Mijn Nederlang huisje ... my Dutch home.
The best of both worlds: I have ancestral homes and I also have the opposite: descendants' homes. All of which I enjoy when I can.
This is one of them.
Oops, sorry (not really!).
That's the gatehouse to the beautiful Het Loo royal palace.
It's where I saw a unique collection of paintings of former Queen Beatrix, submitted by some of her talented subjects.
People in Holland eat well. That's why they grow big and tall and win famous football (what we call soccer) championships. They have cheese, beer, oodles of flowers, cinnamon candy, beer, wild boars, tons of South African wines, fabulous Indonesian cuisine, and possibly the world's best spareribs. And beer. Where has gone my picture of Dutch beer?
The Dutch are allowed to keep goats in their backyards. Everyone in the nation has at least one bicycle and they all ride them at the same time.
They also have a new King, Willem-Alexander of Orange, whose accession to the throne was imminent. Everything you can imagine was being celebrated in orange.
My descendants take me places: Amsterdam, Zwolle, Elburg, Geithoorn, Urk, Epe, and a hundred restaurants. We float on canals, go to the seashore, explore the forests, and ride bicycles. I only fell off once.
You know why I took that photo in Amsterdam.
My absolutely most favourite thing at the Kröller-Müller Museum, Picasso's Petite Chouette:
"Picasso put the sculpture together from an earthenware saucer, some nails, screws and bolts and the lid of a tin can, all of which is held together with plaster. From these prosaic ingredients he conjured an emotive little creature: a young owl, vulnerable but watchful."
We're not done yet by any means. They treat me royally.
 "On an owl ...," 1 May 2012, Kröller Müller Column (http://www.kmm.nl/column-archive/34/Over-een-uil-en-een-kat?lang=en : accessed 2 June 2014).
© 2014 Brenda Dougall Merriman