Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some Birthdays and Some Special Guests

On Mum's Birthday her and I were all set to get up early and make breakfast for everyone so that when Els and Wim returned from the airport with the boys we would be ready. We were woken that morning by the sound of them walking in the front door so that didn't really work out.
Paul and the boys were very tired when they arrived as they had also found it hard to sleep on the plane,
but they were determined to last the day.
We all had breakfast together as mum opened her presents, which she loved. She got a jacket and a Cd from me (Amy Winehouse, horrible), perfume and a belt from the girls, a beautiful watch from Els and Wim and some new boots from Oma.
here is the birthday girl, looking slightly like a pirate, but very pleased with her loot
After presents I went for a walk to the local supermarket with Paul and the boys so they could have a look around, i sugested the supermarket a good destination because i found it an amazing place to visit when i arrived. I was right, we probably spent about half an hour wandering around looking at everything, before heading home.
We all had some lunch and then headed into Hoorn to do some shopping and have a look around. We had planned to ride in but the weather was horrible and was raining so we managed to all cram into the car, with the boys in the boot, and set off.
We wandered around Hoorn, Mum and to exchange some boots and get her new watch adjusted to fit her wrist, but it was very wet and everyone was beginning to feel tired, so we headed home after an hour or so. A quick stop off at the supermarket again so Remy, Harry and Paul could stock up on Dutch supplies.
It was also Andre's birthday so he popped in later in the afternoon so we could all say 'Haaaaappppppyyy Birthday!'
That night we had a birthday meal of chips, croquette and a few other deep fried, unidentified meat products that i had absolutely no interest in trying.

After tea Remy, Harry, Lisa and I rode to her work at Betje Wolf Plein, which is the shopping plaze where both Lisa and Emma work, so we could rent some movies from Lisa's work. In our excitment of the day we actually forgot to bring the movies home with us, which we all realised once we got home, so we hoped back on our bikes and rode back to pick them up.
By the time we got back poor Remy and Harry we so exhausted, it was all they could do just to stay awake to have some birthday cake.

We were supposed to be waiting for Andre to come back from his brothers house so him and mum could have their birthday cake but he ended up running late to we all decided it was best just to start on the cake
mum and andre's birthday cake, made by andre's friend rob the baker
Finally Andre arrived so it was time for more presents! And more cake

andre's presents

After all the worrying about Andre's present we all decided he liked them a lot. 
Nothing could come close to his Barcelona outfit though.
It was a really good day, tiring, but good. I am really happy Paul and the boys have arrived because it means i have some more people i can spend time with and do things with so i don't feel so lonely.

Right now we are waiting for Inga and Jan to pick mum and I up from Els's and then we are off to Rotterdam for the night, where we are going out for mum's birthday.

Happy Birthday Mum and Andre!

Monday, September 27, 2010


It's been a few days between blogs as Mum and I went down to Brielle for a few days to stay with Tante Ank and Oom Thijs
To save myself the trouble of writing it in nearly every blog lets just assume from now on that every town i visit is pretty and historical and magical unless i say otherwise.
So, Brielle. The original city was surrounded by a wall that protected it from invasion, and it was one of the first cities to be freed after the Spanish invaded Holland. All along the walls of Brielle you can still see the original cannons that protected the city.
Tante Ank and Oom Thijs were very please to see us when we arrived on Thursday. I was excited because i knew Tante Ank had a little dog called Keetje, and boy do i love dogs. I was warned by Wim and Els that she didn't take well to strangers though and Wim learnt that the hard way when once she tried to rip his leg off. He said she actually did some damage and managed to leave quite a deep wound. I couldn't imagine it to look to at her but i soon saw what they meant. Any sudden movments by Mum or I would freak her out and she would go for our legs. Tante Ank was always on to her straight away, she didn't let Keetij get away with anything. She soon calmed down around us, and we only had to watch her occasionally.
The first day we didn't do much, Tante Ank's daughter Jacqueline came around and visited before she went to work, and later in the afternoon Tante Ank took Mum and I for a little tour of Brielle, with Keetje of course.

This is Tante Ank and Oom Thijs's House, the second in the row. The first house belongs to Tante Ank's best friend, they have been friends for over 40 years and when Tante Ank and Oom Thijs moved into this house her friend bought the house next door so they could still be close together. Isn't that a feel good story 

this house used to belong to my opa, he bought it when he was in the navy for his parents to live in
We wondered along the wall and then down through the main street.  

this building is where they used to keep all the ammunition for the cannons, surrounded by a moat


We wondered along the wall and then down through the main street.  
Nearly everytime we went out walking with Keetje she would come across one of her dog friends and they would lovingly embrace.
Here is a statue of the current Queen of Hollands grandmother who has some sort of signifigance to Brielle. Once again i failed to listen when it was being explained to me.

I would say, Oma and Opa do you recognise this church? But considering this is the town where Opa grew up and they have so many memories here i thought it a bit trivial just to point out the church that they have a picture of hanging in their toilet.
As we wondered i looked in some of the shops. Keetje liked shopping too! 

Here is where Oma and Opa van Adrighem, my Opa's parents used to live after they were living in the house in the previous picture (confused yet?). Mum remembers going to stay there when she was a girl and sitting with her Oma at the window watching the people down in the street go by.

After our walk we went back to Tante Ank's to relax and i got a chance to really bond with Keetje, i was determined to tame the beast. The stream of treats i fed her helped in part but i like to think it was really my exceptional dog taming skills.
i bloody loved this dog

Friday, the next day, Tante Ank took us to Sommelsdijk to visit Tante Marti. Tante Ank is Opa's second youngest sister and Tante Marti is his youngest. We had lunch with her and Oom Leo and then went for a wonder around town.

That night Jacqueline, her Husband Peter and her daughter Willemein all came round for tea before they took us to the movies to see The American (very good film)

 Keetje joined us on the table for tea. More pictures of Keetje are available on demand

Saturday we caught the train back to Hoorn, which me and mum were very nervous about becuase we had to navigate three train stations and two train change overs. But of course we managed it fine and all the worrying was in vain. I loved staying with Tante Ank because they felt like another Oma and Opa (but not as good) but i was surprised at how happy i was to be back at Hoorn, in Els and Wim's house. It was nice to get back to my little room and have a computer and my own tv. As soon as i got home i went on the internet because i had being hearing these strange stories of a grand final draw back in Australia....

Today was supposed to be a lazy day, getting the house ready for Paul and the boys arrival AND Andre and Mum's birthday tomorrow. Things didn't quite turn out that way when Wim got a phone call at around 1.30pm to say that Roy had broken his ankle playing soccer. In a story that i am sure will be funny one day he had called Emma, who was still in bed after only getting home at 8am that morning, to tell her and she thought he was just prank calling her and didn't believe him. He had to then call Wim and tell Wim that no he was not joking, he was on the soccer field, waiting for the ambulance to take him to hospital. He ended up having surgery done and getting pins in his ankle. Poor Roy! Now he'll be off work for the next 6 weeks. Emma then had to rush to the hospital and travel to and fro getting packing him an overnight bag and picking up her car etc.
It's almost time to go to bed now, i think we are all ready for the big day tomorrow

Shout out to Roy, sitting in hospital. We're all thinking of you!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Could it be that i have found something better than riding a bike around Holland? Tonight for the first time ever of all time i rode on the back of a scooter! Never before have i been a passenger on a scooter or a motorbike, which is sad really considering i have grown up around motorbikes and own a scooter.
Not only did i ride on the back but i also drove with Lisa on the back. The first time i sat on the back i was so nervous, i was holding onto Lisa so tight the poor girl was probably wondering what she got herself into, but by the time we headed home from Hoorn i was already feeling like a pro

Very, very fun 


We visited Enkhuizen yesterday which is a little harbour town. We were all really excited because the sun was shinning and it seemed like it was going to be a gorgeous day

5kms later.....

The weather had other ideas
It got better as the day went on and Enkuizen is a really pretty town. It is rich in history and the buildings are all hundreds of years old.

I don't know if you can see it in this picture but some of the buildings are so old that they are now on an angle with many of the door frames slanting on a 45 degree angle along the top. This building here looks like it is sloping backwards. It is very surreal walking around looking at them all, like you are in some kind of dutch Dr Seus.

We a strolled into town along one of the canals. A lot of the people here live on boats, which actually look like little houses on the water

By the time we finished lunch the sun had come out and the weather was nice again. Perfect for....you guessed it, PHOTOS

love is in the air

This was on the banks of the harbour, an old fort i think. It was like a watch tower with little windows around the base that they used to shoot out of. Perhaps i didn't pay enough attention when Wim was explaining it. There were more photos on mum's camera but god knows how to upload photos from that.

We headed back to Hoorn soon after this, only stopping once on the way home to look at some more ships. By this stage Els was fed up with being a tourist and refused to get out of the car (or she was just a bit tired)

That night Emma had tea with us, so i thought it would be a good time to catch the whole Roos family in action, to give everyone a taste of a typical dutch family having tea
Mum didn't want her photo taken but i wanted you all to see her new hair colour!

Today we went into Hoorn to do Mum and Andre's birthday shopping. Being the effiient shoppers we are me and Els had it all done within an hour and a half. Mum and Wim had driven to Ouddorp to the market there becuase mum wanted some Kaneelbroodjes, which are like cinnamon buns. We all met up in Hoorn and had coffee before Els and I whisked mum off to pick out some new boots for her birthday. Mum liked the ones she choose so much she decided she might like to have them before her birthday. When we got back from town I made mum help me wrap Andre's present. I'm worried he won't like it so it'll be a nervous wait til Monday when he opens it.
After wrapping and lunch i wrote out a whole lot of postcards which i bought from Enkhuizen yesterday and rode to the shops to post them

                                                                            this is the front of Els and Wim's house

You know its good weather if someone is driving around with the top down

Tonight me and Mum have to pack becuase in the morning we are going to stay with Tante Ank in Brielle for a couple of days. I am also going to a VIP shopping night with Lisa at a store in Hoorn that her friends works at. I am beginning to wonder how i am going to fit everything in the suitcase

Tracy if you are reading this i thought you might like the beetle shot