12.13.2020 – heavy leaden skies

heavy leaden skies
dutch mist that gets in your bones
might find challenging

I was reading the online newspaper column “Lets Move To . . .”

It is a regular feature in my favorite online newspaper, The Guardian.

I mention the Guardian a lot in these essays.

I like it because it is from Manchester.

My family, the one non-dutch branch in my tree anyway, came from Manchester.

All the rest of my family tree is firmly planted in the Netherlands.

For 50 years Alistair Cooke, another person who seems to turn up often in these essays, write a weekly column, Letter from America, for the Guardian.

And the Guardian went into business in 1836 and it 1936 its ownership went into a public trust to “secure the financial and editorial independence of The Guardian in perpetuity and to safeguard the journalistic freedom and liberal values of The Guardian free from commercial or political interference.”

So there you are.

In a recent Lets Move To … column, they went to and recommended the Dutch city of Rotterdam.

They listed good points and bad points or the case for and the case against moving to Rotterdam.

The fact that the Netherlands public schools follow tweetalig onderwijs or Bij tweetalig onderwijs (tto) volgen leerlingen een deel van het voortgezet onderwijs in een andere taal. Meestal is dit Engels which means bilingual public education so that most folks speak english.

Then the article touched on the weather.

The weather was listed under THE CASE AGAINST.

“Heavy leaden skies, and Dutch mist (drizzle) that gets into your bones. Those who like beauty of a more conventional ilk might find it challenging.”


No wonder my ancestors moved to West Michigan.

They could write back home and say, “You would love the weather. It’s just like home.”

Heavy leaden skies.

Dutch mist?

I got to send that one off to my buddy George Lessens the weather tsar of West Michigan.

Dutch mist that gets into your bones.

Those who like beauty of a more conventional ilk might find it challenging.


12 years ago we moved to the the south.

Just recently I relocated to the Low Country of South Carolina and the Atlantic Coast.

It is December here as well.

We spent the afternoon at the beach on Hilton Head Island.

For those who like beauty of a more conventional ilk there is nothing challenging about living here.

I lived in the West Michigan for 50 years.

I lived in the Dutch Mist for 50 years.

I lived under the heavy leaden skies.

Yes, yes, yes, there were beautiful days and beautiful vistas and if you went to the beach in July all you had to do was dig a shallow hole in the sand to the ice to keep your drinks cold.

All benefits.

But mostly exceptions, not the daily rule.

Leaden skies and dutch mist.

Distant memory.

Kind of a bad dream.

I would write more but we are just off to the beach.

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