Saturday, September 22, 2007


I recently started a post round which i have to say I am really enjoying so far. It is for a competitor of the usual post company and I only have to do it twice a week and the weather so far has been perfect. I am not so sure how much I will enjoy it when 'come rain or shine' happens. But so far it has been very enjoyable getting out on the bike, seeing the dutch way of life, and meeting the people of suburbia.

My round is a very affluent area of Maastricht. The 'Doorns'. Each street ends in 'Doorn'; so as 'Vuurdoorn, Gaspeldoorn, Duindoorn, Meidoorn, etc, etc.
Apart from the Doorns (in blue) there is the Vijverdal in 'yellow' which is the psychiatric hospital, which can be interesting as the inamtes scream at you as you deliver the post.
The 'orange' part I take next which is a series of schools where you get through various security to make sure you are nor a 'pedo'. And also here many teachers telling the pupils, "Oh there is the postman, watch he has to put the post in the post box". Very educational.

The bit which I choose to do last is the 'Bemelerweg' (green) which is a bit a of trip into the countryside and uphill so best to do with an empty bag. This ends at a farm where there is two very aggressive Dalmation cross-breads waiting on chains to attack you as you deliver their post. Fortunately they are both tied in such a way that neither one can reach you if you zig-zag through to the postbox. Always an exciting way to finish the round.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Gordon Bennett takes off again

The long distance balloons ; very different from the usual ones

The 51st Gordon Bennett balloon race will set off today from Belgium. The start off point is still not decided due to the possible interference with EBBR (Brussels Airport) . See the fantastic ATC Network for details -

The competition will set off from Belgium when the 14 balloons should set off late afternoon saturday. Looking at the wind they will be passing close to Maastricht and probably set off in the direction of Russia. But you can track their exact position live on the website

It will be a totally different competion than last year when the competitors headed in the direction of the UK then the wind changed and they finished in Scandinavia.

The Teams taking part this year are:

1. FRA 1 Leÿs / Rolland (F-PPSE)
2. BEL 1 Van Havere / De Cock (D-OAVB)
3. NED 1 Jurg / Van Houten (PH-KTS)
4. USA 1 Abruzzo / Rymer-Davis (N801NM)
5. GER 3 Hageney / Gerhardt (D-OWBA)
6. GBR 2 Folkes / Rich (D-OCOL)
7. SWI 1 Krebs / Vollenweider (D-OCFT)
8. BEL 2 Berben / Siméons (D-OBYN)
9. USA 3 Sullivan / White (D-ORZL)
10. GER 1 Eimers / Seel (D-OWBI)
11. GBR 1 Hempleman-Adams / Rivers-Scott (D-OBCW)
12. SWI 2 Stoll / Mattenberger (HB-QHP)
13. USA 2 Critelli / MacNutt (D-OWML)
14. GER 2 Hora / Löschhorn (D-OWNT)

Since 1906 this competition has taken place 54 times and so far the countries winning are:

USA - 12
Belgium - 10
Austria - 8
France - 5
Germany - 5
Poland - 5
Switz - 4

So it looks like time for a UK win considering we almost beat the Belgians last year.
Come on GBR 1 & 2

Saturday, September 01, 2007

World Darts Trophy

The Netherlands are going darts crazy again this week as the World Darts Trophy kicks off today in Utrecht. Utrecht is a city just south of Amsterdam. This will be the 6th WDT but this year it is unique in that it is between 28 PDC and 28 BDO players.

This is the 2nd time a joint tournament has been held since the breakup of darts in 1994.

The last time also happened in Holland in the International Darts League in Nijmegen in May. That time the BDO players came out on top with 3 out of 4 in the Semis and Gary Anderson picked up the title.

There is another joint tournament scheduled to be held in September in the UK the Grand Slam of Darts which will be shown on ITV. The first time they have shown darts in many years.

Previous winners of the WDT are:
Tony David, Raymond van Barneveld (2), Gary Robson and Phil Taylor. Taylor won the tournament last year when it stopped being exclusively for BDO players and 5 PDC players received wild cards.

The politics in darts seems to be hitting a new high again even though these joint tournaments are taking place. The BDO players are not happy their old exclusive tournaments are being taken over by PDC players (the WDT and the IDL).

And also the BDO has purposely moved it's BBC tournament the Masters to clash with Barry Hearn's PDC ran joint tournament (the Grand Salm of Darts) in September.

Martin Adams the current BDO World Champion refused his invite to the GSOD. Hearn went on record to say that Adams lacked ambition. To which Adams replied he is loyal to the BDO and that is a great quality and said that without him the tournament has lost it's value.

I think for 'Joe Public' having 2 live tournaments on at the same time will probably alienate people from the sport and confuse them but for the darts fans it is interesting times to watch and compare the 2 codes.

Who will come out on top at the WDT this week we can only wait and see. So far we are 3 matches in and it stands 2-1 to the BDO.

Mieke de Boer will not be taking part as there is no ladies tournament in the WDT. But she is often showed as a interested member in the audience by SBS6 TV . I wonder why?