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
The Glen Tarsan, between Iona and Mull.
It was a great week. Here’s the full article about our cruise around the Isle of Mull, recently published in the Fairfax Press in Australia…
‘I so want that boat,’ says the American lady beside me.
With its dark blue hull and gold funnel, the polished wood of its superstructure catching the light, it bobs on the inlet below us, framed by yellow gorse bushes in the foreground and the rocky shore of the Isle of Mull beyond.
I eavesdrop as a discussion starts among the members of her tour bus party. Is it a local fishing boat? Too clean. A private pleasure cruiser? Too old-fashioned.
Smugness gets the better of me. ‘It’s my boat,’ I say. And for this week, it is. Continue reading
A healthy innovation. Rolling kitchen Icoon’s organic bread rolls baked in handy cone shapes, ready for filling.
Many many thanks to Carla, herself no mean chef, for taking us to ‘Food Unplugged’, a festival which cunningly combined food, company, education, sustainability and cycling – all things we love – in one of the most attractive areas of the Netherlands. Continue reading
Filed under Cycling, Holland
The entrance to the remodelled Rijksmuseum is worth a visit on its own, with Mr Calder as a bonus. And it’s free.
No time to queue for Rembrandt and Vermeer? Find the EUR15 entrance fee for the Rijksmuseum a bit steep? Hate crowds?
There is an alternative for cheapskate, agoraphobic art lovers. The gardens of the Rijksmuseum are a little treasure, and this year they’re graced by an exhibition of 14 large-scale works by an international superstar. Entry is free and there’s plenty of elbow room. Continue reading
St Martin sur Vesubie. Not much going on on a sunny Saturday morning.
‘A Jacques Tati square,’ our walking mate Peter calls it. We know exactly what he means.
We sit outside the boulangerie in St Martin sur Vesubie with our early morning cafe and pain au chocolat and watch as the village comes to life, its characters coming and going like figures in a mechanical clock.
Nobody seems in a hurry, including us. We have several hours to kill before the bus will take us back to Nice. Continue reading
Filed under France, Hiking
St Dalmas le Selvage. It looks a long way down from here, but it’s where the nearest cafe is waiting.
It’s hard to describe for non-walkers the experience of hiking one of Europe’s great trails, the GR5 over the French Alps.
Here’s my best effort to compare it to an exercise anyone can try at home… Continue reading
Filed under France, Hiking