Since my last news in May 2013, business has been quite hectic. Amsterdam being the second most popular tourist city in the world was booming pretty much all summer, but now towards the end of the year it’s getting very quiet as tourists obviously prefer to go to more exotic sunnier places.
Living around the corner of the enormous and ever extending Congress Center the RAI sure helps us and all other hotels and BB locations in the neighborhood very much. Each year in September there is a massive congress for International Broadcasting (I.B.C.) which draws at least 100.000 visitors and right after that there is one for thousands of cardiologists.
We have sure been visited a lot lately by jolly Russians and Ukrainians. When they left it has often happened that the empty vodka bottles could be found just about in every corner of the room. The Chinese are kinder, soft spoken, polite and use their mobile translation service for any questions they want to ask us. Some Asians though, of which the Chinese are in the majority, never quite make it to our house as they tend to cancel almost as soon as they have booked a room with us. Apparently they need a confirmation from a BB or hotel for them to stay at, so they can get their official visa. Right after that has been arranged they cancel…Quite time consuming for us and most irritating as well, as now Philip and I are doing the entire booking and blocking of our rooms. You can imagine how frustrating it gets, even if we work with some of the worlds biggest booking agents. While The Irish soccer fans are also notorious to wreck their places, we luckily never had those kind of clients.
The ones we love lately are French or Belgian middle aged mothers with one or two of their teenage or adult daughters. Mom gets easily exhausted and prefers to do cultural visits, while daughters prefer to shop until they drop and Mom then seldom or never gets a chance to attend one of the finer museums like the Rijksmuseum, which has just been opened after 10 years of restoration. I usually make the mother sign our guestbook and suggest next time to come with her own husband or young lover and do what SHE wants to do most, which is often diagonally opposed to their broods wishes.
Then there are plenty of mature couples who come to Amsterdam to attend an enormous pop concert like Fleetwood Mac or some major all night dance party. Those are usually fun people, in their late thirties and forties, who like to dress up for the event and take their time over breakfast, very late in the morning, when they are barely awake from their all nights outings. Often the menopausal wife suffers from pain in her legs, hot flashes or swollen feet as she is not used to stay on her feet for many hours, especially when the main act gets postponed by a few hours.
This summer we were once more invited by my year long friend Vinko to attend the now famous Petit Festival de Theatre in Dubrovnik and I was even asked to produce once more the divine one woman show STRIPPED of Hannah Chalmers she did with so much verve both in Amsterdam as well as in our Marbella Home theatre a few years ago. The show is a totally autobiographical story about her own life as a stripper in London.
Vinko, who always is in charge of organizing these events, had never really given us his Dubrovnik phone number. We arrived round 5 p.m. in the afternoon when it was still boiling hot. Philip and I were of the understanding that our place to stay was going to be the same private home Vinko had arranged in the old town of this divine city two years ago. As usual I had packed far too many clothes in a far too heavy suitcase; poor Philip had to be the mule once more. And that, while Philip for the umpteenth time had warned me before our departure, to keep the weight below 18 kilos.
Once landed after a tiring flight with change over and a plane that seemed smaller than ever ( or had I grown heavier over the years?) we met one of Vinko’s friends at the airport, who had come along on the same flight as we. We had met the previous visit we had made to participate at the same kind of festival. Philip asked him where he was staying and he shook his tall lanky body while mumbling something like : “In a cloister nearby.” Ah well we were still of the opinion that WE would certainly not be checked into a cloister. I am not that catholic either!! Of course I never asked him the location of the cloister. So we each carried our suitcase on wheels up and down the old hilly town, a long hot walk with hundreds of relaxed tourists meandering the shopping streets or sipping their cold drinks. Philip placed me in the center of town on a terrace and we parked our entire luggage around me, while he went up the hill to check out our place of destination. Less than half an hour later he came running back to me, all hot and sweaty and with a desperate look on his face he said:
“There was a totally different family who have rented the place, lets call Vinko.” In the meantime it was round 7.30 p.m the sun started to get lower and lower and my stomach was grumbling with hunger. I removed my laptop from my suitcase and a waiter, who barely spoke 5 words English nor seemed to have an idea on how to get the wifi working called half a dozen of his colleagues and finally we got on line. I looked for Vinko’s phone number in my address system but none of his 3 numbers worked. I was getting suddenly quite desperate and already had a worse case horror scenario in my mind that we had to find a fancy hotel for euro 500 or more per night, due to not being able to reach Vinko and being in the middle of the most expensive season in Dubrovnik. Then it dawned on me to call Hannah Chalmers’ mobile number who had apparently landed a few hours earlier. Et voila: she did answer immediately and it turned out that we all were staying at the same cloister the young man had told us about. Back we walked again a long long road and totally exhausted we entered the serene cloister, which was just around the corner where the bus from the airport had left us off a few hours earlier. So all this trouble was for nothing. We got in fact quite a nice but austere room assigned; with two narrow single beds, well separated from each other and of course a painting of Jezus Christ on his cross right opposite our bed. We had a magnificent view of the quiet full blooming garden where fruit trees were heavy with various fruit like lemons, oranges and even avocados.
The sweet old nuns instantly offered us a shining silver tray with fine cups and saucers with coffee or tea and some delicious homemade cookies. From then on we were allowed to use their tiny fridge in the morning, where Philip placed our famous Dutch bread called Red Rose, named after the wife of the bakery in our Amsterdam neighborhood. The Dutch Cheese and pepper salami we had brought along as well served us daily as a nice evening snack just before going to sleep. Of course there were the 3 x a day melodious chants we could hear from the church next door.
Some of the nuns spoke a tiny bit of German. I noticed they almost all were of the same height, had the same type of spectacles and generally looked so similar that I one morning stopped the head sister in the lobby of the hotel and asked her.. while she gesticulated to her colleague, in German.: “Seit Ihr Schwester?” in other words:” Are you two sisters?” To which they both started laughing out loud, threw their arms up in the air and then the oldest of the two I had asked this question to smiled and said cheerfully: “Aber sicher sind wir Schwester, wir sind ja alle verheirated mit Gott.” (For sure we are sisters as we are all married to God.)
Vinko offered us all each night a new program. I had not seen Hannah for over a year and was still very happy to watch her perform her show STRIPPED one night for a full house in this spectacular outdoors theater, located right near the gorgeous beach being lit up by a full moon.
I was chosen to be a judge for two well known photographers who both excelled in erotic pictures and had a dozen or so photographs exposed on the walls of another open space exhibit. One artist was from Dubrovnik and his specialty was glamour and kink while the other, a sweet American from New York, Robert Farber specially flown in by Vinko for this festival, made basically softer erotic pictures. Robert had already acquired world fame and when HE was chosen to be the winner, he generously rejected to accept this price and instructed Vinko to give it to the new talent, a much younger somewhat rougher looking sexy photographer from Dubrovnik.
We were smitten by a totally new mime/dance show of two women playing each others sister in Sweden, where the younger sister follows in amazement the speedy trip to dementia of her much older sister. This was an exquisite performance, which drew quite a few tears from the audience. It was a sellout evening. They were accompanied by their own husbands on Violin and guitar and the Scandinavian musical tones as well as the mellow soft lighting gave it all a most eerie feeling.
Each night Philip and I walked home in the summery night when the heat was off and the fresh sea wind brought in the smell of the ocean, getting in our quiet cloister garden that led to our rooms, we felt that this was the well earned peaceful vacation we had craved for so long. During the weekend we took a boat ride to the nearest island Bokrum, where we enjoyed the spectacular view of the coast line. We both truly enjoyed the peaceful ambiance without too many tourists. We had a healthy luncheon out in the open with the sound of tropical birds all around us. FOTOS . There was a small zoo we visited with dozens of peacocks , some were keeled over forwards with their nose in the sand. At first I thought they were dead, but they seemed to just have a siesta. Our vacation was over quickly and we made some nice new friends
For the first time in many years did we go there NOT with the intention to scout for talents to take to Holland or Spain but just for the fun of it, to enjoy the beauty of this great city that never seems to bore us and pick and choose whatever things we wanted: one (wo) man shows, musical shows, opera, ballet, cabaret. You name it. The Fringe still has it all. And what great weather we enjoyed for a change, we didn’t need an umbrella once!!
I had decided that I should stop producing theater after so many great years; basically due to the economic crisis and people’s priorities that apparently had changed. The interest for UK language theatre of the caliber of MY kind of shows had dwindled. Whereas a show about a horny stripper still sold out easily, the moment I chose a more difficult subject like my last plays about kids being bullied to death…I found that people’s interest in that particular subject which suddenly had been popping up in the press on a daily basis had reached the stage of OVERKILL. While dozens of kids were virtually killing themselves as a result of being bullied…basically for coming out of the closet; apparently nobody wanted to see or hear any more such stories on stage…as it was too true to life.
Philip and I saw one terrific one man play which was mostly Mime interspersed with the occasional witty text, called: " It goes without saying" http://www.bill-bowers.com/email/it-goes-without-saying.html by the American mime actor and one time pupil of Marcel Marceau in Paris: Bill Bowers. He lives in Manhattan and when we saw him I suddenly felt sad that I had decided not to produce any more plays as I would have loved to book him in Holland.
One interesting meeting did take place the night before we were about to leave again for Amsterdam after 3 weeks of fun and entertainment, meetings with friends like Zin Craig and her man; FOTOS Jim Haynes , one of the founders of the Fringe festival and another half a dozen friends…I had booked some fine seats for Brahms Requiem at the famous Usher hall.
Shortly before the concert started I decided to once more visit the entrance hall to the Traverse Theatre which is right next door to Usher hall. Philip was parking the car and went for a stroll, while I was quietly sitting on my own at a small table with two chairs right near the entrance, thinking how great once more this festival had been and looking forward to this serious requiem as a farewell concert. Then a sexy bald headed man in his mid fifties, sharp blue eyes, somewhat beaky nose, immaculately dressed in a penguin suit – clearly one of the members of the choir - walked through the revolving doors with a somewhat eager look on his face clearly looking for something.
I coughed ever so softly to draw his attention, so he instantly stopped and walked over to me and asked me if he could join me. Within the next 10 minutes conversation it felt like we had known each other for ages. There was a kind of magic I had not experienced for a long time. He was basically looking for a toilet as the ones at the Usher hall were not easy to find or always full of waiting people. I showed him the disabled toilet, which was on the ground floor and told him the rest of the theatre was already closed up. We even walked over together to the corner where the toilet was. Our hands briefly touched. When he came back and sat down again with me, I noticed a recent scar on his forehead and just before we said goodbye I asked him if I could touch it. He apparently had had a recent operation due to skin cancer.
“From the weather in the UK? “ I wondered.
“No, I used to live in Africa for 10 years as a business man with my family. When I returned to the UK I became a member of the choir but my profession was not that of a musician. This skin cancer turned up many years after my sun worshipping lifestyle. ”
“Are you married…” I asked . Then I quickly added :”AH….with your naughty look in your eyes you could well be an eternal bachelor too.”
He lowered his voice, touched my upper arm in a most gentle way and pulled some hair from my forehead…” Divorced after 20 years marriage and my ex as well as my son and daughter live in London. And as I always loved Scotland I moved to Edinburgh and live not far from the airport.”
I liked his somewhat nasal most melodious deep voice and detected some slight middle European accent.
I will save you more details… Only that during the concert, I could not take my eyes and ears of this singer from afar as there were only 3 bald headed singers in the choir. I did find out his name and that he, as I had guessed, was of Jewish Hungarian descent.. I brought out the Jew in him after many years of Britishness.
Ever since, we have been extremely close email friends and shared a number of hot conversations by phone. I sent him great humoristic often Jewish related jokes or stories, but also quite some fascinating war time stories or other emotional texts or photographs. However when I had sent pics of exquisite, though sometimes somewhat augmented young women in sexual poses, he ordered me to stop doing so, as they meant absolutely nothing to him. They could all be his daughters and he had always, since his divorce, preferred the company of more mature sometimes older women. Yet he certainly was not a gerontophile. He prefers to just look at one of my own most recent portraits to dozens of fixed up sex kittens in the nude.
Of course this kind of relationship was quite flattering for my ego. He also sharpens my mind with films of operas or requiems or anything intellectually or cultural stimulating. For a few weeks we would stay in touch specially round midnight when all others had gone to bed. He is single and we adore our ongoing affectionate yet platonic relationship!! I think I may have found myself one hell of a nice Mensch and Soulmate. His name I will keep a secret. Sometimes we take a break of a week or two from one another, and now we have become just good email friends. He already promised me some tickets for next years concert at the same Usher Hall, I hope this time it will be the Requiem of Faure, my favorite composer.
Before I forget of course there was my favorite month of the year: September, to visit my own villa in Spain, No guests, just Philip and I, unwinding from our hectic BB season. We finally had a chance to meet up with my great mostly English girlfriends, Louise and Angela PICS who both had acquired brand new lovers. Louise whose sweet old mom Eeny had finally died at the good old age of….. 103 was finally free for a new man in her life… It turned out to be the ex husband of another friend of ours Josephine, who had been living in the USA for many years and now returned to Spain. Giorgio is a great looking man of Spanish/Mexican origin, who was a famous architect in his younger years and now does repair jobs for all of Louises friends. So… at his very reasonable prices he fixed up two of our bathrooms and installed new glass doors in the bathtubs as well as other little things that needed a touch up. Meanwhile my two best German girlfriends had been “assisted somewhat” by a great trendy plastic surgeon in Malaga and both look much clearer out of their pretty eyes
Prostitution apparently is still the oldest profession in the world and even though I have retired from that "business" more than 40 years ago, somehow the Daily Mail with its millions of readers worldwide, is still interested in my opinion about this subject, especially since I now live in tolerant Amsterdam, where prostitution rules and regulations are constantly changing.
The one time most famous and fancy brothel Yab Yum for instance has been closed down January 2008. The city of Amsterdam revoked its license, alleging that it was being used for criminal activity. Now anno 2013 it has been opened again as a museum, guided tours draw many eager tourists to visit this colorful place and listen to the piquant stories of clients and hookers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yab_Yum_(brothel) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MR7uM8s4OL0
As it happens the same day this Daily Mail appears with an interview about prostitution and the law with our Amsterdam mayor van der Laan as well as me, there will be an official opening of the film "Patrolman P" in Manhattan, New York. This movie covers the life of 33 years behind bars of the infamous cop, Bill Phillips, who I had written about in my book the Happy Hooker. A very long time this man did for an alleged double murder that took place in the Happy Hooker days. I still don't believe Bill Philips did it, but at last he is a free man, who in the beginning was quite brokenhearted and lonely but since the production and promotion of his life story on film and the massive opening party he sure looks a lot more cheerful.
It seems that nostalgia for New York in the HAPPY HOOKER times of the early 1970s is thick in the air! Only one month after the jam-packed Staged Reading of HAPPY HOOKER the Musical held at the Cutting Room NYC on Oct 7th, the life and times of Xaviera Hollander and the corrupt cops who threatened to end her reign, is about to have a World Premiere on the silver screen at the DOC NYC Film Festival!
Patrolman P, is a new documentary about one of the most infamous and showy corrupt cops in NYC history, Bill Philips, whom the HAPPY HOOKER the Musical character "Detective Scarelli" is based on (played by Richard Blake in the Musical Reading, photo attached, enacting the song "On the Pad" based on Bill Philips' autobiography. Performers and supporters from the Staged Reading will be in attendance, and the buzz is so big that the premiere is already SOLD OUT! http://www.docnyc.net/film/patrolman-p/#.UmBJU5RMW5c
If you are intrigued by the world of the HAPPY HOOKER and New York in the 70s, Patrolman P is not to be missed! Website: http://patrolmanp.com/
In 1971, the New York Police Department is mired in corruption. When investigators try and expose it they learn Frank Serpico, their whistle blower, won't wear a wire. Their luck turns when Bill Phillips, a flamboyant corrupt detective, is caught taking bribes from an infamous madam, Xaviera Hollander (aka The HAPPY HOOKER) and agrees to go undercover among his own. Phillips becomes a prolific informant, securing the indictments of dozens of cops and shattering the Blue Wall of Silence. The script flips when Phillips is convicted of murder. Phillips claims he was the victim of a conspiracy. But after three decades behind bars, will anyone believe him?
Before this quarterly newsletter gets toooo long I will just touch on a few nice high moments in my life for which I barely had to leave the city.. no less the country.
There was a nice summery Sunday afternoon Philip and I spent in picturesque Meppel with a Dutch professional military man Patric van Aalderen and his attractive Iranian wife Nahid Sadeghian and their adorable little boy of 4, Sami. Patric has a pretty macabre profession as he is an identification specialist and responsible for taking care of human remains from soldiers and civilians who got missed after a war. In all seriousness during the weekends he sure knows how to relax and enjoy his great family life with his wife, who is a super cook of the most exotic Iranian and other Mediterranean meals, often accompanied by her more frivolous younger sister Yasaman and their sweet and cheerful mother, Hamideh. While the men, including Victor Laurentius, who originally introduced me to this couple, were going for a great boat ride to Giethoorn, truly the Venice of the North, I tried to pick up a few great recipes for my favorite lunch of that day. One of these recipes is Mirza Ghassemi.
8 eggs, large
2 large eggplants
6 large tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic puree
salt, black pepper
1/4 cup oil
Prick eggplants all over. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 400º for about 20 minutes or until very tender. To check if the eggplant is cooked, pinch the neck. If the neck is soft, the eggplant is cooked. In the mean time mince the garlic and puree by pressing down your knife and smashing it by firmly dragging the knife over the garlic. Once the eggplants are ready, take them out of the oven and let them rest for five minutes. Once they have cooled down peel the skin off. This should be easy and quick, otherwise put the eggplant under cold water and take off the skin carefully. Cut the neck of the eggplant, remove the seeds and rough chop the eggplant and mash with a fork. Then, put the tomatoes in some water and heat them up. Do not boil them! Take the tomatoes out, take of their skin and chop them. After this, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper until they are frothy. Keep all the ingredients separated! Warm up the oil and add the garlic. Stir constantly till they have a nice color. Add eggs and stir well. Cook eggs as you would when making scrambled eggs. Once the eggs appear to be solid remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside. If there is no oil left in the pot after you removed the eggs, add some more oil in it. Add eggplants and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook covered on medium-high stirring often until the liquid has evaporated. Once the vegetables start sticking to the bottom add the eggs. Serve the Mirza Ghassemi with a side of thinly sliced cucumbers and plain yogurt or serve over rice. Garnish with Basilicum. Enjoy!
Flying back from Spain to Amsterdam I sat behind a happy couple in their late thirties, who had one of the most gorgeous little blonde angel boys I ever laid my eyes on. He was jumping up and down with happiness, came to chat with all the people near him and had something totally angelic about him. He even allowed me to touch his sweet smooth skin and stroke him over his golden locks. His parents and I got to talk. Suddenly, for the first time in ages, it came to mind to set up a special kiddy party with children between the age of 1 and 7 of some of my oldest friends…Old in the way that we go back sometimes 30 years. They are now a talented film maker, Rogier and photographer J.W.S. who in their youth were pretty wild womanizers and never seemed to get into a really serious relationship until both, almost pushing 50, decided to settle down and start breeding.
And so I had a miraculously happy afternoon with about half a dozen kids and their parents or at least one of their parents. Rogier Frensdorf , Jan Willem and me used tp refer to ourselves as the "Three Musketeers". For many years J.W.S. and I had like a love affair through the music we both liked and he would tape for me. In the course of these years he made “special occasion” tapes for me, like birthday music or holiday music or even death music.(for occasions of death in my family or group of friends). Specially J.W.S. and I have a penchant for the macabre, bizar and sometimes death. Later on we went to cds and much later we switched to movies. We attended various horror film festivals in Amsterdam and his best friend was the owner of Amsterdam's most famous "cult videotheek". . Even now, still once every half year we get together mostly in the company of half a dozen male friends with similar tastes to watch a few hours of carefully selected: cult like movies. Usually a bit macabre, artistic, s/m- ish even and once in a while with horror or gothic themes. No zombies…. Please. In January we plan on a night of witty musical themes for a change.
But this Sunday J.W.S. had brought along some great animated movies for kids.. so the adults could have fun and talk freely while most of the children were glued to the screen.. I usually am NOT at all into little kids and in fact in the past was known to refer to some of my friends kids as M.L.M. = mothers little monsters….(it was meant as a joke but there was definitely some truth in the fact that I have no patience for kids, not having had them myself probably.) This Sunday was different and fun. The pictures speak for themselves.
Last but not least. Not I myself but my house in Amsterdam has had a massive facelift. The run down lived in attic, where a quiet computer geek- and- for-years-total-bachelor had rented the entire floor for a very modest rent during the last 17 years, finally met his bride-to-be- on www.match.com moved out and now has even purchased his own 5 room house around the corner from us.
He had ripped off all carpets in our attic and the place looked barren and totally not cozy, but... has now been converted into an incredibly romantic and spacious hideaway: the so called LUXURY LOFT PICTURES With fully equipped modern kitchen, a huge double shower for romantic lovers, who can share this together and of course comfortable big beds that can be put together as king size beds or singles. The ultimate place for friends who wanna have some fun. This entire rebuilding of the loft as well as other parts of the house that needed a touch up took about half a year and did cost me an arm and a leg. All this time a talented builder and a great plumber/electrician friend were removing asbestos from the attic, getting rid of a big old chimney, then they discovered a leak in the basement, which ofcourse also had to get fixed. They inserted skylights, reconstructed the entire attic, built walls, created closet space, put in stain glass windows, isolated the new double windows all over the house etc.etc. Meanwhile a good friend and theater producer I know since he was a teenager, found some great jatoba wood and made a fine floor for a very reasonable price. They all helped insolate the garden chalet, install new showers and central heaters, fixed boilers and created new walls and rooms . All in all like we found out builders ALWAYS find new chores to solve and so the bills mounted enormously, way beyond my means.
And that's why Philip and I decided not to travel anywhere for the next few months…lay low, cut down expenses and generally I want to work on a new book which I had left untouched for the last 5 years due to lack of time and writers block. So now I found a great and energetic young Dutch agent, named Coen Borgman, who has worked for years in different jobs with major publishers and now plans on reissuing my books Child no More,(in Dutch) and a Dutch version of the 69 tips on how to become a better lover . Last but not least he is interested in also publishing the big book I have been working on for years called WALL TALK both in Dutch and English. In a future letter I will give a more detailed introduction of Borgman and his company. Still a lot of work to do.. I better get moving as it is about the rise and hopefully not yet fall of this house where I have now lived for 40 years….
I was invited to give a one hour lecture on " How to become a better lover" in castle Sterkenburg FOTOS near Utrecht and to bring along 38 signed copies of the tips book, which will be handed to the guests during dinner. I had recently been approached by this charming group of members of the YPO Organization which I believed was an abbreviation of the Young Peoples Organisation until I received the following note from a dear American businessman, Harrison, now living in Amsterdam:" I’m very impressed. YPO isn’t "Young Peoples Organization", it’s "Young Presidents’ Organization” and it’s a worldwide networking organization only open to people who are CEOs or equivalent in their businesses, and those have to be multi-million dollar businesses with lots of employees (a small company doesn’t qualify). I was a well-educated and successful guy but I never qualified for YPO, and the people I knew who were in it were real movers and shakers. So it’s quite an honor to be invited to lecture to them. Congratulations!"
And in the meantime, while putting the finishing touches to this lengthy newsletter I HAVE GIVEN THIS INCREDIBLE LECTURE... The audience was mostly in their thirties to fifty (as then they have to move to another organisation)": a jolly crowd, colorfully dressed and jovial, but at first I noticed quite critical of what I had to say. The charming host, who had prepared most questions with me, mr. Bert Jan ... was immediately referred to by me as B.J. which in American means Blow job.. The first laughter rippled through the audience; soon followed by dozens more as my tone of voice got more and more cheerful, the subjects more daring and public participation in measuring the size of a man's tool was a real riot. Then Mr. BJ was used by me as a sample to the public to show WHERE exactly man's (or womans) erogenous zones could be found. More hilarious stories were told by me. I even introduced Philip my husband to the public as my happy cooker.. as that was my first question when we met " CAN YOU COOK!!!" Then came the questions from the audience and more and more women raised their hands. Time just flew by and their dinner was apparently getting cold in the castle, while we were in a cozy room with open fire in front of the castle. After the long applause died out, group pictures were taken one woman who sat in the front row gave me the biggest compliment of the evening:" Miss Hollander. This was not just a great lecture you gave tonight , it was a fantastic performance, or better still a TRUE HAPPENING."
Both Phiilip as well as my new agent Coen were honestly surprised to hear such ravings and that, while the public started off so reluctantly and critical. Coen apparently is also an agent for authors who want to go on a lecture tour. So there, if the BB business stays for a few months on an all time LOW la Hollander can hopefully get by with some more lectures and or workshops. I call this jokingly the Schnabbel the babble circuit.
Just came back from a fun night of hot music (in a small romantic town called Uithoorn). This was performed by an old friend I had not seen for the last 20 years Jaap Dekker and my schoolchum Kuuk Griep on drums, together with a well known saxophone player Olaf Hoeks.
They set the smallish place of about 40 people on fire. Terrific Boogie woogy on the piano by Jaap who refers to himself as Happy Hammers, followed by soul, jazz, Coltrane, Billy Joell and Take the A train by Oscar Peterson and not to forget an incredible rendition of Blueberry.Hill. We both sure had changed over the years, I had apparently put on weight from eating too much but Jaaps face was quite big from drinking too much. In front of our eyes he downed at least 7 glasses of wine but.. it certainly made him play even more firy than in the beginning, though his talking became more like babbling.
So this is it. Some day I may indeed have Coen collate all my old newsletters, who are just like small booklets and publish them as one big book:
Have a great New Year you all. Stay happy and healthy, look after your kids and grand kids and keep your head above water in these horrid difficult times to survive. Even I know what it feels like…
Love Xaviera & Philip