Tag Archives: Amstelveen


Karel Appel's playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum, Amstelveen.

Karel Appel’s playful sculpture outside the Cobra Museum in Amstelveen.

I feel well disposed towards artists who admit they really don’t understand what they’re doing.

“I just mess around a bit,” said Dutch artist Karel Appel; and it became the most famous thing he ever said in his life.

Appel’s work and that of his 1950s contemporaries from COpenhagen, BRussels and Amsterdam is celebrated in the COBRA Museum in Amstelveen, just outside Amsterdam. The museum’s permanent collection is one of the Netherlands’ greatest treasures.

This year, Appel and his fellow Cobras have been joined in Amstelveen by work from New York’s Guggenheim. Pollack, Rothko, de Koning, Poliakoff and others splashed, dribbled and daubed colour onto canvas, apparently at random, yet by some magical process the effect is wonderful. We thought the exhibition was fabulous, and highly recommend it to anyone who’ll be in Amsterdam over the next few months. Continue reading


Filed under Art, Holland

AMSTEL LOOP RIDE – 44 km of pleasure mingled with pain

The drink station at Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.

The drink station at Ouderkerk aan de Amstel.

The Amstel Gold race, perhaps the Netherlands’ most important cycling event, is on TV today. My modest ride along the Amstel River wouldn’t qualify as ‘gold’; it was more ‘aluminium alloy’ class.

But it wasn’t raining, the sun was making an effort to break through, and I needed to get some serious kilometres in before the Classico Boretti cycling event exactly three weeks from now.

Either my Brooks saddle or my rear end has changed shape since they were last in contact seven months ago. They’re no longer a perfect match. My loop was hard work, and that gave me an excuse to stop and admire the scenery along the way. Continue reading


Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland