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.

The church in the village of Slenaken, province of Limburg, The Netherlands, seen through the trees in a hilly landscape

The Gulpener Beerhike

This third walk from the yet to be published booklet The Best Beer Walks in the Benelux is set in Southern Limburg, that beautiful and very unDutch-looking part of the Netherlands. It is as if our country has tried to dig deep into Central Europe in order to get its fair share of hills and half-timbered houses. As a side result, also a few interesting beers were dragged within the national borders. The map can, as always be zoomed and panned; click here for a larger version. History The history of Limburg is fascinating. In fact, the province could just… Read More

The Werkspoor "Cathedral" in Utrecht, The Netherlands with in fornt of it the cafe and terrace of brewery De Leckere and the former Werkspoor harbour

A Beer Hike to De Leckere café

This is the second pre-publication of the hiking guide, The Best Beer Hikes in the Benelux, which will hopefully be published one day. The first blog post in that series was about our hike to Koningshoeven Abbey near Tilburg. That’s the place where the Netherlands’ most famous Trappist beer La Trappe is brewed. On this second walk we went to the café of a much younger brewery: De Leckere in the city of Utrecht. The aim of this series is to combine a visit to a brewery or tasting room with a hike of around 20 kilometers. We therefore walk… Read More

Artist impression of the sculpture by Hendrik van den Eijnde from the facade of architect W.M.Dudok's Bijenkorf department store, back on its original location on Coolsingel in Rotterdam

The return of the sculpture on Dudok’s Bijenkorf to the Coolsingel

For almost twenty years now, Rotterdam art lovers have been trying to bring the sculpture by Hendrik van den Eijnde, the only remnant of the old Bijenkorf department store by architect W.M Dudok, back to the place where it belongs: the Coolsingel. The omens are favourable: it may happen soon. Woerden As early as 2005, Aad Koster, board member of the Roterodamum Historical Society, raised the alarm: the Bijenkorf sculpture had been wasting away for decades on a business park in Woerden. There, at the Bijenkorf’s distribution center, the artwork was placed in 1973. Plaque The sculpture is often referred… Read More

Detail of the Koningshoeven abbey near Tilburg, The Netherlands, with statue and proverbs

Hiking to La Trappe brewery

I once had the idea to publish a booklet: The Best Beer Hikes in the Benelux. With hikes in the 20 kilometer range, and one or more craft beer breweries included in the route. When the printed version of that booklet will be published remains an open question. But untill that day I’m going to publish the hikes one by one as a blog post. And there is no better destination imaginable for the first episode than Koningshoeven Abbey. It’s the place where the most famous Dutch Trappist beer is brewed: La Trappe. So on a beautiful Saturday in October… Read More

Digitally generated satellite image of the Earth, with Europe, and more specifically the Netherlands, in the center

Is There Really No Planet B?

It’s a popular theme in science fiction: the quest for a new Earth, because the old one is becoming uninhabitable, usually due to human interventions. The search, in other words, for planet B, a place to escape the self-inflicted crisis. Sometimes the idea is elaborated in a somewhat ironic manner, like in the unsurpassed Dutch series Missie Aarde (Mission Earth), in which the Netherlands take the lead because it’s the only country not under water thanks to its dykes. Sometimes it’s dead serious, as in the movie Interstellar, in which drought, dust storms and crop failures make the need for… Read More

Pavement tile on Dutch railway platform asking to keep 1,5 metre, or vijf tiles, distance, because of covid-19

Eighteen Corona Hikes in the South Wing

Before the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic, traveling companion A. and I were quite regularly hiking all over the Netherlands. But then, in March 2020, public transport was suddenly declared “for strictly necessary journeys only”. For a while we dutifully adhered to that rule. But at a certain point it started to feel uncomfortable. Car owners merrily drove all over the place, but consciously carless people like us, suddenly saw our environment limited to a radius of a few kilometers around our own homes. And since A. lives in Leiden and I live in Rotterdam, joint walks were prohibited according… Read More

Rietveld Park in the Rotterdam neighbourhood of Nesselande, with electricity pylons and a metro viaduct but also islands, bridges, jetties and hiking trails

The Best Metro Hikes In And Around Rotterdam

Hiking in the Rijnmond area, is that a good idea? The answer, of course, is yes, if you pick a good route. You do not necessarily have to travel to Drenthe, Limburg or the Veluwe, let alone to Iceland, Scotland or Madeira. People from those hiking paradises would be impressed by what the Rotterdam region has to offer in terms of landscape and urban beauty. By analogy with the famous NS walks here are a number of routes with as a starting and ending point a metro station or tram stop of the RET. The collection currently consists of twelve… Read More

Thirteen pieces of space art by Frans Blok, framed and ready for an exhibition

World Maps and Space Art Exhibited

Over a year ago, I was asked if I wanted to have an exhibition of my work in the entrance hall of the RIVM, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven. At that time, I had only a vague idea of the existence of that institute. But then first the emissions of nitrogen by agriculture and industry created a kind of national crisis in which the institute played a pivotal role. And after that the covid-19 pandemic came upon us. By now, there is probably nobody in the country who has never heard of RIVM.… Read More

Detail of a world map made of facemasks, carelessly thrown away on the pavement, showing the distinct shape of North America

Toilet Paper and Facemasks, Icons of the Pandemic

In times of crisis, people get creative. And in times of lockdown, people have time to spare. So it was to be expected that covid19 would lead to an explosion of art, as a way to make the best of the miserable situation we found ourselves in. This phenomenon struck me as well, in the form of two new world maps. Toilet rolls In March of this year, in the week we discovered that the corona pandemic would not pass the Netherlands completely unnoticed, I saw someone walking with three mega packs of toilet paper. And moments later another person… Read More

Gibberish: dozens of fantasy words in the bedroom colors yellow, blue and green, to easily fall asleep

Forget counting sheep: this is the way to fall asleep!

I’ve had a lot of sleeping problems in the past. To be able to fall asleep fast was a talent that seemed forever out of reach for me. Falling asleep in the evening was usually not the biggest problem, but when I woke up at about three o’clock in the morning, the tossing, turning and worrying began. As a result I had a hard time concentrating during the day, creating a lot of stress and making sleep even worse in the next night. Tricks I have come up with a lot of tricks over the years to get out of… Read More