Happy 2015!Another year has passed, and even if the years are all quite similar every year still comes with surprises. This year I returned to Spain for most of the time. Working three weeks from home and one in Holland works out much better.

This year Alex turned three. He is getting to be a big boy, and we can already talk about lots of topics. I speak Dutch with him and he replies in Spanish and sometimes with a little Dutch. He does like to be the center of attention, but we presume this is normal for all little kids. At school he is doing very well.

Ana had a quiet year. Still working at the hospital and being a great mother.

We wish everyone a very good 2015!

Berg chronicle

Thanks to my aunt Corry our family has documented almost 10 years of its family history. Each year family members were asked to write down the memorable events they find important from the last year and all the results were combined into a nice small document. Literally history in the making. In its current form the chronicle from 2013 will be the last one and we’ll have to see if the idea is picked up by some other family member. The Berg family is growing fast so each year the chronicle is getting bigger and implies more work to make it.

  • Bergchronicle 2013
  • Bergchronicle 2012
  • Bergchronicle 2011
  • Bergchronicle 2010
  • Bergchronicle 2009
  • Bergchronicle 2008
  • Bergchronicle 2007
  • Bergchronicle 2006
  • Bergchronicle 2005

  • I like to keep things a little easier. A few times a month I post items about my own personal history here on this blog. Recently this includes stories about my wife and son and on few occasions even about close relatives like my father, mother, brother, sister-in-law, niece and godson. I’ve been blogging for nearly 10 years so you can find a nice piece of history here as well, but much more centered around one person and therefor surely less interesting for the average person.

    Chronicle 2013

    Once again it is time for the Berg-kroniek, a brief recap of the past year. It was a strange year for us because in April I left my family in Spain and I started a new job in Leiden at Naturalis. It was a very difficult choice, but it was necessary because we were confronted with a situation where I was unemployed and Ana had contracts that lasted a month. A situation with a lot of insecurity that we solved by splitting up our family.

    Palmitos park - November 2013!In Holland I could stay with my parents for a couple of months. Working at Naturalis was nice and I helped create a lot of websites and a mobile app, the dierenzoeker. Still it was hard being away from my family. I worked from home a couple of weeks, and spend all my holidays there, but saying goodbye every time was hard on Alex and even more difficult for his father.

    A medical error caused Ana to have quite a bit of problems with her eye sight. Hopefully her eyes will get a bit better but it will take months before we know for sure. For Ana there was also good news. After six years of temporal contracts her contract has finally be changed into a fixed contract. Finally the job security she deserves.

    Alex is doing very well. He is growing very fast and he is already going to school a few hours every day. His mother thinks that his character resembles his dads character. He is a happy kid who like a little bit of mischief every now and then. If Alex wants something he’ll get it, or he will make life hard for his parents. A typical two year old kid and a typical Berg. Just as you might expect from the lineage holder.

    We wish everyone a great 2014!

    Overview 2012

    Happy 2013!The year is almost past so once again its time for a review of the past year. We are still living in Las Palmas on the Canary island Gran Canaria. In January we got a nice visit from Kees and Nel which was great fun! Alex was really happy to see his grandparents again, and it was difficult for his to say goodbye. Later in the year we went home to Holland to visit brother Bert, Sally, little Annabel and Jack, grandpa Kees, Grandma Nel and a big part of the family.

    In the beginning of this year we had some stressful times. Ana needed to undergo some surgery, and her bladder was removed. After the operation it took some time to get back to her normal self, but eventually she could go on without pain and without a very strict diet.

    This year we also moved to a new home. We still live in Las Palmas, but now a little more in the city center and in a little bit bigger apartment. Also we now how our own parking space. 2012 was one more year in which the crisis was noticeable. In Gran Canaria there is an unemployment rate which is more than 30% and this is something you can notice. In July I also lost my job and ever since I’ve been a full time dad and looking for some new job.

    Our little angel has gone through some tremendous development this year. He now has teeth and is walking around all the time. He knows Spanish and Dutch words. He learned how to swim. He dances! He likes to play hide and seek with us. He likes painting. In all being a parent has turned out to be a fantastic experience.

    We wish everyone a very good 2013!

    Overview 2011

    Happy 2012!2011 was again a very busy year. The most impressive was of course Ana’s pregnancy and the birth of our son Alex on the 15th of August. Just like his father he was born in the year of the rabbit. A beautiful baby which fill us with happiness and pride.

    Alex is born in Alcala de Henares and weighed 2.500 grams. In a few month he has grown an incredible amount and for us as parents it is a fantastic experience. After his birth grandma Nel and grandpa Kees paid us a visit and a few weeks later we took Alex to Holland to introduce him to our family and friends.

    After giving birth to Alex the mother had some issues. Ana recovered quickly from the caesarean, but after a while she was diagnosed with a large amount of rocks in her bile. It was a very painful experience and resulted in a few weeks in the hospital. Eventually she was allowed to return home with a very strict diet. Her bile had been infected and needed to cool down for it to be removed entirely in January or February.

    This year we published our first children’s story. The title is ‘Thomas and Valentine‘ and it is a beautiful story about a young farmer, his wife and a strange animal. It is not so difficult to guess the strange animal if you look at the books cover. This children’s book is ideal to read from and was written by Ana and Adrie. The book is available in Dutch and English. We are still working on the Spanish version. There are still some small errors in the texts but we are working on a new and better version. We thank everyone who has pointed us to errors in the stories.

    Before Alex’s birth we visited the Canary Island ‘La Gomera‘. A very nice island that is perfectly suited for nice nature walks.

    We also had some issues with the richest man in the world, the owner of the IKEA. This is our neighbor and we pointed out to him that he should maintain his property a little better.

    A lot of family and friends visited us here on the island. It was a good year. The year of the rabbit proved to be a very fruitful year. We wish everyone a very good 2012!


    Champagne!In Spain we don’t eat ‘oliebollen’ (like donuts, a fried tasty treat) and we don’t light any fireworks. We do eat twelve white grapes and drink champagne.

    2011 promises to be a very interesting year. We look forward to it and wish everyone a very good 2011!

    Berg family chronicle 2010 and a happy 2011

    2011!It’s December already. It looks like every year passes a bit faster. For us the culmination of this year was of course our wedding in Madrid and the month we spend on holiday afterwards in Greece. Although there were a few flaws we were very happy with our wedding day. The contribution of the family was very nice and added a little Dutch flair to the party. Our Spanish guests were also impressed by the musical performance provided by my family.

    In the beginning of 2010 we visited Lanzarote for a few days. A few months later we took a bigger vacation and we went to England and visited London. Afterwards we passed by Holland for a few days visiting the Hague, Amsterdam and of course Noordwijkerhout. It was a good year and we look back with satisfaction.

    The crises we ended up in this year can be clearly noticed here in Spain. The unemployment rates are around 30% and all civil servants have had their salaries cut by around 10% this year. The economy clearly has taken a turn for the worse. Added to the crisis is the dependency Gran Canary has of the tourist sector. The there is a crisis people tend to spend less money, and the first place to save is the holiday budget.

    On my job people are talking about layoffs, severance pay, reduction in hours (and in pay) and you name it. I still have a positive outlook on things and look with curiosity to the future.

    2011 promises to be a year full of surprise and new twists in life. Together we enter the new year positively and wish everyone a very nice Christmas and a very good 2011!!!

    Happy 2010

    12 Grapes for luck!Just like previous years this has again been a good year.

    We became aunt and uncle!!! Really nice. I have already seen and held the little Annabel. Ana will have to be a bit more patient. Probably the next year when we will be bonded in matrimony and there will be a big celebration in Madrid. I ask Ana to marry me during our vacation in La Palma. After climbing a volcano I went down on my knee, got a nice ring from by backpack and asked the question. I was happy to hear Ana’s reply, a ‘Si’.

    We are generally doing okay. Every now and then we get some visits from family or friends (that normally stay in the south) and we like to pass by and visit. This year for our holidays we went to Holland and to Scotland. Scotland is a beautiful country. We really enjoyed it there. We saw a lot of castles, very nice nature and visited a whiskey brewery and drink quite some tasty pints.

    My Spanish has improved and is reasonably fluent. This year I passed the official Spanish language exam and I’m thinking about getting a higher level next year. Ana keeps working in the hospital and managed to get some big grants for projects involving hereditary cancer research. A very interesting field of research where there are still lots of things to discover.

    We wish everyone a fantastic 2010! A year filled with health, luck, relaxation and new experienced! Here in Spain the tradition is to eat twelve peeled and pitted grapes. One for every sound of the clock at midnight. Each grape represents a month in the new year, filled with luck and prosperity. Afterwards we drink champagne and we toast for prosperity for our friends and family.

    Berg family chronicle 2008

    Every year it is the same ritual all over again. My family asks to write a little text about what has happened the past year.

    2008 has been a quiet year. It is strange to be living so far away from the Netherlands and for Ana it is strange to be far away from Madrid, but we are adapting to life on an island. Life here in Spain is quite different from life in the Netherlands. There are no seasons and the difference between summer and winter may be 10 degrees. Throughout the year we can go to the beach.

    We spend pretty much the entire year in Las Palmas in the Canary sun, with a few trips. At the beginning of the year I visited the Netherlands for a week. Way too short and way too busy, but still very nice to be back ‘at home’. We enjoyed a nice weekend in Fuerteventura. Lazily lounging on its fantastic beaches. Our holidays took us to Egypt and northern Spain and southern France. Egypt was very hot and very impressive! I also started Spanish classes again. Twice a week I’m back to school studying for an official diploma. I speak Spanish pretty well but my writing skills lag behind. Ana wanted to attempt to learn Dutch, but alas. Besides all the languages ??you can learn like German, English, Chinese, Indian, Russian etc. Dutch was not an option. Well, I will try to teach Ana a little bit of Dutch myself.

    We wish everyone a good and happy new year!

    Have a good 2008!

    Happy 2008!The new year has started and 2008 promises to become an interesting year, just like the previous years. In two weeks we plan to move to a new home although we will remain in Las Palmas. I wonder if this will still be the case in a year. We still need to complete our objective to visit all the seven Canary Islands and we are thinking about traveling to Egypt for our holidays.

    At the end of last year 2007 I followed Spanish traditions and ate 12 peeled, pitted grapes. One grape for each chime at exactly 12 midnight. Each grape represents a good month in the new year and it seems to have worked.

    2007 was quite a tumultuous year. I began the year with a move to the center of Madrid. Here I was told that my work was unfortunately canceled and for a while I was looking for another chance. Not easy because we had plans to leave mid-year to Glasgow, where Ana would start an internship for 9 months.

    Eventually we did not go to Glasgow. The plan got cancelled because Ana got a much better offer from the Canary Islands. “Do it!”, was my advice, and two weeks later we were renting an apartment in Las Palmas. Ana was working and I was enjoying the Sun

    My first job in the south of the island was a big disappointment. I expected it was going to okay because the company was not Spanish, but Belgian/Dutch. But no. Unfortunately this company was located precisely in Spain because they could not be bothered with the normal rules that apply in developed countries. After 3 months I went to find my luck elsewhere.

    After my first job I quickly found a new challenge, thanks the the social network on the Canary Island. A social network that works very effectively. This time I was hired by a Spanish company within walking distance of our apartment. And to my surprise everything is well organized! Salaries, pensions and even taxes were being paid.

    Since we live in Las Palmas we entertain visitors almost every week and every time we visit the whole island again. Right now I can almost dream the tourists points. Usually the visitors are Spanish but occasionally there is also a visit from the Netherlands. Very nice to occasionally speak Dutch again. I am very happy with the visits from the Netherlands and the cards I have received.

    Sports. Well, not everything always goes as I want. A few months it went to the gym and for a time I ran every morning a round across the nearby beach. I also took a week of surf classes. Next year I would like to do sports with a little more conviction.

    In the end I look back to 2007 with a satisfied feeling. However, it is sometimes difficult that everyone, my family and friends are so far away. At least I’m a lot less white. I have a nice tan and I feel good and happy here. Perhaps the effects of the lack of rain and cold.

    My good intention for 2008 is to do some more exercise. Twice a week something sporty sounds like a good and feasible objective. I would also like to master the Spanish language a little better. Then I will hopefully be able to speak without first thinking quite a bit. I also hope for a bit more stability for a while. I would like to visit Holland a couple of times and maybe see what else there is to discover here.

    It is difficult to recognize opportunities when they occur, but have faith in the future and have faith in yourself. Try to grasp opportunities as they arrive, your dreams can come true if you have faith and every now and then just take a chance. I have found this often work amazingly well! When it goes wrong, see it as a welcome lesson and try it again. I wish you a very happy 2008!