Diary 2017:

Diary 2018 is available here: 2018

2017 December 23 - 30

New bunny shelter

After a marter ate one of our bunnies, early December, we realized the old bunny shelter is beyond fixing up and needs replacement. Luckily Xmas time provided several work-free-days so we provided ourselves with a plan. With the help of Nico within a week, a brand new bunny home was built. The surviving Kay and Flip got new female friends: Lizze, Macy and Nona (we call Danootje).

2017 December 10

Xmas and Snow

We got a fresh layer of early December snow, just a few days after we finised installing the Xmas outdoor lighting and setting up the indoor decorations.

2017 November 25


Sometimes pictures say more than words....here such an example

2017 October 30 / November 20


Wenling visits us for almost a month. Marjorie met WenLing in Taiwan in the Buddhist Monastery 'Fagushan'. They immediately became good friends and now she tours Europe and finishes her trip with a visit. Marjorie and I both had to work, which was not a problem. In the weekends we visited several places like Amsterdam and Giethoorn. During the week WenLing treated us well with perfect and delicious dinners and lunches. For the rest I don't have to say a lot, as I had no clue what the girls were talking about. It was always fluent Mandarin.

2017 October 22

Henk visits concert of Epica in Doornroosje

Several months a colleague got my attention mentioning the name Epica. I realised I missed the last 3 albums and might have missed some good music. After listening to several new numbers I decided to look on their webpage. And it appeared that they are on tour and would visit Nijmegen on the 22nd of October. I asked several (old) colleagues, but none could join, so I bought 1 ticket and went. It was 200% worth it. Excellent concert, nice interaction with audiance. Super. The concert started with My Propane and Mayan as warming up. Mayan has 10 band members with 5 vocalists. Pretty interesting. Finally Epica gave a 90 minute awesome show. Very nice and I am happy I went. (For those not knowing Epica: It is a Dutch band existing over 10 years and just coming back from a US tour).

Thanks to other fans, who posted complete video'son you tube!
The full concert in 2 parts. Part 2 includes Sancta Terra with Marcela Bovia and Laura Macri from Mayan joining Simone from Epica

Some excellent songs

Some pretty cool close ups

2017 Ocotober 1 - 7

Charlotte (USA)

For an internal conference, several colleagues flew to Charlotte, and drove a few days later to Greensboro. No pictures from the conference. Outside the conference I took some pictures. It was T-shirt weather, where in NL autumn had just started. There was a lot of time to meet (new) colleagues. The hotel is pretty much down town, so walking distance to a sportbar to have some drinks and food.

2017 August 25 - September 10

Vacation North Italie: Val di Rhemes

This years vacation is picked thanks to Google-Maps. We looked for a valley with a campsite and a lot of hikes. We found Val-di-Rhemes in North Italy, close to Gran Paradiso. I had still hiking maps from 2007 when hiking with 7 other men in this area, so I knew that these mountains are nice. Hiking trails might change, so we ordered on-line a new hiking map.

And is was a very nice active vacation with perfect weather for camping and hiking and a very nice environement in the Alps.
Here a day to day travel/hiking program. The links to the GARMIN tracks are public. In 11 hiking days we walked 174km, in 68 hours and climbed over 10km.

Date Description Data
Aug-25 Travel To Italy no recording
Aug-26 Arrive In Val di Rhemes and short hike to Rhemes-Saint-Georges and Voix. no recording
Aug-27 Day hike: Champromenty, Mont Blanc, Arpilles, Soressamont 19km, 1010m, 7h23min Garmin Link
Aug-28 Short hike: Resoule, Les Zettes, Proussaz 12km, 670m , 5h03min Garmin Link
Aug-29 Day hike: Le Courthoud, Lor dessus, Pehzmaz, Lac de Chantier, La Barnaz, Melignon, Proussaz 18km, 1224m , 8h38m Garmin Link
Aug-30 Short hike: Seressamont, Introd, and back 17km, 427m , 4h46m Garmin Link
Aug-31 Shopping in Aosta, rainy day no recording
Sept-1 Day hike: Rhemes-Notre-Dam, Marmotte, Le Plan de Feyes, Sort, La Cahussettaz 12.6km, 805m , 5h53m Garmin Link
Sept-2 Short hike: Chanavey, La Chaussettaz, Le Pechoud, Artalle, Le Carre 8.8km, 580m , 4h46m Garmin Link
Sept-3 Day hike: Le Thumel, Rif. Benevolo, Col Rosset 22km, 1438m , 7h17m Garmin Link
Sept-4 Short hike: Les Combes, Croux de Bouque, Plan Cou 7.3km, 662m , 3h51m Garmin Link
Sept-5 Day hike: Verogne, Champromenty, Mont-Blanc, Dessus 20.4m, 1044m , 7h20m Garmin Link
Sept-6 Henk's trail running: Le Courthoud, Felumaz, Lac de Changier, Champchevaly, Felumaz, Palusreux 17.5m, 1523m , 5h14m Garmin Link
Sept-7 Day hike: Ozeralettaz, Ref Bezzi, Berio-Ross, Mont Forchat, Arolla 19km, 1065m , 7h58m Garmin Link
Sept-8 Pack and drive to Matthias & Pascale Walk at Gran San Bernard Garmin Link
Sept-9 Stay in Switserland no recording
Sept-10 Drive home no recording
--- Total 11 days of hiking 174km, 10450m, 68h

Here a day to day summary of the highlights.

2017 August 25

Travel to South Germany: Neuenburg

It was a difficult travel to Neuenburger Hof. We left on Friday around 9:30 in the morning, after relaxed packing. The journey progressed well and at around noon we passed Speyer/Hockenheim. We thought we would continou driving to Italy but then we ended in a 3 hour traffic jam around Karlsruhe. By the time we could drive again it was 5PM and we decided to stop close to the Swiss border in Neuenburg. The stop was not a complete surprise as we looked up a couple of affordable hotels in that area yesterday evening. Hotel "Neuenburger Hof¨ had a celebration and was not officially open for guests, but as we would have diner outside and leave before breakfast, we could stay. It is a very nice hotel.

2017 August 26

Arrive at Campsite: Val di Rhemes.

We leave early Neuenburg and soon cross the Swiss border. The highway is empty and we can continue without any obstacles. Around noon, we arrive at Rhemes-Saint-Georges / Camp site: Val di Rhemes. There are many open spots for our tent. We select one behind the badrooms. (Looking back: No doubt, there was hardly noise, and we benefitted a lot from having it close by.) It is warm and we 'swet like pigs' when setting up our tent. Once it stands, we decide to go for a walk into the village (Rhemes-Saint-George) to find what we can do there. Except for 1 diner place there is not much to do. We cross the river to Voix and return to the campsite. There we play a bit with our camara's and buy food for diner, in the camp shop.

2017 August 27

Day hike to Mont-Blanc

We decide on a relatively easy hike for today. We climb in a few hours to the highest point, which accidentally is also called 'Mont Blanc', but is not 'the' Mont Blanc. The name Mont Blanc probably the name comes from the white rocks that we see a lot. Start is pretty late for us: after 9AM. That means we will arrive at the top around noon. Via Champromenty we continue and indeed arrive at the top. There is limited shade and several options how to continue. One is back via Bois de Arpilles. The other is go to Arpilles and from there slowly decent to Soressamont. It is the last option we decide to do, as the slow decent attrackts us. We should have made our home work better. It turns out that this slow decent is indeed slow, but adding up the distance we are at the peak at 7km walking. And the detour via Soressamont is another 11km. Anyhow it is a nice hike. Longer than anticipated, but worth it all. The last 5km are a nice surprise. These are flat along an old water canel/tube (human size). Very green, and easy going. Around 5PM we are back at the campsite. We buy eggs, vegetables, unions in the campstore and in 30 minutes diner is served.

2017 August 28

Hike to Les Zettes starting from Campsite

Yesterday turned out to be a longer day then we expected. So today we really go for a shorter hike. We found a path starting at the campsite. The owner explains that the path is open again after the avelange early this year. So this time we really start late. Some rain was predicted, but it must have missed our valley. Around 12:30 we leave and via Voix, we climp to Grandzetta at 1615 (450m ascent) to Resoulle (1673) to Les Zettes (1925) and then back to Le Plan Praz (1600), le Mougnoz, Frassiney (1315) and finally the camp site. The first stop is the beautifull mini-village Voix. We were here 2 days ago, and now we take the hiking trail, clearly marked by the yellow signs. The path is slightly muddy (from some rain) and we are glad we take this route up, as down would be more difficult. In Les Zettes we slowly start going down and soon we arrive on a paved road from were we walk to Le Mougnoz. The last part is luckily unpaved and soon we are back at the campsite. Looking back, this was indeed a relaxed hike. With a good night of sleep we can do a longer hike tomorrow.

2017 August 29

Hike to Lac de Changier from Le Courthoud (Proussaz)

We selected a hike to a lake: "Lac de Changier". We drive up to a small village "Le Courthoud" which is accessable via a winding road from Proussaz. It is a 3 hour continuous climb of close to 900 meters. The first part is an unpaved farm road, and indeed we arrive at a mountain farm "Felumaz". From there the path is a hiking trail and we have to watch for signs to find the path. Soon we arrive at a rim and have a great look into Val di Rhemes. We look down on Melignon and Le Carre. The narrow rim path continuous with a beautifull view. The last part to the lake is more rocky, but very well doable. Around noon we arrive at the lake and have there lunch. After taking some pictures, we hike down to Champchevaly. Unfortunately there was a heavy avalanche past winter and the trail is completey blocked. We tried to find it by climbing over/under the fallen trees. We arrive at the vacated village of Champchevaly, but still can't find a path. Finally we decide to go back to the last well marked road and walk down to Melignon. It took us a lot of time and energy. Next time we will look for early signs that the trial is ont there. 1. No clear sign. 2. No path. 3. No bridge. 4. No path at other side of river. 5. Blocked area with fallen trees. At step 3 we should return. At Melignon there is only the highway (SR24). We just walked 400m and a friendly, only Italien speaking couple, stops and offers us a ride to Proussaz. We can't understand each other, but with the map we can point to where we want to go. We get offered nice Italien cookies, and after a 5 minute drive, our stop arrives. We thank the couple a lot and walk back to the car. Unfortunately we left the map in the car, so that evening we buy a new one at the campsite.

2017 August 30

Hike to Introd'

Today will be a rainy day. But we must be very lucky. After some drops, the rain stops. We decide to walk to the village Introd' and do some shopping. It is an easy relative flat hike. (Only 600 meters descent/ascent). The village has a nice historic bridge and a lot of art. But no grossery shopping place. For that we should have taken the car and driven to Aosta valley. After some lunch, we return back to the campsite.

2017 August 31

Rainy day

Today should be a really heavy rainy day. Our tent turns out to be water tight, that is a relief. We go by car to Aosta to a sports shop and a groccery shop. We come back with a lot of stuff.

2017 September 1

Hike to Le Plan de Feyes, Col Gollien and Sort

Time for a long hike. We Drive to Bruil/Rhêmes-Notre-Dame from where many, many routes start. We hike to Le Plan de Feyes, cross Rifugio de Marmotte, and have a first stop. We climbed about 600 meters and the view is very nice. From here we cross some mountains and we leave the valley views behind. Via Col Gollien we go to Sort. It is another vacated place. From Sort we start getting several options on how to go back. First we watch a hurd of chamois (gemsen in dutch). After a short pauze we decide to continou to La Chaussettaz, and see from there. Once in La Chaussettaz we have another break. We don't go to Le Pechoud but head back to Rhêmes-Notre-Dame via Les Oreiller.

2017 September 2


We continue where we stopped yesterday. From Chanavey we take a difficult tour on something that is a sky slope in winter. With help from an old couple we find the '8C' back. Then we find relatively easy the way to La Chaussettez and from there we follow the path we didn't do yesterday. It is a very nice relative flat path to Le Pechoud. From le Pechoud the road is steep and winding going down. We are just in time, as the rain just didn't make it. At In Artalle it starts to rain and we get our raining gear out of our backpacks. We cross the river, walk to Le Carré and back to the car in Chanavey.

2017 September 3



2017 September 4



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2017 September 6



2017 September 7



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2017 September 9



2017 August 12

With Alex and Jessica to Oudehands Dierenpark

Alex, Jessica and Ailyn came to visit us and we spent a great day together visiting Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen.

2017 July 09

Running long distance on Sunday morning

The past months the distance on a Sunday morning run have increased. Today the 35km marker is met. Via the bridge at Grave, the natural area under control of Brabants Landschap, to Ravenstein. At the bridge (A50) Marjorie awaits me with refill and togehter we continue on the dyke to Cittersgemaal, to Hernen, and Leur. This video was shot at km 33 where I was really tired and hungry. The pace has come down from 5min30 to 5min45, but the rythm and engine is still going good. Probably the sun starts to play a roll (not enough cooling). The last km always goes faster because the distance to the end goal is well predictable.. Here the link to my Garmin track

Here a movie should come
2017 June 03


We have been working a lot in the garden and the result becomes visible. Early morning the colors are best as the poppy seed flower is nice red. In the afternoon/evening the red is gone and a completely different and nice garden is seen. Next pictures are from 2 mornings. One with a Californian blue sky, the other with a Dutch blue sky.

2017 May 20

Spreeuwen (starlings) in the garden

For a few days we have two families of starlings (spreeuwen) in our garden. The kids are as big as the parents, can fly, but still are fed by the parents. And there are a lot. Luckily we have a peanutbutter jar hanging at our wall, and that makes live a lot easier, until the jar is empty.

Here a movie should come
2017 April 25

Hail in end of April

We spent already quite some time in the garden and the first plants have flowers. And then one Sunday afternoon hail comes from the sky. Luckily the plants are doing okay.

2017 April 1

Wilg / Willow

Our neighbours son has land and a tree fell recently. Marjorie and I went to Balgoij to inspect the tree and my father came over (no pictures) to saw the tree into pieces. It is a 'wilg', or a willow in English, which is not the best wood for a fire place. We will experience it next winter.

2017 March 26

Young 'Nijlganzen'

This seems to me really early. A couple nijlganzen has off spring. I am wondering if there is enough food, as everything still needs to start growing. And it is still very cold.

2017 March 6

aQiang dies

We learned last year that aQiang had long cancer. So it was not a surprise that he would die. The last days the 'hospice' took care of him, relieving ShanShan from the heavy burden. The funeral was a mixed Chinese/Dutch one. Only white flowers. And many friends attending.

2017 February 12

Lady Einstein did not make it until Spring

After more than 8,5 years living with us, Einstein had to give up the struggle with an aging body. For several years she had been suffering from arthritis, the last half year needing pain medication twice a day; for sure blind in 1 eye, most likely also in the other, and she seemed to be deaf. Add to that all the roommates she had and past away before her (a total of 7 in 8 years) and the 3 new much younger roommates we gave her last June, and you'll understand that it was all enough for her.....

2017 February 5 - February 13

ISSCC 2017 and 2 days Lake Tahoe

Just 11 hours back from France, and then I have to leave for Schiphol. The next week Anne (a colleague) and I will be in San Francisco to visit the International Solid State Circuit Conference, or in short the ISSCC. I fly on Sunday morning and arrive early Sunday afternoon. In the afternoon I have a first meeting with 2 colleagues. Anne is already there and the 4 of us go to a tapas restaurant. Next three days is the conference. No camaras allowed. On Thursday I follow a forum. Thursday morning we checked out, and in the evening we pick up a rental car and drive to South Lake Tahoe. On the way there it was raining, but it turned into snow. We had to buy snow chains (120 Euro) and could continue. With some traffic jam it took us until 12 to arrive at our hotel. The next 2 days we rent snowboard gear and snowboard in heavenly. Due to the heavy snow, only a limited area is open on Friday. On Saturday the whole area is open, but in the afternoon clouds block our sights. So we decided to have an early stop. In the skylifts we learned that on Friday/Saturday a lot of roads are blocked due to mud slides or avalanches. (I50 to Sacramento, The 99 via Kirkwood to Stockton). Sunday morning (6AM) we do a last check and indeed the I50 is still closed. We don't have breakfast but decide to drive via Kirkwood. Snow chains are mandatory and luckily we have them and know how to use these. In Stockton we stop at Starbucks for a breakfast. At 11:30 we arrive back in San Francisco (exactly in time) and return the rental car. Here several pictures, mainly of the last 2 days.

2017 January 27 - February 4

Snowboarding in 3 Vallees with Marjan, Robert and Cor

More than halve a year ago I spoke with Marjan if she had plans to go skiing. It turned out that 2017 would be the first year without the kids and she had no plans yet. I said if there would be plans, that I would like to join, if they okayed off course. And soon a plan was made. Outside the busy school sesson, we went to France, Les Menuires, 3 Vallees. Next picture and video's are a short impression of what we did, showing that the snow condition was not that great, but also showing that we had a couple of very nice sunny days. Most days we started relaxed at about 10AM. On Monday Robert and I continued in the afternoon and did a tour to Courcheval 1850 and a nice detour back via La Tania, Meribel Village. There was quite some winds, and on Thursday a lot of the lifts were closed. It also started snowing, which was good. On Friday Marjan and I were outside at 9AM and went to Orel. A little later Cor and Robert joined.
Some tracks: First day the 4 of us , Tour with Robert to Courcheval 1850 and back , Tour with the 4 of us to Courcheval 1850. Robert and I took a detour Marjan and I start early in the fresh snow. Robert and Cor join. We go to Orel

Here a movie should come
2017 January 27

More ice Skating on Wychens Meer

The whole week we could skate on the lake. Friday morning Marjorie and I skated early morning. No-one on the ice, just the two of us, while the sun starts to rise..

Here a movie should come
2017 January 22

Ice Skating on Wychens Meer

Coming back from my usual Sunday morning run, I saw the "IJS MEESTER" and asked him about the status of the ice. In short: It is 7cm thick, which is not thick enough for large groups of people, but thick enough to skate. Advice was not to wait as it promises to be a beautifull day. Once at home, I called my father and told him the news. I directly took my ice skates and skated 3 rounds. Perfect ice. You won't find much better. About an hour later, my parents showed up. We (Marjorie, my father, I) directly went skating for an hour. After lunch my father did another hour of skating.

Diary 2016 can be visited as well: 2016