Worm farm

24 October 2006 On some days, nothing succeeds. Everything I painted I had to wipe off because I lost my artistic mojo. When I took a comforting cookie, I bit hard on the inside of my cheek. When I walked to the mirror in tears I discovered the wet laundry has been sitting in the …

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Spring fling

16 Oktober 2006 Every year, the ‘classic car club’ organizes a treasure hunt. Considering our integration … of course we had to participate. At 9:30 AM we went to the local picnic grounds for the breakfast/meeting. Pancakes, hmmm !!! We watched it for a while and then I wanted to start the treasure hunt. To …

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Haka

8 October 2006 The hotel we have visited last week, is located on a busy main street of Auckland. When we left in the morning and waited at the side of the road for our valet parked car (I told you it was a fancy hotel!) … suddenly there was an impressive and weird silence …

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Death of the queen

29 August 2006 The Maori queen didn’t wear a soft ermine cloak with golden brooch, but a poorly fitting brownish piece of furry-like material, held together with ordinary string. Later on, I heard that the piece was severely guarded. It was an old heirloom, made out of kiwi feathers, so nothing less than an ermine …

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Socializing

28 July 2006 It happened I have to provide a lunch for strangers. If you had told me 1 year ago, that I had to cook a meal for 8 English-speaking strangers … I would have pointed to your forehead. You must know that I was the kind of child with serious plans for arson …

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Snitchers 2

25 June 2006 In the newspapers of New Zealand is printed a lists of names and last known addresses of people who didn’t pay their fines. Not intended to show you what kind of bad guys they are, but more as a request for help; If you happen to know how to get in touch …

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Underground

15  June 2006 A few months ago, while hiking in the woods on top of the mountain, I found a little red plastic flower. Probably fell off from a hairpin, or so. Bored I pushed the thing into a hole in a tree next to the bench where I had my picnic. A few hours …

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Squeezed buttocks

4 June 2006 Our first winter is kicking in. The house is built of a single layer of wood and protected from the rain by a plastic skin with wood pattern … There is mold right on the windows and the days my towels were dry, are long gone. My linen starts to smell like …

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Possums

28 May 2006 In Australia the possum is a protected animal. But in New Zealand it is ‘your duty’ to kill them. Once there were a few possums imported to breed for their fur. When the New Zealanders finally designed some nice coats at the end of the 19th century, unfortunately fur just became out …

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The gardens of the grim reaper

4 May 2006 In the Netherlands I was used to cemeteries being quite formal. We only visit them (on days other than a funeral) if we had to do something important. Such places are a bit apart from the ordinary world and therefore kept discrete by hedges or walls. Perhaps from the perspective that in …

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Beach hop

30 April 2006 Months ago we signed up for the Beach Hop in Coromandel. It is a fifties/sixties themed event during 5 days, with more than 1,000 American classic cars and 60,000 visitors. It’s a yearly returning show and began last Wednesday. “You should have been there and every year it is more awesome than …

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Badasses 2

21 April 2006 After I had recovered from badasses part 1, today for the first time in my life I saw a guy with a real hook as a hand !!! I thought a hook was a scary concoction of a writer of sailor stories. Probably a hook is a lot more robust in use …

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Exhibitionism

20 February 2006 Every now and then we are asked by New Zealanders why we wanted to live in Whakatane. Sometimes even with undisguised bewilderment; You are not going to live in Whakatane if you are not completely failed in life. Or if you are not sought for a crime in Europe? Living in Whakatane …

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Badasses 1

13 February 2006 I’m always the one who’s poking an elbow; “Psst, that guy is blind!” “Look! That woman over there has oedema ankles, don’t look !!! ” “Hey, that guy has a stump, did you see that ?!” I can’t help it. I just notice these things. It’s like I’m having an extra radar, …

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Dentist

4 February 2006 On the last day in the Netherlands, I lost a filling of my tooth. My first thought was that ‘fortunately’ there was no time anymore, to get the gap repaired … It is a bit weird that you are not capable to immediately throw away that nugget of amalgam, but leave it …

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Whale island

1 February 2006 As long as we are living here, Frank and I are having the same strange sensation each time we see Whale Island off the coast. One time the island seemed to be much bigger than other times. Sometimes it was located close to the coast, dark and glooming … and the next …

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Red dot

26 January 2006 The obligatory tourist attractions includes a visit to Hells gate. You look straight into the open wounds of mother earth. The beautiful almost fluorescing yellow sulphur what’s bubbling out the natural pools, stinks like rotten eggs. White Island is located 50 km off our coast, consisting of a volcano that occasionally let …

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Swimming with dolphins

15 January 2006 So last week we headed to Auckland and Fisher-wise I was prepared to count on nothing. And that was a good thing … because Fisher’s gallery was closed. Contrary to what was announced on the front door. At this moment I have received an excuse mail from the secretary for that 3rd …

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Second failure of the gallery owner

28 December 2005 There is reigning absolutely no Christmassy atmosphere over here. They do some feeble attempts with hanging lights strips on the houses and tree-shaped ornaments, but actually it doesn’t work in a hot mid summer. Beside the disturbing aspect of the bright sunlight and images if Santa in a bathing suit, the New-Zealander …

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My first earnings

22 December 2005 Just before we left the Netherlands I got an email from Henry Muldrow. Who? Well, that’s someone from the world of the performing arts and poetry. Two art forms existing miles away from me and I have no idea who are the heavyweights over there. Henry was busy creating a poetry collection …

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