My favourite postings of 2018

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This year got off to a good start with the heart-warming story of florist Dick Hagestein promising his local competitor Jan Roskam a new kidney.

Three months later, it turned out that unfortunately, Hagestein had his own health problems that would have made a kidney transplant unwise (Rijmond.nl, Dutch).

A single man taking on an entire army is something you only see in cheap Hollywood films, in sad Jaap Fischer songs, and… in history. Seventy-eight years ago, French Canadian soldier Léo Major chased the Nazis out of the city of Zwolle.

In Rotterdam, two teenage girls used their keen fashion sense to help capture 70 pickpockets. The clothes of thieves are three years out of style, apparently.

Speaking of Dutch children doing the job of grown-ups, a secondary school class in Tilburg spotted a maths error in the government’s tax plans for 2019. It netted them a cake and a thank you note from a Secretary of State.

A stolen Willem de Kooning painting was retrieved after 32 years through no particular fault of the thieving couple who had kept the painting in their living room until their death. An art dealer recognised the painting in the estate.

The National Archives have created a website where the descendants of eighty-thousand 18th century Surinamese slaves can track down their ancestors in a digitised register. Seven hundred volunteers worked on the digitisation process.

Our story of an overturned piano at Amsterdam Central Station is perhaps not the most riveting tale of last year, but having popular author J.K. Rowling talk about it on Twitter will skew our visitor statistics for months. In a single day, she brought in as many visitors as we normally get in a month.

And finally, unlikely police deputies played a major part in this year’s stories. As in Rome 2400 years ago, when geese alerted the guards of the temple of Juno to Gallic invaders, this year honking geese alerted the citizens of Sint Willebrord to a nearby XTC lab, and a toddler ratted out her father when she told the other kids at day care, while talking about hobbies, that her dad had a lot of green plants in the attic. Paul N. was convicted to 80 hours of community service and had to let go of his other hobby, shooting guns.

Happy 2019 from us at 24 Oranges HQ!

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