It is carnaval again in the Netherlands. When, south of the Rhine, you can’t walk the streets without running into people who’ve spent three days straight pub-crawling in fancy dress singing oompy-poompy songs! North of the Rhine things are a bit quieter. Except in Ijsselstein that is, where, defying all geographic conventions the Apeluiders are busy celebrating carnaval with the best of them.

In Ijsselstein Carnaval has its own peculiar twist and somehow its all confused with a monkey from the 14thC. I’m sure all the beer thats flowed since has had a bit to do with it too. You can even listen to Ijsselstein specific Carnival songs.

Meanwhile in Brazil, 1.5 million people flooded the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

Here in Amsterdam we settled for the madness of Prenatal on a Saturday and bought Jacob a box. A round box. Gek genoeg!


In IJsselstein is the highest thing in Holland. Taller than any skyscraper, any mountain or any THING is the transmitter (or ‘zender’), de Gerbrandytoren on the outskirts of Ijsselstien. This transmitter shall go down in our family history as the occasion of Ron’s parents meeting each other. It was at the opening ceremony for the transmiter that Corrie (from Vianen, over the Rhine) first set eyes on young Wim, an apenluier from the catholic Ijsselstein. Both watery and religous obstacles were overcome and young Ronnie was born a couple of years later.

Dus, we have a lot to thank the ‘zender’ for!

At Christmas the transmitter is decked in lights to become the worlds biggest christmas tree.(Actually, its registered in the Guiness book of Records as the highest lit transmitter in the Benelux, a title there must be heaps of competition for!…not!) And this year I finally remembered to take a photo! There is also a webcam on the transmitter at 220m height, about halfway up from which you can watch the cows grazing, or the rain.