Sunday, January 29, 2006

Pink's Next

As a true paparazzo I couldn't help spying on the chap who sprays Rachel's Volkswagen camper pink. Wonder why he sprayed the license plate too.

This is the artwork for my soon to be released album of home made tunes. A very original image indeed!
It took me a while to find an appropriate slag heap (this shows you where it is, on Multimap) with concrete bits sticking out to wee against.
I did not use water from a bottle to make the spot look bigger. I just enhanced things a little in Photoshop. After all this is the 21st century...

You can read about Rachel Fuller on her blogpages, where among other things she tells that she is getting her VW camper repainted to pink. My picture above is of that very camper on its home turf, repainted virtually (thank you, Photoshop).
The so-called album cover artwork is a 'piss-take' on the Who's Next album cover. I found the slag heap Sunday January 29, 2006. I do make and produce my own music for you to download here.
All photos Koos Fernhout

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just three more from Richmond

Mary Beth wrote: I wish we had more pictures!
So especially for our faithful friend from Ottawa these pictures I took in Richmond, September 2005.

Half hidden behind a tree, dead center of the image (clik to enlarge): The Wick again.
Jerry Hall lives 'across the street' all the way against the left edge of the image. The house is wrapped and scaffolded for maintenance.
I took this picture during a boat trip on the river (of course, barge owners do that). However, we weren't aware yet of where which house stood. We found out later after Googling.

On The Hill we discovered this exceptionally cute little Nissan. I don't know who drives it, but why don't you guess? Found it in front of what later turned out to be The House In Question.

As a bonus one of many Dutch barges on the Thames.
Oliekop? A Dutch word no doubt. Dictionary says: Nutty Professor. Do I need to go to Richmond to learn new words in my mother tongue?
A similar thing happened to me in France. A barge was called Butskop. I had no clue what that meant. The French owner explained to me that it was some kind of fish. The next time I saw the word was in the news about a whale on the Thames in London...

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Special Houses

The busloads of tourists don't come to the Oude Haven in Rotterdam to look at the White House. No misunderstanding, the special cube-shaped houses below are the real stars!

Talking about stars, most of us know that Pete and Rachel live in a house called 'The Wick' in Richmond. We are free to go and see this special house from the public road.
Ever wondered what it looks like from the back? Wonder no longer, here it is at the time the famous Mills family still lived on the Hill.

Juliet, Jonathan and Hayley Mills, rear of The Wick on Richmond Hill, ca 1951
Photo thanks to the maker of the site where you arrive when following this link.

The orange circle, top left on the map below, marks The Boat House studio with the Dutch Barge on the Thames, the circle bottom right The Wick.

Monday, January 23, 2006

On the 'helling' (slipway)

Most nautical terms in Russia are identical to their Dutch equivalent. Czar Peter the Great studied shipbuilding in Holland and 'imported' Dutch shipbuilders to Russia. They never bothered to invent Russian words for their nautical talk.
I think I'll continue that tradition by using the word 'helling' (literally: inclined plane) until it becomes the common term in the English language. No lack of ambition here.

This week's barge on the helling is so ugly that my camera refuses to record it -and so do I. Instead I give you the image of the the one before last week's.
Now that's a stunner, isn't it? This restored sailing barge, a klipper, is called Anita Jacoba.
To give you an impression of the lie of the land here's a view of our harbour. The helling is all the way at the back under the red circle in this external link.

Trust me, this place attracts tourists by the busload.
The only old building in this picture is the white one in the distance to the right. Guess what it's called?

Same viewpoint, picture taken long before the second World War. Only the White House escaped destruction. (Oops, now I've given away the name ;-)

Sunday, January 22, 2006


The Oude Haven in Rotterdam, where I have my barge, has facilities for the maintenance and restoration of barges older than 50 years.
An important part of those facilities is a slipway for out-of-the-water maintenance. As a rule a ship remains on the slipway for a week. So here is the plan: I'll keep you informed about which one is sitting there high and dry. The 'change of the guard' is mostly on Mondays, so let's say you may expect a new image every Tuesday.
Right then, here is the first of what I hope will be a long series.
This cutie is called RUUB (seems to be brief for Ruben). Built in 1915 and neatly converted for live-aboard purposes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Now here's a surprise.
My son Kasper plays Chopin, Bach, Beethoven, you name them and he's taken years of piano lessons in it.
Jazz, however, doesn't run in the family.
He decided to do a course in jazz to broaden his horizons. Finished the course recently and last Monday night performed for the world to listen to the result of his efforts (and his bandmates').
I was there to witness it in Amsterdam where he goes to uni, and here is a video summary of the performance.
As usual, the QuickTime 7 version, 2.1 Mb, is a fraction of the Windows Media Player movie, 15 Mb, so may I suggest upgrading to QuickTime 7 ?
Update 29 March 2006: I removed the Windows version to create server space.


Monday, January 16, 2006

The River, Sindy and the Cooling Tower

As promised a pic of the river in Rotterdam, taken just over an hour ago.
Two stunningly beautiful bridges connect the riversides. However, someone forgot to turn on the light that normally does them justice. But then what's left is still pretty fascinating, methinks.

At last I managed to get the dog Sindy to pose for me. She stood there for more than a second like frozen. Or did she dislike the frozen water? That would explain the worried look upon her face. She definitely broke the ice there.

Here's a new link to the cooling tower movie, QuickTime 7 needed ( By request it now comes with a dedicated piece of background music.
Warning, this is not the dreamy music we all surely had in mind.
Strange thing is, the file size is now down to only 700 Kb, including sound.
Here's the Windows Media version (5Mb)

Monday, January 09, 2006

My computer is back

Dear Friends

We had another one of those wonderful weekends in Belgium.
Went out to see the rest of the disused part of the Canal du Centre.
This is the region where Vincent van Gogh spent some time working for the poor. It is still a poor area, but with its own beauty.

Made two rather sketchy GarageBand demos, on one of which I play acoustic guitar and mandolin. However, it is sooo sketchy, it's one step below a demo. The working title is Borinage.mp3

Took a video of a sensationally lit cooling tower in Drogenbosch, near Brussels. Here is a photo of the same tower. Inspiring? Wait 'til you see the video (see links below).

Here a <1 href=""> QuickTime movie (QuickTime 7 needed, get QuickTime at

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Happy New Year

Bonne Année, Bonne Santé (Good Year, Good Health)

Thank you all for the warm and loving messages we received from friends the world over.
I feel very grateful for the wonderful new encouters last year, whether that was virtual or in the flesh.

We had lovely days in Brussels, had our usual outings to places in the neighbourhood - and, rare thing, had serious snow too!

We love that country in all kinds of weather. The picture below is a lock on a disused stretch of the old Canal du Centre.
I hope you like it.