I just had to celebrate my beautiful new dining room. Finally it’s all done. No more fridge in the corner, brand new floor, and a lamp that isn’t a makeshift plan (I’ve had a few, including standing lamps and a temporary fitting.)
So I made a quiche, for the first time ever, and I couldn’t be prouder!
I believe its been a year since the first case of Corona was diagnosed in the Netherlands. I remember back then people were still attending Carnival in the South and others returned from ski trips etc. What a different time that has been!
Over here we continued with the near impossible task of DIY during lockdown. At least we can click and collect things at a hardware store, but how do you order something online, (in Dutch) when you really need to go in and tell the guy in the hardware store that you need a thingy to do so-and-so and fit in with the what-che-callit.
Thankfully I have Marinus who is a very handy guy who knows even handier guys, and between them (with some assistance and many sandwiches from me) they put down my beautiful new laminate floor and hung my stunning dining room lamp!
The early spring weather continues into the week and Rufus and I made the best of it to visit Marinus and enjoy his pretty garden. He has started cleaning it up and the first shoots of springs are coming out. It is so exciting to see the seasons change.
We enjoyed an incredible bottle of wine that was received as a gift months ago. Rufus enjoyed roaming around the garden and is getting the hang of playing fetch with the ball.
It took some convincing, but I managed to explain to Marinus that it is OK to have a braai, even if it’s after dark. I might have to get him a braai light for future, but we did have our first braai of the year and hopefully there will be many more to come.
Some days are just harder than others. Today was such a day.
I was feeling homesick all day. Its been over a year since I’ve seen my family and I miss them. I have made peace with the fact that I will be able to travel when it is time, but even so, I still wish I could have a cup of tea with my mom and dad on their verandah.
At the end of a long afternoon of meetings, I took Rufus for a quick walk to clear my head, and for him to do his business. My plan was to have my guitar lesson and then get some more work done.
But alas! Returning to my front door, I realised that I left without taking my house keys. The door of my apartment and the building automatically locks as it closes, so I expected this to happen at some point or another. So I had to cancel my lesson and activate plan b: I left a spare key with Marinus for this precise reason.
It might be worth mentioning that it was drizzling when I went for my walk, so while he was being an absolute hero and biked over with the key, I was taking shelter on the little awning at the front door. I could probably have asked a neighbour to let me into the hall, but I didn’t think of that. Perhaps I subconsciously felt that being stuck in rain mirrors my mood.
I have seen people say many things about Dutch guys, but I can now truthfully say my boyfriend opens doors for me. Even if it’s my own door because I locked my key inside.
He has other skills too! I had arranged to have the stripped out laminate removed to make a bit of space, so I had to put the “grofvuil” out for collection by the municipality. There’s some very prescriptive instructions: you need to take it out within a specific time period so it doesn’t mess up the pavement for other users.
So after bundling to the old laminate for easy handling, we stacked the first lot in the lift, only to find that the lift isn’t working!! So we had to carry everything downstairs. At least the stairs in my building is wide and of a normal height, and not those narrow steep Amsterdam stairs from my previous apartment!
After all that, I could put the day behind me and settle into a well deserved rest. Tomorrow is another day.
When I was a kid, at school you could order something, a card or a rose or candy, to be delivered anonymously to your crush. I always thought what’s the point of anonymity? I still don’t know.
Since then I’ve lived through a few valentines days and there has been some interesting experiences.
I’ve had an employer that handed out heart shaped chocolates to everyone as they went through the gates in the morning. I’ve attended dinners with friends who celebrated “singles awareness day”. And many more.
This year, in this pandemic, I spent the perfect day.
Marinus surprised me with a bunch of cut flowers! He usually gives me gorgeous orchids, so I am always spoiled with flowers, but it is still impressive.
We spent the day just hanging it together and in the evening ordered a takeaway.
Sometimes the best thing to do is as little as possible.
It continues to stay cold, but since no new snow is falling its all turning into ice!
This is a bit scary when I am out for a walk with Rufus, but it is also quite cool (see what I did there) to see all the ponds and canals frozen over!
The Dutch once again surprised me with how they embrace the unexpected things in nature, and seemingly all managed to go skating on the ice!
My previous ice skating adventure was when I was a student; longer ago than I care to mention and I really didn’t do well. So I decided it’s not a good idea and stuck to the original plan for the day: DIY!
Today we installed the floors in my dining room, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. We also finally moved the fridge to the kitchen (after a small modification) and started a small repair that would be necessary to mount the dining room light. I should do a proper before and after post as soon as all the floors are done, but here is a little taster.