BigSmoke smokes your problems, coughs fresh

17 years old, carrying a big boulder
1999—17 years old
In front of a purple plant
A bit older, still selling, stopped smoking.

Big? Smoke?
What? What am I? 16?

I was 16. I still think that “BigSmoke” sounds dope. And I do sound like my granddad did when he uttered “cool”. My grandpa was the best. He didn't smoke—no weed, no tobacco, nothing. Nor did he drink. You know these anecdotes about how somebody's grandfather reached 90 while smoking and drinking? Well, my grandfather reached 94 without smoking and drinking. And at 90 he still went 🏕.

For I while, I would follow his 👣; I stopped drinking; I starting passing without puffing. And I would keep that up for some six years before I slid back into a more moderate regime. But, all that zeal and moderation would have to wait until after puberty. At 16, before I dropped out of “high” school, smoking weed was the :cool:-est thing, selling it even more so.

So “Big­Smoke”… It must have had something to do with smoking the herb. The precise memory went up in [a pun], but the alias was rooted in stoned, as were more of my early encounters with the creative/destructive forces in myself.

Biology student

Dispite my lack of a high-school diploma, I ate so much spacecake in early 2011 that the bad trip left me feeling it might be a good idea to study biology. After my zeroth year at university—an isolated couple of months of learning enough biology, chemistry, physics and maths to be admitted—I started my first semester after the summer of 2011.

In the foundation year, I was surprised to find that I had to work even harder to pass every course. I stepped up and I earned my foundation degree, without a single failed grade in my first year. Then feeling that I finally caught up, I dared to relax a bit, and, somewhere between my 2nd and 3rd year, I became the typical student more concerned with student life (and his student diving association) than with studying.

I majored in marine biology, which must have had something to do with the diving club I was assimilated in when I just started studying. That it had to be ecology may seem clear in retrospect given that my religion is wilderness. But, at the time, I made my choice based on in which field the practitioners had the healthiest, most outdoorsy look to them. That was because I had decided to leave professional programming behind me for good. If only I had known that I wouldn't persue a master after finishing my BSc, and would instead, for a long/short 6 years, be working at in IT … again. 🤦

Vakantiehuisje aan de bloeiende heide.
Natural abundance in our quiet forest garden.
2018 painting of our forest vacation home by Catharina Nieuwenhout.

“De Schuilplaats”

A vacation home in the forest of Norg (Drenthe) in the Netherlands with a private heatherfield? An ecological garden full of wildflowers and rare animals?

“De Schuilplaats”—our unique forest house—may be what you are looking for: a favorite refuge for nature lovers and creatives.

I consider the abundance of plant and animal species in this fariy hideaway one of the proudest achievements of my life. On our website, I regularly write [in Dutch] about how I steer our forest garden towards ever-increasing diversity.

Posing for Yamalube
Having fun with the models after a 2009 kung fu demonstration for Yamaha with the Aihato demo team.

Kung fu

I like violence. I practice mine at Aihato, where, in 2003, I started out studying wushu (武術), which is literally Chinese for ‘martial art’. I fanatically practiced modern exhibition forms (taolu / 套路) for some years, until the sport declined in popularity. My talent was in traditional 南拳 (southern style), but my 師傅 made me practice Chángquán (長拳)—a northern style—without end. And I still want to learn drunken style (醉拳).

Aihato has since changed from being a kung fu school to a kickboxing/MMA gym where even the Sǎnshǒu (散手) has been supplanted by Muay Thai (มวยไทย) training. And I too have moved on to embrace these changes, although I still think of my own training as kung fu (功夫) training.

If I'm not too busy kicking and punching, I can usally be found 🚶ing, 🏃ing, 🏊ing, diving, climbing, jumping, 🚴ing, skating, or doing a hand stand. Chances are that I updated this text from a split or a 🐎 stance. That's what I mean when I say I practice kung fu.

G.B.D. Calamari logo

During my first week (Sept. 2011) studying to become a biologist, I was invited to join G.B.D. Calamari a diving club for biologists. In May 2012, I earned my licence and could henceforth call myself NOB 1🟉 Open Water Diver. I ended up gobling up some more 🟉🟉 and even a couple of ෴෴. The ෴෴ mean that I'm a CMAS-certified instructor.

I'm quite proud to have preceded over Calamari for a good year—almost two. And I wasn't the shabbiest president; I think the club felt safe under my ‘reign’.


I write stuff. Some of the stuff I write is pretty good, some other stuff a little less so. Decide for yourself which is what.

Most of the writing I've done is tech writing. And I like to undress on paper and write about my nakedness. It's an exhibitionist thing. But, my favorite writing is writing about green stuffs, on Sapiens Habitat.

I've also tried to write a bestseller on a couple of occassions. All this has resulted in so far is a big stack of mostly unfinished manuscripts and a rejection letter or two. It's actually quite embarassing. (No, not the rejections. The delusions are.)

My ego obliges me to say that I don't view this index page as particularly good writing. The style is very fiddly, which is actually a style I like to perform (as testified by the private, paper notebooks that I've been carrying around since 2015). And, then again, the audience I have in mind when updating this index is: me.

I'm disgusted by some code.


Most of my tech stuff is featured on my blog, but there's some more timeless stuff that's hosted here.

Monkey brothers at work.
Monkey brothers at work
Photo of our castle.
Dordogne, 2010

Jorrit Jorik van der Molen

Jorrit staged his escape from The Netherlands in 2005, together with me and his then-girlfriend, by bike. When I left them to head back for Holland, they continued for a year of cycling and work across France. At the end, he sort of stuck to a camping in the Dordogne, were he returned for a few times after short stays in The Netherlands, until he started to freelance elsewhere in the region.

My brother is a strong physical laborer and he does enjoy working with his hands. But, wat he really wants is to build beautiful things. All his life, he has been wanting to create his own green paradise, crowned by an awesome castle, to host himself and his extended family.

He has very strong knowledge of ecological landscaping and an awesome network when it comes to anything ecology or construction related. If you have one of these typical golf-court type landscapes surrounding your castle, he would love to transform it into something more diverse and exciting for you. It's not as good as having his own castle, but it does come close. And it is a good way to save money for his own.

Send him a mail or give him a call if you feel that it's time to surround yourself with the real wonders of the world: beautiful hanging gardens.

Popko en Rowan proberen een zware boomstronk te verplaatsen. Foto gemaakt door Laurelin.
Popko en Rowan proberen een zware boomstronk te verplaatsen. Foto gemaakt door Laurelin.

Popko Peter van der Molen / Omega

My dad is an evolutionary biologist who believes in the evolution of consciousness towards conscious evolution. Borrowing from Teilhard de Chardin, he calls this transition Point Omega.

In his time, he has done some research into learning behaviour and population cycles. This, combined with a lot of reading—too much of which has been about enlightenment and spiritual awakening—has given rise to his scientifically-sounding version of the familiar new-age.

Myself, I'm not of the scientific inclination, but I've created an on-line stage to put his theories to the test. If you're the truth-seeking type, you might find something there that you like.

Hekje in de tuin van Molenweg 15, in ol' Eel

“De Oude Molensteen”

Ik bin in Nörg geboren, in t Drint. Non woon ik in Groot Loug (Grûnn), nait veur die eersten raize. Mien voa woont in Ol' Eel, vlakbie Grûnn. Doar heb ik ook veule joar'n woont. Moar in tuschentied heb 'k ook nog in Oosternijlaand, Woagenbörg, en zölfs in 't zuden, in Roermond, gezeten en een toerlang nog meer noar 't zuden, allendal in 't boetenland. Mien bruir woont in Frankriek en ook mien taante. Daarum.

't Hoes waarin mien voa woont hiet “De Olde Melenstien”. A-j wilt, ku-j doar slaopen, veur betaoling.

“De Oude Molensteen”
Molenweg 15
9761 VB Eelde
N 53° 07' 32" E 6° 34' 31" (map)