Category Archives: snippets

excerpt from / start of


1979’s holidays


Quick introduction to the holiday makers: just your ordinairy set of human beings.
Him: finishing yet another year of teaching and examining secondary level students
Her: doing final rehearsals for the yearly musical with her 30+ primary level pupils
Both of them -meanwhile and constantly- thinking of the upcoming holidays.


Somewhere in March the plans were made, somewhere in May the holidays were booked.
In general holiday bookings were done by third parties, with travel agencies  providing travellers-to-be with piles of fat brochures full of blue skies, exotic beaches, pretty parasols and  luring sunshine.
Him&her had no need for browsing brochures. No need at all.
Their destination was chosen ages ago: Ireland.
“Irish Continental Line” was the best way to get there, so they had only required a leaflet with sailing times. “World Wide Reis- en passagebureau” had confirmed the booking.
All that was furthermore needed was a car that would bring them all the way and a tent that hopefully would keep out the expected rain.


Warnings and advice came from tourist boards,  departments and wellwishers
˚ Precautions against Rabies
˚ Petrol Vouchers for sufficient fuel to tour the island in six weeks
˚ Driving on the right side of the road, which is left side







July 9th 1979, 40 years to the day

no roadmapping……


In all probability most of you know of (or are even hit over the head with) roadmapping.
If that’s not the case, there are lots of explanations online. Of course ‘wikipedia’ is a good source and the following interpretation can be found on ‘productplan’ : Roadmapping is the strategic process of determining the actions, steps and resources needed to take an initiative from vision to reality.                                            

Now that’s some useful info, isn’t it. Simple and clear, a process of steps to be taken. Yet -as far as i understand-  there is no connection with any (un)paved roads nor with any paper maps.
Roadmapping technically won’t help you one bit when you’re “on the road again” , when you walk “the streets of london”, when you get your kicks on “route 66” or when “penny lane”  is in your ears and in your eyes

To find your way in the real world there are different ways of road-mapping.  For most paved roads you may need to turn on your sat nav or gps, for most unpaved roads you need ordnance survey or an oldschool compass.  With any of these close at hand, you will find your way around roads, motorways, routes, streets and boreens.

Having all navigation options close at hand, does not mean that people actually make use of them when needed. Not using a proper road-map can sidetrack you and -talking about the process of steps to be taken- put you on the wrong foot. Seriously, i know what i’m talking about. With the tip of my finger i can operate the very advanced touch screen navigation system in my car and there’s a pile of the most recent ordnance survey maps in a bag behind the passenger seat, yet i managed to get lost.
When i stranded it was too late to keep an appointment to do some photostuff with some lovely people in some lovely gardens.
Feic you, memory lane……….., you huge unmapped cul-de-sac.

ode to an author, ode to mem


One needs an opportunity and possibly a good portion of inspiration to make snippets. Maybe due to shortage of opportunities and/or lack of inspiration, perhaps even due to reasons not to be mentioned, adjustments were made and written words were postponed.  Yet……
Before the year 2017 is over, one thing needs a snippet plus a few added snaps.

In 2018 Leeuwarden, a town in the province of Friesland (NL), will be European Capital of Culture, which is a big thing for a not too big town.

Both my parents, Heit and Mem as we called them in the Frisian language, were born and raised in Leeuwarden.  Yes, it was Heits violin being sound again and yes, it was Mem being mentioned on several occasions in amostlikeableplace.
Well, perfectly timed before 2018, which also happens to be European Year of Cultural Heritage, my Mem was honoured with a plaque on the gable of the house where she grew up.                             



My grandparents owned a cheese and grocery shop at this address and, as often in those days, the family lived upstairs.  Somewhere in somebody’s archives must be a photo of the house how it looked in Mems childhood days, the shop-window covering half of the groundfloor gable with the name of the proprietor in large Jugendstil font across.  After more than a century changing owners and purposes it’s not surprising there’s not much left of the original features. Fortunately the last renovations left space beside the frontdoor for a commemorative plaque.

Sure it doesn’t make sense to show snaps of all the (press-)people that crowded the Nieuweburen who made traffic stop and drivers angrily blow their horn.
It does make sense though to make an exemption for two of the attendees.  The first one being the five year old girl* who, no surprise here, carries the same name as my Mem and who unveiled the plaque.  The second one being the ninety-seven year old lady, Mems sister and last living sibling.










* Apologies,  i don’t know if you are familiar with all the names, terms and qualifications for relatives, but i have to confess i had to find out how this little Dieuwke Winsemius is related to my Mem. explains relationships in chart form, so i finally learned what ‘1st cousin twice removed’ implies. Pfff, i don’t think i’ll remember that, but at least i’ve a reference now.

a maze

You know these mazes, the ones where you feel you have to prove yourself? Where buxus hedges reach high overhead, where walls feel damp, where the path is dark.  You push the little voices in your head back as far as you can as you are not going to be intimidated  by your own fears. A few steps is all it takes to cut you off from the outside world.

Once in there sounds seem muffled or there may not even sounds at all. Maybe you hear your own heartbeat, maybe you look up to acknowledge the sky is still there or maybe you already wonder if you will take the right turn to get to the centre.

Of course you keep going, sure you’re not a coward…or are you? While you take bend after bend, round corner after corner and stand still for moments to listen intently, you know you’re in a bolthole and yet you want to find the exit.  In the meantime you are feeling your way around, listen to your footsteps on the gravel and control your breathing.

You will find your way out. You must. You have to. And if you don’t, someone will surely go looking for you, someone will surely find you. Eventually someone will…..

down and out

It’s not too bad if one is down and out for a while, is it? Things like that don’t announce themselves, they just happen. The question whether necessary or not cannot be answered.

Indeed, the right guess is, it was me being down and out for a bit.

Down in myself, down memory lane (even where i don’t like that expression), past the ‘no entry’ sign and ignoring the ‘tresspassers will be prosecuted’.

Out as well, out of my most likeable place, out of the country and sometimes happily out of my mind.

Perhaps i was more out than down, the balance isn’t completely clear. I may put both on different scales and use in and up as counterweights. Or maybe not. Maybe i just opt out for down.


snippet and slice and birthday surprise

cake 1 There’s an English proverb that says you can’t have your cake and eat it. Well, i tell you something: you can! You can have your cake, eat your heart out, stuff your face, have your fill, lick your plate and still not know what to do with the rest.

Normally, the best part of a cake is what you’re eating and tasting, this time the best part is not being involved in baking nor preparation. Some family and friends thought this birthday should be celebrated and -in hindsight- i gladly admit it was the best thing happening this year. candled cake

 To  keep this a snippet, i’ll better write point by point. Guests first:

1 American,

1 Czech,

2 Dutch,

1 French,

1 German,

5 Irish,

1 Spanish

This unexpected company filled my hut with all kinds of everything:  banners,   noise,   love,   champagne,   presents,   cakes,   laughter,   madness,   candles,   bunting,   hugs,   food,   balloons,   happiness,   surprises,   drink,   friendship,   jokes,   life,   cream,   nibbles,   wishes and stories.   many candles make one big light

All of this shared by each and everyone and when the day was over there was plenty left on my plate and on the kitchen worktop.





p.s. As you can see I proved the English language wrong. You can eat your cake and have it. Surprisingly it is here: for sharing, for a snippet, for a slice.

a sound snippet

It’s been quiet in a most likeable place.

Most of the time hiding was the only thing left. Safely behind walls of greens. There are more greens than you could even imagine. They were here, even when i couldn’t see them. And now that i can, they are vanishing. Turning to other colours, likeable and dislikeable colours. Ending in no colour at all.

What’s left are sounds. Birds. Distant dogs. Hungry hens. And this:

my wind chime, inspired by Beethoven’s famous Opus 27 #2 “Moonlight Sonata”. it’s a brilliant 8-note 2 1/2 octave tubular chime in C# minor, which includes 8 tubular chimes: G#, C#, E, G#, C#, E, G#, C#
[one from jwstannard’s wind chime collection]

There’s a touch of wind in a most likeable place.