For Oerol, a cultural festival on the island of Terschelling held annually in June, the very first BlueCAMP jeans tents will be set up, although they are not yet available for purchase. The tents are said to be water-resistant, can breathe, and are made from 25% old denim, with the hopes of that percentage going up in the future. Their ground sheets are made of Recuppasta, a sustainable plastic made from old bits of tarpaulin.
The entire complicated process of recycling people’s old denim is done in the Netherlands and Belgium. Apparently, the average Dutch person has six pairs of jeans in their wardrobe, and earlier this year we told you about the country’s denim obssession, which means collecting old denim in the lowlands at festivals sounds like a plan.
(Link and photo: www.bright.nl)
Tags: denim, jeans, Oerol, tent, Terschelling
A price war between two competing ferry companies servicing the Dutch Wadden island of Terschelling is threatening to isolate the island of Vlieland as well.
Rederij Doeksen is the official ferry company that connects both islands with the mainland. In 2008 islanders of Terschelling, dissatisfied with Doeksen’s service, decided to start their own ferry company, Eigen Veerdienst Terschelling (EVT), which literally means Own Ferry Service Terschelling.
The Dutch government granted Doeksen a monopoly in 2011 (which was to enter into force in 2012) provided that Doeksen would guarantee a service throughout the year and not just in the summer, when tourists flock to the islands. EVT brought a case before the Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal fighting the concession and in the meantime it charged 5 euro for a ticket to Terschelling whereas Doeksen originally charged 25 euro. Doeksen has lowered its rates to 4 euro, but now threatens to cut trips to Vlieland from three times a day to twice a day.
Vlieland’s inhabitants are not happy. Mayor Else Schadd (Labour) told Volkskrant on 15 July: “This is unacceptable. In the future if you want to go to the dentist, you will need to take the entire day off. Islanders who work on the mainland won’t get to their office before ten in the morning. And day trippers who want to visit us in the off-season will have to return home at five o’ clock.”
EVT’s case hinges around whether the Wadden Sea is a real sea or merely a whole lot of water, Veerbootinfo writes. In case of the former European law apparently gives EVT some breathing space.
(Map of the Wadden Sea by OpenStreetMap contributors, some rights reserved. Vlieland and Terschelling are in the top left corner, Vlieland is on the left. The white lines show the ferry routes)
Tags: competition, ferries, free markets, islands, monopolies, Terschelling, Vlieland, Wadden Sea
The producers of the above video write:
Flotsam & Jetsam is a documentary based around the beachcombers of Texel, one of the largest Frisian islands north of Holland.
Due to Texel’s geographical position, tidal system and strong winds, an estimated two tons of Flotsam & Jetsam washes up on its beach each day.
The film follows the lives of the beachcombers (or Jutters as they are known), exploring their relationships and history as extraordinary people in extraordinary situations.
Beachcombers are people who ‘harvest’ flotsam and jetsam from beaches. I am not quite sure what the legal status is. Wikipedia claims beach combing is illegal in the Netherlands, but the only law text I could find (Book 8 of the Burgerlijk Wetboek, articles 550 and onward) seems to suggest that beach combing is a form of marine salvage, meaning that the owner of the goods can come and collect them up to two years after they were found, but must pay a decent wage in return.
The documentary is only 13 minutes long, and well worth your time.
‘Jutter’ Jan Uitgeest (73): “There are only eight of us left. Beachcombing is getting less popular because there aren’t that many finds any more. We are dependent on storms. Last year Terschelling had a large find of wood, and a container filled with snacks. On Ameland and Schiermonnikoog they found a container with mountain bike wheels and a couple of thousand coats, so that now the inhabitants of Schiermonnikoog are walking around in coats with nice fur collars.”
Link: Trendbeheer. Video: Vimeo / Flotsam and Jetsam.
Tags: Ameland, beach combers, beach combing, beaches, documentaries, North Sea, Schiermonnikoog, Terschelling, Texel, Wadden Islands
I grew up in Blerick, a town with a town hall but without the political body to inhabit it. See, in 1940 the town was added to the neighbouring city of Venlo by the Nazi occupier, which made the possession of a town hall moot.
Interestingly the previous municipality that Blerick belonged to, Maasbree, once had three different town halls, and the council would rotate among them until in 1904 the Blerick town hall was made the permanent one.
In celebration of Liberation day, daily De Pers summed up 6 of the changes the Nazis made that stuck:
- Child support (the Nazis wanted the Arian race to flourish)
- Corporate tax (funnily enough, these days our low corporate taxes make us a tax haven, according to the Berserker of Abbottabad)
- Central European Time (before that, we had our own sliver of a time zone)
- The Frisian islands of Vlieland and Terschelling (formerly of Noord Holland)
- Rent control and renter protection (including the right to live in a house forever)
- Job protection (including the right to keep a job forever)
In a number of these cases the occupier made into law what was already on the books. In other cases the law was kept because it made sense. For instance, with housing shortages being rather prominent after the war, it made eminent sense to protect renters from price gouging. In such cases the Germans had unwittingly produced both the diseases and the cures.
(Photo of the Blerick town hall by Wikimedia user Torval, some rights reserved)
Tags: child support, children, housing, jobs, Limburg, Nazism, rent control, Terschelling, Venlo, Vlieland, World War II