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Walk of the World edition #103

Training #10

Itinerary:

  • Leg 01: Home – bus station Wolfkuuilseweg
  • Leg 02: By bus (line 14): Wolfkuilseweg – Nijmegen Central Station
  • Leg 03: By bus (line 80): Nijmegen Central Station – Millingen on Rhine (City hall)
  • Leg 04: Millingen (city hall) – Millingen ferry station South bank
  • Leg 05: By ferry: river Rhine (South bank) – river Rhine (North bank)
  • Leg 06: Ferry station river Rhine North bank – Tolkamer – Lobith [lunch]
  • Leg 07: Lobith – Herwen [drink stop]
  • Leg 08. Herwen – Aerdt – Pannerden ferry station (East river IJssel)
  • Leg 09: By ferry: river IJssel (East bank) – river IJssel (West bank)
  • Leg 10: Ferry station Doornenburg – Doornenburg center
  • Leg 11: By bus (line 33) Doornenburg center – Nijmegen center
  • Leg 12: By bus (line 2) Nimegen center – home.

The app on my smartphone reports as follows:

  • 5h 22m non-stop walking
  • 27,48Km (18.32 M)
  • 35.149 steps
  • 2,802kCal.

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Walk of the World edition #103

Training #9

Near Mook.

Between Mook and Plasmolen.

Between Milsbeek and Gennep (near river Meuse).

Stork at city hall Gennep.

Itinerary:

  1. Leg 1: Home – Nijmegen East – University Sports Complex – Railwaytrack towards South [drinks]
  2. Leg 2: Railwaytrack – woodland Groesbeek – Malden – Mook [lunch]
  3. Leg 3: Mook – Plasmolen – Middelaar [drinks]
  4. Leg 4: Middelaar – Milsbeek – river Meuse – Gennep [drinks]
  5. Leg 5: By bus (line 83) Gennep – Nijmegen Central Station.
  6. Leg 6: Nijmegen Central Station – Nijmegen Central Market [dinner]
  7. Nijmegen Central Market – home

The app on my smartphone reports as follows:

  • 5h 58m non-stop walking
  • 35,70Km (23.8 M)
  • 40,634 steps
  • 3,226kCal.

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An artists impression of the Duchess of Cambridge's Chelsea Flower Show garden

This week, Kensington Palace released previously unseen images of the Duchess of Cambridge putting the finishing touches on her designs for her debut Chelsea Flower Show garden. Over the past few months, Kate has been working with the Royal Horticultural Society and award-winning landscape architects Andrée Davies and Adam White to design a woodland wilderness “Back to Nature” garden for families with children. Until now, the details have been kept under wraps – shrouding the most eagerly anticipated attraction of the 2019 show in mystery ahead of its grand unveiling next week. However, we know that the garden is designed to “inspire families to get outside and explore nature together”, and to promote the benefits the natural world brings to mental and physical well-being. And we can now reveal that among the many child-friendly, playful features, the 37-year-old’s magical garden is set to boast both a stream and Enid Blyton-esque, high-platform tree house, clad in stag horn oak and whimsically reminiscent of a bird’s nest. The pictures here show just how hands-on Kate’s creative input has been into the garden, which will also feature a swing seat, a campfire and a rustic den, similar to one used by her own children Prince George (5), Princess Charlotte (4) and Prince Louis (1) in the grounds of Anmer Hall, their beloved countryside home in remote north Norfolk.

When she and Prince William were based there permanently, they planted extra trees, saplings and shrubs to create a natural retreat from the outside world, and in many ways, this is to be a garden shaped by the Duchess’s own first-hand experiences of the joys of playing outside and escaping into nature. Lift the tree stumps, stepping stones and a hollow logs we now know that she will present next week for children to play on at Chelsea, and you will likely find not just ants, worms and woodlice, but an insight into the Duchess’s family values and the causes that make her tick. The Duchess of Cambridge is understood to have been a “tomboy” as a child, has always spoken fondly about her childhood, saying she used to love spending time outside with her parents Carole and Michael Middleton and her siblings Pippa and James in the village of Bucklebury in Berkshire, where you will find the Bucklebury Farm & Deer Safari Park and the pretty River Pang, a gently tinkling chalk stream. And outdoor playtime is exactly what Kate and Prince William want for their own children, too. “As a mother, it is the simple family moments like playing outside together that I cherish,” she wrote in an open letter to support Children’s Hospice Week. It’s no coincidence that the day care she chose for Prince George in Norfolk was a modest Montessori nursery, Westacre, where the emphasis was on “free play”, often outdoors, getting stuck in and getting messy.

The Duke and Duchess of CambridgeRecently, the Duchess also got stuck into the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, helping a group of children to plant spring-flowering bulbs, including daffodils and snake’s head fritillaries. According to Kensington Palace, Kate’s ‘Back to Nature’ garden “hopes to trigger memories of time spent in nature” – but it’s not only nostalgia for an idyllic childhood driving Kate’s appreciation of the fun to be had in green spaces, but also her ongoing campaigning for mental health awareness. Kate is seen as the driving force behind Heads Together, an ongoing campaign she fronts with her husband Prince William and her brother-in-law Prince Harry, who opened up to The Telegraph’s Bryony Gordon last year about his own battles with mental health issues as part of their #oktosay campaign. Fresh air, exercise and natural surroundings contribute to both mental and physical health, which the young royals believe are of equal importance. The benefits are proven, and the effects can be immediate: one recent study even found that birdsong can boost mental well-being for up to four hours.  This week, Prince William launched a new ‘Head’s Up” men’s mental health campaign at Wembley Stadium with the Football Association president. Both Kate and William have worked continuously to end the stigma around mental health and “open up the conversation” as a whole. Kate’s focus has increasingly been on children’s mental health, in particular. In February, she visited a number of school’s for Children’s Mental Health Week. “Childhood is an incredibly important moment in our lives,” she said at the time. “It is the time when we explore our personalities, discover the potential that lies within us and learn how to be ourselves. Our experience of the world at this early stage helps to shape who we become as adults, how we begin to feel comfortable in our own skin.” Earlier this month, she also gave a heartfelt speech at the opening of a new children’s mental health centre, the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in King’s Cross.  “We are all here today because we care so much about transforming the mental health of children, young people and their families. I have learnt so much about early childhood development and the importance of support from parents,” she said. In her Chelsea garden, interaction with the natural environment will be encouraged through the garden’s “multi-sensory” green and blue plant scheme to offer serenity away from screens and stress, set within a bosky environment traversed with paths. This in itself is revealing of Kate’s concern over the impact of technology on modern childhoods. Apparently, during early discussions between the landscape designers, it emerged that she had been reading Last Child in the Woods, the 2005 book in which author Richard Louv first coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” (£10.99, Waterstones).

In the book, Louv attributes such ills as the rises in childhood obesity, attention disorders, and depression to this deficit – but also offers practical solutions, many of which can be found just beyond the doorstep. Since its first publication, Louv has launched a growing “Leave No Child Inside” movement, and has published updated research confirming that direct exposure to nature is essential for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. According to the palace, the Back to Nature garden “seeks to recapture for adults the sense of wonder and magic that they enjoyed as children, in addition to kindling excitement and a passion for nature in future generations.” Like Anmer Hall, her garden will offer rural respite from urban living as well as an antidote to increasingly sedentary, indoor lifestyles. “The challenge we all have is to make it feel like visitors are in the middle of a woodland,” said Adam White of the design, which the Duchess suggested should incorporate elements of forest bathing, the Japanese practise of immersing yourself among trees for wellbeing, otherwise known as shinrin-yoku.

In many ways, Kate is following in the footsteps of her father-in-law Prince Charles in this respect. A passionate gardener who has long campaigned for environmental causes, Charles has also previously exhibited at Chelsea, designing two gardens in 2001 and 2002, and winning silver both times. Notably, he worked with garden designer Jinny Bloom to create a “Healing Garden”, which featured 125 varieties of medicinal herbs, shrubs and kitchen plants to help with everything from bruises to stress. While cynics may see the Duchess’s debut as a cleverly plotted marketing exercise executed by the Firm, surely anything that aims to get us away from computer screens and paddling in streams or climbing trees again for a dose of “nature medicine” can be no bad thing.

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Walk of the World edition #103

Training #8

Itinerary:

  1. Leg 1: Home – Eastbound to Holy Land Area – University Sports Complex – Railwaytrack towards South [drinks]
  2. Leg 2: Railwaytrack – Groesbeek woodland – Groesbeek – Seven Hills Avenue – Berg en Dal pancakerestaurant [lunch]
  3. Leg 3: Berg en Dal pancakerestaurant – Berg en Dal busstop
  4. Leg 4: By bus (line8): Berg en Dal busstop – Nijmegen Central station
  5. Leg 5: Nijmegen Central Station – home.

The app on my smartphone reports as follows:

  • 5h 06 m non-stop walking
  • 26.05 Km  (17.37M)
  • 33.104 steps
  • 2.439 kCal.

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Prince Harry says fatherhood has given him ‘new focus and goal in life’ as he speaks of loss of his mother

The Duke of Sussex has spoken of how his three-day-old son Archie has “given him a new focus and goal”, teaching him the “miracle” of new life after the challenges he faced following the loss of his mother. The Duke, who was in The Hague for the launch of the one year countdown to the Invictus Games, told of his pleasure in knowing his baby had made “a lot of people happy”, saying he was still “very quiet” at just a few days old. Having left Archie at home in Windsor with the Duchess to return for one day of work, he spoke of the joy his baby son has brought but advised a fellow father-to-be to learn his lessons and not plan too much after the baby’s arrival.

During a bike ride around the Zuiderpark, the Duke had a candid conversation with former soldier Dennis van der Stroom, 31, about mental health and parenting, speaking poignantly of the loss of Diana, Princess of Wales. Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on Monday morning, with the Duke appearing to abandon the idea of paternity leave with one engagement today another already announced for Tuesday.

“Above all, he said he was just The Duke of Sussex (R) makes a bike ride with Dutch athlete Dennis Van Der Stroom (L)  by the miracles in the world, and how his child has made a lot of people happy,” said Mr Van der Stroon. “He also told me he’s really happy that his son is so far very quiet.“ But he also told me not to make too many plans and that there’s no way you can plan for when the baby arrives. The Invictus athlete, who served in the army from 2006 until 2011, described his conversation with the Duke as “amazing and emotional”. “At a certain moment, we just got connected on this level,” he said. “We talked about how my wife, Mireille, is 20 weeks pregnant with our first child, a girl, and he told me how special it was that his son has just been born. “Harry talked about how having a small child was his new focus and new goal and I told him how a couple of months ago, I was struggling with my mental health but my wife’s pregnancy has given me a goal.”

Van der Stroon was a Corporal First Class and served on operations in Uruzgan, Afghanistan. In 2014 his mother, Marion, died aged 58 from chronic lung disease, and in 2015 he was diagnosed with PTSD, triggering what he described as a “domino effect” of mental health issues. “I told Harry about my mother and we talked about our shared experience of missing a mum,” he said. “He said missing a mother is like missing some kind of security, how you need that as a son and it falls away when you lose your mother.”

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex is presented with an Invictus Games baby grow by Princess Margriet of The Netherlands during the launch of the Invictus GamesThe Duke, who had pretended to prop his eyes open with tiredness as he arrived at a sports stadium in The Hague, will travel home with a new soft rattle toy, a stuffed bird, some newborn socks with “I love Daddy” written on them, and a special Invictus Games babygrow for Archie. His branded jacket was embroidered with the word “Daddy”. Chatting to a friend in the arena, he discussed how fatherhood was the “best thing he will ever do”.

JJ Chalmers, a former Invictus star and broadcaster who has become a friend of the Prince, disclosed: “He said it’s amazing but it’s hard work. He said that Archie slept for the first 24 hours like all babies do… and then he woke up.”

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Prince Harry leaves royal baby Archie just three days after birth to head to the Netherlands

The Duke of Sussex will travel to the Netherlands today, just three days after the birth of his son Archie. Harry will visit The Hague to launch the one-year countdown to the Invictus Games 2020, after introducing Archie to the world alongside Meghan in an eagerly anticipated photocall on Wednesday. Leading parenting expert Suzie Hayman said Harry is likely to find leaving his baby son so soon after his birth “agonising”, and said he would feel a “pang” to be leaving his wife and child. But Meghan is likely to still have the company of her mother Doria Ragland at their Frogmore Cottage home while Harry is away on the short trip.

Ernstig gewonde oorlogsveteranen kunnen niet meer vechten in het leger, maar nog wel strijden voor een medaille tijdens de Invictus Games.