Tag: Houten

Frozen beauty

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The New Year’s Eve has seen a light frost of -2 °C in the total absence of snow. The green grass got beautifully powdered with rime.

The whitened trees alongside the Amsterdam-Rhine Canal (Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal), which passes next to Houten, became simply magnificent:

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Santa Run Houten

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Yesterday, December 17th, Houten hosted a charity event called Rotary Santa Run. For just €10 every participant got a red Santa Claus outfit, a couple of drink vouchers, and a possibility to take part in a funny and useful event. The collected funds will go to the organisations Jeugdsportfonds Houten and De Nierstichting.

A total of about five hundred Santas of all ages and walks of life have gathered at the central square of our Houten.

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The smartest traffic-light

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The present trend of dubbing everything “smart” based on mere presence of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Internet connection is a bit annoying. So we have seen smart washing machines, smart watches, smart smoke detectors, smart toothbrushes and so on. Now traffic-lights are next in line, according to our local press. A news article announces the very first smart traffic-light (slim verkeerslicht) in the country has been installed in Houten.

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On the subject of running

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The year is coming to an end again, with so much left to run. I can’t repeat my 2013's record of 800 km this year—in 2015 I’ve only run some 600 km. Not because I’m lazy, but due to being more active in aikido.

Houten’s "bike avenues" are great to run on, also because there are not so many bikes using them at the time when I’m running, that is in the evening and during the weekend.

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Dodgy kiwi

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A year ago I posted about fruit groves in Houten. Last summer brought a sudden news on that topic.

A decade ago our neighbour has planted a kiwi tree. The plant has been growing into our two gardens, but has never given a single kiwi fruit. Until the last summer, that is, because mid-August we’ve spotted the first fruit ever! Too bad for our neighbours, it was a dodgy one, as it’s growing on our side of the fence.

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Trimming big

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I’ve always wondered how those mile-long roadside hedges get trimmed. And recently witnessed the process, which, expectedly, makes use of technology:

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Happy New 2015!

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We had a great time celebrating the New 2015, together with our Russian and Ukrainian friends.

Here, outside of our homelands, we’re still friends, you know.

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Househunt

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So we’ve settled in Houten. It’s time to go in particulars on how we sought a house.

Looking for a house has a special name in Dutch: huizenjacht, which literally translates as “househunt”. During the hunt we gradually figured out a number of criteria:

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Houten ‣ Part 2. Bikes

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Holland is decidedly and prominently a bike-land. Any Dutch settlement features miles of bike paths, bike traffic-lights, special bike road marking, ubiquitous bike parkings and bike rental at every train station.

But our Houten seems to be in the lead here.

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