Sometimes…

I can’t stand this place. Yesterday’s bad news has been confirmed. You cannot buy a house in Amsterdam for less than 177.000 guilders unless you work in the city or area, or have already been living in Amsterdam for at least 2 years.

It’s just maddening, the rules and regulations in this country. I feel so restricted here sometimes. Suffocated. If only we had more s p a c e .

I’d looked forward to seeing that house on Wilhelminastreet and I had a good feeling about it. Maybe I should get myself a real estate agent (like most people do) to find me a place. They at least know all the rules and can form a buffer between me and the big bad housing world out there.

I wish it was Thursday evening… me in London behind a pint of something bittersweet.

Feel free to slap me for whining.

Some good news too: a while back someone working for a Dublin magazine asked me to help them get an interview with Gavin Friday. The interview happened last Thursday & Gavin suggested the journalist give me the interview for the web site. The journalist mailed me to say he’ll have it ready around Wednesday. Nice one, Gav. It still surprises me when he shows this kind of interest in the site, and it puts a smile on my face.

I got a lot more faxes from hotels in London – I’m pleased to notice that the one I booked last week is cheaper than all these later ones.

I’ve been thinking of putting some of my childhood diaries on line – I’m sure it will be a good laugh & perhaps cathartic.

Rules and Regulations

Sometimes I can’t stand this place. Yesterday’s bad news has been confirmed. You cannot buy a house in Amsterdam for less than 177.000 guilders unless you work in the city or area, or have already been living in Amsterdam for at least 2 years.

It’s just maddening, the rules and regulations in this country. I feel so restricted here sometimes. Suffocated. If only we had more s p a c e .

I’d looked forward to seeing that house on Wilhelminastreet and I had a good feeling about it. Maybe I should get myself a real estate agent (like most people do) to find me a place. They at least know all the rules and can form a buffer between me and the big bad housing world out there.

I wish it was Thursday evening… me in London behind a pint of something bittersweet.

Feel free to slap me for whining.

Some good news too: a while back someone working for a Dublin magazine asked me to help them get an interview with Gavin Friday. The interview happened last Thursday & Gavin suggested the journalist give me the interview for the web site. The journalist mailed me to say he’ll have it ready around Wednesday. Nice one, Gav. It still surprises me when he shows this kind of interest in the site, and it puts a smile on my face.

I got a lot more faxes from hotels in London – I’m pleased to notice that the one I booked last week is cheaper than all these later ones.

I’ve been thinking of putting some of my childhood diaries on line – I’m sure it will be a good laugh & perhaps cathartic.

Bad news

Bad news

Someone at last night’s party told me that 2 years ago you couldn’t buy any house in Amsterdam below 187000 guilders if you weren’t already a resident of the city for at least five years. If that is still the case, I can forget about the house on Wilhelminastraat that I’m checking out tomorrow.

I walked past it last night before going to the party and the street looked a bit scruffy. Lots of bikes parked on the sidewalk, so that probably means lots of students. Some of the houses on the street looked dingy, others looked prim and proper. ‘Mine’ was an inbetweenie – it definitely needed a paint job on the outside. All the curtains were closed so there was no telling what the inside might be like.

The neighbourhood looked lively enough with shops and bars and only a few minutes walk to the main street & tram (Overtoom).

Books
I spent most of Sunday strolling around the city of Deventer. My dad had been invited to the authors’ lunch by his publishers. It was a typically bland Dutch lunch (the quiches were tasteless and raw) of mostly sandwiches and soup. I’ll probably gripe about Dutch food in a future edition of ‘Flat’ my column about Dutch culture.

90.000 people were expected to visit this biggest book fair of Europe. I thought it was quite enjoyable, if a bit crowded. If only I hadn’t been forced to wear my dress shoes for the occasion – I don’t know how many stalls we passed, but my feet started complaining half way through.

I found some gorgeous books from the 20’s and 30’s but they were way too expensive for me. I also dug up a more recent book on Bauhaus (the movement, not the band). My dad was interested so I held back and let him buy it so I can borrow it! My interest in Bauhaus lies mainly with graphic design and architecture – I have very little love for Kandinski’s paintings.

I’ve a bit of a throat on me… cough cough.

http://www.johnco.cc.ks.us/%7Ejjackson/bauhaus.html
http://craton.geol.brocku.ca/guest/jurgen/bau4.htm

Bad news

Someone at last night’s party told me that 2 years ago you couldn’t buy any house in Amsterdam below 187000 guilders if you weren’t already a resident of the city for at least five years. If that is still the case, I can forget about the house on Wilhelminastraat that I’m checking out tomorrow.

I walked past it last night before going to the party and the street looked a bit scruffy. Lots of bikes parked on the sidewalk, so that probably means lots of students. Some of the houses on the street looked dingy, others looked prim and proper. ‘Mine’ was an inbetweenie – it definitely needed a paint job on the outside. All the curtains were closed so there was no telling what the inside might be like.

The neighbourhood looked lively enough with shops and bars and only a few minutes walk to the main street & tram (Overtoom).

Books
I spent most of Sunday strolling around the city of Deventer. My dad had been invited to the authors’ lunch by his publishers. It was a typically bland Dutch lunch (the quiches were tasteless and raw) of mostly sandwiches and soup. I’ll probably gripe about Dutch food in a future edition of ‘Flat’ my column about Dutch culture.

90.000 people were expected to visit this biggest book fair of Europe. I thought it was quite enjoyable, if a bit crowded. If only I hadn’t been forced to wear my dress shoes for the occasion – I don’t know how many stalls we passed, but my feet started complaining half way through.

I found some gorgeous books from the 20’s and 30’s but they were way too expensive for me. I also dug up a more recent book on Bauhaus (the movement, not the band). My dad was interested so I held back and let him buy it so I can borrow it! My interest in Bauhaus lies mainly with graphic design and architecture – I have very little love for Kandinski’s paintings.

I’ve a bit of a throat on me… cough cough.

How to live…

… with a neurotic traveler.

I tend to do several neurotic things when I’m about to travel. 1. buy new clothes to travel in 2. buy new bag to put new clothes in 3. pack and unpack bag countless times

I used to bring too much stuff, but I’m over that. I’ve traveled a lot, I suppose, and I’ve learnt to travel light. These days I tend to bring too few clothes. But that doesn’t matter, because my philosophy is: ‘more reason to shop on location!’

So I got a nice navy V-neck cotton sweater. Ideal for summer evenings on the quay. And a pair of very thin light greenish khaki workers. I’ve been breaking in my new hiking boots (Nike… terribly un-p.c.!).

I have so many travel bags… but trust me, I did check out the on sale backpacks at ‘America Today’. Fortunately, my wiser self managed to strangle my neurotic ‘I need bag’ self.

I haven’t started packing my bag yet. But I did pick it up from behind the sofa and flung some clean underwear in it.

Am I the only neurotic traveler?

Sleep.
‘You look really tired,’ someone said to me yesterday. And I probably did. I don’t sleep much, 5 maybe 6 hours a night. Yesterday evening I got home with a headache, finished my sushi dinner quickly while watching Father Ted, fell asleep around 9 and slept for 9 hours. I guess I needed that.

Busy weekend ahead:
Party tonight in Amsterdam for W’s birthday. ( I got her Bridget Jones’s Diary – hope she laughs as much as I did reading it. Any woman should get it, it gently takes the mickey out of all us 30- somethings. )

Then on Sunday I am accompanying my parents to the author’s dinner at a book festival in Deventer. My dad’s been invited and he is also covering the event in his magazine. I’m to take pictures for publication. It will be nice to be able to hide behind the camera.

Sushi: How to make ’em, What they look like

Book fair

I am accompanying my parents to the author’s dinner at a book festival in Deventer on Sunday. My dad’s been invited and he is also covering the event in his magazine. I’m to take pictures for publication. It will be nice to be able to hide behind the camera.

Oh yer nothing but a Smoothhound

Yesterday I was complaining about not being able to book accommodation in London on line. Well I found Smoothhound systems who at least offer the opportunity to either e-mail the hotel or send an e-mail via fax.

11.00
Whether this actually works we’ll find out soon, I’ve just faxed and e-mailed about 20 hotels in central London. If it does work – I’ll be a happy girl.

11:53
v. pleased. 2 return faxes already. Not exactly the tariffs I’d hoped for, but it’s a start. I guess you can’t really complain about 25 pounds a head for a basic room off Tottenham Court Road. It’s only a small stroll down to Cyberia cafe. ;-)

12:30
Went ahead and booked the Garth Hotel. (Full English or traditional Japanese breakfast… that must have been the clincher.) I quite like the idea of being able to walk back to the hotel rather than having to take the last tube.

Cyberia was my first introduction to Internet Cafe’s – and I spent many many pounds in there looking at my own homepages… as one does.

Smoothhound: 1,000’s of UK Hotels and Guest Houses