inland areas had been extended to Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra, and the city was hit with a succession of huge downpours from about 5pm. The storms quickly brought 8mm of rain and dozens of lightning strikes, forcing the cancellation of the 8pm aerial flyover display. People had arrived early on Monday to set up picnic blankets at popular spots including the ends of the bridge, the Opera House and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Jeroen van Druten and his wife Miranda – holidaying in Australia from the Netherlands – said they had watched Sydney’s fireworks on television for years. By 11am they had parked themselves under the bridge at The Rocks with a bag of supplies as temperatures climbed toward 30C. “You hear from everyone it’s very busy, crowded, so to get a good spot you have to be early,” Van Druten told AAP. “It was on our bucket list.” This year’s $5.78m Sydney NYE show will comprise 8.5 tonnes of fireworks, more than 100,000 individual pyrotechnic effects and 35,000 shooting comets. Earlier on Monday the city’s lord mayor, Clover Moore, lashed out at the state government over the increased commercialisation of New Year’s Eve around the harbour, calling the increase in ticketed events “outrageous”. Of the 51 official harbourside events on the City of Sydney’s website, 19 are ticketed, with prices as high as $335. A number of ticketed locations – including Hickson Road reserve in The Rocks and Pirrama Park wharf at Pyrmont – were previously free. On Monday, Moore said all the ticketed events were on land held by state government agencies. “I frankly think that is outrageous that they are trying to make money out of something that we are putting on to bring the community together harmoniously and to celebrate the beauty of our city and our creators,” she said.


0738/Mary of Gelre revisited

Prayerbook of Mary of Gelre

The exhibition revisited: the first time with my sister on 23 December, the second time with our friend Bart de Boer from Amsterdam.