At the back of the hill

Warning: If you stay here long enough you will gain weight! Grazing here strongly suggests that you are either omnivorous, or a glutton. And you might like cheese-doodles.
BTW: I'm presently searching for another person who likes cheese-doodles.
Please form a caseophilic line to the right. Thank you.

Saturday, July 02, 2016


Recent cases before the court in Den Bosch involve the biggest ecstasy lab ever found in the Netherlands, along with a well-organized and professionally run party-drug brokerage, and efficient criminal organizations that distributed various illicit substances.

All in a few small southern Dutch towns.

Brabant-style enterprise at its finest.

As some of you know, several of my ancestors came from that part of the Netherlands. During my childhood we ended up back there, where my father worked for a well-known manufacturer of electronics.

I have always been proud of the canniness of those people.

Brabanders are born law-breakers, inclined to do something just because someone else tells them they shouldn't. Especially if it involves finding clever ways to outwit the authorities, or just sheer balls. The provincial flag is the blockade runners' banner, which, not coincidentally, was also the model for that chequered wimpel used in car races. During the middle-ages they were adventurers, merchants, soldiers, and often hired killers. As the scribe of Paris put it, Brabanders are all "brigands, rapists, and incendiarists; men of blood".

Erasmus said that the older they get, the crazier they become.

Cite: "Zoodat men niet zonder grond van de Brabanders zegt, dat terwijl andere lieden met de jaren in verstand toenemen, zij hoe ouder hoe gekker worden; en toch is er geen volk waarmede men genoegelijker kan omgaan, of dat minder de verdrietelijkheden des ouderdoms gevoelt."
Lof Der Zotheid ('in praise of folly'), 1511.

[Translation: "So that one can truthfully of Brabanders say that while years increase wisdom in others, they become ever more 'peculiar' as they mature; and yet there is no people with whom association is more enjoyable, and that pays the suffering of age less mind"]

Biggest. Drug. Lab. Ever!

Trailer trash before it became fashionable.


The term Brabant, in most contexts in which I use it, means the area presently known as Noord Brabant, which is one of two southern and predominantly 'reprobate' provinces in the Netherlands. There's also a rather large area in Belgium, some of which is still called Brabant, but as the ancient heart of the region was Toxandria, which is the riverine frontier of Gallia Belgica, an area roughly corresponding to the Dutch territory, the term more perfectly fits the area just beneath the rivers.

The terms 'tessender' and 'tonger' are, more or less, former ethnonyms of the natives which survive in place names. Toxandrians were from the Kempen westward to the area of Antwerp, Tungrians more less occupied the lower reaches of the Maas (Meuse) river, which is Limburg. It is from these regions that the insolent Frankish invasions of Gaul (third to fifth centuries) sprung when Rome faltered.

The name Brabant derives from 'braek bande'. Braek: marshy or bog-like, brackish. Bande or bant: area, region, side. In other words, an inhospitable land of poor soil.

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  • At 1:44 PM, Anonymous Arno said…

    Ik loop hier alleen
    In een te stille stad
    Ik heb eigenlijk nooit last
    Van heimwee gehad
    Maar de mensen ze slapen
    De wereld gaat dicht
    En dan denk ik aan Brabant
    Want daar brandt nog licht

    I was born in Nijmegen (Gelderland), now I live in Olst (Overijssel) but I grew up in Brabant. And although life is more relaxed in Olst, I still miss Brabant..

  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger The back of the hill said…

    I often also miss Brabant.
    As you may have noticed.


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