Exactly a month since my last post. I haven't felt like posting as there has been much going on in Holland and very little progress. Most days it takes all my energy to just keep going. And as I figure nobody wants to read miserable post after miserable post, sometimes it's just better to keep a low profile for a while.
There have of course been highlights too. We had a few days in Holland at the end of April to celebrate Koninginnedag, the Dutch Queen's official birthday. As this is usually a big celebration, I'd had it in mind for a few years to take the children over, but when I heard that the Queen would be visiting Rhenen this year, where my dad lives, now was the time to show them what it was all about. We weren't disappointed - everything was orange or red/white/blue, we had lovely sunny weather and we even got to see the Queen and some of her family. We ate countless orange 'tompoucen' (vanilla slices), it was a really festive occasion and I'm glad the children experienced this part of Dutch culture.
I am still taking part in the Popular Crafts monthly swap. The theme for April was Spring and I was paired with the lovely Claire from Clairabellemakes who lives in Cambridge, where I work two days a week. We exchanged a few emails, then started following each other on Pinterest which made choosing my project for her a little easier, as we found we had eerily similar taste! Rather than send our gifts in the post we thought it'd be nice to meet up in person and exchange our items. I was a bit nervous about meeting her but needn't have been - she was lovely and we chatted non-stop for an hour and a half!
This is what Claire made for me - how did she know I love bags and think you can never have too many? This is definitely going to be used for knitting or crochet projects. The card is perfect, it may even go in a little frame as it is so sweet and worth keeping. The macaroons are, uhm, gone...! Yummm. And I'm looking forward to reading the book - I've heard bits of it on Radio 4 but not read it yet.
And this was my gift to her. I had great fun making it, even doing a little chart to make sure no square had the same colour combination. I'm making one for myself too as I found it hard to part with it! It's gone to a good home though :-) Claire, it's been a pleasure to swap with you and I feel I've made another friend. Looking forward to having another coffee together some time!