Party on Ice

I went for a walk on the ice last night, and saw a group having a party. There were a lot of people skating or walking, kids with toboggans, and dogs. Really a great atmosphere.

Almost worth suffering the cold weather.


Old Year

look for this sign to your winning ticket!

For the Dutch it’s “Oudejaarsnacht”, or “old year’s night”, and it’s an excuse to party, there is a big music stage already set up on Museumplein ready for tonight’s party. I’m not sure I’ll be so energetic – it’ll be below zero so I’m not planning to go outside for long.

My plans are simpler; dinner with friends, champagne, then out to walk around the Jordaan and watch the locals set off fireworks at midnight.

In keeping with Dutch tradition I’ve also bought a ticket in the staatslotterij, which has a pool of 27.5 million euro. Tax free!

To be clear, I’m not a gambler, this is an annual tradition for me and it means I get few days of fantasising of all the good things I could do and fun I could have… the tickets are 30 euro so it’s not quite “dreams are free”. I’ll let you know if I win.

Going Nowhere

I spent the day at Schiphol today! Not because I’m a aeroplane fanatic or anything but because I was trying to fly somewhere. Unfortunately the weather got in the way and my flight was cancelled.

There were a lot of flights cancelled and hundreds of travellers trying to rebook flights. Most people were resigned to waiting to speak to an agent to rebook their flight – afterall there’s not much else you can do. But I did see several angry people getting quite loud and shouty with various ground staff. I don’t know what they expect to achieve, yelling rarely inspires people to give you better service, and it’s certainly not the fault of the airline that a lot of snow has fallen in the last couple of days.

I’ve managed to rebook my flights I think – I’m waiting on an email confirmation. So I’ll be trying again tomorrow.

Tulip Watch 7

They’ve all come up and flowered – at least all the plain red ones have. There should also be some striped ones

Spring is nearly over?

I always associate daffodils with spring, and these are the last of the daffodils on the roundabout at Weteringcircuit.

So apparently spring is nearly over, but we haven’t had any of those hopeful, blue days that are also part of spring. Just rain, rain, rain…. and this weekend’s forecast? more rain.

Tulip Watch 5

The tulips might have suffered a small setback, due to snow at Easter. I know, snow at Easter sounds very very wrong.The grape hyacinths (which I don’t remember planting), have already come up and flowered so I hope they’ll be fine.

We’re not finished with the storms either – I can hear thunder in the distance.

Spring is Sprung?

My tulips have come through the soil and crocuses are coming out around the city.I spotted these narcissus down along Prinsengracht, in full flower. I didn’t notice them arrive so I suspect they were forced inside and then replanted outside.

Tulip Watch 4

Last week these leaves were just emerging from the soil, now they’ve rocketed up to 4.5 cm. It really is early spring.

Tulip Watch 3

It’s a little hard to see, but the tulip bulbs I planted back in November have broken through the soil.
Here’s a close up of the tiny leaves that have come throuh the soil, these are about 1.5 cm long.

Tulip watch 2

My tulip bulbs are snowed in!Apparently it’s good for them.