The Joy That is the School Sinterklaas Surprise
School, Sinterklaas

The Joy That is the School Sinterklaas Surprise

It's around this time of year that parents with children in Dutch primary schools gear up for the Sinterklaas 'surprise' (pronounced 'sirprees', in case you are wondering). Primary school kids from group five upwards knutsel together a masterpiece. And then they hide a little present in it for a classmate. It's taken into school on the 5th… Continue reading The Joy That is the School Sinterklaas Surprise

School

The Dutch Education Crisis

Teachers across the Netherlands will be out on strike on Wednesday 6 November. The issues in the education section are being described as a national disaster. A crisis. A catastrophe. Here's the low down of what's currently happening in the Dutch education system. Teachers and Strike Action Any of you with children in Dutch schools… Continue reading The Dutch Education Crisis

Holidays/ Celebrations

Halloween Dutch Style

Is there even a Halloween Dutch style? Halloween is certainly not celebrated in the Netherlands on the scale it is in the USA or England, but the popularity of Halloween is on the rise. History of Halloween Halloween is steeped in history, but here is a very brief recap. Celebrated on the 31st October, Halloween… Continue reading Halloween Dutch Style

Bilingual, Languages

A Tale of Two Languages, Three if You Count Dunglish

Living in the Netherlands means conducting life in two languages - Dutch and English. My three sons are being raised bilingually and our home conversations and discussions are a mixture of both languages. Yes, Dunglish is alive and well in our home. A life lived in more than one language is not just interesting, it… Continue reading A Tale of Two Languages, Three if You Count Dunglish

Autumn, British

The Brits and Conkers – ‘Kastanjes aan Touwtjes’

Fewer children are playing conkers these days. Health and safety rules gone mad is the most likely culprit, but once upon a time, every autumn, school playgrounds across the length and breadth of Britain were filled with children playing conkers. The Tradition of Conkers My brother and I would collect these treasures too when we… Continue reading The Brits and Conkers – ‘Kastanjes aan Touwtjes’

War graves in Gendringen
Culture

The Day My English Skills Came to Good Use for a Dutch Film

When you live abroad there's a surprise around many a corner. When you live abroad you stand out. And sometimes that is the backdrop for some amazing experiences. Like the time I was asked by a stranger to do a voice over for a film. A Knock On the Door One morning on a typical… Continue reading The Day My English Skills Came to Good Use for a Dutch Film

Typically Dutch

There’s a Reason the Dutch Word for Stairs is ‘Trap’

I was reminded yesterday on Twitter that Dutch stairs are legendary for being steep and dangerous. The stairs in our current house are absolutely normal navigable stairs. The ones in our first house however were not. The Dutch and their stairs warrants a discussion. If you have ever seen a typical steep Dutch staircase you… Continue reading There’s a Reason the Dutch Word for Stairs is ‘Trap’