Here is the foreword of Hermit’s Web. Just to give an idea of my writing and what to expect when reading the book…

Artist’s preface

My friends and I go back a long, long way. All of them were bright young things once, making headlines. They sure were looked at in their heyday, and admired for their knowledge. I for one thoroughly enjoyed their companionship. Sadly, as they grew older they lost their attractiveness. You know how it goes: even great stories become old news as one makes new friends with new stories and new insights. So I shuffled them off to a rest home, where they desperately awaited my visit.

Isn’t it sad? All they had left was a life in anticipation of something that might never happen. Of course I was so busy, that once they were shuffled out of sight, my visit stayed pretty much a promise. Every time I walked past that place, I had a bad conscience and thought, I really have to look up my old friends. Needless to say, it rarely happened. Too many other things demanded my attention.

To cut a long story short, my friends experienced it first hand: our world, is a world of youth. Once you are past your prime, people lose interest fairly swiftly.

Then one day, I heard of plans to demolish the rest home. I was told all my old friends would have to go. I decided instantly to go down memory lane one more time. The next rainy day, I went to pay the old dears a visit. As soon as I sat down, Chance (normally not one to push in front and speak up) said: “If we want to have a new lease on life, we have to re-invent ourselves. Our situation won’t improve by just sitting around.” I am not sure whether they already knew about the demolition plans, or if it was an act of desperation, tired of waiting for some sort of attention. Anyway, the Devil, sitting next to Chance, and of course having no fear, held his hand up immediately. He said to me: “I know, I can do it with your help.” Admittedly I was flattered by the Devil asking me for help. How could I say no to him? So I gave it a go. The others watched suspiciously, but Devil turned out wonderfully and was invited out to dinner that very same night. In fact, he never returned to the rest home. Needless to say, the next day they all wanted to have a go. Now there is a long waiting list.

Of course we are not living in a fairy-tale world, are we? There is danger in re-invention. In the process their brains shrivel dramatically. They might still have a glimpse of who they were before, but more often than not, they become a totally new personality. But one thing they all have in common: they couldn’t give a toss about what’s going on in the big wide world. But why should they? They have been cast aside before.

I just love to watch them and think of my part. With all their imperfections, they are great fun to have around.

Translation for the less imaginative of my friends:

Of course I was talking about the pile of old newspaper in the spare room, and the dreadfully wet summer Christmas of 2011/2012, when I created all the hand puppets featured in this book. But this wouldn’t have taken up two pages.