Last weekend we visited Tante Lucie and Ome Jan in Zeeland – the place that our New Zealand is named after.

Tante Lucie and Ome Jan on the beach

We had a wonderful time with Tante Lucie and Ome Jan; great conversation, great food, the BEST wine I’ve tasted in Holland and actually for a long time anywhere, and a big day trip around the Delta Works on the Saturday. They are really lovely people to be related to.

Tante Lucie and Ome Jan have a really nice house with a magnificent art collection. They collect primarily modern Dutch artists and Alex and I spent lots of time looking at all their pieces and deciding which were our favourites.

Alex's favourite

It was like staying in an art gallery for the weekend. Tante Lucie had even yarn-bombed the trees outside the front of their house!

Yarn bombs!

The visit to the Delta Works was really amazing. It’s a series of dams and storm water protection walls built around Zeeland in the 50 years proceeding the flood of 1952.


I was really keen to see them and I think Alex was a little perplexed by this, knowing my deep love of science, engineering, machinery and ‘outside’ – yes I am of course joking!

Finger in the Dijk!

However it was absolutely incredible and for anyone with some time here in The Netherlands I would say it’s a “must do”.

The North Sea

We went for a walk around the Oosterscheldekering which was finished in the late ’80s. It’s really amazing the technology that needed to be developed to build this structure – or as I see it “the stuff that had to be made so they could make this!” I guess that’s what really appealed to me about it – the sheer triumph of human endeavor. It was also the first time in the history of this type of project where environmental issues came into the planning and politics surrounding it which is very interesting too.


The control room

We went for a walk around Middelburg the capital of Zeeland and a VERY old town that was bombed extensively in WWII. It has been rebuilt in the same style and some of the old buildings remained intact.

Typical Dutch photo

We still can’t get over how old everything here is.


It was “een heel bijzonder weekend” – a very special special weekend.

Beautiful sunny day on the terraces