Making plans!

Making my hiking plans for the summer holidays, folks!

Hi there, all you hikers, ramblers, amblers and speed-walkers. Remember me? Taken in the Derbyshire Hills, 2016  (©R.Grashoff) I...

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Happy Summer Solstice to You!

Good evening, my Summer-loving friends!
When you are, like me, in the Western hemisphere, tonight is the shortest night of the year and the start of Summer. Would you like to come on a Solstice adventure with me?



Here we are, at the start of our evening walk. I hope you are wearing good shoes, wouldn't want you to twist an ankle on your town spikes or anything!

Just look at this road. Where will it lead us? Where would you want it to lead? To a new life perhaps, another job, a fresh loving relationship, a richer future? Or are you satisfied with where you are in life?


As you can see, along the waterways of our walk, the swans all have babies. They use the long evenings for eating as much as they can eat, and then cuddle up all together for the night. It's still too early for bats, but the swallows are out in force, swooping and calling to each other. And if we are really, really lucky, we might see this beauty.


Probably not though, they keep themselves to themselves. 
We'll continue our walk, along the country lanes into the dunes by now, for we are walking towards the sea. 
The sea is omnipresent in my corner of the world.


There is no escaping it. It rules our climate.  


On the way to the beach, we pass a garden. The Cosmea are in bloom, catching the last rays of sunlight. And the bees are out in force, making the most of the long evening to gather as much pollen as they can.


They especially like the clover, which covers entire meadows at the moment.
Now, if you are like me, you are now pricking up your ears to try to catch the sound of the cuckoo.
We are very close to the beach by now. Are you still keeping up? Don't worry, we're almost there. One more dune to climb.

And here we are.


We'll walk towards the water's edge, and sit in the sand, and later on we'll build a camp fire to keep the chill at bay. I hope you didn't forget to bring the wine?! We'll ask my favourite Dutch band Jodymoon to sing us a song. Use the link for Playing Around

We'll watch the sun sink into the sea, and the first stars come out. And we'll reflect on Life, and all its sorrows and joys.

Happy Summer Solstice to You!












Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Adapt, adapt, otherwise you'll fail! - Adaptability.

Hi, good evening, my adaptable friends.
This is yet another installment of the 18 "Ities" by the Swami. And again one dear to my heart. Or rather, near to my marrow.


You all know I am Dutch, right? The Dutch and cows go together like cheese and crackers.

I like cows. I grew up with those placid bovines right in my back yard, only divided from it by a narrow 'sloot'. I used to hear them snort and cough and moo and fart from my bed. Our neighbour raised steers, for the meat market. They would sometimes wade into the sloot when the weather was really hot, and mistakenly (or not so mistakenly, for our greenery was lush) wander into our garden. My parents would hate this, but it was the highlight of my week. My own private rodeo right at home when Kommer came round to round them up again.

Now, you may all think that to adapt is a good thing. And sure, sometimes it is. But where our Dutch cows are concerned, it isn't.

Dutch cow farmers need a lot of money to keep afloat. Milk comes cheap. So someone, probably one with a HBO degree, has thought up the best way to make the largest profit. For you have to adapt to the times, don't you?
You make the most profit from cows when you keep them inside all year round. This way you save money (don't ask me how, I don't have a degree in keeping cows). Farmers have come up with plausible stories about this, you bet they have. They sound like the stories we get told by pig farmers who keep their pigs in huge pig flats (and no, those pigs never see daylight either). Or, the ones told by chicken farmers who raise either huge 'plofkippen' (exploded chickens) or mutilated scrawny egg-layers that never see daylight.

Before you  get disgusted with me, or bored, have a look at this picture.


What we see here, are happy cows. Okay, and a very happy bull. He is adapting too.
Now, this is a joke. But the subject is no laughing matter.
Cows belong in the meadow. They have a right to be outside. They are herd animals, and should be able to wander around, as it is in their blood. Being cooped up, often tied down, in a barn is CRUEL to them.

Do I eat meat, you now want to know. 
Yup. Bio, organic meat, from happy cows, which I pay through the nose for. Again, I adapted. For I refuse to buy my meat in supermarkets any longer. So (adapt, adapt)I now cycle right to the other side of my town once a week, to go to a proper butchers.

How about you? Do you adapt?