Oslo, Norway

It was a beautiful August day in Oslo.  We were back after Hans and I spent two weeks hiking in the highlands where a highlight was walking past birch trees less than an inch tall to reach the toe of a glacier near Finse.  We were then fit and ready for two full days in the city.

In the morning we went to Frogner Park.  Amazingly popular, no trip to Oslo can be complete without a visit here, like it or hate it.  I was mesmerized.  There are hundreds of stories in the stone and brass sculptures all made by one man, Gustav Vigeland. 

Continue reading “Oslo, Norway”


Scotland in spring was amazing. The expansive sunny views all the way to the horizon were
remarkable. I bring droughts wherever I go so this was pretty good for Scotland. This is the way it
was for four days except for one downpour, and we made the most of it!

Destination: Fife, my mother’s home county, a Kingdom of yore, and Broughty Ferry where my
cousin lives. From the airport we went straight to our base in Broughty Ferry and daytripped to
Anstruther, Crail, and St. Andrews.

Continue reading “Scotland”


It was in the afternoon after a long hot day in Pompeii that Hans and I stepped off the train to visit Herculaneum, another city destroyed during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.

We saw how the present town of Herculaneum is built on top of old Herculaneum.  Excavation of the buried city ends abruptly at this point.  The site was discovered in 1709 while large-scale excavation was undertaken in the 1920’s.  Unfortunately, the site wasn’t maintained and had to be closed for safety reasons.  In 2001, a restoration project began, making it possible to re-open.  Herculaneum now has a visitors’ centre and an entrance from which you can see a good overview of the city’s layout.

Continue reading “Herculaneum”

Dutch History :: De Ruyter

Michiel de Ruyter, born in Vlissingen was a Dutch Admiral known worldwide for his most famous
exploit: sailing into England and coming home with the English Royal flagship.

In his early days, he worked for a Dutch company in Dublin. His talent on the waves was quickly
revealed and he rose through the ranks. His career was extremely varied and worth looking into.
It was in commanding ships that his talent came to the fore and he fended off pirates so
successfully that some didn’t bother with him anymore.

Continue reading “Dutch History :: De Ruyter”

Keeping connected with family abroad

In May this year my first grandchild was born and for this happy event, I stepped up to technology to help us get our relationship started.

It started the night he was born. My daughter Catherine and I prepared for a Skype chat from the hospital so she could give me the news and let me see him right away. There would be no sleep for me the night my grandson was going to be born so Hans and I set ourselves up to wait with snacks and music.

Continue reading “Keeping connected with family abroad”

Volunteer opportunities in English

If you speak mostly English and are looking for volunteer work, there are a surprising number of opportunities that require little knowledge of Dutch.

It takes some knowledge of Dutch to navigate the websites, which are all Dutch, to find such gems as: carpentry work, feeding animals in children’s farms, helping at a festival, working in a garden that produces food destined for a food bank, delivering meals, and doing English guided tours in museums.

Continue reading “Volunteer opportunities in English”