Notes, Quotes, Provocations And Other Fair Use V
To be continued as nqp#6
While I was dining out last night with Maarten de Reus at the Riva del Mare (Mark Madel benevolently spoke of this eatery of splendid location and sufficient cuisine), Gilberthe was on the phone all evening. Moniek Toebosch filled us in on taxes (she's is going through a comparable process of leaving Amsterdam for her Belgian homestay), and Lily van Ginneken was her supportive self. This morning I again spoke to Moniek who is very understanding about the excitement of leaving. And she knows well what are the consequences of finishing one's business here and re-opening it abroad. In the meanwhile to me the mill's importance is growing. If I sought the business support (or found the guts) I would change it into a well connected meeting place sooner rather than later. Again, as always, I tend to conceive a facility for myself and others, modeled after the ideal situation I would imagine to be invited to for participation. Then again, I don't want to over-institutionalize this time. Let it grow.
Maarten was a delight as ever. Now he is moving too... building their own place in the former eastern harbor district. We discussed all the highs and lows of major moves. Managing your family and household. The thrills of change. And gossiped our relations. I especially enjoyed the fast ride forth and back on the BMW bike he recently traded for his old Kawasaki.
I woke up this morning at 3.30am and sat myself behind the computer to take down notes on the management of the moulin project untill 6. Then I slept another hour and a half on the couch. Moving is one thing, supporting the stay will be another. Just a few nights ago I panicked and phoned Andrea in NY. Time difference and her dear and sober judgement makes her an ideal person to address my confusion to, whenever it strikes, usually after a long day of dealing.
The 'villa du moulin' around 1900. Nature since has pushed some of it out of sight (and flooded its basements one moment in the late 60s). We nevertheless signed a compromis de vente on Thursday. In France on your own estate you are allowed to trim and unroot and push around the green (and soil, and water) any way you like. The current owner mr. Follope showed us around pointing out the objects of nature management to be dealt with soon, which he would take care of. One time I will have to follow him in his daily routines managing the place, and take noteI even thought of videorecording his steps. Now he also provided this postcard for scanning, and we returned him a pot of honey from Gilberthe's father's bees, in return for the pot his wife gave us a few weeks ago.
We've packed (this is late 25th) to leave for St. Germain-des-Bois. Kristel and Adinda and Bo are installing themselves in our house to care for R+r the days to come. Gilberthe wrote a short manual. Have we gone through moods the past days... The banks didn't come up with the downpayment on short notice. Needed some more days. We phoned around for our 30k. We ended by emptying our accounts and leaving with quite some cash. The word spreads in the meanwhile. And Joke spends her first night in her new appartment at the KNSM laan tonight, which makes her 'feel like she moved to NY again'. Yvette van der Linden, and Marc her french husband, who are living in Paris since a long time, phoned tonight and will be looking for houses near Auxerre next Friday... Guus Beumer (SO) will alternately stay in Amsterdam and Paris, so Joke let us know. Exodus. Lily van Ginneken sent a very sweet mail for support. If it wasn't for all these friends we would feel lonely making a jump like this. Now we imagine them all to come over, which would result, according to Lily, in the situation that we see people more often than when we all live in A. I remember when Gilberthe was living in Indonesia, or Joke in New York, contact never to have been as frequent and as intimate as under these remote circumstances. Or when a few months ago we revisited Koos and Margriet after many many years and simply picked up where we left off. Francine on the other hand reminded me of the short distance between Arles (where she'll move, also next March) and the Moulin, suggesting that I'd probably prefer mailing over neighbouring... but I'm sure we'll be sharing sakés somewhere half way one day. 'There's no technology that beats lunch'. Change is the word that comes to mind most often and we're fully engaged in it.
Paul's cgi tells me today is my 16,454th day alive! Today accidently also being the first day of the rest of my life, I'd say things are looking rather good... Then today the bank tells me to rent out our place in Amsterdam furnished, in order to raise plenty dough for the mill, and secure the mortgagebut I've seen too many figures the past two days to have a clear view. Next thing will be getting the estimates on all the properties involved. And we haven't yet found a short term loan of Dfl 30k to pay up next week at the notary's... Capital in real estate isn't exactly the liquidiest capital to have!
We are seeing lots of people every day and get lots of support and good suggestions and contacts, for disparate needs like best quality outdoor paint (Dutch paint's a world leader), IT specialists with an international agenda, microtourism, ecological gardening, watermill exploitation,... with some friends however it feels almost like a farewell already and the mood is mixed, too early. We'll only be moving as late as March next year. But I can imagine that I will become impatient once the property is bought.
We decide to sign the compromis de vente a week from tomorrow, August 27.
I have dinner at the 1e Klas restaurant of the Amsterdam Central Station, with Jente, Mark and Paul. We discuss Media-GN and the Amsterdam Noord 'stadsdeelraadhuis' proposal. First principles sum up LED technology, to support cave-like scribbles on the wall, y/n interaction, y/n datafeed, y/n updates of the work over time, humour and the law, recasting some of the house's purposes, reversing time and clowning the doorman.
John and Kristi came for dinner last night. We had a good time and discussed private property and residential issues (John a Brit in NL, us soon being Dutch in F). They offered to babysit R+r in next week's week-end, when we will return to France to sign the contract.
I forget to show you what all the excitement's about:
The Moulin du Merle ('Blackbird Mill') is located in the French Nièvre region, midwest Burgundy, 750km from Amsterdam, less than 200 from Paris. The mill is a watermill, now defunct. It used to generate electricity to also heat the water from the source, for the central heating system. Since the late 70s however a fuel based system has been installed. (more to follow)
We are living bursts: there's little day-to-day routine, it's alternating highs and lows after our visit to St-Germain-des-Bois, the Moulin du Merle, on Wednesday July 29. So this is when July 28-August 10 and August 12-16 come in... to measure developments these periodicities are useless, but they serve better than dayly sequentials. Also, there's no time to reflect on the meetings and phonecalls we have. Like they say: 'there's no technology that beats lunch', when things get urgent you rely on face-to-face meetings a lot. Where's Real Time When You Need It? I've been allways mixing night and day already, so total blur now is the next step. As is the blur of the kind of reactions you evoke when proposing the Moulin to people. There's a lot of energy sparked and we are trying both to catalyse and keep track, of people's interest and judgement. I don't even want to bother to take down here the kinds of discussions I am engaged in. The deliberations I have. Basically they are twofold: money focused and content driven. What a pair.
Business as usual? I added the question mark after the bit had been on my computer for a week, without uploading it.
July 28-August 10
It'll take me some time to get this period Au Courant. Not because of the sheer quantity of Faits Divers, but for their implication to our lives. I do not know who my readership is exactly, but I sure wish I'd know of a way of sharing what I'm going through since our family visited this property in Francethe gorgeous spaceous place, only an 8 hours drive South of Amsterdam, this watermill that can easily house the four of us and any friends passing by or joining for any length of time, to admire kingfishers, trout and deer, drink the water from its source and marvel the waterpowered energy supplybesides continuing our and their businesses, improving relations and preparing to face those who stayed behind with the fruits of concentration and experimentation.
Moving there yet is a radical break from where your reputation is, where your income is and where you know the rules. Of course you will try to stay connected, bring the rules and opportunities, get the friends over and generally give the place a purpose to improve your own life and that of anybody who joins you. That's the easy part. The break is the hard part. A break for the better: for a continuation of what has been achieved, a re-evaluation of the best that happened, for the cause of the best to happen. You don't want to break up for insecurity. At this stage of life. But you need experimentation. What we fear most probably is isolation, or going to a place where no one will follow, thus not generating any impact on developments we have been co-leading for the past 20 years. You want to stay in touch and drive changes for more people than yourselves.
Then there's the need to do this financially sound. I was (again) struck speachless by the amount of money I'm sitting on in Amsterdam. It is so different to regard the place you live at and work from as a 'place', or as capital. In the latter case, I can't afford to live here! Having a very low monthly pay of some rent and some repayment on my mortgage, I have a surplus value on it of 650k... Current real estate prices are at 4,500 guilder per square meter here and going up. Which is still very moderate compared to London, Paris or Frankfurt, but astronomous compared to my monthly costs and a ridiculous price to 'pay' for the purposes we are using it for: Internet access, bookshelves, sleeping places and cooking meals. We do not do any business here that can account for these prices. So how to cash in on it? One I need cash to buy in France, where high mortgages are hard to get by for ancient property. Two I need an income, probably from my property in Amsterdam, because work is no simple guarantee when you leave town. Three I want finance to be as simple as my other work and interests.
After having considered finding partnership for the Moulin, my dad suggested me to find partnership for Amsterdam: being where the money grows fastest and most secure. If I would want to gamble my share of it in France, I could. I saved here and could try to find money to build on my savings. The benefits (partners' investments, income from rent) would afford me to build me a place in France and those newcomers return on investment and maybe a share of the bigger picture. We are actually living in a piggy bank (which happens to be a nice place too)... , so we want to spend the money without breaking it... How to steal our savings out, and rent the place out? (to be continued, send your comments please: on how to have your lunch and eat it).
00:16hrs. Just returned from Burgundy tonight and ready to buy and sell some estate. Details will follow.
best bits from correspondencies, attendencies and collected hard copy
Le Moulin du Merle
sw corner of the house
hidden in the Beuvron bordering trees
façade from the se corner
the south façade terrace
45th birthday celebration in Vezelay
below img added 20030730