By Friday morning I was comfortably esconced in Amsterdam. My weekend of leisure in my old home town was in motion. It had been almost a year since my last visit so I was looking forward to it. Not in the desperate, craving manner of previous return visits –now that I am more settled in Ireland my longing for Amsterdam has weakened. Continue reading Amsterdam
Yesterday’s blog post was a touch maudlin , as I was feeling somewhat downbeat about the life choice I made two years ago, when I decided to move back to Ireland. (meanwhile a tiny violin dramatically plays its forlorn melody somewhere).
So much so, that as soon as I got home from work, I booked a long weekend in Amsterdam, at the end of September / start of October. For four nights only, I will be visiting my old haunts and seeing my old muckers. There’s nothing quite like spontaneously booking a flight to lift your spirits. Continue reading Terminal 3… flight’s on time
In a couple of weeks I’ll be witnessing the two year anniversary of my return to Ireland, after fifteen years in Amsterdam.
When I parachuted back into Irish life, in August 2015, I was clear in my head, that this (hopefully) triumphant return was merely to test the waters.
I had only ever intended to stay in the Netherlands for a couple of years. The fact that my time there ballooned to decades, didn’t alter my feeling that I was a transient. A temporary resident in the land of the clog. I knew that before I could acknowledge to myself, that perhaps I was now a permanent fixture in Amsterdam, that I would have to attempt living in Ireland again first.
Continue reading Home, sweet home.
Right behind Centraal Station in Amsterdam – at the north of the station – lies Het IJ. This is a body of water than makes up Amsterdam’s waterfront. Because of the centuries old Dutch tradition of reclaiming land and manipulating water supply I am not sure whether Het IJ is a lake or a river. Or whether in fact these days it can be regarded as an artificial body of water. It separates the north of the city from the south. One manner of getting between the two sides of the city is via a free ferry crossing. Continue reading Crossing
‘So how was your weekend in Amsterdam?’ asked a colleague over a slice of brown toasted batch bread, in the staff canteen this morning. Continue reading Conversation at breakfast
At 4.30pm my out of office message will be switched on. A car will be waiting at reception to take me to the bowels of Terminal 1 in Dublin airport. I will take to the skies in a low cost carrier. A few hours later I will touch down in the land beneath the sea. I may get all Polishly papal when I disembark from the aeroplane, by kissing the ground. I’m going to Amsterdam and I am feeling all aflutter at the prospect.
Continue reading One day I’ll fly away, leave all this to yesterday.
Facebook is a cunning beast. The ‘On this day’ function in particular. The daily reminder of what you posted on a particular date, each year you have had an account, can throw up the most unsettling surprises. Continue reading Happy anniversary…
It will surprise no-one who reads this blog on a semi-regular basis, that I lived for fifteen years in the Netherlands. What may surprise some Dutch readers is that, during this time, I never once owned a diary. Continue reading Nobody’s diary
Having lived for decades in Amsterdam, I considered myself a bit of a cycling connoisseur. The bike-path network in the Netherlands is vast. And hopping on your two wheeler is the fastest, cheapest and most efficient means of getting to pretty much any destination in the city (I once had a job where it took fifteen minutes to reach by bike, but thirty minutes by public transport). As a result everyone cycles – from the very young to the very old. Although the site of a baby strapped onto the handlebars as the parent whizzes by is still a sight that gives me shivers. Continue reading I want to ride my bicycle
Last week it was announced, that the popular music combo ‘Red Hot Chili Peppers’ were playing a gig in the Point Depot near my house on December 20th. Being a creature that grew up in the 80s and 90s, this was thrilling news. Not only was their music gripping to my teenaged soul, I also had strong feelings for the lead singer Anthony Kiedis. Continue reading Red hot chili bastards