A final dump of images – some from my phone – that made me smile during my year in Holland.

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Frozen Home

February 8, 2011

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Bureaucrat, autocrat, and technocrat,
With sudden speech they succumbed.
Elitist, tourist, and socialist,
On the edges of books they thumbed.

But months, weeks, days, hours,
Now all of it lay in the past.
Minutes, seconds, the breath in my hands,
It became my home on the last.

 

 

Glühwein, ice skating, bratworst, vlaamse frites, and poffertjes.  Echt lekker…natuurlijk.

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Hidden

November 26, 2010

Back here I’ll hide; at least until the fog lifts.

Then I’ll go hunting.

Beware of trolls.

Trolls – beware.

The Elders

November 24, 2010

Fog, Tree, Grass, and Sky

November 23, 2010

Spiderweb

November 17, 2010

Spin, spin my little head for life depends on sticky thread. So form a web from you to me then bird can also have his tea.

Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

November 15, 2010

Every year, Amsterdam celebrates the arrival of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas) and this year was no different. According to legend (Wikipedia and various other websites) he comes in straight off a flotilla from Spain to hand out pepernoten (cookies) with his helpers, the Zwarte Piets. Being a uniquely Dutch tradition I was there, camera in hand, ready to capture the action for posterity.
Sinterklaas evidently has some parallels with the Christmas celebrations I know, but here the stocking cap is replaced with a mitre (Bishop’s hat) and gone are the reindeer in favour of a white horse. Then of course, there are the Zwarte Piets themselves which might remind some of us of Santa’s elves. Apparently there was an attempt to give them rainbow face paint a few years ago but it didn’t quite catch on…
Undoubtedly controversial to some, there are some different interpretations to be found here if you are willing to run it through a translator. Stories vary, with “soot from the chimney” popping up often in my timid Google searches. But regardless of the origin of this phenomenon, there was no doubting the smiles on the children’s faces as they screamed at the “Piets” for cookies (awwww…)
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Breakout

September 23, 2010

The milky white glare of a heavy fog descended over the parklands, unable or unwilling to lift.  Like neunundneunzig luftballons the birds took to the air, in search of respite.  Or breakfast.  But, it was useless.  Nature had pulled her veil in tightly.  For now, they would stay within her protective shroud, neither predator nor prey.

For now, time would stand still.

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