I finally finished the walls of the bathroom last night. Getting home from work and hitting the paint cans straight away was difficult, but the advantage is that I was able to have a quick shower before work today. So today I should be able to function correctly at the office before 11am. All that is left to do tonight is to remove the masking tape and fix up the newly discovered wall power socket, and then bring all the stuff that was removed during decoration back into the bathroom and generally tidy up.

Today is Indonesian independence day. It’s the sixtieth anniversary of the Indonesian declaration of independence (it was formerly a Dutch colony) of the 17th August 1945. You can find some information about the celebrations here. The history of Dutch East India Company colonies around Indonesia is fascinating. For tales of spice trading and seafaring, try Nathaniel’s Nutmeg, a book by Giles Milton. It’s amazing to think that this whole region was shaped by spices which we take for granted today – particularly nutmeg, mace and pepper. So think of that as you cook.

Did you know?

  • The Dutch East India company issued what proves to be the oldest share certificate [from the year 1606] in existence?
  • The territories in the Dutch East Indies were considered more valuable than a recent [1609] discovery in the Hudson bay, and for this reason the English managed to acquire Manhattan in 1664. A part of the agreement was that the English cede the island of Run, rich in nutmegs. The final agreement (Treaty of Westminster) was signed in 1674.