Thursday, 31 March 2016

10 Things I Learnt Cooking Indonesian Food with an Indonesian Expat - Plus a Bonus Culture Lesson

I have an Indonesian friend who I have watched in envy over the years as she whips up enough chicken sate to cater for 30 people without so much as a hint of panic. Every time I have opened a shop bought nasi mix packet I've seen the disapproving look of my friend in my mind's eye. I can hear her tutting in my head.

So at the start of 2016 I vowed to try new things, learn new skills. In addition to knitting I wanted to try my hand at crochet (so far that's a disaster - crochet is something I can't seem to get to grips with). And I wanted to learn how to cook authentic Indonesian food - without a packet mix in sight.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Happy Easter!

In true traditional Dutch style we'll be enjoying an Easter brunch this morning, followed by some egg hunting. In honour of Easter this year I've made a cheesecake - with the Easter bunny searching for his own stash of almost seems a shame to disturb him!

For those of you who mark Easter, I wish you a wonderful fun-filled day!


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

The Little (and Big!) Changes Expat Life Brings

When I boarded a ferry more than fifteeen years ago and left the UK to start a new life in the Netherlands, I never really stopped to consider how different my life would actually be.

I knew there was a new language to learn, one that I'd mistaken for a strange German dialect during a summer holiday in Turkey. 

I was, of course, aware of the typical Dutch associations with clogs, windmills, cheese and tulips but I shrugged that off as stereotypes. I learnt that the old adage 'no smoke without fire' is alive and well and there are actually a fair few windmills in the Netherlands, some farmers do wear clogs (as well as father-in-laws working in gardens) and the Dutch do happen to grow a tremendous number of tulips.... and they like cheese. But these turned out to be the least of the differences thrown at me when I embraced an expat life in the Netherlands. 

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

An Amen to Expat Life, to the Travellers and the Migrants of the World

An amen to expats, to travellers, to the migration of people by one of the most famous expats who has made Britain his home, Bill Bryson taken from his fabulous book, The Little Road to Dribbling.

Do you agree?

Thursday, 10 March 2016

A New Expat Book Coming to Town: 'Once Upon An Expat'

There's a new expat book coming to town. Well coming to the world actually. And I'll be in it!

'Once Upon An Expat' will be available in June this year and will feature many wonderful stories from expat writers from across the globe. You'll be able to read about the best and worst of expat life as you travel around the world through stories. 

You'll meet all the authors online this month over at Canadian Expat Mom's Facebook page - so watch out for that.

Even more amazing news is that all author royalties from sales of this book will go to Books Abroad, an organisation that promotes literacy and education in developing countries.

Don't worry - I'll remind you nearer the time......

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Bill Bryson's The Road to Little Dribbling: Book Review:

In his latest book, Mr Bryson works his way around Britain to see just how these isles have fared since his adventure twenty years ago when he penned Notes from a Small Island.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Are You Parenting Dutch Style?

Has raising your children in the Netherlands rubbed off on your parenting style? Does seeing the letters HAVO make you frown in confusion or smile in recognition? How do your children get to school? What food constitutes breakfast in your house?

My latest article for Amsterdam Mamas will help you decide just how far you've gone and got yourself ingeburgerd.

Here are ten signs you are parenting Dutch-style.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Why You Should Visit the Dutch Town of Medemblik

Ever been to Medemblik? It's in North Holland, nestled peacefully on the banks of the IJsselmeer, which is the largest lake in West Europe. My family spent a long weekend there last week at the start of the school spring break - and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised about just how lovely it is in that area.