Some of us were surprisingly fresh faced this morning, others were not. However, the life giving sun was still gracing us with it’s presence, so we took a refreshing stroll to the East Docklands. There are so many fascinating houses here, and all the water and the boats spreads a cosy feeling.
Lunch was had at a waterside café, then all ofmy friends sadly had to depart again. Except for Anders (a.k.a. Bonen), who is staying for another four days.
Thank you for coming, all of you! You are great people, and I am happy to have such nice friends!
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Today was the day for the grand party. 15 friends came over from (mostly) Sweden, and they were joined by lots of other people. In the end, we were 35 happy people, eating, drinking, dancing and having a great time.
But first, during the day, we strolled in fabulously sunny Amsterdam, and did the tourist thing and joined a one hour boat tour on the canals.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Friends! Today they all came over from Sweden (and the UK and Belgium and of course the Netherlands) for a festive weekend. Amsterdam seemed to agree with our party mood, showing its most sunny face.
So we all went out doing some serious terasjepakken, visiting numerous bars. In the evening, we had a spicy dinner at Café Kadijk, good as always. Then we continued the bar-hopping ☺
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Yet a very busy day with Carina. Today, we learned more about private employment companies, both in Amsterdam and in Almere. Then, we took the train to The Hague and interviewed the Swedish police’s liaison Officer there. In a coffee shop. Interesting.
In the evening, me and Femke devoured some Belgian chocolate, then had a delicious dinner at a restaurant in our neighborhood, Badhuis. I am now officially 40.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Second day working with Carina. Today she took us to Nuon, a big energy company, to talk about green energy.
In the afternoon, I went to the cocktail bar Feijoa for my story about Cocktail bars in Amsterdam. They mixed fabulous drink called Gyro, try it if you end up there.
Later on, Carina and her sister Cecilia came over to us for a drink and a chat. They are really nice people.
Monday, September 15, 2008
Today, I started a week of cooperation with the Swedish freelance journalist Carina Eliasson. She came down to the Netherlands to do a number of stories for different Swedish magazines, and I have the joy of being her photographer for this week.
The first story was a bout floating houses in Maasbommel. These houses are used as holiday houses right now (due to legislation that is about to change), and one of the owners was kind enough to come and show his lovely house, together with his charming dog Bruno.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
This weekend, my Mother, Sister and her daughter Veronica came down for a visit. My mother came first, unfortunately when it was raining cats and dogs in Amsterdam. But we had a great time anyway, strolling, having a drink at a café and in general just being together.
Saturday, Femke’s family came over and we had an enjoyable dinner together, combining a house-warming party with my 40th Birthday. Femke cooked some lovely food and it was nice to see our two families mingle.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
The last few days, I’ve been busy working with the next issue of Hypoxia, the Swedish paragliding magazine I am editing. Now, I am almost ready, just have to do the proof reading and write the editors letter. Feels good!
Meanwhile, work continues on other freelance assignments. Today, I visited the cocktail bar (and restaurant) Herrie for a story to a Swedish bartenders magazine. I interviewed one of the bartenders and tried one oh his compositions. Sometimes life is hard… ☺ And I still have two more bars to visit for this story.
Having said that, it is not that easy to find good cocktail bars in Amsterdam – this is beer country, with some wine thrown in.
Tomorrow evening, my mother arrives to Amsterdam, and so does my sister and her daughter the day after. I am really looking forward to have them here over the weekend.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Today, Femke’s parents Jelle and Piun came over to help us fix the last few things in our home. Their knowledge, tools and sheer energy have been an invaluable support for us when turning our apartment into a home. Femke and Pin laid the carpet in the hallway while Jelle installed spotlights and lights in the hallway and kitchen, and helped us with a number of other things. I tried to do whatever I could, but next to these expert DIY:ers, I am but an amateurs.
You see, in Sweden, the homes are more or less complete when you move in, with proper floors and walls, fixtures for curtain railings and even plug holes and hooks in the ceiling for lamps. So you never learn how to do all these things, unless you are renovating a house of your own (and even then, you wouldn’t touch the electrical system as it is illegal and requires certified electricians).
But I learned a lot from my Dutch family, and now, our home looks brilliant. Pin & Jelle – thank you so much for all your help!
In the evening, Maarten popped by and we had dinner together the five of us. Then, Femke, me and Maarten went down to our neighbours below to celebrate Hyshil’s 25th birthday. Congratulations!
Friday, September 05, 2008
Next to our house, there is a school’s playground. This Friday, a new wall painting was inaugurated with speeches, wine and food. Our house was also used as a stage for a kind of performance, with children from the school acting on two of our balconies and in the window of our neighbours below. To top it off, an opera singer living on the same street, was singing from the balcony of our neighbours upstairs.
The kids were of course all excited, but everything went well, despite a shower of drizzling rain just afterwards. Although, when the organizers were trying to hand out candy to the children on the playground, the local kids went completely berserk. Sadly, it reminded me more of handing out food to desperate and starving people somewhere in a region hit by draught. Tables and benches were turned over and slightly bigger boys pushed away the smaller ones and the girls.
It was all rather disgraceful, but a good mirror of how many of the boys are fostered without limitations, rules or guidelines, just roaming around on the streets, while the girls are kept on a very tight leash.