Tag Archives: Holland

LOVE YOUR WORK, TOM – though shooting that dog was wrong

Tom Otterness's sculptures take pride of place by the esplanade in Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands.

Tom Otterness’s sculptures take pride of place on the esplanade in Scheveningen, near The Hague in the Netherlands.

We’re very sorry to be missing the always wonderful Sculpture by the Sea event in Sydney this year, but the Dutch have sculpture by the North Sea too.

Googling the American sculptor Tom Otterness, after seeing his work by the beach in Scheveningen, I read that he once filmed himself shooting a dog, for an art film. It cost him some lucrative commissions. He apologised. Not good enough, say some of his critics. He killed the dog in 1977, when he was 25. Is all forgiven? Is it okay to enjoy his work now? Continue reading

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WHERE DUTCH ARCHITECTURE IS A JOKE

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.

The gable of the Zaandam Stadhuis (Town Hall) enters into the playful spirit of things.



Dutch architects have been hard at work in and around Amsterdam, inserting colourful humour into some very public buildings, and it’s remarkable that, in the Zaanstreek, local planning authorities have been happily going along with the joke.
Continue reading

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Filed under Architecture, Cycling, Holland

A TOP CITY FOR EXPATS – who don’t need friends

Millions want to visit, so why wouldn't you want to live here?

Millions want to visit; why wouldn’t you want to live here?


According to an article on the BBC website, I’m living in the one of the best places in the world to be a foreign resident.

But on delving further into an HSBC survey comparing countries’ liveability for expats, I was disconcerted to see that while the Netherlands scored well on things like job opportunities, health services, ease of transport, culture, language (meaning widely-spoken English) and good schools for expat children, it was near the bottom of the list on various social criteria.

The country rated very low for expats in ‘making local friends’, ‘social life’ and ‘integrating into the community’. China and Germany scored much higher in these categories. Continue reading

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BIKES ON DYKES – planning a Dutch cycling tour

Cycling in Holland is a family affair.

Cycling in Holland is a family affair.



We’ll be back cycling in The Netherlands in less than a fortnight, so we’re planning some interesting routes.

Coincidentally, my correspondent Lianne just sent me a few questions (with attached compliments – flattery will get you everywhere!) about how to arrange a cycling holiday there.

So here it is – info on bike hire, route planning, weather, all the essentials to get started on planning a bike trip through Nederland. Continue reading

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Filed under Cycle touring, Cycling, Holland

HENRY MOORE IN AMSTERDAM – Rijksmuseum

Why is everyone ignoring me?

Why is everyone ignoring me?

To celebrate the reopening of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, the surrounding gardens are hosting a fabulous exhibition of Henry Moore’s sculpture.

We don’t expect to see a better collection of the work of the great British artist, not anywhere, not ever. And certainly not for free. Continue reading

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OLD AMSTERDAM IN SEPIA

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

Prinsengracht, Amsterdam



I’ve been playing around with the buttons on my iPhoto editing programme (Note intentional ye olde spelling of ‘programme’).

It’s all too easy and all too tempting. With the click of a mouse, I can take my images back a hundred years. I’m rather pleased with the results. Continue reading

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Filed under Holland, travel photography

YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – Alkmaar’s Festival of the Foot

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

No surf on the Dutch beach, but plenty of action.

The mass walk is a peculiarly Dutch activity, one that I’d avoided until now. That’s surprising, given how much I enjoy hiking.

But yesterday I tagged along with my friend Anita and 6,800 of her Dutch walking mates on the ‘Plus Wandel4Daagse Alkmaar‘, for a brisk stroll through North Holland. Continue reading

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Filed under Hiking, Holland