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.

Farmer Wants a Wife


The English TV program “Farmer Wants a Wife” has a very popular Dutch counter part: “Farmer seeks Wife”. With about >4.9 million viewers, the series break all records. Last week was the final: Which of the farmers are still together with the chosen partner?


Inhabitant of the Achterhoek (Achterhoek is a part of the province Gelderland, where also Nimwegen is) Maarten Bos of “Farmer seeks Wife” has to be disguised to visit his peasant wife Michelle.

The man who captured the heart of farmer Michelle lives in the Achterhoek. Maarten Bos wrote a letter to “Farmer seeks Wife”, fell in love and is now ‘the friend of’.

When Maarten Bos tunes his television on Sunday evening at NPO1 (Dutch TV channel 1), that would be for Studio Sport and not for “Farmer seeks Wife”. How different was that in recent months. The 28-year-old inhabitant of the Achterhoek not only devoured all episodes, he played one of the main roles. Maarten Bos, like 325 other letter writers, wanted to win mushroom breeder Michelle from Boekel (a village in the province North Brabant). What started as a difficult mission ended in a romance. Maarten Bos became the one who was allowed to sit on the bench next to Michelle during the “Farmer seeks Wife” episodes. With the curtains closed, that is, because the fact that they are a set, had to remain secret until last week.

,,I always had to go undercover from Aalten to Boekel “, says Maarten Bos. ,,I changed car and used disguises. Caps, sunglasses, that kind of thing. There was always a plan to enter together unseen. After the first episode on television, I received a lot of phone calls. Because they had seen it well? Did I join “Farmer seeks Wife”? The nice thing is that you already know how it has ended and that it has just begun for the viewers.”


 For a non-follower of “Farmer seeks Wife”, Michelle had to impress you very much …
,,My mother and sister wrote the first letter. You’re doing it, I thought. Then I was quickly called with the message that I really had to write a letter myself. When I looked back at the episode in which Michelle introduced, I had no doubts. I have gone for it. A few weeks later I heard that Michelle had, among other things, chosen my letter and was entitled to speed date. What would be happening to me, went through me for a moment. It is hard to realize that 4 million people watch you every week.”

Welcome to circus “Farmer seeks Wife”. A nice circus?
,,It sounds cliché, but you quickly do not notice anything about the cameras. Also because so much is filmed and ultimately only a small part is broadcasted. The first time, at the speed date, I was very nervous. It is strange to hear your own voice and see yourself in the screen. Later on I have sat in front of the television and thought: what have you done again? In the so-called guest week everyone took something for Michelle. One had chicken, the other came driving with an oldtimer. And I? I gave lavender! Then you are already 2-0 behind.”

Image result for maarten bos boer zoekt vrouw

Michelle gives a healing to Maarten in a spare moment.

When did the real infatuation come?
“During the lodge week I found out that she was really someone I saw myself in the future. How she was working at the farm, I could really watch it all day. Her dealings with the staff, the fact that she really knew everything: I thought that was very attractive. You are unconsciously continuously analyzing whether love is mutual, but Michelle was very good at keeping all options open. I kept that uncertainty until the last moment of choice.”

Michelle talks to the show host about the 2 remaining men…

And then the cameras are suddenly gone and you can be together …
“Michelle asked me one last time: why are the shutters still closed? That had become so obvious that we did not even think about it anymore. It took some getting used to having to take no account of anything.”

What does your future look like?
“The move plans are there. I am going to Boekel and we are going to live there together. Yes, on short term. That will happen fairly quickly.”



The (nearly) 94 year old ex-collegue of Pierre, Jan Holthuis, also an ex-G.P. and former neighbor of Pierre in Horst, is suffering from Altzheimer Disease. We visit him on a regular basis each 3 weeks. Pierre is also stand-by in case a 24h presence of a help becomes necessary. However, after my duty in the Saint Stephan Church we went -later than normal- Southwards.

Sunset over the garden of Jan Holthuis at 6.08PM:


The water control system along his garden:

Spain – Fly-drive

Fly-drive Spain, part 1:

Nimwegen – Amsterdam – Madrid – Collada Villalba – Salamanca – Plasencia



Britain unprepared for heatwaves, warn MPs as Friday could be hottest day on record at 38.5C

Britain is unprepared to cope with heatwaves, a major report by MPs has warned, as the Met Office forecast that the UK could see its hottest ever day on Friday, with temperatures reaching 101F (38.5C). The Environmental Audit Committee said adapting to a warming climate was now a ‘matter of life and death’ and without action, thousands of people will die each year. The committee warned that building regulations brought in to make modern homes and offices more energy efficient had left householders and workers sweltering in overly-insulated buildings, with little ventilation, and called for updated guidelines.  And they said road and rail services had not been built to cope with hot weather, with just half of Britain’s motorways surfaced with material that can withstand high temperatures, and rail tracks increasingly at risk of buckling, causing serious timetable disruption. The Royal College of Nursing warned that people were already ‘vomiting and passing out’ from the heat and MPs said public health guidance should be issued to to employers and schools to relax dress and uniform codes and allow flexible working.


A survey carried out by the committee also found that schools are so hot in the summer than nine in 10 teachers are forced to personally buy fans to make classrooms bearable. MPs warned that by the 2040s Britain will face similar heatwaves every two years, and called for a minister be appointed to tackle the growing crisis. Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: “Heatwaves cause premature deaths from cardiac, kidney and respiratory disease. There will be 7,000 heat-related deaths every year in the UK by 2050 if the Government does not take action. “The Government’s new adaptation plan promises no effective action to prevent overheating in buildings. “It must change building regulations and planning policies to ensure homes and transport networks are able to deal with extreme heat, and that local authorities and cities have green spaces and heat-resilient infrastructure.” A Level 3 heat health watch alert covering a large part of England has been issued by the Met Office and Public Health England, warning people to stay out of the sun and keep their homes as cool as possible. Britain is just one stage away from a national emergency, which will be triggered if healthy people start becoming seriously ill from the heat. But visits to the NHS Choices website have already risen 450 per cent as people struggle to cope with heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Wendy Preston, Head of Nursing at the Royal College of Nursing, said: “The heat is already affecting patients in health and social care settings up and down the country. “Our members have reported people vomiting and passing out, and it is clear the UK’s health care infrastructure is simply not designed to deal with increasingly hot summers.” “This summer is just a taste of what could be in store for the UK in the face of climate change, and the Government must act now to prevent a major public health crisis.” The Met Office said the heatwave will peak on Thursday and Friday with temperatures rising to 98F (37C) and beyond in southeast England. The highest temperature ever recorded in Britain was 101F ( 38.5C) at Faversham on 10 August 2003, but forecasters said Friday could beat the record. Paul Gundersen, Chief Meteorologist at The Met Office, said: “The heatwave conditions will continue across much of England, with temperatures into the mid to high 30s Celsius in many places from the Midlands eastwards on Thursday and Friday and it’s possible that we could break the all-time UK record of 38.5° C if conditions all come together.” Thunderstorms are expected to bring a temporary relief for some parts of Britain over the next few days, before the heatwave returns next week.


NIMWEGEN       : Today: 19°C/37°C


Large forest fire in the Veluwe under control: 4 hectares burned down.

The nature fire at “National Park De Hoge Veluwe” near Otterlo seems under control. This is reported by the fire brigade, which has now started with follow-on loops. The fire raged Tuesday at the beginning of the afternoon. There is an estimated 4 hectares of forest and heather burned down.
The fire started around 12.45pm on the south side of the park in an area called Het Dal. It is not far from Oud-Reemst. Just outside the park there are the Harderwijkerweg and the Koningsweg, where De Pitstop snack bar is located. Several trees have caught fire. How exactly the fire could occur is unclear. Clouds of smoke could be seen from afar in the surroundings of the nature reserve.

The fire brigade is present with a lot of equipment at National Park De Hoge Veluwe to extinguish the fire. “Of course we take every form of fire seriously, but because of the drought we do this for sure,” says a spokesperson for the fire brigade. A spokesperson for the park says that at the moment grass is burning. ,,But we expect that the fire department can quickly control the fire. Fortunately, there is not too much wind.”

Brand op de Hoge Veluwe.

The fire brigade sent eight forest fire vehicles and extra water cars to the fire. The police was also involved. Hikers and cyclists had to leave the area. The Harderwijkerweg near Otterlo is closed because of the smoke development, according to the fire department. Nothing is known about the cause of the fire. The fire department can not yet say how large the area is that is on fire. The park is still open. The paths are quite far away from the fire. The park calls visitors to avoid the area around Oud-Reemst.



As the water pump of the pond shuts down at 10:00pm till 08:00am, you see here an impression at 09:55pm of our pond and backyard:


Back to normal:

After the period of training, marches and house-guest, life returns to the regular routine. My volonteer work at the Saint Stephan Church opened a new perspective on the word “ART”.





WotW – edition 102#18


11 July 2018 – training #14

Leg 1:

Nimwegen (home) – Groesbeek woodland; dep.: 07:58 arr 10:18 / 15.16Km / 10.11M / 2h 20m / refreshments break

Leg 2:

Groesbeek woodland – Plasmolen; dep: 10:29  arr 11:54 / 6.77Km / 4.51M / 1h 25m / coffee break

Leg 3:

Plasmolen – Gennep; dep 12:07 arr 14:14 / 10.57Km / 7.05M / 2h 07m / Lunch break

Leg 4:

Gennep – Nimwegen (home); dep.: 15:11 arr: 16:00 by bus line 83/99.

WotW – edition 102#17


10 July 2018 – training #13

Leg 1:

Nimwegen (home) – Kekerdom; dep.: 07:45 arr 11.43 / 21.70Km / 14.47M / 3h 58m / refreshments break

Leg 2:

Kekerdom – Ooy; dep: 11:54  arr 13:16 / 8.17Km / 5.45M / 1h 20m / lunch break break

Leg 3:

Ooy – Nimwegen downtown quay side; dep.: 14:03 by bus line 80.

Leg 4:

Nimwegen downtown quay side – Home; dep. 14:27 arr 15:07 / 5.23Km / 3.49M / 0h 40m

WotW – edition 102#16


06 July 2018 – training #12

Leg 1:

Nimwegen (home) – bank river Waal – polder of Ooy – Persingen; dep.: 07:35 arr 09:53 / 12.35Km / 8.23M / 2h 18m / refreshments break

Leg 2:

Persingen – Leuth; dep: 10:03  arr 11:23 / 6.80Km / 4.53M / 1h 20m / refreshments break

Leg 3:

Leuth – Millingen on Rhine; dep.: 11:28 arr 13:08 / 10.92Km / 7.28M / 1h 40m / lunch break

Leg 4:

Millingen on Rhine – Nimwegen downtown quay side; dep.: 14:04 by bus line 80.

Leg 5:

Nimwegen downtown quay side – Home; dep. 15:13 arr 15:53 / 3.60Km / 2.40M / 0h 40m

TOTAL: 33.67Km / 22.45M in 5h 58m


As a volunteer I was on duty today, Sunday 01 July. From 01:00PM till 02:00PM there was an open rehearsal by a choir from Venlo (city in Limbourg, on river Meuse). Two recordings: an English carol and one of the Four Sacred Pieces by Giuseppe Verdi.



Hasan (21) fled from Syria to the Netherlands and invites you for a cup of coffee.

h“All the unknown is exciting, that is why it is so important that refugees and Dutch people come into contact with each other”, says Hasan. He fled from Syria to the Netherlands. On June 20, World Refugee Day, he serves coffee with other refugees and the Dutch Council for Refugees between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm at the station in Nimwegen.

Studying or the army

You would not say it if you heard him speak Dutch, but Hasan is only 2,5 years in the Netherlands. At the age of 18 he fled to the Netherlands with his uncle to escape the dangerous military service. His father, mother, brother and sister stayed behind. “It is war in Syria. That’s why many boys who turn 18 have to go into the army. I did not want to go into the army, but to study. That is why I decided to leave Syria. “

Take the initiative yourself

KhoseMeanwhile Hasan is following a transition year at HAN (University Arnheim Nimwegen), so that he can then start his study Civil Engineering. When he asks if he feels at home in the Netherlands, a smile appears from ear to ear. “The Netherlands is really my home! The Dutch generally take little initiative to get to know you, but if you take a step yourself, almost everyone reacts positively. That’s why I like to hand out coffee on June 20: then I just come to the people myself! I hope people do not think it’s weird that I just want to drink a cup of coffee. Probably they think that I am very different, because I come from a different country. But I really do not think so. For me, everyone is just the same.”

People of the hour

Yet Hasan has already found a few differences between Dutch and Syrians. Hasan: “Time for example! Everyone is always on time. If you have to go to work I understand that, but even if I have a meeting with friends and I am 5 minutes late I get to hear that already. Recently I got a message from a friend, if I wanted to come and eat with her in three months. That’s really going too far for me, haha! In Syria we did everything much more spontaneously, then we often called the same day if it came true. That is really a big difference with how it goes in the Netherlands.”

We do not know our neighbors

Another difference, according to Hasan, is the low level of contact with the neighbors. “I knew everyone in my village in Syria. Here I literally know only one neighbor in the flat where I live.” Yet Hasan is far from lonely. He quickly made friends: both people of Dutch descent and people with a foreign background. “I have left some contacts with my time at the asylum seekers’ center. People came by to meet us. I also met people at school. And I do volunteer work at a foundation that organizes fun activities for children and young people in asylum seekers’ centers. My colleagues there are now also really good friends. “


Malinese Spiderman rewarded with a medal


Mamoudou Gassama, the man who last weekend saved a four-year-old boy who dangled on a Paris balcony, received a ribbon today. Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris handed him the distinction in person. Hidalgo praised Gassama extensively on Twitter last weekend, but wanted to reinforce her words by giving the Malinese ‘Spiderman’ the highest award in the city of Paris. This morning she handed him the Grand Vermeil medal. Since his heroic deed it has been raining thanks for the 22-year-old resident of Paris.

Last Monday, he was personally received by President Emmanuel Macron, who promised him a residence permit and advised him to make a request for naturalization. Mamoudou did that immediately the day after.

The Malinese was also offered a job at the Paris fire brigade. Last Friday he reported after he received his residence permit in the barracks of Champerret, where he once again demonstrated how agile he can climb. The next ten months he can show what he can do at the fire brigade. ,,I’m going to do everything to get there”, says Gassama. Mamoudou will have to wait a little longer before he gets the French nationality. It takes about three months on average to handle an application. Spiderman Since last Saturday, Mamoudou has been nicknamed Spiderman, because he climbed a block of flats on Paris’s Rue Marx-Dormoy to save a 4-year-old boy who was dangling from a balcony on the fourth floor. The video of the scene quickly crossed the internet. To the father of the child, who was not at home at that moment, an investigation was made.



Lunch and a niece afternoon on the terrace at Hannie and Walter ten Brink. Walter was -at the time that I met Pierre in 1978- managing director of the Horst local hospital. He was internist. Later, when the local hospital closed down, he was internist in a hospital of the neighboring village Venraij. I met Hannie and Walter also in 1978 🙂 🙂 🙂 .


As every year, there was a Russian Orthodox Easter service, with the Nimwegen Byzantine Choir conducted by Svetlana van Wielink. The Priest came all from Antwerp. He had in his readings a nice mix of Russian and Flemish accent. grNormally we have the services at the Titus Brandsma Memorial Church. This year we had the service in the Groenestraat Church (pic. left). A regular Byzantine service lasts about 1 hour 30 minutes. The Easter service -as in the version of the Nimwegen Byzantine Choir- lasts 3 hours. A real complete Russian Orthodox Easter service lasts over 4 hours…

WotW – edition 102#3

  • by bus to Gennep;
  • from Gennep coach terminal to the Ferry House in Oeffelt, on the river Meuse; coffee and a guided tour by the owner of the Ferry House;
  • via Gennep center towards Milsbeek;
  • at Milsbeek you leave the road and you have wonderful woods;
  • on Arjen’s advice we went to Grafwegen (Germany) for lunch;
  • back into the Netherlands, heading for Groesbeek;
  • by bus to Nimwegen railway station, nearly home 🙂