August 4, 2020

Kids learn about wine at a Dutch château

Filed under: Event,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 12:27 pm

In southern France’s Languedoc-Roussillon, Dutchman and owner of Château Canet Floris Lemstra is currently welcoming schoolchildren to teach them about winemaking, albeit without actually tasting any alcohol – they use soft drinks, sugar, salt and water to get the idea.

Wine museum Cité du Vin in Bordeaux, France is promoting wine education at smaller French wineries with free passes through the end of August to children under 18, and Lemstra thought it would be great for schoolchildren to learn all about viticulture.

Lemstra takes several groups of kids on an educational tour, teaching them about vineyard maintenance, harvesting and bottling, with plenty of time set aside to poke around in the vines and check out cool stuff like the stainless steel vats in the cellar.

“Teaching children about wine and alcohol is a little abstract at their age. However, we believe that demystifying wine and its consumption is important,” Lemstra said. He further added that although wine can be pleasant, it’s also an alcoholic beverage with its drawbacks.

Floris built up his wine career back in the early 1990s working for Boisset, one of the biggest wine companies in France. Buying Château Canet was quite difficult, as local government would have rather it was owned by card-carrying French people. Lemstra and his New Zealand wife Victoria whom he met in the Bourgogne region now run the place. Having read about it myself, I want to visit it as well.

(Link: , Photo: Château Canet)

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July 13, 2014

Rich are getting poorer in the Netherlands

Filed under: General by Branko Collin @ 2:56 pm

swimming-pool-meraj-chhayaAn OESO study has discovered that the Netherlands bucks the trend of the rich getting richer at the expense of those paying for the crisis.

Good news, then? Not really. Z24 points out that the Dutch poor are also getting poorer. The group of people that live below the poverty line has increased from 6.7% in 2007 to 7.8% in 2011. In this study ‘rich’ is defined as belonging to the top 10% in disposable income and poor as the bottom 10%.

The financial news site points out that the poor have lost less income than the rich, which is an interesting mathematical factoid, but otherwise devoid of meaning in my opinion. If the poor lose 1.5% of their income it means they go without food for another five days in a year, while for the rich it means they have to wait five days longer before they can purchase their next luxury car. Not quite the same difference.

A group of people that has done relatively well for themselves during the crisis is the elderly whose income has stayed the same. The group of 18 to 25-year-olds has seen their income drop since 2007 by well over 2%, although those differences are minimal compared to those of the same age groups in other countries such as New Zealand and Israel where the elderly are getting rich at the cost of everybody else.

(Photo by Meraj Chhaya, some rights reserved)

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January 11, 2012

Laura Dekker hounded by Dutch officials about school

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 11:57 am

Just as Laura Dekker is coming closer to being the youngest person sailing solo around the world, the
compulsory schooling bureaucrats have turned up the heat on the fact that she’s not handing in her homework. Her lawyer and even the Minister of Education has said that Laura does not have to go to school in Netherlands as she signed herself out the local registry.

What the bureaucrats have managed to do is make the teenager hate the Netherlands so much that she has no trust in the Dutch government whatsoever. She’s now flying with a New Zealand flag on her boat and does not want to live in the Netherlands anymore.

In about two weeks, she will arrive on the island of Sint Maarten, a Dutch island, and achieve her goal.

Will some petty bureaucrats ruin her party because they couldn’t take down a teenage girl with that much will power? Stay tuned! My money’s on Laura. She’ll show those losers what a real hero looks like and surely has the intelligence to go and study on her own terms eventually.

(Link:, Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy)

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September 20, 2011

Laura is not hitting the books anymore

Filed under: General,Sports by Orangemaster @ 3:17 pm

Following Laura Dekker’s voyage as we have been, we left off recently with “still no word on if she has ever touched her homework.”. A report on her birthday today says that she just doesn’t have time to study. She had started to study at the beginning of her one-year sail around the world, but gave that up quickly enough.

One of the legal conditions on which she would be allowed to sail solo was that she do homework. She doesn’t plan to stop studying altogether, but I can totally imagine that repairing and replenishing her boat comes first.

The Dutch authorities can only wave their finger Dutch uncle style about her not studying, as her studies are her parents’ responsibility. And after the whole mess of a legal situation Laura got into with the authorities and her parents, she gave up being Dutch and relied on her dual citizenship with her country of birth, New Zealand.

Mark my words, if and when she completes this amazing feat, we’ll be playing ‘Zoek de Nederlander’ (’Find the Dutch person’) soon enough. In Laura’s case it will be a game that consists of constantly dissing a Dutch person in the media and then ignoring all the bad things and claim her victory as a Dutch one.

Follow Laura’s tweets on @laura_and_Guppy (Guppy is the name of her sailboat)

See also all our stories about Laura Dekker .


(Photo of an entirely unrelated boat by the US Navy)

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May 13, 2008

Designer clogs from the antipodes

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 8:30 am

Lola Granola submitted this story:

“Check out these nifty designer clogs. The Cadillac and bridal “klompen” are to die for!”

Don’t hesitate to wander around Amsterdam-born, New Zealand-based designer Patricia van Lubeck’s website to discover her other wonderful art.

Thanks Lola!

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