December 6. Saint Nicholas.

Written by Jack van Ommen on December 6th, 2012

Lisa, Corinne and I drove in our rental car to Bruges, Belgium on Monday evening and stayed the night. We made a quick tour of the city, the Grand Place, the Our Lady Cathedral, Bequinage. But it was cold and dark and the landmark Swans in the city moats looked cold and distracted. We needed the sun to shine through the magnificent stained glass windows. And I told Lisa she has tio come back in the late Spring to smell the Linden blossoms. ( see the blog when hers sister Jeannine was in Bruges on July 13 2010). Then we made a sentimental journey to Halle, where Jeannine was born in 1969, and on to Ittre where Lisa lived with us between 1968 and 1970.

It snowed yesterday on St. Nicholas Eve. My sister Karolien and Herman invited us for the St. Nicholas Eve celebrattion. We exchanged gifts, sang the traditional St.Nicholas songs and after a delicious dinner we played “Sjoelen” a traditional shuffle board game. The “Sjoelbak” was made in the Mastmakers shop and the last time I ever played this game was in 1956. The entire de Vries family would gather every new year’s eve at my grandparents home and we would play on this same board. Corrine was the champion of the evening and it ended up America-Holland, 2-1.

“De Mastmakersdochters”: The first order has been put in with the printer and I shall have books available within 10 days. And I expect to be able to give you details on where and how to obtain the printed and electronic version within the next days. I decided, in order to keep the cost down, to bypass the mass distributors and bookstores, and to distribute the book through the publisher Boekhandel Heijink. I plan to have a dedictated web site for the book at and . This week I took a holiday with Lisa from the English version but will try and have it all finished by the end of next week. My Christmas deadline.



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