The artist Brian Holden from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada has sent me this wonderful collection of Canadian artwork in wood.
A Nativity scene is also in the front, but only visible from the inside of the house. A present from our friend Bart de Boer from Amsterdam. Bart will pass here the days around New Year’s Eve and New Year.
They are all there (from left to right): the donkey, the ox, the three Kings from the East, father Joseph, baby Jesus, Mary Magdalene, mother Mary, four sheep and the shepherd.
#6: Stroll outside the center of Arnheim
Theresa May meets with Dutch PM Mark Rutte in The Hague
Theresa May will be told on her European tour to stop trying to appease her mutinous backbenches by throwing them the “red meat” of Brexit promises she can never deliver upon, EU diplomatic sources have told The Telegraph.
As Mrs May embarked on a whistle-stop tour of the EU, including the Netherlands, Germany and Brussels, diplomats expressed growing exasperation at Mrs May’s constant attempts to placate the impossible demands of clean-break Brexiteers with unrealistic promises. The message will be the same one Mrs May received from Europe over the weekend, when the Telegraph understands Mrs May was directly warned against feeding unreasonable expectations. “She was told ‘don’t keep feeding them red meat. We know how this ends. You get eaten up last,” said a senior EU diplomat. The uncompromising tone comes as Mrs May seeks a “legally binding assurance” that the UK will not be trapped indefinitely in the Irish backstop arrangement that puts the UK into a customs union with the EU to avoid the return of a hard border in Ireland. After Mrs May pulled today’s the ‘meaningful vote’ in the Commons, the race is now on to secure concessions from Europe that might convince opponents of the deal to change their minds, particularly on the question of the Irish backstop.
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.”
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.”