Monthly report: August 2019
Figures as per 31 August 2019
- 365.294 kW produced;
- € 69.38 earned;
- 408.60 Kg CO2 emission saved;
- equals 0.48 trees planted; total 3.31 trees.
Monthly report: August 2019
Figures as per 31 August 2019
Famous friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have rallied to their defence following accusations of hypocrisy over their use of private jets, saying the couple are just “trying to make the world better”. American talk show host Ellen Degeneres, who has recently visited the Duke and Duchess, and pop star Pink both issued statements lamenting the “public form of bullying” endured by the couple, after details of their holidays to Ibiza and Nice emerged. It is the latest of the high-profile support for the Duke and Duchess, whose circle of celebrity friends are increasingly using interviews and social media to act as unofficial spokespeople to protect the couple from what they view as “attacks”. On Monday, Sir Elton John claimed the Duke and Duchess had been subject to “relentless and untrue assassinations” after being photographed with their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor boarding a private jet to his home in the south of France. The images led to accusations of hypocrisy for the Duke, who weeks earlier had flown to Google Camp to deliver a lecture on the environment and published an interview warning of climate change: “We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil”.
He and the Duchess are reported to have undertaken at least four flights by private jet on holidays to Ibiza and Nice this month. Sir Elton said he had arranged the latest trip because the Sussexes needed the “safety and tranquility” offered by his villa on the French Riviera, and had made “an appropriate contribution” to a company that specialises in offsetting carbon emissions. Now, Ellen DeGeneres, a comedian and talkshow host who has worked with the Duke on elephant conservation, added to the A-list voices defending the couple. In a post on Instagram, mentioning her wife, she said: “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. “They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.” Pink, an American singer whose links to the Royal couple have not been made public, said: “I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
“The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? “Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.” Between them, the three celebrities have a Twitter following of 111 million, with a further 83m people watching on Instagram. DeGeneres’ following alone, of 78.3m on Twitter and 76m on Instagram, dwarfs both the Royal Family’s main official social media accounts – 4m on Twitter – or the SussexRoyal Instagram page at 9.3m. The wisdom of Sir Elton’s intervention has been questioned after it sent the story of the private jet global, elevating it to a spectrum of British newspaper front pages, television and radio. Some were left concerned that the support of multi-millionaire celebrities would not win over the couple’s critics, adding to the confusion over their difficult dual role as global stars and working members of a Royal Family whose activities are funded in part by the taxpayer.
The celebrity PR blitz is understood to have unfolded without the knowledge of staff in the royal household, and is not part of an official communications strategy. It will likely be welcomed by the Duke and Duchess, who have become frustrated at their recent portrayal in the media and the restrictions placed upon them as members of the Royal Family. While the couple have a communications team based at Buckingham Palace, aides are bound to issue factual statements rather than speak on record about the Sussexes more abstract personal attributes or good intentions. Instead, the Duke and Duchess have increasingly forged their own methods of communication, writing lengthy Instagram captions giving away “behind the scenes” information about who they have met and publishing personal photographs.
The Duchess’s recent project to guest edit British Vogue gave her a platform of hundreds of pages to share her world view unencumbered by outside scrutiny. The Sussexes have previously received the support of George Clooney,the actor, who claimed the then-pregnant Duchess had been “pursued and vilified” during her New York baby shower, and said of media coverage: “It seemed to me to be a little unjust since she hadn’t done anything except just happen to live her life.” Gayle King, a broadcaster and best friend of Oprah Winfrey who attended the Duchess’ baby shower and visited her at Frogmore, regularly speaks up for her on American television. The BBC’s fact-checking team have calculated that the Duke and Duchess’s two return flights by private jet would have created 37.6 tonnes of CO2: “more than six times an average Briton’s yearly emissions, or 111 times those of a person in Lesotho”.
In the series The most beautiful house in Nijmegen this time a look at Jurriaan Gerritz, resident of Sint Annastraat 175.
,,This house, from 1910, is of incredible beauty, with a mix of styles. All original elements have been preserved and beautifully restored by the previous occupant. Even the garden is original. If you cycle past this building, you will hardly notice it. The façade, with blue natural stone and sober ornamentation, is understated: Dutch Jugendstil. The tower at the top seems low, but inside it is twice as high. Inside you enter the spacious hall with the beautiful staircase. A bit of English country house style. The hall serves as a living space there. We also use it as such. Sometimes we eat here with a lot of people. And beautiful, that skylight with stained glass on the roof. Also special.”
,,During the Four Days Marches, a lady suddenly stood at the door. She was the granddaughter of the man who built this house for himself, one of the Haspels brothers. These were leading designers and builders who left a big mark on the Nijmegen canals. We took a picture of her on the stairs. She will tell us more about the house one day.”
,,In the interior you can see the Arts and Crafts movement, which connects art and craftsmanship. Painting of walls and ceilings. Stained glass windows with details of flowers, bees … I still keep discovering things. For example, I found a wood paneling behind a panel. With this technique, a more expensive type of wood was painted on a cheap plate. And I discovered a place where a fireplace had been.”
,,It’s a family home. We would move here after the sale, three years ago, when my father-in-law fell. We have adapted the house so that he could live here on the ground floor. We are a few doors down, but we also use this property. It is wonderful to be here with friends, or alone, without the hectic pace of family life. Or to come together with people for dinners or parties.”
“Some friends live upstairs and there is a practice room. My father, a painter, uses the house as an exhibition space. The intention is that we will withdraw here in a while. I see it as my task to cherish this house and make good use of it.”
Hattem is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. The municipality had a population of 12,170 as per 01 January 2019. The municipality includes the hamlet of ‘t Zand. The name “Hattem” is a typical farmyard name. The exact origin of “Hattem” is yet unclear. In general two explanation exist. Hattem would be the ‘heem’ (home) of a people who belong to the tribe of Chattuarii (or Hattuarii or Hatten). A second origin could refer to the leader of a people under the leader Hatto. This fits with the fact that a lot of farmyard names are deduced from persons names.
A document referring to Hattem is found is dated around 800. This document is the Codex Laureshamensis, in which the settlement Hattem is mentioned because two farmhouses in this place are donated to the Lorsch abbey. Despite this early statement, no church or chapel was built in Hattem. In 1176 Hattem became a parish (‘kerspel’). The chapel, measuring 17,5 by 9,5 meter, was not built at the current city centre, but at the Gaedsberg (‘Gods-mountain’). The borders of the parish coincide with the latter borders of the jurisdiction Hattem. Hattem obtained city rights in 1299 from the count Reinoud I of Gelre. In the decades before a fortified town is founded at the northern border of the Veluwe. The city plan lies around the current church. The tower of this church is dated to the 12th century which indicates that, beside the parish church at the Gaedsberg, a chapel was present at the current city centre of Hattem. With obtaining town privileges, both the religious and the legal centre were moved. The new church and the city are dedicated to the apostle Andreas. In 1401, duke William of Guelders donated the Hoenwaard to the citizens of Hattem, in order to feed their cattle and to manufacture bricks for their houses. In 1404 the castle St. Lucia was built, which became known as the “Dikke Tinne” (the fat merlon). The reason can be found in the thick castle walls, at that time the thickest walls found in the Netherlands. In 1778, the castle was torn down, in order to use the bricks to build houses. In 1786, both Hattem and Elburg became known as centres of the Patriots Period, a political faction. These movements however were successfully suppressed by the governor William V.
Hattem is one of the Hanseatic cities on the Veluwe, with clearly its own charm and identity. The glorious history of the medieval Hanseatic League has left its mark here and has transformed the city into an attractive tourist attraction. The small and compact Hattem is surrounded by beautiful nature reserves: the vast floodplains along the IJssel, the wooded Noord-Veluwe and the polder landscape in the north. In the city center there are many authentic taste shops and wonderful terraces. Hattem also has not one but three museums!
The picturesque appearance of Hattem and its surroundings attracted numerous painters in the early 1900s, who tried to perpetuate the Dutch clouds over the IJssel. Jan Voerman was one of them. In the Voerman Museum Hattem you can admire many of his beautiful works. The well-known illustrator Anton Pieck was also charmed by Hattem. Here he recognized something of the atmosphere from his own work. No wonder the Anton Pieck Museum found a place there, designed by the master himself. The history of bread and pastries is displayed in a surprising way in the Dutch Bakery Museum. Baking takes place several times a week, sometimes in the 200 year old branch forest oven. There are demonstrations and tours throughout the year.
Hattem is bustling with life thanks to its wide range of shops in pleasant streets and alleys. Fashion, art, antiques, industry and craftsmanship can be found in a radius of 300 meters. After the shopping visit it is good to be in the many restaurants and on the terraces, where traditional ice cream and chocolate are not lacking. There are plenty of parking facilities in and around the city and parking is free.
A very nice funeral service in the Protestant Church in Doorwerth. As Helena was a soprano in the Arnheim Slavic Choir and in the Nijmegen Byzantine Choir, members of both choirs sang nine songs during the service. After the service we brought Helena to her grave, in a pouring rain.
Now that I am out of the war I can only think about the long term
During the war in Syria I worked as a volunteer with volunteers from UNHCR and Unicef. The majority of the help they offered went to children. Theater for children, balloons, or music lessons. I always found that frustrating. It is a luxury form of help that does not come at the right time for people. There is a greater need for a tent or food, which will benefit them immediately.
Now that I have been in the Netherlands for longer, I see how thinking works in the long term. Children are seen as a seed. Something slowly grows out of it, it becomes a plant or a tree if it receives the right care. Fruits or flowers come from under the right conditions. There is education for everyone here, but also cultural education. Can parents not pay for music lessons? Then the government or a fund supplements. It is so important here that a child develops in all areas. Childhood is here a time in which you learn to play a musical instrument or a hobby that you can perform later in your spare time. It is an age that the government gives money and attention to children’s playgrounds instead of weapons.
The children in Syria are used to a lack of water and food. For them it feels like nonsense to follow a course half-homeless or to pursue a hobby. The short term counts for them. That of water, food and taking away the worries of their parents. Now that I am out of the war myself, I can think again in the long term.
Only now do I see how good it is to try to take war children, even if only for a short time, to that long term. Music, theater or a party, so that they learn to express their emotions and forget their worries.
The ideal woman: eyes that are not brown, blonde or red hair and skin like cheese.
When I did something good for my mother as a child, she always said: I am looking for the ideal woman for you. A Syrian mother sees that as her task. Picking out a good daughter-in-law and a beautiful wife for her son. That “ideal” woman in Syria is tall and slender and has eyes that are not brown, blonde or red hair and skin like cheese. During weddings, mothers look for a suitable candidate for their son. In Aleppo, the wedding parties are often separate, so women celebrate it separately from the men. Women feel free to wear short clothing or lingerie there. At least, that’s what my mother says. I have never been there myself. It is a good opportunity for some girls to show their qualities to the seeking mothers. “I saw a woman in front of you with skin as white as cheese,” my mother said when she returned.
The cheese in Syria is pure white. In the Netherlands, women do not see this as a quality. They just want to be brown and try to get the skin of a Syrian. “If my mother saw you, she would immediately bring you in as the ideal woman,” I sometimes tell pale Dutch women. Yet they are not happy with themselves. Because most Syrian youth have fled, it becomes more difficult for us to find an ideal partner without a seeking mother. In my head I now sketch a woman with a yellow / brownish skin, so that someday I can call my mother to say that I have found a woman with a skin like cheese. She wants that so badly. Then I cut the line quickly, so I don’t have to tell her that she looks like Dutch cheese.
Unreliable as he is, a pigeon man in Syria can never testify
I walked under the tunnel of Arnhem Velperpoort station when I saw a flyer hanging: ‘We have lost our dear bird Zuzu. Who has seen him? ” There was a green bird on the photo. He looked like a little parrot. I looked up at the trees, how could I ever find a bird for those people? Let alone catch him? The love for birds is not strange to Syrians. We don’t make it personal, because we don’t name birds and we don’t miss them, but the pigeon sport is great in Syria. ‘Pigeon men’ are always at work on the roofs of flats, houses and other buildings. They wave a sweater and make a bird sound, with which they lure the pigeons. They receive food until they keep coming back.
Pigeon men are notorious in Syria. They are known to be unreliable because they always swear unfairly in the name of God. Wollah, that’s my pigeon! No, Wollah, that’s my pigeon! One of the two is lying. Pigeon men lure the pigeons together with food. Sometimes they suddenly see their own bird land on another roof. Then you know: hey, my bird has been caught! The Syrian law even states that pigeon men can never witness a lawsuit. Because they are known that their word is unreliable.
Fortunately the houses in the Netherlands have sloping roofs, so the chance that pigeon men become active in the Netherlands is small. I imagine that not only the PVV wants us away, but also the Party for the Animals. I won’t let that happen, because I want to stay here. In fact, I am now going to look for that birdie!
Romance in Syria and in the Netherlands: a world of difference.
A Dutch girl friend said to me: “Anwar, I had a date with a Syrian boy. After one date I received a video from him. In the video I saw all photos of myself that I once posted on the internet, with a song underneath. Now I’m afraid of him. I blocked it immediately ‘.
I sighed and dropped my head on the table. In one short story she summarized what has been going wrong with me in the Netherlands for years. The communication between Arab boys and Dutch girls. That poor Syrian boy thinks he has done something romantic, my Dutch girlfriend thinks she has hooked up a dangerous stalker.
In Syria, it is romantic for your fiancée to say to you, “If I don’t get you, nobody will get you!” A Dutch girl calls the police for this. I lifted the Syrian girlfriend I had back then over a pond to add, “You are as sweet as sugar and you would melt if I let you walk through it.” You don’t have to touch this with texts like that. I am now behind.Paying attention is the most important thing in Syria in trying to adorn a woman. Here a woman asks after two apps, why do you keep calling me? I just spoke to you, right? In Syria I would reply: “1 minute without you feels like a year without you.” Here I close my phone with a sigh.
All the ways I have learned to show a woman that I like her do not apply here. Not too many compliments, not too much attention, no special treatment. I really have no idea what remains. If I stay here, I will be single forever.
With these temperatures ( >30º C.) we have dinner at the terrace of the pond. From there you have the most beautiful views at our assortment of flowers in the backyard. This one hangs down from the little balcony at the end of the ground floor of the house. We enjoy -starting 9PM- also the company of bats.