Monday, May 17, 2010


30th April marks the primary event on the Dutch social calendar; the birthday of the old queen (now-queen mother). The entire Dutch populus dons in orange -the national colour- and flocks to the streets of Amsterdam to eat, drink and be merry. The middle one in rather copious amounts. Koninginnedag, as it is rather laboriously said in Dutch, is also the only day of the year on which it is legal for anyONE to sell anyTHING, and thus the streets become like a crowded market with impromptu stalls set up in order to sell everything from old clothes and household items, to home-made crepes and other delicacies. Natania and I were feeling entrepreneurial and set up a vodka+lemonade stand, which after alot of hard labour and much sampling of our own product earnt us 100euros! The canals were almost solid with Amsterdammers cruising on thier boats- filled greatly beyond their capacity. The last photograph was taken at the conclusion of my day/night when the poor garbage men had the apocalypse to deal with. My personal favourite sight of the day though, were the young twins, decked out in orange from head to toe offering around shots to "toast the queen!". Now that's patriotism.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Japanese cooking lesson round 2: Gyoza

After endless chopping of cabbage, onions, garlic, grating of ginger, mincing of pork, additions of various Japanese potions, some artful oragami with pastry and a battle with spitting oil in a frypan later ........... Voila: gyoza. Served with an sophisticated Albert Heijn home-brand beer on the side.

And then there was the food (of course)

An indulgent high tea (very high), mussels at a seafood pub, and a full 'Scottish' breakfast with the lot. Delicious!

Parks, ancient buildings,a one-eyed cat and a real old Scot!

A taste of Edinburgh

A place dominated by a massive castle, where the bus seats are apoulstered in tartan, with more flowers than Amsterdam , and where the seaside is so cold you need your jacket on in order to sit on the sand.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Billy and Hells

A pair of two German photographers Anke Linz and Andreas Oettinger. The surreal quality of their images is achieved by combining a black and white slide made from a colour negative with another colour negative . Well at least that's how they used to do it- now they use digital, naturellement. But still, framed behind glass, and each over a metre tall, the pictures are absolutely stunning, and not quite like anything I have seen before.

Tis the season for picnics!

Vondelpark. 20+ degrees. Madde's birthday. Cake. Fresh fruit. Sun. Green grass. i-pod speakers. People sunbaking in bikinis. Heaven.