I haven't updated my blog since Tuesday the 12th of December. Not much is happening really and then it's easy to forget that a blog needs to be updated from time to time.
Most of the time though I am still in relaxation mode. I read a lot and watch TV occasionally, or rather, make that every night. Very unlike me, but the world news here is covered so much better than at home and there are a few interesting and different TV programs that I like watching here, but probably would not worry about at home. It's just a different kind of life for a while.
|Here is where I spend most of my time reading and watching TV|
I do have a car, but when it's not raining I like to get on the bike and ride to Boxtel for groceries shopping. Sometimes I ride a bit further just for pleasure. It is very cold though and I can tell that I am no longer used to the cold weather. Every time a walk or ride my bike I have tears in my eyes. No, I am not emotional! It's just the cold wind in my eyes! :-)
|A Polish supermarket in Boxtel. |
Perhaps I will go one day and find out if the sell pierogi.
I have also been to the library, walked around the area and dropped in at the local snack bar for a real Dutch frietje met and a loempia. The first one is hot chips with mayonnaise. You would get the same strange look here if you asked for tomato sauce as you would get in Australia when you ask for mayonnaise with your hot chips. :-)
When I went to have my hair done the hairdresser told me that there is a Kribkes route if I like to go for a walk. Liempde is lit up during the Christmas period, but not the American and Australian way. Just as well, it's something of the times we live in, but to me it's so much 'into your face' and sometimes over the top. Here the people can decorate their house with lights, but are only allowed to use standard lights and I must say, it's quite tasteful.
My camera has been playing up and the camera on my mobile phone doesn't do justice to the atmosphere in the streets. The weather wasn't helpful either.....
But, returning to my story, besides all the lights a lot of people have a nativity scene in their front yards, 210 of them to be precise. One can download the whole route, divided into a few sub-routes, on one's mobile phone and walk the streets to view all of them. I managed to take pictures of a few of them, but better pictures can be viewed on line, although those pictures are last year's. Some are seen in the front yard, others behind the front window. Five of the 210 are on a list and are nominated for an award. Viewers can make make their choice known.
As I have mentioned before, I haven't been out a lot, but did visit one of Frank's sisters, Riet, who had been to visit us in Australia in 2001 with sister Jeanne who has passed away since. Riet was with her daughters Hannie and Brigitte, so I saw a few more family members and it may very well be that I hadn't seen them since we left the Netherlands in 1980. I had a real great time, learning a bit about various other family members and also meeting Brigitte's children. We'll try and repeat a visit before I return to Australia.
Quite a funny thing happened. We all know that since facebook there are not many secrets any more. Someone had asked me if I had already eaten a Bossche Bol. I told them 'no', but was sure it was going to happen sooner rather than later. Well, what do you think Brigitte had ready to serve with the coffee??? Indeed! She said that she had read the remarks on facebook! ;-)
I also managed to be present at a monthly get-together of the former dolls house email group. So far I have managed to join them at their meetings most of the times during my regular visits to the Netherlands and it's quite enjoyable. None of them really doing a lot about their miniatures anymore, at least not when they meet. We all have different other hobbies nowadays.
For this meeting I had to drive to Vlaardingen in the western part of the province Zuid Holland and it gets more difficult every time. I am just so glad that I drive here regularly, because I can tell you, if I didn't I would be too scared. The roads are all like the (in)famous spaghetti roads that you now see around big cities and if you hesitate too long at a road sign you're in for a long detour to get back on the road you were on before! I know, because it happened. Twice.
I guess this is just about my update for the last week and a bit. I will keep walking and riding my bike while I am here, just hoping that the rain will stay away. The fog doesn't bother me, although it makes the world quite wet as well, because it's heavy fog, just a bit shy of drizzle. The days are not real dark (between 9 and 5), but darkish enough for the need to have the lights on all day long.
This is what it looked like when I was on my bike earlier today.
I love to be outside though and ride through the polders like this. Some animals are still outside in the paddocks and other paddocks are full of geese and swans who seem to be happy to rest there during the day. When it's not raining the cold air is invigorating and I feel more energetic than in the muggy atmosphere during our summers at home.
Oh, and I went for another walk this afternoon and went in search for a cache. It was about time!
#1803 - Liemtse voortuin cach!! (cache)
I generally don't like caches hidden in somebody's front yards, but this one was described very clearly and I didn't mind. When the mention the house number I am at least sure that I am looking in the right one.
Well, that is it for the time being. Christmas and New Year will be celebrated in Houten and I will probably stay there for the whole week. An update may follow when I have time to do so.
For now, whomever reads this: I wish you a very merry Christmas.