Netherlands

leaningBellTower (16K)

Notes from the Netherlands is a collection of musings and observations on living in the Netherlands.

We moved here in April of 2007 after MLW had accepted a new position that was offered and accepted almost 8 months previously.

Is it better here? In some ways YES, in some ways NO! One thing is certain, it is different.

We don't have a car now really don't miss that. We used to have two cars because it was necessary. We bike all year and all around because that's what they do here.

The grass is green all year round, and while the skies are not as blue as Calgary, a frigid cold here is -10° C. Life is good, as it should be!

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Another verjarrdag

Liesbeth!

Prettige verjaardag!

liesbeth2 (20K)
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Much More Music in The Hague

ChrissieHines2a (38K)

June was the month of Den Haag Festivals 2009. There were stages and events all over the city including one in Grote Markt, a square surrounded by pubs and with enough room to set up a stage (OK - right over the stairs to the tram station but no one seemed to mind). And it was free!.

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Holiday in Holland

dutchCouple (9K)

Today we begin with a new look that is a little easier on the eyes and probably much easier on the stomach. We still have a hint of orange because these pages are crafted in Holland, so expect some things to be viewed through orange tinted glasses.

The Dutch are have found other uses for sand besides growing tulips. Like the former financial masters of the universe, they are masters at building sandcastles.

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Windmills

windmill1 (77K)

It's time for a windmill page. Holland and windmills simply go together. There are about 600 windmills remaining in Holland, many of them in good working condition. The tops rotate on some, and with others the whole structure can rotate to face the wind.

The lattice blades have sails than can be trimmed. Some have elaborate air foils on the blade edges for finer control.

The windmills were used for pumping water out of the polders and into the canals, or for milling grains. There is one in a museum Arnhem, still working, that washes clothes! It's a very big wash tub!

The inner workings of windmills, the gears and mechanical works, are mainly constructed from wood, which is really marvellous craftsmanship. If you have a chance to visit the inside of of working windmill, do take a look. Wonderful technology from the pre-industrial era.

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Sandcastles

sandCastle2 (94K)

The Dutch are have found other uses for sand besides growing tulips. They are also grand masters at building sandcastles.

The sand for this kind of sculpture is computer selected for size and composition. A special glue is sprayed on after sculpting to help the work survive the wind and rain. Believe it or not, a sculpture like this can last for 2 months outdoors, providing no one kicks it down.

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Flowers

flowers1 (67K)

We live in Holland now and have discovered that the Dutch know a thing or two about flowers, gardens, and growing stuff. In Calgary, many of us who attempt gardening become highly skilled and experienced at watching plants die.

There are only two types of flowers on this page, which shows you how much we have learned since we arrived.

The flowers in the picture below are the very first to appear in spring, similar to the crocuses in Calgary. They spring up like dandelions; mainly in parks, boulevards and areas that are usually just grass.

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Home renovations

All is good!

We have been doing more home page renovations, experimenting with different backgrounds and colors and stuff, when I decided I really do like orange. I must be losing my mind! So I go back to the original orange.

MLW

Then MLW says, that's not orange, there's too much yellow! I think you have color blindness issues. So so then I end up repainting all the rooms again! Typical home renovations.

A new section has been added, The ABCP Crusades, for all the blogs written about the topic.

Last Friday the retail investors of Canaccord Securities got their money back, bringing a happy close to an amazing saga.

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Gelukkig Nieuw Jaar

hoarFrost (57K)

There have been exploding noises throughout the neighbourhood for the last two days. They happen more often now, and with darkness coming early, we have been treated to the odd burst of color sparkles appearing here and there.

dec31a (46K)

I love the noises here. The air is moist and heavy and carries the sound like the sea. Holland is densely populated and though we are in a quiet neighbourhood, every now and then we hear a big BANG or explosion.

One of us will say "What the HELL was that?" (usually me), and we go to a window or the balcony to look. But we never see anything and it never seems to be of consequence.

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Heathrow Revisited

I absolutely dreaded coming back through Heathrow because if anything can go wrong, it will go wrong at Heathrow. When they opened the new Terminal 5 not long ago so much luggage was lost they had to sent it to the Italians to get it sorted.

But here we are. As far as I can tell, we landed on time and with minimum fuss. Off the plane, down some stairs and on to a waiting bus. The bus departs soon after we seat ourselves and a TV announces that we will be at terminal 1 in seven minutes. We are. We breeze through security. No queues. Security staff are pleasant and speak perfect english. I don't even have to remove the laptop or charger from the backpack.

We have a cup of coffee. I have this great smoked salmon and crayfish salad while we are waiting, did not care for the beet salad prison food served on the plane. Everything is on sale here. The £ is $1.70 CDN and almost at par with the Euro. I'm astonished. I buy a pair of Reluctant Traveler shoes, the kind that will handle a walk in the park in 100km winds after freezing rain. The shoes are a great price!

The world is upside down. I am enjoying Heathrow, I am buying stuff in London at the airport and it's a great deal. I am impressed with the efficiency and experience of this airport. Have I died? Perhaps this is limbo?

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More Random Notes

MomInHolland

Today is the last blog on ABCP, or more precisely, the Facebook group called Canaccord and other ABCP clients. It's been fun.

The new JAB pages, our version of a blog site, now offers new navigation buttons Prev blog and Next blog.

And a checkbox selection lets you see an optional 3 month calender of blog dates.

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