Monthly Archives: October 2012


  In spite of a busy schedule I managed to read in the past ten days a book that was written by the Dutch historian A.Th. van Deurssen, who died last year.  I am referring to In Katwijk is Alles Anders (All is different in Katwijk), which came off the press in 2011. I did not buy the book because of any special tie between me and Katwijk. But earlier books by this author had fascinated me, in particular his … Continue reading

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Ayn Rand

  [Tuesday evening, 23 October] Some twenty-five years ago my son brought a pile of books with him from the United States, where he went to college, when he came to visit us. My wife and I were living in West-Africa and every replenishment of our reading stock was in those days even more welcome than it is today. One of the books he had bought for me was a thick paperback by an author I had never heard of … Continue reading

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  [Tuesday morning, October 16] Saturday afternoon, around five pm I realized it was about the time that the president of the highest body of the Adventist world church (the General Conference] was to preach an important sermon. It has become a tradition that the top church leader (this is the kind of terminology that is increasingly used), preaches during the worship service that is held on the Saturday morning of the Annual Council—the annual administrative council where some 300 … Continue reading

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  In a review of his newest book (Reizen zonder John), Geert Mak is characterized as the kind of history teacher you always wanted to have during your secondary school years. That is, indeed, the feeling I have, now that I am about half way in the book about his journey through America. When he realized that fifty years ago John Steinbeck—then seventy-five years old—decided to make a months long trek through the USA, in an old converted truck, and … Continue reading

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Back and forth

  [Wednesday morning, 7.00 hrs.] Yesterday I wanted to take the fast train to Brussels and to return again by train today. But precisely when I planned to leave the car at home, the Belgian Railways decided to go on strike. Looking though the window of room 226 in the Ibis-hotel, where I have just spent the night, I see one of the entrances of the Brussels South Station. It is uncannily quiet. But I realize there are lots of … Continue reading

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