Nice to actually know some artists again, whose work's on display.

Meant to attend the recent opening night, of Gallery 26, Milsons Point but approached from the north and was lost. Had no problem, today, coming from the south. Just turned left, after the bridge.…

Marilyn Brown had written:
A brand new gallery opening in Milsons Point, Sydney run by our very own Steve McLaren.

Featuring some of our own RedBubble artists such as:

*Steve McLaren aka bodymechanic
*Marilyn Brown aka mbartworks
*Sam aka Sunset
*Andrew Bosman
*Brett Keith aka miloman
*Sara Lamond
*Marco Britti
*Sarah Moore
*As well as many other amazing artists.

The Gallery is really easy to get to being a 5 minute walk from Milsons Point station or 2 minute walk up the hill from Milsons Point Wharf. It’s located directly behind Luna Park.

The gallery will be open 7 days a week from 10 to

A virtual bridge, between Sydney and Sebring (Florida), called: Skype.


Yesterday, Tuesday 20 December, I had a fun conversation with a lady, who calls herself, on Redbubble: karen66.
She lives in Sebring, Florida. She’s 41 years old, but most people think she’s in her twenties (good skin care and lots of water.)
She has a son, Julian, who is 7 years old and in the second grade.
She is single, but seeing a teacher, who teaches Algebra and is the tennis coach and who tastes good. (So I heard while listening in to her private telephone conversation.)
She’s currently writing a book, which had its beginnings, on Red bubble.

At least I’ve been in a book, written by a Dutch lady, who’d also found me on the internet.

That book is about friendships.

The page about me, highlights my friendships as a boy, in the Netherlands and after that, in Australia. As…

The Gouda connection.

When I first plugged in my Apple Macintosch LC 630 computer, in December 1996, I was so impressed that I could check out via the internet how much it cost to park your bike, near the railway station, in Gouda, where I was born!
About an hour ago, I clicked back to see if Entourage had any emails for me and there was one from Herman, who lives in the Grampians, Victoria.
He wrote:
Hi there Mr Joop
Purely by accident, surfing the net, I came across the Gouda-online site.
I had entered my name in the search and pressed enter.
I was amazed to come across what I believe to be your letter about my mum
and dad and the visit my father made to your Sydney address after losing his way and parking opposite your Flat…

You also appeared to have visited my father’s house in the Dandenongs while he was

The mouldy old past!

I was actually looking for the picture of me, snorkelling, at the Great Barrier Reef, out of Port Douglas, in 2005 and picked up, among the other mess this scrap-book.
I’ve put some of the drawings, here, on my bubble and just want to explain that these two drawings are not of ex-pupils but of two young girls, on Maroubra Beach.
I have to explain again that our boys high school, in Randwick was disbanded and half of us were sent to the new Maroubra Bay High School (Heartbreak High).
We were then in third year and only in first year, there were girls.
And they were so cute!
But the age-gap was of course huge!!!

Now we’re all old enough to be grandparents and the difference seems minimal.

P.S.. It was the days of the surfies v. the rockers (Think of West-side Story) and the kids who live…

My bridge with my childhood - thank you, G. van Raemdonck.

In MySpace, I wrote:…

Once again, I am using this blog to let off steam.

Should I be putting some pictures of my art work on the website which I look after? That! is the question.

I look after the website of the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre. It is currently located behind the Dutch shop, 85 Market Street, Smithfield, Sydney.

Board members take turns being there to greet visitors, on Wednesdays and Sundays.

Although we put out signs, not all people who come to the Dutch shop, go through the restaurant and the furniture section, to find us, in the corner. <br>It CAN sometimes be quiet, so I have developed the habit of taking my paintings there to work on and every time, I have taken more completed works with me, as well.

I put some of them just outside our door and just inside. I also tu

A brief touch of Dutch.

On Sunday I was in the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre, again.
Actually (as I’ve explained elsewhere), we were asked to leave our building some time ago and now we are in a factory-style building building, which has a facade of a street in Amsterdam and which houses a mini supermarket.
On the roof it says Holland House but it’s also known as ‘t Winkeltje (The little Dutch shop).
It strikes me every time how (we) immigrants, from the Netherlands (certainly not all), every so often visit the little Dutch shop to get a touch of Dutch.
When you walk through the part behind the supermaket shelves, that’s the restaurant, you hear little kids call their grandmothers: Oma (and even then pronouncing that many different ways, depending on original dialect, or Australian accent).
You hear mainly En…

Yet again, another Remi picture (_Alleen Op De Wereld_).

And the next Remi picture, based on G. van Raemdonck ’s 1940 illustrations of the book, is in the process of being painted.

(Roughly translated (from the Dutch version of Sans Famille, by Hector Malot….):

This time I did not end up in one of those strange gaols, where the guard dries his onions. This was a real gaol, for once, with barred windows and a hard bench. For a long time I sat on the bench, thinking. Mattia had said that he would not desert me but what could Bob and he do, to help me?
When you are sitting in a gaol, you have but one thought: how do I get out of here? What could Mattia and Bob do to assist me in this?

Dean sings: "Under the bridges of Paris with you...."

In my car there is, of course, a pile of Dean Martin CDs. Somehow, I seem to have bought several versions, all of which contain the song in which he sings: “How would you like to be? Down by the Seine, with me? Under the bridges of Paris with you…… etc.”

In the winter of 1970, I was on the bridges of Paris. All by myself. Even got lost, on the last day of my three-day-stay, arranged through Dutch Rail, after leaving the hotel on the last day, going for a wander.
I have no idea!!! how I found the right station, on time, to get back to the Netherlands.

2005 was different!! My daughter was living in Paris, for a little while and showed me around. Absolutely fantastic memories, to treasure!!

The Como Bridge

I like taking people (usually Dutch -but not always – who have found me, via the internet, on drives from La Perouse (or even Cronulla), to Watsons Bay and then to Manly.

But if they’ve done that, then, lately I’ve liked taking them to the bridge, at Como. It has such a leisurely, Sunday afternoon feel to it.
People walking across, to and from the next station. Or just strolling; taking the dog for a walk or riding the bike.

It’s a peaceful place. Often a typical game of cricket going on, on the oval and I like pointing out that the hotel is associated with Henry Lawson.

I like to think of it as one of the off-the-beaten tourist track.

One couple, not Dutch, at all, enjoyed coming there with me, a number of years ago now, because he remembered Sunday visits, from Coogee to Como, to visit,

A favourite book: Bridge to Terebithia, by Katherine Patterson -and that class.

Today, bridges have been on my mind.
There are three things I do, first thing every morning. The kettle on. The iMac on and the other thing.
One of the first things I read, on Redbubble, this morning, was a a report on seeing the filmed version of Bridge to Terebithia.
That set my theme for the day. I went to comment on the journal entry and then wondered whether there was a Bridges group.
At the last school where I spent roughly the last third of my 37 years, as a primary teacher, I chose the Bridge to Terebithia, to read to this class. (Most of whom will now be a year or two away from turning 30!)
I chose it (It was recommended to me, …..), as being just right for these 18 girls and 7 boys (1 not in the photo), in Year Six, to listen to and to discuss, where it was useful.
Now, in hindsi…

7 miles from Sydney, 13306 miles from Amsterdam.

Their first trip, from Circular Quay, to Manly.

Life, in Manly, was normal, if a little on the damp side. The first good soaking we’ve had for quite some time had arrived just before the visitors from the Netherlands.

A walk down The Corso and to the beach – of course! So!

More of Remi- based on G. van Raemdonck's illustrations.

Today, at Hazelhurst, I worked, again, for a few hours, on another painting in this series, based on the illustrations, by G. van Raemdonck, in the 1940 edition of the Dutch version of Hector Malot’s Sans Famille, Alleen Op De Wereld.
For my generation, of children, growing up in the Netherlands, just after World War II, think of this book being as popular as, say, Treasure Island, was for English-reading children.

At home, I copied the illustration, using charcoal, on canvas. Regretted, straight-away, not planning a triangle, in the left-hand corner, to draw a larger figure – but continued.

Took the painting to the D.A.C.C., where it was my turn, on Sunday to look after visitors and worked some more. (Not many visitors.)

$50-worth of Dutch treat, for winner of children's writing competition.

Honestly, truly, inspired and motivated by RedBubble competitions, often run by other members, I got the idea of asking the proprietors of the Dutch shop, in Smithfield, to donate a prize of $50 worth of their merchandise, for a competition for 9 to 15 year old children, who have a Dutch connection and live within travelling distance of the shop.
The other part of my inspiration, you may have already seen, here, on RedBubble.
It’s the way the adults (often the grandparents, but not always), so enthusiastically point things out to children whom they’ve brought into the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre.
This morning I’ve launched it. Have put an explanation on the DACC and Federation websites and emailed as many people, as possible.
Hopefully, it will bring a few more young(er) people to …

Ready to be painted - stage two.

It was a very quiet day, in the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre, yesterday. That can happen! So I did a lot of painting.

It feels like scribbling used to do when I attended far more meetings (before being retired). I’m sure that I am going through a stage, in my painting.

Ready to be painted.

Time to get some new paintings ready, to do in my series, based on the illustrations of G. van Raemdonck, in the 1940 edition, Dutch version of Sans Famille, by Hector Malot.

I’m taking someone else’s place, looking after the D.A.C.C. (Dutch Australian Cultural Centre) this Sunday. So I need to have something to do while waiting for visitors to find that section of the building, behind the Dutch shop.

I’ll be taking my paintings to the D.A.C.C., again.

I thought that, if I attended an art class, I’d get used to painting in a background first and then painting the shapes, rather than drawing and colouring – in but, apparently, it’s hard to teach an old dog, like me.

I do like drawing with charcoal.

I’ll also take some more books, to leave behind at the OBCZ (Official Book Crossing Zone), …

Neil Armstrong was not the first.

Neil was not the first to take that giant leap. Once in a blue moon others had arrived. Like this couple!!

They found it very cold there. They longed for their cup of (van Nelle) coffee! It was always winter, on the moon.

But even they were not the first! They turned a corner and there they met up with The Man in the Moon!

He was not very content. He’d been minding the place for a hundred years and, he too, was so longing for that cup of coffee!

This book, (a little worse for wear) about the magic sea shell, found, on the beach, that took them to the moon, was one of four well-loved books that migrated with me, to Australia, from the Netherlands, in 1956.
It was the second in a series, put out by a coffee producing company. You bought the book, without the pictures. As your parents bought …

Orange enough? The song of the bare bottom, at the Get Lost Party.

I joined the ORANGE group, believing I had PLENTY of orange pictures. After all! I was born in the Netherlands and orange is THE dutch (and Dutch-Australian) colour.
But, so far, I have found only these pictures fitting the requirements of the group.
They were taken at my OPROT PARTY (Dutch for Get Lost Party). This farewell party was arranged for me, at the end of my holiday in Holland, in 1997.

P.S.. Orange dominates here because, of course, it being Holland. It rained on my party and this cover was rigged up.

P.P.S. *The Free Beach Association of NSW fought for legal nude bathing on NSW beaches. (I was vice president, webmaster and newsletter editor.)


I just went to look for these lyrics, using Google and found them, on RedBubble, in my OWN bubble. I’ve quoted them before!!:…

Jean, Jean, roses are red
All the leaves have gone green
And the clouds are so low
You can touch them, and so
Come out to the meadow, Jean

Jean, Jean, you’re young and alive
Come out of your half-dreamed dream
And run, if you will, to the top of the hill
Open your arms, bonnie Jean

Rod McKuen.

I remember her last name. She was in my class in 1965. The second year of my teaching. How come I remember her first and last name, out of ( 37 x av. 34 pupils per class = ) 1258 children?
The last name was a bit unusual. It was the word that, in Dutch, means the establishment where my grandfather, in Gouda, served the customers alcohol.

During the year, she’d seen me fi

Byron Bay Writers Festival, July 2008.

O.K..This will not make sense to you but it does to me!
Yesterday I noticed that a lady whom I know has joined RedBubble, as Wild1, so that she could comment on my pictures. She lives west of Byron Bay and I had hoped that I’d be allocated the far north coast beaches of NSW, this year, to assess, for the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge. This would have been a great reason to visit her and her partner.…

Straight after conveying this to her, I read that there is this writers’ festival on, next year. I am not a writer. (Secretly I think I am!!!) My tenuous connection is a ‘brush with fame’ which I’ve written about before.

I see that Marele Day is chairing one of the sessions. Marelle came to the ballroom dancing studio, in the early sixties where I used to hang around. We had a

Carried away. Impression of Remi disappearing.

Before the 3 weeks’ holiday break, from art class, at Hazelhurst, my painting of Remi, from the book, Alleen Op De Wereld (Alone in the world – Sans Famille), was heading in a different direction.

The drawing, taken from the 1940 edition of the book, was going to be coloured in but retain the feel of an illustration.

I did no painting at all during the three weeks’ break. There were distractions, i.e., preparations for assessing beaches for Keep Australia Beautiful, the Clean Beach Challenge; the actual assessing, on the mid-north coast and then, the somewhat tedious bit: the report writing.

So, when class resumed, I had not prepared any new paintings. There was just the Remi painting with a huge gap of blank canvas to fill and I feel like I just doodled, like I do at boring meetings.
I j…

Looking back....

While searching for something else, I came across my letter to the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, published Wednesday, November 1987.

Gosh! Is that really twenty years ago? A week or two ago, I was reminded. I was sitting at the back of the room, in the offices of the Consulate-General of the Netherlands, attending the A.G.m., of the D.A.C.C..

Just in front of me sat the Hon. Treasurer of the D.A.C.C. and chairperson of the Federation of Netherlands Societies NSW.
Beside me a lady of Italian background who is advising the D.A.C.C., on fund-raising.

When the Hon. treasurer / chairperson Fed. of Neth. Soc., heard that the lady was of Italian background, he asked her if she knew Pino Bosi. She had heard of him (and the daughter Pina, who has written so much for the Sydney Morning hera

Keep Australia Beautiful, Clean Beach Challenge - my part in it.

Please take a look here! at what I saw on the mid north coast of New South Wales, last week (The last week of September.)

Every year I take lots of photos.

At some beaches I may have been all by myself but, this year, particularly, I was shown around by a number of different people and I’ve come away, again, with much admiration for the Bush Care volunteers, who battle the weeds that threaten native species of flora.

It’s the native species that we need, to protect the dunes and thus the shores, the beaches.
Next time you’re at the beach please take a look at the voluntary work that’s being done by so many people. Particularly the work done to remove bitou bush. This was brought to Australia, from the African continent and intended to protect the sand-dunes but, unfortunately, it…

Smoky put the sweat on me.

Yes. I still am a Kris Kristofferson fan and yes, next week I shall visit and assess Smoky Beach North and Smoky Beach South. They’re north and south of Smoky Cape, mid-north cost, New South Wales and yes, the weatherman often talks about the predictions north and south of Smoky Cape.
Our chemist gave us a calendar this year with a beautiful picture of the lighthouse on top of the hill, taken from Smoky Beach North…… I’ve been there before!

I have assessed these beaches (We used to say judged these beaches two years ago.
On the day that I was taken around to view these beaches, my guide and I agreed that there was no need to go down to Smoky Beach North, we could see it from above.
But, when I was finished inspecting the beaches, on my way home to Sydney, I left Nambucca very early in the…

Progress report - the "series".

Another ‘term’ over, at Hazelhurst. Have re-enrolled and shall be there again in three weeks’ time. Meanwhile I’ll do some more painting at home.


But now there is the Clean Beach Challenge to get on with.
Sunday I drive to Port Macquarie. Monday I ‘inspect’ four beaches there.
Tuesday and Wednesday the beaches in the Crescent Head area. Thursday and Friday, Scotts Head and south of there.

Then it’s writing the reports for the committee, during the following week.
That should fill the gap nicely between terms at Hazelhurst.

Meanwhile I have to make permanent arrangements regarding nursing home care for my father, who still wonders where those hundreds of Dutch-Australians have gone to, for whom he provided so much diversion, in, particularly, the 60s and 70s, when, as ‘president’ of t

Be a star - Mel Brackstone wrote! Right on!!

I’d like to pinch that idea , except that I shall be sent a supply of cards by a lady in the Netherlands.

I help her with her weblog .

She has sent me a number of things, e.g. t-shirt (Sorry Redbubble but I have ordered another, here too.) (Also sent me a paintbox!! Shall meet her and her men {husband and sons} one day, in the Netherlands, I hope.

Now I’ll have to think about the stamps again, this year.

I am sending less and less real cards. Not that I’m sending more virtual ones. Less relatives left in the Netherlands. A few less people here. Still…….. I shall get stamps, again.

From the neo to the nouveau-nude, Anne van Alkemade's challenge

I wanted to respond. To get creative but had some trouble with the intent of the challenge.
I went and visited these people. They found me a little large but they were very much in agreement with celebrating the natural shape of the body. In fact the natural shape of everything.

Why I opted for a Gulliver-approach, I did not know but it struck me that it may have been instinct.
When I went to check the spellings, using Google, I found:
The Lilliputians symbolize humankind’s wildly excessive pride in its own puny existence. Swift fully intends the irony of representing the tiniest race visited by Gulliver as by far the most vainglorious and smug, both collectively and individually. (
The Lilliputians show off not only to Gulliver

Is it over yet?

Arranged to go and visit friends, on the other side of the harbour, in two hours’ time. Now it’s time to drive there and I’m wondering whether it will be a clear run along the M5. through the tunnel and along Military Road…………
It will be good when we have our city back again.

Yes. I know! It’s a bit of a negative view.
I like the cartoon that I won’t reproduce, which says: Sydney. You have the right to remain silent.
UPDATE: Not going……….Waiting till mid-week, when it is hopefully warmer. When my cold is hopefully finally gone. When the politicians have gone back to politicking. When I have fixed up the VISA card problem. (The boomgates are letting me through but warning me that my funds are low – because the card info needs up-dating.)
When the brothels are available again. Just ki

Rainbow over Revesby - Flyboy and MaryO - Down Under.

Yesterday, through the window, behind my computer screen, I noticed yet another rainbow.
Like today, Friday, while everyone (almost) is leaving Sydney, there are aeroplanes, above my head, flying over Revesby, lowering their landing gear, aiming for Mascot and the Kingsford Smith International Airport.

Even if this is the flightpath that will be used on the day when MaryO and FlyBoy fly from Amsterdam to Sydney, they will find it hard to see me (painting) down below, here in the south-western suburbs of Sydney.

I’ve let the garden go almost bush. (Neighbours have been in and been given my permission to trim shrubs/small trees to allow the sun to dry their washing in their backyard, behind our fence.

I shall b down there. (Where that rainbow ends, in the top picture, when they arrive but …

Rainbow over Hazelhurst

It happens so often! Yesterday, second last class for the term, at Hazelhurst, during Melissa’s art class. I went to my car to fetch the other two paintings, to show her.
There was drizzle. There was a rainbow. I grabbed my camera. Put the paintings against a tree. The wind blew them over. Friends, ( a couple who live in Manly, ) walked into view as I focused my camera on the rainbow.

Five minutes earlier, the rainbow was much clearer. Five seconds earlier, Mijntje (Mrs Hage, fellow board-member of the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre) was still in my view-finder, along with her husband.

It was so obvious that it took Mijntje and Huib a few seconds to realise it was me, not at a meeting of the D.A.C.C.; not at a function organise for Dutch-Australians; but battling the drizzle; paintings

Remi & the other boys,updated,again.

Progress report: Made a start on redoing this painting. It’s from a picture (slide) taken in 1968, in Bourke. Two boys were standing, on a typically hot afternoon, near the bank of the Darling River, very close to where I was boarding in The Old Gaol.
I was sharing a – very hot, in the afternoons- verandah, which was being rented out to us by the owner of this old house which had once been a prison or courthouse.

A few more licks of paint……


(Not feeling well. That’ll do for today!)

UPDATE: Thursday morning’s effort:

….and then…it was Sunday, 16 september, and I was asked to mind the D.A.C.C..
So, I took my painting(s), to work on!

World - still not small enough.

In 1956, my grandmother had had a third ‘child’ go down under_. The ‘boys’ were long returned.
Joop, who had jumped ship, in Sydney and had apparently had a rather colourful time here; apparently getting into a fight and being thrown down some stairs; apparently winning enough at the races to get back to Gouda, the Netherlands.
And Jan, who had tried his luck in Australia but got no further than the reception centre for single men, set up by Father Leo Maas, in Melbourne, where he was given general work to do and from where he faithfully sent all the pounds he was paid, back to my grandmother, in Gouda.
And, in 1956 Jacoba, my mother, because Jan had told my father that the sun always shines in Australia!

In 1964 my mother went back for the first time ( Can’t remember whether the ship was

Remi and the other boys.

Progress report: Made a start on redoing this painting. It’s from a picture (slide) taken in 1968, in Bourke. Two boys were standing, on a typically hot afternoon, near the bank of the Darling River, very close to where I was boarding in The Old Gaol.
I was sharing a – very hot, in the afternoons- verandah, which was being rented out to us by the owner of this old house which had once been a prison or courthouse.

A few more licks of paint……


(Not feeling well. That’ll do for today!

Sans Famille - Remi and MB's suggestion - Progress Report.

Took up MB (artworks)’s suggestion. “Do a series” she suggested, after she saw my first version of Remi, the the main character in the book: “Alleen Op De Wereld” (Alone in the World), written by Hector Mallot , with the title: Sans Famille.

So I chose another illustration from the book and started, at home, the other day.

Today, I took it to the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre, where I was filling in for another board member and passing the time with painting.


There were some visitors today!!

The bottom line. The bare truth.

Now what made those ladies think that this was a decorated bottom?
I’ve done some research and found some evidence…….

Was it because some of us spent a whole day, once, posing beside the latest vw, for an advertisement that appeared in the main Sunday papers, full page, and in the Qantas magazine, showing us, without clothes on, to prove that this car suited all shapes and sizes?

Or was it because some of us spent a day, helping out film-making students, who were producing a movie, which they called: Bottom-line?

Or was it because we, the now defunct FBAofNSW, supported the annual Fred Hollows, Dare to Bare events, at Middle Harbour?

Now, what made them think I would do such a thing?

By the way sitting on the floor, of a photographer’s studio, in an industrial area, in far-western Syd…

Sans famille - Remi and me.

This and last year, my routine is to get a new painting started approximately every second or third week. So I can take it to Hazelhurst where Melissa can then advise me to put more green on the skin (and adjust the proportions).

Roughly on the weekends I start to think about what I’d like to paint next. It’s like having a store-room or chamber, in the back of my head where certain subjects are sitting, leaning, standing, gathering dust, waiting to be picked.
Somewhere I read about favourite illustrations.
It could easily have been on RedBubble (Information overload!) It might have been BookCrossing!
My favourite illustration of all is Remi, standing outside the courthouse, after Vitalis has been put in gaol. (It’s by G. van Raemdonck, in the 1940 edition of the Dutch Version of Sans Fami


Wherever I photographed the little yellow rubber ducky, in the city, yesterday, people smiled!

I am guessing that there haven’t been any 63 year-old, white haired gentlemen, bringing their little yellow rubber duckies to the city, for a while.

There ought to be more of it!

I’m writing about the little yellow duck. Not the little yellow t-shirt!!

My First Time.....

The very first time I ever really held a brush and a palette to paint a real picture, was in 1962, in Wollongong Teachers College.
Where on earth did my pupils, during the next 39 years, get the idea that I liked redheads?

My brownest period

In the mid-seventies, I accepted a transfer to a school where I had the most difficulties, regarding what might be called a personality-clash.

The fact that, when one of the classes put on a play, in which they imitated the teachers (In my case, me teaching dancing), they had a girl being me, in brown, seems to reflect the whole experience.
(I lent her my glasses for this picture.)

The road taken.......

I was so in my element, teaching at Mascot Public School, 1969-1972. I was doing the Art Teachers Conversion Course, run by the Department of Education, at Old Sydney Tech but was so much enjoying the soccer, the art, the dancing, the music, etc., (at primary level) and failing painting, in the course, (Fortunately people now find that strange.) I opted for seeking promotion and was successful.
Thus I ended up at my second-most favourite school, Busby West.

There were some awkward moments there and colleagues weren’t always that keen on me carrying my camera to every event….but….to only a slightly lesser extent, here too lots of fun was to be had, coaching some very strong soccer teams and, again, here too, some fun with dancing and the annual Open Day performances.

( My technical assista

Schooldays. Show me the child, at 7.......

I was 8, in 3rd class and ‘clicked’ with the teacher that I had until I migrated, towards the end of 6th class. I believe that wanting to be a teacher came in the genes. That Mr Berretty was just the right role model.

Overcoming the disadvantage of speaking no English and getting no initial help, arriving in Sydney at the end of Year Six and enrolled in high school, I was proud of still making it into teachers college, by the skin of my teeth and then struggling there a bit too.…

Like very many of the Dutch who migrated, in the so-called wave, late 40s to early 60s, my parents liked to say they migrated for my future.
So achieving the goal of being a primary school teacher was seen as extremely important.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and kept wanting to ‘capture’ the fun, the energ

Showing the boys your knickers....

Heard a guest, on the afternoon radio program (Sydney, 702) talk to James Valentine about how, the girls had a habit of standing on their heads, in the playground, to show the boys their knickers.
I had visions of hundreds, maybe thousounds of playgrounds, all over Australia, having little girls, standing on their heads, like plants.
Like an invasion of an unwanted plant species. :)


I now have a lot of virtual contact with FlyBoy.
While searching for ‘_fashion’ pictures, of the 70s_ and of my teenage years, I came across this man flying_.
I took that with my very simple camera, beside the very new building of the Wollongong Teachers College, in 1963.
I believe this man’s name may have been Tim.
He seemed SO old! (Then!!!)
There was a limit on the ages of students who could be enrolled AND you could only be enrolled via a scholarship, which had a ‘bond’ attached, which required you, after graduating from college, to serve either 2 years in the far north-west of NSW, or 3 years elsewhere ’_in the country
’ (Rather than Sydney).
We had to learn about the skills which we would teach in P.E., (Physical Education). J
Just like the other subjects, certain students then speci…

Letter from the mayor, when everything was beautiful, in its own way.

That was the year when I was hoping to receive a scholarship to Wollongong Teachers College (about to be built). It didn’t happen. The following January, I started working as an office boy.
The only time in my life that I have watched minutes tick by……so slowly!
Wasn’t it nice of the mayor to send me a letter, then?

45 years later I judged those beaches, for the Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge.
And, I’m happy to report that enough graduated high school students, that year, did not take up their scholarship offers. (Probably went to uni, instead.) So a few weeks into my office boy job, I knew there was an end in sight and I would train to be a teacher, after all.

Ev'rybody needs 'm. Ron's one!

We all know it, from the t.v. soap: Neighbours! Everybody needs good neighbours!

If I’d joined Redbubble 10 years ago, I’d be writing about beaches, school, my trip to Europe, etc..
At the moment, my focus is on care for my father, who, again, is in hospital.
Yesterday he told me: “A clarevoyant told me I’d live to 92. I don’t want to. I want to go upstairs or downstairs.”
Whenever I drive home, from the hospital, I see Ron, looking intensely at me in my car. He’s concerned.
It was 1972. That’s 35 years ago that my parents moved here and what Ron would have seen in those days, is a constant flow of Dutch-Australian visitors or Dutch relatives, visiting for 6 weeks or so, from the Netherlands. A lot of coming and going.
Ron, an absolutely dinky-di Aussie, roots in the country, has spent th

Walked 40+ km, in the blazing sun, in 1968.

The Bourke Intermediate High School held a walk-a-thon. In those years the primary school, although quite separate, was officially, a department of the school.
On a blazing hot, sunny day, there was a walk, 15 mile out of town and back.
I wore a t-shirt which exposed most of my shoulders. Together with this boy, Tim, and a nurse and another man, I walked 15 miles out and 10 miles back.
Then it was 5 p.m.. and time for this ‘madness’ to end. (5 more miles in one hour did not seem achievable for me. The nurse had left us as our pace was too slow.)
The rest of that summer I had the shape of that t-shirt burnt into my shoulders and I was given the Principal’s Award, at the Monday Assembly, (Those which we usually give to the pupils.) for my effort.
(Tim was The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonde…

The Mad Hatter of Bourke (1968)

In Bourke I ‘produced’ my version of “Alice in Wonderland”, using a few unrelated Walt Disney songs to enhance the show.

I had been determined to emulate all the things that my primary school teacher, in Gouda had done.

In his production of De Wonderbloem (The magic flower), I had had a minor role. I think I was ‘leader’ of the little folk or something.

It was nice to make contact with the (then) girl who had had a major singing role, via She was the daughter of a local minister and was involved with the teaching of music, at a tertiary level, in Rotterdam.

40+ km walk and I paid $3.55 :)

The Bourke Intermediate High School held a walk-a-thon. In those years (the late sixties) the primary school, although quite separate, was officially, a department of the school.
On a blazing hot, sunny day, there was a walk, 15 mile out of town and 15 back.
I wore a t-shirt which exposed most of my shoulders. Together with this boy ( I believe * ) and a nurse and another man, I walked 15 miles out and 10 miles back.
Then it was 5 p.m.. and time for this ‘madness’ to end. (5 more miles in one hour did not seem achievable for me. The nurse had left us as our pace was too slow.)
The rest of that summer I had the shape of that t-shirt burnt into my shoulders and I was given the Principal’s Award, at the Monday Assembly, (Those which we usually give to the pupils.) for my effort.
The first …

How I got out of Bourke!

Actually it really wasn’t so bad and very interesting to look back on.
The dry heat, two terms. The constant orange sky (dust). The Chalkies v Bankies v. Council Office staff tennis matches. The mad drive to a B.& S. Ball. (I drove the huge Holden back, because I didn’t drink. Had lots of ‘fun’ working the column gearstick, for the first time ever.
Needed to stop the car once, when a kangaroo had bounced on to the bonnet.
Stepped outside to look around. My companions, – very!!!! relaxed – urged me to drive on, Back to Bourke.
I applied for the Art Teachers Conversion Course and was transferred, very close to where I lived in Sydney (Mascot Public School).
Re fashion. The shirt that I am wearing here, reminds me of the very loose, very large mohair jumper, I used to love to wear to work/s…

The Artist as a Young Teacher or Goodbye Mr M.

from: Seedy Songs and Rotten Rhymes-the poetry of the playground.

Who is this? asked Melissa, when she saw me working on this painting.
It’s me, in 1980, I replied. From a photo, taken by the school photographer.
Yes. You look like a teacher! was her response, pointing to the painting.

Back to basics is in the news again. It must be election time. Around 1960, I started listening on the radio, to people like Eric Baume, Andrea, Dita Cobb, John Pierce (Pearce?) and the like.

I don’t know why, but I remember exactly where I was driving home from my first school (Riverstone), when I first heard Ron Casey commence an open-line program. (I was driving through Milperra. This was not President Kennedy being shot. Or Princess Diana being killed. Just one of the early shock-jocks, getting going.)

Challenge- 2,3,4, tell the people what she wore! It was.......

….an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny…….you know the rest!
My yellow rubber ducky refuses to go out and be photographed anymore. Finds it embarrassing!
Speaking of embarrassing, when I was a teenager, I loved my Cookie Jacket, comb and wore tan shoes and pink shoelaces to Bob Potter’s Ballroom Dancing classes.
What was the fashion when you were a teenager? May I suggest a challenge? You and/or your friends in the fashion of then_?
….and which (famous) people influence(d) you?
For a party where we were asked to come in fancy dress, I had so little resources, I ’_thought
’ I was looking like a hippie but I kept having to explain that.
I’ve always been rather conservative (Possibly hard to believe when you happen to come across me beside the Wollondilly River! But then again, that’s a bit out-of-fash

Torn curtains

It takes half a dozen clothes pegs to close the curtains in my father’s bedroom, which he does every night. The curtains are rags but my mother chose them and they will not be replaced!!

Every time that I’ve touched them. These curtains tear a bit more. If mediums could communicate; if there was a telephone to the other side, my mother would be telling him to get rid of them!
She was very down-to-earth / practical, like her father. Several people have tried – people who are close to him. But no!

The other day, it was only at the chemist’s that I’d remembered that that day would have been her birthday. Apart from the very many photos, these ‘curtains’ are still a presence.

( My father calls the clothes pegs mikkies. {We always speak Dutch but pegs are wasknijpers . Where mikkies comes from.…


Uren, dagen, maanden, jaren, vliegen als een shaduw heen. ……
( Hours, days, months, years, fly past like a shadow.) was a line that I’ve heard my (late-) mother use so many times.
(Google will tell me if that’s a poem or a song.)…

In May, 2004, my mother passed away after suffering from Alzheimers, for many years.
Five days ago, I was at the chemist. My watch is never on the correct date.

Chantelle told me: 28 July. Oh! I said. Today my mother would have been 90.
I drove to Bankstown hospital, where my father ( 14 days older than my mother. Both born in Gouda. ) is, again.
In the corridor a nurse recognised me. I recognise your face , he said. I looked after your mother. She used to walk round and round the corridors.
Small world!!

P.S.. Sure enough! Thanks to Google Written by: _Mr. Rhynvis

A family affair.

Two parcels from Redbubble yesterday. (This journal is taking over from my blogs, elsewhere!)
Picked one up, in the morning, before Art Class and, together with Chip, the Duck, the other, in the afternoon.

Daughter rang later and arranged to meet me and my son (naturally, her brother) at the hospital, to visit my father (their Opa).

After the visit (Had good laughs at the banter between my father and the male nurse.), I handed my daughter the print of the photo that she took, of my father, with his hat and my son the cards, with my painting of the picture that his friend had taken of him.

Both were very happy with these items and laughed at my cards, (the picture of me jumping out of a Joop! box). Altogether, very satisfying!

Some time ago I borrowed a bit from an ad., to send to email frie…

Duck into The Shire

Duck has been spotted in the Sutherland Shire!

Apparently he was interested in joining an art class.

On his way to the coffee machine, he noticed some Shire residents.

He introduced me to his new friends.

Cute, pretty, deadly.

I’m currently fascinated by the invasion of the rosellas of our driveway.
And, there’s the other invader, the cute young cat from next door.
Came home and found her disturbing the birds.
Have caught her inside, stealing Jemma’s food.
It is a jungle out there.

Festival of the winds - Bondi Beach.... a while ago......

It’s that time of year again.

On the radio (702, Sydney), I heard the afternoon presenter joke once about what we like to call winter here.
How, near the beginning of winter we see ads on t.v., which try to convince us that we should get ready to rug up to buy lots of warm clothes – because winter is coming.

But, before you know it, it’s August, the last winter month and the winds are starting to turn.
Going to Bondi Beach for Festival of the Winds was a fun thing to do when the kids were young.

I'll get over it soon!

Needed to go from the flat to the house, last night. Was still in the mood_. The sky had now cleared after the brief storm and so, wearing not enough warm clothing raced in again to get the camera and tried out the zoom lens.
Sure enough! Spotted the people, on the moon. They seemed to be the same ones whom I’d spotted, cavorting in the garden, recently.

Woke up this morning sniffling and sneezing again. After all, it is still winter, in Sydney!
( I find that the enthusiasm for these hobbies usually wanes (_Moon reference
) after a while. Oh well, there’s still BookCrossing , painting , …..May get the accordion out again soon.)

Inspired by Chanel.

Chanel wrote being famous
Was not the thing to be.
She claimed that being famous
Would not let her be free.

The magazines would haunt her
They’d lay her secrets bare.
They’d photograph her wobbly bits
Her feet up in the air.

They’d quote her words the wrong way round.
And she would want to flee.
She’d hold a pillow to her head.
Regret those words that she had said.
And wish they’d let her be.

But I suspect a bit of fame would not be too much trouble
Perhaps not like the Hilton girl
but just, right here, on Bubble !!!

A Dutch-Australian Connection.

In 1996, I bought an Apple MacIntosh LC 630. One for myself and one for my son, as a Christmas present.
I connected to the internet and found the city f my birth, Gouda.i.e., a website about parking bicycles at the railways station. It was so good to connect.

Now I find that paparozzooi has joined Redbubble and I am pleased.
She and her family live in the street where I used to meet up with my cousins, in the early fifties.

Everyone's a critic!

It’s so hard to know whether your paintings are good or getting better!

Yesterday was my turn again to be ‘on duty’ in the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre.
After we were made to leave our building, in the grounds of the retirement village, we were accommodated behind the Dutch shop, in Smithfield.

The shop is in a factory building and we have a section, behind the furniture ‘department’.
In winter, it can be cold and lonely there, if visitors to Holland House don’t go through the shop, through the restaurant, through the furniture and find us or be interested in finding us.
So, I’ve been taking my paintings, for something to do.

Yesterday there were quite a few visitors.
They weren’t there for my painting but it was there as a talking-point and, naturally I was interested in their reacti

Yes. It's true! Winners ARE grinners.

Thank you Redbubble. Thank you MBartworks. The fun just keeps coming.

I tried to write about this once before but was too ambitious. Shall leave the mugs collection out of it, this time.
This t-shirt, designed by MBartworks, won me a prize, here, at Redbubble.
I do own a number of t-shirts already. Shall show you just a few of the ones that I dazzle my fellow-shoppers with, here, in the local supermarket:
(This may become a work-in-progress.)

Bowling 'm over!

That was fun! So much enjoyment. Such a ‘different’ setting.
I first went ten pin bowling about 45 years ago? Rushcutters Bay was one such ‘fun’ place. Two levels of bowling alleys and a level for miniature cars!

Anne van Alkemade's Grevillea

Sorry folks. It’s been a busy day. Was filling time, while up-loading pictures of ladies and gentlemen of an advanced age, to my Picasa album. These boys and girls went ten-pin bowling today and I went along.
(The majority spoke Dutch. Nobody was younger than 75 and most much older. It was a fun day. The picture which I tried to upload was on its side – perhaps the ball was too heavy – LITTLE joke!! – so I used this page to try out the grevillea challenge, put out by Anne van Alkemade…………….. That was a long story!

And, here’s more: I was one of the enthusiatic amateurs who got the Dutch Language Radio program going, in the very late 70s, via Radio 2EA (which had been set up by the SBS -Special Broadcasting Service). Gradually we ‘amateurs’ were replaced by professionals.)

So, it was I w

A bit of success. Needed that! Wishes and magic fishes.

Transitions – listed! Good one!

Added some of my own rhyme to the page of the book which I brought with me, from Gouda, the Netherlands, in April/May, 1956.

The book was sold by the van Nelle coffee people. The pictures, to paste in, came with the coffee. All you had to do was buy that.

Piggelmee was based on the Russian folktale about the woman who was too greedy and kept wishing for more, until she wanted to be God and took it too far.

Piggelmee’s wife had the same problem but when it all fell apart, was content to drink the van Nelle coffee.

It started with a wave!

School holidays are over and so is the break from Art Class. Yes. I re-enrolled, last term and today it was back to class. Some familiar faces. Some new. Same teacher, to whom I turned, last year when the original teacher left and was replaced by someone whose approach simply did not suit mine.
Can happen!

First there was Gwen, whose first exercise she ever set her class, was to copy a piece of her art: A wave. That suited me fine. It got me started on, after copying hers, several other beach scenes.

As explained above, unhappy with the replacement, I was enrolled in Melissa’s class, where I am perfectly content, not participating in her exercises but very much appreciating her advice and the manner in which she encourages the students (including me).

For those who wish to be motivated by

The river, the valley, the bush and no clothes required.

Since about 1994, the escape has been, every so often, taking that left-hand-turn, onto the M5 and staying on the Hume Highway, until Mittagong.
Comfort stop there and buying some fruit and milk and such and then taking that road less travelled by most, towards the Wombyan caves.
Fortunately, every few years the road has been graded again and there is less shudder and less red dust.
Going through that ‘cute’ little tunnel and usually using the horn on the sharp bends, as required. Every so often there really IS a car coming the other way.
At the orange gate, I slow down and start the descend. Every so often there are glimpses of the little buildings, waiting, in the valley, down below, and also a little of the Wollondilly River, looking a darkish blue-green colour.

Park the car and look at…

Across the sea to Ireland, with a snort and a gurgle and some other sounds.

If you booked a flight to Amsterdam, with KLM, there was a bonus flight to anywhere in Europe. I chose the U.K., and a bus-trip, (U.K. and Ireland). Not a seasoned traveller, I walked out of Heathrow and caught a bus, in the direction of the economy-hotel, to start the economy tour, the next day.

Somewhere, in London, the bus driver indicated this was as close to the hotel as I could get and my heavy luggage and I were on the footpath, somewhere.

I don’t know how I found the hotel but I did. On T.V., was news of the annual march, in Northern Ireland.
Next morning I joined a great group of diverse fellow economy-class passengers.
Once we were out of London, the guide introduced me to an elderly New Zealander. We would share hotel rooms.

I had not realised the implications of twin-share.

I met a man, while at the fair. (Bermagui)

Darren Stones wrote:
Thanks for posting your photos of the Tathra Wharf and for commenting on my photograph.…

Ozcloggie, you mention you attended the Bermagui Seaside Fair, and I was fortunate enough to attend this year. Had an absolute ball, and I have an article relating to this year’s fair in my RedBubble journal.

I was there, last year, with some friends, including a guest, from the Netherlands.

The theme of one of the highlights, the parade, seemed to be ‘seaside’.

I had not given my guest time to get over his jet-lag. Arrived in Sydney in the evening. He had a few hours sleep and early, the next morning, I drove him, down the coast to Bermagui.

Wasn’t long before he could see something, from the Netherlands!

Although barrel-organ music is still something very common in the street

Blame it on the Stones - WAS: Apology to Darren Stones

Wanted to write a simple comment on his great picture

and drop in small version of mine, to demonstrate "_how I saw Tathra


and train of thought was interrupted by a lengthy phonecall. Then made two simple errors and could not go back and fix them.

With friends, and a visitor from the Netherlands and a visitor from Switzerland, we were in Bermagui for the annual fair and drove down to Tathra.

Partly because my friend, Bob, wanted us to see what a great spot that is and why he was disappointed that, in the year that he judged the beach for the keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge, his high recommendation was not taken into account by the committee which had the final say.

As shown, in one of these pictures, Tathra DID get an award in a later year.

1, 2, 3, 4…………

Blame it

The house on the hill.....

…..across the creek, when evening shadows fall.…

It’s already very plain. At least for now, I am neglecting ALL those other things I usually do, in cyberspace and am 98% stuck with my nose in the red bubble.

I put out the barbage bins tonight (the green and the red) and saw the light on the hill.
Well, – across the creek, the setting sun was reflecting on the houses there.

Raced back inside and grabbed my camera.
Adjusted lenses, etc., and missed the best bit.

At least the kid next door, this time, did not yell: " Mum! That perve is taking my picture! " and hide his face, this time.


At least, this time he called out to me: " What are you taking a picture of?"

So now, in my best retired school-teacher manner, I had a chance to explain that there was a beautiful reflection of the s

Sans Famile, Alone in the World. (Alleen op de Wereld.)

I write about this so often, I hope I have not done it here.
MBartwork’s aquatint etchings are on the theme of fairy-tales and it made me think of the illustration that comes first into my head, on that subject and it is the illustration, done by G. van Raemdonck, in the book that was given to me when I was a baby: Alleen Op De Wereld, by Hector Malot , translated into Dutch by A.D. Hildebrand.…

  1. The sketch is of Remi, the central character, standing outside the courthouse, rubbing his eyes, after Vitalis, has been sentenced to two months’ imprisonment.

    My mother started reading that book to me, practically from when I WAS a baby, the first few years, leaving out the (many) sad parts.
    Still, I always tell how, at night, when I was 6, or, 7 or so, when trying to go to sleep, I would see Vita

"_But I shouldn't complain_"....

Bob smssed me from Cap d’Agde. Arrived safely in the U.K.. Friends drove him to Chateau de Rodie. Then stayed with friends in Perpignan and then in Montpelier and is now going for a walk along the beach, at Cap d’Agde. Shall go to Bern, after two weeks in the sun and then, Zurich, before coming home, to Sydney.

Gerda tells me, via Skype, that daughter, Netty, and friend, Monica, had a great time in Turkey and is now back in The Hague.

Marion and Ruud are having a great time in Vienna, showing their Australian friend around, I see, via ‘whereareyounow’.

Ton and Christa sent me pictures of their trip to Croatia and Peter, told me, at the Federation meeting, that this time he’s going to climb the Andes.

I fed the cat. Put out my father’s medication. Checked to see if he’d eaten his ce

"That's another fine mess you got me into!" (P.S. for previous entry.)

There had been something special about the Jan Ligthartschool. A different approach to teaching and, although situated in a ‘working-class’ part of town, the school, attracted the children of middle class families, as well, for a short time.
I attended 1st to almost the end of 6th grade before leaving for Australia.
First walked to school with the two girls who lived at the end of my street but, after they left, I walked with my best friend, Piet (‘Pete’).…

One day, we were in a silly mood. (Were we 10?) Took each other’s hand and SKIPPED along the footpath and were growled at by a man we passed.

No doubt he was concerned that these two little boys were having too much of a gay old time!

Think of us as mini-versions of Laurel and Hardy and – yes – I would be the very young Oliver Hardy.


Met this little girl. Sat and chatted, on the park bench.

One day, in August, 1997, I sat and chatted, on a bench, by the canal, with a little girl with blond pigtails.

I used to live, in one of those flats/home units, in that street, (1955/1956). I used to walk the length of it and cross a little bridge, to the left of this picture and walk up this dyke, to the ark.
There I used to meet my two friends, Imme and Karin and we walked to school together. I was 10. (Imme my age. Karin younger.)
On my very last day of my trip to the Netherlands, I walked across the town of Gouda, back to that spot, where the ark used to be moored to sit and stare at the water, when this little girl came to chat with me.
She knew all about Australia! It is far away and you go by plane and she had been in a plane. ( I guess she been on vacation somewhere in southern Eu…

Toffee Apple

( Had met at work.)
a little later than most.
She was expecting our first.
She thought it was so funny that
I was so pleased to satisfy her craving
for a toffee apple.

We are still good friends.

The Crown Prince and the Crocodile (meat)

On 30 Jan.,06, their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Orange and Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, in the company of his aunt, Princess Margriet of the Netherlands and her husband, Professor Pieter van Vollenhoven, as well as the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Excellency Dr Jan Peter Balkenende (Unkindly known as ‘Harry Potter’, by many Dutch people, at the time,) as well as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, of Australia, the Honourable Alexander Downer MP, had the pleasure of seeing photos of me, on page 14, of the Official Programme, for the Royal Gala Dinner, to mark the 400th Anniversary of of the arrival of Dutch people, on the shores of Australia.
At the time, I had arrived only 50 years earlier, on the shores of Australia.

Yes. That’s me, on my Dads moped, in…

Two lots of presents. Lucky Dad's Dutch.

Every year, from 1981, I told my pupils, that my own child(ren -after ‘83) (was) were lucky because they got two lots of presents, in December. On the 5th and the 25th.

By 1980, my parents and I had stopped believing in the good saint.
When I was little and living in the Bockenbergstraat ( Goat-and-mountain Street), in Gouda ………

…..on the cold, dark winter evenings, of the 5th, there was usually a knock on the front door.
My cousins and I would rush into the corridor but St Nicholas had already moved on, across the rooftops, on his white horse, with politically incorrect (then) black Pete®, (his black servant, from Spain) running around delivering presents or putting naughty children in bags, ready to beat them and take them back to Spain.

When we returned to the lounge-room, it transpired…

Nobbys Beach. Phew! Still clean!

Phew. The situation has been saved and, just from what I’ve seen on TV, not too much damage to Newcastle’s most promoted beach.

Not only have I recommended it twice now, in the process of judging beaches for the Keep Australia Beautiful, Clean Beach Challenge, NSW competition, we also held our pre-competition workshop days there, a number of times and then, as part of that day’s program held mock judging sessions, going through the process to enhance our ‘skills’ as judges.

I got to know the beach and the people who look after it and who provide the services, quite well.
I did my best, just as in the case of the North Wollongong Beach and Bondi and Manly, not to be swayed by how many resources are able to be put into these high-profile beaches, compared to others.
I still needed to be con…

Retirement. Watching the roses grow........

I wasn’t ready yet but tempus fugitted and time to find alternatives to doing what chalkies do.
So, there’s judging beaches, once a year. That fills a few weeks at the end of September.

There’s Hazelhurst and weekly art classes, during school terms.

There’s looking through the books at home that will never be read again and ‘giving them wings’, through Bookcrossing and, hopefully, finding out where some of them travel, in the world and whether they are appreciated by others.

There’s joining the board of the D.A.C.C. (Dutch Australian Cultural Centre)

There’s joining the board of the Federation of Netherlands Societies and attending their meetings – when I remember!! (I’m in trouble!)

There’s places to go….

Things to do……

Things to see…..

People to meet….

But I’d love to start all over again and…

50 years here. They're staying!

This is a friend of mine whom I admire for a number of reasons.
One is her drive and determination, last year, to celebrate the fact that her late parents brought her and her brothers to Australia, in December, 1956.
( I had arrived, in May that year, on the same ship.)

In December 2006, she came with her family, to her eldest brother’s place and changed into a costume, to honour her heritage.

She had researched the story of their migration; collected memorabilia and produced a booklet to hand to all the members of the three generations present at this party, in a sunny backyard, in southern Sydney.

A family friend had been invited to sing the Australian ballads, and everyone knew: Click go the shears, Wild Colonial Boy, Botany Bay, etc., etc..

The older brother, host and now ‘head of the

Here comes the judge!

I admit it. I am relieved that I have been invited again to judge beaches, in this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful Clean Beach Challenge, NSW.
In 2002 I judged for the first time. A friend had done it in 2001 and I had shown the judge around the beach that we had nominated. In 2002, I was allocated the Illawarra and Kiama beaches.

The day before the dreadful storm and rain hit the central coast, I drove up to Toowoon Bay Beach, to attend the official launch of this year’s competition.
I did not get there on time. The weather was already quite bad and I spent most of my time on Pennant Hills Road, trying to head north.
Toowoon Bay had won the national trophy, having competed first against local beaches and then state.

Last year, already, I was the longest serving judge, in this competitio…


I’ve JUST done it again. I cannot quantify it but SO very often I look at the clock, when it’s 10:43.
Now that could be because, while teaching, it meant at some schools, almost ‘recess’ (playtime/morning coffee) and at night-time: bedtime.
But there’s a little bit of superstition in me that says: Born **/10/43. (October, 1943). Has it something to do with being ‘my numbers?’

When Sunday was too far away and I awoke in fright.

I was determined to be a teacher. I reckon it was in my genes. Migrating to the other side of the world and failing Latin and Physics and Chemistry, in first year of high school, because of not speaking or understanding enough English, after having been in the country for eight months, did not deter me.
Nor did not passing in enough subjects, in the second and last year of teachers college, to start on level pegging with fellow Wollongong Teachers College graduates, in 1964.
There was a bond attached, in those days, requiring three years of teaching in ‘the west’, or two years in the ‘far west’ and after three years of driving daily to school in Riverstone, from Matraville, in the eastern suburbs, the telegram arrived, transferring me to Maude via Hay.
In the kitchen of our very old house,…

Art class.

Was back in the art class, at Hazelhurst, again, yesterday, after a small operation and a follow-up appointment with the doctor, stopped me, the last two weeks.
It IS good for me, to paint there.
I start paintings off, at home. I don’t really participate in Melissa’s lesson. I bring my own ‘project’ to work on and find her advice useful.
I always see the painting in ‘a different light’, if you’ll pardon the expression, there.
And I like the atmosphere.
Melissa ‘chats’ throughout much of the three hours and, after getting everyone started on something goes around advising and encouraging and, as she does so, happily tells us about things she’s done in the past.
Yesterday, at one stage, the topic rather fitted my previous journal entry.
The theme became wigi boards, philosophies, connectedne…

You're so vague. You'll probably think this quote is about you!

At the meeting, on Wednesday, a fellow committee member remarked something like: ‘As an academic, in a practical field, I find artistic people so vague. They waffle so.
He said it with a smile, aware that three of us are involved in creating art and another member of the board (not present) works in event management (art on paper).
My contribution to one of the topics probably helped to prove his theory.
I had attended a talk (as he had), given by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who spoke informally to an audience of predominantly (as far as I could tell) Dutch ex-pats (rather than Dutch-Australians).
I was attempting to put into a few words how I felt about trying to digest it all and work out who was (is) right or wrong.
I know we need people like him, or else we would not have well-designed highways …

My Dutch-Australian heritage. Worth keeping? Did I waste a Sunday?

Someone on the board of our Dutch – Australian Cultural Centre could not take his turn, minding the…..what is it? ….collection….today. So I volunteered, again.
It’s all now kept, behind the restaurant, behind the mini Dutch supermarket, in the light industrial area, a little distance away from the Smithfield shops, in western Sydney.
A reasonable number of people, with some Dutch connection, come to the shop, in Market Street, behind the fake Amsterdam street facade, hiding the factory space, where our Dutch culture is kept alive, especially on Sundays.
When my Sydney-born children were small and Saint Nicholas was as real as Santa Claus. (Lucky kids got two lots of presents, every December.), I used to go to ‘the Dutch shop, at least once a year, to buy the appropriate, traditional go…

Keep our beaches beautiful.

Since 2002, I have been invited, once a year, to judge New South Wales beaches, for the Keep Australia Beautiful, Clean Beach Challenge, NSW.

Whether I shall be invited again to do so this year is still something I am yet to find out. Last year, it was noted that I was the longest serving ‘judge’.

As I am retired and unable to commit to casual teaching, this event, in September, each year, has been a lot of fun.
It involves receiving the application forms from the people who have nominated the beaches allocated to me and then visiting them at an agreed time to write a report for the committee which makes the final decision, in each category.

I have not yet judged the beaches of the far north or the far south coast of N.S.W..

When asked by the media (local paper, radio – I have not yet mad

Saving the "Flora".

I was sleeping in the little room, at the front of the attic, until I was woken by a heavy storm.
It turned out that this was the night that the dikes broke and thousands of people were drowned in the province to the south of us, Zeeland.
The waters DID come to the top of the dikes around Gouda.
When they returned home, my parents met the son-in-law-to be, of the neighbours who owned a ceramics factory, called Flora, in the village of Gouderak, nearby. This young man and my father decided to grab their bikes and ride over to see if everything was all right.
It seemed to be, although there was some water trickling over the dike and towards the factory.
My father and the other man found bricks and they created a channel, on the factory floor, guiding the water from the front and out the back acr…

Identity. What am I?

I found Red Bubble, using Google, when, at last, SOMEONE mentioned the Oyster Bay Art and Craft Festival and it was in the forum, here.
The first festival was held in 1970. It is well-established. I am blissfully unaware of how the Art Exhibition part of it is viewed by artists and art-lovers, in Sydney.
I first visited it with my, then very young-, children and their mother, in the early 80s.
It felt like a lovely community event.
Since retiring from primary School teaching, ( initially a little early to look after two very ill, elderly parents, ) I got round to enrolling in an art class, at the Hazelhurst Art and Community Centre, at the beginning on 2006.
I was taken to Hazelhurst to have lunch with my daughter, now older than what she was when we visited the Oyster Bay festival, in th…

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