Spicy Sweet & Sour Casserole


have no idea what this dish is actually called, so I like to use the non-descriptive and open to interpretation name in the title.

I have a particular predilection for spicy food, while the sweet/sour combination is not one that I have been very familiar with from my early (cooking) life.

On the other hand, I have learned to appreciate all sorts of flavours and also never to say “I don’t like that” before having actually tried it; therefore, please keep an open mind, try the Casserole and if you don’t like it… well, then never cook it again in your entire life.

Continue reading Spicy Sweet & Sour Casserole

Still waiting


inter has not yet gone by…
The official astronomical spring was already some days ago.

Like a wonderful haiku by Matsuo Bashō (松尾 芭蕉) says:


Toshi kurenu
Kasa kite waraji

Another year is gone
And I still wear
Straw hat and straw sandals

If your browser is unable to display the Japanese text correctly, here is a picture of it:


The world revolves and we don’t notice it.

We put one foot in front of the other
and we don’t realize that we have walked a whole life.

There is a promise in the air: spring is coming.

…And once again, we will wait for the summer
and will not realize that the spring is gone.

I wish we could stay in spring a whole life long.

The 10,000 year clock


magine a clock, set deep into a mountain.
…Imagine a clock that doesn’t need winding for the next 10,000 years.

…Imagine a clock that will sound a chime melody and this melody will never be repeated once again in the whole 10,000 years.

…Imagine a clock that will be standing there, ticking the universe’s time away thousands of years after you, me and everyone we know are dead and gone.

…Imagine a clock on which our children’s children’s children will be able to tell the time from, or wind up to produce that same day at noon a new chime melody that has never been played before and that will ever be played again in the thousands years to come.

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Paradise Lost


o, I’m not talking about Milton’s “Paradise Lost”, though I’m still talking about poetry… in a way.

My paradise lost is not entirely figurative… I’m talking about a splendid uninhabited islet which I have had the privilege to visit for some years in a row.

This mythical place is located at 40° 44′ 37″ N and  13° 59′ 36″ E and looks like a banana floating on the blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Paradise Lost: Vivara Islet – Photo NASA ©

I’m quite sure that a lot of people will look at the picture and will know exactly where it is and what’s its name.

Continue reading Paradise Lost


“Watashi o matte kudasai”


f your browser is unable to display the original Japanese characters, here is a picture of the text:


The above translates into something like “Please wait for me”, though I was told by a Japanese friend of mine, that it is not just “Matte Kudasai”, like I thought.

He tried to explain to me all the subtleties of the “Please” form in the Japanese language and culture, which of course I could not entirely follow, being myself just a rude European.
I only remember that he could mention at least 8 different ways to say “Please”, depending on who asks whom, in which situation, what is the general context of the request, and so on…

Continue reading 私を待ってください

Stormy Weather


ow! A pyrotechnical show is going on all over the Low Lands.

The long promised storm is coming this way. It’s fascinating but also rather terrifying.
The Dutch are not used to see this.
We’re not in Tornado Alley… we’re not in the Caribbean… this is not India and there is no  Monsoon season in Europe.

Nevertheless, the horizon is set ablaze by dozens of lightnings, while the thunder is rolling almost continuously from horizon to horizon.

Getting scary, actually.

I once have seen lightning strike just 30 meters from where I was standing and I can still remember I almost wet myself and jumped at least 20 cm into the air with a racing heart and the immediate comprehension that we cannot hide form nature and when it decides to strike, we are just at its mercy, no matter how technologically and culturally advanced the human race may be.

But this time I’m not in the open, I have a nice book besides me (the first volume of Ken Follet’s Century Trilogy), a good cuppa and my wife.

So come on, storm… just do your job and move over.

9-10-2011 22-33-25

Hello World!


hat a corny start, actually…
But hey, this was the title of the default example of a blog post… Besides, all geeks have apparently a tender spot for this salute.

“Hello World!” is the first example in every programming book… how to create a little piece of script that will make a dialog pop-up saying: “Hello World!”.

How clever one must feel after compiling the script and seeing on the screen these two little words and the exclamation mark… how many blood sweat and tears did it not cost to convince the script the ‘!’ was not an operand but just a character to be shown in the dialog window.

Well, if this is the most used first-step declaration in the Digital World (Hello again…), who am I to put myself above the hundreds of thousands, or millions of people before me and try to start a new blog with something different than “Hello World!” ?

So to everybody out there:


The Renaissance-Man