Saturday, August 19, 2006


Finally it’s weekend again! The first weeks back at work are heavy. I have seldom had so much difficulty getting back in the “9 to 5 routine”. At the moment a strange mixture of quietness (many colleagues are still on vacation and in provincial politics nothing happens in summer) and a indefinable personal feeling of “must do this and that” rules at work. It makes me very restless. In the evening-hours there is much to do for the NKB-seakayaking-committee with Axel and Reinout. I enjoy it, but that’s the reason why little time rests for blogging lately, and it took two weeks before I finish this post about some magazines I read during the summer-holiday.

We spent two weeks in the northern part of France: Pas de Calais and the Picardie. Though this is an surprisingly interesting region for seakayaking (I must write about that later on!), I didn’t paddle. We planned to have a relaxed holiday with time to play with the children, to stroll around and to rest. Janine and the kids did bring a lot of books with them. But I am to restless for that, on holiday I can’t sit for hours reading books, I want to move! So I packed my racing bicycle on the car, and made every other day a short bicycle tour/training round.
Instead of the books I took Dutch newspapers and magazines with me.

The first thing I read were some old weekend editions of the Volkskrant. I won’t bother you with old Dutch news. A bit painful for me was the confrontation with my limited English knowledge. I do my best to write this blog in English, but you will surely have noticed lots of mistakes. In the Volkskrant was an item (Dutch) about Gonny van Oudenallen (a new member of parliament, with a bizarre past history of (suspected?) corruption and intrigues). One of her enterprises is called “Dreams come true”. Reading this I realized I just gave one of my posts the title: “Dreams come through”. Stupid Hans, sorry for my readers!
After the old newspapers came the newsmagazines. I enjoyed the ongoing discussion in Intermediair about the pro’s and cons of the Scandinavian economic model (started by Wouter Bos - "lessons from the Nordics"). I suppose there is no paradise on welfare facilities on this earth, but when it comes to paddling, Scandinavia is very near to paradise!
Between the collection of Dutch papers and magazines was SALT; a free nature adventure magazine distributed at some Dutch Sport and Outdoor-stores. Lot’s of advertisements of course and the editorial and commercial messages and interests are in transition (how sincere is sustainability for the big enterprises in the outdoor and adventure world, is it really more than just a marketing-tool? Let’s hope so!). I like this magazine. In the July-edition there was an item on Discovery Channel’s series “I shouldn’t be alive”. On paper it’s better than on television -see my post about the "Swept away"-episode. Much watersports items are on surfing, but there are also some nice kayaking pictures in it. Very funny is the list of Epic Trails. The top 10 of “must see place’s” for the adventurous traveller: Dutch spots like deWieden, de Veluwe in one list with the Great Divide MTB route in Canada/USA and the Ghan-railroad in Australia…. The Dutch are not very modest!

After a few days I had read all Dutch papers and magazines I could find. We had such a relaxed holiday that I almost regretted I left my books at home. So I went tot the “Magasin de Tabac” – the local place to buy a book, newspaper or magazine. Off course all literature only French…. No problem, its vacation I have enough time to read. I was very happy: between the sports magazines I found a Special edition of the French Magazine Canoë-Kayak on seakayaking (“Kayak de mer”). The magazine offers beautiful pictures and it is interesting to read about the French interpretation of seakayaking: lots of sit on tops and outrigger-boats (“le Va’a”). But I expected/hoped to get more information about the French seakayak regions. At this point it was somewhat disappointing: only Bretagne and the delta of the Gironde were covered. And Polynesia of course, Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea: I would almost forget that’s French ("Territoire d'Outre mer")! Isn’t that the region in the Pacific of the French nuclear testing? In Canoë-Kayak it's a very tempting paddle paradise..


Richard said...

Your English is great. I remember reading the title "Dreams come Through", and thought it to be a cool twist or play on words. The meaning was still conveyed correctly. I envy your multi-lingual abilities. I still rely on Babel Fish, because so many well written articles are not in English.

Hans said...

Hi Richard!
Thanks for your support!