Archive for May, 2008


And you thought Dutch food was boring…


I wonder: are these the ground scales or the claws? In any case, according to the label, the contents of the bottle have “a sweet, anise-like flavour” and taste “delicious in cream sauces or over meat.” Who’d have thunk?


Even more Dutch bicycle action

In response to Stars’ reaction to the previous Dutch Bicycle Action post (and also due to the fact that I was bored this afternoon), today I decided to cycle around Utrecht looking for more examples of bizarre/interesting/noteworthy bicycle activity. I walked out of my front door and was immediately confronted with this:

Third Wheel

I have no idea what’s going on there, but this certainly gives new meaning to the term “third wheel”. Then I jumped on my own bike (the one behind) and started cycling around my neighbourhood. The next thing I noticed was these two identical bikes, nicely snuggled up against each other:

Lover bikes

Ain’t that sweet? And despite what you’d think, it’s actually not that common to see two bikes of the same brand and colour locked up together like that. Which is why I was extra surprised to find these:Twins

What are the odds? Or maybe it’s not that uncommon after all. Still, I think it’s cute. Cycling further, I chanced upon the following scene:

circus act

Sorry it’s so small and out of focus, but I had to act pretty fast to get this shot. It’s one girl riding a normal bike, with another standing up behind her on the rear baggage rack. Oh, and notice which direction that car in the background is driving in. Now I know that Dutch readers will be thinking “Come on, it’s just a couple of girls being silly”, but trust me, in Australia this would be a circus act.

I then headed into the centre of town to try to find some real hardcore bicycle action. I wasn’t disappointed:

Don\'t jump

This photo illustrates a) why the canals need to be trawled regularly for garbage, and b) why it is strongly recommended in the Netherlands to use two bike locks.


Reflections on a Saturday afternoon

I wish I had a poet’s soul,
For then I’d dream of things unknown;
Through unimagined realms I’d stroll,
Through kingdoms of my very own.
I wish I had a poet’s tongue,
For then I’d sing of songs unsung,
Tell tales untold of lands unseen
And wonders that have never been.
I wish I had a poet’s heart,
For then I’d feast on love’s surrender,
Taste its sorrow, feel its splendour,
And relish being torn apart.
For if a poet’s soul were mine,
I’d think my mortal life divine.


More Dutch bicycle action

Last week I went to the pool with Jantine and her family. Before we left, I took this picture of their “family sedan”:

Dutch family sedan

Two saddlebags and two childseats. Unbelievable. By the way, that’s Jantine’s husband Mick with their two children Hielke and Anne. They rock – and rocked it like this all the way to the pool!

Random Quote:

“I’d rather be sinful than boring.”
– (I forget)


Lucky Phil

Phil, this one’s for you 🙂

Tonight, one more rehearsal down
For Zimmerman and Distler, after
Which we all went into town
For chocolate, alcohol and laughter.
I talked with Phil, a coolish type
Immune to fads and rage and hype,
Who (PhD impending) aims
To write and make computer games.
We talked of books (a small selection),
World of Warcraft, Eve Online,
Bionic implants, game design
And geometrical dissection.
And though I’m sure I didn’t bore him,
I paid for his hot chocolate for him.


Golden boys

This absolutely has to be the most homoerotic circus act I’ve ever seen!


Clapping Music

Today I sang with the DomCantorij at the wedding of one of the more devout churchgoers, who had specially asked us to sing and had even put together a list of his favourite pieces from our repertoire that he wanted to hear. So it was that today, in addition to Schütz’s “Stehe auf meine Freundin” and Britten’s “O be joyful”, we performed the clapping music by Steve Reich. If you don’t know it, check it out:

We did slower than in this video, but it still sounded great! And it’s tons of fun to do. I’m gonna ask Douglas if we can do it on tour in Europe.