Workers/Volunteers

To be gainfully employed is more difficult than to work here in NL.  I’ve been offered more work here than ever before, the vrijwillig (volunteer) variety, of which there is plenty and this, I believe, is what makes the Dutch society special: their sense of community. National Monument Day comes about each year in midContinue reading “Workers/Volunteers”

The Wandering (Travelling) Wilburys.

Today, exactly three years ago, we arrived in The Kingdom of The Netherlands to a completely empty apartment on the Valkenburgerplein in the beautiful town of Heemstede. Our team of four, each bearing the airline’s maximum luggage allowance of two suitcases, began our Dutch adventure together: sleeping on the floor, eating off plastic plates theContinue reading “The Wandering (Travelling) Wilburys.”

The wonder of weddings.

These corona virus times that our tiny blue planet is in the grip of has messed with many a plan, not least those of the nuptial sort: more than a few friends and children of our friends have had to delay, postpone or re-hash their “big day” dreams which got me thinking about the wonderfulContinue reading “The wonder of weddings.”

Farming the Dutch way.

Whenever we’ve had the occasion to travel across the country to the east – believe me when I say that it takes only two hours and one is already at the German border – we venture away from the densely populated coastal region and into the more rural farming area which immediately makes me feelContinue reading “Farming the Dutch way.”

Rainy days.

The delights of modern day communication technology have given rise to numerous social media platforms who feed us all a totally NON-sustainable perfection. Whilst I choose to have more perfect days than not,  the reality is that the rainy days do come. I guess that sad, bad, gloomy reality pics are not as uplifting as theContinue reading “Rainy days.”

Bicycles, bicycles & more bicycles! Pt 3.

The variety of bicycles is enormous and for a non-cyclist, this could be a minefield!  My advice is to start with the price for a good “station bike” that offers a “quiet ride”.  The next criteria would be the technical elements and for this, I recommend going for the absolute simplets of bicycles, sans leversContinue reading “Bicycles, bicycles & more bicycles! Pt 3.”

Bicycles, bicycles & more bicycles! Pt 2.

The key to the national mode of transport in The Netherlands is not to worry about anyone else – selfish, right? No, sensible and SAFE! My South African mind-set had to make a radical shift if I were to embrace the bicycle culture and survive! Step one is to buy a bicycle and the bestContinue reading “Bicycles, bicycles & more bicycles! Pt 2.”

Bicycles, bicycles & more bicycles! Pt 1.

With a nod to Katie Melua and her hit song in 2008 “Nine million bicycles in Beijing”, the stats have changed somewhat and only a year later in 2009, Beijing with a population of 12 million people, had 13 million bicycles to their credit.   Fast forward to 2018 where The Netherlands registered 23 million bicyclesContinue reading “Bicycles, bicycles & more bicycles! Pt 1.”

Dutch Days – Silly Seasons – Fantastic Festivals! Pt2

Paasdagen 1&2 kicks off the year, the “voor jaar” of the Dutch public holidays, that being Easter and the traditional start of the much anticipated Spring.   By the time that the crocuses have bloomed straight out of the cold winter ground, the daffodils have taken over and begun spreading their glorious bright yellow light intoContinue reading “Dutch Days – Silly Seasons – Fantastic Festivals! Pt2”

Dutch Days – Silly Seasons – Fantastic Festivities! Pt 1.

Public holidays are few and far between in The Netherlands but when they do come around, they use them to their max! Paasdag 1&2 – “Religious” Konings Dag – insane market day Hemelvaartsdag – “Religious” PinksterDag 1&2 – “Religious” KerstDag 1&2 – “Religious” Jaarwisseling – fireworks beyond description Sinterklaas – parade  Northern and southern hemisphereContinue reading “Dutch Days – Silly Seasons – Fantastic Festivities! Pt 1.”