100% discount!

Leiden365 webshop!
Our new book is also available in an electronic format and because we are celebrating we offer a 100% discount until the 4th of September if you get the book in the webshop. The only thing you need to do is use the coupon code ‘ALEX’ when you complete your order, and you will get the 100% discount.

The available e-books are ‘Thomas and Valentine‘, the Engels version and there is a Dutch version, ‘Thomas en Valentijn‘. All versions are available in ePub, eBook and PDF format.

Thomas and Valentine

ISBN - Thomas and Valentine978-1-4478-1373-6

A seasoned book freak will probably recognize the numbers above. They are ISBN numbers. These numbers however are not just regular ISBN numbers, they are my ISBN numbers. Who would have ever thought. I have become an author! Just send the tickets for the book ball to me.

Ana and I have written a children’s story and today is the first day you can buy the book. On the website of Lulu you can find the paperback version of the book (ISBN: 978-1-4478-1373-6) which can be purchased for only €8 plus shipping and handling.

Dutch: Thomas en Valentijn
English: Thomas and Valentine

There are also digital versions available for only €3.50. Especially for your Kindle, Nook, eReader, PC, laptop, tablet, etc. These can be found in my own online store in Dutch or English. For owners of an iPhone or iPad there is an English version available in the iBookstore (ISBN: 978-1-4478-1835-9).

Valentine!Floor!Piggy!Valentine sits!
With this book you come into possession of the heartwarming story about Thomas, a brave young farmer who builds a friendship with a strange unknown animal. … But his wife has other plans.

A story about loss, intrigue, love, despair and happiness. A new classic for you to read to your children which they will want to hear again and again. An elegant, traditional story that will make you wonder why it has not been written before.

Birth of Alex

On the 15th of August at 23:07 our son Alex was born in the hospital of Alcala de Henares. He is a beautiful small baby with dark blond hair and dark blue eyes. His weight is 2500 grams.

The first night Alex spent in a special section called ‘Neonatos’ because he had become a little hypothermic at birth and made a weird sound during breathing. All night I was with him holding him skin-to-skin. The strange sound was gone after half an hour and the hypothermia was quickly under control. Alex had to remain under supervision until the next day just to be sure all went well.

The 15th was a chaotic day. Alex was scheduled for the 24th, but during an audit they found that the birth was already in progress. Ana had not noticed a thing. I was called and I quickly booked a ticket to Madrid. I arrived here around midnight. Half an hour later I was in the hospital where Alex had just been just born.

Of course I first went to see my little son. As the father I was the only one allowed to see and touch the child. I quickly made a picture and went to see Ana. Seeing Ana was a shock. She was white as a ghost. Luckily seeing the picture of Alex lifter her spirits.

The next day Ana had to get to work directly. She needed to stand up, just hours after having her Caesarean and this was not an easy task, but she had to do it. Her first glance gave her the strength she needed and there appeared a little smile on her face. After a few days we could leave the hospital and go home. Right now we home trying to find a daily routine (and in Ana’s case recovering from the operation).

Some pictures of our son:


Alex and family!

Update: Even more pictures of the little Alex.

Accelerated countdown!

There were still nine days on the counter, but everything suddenly changed. The birth takes place today or just maybe tomorrow morning. I leave with the first flight to Madrid. Probably I will have to miss the birth … but maybe I’m lucky.

Home made cotton

Cotton!It looks a bit strange, but it’s really cotton. It was amazingly interesting to see this cotton plant grow and to see how a cotton ball was created.

The cotton plants still have a few seeds that will probably form some more cotton balls. Afterwards I will have a few pieces of natural cotton. Just not enough to make something decorative and certainly not enough for a garment (maybe I can make a little toe warmer).

The process from flower to cotton went like this.
Cotton - Flower!Cotton - Flower!Cotton - Bulb!Cotton - Seeds!


Bilingual!It is a faith that cannot be avoided. Our little one well be raised in both Dutch and Spanish. Luckily it seems that raising a child bilingually can have positive results. For us it was easy to reach this decision.

  • My Spanish, be it fluent is still far from perfect. Even though a Spaniard will be able to understand me without problems my speech is full of mistakes. It would be horrible if the little one copies my personal adaptation of the Spanish language.
  • Half of our family (grandpa, grandma, uncle, aunt, niece and nephew) are Dutch (and Australian) and the little one needs to communicate with this family in Dutch.

The division of responsibilities is simple. I will speak my mother tongue Dutch and Ana will speak Spanish, but only when we are addressing our child. I will remain talking in Spanish when talking to Ana. I am curious if this bilingual education of our child will also have an effect on the mother. Hopefully she will put in some extra effort to at least understand the topic when I am speaking in Dutch.

Of course English is also a very important language, but to not confuse the little one we’ll keep this language for later. I have a wealth of English books and movies so I don’t foresee any problems here.

I never paused to think about it, but using various languages offers additional advantages. I can talk to my son in Dutch without his mother understanding. I can even talk to his mother in English without the child understanding. Clearly knowledge is power.

Countdown, only 2 weeks left!

Two!Time is passing by very fast. Ana is still in Madrid, taking things slow, avoiding stress and trying to relax although the heat in Madrid makes it difficult at times to be comfortable.

Her pregnancy is proceeding very well. The only thing that is a bit strange is that the doctor mentioned that Pek looks like a small baby. He should weigh more that his current weight. To correct this little underweight Ana had to loose weight and at the same time eat more. Sound a bit strange to me, but that must be because I lack a medical background.

I am still very distant and that is a pity. I wonder if Ana’s belly has grown even more. Two more weeks and than it will happen.

Diary of a little menace

Diary of a little menace!We received a very nice book, the ‘dagboek van een ettertje‘ (diary of a little menace), in which a little menace keeps a record of his daily ordeals in his first year of life.

The book is easy to read and it explains what you can expect as a new parent. I loved the part where the father went out with his friends for the first time after the birth. The little menace noticed as a result the milk had turned a little sour.

Word search

Woordzoeker!A few times a year the royal Dutch mint (Koninklijke Nederlandse Munt, knm) releases a special coin to commemorate some historical event.

I often suspect that these coins are mainly meant to add some money to the treasury, but as a collector of Dutch coins you just cannot lat a new coin pass.

Soon a new coin will be released, but this time there is also a possibility to win it! Participation is easy, you just need to solve this old fashion word search puzzle. The result you need to send the the KNM and then hope you will win.

Moral of this story: De herdenkingsmunt vertelt ons een belangrijke historie. (The commemorative coin tell us an important history)

Even more easy money?

Easy Money!In the recent past I was approached and asked if I would consider placing a link with an add on my website. At first I declined the offer but when they made me a better offer and explained the terms I got interested. Now, somewhere on my website there is a little line of text containing a little add and a link to the advertisers website. To find the add you will need to search a lot on my site.

I figured I had gotten lucky and the money I received I transferred to the account of little Pek, thus cleaning my conscience. That was it, I thought.

The next offer followed surprisingly fast. Another company also wanted to place an add on my website and politely asked my what were my tariffs for the various options. They were interested in these possibilities:

  • Text link from the index page
  • Text link on every page of my website
  • A sponsored post

The problem is that after my previous experience I did some research and found out that in Holland it is more or less illegal to advertise any gambling related thing. Of course living in Spain probably make these rules not apply to me.

The article from the law for games of chance:

Article 1
Subject to this Act it is prohibited::

give opportunity to win prizes or premiums, if the winning takes place by chance determining which participants win and with participants generally having no influence, unless authorized under this Act;
give opportunity, promotion or have such documents intended for publication or distribution to stock for participation to items referred to under a;

Just stimulating gambling is illegal, and placing a simple link maybe falls under this scope.

I’ll just see what happens.