Tag Archives: culture

I may be late in the season but…

…I may have found a good seedbombing place…



Easter Sunday so lets light a fire.
The Paasvuur is an Easter tradition in the eastern and northern parts of The Netherlands and in parts of northern Germany. The *ahem* hot spot being in the Twente area of Overijssel.

That’s going to ruin my baked potatoes…







#ACDC Not Retiring?

So I seem to have knee jerked myself into a rash blog post earlier, as there is twist in the tale…


AC/DC Not on Cusp of Retirement: Sources | Billboard

Worst News Today #ACDC

Thanks the memories Malcolm and the rest of AC/DC, will never forget waking up after a night in Connelleys in Greenock with a sore neck, mostly down to Whole Lot of Rosie.
Bands from major stadium rock to pub rock owe you thanks and gratitude.
Sad news indeed.
The Orstrahyun: RIP AC/DC: 1973 – 2014

Breaking Mead

One of my other hobbies aside from archery, the balcony garden and writing drivel for this here blog is the ancient art of making mead.

Yesterday I bottled in my mead lab (bedroom) roughly 20 litres of the golden honey booze, and if I say so myself, damn I’m good. It’s all my girlfriends fault, she got me interested in mead, because it is a really nice drink and finding out just how easy it is to make the stuff I just had to add it to my portfolio of home made booze.

Back in Scotland I tried homebrew beer from a kit I bought in Boots, bit of a failure. It became known as Old Tate & Lyle after the sugar sheds in Greenock. Spilled sugar in the puddles would start fermenting and that smell was similar to the beer that came from that kit. Guess I didn’t read the instructions right, added too much sugar…

Then came plum wine. Where I used to live in The Netherlands there is a plum tree in the garden. One year we had a bumper crop. A branch breaking bumper crop. Branches were supported with broom sticks and all manner of a MacGuiver attempts to save it. And what better way to get rid of so many plums than to make wine with it. Add that to the list of ‘Good Ideas At The Time’. It wasn’t very pleasant, can’t remember the taste off hand now, must have blanked it out.

After that was cider. A neighbour came across a load of apples from an orchard that hadn’t been sprayed with chemicals, bonus! Because if they haven’t been sprayed then you don’t have to wash them, then you don’t have to add yeast, because they already have a natural yeast on them. It was a success. That fact made having to drink Grolsch, a lager I’m no fan of, for the bottles a lot less painfull.

And so to the mead, I made a batch last year, roughly 8 litres, and suprised myself that I liked it, it was no failure, but the fact that my girlfriend and her friends, also mead afficionados, were also enthousiastic about it helped. A good confidence boost.

Wanted to make more, but my bottle crashed, literally, my 15 litre fermenting bottle ended up as a pile of shards after an accident while cleaning.Had a bad feeling this was going to be a one hit wonder, till one of the mead afficionados came across a 25 litre bottle and a smaller 5 litre one, will be using the wee one for experimenting, already have ideas for it. So I started stockpiling jars of honey, noticing the supermarket costs were fluctuating a lot, and going back to last years recipe, scaled up for the bigger bottle, I set to work. Things were going great, the initial stages being easy, the rest the easiest, just waiting and watching the air lock go *bloop* once in a while. But disaster struck. while vacuum cleaning the mead lab the vacuum hose broke the glass  air lock. Potential disaster, the thing that lets the fermenting gas escape and stops air getting in and spoiling the mead was bust. A quick frantic search found my back up plastic air lock and shoved that in place, a condom would have worked as well.

It was a case of waiting till bottling time to see if was a success or failure. Bottling time was yesterday, and it was a nervous one. I started syphoning into the first bottle, and the initial taste that came into my mouth was good, as good as I remember last years effort. So just kept on filling, a really nice colour and a cracking taste. Doubts and fears cast aside, damn it I think I got away with it again. Although the real test is my girl friend and the mead afficianados themselves, hope they like it.

If you’re interested in trying this yourself, this is the recipe I used, just scaled up for a bigger bottle. Fool proof, even for this fool.


Losing the Essence

This is one of the frustrating things about this blog. Losing the essence of the piece I want to write, and the blog has suffered as a consequence.

Happened again to me recently. Two nights ago I went along to a  Cultureel Cafe event here in the Boondocks and was keen to write a piece about it here on the blog. But I got home after 1am and with my alarm going off for work at 6am I thought it better to get some sleep, I’ll work on it after work.

It never happened.

Once again I lost the essence. I have a job that doesn’t tax my mind too much, and that’s where most of my writing ideas come in, trouble is I don’t have the chance to jot them down and then it disappears into the back of the unknown realms of my mind.

I would love to become a writer, The original idea of this blog was to be a sort of expat’s Dutch Diary, commenting on social and political issues of the day as well as whimsy and farting about. I have four or five novels swimming around inside my skull, two or three with the potential to become a series, but the chances of them seeing the light of day on paper or screen is slim to say the least.

So I’m going to have a beer, fart about on facebook anf twitter while giving this a right good thinking about.