Coffeeshop owner Theo Buissink of Groningen wants to launch a bunch of orange-coloured helium balloons with marijuana seeds in them with the text ‘Thank you Majesty’, referring to Queen Beatrix who will abdicate the throne on 30 April. When the balloons burst at high altitude, the seeds will spread and marijuana plants will grow all over the country. The plants will have orange tops, as the owner claims to have had those specially cultivated for the occasion. The first plants should start appearing in September 2013. The coffeeshop is appropriately called ‘De Vliegende Hollander’ (‘The Flying Dutchman’).
The whole thing makes for a nice animation video in your head using your imagination.
“When Willem-Alexander was 18 we sent him joints for his birthday. Now he will get an empty container that he can fill up with weed in our shop during his visit to Groningen.”
Researchers have discovered and recently presented five types of penicillium that are bright orange, reminding them of the main colour of the Dutch Royal family, aka the House of Orange-Nassau.
They call them ‘Penicillium vanoranjei’ (family) and fourth other kinds that belong to this family, named after Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander’s three daughters (Amalia, Alexia and Ariane) and wife and future Queen consort Máxima: Penicillium maximae, Penicillium amaliae, Penicillium alexiae and Penicillium arianeae.
Yet another Dutch Facebook page has recently made its online entrance, and this time it’s roughly called ‘No king without a beard’ (‘Zonder baard, geen koning’).
Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander soon to be the country’s first king since 1890, will be the only one without a beard if he doesn’t grow one soon.
Besides the fact that beards were trendy for Dutch kings in the 19th century and the fact that beards are totally in at the moment, the photoshopped picture of Willem-Alexander with a beard is quite flattering as it slims down his pudgy face. At 100,000 likes, the page admins will present the RVD (Netherlands Government Information Service) with an official request for the future king to grow a beard.
Amusingly enough Tsar Peter I (aka Peter The Great) of Russia in an attempt to force Russian men to look more European imposed a beard tax in the late 17th, early 18th century: “Peter’s visits to the West (which included the Netherlands) impressed upon him the notion that European customs were often superior to Russian ones. He commanded courtiers and officials to cut off their long beards and wear European clothing. The men who sought to retain their beards were required to pay an annual beard tax of one hundred rubles.”
Mustaches were OK though and it seems that trends change from one century to the next.
UPDATE: Beard tokens, based on the one carried by beard tax payers, are in and you can buy them online (tip: TheBloodTheSweatTheBeards). The Russian inscription ‘Ð´ÐµÐ½ÑŒÐ³Ð¸ Ð²Ð·ÑÑ‚Ñ‹’ literally means ‘money has been taken’, and the letter ‘Ñ’, (‘ya’), the backwards ‘R’ but with an extra leg on this medallion was in fact turned into the backwards ‘R’ when Peter The Great reformed the alphabet in 1917-1918.
International headlines have been buzzing since last night about Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands abdicating the throne so that her son, Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander can take over the family business on 30 April, a holiday you may know as Queen’s Day (pics).
The next item of business is that as of 2014 Queen’s Day will be known as King’s Day and fall on Willem-Alexander’s birthday, 27 April. However, because 27 April in 2014 is a Sunday, the merriment will get underway on 26 April.
I kind of feel sorry for all the drag queens next year as they may have to review their party outfits. I really do hope the drag kings, a highly underrated breed, make a big royal appearance.
To celebrate Wim-Lex’s turn to run the Royals, here’s a Dunglish number I dedicate to him:
It’s asparagus season. North Limburgers like me respond to asparagus the same way hobbits respond to mushrooms. Actually we respond the same way to mushrooms too: asparagus and mushrooms are our regional specialty.
We grow and eat asparagus stems white though. To keep the stems white, they need to be kept away from sunlight, and therefore they are grown in raised beds. Then, starting around April 15, temp workers walk between the beds from the break of dawn till noon, spying for cracks in the flattened tops of the beds that signify the tip of an asparagus plant trying to break through.
Once they spot the rebel plant, the workers dig through the side of the bed until they reach the stem and then use a long, spatula-shaped knife to cut the stem at the bottom. The stem is taken out and the hole filled up again.
The stems dry out quickly so the sooner you cook them the better. White asparagus has a delicate taste that is typically brought out with ham, egg, melted butter, but it can be combined with many other ingredients. Serve with cold, white wine.
Today I ate:
Asparagus Cocktail Willem Alexander
This apetizer was invented by chef Herman van Ham of restaurant De Hamert in Arcen, just North of Venlo. He named it in honour of the Dutch crown prince.