31/10/2010

Polishing silver…

by Rob on

Polishing silver… Who ever thought I would be doing that. And yet, that is exactly what I am doing right now. With a cloth and silver polish I am cleaning the few silver sculptures I have.
Am I collecting silver things or something? No, far from that. But these silver thingies came from the house of my mother. When we had to empty that house I took these along with me. Most of them where gifts from me to my mother when I was young. Gifts for Mothers-day and such…
Just some days ago, I noticed that these silver sculptures really needed a cleaning. Since they have been here in my house they were dusted, but not really cleaned. And I assume in the last years that my mother still lived at her house that due her bad health situation they were not cleaned that often and well. And in the last year that she was taken into the caring-home and still owned the house not at all.
My mother will be happy to hear that I am taking care of her things.

But now they are all shinning bright again. Even so bright, that it is hard to make a good picture of it… even with out flash!

It is funny, smelling the typical scent of the silver polish makes me think back of long ago when I as a young boy was still living at home and my mother was cleaning her silver at the big table in the living room…


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Oh yes, finally… Apassionata!!!!

by Rob on

For several years now there was something I wanted to visit so dearly…. and I know that this was a wish for Marion as well. But every time there was something that made it impossible to go there together. Last year Marion was in the US. The year before that I could not made…. but now finally we will go there.

You may wonder now what this is where we are going…

I managed to get tickets for Apassionata 2010…

Apassionata is every year returning magical show with performances of men and horse. This kind of shows can only be possible when there is a true and honest relationship between horse and men.
Every year there is a new subject and this year it is “In het Licht van de Sterren” (In the Light of the Stars).

I really cannot wait! Some how a wish has come true…


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Uber uber l33t :)

by Rob on

Okay, as MMORP-player this one really made me laugh. Some people with a good sense of humour :)


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Jean Michel Jarre

by Rob on

Today there was a very nice article about Jean Michel Jarre in “De Metro” (a daily free newspapers that is spread on the rail-road stations).
The article is about the tour Jean Michel Jarre is going to make. It is hard to believe, but this is the very first tour his going to make. Sure, he performed in many countries, but he never had a tour before.

From what I can read from the article it will be a great show with many 3D effects and using the most modern technical methods for special effects.

Jean Michel Jarre is bit special to me. His album Oxygen was one of the very first CD’s I ever owned. I still love that music. And that music is more then wonderful during “certain activities” :P.

So Jean Michel Jarre will perform on his tour on November 27th in Ahoy, Rotterdam… and you the nicest thing? My friend Patrick and I have tickets for it!!!!


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Amstedam Sex-Museum

by Rob on

Beware: This posting holds some light erotic pictures. If you don’t want to see these, then please skip this posting. If you decide to read it, then please don’t come complaining. I have warned you.

Edit: Someone suggested that I should make this posting private. I disagree with that. The pictures shown are “light erotic” at most in my opinion. If it would be about heavy pornographic material I would agree, but this is not the case.


For today Marion and I had decided to spend some nice time in Amsterdam. So while we were walking through the city we ended up on street called “Het Damrak”. I went there with a reason. On “Het Damrak” is a establishment of Kentucky Fried Chicken… and that happens to be my all time favourite fastfood restaurant.

On “Het Damrak” we walked by the Sex-museum that is located there. And as I pointed to it, I heard to my surprise that Marion never has been there. So I suggested to have a look at it. After some moments of pondering she agreed (after I convinced her it is a “sex-museum” and not a “porno-museum”).

Everybody who knows me a bit, knows that I am kinda free minded concerning sex. As long there all involved are 100% in agreement and there will be no (permanent) damage or hurt caused, a lot should be possible. Concerning this I am thinking not in the way the Catholic Church, as example, expects from us, far from that even (only my opinions on condoms and masturbation makes that already very clear).

Knowing Marion, she holds generally spoken the same views as me on this matter.

What I really like is the many old objects the museum has. It shows that sex was already throughout ages that what kept people busy. And that is not strange of course. Apart from that sex is needed for reproduction, it is something wonderful that can give great pleasure, specially when partners are dared to each other and feel completely open to each other.

As said, I really like the historical things they display in the museum. Even in these modern times sexuality, and everything belonging to it, is something for many less or more a taboo. Something you do not talked about freely. And still there was always a desire to express ones interest in sexuality. The museum displays many old items that have hidden sexual content or have sexual content in a way that you don’t see it right away.

The museum also holds a rather large collection of photographs with the subject sex. It is kinda nice to see how over the years this kind of photography changes. But the collection shows clearly that almost from the moment photography was discovered there were sexual photographs made. Really nothing new under the sun.

Aside from photographs the museum also has a rather big collection of paintings and sculptures. Some I like, some I don’t. Some are just “too much”, other I just don’t like the way they were made. But some I could even consider as art displayed in a home (bedroom for example). Some examples of the paintings and sculptures the museum displays…

Also there are some old “picture machines” on display. Of course are the pictures these machines display naughty. In a way the predecessor of the sex movie as we know it today. And how far did we come :)
Anyway, I assume that these machines made a nice amount of money…

Very nice are of course also the small scenes the museum has as of the Red Light District.

Our visit to the sex-museum was one of laughter, “Oh’s” and having fun.

Afterwards we went to the Kentucky Fried Chicken to have our well earned dinner. And as I said, KFC is one of my favourites. Soon we will return to Amsterdam to do the shopping and wandering around that we planned to do. Now we wanted to go home…


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When I look outside right now it is raining, while it was so nice weather yesterday. Funny how the weather can change in such a short time.

Yesterday Marion and I went to the town of “Wijk aan Zee”. A very nice, bit tourist, town. There we made a long walk along the beach. There were more people on the beach, but not so much that it became too busy. After a while walking we sat down in the sand, watching the arriving of the high tide while talking softly with each other. To be honest a very tender and romantic moment.

After a while we walked back in the direction of where we had parked the car, but before leaving we decided to have dinner there. Very quickly we found a place that looked very promising. A place called “De Strandhuis” (The beach house). The terrace outside was surrounded with screen of glass so you could sit out of the wind while still enjoying the evening sun.
The salmon they served was more then terrific. This is a place we will remember…

At a certain moment the temperature started to drop and it became chilly. So after a good cup of coffee when we went to my home in Heemskerk. And with that the moment arrived for Marion to leave again. It was a wonderful weekend and I cannot wait to see her again….


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Navy Museum, Den Helder

by Rob on

Already for a very long time I wanted to visit the Navy Museum in Den Helder. This because I saw very long ago that big submarine outside there. So today we would go there.

But before Marion and I would leave for Den Helder, Marion wanted to see a hairdresser. She made already a week ago an appointment for that with a hairdresser in Heemskerk (one that was recommended to her). The thing is that Marion and I have this deal, if I would keep my hair real short (what she really likes) she would let grow her hair again (which I really like). But in the last weeks Marion’s hair reached a length (somewhere between short and long) that it really looks awful, in her opinion at least. So she wanted desperately a hairdresser to do some magic on it.
And I have to say, now there are some waves and curls in her hair again, it looks indeed very nice.

So finally we were ready to leave for Den Helder. We went by train, so Marion could relax too. The train-trip to Den Helder went fast and before we knew it, we were standing in front of the Navy Museum.

The weather was rather nice, a bit windy. The sun that was shining happily made the temperature even enjoyable.

The museum owns a beautiful collection of miniature ships and boats. Their collections of items that are somehow connected to the Dutch Navy is more then impressive.

But the big attraction of the museum are the three navy ships they have and which can be looked at.

The first one Marion and I looked at was the submarine “Tonijn”. It was very impressive to see how this submarine was standing on land aside the museum.
“De Tonijn” has been in active service from the year 1966 to 1991. Very nice was the conversation we had with the person of the museum who really had worked in the past on “De Tonijn”.
I have seen movies about submarines (as “Das boat”) and having been in a real submarine (although it wasn’t in the water) gives a little bit more understanding how things must have been. Privacy was close to none existent. Very less room to move. The dangers of being under water. And as the man of the museum told us that at times they stayed 7 weeks under water (which was the maximum time for this kinds of submarines to stay under water). I must admit that my respect for people working on submarines has grown.

The wind was rather strong while standing on “De Tonijn”…. (Right Marion? :P).

The second ship we looked at was the Ironclad Ram “Schorpioen”. This ship is almost 140 years old. It was designed to ram other ships. But it turned out that ramming ships was not very effective, but the use of iron cladding on the ships skin proofed to be very effective. Ships as these were used to defend the coast.
The ship has two large steam-engines. It is al very impressive to see.

On “De Schorpioen” is a restaurant located. Marion and I had there a very nice lunch. The salads and breads were very tasteful. And it was very nice to sit there enjoying good food and looking out over the harbor of Den Helder.

The third and last ship was the Abraham Crijnssen, a in 1936 built mine sweeper, that also was capable to place mines. It was active in the Dutch East Indies and it is famous because its escape disguised as a tropical island from the Japanese forces who occupied the Dutch Indies. Under the protection of the darkness that the nights gave they sailed to Australia.

I really enjoyed this visit to the museum, I learned a lot about the Dutch Navy. So many things I never realized. And I think there is even a lot more to learn about the Dutch Navy and its history. As said before, I loved to walk around the three boats and make pictures of them.

And of course I had very enjoyable company!

Afterwards Marion ad I made a walk along the dikes. It is very beautiful there, but the wind had become much stronger and as we both were not really dressed for that, we decided to go home. But we will go back there when there is not that much wind. Maybe we even go for the isle of Texel then. For both of us it was very long ago we have been there.

I really love it how Marion felt asleep in my arms on the train-trip back home…


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Autumn “Bokbier”

by Rob on

As Patrick already posted on his blog…. The “bokbier” is back again and it tastes this year so very good again!!!

It is always a surprise again how the “bokbier” is every year again. And yes, it can really differ per year. But this year it is as I already said, very good again.
And another nice thing is that the local market has a real nice offer on it. 2 Sixpacks for just €6.00!

BTW “bok-bier” has nothing to do with a “bok” (which is the Dutch name for a male goat). It is strong malty lager beer of German origin. The Bavarians of Munich pronounced “Einbeck” as “ein Bock”, and thus the beer became known as “bock”.

Most Dutch breweries have their own “bokbier”, but I think Grolsch Autumn bokbier beats them all.


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Fanclubday Within Temptation 2010

by Rob on

Today I have been to the yearly fanclubday of the Silent Force, the Within Temptation fanclub. As it was this year in Heerhugowaard, which is not that far away from where I live nowadays, I decided to go there.

I must say that I enjoyed myself greatly. But I found it sad that even here SLR-camera’s were not allowed. So the pictures I made where of rather poor quality. About this later a bit more.

The fanclub organized some nice things for this day. Among these things a quiz. There were 5 teams for this quiz and to each team a member of the band was added. All kind of questions around Within Temptation were asked. One things showed very clearly, each of the band members loves to make fun. And it all gave me quite a laugh. Nice thing was though that I learned some things about Within Temptation that I didn’t know yet.
It was Sharon’s team that won the quiz (of course I would say :P).

There was also a lottery. Some rewards were really nice. As a limited edition of one their CD’s. Sadly I did not win anything, but again the way the show they pulled around the lottery really made me laugh a lot again.

Of course I love the music of Within Temptation, but what I also like is that all the band members I chatted with just stayed “normal” people. Sadly I have seen that different with other artists.

To the end of the event a performance of Within Temptation was planned and everyone was looking forward to that. And as they finally started to play something went really wrong. A technical problem made it impossible to continue. But during the time they needed to solve the problem, we were entertained in a very funny way by Martijn Spierenburg, the keyboard-man of the band.
After a little the performance could continue… and what a performance. I really really loved it. They know how to play live and they know how to set down a show.

I bought some nice things. Two very nice scarfs. One for me and of course one for Marion. They are of a design and quality that even Marion can use it when she is dressed up for her work. And they are very nicely warm.
I also bought a t-shirt for Marion…. so she doesn’t have to take my shirts when she stays at my place and puts them by accident in her suitcase… :P.

I said earlier that I wanted to say something about taking pictures at concerts as this one. It may be well known that I really dislike it that often it is not allowed for visitors to take along good camera’s (SLR’s and such). For normal concerts we pay a nice amount of money for the tickets, but we are not allowed to make nice pictures of the artists we like (and pay for).
But what really annoyed me was the conversation of two “professional” photographers behind me that I overheard. I assume (I really hope) that not all professional photographers are like that, but I heard one of them claiming that he wanted no one else as him to make nice pictures and in his story he told how he stopped someone from doing this. This is so arrogant in my opinion.
I assume that his real problem is that nowadays someone with a good SLR and glasswork… and who had a little bit feeling for photography can make high quality pictures.

Apart from that, I had a great day :)


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Cobra museum

by Rob on

My friend Dave will soon leave for one of his journeys again. This time it will be the Philippines and maybe Vietnam. So we thought it would be nice to get together before he leaves and do something fun, interesting or whatever.

By uncle of Marion, who is deep into art, I was told a while ago that the Cobra museum in the city of Amstelveen is very nice to visit. This museum is dedicated to modern art, especially on avant garde art movement with the same name.

Although I am not very into modern art generally, I open minded and curious So yesterday Dave and I did go there.

Cobra was an avant garde movement that was found on November 8th 1948 in Paris. The name Cobra is based on the cities where the founders came from: Copenhagen – Brussels – Amsterdam. For that reason the name is often written in the modern CamelCase-style: CoBrA.

Although the Cobra-movement didn’t last very long, it influence on nowadays arts has been important. Cobra objected mainly against the established art-styles of this time and created a almost naive, innocent and unskilled/untrained way of displaying art.
I think the most famous name belong to Cobra was Karel Appel.

Cobra covered many ways of arts as poetry, painting and sculptures.

As already said. I am not that deep into this way of modern art. Maybe I am very simplistic, but I want to recognize directly what a piece of art represents. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to learn about things as Cobra.

So it was a well spend day. Dave and I enjoyed after our visit to the museum a good dinner on the terrace of Du Monde, which is very close to the museum.

Dave will soon leave for his journey. I hope he will have a great time and am already waiting for stories and pictures!


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