Tag Archives: Amsterdam

‘Oh, Buttons!’

Last time it was ribbons, now it’s buttons. Am I turning into a haberdashery connoisseur? Probably not, but I do like a nice button from time to time. I remember having a conversation about buttons with my much-loved mentor, Christine Risley, … Continue reading

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Eye Eye, Me Hearties

A while back, I celebrated my birthday and my husband organised a lovely day out at the EYE Film Institute. We went to the Fellini exhibition, watched the remastered version of ‘ Jour de Fete’ starring the legendary Jacques Tati and had … Continue reading

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In the Pink* in ‘de Tuinen van West!’

On Whitsunday, or Pinksteren (still a Bank Holiday here) my other half and I set off on our bicycles to visit our allotment garden in de Eendracht. On the way we took a detour and explored the newly planted area … Continue reading

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Gevelstenen (plaques) in Amsterdam

Recently, a friend loaned me a book about Amsterdam gevelstenen (stone plaques) by Onno W. Boers. A system of house numbering was introduced in Amsterdam in 1795; all the plaques on the front of buildings before this date acted as … Continue reading

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The Dutch Riding School in Amsterdam – A Hidden Jewel

In the centre of Amsterdam, bordering on the Vondelpark, you will find one of the most beautiful riding schools in Europe. ‘De Hollandsche Manege’ is an elegant 18th century school which is one of Amsterdam’s better kept secrets. If you … Continue reading

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Jaap Eden skating rink in Amsterdam

In December 1961 de Jaap Eden IJsbaan (skating rink) opened its doors to the public. It was the third 400 metre rink in the world. It used an innovative ‘direct’ freezing system which means that ammonia evaporates from underground pipes … Continue reading

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Serendipity Leads to Discovery of Forgotten Artist

On a secondhand book stall at the Lindenmarkt last Saturday I happened across a children’s book, called Suriname, jang tak terkenal, written in Indonesian Bahasa (Indonesian Malay) aimed at educating Indonesian children about the former Dutch colony of Suriname. The … Continue reading

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Slow Food, Courtyards and Magic Carpets

Last week, I spent an afternoon in my hometown. Yes, I did! Starting off with lunch at  Gartine, a small restaurant that specialises in mouth-watering, organic food and serves lunch, cakes, and high tea using home-grown ingredients from the proprietors’ kitchen garden … Continue reading

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Shanty Towns in Amsterdam?

A student of mine recently told me an amusing anecdote. One of her Chinese relatives was visiting Holland and while they were sitting in a train my student’s relative looked out of the window and said she thought Holland was … Continue reading

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Home Swapping – Your Place for Mine

A few years ago I registered as an aspiring home-swapper on Homebase Holidays. Membership is approx thirty pounds a year. I chose this site because of its emphasis on properties in theUK. As an expat living in Amsterdam, home-exchange offered the … Continue reading

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