Claartje Rasterhoff’s farmhouse

Claartje Rasterhoff, Assistant Professor Cultural Policy & Management, was born and raised in de ‘Randstad’. While working in our nation’s capital, Claartje increasingly started feeling the need for peace and quiet, away from busy Amsterdam.

Two years ago, she decided to apply for a job in Maastricht.

“I had previously worked at the University of Amsterdam and thought I didn’t want to work at a university anymore. But when I started a job at the Boekmanstichting, I felt like I missed something. When I saw the vacancy at FASoS, I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to combine the best of both worlds: the arts and academia.”

Claartje had no intention of moving to the city of Maastricht. “Moving from Amsterdam to Maastricht would have been a change that was too small. I really wanted a change of scenery; move to a small village where I could enjoy the peace and quiet and my kids could run around in the garden.” Claartje’s husband is originally from Limburg, but he was not thrilled at the idea of moving back here. “So it was ideal that we found this really old farmhouse just across the border in Belgium.”

The farmhouse is a fixer-upper, and not one that will be finished soon. “We bought the house with the intention to fix it all ourselves, with the help of family and friends. And that’s going well. It’s obviously not as efficient as possible, but it is really nice to do everything together. We learn by doing and we are doing things we have never done before. Besides that, we don’t mind living in chaos and a bit of dirt.”

“When we bought the house, we first started demolishing. The house stems from the 17th century and it looked like nothing had been done since then. There wasn’t even central heating. Since we’ve bought the house 2 years ago, we have put in new floors, doors and windows, redone the sewerage and the electricity, and installed a heat pump. It’s so nice to rebuild everything and to learn more about the house. Older people in the village tell us stories about previous owners and the house’s history and we have requested more information about the house’s past at the municipality. We try to reuse materials from the house as much as possible and want to honour the house’s and the neighbourhood’s history.”

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