Start soccer competition

Our local first division football club NEC presents itself this year in a very unusual place: the Saint Stephan Church:




Less warm and a bit of rain

Four days ago we had temperatures of 36 degrees Celsius during the day. Yesterday the weather changed in a dramatic form: flooded railwaystation at Haarlem, nearly two thousand camping people near the coast had to be evacuated, an occasional thunderstorm. Today we have a comfortable 19 degrees Celsius, bit overcast, but two nice views to share with you:


From a terrace on the Grote Markt: deep blue sky with towering clouds.


From the same spot: the Saint Stephan Church.


201807272054NL_Gwg219Three spectacular things on one evening…


This “Fleur de Lis” finally in bloom, after weeks of replacing, enriching the soil and waiting… waiting… waiting…










For tonight, 27th of July, a “Bloodmoon” was announced. The spectacle started at 10:30 pm with the red rays of the sunset on the earth reflecting on the moon.





When the spectacle was over, a full moon appeared bit by bit.



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”.







The contract for the solar panels has been signed. The inspection in person had an unpredictable result: for Peter and Marie the roof is too soft to carry the weight and to anchor the panels. On 219 -Barkhuis/Bormans- the result was positive: there will be an extra (eigth) panel. The electrical installations will be on the ground floor.


When Peter was having coffee with us, talks concentrated on new plants in the garden. He advised Trachelospermum Jasminoides (Toscan jasmine); we bought 2 of them and they are already put in the garden by expert Pierre.


As herons take away a lot of the fishes in the pond, there should be a compensation in number:  five gold ides and five blue ides. The master of the pond -Luke- has already put them in the pond, to meet their new friends.


11:15h GMT

In the event of a collision between two cars in the Groenestraat in Nimwegen, a vehicle crashed on Friday afternoon.


That the driver and his companion in the black car survived the crash is hard to believe. The driver had only a small injury on his forehead, the person next to him had nothing! We just passed by on our way for training for the marches.

Three police cars, a fire truck and an ambulance arrived within moments. The street was obstructed for a long time, as the police was investigating the collision.


Mega Subsidy Nimwegen Saint Stephan Church for new roof and new windows


The Saint Stephan Church, the Nimwegen icon, receives a mega subsidy of €5.5/£4.8/CA$8.4 million for restoration. The money is intended for an almost completely new roof covering and replacement of the worn stained-glass windows. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is making the grant available from a new €34/£30/CA$52  million pool for large national monuments. The Saint Stephan Church gets the biggest bite from the 29 projects awarded. For example, the Eusebius Church in Arnheim gets ‘only’ €1/£0.9/CA$1.5 million.

s3C.E.O. Heleen Wijgers, who has lobbied firmly for the government subsidy as the foundation director, is very happy. ,,I knew we were in the race, but this is an enormous amount. It is a beautiful recognition for the significance of the building as cultural-historical heritage, but it may be more a recognition of the way we function as a multifunctional church in society.” Every year, in addition to oecumenical services, numerous manifestations, lectures and university events take place here. The church is supported by hundreds of volunteers, ‘friends of Stevenskerk’ and Steveniers (a ‘Stevenier’ adopts the church financially for 1 day per year, at a rate of €365/£321/CA$560 a year, for a period of at least 5 years; in theory the church could collect this way €133,225/£117.331/CA$204.345 per year, but there are still a lot of vacant days). The house of God attracts 135,000 visitors annually. For the attraction of tourists alone, support for the church is logical according to Wijgers. ,,For every euro, Nimwegen gets 1.40 euros back.”

Roof repair

The roof repair was one of the biggest wishes of the managing foundation. “A condition to be ready as far as possible in 2022 for the celebration of the 750th anniversary of the church,” said Wijgers. The roof, with impressive height differences, is covered over the full surface with aged slate or slate slabs. Wijgers: ,,If we do nothing now, then you know for sure that it will leak everywhere sooner or later.” In 2014 and 2015 a small part has already been replaced. Everywhere under the surface are wooden vaults. “In the event of a leak, these rots”, explains Wijgers why further intervention is necessary. About the stained-glass windows: “A lot of water has already been struck through the windows during storms.”

s2Care point

Some point of concern: the money may only be used when the Saint Stephan Foundation collects 30 percent or more than €1.6/£1.4/CA$2.5 million. “A luxury problem,” says Treasurer Fred van Efferen. ,,With the help of the municipality and the province, who are well disposed towards us, and perhaps loans, I expect that we will get there. We can not leave this opportunity untouched.” According to Wijgers, a plan for the roof restoration is not yet available, because the additional financing still has to be arranged. According to her, the million-euro subsidy certainly does not end the need to raise money. ,,The Saint Stephan Church is a large church, where new restorations must always be done.”



Almost 5,000 visitors Nimwegen attraction The Bastion


b3The Bastion, the new Nimwegen museum on archeology, history and nature at the Waalkade in Nimwegen, opened its doors on Saturday, just before Pentacote. Immediately after the opening there was a huge run on the attraction. Sunday evening, 4700 visitors had already passed the doors. While the doors to the general public opened at 3 pm on Saturday. The new museum b4literally offers a tour through Nim-wegen’s history. Visitors walk underground through Roman wallwork (level -1), medieval foun-dations, mysterious corridors and Harry Potter-like stairs. There is another theme for each floor, so that all kinds of visitor categories are satisfied. With at the end (level +3) a beautiful view over the quay and the Waal. From the museum excursions in nature and in the city are held.

b5Spectacle was delivered on the opening day by the Nimwegen Alpine Student Association that climbed the tower and absealed with a sword. This was accepted by Commissioner to the King for the province Gelderland, Mr. Clemens Cornielje. He handed it out to Lord mayor Hubert Bruls. The latter then opened De Bastei symbolically by cutting a paper cord with the sword.



Guide to the pictures, from top to bottom:

  1. The Bastion museum, a red brick tower at the Nimwegen Waal quay, just under the octagonal chapel in the ruins of the Valkhof castle.
  2. The new museum with the castle hill in the back.
  3. The museum seen from the former castle.
  4. Entrance gate at level 0. From the entrance you go own to level -1 (Roman remainders) and climb up to level +3, where the restaurant and marvellous terrace are situated.
  5. The terrace at the top floor. When the weather is clear, you can see the city of Arnheim and the forests of Germany. Followed by a video.
  6. Galloway cattle in Nimwegen North



In the morning my duty in the St Stephan Church, from 10:ooam till 01:45pm. Pierre came over to the church to pick me up. Festivities in the city (and whole country!) because it was Kingsday, the birthday of HM Willem Alexander. He visited the city of Groningen, and there was also in the evening the Kings Concert. We had a stroll in the city and visited afterwards Erik and Ineke van Bronswijk.





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…


March 21st 2018 there will be -country wide- elections for the city council. Here in Nimwegen all parties are visible on a stand at the Grote Markt, in a very historic decor.






Code red straight over the center of the Netherlands: gale from the West. The second chart shows the rain, thunderstorms and temperatures in C. Until now 3 people died in the outrage of this weather.

Waarschuwing land 48 new

Weather map



Commonwealth War Cimetery Nimwegen: 



201712311443Jonkerbos_CimeteryA last stroll in the city before the events of New Year start (fireworks etc.). Near our house is a large city park. The stadium of the local premier division football club is there, an open air theatre, several ponds and even -temporarely- a circus. But also a Commonwealth War Cimeterary 1939-1945. You can not compare it with the Groesbeek Canadian War Cimetery. Not that well maintained. The tomb stones here are grey and sometimes even dirty. In Groesbeek it is all very well organised, with donations from Canadian families.




Exciting year: 2018!

Memorable dates in 2018:

  • 2018/01/07: Pierre and Luke are 40 years “a pair”; 
  • 2018/07/01: Pierre and Luke live officially 15 years in Nimwegen; 
  • 2018/07/30: Pierre’s 75th birthday;
  • 2018/08/01: Pierre officially 15 years G.P. “off”;
  • 2018/09/12: Pierre moved 15 years ago from Horst to Nimwegen; 
  • 2018/09/15: Luke moved 15 years ago from Amsterdam to Nim-wegen; 
  • 2018/09/17: David and Brian were 15 years ago our first official guests in Nimwegen.

Bruges (Belgium), September 27 2003: dinner with (from left to right): David Belrose, Luke Barkhuis, Roel van der Wal, Pierre Bormans, Brian Holden and Rob Chaudron.


On the second day of Bart’s visit, we walked to the town center and peeked in the Saint Stephan Church, to see the two Chtistmas nativity scenes:

Under the König Organ is the scene by the Brethern of Limbourg


In the Choir the scene of Biblical Parc Orientalis:


the city of Bethlehem


the nativity

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

The angel with my name is a gift from Lady Helen Mary Stewart-Wilson. NOT from a Christmas market in Hamburg, but from a garden center in Somerset. Setting: beside Father Christmas with a (last minute) set of 80 indoor / outdoor LED lights. Weather forecast: NO white Christmas in the Netherlands…


Two real-time recordings at GMT 02:45 PM.

The picture is the font of the house, the movie the back view :(:(:(



Every second Sunday the fish get 3 hands of pure colehydrates; up till today they do it quiet well on this “diet” 🙂 🙂 🙂