Tag Archives: Nederland

COMPUTER PROBLEMS? – dial a Dutch genius

We often feel much like the monk in the above, rightly-famous Norwegian comedy sketch, summoning the mediaeval help desk. (If you haven’t watched it before, do so now.)

The source of all IT wisdom in the family is our son, but he’s inconveniently living in LA at the moment.

So it’s wonderful that, having not long ago acquired a Smart TV that’s far smarter than we are, we’ve discovered Student Aan Huis (‘Student at Home’) Continue reading


Filed under Uncategorized

EISE EISINGA’S INVENTION – a Friesian marvel

You may think this is just another old living room with a bed in a cupboard. You'd be wrong.

You may think this is just another 18th century room with a bed in a cupboard. You’d be wrong.

‘I know we’re a bit cramped for space, darling, what with the kids sleeping in a drawer under our bed, but I have a new hobby. I want to build a planetarium in our living room ceiling.’

Without the aid of a computer, electricity or an education past primary school level, Eise Eisinga did just that. It took him from 1774 till 1781 to build a wooden, clockwork-powered working model of the Solar System. It’s now World Heritage listed, and it’s easily the most extraordinary thing we’ve seen in Friesland, in the northern Netherlands. Continue reading


Filed under Holland


Behind the town of Zaandam is the area known as De Gouw, 'The Shire'. It's not large and there's not a lot there. I can see why shires appealed to J.R.R. Tolkien.

Behind the town of Zaandam is the area known as De Gouw, ‘The Shire’. It’s not large and there’s not a lot there. I can see why shires appealed to J.R.R.Tolkien.

We’re entering ‘Year in Review’ mode, so it’s time to publish photos that didn’t quite fit into any other stories.

Landscape photography suits me well. Unlike friends and relatives, birds and bikes, landscapes stay relatively still while you fiddle with the camera settings. I’m coming to appreciate Dutch scenery more and more. There are no spectacular snow-capped mountains, towering waterfalls or breathtaking desert canyons. Instead everything in little Nederland is on a small and manageable scale.

The English word ‘landscape’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘landschap’. Remember that! Now you can say you learned something by visiting this blog. Continue reading


Filed under Holland, travel photography


The flag flies after an Aussie win.

The flag flies after an Aussie win.

No, not THAT World Cup. We Aussies know our place in the football world. A blow or two punching above our weight would be a satisfactory result.

But in the Hockey World Cup, Australia and Nederland have made it to the finals in both Mens’ and Womens’ tournaments, so it’s worth a trip down to Den Haag to share the fun. Continue reading


Filed under Holland, Sport

CLASSICO BORETTI 2013 – a snapshot and some snapshots

Of course there are windmills along the route.

Of course there are windmills along the route.

6000 Dutch cyclists, some very expensive road bikes, an awful lot of bananas, boxes of krentenbollen (currant buns), thousands of litres of sports drink, several tonnes of penne bolognaise at the finish and, for us, a little over five hours in the saddle…the 6th annual Classico Boretti ride. Continue reading


Filed under Cycling


Riding with the wind for a change.

Riding with the wind for a change.

This island is 20 kilometres long, 10 kilometres wide and has more than 135 kilometres of cycle paths. It’s not hard to guess which country we’re talking about.

Texel, the most southerly of the Dutch Wadden Islands, is flat. Mostly. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling


I’m an avowed republican in Australia. Nothing personal, your majesty Queen Liz, though you and your family don’t interest me all that much. I just think we should have an Australian as head of state and get rid of that anomalous Union Jack in the corner of our outmoded flag.

I have less problem with the Dutch having a royal family to reign over them. At least they’re Dutch and people rather like them. Okay, they may be one of the richest royal houses of Europe, but they’re not above going for rides on the bike, at least for photo ops. That prejudices them in my favour.

Well reigned, Queen Bea, and good luck and happy riding King Willem-Alexander.

And thanks, Mark Wagenbuur of Bicycle Dutch, for another post on your excellent blog.


It is a historic day in the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix announced she will abdicate in favour of her son after a 33 year reign. This is in line with Dutch tradition, the Netherlands does not have a tradition that the monarch rules until death. So on April 30th 2013, the Netherlands will have a new head of state: King Willem-Alexander.

It was also announced that Queen’s Day, so far celebrated on April 30th, the birthday of the mother of Queen Beatrix, will from 2014 on be celebrated on the new King’s actual birthday, April 27th, and from then on be called King’s day. This was very unexpected and that will take some getting used to! No more Queen’s Day Cycling!

But some things will not change! The members of the Dutch royal family have long been on bicycles and we can expect them to be cycling for a very…

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Filed under Cycling, Holland