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Portrait of an Editor: John van Tiggelen (English) - Finding John

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Finding John

My appointment with Mr van Tiggelen was in his home town, the picturesque heritage precinct of Castlemaine (pronounce: kesselmain), which is located about 110 km northwest of Melbourne.
I found John with some difficulty in a not very used-friendly former hospital building, that is now used as a ''business incubator''.  He welcomed me in his office there in fluent Dutch, with a convivial soft 'g'.  He proposed that we talk over coffee in the coffeeshop on the ground floor. This we did.The coffeeshop was managed by a  couple originating from Austria and the German language was evidently still in active use between family members and staff, judging by notes on the message board. Excellent coffee and splendid cake.
We had agreed to conduct the whole conversation in Dutch, which was something of a hurdle for the both of us, as we both have been married to an Australian for many years and use that language rarely. Neither at our work, nor at home.