Every once in a while it is time for a change. It was just such a change that brought me to The Netherlands fifteen years ago and I have enjoyed every moment of it. However, it is time once again for a change, a new location and a new challenge. It is time to move on… to Friesland!
Ok. I know Friesland is technically within The Netherlands but I’m not entirely convinced that it is not its own country. After all it has its own flag. It has its own language. It even has the word ‘land’ in the name. The only thing its missing is its own currency, king and border control.
But yes. I am moving to Friesland. In some ways that bit of news is probably more of a shock than if I had actually been moving to another country. You probably have questions. I’ll try to answer them.
“Wait! What?! Friesland?!”
“Does this mean that you will be changing the name of your blog to Invading Friesland?”
No. The name is still going to be Invading Holland. After all, until I can prove otherwise Friesland is still a part of The Netherlands. Plus, I’m going to continue working in Amsterdam, so I’ll be spending just as much time around the Dutch as I will the Friesians.
“Wait… What?! You’re going to travel back and forth between Amsterdam and Friesland every day! Are you crazy?”
Possibly… but let’s be honest, we already knew I was a little crazy. The good news is I do most my writing on the train so I’ll have more time to spend here.
“Soooo…. does this mean you’ll start writing about Friesian stuff now?”
Probably… but this blog won’t suddenly become 100% Friesian. There are still lots of things to explore about the Dutch and there will always be stories about my own accident proneness to share. So don’t worry about a sudden theme change. It just means that there will be some extra stuff. It also means I’ll finally be able to answer questions like; What is the difference between a Dutch Circle Party and a Friesian Circle Party?
“So why are you moving to Friesland?”
It’s something that’s been in the planning for a while and we’re finally getting an opportunity to do it. My wife and I have always loved the area and we think it will be a great place for our daughter to grow up… I’ve been telling other people that we are moving there to raise cows but that is a lie.
“That sounds reasonable. Is there anything else we should know?”
Oh yeah… our new house has not been built yet so we’ll be spending the next few months living with my parents-in-law (in Friesland) but I’m sure that won’t lead to any crazy or amusing stories… Nop. Not at all.
Most of you already know about my unhealthy Speculoos/Speculaas addiction and about the many Speculoos products that I have tried. I’ve written about them so many times that I am in danger of becoming Holland’s leading expert and reviewer of Speculoos products. I’m honestly surprised that none of you have tried to hold an intervention to put a stop to it.
But I guess you didn’t have to. My addiction came to an end last year when I tried the terrible Febo’s Speculooskroket. It broke me. I couldn’t even finish it. It was so bad that I turned my back on all things Speculoos related. They were all forever tainted. Speculoos would have to do something pretty amazing to win me back.
Well played Speculoos… well played.
As soon as I heard about Ben & Jerry’s Speculoos Ice Cream I knew that my time free of Speculoos’ control was over. There was no point trying to avoid what I knew to be true; I had to try it. It seems that I was not the only one to reach this conclusion either. The entire population of Holland has been feverishly buying the stuff too. It took me two weeks to find a shop where it was not completely sold out. I even had to enlist the help of other people in my search. It was my wife who eventually tracked it down and presented me with a tub. She might be regretting this now though because (a) I didn’t let her have any and (b) I am once again addicted to the amazing taste that is Speculoos. The trauma of the speculooskroket has been forgotten. Long live Speculoos
It’s competition time. The nice people from Undutchable have given me two tickets to give away for their annual Eurovision party.
Not only will the party include a live viewing of the Eurovison Song Contest (already exciting in its own right) but there will also be live DJs, a Fairy Tale dress code, prizes and more. It’s all going to be held at Amsterdam’s St Olof Chapel on the 23rd of May.
To win all you have to do is answer this question:
“If you were writing your own song for the Dutch Eurovision Song Contest entry what would you call it and why?”
The most creative and funny answer will win the two tickets. Just leave your entry in the comments below (don’t forget to fill in your email). The competition is open until midnight on the 5th of May. The winner will be picked the following day and emailed the details about picking up their tickets.
If you’d like to guarantee yourself a place at the party you can already buy tickets from the Undutchable website. They are 20 euros each or free if you have worked through the agency before.
UPDATE: We have a winner! Congratulations to Ashley.
Five months ago I lost my car keys. In my attempts to find them I searched every corner of our apartment. I looked through every draw, checked every coat pocket, emptied every bag but found nothing.
Luckily my wife still had her car keys so started ‘borrowing’ them whenever I needed to go somewhere. She would use these opportunities to impress upon me the importance of finding my own car keys… So I would start my search again.
I interrogated our two year old daughter for information. When that failed I resorted to giving her another set of keys in the hopes that she would lead me to her secret hiding place and my missing car keys. Alas, she was innocent.
Then I became convinced that my car keys were in England. It wasn’t a complete stretch of the imagination. They had gone missing around the time we had visited my parents in London. In fact, my wife had driven us back to the boat with her own car keys. I’d not seen mine since the trip.
I asked my parents to search their home on four separate occasions over the months that followed. I asked them to check under the furniture. I asked them to search the street where we’d parked our car. I asked them to search their entire house from to bottom. Each time they found nothing and asked me to stop harassing them.
But I was convinced that my car keys had to be at my parents’ house or (at the very least) somewhere in England. Maybe I would just have to have a look for myself during our next visit.
More time passed. Life suddenly became very busy so we did not get a chance to return to England and start my search operation. I slowly started to realize that my car keys were probably lost forever and that I might have to get some new ones at some point. However, since I was not quite ready to admit that yet I continued using my wife’s car keys instead.
Five months had passed since my search began.
Then one day I was on my way out somewhere as my wife came in from cleaning the car. I asked to borrow her car keys again as I had done many times before and she responded by dangling a set of keys in front of my face. But when I tried to take them she refused to hand them over. I was puzzled. Was she trying to make a point about finding my own car keys? Did she want a kiss first (which I tried to do but was met with a head shake)? Why did she keep waving the keys and giving me that funny look?
It took me almost a minute to realize what was going on. The car keys she was holding were not hers… They were mine.
She had just found my missing car keys… in the car… under the driver’s seat. I quickly phoned my parents and apologized.