My garden is flowering


I em enjoying my garden at the back of my Amsterdam home tremendously. With 15 degrees and a little sun I can already have breakfast with my morning newspaper in it at 09:30 very morning. If it gets 2o degrees I need my parasol.









This garden was designed and implemented by my good friend Ton Hozemans who is a great gardener in Delft.

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Daily picture from Amsterdam

I love Amsterdam where I have been living since 1971. Its name stems from a dam on the river Amstel. Have a look at the fantastic collection of daily pictures from Amsterdam life photographer Thomas  Schlijper is publishing on his site. I have searched it on “Amstel” and in thumbnails. My newspaper de Volkskrant called Schlijper’s daily picture rightly ‘Amsterdam’s living room”.

Daily cycling in Amsterdam through foreign eyes

Most Dutchmen have two bicycles, one for work, school or shopping. Another one for the weekend, exercise, sport. There are more bicycles in The Netherlands than people. Here, a bicycle is not a poor man’s transport, as is the case everywhere else in the world.. Like many people in Amsterdam I do everything on my bike, I have never owned a car in my life.

Foreigners do not realize how normal cycling is in the live of every Dutchman, rich or poor. This is illustrated by the hilarious web pages by Brian from San Francisco. In a 73-minute period in September 2006 he took 82 pictures of bicycles at one corner of Nieuw Markt (a nice open square in Amsterdam). Sitting there he noticed how remarkably different the whole Amsterdam bicycle scene was from his home, the San Francisco area, California, USA. His pictures are great, his comments are funny and the reactions give lots of explanations and other pictures. The set from Reka on Picasa has lots of bicycles and many other interesting scenes from Amsterdam from June 2009.

IRC 2008 symposium ends with big party


Friday night 21 November I celebrated the 40th anniversary of my employer IRC in the beatiful Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. There we also did the last morning of our anniversary symposium on Urban Sanitation for the Poor. Rosemary Rop, WSP Africa Nairobi in her key note speech to the symposium identified six drivers of successful urban sanitation for the poor.

In the afternoon we had the Prince of Orange’s presence in a closing ceremony of the he International Year of Sanitation and many activities by Dutch coalitions. Around 250 visitors joined this Looking Beyond the International Year of Sanitation session, a joint activity of IRC, Simavi and the Netherlands Water Partnership.