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Sauna dieptepunt Blue Wellness

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Reumatische klachten als gevolg van de hoge luchtvochtigheid van de afgelopen dagen dreven mij naar de sauna in een quest om daarvan verlichting te vinden. Niet dat dit veel helpt, maar de warmte camoufleert de pijnen en stramheid in elk geval een beetje. Op naar Blue Wellness in Leiden.


Fitland in Leiden was vijf jaar terug een van de mooiste saunas in de wijde omtrek. Twee naamswijzigingen en eigenaren verder (Vitae/City Resort en nu Blue Wellness) is het op een absoluut dieptepunt beland. Continue gestunt met prijzen heeft tot gevolg dat het veel te druk is geworden. Vanmiddag waren er meer mensen dan de capaciteit aankan. Bij het woord 'wellness' verwacht je iets anders dan een kudde door elkaar krioelende opgehokte naakte lijven op zoek naar een plek om te zitten. Die er niet is. De stoomcabine was kaputt, en een briefje verwees naar een soort reserve cabine, maar daar mochten we op dat moment ook niet in. Dan maar naar de kleurensauna. Oh nee, ook gesloten,…

Sauna low point Blue Wellness Leiden

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Rheumatic complaints due to the high humidity of the last few days drove me to the sauna in a quest to find relief from it. Not that this helps much, but the heat camouflages the pains and stiffness a bit. Off to Blue Wellness in Leiden.


Five years ago, Fitland in Leiden was one of the most beautiful saunas in the area. Two name changes and owners further (Vitae / City Resort and now Blue Wellness) it has reached an absolute low point. Continuous stunting with prices means that it has become far too busy. This afternoon there were more people than the capacity could handle. With the word 'wellness' you expect something other than a herd of huddled naked bodies looking for a place to sit. Which is nowhere to be found. The steam cabin was kaputt, and a note referred to a kind of reserve cabin, but we were not allowed in at the time. Then on to the color sauna. Oh no, also closed, and in connection with the 'Aufguss' (löyly, water infusion on the hot rocks) …

Katwijk: ID-kaart verlopen? Dan schrijft u zich maar elders in.

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De gemeente Katwijk. Elke keer als je denkt dat het niet erger kan, bewijzen de ambtenaren daar dat ze nog minder weten dan je vreest.

Voor mijn moeder moest na een val een crisisopname worden geregeld. Ze kwam in een zorginstelling in Koudekerk aan den Rijn terecht om daar te herstellen. Alleen is haar ID-kaart verlopen, en de instelling eist een geldige kaart. Daar had de Katwijkse ambtenaar die mijn zwager sprak geen oplossing voor. Een ID-kaart moet je zelf aanvragen en ophalen, en een huisbezoek doen ze niet in Koudekerk, dat is te ver (30 minuten rijden...). Oplossing: ze moet zich in Katwijk uitschrijven, zich inschrijven in Alphen aan den Rijn, en daar een nieuwe kaart aanvragen. En als ze weer thuiskomt, zich weer in Alphen uitschrijven en zich dan gewoon weer in Katwijk inschrijven. Let wel, we hebben het hier over een vrouw van 94 die vrijwel haar hele leven in Katwijk woont. Dat dan ook alles waar ze nu via de gemeente voor in aanmerking komt, zoals thuiszorg,…

The sauna ritual

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It was a good day. We headed towards the twelfth floor on a Saturday morning, like we do almost every month. Time to talk, laugh, unwind and to be serious. We watched the wild clouds, chasing across the sky, emitting dark massive grey curtains of rain and hail, suddenly approaching us with a tremendous pace. Finally autumn was upon us, and it did so with profound power. We were impressed.

Australia and the Petrov Affair, it all started with a Škoda

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In December 1953 a wrecked Škoda triggered a series of unfortunate events, that resulted in the cutting of diplomatic ties between Moscow and Australia for five years. This is the story of a political car – and if anyone knows some more of these stories, I'd like to hear them.



 Facts: On December 23, 1953, Laventi Beria, former head of the Soviet secret service MVD (later KGB) was found guilty of treason, and executed that same day. One day later, Christmas Eve, a burned out Škoda belonging to the Russian embassy, used by embassy staffer Vladimir Petrov, was found on the side of a rural road near Canberra, the capital of Australia. On Christmas Day, Vladimir Petrov, who was assigned to the Soviet embassy together with his wife Evdokia Petrova in 1951, reported to the police claiming he was run down from the road by a red truck. The Petrovs were no regular diplomats, but spies working for the MVD, and sent to Canberra by Beria. Police investigations concluded however that though th…

Toyota dashboard memories

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Waiting for my father, sitting in the passenger seat of his new 1970 Toyota Corolla, I was quietly admiring the beauty of the modern dash of the small car. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder for sure, but that simple white metal dash with its two big gauges surrounded by a piece of black plastic, looked like nothing else in the entire automotive world for me as a young 12 year old at that moment. Because this was my father's first new car in many years. And with each subsequent new car, at an average interval of every two years back then, I witnessed progress in technology and luxury. How easily satisfied we were.

A Japanese family happily enjoying their late 1960s Corolla.
The 1970 car my father owned for a couple of months had a slightly different grille.

Of course, that Corolla was not a marvel of advancement. It was modestly handsome, and the Japanese early fame for offering a lot for bargain money was somehow lost on this car. It offered nothing. Not even headrests. And this…

Tucker Tesla – no future for Elon Musk's cars

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Elon Musk spoke, and European countries have a nervous breakdown. Tesla is planning a 'megafactory' in Europe. No surprise that every country and region is flirting with Tesla now. Poor Brexit Britain, it disqualified itself, but for the others it will be a winter and spring full of suspense until Mr. Musk will speak again. And to the winner I will say, enjoy it while it lasts. Because anyone who is familiar with the Tucker story, knows how the Tesla adventure will end. Musk and his companies will be there in our future, but Tesla won't. So, if you want a Tesla megafactory within your borders, you better start thinking about future re-employment and outsourcement programs as well. 

Tesla Model S
I have never driven a Tesla Model S. Frankly, I'd love to be behind the wheel of one, if only for an hour. The Tesla Model S has become a common car on Dutch roads, helped by massive tax incentives. Apparently, it is even the best selling car in Norway. Which is cheeky, since Nor…