“First mid-winter outing in Zorgvlied, an exciting day for us as an organiser” | The Diary of Jan Veenstra

He gives the people of the area an insight into their daily lives in the form of diaries. What do they do, what keeps them busy. This week Jan Veenstra. Together with Annemarie Griffioen, Jan Veenstra Manege is owned by Ludanchelo Hoeve. He is also self-employed in construction and is co-organizer of the Zorgvlied Midwinter Century Walk.

Friday 25 November

Today I work from home at our Ludanchelo Hoeve riding school in Wateren. At 5.15 am I get up and wake up. Took our dogs for walks, checked the horses out in the pastures with night vision goggles – luckily they are all still healthy – and no wolf visited that night either. Then they gave the horses their share of the hay in the stable. Then I sink into my bed for a while. At half past eight the day really begins with breakfast and then to the stable. Annemarie and Natasja bring the horses out to pasture. I’m tidying up the stables and then it’s time for coffee. The first customers arrive to saddle the horses for a jungle ride.

The boyars come at the end of the morning. My horse, Presti, also got new Nikes. After lunch the contractor comes to spread the lime, then it’s time to ride the horse yourself. My prey, my big friend, is ready for it. Two children also come from the village. I’m teaching them something today: “Jean Gallup” (five minutes an hour).

After dinner, I picked up a midwinter horn to practice at the riding hall. Then to Marianne in Deever. Together with the ladies of the KWPN panel we will be putting together a program for the winter season.

Saturday 26 November

Also this morning I’m out of bed around quarter past five. Same ritual as yesterday. It will be a busy day. Cleaning the stables and then riding with my prey. I supply water and hay to the horses in the pasture. Then it’s lunch time. This afternoon we’ll be out with a midwinter horn for the first time this year. We blow up at the Appelscha Winter Fair. At 30 metres, from Bosbergtoren, the tones of a midwinter horn are heard over the whole village.

In the evenings I can perform with Ute, a German dancer dressed as a butterfly, with an XXL Horn, 3.13 meters long, made by Peter Kuiper of Diever. Great, the audience is really enjoying this. At home I update the list of marchers tomorrow in the middle of winter, the horses are given hay, the dogs are walked.

Sunday 27 November

Today, the first mid-winter picnic in Zorgvlied, an exciting day for us as an organizer: Willeke, Thijs, Marten and I. After the daily morning ritual, there is cake with coffee, because it is Helen’s birthday. Fristi and Japiejo saddled the horses with Natasja for a short ride. Then preparations begin for the first century march in the middle of winter in Zorgvlied!

Together with Annemarie and Natasja we prepare road signs, road mapping. I had signs on the road made from a picture of a Trumpeter in the middle of winter: Beware: Trumpeter in the Midst of Winter. These will be on the road where the jackets are. can start. Committee members receive a pewter midwinter horn pin for the cap. About a quarter to one, the first participants start. Annemarie and Mickey check names and hand out consumption slips. The first participants leave at one o’clock. At two o’clock, the last starting point for Vila Nova departs. I lead the way with young Arjan and Bennie’s jackets to see if everything is going well. Then we take our place.

Soon the first pedestrian passes by. We take turns to our tune. And sometimes you answer a few questions, give an interview to Radio Drenthe, take pictures…and then blow again. About a quarter to three passes the last traveler and we return to Vila Nova. It’s time for a drink and a delicious bowl of pea soup. Our conclusion: next year again. At home it’s time for Sunday fare: French fries with a snack.

After dinner I visited my old neighbours. He has also been blowing for 25 years, but because of his and her health, he can’t be there. Tell him about the afternoon and show him the pictures.

Monday 28 November

Today I’m going out with Johan from Skillful Twins. We have been working for 7 weeks on a major renovation of Johan and Paula Norder on the Rijksweg in Groningen. Back home, quickly change the midwinter horn position in the car to blow through the woods. In the evening, I repeat this with a number of the villagers. Fristi also gets attention. I’m pushing it in the indoor arena.

Tuesday 29 November

Another day of chores. Upstairs comes in fine. When I get home, I pick up the midwinter horn again. Jubilee Mart and Willie Bellows will cheer you up in the evening with a pewter figurine of Midwinter’s Trumpet Blower. Mart is the person who brought inflatables to Wharton 25 years ago. Over 80 years old now, he still blows occasionally.

Wednesday 30 November

After the morning ritual another day of solo work in Groningen. I’m home about half past five, Annemarie helping with the horses: another busy evening with lessons tonight. After his prey lessons, he fed the horses, walked the dogs, and watched some football.

Thursday, December 1

After breakfast I clean out the stables and provide each hut with a fresh bed of crushed straw. Everything is spiky and stretches again. Time for coffee. Then he spoke with his neighbor Robert, and immediately examined the food bowls and water tanks. In the afternoon in the woods with my great friend Presti.

Leave a Comment