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A hand drawn picture with a lighthouse in the dunes, surrounded by a few houses

Hi, and welcome to one project at a time. Technically speaking, this is a blog. But we don't want to call it that, it's sounds a bit dull, right? Let's call it our notebook, or a sketchbook. In any case, a place where we can drop some notes on projects we are working on, because we have a lot of those. Let's turn this first post into a short Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section to clarify things. First question.

1. It's a brand new blog, how can you have a FAQ?

Yes, you are right. It doesn't really make sense. However, I didn't specify who frequently asked these questions. It was us! Janneke and me. We wanted to have a clear purpose before even making an attempt to launch this. So we kept asking ourselves the same questions over and over again. Why invest time in this? Why do this? Why?

2. So.. why this blog?

Please, I told you: it is not a blog. It is a notebook! Anyway, Janneke and I have been thinking to start a blog for 1.5 years. We had one, but I killed it  yesterday to get this one up and running.

Our first blog was stories on a map. We intended to write about our outdoor adventures: ski mountaineering, bike trips, camp trips, kayak trips, adventure races. It should have been a guidebook for the routes we climbed. A journal with vivid stories of our experiences. A blog filled with tips & tricks for mountaineers. Beautifully visualized on an interactive map with videos and photos.

The adventure that would produce the initial content for the blog was a 7-day ski mountaineering trip in Austria. One day before our departure in March 2020 we were ready to go, our gear was packed, our mountain guide was waiting for us.

Our stuff right before departure

But then - out of nowhere - COVID-19 happened. Austria hinted it would go in lock down. "The situation doesn't look good" said our mountain guide on the phone. We decided to play it safe and cancelled the trip. One day later, Austria did go in lock down. Borders closed. Since then, we all know what happened: no more travelling and no more outdoor adventures until further notice. Stories on a map remained unwritten.

For the last few months we have been working from home during the 'intelligent' lock downs. The combination of some extra spare time and being together 24/7, sparked a very interesting creative and cooperative atmosphere between Janneke and me. A lot has happened. Very positive things. We wanted to share the positive and creative vibes. We have so many things we can write about, but no digital paper to write on. We wondered: why not change the scope of the blog? So, we did. We present to you: One project at a time.

3. Who are you?

There are two answers to this question:

1) The short answer: Janneke and Rony. A clinical health scientist and a GIS developer. Two creative minds with seemingly unrelated interests and skills. But throughout our being together, we discovered that we are very complementary and capable of creating amazing stuff.

2) The slightly longer answer: the about page

4. What kind of projects can I expect?

Well, we do not know either. And that is a problem, because blogs should have a clear focus and purpose to gain some momentum and keep it. However, we promise it will be something related to our interests. Building stuff for our home, Rony's Geo and electronics projects, film making, photography, outdoor adventures and Janneke's illustration skills. All mingled and mixed into something interesting. I can hear you think: this can hardly be called a scope, nor a focus. Yes that is true, but I am sure we will find a way to make it coherent and relevant. You will be surprised. I know, because  we keep surprising ourselves.

Our minds as creativity factories
5. But, why one project at a time?

That is a very good question. Thank you for asking. We have difficulties finishing things. And with we, I mostly mean me, Rony. We have a lot of ideas and we very often start new projects. Sometimes we have several parallel galaxies of projects going on simultaneously. These galaxies spark new ideas and new projects up to the point where many projects remain unfinished. Just like the project "let's start a blog". That is a waste of time, energy and - to be honest - money, right? So, we (mostly Rony) are currently in the process of teaching ourselves to a) really think whether the project is worth doing, and b) to keep focus. Finish it. This blog is like a stick behind the door (a Dutch saying). If there is one place where we should stick to one project at a time, it is here. Keep it alive.

6. What is your current project about?

About keeping things alive. When we cancelled our ski mountaineering trip, we ended up in a void. Emptiness. A trip we have been preparing for six months, vanished. Just like that. Passé. So, to fill up the void, we decided to go to Texel for a week, one of the Dutch islands.

The lighthouse on the Island of Texel

By the time we came back home, it was five weeks later. Yes, we had no reason to come back after the first week, so we stayed another four. We liked it. But our plants on the balcony at home did not. Dead. Each one of them. Again, passé. We bought new ones and decided it is not enough. We need to protect them from drought the next time we leave for a longer period. Asking the neighbors to look after them is too easy. We need more challenge. It is then we first joked about building an automatic plant monitoring and watering system. Before we knew it, the jokes were put into action. The project involves working with micro controllers, sensors, wiring and coding. Considering we have no prior experience with working electronics, it can be said that it is an interesting challenge.

7. Wow, you got me excited! What's next?

Yes, I got myself excited as well. Next up is either the first blog post about the automatic plant watering system, or some other small nerdy topics I have in mind. So, yeah, this is it for now. Thanks for reading this far. I hope you enjoyed it. Hop on our eyes & minds and enjoy the experiences. We will be updating you on the socials. Bye bye.. for now!

Wait wait wait wait...! One more question, the illustrations, how?

Easy, Janneke made them. And you know what? She doesn't only make these for the blog, but she can also make them for you! If you want. Are you interested? That is great, make sure to drop by her website to explore her work and get in touch.