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Newsletter 2020

 rsz 1philip and xie last days at the villa 10x15cm

There is a beginning and an end to all things in life!

After 35 yearly visits to the Edinburgh Theatre Festival, where I used to attend about four performances a day, I had to reduce that pace to a maximum of 2, since lately I suffer from severe back pains due to sciatica/ischias while most theatres have extreme uncomfortable seats.

It’s a pity since I made lots of great friends over the years and Philip and I really enjoyed the city and atmosphere. Also we’ll miss the gorgeous, spacious and classy apartment in a beautiful fairy tale like castle of friends in a quite and luscious green part of town.

Back in Amsterdam, we had a happy reunion with our pats and friends. Our Happy House Bed & Breakfast is becoming more and more popular due to high reviews, we meet loads of colorful and often interesting people from all over the world.

We saw a striking performance by our dear friend Micheline Van Hautem, accompanied by fabulous guitarist Erwin van Ligten. They’ve got a brand new theatre show dedicated to the famous Dutch singer/songwriter Ramses Shaffy who died ten years ago. As an encore she treated us to a spellbinding version of ‘Amsterdam', written by Jacques Brel, since her concert took place in the sold out church The Buiksloterkerk, in Amsterdam. We enjoyed every minute of it, and had special seats Micheline took care of for us, with comfortable cushions, how nice that felt.

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The most impressive event was the wedding ceremony of our two dear friends Hans and Marion at their beautiful estate in the middle of nature in the center of the Netherlands. There were about 300 guests, dozens of relatives, mostly old friends, an incredible huge shocking pink fruit cake, all kinds of “meals on wheels” all around the field. Frank de Kleer our mutual friend with his teenage son and a gypsy musician entertained us most of the day, the lady city official gave a magnificent and cheerful speech.



Finally after knowing each other a quarter of a century Hans and Marion decided to tie the knot. They are the perfect example of the expression for better and worse, since Marion suffered the last decade of severe heart problems and underwent a year ago a heart transplantation which caused her half a year of life threatening complications. Due to perseverance of Hans and the lust for life of Marion, she survived this ordeal and then Hans proposed. He is an amazing collector of Classic cars and artifacts and a clever businessman.

20191207 140002Now with the holidays ahead, I unfortunately suddenly got a very bad swollen and painful left foot and was sent immediately to the hospital where five specialists checked my foot and weren’t able to diagnose exactly what caused it. There were three possibilities, gout, Charcot or an infection; also they noticed a tiny crack on top of my foot and I was put in green plaster and send home with a heavy dose of anti-biotics and a pill against gout plus painkillers and was not allowed to stand on it. Fortunately a week later they informed me it was just an infection and a broken bone and I have to continue wearing a cast and remaining basically horizontal and I will get the result of the MRI scan by the end of this week.

It’s a shame that due to breaking my foot, I missed out on the famous IDFA documentary festival and a terrific house concert performed by Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, pioneers in the use of four-hands piano in jazz, ragtime and boogie woogie. Blending impeccable technic and mature musicality with humor and showmanship at Harrison and Sharene’s. Luckily Philip went accompanied by several of our friends who took my place.




I hope to be in better shape soon and Philip and I wish you a Happy and healthy 2020.


Xaviera and Philip


Stadionweg 17, Amsterdam, Noord Holland - 1077RV, The Netherlands