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.




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。


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。


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。


(thanks to Natalie for the translation)



Side garden


achtertuin 2007

Back garden in 2007


Harvesting fruit from the orchard

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.


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







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