• cv: Dr. Kim H. Veltman

cv: Dr. Kim H. Veltman


Christmas Letter 2019

It has been a quiet, but a good year. Thank you for friendship and thanks to all who have helped and encouraged. As in previous years there was a Russian choir from Leningrad to celebrate Christmas mass in our little church in Scharn. New Years passed quietly. At the end of January there were 5 magical days with Peter in Berlin visiting museums. Then there was a week visiting Christel, celebrating her birthday, her last alas, in Schloss Schliestedt and seeing friends in Wolfenbüttel (e.g. Sabine, Gisela, Frau Pelzer). The spring went quickly correcting the names in the bibliography.

In May, there was an eighteen day break to see friends in Toronto. It was lovely to see family, friends from my youth and university days. There was also sadness that my oldest friend, Betty Basden, who was the mother of a girl in grade 1, died two weeks shy of 100. Two others followed. Christel, from Wolfenbüttel died in July. Then in October, my Aunt Mia, Mother Superior Ancilla, at the nearby convent also passed away. And thus my three older Muses are now only here virtually.  

In July, Alan came for a three-day visit. In August, I had an incredible journey as a belated 70th birthday present from my Russian “boys”: (Vasyay had to stay home because of new son, Iuri):

Day 1, I was met at Bishkek by his twin brother, Sashay, Andrey (Pussycat) and tour leader, Vitaly. The first day, we had a private tour of the National Historical Museum, which has been closed the last three years. In the evening, a friend of Sashay’s gave us a banquet in a traditional yurt. 

Day 2, we drove to Issyk Kul: “the seventh deepest lake in the world, the tenth largest lake in the world by volume, and the second largest saline lake after the Caspian Sea.”

Day 3, we saw the Nikolai Przhevalsky (a player in the Great Game) Museum in Karakol en route to a camp where I stayed in a yurt.

Day 4, a helicopter took us to the base camp of Khan Tengri at 4,000 meters where we stayed for 2 days.

Day 6, we flew back down, and enjoyed the wonderful green valley with wild horses, visiting a yurt and celebrating Muslim Easter in August. 

Day 7, we drove to Kazakhstan, saw the Charyn valley and drove on to Almaty.

Day 8, the boys returned home. I stayed in Almaty for a further week to see the museums and the city (in order to study this important point of the silk roads). This most spectacular birthday present of my life has left me with incredible images: Monarch butterflies at the base camp of Khan Tengri; an eight-year old boy carrying a golden eagle on his arm; wild horses running through water glistening in the sunlight: so beautiful I dared not take a picture.

In late September, I went to Wolfenbüttel to take leave of Christel and see WF friends. This included magical visits to Quedlinburg, Aspenstedt, and the Gleim museum of friendship in Halberstadt. The walks near Maastricht with Nino and in the second part of the year with Saeed and 2 with Shimon continue to have their special charm. There was a hike to Mechelen (near Partij) with Jan Veltman (a relative). In early December, there was a weekend in Rotterdam to visit Dries, the neighbour’s son. Whenever they occur, I go to hear Michelle’s concerts in Eijsden.  I wish a Happy Christmas and a Joyous New Year.


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