I can’t remember an August that has been this wet. July was sunny and hot, very hot, too hot too long, and August has been raining almost all the time.
Amazing how many nice photos can be shot in 3 days. We spent this weekend in Zeeland, a coastal province of the Netherlands, mostly staying in or near Middelburg, Domburg, and Veere. At this time of the year, this part of the Netherlands is full of German tourists because of the school vacation. We went there even though it was somewhat crowded because it was probably our last chance for this year to go there, and the weather was not bad.
And we managed to meet all of our targets during this weekend: 1) lie on the beach, 2) take walks on the beach, 3) swim in the North Sea, 4) have coffee and apple pie in one of the cafes on the beach, 5) eat Dutch pancakes, 6) buy Dutch food (especially various kinds of chocolate and licorice) and Indonesian Kretek cigarettes which are hard to find in Germany.
[mp3j track=”http://www.graindelavoix.org/muziek/Tous Nobles Cueurs.mp3″]
On Sunday, we went to Veere for the second time because the Grote Kerk was open to the public – this church amazed me because it was so huge and looked so unusual (a fire destroyed most of it in the 17th century – it never was really completed). The church isn’t used for religious purposes anymore but mostly as a culture space (usually for modern art exhibitions and classical/jazz music). While we were there, we had the privilege to watch a rehearsal of Graindelavoix, a Belgian choir which sang 16th century music (Missa de Sancta Maria Magdalena, by Nicolas Champion).
I found that this music moved me deeply. It gave me a kind of continuous stream of goosebumps at times, something which I hardly get from music these days. Buying a CD of this stuff was the first thing that I did when I got back home.
Recently, I was the only participant showing up on an official but small-scale Adobe Coldfusion Developer meeting at Starbucks, on a very hot day that probably turned off the other potential developers. The representative from Adobe had decided to raffle two tickets to a U2 concert in Frankfurt as an incentive to come to the meeting. So I did not only get a tasty ice coffee and a bag with Coldfusion PR material, but I also went home with two U2 tickets, each worth more than 90 Euros.
I gave the other ticket to my friend Matthias Ebbinghaus who was very excited to get to see his once-favorite band live for the first time, and for free! I’m more a child of the seventies – U2 is a good band no doubt, but they never ranked among my favorites. I looked forward to this anyway, and we got rewarded with a very nice evening.
We took the high speed train to Frankfurt and found our seats among the other 55000 fans in a huge stadium.
U2’s “360 degree tour” takes place under a structure that they referred to as their spaceship. It looked like a giant green bug to me first, but when the amazing light show took off, I could see what they meant.
We both weren’t really impressed with the sound quality but we figured that in a huge place like this, it is probably not possible to create a real good sound quality for everyone. The people around us didn’t really care though – everybody was standing most of the time and dancing to the tunes most of which were even familiar to me.
I took a little while to get beyond my inner judge who criticized the silly rock star movements and cliches, but after that, I could let myself fall into the show, and I liked it a lot. It helped that the four musicians keep trying to transport a positive message.