Dutch painters – Vincent Willem van Gogh

 Photo from January 1886 Vincent Willem van Gogh was born on March 30th 1853 in Zundert in the Netherlands and died on July 29th 1890 in Auvers-sur-Oise in France.   Van Goghs most famous early work: The potato eaters During his short life he moved many times between the Netherlands, Belgium, England and France and […]


Amsterdam’s canal ring has only three squares with churches: Noordermarkt, Westermarkt and Amstelveld. Originally the plan was to build churches from stones in the squares, and here at Amstelveld there was supposed to be a church for the reformed inhabitants. This church was never build though, but because the inhabitants kept pushing, a temporary wooden […]

De Van Brienens, Herengracht 182 and 284

Herengracht 182 was one of Amsterdam’s first houses build in Louis the sixteens style. Until 1772 there had been another house here, and the owner of the land, Aernout Jan van Brienen, had it torn down, to give space for this house. Van Brienens son Willem Joseph later became rather contentious even so he was […]

History of the Royal Dutch family Compared to other kingdoms like the Danish or British, the Netherlands has only been a kingdom for a short while. The country had been ruled by Austrians and Spanish and French for centuries, when the first Dutch king took over after the French in 1813. His name was King […]

Be forewarned if you want to eat in Amsterdam (1)

Amsterdam’s inhabitants come from all over the world and that’s reflected in the food you find here.    It is possible to find a place to eat for every taste and wallet, for instance restaurants with French, Spanish, Italian, Australian, Chinese, Indian and even Ethiopian or Somalian food. There are hundreds, if not thousands of […]

How I went to Spain by accident, part 4

We stayed in Barcelona for quite a while. Looking back I must say that we were absolutely ignorant about the architectural treasures of the city. I don’t think we’d ever heard about Gaudi at that point. Never the less we enjoyed staying there. I remember the camping place being smaller than it is today, but […]

When enough is enough

Todays assignment: Protest How do you handle getting angry? Every once in a decade or two it happens to me: I get angry. Don’t get me wrong. I can get annoyed sometimes, but angry, really angry, is something I don’t get if I can avoid it. It’s very unpleasant while it lasts and afterwards I […]

Give your characters a hobby

Todays assignment: Look at the characters in the story you’re writing and reflect on their hobbies. How do they spend their free time? Why do they choose to spend it this way? And what does it say about them? The novel I’m writing these days (I’ve written about the story here on the blog in […]

She expected him to propose but then…

Todays assignment: Under the headline: Change would do you good, I am asked to start my story with a change in my protagonists life. So here we go: Thomas had arranged their vacation and paid for the trip out of his own pocket, which was unusual, because they used to share all costs, and he […]

When I grow up I want to be …

Today’s assignment: Imagine what life would be like if you had the occupation you’d wanted as a child. The concept of girls learning a trade or even getting a longer education is fairly new in my family. As far as I know I was the first woman ever going to university. In my family women […]