Monday, 30 November 2015

Christmas Carols, Catalan

El Noi de la Mare

Do you like Christmas Carols as much as I do? Today is a traditional Christmas Carol from Catalonia. The title translated means The Child of the Mother. And it goes like this:

Què li darem a n'el Noi de la Mare?
Què li darem que li sàpiga bo?
Panses i figues i nous i olives,
Panses i figues i mel i mató,
What shall we give to the Mother's Child?
What shall we give that he will find tasty?
Raisins and figs and nuts and olives,
Raisins and figs and honey and mató.


Sunday, 29 November 2015

The Power

This week I said I thought that Phil "the Power" Taylor didn't look all the powerful to me. Good question would have been: "Han, what do you think is Powerful?

"Well", I would say. "This."

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Kurhaus Scheveningen

The history of the Kurhaus

The history of the Kurhaus begins in 1818, when Jacob Pronk, a Scheveningen native, decided to found a house with:- Four rooms with bathtubs that either could be filled with either cold or hot sea water. Pronk was in the possession of two bathing carriages, which allows interested parties to drive to the sea without being seen.

Urban bathhouse

The bathhouse was a huge success, so big that there was a stone building set in 1826 with the name "Municipal Bathhouse".Here guests could find hotel rooms, a library, a billiard room, dining rooms and bathing facilities.Jacob Pronk was forced to sell his property to the city council of The Hague, which then took over management.When the spa's in Belgium threatened to win the competitive battle, it was decided then that Scheveningen had to put on some large scale project.A consortium was established, consisting of four Dutch businessmen.The consortium came up with a proposal the council agreed upon. The annual rent of 25.000 guilders  would be paid to the council until 1958.


The bathhouse was demolished and the Kurhaus was built within a year by the German architects Johann Friedrich Henkenhaf and Friedrich Ebert, the architects of the Krasnapolsky Hotel in Amsterdam.
The Kurhaus was opened in 1885 and could lodge 150 guest-rooms, a large hall (the Kurzaal) restaurant La Corvette, an elevator and hot water supplies.In 1886 the Kurhaus burned to the ground, but within a year it was completely rebuilt.In subsequent years the consortium built  a shopping mall, the pier, the Kurhaus Bar, two Hotels and the Circus Theatre. 

In 1952
central heating was constructed  in the Kurhaus, until that time the hotel was really only as a summer residence. But a summer stay with class.Members of the Royal Family, heads of state and foreign guests spent their summer at the Kurhaus.
One of the biggest attractions was the music that was performed.The large hall (the Kurzaal) that was a concert hall at the time, offered every day a performance by renowned ensembles and concert musicians.Some of them were quite famous; Richard Tauber, Maurice Chevalier, Edith Piaf, Duke Ellington, Marlene Dietrich, Bela Bartok, Leonard Bernstein.
Heads of state were received by gala evenings by the Dutch government and the Royal family.In the sixties of the last century Scheveningen changed.

In early 1970 the Municipality took over the Consortium Scheveningen, and they planned to develop a new Scheveningen, which could be exploited all year round.Given the poor state of the Kurhaus was in, they decided to a total rebuild.Cost 110 million guilders, made possible by a grant from the state when the Kurhaus was placed on the list of national monuments.


That rebuilding after the fire in 1887 was not always carefully done. There had to be replaced in the renovation
much more than originally expected.The total restoration took five years and was created under the direction of architect Bart Castle.He also designed the new part which was built on the old terrace at the Kurhaus.In the "tent-shaped" structure, a number of conference rooms and an à la carte restaurant "Kandinsky" housed.


The Kurzaal, now a national monument, is an exact copy of the old concert hall, where in the past many famous orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic as well as including Marlene Dietrich, Pablo Casals, Julia Culp and Edith Piaf had played.Only the wooden dome which dates from 1887 and the paintings on the ceiling are original.These paintings were made in 1904 by the Brussels painter N. Hook.Since these paintings
had been made on canvas, it was possible to restore and clean the paintings.The former concert hall is now a "spectacular" bar, impressive through space, the crystal chandeliers and the magnificent ceiling, intimate through the use of light on the floor with little lampposts and with gold leaf clad columns on the terraces.

The podium of the former concert hall is now the Kurhaus Bar where a "trompe l'oeil" effect painted curtains enhances the theatrical effect. Both columns in the bar as the dome in the bar are covered with gold leafs.
The famous porcelain manufacturer Hague Rozenburg is the creator of the original tile picture from 1908 on the southern wall of the Kurzaal.The tableau was presented at the 25th anniversary of the Society Zeebad Scheveningen and the names of the then Board of Directors illustrated by pictures of the former Metropolitan Bath House and the old Kurhaus.In the entrance of the Kurhaus is the blue mermaid; a draft of the Amsterdam artist Wendela Gevers Deynoot.
In spite of the fact that the concert Kurzaal is no more, it's still trying to make music. Every evening a pianist plays in the Kurzaal and on Friday and Saturday nights they have dinner dances.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Let me come to be still in your silence

I like for you to be still
it is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
it seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
it sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
it is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Feeling better

If you Judge it by the nature of my posts I'm feeling much better again!!

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

There's only one.

Phil Taylor
His nickname is "the Power". But he doesn't look very powerful does he? A small man with ugly tattoo's on his arms, short grey hair, and a hideous shirt with the sponsors colours, no doubt. But he is in good company. Steven Bunting is called the Bullet, but he looks like he stays as far from a bullet as he possibly can...
Phil "the Power" Taylor was born on 13th August 1960 in Stoke-on-Trent (Like Adrian Lewis also from this city).

Phil has won over 200 professional tournaments which include an unprecedented 83 major titles and a record 16 World Championships. He won eight consecutive World Championships from 1995 to 2002 and reached 14 consecutive finals from 1994 to 2007 (both records). No darts player has a winning record in matches against him.

He has won the PDC Player of the Year award six times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012) and has twice been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in 2006 and 2010, finishing as runner-up in the latter. He was the first, and to date, the only person to hit two nine-dart finishes in one match, in the 2010 Premier League Darts final against James Wade. He has hit a record 11 televised nine-dart finishes (and 19 overall). The crowd has a song that is called Taylor Wonderland and it sounds very impressive:

People will sing that to you "There's only one Phil Taylor"... How wonderful that must feel. And they sing it everywhere. If he wins. If he looses they are "walking in the Taylor wonderland".

It seems such a big honour to me. But in the last game Mr. Taylor put earplugs in his ears so he can concentrate better on his game.... I was so disappointed in him. He did not want to hear, "there's only one Phil Taylor anymore". Maybe he's heard it one time too many.

One thing these darters can do all, well two actually is drink beer and do there times tables. And they do it very, very well. So, girls and boys, do your times tables because some day they will sing for you: There's only one.....

Monday, 23 November 2015

Reflections on fear

Yesterday I read in the paper today there were many attacks planned like the one in Paris. And I saw the deserted streets of Brussels, inhabited by masked men in uniforms. And the fear must be deep rooted. It must be so deep rooted to stay at home just for the chance you will be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

On Saturday I saw on Facebook a blindfolded man in Paris with a note that people called him a terrorist because he was a Muslim and, well see for yourself:

And although I'm not the hugging kind of man, I would like to hug all the people of the Muslim faith and say to them, how terrible you must feel that your faith is being misused by people that think you deserve to die if you cannot say some verses from the Koran, like in the hotel in Mali.

A friend of mine said "The love we give will move through the arteries to someone else's heart".
So, people from Europe, let's not be afraid and do the things we want to do.
And if you are at the wrong place, at the wrong time, well, it can happen anywhere and the chance you will die in a car crash is much higher than to die in a terrorist attack.

Love is stronger than hate. Hate cannot fight Hate. Only Love can.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

A Man Cold

I was feeling a bit under the weather this week. Nice phrase "under the weather". It's such an imaging way of saying you have a cold. You feel cold. You feel miserable. You feel you have a man cold. (I'm sure I shared this before, but for all of the women out there, I'm glad to show it again):

So.. like that. But I'm feeling a bit better now. I have had my soup.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Virgo Astrology Class

I am a Virgo and I want to share with you today and endless video of someone who sits down and talk about her husband who is a Virgo and how she copes with his strange character traits. She likes to babble on and on. Some people like that, some do not.

I like extravert, extravagant people like her. I liked her instantly. I cannot explain it, I just do. And so I share this so American video of the "Sage Goddess".
I love her hair. And smile.

How time changes you

I wonder if I am one of the few people that reads a book at different stages in his life and find a completely different book each time? This quote says it all.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Gregory Peck

Anyone remembers Gregory Peck? Anyone seen Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn? She got an Oscar for her role in that movie. Peck got his Oscar as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird.

Gregory Peck died June 12th 2003, age 87.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Does it ring a bell? Inspection? To some of us it does, I think. Deafeningly loud bell. You can tell it in a thousand words, or you can show one picture.

Here is the result of my choice:

Cutler mail chute

Sometimes all you need is a creative mind, the right time and moment, and you will get very rich.

Basic idea

The basic idea behind the Cutler mail shoot is quite simple. At the eighties of the 19th century building became higher and higher, not building horizontally but rather vertically. It's the beginning of big sky scraper buildings. And obviously that was a lot of work for the postman to collect the mail starting at the top and working his way down. Cutler invented a simple shaft, where everyone could put their mail in and it would drop in a mailbox, and the postman only had to collect the mail from this box.


James Goold Cutler received U.S. Patent 284,951 on September 11, 1883 for the mail chute, and patented every change he made, up to 40 patents. And that was a very clever move. He made all the big mail chutes for all tall buildings, because he had the patent to this design.

But that is not all. Cutler worked together with some of the architects of the buildings to make the exterior of the mailchute box different and blending in the style of the building. Buildings currently using mail chutes in New York include the Chanin Building, Trinity Building, Empire State Building, Port Authority Bus Terminal, and in Boston the historic Lenox Hotel in the Back Bay.

In more recent decades, buildings such as Chicago's John Hancock Center, the Chrysler Building, and the old RCA Building in New York City have shut down their chutes. The reason is the increase of modern mail rooms in the building lobby with associated mail boxes available for the building tenants. Also since 1997 the National Fire Protection Association has banned mail chutes in all new building construction.

Well all inventions have a limited amount of time, but Cutler's Mail Chute was an example of how a simple invention can make you rich.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

There is a maze in Amazing

To protect his own burial chamber, Amenemhet, who was also the builder of the mysterious Egyptian Labyrinth, turned to a new strategy—he sculpted the interior of his pyramid into a fantastic life-size maze hewn from stone, complete with secret sliding doors, false passageways, and hidden chambers.

Here is how it worked:

You entered the maze from a descending stairway, hidden on the south side of the pyramid, which led to a small chamber. This apparently led nowhere; the hidden exit was in the roof of the chamber, which concealed a sliding stone trapdoor. This led to an upper chamber that opened into a wide passageway completely filled in by massive stone blocks. One thief had laboriously carved through these blocks, only to discover he had been tricked—the passageway was a dead end. The correct path was a corridor closed only by a wooden door, which opened into a dead-end passage; to get out of this passage you had to find a hidden sliding stone. The sliding stone opened into a bare room; from here a secret trapdoor led to a long passageway. This passageway was filled in with massive stone blocks at its far end, which suggested it might lead somewhere important; even better, two open burial shafts gaped in its floor. One of these shafts was completely filled in by stone slabs and thus seemed like it might have concealed the burial chamber itself, while the other shaft appeared to be empty. The correct route was actually a secret door concealed back in the middle of the long passageway.

Interior of pyramid maze


Those who managed to get through all this were greeted with a burial chamber hollowed out of a single huge piece of stone and capped by a 45-ton granite slab.
Somehow, tomb robbers managed to penetrate all of these defences. After plundering the burial chamber of its valuables, in understandable revenge they set fire to Amenemhet's embalmed body, totally obliterating his spirit in the afterlife. Amenemhet fared no worse than any other pharaoh, however—tomb robbers got them all, and strangely, no mummy of any pharaoh has ever been found in any pyramid...

Monday, 9 November 2015

May your day be wonderful

Training Carrie, looking back

Warning: This post contains spoilers of the book "Training Carrie"

I don't know if you are familiar with the Usenet Newsgroups in the beginning of this century. We had "newsgroups" then as we have blogs now. 11 years after posting the story the newsgroups still exist, but that is all. They do not play a significant role any more in, for example publishing free erotic stories.

As we don't know much about Mr. West let's analyse his posting behaviour and see if we can find some clues as to the remaining questions after reading the story.

Why is posting schedule important?

Well, the main reason at the time was, it determined the pace you would read the story.  As you can see in the diagram below there are 6 weeks in the schedule there was no weekly story.

This is an example how inaccurate memories are, I thought there were many times we had to wait weeks and weeks before we could continue the story but that's not correct.

The story began at Christmas Day 2003 (an odd day to begin posting) and ended October 16th. The beginning of the posting schedule is, to say the least, strange. At January 2nd Mr. West posted 11 chapters in one day. The reason could be  to stand out in the crowd with 11 stories in a row your post couldn't be overseen (There were in January 2004 351 stories all mixed together). Just guessing.
Any way, at the end of January we had reached chapter 30. After that we had 2 stories a week.

Story changes and posting schedule

There are some points in the story you wonder what Mr. West is doing in changing the story. At certain points his inspiration has stopped, or he gets bored with the story, or he simply repeats himself. His plot changes are abrupt and not very well thought out. The introduction of Charlene for example could have been fluent if he just put a time lapse in the story. I always had the feeling Mr. West had written the story halfway before posting it and then put himself into trouble keeping his posting schedule of two posts a week. But there is no evidence for my assumption if you look at his schedule: with 2 posts a week in the weekend, there is no gap in his posting. The gaps in his postings he caches up the next week or so...


The most logic place to end the story was at chapter 100 if you intend not to write much more. Why it ended rather abrupt and (I think) sloppy is beyond me. One of my guesses is he started a new story and did want to finish this one. No evidence for that thought either. His second story: Becky's Story, was published at February 27th 2005 and only reached 4 chapters, the last fourth and last one March 11th 2007. Becky's story is not a very good story and it was inevitable it would end unfinished.

Reading it again through your eyes

This was the first story my wife and I read kind of together in 2003/2004. My wife caught up at chapter 8 or 9 when I first started to share the story and stopped at 89 when the story got too weird for her taste. In sharing it with you from Monday July 27th until November 9th, one chapter a day, it was really interesting to see it trough your eyes. His 6 orgasms a day, day in day out, annoyed me as a man very much, the drastic: hey a new woman, I love you as well attitude seemed to annoy you as women very much. I truly did enjoy all your comment throughout the story, and I answered all of them as best as I could.

By blog is just a tiny little blog with a few viewers, but I secretly hoped Mr. West would react at some point to the story, if only to object me posting it here without his permission. I did so because I tried to find him, even wrote him years and years after he had stopped writing a Christmas Card, but after the first one I lost all contact with this writer. Pity.
So I decided to take this story from oblivion and repost it on my blog. Totally unsuitable because of it's length, but what do I care? It's my blog.

I hope you liked the story at least a little bit like my beloved and I did once.
Thank you for reading it!

chapter weekday date story
1 Thursday 25/12/03
2 Sunday 28/12/03
3 Sunday 28/12/03
4 Sunday 28/12/03
5 Sunday 28/12/03
6 Sunday 28/12/03
7 Friday 02/01/04 In Carries house
8 Friday 02/01/04
9 Friday 02/01/04
10 Friday 02/01/04
11 Friday 02/01/04
12 Thursday 02/01/14
13 Saturday 10/01/04
14 Saturday 10/01/04
15 Saturday 10/01/04
16 Saturday 10/01/04
17 Saturday 10/01/04
18 Saturday 10/01/04
19 Saturday 10/01/04
20 Saturday 10/01/04
21 Saturday 17/01/04
22 Saturday 17/01/04
23 Saturday 17/01/04
24 Saturday 17/01/04
25 Saturday 17/01/04
26 Saturday 24/01/04
27 Saturday 24/01/04
28 Saturday 24/01/04
29 Saturday 24/01/04
30 Saturday 24/01/04
31 Sunday 01/02/04
32 Sunday 01/02/04
33 Sunday 01/02/04
34 Sunday 01/02/04
35 Sunday 01/02/04
36 Saturday 07/02/04
37 Saturday 07/02/04
38 Saturday 14/02/04
39 Saturday 14/02/04
40 Saturday 21/02/04
41 Saturday 21/02/04
42 Saturday 28/02/04
43 Saturday 28/02/04
44 Sunday 14/03/04
45 Sunday 14/03/04
46 Tuesday 16/03/04
47 Tuesday 16/03/04
48 Saturday 20/03/04
49 Saturday 20/03/04
50 Wednesday 07/04/04
51 Thursday 08/04/04
52 Saturday 10/04/04
53 Saturday 10/04/04
54 Saturday 17/04/04
55 Saturday 17/04/04
56 Saturday 24/04/04
57 Saturday 24/04/04
58 Saturday 01/05/04 Introduction Charlene
59 Saturday 01/05/04
60 Saturday 08/05/04
61 Saturday 08/05/04
62 Saturday 15/05/04
63 Saturday 15/05/04
64 Saturday 22/05/04
65 Saturday 22/05/04
66 Saturday 29/05/04
67 Saturday 29/05/04
68 Saturday 05/06/04
69 Saturday 05/06/04
70 Saturday 12/06/04
71 Saturday 12/06/04
72 Monday 19/07/04
73 Monday 19/07/04
74 Saturday 26/06/04
75 Saturday 26/06/04
76 Saturday 03/07/04
77 Saturday 03/07/04
78 Saturday 10/07/04
79 Saturday 10/07/04
80 Saturday 17/07/04
81 Saturday 17/07/04
82 Saturday 24/07/04
83 Saturday 24/07/04
84 Saturday 31/07/04
85 Saturday 31/07/04 Death Carrie, Charlene POV
86 Saturday 07/08/04
87 Saturday 07/08/04
88 Saturday 14/08/04
89 Saturday 14/08/04 Introduction Helen
90 Saturday 21/08/04
91 Saturday 21/08/04
92 Saturday 28/08/04
93 Saturday 28/08/04
94 Sunday 05/09/04
95 Sunday 05/09/04
96 Saturday 11/09/04
97 Saturday 11/09/04
98 Saturday 18/09/04
99 Sunday 19/09/04
100 Saturday 25/09/04 Natural stopping point
101 Saturday 25/09/04
102 Monday 04/10/04
103 Monday 04/10/04
104 Sunday 10/10/04
105 Sunday 10/10/04
106 Saturday 16/10/04
107 Saturday 16/10/04 End of story
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