A Human Menagerie · Mind The Gap!

Two Hundred And Twelve.

It would be in October that I received a telephone call. Unfortunately they didn’t leave a message and I thought no more of it. A week or so later and they phoned me again; in a reprise of the situation, I was not at home and as usual, had left my mobile phone at home. Mobile phones are handy, but given the fact that so few people phone me it’s the sort of thing I am prone to forget until I arrive at the railway station.

Having found another missed call with the same number, I did what would be expected of me, and that is to phone them back. I got as far as the switchboard of my housing corporation. The people who rent me my flat.

No, not my flat; their flat. It is important to remember these things: it might be my home, it is most certainly their house.

My problem was that the lady on the switchboard hadn’t a clue who had phoned me or why. Nobody had told her anything, nobody had told me anything. Situation normal here in Holland. Continue reading “Two Hundred And Twelve.”

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A Sideways View · Japan · The Comfort Zone

A Sideways Look At Information Control.

Those of you who have understood the things I spoke about in my series on the subconscious will at least be aware of the secrets that lie behind control.

Whomsoever wishes to control will do so because they know that they are correct. I will explain: someone wishing to control does so because they know no better. Sounds like a paradox, doesn’t it? But I assure you, it is not. If a person knows no better, how can they truly know their limitations? Those you can only learn if you are ready and willing to listen to what the world around you is trying to say.

Continue reading “A Sideways Look At Information Control.”

Stories

Giving Him A Hand.

I’m not one for Halloween: a tradition where the youth of society visit their neighbors with threats, coercion and menace. It’s like having the Mafia living next door to you, only they’re normal human beings who work as car mechanics and fill the supermarket shelves. Only now they’re in masks with skulls painted on them and they’re about to damage your property.

I prefer the Dutch tradition, and yes, there are things they get right! St Martin’s day is the 11th of November when your neighbours’ children parade around the village with lanterns, singing carols to us all. Which would you prefer? Being coerced into giving them treats, or thanking them with treats because they sung you a lovely carol?

This is my tale, written originally for the Creative Writers. It’s my way of getting back at the people who think it’s nice to have your neighbours’ children acting like the terrorists their government funds.

Warning: this is not for the faint hearted. I published something of this sort, albeit a factual piece, but did so on my private blog because of the content.

Note: if the following does not chill you to the bone, read it again because you missed the point.

Giving Him A Hand.

Continue reading “Giving Him A Hand.”

Art · Our Subconscious

What Do I Look For In Art?

De Pont in Tilburg, Review: 25th Anniversary.

a view of de ponts interior showing some of their artworks from the last 25 years
De Pont in Tilburg is an old factory. It’s huge, but for all that, welcoming. Mainly because it was so busy!

I din’t know it when I trotted off to Tilburg today, it was on a whim and mainly because they’d pulled up the tracks to Rotterdam which was my intended destination today. I rarely do any fact checking before leaving, but that’s part of the fun of having so many galleries to visit in the Netherlands. It was a small and little known painting by Hieronymous Bosch that I wanted to see in Rotterdam, or at least photograph. I saw it last weekend, but what with my capacity for forethought, I’d left my camera at home. Its only importance – the Bosch, that is – is that it contradicts something Rudolf Steiner said about Goethe’s Mephistopholes. Never mind that, it’s not for public consumption. My other thoughts about Bosch will be, but that’s for another of my fabled upcoming series. Anyway, I visited Tilburg, got lost, found myself again and having turned in the other direction to which I was merrily cycling, found the gallery.

Continue reading “What Do I Look For In Art?”

A Human Menagerie · Our Subconscious

Geeks In The Basement…

Buying A Computer In Holland.

I’m using my old Mac at the moment, which I think dates back to 2004. Or something like that. Whatever, it’s old and it crashes with a regularity that is my new normal. I did buy a Minimac, but what with Apple’s ideas about older equipment and newer operating systems, it gummed up and remains gummed up to this day. No doubt there’s some malware masquerading as a solution – in the way you can stop the silly bubbles on Windows – but this is not something I want to enter into. I did try Linux, but that’s been trodden on with a vigour that has to be seen to be believed. Linux is for the people who want a cheap playstation and not a small office at home.

Continue reading “Geeks In The Basement…”

Beyond Newton · Economics

The Twenty Cent Coin.

The new 20ct coin as issued by the mint in Utrecht: it shows Koning Willem Alexander with a band across his head to emphasize the fact.
Source: euro-muenzen.tv

As you can imagine, twenty cent coins in Europe abound. Even in the areas that are not officially the Eurozone, where the Euro is the official currency, twenty cent coins can be found. They can be found in Africa, too, because the Francophone areas of Africa lent towards the Euro as a sub-denomination instead of the dollar (as was the case when the Zimbabwean dollar fell to pieces).

Twenty cent coins aren’t anything special, then. So, when in my local supermarket the cashier handed me one, it should have dropped into my purse unnoticed. Only this one was shiny, a blikvanger as they say in Dutch, it was eye-catching. It interested me because here in Holland, any new coin usually means one of the newly minted Dutch coins with the head of the new king, Willem Alexander. He’s been maltreated by having his head divided to tell us who he is, but I doubt if it would make any difference to him. After all, he’s Dutch, and whilst a nice enough guy and all that, I’m pretty sure he’s as dim as the rest of them.

Continue reading “The Twenty Cent Coin.”