Unexpected talent

Memory, a short play (two person) featuring David Belrose and Gloria Dowton. Part of ten plays presented at the annual 10 x 10 showcase Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay. Three performances of the plays over two days April 12 & 13 2019. Story revolves around a long married couple and the humour and drama in issues with regards to remembering things.

Photo by courtesy of Marty Mascarin.

David Belrose is the partner of Brian Holden. I know them since 1999. They were the first house guests we had when we moved to Nijmegen, back in September 2003. Pierre moved Friday 12, I moved Monday 15, and Brian and David were picked up at Amsterdam Airport Wednesday 17. Apart from visiting Dutch highlights, we had a house in Bruges (Belgium). From Belgium the two Canadians visited Paris, and returned to Nijmegen.

Amsterdam, 20 September 2003, after an exhausting “touristic” day: dinner at our favourite Mexican restaurant; from left to right: David Belrose, Brian Holden, Pierre Bormans and Luke Barkhuis.


Visiting North Curry, day 4

All times are in GMT + 1 (Nijmegen time ūüôā )

A sunny day: at 11:30AM the day revenue was already 6Kw and current input level 1.14Kw. So far no worry about the solar panels during the last days. But I am curious what the technical people will discover 29 March… ūüė¶ ūüė¶ ūüė¶

The day starts with packing the suitcase and handluggage:

A sunny last meal together:

NCY 03:00 PM – TAU 03:25 PM by car:

Upon Mary’s request we have extra time in Taunton at the fuelstation next to the busstop. I have to check the pressure in the tires, as Mary never does that, and the car had been out of use for 2 months. Front 2.15Mb and back 1.65Mb. Driving with Pierre has made me an expert with that machines… ūüôā ūüėČ ūüôā ūüėČ

But, upon arrival, the air machine at the BP station was out of order!

TAU 03:56 PM ‚Äď BRS 04:53 PM, by bus South West Falcon:

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor falcon bus bristol exeter

BRS 06:25 PM ‚Äď AMS 07:45 PM, by KLM Cityhopper KL1054:

Image result for klm cityhopper embraer 175

AMS 08:30 PM ‚Äď QNQ 10:02 PM, by train National Railways IC3575:


Visiting North Curry, day 3

At 08:00AM I went down to open the house to the world, setting the table for breakfast and knocking on Mary’s door. We had breakfast¬† “en n√©gig√©”. I left Mary behind, looking at the piles of emails and… bills. After shaving and showering, and dressed for a weekday in jeans, I came down at 10:00 to check on the solar panels.

At local time Nijmegen 11:30 the day revenue was (only) 813 Wh and a present input level of 428.09W. But we had records in the days before:

  • 22 March: 12.80Kwh (sunny weather),
  • 21 March: 12.51Kwh (sunny weather),
  • 20 March: 3.99Kwh (cloudy),
  • 19 March: 3.99Kwh (system started up at 02:00PM)..

From 1 March till¬† mid 19 March the panels were out of order, the same situation as 1February till 14 February, and 31 January. The company, who installed the solar installation, will come 29 March . When I call SolarNRG, they can see a lot more than I. There is -according them- a failure in panel 9, but I can see on a separate screen on the computer and mobile phone, that panel 9 is working: e.g. at the moment panel 9 has produced for today 70.75Wh. Then there is a communication failure. I hope it is over by the end¬† this month. however according to the installation calculator we got already > ‚ā¨ 100 back from the investment of ‚ā¨ 4,000 (2.5%).

And a farewell dinner in Taunton, in the Castle Hotel & Restaurant. 



Visiting North Curry, day 2

View over Southampton harbour at 06:08 AM from my window:

The Balmoral will arrive at the City Terminal approximately 06:00AM. Disembarking will start after clearence of the ship by the custom officials.

First there are the groups disembarking, followed by the passengers for long distance coach transfers. Then the regular disembarking will follow: starting at the top deck downwards. As Lady Helen Mary is on deck 4, it will take a time. She has to pass customs on shore. After that the taxi driver Paul and I will be waiting for her in the luggage hall of the terminal. Paul will drive us to North Curry, where QUINCE COTTAGE -Lady Mary’s humble residence- will be waiting. There will be a pile of mail waiting, as she was only on a relative short cruise: 2 months ūüôā¬†Mary instructed her house keeper Yvette to make up my bed in the guestroom with the great view:

And her Ladyship insists that I wear pyjamas. And my Rituals ūüôā bathrobe. So I carry a large suitcase, as I can not travel “light” on the plane. I can carry a small case in the cabin, containing among other things my LAPTOP for the daily updates from Somerset…
Upon arrival we paid a visit to the village grocery store, as there was¬† totally no food nor drinks, apart of a bottle of champaign, to celebrate the reunion. As a treat I invited Her Ladyship for dinner in the local pub, with the name: “The Bird in Hand”. The name is an enigma to me, but the food is good. We (Pierre and I) were there with Mary in the past.

The Bird In Hand

The Bird in Hand is a classic traditional pub, and its low beamed ceilings and open fireplace creates a warm, friendly atmosphere. The bar serves a wide range of drink including traditional ales, a wine list is available, and there is a range of fresh coffees. The various menus provides something for every appetite and budget, but fresh fish and seafood dishes are a speciality of the house, with produce sourced locally whenever possible.



  • Mary: none
  • Luke: duck liver pat√©

Main course:

  • Mary: sea bass
  • Luke: chicken breast with Stilton and port sauce


Visiting North Curry, day 1

(all times in GMT)

IC train #3140: Nijmegen – Schiphol Airport; dep. 11:28AM arr. 12:59PM

A brand new Crown Lounge in the international / No Schengen area:


Flight KL0919 Amsterdam – Southampton; dep. 03:57PM arr 04:46PM

By taxi to the Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, room 503:

A tremendous hotel, far better then the Grand Harbour Hotel, where Mary and I spent the night before the cruise to Spain and France in June 2017.  Where than the services in bar, restaurant (dinner) and restautant (beakfast) were far from  acceptable, here is everything overwhelming. Even after 20 minutes of my arrival, there was already a call on the door if I wanted more towels or anything extra before going to bed!!!

Dinner: as starter: Smoked salmon

Dinner: main course: Caesar salad with chicken  bacon.




Personal stamps

As I was for seven years the treasurer of the volunteer circle of the Saint Stephan Church, I had an account at the Dutch National Postal Services. I designed stamps of the church and had them printed on sheets of 10 stamps. Everyone in the Netherlands can design and order his / hers stamps. But I used the account also for personal stamps.

Self designed stamps through the past ten years; from left to right:

  • 2010 – Saint Stephan Church, Nimwegen (picture taken by Luke Barkhuis);
  • 2016 – World cruise, January 2016 – Saint Vincent (picture taken by Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson Fox);
  • 2017 – Cruise to Spain & France, June 2017 – Captain’s dinner in the Glentanar restaurant on the Black Watch, with Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson Fox (picture taken by a waiter);
  • 2019 – Nimwegen Byzantine Choir (picture = official logo of the choir, author unknown).


Our Dad reads “The new clothes of the Emperor”; left to right: Luke Cecil, Dad Geert-Jan Barkhuis, Ninouchka and Clarijalke.

Family Barkhuis: period 1839 Р1969.


From the author

Starting today, Friday 08 March 2019, the blog is back to normal. That implies, that there are no more pages for:

  1. Anwar’s columns,
  2. Student housing,
  3. Solar energy,
  4. Stewart-Wilson and
  5. Royalty.

Everything is back to chronological order.

Birthday dinner “Libero”

Friday, 01 March 2019: birthday dinner at Ristorante Italiano “Libero”, with our neighbors Peter and Marie from Nijmegen, my sisters Clarijalke and Ninouchka Barkhuis from Amsterdam, my friend Bart de Boer from Amsterdam, Pierre and yours truly.

Birthday gifts

Lady Mary Stewart-Wilson has sent to her Companion Luke by registered mail @ ¬£ 9.05 (‚ā¨ 10.20 !!!) a cashmere shawl. With his initials on it. Have a good look at the right bottom of the picture! This is a birthday present for 28 February 2019, three months to go… But the reason she has sent it now, is that she will pass the Panama Canal on that date.

But for her Ladyship her companion had chosen a set of Svarovski pens, to be used to write a diary on her upcoming cruises. The envelope was much heavier than the shawl, which can be seen by the 10 (TEN!!!) stamps of each ‚ā¨ 0.84. The stamps are designed by myself, and I use a picture that Lady Mary took on our honeymoon cruise in 2016.


Lady Mary’s visit day 8.

Travel schedule for 13 September 2018:

  • Dep 08:13am GMT – Arr 09:42am GMT Train Nimwegen – Schiphol Airport [Mary + Luke]

  • Dep 12:00pm GMT – Arr 01:15pm GMT KL1051 Schiphol Airport – Bristol Airport [Mary + Luke]

  • 05:25pm: KL1054 ready for departure. But the captain tells us that because of heavy passenger traffic at Schiphol Airport the departure must be postponed.

  • Dep 05:50pm GMT – Arr 06:45pm GMT KL1054 Bristol Airport – Schiphol Airport [Luke]

STRIKE OF BORDER POLICE and several hundreds of people are waiting in vain to be accepted at the border control: only 10 passengers each time, and only with European passports. ID-cards were not permitted. Crazy action to get more salary!

  • 07:00pm train to Nimwegen left
  • 07:30pm train to Nimwegen left
  • Dep 07:34pm GMT – Arr 10:06pm GMT Train Schiphol Airport – Zwolle – Nimwegen [Luke]


Lady Mary’s visit day 7.

A draidfull rainy day with a lot of Rummikub! And guess who is winning each time, after training for 6 days: Mary!!! one game after the other!


In the evening we went to the Ferryhouse in Oeffelt, for the farewell dinner, offered by Mary:


And after our return: Rummikub till bed time ūüôā


Lady Mary’s visit day 2&3.


Friday 07 Serptember was a complicated day: at 08 AM Luke had to call his GP for the remaining pain, or better, the remaining absence of any sensibility in his left upper leg, after the finish on 20 July of the Walk of the World marches. But, luckily, there was a possibility to see the GP at 3 PM. First, Mary had her book (Pride and Prejudice), Pierre had the morning paper, and I had the blog. AND welearned Mary a new game called Rummikub. She picked it up very fast and is quiet fanatic ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā . When I was at the GP, Pierre and Mary went for a stroll to the Goffertpark. Mary asked if she could have her holy hour and appear at the dinner table dressed in a nice robe over her pyjama. And we could not refuse that. Also the neighbours Peter and Marie announced a farewell before their departure for six weeks in the South of Europe. But they did not make a fixed appointment for that evening.¬†Friday it was my turn to show my Chef’s qualities. In May I showed at Marys’ the Chili con carne, during my visit for the royal wedding. Now it was Nachos todos grande. And just when I put the plate in the oven for the last finishing touch, the doorbell rang and the neighbours were there. As I could not stop the preparations at that time, an appointment was made for a visit around 10 PM.¬†The nachos were a great success. And when Peter and Marie arrived, we had a nice evening, with a Lady in a housecoat….

Saturday 08 September:


Lady Mary’s visit day 1.

The itinerary of day 1 was a bit different than foreseen ūüė¶ ūüė¶ ūüė¶ ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

Travel schedule for 06 September 2018:

Dep 09:28 GMT+1 РArr 10:59 GMT+1 Train Nimwegen РSchiphol Airport [Luke]. Dep 13:30 GMT+1 РArr 13:30 GMT+0 KL1051 Schiphol Airport РBristol Airport [Luke], the delay caused by heavy rainfall at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol [Luke].

Image result for ghost

Dep 14:30 GMT+0 – Arr 16:40 GMT+1 KL1052 Bristol Airport – Schiphol Airport [Mary + Luke], the delay due to the late arrival of the incoming flight from Amsterdam.¬†The luggage came on belt 9 at 17:00 GMT+1, and we entered the railwaystation 5 minutes too late ūüė¶ ūüė¶ ūüė¶¬†A chance for Mary to pick up a double espresso and a plain decaf at Sturbucks, conveniently situated next to platform 3 to catch our train.

Dep 17:30 GMT+1 РArr 19:02 GMT+1 Train Schiphol Airport РNimwegen [Mary + Luke]

The rest of the day (evening ūüôā ) went as foretold.




Today Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson flies from Bristol on flight KL1052 in European business class seat 2a, to Schiphol (Amsterdam Airport) where I am supposed to meet her; together we travel by train to Nimwegen. At the railway station Pierre (PP) will pick us up, and at home there will be drinks and a lot to chat. For dinner Pierre will serve his world famous QUICHE LORRAINE. So far the plans. What Lady Mary does not know, is that I take a plane Amsterdam-Bristol, and on the return flight to Amsterdam I will appear as a ghost in seat 2c, next to her. That is a way to spend your MILES from the loyalty program Flying Blue!!!

Travel schedule for 06 September 2018:

  • Dep 09:28 GMT+1 – Arr 10:59 GMT+1¬†Train Nimwegen – Schiphol Airport [Luke]

  • Dep 13:00 GMT+1 – Arr 13:15 GMT+0 KL1051 Schiphol Airport – Bristol Airport [Luke]

  • Dep 13:45 GMT+0 – Arr 16:05 GMT+1 KL1052 Bristol Airport – Schiphol Airport [Mary + Luke]

  • Dep 16:30 GMT+1 – Arr 18:02 GMT+1 Train Schiphol Airport – Nimwegen OR

  • Dep 17:00 GMT+1 – Arr 18:32 GMT+1 Train Schiphol Airport – Nimwegen [Mary + Luke]



Afbeeldingsresultaat voor north curry somerset
Afbeeldingsresultaat voor north curry somerset

North Curry¬†is a village and¬†civil parish¬†in¬†Somerset, England, situated 5 miles (8.0¬†km) east of¬†Taunton¬†in the¬†Taunton Deane¬†district. The parish, which includes Knapp¬†and¬†Lower Knapp¬†has a¬†population¬†of 1,640.¬†North Curry sits on a ridge of land, 7 metres (23¬†ft) above sea level. North Curry is a fairly large village, but is quietly tucked away on the southwestern side of the¬†Somerset Levels, well away from the main highways. The buildings, history, and village life make North Curry a surprising gem amongst the winding, hedgerow-bordered¬† country lanes that tie it to¬† surrounding¬† villa-ges.¬†North Curry Meadow is a 1.3¬†hectare (3.1 acre)¬†biological Site of Special Interest,¬†notified¬†in 1989.¬†The parish was part of the¬†North Curry Hundred.¬†North Curry was settled in¬†Saxon¬†times and was a royal manor in the 11th century. Around 1194, Richard the Lionheart (Richard I of England) deeded North Curry over to the¬†Bishop of Wells, along with other possessions, in exchange for cash to pay off his ransom to the Austrian Emperor, Henry VI. North Curry parish traditionally included the hamlets of Helland, Knapp, Lillesdon, Moredon, Newport and Wrantage. In 1231¬†Henry III¬†granted a licence for the¬†Bishop of Bath and Wells¬†to deforest the manor of North Curry and enclose the lands as parks.¬†Reclamation of the surrounding moors before 1311 allowed the village to expand.¬†A market village since the 13th century, North Curry’s sources of wealth have included hunting, fishing, and wool trade, with access to other markets via the nearby¬†River Tone. Evidence of the prosperity of the village can be seen in the exemplary architecture, including 68 listed buildings.¬†The¬†parish council¬†has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept (local rate) to cover the council‚Äôs operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, and¬†neighbourhood watch¬†groups on matters of crime, security, and traffic. The parish council’s role also includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance, repair, and improvement of highways, drainage, footpaths, public transport, and street cleaning. Conservation matters (including trees and listed buildings) and environmental issues are also the responsibility of the council.¬†The village falls within the¬†Non-metropolitan district¬†of¬†Taunton Deane, which was formed on 1 April 1974 under the¬†Local Government Act 1972, having previously been part of¬†Taunton Rural District.

Gerelateerde afbeelding

The district council is responsible for local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health, markets and fairs, refuse collection and recycling, cemeteries and crematoria, leisure services, parks, and tourism.

201605011035DAY115Portrait Lady Mary Stewart-Wilson

Somerset County Council¬†is responsible for running the largest and most expensive local services such as¬†education,¬†social services,¬†libraries, main roads,¬†public transport, policing¬†and¬†fire services,¬†trading standards,¬†waste disposal¬†and strategic planning.¬†North Curry is in an¬†electoral ward¬†called ‘North Curry and Stoke St. Gregory’. Whilst¬†North Curry¬†is the most populous area the ward stretches through¬†Stoke St. Gregory¬†to¬†Burrowbridge. The total ward population taken at the¬†2011 Census¬†is 3,226.¬†It is also part of the¬†Taunton Deane¬†county constituency¬†represented in the¬†House of Commons¬†of the¬†Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one¬†Member of Parliament (MP)¬†by the¬†first past the post¬†system of election, and part of the¬†South West England constituency¬†of the¬†European Parliament¬†which elects seven¬†MEPs¬†using the¬†d’Hondt method¬†of¬†party-list proportional representation.¬†North Curry Parish Church, dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, is nicknamed ‚ÄėThe Cathedral of the Moors‚Äô. Parts of the large, airy church date to the 14th century, and the church was erected on the site of an earlier church. Episcopal records in¬†Wells¬†mention a church in North Curry as early as 1199.¬†The church has a good view of the Levels and moors, with benches placed for walkers and other visitors to enjoy the view from the slightly higher grounds of the churchyard. To assist visitors tracing their ancestry to North Curry, the church has posted a map of the graves in the cemetery. In August 2007, North Curry Church was incorporated into the¬†Athelney¬†benefice¬†of the¬†Church of England. The vicar of the Athelney benefice covers the parishes of¬†Burrowbridge,¬†Lyng, North Curry, and¬†Stoke St Gregory.¬†North Curry has an active history society, village hall, playing fields, primary school, doctor’s surgery, Women’s Institute, cricket club, gardening club, musical and theatrical groups, and a luncheon club.¬†In 2006, villagers opened a coffee shop, staffed by 70 volunteers, in a converted barn. The coffee shop offers artwork and crafts by local artists, along with hot food, homemade cakes, and good cheer. Proceeds from the coffee shop go to charity. The coffee shop is part of the refurbished Town Farm Barn, in the loft of which are housed the North Curry Archives. Apart from artefacts from the past, the records of people and places going back centuries are being sourced daily for those seeking Family Tree Information. In 2009 the Parish Council opened a new 12-acre (49,000¬†m2) Sports Field in White Street with cricket and football pitches and a pavilion.¬†

Since 11 Januari 2016 North Curry is also a part our lives (Pierre & me), as Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson lives there. On the cruiser we were soon considered to be a couple, although living in different suites: Lady Mary in 8802 on the bridge deck and me in 7004 on the Lido deck. Starting at leg 2 of the 5 leg cruise Lady Mary joined me at the dinner table. There was a “Florence Nightingale Incident” in the night leaving Oman. Visits followed:


  • August – North Curry,
  • October – Nijmegen,
  • December – North Curry (nursing),


  • April – North Curry,
  • April – North Curry (nursing),
  • August – overnight with daughter Alice in Amsterdam,
  • December – overnight with dayghter Belinda in Amsterdam (this time in a hotel),


  • May –¬† North Curry for the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
  • September – Nijmegen, this time with a two day trip to the city Maastricht.

August 2017, Mauritshuis, The Hague. From left to right: Pierre Bormans, Alice Young, Luke Barkhuis, Lady Mary Stewart-Wilson.

LOP-NCB3741136 - © - Nick Cable

Harvesting in Somerset ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

WotW – edition 102#21

Walk of the World edition #102

Day 0: Monday 16 July – registration

Pre-marches drinks at “De Vereeniging”.

Emperor Charles Square

Pre-dinner drinks in the back yard; in front: the fountain,


Visiting Somerset day 6 – the voyage (all times: GMT+1)

NCY 11:00 AM – TAU 11:20 AM by car

TAU 11:45 AM ‚ÄstBRS 01:00 PM,¬†by bus South West Falcon

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor falcon bus bristol exeter

BRS 02:45 PM ‚ÄstAMS 04:25 PM,¬†by KLM Cityhopper KL 1052

Image result for klm cityhopper embraer 175

AMS 05:00 PM ‚ÄstQNQ 06:32 PM,¬†by train National Railways IC3177


Visiting Somerset day 5

Visit Dunster Castle

Visit Dunster Gardens

Visit Crowcombe church

An unknown visitor will stay over tonight…


Visiting Somerset day 4 –¬†Pentacost

It is not the “traditional” Dutch Pentacost, with Sunday & Monday off, and big celebrationss in church. We consider still to assist the Evening song in the church of Thorn Falcon. We have a lunch at Nick and Sarah. Since I am here the weather is absolutely fabulous, as you could see yesterday on the wedding.


Visiting Somerset day 2 – variety of duties ūüôā

Already before the alarm clock went of  (08am) there was a knock on the door and a fully washed and dressed Lady Helen Mary walked in. We decided to have my speciality for breakfast: scrumbled eggs with cheese and bacon. Breakfast was served outside.  Then, after my shaving and showering rituals, I should come down in shorts, as I was supposed to do some gardening.

Mary meanwhile was busy with the last Royalty news in the Daily Mail.


The result of my gardening efforts was quite satisfactoring ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā


Then lunch, sausages. While Mary is taking a nap, I work on the blog. The afternoon till 5pm we have to ourselves, tonight is the first social engagement.

The todays’ edition of our Dutch newspaper is also in full Harry & Meghan & Windsor-mood ūüôā ūüôā ūüôā

At 07pm off to Taunton for dinner with John and Pat. As John is very ill we were home at 10:45pm. The picture of me gardening had finally come through. Internet is a crime in this small community, as British Telecom assings a certain quantity of data processing for the whole community. The evenings and week-ends are the worst. So I wonder when I shall be able to put next Sarurday and Sunday on line.

I mailed Pierre about a visit of Mary to the Netherlands. When we came back Pierre had answered: his consent for the stay from Thursday 02 September till Thursday 13 September in the guest quarters in the sousterrain floor (garden and pond level ūüôā ). That includes the Byzantine liturgy on Saturday 08 September ūüôā


Visiting Somerset day 1 – the voyage

QNQ 08:28 AM ‚ÄstAMS 09:59 AM,¬†by train National Railways IC3130

A Cava at Schiphol KLm Crown Lounge

Image result for klm cityhopper embraer 175

AMS 12:00 PM ‚Äď BRS 01:15 PM, by KLM Cityhopper KL1051

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor falcon bus bristol exeter

BRS 02:45 PM ‚Äď TAU 03:50 PM, by bus South West Falcon

TAU 03:55 PM – NCY 04:20PM, by car.

And Lucky times revive with a white wine & Gouda cheese.


Pleasing the guest…

To please the guest for the Royal Wedding, Lady Mary is looking after matching accessories. I will find this in the guest bathroom to wipe my butt… ūüôā Her ladyship is very picky about things like this. She found the Dutch windmill at Marks & Spencer, I presume in Taunton.


Naviculare fracture

After two painfull days, we reported at the hospital just around 4:00pm at the trauma clinic. An immediate consult was not possible, but for the following day, Friday 16 @ 10.10am the orthopedist Tigchelaar, who did the check on Tuesday before, could see me.

New X-rays (4) did still not indicate a fracture of the naviculare bone. However, I have now a brace during the day, and will see the orthopedist back on Friday, March 2. A charming birthday though on Wednesday February 28 ūüė¶ ūüôā



Planning visit:

Marriage of His Royal Higness Prince Henry of Wales with Miss Meghan Markle, 19th May 2018:


Amsterdam – Bristol KL1051 dep 01.00PM arr 01.15PM

Staying at Quince Cottage, The Pavement, North Curry TA3 6LX

@ Her Ladyship Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson

from Thursday 17th May till Tuesday 22nd May


Bristol – Amsterdam KL1052 dep 01.45PM arr 04.05PM