“Ollie Ongeluk” is on of the main characters in the Dutch animated series “Helden van de stad”, Heroes of the city. Alan is a big fan and he especially likes the character Ollie. Ollie is a very unlucky character. He walks around with his leg in a cast, his arm in a cast and his beak has a big bandaid. Almost every episode het gets into trouble and he accumelates more harm. He will fall over banana peels, fall into fountains, cause fires and just generally cause lots of trouble.
Alan is a fan, and it looks like Ollies bad luck is rubbing off on Alan. Suddenly Alan is going through a period of increased unluckiness. He fell on the street and needed two stitches on his forehead and during playtime at school he fell and bit his tongue. Now he is walking around with a blue inflated tongue. Poor guy. Lets hope his unluckiness is over.
Getting a new toy is always great. This time it is not only a toy, it is a new hobby at the same time. Sinterklaas/santa claus/the three kings/myself gave me a micro tool. A Dremel that can be used for drilling, filing, cutting and sanding. Just good simple fun, messing about with a small powerfull motor. My first project will probably be an egg. Blowing out a normal chicken egg and using the drill to make it into a piece of art.
It has been silent for a couple of months. Not so very strange with two kids and the holidays. We went from one activity to another and it left me little time for my hobbies, like this blog. A shame really, but it is what it is.
Since the beginning of out holidays I’ve stopped writing. We first visited Holland for a few weeks, and had a really great time. During our time in the Netherlands the kids even spoke a little Dutch together, which made me very happy and even a bit proud. In Holland we did all the regular stuff. Spend time with family and friends, eat some smoked eel, visit the beach, the lake and my city, Leiden. All in all a good time.
After Holland we went to Torrevieja. Almost a month of beach, swimming pool, sun and relaxation. The nights were spend with our kids playing with a huge group of other kids, all in the closed area with the holiday houses. Alex also celebrated his birthday here with lots of activities and lots of presents.
Now we are again home, for quite some time already and we have gotten back in our normal routines. Boring and easy, and that is also quite good.
We are coming over! For two weeks we will be visiting Holland and we are expecting some nice weather. We hope to see everyone we know when we are over. Our flight arrives tomorrow morning at 00:15 so we’ll probably start off tired, but that won’t stop us to get the party started :)
Blowing a mega huge soap bubble is quite an impressive sight. I used to think that the ingredients for such a bubble were a bit mythical. Stuff that was hard to find, but I found out it is really not that hard. In fact, it is quite simple. You need to mix normal soap used for cleaning the dishes, some water, a bit of sugar and the magic ingredient, cheap beer. Mix it all up and with a special contraption of two sticks and some rope you can make your own huge bubbles.
We wish everyone a very good 2019! Enjoy the new year, enjoy the moment, enjoy your family and enjoy all the little things that will cross your path. I will enter the new year as positive as I can.
Every day there are ten thousand people that hear something for the first time that seems to be old news for almost everybody else. For me this happened today, and I was one of the 10.000 hearing this spot-on quote for the first time. A simple and elegant truth: “Happy wife = happy life!”.
We have received an official email from Alex and Alans school. In this email the school states they will finally act against the debtors, parents that fail to pay up the tuition of their children. This sounds like a very good step to ensure the financial future of the school, but things are not so simple. Even though we pay everything we need to pay I can still understand that in some situations it might be logical not not pay up without putting up a fight. The context of this email is in this case very important.
- Officially the school is free. The government pays all the fees related to the students. The school does have a voluntary contribution of about 50 EUR a month that the parents are required to pay.
- The reason for the voluntary required contribution is always explained by summing up various small details, but a real specification has never been presented, and probably will never be presented.
- Some parents refuse to pay the voluntary mandatory contribution out of principle.
- To force the debtors to pay the voluntary fees the school will take the following measures:
- Parents that do not pay will be unable to see their kids results on the school website
- Kids will not be allowed to go on field trips
- Kids will not be allowed to be dropped of early or collected late
- Regarding all extras the school offers the kids of parents that do not pay might be excluded
It seems that the school is targeting the students to force the parents to pay up. I really doubt that this is the correct manner to act in this case and frankly I suspect this email will not result in the end of the debtors.
I’m back in the Netherlands, and this time I’m in Tilburg. Ana and Alex came to visit me for a couple of days and that proved to be the perfect moment for lots and lots of activities. One of the things we did was to go to the Efteling. A fantastic park of which I have very fond memories. I remember going there when I was still a little boy. At the time there was a new attraction called ‘Droomvlucht’, which was inaugurated in 1993, meaning that my last visit was 25 years ago which means there must be quite a lot of new attractions.
Our visit to the Efteling was really great. Alex loved the rides, Symbolica, Droomvlucht, Fata morgana, the Pirana, the boat trip around the lake, the ‘Joris en de draak’-rollercoaster, the ravenstein show, the weird villa volta, holle bolle gijs, the fairy tale forest, longneck, the closing watershow and much much more. In the rollercoaster ride he was sitting next to me shaking and surprised by the massive speed, but he liked it. The pirana was great when in the beginning Ana got wet, but later even better when both Alex and I got thoroughly soaked.
To top it off one plan was not enough for this weekend. We also went on safari at Beekse Bergen, had a nice visit by Bert, Sally and family, Visited the animals at the olie meulen and went canoe-ing. All in all a great visit.