A Shopping Weekend

In the age old, grand tradition of Giftmas, we spent the weekend shopping. After searching fruitlessly for gifts we stopped off in the Bazaar for a bite to eat.

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Before heading to Duikelmans for some baking supplies. It’s a pain when what I have brought with me doesn’t fit in my makeshift oven! *pouts*

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But I have no trouble finding everything I need,

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and a few things I can convince myself I need, in here!

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The lights are hung in all the streets, and Amsterdam is becoming fairy town. This bodes well for the opening of the Festival on Lights on Thursday night which I hope to go to!

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Conveniently for the lights, darkness is complete by 5pm here, and we’re not yet at solstice!

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The pastry shops and confectioners are wringing out everything they can get from the last few weeks of Sinterklaas.

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And the local equivalent of Bunnings is about to take a chunk out of my wallet!

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How are your end of year preparations coming along?

The continuing story …

In today’s exciting episode, we find our Heros under a mound of boxes and ex-packing material. In order to make this post a little more interesting, we will bring you instead some photos from around Amsterdam.

The first in our selection is a vivid depiction of just how they retrieve the masses of bicycles stolen every day, from the bottom of the canals. It’s a spectator sport.

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In an era when property tax was based on how much street frontage you had, everyone wanted the narrowest property possible! I think I’ve found a contender for narrowest house! Yes, that door in the middle has it’s own street number, it isn’t a part of the properties on either side.

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Amsterdam has some of the most wonderful street art I’ve seen, and I am hoping to fill an entire post for you. In the mean time, here’s one I spotted as I was giving a friend the grand tour of our fair city last week.

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As I stated above, we have been unpacking and settling in. For us this includes the purchase of a new cat post for the fur-kids to enjoy. They have really been missing this in the past few months. We got a new one in the post last week and then spent a fun hour putting it up.

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It was obvious that they’d missed having something to climb, as they were all over it and “helping” us build it, as the post was being put together!

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We have had a few backyards since moving over here, but now I’d like to show you where we’ve settled. A good mix of town and country!

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Being us, we are still in the process of identifying which of the local cafes has the best coffee and service. The one we were in today is a top contender! Their Croque Monsieur was delicious!

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Hopefully by next post I’ll be set up enough to have gone on an adventure which I can tell you all about! See you all soon!

I’m older than I’ve ever been before!

I had a birthday. You don’t really need to know which one. But I did.

This is the first year I’ve ever had a Summer birthday though! I decided to celebrate this fact by lazing around on the balcony in the sun-shine, and having take out Thai food

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with some expensive champagne. Himself indulged the occasion in my honour with some expensive whisky.

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Followed by some cheesey movies (Cowboys and Aliens followed by Tourist), for a Friday night, it was everything I wanted to do.

Saturday I was spoilt! After a day out (which is an entire post all on it’s own and is still being structured), we ended up at the Bar Americain

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to have some cocktails and collect ourselves.

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After some discussion we decided that the place we needed to be was the Whisky Café. So that was where we headed.

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They have a tasting menu where you get to try three different whiskys that have something in common. Either area, distillery … we went for the Whisky Appreciation Society selection and fell in love with the first one. So then we each had one of it. (It was an 11 year old Auchentoshan, very delicate, evaporated on your tongue with subtle notes of chocolate …)

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Damn this makes it look like all we did was drink! I swear this will be rectified in the next post!

One of the best birthdays I’ve had in years. Thank you Himself, for making it so memorable, and so wonderful. I love you so much! *hugs you tight*

Wild Ramblings

Oh Wow! So much has happened! In no particular order …

Café cats

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Orange Tulips

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Canal Tours

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Concept Store Gardens

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More canals

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More wonky houses in canals

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Some local flavours

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But best of all, we now have residents visas, bank accounts, and a temporary place to lay our heads. All this combined means that we now have our kittuns back with us!

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They have lots of exploring to do too!

Neighbourhood walks

It’s a beautiful day in my neighbourhood!

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Oh my! Where have we ended up?!

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A patchwork fabric shop you say?

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I may have finally realised that I could goggle “patchwork fabric Sydney” and discovered two of the best and most amazing shops are in walking distance of our house. I may have asked Himself if he wanted to go on an adventure. I may have walked away with quite the stash of new and exciting fabrics … But I’ll leave those for another post!

One of the things I love about where we live is the diversity of the street art. This piece has been moving me for quite some time when I see it on my walks, and today I had the time to photograph it and share it with you.

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We tried out a new café. One again it was one which I had been wanting to try for some time, and today it was not only open but we managed to walk in at a point where we could have eaten from the breakfast or lunch menus! (handy!)

I ended up with roasted field mushrooms, with sautéed spinach, Persian fetta, dukkah, on toasted olive bread…

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And Himself went nuts and had the French Toast, with grilled banana, bacon, and maple syrup!

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I can’t walk past the local nursery without going in and having a quick wander and a browse of all the plants that are flowering.

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It made me wonder if hanging my plants would protect them from wayward kitties who like to eat my beautiful plants and then barf everywhere! (*looks at Oscar*)

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Just so you’re aware, we made it into two more fabric shops before heading home. But I’ll spare you those details and instead share with you one last piece of local street art.

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I know they’re fighting each other. But did you notice that they’re watching you?

*grins*

When was the last time you walked around your neighbourhood?