BACKGROUND – In Boeren, Burgers en Buitenlui, we talk to natives, importers and idealists about life in the Achterhoek. We evaluate and we fantasize and Marc Weikamp will illustrate, because the region is there to honor. This time a conversation with Chantal Liesveld. More than five years ago, she returned to the Achterhoek after the frantic pace of the Vinkeveense Plassen. “I never rested there. Well it makes you more fun.
By Josée Gruwel
We pass the house, the farm De Olde Veld Hoeve, on the edge of Hengelo. After three years of empty space, Chantal and Gérard bought it more than five years ago. “Roll up your sleeves and fix it” was the motto. It was the same for the garden.
Adorable dogs Luus and Sjors take a leisurely stroll as the ornamental garden paradise unfolds: organically shaped English borders full of colorful summer blossoms. Chantal says: “We are lucky that there are beautiful old trees in the garden, which creates a kind of fairytale atmosphere. Especially the old walnut in the middle determines the atmosphere.
The further away from the farm, the more natural the garden becomes. “The novelty this year is that we do not mow the grass in the orchard and also in the forest of rabatten, where deer are regularly found.
Using cardboard bicycle boxes from the local bike store, the two covered part of the meadow, poured soil into it, and sowed a mixture of seeds. “The result is improving week by week!
We are looking at the sky. Chantal points. “There is the east and this is how the sun sets every day. Since living here, I often look at the sky. The sky says it all.
With a bouquet of wild flowers on the garden table, a pitcher of water and slices of ‘Hengel’ apple cake on a plate, with Luus and Sjors at our feet, Chantal tells her story. How she moved with her parents to Doetinchem at the age of two, then went to study in Utrecht, moved into rooms there and ended up in Vinkeveen via Hilversum and Amstelveen. Finally – to live near her parents – she and Gérard chose Achterhoek. They wanted to live there in the countryside. In Funda, they found their farm, their dream place. “The first time we woke up here together we pinched each other. Yes, it was very real. Every morning when I wake up I still think: oh, that I live here. Living here is also special for Gérard. He still thinks we live in a vacation zone.
Chantal looks for a moment through Gérard’s glasses. “The Achterhoek was new to him. When we first entered the village, he found that people were saying hello to all of us. He asked me: ‘Do you know this one?’, Not knowing that you are greeting everyone here, that it is normal. Today, he loves the region so much that he prefers to leave the Achterhoek as little as possible and reluctantly cross the IJssel.
“People are much easier to understand here. You can see it in the humor ‘
And the slogan “Act normally”? “It’s not about who you are here, like in our previous hometown, but who you are. The people here are modest, don’t shout when you meet them at the supermarket that they were at the table yesterday with the grandnephew of a famous person. They compare a lot more here. You can see it in the humor. So simple, so self-critical, so wonderful. If you have an eye on it, you see this humor everywhere. She points to a tin of Achterkoekjes, talks about the Hengelo shortbread cookies (with a nod to ‘t Zand) and the most beautiful advertisement she has ever seen on a sign along the A18: “Zwarte Cross, also veur whites “.
To get to know the people of Hengelo, she started playing tennis and joined the Garden Club Hengelo. During the ‘Tuinrondje Hengelo en environs’, she and five other garden owners open their garden every last Sunday of May to October.
She was also involved in politics for some time. “I am curious to know what is going on, for example in the social field or in housing. But if you really want to dive into it, it takes a long time. But she doesn’t have much time, because in addition to her hobbies, she has a B&B and a part-time job as a flight attendant at KLM, the company where she has worked for 26 years. “I want to please people – at an appropriate distance – with both. “
Chantal flies all over the world. Is there perhaps a place she would like to relive? “No, the most beautiful place is here in Hengelo. Although I have a soft spot for Spain, I also speak Spanish. My daughter now lives in Valencia, a good reason to travel more often to Spain. When I travel to Spain for work, I always find it difficult to close the door of the plane on departure. What attracts me to Spain? The climate and the population, especially in the south.
Does she have a dream?
“No, not specifically. I want everything to stay as it is. I am satisfied. Maybe I want to take another trip to New Zealand, but not yet. If home is truly your home, then going on vacation isn’t so important anymore. It was different before, then I was living from vacation to vacation.
While Luus and Sjors watch, Chantal picks up a painting. Behind the glass a poem, embroidered in red cross stitch. It was hanging in the house when they saw it and after the sale they were allowed to keep it to the heirs.
Mien Achterhook, in ‘t Geldersland
I will never forget you
The region where I was born bun
Where I have my youth, bitches
Even though I go all over the world
Sea ‘k oe so often more
My heart pulling, where I’m ok bun
Always in d ‘n Achterhook again
Illustration: Marc Weikamp
8 times 8erhoeks with Chantal Liesveld
“The garden of De Olde Veld Hoeve. Here I can be myself, it’s relaxed. This applies to the whole village. It’s safe to go if you work in the garden and need something with your old overalls and clogs at Welkoop or Niels van de Enorm. No one is surprised or thinks it would be good for her.
Best company / organization:
“The festive factory. They offer so much fun. I’m proud of it. We love Mañana Mañana ourselves very much. We love to go there.
The most beautiful building:
“The castle of Vorden. How it is, and with this beautiful driveway. Very special, moreover, that Vorden has so many castles. We always recommend the Route des Huit Châteaux to our B&B guests.
“Ria Nijhof from Racks. She has a “Labrador career” of over 25 years, showing Labradors, hunting training and regular litters of puppies. We attended dog training with her and appreciated her expertise, but especially her dry humor, puns and lines. If a latecomer said, “I’m late,” she said, “No, you left too late. “
Artist / Favorite Artist:
“The figurehead Bennie Jolink. I’ve always followed him from afar, his music, his way of speaking. He also missed the Achterhoek when he lived in the west and is now indispensable. You could say that Bennie Jolink fits into the landscape and is the Achterhoek to me.
Tastyest dish / drink:
“The knees. On the first New Year’s Eve in our house, Lysanne from the neighbors came to bring a full plate. I also really like a Bronckhorster beer, if only because I love the story behind it so much. About the Irishman Steve Gammage who lives in the Achterhoek and who changed sides at the age of fifty and went from painter to successful brewer.
The most beautiful song:
“’De Overkant’, by Suzan and Freek. A beautiful text on this region. You just have to lock your bike here!
“Attamottamotta, if you have to, you have to. I don’t remember that expression from my childhood. I heard it from Frans Migglbrink. Fortunately, I can understand the dialect well, but someone who is not from here has to think for a moment.
For more information on the garden: www.benbdeoldeveldhoeve.nl/tuin-de-olde-veld-hoeve
Chantal’s passion is her paradisiacal pleasure garden. Photo: Josée Gruwel
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