Amsterdam Museum, Freezing Canals, National Radio, Australia Day

It has been a huge week out here on the canals Ladies and Gentlemen! A HUGE week!

We managed to have the plumber here a total of four times before the sink in the kitchen was finally draining, we’ve been to see a legal aid about a previous landlord, there’s been knit nights, language lessons, and homework! None of which got photographed!

What I did take photos of was Amsterdams Historic Museum when I went.

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It was a wonderful glimpse into the history of a great city, and all it has contributed to the global village.

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Of course, dead things in jars never go astray either.

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As promised, they have stopped water traffic on the Herrengracht in order to facilitate it icing over. We may yet get to skate on a canal!

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Though, to be fair, you can already skate on the pond in VondelPark! I love the swirls that have been captured in the ice flow!

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I was invited to go and see AWOLNATION performing a live gig at the National Radio Station. Which was an awesome experience!

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We all sat around in a studio that was set up like a bar, had a few beers, and watched the show being recorded to playback on Saturday. Good band too! I need to look up more of their work.

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The canals around home have been taking on their own stark beauty. I could sit and watch the ice flowing for hours if I were sufficiently rugged up!

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Australia day dawned overcast and grey. There was snow at one point, topping up the fall we’d had a week earlier, and we’d been invited to a BBQ. There were snags, there was cricket on the TV,

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and our gracious hosts just got engaged!

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There was much to celebrate.

For those of you in Australia, I hope you’re staying out of the heat, away from the fires, and if you’re in Queensland, on high ground and out of the flood waters. Stay safe!

We’ve got a warm week ahead of us with rain and highs of 8C. Perfect conditions to create us some black ice! I think I’ll buy cleats for my shoes …

Melbourne Cup

So, it turns out that when you live on the other side of the world, the Melbourne Cup not only doesn’t stop anything, but, you sleep through it. Which makes it incredibly easy to avoid media, not know who won, and be able to attend a Melbourne Cup party on Saturday night, thereby skipping the hungover day at work on Wednesday! It’s all quite neat really!

I’ll begin by saying that, as with any good Melbourne Cup party, it began a few days earlier with a shopping trip which was required buy a few final pieces to complete the outfit. I began my shopping with espresso and a brownie. Always a good way to begin any shopping expedition!

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I had a skirt, was thinking of a top I thought would go with it, and just happened to come across some massive flowers for my hair which I was assured by our gracious hostess would be fine as a fascinator.

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The party was wonderful! Everyone dressed up and the whole atmosphere was very gezellig! It was actually quite fun explaining to the non-Aussies what all the fuss was about. And after a few drinks, you know, honestly … I’m not sure either.

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There was an assortment of Australian food too, though my photos of that didn’t turn out so well, so here’s another fuzzy crowd shot of everyone looking schmick!

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When everyone was assembled, and drinks were being consumed, we all clustered around to watch the race!

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We didn’t win the sweepstakes, but it was immense fun just dressing up and being out with everyone. I definitely think there should be more parties in our life! Perhaps I should work on that one …

So how did you all do in your office sweepstakes?

Solstice

As I was surfing around on Pinterest (my new internet obsession) the other day. I came across an outfit and thought to myself, “Oh DAMN Self! You HAVE to make that to wear to Winter Magic this year!” And then I remembered that it’s currently June. Therefore Winter Magic, though I’m in the middle of Summer at the moment, was this weekend.

So a couple of things; First, happy solstice for whichever hemisphere you are currently in. Your days are currently the longest they’ll be for the year, or the shortest. I know we’re getting dark about 11pm. Second, Happy Winter Magic Festival!

In honour of this occasion, here are some of my favourite photos from the last few years’ celebrations.

There is always so much fun to be had!

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It’s a time to see, and be seen. (Yes, I was the object of this stare. Probably had something to do with the Lime green fun fur. What?!?)

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Masks are worn.

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The brighter your outfit

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the better.

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The crowds can be incredible!

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There are knights in shining armour,

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Fairies,

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Magical beasts,

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And a good sense of humour all around!

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I hope all participants had a wonderful time, and had warm wood fires and comfort food waiting for you when you got out of the cold!

Happy Koninginnedag!!!

I know it was a few days ago now, but I thought I’d share a little local colour with you! And that colour, was Orange.

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On Queen’s Day every year, everyone gets their orange on and hits the streets to celebrate Queen Beatrix’s Birthday. Though Queen Beatrix was born on 31 January, the holiday is observed on 30 April as it was the birthday of her mother and predecessor, Juliana. (Follow the link above for more information)

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We stayed to the Centrum given where we began from and the fact that not only were we on foot, but the entirety of the public transport system was not operational owing to the sheer magnitude of people that converge on the city centre.

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I actually wish we’d been closer to Vondel Park and the activities there, or that crossing Amsterdam on foot to get there wasn’t such an epic journey through the crowds.

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But we had a LOT of fun watching the party boats on the canals!

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I’d love to be on a boat next year! Just ambling our way around waving at everyone. Or dancing our way around the canals.

It was all so loud, and the City such a mess (I have to get used to outdoor urinals I guess) that it was kind of a relief to get home.

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You might want to turn the volume down on your speakers before pressing play on the video!

But still, I can say that we have partied our first Queens Day! Happy Koninginnedag everyone!!!

As an interesting side fact, there were 100,000 LESS people in Amsterdam for Queen’s Day than there were last year!