letter of the day
A few months ago I rediscovered my trombone. The instrument lay gathering dust in the attic for years. Now I wonder how I ever lived without a horn.
I enjoy every note, feel fitter, have more quality time with the kids, who swing merrily when I rehearse and – last but not least – now that I’m performing with an orchestra again, I’m coming out of my bubble and contributing something to our city.
Unfortunately, the costs of making music are not bad: 50 euros per month for two private lessons, 10 euros for orchestra membership and soon a renovation to furnish a room in the house where I can rehearse without disturbing the neighbours.
Fortunately, I have forgotten the high purchase costs and the maintenance costs of a trombone are minimal.
I am grateful to the State Secretary that the registers are being opened to support the cultural sector. The emphasis is understandably on professional makers and culture consumption. However, I hope that somewhere there is still a million to be found to encourage adults and children to make music (again) themselves.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who can’t really live without a musical instrument.
In view of the excessive attention in the Dutch news and among politicians for the queues at Schiphol, I unfortunately have to conclude that the staff shortage at baggage handlers is apparently considered to be more important than the staff shortages in care, education and the police.
Deploying the army at Schiphol has even been suggested. Is it really worse that people have to queue a few hours longer for a holiday than that people have to wait for months for an operation or that dozens of children are taught by unauthorized persons?
Schiphol violates the law every day because the airport does not have a nature permit. Where every Dutch person is subject to a penalty and fine in the event of a continuous violation, Schiphol may continue to carry out too many flights.
Schiphol is also unable to properly process the numbers of passengers.
In addition to mismanagement, I also see an opportunity here to kill two birds with one stone. Allow fewer flights to depart by complying with what is permitted by law and allow more satisfied passengers to depart on time.
final exam subject
In her column of May 27, Margriet Oostveen names a nice test balloon for a new final exam subject ‘repair’ for pre-vocational secondary education. But why not think further, why not as a ‘do-it-yourself’ final exam subject for all secondary schools? Something different than dance, sports or music as a final exam subject. In this course you learn to plaster a wall, to install simple electricity, to paint window frames, to fix tires or to change your winter tires, to repair electrical appliances, et cetera. And as a theoretical part you can teach topics such as a circular society or sustainable energy.
This allows everyone to do simple jobs around the house and you are not dependent on craftsmen that are becoming scarcer and more expensive. They can then focus on the really large or more complex jobs. A win-win situation.
Peter de Waard is right. The recent ruling by the chamber members of the Supreme Court about the savings tax will lead to a tidal wave of objections. For many years I have disagreed with the fact that the Water Boards charge our family for three pollution units, when it consists of only two people. As with the savings tax, the government does this because it believes it will be too difficult otherwise.
So it’s pure laziness; has nothing to do with justice and equality of rights. It is therefore difficult for the Supreme Court to rule otherwise than that this is also contrary to European human rights. You still have a few weeks to object.
The comments accompanying all those photos of needy animals with ingenious braces and extremely expensive prostheses called for joy and pride, because those broken animals were beautifully repaired and wow, everything paid for with crowdfunding (De Schallmaier index, 27/5). ‘A global turnaround’ in our treatment of animals.
But it’s mostly sad. Their serious injuries were almost all caused by humans: a goat with its feet frozen by an unheated freezer, a squirrel that was rescued without hands from a poaching trap, an elephant that stepped on a land mine, a poodle almost strangled, a tailless crocodile with thanks to a ruthless game smuggler.
Human hypocrisy at its best: we look endearingly at fixing something that we ourselves have destroyed. Without us they wouldn’t have to walk around with fake blue plastic feet or flashy turbo wheels under their butts.
Reader Maartje van der Velde argues for a column with answers that women give when they are confronted with expressions of everyday sexism. Of course it is wonderful if you as a woman can give a straight answer, but in power differences that can be damn difficult.
Still, I had to think back to an incident from years ago at a staff party. A drunk colleague stuck his nose into my cleavage, sniffed and asked ‘what was I wearing’. To this day I reminisce about my answer: ‘two red wines’, as I poured my glass over his bald skull.
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