The BBC T.V. show Coast did an episode on the Netherlands recently, tracing their historic love / hate relationship with water. It was full of interesting tidbits such as ninety percent of the black and white cows in England can trace their routes to Friesland. There was also a segment on the sport Fierjeppen which is pole vaulting a canal. Here's a video to give you an idea. Off to Sevilla to charge the battery with some solar power, so probably no posting for a week.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Meet Jax. We're not sure if that's really his name. But he looks like the illegitimate son or daughter of Max if he'd slept with a tabby. The cat's definitely got some unusal markings and seemed too tame to be really wild.
More pictures of cats next week. Feel free to send any pictures of your felines for inclusion
Posted by Jeremy Holland at 11:02 AM
Friday, June 17, 2011
But perhaps the grand dame of Dutch children's books illustrators is Fiep Westendorp. Her most famous creations are Jip and Janneke, pronounced Yip and Yanaka, which she drew in her trademarked black and white silhouette style. There's a book of hers you can find in English (here) that tells about Dutch life over the course of the four seasons. Apparently, it can get so hot here in summer, no one feels like doing anything. I'm waiting for such a day.
Her work can also be found in the cartoon series, Pim en Pom about two cats. The jingle is one of the catchier tunes I've heard in awhile. Enjoy the episode.
Posted by Jeremy Holland at 6:03 PM
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Like Amsterdam, Alkmaar has its own red light district. I'm not sure if every city in the Netherlands has one or if there's a certain criteria like when a city got a cathedral. My mom thought it was one of the prettier streets of the city. No pictures of the ladies working or the smiling johns as I didn't know if that was kosher or not. I've always felt the most important question when talking to a prostitute was, "What time did you start?" after "How much?"
One of the things I was wondering while walking down the red light districts both here and in Amsterdam was why there are no men in the windows. Male prostitution isn't necessarily fringe, just look at some of the sex scandals in DC. Aside from the closeted politician, I imagine men in the gay community pay for services sometimes. I also bet there's a market for divorcees and single women. It just seems a little sexist there's only service for straight men. Or do the girls also do same sex? If that's the case, then I'd file a law suit.
I personally don't like paying for sex. Not that I think it's a bad thing or immoral. I have a friend who thinks a prostitute now and then is the key to a successful marriage. As he sees it, there's no emotional baggage, no birthdays to remember, it's like masturbation but with a real women. I dunno. To each his own. I also remember times when a sure thing was needed to break a drought, if you know what I mean? The problem is the two things I like doing aren't really possible with the girls of the night.
That said. I'm glad there's one. There's a reason it's the oldest profession. Having a place for men to go blow of steam and ease their sexual frustration probably means less crime. There also aren't girls standing shoulder to shoulder on the street who reach for you butt, or is it your wallet?
Posted by Jeremy Holland at 3:53 PM
Monday, June 13, 2011
Following this are the men who re-enact the traditional method of carrying and weighing it. The Gauda written on it is originally from the region in the Netherlands, but now represents all Dutch cheese in general. In this case, most came from Friesland and Groningen if I heard the announcer correctly. Cheese from Alkmaar tends to come in a ball, and not the pie, shape.
Once you've had your fill you can look around the stands and grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants before everyone arrives. My mom and uncle were recently here and commented on all the shops and boutiques.
Posted by Jeremy Holland at 11:16 AM
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Finally, got to the point the book is ready to submit so it's time to leave my head and come back to the real world. I'm trying to go the traditional route to see if I can get an advance, which means lots of letters sent to a slush pile and little chance of success. Wish me luck. There's a sample for anyone interested to give you an idea as to the story. The working title is The Last Vice Agent. A Kafkaesque detective story set in a William Gibson nightmarish near future is the pitch. Back to posting about life in Holland, the alien, and other musings soon.
Posted by Jeremy Holland at 7:30 PM