It’s better than sex.

Speedskating on natural ice is a beloved Dutch national pastime. The tradition is alive and well — just not necessarily in the Netherlands, where climate change now yields winters too warm for the waterways to freeze over with any consistency. The consequences of this have been felt most profoundly in a historical event called the Elfstedentocht, a one-day, long-distance speedskating tour through 11 cities of the Friesland province. It maintains a sacred place in Dutch sports culture. This week, the original Elfstedentocht is passing a worrisome milestone: Friday will be the 8,070th day since the previous edition, the longest period without a race since its inception. But the Dutch refuse to let its spirit die. So every winter, close to 6,000 people from the Netherlands make a pilgrimage to Weissensee (Austria)…

A thousand Dutch skaters congregated before dawn on the frozen surface of the Weissensee, the long, slender lake that gives this small Austrian mountain town its name. The sky was dark, and the headlamps of the shivering skaters cast a spiritual glow onto the charcoal ice. They had been warned not to remove their goggles, lest their eyeballs frost over in the wind. The conditions, by any reasonable standard, were brutal. But the skaters were in heaven. “The most beautiful thing in life is skating on a floor of black ice, in the cold, hearing the sounds of ice skating in nature,” said Wim Wiltenburg, 53, a banker visiting from Tilburg. “It’s better than sex.”

~ Andrew Keh, from Racing the Clock, and Climate Change (NY Times, Feb 7, 2019)

The Big Bubble

light,light bulb,art, Alex dewitt

Alex de Witte is an industrial designer from Goes, Netherlands. His latest works are the Big Bubble and Light Breeze, both lighting objects though very different products. The big Bubble is a very huge light made of blown glass. Each piece is unique (dimensions between 40 and 110 cm). The Big Bubble has won the first price for best product at Design District Amsterdam 2013, The Design Plus award 2014, the Red Dot design award 2014 and a Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum.

Don’t miss more of his collection here: The Big Bubble


Source: Ignant

Sunday Morning: Amstel Quartet


The Amstel Quartet is a classical saxophone quartet from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.  They play old music, new music, popular music, world music.  This has earned the foursome a host of admirers all over the world. The Amstel Quartet wins awards regularly and has international recognition. The four men continue to express their love for the saxophone and the unique versatility of the saxophone quartet as a perfect unity, with original CDs, a scintillating series in the Amsterdam Felix Meritis, performances in beautiful halls such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Philharmonie in Luxemburg, Carnegie Hall in New York and extensive tours through Europe, Russia, the Middle East, China, Japan and the United States. (Source: Amstelquartet)

Find their album on iTunes here.


Repeat after me: “Plimpplampplettere”

mai pen rai-thai-worry-word

skip stones

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Piet Mondrian

piet mondrian


Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) was a Dutch Painter.  Titles for works above: Amaryllis (1910), Compositie (1916), Composition No. 9 (Blue Façade) (1913-14). 

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