Blog

Edible garden

My next home will have a garden or a balcony on which I can cultivate edible plants. Besides that it is hard to move in Holland my knowledge of edible plants besides fruits and veggies is none excisting. So to do something about this I joined two workshops this spring.

edible flower

Wild picking

On a grey Saterday I went to the Genneper parc in Eindhoven where Linda of natuurlijke verbinding gave a workshop about wild picking. We walked through the park and she pointed us to edible plants/flowers in the wild (parc). We tasted them and some of them were very good. She also gave some warnings about wild picking, like be aware of ticks, worms and pollution of cars.

Flower tea

Edible flowers

The first workshop made me want to know more. So I booked the workshop edible flowers with Geertje of wandeloogst. And again on a grey Saterday (it is Holland so don’t expect sun) I went to Graafse Akkers in Den Bosch for the workshop. It is a really big garden in the middle of town, a beauty. We started with some flower tea and then walked with Geertje around the grounds with her pointing to flowers and telling us how we could use it. And of course we tasted all of them. Each flower has it owns specific taste.

Savory flower butter

Flower lunch

After a while we dived the group and everybody went about to make lunch of the flower harvest. We had two types of herb butter one with savory flowers and one with sweet flowers. Kind of a omelette pancakes with flowers, some more flower tea and flower lemonade. It was great to see what can be made of flowers and how to combine them in tea.

Preparing the flower

More edible flowers please

These two experiences were great and tasted of more. I can’t wait to move and experiment with flowers, but unitl then maybe a autumn workshop edible flowers.

When do you choose WordPress?

Choose WordPress

Build WordPress site

You are ready for it. You start with your own company. You have registered with the Chamber of Commerce and ready to start. The only thing missing is a website. Then besides the questions what you want and the design, the question is: Will I build it myself or will I hire someone? The answer to this question depends on the following factors:

  • Do I have time to build yourself?
  • Do I have the patience to sort things out?
  • Am I handy with computer programs
  • Do I want a complicated site?

If you answer yourself honestly to these questions, you will find out what the best option for you is.

Outsource

If you choose to have your website built by someone else, there are also many options depending on your preferences and budget, namely:

  • Customized building usually the website is then made in php of scratch by the programmer / website builder. This is also the most expensive option.
  • Another option was to have CMS systems (content management system) built as Joomela or WordPress and then partially customized. Even then there is a programmer who adjusts everything to the ‘standard’ WordPress or Joomela site. This option is slightly cheaper than the previous option.
  • A cheap, but no less interesting option is to have the website built with the standard possibilities of themes (designs) and plugins in WordPress or Joomela and with minimal coding
  • .A variant of this last option is to guide your website. You build and someone looks along and helps you find your way in WordPress or Joomela.

WordPress or Joomela

I think that choosing WordPress or Joomela is a personal choice depending on:

  • Your own preferences
  • Experiences of others
  • Which builder you choose.

I have worked with Joomela as well as WordPress myself and notice that WordPress is experienced as more intuitive than Joomela by users. And easier to explain to the user.

After construction

Your website is ready. Self-built, assisted or built, does not matter maintenance is required. With a custom made website, the technical update will probably continue to be done by the builder, unless you have the knowledge.

If you have chosen WordPress or Joomela, you can choose to do the maintenance yourself or have it done. Maintenance means more than just placing content on your website and adjusting your texts from time to time. Namely plugins, themes and WordPress have to be up-to-date. The latter many people forget and then their website is hacked or no longer works optimally.

It is better to have the necessary updates once a week / month than to deal with a hacked site!

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Steps in building your website

Built a website

When building a website there are a number of fixed steps that you have to take or the builder or someone else. You can help by writing out your website before you start building the website. These steps are very important for the building process to proceed quickly. Of course, you can still make changes while building, but thinking while building is delayed and costs more money than drawing and writing.

  • Think of a name for a website
  • Register website name
  • Hosting party subscription
  • Install WordPress
  • Think about what you want to communicate with your website
  • Think about whether you do it yourself or outsource
  • Think about which pages you want
  • 1st version of texts to come up with pages
  • Thinking of what else you want with your website (think of social media, online sales, subscribing blog / newsletter, sharing photos)
  • Consider which colors you want on your website
  • Consider how your website should look like
  • Consider which pages should appear in your menu
  • Create pages in WordPress
  • Set up the blog
  • Load photos
  • Choose the plugins you need
  • Create a menu
  • Choose a theme
  • Get started with widgets on the sides, bottom of your website
  • Let your website rest for a while
  • View your lyrics again
  • Set up Google Analytics
  • View the look of your website are you satisfied?
  • Set up SEO
  • Share your website and see if you can do something with feedback
  • Promote your website

Use your imagination and go! Good luck with your website!

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Is Hockney a new Van Gogh?

Someone asked me if I wanted to go to the exhibition of Hockney in the Van Gogh museum. I like the work of Hockney so it was not difficult to say YES! I met Hockney in 2013 on my visit to Bilbao when I visited the Guggenheim museum there. On this play was then his work of the nature of Yorkshire which he painted and filmed with 9 cameras in all the 4 seasons of the year. I was impressed.

Van Gogh museum

I had been to the Van Gogh museum on museum night sometime in the past and last year I went to Neunen. Neunen is one of the places where Van Gogh was very productive in producing paintings. Most of the paintings of Van Gogh in Neunen were about farmlive.

Are Hockney and Van Gogh comparable?

Hockney and Van Gogh both love nature. They even look at nature the same way: They look at details and see something special in ordinary landscape. They both say that nature changes every day. They both liked to see the effect of the season on the landscape.

Hockney painted the same place in Yorkshire again and again in each season. Van Gogh did this in Arle. Both use a technique in their paintings which makes nature move on the paintings. There are a lot of similarities between how the two painters paint, but Hockney uses a lot of new techniques like filming the seasons and painting on an Ipad.

If you want to know more about Van Gogh read my blog about Van Goghs Neunen.

Sculpture Van Gogh

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Communication as a customer with builder

Communication

If your project plan is ready or your company has registered with the Chamber of Commerce and the money is there to build a website. Is it time to think about a website. Often you are bound to a maximum budget and you actually want to use part of the money for your marketing and that new laptop. Then the question is how can I outsource my website as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible?This can be done by spending time on the preparation. First put on paper what your goal is for your website and what needs to be done. Then look for a web builder that fits your budget and can meet the minimum requirements you set for your website. Do not hesitate to talk with a piece or 5 and feel free to ask a quote of 3 or more. Think about it for a few days, ask more questions and then choose the one that best meets the requirements for you and your website.The preliminary work has been done, but then! Make sure at the beginning that it is clear on paper so that the preconditions for building are as well as boarded up. In practice it will become apparent that this is never the case, but then postpone it on time so that the website can be modified and miscommunication is avoided or extra costs incurred.

A few tips

  • Let yourself be informed about the CMS that is going to be used or rather google it. Ask a few examples to see. This already gives a good picture of whether you can carry out maintenance on your website.
  • Think of your domain name in advance and register it. If you know a bit about hosting, you can also immediately take out a hosting that is often cheaper.
  • Use examples from other websites to give an idea what you want, but be clear about what part of that website you are talking about. Think of the possibilities within your budget and the CMS you choose.
  • Discuss the safety of the CMS that you will use before signing the quotation. Remember that everything is hackable nowadays.
  • Make sure that photos, PDFs and other files that are on your website are ready in advance and delivered in the correct format. Enter the conversation with your builder which format they can work with.
  • Think about the use of color on your website. Do not be afraid to adjust the hue when you see it with text on the website. There is a world of difference between thinking and seeing.
  • The font is always an interesting one, because you prefer to choose one font for your website, communication, logo and promotional material. What is beautiful on the website is not always beautiful on promotional material or vice versa. Think of readability. Here too, apply it and adjust it as soon as you doubt and preferably not at the end. Do not frustrate your web builder and yourself by trying out 30 fonts, keep it at max 5 types.
  • Consider in advance on which Social Media you are and which you want to use in your communication with your fans, customers, competitors and followers. What is common in my industry? What do I think is a fine communication channel when it comes to social media? Is my target audience there.
  • Which other communication channels, gadgets do you want to link to your website. Are they really coupled? Does it fit my budget? Can I also operate them myself or can I hire someone because of me?
  • For SEO, prefer to hire someone specializing in communication or searching the web. This benefits your ranking and snippet in Google and other search engines.
  • Sign up / log in to Google Analytics and webmaster. With Google Analytics you can gain insight into how often your website is visited and which parts of your website they visit. The default dashboard of Google Analytics is sufficient in the beginning. Later on, it is convenient to dive in or to hire a specialist in analysis.
  • Go beyond a website. For example, a webshop, remember that there is a budget attached to it to function properly, to comply with privacy legislation for your customers and the security of payment systems that you will use in the webshop.
  • Remember that if you have a website. Maintaining it also costs time and money. Or the money that goes to your web builder, the one you hire to do the maintenance or your own hours. Remember that it will take more time in the beginning than later. In the beginning you adapt a lot of texts after conversations with others. What seemed so beautiful on paper is often not what you want in practice.
  • Always ask your web builder for 3 adaptation rounds. Use the time between this adaptation round not frustrate your web builder and yourself with what is not yet there, but look for input from outside on the parts that are ready as agreed. Collect this input and sleep over night about it. Make of this input a clear document that you can communicate with your web builder, so that you can get the most out of the budget and time that you and your web builder have.

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Cheese, cheese, cheese or too many tourists?

Cheese market Alkmaar

Touristy things

I wanted to see some touristy things in the Netherlands. I have seen some in my youth but I don’t remember much about them. So Good Friday I traveled to Alkmaar to see the Cheese Market. I wanted to go early to be ahead of the tourists, but NS put a stop to that and I stranded in Zaandam. For a moment I thought about doing the Zaansche schans instead of the Cheese Market, but did not want to go there unprepared and was still looking forward to cheese.

On the way to the Cheese market

Cheese market Alkmaar

Fortunately I ended up in Alkmaar with a three-quarter of an hour delay. The Cheesemarkt is a 20-minute walk from the station right in the center of Alkmaar. Follow the mass of tourists and you will be there 😊. In the meantime there were more tourists on the way to the Cheese Market than I thought, but it wasn’t too bad on the big square. In the first instance, I was unable to access the weighing system, so I skipped it and moved on to the square, where I got a spot at the front and therefore had a good overview of the square and its action.

Walking with the cheeses what a chore! I would want to do it. Of course it is now touristy and no longer has a function, but you do get an impression of how the cheese market functioned in history.

The Cheese Museum

Don’t forget to walk into the Cheese Museum. Entrance fee includes a block of cheese. You get a picture of how cheese is made by a movie, posters and interactive screens. On the second floor there is a nice view over the square with the action. Don’t forget to just stand there and watch.

Cheese

Cheese weighing

Back outside the scale area was practically empty and I could see how people were weighed instead of cheese these days. They shout your weight very loud and you get a certificate with your weight. No, I did not feel the need to weigh myself there and get a certificate. So I looked at it and walked on.

You can also make a trip on the canals, but that is only possible with cash, pin is not accepted. And the nearest ATM was through the busy crowd to the other side and back. So I skipped it this time and walked smoothly through the streets of Alkmaar with a detour back to the station.

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Insight into your money

Insight into your money

Who does not want more insight into his or her money? Know what comes in and what costs are fixed costs? With this Excel you can make that very clear. Download here the Excel and read how you fill it in.

Debts

debt statement

On the debt overview tab you enter which debts you have. Name of the Debtor goes into Column B, Column C becomes the attribute if you have it, Column D Concerns, Column E attribute if you have it, Column F the balance of your debt, Column G the settlement amount, Column H the details and Column I the contact information. At the bottom, the total of your debts and the settlement amount.

Every debt gets its own row. Then you are ready to fill in this tab and we go to the next one.

Income

Income

On the Income tab you fill in your income Column A shows the type of income and in Column B you enter the amount. Supplements such as health care allowance are also part of income and are entered here. There is room to add income that is not mentioned in A9, A19, A28, A29 and A30. In column D you can give the income a characteristic. Do not forget your income to be able to make a good calculation.

In B34 you get the total income.

Expenditure

expenditure

In the tab Expenditure you indicate your expense per month. It concerns the fixed costs per month, the costs that come back every month. We have tried to be as complete as possible with the fixed costs, but if you miss a one you can add this on A17, A18, A37, A38 and A39. With attribute you can make comments, this is column D.

In B42 you see the total of your expenses.

Budget

Budget

This tab is partly filled out automatically from the other tabs. Here you see in B4 your total income. In B6 the total of your fixed costs. In B8 you see your total repayments per month. In B10 you can give the living money you need, B12 reservations: You can fill in the money you want to put aside. In B14 you will find how much you have left or are short.

I hope you continue with this to gain more insight into your income and expenses. If you have any questions, you can contact me.

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Jump to a good talk

On last International women’s day I went to a talk in the library about how women should be a hero in their own life. As I was looking at the program I was annoyed that in the program there was a part about Jump. I thought someone came up with something stupid with Jumping and being a hero. So on the day itself as I was looking for a seat I was looking for a good escape seat for the jump. But as the program progressed I was still sitting when they called someone to the front to present the jump. No escaping no more .

The women introduced herself as Ineke and told us we were not going to jump. What a relief, but what was waiting a head? Ineke came up with a talking method and we were going to try it. The method is called Jump and consists of 7 steps. We needed to look for someone we didn’t know to do this with. Me and the girl next to me decided to do it together.

Step 1: The pledge

With the pledge everybody in the audience pledge that everything said tonight would stay there.

Step 2: Celebrate your achievements

We had 2 minutes to tell the other person about something we were proud of in our life. The other person was not aloud to say anything. It is awkward at first, but then you keep talking till the 2 minutes are over. After that you switch roles. And I had to listen to the achievement of the other person without commenting, congratulate or anything. Just listen. 

Step 3: Who are you now

Now it was time to tell the other person where you are in life and how you feel about it for 2 minutes. After that the other person was aloud to give you a compliment not feed back or advise. And we switched roles again so that the other person could do the same. 

Step 4: Where do you want to be

In 2 minutes you had to tell the other person where you wanted to be in life and which Jump you had to make. No reactions from the other person still. And we switched roles again.

Step 5: Tips and advise

Now you had to be the other person. So You started with I am name other person and would give an advise to yourself in the role of the other person in 2 minutes. Again no comments were aloud. Than you switched role again and the other person had to say My name is Guiselaine and would advise myself to do …. I was not aloud to comment and had to listen to the advice.

Step 6: Your decision

And now I was myself again and had to tell the other person in 2 minutes which were my next steps. For that I got applauded by the other person. And then it was her turn to tell her next step and I applauded her. Again no comments were aloud.

Step 7: Gratitude

And now it was time for the whole audience to call out what they were thankful for.

I am glad I stayed. It was weird at first to talk like that to each other, but it was also nice. I think that this way of talking is a good method to use more. And it is nice to listen and being listened at without judgment, advice or anything.

Remember the name: Jump from the Jump movement

Jump movement

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Track worked hours in Excel

For the tax authorities you have to keep track of how many hours you spend on your company to meet the hours criterion. It is also useful for yourself to keep track of how many hours you spend on something. In the beginning I kept that detailed in Excel. I would like to share this Excel with you.

The Excel

All tabs

The first picture gives you an overview of the tabs that are available. For every week I have created a tab and given a number. These are the weeks in which you can indicate your hours per week. In the Memo tab you can see calculations with the number of hours worked and in the tab Year overview hours you can see the amount of hours that you have spent per project in a year.

The week

Week

On the tabs week 1 to week 52 you fill in the hours you spent on a certain project. The names of the projects appear here themselves, because you enter them on the tab Year overview hours. You look up the date and project and then arrive at a cell and fill in how many hours you have worked on the project that day.

The system automatically counts on how many hours you have worked that day or week. In column J you can see how many hours you spent on the project in that week.

To use this Excel for another year, copy the file. Empty it with the entered hours. And at week 1 on Monday you enter the date that falls on Monday in the week of 1 January. Before 2019 this is 31 Dec. If you fill this in, the other data will change automatically and the overview will be ready for another year.

Excel tab Annual overview hours

Year overview hours

In the Annual overview hours tab you enter the projects you are working on. This is possible at any time. You do not have to put all projects down at once. First note down the project and then the hours in the week tabs, otherwise you do not see which project is involved. This is possible in Column A. At indirect hours I have already put some things fore you. Be free to adjust them. This can be done on this tab.

In column BC you see the total number of hours you have worked on in the year on a project. I have hidden the intermediate columns, with the hours per week. They would only make the overview unclear.

Memo tab

Memo

You do not have to fill in anything on the Memo tab. You only read data here. So you can see if you meet the 1225 hours of the tax office or how many hours you still miss. You can also see for each project how large that share of hours is compared to the total number of hours.

The Excel to download. Have fun with it, please let me know if you have any questions: gmcapella@yahoo.com.

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To hike more

Hiking Fair

At the end of last year I thought it was time to take a long walk every year over several days. So I bought the books about the Pieterpad and the Pieterpad project was born. The plan is to start at the end of March with the Pieterpad.

But what do you do after the Pieterpad? The Four Days of Marbella? Also on the agenda, but then …..

So I went to the Hiking fair (Wandelbeurs) in the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht. My wish was fulfilled. There was enough inspiration to hike my whole life. Unfortunately, mostly in Europe, but it is a start.

So I got to know enough routes on the fair to hike in the Netherlands and Southern Europe in the coming years. Although it wasn’t at the fair, I would like to hike the temple route in Japan too.

In a few years I will go again to the fair to get more inspiration again. If you are looking for hiking inspiration I would recommand you to go once to the fair.

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