As I commence writing there is but half an hour until my dinner date with The Usual Suspects. Laura, Dania and Thijs are coming round to my, rather bedraggled, flat and we’re skyping in the absent pair (Sonja and Leonoor). It’s not really enough time to write even a short post but, as I’ve been absent for so long I felt I should really try to do something.
So, what has happened since I last wrote here? Well, firstly, the lovely Zoë came out once again but this time aiming to explore the museums. Sadly for both of us, it was right in the middle of finals time and I couldn’t really spend much time with her. I think we both enjoyed ourselves regardless. We did take time out to go to the Midwinter Fair again and, to be quite honest, that has got to be my favourite festival of the season.
|With the Zoë|
The evening Zoë left was another social time, this time with the normal lot as we hung around and I painted Sonja’s nails. It appears that, if I drop out of university for whatever reason I have a secondary career lined up. I also got to see my delightful neighbour Robbert before I left for England for Christmas and he left to study in Singapore, on exchange. However will I manage without his faultless optimism for a whole semester!
|Sonja didn’t look this bored the whole time, I swear!|
As for Christmas, naturally, I spent it with my parents. We actually spent this Christmas in Wales in this tiny old cottage. It was owned by someone who was from quite a historic family and had worked as a antiques dealer so, as you can imagine, it was full of little bits and bobs to fascinate me. Did I mention we had to drive over a mountain track and through several fields (sans roads) to get there? The first time I’ve been grateful for there not being snow at Christmas!
Actually, this was probably the best Christmas I’ve had in a long long time. For that matter, it was probably one of the least stressful years my family has had in a long time and I guess it showed in the festivities. It was really relaxed, really pleasant. A lot of time together, a lot of good food, a lot of painting.
As for New Year, that was lovely in quite a different way. We went spent it in a local restaurant (in England) and had a thoroughly wonderful evening. Again, there was a lot of good food, good company, a bit of dancing. My father helped the staff pour the champagne for everyone – somehow that’s become a tradition at this place – and that kind of meant we ended up with almost a full magnum on our table at the end of the toast… couldn’t let it go to waste!!
|This photo was taken before any alcohol was consumed, in my defense!|
And then it was back to Amsterdam (which is honestly starting to feel like home) and to my second German intensive period. I’ve got to be honest and say that I am not enjoying it. I’m naturally very shy and use my language ability to cover that up… take away my language ability through making me speak in another language and it is hell for me. Not to mention the fact that, in the six months since the last intensive I have forgotten everything. That said, i still adore the German language and I am a quarter of the way through. Just another three weeks to survive. I may not be online or blogging while I fight with speed learning but oh well, I shall get through!
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my speed recount of the last month. Wow, I managed it in circa. twenty minutes. If only I could write that quickly normally!