Thursday, June 19, 2014

Traveling through Italy

After a exceptionally hot week in Cinque Terre, we have now arrived in Tuscany - plagued by tremendous thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls. This hasn't stopped us from visiting the sites - - Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Piombino ,...
I even had a chance to visit an exhibit of works by Jackson Pollock, one of my favorite painters. Florence and Siena were overrun by tourists, the numbers seem to increase exponentially year over year, but close to (and after!) sunset most had returned to their hotels, leaving the medieval streets for us to roam alone.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tokyo by Rain and Deep Underground

Pretty horrible weather today, but it was fun to visit this subterranean amine store. They even have a 18+ department.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tokyo as the ideal backdrop for my novel Two Journeys

Many of the scenes in Tokyo remind me of my novel Two Journeys. Try to imagine the city empty of people with a lonely survivor walking the streets. Altho Tokyo is always buzzing with activity it isn't hard to imagine that it could be the loneliest place on earth.

Photo of Tokyo city from the top of the Mori Art museum.

We went here to look at The Andy Warhol exhibition on the 54th floor. The exhibition showed Andy's entire career from early 60s until the 1980s. The view of the city was extremely impressive, we could look directly at the Gardens of the Imperial Palace, at the ocean beyond as well as all the area of Shibuya and Roppongi and so on -what you can see here a little buildings with the intercity highway. We also went to Nogi Memorial, a temple dedicated to the noted general who was the hero of the Chinese Japanese and Russian Japanese wars, who committed suicide because he loved the Meiji emperor so much.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Concrete city - if you do not like concrete don't come to Tokyo

This picture you can see the Parliament of Japan. There are a lot of policemen about two protect it. Again this building was made with a lot of concrete. I don't know how many cubic meters of concrete they have put into Tokyo but it must be a mountain. They have concrete, becrete, decrete and acrete!

Cherry blossom in Tokyo close to the emperor's Palace

It is very cold here but this is the beginning of March so no wonder - the cherry trees are not blossoming yet. This one was blossoming, a lot of birds on the branches and singing. We were lucky because a lot of rain was expected but the weather was very beautiful

This was a very useful during our trip to Tokyo

It allows you to find the nearest Metro station forever you are. It was surprisingly accurate although you have to take care that is no magnetic interference close by.

Some of the advertisements in the metro in Tokyo are very confusing

No idea why anyone would need glasses to protect against spray paint

There are only a few dogs in Tokyo

Many labradors but this one looks like a sweet mutt as well

Location of our Hotel in Shibuya

Trying to figure out the metro connections in Tokyo; how to get from Shibuya to Shinsuku

It turned out to be very easy - especially when we walked back. More and more people where facial masks these days. As I heard, there are four reasons for this: more allergies and earlier in the year (due to the global warming), five dust particles that blow over from china, to protect oneself from viruses, or to prohibit that oneself infects other people.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

More on Shibuya Square

This square is build on top of one of the busiest railway and subway stations in the world. Immensely popular with young students, it is surrounded by numerous stores and shops. I liked the Foodshow the best, an underground, low-ceilinged supermarket that offers great food (e.g, Kobe beef at 5000yen for 100gram) and that takes up a lot of space between the labyrinth of metro tracks and stations. This Time article sums it up pretty nicely:,31489,1897812_1897772_1897742,00.html

The Excel Hotel in Tokyo Shibuya. We have a room on the fourteenth floor

Fans if Two Journeys may recall that this is the place where the hero discovers that a pandemic has wiped out the population. But tonight it is as lively as always.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

What I learned from my dog

We have had our dog Buddy for about five years and he learns a lot from us. I have also learned from my dog. Many things.
1. You don't need possessions to be happy
2. Enjoy your food. Table-manners only distract from the job at hand
3. It is great to be outside and to enjoy nature
4. Exercise and running about is the best thing there is, especially if we do it together
5. You don't need to own a couch because you can share it with your fellow humans
6. The pack is the most important thing in life. As long as the pack is together everything is fine
7. If somebody wants to enter the house it must be protected. Leave that to me
8. Forgive. Don't dwell on mistakes the other members of the pack have made
9. Never stop learning. You can learn something new every day
10. Don't worry about the future. Live here and now. Forget about religion
11. Why travel? Home is as beautiful as it gets
12. Sleep. Sleep a lot. Especially in the sun, even when it's hot and summer
13. I love other dogs but my master is always better
14. Be modest. Nevertheless, study your pack and learn how to play your master like a fiddle - it makes your life so much easier

Monday, January 13, 2014

Oh wonderful Daily Mail diet

A few weeks ago I read in the DM about this wonderful diet: two days eat practically nothing, normal for the rest of the week.
As I could benefit from a loss of permafat around the waste (named after permafrost; the layer of body fat that always remains) and have suffered from wanderfat as well; the grease that mass-migrates underneath the epidermis to the hips, I decided to give this diet a go,
Here my experience per week:
Week 1: severe stomach pains, lost 150 grams
Week 2: lost 75 grams, gained 350. Yellow stars and bolts of light. Sounds.
Week 3: voice if my mother in my left ear. No weight loss
Week 4: 75 gram loss. I blink slowly and often. Colleagues tell me that my breath smells "funny"
Week 5: I can't work anymore. I can only crawl, my joints hurt.
Week 6: 150 grams loss ! My stool is a tepid liquid. My hair starts to fall out.
Week 7: gained 2 kg. I can't find my glasses anymore, seem to have lost my left shoe.
Week 8: I give up. My weight is back to normal, the twitching is slowly disappearing.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Great Dog Food Scam of 2008

The following conversation took place in the subway in Washington DC.

Man: "gosh, it is hot in here"
Woman: "not as hot as at grandma's"
Man: "you are right there! Man, she must be having a heating bill"
Woman: "not as high as her telephone bill"
Man: "oh, who is she calling?"
Woman: "grandpa"
Man: "but he died years ago!"
Woman: "No reason to stop conversing"
Man (incredulous): "you got to be kidding."
Woman (annoyed): "I talk to him too, regularly"
Man (surprised): "really? What about?"
Woman: "all kinds of topics. War and peace, clothing, the great dog food scam, Stalin, cheesecake, car repairs, detergent..."
Man (curious): the great dog food scam?"
Woman (impatient): yeah, the scam of 2008 - where they put dioxin as an additive in canned dog food"
Man: "unbelievable what people do..."
Woman: "you mean: talking to the death?"
Man: "no - turning up the heat in their houses. Or in this subway for that matter"
Woman: "yes. It is hot"

Read more here

Friday, December 13, 2013

How to order my books

To order your copy of TWO JOURNEYS or CELETERRA, click on any of the links below.

**** Option 1: Paperback
Two Journeys at CREATESPACE TWO JOURNEYS and CELETERRA (directly from the publisher)
USA: amazon
Click here to order in AUSTRALIA
Click here to order in CANADA and at amazon Canada as well
India, Brasil
Mijn boeken in Nederland. Van Stockum
JAPAN: here

**** Option 2: eBook
My books are available in Apple's iTunes
Click here to order the Kindle version
Click here to order the Sony version
Clich here to order the Kobo version
Click here to order at Barnes and Noble and this link too!
...or get any format - KINDLE, EPUB, RTF, PDF, Palmdoc, Apple,... at SMASHWORDS

Click on Bookfinder to find (almost) all providers - 37 sources: including France, Australia, Germany, ...

Click HERE to return to my blog

Monday, January 21, 2013

Things that are good for you / things that are bad for you

Things that are good for you: sleep, food, reading
music, sport, sex, swimming,
a visit to the cinema, dancing,
peace, travel, vacation, nature,
work, education, love, money,
bicycling, laughing, crying, silence, singing,
shouting, sneezing, caring, discovering and

Things that are bad for you: hunger, poverty,
hate, tv, nuclear explosions, unemployment,
laziness, overweight, heart attack,
viruses, cancer, pain, ignorance, religion,
jealousy, fast food, war, fundamentalists,
noise, complacency, aggression,
thirst, murder, crime and phlegm.

Read more on Freado's bookbuzzer

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Are you interested in writing a review for CELETERRA?

If you have read my novel CELETERRA, take a few minutes to leave a review at the internet store where you purchased it. If you didn't read this book yet, you can buy it as paperback or eBook here.