The weather was great and the festivities for Apeldoorn extra special because a historic defilé would be given. If you ever happened to experience Queens day in Holland you know that it's a special day. Everybody was out enjoying the sun the markets, his beer and the bands. I dropped of at my brothers place to eat an 'orange' bun. And somebody told me there had been some accident. I noticed that some flags were going at half-mast. A very strange site at Queens day, everybody is out and having fun so news go's slow.
But when I finally saw the news the end of the day I was shocked, it has been some kind of murder attempt on the Royal Family, so the offender himself had said. By car, a sick individual hits a crowed with 150 km in the back, who were waving to the bus with the family as it passed by. He did not hit the bus because he himself has been seriously injured. 5 People died and 14 badly injured. Nothing happened to the family so there hasn't been a complete stop on Queens day nation wide.
Having seen the photos and TV I am shocked. It will all sink in today now the festivities are over.
'And it pleased Her Royal Highness the Queen to knight in the Order of Orange......'
And if it is your name which follows than today you have been ordered to the city hall to receive by the mayor a ribbon of the Order of the Knights of Orange for your excellent acts of duty and voluntary work in society. Today is the day before Queens day, so many people receive a ribbon (has been on the radio all day) and tonight it's queens night.
The Dalai Lama is coming to Holland! He is a great figure for art... Whether he will be officially welcomed is going to be the question. China stated not to be amused. Holland is not a courage’s country, so I am curious what our pry-minister is going to do.
I did a little investigation on the Tulip sticker for Julie, if you like it you can order one at brassa.nl, they have a whole range of different flower stickers!
Here three pictures of dike houses, they are numerous, but I stopped to take a picture of these. If you ever will make a trip on one of the river dikes in Holland (usually there is a road on the dikes). You will discover lovely little towns and villages. Usually these towns kept their old character and maintained their history.
The years roughly 1700-1950 were the poor years of Holland. It was also the period that Holland was 'closed'. The border was open but the mindset of the people was to stick to itself and to limit the world up to its own borders. There wasn't really much development. This resulted sometimes in magnificent 'time leaps' a town can look the same as it did 200 years ago. Some even still have a lot of medieval buildings. Now a days they are very appreciated and preserved well, making that they possibly look better then they ever did..
There wasn't so much traffic on the IJssel. In general the rivers in Holland are quite busy as well. The regulations for water traffic are done by the 'Water State' that is a branch of our government taking care of all the regulations of water traffic, but also dikes, water outlets, water discharges etc. I have heard that if it wasn't taken good care of we would encounter floods often. I pay a special tax for this which is quite a lot...
The Netherlands has a lot of hidden treasures, in landscape and history so sometimes I just go to a village or town I never heard of and each time I am amazed how beautiful, different and peaceful it often is. Yesterday there was such a large traffic jam that I got of the highway and took such a d-tour.
I drove via the dike of the IJssel river this time.
I noticed a ruin of something I can't determine what it has been. But it must be very old. The walls were about 80cm thick and completely made of brick, so it must have been a defence building of the army.
A very ‘Dutchy’ picture today, the Greyhound mill from an other angle. It is most of the time a picture of the same mill on my blog. Woerden has one mill and I live right besides it. I think it is a magnificent one. It is build on a hill and on Saturday it is 'working'. They still do grind cereal there, so if you like you can go up to buy an ounce of flower.... I don't think it tastes different.
I have read ones that the ancient Egyptians used to have very bad tooth. This because when grinding cereal, they added sand. That simplified the grinding process..
I read an announcement of the city council, they denounced the request of a bicycle tour club to place a sign at the entrance of the centre. ‘No’ they sad, ‘it is enough, no more signs’. I took a look yesterday at the location: from the picture I count 28 road signs...... 28! And that are only the ones I count from the picture..
In Holland there is no real ‘death’ culture, or I should better say death cults. When someone dies it is most of the time over… By that I mean that it is not really common to visit the grave often, to place all kinds of pictures and candles, to have a meal at the grave etc. non-religious people and Catholics do this more often. But Protestant graveyards are mostly sober, forgotten - empty- places. The stones have bible verses, but you don’t see crosses or statues.
This graveyard has some historical status, so there are graves from the 1850’s otherwise the graves are cleaned out and re-used…. The country is to small to keep all the graves, I learned that it is common to occupy one grave for 3 coffins on top of each other (non family), if there would have been a cult around death this likely would have been impossible.
I think that death is one of the few taboos we have, people don’t easily talk about the topic, when someone dies, he will be buried and quickly forgotten from public life. For this reason I think it is an extra shock when a person dies….
That is the reason, I figure, a graveyard like this in the centre of town is decaying, nobody feels it should be further maintained.. This picture shows how the stones are ‘sinking’ into the ground.
The graveyard is so peaceful that it doesn't install any feelings of fear or fright. In a funny way I most of the time feel at peace and quit at a graveyard. However I do contemplate the fact that humans are mortal, but in a funny way this mortality seems not to be relevant for me because I am alive....
The past few days I have been thinking whether I support the monarchy or prefer the idea of a republic. The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with an elected government. The responsibilities of the King are stated in the book of Law and so for the government. In Holland the monarchy is not completely symbolical. The Queen does have influence and is popular. There is no real Republican voice. The monarchy is very linked to the personalities of the generation ‘on the throne’ and I must say the Queen Beatrix does have done a good job.
But do I really support a kingdom? It is a remainder of the past and I ask myself, how Royal is Royalty when the class system has disappeared, when traditions are little valued. Still the idea to be a Republic is not something I really fancy. A good functioning kingdom gives reason for celebrations, identity and with changing governments a consistent ‘feel’ to the country.
Mind you the Royal house is a stumbling block for political parties who would like to attack the Queen. How higher in the government, how quieter they become about the kingdom and critique seizes to be heard.
But any government person alike, I don’t like to be confronted with them too much, I just can’t listen to a political speech of our pry-minister or see the members of the R.H. too often, including Obama. In my view a politician needs to be criticized, tested and disputed not praised.
This is a picture of Queen Juliana, the mother of Queen Beatrix. If you are interested, the link to the website of the Royal House
I have to share something about a picture I have seen in the news (not the main stream news) which makes me uneasy. I had a weird dream about it last night. It is a picture taken at the G20, President Obama bows down to the Saudi king with bowed head and bended knee. You might think, ‘hey, he just likes the Saudi king’ or ‘he just pays respect to a monarch’.
But considering protocol, a leader or civilian does not bow to foreign monarchs, because that act signified the monarch's power over his subjects. It is not fitting for an American president to bow down to any monarch. Saudi Arabia is not a democracy, doesn’t stand for human rights and many other things which is far from American standard and values. All the attendances of the G20 shacked hands and the American president bows down, full, for the Saudi king. He greeted the English Queen quite informal, so it is not a misunderstanding on about how to address a monarch….
It makes me weary… Is there really something significant changing in this world? What do Americans think about this?
These pictures show how dilapidated and forgotten the graveyard is. The centre of Woerden is -compared to cities - small however for some reasons the graveyard is hardly visible and goes fairly unnoticed. It is situated on which used to be a part of the town-walls, a Bastille (something like that). I suspect I know why they keep the area closed for public. The ground is 'soft' and some graves are 'sinking' into the ground. I realized that this was not the best place to be if something happens...
A row of graves of the 'elite'. Close to the entry, but they have the same fate and treatment like all the others, neglected and forgotten.
In Woerden there is an old, (not used) graveyard within the old centre. It is always locked but I found a spot where I can sneak through the fence. It is very peacefully and slowly decaying. Visiting such a local graveyard I realize that I am visiting our ancestors, who lived in the same town, who looked fairly the same. The names on the stones are all family names which are connected to Woerden.
The picture is the entrance gate. On top there is a symbol of a bee. I looked it up in the dictionary and the bee is in Christianity a symbol for order, chastity, purity, sweetness and faithful speech. It was very quit there …..
Many days of the week there is a fish stand at the square. I am not a great fan of fish. That is not the typical fish they sell, it is usually fried. Good news though, spring has started and the sun is back!
City in the west of the Dutch province Utrecht, founded by the Romans in 40 AD as a castellum at the Northern Fronteer of the Roman Empire. Received city rights in 1372, forensic city for North and South Holland's bigger cities, 33.650 inhabitants.
Woerden Community contains the towns and villages: Harmelen, Kamerik and Zegveld.