Spring Is Springing

By - April 22, 2005 (Updated: November 30, 2014)

Observation of the day – Canadians have this great reputation for being warm and friendly. While I don’t dispute this, I have to say that Nederlanders have been pretty great. It’s not just the ones we know either. Every time we get in the elevator at our apt. and someone is in there, they strike up a conversation. When we ask if they speak Engels, they always humor us and chatter away in English. In all of the apartments I’ve lived in, in Halifax, rarely did anyone ever talk to me in the elevator, halls, laundry room, whatever.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. It’s hard to keep up the momentum when I haven’t been able to post but hopefully this will be up soon.

Inge has been e-mailing me in Nederlands, with English subtitles, so I’ll try to slip a few Dutch words in here and there. We have a contact who may be able to give us lessons so that will be great.

Last weekend was all about plants. On Saturday we went to the giant Intratuin in Hilversum. This is an ENORMOUS garden centre. For the first time, I was able to buy plants here and I was so excited. When I got there, though, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know how to choose. There were so many plants and they were so cheap compared to home. Eventually I settled on some herbs for cooking, which I planted all in a big pot together; 3 flowering plants that I will set outside when it’s warmer; 2 flowering shrubs; an Ivy and a mini palm-tree like thing.

Sunday we went for a drive through the bulb fields near Keukenhof. It was more amazing than I imagined. I have no words to describe it and I doubt pictures will do it justice. The colours were so vibrant and I wish I could have bottled the smell and taken it with me. The stripes of colour looked like an enormous patchwork quilt. I can’t wait to go back this weekend. We plan to go to Keukenhof and I am eager to see how it compares to our visit there last year. Last time we were there on opening weekend and many of the flowers had not yet bloomed. This time we should be there at the peak. However, it will also be flooded with bus-tours so I doubt it will be the tranquil experience that it was last time.

Thursday was shopping day and we went out and bought some new clothes. (We need to try and keep up with the Van Jones after all). Afterwards we ate at Green Planet (One of our favorites) and had our favorite dish, Spatzle.

Drew is working hard again today and I’m having a quiet day in the apt. with the kids’ ok, really I’m having a quiet day and they are all sleeping. They have settled in and have been spoiled rotten (mostly out of guilt). They have a new scratching post, 2 state of the art litter boxes and an automatic water fountain…Yup, we’re crazy. Oh yes, and a hammock that hangs over the side of the couch… of course they still prefer to sleep in a pile of my clothes on the floor, or curled up on the bed.

Anyway, that’s it for me. Hopefully I will have a more entertaining update after Keukenhof.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
The 🍁🍂🍃 colours here... 😍 - 22 hours ago
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