1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
If I could live anywhere in the world...New York maybe, or London. Much as I enjoy traipsing around the country, I definitely think it would have to be a city for me to feel happiest. There are other places I would dearly love to visit: Australia, New Zealand, and Iceland come top of my list and have done for years, but I don't know if I would want to live there. OTOH, I'm quite happy to stay here in The Hague, too. It's home.
2. What was the best concert you've ever attended?
I found an old scrapbook the other day, one I started around the time of my first ever gig. I'd been to piano recitals and operettas, but before May 1977, I'd never been to a pop or rock concert (and was dressed far too formally for one, I remember). At this remove, I can't remember much about it and so I couldn't say that it was musically or technically the very best I've ever seen , but it having been the first makes it very special. Who did I see, you want to know? Queen, live at the Ahoy in Rotterdam. Over the next 3 years, I saw them 7 or 8 times more.
Actually -- Paul Weller at Paradiso (Amsterdam), 1995...that was an amazing gig. And The Stone Roses, same year, same location. Last year's 2 Depeche Mode gigs were quite wonderful, too. And David Bowie. And The Rolling Stones. And of course I have fond memories of my first ever Common Rotation show, which took place in Pennsylvania in 2004.
Worst ever gig? Bow Wow Wow, opening for Queen ca. 1980. They were so bad, they were pelted off the stage by beer cans halfway through their first song.
3. What is one food that you just couldn't live without?
Chocolate! Seriously, there is nothing else edible in this world I would miss as much as chocolate if the recipe for it became lost and I could never ever ever taste it again. I'm sure I'd survive, but I wouldn't call it living.
4. Describe your perfect day.
Is sunny and starts with a hearty breakfast. I'm thinking croissants and different kinds of rolls, cold meats, cheese, fruit, coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. I might read a paper, too. After breakfast, I'll go out and do something, maybe go into town or meet up with friends to go sailing, or riding, or hiking; see something of the world. Even if it's just the world in my backyard. We'll end the day preparing and eating dinner; or we'll go to a nice restaurant, have a few drinks, converse...a day filled with simple pleasures is the kind of day I enjoy the most.
5. What was the catalyst that started your spiritual journey?
Should I feel bad that I don't really know the answer to that question? Did it start when as a child, my parents sent me to the nuns because in The Netherlands in the sixties, there were no other after-school child care options, and my parents both had to work? Or in my early teens, when they put me in a school 'with the Bible' because it was nearest to our house, or a little later when some of my friends started to drag me to meetings of and with the Jesus People and the Hare Krishna followers? I remember sitting on a mountain top in the Haute-Savoie region of France after a long climb, looking down into Italy, and suddenly feeling very close to God. I also remember getting caught in the worst thunderstorm of my life, cycling across a dyke, out in the open and me, the highest point in the landscape and no shelter to be found anywhere, praying to the Virgin and promising her that if I got through this, I would have myself baptised...which I did, but not until years later. I went into retreat in 1988; I studied church history, theology, Late Antique philosophy, the Bible, the Qur'an, the Bhagavad Gita, I went to Turkey, the Middle East, and Israel; I spoke to priests and nuns, vicars and rabbis; but always I was unsure. Then I fell ill, went in an out of hospital for a year and a half -- a good time to think, and reflect: what is it I believe, what is it I want? And as soon as I was fully recovered, I arranged for my baptism to finally take place in October 1994. That was hardly the end of it, though: my spiritual journey is still continuing, and I don't know where it will lead me in the end.
Comment if you'd like me to ask questions of you.