Although I was born in the city of Amsterdam, I spent the most of my live in a town called Haaksbergen. Haaksbergen is a town in the eastern part of the Netherlands. My parents moved from Amsterdam to Haaksbergen when I was very young (I was around one and a half years old). I have dear memories of this town. But every time I visit Haaksbergen again, I am surprised how fast a town can change. But at the same time so many memories are still bound to so many things.

One of the thing I was very curious of was if the house that belonged to my mother was still untenanted. I was told that after my mother passed away the house has been empty for a very long time, but not anymore…

New people are living there now. Of course, that was bound to happen. It would useless to let the house stay unused. But somehow it is a little weird to realize that after the house been more than 30 years in our family, there now other people living there.
Anyway, I hope that the people who are living there now (seems to be a Cassandra and Paul) will be happy there. The house is maybe older, but it is big. A very large living room, a nice kitchen, 3 large bed rooms, a smaller bedroom, an attic and a nice garden. And the price they asked a year ago for it, was even below what I had to pay for my apartment (which makes the differences in house prices and their site very clear).
Of course it brought back memories of my mother who passed away last year. So I was very happy that Sanne and Marion were with me there.

But there are also many nice and good memories around that house.

There were these small passages between the houses. They were used to give access to the sheds, but also were meant as an escape route in case of fire. As young kids we played there a lot. You could run around there. Play hide and seek. Climb on the roofs of the sheds (which wasn’t allowed of course). Great memories.

We also visited “De Wilder”, a beautiful “tropical swimming paradise” (as they call it). I used to swim there a lot. And I have to admit, it is much nicer than the place where I always go swimming in Heemskerk. But I am not complaining, I am happy with the location there. At least it has also those “herb baths” and a sauna close by.

The swimming made us hungry and it was about time to have lunch. “Grand Café Centraal” is a great place for a lunch. They have some awesome sandwiches with fried egg and ham (and other stuff). Apart from the wind, the weather was nice. So we had our lunch outside on the terrace. There you have a wonderful view on the Pancratius Church, a Catholic church. I am an atheist, but I do like churches as historical buildings very much. And the Pancratius Church is really a beautiful building.

After lunch we made a walk through the center of town. Well, call it a ride down the memory-lane. Because that was exactly what it was. As said, a lot changed and at the same time a lot is the same. One thing I really like about Haaksbergen or Oldenzaal (as I know now since last Friday) or even Enschede (although that is a city) is a nice center of town with cafes, restaurants, terraces and such. A nice place where it is on sunny evenings very neighborly and convivial.
Sadly Heemskerk has nothing like that. There is a square in the middle of town with shops around and just 1 small terrace and that is it. There are some terraces spread over town, but there is no “social center” of town. A pity that is. If there would be have something like that, we would go to town a lot more often as we do now.
Luckily Alkmaar, Haarlem and Amsterdam are close by to make up for that.

One thing I really like about Haaksbergen is that there still so much is left of it’s history. Just look around and you will see it.

Our walk brought us to the Bergingsvijver, just outside Haaksbergen. As a boy I used to swim there, but swimming is not allowed here anymore (might be dangerous for health and such). Also I did here my first (and last) attempt to fish. I already found out that fishing is nothing for me. And no, I don’t believe the story that fishes don’t feel pain (and even if they wouldn’t, all the stress it causes to them). Never touched a fishing rod again and that is good this way…

At the isle in the “Bergingsvijver” that you can reach by a bridge we found something nice. We had to look at it for a little before we saw the idea behind it…

First we thought that the text was mirrored, but that was not the case. It was Sanne who said “Look into the water”. And she was right, in the water the reflected text was normally readable… “Oplossen in hemel en aarde. Niet verdwijnen” (“Resolve in air and soil. Not dissapearing”). We pondered a bit what they could mean with that and we all had our own thoughts about it. Anyway, I really liked the idea.

Back in town we went to “De Markt 2”, the place were I went so often in the past. Sanne did leave us there while she declared with one of her funny faces that Marion and I should have the rest of the day for us alone. Silly girl… she know she always welcome with us, but yet it was appreciated.

Marion and I enjoyed some beer and wine on the terrace of “De Markt 2”. We sat there for a long time. Talked, laughed, chatted with other people. It almost felt as the old times. The atmosphere was very good.
At a certain moment it became really cold outside. So we went inside of “De Markt 2”. As it was more then about dinner time, we ordered something nice to eat. After we finished dinner, we went to the bar to have something more to drink. I enjoyed it a lot and so did Marion. We had lots of fun with the people at the bar, the people of “De Markt II” included. Somewhere the feeling of “being home” came up to me…. This is what I missed so much.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my apartment. I love my job and the people I work with…. But if only those darn Noord-Holland folks would be a bit more as those from Twente….

Ah well, it was a great weekend. Something I needed, so this we do a lot more… (and yes Sanne, next time you can stay with us at “De Markt 2” :P).

All with all, a weekend to remember!!!

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Yesterday Marion and I planned to visit Amsterdam. Not with a specific goal, but just to enjoy the city again. When Sanne heard this, she told that she would love to come along with us. And as Sanne is good company, why not. We agreed that we would meet at the “Amsterdam Centraal” (the main railroad station of Amsterdam). At the restaurant we drank some coffee and cake before going into the city.

One thing I really like about cities as Amsterdam is that typical old stone streets. The old buildings… the narrow streets. You can almost taste and feel the history there. I love to walk through that kind of streets. And it was very clear that I was not only one who enjoyed it.

At Dam-square we sat for nice long time on terrace. The sun was nice (as we were sitting out of the wind). While enjoying beer, wine and some snacks the conversations were nice. And of course it is always fun to see all those people wander by. It is fun to observe them. There are strange people walking this earth, that is for sure (and maybe I am the strangest of them all :P).

Of course the two ladies wanted to visit “De Bijenkorf”. “De Bijenkorf” is a very big luxury store that offers a wide range of items (clothes, cosmetics, books, movies, toys and much more). There I bought for Marion a nice bottle of parfum (“Rose The One” by Dolce & Gabbana). I also bought two CD’s (Genesis “Foxtrot” and one with the best hits of Earth & Fire).

And then happened what I was a bit afraid of… Sanne and Marion wandered on to the department for women’s clothing. I showed character and stayed for 30 minutes with them. After that I decided to go somewhere else (all of course normally talk though with them). And to be honest, I think they were happy that I left them alone there.

I went to the other side of the street to the Kentucky Fried Chicken and had some chicken wings while waiting on the ladies. It was more then an hour before they arrived and both of them were carrying a big bag with things they bought. We had together dinner at Kentucky Fried Chicken… all three of us just love that place!

Afterwards we walking without any hurry back to station and made our way back to Heemskerk. Sanne came along with us (she stayed for the night with us. You can sleep very well on my couch).

Tired as walking most of the afternoon we decided to take it easy for the evening and we thought that watching a movie would be a good idea. Just that day I received two BluRays that I had ordered… “Green Lantern” and “I, Robot”. We decided on “Green Lantern”, a movie with great special effects. The audio effects of that movie are just awesome. And of course was made it even more nice, was that the Green Lantern was one of those superhero comics that I just loved to read when I was younger.

All with all a nice day again…

With this post I am also trying what Kristin (a colleague of mine) suggested for the name change of my blog (I wrote about that recently). I will look for some time if I like the the titles of the articles in this way. And if I do, I will rename my blog to “Life is there to…” :)

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A nice bicycle ttrip

by Rob on

Today Marion and I made a nice long trip on our bicycles. Compared with yesterday the weather was very nice, so a good opportunity to get some fresh air. Without an real destination or goad, and without any hurry we started in the direction of the dunes-area. It all became a very trip of close to 34 kilometers.

Just outside of Heemskerk we saw a Frisian Horse. I just love these strong black horses. In the past these horses were used for pulling and for work on the land. Nowadays they are used for horseback riding as well.

Very surprised when suddenly in full speed from behind a shed a young foal appeared. Making weird playful jumps. It looked like that the young animal tried to impress us. Well, it did. We laughed a lot watching all the stunts the foal pulled off.

We continued our trip in the direction of the dune-area, which was from the horses basically crossing one street. The dune-area is beautiful and I always love to be there. The nature is rich and very varied. Many different kind of plants, insects, birds and other animals. Truly an unique part of our country.

Something Marion and I noticed that many people that we met seemed to have a need to talk and keep talking. Maybe scared of silence was what crossed Marion’s mind. Sure Marion and I talked too, but there are also long silences where we enjoy all the beauty around us.

After a while we saw a sign telling us that we just 2 kilometers away from the beach of Heemskerk, we decided to go there. One should never let an opportunity go see the sea. We did sit for some time on the beach, enjoying the great view of the sea. Somehow the sea always clears my mind.

From the beach we went in the direction of Castricum. We saw two bird spot places there. I will soon return there, but with my 300mm lens.

Near Castricum there is a very nice restaurant called “Johanna’s hof”. There we had dinner. Marion had a big pancake with all kind of nuts, raisins and brie. I went for a nice Wiener Snitzel.

After the nice dinner, we went in direction of Castricum. We had planned to go in the direction of home, but as we saw that there was a summer market in Castricum we decided to visit it. Way too busy for my liking, but I managed to get 3 CD’s cheap (Acda en De Munnick, Simple Minds and a collection of romantic music).

From Castricum more or less straight to home. We both were in for a shower. But a very nice spend afternoon!!!!

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