Initially I set up this blog to log our life here in Nederland. It didn’t work out like that. I’ve been busy in the garden, Astrid’s been busy organising the house, making it look nice, albeit we have a bit less space than we had in England. The weather overall is warmer here than Yorkshire, also more predictable, so we eat outside regularly, it’s like another room.
We’ve recently been to a place called Schokland. Fascinating. It was originally farmland in the middle ages but the rise in sea level meant settlers had to retreat to the higher land and eventually it became an island. A major flood in 1859 inundated it leaving it marooned and it became largely uninhabitable and during WW2 with the consent of the German invaders, the Noordpolder was reclaimed from the sea virtually landlocking what was left of the island. Many Dutch farmers preferred the hard digging work to create dykes and polders, as opposed to working in Germany for the Nazi war effort. Either way it was slave labour but these men were working to save their own country from the North Sea. The seawall at the east side of what remains of the village is still visible and has been preserved as part of what now is a museum. It was an incredibly interesting place to visit.
In other news, Astrid has had the same treatment against cancer on her left breast. Life can be such a twat sometimes. Hopefully it is 100% successful. The surgeon says he has removed all the affected tissue. Lets hope this is the last of it. Nobody deserves to go through what she has been through and yet she just gets on with whatever is thrown at her. I took the marriage oath or for better or worse but to be honest, if you have a grain of humanity, you’d look after anyone wouldn’t you? I don’t think it applies to Tories, who have greed, vindictiveness and hate in their DNA.
Two weeks ago was a special day, Nationaal Monumentendag which apparently happens all over Europe where national treasures are opened up for people to visit free. A national treasure can be an old house, preserved in the way it was as far back to when I was built. This is because they receive government subsidies for their upkeep and they have to show that the money is being spent on what it is intended to be. We visited three, two were a disappointment but one virtually on our doorstep, De Colckhof, are infact neighbours, it was really interesting and the custodians were so friendly and informative.
We had an adventure to Utrecht by train, entering the Blauwnet gate instead of the NS gate so we have to go about reclaiming the fare back. Just when I thought Dutch rail was simple, unlike the complete shambles of the UK private franchise cock up, along comes Blauwnet. They only operate out of Zwolle and Nijmegen but it was enough to screw things up as we got on at Zwolle.
I’m looking to buy an electric bike but new ones are so expensive. I have found a shop called 123 e-bikes in Raalte where they sell gebruikt or used bikes and they basically recondition them with a 3 month free guarantee then it’s €89 for a year or €179 for 2 years, which I think is worth paying. I had a spin on an ebike in Utrecht and they are easy to ride and a lot faster and smoother than a normal pedal bike. So, I’m having one.
Gas prices: well we’re not as screwed as the Brits but prices are stupid and someone is taking the piss. They need to be taken down and made an example of.
Oh and we went to Germany for a day, a spot of shopping in Nordhorn then made a hasty retreat as it just rained.
And we have birds, robins and sparrows sharing a bath.