I spoke earlier in the week, about my disdain for the month of November. How its dreary drudgery saps all my energy and hope, thanks to its sullen announcement of winter.
Well in a surprising turn of events the final week of November looks like being an action packed and fun-filled time.
Why, you may be wondering?
Well the knights of the Netherlands are galloping into town, sequentially, over the next six days. Continue reading Announcing .. the knights of the Netherlands
A few weeks before Christmas last year, a group of activists called Home Sweet Home, occupied Apollo House – a vacant state owned building in the city centre, that used to be the home of the Department of Social Welfare. They turned it into a dry (as in no alcohol or drugs permitted) shelter, offering accommodation, food, and support to homeless people. The conditions were far superior than those offered by the homeless shelters funded by the government. They did this, not only to offer support to vulnerable people but also to address the growing homeless catastrophe that is convulsing Ireland, and to try to pressure the government into dealing seriously with Ireland’s housing emergency. Continue reading House
So the visitors departed, after their forty eight hour whirlwind visit from the big smoke. I was sad to say goodbye. Guiltily, I also felt a slight sense of relief. I hasten to clarify, that this is not a reflection on the company I keep. My friends are classy Bruces – glamourous and interesting. Continue reading My visitors turned my weekend into the ESB Christmas advert.
‘Loving Vincent’ is a new animated film about the life and death of Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh.
I watched it last night at the Irish Film Institute.
When I say this that this is an animated film, I am not telling the full story. It is in fact the first fully painted animation film. Each of the 65,000 frames used in the ninety mimute tale is a Van Gogh style oil painting on canvas. It took the talents of 115 painters/animators to create the film. Continue reading Cinema: ‘Loving Vincent’
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.
via Daily Prompt: Crossing
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.