Well I have been absent with blog posts for a while now. Last post was November 2019 and we are well underway in 2020 in the meantime.
So what’s up, well I have drifted a bit from what my original idea for the blog was. My personal interests in finance, music , running and art. The main idea was to write whenever I felt like it and keep it a bit diversified. I got caught up in the personal finance part of it all. Mainly because there are so many cool ideas and I tried incorporating all that in my blog.
Well that generated more posts but not a lot of interesting ones. So I am stopping all series, which don’t add to get people thinking about things and just state facts, like the dividend and portfolio updates. Lot’s of other people are doing a much better job on those topics than I do. It also means I don’t feel any pressure (totally self imposed offcourse) to keep a monthly schedule and post stuff for the sake of it.
It’s a bit of a re-focus if you will and a drive in writing more meaningful pieces than just following a format. Let’s see where it takes me.
Time is a unknown factor in life, while planning ahead for retirement and saving some money for later sometimes your time can be cut short. So why not try to invest to get a bit more free time now.
The main goal for me to pursue financial independence, is time. This became even more evident when I got sick in February.
While I maintain a healthy lifestyle and mostly watch my health closely, you can’t control it. I have some stuff I want to do before I am too old to do it, such as running a few more marathons and a few Ultra trails. While some people run them at age 70 , changes might be I am not in a shape to do that after I am retired. Also there are a few travel experiences I cannot fit in the 24 days off I get every year.
So I am now even more determined to become largely financially independent and have the options of taking months of to train and travel. I have been on this path for some time now, while it is easier with a full time yob which pays well, fast is nice , but a bit slower and doing what I really love doing might be more important.
A few weeks back I suffered an encephalitis due to a virus that got stuck in my brain. Now I am getting back from that which isn’t all that easy. Progress is slow , and not always a straight line up.
In order to get my health back I need to do some exercising , no running so I stick to walking for now. One of the advantages is I get to take my camera with me and snap some pictures. A few I have uploaded and added.
The whole world applauded the Paris environmental treaty. Which mostly covered the restriction of the fossil fuels. This all to prevent the rise temperature worldwide. Good work on all fronts. Everybody happy, mostly because everything that has been agreed can be easily outmanoeuvred. Simply because you can travel the world with all the carbon emission rights and buy or sell any paper deficit or surplus you might have. As with all matters which nobody really cares about. It’s near impossible to check.
Same thing with waste. Mountains of waste. And these massive amounts of waste is a more pressing problem at the moment I think. Since a very large part of the industrial waste is simply dumped around the world, where it should be disposed of in the proper way. And on paper it most likely is, at least when people are able to track it and check it. There is a massive waste trade around the globe. And hopefully somewhere someone is doing the right thing and getting rid of it the way it’s supposed to at the end of it all. Well that assumption is wrong.
I had read about the illegal dumping of loads of industrial waste in Italy in the book Gomorra by Robert Saviano. And in some articles in newspapers and magazines over the years. Last week I watched a documentary on 2doc a Dutch documentary about these illegal dumps. they used to dump it and dump tons of clean soil on top. The dumping nowadays is done by orchestrating fires , and once the fire is burning the chemical waste is dumped on the fire. This produces toxic fumes. And a lot of the toxic materials end up in the bottom due to the rain and the water used by the fire department when extinguishing the fire.
This has resulted in extreme levels of heavy metals and other toxic materials in the fruits and vegetables that farmers grow on the lands surrounding all these illegal dump sites. It has caused variations of cancer which you normally come across with elderly people , now people as young as a couple of months have been diagnosed with these types of cancer.
More shockingly the money to clean up this mess, paid for by among others the European tax payers , ended up in the pockets of the criminals that dumped it their in the first place, cleaning absolutely nothing. All this has never been checked , although there was a nice piece of paper outlining all the parameters of the cleaning. But nobody cares after the ink is dry. And in the statistics it’s probably marked as clean again. In the meantime everything stays the same. And nobody wakes up.
So for now, I have removed the ad and I am going to find a solution to this first before I put the ad back on my site.
Well , since I have a very very old laptop which used to run windows 7 and got extremely slow, I now installed Ubuntu on it.
Which is easy, simply next next next and yout there.
A bit of a travel companion, doing some browsing , editing pics and creating docs and that was it. Now I have decided to use it as a programming tool as well. Using phyton, which is free and very good, apparently.
The thing is I never had to use all the different Linux commands until now. Learning again , which thanks to the good old internet is fun :).
Yesterday we went to see an exhibition at Huis Marseille , it’s in a very nice old house along one of the canals. The building alone is worth the visit. The exhibitions were excellent as well. First one on the work of Cor Jaring, he used to work at the docks and started making photo’s. Later on he made a living out of it. Beautiful pictures from his trip to Japan and very nice pictures by Sander Troelstra which portray Cor in his final years. Really liked it.
Another one was by Eddo Hartmann, pictures from Pyongyang. Very desolate pictures with lot’s of empty spaces outside and inside buildings, subway stations etc. Haunting sometimes. Like there’s absolutly no one there. Very well taken pictures. Enjoyed it a lot. The museum also has a backyard and with the nice weather it was an excellent place to relax.
Next up was lunch at “cafe de Pels” , beer and a sandwich. Next stop was the museum van Loon. Which is a big mansion from an old merchant family. Not really my cup of tea. Although it’s nice to see all the old furniture and craftsmanship that went in to make it. It’s not something I can spent hours watching. But once again a beautiful garden, were we spent some time reading.
Last museum of the day was Foam , with an exhibition from Noémie Goudal, she made structures (from paper I think) and puts them in a landscape. Very cool indeed. There was also a series by painter Carel Willink. Skies over the city a study on clouds for a painting. I didn’t enjoy it that much, but maybe I just reach my art and museum limit for the day.
Time for food and drinks at the foodhallen/ , always nice. Then a nice dinner at a tiny cafe near the Nieuwmarkt , forgot the name. Well it was something with bear in the name. All round a very good sunny and relaxing day in Amsterdam.
This weekend we have been visiting Ghent, a very nice city. Not to big but lots of nice neighbourhoods. We were staying at the Big sleep B&B. Very nice old house with large rooms and a swimming pool in the garden. I didn’t pack any swimming gear unfortunately. It’s situated near the city’s historical centre, which you can easily walk.
We mostly wander around a city and decide what were we go as we go along. Walked around the old docks, checked the St Bavo’s Cathedral. We ended up walking towards a nice record shop and in the same street there was an old Begijnhof. Nowadays a lot of artist live there and they were showing their work in their homes.
Some nice art, but as always too expensive for me. Near our B&B there was an Sicilian restaurant, one of the best in Ghent apparently. On a Saturday night it was advised to make a reservation. We decided to try anyway, luckily a table was available. The food and wines were excellent. So if you go to Ghent , be sure to eat at Il mezzogiorno. , afterwards a few drinks at a local bar. Maybe a bit to late but what an excellent day!
The next day we were greeted with an very good breakfast and very nice weather. Sunshine and 21 degrees. Nice ! We decided to take it easy and just stroll around the city and stop as often as possible to sit and enjoy the sun and a good book. Very enjoyable day all round. There is a lot more to be seen and done in Ghent. Much more than we did. But it’s also a good place where you can avoid the big crowds and just have a relaxing weekend.