The interest rates have dropped again. Right now we get 0.05% percent interest on our savings. Combined with an inflation of about 1.5% it means we are getting poorer every month. An example:

Savings: 100 EUR
Interest: 0.05%
Inflation: 1.50%

After 1 year we will have 100.05 EUR, but everything we can buy just got 1.5% more expensive. A product that used to cost 100 EUR will, after a year, cost 101.50 EUR, and will not no longer be able to buy it. Even though we got 0.05 cents of interest we actually lost 1.45 EUR in value. Losing so little money is not so bad, but if you have 10.000 EUR in savings you will be losing 145 EUR, which is quite a lot of money.

The solution seems simple, buy stuff now, spend your money and use all those euros. Leave only a little bit on your account at the bank. Only for real emergencies it is worth keeping your money in your account. Another good thing about spending (and maybe even the reason behind the low interests) is that the economy will get a nice boost by the increased spending.


Dopper!Something I quickly noticed in the Nederlands was that a lot of people were walking around with a Dopper. A very typical water bottle with a cup integrated in the bottle design. At my work I noticed that the bottle was present on almost half the desks. I decided I would also give it a try, and bought myself a bottle. This way I could join the trend and see if it was really all worth it, of if it just was another thrill of the moment.

I was happily surprised. It was quite a handy bottle, with a handy cup, a nice and firm design and a really good size. This was clearly something that someone had given quite some thought. Satisfied I returned home, to Spain, with my bottle. Once I was home it was obvious that also in Spain the people could appreciate the Dopper. In fact, I immediately lost my little blue dopper. This one was reallocated to Alex to take to school. Oh well.

At Alex’ school things quickly escalated. Alex was the man of the day, the first carrying a new trendy object. The actual trendsetter. Within days we received numerous requests for more bottles, and this time I’ll be bringing home 8 bottles.

Walnut – Tanningcreme

Walnoot!One week ago we went to the center of the island and we collected almost 10 kilos of walnuts. They were early this year and we arrived before the rush, so we could collect quite a lot of nuts. The ground was covered and just a little movement of the branches made lots of nuts fall down from the tree.

The big advantage is that we will have plenty of nuts for the rest of the year. The disadvantage I noticed a bit later. It seems there is something in the nuts that is also used for those self tanning cremes. Some stuff that makes your skin nice and brown. The disadvantage of picking up all those nuts was that some needed to be peeled and taken out of their skin, and I used my thumb to do this. Now, one week later, after cleaning a big part of 10 kilos I still have a dark brown thumb.

Jut’s head

I for one have never done it before. On the local fair there was an attraction where you need to hit a small iron thing with a big hammer. It is called “De kop van Jut”. If you hit it correctly a small piece of iron goes flying up, and the higher it reaches, the better you have hit it. The concept of this game has never quite appealed to me.

When Alex and I were checking out the fairground, a day before the opening, it was exactly this attraction that called for Alex’ attention. The attraction was still covered in some plastic, but after explaining how it worked Alex instantly knew he wanted to give it a go and it went first on his list of things to try. The concept of taking a big hammer and hitting something as hard as possible (or even harder) was something his fell in love with at the spot.

Eventually Alex took his first massive hit, the machine barely survived and all alarms went off and Alex loved every moment of it.