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).

Start soccer competition

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

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Nimwegen#94

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”.

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Nimwegen#92

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.

 

Nimwegen#88

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

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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.”

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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.”

Nimwegen#79

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.

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Nimwegen#62

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

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In the Choir the scene of Biblical Parc Orientalis:

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the city of Bethlehem

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the nativity

Nimwegen#59

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Every year mid-October there is the so called event: “Days of Nimwegen History”. Everything is then -during three days- according to the life during the Middle Ages. In the Saint Stephan Church food is prepared like in the middle ages, people are dressed accordingly and there are exhibitions and lectures.

WotW – edition 101#10

WotW#101 day 5

One guest stays always for five nights, and that is Eric Baas. He came to our “Marches Shelter” first in July 2006, when the WOTW #090 was cancelled after the first day: extreme heat and 2 deaths. Here an impression of his last breakfast with us, before picking up his wife Sandra @ Geldermalsen and going home to Ede.

ERIC’S ENTRY IN THE REMEMBRANCE BOOK IN THE CHAPEL OF SILENCE

(english translation under the picture)

July 17, 2017
God, this may be my last Four Days Marches. Because Boss is doomed to die. But today I fight, and tomorrow I shall fight, and the day after tomorrow I shall fight too. I can not win the match, but I’m sure to extend the playing time. And maybe lose, lose with the shooting of penalties. Help me with this fight against that horrible pancreas cancer.

BOSS.

THE GUESTS ALWAYS BRING A GIFT FOR THE HOSTS. ERIC: FROM T-SHIRTS TO HAND ENGRAVED WATER GLASSES; DICK: CHEESE SPECIALITIES FROM THE BEEMSTER AND ED WHINE.

AT THE MOMENT AN ART EXHIBITION IN THE SAINT STEPHEN CHURCH:

Mondriaan impression with the light of the church window covering the painting.

Mondriaan impression in its original form and colours.

WotW – edition 101#9

WotW#101 day 4

47,000 registrations

04,964 no show

_____ -/-

42,036 start permits day 1

00,792 no show/not finished

_____ -/-

41,244 start permits day 2

01,525 no show/not finished 

_____ -/-

39,719 start permits day 3

01,002 no show/not finished

_____ -/-

38,717 start permits day 4

00,308 no show/not finished

_____ -/-

38,409 COMPLETED MARCHES

TRYING TO GET TO THE FINISH… A REAL HELL! WE HAVE SEEN ALL PARTS OF NIJMEGEN, EXCEPT THE FINISH @ THE WEDREN 😦 😦 😦

A SURPRISE FOR ERIC WHEN HE PASSES (NEARLY) THE FINISH ON THE 4TH DAY: A LOT OF (EX) FOOTBALL MATES AND FRIENDS HAD GATHERED, WEARING BLACK T-SHIRTS WITH “BAAS” (“BOSS”) ON IT, TO GIVE HIM A WARM WELCOME ON HIS WOTW #101. ERIC IS WEARING THE WHITE T-SHIRT AND A RED CAP.

Under Bridges That You Built for Me Artwork

RUPERT BLACKMAN IS AN ENGLISH SINGER, SONGWRITER AND PRODUCER BASED IN AMSTERDAM. ONCE A SOLO ARTIST, HE NOW FRONTS THE BAND CAUSES WHOSE DEBUT SINGLE TEACH ME HOW TO DANCE WITH YOU WAS RELEASED IN 2015. HE ALSO WRITES SONGS FOR A VARIETY OF ARTISTS WORLDWIDE. YOU CAN FIND HIM ONLINE: 

@RUPERTBLACKMAN AND @CAUSESMUSIC.

WotW – edition 101#7

WotW#101 day 1

In the past, the village Oosterhout was the beginning of an endless stretch along the river Waal, till Lent (Nijmegen-North). In Oosterhout most walkers took their last time to rest before finishing at The Wedren.

De eerste Vierdaagsedag. Normaal gesproken zie je vanaf deze plek de wandelaars naar je toe lopen. Vandaag lopen ze juist naar Oosterhout toe.

Still along the river, but the church tower of Oosterhout is in sight 🙂

Wandelaars worden aangemoedigd in Oosterhout.

The inhabitants of the village welcome the walkers 🙂

Pallab Chanda (42) uit Parijs heeft de eerste wandeldag erop zitten.

A Frenchman let his gloomy thoughts go.
“It felt good.” Pallab Chanda (42) from Paris comes with a big smile over the finish line at the Wedren in Nijmegen. He has come through the first day of the Four Days. The Parisian had to sign out for the Nijmeegse Vierdaagse last year. Just before March, he became a father of twins. Unexpectedly. The two girls were born too early. On the Wednesday of the Four Days, one of two died, Roxane. For her she is walking the march now.

Running.
“In the beginning I went with two Italians. It seemed like they were running. I could not keep their tempo. My legs hurt. I have to let them go”, he says. But that’s essence of the marches for him. “You forget all the negative, let all your dreary thoughts go. The people lift you so you can keep walking. The Vierdaagse is really very special.”  He has spoken with many people on the road. “But also walked alone. That’s fine. The new route was much better. I also have no blisters. I’m feeling good.”

2017/07/18 – WotW#101 day 1

James Taylor-Watts (born 27 October 1997), better known as James TW, is a British singer-songwriter. His single “When You Love Someone” peaked at number 28 on the BillboardAdult Pop Songs chart. James was born in England, the son of Sarah Taylor-Watts and Richard Taylor-Watts. He was named after James Taylor, one of his parents’ favourite musicians. He attended Warwick School, the oldest private boys school in England. James’ father, who plays guitar in a wedding band as a hobby, once found young James banging on the drum kit at home. Shortly thereafter, the band’s drummer wasn’t able to make it to a gig. So the band had a decision to make: either let 10 year-old James play or cancel the gig. James played that evening and has been performing on a regular basis ever since. He picked up guitar at 12 years old and started playing piano the following year. In 2010, James started his YouTube channel at 12 years old. In 2014, James self-released an EP tidick Just A Number which rose to number 6 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. In early 2015, Shawn Mendes, an artist discovered on social media, found James on YouTube and praised him on Twitter. Mendes’ label, Island Records, then noticed James and he signed with them shortly thereafter. On 30 October 2015, James released his debut single “Black & Blue”. On 19 February 2016 James released a music video for his single, “When You Love Someone“, through Universal Music. The song reached over 60 million Spotify streams and peaked at #28 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart. On 15 April 2016 James released his debut EP titled First Impressions, featuring 5 original songs as well as a cover of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, which earned 17 million Spotify streams and peaked at 15 on the Spotify Viral 50 chart. James was the sole opening act on the sold out Shawn Mendes World Tour. On 9 September 2016, he released a cover of Gnarls Barkley‘s “Crazy“. On 23 January 2017 James TW performed “When You Love Someone” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. James released a new single “Ex” on 17 February 2017 while premiering the video via Billboard on the same day. In February, he was named the opening act on the European leg of Shawn Mendes’ Illuminate World Tour with dates from April to June 2017.

JAMES TW IN CONCERT, ST STEPHEN CHURCH, JULY 18 2017, 20.30H

Nimwegen#42

Stairs at Stephans Cimetery named after bellfounder

De trappen tussen de Stikke Hezelstraat en het Stevenskerkhof.The stairs between the Stephan’s Cimetery and Stikke Hezelstraat will get a name. They will be named “Geert Wout Stairs”, after a bell founder. Geert van Wou was born around 1450 in Nimwegen. He was one of the most famous founders of bells in Western Europe. His clocks are made with great skill and are known for their beautiful sound.

Main Chime
In the Stephan’s church hangs a bell that was cast by Van Wou in 1484. The bell is not so long ago restored a chimes manually a few times in a year. Watchman and whistleblower Peter Kuipers suggested to name these steps after Van Wou. The Nimwegen City Councel has approved the idea. Thus the memory of the local artist and craftsman are kept alive.

More staircases
Nimwegen has more staircases with a name. There are the South Staircase and the North Staircases leading to the Goose Hill from the Stephan Cimetery. And the Ferry Arch Stairs from Lindenberg to the quay of the river Waal.

WotW – edition 101#1

2017/02/22 – Navarone goes classic during Stevenskerk Live

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The first four names of the series Stevenskerk Live are known in the Marches Week. Most notable is the classical concert that will be given by the Nijmegen band Navarone. Rock band will once extend the ensemble with strings, horns, a percussionist, a pianist and harpist. Their songs also all receive a new arrangement. Other bands that come and play in the church are round, the London songwriter James TW and the young classical composer Joep Beving.


James Taylor-Watts (born October 27, 1997), better known as James TW, is a British singer-songwriter. His single “When You Love Someone” peaked at number 28 on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart. James was born in England, the son of Sarah Taylor-Watts and Richard Taylor-Watts. He was named after James Taylor, one of his parents’ favourite musicians. He attended Warwick School, the oldest private boys school in England. James’ father, who plays guitar in a wedding band as a hobby, once found young James banging on jthe drum kit at home. Shortly thereafter, the band’s drummer wasn’t able to make it to a gig. So the band had a decision to make: either let 10 year-old James play or cancel the gig. James played that evening and has been performing on a regular basis ever since. He picked up guitar at 12 years old and started playing piano the following year. In 2010, James started his YouTube channel at 12 years old. In 2014, James self-released an EP titled Just A Number which rose to number 6 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart. In early 2015, Shawn Mendes, an artist discovered on social media, found James on YouTube and praised him on Twitter. Mendes’ label, Island Records, then noticed James and he signed with them shortly thereafter. On February 19, 2016, James released a music video for his first single, “When You Love Someone”, through Universal Music. The song reached over 60 million Spotify streams and peaked at #28 on Billboard’s Adult Pop Songs chart. On April 15, 2016, James released his debut EP titled First Impressions, featuring 5 original songs as well as a cover of Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, which earned 17 million Spotify streams and peaked at 15 on the Spotify Viral 50 chart. James was the sole opening act on the sold out Shawn Mendes World Tour. On January 23, 2017, James TW performed “When You Love Someone” on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. James released a new single “Ex” on February 17, 2017 while premiering the video via Billboard on the same day.

Reception

Each year the management of the St Stephan Church in Nimwegen thanks the volunteers for their time and efforts. Starting with a toast with champagne, followed by speeches, and concluded with a dinner in the church, where candles light all the great ornaments, as the König Organ (first half 18th century).

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Leaving the church, the marketplace is deserted, but still with some ornamental lights from the Christmas period 🙂

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Nimwegen#4

Summer exposition in the Saint Stephan Church, organised by Intermedi-Art.

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Grietje Postma
Dutch, born in Dronten, 1961

In 1984 Grietje Postma enrolls at the Academie Minerva in the town of Groningen, in the Northern tip of the country. She has an eye on the painting curriculum, hoping to find her voice in rendering the deserted landscape of her lowlands. She quickly realizes her propensity for drawn lines in her compositions. She decides to take a printmaking class, thinking it may develop her graphic sensibility. Inspired by the docent Wim van Veen, she finds her way through the first technical difficulties of woodcut techniques and never looks back. By the time she leaves school in 1989 she is a printmaker; and she has found her technique in color woodcut reduction. By carving a single plank of wood in consecutive states, all colors are printed from one matrix. Unlike most artists who have practiced the reduction method, and there are few, she works from dark to light. The complete plank of wood is printed in the darkest color on all sheets of the edition. She then cleans off the matrix and carves it for a first time, taking out those areas she wishes to show in this first darkest color, all the while printing over other areas with a second, lighter color. Thus carving the lines for one color at a time and printing it on the whole edition at once, she ends up with a plank almost completely carved away, with only the lightest color highlights still raised on the plank. This is a one way street: as she carves each color, in successive states, she takes away the very lines needed to print darker (earlier) colors. Because darker colors have been mostly covered by lighter ones, most of Postma’s compositions often feel “animated”. Looming through the tiny unevenness of inking, which are caused by the texture and the grain of the wood, they viewer detects colors that have mostly been hidden. This “translucent” quality gives great depth to her landscapes. Postma combines this technique with an uncanny ability for simplicity. The branches of trees, the stems of flowers, blades of grass, all make up the linear texture of compositions of great austerity. Rather than render a reality, she draws with these lines colorful ambiances; she creates mood and uses outlines to capture our gaze. Her lines almost never force the eye in a particular direction. The slightly surreal quality of light and color very much relaxes the eye: a contemplative landscape shimmers on the retina. As observers of this outdoor view, we often do not feel exposed to the elements. She makes us take a step back, as if sheltered behind a pane of glass. We are warm, admiring cool and cold landscapes from fall, spring and winter. Only rarely does the viewer feel completely part of the surrounding landscape. Grietje Postma has been carving a few color woodcuts each year since 1988. Averaging about five compositions each year, her oeuvre only amounts to about one hundred twenty-five prints to date. She prints her planks with the greatest of care in small editions of fifteen to twenty-five. Her thick sheets or Van Gelder paper have pristine margins and registration is impeccable. Her work has been shown throughout The Netherlands by many galleries and acquired by foremost collectors. Because of her notoriety in her own country and the very limited amount of work produced, her work is scarce and most editions before 2005 sold out. It is a pleasure to be able to acquire these great prints and to offer them to an American audience. While inspired by the lowlands of the northern Netherlands, these landscapes resonate with many who have lived in the Midwest. By departing from reality to render a “composed” and personal landscape, her esthetic sense creates ultimately universal compositions.