Category: Various

All things related to running your own businesses in the creative sector. The fascinating life of a freelancer. From apple pie to business card. Promotion and acquisition on old and new media. Maintaining a bilingual website and blog. Visits to completed projects. Exhibitions and more.

Close-up of a colorful pile of crown caps from beer bottles

Beer Photography, a Guilty Pleasure

I’ve been in doubt about this blog post for a long time. Is it such a good idea to write about beer? Does it make me look like an alcoholic or dipsomaniac? There were times when you had to empty a crate every night for that, but nowadays you already get critical looks when you occasionally sip a Belgian specialty beer or two. But as a summer intermezzo, not to be taken too seriously, shouldn’t it be acceptible? Mid August, in the closing days of the funny season or, as we say in the Netherlands, the cucumber time? As a...

A new concrete bridge in a landscape with creeks and fields of wild flowers in the Noordwaard region in Biesbosch national park on a summer day

Two Room for the River Projects in the Netherlands

The Room for the River program came into being after the Betuwe region and a number of other places in the Netherlands were almost flooded in the mid-1990s. The central idea was to prevent future flooding, not by the usual dyke reinforcements, but by digging new river channels and redesigning the floodplains. Also nature and recreation were supposed to be given new opportunities in these developments. Have those good intentions been implemented? To check that out, I visited two Room for the River projects this summer: Noordwaard near Werkendam and IJsseldelta near Kampen. Noordwaard One could consider Noordwaard as an...

Close-up of a bee hovering near a purple phacelia flower on a balcony in Rotterdam, Holland

Bee Bistro in Downtown Rotterdam

These are hard times for the bees. Whatever the reasons are, it’s a fact that their numbers are decreasing; some species are threatened with extinction or are already extinct. And that’s not only sad for the bees, it has the potential to turn out pretty sad for ourselves too, since many crops need bees for pollination. Hotels Fortunately, in recent times bees can count on a lot of support. Bee hotels are popping up everywhere: structures with a lot of wood, reeds and other natural materials in which the little creatures can make their homes. Wildflowers This year, Dutch nature...

A rainbow behind Hallgrimskirkja, the iconic church in downtown Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik in Winter

While Western Europe enjoyed a very early spring, travel companion A. and I spent a week in the capital of Iceland capital, Reykjavik. It was definitely not spring there yet, but unfortunately just not wintry enough either. There was ice on lakes, snow on the mountains, and here and there there were large heaps of snow in the street, but no fresh snow fell. Well, that means we’ll have to go back there once more. Metropolis There is something strange about Reykjavik. The city, including suburbs, has only 240,000 inhabitants, just as much as a town like Swansea. Which, by...

Close-up of a bollard between the cobble stones on the quay of Wilhelmina Pier in Rotterdam, The Netherlands with in the background a fiery sunset over Charlois neighbourhood

The Earliest Sunset and the Shortest Day

This will be an encouraging post for everyone with a winter depression. And in fact for everyone who passionately longs for the spring, and who doesn’t? I can appreciate a bit of snow and ice, but I’m certainly not fond of the dark, the humidity and the chillyness of winter in the region where I live. Harbinger of spring Keep courage! Even before mid-December, the first harbinger of spring arrives, the first step on the way back to warmth and light. On December 12, the earliest sunset of the year takes place. In Rotterdam, the measure of all things, the...

View from one of the Lijnbaan apartment buildings towards the newly renovated Pathé cinema on Schouwburgplein with the skyline of Rotterdam on the façade

The Secret Skyline of Rotterdam

A few years ago, in the context of a competition organized by Rotterdam Festivals, I made a graphical representation of the Rotterdam skyline as shown below. The competition was set up to create a new logo for the organization; until that time they already used a stylized skyline, but with the arrival of new landmarks like De Rotterdam, the Markthal and the Central Station, that urgently needed to be updated. Marathon My design was not selected. Usually that’s the end  of the story with a competition like this. But not in this case. I put the image in my webshop...

Almost abstract and multicolored image of the leaves of a sweet gum tree (liquidambar styraciflua) in autumn

Liquidambar Styraciflua, in Other Words: the Sweet Gum Tree

Oddly enough, I never really noticed them until the autumn of last year and now I suddenly see them everywhere: sweet gum trees or liquidambar styraciflua. Time for a photographic tribute to the mother of all autumn trees. America The amber tree originates from the southeast of the United States, roughly from the New York – Houston – Orlando triangle. In addition styraciflua grows in higher altitudes in Central America. Chewing gum tree The English language has a lot of names for the liquidambar styraciflua. Quoting Wikipedia: American sweetgum or simply sweet gum tree, American storax, hazel pine, bilted, redgum, satin-walnut,...

Long straight road with a line of trees and a farm in the North East Polder in the Netherlands

Hiking in a Dutch Polder

The Noordoostpolder (North East Polder) is a relatively recent addition to the Netherlands; it used to be part of the former Zuiderzee estuary and has been dry land since 1942. With its long straight roads it doesn’t seem like a perfect place for a day trip and certainly not like a great place to go hiking. But of course you’ll never know for sure if you don’t try it at least once. So on October 24, partner-in-crime A. and I travelled to the polder for a trip around three places of interest: Schokland, Nagele and Urk. Planning To go by...

Graphic comparison between light and darkness on one side and the waking hours of the average Dutch person on the other side, when daylight saving time is applied

Daylight Saving Time: a Graphic Argument

For decades it seemed to be one of the untouchable certainties of existence: at the end of March we move the clock one hour ahead and at the end of October we put it back again. Lovely long and light summer evenings, everybody happy. Survey European Commission chairman Jean-Claude Juncker put an end to that certainty on 31 August 2018. He mentioned a survey that supposedly showed that a majority of Europeans want to get rid of the clock shift. “People want it, so we’re going to do it,” Juncker said firmly. Those people, however, turned out to be mostly...

Collage of the numbers 1 through 12, photographed on house numbers, traffic signs and other found footage

Found Footage: the Numbers Challenge

It was on a bicycle path near the fortified town of Hellevoetsluis that I got a brilliant idea. Or let me rephrase that: just a good idea. At regular distances, I estimate about a hundred meters, nummers were written on the asphalt with yellow paint. As I got closer to the ramparts, the numbers counted down, until I arrived at 1. I took the following picture of the peeling paint on the rough tarmac, with some clover and withered grass by the side of the path. Photo project That was the beginning of a new photo project, which I refer...