Saturday, February 20, 2010

Back in the Netherlands

DSC00310I’ve returned from a quick road trip to England, where I was doing an assessment of students in the Medical Devices course back in Cambridge.  Weather was very cold across the channel, scarcely rising above freezing most days and coating walkways with frozen sleet overnight.  Still, it was fun seeing how the students  developed business proposals from basic concept ideas and engaging in spirited debates about the practicality of their plans.

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Carnivale has been rolled up in my absence: the decorations are down, the hurricane shutters have been removed from store windows, and pedestrians are once again dressed in traditional shades of grey.  There have been lots of good pictures and stories from the event posted among fellow expat-bloggers, and I’ve enjoyed reading all of the different perspectives.

There’s a long road ahead with work this week, but I’m looking forward to getting back onto a more regular daily schedule.  The days are starting to become noticeably longer and there was a hint of rising temperatures in the air today (despite the falling government).   ‘Hopefully an omen of a thoughtful and productive period ahead..

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

After the storms pass…

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…Maastricht shows a nice early-morning portrait across the river.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Carnivale costumes

  Despite the weather, there were a lot of creative costumes in the parade this year.  Political satire was less evident than last year, and good student entries like the Bob Ross Artists Guild were few and far between.  Still, there was color, noise, smiles, and dancing: everything needed to warm a chilly February afternoon.

More pictures on my Flickr page.

 

    I always like the ‘big / small contrasts: when do Dutch kids hit their growth spurt?

 

 

 

 

Amanda had a great picture of this outfit too: the most colorful horn player in the parade.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentines and Parades

Expatica published results of their new survey for Valentines day, revealing that a quarter of women move overseas for love (vs. 11% of men).  It tops lifestyle choices, retirement, weather, and culture; no mention of whether it also bests “looking for work”.

And a quick nod to the local best as well; we were all up last night watching the 5000m speed skating on NOS1, wonderful to see Sven Kramer win the gold medal.

In true expat style, I got things bought before going to the US, mailed from Denver, so returned with a clean conscience a week in advance.   I’ve got most birthdays and holidays marked out far in advance on calendars: I find that things have to be prepared a couple of weeks in advance if they are going to arrive in time (and that holidays will play out over a couple of weeks as things trickle in from overseas).

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Carnivale kicked off the raising of the MooseWife at the Vrijthof Square and the parade through town from the station to the center over the Stone Bridge.   There were some wonderful costumes, as always, and I’ll be a day sorting picture.  In the meantime, a few of the spectators lines along the bridge railing were also good sights despite the weather.

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