‘The wall needs a lick of paint. She wants to change every lampshade in the living room. The kitchen has to be rearranged. By now spring has sprung and it high time we id the garden. Old chores return to the list, the list is getting longer and longer and progress is stalling.’ Colleague Mike smiles as he vents. Mike has moved out of his parents’ home. Bought a newbuild. Spent every spare moment on it and still found time to fall in love. His girlfriend moves in with him as soon as the house is nigh on finished. And of course, the new lady of the house rightly wants to have her say.
‘Depay was brilliant, absolutely the best and didn’t leave an inch of the field untouched.’ However, not long ago, he received harsh criticism. Depay is like the current conditions in the horticultural sector. Whimsical, unpredictable, fast and complex. Usually enjoyable, but sometimes incredibly irritating. To continue with an irritation: In ornamental horticulture, Royal FloraHolland and the VGB have each other pinned to the ground, resulting in a full impasse in digitalisation.
A full house. A room packed with more than 200 customers and business partners. It's November 17 and we're celebrating our 25th anniversary. The world is going from shock to shock. From crisis to crisis. To get our audience to feel this even more keenly, we hired an actor. After five minutes, he bursts into the room, tries to shackle himself to our colleague Hester and introduces himself as an activist representing Extinction Rebellion. Shock waves ripple through the room. People get up from their seats. Their primary response? Get that guy out of here.
“PARACETAMOL,” he shouted at the 20-kilometre mark. We rushed to the nearest village, bought the pills and popped them as soon as we could. The pain on his face. We later found out he had huge blisters. My son ran the Zeeland marathon last Saturday. Not your average marathon. With more than 10 km of running along the beach and highly variable terrain through the dunes, dykes, up the stairs and lots of wind, the toughest marathon in the Netherlands. Changeable and tough conditions.
Front left of the stage, next to the beer tent. If you want to find Westlanders during the festival season, that's the place to go. No matter which festival, no matter where in the Netherlands - it's an unwritten Westland rule. Are you sure we can stay together among these large crowds? Ah, we're fine "on our own".
My sons are ardent athletes. 15 years ago, they discovered endurance sports. Setting a goal, pushing yourself to the max in training, achieving your goal. Followed by setting an even higher goal and accomplishing that too. Rowing was their first foray into the world of endurance. And once they got the hang of that, why not start running marathons? It began with finishing a marathon. Next came finishing a marathon in less than 3 hours and 15 minutes. Ultra trail running followed, as did cycling. On their loop of the IJsselmeer, a 300 km ride, they averaged more than 35 km/h. However, it wasn’t quite challenging enough for them.
I was having a great debate with some big players in the fruiting vegetable sector last week. The good old hot potatoes were up first: a human virus, a plant virus, the high cost of our gas addiction, and the shortage of ever more expensive helping hands. This last issue was cause for one person to exclaim: ‘Construction pays more, no wonder that’s where everyone’s going’. ‘Then we’ll just have to pay more’, countered another. He continues and declares: ‘We will have to invest in people at some point anyway. We’re all fine with investing in greenhouses, sorting machines and a geothermal wells, but we feel weird about investing in people. That’s not right, guys.’