donderdag 30 december 2010

Finished roof!!! Come snow come rain, nema problema!!

Finished roof. Snow and rain can come but the house will stay dry. Cross fingers...

Every cut acurate judging by result.

Upper last corner and crew down on the floor and safe home. What a result for the last working day of the year. To be continued in january.

A loft with a view

Richards view again. It was Richard's remark that made me think to cut out a part of the roof to get this view. The team working on the roof gaze in the distance too sometimes. I am looking forward to closing doors, making balconies, building in kitchen, shower and all that is needed in this insulated highplace. In the distance, a lot of kilometers away, outliers of Gorsky Kotar can be seen some say. There is still some discussion what these mountains really are. Because from gorsky Kotar down to our area still is some 90 kilometers. We enjoy the view anyhow. And will find out what we are seeing exactly in the next year. We are sure that to the left is a big cherry tree. The birds enjoy most of the cherries. We enjoy it's shadow in summer.

woensdag 29 december 2010

Roof building details

The roof is becoming beautiful. Along all lines the roof building team makes very exact cuts in the tiles. Tiles are lying on a line along the small roof constructed above a little balcony.
By the way, if you look to the top left of the house, the big vertical beams are the area around which there will be a balcony. The balcony will be cut off from the room by sliding doors. The whole gives it an enormous view tough the long valley of river Radonja to a mountain range some 40 kilometers away. The view I should call Richard's view. That will be explained later. Richard deserves the credit for his insight. For the time being building will stop till the 7th of january. Hopefully there will not be snow combined with high winds like last year. The snow will build up inside the house. I will be shovelling.

zondag 26 december 2010

Wildcat spotted near Zagreb

Driving to the city of Zagreb to visit Christmas markets and sniff some city enter tainment we were driving via Karlovac and then along the highway. Normally we see al kinds of Buzzards and other birds of prey we cannot yet determine. One moment suddenly out of the bush a very big cat came. We were looking out of the car. It worked it’s way along a bush edge. The way it moved was very catlike. Except it was considerably bigger than an ordinary housecat. Long tail distinguishing it from a Lynx. Length much more than a fox. The way of walking had clearly distinguished it from dogs. Much more supple. Never before we had seen a wild cat. Especially not the big kind. The cat we saw had quite a bodily volume. The length of the tail was remarkable. Certainly excluding the Bobcat. Also the bobcats body is shorter.We checked two sources; Wiki and croatian wildlife sources on internet. Felix Silvestris silvestris. We are quite certain what we saw was a wild cat. Amazing.
There is a huge space between the Bosnian border, our area and the city of Zagreb. So big in fact that if you are aware of where the villages are, you can walk all the way to Greece or Rumania without walking into a village. No wonder, Croatia has 4.4 million people while at the same time being 1 ½ times the size of the Netherlands. By the way, the picture fits the situation more or less. Actually we took it from internet, a picture from the Wiki database. This particular cat was spotted somewhere south in Germany.

vrijdag 24 december 2010

Wow winter!

Every year is different. Now I can only say: ' Wow!' Although snow is not always welcome, looking allround is gratifying. The beauty, the light, nature, the place we chose to live.
And have a new little one come into our lives.
Is especially romantic. Wonderfull things happen.
Tomorrow is Christmas.
I am thinking of those that have contributed especially. Maybe without knowing. Maybe my father, who was a designer more than a chemist.
I am thankful for where we are.

zaterdag 11 december 2010

Leiden Gentlemans Canal

The end of the year is near. The coming new period with it’s own perspective. Things to learn, goals to manifest, visions to define. Also that where we come from comes in view. Sometimes walking through the mud on our terrain the streets of Leiden are very attractive. Water where it belongs, stones not mud under foot, boats in canals. All nicely where it should be. Natural disasters would put the nice houseboat on the next house, but that Leiden or Holland doesn’t know. That happens only in the tropics, New Orleans and such.
Leiden, an old city that has so much attraction to us, we could if we buy a house in the right place, start old age planning. In the meantime we like being a tourist in Leiden as we are in Croatia. This canal around the corner of our house is called the Heerengracht, or Gentlemans canal. Gentlemans….. In olden times there would have been a developing economy lifting Leiden out of the middle ages, launching it in an industrial period where sheets, blankets, brandy was called Harteveld or Kaagwater was made. The street names remind you of the history of Leiden. Where the animals, turf or other goods were brought in from the land around, where there was a blacksmith working etc. The area, where we have a house in Croatia, is named after the families that lived there. Same thing. Different scenery though.

vrijdag 3 december 2010

Handling big beams

A beam as heavy as a motorcycle, manhandled into place. Previously holes had been drilled in a couple of places. The holes are for letting the 16mm thread bolts on top of the building through. This was the first serious piece of wood being put in place. It was also the first day for this building team. Heavy built guys used to heavy work. At least that was what they looked like to us.

The fact that the beam went into place without a hitch was a confidence riser for everybody. The present team preparing the stone construction and other details concerning partition inside, bathroom, kitchen space etc. was apprehensive about the quality of the new people. Apparently there was nothing to worry about. Like two teams of horses being introduced to each other, a little jostling took place to get used to each other. The new team carried those beams into place in one movement. One big step for our project. I can’t wait for next steps.

Firebirds competing on the internet

It tickles me that searching the web with the word ‘firebird’, produces a huge collection of images of american muscle cars. A big boys toys symbol of adultness. When you reach the age of 16 in the US, seeing it will create drooling and other civilisation induced top of mind list artificial behavior.
Googling further brings Wiki info about the Phoenix’s, a firebird, ability to be reborn from its own ashes. Implying that it is immortal. The firebird appears in many countries. Connecting with the feathers or other parts of the bird brings great fortune or a sense of beauty from within. Making beauty or being connected someplace cannot be replaced by being given fortune by someone else or being taken to some paradise. The paradise realised as being so close that it cannot be touched. Or where ever I lay my hat is my home.
A good friend of mine reacted that the essence of life is life itself. It prevents empty talk about the meaning of life. It points in a direction. In doing it will be felt. It is the untouchable, unspeakable.. Where did I here that before? This is the beauty I see around me in nature. This is the energy we want to work with in our initiatives. The alive energy that changes the landscape, bringing children and their drawings.

Catching the rainbow

Autumn light combined with a slight shower of rain brough us this rainbow. Vaguely above our area. The seasons change brought along colapsing tents, the workshop tent also having colapsed with the lounging tent, stopping building, bringing gas shortage, wood hauling, snow shovelling and all that goes with wet and cold weather.

Barbara had been sick for a solid week. The whole household needed to move from caravan to temporary brick house accomodation. To have a higher level of facilities so Barbara could sleep better and get rid of her virus.

The total of these experiences as well as coming back from a great week with my fraternity buddy club made my landing home a little harsh and slow. The phenomena outside having effect inside. To say the least. One side of the firebird legend. About which more later.

I went into a short gloomy period. While walking our sopping muddy terrain I thought what am I doing here? This way I lost precious energy. I decided to do a session of reconnecting to my values and vision to catch the ever elusive creative energy. It is like catching a feather during a raging storm and or catching the rainbow. This brought me back on track. Inspiring a new design of tent, closer to our vision.

Snow and ice, white & silver tinkling, sprinkling, sparkling decoration

Although the big processes of putting beams on top and closing the roof have stopped many things still can be done. Living goes on. Designing for next year, planning of and marketing trainings, fine tuning programs and our year agenda can be done. Together with a glass of local wine.

By the way, I just read the mail of my cousin Jacobo from northern Spain. What says the guest after the host has told him the wine grows on the hills around the bed & breakfast? It does not travel well.....
The B&B is probably located on a SLOW farm. Where tourism ads a little income. And by the way. Everything here goes SLOW too. We are going to found a foundation for ECO initiatives called: SLON. Slow Land Owners Network.
Anyhow, this beauty of nature sparkling freshness is what I live out here for. The SLOWness it induces is sometimes (always) untimely. I sometimes miss the known charming city of Leiden and it's parks, old buildings and channels. This silver treat however is mindblowing worthwhile.

Summer camp colapsed.

During building we needed extra space for living. Especially during wet times. So we decided to put a tent next to the two caravans. In the tent there is space enough to hang around, have some company in, cook, read, draw or do nothing and not sit in the way. The caravan to the right is our office & guest house. It is a dutch design of an old still existing Limburg factory called Yvonne Mostard. It is quaintly sixties. Not well insulated in contrast with the recent German product from the Knaus factory.

The insulation is so good it withstood last winters minus twenty centigrade. And on top of that a meter of snow on the roof. It's structure is apparently sufficient to survive the pressure of some tons of snow. The tent now in winter looks slightly different. During the night I heard snow and later icerain fall on the Knaus's roof. I thought vaguely about things forgotten. Could not make the link while sleeping. We woke up to a scene where summer had drastically changed to winter. Summer camp colapsed. Things came to a grinding halt with the snow falling. Building has stopped. The land looks totally white.