Archive for February, 2010

Terschelling

Just to show you a bit of my island:)

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The old man

The beach was empty, streams of sand drifted away before my feet. The sea was angry and noisy, not the best day for a walk near the tide line perhaps, as it started to rain as well. I hesitated to go on, then I saw him, out of nowhere there he went, a tall skinny man with a bar over his shoulder. He approached me and I recognized him by his seamans hat. His name was Jan W., a notorios beach hunter. Deep lines in his tanned face showed he had spent all his live outdoors, looking for valuables that the sea had brought to his beach.

“Nice piece of wood,” I nodded. He silently looked at me, with eyes that went right through me.

“From that ship that stranded recently?” I asked. I was starting to regret my walk as the rain got worse.

“Hundreds are there,” he said. “Hundreds.”

I thought he meant the bars.

“That is good?” I know beach hunters love wood. They can use it for all sorts of things.

“And they call me,” he continued, still looking through me in the direction of the waves. “They want me to join them.”

I lost him. They only thing I heard, was the sea. Who was there, who wanted him to join?

“Well, good day then,” I said and walked on. After a minute I turned around, but he had already gone. The beach was empty again. I walked on for a bit, found a bottle with no message in it and returned home ten minutes later.

The next day I heard Jan W, the old beach hunter, had died. And then I realized what he must have meant…

His grave is a sober one, as he had no family. Sometimes the western wind hauls over the graveyard, and it is like voices whisper a sort of peacefull goodbye.

Walking in the air – the desire to leave this earth

And now ’tis man who dares assault the sky . . .
And as we come to claim our promised place,
Aim only to repay the good you gave,
And warm with human love the chill of space.

— Prof. Thomas G. Bergin, Yale University, ‘Space Prober.’ This was the first poem to be launched into orbit about the Earth. It was inscribed on the instrument panel of a satellite called Traac launched from Cape Kennedy on November 15, 1961.

“Space shuttle Endeavour’s launch attempt has been scrubbed due to a low cloud ceiling over Kennedy Space Center.

Managers initially plan for a 24-hour turnaround, but will evaluate tomorrow’s weather before making a final decision. Next possible launch attempt is Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST.”

So perhaps tomorrow they will get a new chance. Never in my life I would go into space. I think it is very brave of those people. What if they get a heart attack..

But man has always wanted to fly, get away from the earth.

One of the pioneers in flight was Leonardo da Vinci, he studied the flight of birds and already in 1505 he publiced his Codex about that matter. He was not only a painter, but so much more, for example an engineer who thought of hang gliders and helicopters even!

In the newspaper of Frosch, Vienna, dating June 24, 1709, a wooden Flying Ship is mentioned; this fact is authentic and used in the novel Veritas, by Monaldi & Sorti, 3rd volume of a series of fantastic historical novels. The maker was Bartholomeo Lorenzo de Gusmão (1685-1724) , a Jezuiet priest from Brazil.

Some say it actually flew!

This wish for humans to be in the sky, our envy of birds, is off all times, but never we have been so far as when we reached the moon. No bird ever did THAT!

Good luck to the Shuttle!

Granddad Charlie

When I started with my family tree, I silently hoped for some well known people to be my ancestors. Wouldn’t it be fun, to find someone famous.
I was alone in this ambition, as my sensible family couldn’t care less.
Thanks to internet, I found a lot of names, and I even found out one of my ancestors was the sister of a famous poet, (Bredero) wow, but I couldn’t get any further with the branch of my grandmother Clasina. She was born in Rotterdam and I thought all paperwork from the registers had been lost in WWII.
But that was not the case. In The Netherlands we have this archive on line with all registers of birth, death, baptizes and marriages that goes back to the days of Napoleon. It is called GenLias. I found my grandmother, but I found a lot more than just her.

With finding her, a long list of ancestors soon followed. Not only though GenLias, but also thanks to other family trees online. They gave their sources as well, and so, in no time, I had hundreds, thousands of ancestors and the sources to check. And the further back in time I went, the more up class the people seem to be. I came across counts, dukes, kings and even empires.

Of course I haven’t been in the bedrooms of these people while they were making babies, so I can’t be 100 % sure, but these people do have official papers that say they were who they are.

One of them is Charlemagne. English: Charles the Great, Dutch: Karel de Grote, German: Karl der Grosse, Latin: Carolus Magnus, King of the Franks and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. He shows up thousands of times in my family tree. This phenomenon is called Ahnenverlust in German, the fact that you have less different ancestors as you go back in time, due to doubles. It is quiet normal to have the same ancestor in three or more generations even. I think just about everyone in Europe has at least one line of ancestors to him somehow. He was the most important figure of our history and all later royals and aristocrats descend from him one way or another.

He was born in 742, on April 2, not quite sure where exactly but somewhere in Northern Europe, prob. in what is now Belgium. His parents were Pippin III and Bertrada of Laon, and he was their eldest son. According to his secretary and biographer Einhard “he was six feet four inches tall, and built to scale. He had beautiful white hair, animated eyes, a powerful nose…a presence ‘always stately and dignified.’ He was temperate in eating and drinking, abominated drunkenness, and kept in good health despite every exposure and hardship.” It is also said he became master of Western Europe by the sword and the cross.
In the year 768 Charles inherited the kingdom of the Franks, together with his brother Carloman, who died in 771, and Charlemagne then became sole ruler of the kingdom. He could not write, but still learned Latin and a little Greek.
He had many children and some of them are ancestors of mine. Was he a nice father I wonder. Did he ever cuddle with his grandchildren?He was tall and had white hair. A sort of santa.
He was the one who invented school, so we learned in history lessons. This is why we children didn’t like him very much. But wouldn’t it be nice to be able to meet him… and say “Hi granddad. I am one of your thousands of offspring. Just a very tiny bit of you is me. As my sons say: when you clip your nails, all you inherited from this Charlemagne might be gone. Oh well. Thank you for giving the world a new chance in civilization. And granddad, I am proud I am almost 6 feet tall. As I got that from you perhaps?” 😉

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