A photo of a train operator’s cabin, in a train to Amsterdam. It’s one of those things you hardly ever glimpse, the things behind the curtain where only people with specific roles usually frequent.

This operator’s cabin was in the middle of the train and used by the conductor. He briefly stepped out while waiting for departure time, leaving both the internal and external door open. The latter gave additional outside light, the former allowed me to snap the picture as I boarded and took my seat.

Last Friday our 7yo daughter could bring some toys to school. This as it was the last day before a week off, and they would spend the last hour or so playing.
The evening before she thought about what toys she would take to school. And made a list after we brought her to bed…

This is how personal knowledge management starts.
The list also has a few icons (such as for playmobil 6 figurines and 3 animal figures). She wanted to also bring a book (in case it would get boring at some point), but added 0% and an image of a battery. Because the teacher had said anything with a screen or battery wasn’t allowed. So it had to be a paper book. The list also mentions earplugs, because ‘it will likely get noisy’.

Friday morning when she got up she showed me the list, as I was making my own notes, about ODRL.

I marvel at the level of detail in her list as she thought it through the evening before. In the morning she decided against the earplugs and book in the end. I was an active notes writer from early on in primary school. Not so much focused on the school work, that was usually a boring breeze, but I focused on what I saw happening around me, very often social connections I noticed between others too, things I found puzzling or stood out. I had this notion things and people would make sense more if I could suss out the connections between them.

Today I was in Dordrecht, an old city south of Rotterdam. My colleague Paul rents a bridge operator’s hut that’s no longer in use, and uses it as his office. It’s the bridge keeper’s hut at the Engelenburgerbrug, from 1911 in its current form (but a bridge has been there since the early 16th century). It’s right in the old city center just steps away from the Dordrecht Minster (built between 1284 and 1470). The weather today was very nice, so we sipped coffee and enjoyed lunch outside in the sun while we worked.

Because the bridge still is in use, Paul gets approached regularly as if he is the bridge keeper. Hence he routinely wears a t-shirt with the text “NOT the bridge keeper” and has the same text on display in the windows.

We visited the Deventer Book Market today, which takes place along the IJssel river quayside and in the city center’s pedestrian zone. Said to be the largest second hand book market in Europe, with some 600 vendors. In earlier years there have been well over 100.000 visitors, but today was predicted to be very rainy, so there were likely much less people around than that. Actually it remained mostly dry until after lunch and we had a pleasant stroll through the town and stocked up on books for Y to read, some old SF pockets for me, and some books for E too. Just as we drove away the heavy rains really arrived.

It has been many years since E and I last were at the Deventer book market (it had been 8 years since we last were in Deventer at all). As on a visit almost two decades ago, what stood out is how with the streets filled with many people browsing all those book stalls, how very very quiet it is. So much so that we thought the kitchen sounds and table conversations around us at lunch to be noisy in contrast.


The ca. 1530 Weigh House overlooking some of the book stalls


The majority of the stalls are along the IJssel river quayside. In the background the Wilhelmina bridge, originally built 1939-1943, blown by retreating German forces in 1945, rebuilt 1948 using the original design. This bridge was used in the movie ‘A Bridge Too Far‘ about the allied landings in/around Arnhem, as a stand in for the bridge in Arnhem itself (because there too modern buildings surround the bridge for the 1945 setting of the movie).


What AI can do, we can do better. A sign on a stall of a group of professional book translators we briefly chatted with.

This toad* was enjoying the rain and moisture in the garden after an extended hot and dry period, when I returned home from bringing Y to school. We see a lot of them at such times. When it spotted me standing next to it with my bike, it stuck its head underneath the cover of the sand box, but made no attempt to actually crawl fully under it. After all, if I don’t see you, surely you can’t see me, right?

* I’m assuming toad because it didn’t jump away, but crawled. It wasn’t warty however.