Presence of mind to ask the right question

‘The path will provide,’ is a familiar saying among hikers while on the trail. The flipside of this attitude is you might not have the keenness to recognize an exceptional opportunity. Your mind gets lazy. It is exactly what happened to one of the Frisian bastards during his solo-hike through the harsh mountains of Corsica.Continue reading “Presence of mind to ask the right question”

A Wadden Sea Guide and His Twelve Disciples

For those outdoor freaks who consider hiking the mud flats of the Wadden Sea, it is essential to know this is, in fact, not a worldly journey but a spiritual one. The whole Frisia Coast in a way is a spiritual belt, protecting the southern coast of the North Sea against the northern darkness. AlreadyContinue reading “A Wadden Sea Guide and His Twelve Disciples”

Expelled from Regal Grounds

July 1987. The two Frisian bastards, both being sixteen years old at the time, went to the village of Wijnaldum, or Winaem in Mid-Frisian language. The reason for it was twofold. Firstly, the yearly street-kaatsen tournament was taking place. Secondly, one of their classmates Gerda lived closed to the village and this was a goodContinue reading “Expelled from Regal Grounds”

Out of averting the inevitable a community was born

March 25, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic is climbing towards its second peak. Uncertainty of how destructive the pandemic is going to be in the long run. How many family members and loved ones will it take? A phenomenon of chaos and destruction that confronts us with the limitations of an engineered world. Some people exclaimContinue reading “Out of averting the inevitable a community was born”

Rats with wings or Masters of the Sky

Over the last years we have written about the tall and weird-looking people living in the twilight zone of sea and land: the coastal strip along the southern shores of the North Sea. Recently, repetitive long-calls made us aware we developed a blind spot. We forgot all about the animal that inhabits the same coastalContinue reading “Rats with wings or Masters of the Sky”

Attingahem Bridge

Brooklyn. Named after the village of Breukelen in the Netherlands. Its original Frisian name was Attingahem. With only a twist of history Brooklyn would have been named Attingahem today, and the Brooklyn Bridge therefore the Attingahem Bridge. The streets of Brooklyn, the set of movies like The Warriors (’79), The French Connection (’71), Once UponContinue reading “Attingahem Bridge”

Donkey King

Rex illiteratus est quasi asinus coronatus, ‘an illiterate king is like a crowned donkey’. Or, if you prefer the alternative translation, ‘is like a crowned arse’. These are almost thousand-year-old words of the bishop-philosopher-diplomat John of Salisbury, expressing the notion kings and other rulers in general should be educated in order to perform their task.Continue reading “Donkey King”

Croeso Gerddwyr

Last year one of the Frisian bastards hiked the Pembrokeshire Coast Path in southwestern Wales (Cymru), a 290 kilometres long trail. As every walker knows, hiking, pilgrimage and spiritual peace are one and the same thing. The coast path takes you after nine days of walking to the homeland of Saint David, Wales’ patron saint.Continue reading “Croeso Gerddwyr”

Giants of Twilight Land

On the edge of land and sea, where it is difficult to tell what is land and what is not, life is rough. The corrosive salt of the sea is devastating to most land species. Hence the near treeless landscape of the flat tidal marshlands of former Frisia. Vice versa, most living things in waterContinue reading “Giants of Twilight Land”

Hero of Haarlem: a dragon in disguise?

It was a Yankee by the name Mary Mapes Dodge who wrote ‘Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates. A story of life in Holland’. The book was published in New York in 1865. It is about poor, 15-year-old Hans and his sister Gretel. Gretel wins the Silver Skates. The price for winning an ice skatingContinue reading “Hero of Haarlem: a dragon in disguise?”