23 Dec

Our young guest writer Alex de Leeuw is back to tell us all about the fun he is having this December as he waits for Father Christmas .


“Het sneeuwt!”
Vandaag was heel erg leuk, want het sneeuwde.

“It’s Snowing!”
Today I was very excited because it was snowing.

Ik ben buiten gaan spelen. Er lag heel veel sneeuw en het was koud.

I went outside to play. The snow was really deep… and cold.

Ik heb een sneeuwpop gemaakt…
“Ik noem hem Fred.”

I made a snowman…
“I call him Fred.”

…en een sneeuwfort…
“Ik heb sneeuwballen en ik zal ze gebruiken ook!”

… and a snow fort…
“I have a snowball and I’m not afraid to use it.”

…en een sneeuwengel…
“Sneeuwengel! Weeee!”

… and a snow angel…
“Snow Angel! Weeee!”

…ik speelde uren.
“Ik krijg het nu wel een beetje koud.”

… and played for hours.
“I’m starting to get a little cold now.”

Aan het einde van de dag ben ik weer naar binnen gegaan waar het lekker warm was…

At the end of the day I went back inside where it was nice and warm…

“Hoelang nog voordat de kerstman komt?”
Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuw jaar!

“How long till father Christmas arrives?”
Merry Chrsitmas and a Happy New Year!

(Invading Holland will return in the new year. Have a great Christmas.)

20 Dec

Overheard on the 7:30am train from Rotterdam to Amsterdam on a snowy December Monday morning.

NS Train Conductor
(Talking in to her radio)
“I think we ran over something. Did you feel it?”

NS Train Driver
(On the other end of the radio)
“Na. That was just the track.”

15 Dec

If Amsterdam was ever overrun by hostile forces, evil doers or ill wishers the inhabitance of the city would be able to rest easy in the knowledge that these invaders would not make much progress, quickly lose motivation, soon give up altogether and returned home in a very disgruntled mood. The reason for this cannot be attributed to any superior tactical advantage or any well designed fortifications that the city has. It is because of one thing and one thing only; moving vans.

A single moving van is capable of blocking an entire canal street thus making passage by bike quite impossible without the risk of running over a pedestrian, cycling into a dinning set, being decapitated by a wing mirror and/or pushed in to the nearby canal by the driver opening the door.

The presents of a stationary moving van usually forces a diversion which will most likely turn out to be blocked itself by another moving van. In fact it is entirely possible to have your attempted detour continually thwarted one street after another until (before you realize it) you are cycling from East Amsterdam to West Amsterdam via Rotterdam. This also means that several moving vans working together could easily shut down entire sections of the city and bring Amsterdam to its knees if they so desired. Moving vans are above the law. They answer to no one. They are the law.

Things get much worse if you are unfortunate or foolish enough to be driving around Amsterdam because a single moving van is also capable of creating very long traffic jams.

If a car encounters a moving van the driver is forced to wait and watch as every piece of furniture is paraded in front of them like some kind of Ikea drive through. Although it might feel tempting it is important to know that beeping of the horn is ineffective at this point, especially if you wish to generate sympathy for your current predicament from those living in the surrounding area.

Only once a moving van has been fully loaded with furniture, unloaded, rearranged to fit an odd shaped sofa, reloaded and the movers have had their fifth tea break (in view) will the moving van finally be ready to move. Victory is usually short lived however as most of the time the moving van just stops again after a few meters to start unloading at the new destination. Amsterdam is a small city after all.

9 Dec

1) Age 6 – Attempted to give myself a haircut by removing a large clump of hair from the back of my head. My mother was not impressed with my new hair style.

2) Age 7 – Received concussion after excitedly chasing a relative’s dog through the house and slamming head first into a rather (visually) hard to miss doorway.

3) Age 19 – Dyed my eye lashes black in a failed attempt to get a girls phone number (Full Story).

4) Age 15 – Chipped a tooth after accidentally running face first into another (shorter) kid during a game of tag. My tooth fragment might still be embedded in his skull somewhere.

5) Age 19 to Now – Numerous shaving accidents.

6) Age 26 – Received several bruises during a paint ball game thanks to trigger happy and colour blind team mates (Full Story).

7) Age 14 – Scar resulting from falling down a hill while gathering camp fire wood and getting cut by a passing tree branch (I don’t think it liked my attempts to burn its fallen comrades).

8) Age 3 – Almost had the tip of my thumb bit off by a donkey at a petting zoo. I still have a cool/freaky ‘dent’ in my thumb and hold no grudge against donkey-kind.

9) Age 29 – Almost cut off my own finger during a drunk attempt to make a midnight sandwich. Lacking any medical supplies in the house I had to go to the nearby police station and ask for plasters (Full Story).

10) Age 12 – Finger slammed in door.

11) Age 11 – Dog bite which stopped me going anywhere near dogs for the next three years.

12) Age 17 to 19 – Fingers super glued together on several occasions while at college (unintentionally of course, this was not the cool new thing the kids were doing back then).

13) Age 19 – Punched during a stage performance gone wrong (Full Story).

14) Age 8 – Attempted to demonstrate to my parents that I wanted to be a stunt man when I grew up by jumping off the sofa. This went well if you do not count the glass (that I had forgotten I left there while watching cartoons) I landed on which shattered into my leg.

15) Age 23 – Broken ankle from the office Christmas party (Full Story).

(In the original cartoon I included all the injuries but that ended up looked quite horrific)