Year 2023

This time a short annual report from us. We had a series of medical appointments, which we won't tire you with. Two exceptions: Ernst's nose is straighter than before, after an operation last November and after two cataract operations he can see sharper again.

Sylvia sat in a polling station for the first time in her life and also got to help count the ballots in the evening. We won't talk about the election results any further.

Ernst visited lectures at the Leo Trepp Lehrhaus in Oldenburg several times. With an overnight stay in the motorhome, this was easy to do. He also spent a lot of time on his ham radio hobby, including during the annual camper van weekend in Bodenheim.

In spring, we babysat white shepherd Bella for a month. Unfortunately, she died suddenly a few months later. In autumn, we had bouvier Esau visit us for a week.

After two years of cancellations due to rain and/or strong winds, Ernst finally managed to make the balloon flight he had the ticket for.

Through a mailing from Vrouwen van Nu (Women's Association), Sylvia got involved in the preparation of an exhibition in the Nederlands Openlucht Museum in Arnhem, on Menstrual Culture through the years. The final meeting will follow in January.

Over the past few months, we have both been doing translation and correction work for a project on the German-Jewish lawyer Curt Bloch, who in hiding compiled 95 notebooks containing a total of 484 anti-Nazi  poems under the title The Underwater Cabaret. The website in three languages on which we are collaborating, will be put on line early next year. The original notebooks will be exhibited at the Jewish Museum in Berlin.

True to tradition, we attended the lighting of the chanukiah by chief rabbi Jacobs in Bourtange. Two days before that, we went to the Remembrance Centre Camp Westerbork where - in the context of countering anti-Semitism and polarisation - an open day with lectures was organised. Here, too, the chanukia was kindled. The meeting was a relief after the Hamas pogrom of October 7th, which horrified all of us.

In between all that, we took a number of camper van trips in the Netherlands, Germany and France and visited a number of regional Mensa events. Our holiday to Normandy and Brittany was not blessed by nice weather. You can read a report on our holiday website (three pages).

On our trips to Germany, we noticed that we still feel very much at home there. That, combined with some other things, made us google what houses are for sale there. We looked at a few houses, which were less beautiful in real life than in the pictures. An attentive estate agent then pointed us to a property with a garage and an office, located near Bourtange and close to the Küstenkanal. If all goes well, we will sign in January 2024 and you can expect a change of address from us in the summer.

In short, another interesting year awaits us ;-)


We wish you the latter, too, as well as prosperity, health and peace. Have a good 2024!

Ernst & Sylvia