Back in Holland in 1981, I started a new life in a new town at a new university. The university system during those days was one of taking your own responsibility. You could do nothing, take no exams, not turn up for lectures and no-one would care. But if you wanted to do something, it didn't really matter what, then you could get as much help and assistance as you wanted. It was really up to yourself what you made of the life at university, no one would force you. This was just the ideal environment for me. I became very active. I picked up dancing again, I helped in organizing student events, I even tried some acting. And of course doing lots of sports. I also liked studying, at some point I was doing two studies at the same time. I was always on the move, being busy, very restless. Sometimes I had a girlfriend. But I couldn't commit myself to a serious relation, therefore it never lasted.

guitar spelen met rob

 

Then in 1986 I met this Dutch girl M. It was one of those rare moments in life that you meet someone and it immediate clicks, from both sides. There were no uncertainties about how we felt for each other. Nearly from the moment we met, we started living together. And now 25 years later we still are. As M is 6 years younger than me, and she was just starting her study when we met, I could continue many more years of my beloved student life.

Meting M changed my life. I stopped dancing, acting and organizing activities. My restlessness was gone. We enjoyed being together and had all the time for each other. The student life was very relaxing, doing very little during the day, going out at night. I had a teaching job at the university for a few hours a week. That gave us just enough money to do nice things. Like having lots of vacations. Visiting the nice European cities (just taking a train to Paris and see there what happens) or the European beaches (sleeping on the beaches of the Greek islands and wondering when the next boat is going to get you to the next island). I suppose this was the life I had in mind with Barbara if she had come with me to Holland.

In 1989 M finished her study. It was time to say goodbye to the student life that had lasted 11 years. Time to enter the world of earning money. As soon as we got our jobs our life changed. We were both seen as 'young potentials', which meant that all kinds of doors opened for us to a life we didn't know that existed. We were invited to parties and stood next to people who I only knew before from the TV or from the newspapers. I had business meetings in luxurious hotels, conferences in even more expensive places. I got invited to concerts and plays. Money never seemed to be a problem. We got a company car, a house with a garden. Our careers went very fast. We made long days during the week and did nothing in the weekends. It was a very different life but it was good fun and the stress full surroundings didn't seem to have much influence on us.

In 1995 our first daughter was born. That was the moment that I decided that I rather be a family man then a career man. I got myself a less demanding job and started working part time.

We bought a nice house at the border of a lake. A house with a park like garden with large old trees, a small orchard, a vegetable garden and a paddock. This was going to place where we wanted to create our own paradise. And this is what we have been doing the last 15 years, building our own dreamland.

More daughters were born. Also more and every time larger animals came. We started with a cat, soon followed by chickens, goats, a pig, a dog and finally the horses.

Now I am nearly 52 years old, with a lot less hair but without a belly! Still active in sports and still working part time, as a hospital manager at a local hospital. At the moment history is repeating itself. My daughters are having now a similar carefree and happy childhood as I had.

Looking at how I filled in my life now, I guess it is the life of which Barbara and I always dreamed off. I suppose we both wanted the same, only the way we wanted to get there was completely different.

 

 

我的后来

回到荷兰后我在个新学校开始了新的生活。那个年代的大学系统是让学生自负其责。如果你什么也不做,不参加考试,不上课也没有人管。如果你愿意做点事,无论什么,你都能得到所需的帮助。几乎都是由学生自己安排自己的大学生活,没有人会强迫你。对我而言,那是理想的环境。我变得很活跃。我参加跳舞,帮助组织学生活动,我甚至还试过演戏剧,我做的最多的是体育。 我也很喜欢学习,有一段时间我同时做两个研究。我保持活跃繁忙,有一段时间我交了个女朋友,但我那时不能够承诺一段认真的感情,因此很快就结束了。

1986年我遇到了个荷兰女孩M.是那种一见钟情的相遇。双方都感到了这种默契。几乎我们相遇后没多久我们就开始住在一起。到现在已经25年了,我们还是在一起。M比我小6岁。我们相遇时她刚刚开始大学学习。我在大学里又继续了许多年的学习。

遇到M改变了我的生活。我不再去跳舞,表演,组织活动。 我的不安定消失了。我们很享受共处的时间。学生生活很轻松,白天的事不多,晚上可以出去。我在学校有一份一周几个小时的教书的工作,这样我们也有钱可以以去度假什么的。到欧洲各地旅游(坐火车去巴黎在安排行程),或是到欧洲的海滩(躺在希腊小岛的海滩上等着下一班船。)这种生活是如果Barbara和我一起到荷兰我所设想的生活。

1989年M毕业了。是时候告别我11年的学生生活了,也是时候开始挣钱了。我们一找到工作生活就有了很大的变化。我们当时都是那种所谓的"有潜力青年",生活中很多机会都向我们敞开大门。我们被邀请参加聚会,认识那些电视或报纸上见过的名人,在顶级的饭店里开商务会议,我获邀参加音乐会和戏剧表演。钱也一直不是问题。我们有公司车,带花园的房子。我们的事业发展迅速。工作日我们工作辛苦,周末好好休息。那时很不同的但是快乐的日子,周边环境的压力对我们也没有多少影响。

1995年我们有了第一个孩子。那时我决定自己希望更关注家庭而非事业。 我找了个压力小的工作,开始了兼职工作。

我们在湖边买了个漂亮的房子。房子有个很大的长了古树的院子,一个小果园,一个菜地和一个小围场。 我们希望在那里创造自己的天堂。我们花了15年打造我们的梦中家园。

现在我52岁了。头发掉了很多,但还没有肚腩。 还是热爱运动,还在地区医院做兼职院经理。仿佛历史重现,我的女儿们像我一样过着无忧无虑的童年生活。

现在回看我的一生,我想这是我和Barbara年少时的梦想。 我们想有同样的梦想,只是我们想要达成梦想的方式完全不同。

随着女儿们的出生,我们家有越来越多的动物。开始是猫,然后是鸡,羊,猪,狗,最后是马。

(thanks to Natalie for the translation)

 

tuinfeestje

Side garden

在果园摘果

achtertuin 2007

Back garden in 2007
后花园

oost

Harvesting fruit from the orchard
å在果园摘果

walk with animals

My daughters with some friends taking the goats and the pig for a walk on the beach of the lake bordering our house.
女儿们和朋友一起在屋旁的湖边放羊和猪。

knor

Our pig who unfortunately died in 2012 
我们的猪,6个月前死了。 2012

.

cortane in water

 

mm op zandduinen

 

maartje slapend op cortana 

mmm in bos op paard

 

buiten1 

buiten6

buiten4

 

 

Comments   

# RE: what happened to meguest 2011-07-15 17:01
Hi Rob

I like to c those family photos.But wihout showing urself! ha ha... Didn't expect u dont mind show us fan those photos. Thanks Rob! Nice holiday to u!
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# RE: what happened to meanyone 2011-07-17 11:05
Very nice. Feel happy for you. ;-)
I wish I could lead a life like that too. Not every person can make his dream come true, sure you are one of the lucky ones.
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# RE: what happened to meharmony 2011-07-21 21:12
hi rob!
how many children do you have? are there 6 girls together? you have a lovely family and home. i am very happy for you. i am amazed of how you built up your life. i must say that you have succeded so far with your life. i really wish that barbara could experience this family life with you, since it was what she wanted.
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# RE: what happened to meKim 2011-08-11 18:19
I enjoyed going through this journey with you. Thanks so much for opening up your hearts and sharing your memories of our beloved Barbara.

I must say you must be a wonderful man to have been fortunate enough to have such lovely ladies in your life. Your family sounds just perfect!
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# RE: what happened to meBarfan 2011-08-31 05:50
Barbara was not lucky enough in that you were too young when you met. fate. that's all.

she will also be very happy for u to have such a wonderful family. after all that's always what she had wanted - for you to be happy.

thanks for the beautiful stories. they made Barbara a more 'real', and yet more perfect person, who lived only 26 years in this world, and yet lives forever in our memories. thanks also for giving her maybe the happiest years of her life.
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# yes ,fateIvy 2013-10-17 08:43
Yes , Barbara 's story is like herself , beautiful but sad , I learned a lot from her story . Maybe it is that you met at a too young age for both of you . As time will teach us more as well as other's stories . Thank you for sharing your fairy tale. She is the princess in our heart forever.
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# Some of my thoughtsMelanie from USA 2011-09-21 05:16
Your love story with Barbara made thousands people understand another side of Barbara, different from the media. I would rather believe that the "Barbara" in your story is the real Barbara.
After 30 years,you still remember all those beautiful time you two spend together. That really touched my heart. Especially,in the last paragraph, you mention that was the life Barbara always wants.
I believe the time Barbara spent with you was the happinest time in her life.
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# RE: what happened to meHannah 2011-09-24 16:08
Seeing your family photos on here is very touching. It is incredible to image life and love being both simple and complex at the very same time. Incredible how the lives of people cross, interchange, and continue on. Incredible how we keep certain memories dear to our hearts that have long past. Incredible in how love works. Thank you so much Rob for allowing us all to get to know you, and especially for sharing "your" Barbara with us. Never had I imagined I would ever get a chance to know more about her, on such a personal level before you came along. It is almost like "closure."
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# RE: What happened to me 我的后来 2011Angela 2012-09-26 13:18
Barbara would be very pleased knowing that you have a happy family.
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# Thanks for sharingBen 2012-10-14 17:27
what a happy family you have!
and garden, all nice animals!

thank YOU for all you did for Babara!
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# thanks for sharingsissi 2012-10-23 02:34
It's the life which Babara dream to have.
Anyway,Best wishes to you!
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# THANKS FOR SHARINGHERMIA XIE 2012-10-25 03:53
YOU COMPLETE BABARA'S DREAM,THANKS.GOD BLESS U AND UR FAMILY.
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# RE: THANKS FOR SHARINGIvy 2013-10-17 09:01
yes you complete her dream . I believe she is happy to see that you are happy . As she is such a nice girl, and loving you so much. Thank you for giving her the most happiness in her short life.
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# It's so touchingWinkw 2012-11-09 09:59
Thanks for sharing, it's so touching. i can't hold my tears... All the best to you and your family.

From HK.
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# Thank YouUS-CA 2013-03-12 20:11
Thank you for sharing those great pictures of you and Barbara. Barbara is such a cute and beautiful lady. I wish you and her did not break up. Your love stories really touch all of us.

From:US-CA
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# about youzhifeng zhou 2013-03-16 12:21
Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of your famility ,you or not share more pictures about your present life, i am from china jiangsu province, one of Barbara‘s fans, i want to go england to see Barbara and to your county to see you
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011APPLE 2013-06-19 04:14
your daughts looks pretty !
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# maybe this is the life that Barbara wantedazinmm 2013-07-22 15:15
Maybe the life you have now, with kids, garden, animals etc. were exactly the life that Barbara was longing for...

Jammer...

Trouwens, kent u Hong Kong Kamer van Koophandel? Het zit in Amsterdam, een cluster met enterpreneurs en fans voor de Hong Kong cultuur.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011GG 2013-07-28 03:49
Rob,
I agree with your analysis here. In the end, you and Barbara pretty much wanted the same thing - a family, kids, happy lives, but the problem was you two wanted the same thing but at a different time in life - Barbara realized it early on, you realized it much later.

That's what makes true love so amazing. Out of the world of 10B people you look for someone, and also you need someone at the right stage in life. Time and space.

Thanks for sharing your story.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Eric 2013-08-19 22:17
It is indeed good happy ending for you, Rob. It is amazing that you still care Barbara enough to set this page up. I hope you will check here often to connect with us. Thank you! :-)
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2013-08-20 07:36
Hello Eric, thank you for your comments. I check the website and read the comments every day.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Good 2013-10-13 12:27
lucky guy.but more or less selfish.Not everyone would have that loving girl in adolescence.If I was you,I would choose to stay and get a job in landon. You shoud try to,whatever.
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# wellIvy 2013-10-17 08:52
It is a very nice person of you rob , I am sure . I don't want to use the word selfish on him .He treats Barbara nicely , and they have the happy time together. Maybe he is not very mature at that time , about love and life .We all don't really know the word "cherish" in our youth . We learned the wisdom about life little by little,don't we? I believe is they have a second chance ,if time can go back , both of them will make different choice , with an happy ending ,like the real fairy tale. But this is life ,right ? Not everything is perfect, sometimes even sad .
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# 22zhou 2013-11-04 03:52
Could you give Barbara a happy family, but you didn't treasure her :cry:
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# 2258zhou 2013-11-04 03:56
That originally belong to Barbara happiness life :cry:
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# Good luckSha 2013-12-22 18:59
Thanks for sharing the wonderful moment between you and Barbara;) It's really pitiful that you and Barbara could not spend the whole life together! Maybe it's fate. Your wife is really your destination, Good luck;) What I learned from your stories is to cherish and be serious one relationship!
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# MissParma 2013-12-25 14:42
It is hard to predict what would happen if she is not dead. But I understand why u do this for ur loved one. She is so lucky and please be happy.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Xiao 2013-12-25 23:05
Hi Rob, mooi fotos!
I accidentally found this website when I was showing a friend about some 1980s' Chinese superstars. And I ended up reading the whole story. I don't really know much about Barbara except for some characters she played(when I was born she had already passed away for years), but I am still quite touched by the tragic yet romantic story. I can imagine how painful it must have been for you to be in love with someone who doesn't fit together with you and in the end you didn't even get this 'peace of mind' by knowing she's living a great life somewhere with someone else. But still you did all the right things, there was nothing else you could do to save her. Guess you were just too different from each other and even if you managed to rescue your relationship, then one of you must have sacrificed the whole world. You wouldn't be happy to stay in UK at that time and she wouldn't want to live the life you're living now in Holland.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Xiao 2013-12-25 23:19
I guess Barbara, like many other asians,lived for other people's approval and 'love', and that might be something more difficult to achieve in NL than in some other places at that time (misschien ook nu). So...anyway I don't agree with those people who blame you for her tragedy. You did all you could. Sorry for so much crap and merry Christmas!
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2013-12-26 09:37
Hello Xiao,
Thanks for your comments and I agree with your thoughts (no crap after all). Have a nice and happy new year.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Xiao 2013-12-27 19:58
Quoting Rob:
Hello Xiao,
Thanks for your comments and I agree with your thoughts (no crap after all). Have a nice and happy new year.

I've only been to that your part of the country twice but the beautiful view there left a vivid impression on me. When i saw the photos I immediately thought it must be there. But I guess if Barbara were with you now in NL she might prefer to live in one of the big cities where her beauty and talent could be appreciated by more people(Just another wild guess based on the stories). :P
Happy new year!
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2013-12-28 13:56
If Barbara had gone to Holland she probably be living in a little village with kids and her mother and lots of animals. Being unknown and very happy with her family life, avoiding contact with others.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Yan 2015-02-01 20:12
As her fan, I still wish she had this normal life. Even unknow, but happy and normal family life you Will build with her. Again, thinking that she had lived for others happiness not hers makes me sad. Rob, what if in 1985, Barbara did call you and ask you to go to HK. Will you go? I guess by then, financially should be feasible for you two.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2015-02-02 11:27
Looking back, I wished she had call me when she felt so unhappy. Even a postcard with just her number and the words "call me" would have been enough. She knew where she could reach me. But she didn't and must have had her own reasons for that.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Yan 2015-02-02 14:20
The reason is as sad as it was: she want to leave you peace and may thought that would make herself peace as well. As proud and stubborn, Barbara would rather commit suicide instead of asking for help or care. This is characteristically complexity originated from family, culture reasons. I share your grief and sadness as today. Not as fan, but just as a human being. "Look forward" for some person indeed seems to be difficult. But I do look forward to your book, hope you will keep that promise and finish it? :D
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2015-02-02 15:14
The book is being written at this moment and I already found a publisher for it. It will take a while but I am keeping my promise.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Yan 2015-02-02 14:24
One more question, Rob. You seems to be quite tall. (of course as a Hollander), how tall are you exactly?
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2015-02-02 15:15
I am not tall for a Hollander, 1,81 m (6ft 1inch)
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Yan 2015-02-03 06:49
Do you think there would be a different ending if she did call you in 1985? You did not meet M yet, so you are still available?
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Rob 2015-02-03 11:30
I would have gone to HK if she had called and wanted me to come. But I am not sure if she would be happy with that. It would mean the end of her carefully build up image and possibly her career.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Yan 2015-02-03 13:51
For that, it saddens me that she has the courage to end her life, but not the courage to do something to change her unhappy situation. I could understand that she is not strong enough maybe even considering that she need financial support from her mother when you were dating. But then, she is in Hong Kong, she is a famous actress. she should have been independent...
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Yan 2015-02-05 07:09
Seeing the pig makes me laugh. Barbara must have gold you, you and she were Born in the year of pig. She gained also her Fame in 1983, the year of pig. And your first daughter was Born in 1995, also the year of pig. Pig must be the lucky animal for all of you. Haha....
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Eva 2015-02-10 11:51
It was such a delight to read all these! The sweet, the bitter, the joy and pity! The stories were so true and hit just right in the heart, thanks Rob! And very glad that you are living your life as much as you can as well!
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# fan bbrhuyvu 2015-02-25 07:59
miss you bbr
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# thanks for your sharing.Jackie 2017-04-29 11:22
you looks great at age of 50+. more charming than young age.. :lol:

Barbara and her fans are happy that you have a happy family. and be a loved husband and father. You realised her dream.

thaks for sharing.
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Sandy 2019-06-28 00:37
Hi, Rob,
Really happy to see in here that you completed the life of which two of you dreamed long time ago. Barbara had no chance to make it and you did. Life is a matter of choice.
I would not struggle wondering why she chose that way to end her life. Thank you for keeping the memory of you and her treasured well. Also wish you and your family all the best!
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# RE: 47. What happened to me 我的后来 2011Sam Lau 2020-12-22 07:30
Hi Rob, thanks for sharing, I think the time you with Barabar is the happiest time for her despite the complexity of the situation.....still simpler than what she experienced in HK....your story reminds me to treasure the one we love...
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