Citydwellers are reclaiming the streets! See the ‘leefstraten’, the ‘living streets’, like the Kersstraat in Utrecht, where for a few weeks the neighborhood uses the space normally reserved for cars. And in the New Institute, curator René Boer reflects on how decades of squatting have impacted the city of today. And meanwhile there is music on the canals of Amsterdam, thanks to the Canal Festival! Read the article…
From Isle of Skye through the Highlands and on to Glasgow. The city has it all: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the most impressive street art mural I have ever seen, a piano bar in a horse trailer and lots of tipsy women with too short skirts and too high heels. Then back home to the wedding of my dear stepson Bouke and his wife Daniëlle and the craziness of the Gay Parade!
In the Scottish countryside, the good old red phone booth now houses a library, or a defibrillator, or a town’s oral history – and sometimes even a phone. And on the far reaches of the Isle of Skye we meet Donald Murdie, who tells us about his life as a ‘crofter’ and his fears of Brexit.
This week I fed my interest in polar exploration by visiting ‘The Discovery’, the ship of Robert Scott, who sailed in it on an unfortunate polar expedition to the Antarctic. I also got a peek into the V&A Dundee, the very first museum for Scottish design and in the studio of the fashion designer Katie Gibson of Gibson & Birkbeck. I talked to Neil Ross of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise about community building in rural Scotland and discovered that Scotland has a lot of windfarms. And yes, we went skinny dipping in our hottub in our cottage garden.
The pleasures of travel in Scotland: endless kinds of local beer, smoked fish and produce from the farm through a vending machine in the wall. History is never far away here, with Graham Fagen’s melancholy ‘Slave’s Lament’ in the National Portrait Gallery and one of Scotland’s earlier attempts at independence in Arbroath.
This week were my first days of vacation. I took the overnight boat to Scotland, quite an adventure in itself. Of course I had to finish some work before: a inspiring (and yummy!) thinking dinner in our Salon, a meeting at Booking for the John Adams Institute and the summer party of New Angle.