Over elmine

Making more impact on fewer people through storytelling.

From when they built to last (56)

I’m currently working at the office of a client and the building they reside in reminds me a lot of the high school attended. It has details you hardly see in modern buildings. The materials are elegant and robust at the same time. The floors have little dents where people put their feet when going up and down the stairs since it was built, in 1910. Originally a school, now it houses many small businesses.

My own school was built in 1923 in the style of the Amsterdamse School. The school has been extended several times over the century, but the main building is still houses students, about a hundred metres from the house I was born in. Together with ’t Klooster, it is a landmark of the village I grew up in.

Door |2020-02-25T15:46:07+02:0025 februari 2020|366, flow|1 Reactie

When normal people act silly (55)

It’s that time of year when one half of the country is skiing and the other half is partying at home. And when I say partying, I mean hardcore partying. It’s carnival.

Yesterday, we were already treated to a traffic jam around Cologne, a city where carnival is the main event of the year. As I’ve never witnessed Germans celebrating carnival before, I can now disclose to you that some of them drive their cars on the highway wearing paint on their cheeks.

I grew up with carnival. Despite it being mainly celebrated below the rivers in The Netherlands, the northern provinces have places where they celebrate it too. I really loved it as a kid. Especially when I was allowed to join the big parade in my village, as part of the wind orchestra. I remember mostly cold fingers and very tired lips (playing oboe).

Some years it would be too cold for my oboe to play outside. One year I walked the parade together with my mother. Snow was predicted, but there was no snow at all. I grabbed my old skateboard and put our ancient sled on top of it. We wrote a silly reference to the snow on cardboard, we put on some silly clothes and wigs, grabbed a bottle containing an alcoholic drink to keep us warm (I must have been older than sixteen, the legal drinking age) , and together we had a great time. We even won a price.

This year, due to yet another februari storm, most of the big parades were cancelled. That doesn’t mean the end of carnival though. Parades are only a part of the celebration. I therefore wasn’t surprised to see many people at Utrecht CS dressed up in costumes.

I don’t celebrate carnival any more. Every now and then I happen to be in my birth place, to celebrate my parents’ birthdays (both of them have their birthdays around this) and I watch the parade for a bit. It is still a big parade and the organisers added more celebrations around the parade during the years, like they do in the south. It is the biggest event of the village and I’m glad I was able to enjoy it while I lived there. Every normal person needs to be able to act silly once in a while.

Door |2020-02-24T16:34:15+02:0024 februari 2020|366, flow|0 Reacties

Organ extracts (54)

I was at a hotel last night, brushing my teeth. As I always do while brushing my teeth, I mindlessly looked around. The bathroom tiles had an interesting pattern, yet were dull at the same time. I wondered why they choose the dark grey floor tiles. They didn’t combine well with the beige/brown tiles on the wall. I looked at the arrangement of hotel branded shower caps, shampoo and body lotion. And then my brain got confused. Organ extracts in soap? That can’t be true! Did I just wash my hands with organs? I took a proper look and now read: argan extracts. Phew! Now if I’d heard of the existence of argan trees before, my brain wouldn’t have made such a misinterpretation of the word, but I didn’t. So I had to look up what it is. Now I know that argan extracts come from the argan tree that grows in Morocco and when I duckduckgoed for images the results showed lots of goats climbing in it. The things I learn from brushing my teeth.


Door |2020-02-23T11:33:13+02:0023 februari 2020|366, deze dag|0 Reacties

Last night in the mountains (53)

There is a very interesting story to tell how we got up at 5:30 this morning and had to wait in the freezing cold for an hour while out rental home got inspected, but that story requires more than a phone keyboard to write. For now, I just show you a picture I took last night.


Door |2020-02-22T11:54:18+02:0022 februari 2020|366, deze dag|0 Reacties

Sleigh (52)

Daughter’s sleigh

Just before we left for our winter vacation I realised it would be fun for Daughter to sleigh. However, as the past winter, and the winter before that, were snowless, we hadn’t bought one. So last minute I ordered a traditional model (suitable for flat land) that could be taken apart so it would fit in the car (and in the shed). Even more last minute (as in the evening before we left) it got delivered and Daughter was very exited when she saw it standing in the hall when she woke up.

As excited as Daughter was of the idea of sleighing down hill, as scared she was of execution of the idea on day one. But as we already got used to, in her own time and with small steps, this morning she really enjoyed sleighing down hill at full speed to our rented home with one of her new lady friends. Yesterday she even attempted to go on her own, but it was a bit on the heavy side to pull up the hill.

It was a great last minute investment, that will last her life time.

P.S.: I learned that using water paint on pen ink results in smudging of the ink.

Door |2020-02-21T12:57:01+02:0021 februari 2020|366, deze dag|3 Reacties

Let it snow (51)

It was a day of new snow yesterday. The skiers in our group were excited, since proper snow is seriously lacking on the pistes this week. Temperatures have been ridiculously high earlier this week, resulting in bees leaving the hive and Daughter and me playing in the snow without coats and snow pants.

St Sorlin d'Arves St Sorlin d'Arves

Despite the significant amount of new snow yesterday, it wasn’t enough to cover the slopes on the sunny side of the mountains. Compare these two images, the first taken on Tuesday, the other taken today (Thursday).


Nevertheless, skiing conditions are perfect today. Even Daughter dared to “ski” after four days of observing other kids. Together with a friend she went downhill three times. Victory!

Door |2020-02-20T12:52:36+02:0020 februari 2020|366, deze dag|0 Reacties
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